Seasoned Snettisham bounce back in style
First there was the fall of the Roman Empire, next there was global warming and then Snettisham Cricket Club lost a match.
Old men wiped their rheumy eyes trying to picture the last time Snettisham lost.
Failing memories suggested it was 2015 against Castle Rising.
In 2016 Snettisham won 18 out of 18 in the Norfolk League and were promoted.
A year later they repeated the feat in Alliance Division Five and went up again.
This season they carried all before them until last week when they made the mistake of bowling Sheringham out for 130.
They grew complacent and Sheringham were up for it.
In the words of the skipper "We let ourselves down," and duly lost by a wide margin.
What would happen this week?
Would they bounce back more determined than ever or would they be psychologically destroyed by their loss and become a whimpering rabble?
The village turned out to support them. The second team's match was cancelled by the weather so they turned out in force.
Others emerged, glass in hand, from the Rose and Crown.
One spectator could date his cricket watching back to the crucial Oval test of 1953.
Another was at Lord's on Thursday to watch West Indies v the Rest of the World.
Today's match was just as important.
At Snettisham a notice proclaims No Swearing Please
This would be more surprising than England winning the World Cup (cricket or football).
Nevertheless this is a community rocking behind its team.
In case they needed anything further, the huge steeple on the church beyond the ground should have underlined their credentials.
The weather matched the mood of the team: thunderous.
An early-morning deluge prompted half the team to come down and mop up.
The wicket itself was as green as a cabbage but played well.
Deep clouds circled, the atmosphere was heavy and dark. Picking out the ball from the trees above the sight screen was, as they say, a challenge.
Hethersett batted first and lost six wickets for less than a 100.
Determined resistance from James Hipperson and a classic little nugget from 18-year-old Tristan Henderson brought a half-century each and, in a final run chase, an extra batting point for reaching 175.
Kieran Herbert, son of the fearsome Martin of yesteryear, took three wickets and so did left-arm spinner Adam Daniels.
How would Snettisham's batsmen perform this week?
"We will go for it from the first ball," one opener said to the other. And they did.
Lewis Jeavons lofted the ball in all directions.
Nick Henry flowed into his off-drives like Walter Hammond or even Reggie Spooner.
They watched, they waited (not very long) and each scored a rapid 50.
Even Norfolk's under-15 bowler, Jack Gibson, was subdued after a lively two or three overs.
By the time Snettisham captain Jonathan Forder came in to bat, the chief enemy was the encircling gloom of thunder.
Forder showed his talent, hooking and driving with impunity and with one eye on the weather.
In the end Snettisham won by eight wickets and five minutes later it tiddled down.
Snettisham Cricket Club hold coaching sessions for boys and girls on a Wednesday after school.
Usually 50 or so attend but there is always room for more.
For details come down to the club (on Old Church Rd) or check the website at: snettisham.play-cricket.com