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Sunday cricket is fun for all ages in West Norfolk




On Saturdays, men and women, girls and boys play cricket.

They abandon partners, domestic responsibilities, children, dogs, exams and computers. That's what Saturdays are for.

Narborough Sunday Cricket Team. Pictured Jonathan Coe (C). Harry Eves (U14) Jack George.Martin Southgate.James Munford. Matthew Coe. Charlie Steeles (U14) Kyran Wymer(U14). Joshua Cropley(U14). Ethan Jackson (U15) Jake Eves (U18) (2477973)
Narborough Sunday Cricket Team. Pictured Jonathan Coe (C). Harry Eves (U14) Jack George.Martin Southgate.James Munford. Matthew Coe. Charlie Steeles (U14) Kyran Wymer(U14). Joshua Cropley(U14). Ethan Jackson (U15) Jake Eves (U18) (2477973)

On Sundays they apologise to children and dogs and try to make it up to partners.

They clean the toilets, cook the tea, tidy their bedrooms, revise for exams and go on their iPods, except when they're playing cricket again.

Sunday cricket is for burgeoning talents and for talents that burgeoned long ago.

It is for learning and teaching. It is for those who couldn't play on Saturday or didn't get picked.

It is the place where a 74-year-old bowled this Sunday to a 13-year-old.

More importantly, it is the arena for mutual respect and for competitive cricket in which everyone can get a game. It is fun.

Around the ground, Narborough legends watched: Graham Carter, Peter Green, David Turner and Stuart Coe among others.

There ought to be statues. The sun shone and there was tea left over.

Hockwold Sunday Cricket team. Pictured Malcom Wright (C) Jude Sheldrick.Ben Strollery.Burt Marlow.Luca Spencer. Nathan Thulbourne. Zak McGarry. James Puttock.Archy Stannard. Carl Stannard. Absent Alan Thullborne. (2462071)
Hockwold Sunday Cricket team. Pictured Malcom Wright (C) Jude Sheldrick.Ben Strollery.Burt Marlow.Luca Spencer. Nathan Thulbourne. Zak McGarry. James Puttock.Archy Stannard. Carl Stannard. Absent Alan Thullborne. (2462071)

The ground was a picture and a credit to Paul King the groundsman.

Narborough, of course, has an eccentric bank on one side, part of an ancient causeway.

No-one knows whether to field at the top or bottom of the bank. It adds to the charm.

Hockwold, Northwold, Methwold. No-one from outside knows which is which or how not to get lost.

Everyone knows which cricket team they are playing now though: only Hockwold still have a side.

But what a team in every sense.

Four fathers and sons play for the club.

Sunday captain Malcolm Wright clumped the ball all over the field but retired on 58 (runs not age) to make sure others had a chance.

Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Narborough fielding. (2462107)
Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Narborough fielding. (2462107)

Bert Marlow, 74, plays on Saturday and Sunday, bowled his overs with flight and guile and is renowned for his fielding.

But the star of the fielding side was Luca Spencer who capped a fine show with a back of the hand run-out last seen performed by Colin Bland in 1970.

One batsman expressed severe disappointment, while batting beautifully, at being caught in the deep.

In the bright sunlight elsewhere, he said he couldn't see the fielder in the shadow under the tree.

However, the third umpire (and fourth and fifth) found no grounds to overturn the dismissal.

The only umpiring problem lay in mathematics.

Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Hockwold Batsman Malcolm Wright. (2462095)
Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Hockwold Batsman Malcolm Wright. (2462095)

One young bowler, allowed to bowl only five overs in succession due to age, was halfway through his seventh when the scorer pointed it out; he finished his seventh and then bowled his eighth.

When Narborough batted, five ball overs proliferated at the Hall end; they were of course the custom in the 19th century when the hall was completed.

Narborough needed 185.

Jack George went off like a train (in fact better than a train) until he chased a wide ball half way to the pavilion and gave a catch to the wicket keeper: out for 35.

Charlie Steeles, 13, already a Saturday first teamer, showed real class, hit the ball along the ground and scored 76.

He shared a stand of 100 with Josh Cropley, who himself was out for 45 with the scores level.

Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Narborough Bowler. (2462092)
Cricket Narborough v Hockwold. Pictured Narborough Bowler. (2462092)

Narborough eased home.

Both clubs run comprehensive junior programmes from under-9s upwards.

Hockwold on Sunday mornings, Roy Bland 07809 825 883.

Narborough run theirs on Saturday mornings plus matches, Jonny Coe (also Sunday captain), coey313coey@hotmail.com

When you arrive, don't be put off by the sign which says Arborough Cricket Club. It is the same place.



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