Winterton push up to third place

Winterton (21pts) beat Halvergate (5pts) by four wickets in the Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance Division Five.

The first XI got back to winning ways after a two-week break to put themselves firmly into promotion contention, moving up to third in the table.

On a green, damp wicket Winterton had no hesitation in asking Halvergate to bat first.

And that decision reaped rewards with the second ball as the dangerous Steve Clarke was smartly caught low by Geoff Roper at slip off the bowling of Ben Utting.

Winterton had to wait until the 12th over before they struck again, after some tight bowling by Richard Larner and Utting forced P Southam into a mistake.

Johnny Allen came into the attack and bowled with aggression and control to soon take care of S Brister and then L Hannatt, who was unlucky to middle one off his legs straight into the midriff of Ryan Edmonds at short leg for a well-constructed 27.

Larner then struck twice in two overs to reduce the home side to 72 for seven, but the determined Pat Hill stood strong, despite an early glancing blow to the head, to hold the innings together.

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Hill scored 42 not out in his side’s final total of 130-8 with K Millington chipping in with a quickfire 26 not out at the end, giving Halvergate’s bowlers something to play with on the slow, unpredictable wicket.

For Winterton Larner (3-20) and Allen (3-25) did the bulk of the damage.

Winterton’s batsmen found it equally difficult as Halvergate’s bowlers let the pitch do the work for them, reducing the visitors to 22-2 from 13 overs, openers Bryn Clarke and Ryan Edmonds falling cheaply.

Martin Witheridge joined veteran Geoff Roper at the crease and the former decided that the only way to play was with aggression. And it paid off as he raced to 17 before one shot too many saw him caught at long on.

Johnny Allen followed soon after to reduce Winterton to 62-4 from 23 overs, but the stubborn Roper was still at the crease.

When Roper was dismissed for 40 and Fred Playford soon after for 15, Winterton were in trouble at 87-6.

But Ben Utting (23 not out) and Tom Roper (17 not out) played without panic to see the Tonnies home in the 41st over.

Halvergate’s chief destroyer with the ball was K Millington with 4-29.

Halvergate: S Clarke c Roper b Utting 0, P Southam c Percival b Larner 1, L Hannant c Edmonds b Allen 27, S Brister c Playford b Allen 8, P Hill not out 42, C Key c Roper b Larner 9, D Cook lbw Larner 1, T Crane c Ryan Edmonds b J Allen 1, Brett b Drake 3, K Millington not out 26; extras 12. Total (8 wkts) 130. Bowling: B Utting 7-3-26-1, R Larner 12-6-20-3, J Allen 9-5-25-3, K Percival 5-1-11-0, S Drake 7-0-18-1, T Roper 6-1-23-0.

Winterton: B Clarke c Brett b K Millington 8, R Edmonds c Brister b Crane 1, G Roper c Hannant b Millington 40, M Witheridge c Hannant b Millington 17, J Allen c Fox b Millington 2, F Playford c Clarke b Hill 15, B Utting not out 23, T Roper not out 17; extras 10. Total (6 wkts) 133. Bowling: S Fox 8-0-25-0, T Crane 11-3-33-1, K Millington 12-3-29-4, P Hill 9-1-31-1, S Brister 1-0-9-0.