A poor batting performance saw Midsomer Norton fall to their second loss of the season last Saturday. Playing away at Stapleton,
Norton scored just 197 all out on a ground with postcard sized boundaries, before falling to a five wicket loss.
The wicket wasn’t easy to bat on, but with better application and patience in the middle, a score nearing 250 would and should have been on the cards.
Dean Clifton and Alex Lear started well, playing with unusual restraint at the top of the order as Stapleton’s opening bowlers found probing lines and lengths. Lear soon fell, trapped on the pads, leaving Clifton to steer the ship.
He shared thirty run stands with Martin Cox and Ben Strang (30), before falling for 43 as Norton reached 116–4.
Most of the visitors’ wickets fell through poor shot selection – blazing drives straight to a fielder, playing the ball on, or charging past yorkers. The only people to blame were the batsmen themselves. A late stand between Andy Cox and Nick Cox did boost the score, but opening bowler, Tyrone Isitt, had done plenty of damage to Norton’s middle order.
Isitt wasn’t finished. When it came time for him to bat, he made light work of the target.
Norton started well, having Stapleton at 45–3 as Andy Cox, Nick Pang and Niel Brooks took wickets, but that brought Isitt to the crease batting five. Isitt, with the aid of Chris Phillips (40), subdued the Norton attack. Although Andy Cox did return and held Stapleton to just fourteen runs in his ten overs, taking three wickets, Isitt crunched just about everything else in an unbeaten 109 from just 79 balls.
The bowling wasn’t particularly poor. It was the minute boundaries that were impossible to defend. Norton drop to fourth in the league table and next up is a home fixture against Chew Magna this Saturday – the game starts at 1 p.m.
Before last Saturday’s league defeat, Norton made progress in two cup competitions. In the Bristol and District KO Cup, a nineteen-run victory over this Saturday’s league opponents earned an away tie at Cleeve in the next round on Wednesday, 21st June. In the Somerset Cricket Board KO Cup, a 114 run win at Temple Cloud means that Norton visit Bath in a Quarter-Final tie on Wednesday, 28th June.
This Saturday, the Second XI visit Twyford House and the Third XI visit Bristol Civil Service. The Sunday XI, sitting third in North Somerset Cricket League Sunday Conference Division One, have a home game against top of the table Bitton. The game starts at 2 p.m.