Confident start for Mundford

Mundford first team's season began where last year ended with a confident five-wicket victory against a visiting Dersingham side to Fir Close on Saturday.

Mundford first team's season began where last year ended with a confident five-wicket victory against a visiting Dersingham side to Fir Close on Saturday.

Mundford claimed 21 points to their opponents' four.

Once again Alex Bailey was the captain of the Stags ship but fielding a much changed side this term for last year's third-placed team.

With Pat Yates off to pastures new at Downham Market and both Tom Price and James McNeilly leaving due to work commitments, new recruits Ray Smead and Mark Leader and the retuning Ryan Woods will add some strength in depth to both bowling and the batting as Saturday's victors look to build on the previous efforts from 2008.

Once again Bailey was fortunate with the toss, Dersingham calling incorrectly and Bailey having no hesitation in bowling first given the early-season wickets.

New-ball pairing of Smead and Grady look like a winner partnership right from the start, with Grady picking up the first honours of the season with a fine spell of swing and pace bowling.

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His three wickets in an opening burst of 11 overs for a miserly 20 runs would have been fine return early season but add to that the three top order wickets he collected and he laid the foundations for Mundford's victory.

Smead, on the other hand, was unfortunate not to get more than his one wicket at the death, but wickets will come as he settles into life at his new club.

Spin pairing of Leeder and Bailey soon settled in together with Bailey's unnerving line and length and Leeder's spin and Flight, they will compliment each other well.

Leeder's one wicket from his seven overs and Baileys 2-21 from 12 overs turned the screw on Dersingham's middle order.

Bailey bowling an exmplary length but with his line just off at times. Leeder should have had more then his single wicket, dropping two chances from his own bowling.

When vice-captain Allsop entered the fray at the death to grab his customary wicket Mundford looked in control of the match as the visitors late hurrah gave them a shot of saving the match with a total of 138-8.

Chasing down targets has been Mundford's plan over the past three seasons under the helm of Bailey and Allsop and with the first part of the plan completed it would be down to the batters to finish the job.

Mundford's season this year will depend on how the top order functions and also how the rest of the side can bat as a side in accumulating totals.

Saturday's efforts proved this to perfect effect with former Norfolk player Goodrham guiding the side home with a superb undefeated 85.

The new ball was going to be vital in deciding the outcome of the game and when Yates and Harrison both fell without troubling the scores and with Keeler gone for two as well, the game was delicately balanced.

But Goodrham was to find an able partner in the returning Woods. Woods carefully working the ball around the outfield for singles as his free-scoring partner punished anything wide and off line.

Their efforts in a partnership of 64 took the game away from the visitors and calmed the nerves of the home side. Goodrham's drives providing the back bone to his “Ray Whale” man of the match innings.

When Woods departed and the match all but over Allsop, batting in a higher position this term at six, was allowed to play without any shackles in a free scoring 18, as newby Smead saw Mundford home with over 12 overs remaining.

A win in their opening game of the season is a perfect was to start under any circumstances but with the bowling attack looking sharp and Goodrham and the middle order in good touch it could be just the start Mundford need for a title-winning year.

Bailey commented after the game: “It was a great start all five bowlers were there or thereabouts with their line and length and this will bode well when title favourites Beccles arrive on Saturday.

“The batting will be worked on over the coming week but with such class at the top of the order with Matty Goodrham we have a real performer there and if we can all back him up we have a real shout this term.

“The one slight disappointment for me was our catching but this will come over the next few weeks. All in all a good team performance highlighted by the two Gs Grady and Goodrham.”

Mundford now face Beccles this coming Saturday at Fir Close, match starting at 1pm.

Dersingham: A Barrett c M Allsop b D Grady 0, A Poll c M Leeder b D Grady 5, D Bunn c D Keeler b D Grady 1, T Dobing b M Allsop 50, M Hazel c-b Leeder 13, J Havers c D Keeler b A Bailey 3, Y Sohail c D Keeler b A Bailey 3, S Felgate c D Keeler b R Smead 22, P Bridges not out 20, A Southgate not out 0; extras 21. Total (8wkts, 46 overs) 138. Bowling: D Grady 11-4-20-3, R Smead 11-2-29-1, A Bailey 12-3-21-2, M Leeder 7-1-29-1, M Allsop 5-1-26-1.

Mundford: R Yates c S Felgate b Y Sohail 0, M Goodrham not out 85, D Keeler lbw T Dobing 2, I Harrison b T Dobing 0, R Woods b M Hazel 17, M Allsop c A Barrett b T Dobing 18, R Smead not out 5; extras 12. Total (5wkts, 33.1 overs) 139. Bowling: Y Sohail 12-2-61-1, T Dobing 8.1-3-25-3, A Barrett 5-0-15-0, M Hazel 8-1-28-1.