Mundford rue missed chances

Mundford had a rollercoaster of a match against title favourites Beccles at Fir Close, the home side just falling short of the victory target.Skipper Alex Bailey said afterwards: “I believe that if we can maintain the batting and sort our bowling out we will be a force in this division this year.

Mundford had a rollercoaster of a match against title favourites Beccles at Fir Close, the home side just falling short of the victory target.

Skipper Alex Bailey said afterwards: “I believe that if we can maintain the batting and sort our bowling out we will be a force in this division this year.

“Before the game today and knowing that two years ago several of this side were playing Premier League cricket and we were dropping to Division Three we would have been happy running them close, but having seen my side play with fight and pride we should and could have won.

“The Terry Gasgoine Man of Match Ian Harrison is an example to us all, his fielding was superb.”

The visiting skipper called incorrectly and Bailey put them in, to get first use of Mundford's glorious batting conditions.

Mundford had a shaky start after some wayward opening bowling from Smeed and Grady which was despatched to the boundary by the Beccles top order.

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During his 12-over spell Grady's line and length became more and more accurate, Smeed was once again slightly off-colour, and with the Beccles openers racing along at nearly seven an over Bailey was called into the attack.

His and Grady's first job was to try and slow the impressive run rate, this they did as Bailey was to remove one opener with his second delivery. For the next 15 over Beccles were forced to push and scamper as Mundford turned the screw. Grady and Bailey both going for 36 from their allotted spells, Grady deserving at least one wicket to go alongside his skipper's.

Smeed returned but was soon blasted out of the attack and it was down to Allsop and newbie Leeder to try and contain the visiting side.

Beccles' runs this season will come from the two Porter brothers and with both on 80-plus and looking for centuries Leeder's flight and spin was to prove too much for them and a stumping and a bowled later Mundford could smell and chance of keeping their lofty visitors to a manageable total.

Leeder is soon becoming a potent weapon in Mundford's attack, his spell becoming better and better.

Allsop once again was unlucky, let down by some poor fielding that had dogged the home side all day, and some missed catches - which would prove costly.

Both the bowlers could have done no more, as Beccles looked for boundries and finished with 237.

Mundford openers Goodrham and Yates set the tone for the home side's assault on the run chase, this they did and some. Yates' graceful cover drive and flicks to leg, coupled with Goodrham's punishment of anything a fraction off-line meant the home side were racing along to 60 from the first 10 overs. Their partnership of 55 gave Mundford hope and confidence of chasing down such a huge total.

In the soaring temperatures the Beccles bowlers and fielders began to droop, but three quick wickets soon had them re-energised.

A superb stand of 86 between Woods and Harrison brought Mundford to the brink. Woods' return has been a revelation in Mundford's batting.

Woods' elegance was a joy to watch, he alongside Harrison's power once again but the visiting side on the back foot and gave Mundford belief that a victory could be managed.

It was only when Harrison went for 40 and Woods fell for 56, that belief started to falter.

Allsop (34) was to find no partner in the victory quest as Grady and Smeed both felt the squeeze from the visitors.

Batting second, Mundford's efforts deserved a win but they just failed to creep over the finishing line.

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