The Morrish Sports Ground, Summer Rd, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, IP31 3AH

Walsham Le Willows: 241-2 (45 Overs)

Felixstowe & Corinthians: 229-2 (45 Overs)

Walsham kicked off their Two Counties Division 3 season in the best possible way with a 12 run victory away at Felixstowe and Corinthians. The hosts won the toss and elected to field, perhaps hoping to make the most of some rusty batting skills from the long winter and limited pre-season. There was no such rust on display from the Walsham batsmen, however, and it was 10 overs before Felixstowe made a breakthrough, Liam Bryant removed for 14 by an athletic catch in the covers from Adam Hopkins off Lyle Reeves’ bowling. This brought Oli Jackson to the crease to partner opener Joe Scarce, and an impeccably observed minutes silence at 3pm in memory of HRH The Duke Of Edinburgh was the only interruption to a second-wicket partnership of 128, with Jackson eventually stumped for 76 in the 36th Over. The steady foundation from Scarce and Jackson gave Barry Lynn license to swing his bat and a quickfire 42 from 32 deliveries for Lynn was the result. Walsham finished 241/2, Scarce carrying his bat for 82 in an impressive batting display.

Wickets were also at a premium in Felixstowe’s reply. Ashley Forbes (12-3-48-2) made a well-earned breakthrough in the 17th over, removing Ben Hopkins for 43 but at 60-1 the hosts had already established a base from which they could potentially push on to win from. With the afternoon light fading, the bitter North Sea breeze also appeared to be aiding the batsmen as the Walsham fielders failed to hold on to a variety of catching opportunities. However, thanks to some tight bowling from Oli Jackson and Mark Rothon, Felixstowe could only add 19 runs to the total between the 35th and 40th overs. With Forbes returning for his second spell, the hosts were not able to accelerate in the same way Walsham did in the final 5 overs and they finished 13 runs short of their target.

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