Winterton on the up

WINTERTON secured the Lucas Fettes Norfolk League Division One title on Saturday before bowling a ball as nearest rivals Loddon had their game cancelled at Rollesby.

WINTERTON secured the Lucas Fettes Norfolk League Division One title on Saturday before bowling a ball as nearest rivals Loddon had their game cancelled at Rollesby.

Although Winterton were unlikely to be overhauled, it was comforting to have the title in the bag before play.

Nevertheless, Winterton were keen to play their game against Shipdham to avenge a defeat earlier in the season.

Shipdham elected to bat and Winterton got a perfect start when Stagles, the Shipdham captain and leading scorer, hit his first ball from Ben Utting straight to Martin Witheridge.

A second wicket quickly followed and Shipdham were 0-2. Scoring continued to be difficult for the Shipdham batsmen, but after 20 overs the rains came to finish the game and the league season.

The weather could not however dampen the club's pleasure at achieving the league title and its highest-ever league position, especially having just missed out on the last day of last season.

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The club originally entered the league in 1992 under the stewardship of former captain and chairman Dave Hambrook whose aim was to progress the club as far as possible.

That progress has been steady through the leagues and the last three years has seen the first team secure its position in the first division.

Great credit must go to skipper Kevin Percival who has worked tirelessly on and off the field and who has always sought to ensure that the game is played in the correct manner.

He was well supported by his squad of players who all contributed to various victories at some point during the season. Particularly pleasing were the contributions made by the younger players who came up from the second team and more than held their own.

This showed the benefit of having the backing of a second team who also deserve great credit in securing their Division Four status for next season.

Good cricket was always possible on the tracks prepared by groundsman Trevor Jones and also the fact the team was sustained by the substantial teas prepared by the various ladies over the season.

Backed by a hard-working committee headed by chairman Geoff Roper, the club is now seeking to move up into the Norfolk Alliance.

A formal decision on its application is awaited but the club is hopeful of a favourable outcome and the chance to move onto pastures new.

WINTERTON A finished the season with a win over a weak Watton team on a very damp pitch which was generously passed fit for play.

Watton lost two wickets in two overs, Matt Stanhope bowling impressively, 2-19. Well supported as always by the steady Mark Hambrook, 3-30, wickets fell regularly leaving Tom Whichelow to mop up the tail with a five-wicket haul.

Although chasing only 72 should not have been a problem, yet again the batting let the team down. At crucial moments poor shots were played which put victory in jeopardy until a rain break stopped the slide.

A Thackary used his experience along with M Hambrook to see the lads home by four wickets.

Thanks go to all the players for their support during a difficult season.

DESPITE atrocious conditions, Winterton Cricket Club had their traditional end-of-season Chairman's 11 fixture against a combination of the first and second team last Sunday.

The game was reduced to 25 overs. Greg Evans aided the chairman's team with a swashbuckling 35, and contributions from Michael Hill - guesting from Wigan Cricket Club - and Richard stokes set up a decent target of 112.

Pick of the bowlers was Marty Witheridge for a superb spell of off-spin bowling, and the junior partner he has shared his secrets with, Josh Larner.

In reply, against some precision bowling from Tim Sims, John Fornay, Janet Southgate, Phil Drake, Tim Oxborough, Jimmy Catchpole and Greg, the Winterton team sneaked home in the last over through some lucky hitting from Ben Utting, Wes Noble-Parker, Sam Drake and Fred Playford.

Thanks went to Debbie Witheridge and her team for her usual feast of a tea. Also massive thanks went to Micky Pearce and Trevor Jones for umpiring in terrible conditions.

Between them they gave Bryn Clarke the man-of-the-match award for an all-round display of batsmanship and slow bowling, and the bottle of wine for the champagne moment went to Fred Playford for contriving to be run out by 22 yards with a Coco the Clown impersonation.

The day ended at the Fisherman's Return, whom the club wish to thank for all their help over the season.