The final of the Carter NACO Cup was held at Old Buckenham on Sunday and saw Vauxhall Mallards eventually secure a comfortable victory over Cromer by 46 runs. Cromer captain Michael Warnes won the toss and decided to bowl first on a wicket that offered something to the bowlers after the rain over the past few days. This decision paid off early with the first Mallards wicket falling on 9 when Troy Allan was bowled. Ben France (17) and Mitchell Todd then steadied the innings and took the score to 33 before France was lbw to Michael Warnes. After losing their 3rd wicket at 45 the Mallards innings was in danger of collapsing but a patient stand of 45 by Todd and captain Ali Shearer looked to be putting it back on track until James Craske had Shearer caught behind by Tom Davies. Craske’s introduction signalled the start of a mini collapse where 4 wickets fell for just 27 runs. This included the wicket of Todd who had held the innings together with a well constructed 43. Apart from a belligerent innings from Tom Miller of 23 of 18 balls (including 4 fours and 1 six) the rest of the Mallards innings fell away against the tight Cromer bowling, and they finished on 156 all out which at this stage didn’t look enough. The Cromer bowling had been consistent throughout with James Craske being the standout with figures of 5 for 33 of his 10 overs. He was ably supported by Michael Warnes 2-32, Devon Singh-Parhar 2-34 and Frankie Sutton 1-25.
Cromer would have been fairly confident at this stage that they were in with a good chance to erase the disappointment of losing last year’s final to Fakenham. However, things did not go to plan as they lost their first wicket without a run on the board when Frankie Sutton was bowled by Ben France. Unfortunately for Cromer this became a regular feature as the Mallards bowlers maintained a very tight grip on the game and wickets fell at regular intervals. Apart from a determined innings of 44 from David Turner the Cromer batsmen failed to make any inroads with only two others reaching double figures. It was only the eight wicket stand of 35 by Turner and Jamie Carter which really looked as though it would give Cromer a chance to overhaul the Mallards total. Eventually they were bowled out for 110 giving Mallards a victory by 46 runs. The chief destroyer for Mallards was Ben France who took 4 wickets for just 11 runs in his 10 overs. Support came from Ali Shearer 2-8, Adam Todd 2-23, Luke Caswell 1-25 and Mitchell Todd 1-35.
At the presentations Ted Searle adjudicating on the man of the match awarded it to James Craske (Cromer) for his 5 wicket haul. The Carter NACO Trophy was presented to Vauxhall Mallards captain Ali Shearer by the Old Buckenham Cricket Club President Horry Panks.
Nigel Crickmore 21/08/2017