Yarmouth edge ahead of Rollesby in Norfolk League title battle

Great Yarmouth took up the running in the Norfolk League Division One title race after a hard-fought eight-wicket victory at Drayton saw them leapfrog reigning champions Rollesby, who lost by six wickets to East Harling.

Yarmouth skipper Fitzsimmons lost the toss for the 9th time this year and Drayton skipper Soanes decided to bat on a good looking pitch with lightning outfield.

Noakes bowled very tightly at one end and was well supported by Cockrill. Cockrill (8-0-31-1) made the breakthrough as he had Sanghavi (10) well caught by Thompson at mid-on. Noakes then quickly bowled Hawes (2) and finished his first seven over spell with figures of 1-4.

Shales was then introduced and bowled his usual tight lines. Opener Wright looked to get after him and hit one or two lusty 4’s over the leg side. Allard (20) on the other hand was struggling to pick the Yarmouth bowler and Shales managed to cling on to a good caught and bowled chance to dismiss him with the score on 53.

Johnston bowled a decent spell (5-0-21-0) but was replaced by Ruddick (9-0-39-3) who bowled extremely well and had opener Wright (40) caught behind. He then dismissed Kay (8) 16 runs later, removing the leg stump from the ground in the process.

While this was happening Shales and Hunt were having an interesting battle at the other end, Hunt hitting a couple of attractive boundaries and Shales having a sharp slip chance dropped. Shales finally won the battle with Irvine completed a good crocodile catch right on the Mid-wicket boundary to dismiss Hunt (20).

Ruddick then dismissed the dangerous Mario-Ghae (6) once again removing the leg stump and Drayton had limped to 109-7 off 35 overs.

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Chelladurai took the attack back to the Yarmouth bowlers with some good hitting and running but was running out of partners at the other end as Noakes dismissed Skipper Soanes (3) and Sharma (1). Noakes finally bowled Chelladurai with the penultimate ball of the innings to finish with excellent figures of 10.5-4-19-4 and dismiss Drayton for 149. Shales finished with 12-2-33-2. It was also a much improved fielding performance from Great Yarmouth compared to the previous week.

After tea, Yarmouth openers Fitzsimmons and Hak set about chasing 150 in a very confident manner, with 30 runs coming of the first five overs. Mario-Ghae and Soanes were rapidly introduced into the attack and succeeded to slow the run rate down. Fitzsimmons played excellently. Hak punished anything loose and passed his 50 in the 17th over. Fitzsimmons (8) was trapped LBW in the 19th Over by Mario-Ghae (12-2-36-1) to bring to an end an opening stand of 84, and Hak (66) followed next over with the score on 86, gloving Soanes down the leg side with Dobson taking an excellent catch up to the stumps.

Doggett and Thompson then set about chasing the next 64 runs in watchful fashion. Yarmouth passed the required total of 150 for the loss of only two wickets in the 44th over with Doggett finishing 38 not out and Thompson 27 not out.

An excellent all-round performance but MOM goes to Jack Noakes for an excellent spell of fast bowling and an excellent effort in the field.