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Beccles are buzzing after making an excellent start to the new cricket season

PUBLISHED: 11:37 12 May 2017

Archant Norfolk 2016

Beccles Town continued their perfect start to the Norfolk Alliance season when they completed a 162-run victory at early-season promotion favourites Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers.

Town went in to the match still missing Nick Smith and Matt Lowe with injuries, but David George was able to name an unchanged side for a fixture which would provide a yardstick for his side’s promotion ambitions.

George lost the toss and home captain Bernie Everett invited Beccles to bat in conditions which would favour seam bowling, with Michael Fisher adjudged lbw for three.

The foundations of Beccles’ success so far this season have been built on the bases laid by the experience of Chris Robson and Robert Porter, and the pair set about frustrating the lively home attack with their complementary styles. When Robson fell for 17, Hickman Supplies man-of-the-match Alex Wright joined Porter at a crucial phase, and the revitalised Wright went on to set the tone for the remainder of the innings with his brutal strokeplay all around the ground including a memorable pull shot six over square leg off the lively Joseph Everett.

Wright (51) would have been disappointed not to go on to make a bigger store, but Cameron Robson (60) preserved the momentum and with Porter (65) added a further 89 in quick time as Robson brought up his maiden first XI half century. Further important contributions came in the shape of the Ben Milburn (34) and George (12), as Beccles posted an imposing 271.

The new look opening attack of Wright and Stuart Watkins were fired up and eager to make early inroads.

Watkins got Jordan Everett caught behind, and with pressure continuing to build, Marcus Hayes and Callum Read weighed in with important wickets to put Beccles in full control. Read removed the experienced Jeremy Pilch clean bowled to leave the home side in dire straits at 78-5.

Ruddock was re-introduced and Beccles’ perennial demolisher of opposition tail ends didn’t disappoint, returning figures of 4-17.

There is a chance to move further clear of the chasing pack tomorrow as Beccles face second placed Swaffham at Beef Meadow. A licenced bar will be open from 5pm.

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