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Norfolk League Division One - Away to Great Witchingham

We are the Champions

The champions celebrate their Norfolk League Division One title

It was champagne Saturday as Hethersett and Tas Valley took the Norfolk League Division One title despite being heavily defeated by closest challengers Great Witchingham.

At the end just eight hundredths of a point separated the averages of the top two teams. Whilst Witchingham were left to ponder on what might have been and take some solace from having beaten Hethersett twice this season, the visitors were left to celebrate a remarkable charge through the Norfolk League.

“A number of years ago when we started playing league cricket we had a dream of reaching the Norfolk Alliance. Today that dream has come true,” said club secretary and opening batsman Richard Ellis.

Valley’s march into the Norfolk Alliance was anything but smooth, however, as they kept their supporters on the edge of their seats as they dug in for a very uncharacteristic defensive performance that proved once again what a subtle game cricket is.

This game was not about winning for Tas, but in scratching out sufficient points whilst denying their opposition a win by more than a 21 point margin. At the end of the day Hethersett were left celebrating what committee members were referring to as “the most meaningful defeat in the club's history.”

Before the start the odds were stacked in Hethersett’s favour, but their task was made more difficult when skipper Matt Ellis lost the most important toss of his career. Batting first, Hethersett would have been able to dictate the pace of the game, but Witchingham elected to bat, knowing that a score of over 200 and maximum batting points was a necessity.

This they achieved with ease, mainly thanks to the hard hitting aggression of their New Zealander who smashed an unbeaten 108 in a total of 225-2. Hethersett fielded poorly, spilling six catches and looking anything like a championship winning side..

The calculators were out in force during the tea interval and Hethersett decided on obdurate defence rather than going out for the 160 runs that would have seen them home and dry. Openers Richard Ellis and Carl Puttock survived 10 overs for 18 runs before Puttock fell.

Brothers Richard and Matt Ellis then scratched out runs whilst keeping their wickets intact. When both were dismissed and Dave Cosford and Tim Shelley also floundered there were a number of worried expressions on Hethersett faces.

With three overs to go the calculations became simpler. Hethersett needed one run to secure another vital batting point and Witchingham needed three more wickets. John Curtis and Simon Redhead scored the necessary run and then shut up shop, denying Witchingham the necessary points as the sun went down and gloom set in for the home side in more ways than one. It will probably be the only time in the club’s history that a 45 over score of 80-5 is celebrated in such a vociferous way.

At the end the popping of champagne corks told their own story of Tas' rise from cricket obscurity into the Norfolk Alliance. These are indeed heady days for the Flordon based club.

Hethersett and Tas Valley lost to Great Witchingham by 149 runs

Great Witchingham CC - 2nd XI

R Gurney

 

David Cosford  

18 

C Baker

 

Asad Abbas  

47 

Jarrod Calkin

Not Out

 

108 

Alexander Garlick

Not Out

 

33 

Extras 

( 3b  4lb  14w  3nb  )  

24

Total 

(2 wickets, 45 overs) 

230

 

Bowling

 

O

M

R

W

David Cosford

8

0

29

1

Philip Walmsley

8

2

32

0

Asad Abbas

8

0

61

1

Lee King

8

0

41

0

Matthew Steward

10

0

46

0

Mathew ellis

3

0

14

0

 

Hethersett and Tas Valley

Richard Ellis

 

Ian Mears  

28 

Carl Puttock

ct R Lilwall

G Roper  

14 

Mathew ellis *

ct Sam Dacre

C Black  

23 

Tim Shelley

 

G Roper  

Simon Redhead

Not Out

 

David Cosford

ct Ian Mears

Ian Mears  

john curtis +

Not Out

 

Extras 

( 2lb  4w  2nb  )  

8

Total 

(5 wickets, 45 overs) 

81

 

Bowling

 

O

M

R

W

Ian Mears

12

6

13

2

G Roper

12

3

31

2

Simon Chipperfield

8

4

17

0

C Black

9

5

10

1

Jarrod Calkin

4

2

8

0