Belhus started their tenth tour of Norfolk on Monday at the Ingham CC ground where they were entertained by Norwich. The corresponding fixture last year was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to heavy rain and a waterlogged ground, so the tourists were pleased that this year’s tour action started as planned. The Belhus itinerary was again a tough one – starting with two visits to clubs who are both members of the East Anglian Premier League. So it was little surprise that Norwich amassed a total in excess of 300, with three Suttons scoring the bulk of the runs for the home side. F. Sutton was run out for 41, O. Sutton was castled by Belhus part-time bowler Richard Dopson (2-71), while C. Sutton was stumped by Paul Huckstepp off the bowling of Scott Bayford for 58. Despite facing a formidable home target, there were solid knocks throughout the Belhus card. Tom Thompson scored 25, Wayne Read hit 37, there was a contribution of 32 from Jim Robertson while Brian Edwards made 26. The two undefeated batsmen at the end of this forty overs-per-side match were Martin Guilbert and Richard Day with 32 and 45 respectively.
Belhus 90 all out
Vauxhall Mallards 91-2
If Belhus made a good fist of their first encounter with East Anglian Premier League opponents the previous day, the Belhus spirit did not hold up against Vauxhall Mallards on Tuesday. The scores tell their own story as only three Belhus batsmen reached double figures, and low teen scores at that. Paul Hall and Martin Guilbert both scored 13, while Michael McDonald hit 15. That was the sum resistence offered by the tourists in the face of accurate bowling by Barnden, 3-15, Brown, 2-8, Seager 2-27 and Potger 2-8. In the Mallards reply, Scott Bayford took both home wickets to fall, opening batsman Anderson was caught by Wayne Read, while Stone was caught by Mark Sansom for 20. Bayford finished with 2-42 from eight overs which included one maiden. Such was the demise of the Belhus team that an additional match was arranged, being 15 overs per side. This proved to be a brighter performance from Belhus as Mallards batted first and scored 167 for the loss of six wickets, with Potger and Turner both retiring on reaching the half-century mark. Paul Hall picked up a creditable three wickets at a cost of just 19 runs, while in the Belhus reply of 124-7, Bayford was bowled for 35 and Sansom finished on 26 not out.
Happisburgh 132 all out
The only victory for the Belhus tourists occurred on Wednesday, thanks to a superb innings from Scott Bayford, who finished with 85 not out. He was later to round off a fine all-round performance, by taking two catches and a stumping as wicketkeeper. But back to the Belhus innings for now, there were valuable contributions with the willow from Jim Robertson with 37, Barry Ruck with 20 and Peter Clark, who edged into double figures with 12 runs. For Happisburgh, Allen hit an undefeated 44, but the Belhus bowlers attacked his team colleagues with match-winning prowess, as Tom Thompson, Paul Whitlock, Richard Dopson and Jim Banner each took two wickets, while Michael McDonald claimed one victim.
South Walsham 211-5
After Thursday’s encounter at Mattishall was washed out without a ball being bowled, the tourists were back in action on Friday at South Walsham, the final day of their tour. Danny Joyce continued his fine run of form with the bat with 51, Stuart Morris hit 53 not out, while Michael Fogg crafted 31 and there was an excellent knock of 38 not out from Barry Ruck, the Belhus fifth eleven captain.
But after tea, home batsman Bean hit a magnificent undefeated 110 while Woods gave valuable support with 27. Fogg, the Belhus first eleven wicketkeeper, relinquished the gloves for this game to claim 2-42 from ten overs (three maidens) while Jim Robertson and Joyce picked up one wicket apiece.