Rollesby forced to dig deep for victory

Reigning Norfolk League champions Rollesby had to dig deep when they travelled to old foes Cringleford Lodge looking to build on their superb victory against East Harling.

It took some mature batting from youngster George Barnden at the death to keep Rollesby’s 100 per cent record intact following a luckless day in the field. Skipper Matt Duxbury won a toss that in truth he was hoping to lose and elected to bowl on a green but firm wicket.

Just like the previous week, the inform Chris Alger and Paul Vickers started superbly. Openers Gregory and Palser took the score to 22, almost exclusively off of the outside edge before Gregory was fortunate to survive a hard chance when edging to slip.

After five faultless overs from Alger the wily Dave Cook, came on to replace him and having rolled the clock back 10 years the previous week, appeared to have rolled them forward 30 this week, starting with two wides and struggling to find his stride. Cook was quick to call his spell short after four overs and was replaced by skipper Duxbury, whilst Sparkes replaced Vickers at the Pavilion end. Vickers having just taken the wicket of opener Palser (6) smartly caught behind by keeper Chaney.

Sparkes, in his second over took the wicket he deserved, Wright (12) edging to keeper Chaney who snaffled the chance.

Cringleford star Bilham, rode his luck early then performed some audacious hitting to take the score to 129 from 36 overs.

Sparkes finally took the wicket of Bilham for a rapid 57, with a peach of a slower ball. The return of Alger and Vickers brought a flurry of wickets with Longman (1) , Patel (6), Stanley (3) and Tibbs (1) all falling in quick succession. Cringleford number 10 Cain, proceeded to smash the marauding Alger to all parts, he then took to Vickers (11-4-19-2) before finishing with a career best 19 from only eight balls as Cringleford finished on 190-8.

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Rollesby lost an early wicket when J Browning was caught by the keeper attempting to hook a Bilham bouncer. Chaney, together with Duxbury took the score to 48-1 from nine overs, before Chaney fell for 15, bowled behind his legs. Duxbury continued to play his shots and was joined by the out of form P Cook, looking to make his first impact of the season. The pair took the score to 111 before Cook (39) gave catching practice to cover point from a wide long hop. N Derry joined Duxbury who soon brought up his first 50 of the season before he guided the ball to the keeper and Rollesby were reeling at 122 for 4. Alger punished some loose bowling. However when Derry (12) and Youngs (0) fell in short succession, D Cook, joined Alger with Rollesby six down.

Only 20 were needed from the final seven overs but Alger was bowled by Bilham for 35 and when Cook was caught behind for nine Rollesby were in trouble. Needing 12 to win from three overs with two wickets remaining young George Barnden, on his first team debut, was joined by Vickers.

In very bad light, and with the Cringleford pace bowlers returning the game looked to have passed Rollesby by. However Barnden, in the penultimate over, smashed Cringleford bowler Patel back over his head for four and added a two. In the final over, Barnden (9no) took a single before Vickers(3no) nurdled one round the corner to win the match with two balls remaining.

Fleggburgh Kings Arms MOM:- Paul Vickers 11-4-19-2 and George Barnden.