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Mid Norfolk Sunday League Boyle Division One

Mid Norfolk Sunday League Boyle Division One


After several weeks at beautiful cricket grounds in Norfolk villages, it was time to look at municipal venues around West Norfolk, and it was time for Downham Market.

Downham has a very successful cricket club, with three teams on Saturdays, but it was a ghost town today.

Bircham CC Nathan King 6.18. (2759696)
Bircham CC Nathan King 6.18. (2759696)

Tumbleweed rolled past the town clock. Had the heat driven everyone mad? No. England were playing football in the World Cup.

Downham were mysteriously two players short. They managed 8.5 cricketers, like a film by Fellini. The game was very hot. A few old men reminisced in the shade under the trees. Strangely enough, they thought the game was not what it used to be.

Television showed the football in the clubhouse.

Try as they might, short of two players Downham were always going to struggle in the heat of the day on that big ground with a lightning outfield.

Led by their captain, David Grady, with 27 and supported later, Downham reached 105. Highlight of the innings was a catch beautifully judged on the boundary by Benji Linsell. Asked about it afterwards he disclaimed all responsibility for his fine judgement: he never thought he’d reach it, but he did.

Bircham began their innings badly and the bowlers took three wickets; but sanity prevailed. At one end was the flashing blade of Nathan King, fresh from a century on Saturday. Then he left the scene for 19 and his dad Stephen (with 27 not out) came in and there was security at both ends, with opener Liam Crompton unbeaten on 33 as Bircham won by 7 wickets.

Stephen learned his cricket at West Acre where advice was always freely dispensed.

Almost everyone in the Bircham club is called King. They come from at least three families and, like matching socks in the morning, if you pick up enough of them there must be a pair eventually.

The rock hard surface proved a heart breaker for a young bowler. One young man bowled an innocent over of gentle spin and conceded few runs off the bat – but three deliveries went for four byes each.

Another young player threw himself into four deliveries. The first three went as wide as could be, on the next one he thought it was the perfect ball. Unfortunately the batsman thought so too and this time the ball travelled in the opposite direction. Three wides and a six: should have watched the football instead.

Coaching in all the clubs is becoming more and more popular: at Bircham for all ages, contact is John King on 07557 466 857. Already there are six girls as well as boys.

Coaching at Downham every Wednesday at 5.30pm: Neil Wynn on 07785 560 431.

Mid-Norfolk Sunday League round-up

Shield Premier Division: Swaffham 202-4 (30 overs) 18pts, Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers 180-5 (30) 8pts.

Boyle Division One: Downham Town 2nd XI 105 all out (25: Ewan Passmore 10, Harrison Gregory 21) 5pts,

Bircham 108-3 (20.4: Samuel Dickerson 2-23) 21pts; Welney Croft 179 all out (36) 9pts, North Runcton 230-6 (40) 21pts.

Derek Cousins Division Two: Beeston 143-8 (20) 7pts, Castle Acre 144-5 (17) 20pts; Snettisham 2nd XI 21pts, Swaffham 2nd XI -10pts, Swaffham conceded; Swanton Morley 180-7 (29.2) 20pts, Thornham 179-8 (40) 9pts.

Peter Parfitt Division Two: North Runcton 2nd XI 215-9 (40) 21pts, Snettisham 93-10 7pts.

Fixtures Sunday, July 1

Shield Premier Division, 1pm: Swaffham v Fakenham.

Boyle Division One: Bircham v Welney Croft, Downham 2nd XI v Mundford.

Peter Parfitt Division Two: Grimston v Hockwold, Snettisham v Stow, Terrington v Narborough.

Derek Cousins Division Two: Castle Acre v Snettisham 2nd, Thornham v Swaffham 2nds.

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