Bradfield A (251-7) beat Hales and Loddon (101) by 150 runs in Norfolk Alliance Division Six.
Hales & Loddon’s hopes of a late promotion surge were dealt a blow as a Bradfield A side inspired by young spinner Jacob Wiseman scored a revenge win in emphatic fashion.
Wiseman bagged four wickets as Hales & Loddon’s attempts to chase down a sizeable 252 victory target were foiled by a combination of tight bowling and the best fielding display by an opposing side this season.
Despite a good batting track and fast carpet-like outfield, none of the H&L batsmen were able to assert their authority. Both Milton Lindsay (14) and Mark Stewart (15) played in positive fashion but, after being repeatedly denied runs by the athleticism of the youthful fielders, succumbed to Wiseman’s teasing deliveries. The previous week’s centurion Stewart popped up a catch off the leading edge at mid-wicket while Lindsay was pouched low down at cover trying to force the pace after being repeatedly foiled by the Bradfield ring of steel. When Will Yates was clean bowled by the young spinner for 14 H&L’s resistance swiftly evaporated and they limped to a disappointing 101 all out in the 38th over. Josh Pitcher (11) was the only other batsman to reach double figures, leaving 17 extras as top scorer.
Wiseman returned figures of 4 for 13 from his nine overs while medium pacer Thomas Coe showed a similarly parsimonious attitude, bagging 3 for 16 from his maximum spell.
Earlier the hosts had decided to take first use of the biscuit-coloured road. It looked like a bad toss to lose for H&L skipper Josh Pitcher. And so it proved as the hosts piled on the runs from the outset. Opener Carl Wiseman set the tone, progressing swiftly to 30 before his powerful cameo was ended by the safe hands of Tim Outlaw at deep mid-off off a Sam Ford delivery. But the runfest continued largely unabated as the H&L bowlers and fielders laboured in the oven-like conditions at Bradfield’s remote farmland outpost.
Although none of the hosts’ batsmen were able to reach the half-century mark, they all came and went having done significant damage. John Hewetson topscored with 45 before slapping a rank delivery from fifth-change bowler James Rowswell to Yates at mid-on, while Kieron Bunn (29), Stephen Abbs (19), Michael Reynolds (27), James Vann (27) and Stephen Bidewell (29 not out) all made hay while the sun shone.
On a difficult day for a depleted H&L bowling unit, Stewart claimed 2 for 31 from his nine overs while Pitcher, Ford, Yates and Rowswell took a wicket apiece.
The defeat saw H&L slip to fourth place behind champions-elect Hockwold, Happisburgh and Thetford A.
H&L entertain Topcroft next (12.30 start) before travelling to Hockwold for the final game of the campaign.