Tricky early clash for Mundford
IT seemed that the cricketing gods were against Mundford on Saturday as Dereham came to Fir Close in a vital league game so early in the season. They now travel to Garboldisham in a must-win game to keep on the heels of the leaders.
IT seemed that the cricketing gods were against Mundford on Saturday as Dereham came to Fir Close in a vital league game so early in the season.
They now travel to Garboldisham in a must-win game to keep on the heels of the leaders.
Mundford were still hurting from the previous week's near miss against title contenders Beccles while Dereham were fresh from dismantling Hillington.
Mundford were asked to bat on a damp, green seamer-friendly track.
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The home side was soon in trouble as Allsop, Yates and Harrison fell early to leave Mundford reeling at 17 for three.
Ryan Woods and Nicky Quantrill set about a partnership of 43. Woods set off for a quick single and strained his hamstring - making him unable to walk or play any sort of attacking shot in anger. On 31, this was a bitter pill to swallow for both himself and the side.
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Credit to Woods as he bravely fought on, but he finally departed. Quantrill soon went afterwards for 21, leaving Mundford on 79 for six.
Young Aaron Burt was playing with patience and maturity far beyond his tender age and was to halt the slide of wickets. Grady's knock of 31 gave Mundford a little glimpse of a chance.
The home side closed on 130 all out, unable to bat their allocated over and thus giving Dereham three extra overs to reach the target, a mistake that would cost Mundford dear.
As Dereham began their innings, Ray Smeed and MoM Dave Grady used the conditions perfectly, Smeed removing one batsman fourth ball of their reply. His pace and swing too much, as he grabbed a morale-boosting wicket.
This seemed to spur Mundford on and Grady soon after joined the party.
Visiting stand-in captain Hewitt has been a thorn in many a side of the past few years and Mundford knew that to stand any sort of chance he would have to be removed early.
Grady was to rise to the challenge, clean bowling the dangerman when he was on just nine.
Three more quick wickets were to follow - one more for Smeed and another two for Grady to leave Dereham at 51 for five.
Mundford's opening bowling spell of 20 overs accounted for five visiting batsmen in a superb spell of swing and seam bowling from both Grady and Smeed.
But within the space of five overs the game was to be decided, Grady found an edge but captain Bailey cold not cling onto the simplest of chances at first slip.
Later, Anema (66) offered another easy chance to Allsop but down it went again. He marshalled the lower order closer and closer to the winning line.
Leeder and Allsop gave the home side hope with a wicket apiece, and Smeed returned at the death for another but it was too little, too late as the visitors crept home with just two wickets left, vitally using the extra overs Mundford's gave them.