Hales & Loddon (205-4) lost to Happisburgh (209-6) by four wickets in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.
In-form veterans Milton Lindsay and Jon Andrews enjoyed a dominant 175-run stand as Hales and Loddon produced a battling display against high-flying Happisburgh. When the two teams met in the first game of the season a weakened H&L were put to the sword in a humiliating 255-run defeat by last season’s Norfolk League champions. But the return encounter saw third-placed H&L underline the progress they have made as they pushed the title-chasing Seasiders all the way.
After being put into bat H&L suffered a nightmare start as Happisburgh paceman Oliver Lane bowled a weary Jack Cook for a duck with a ball that straightened and clipped off stump. He then sent back Auldwyn Lindsay without scoring, caught behind by Carter off a delivery that brushed the glove. With only a leg bye in the scorebook, Lindsay and Andrews had a major salvage job on their hands but they responded to the challenge intelligently, drawing on all their experience as they put on 175 runs in the space of the next 38 overs. The 25-boundary partnership was broken when Andrews was stumped for a fine 88, looking to force the pace off the spin bowling off Carter.
The resolute Lindsay saw the job through to the end, remaining unbeaten on 83, with Mark Stewart (12) helping to bring the total to a respectable 205-4. Lane, who took 2 for 24 off nine overs and Carter, 2 for 25 off four, shared the wickets. The hosts had moments of success against the strong and deep Happisburgh batting line-up without ever taking full control. Spirits were lifted when the dangerous Ryan Sturgess, a double centurion in the previous encounter between the sides, was removed for 30 after skying a delivery from Stewart, with young Ben Turner confidently claiming the catch. Another boost came when the safe hands of Yates at point accounted for the useful Carter for 29 off the bowling of Josh Pitcher.
But with opener Jamie Woolston playing the anchor role for an unbeaten 67, the visitors were propelled to victory in the 42nd over by number eight Wayne Catchpole, as the experienced big-hitter played himself back into form with an unbeaten 33, after being dropped late on. Pitcher was the pick of the H&L bowlers with 2 for 25 off nine overs, while Yates claimed 2 for 38 from his nine. Stewart (1-37) and Turner (1-50) took the other wickets.