Cromer CC need a win as poor run continues
Cromer suffered their third heavy defeat on the trot to remain too close to the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division relegation zone for comfort.
Despite having home advantage they slumped to a 122-run defeat at the hands of Old Buckenham and now just five points clear of second from bottom Stow, having played the same number of games.
Following the previous two days' rain it was an important toss to win and it went the way of the hosts, who not surprisingly opted to bowl first. The innings did not start well for the Bucks as opening bowlers Anthony Robinson (3-38) and James Craske used the pitch to their advantage, quickly removing the top three wickets for only 33 runs.
Robinson accounted for all of the wickets with Rob Thurley first to go caught behind by Tom Davies. Marcus Glenister then chipped a misbehaving ball back to the bowler and Perry was caught at gully off a jagging delivery.
However a counter-attacking innings from James Heaney (49 off 61 balls, with seven fours and two sixes sixes) and Andrew Lawrence (59 not out off 65 balls, with four fours and four sixes) took the game to the home side and really turned the momentum around.
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Both batsmen did their best to keep out the good or misbehaving deliveries and latched onto anything full or short to maximum effect.
Heaney fell one short of his fifty after one too many near misses, however lower order partnerships with Harry Dunkinson (21) and James Hay (20 off 11 balls) saw Bucks reach 211 for 7 off their 50 overs and Lawrence to a well deserved half century.
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After surpassing 200 on the difficult surface, Bucks felt that this would be more than enough to secure victory but the away side still need to bowl well against a side that have chased big scores against them previously.
After a few tight opening overs, Lawrence continued his impetus with the ball and nipped out Matthew Warnes and Richard Charlwood in consecutive balls, both caught behind by Andy Austin, reducing Cromer to 16 for 2. Both openers kept the pressure on the Cromer batsmen, Lawrence in tandem with Jonny Lee and this pressure claimed the wicket of skipper Tom Davies who perished in the 13th over lbw to Lawrence (3-27), leaving Cromer 30-3.
Cromer then looked to regroup with Kristian Regis andSouth African Malcolm Cloete at the crease, both defending well and putting any bad balls away until Lee joined the party. He had both batsmen caught behind, Regis by keeper Austin and Cloete by first slip Lawrence to reduced Cromer further on 58-5.
Sniffing victory, skipper Perry turned to Tommy Alexander on a pitch that would assist the off-spinner and he duly obliged. Alexander seemed unplayable to the Cromer lower order and with Hay keeping it tight at the other end, he sliced through the rest of the home side's batsmen. Taking four for nine from his eight overs and two balls, Alexander took the final wicket of the day, Chris Furlong caught smartly by Austin of a sweep shot, Austin taking his dismissals to four for the day.
Cromer face another big test on Saturday when they play host to top-of-the-table Sprowston who should be on a real high after knocking East Anglian Premier League side Swardeson out of the Carter Cup on Sunday.
In Division Bradfield posted a decent total of 232 for nine against Mattishall, with Jez Wright scoring 71 of them, but it was no enough to prevent a defeat that saw them remain second from bottom in the table.
Gordon Chetwood scored 109 as Mattishall replied with 235 for seven, leaving Bradfield with just eight points to show for their efforts. They are away to Acle, the side immediately above them in the table, on Saturday.