Cant plays a starring role as Gillingham end season on a high

Mitchell Todd on the offensive for Vauxhall Mallards against Norfolk rivals Great Witchingham. Pictu

Mitchell Todd on the offensive for Vauxhall Mallards against Norfolk rivals Great Witchingham. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Gillingham rounded of their season with a strong performance at Eaton, securing a six-wicket win and fourth place in Norfolk League Division Two East.

With a strong bowling line-up Gillingham elected to field first and kept things typically tight in the opening overs, the pressure telling in the seventh over as Smith (1-20) induced a nick from league leading run-scorer Butcher (3).

Off-spinner Louis Cant then replaced Barber and was soon into the action, claiming a return catch from his second delivery and a second wicket in his third over to reduce Eaton to 35-3.

Opener Clark was looking likely to be the key wicket, having scored 33, and was just starting to kick on when Le Versha found some extra bounce to give Larry Cant a second catch.

Runs were proving hard to come by and a double breakthrough from Stevens followed by a third wicket for Cant ripped out the Eaton middle order, Cant finishing with superb figures of 3-16.

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Jackman maintained the stranglehold as Barker (21) inched the Eaton total forwards before becoming the third victim for Stevens (3-23) and the fourth catch of the match for the Gillingham keeper.

At 76-8 Eaton were in danger of being bowled out but pushed the total up to 106 with an unbeaten partnership of 30 for the final over between Billington (17) and Massingham (12).

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Le Versha and Patrick started positively before falling in quick succession, Le Versha bowled for 17 and Patrick superbly caught by Barker attempting to hit over the infield, bringing Barber and Louis Cant together with Gillingham at 21-2. Cant was proactive from the off as the pair carried the total past 50 in the 17th over.

Barber (13) departed in the 19th over courtesy of another good catch but Stevens ensured that the wicket did not slow the scoring rate as Cant started to move through the gears.

The result soon started to look an inevitability and a strong shot down the ground brought up Cant’s chanceless 50 from 56 deliveries, including five boundaries. He departed the next delivery, attempting to end the match with another boundary, leaving Stevens to complete the chase and end the match with an unbeaten 20, capping a strong display an good season’s work in a competitive but enjoyable league.

Man of the Match: Louis Cant.

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