Pink ball made for an entertaining match

WE HAD a very busy bank holiday weekend at the club, particularly for the first team, who played all three days with one league and two cup competitions and it even found time to rain a little.

Sunday was the Suffolk Cup Twenty20 day and being regionalised we hosted Long Melford and Hadleigh in a three-team tournament.

It was a good opportunity to see some of the local talent on display and although a place in the finals day at Bury was up for grabs, the atmosphere was friendly and jovial.

There were some old Talbot faces such as Gareth Boon and Stuart Whitehart playing back at Friars Street, which allowed for some spirited banter between old team-mates and although the weather wasn’t at its best a good-sized crowd was entertained by some big hitting with the jazzy new pink ball.

There is some talk about the pink ball replacing the traditional red ball in the future, how close to it we are is unsure. From a bowling perspective it seemed to swing more and have greater dip in flight from the spinners, but from the viewing on Sunday it also seems to travel further off the bat so perhaps the benefits are weighed against the disadvantages for bowlers.

From a batting perspective, it was easier to follow as the bowlers delivered, but at times when fielding it was hard to see, especially if cruising along a straw-coloured pitch surface.

Who knows if it will ever become the official ball of our league or any others for that matter, but it did cause some interesting debate among the players and spectators with some curious remarks from passers by alongside the Friars Street iron railings.

On the pitch on Saturday and Sunday, it was raining victories as we had a clean sweep of wins for all teams, including Jay Phillips continuing his comeback from injury with great skill as he struck 98 for the seconds at Stowmarket and Matt Pears took his first ever five wicket-haul.

Also on Saturday, 15-year-old Charlie Holt claimed a hat-trick for the thirds and after such a close defeat last week a bit of character building was necessary. The mix of experience and youth kept their heads high this week and came back stronger with an 80-run win.

Finally, the main news of the past week — it rained, at last! Not much, but in the words of the quasi-monopolistic supermarket giant, every little helps.

Welsh wizard Johnny Gallagher has been worried about his beetroot looking a bit thirsty. Well, the rain didn’t just spruce up his veg garden, it seemed to spruce up Saturday’s pitch for him too as he took three quick wickets alongside overseas professional Fernando and our new Suffolk Junior Matthew Hunn.

The latter pair took three wickets apiece as the first team cleaned up Norwich for 120, winning by three wickets.

Looking at the results of last week, the rain is welcome to come again this week.