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Castle Acre cricketers fail to reach the heights of castle




Castle Acre has a castle. It is a great place to take children, dogs and grannies, who can all run off their surplus energy.

The castle is free, but Castle Acre also has a priory to take money off tourists.

Castle Acre v Swanton Morley ..Back left to right Jono Lynn, Tom Brown, Darragh Leman, Jack Pinner, Paul Hooton Jason Fryett..Front left to right Robert Hooton, Dylan Fryett, Tim Venes, Charlie Warden, Joe Fisher. (2579101)
Castle Acre v Swanton Morley ..Back left to right Jono Lynn, Tom Brown, Darragh Leman, Jack Pinner, Paul Hooton Jason Fryett..Front left to right Robert Hooton, Dylan Fryett, Tim Venes, Charlie Warden, Joe Fisher. (2579101)

Finally the village has The Ostrich pub and a very successful shop and the sports field, donated by the Holkham estate in 1972.

Until then the cricket club played on the side of a steep hill.

On a dark night with an old ball you had to contend with a blistering Charlie Wright up your nostrils and Alan Eagle hitting all comers all over the hill.

Castle Acre didn't lose many home matches.

In one corner of today's sports field, though, lives the spirit of Charlie's brother Peter - the nicest man ever to play cricket.

"You've picked a bad day to come here,"; said Paul Hooton, groundsman, treasurer and many other things.

They all say that.

Castle Acre v Swanton Morley. (2579113)
Castle Acre v Swanton Morley. (2579113)

Unusually, though, he felt that this occasion was diminished because he himself had the best bowling figures.

He found it difficult to describe his style of bowling.

"Flight and guile" was not thought appropriate. "Little dibbly dobblers" was a phrase heard several times through the afternoon.

The weather was atrocious. A murk of damp cloud hung low over the pitch and the murk of controversy was not much higher.

Had the sides come to blows? Not quite. What was it about? Read on....

Some clubs bring their own umpire.

More often, two members of the batting side have to be suddenly impartial and awake enough to stand in judgment.

Surprisingly often, it works quite well. But not always.

Swanton Morley had awarded themselves 52 extras from Castle Acre's bowling, 25 of them wides and 10 no balls. In a total of 218.

Some of these were undisputed. But some were not.

Castle Acre v Swanton Morley Dylan Fryett. (2579105)
Castle Acre v Swanton Morley Dylan Fryett. (2579105)

In reply to Swanton Morley's total, Castle Acre made a good start.

But then Jack Pinner was controversially run out (more controversy) while backing up after scoring 42.

Robert Hooton, playing for Downham on Saturdays, got 40 today. "Who is the better cricketing Hooton, Paul or Robert," asked those present.

In elegant style and with a few big clumps, Tom Brown was taking Castle Acre closer and closer.

The game was on.

Darren Leaman didn't bat or bowl last week.

He declined an invitation to bat lower down today; come what may, he was going to bat. He went in looking like someone buying a shower curtain in the jungle.

He sliced one high up in the air. Two players went for it. Look out, someone call for it.

They didn't. Crash. Collision. Dropped and not out.

Castle Acre v Swanton Morley Dylan Fryett taking a caught and bowl. (2579106)
Castle Acre v Swanton Morley Dylan Fryett taking a caught and bowl. (2579106)

Leaman went on to better things, cracking the ball over the cover fielders with delight.

Brown was out for a fine 61.

Jason Fryett took over the mentor role and the target grew smaller. 14 off the last over.

Fryett hit the ball harder and harder but all the fielders were on the boundaries stopping the fours.

Singles were not enough. A six was needed off the last ball but Castle Acre fell just short by four runs.

Hands were shaken through gritted teeth.



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