Topcroft fail to set big enough target

Topcroft travelled to Swardeston A looking to reverse their recent Norfolk Alliance Division One form, but suffered a six-wicket defeat.

Hancock won the toss and elected to bat, however the Topcroft openers struggled for runs against the Swardeston new ball pair of D Reynolds and J Cooper.

With runs at a premium, the Swardeston pressure finally told in the ninth over with the score on 16 when Hancock (15) was caught and bowled by Reynolds.

Jason Reynolds soon replaced his elder brother in the attack, and this move reaped immediate rewards as the young leg-spinner caught Taylor’s edge and Herathge took a good catch at slip.

Goodfellow and Baldwin went about rebuilding the innings and both looked comfortable until Goodfellow (20) gave a simple catch to D Reynolds off the bowling of Rob Newman with the score on 76.

With just four more added to the total, Baldwin was the next man to be dismissed as Newman took his second wicket in consecutive overs.

Davey joined Alexander at the crease and the pair were batting well and had added 54 in eight overs when the returning D Reynolds produced an excellent in-swinger to remove Alexander for a decent 30.

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Wickets now started to fall at regular intervals with some questionable decision making from the Topcroft batsmen as the score went from 134 for five to 154 for nine.

This left the experienced David Todd with 14-year-old James Balderstone, and he attempted to marshal the strike in an attempt to get Topcroft above 175 for the extra batting point.

But, unfortunately, Balderstone was run out with the score on 164 to bring to a close a disappointing collective from the Topcroft batsmen.

Knowing that only an exceptional effort in the field would rescue anything for Topcroft seemed to have an immediate effect on the bowlers.

Baldwin dismissed Shearing after a sensational one-handed catch by Rostron at backward point in just the second over.

In his next over he had J Taylor caught behind to leave the hosts on 12 for two – and he almost claimed a third wicket in his following over as Herathge pulled a delivery to Alexander at square leg, but the youngster was unable to hold onto the chance.

This reprieve saw the Swardeston third-wicket pair change the whole rhythm of the innings and Herathge and his batting partner Bridgstock took the attack back to the bowlers.

They were soon carving the attack to all parts of the ground, which led to the bowlers being changed at regular intervals.

Alexander and Goodfellow managed to apply the brakes somewhat, but the damage had already been done. When Taylor caught Herathge (60) off Alexander, the pair had added 132 runs in just 18 overs.

Goodfellow took a well deserved wicket when Alexander caught Bridgstock for 60, but the hosts had almost reached their target and the experienced pair of Outar and Cooper ensured they got there with 26 overs to spare.

Topcroft: C Hancock c-b D Reynolds 15, C Taylor c Herathge b J Reynolds 13, B Baldwin c Cooper b Newman 16, J Goodfellow c D Reynolds b Newman 20, T Alexander b D Reynolds 30, B Davey b J Reynolds 21, I Todd c Cooper b D Reynolds 1, G Rostron run out (Taylor) 4, D Todd not out 16, S Flint b J Reynolds 0, J Balderstone run out (Bridgstock) 2, extras 26. Total 164. Bowling: D Reynolds 12-2-34-3, J Cooper 11-1-39-0, J Reynolds 12-1-38-3, R Newman 12-2-46-2.

Swardeston A: J Taylor c Taylor b Baldwin 1, B Shearing c Rostron b Baldwin 4, S Herathge c Taylor b Alexander 60, R Bridgstock c Alexander b Goodfellow 60, M Outar not out 20, J Cooper not out 1, extras 20. Total (4 wkts) 166. Bowling: I Todd 4-2-25-0, B Baldwin 4-0-29-2, D Todd 4-0-24-0, G Rostron 2-0-21-0, T Alexander 6-0-40-1, J Goodfellow 5-0-13-1, C Hancock 1-0-12-0.