Mundford just lose out on first win

MUNDFORD made the long trek to Kirkley, hoping to secure their first win of the season, but ended up a little short of their target. Mundford batted first on a beautiful, hot sunny day, with the intention of putting a big score on the board.

MUNDFORD made the long trek to Kirkley, hoping to secure their first win of the season, but ended up a little short of their target.

Mundford batted first on a beautiful, hot sunny day, with the intention of putting a big score on the board. Ian Harrison, making his return to the first team, took 12 from the first over and continued in the same vein until deep into Kirkley's allotted overs.

Even though Mundford lost wickets at regular intervals, the total kept ticking over, mainly due to Harrison's elegant cover drives, with the occasional boundary from the likes of Yates, Woods, Chris White and Smeed.

Harrison completed his 50 with a trademark boundary but finally lost his wicket in the 40th over, for a fantastic 78, leaving Ronnie Jenkinson to hit 13 valuable runs and leave Mundford on 171 but giving Kirkley an extra three overs to score their runs.

Some tight, line and length bowling was needed early doors to give Mundford a chance, which Smeed and Allsop duly did from their opening overs.

Smeed, in particular, passed the edge of the bat on numerous occasions but it was Allsop who got the breakthrough at 18 for 1.

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After the tight opening exchanges, it was left to Mundford's spin twins, Mark Leader and Pete Brassett to tighten their hold on the game.

Leader grabbed two wickets in an over but together with Brass couldn't stem the flow of runs. It was left to Ryan Woods to give Mundford some sort of control, with his left-arm inswingers.

Kirkley couldn't cope with the swing and with the introduction back into the attack of Allsop, Kirkley began to panic and play some unwarranted shots.

Allsop picked up his second wicket, whilst Woods chipped away to grab a five-wicket haul. With three overs to go, Kirkley needed 15 to win with four wickets left but Woods and Leader held them to just seven runs, whilst grabbing three wickets, enabling Mundford to escape with a draw.

Mundford: I Harrison lbw Lambert 78, M Webster c Hunt b Walpole 4, R Yates b Hunter 14, D White lbw Guy 1, R Woods c Howes b Guy 17, P Brassett c Howes b Guy 9, C White b Lambert 10, R Smeed c Hunt b Lambert 13, M Allsop c Willgass b Walpole 0, M Leader not out 0, R Jenkinson b Lambert 13; extras 12. Total 171.

Kirkley: Willgass c Webster b Woods 48, C Guy lbw Allsop 6, P Hunter c D White b Leader 15, R Moore c Jenkinson b Leader 0, R Daniels b Woods 14, S Clabhan c Brassett b Woods 21, D Snell b Allsop 22, S Walpole not out 23, S Howes b Woods 1, C Lambert b Woods 0; extras 12. Total (9 wkts) 162. Bowling: Smeed 12-6-23-0, Allsop 13-4-36-2, Leader 8-0-37-2, Brassett 6-1-25-0, Woods-10-2-36-5.

Meanwhile, Mundford A got their first positive result of the season with a draw against Topcroft. Captained by the youthful Scott Palmer, Mundford restricted Topcroft to 176 with Palmer taking 4-39.

After losing three quick wickets. M Annear and Cam McIsaac scored quick runs, followed by the patient Owen Chandler and Michael Florence to give Mundford a chance in the game.

Captain Palmer blasted 23 but it was left to B Oval and R Mail to save the game for Mundford.

The previous week Mundford CC hosted near neighbours Thetford Town and lost by eight wickets in Alliance Division Three.

Once again captain Bailey could not call upon a full Stags side, but with a strong teamwork ethic a win was not out of the question.

It looked once again that the toss would be important and the visiting skipper Newey called correctly he quicky inserted his rivals.

With Matt Goodrham missing new signing Matt Webster would join the aggressive at the top of Mundford's innings.

The home side was soon put under pressure from the accurate pace of Lingaurd.

Ryan Woods was first to depart caught at deep square leg off of the left-arm swing from Anderson, Rowdy Yates fresh from a match winning innings of 98 from week 1 was next at the crease, but soon followed a ball slanted across him from Thetford's quicky Lingaurd.

The Stags were in deep trouble but, as often has been the case over the past five years, someone would put their hand up and be counted, this week would be no exception as Dan White launched an audacious counter attack.

White, showing how far he has come within two years of first team cricket.

In a boundary-laden 70 (eight fours and two sixes) and with Bailey looking assured at the crease he should have laid the foundation for a sizable Mundford total. But Bailey was to edge behind off the returning Lingaurd for 11 and when old Theford player Smeed soon followed without scoring the home side was once again in trouble.

White was eventually to fall for 70 and this left Allsop to stand alone and try and shepherd the tail to a defendable total.

His 30, including five fours, pushed Mundford over 175 but with eight overs remaining and looking for a final half hour's play assault on the Thetford bowling he was to fall with a leading edge. Keeler tried in vain with a mature 14 but as the final three wickets fell the home side would be disappointed with the total of 187 knowing that a few loose shots in the face of decent bowling by Lingaurd and Liam Conroy stopped them posting a score well over 200.

Two weeks ago Mundford were to defend a similar total against Acle so they knew that they had the ability to come away with a win, this was built upon a strong opening bowling partnership that had put Acle under pressure from ball one. Unfortunately it was to be a slightly different story in week three of Alliance cricket.

Smeed and Allsop, and in the end most of Mundford's bowlers did bowl some good deliveries but they were to be coupled with too many boundary balls which were put away in emphatic style by man of the match Liam Conroy.

Pete Terry and Conroy took the game away from thier hosts and when Leader had Terry caught at slip with the safe hands of his captain it gave Mundford a sniff but younger Conroy quickly shut the door and Mundford were left to play out the remainder of the game knowing a defeat was inevitable.

Woods came on for his first spell of the year hoping to produce a bit of magic but it was all too much as Thetford raced home with over 10 overs remaing.

Bailey said after the game: “We got exactly what we deserved today, and must now pick ourselves up. We have undoubted ability in our squad but losing can become a nasty habit, and we must now put today's performance out of our minds and focus on what can be a hugely successful season.”

Meanwhile, Mundford Sunday put in a strong performance to tame Ellingham last week, winning by 59 runs. Mundford won the toss and elected to bat on a belting surface in pleasant weather conditions. Norman (47) created early pressure with some lusty blows to get Mundford off to a flyer. Glover (2-22) bowled an intelligent spell, bowling some cracking deliveries along the way.

Webster (64) anchored the innings throughout with further support from Florence (27) and Norman (13). Oxborough (4-43) with his intelligent leg spin and the ever-reliable Smith (2-39) were able to restrict Mundford in the latter overs as they posted a competitive total of 200.

In reply, Ellingham got off to a solid start with both Cooper (19) and Ewin (20) battling hard to keep the excellent Norman (1-7) and pacey White (1-29) at bay. Mundford made breakthroughs at regular intervals and thus restricted Ellingham's scoring rate.

Allum (46 no) once again batted well and he formed useful partnerships with Oxborough (15) and Smith (12) but the target was out of Ellingham's reach.

Leeder (1-21) bowled an economical spell and he was well supported by Burt (1-33), Palmer (2-14) and Chandler (3-29) as Ellingham posted 141-9.