HISTORY: NORFOLK O50 from 1996 – 2012
- The ECB O50 County Championship started in 1983.
- Chris Gilham attempted to start a side in the early nineties but was unfortunately unsuccessful.
- Martin Pearse, the Cromer opener initiated the entry in 1996 with the ECB and Norfolk entered the ‘Midland group’.
- Initially Norfolk had a plethora of players but it took a couple of years to sort the wheat from the chaff.
- In 1998 the team started to come together with the introduction of Paul Rice, Marcus Wilkinson and Fred Handley. 1997 Champions Warwickshire, were beaten in the first match. However, Norfolk missed qualifying for the Quarter Finals by a margin of one run in the overall percentage, the narrowest margin ever.
- There were a total of 40 Counties in 5 groups.
- Martin Pearse blueprinted the new groups 1999 in conjunction with Mark Campkin at the ECB and Norfolk’s group changed radically with a much more logistical Eastern group!
- Norfolk started to consistently win the Eastern group (3 years running, 1999-2001) and achieve the play-offs, quarter finals and semi finals starting in 1999.
- Since 1996 Norfolk have won the group 5 times, winning matches and losing
- Pearse 29 – 17 Captain 1996 – 2001 6 years
- Lund 2 – 4 Captain 2002 1 year
- Thomas 24 – 15 Captain 2003 – 2007 5 years
- Sayers 4 – 3 Captain 2008 1 year
- Adams 6 – 2 Captain 2009 1 year
- Lester 13 - 14 Captain 2010 – 2013 4 years
- Matches 133 Won 78 Lost 55
- We have reached 6 Quarter finals, 1 Semi Final and 4 Play-offs (winning 1).
- We have constantly (7 times) headed the National aggregate run charts. In 2007 we created a record 1760 runs at 251 per match. Unfortunately we created another record that year (for us) 1795 runs conceded....
HISTORY: SPITFIRE O60
- In 2004 Barry Smith from Kent initiated a Home Counties O60 Tournament for players ‘too old’ to still be selected for their relevant O50 League Team. Originally all the Counties were based in the South East.
- In 2005 it expanded to include Suffolk and Essex.
- Martin Pearse entered a Norfolk side in 2006 and captained 2006/7.
- Norfolk came mid-table in both years 2006 and 2007, both years won by Sussex (incidentally chasing down big totals of 240+ to win both years in the last over against us.)
- John Hansell was elected Captain for 2008. Norfolk came mid-table.
- In 2008, the Home Counties Championship effectively ceased to exist, so Norfolk player Martin Pearse agreed to re-vamp the whole Championship for 2009, as the Chairman - www.60CC.co.uk. With the aid of new sponsors, Shepherd Neame, the upgraded (to 26 Counties) competition became the Spitfire D & M National Over 60 County Championship.
- Paul Rice was elected Captain for 2009 to 2012. Sadly Paul passed away in Feb 2013.
- In 2009 Norfolk incredibly win the National County Championship chasing down Hampshire’s 279-3 and getting 280-7 off the last ball.
- The competition has now evolved into 2012 with 33 Counties taking part. The groups are regionalised, and ‘refreshed’ geographically annually.
- Present Captain is Ritchie Davies.
- There are now International matches for O60 and so far, 15 have been played, 5 against Australia in England, 5 against Australia in Sydney and Melbourne and 5 against Wales.
- Norfolk representatives - Martin Pearse 12 caps, Paul Rice 3, Ian Battelley, John Lund and Evan Tuck 1 each.
Over 70's Cricket in Norfolk 2011-2013
Over 70’s competitive cricket started in Norfolk in 2011 when it was agreed to combine with Suffolk to enter the Spitfire Over 70’s Championship. Mike Smith from Norfolk and Chris Watson from Suffolk became the respective organisers with Chris Watson becoming the combined side captain.
The first game took place away to Herts/Berks and resulted in a loss by 50 runs but the next three were all won including inflicting the first home defeat on Sussex down at Robertsbridge. Three of the remaining five games resulted in victory and Norfolk & Suffolk finished in third place behind both Worcestershire and Sussex.
2012 proved to be equally as successful as 2011 with 7 league fixtures resulting in victory however the power and strength of both Sussex and Worcestershire resulted in defeats along with a surprise defeat against Kent at Bromley. Sussex took the championship by 1 point from Worcester with Norfolk & Suffolk again in third spot.
2013 promised so much only to end in disappointment. 12 league matches played with only three defeats, one of which should have been won. A victory at Old Buckenham against the Australian Over 70 touring team followed by a famous win by 9 wickets against Sussex at the County Ground at Hove showed the strength of the combined county side but an away defeat at Worcester followed by a home defeat by 4 runs to the same opposition meant victory was needed in the home game against Sussex. Unfortunately this was arguably the worst performance of the season and the resultant defeat meant Worcester took the Championship, with Sussex second and Norfolk/Suffolk third again
Over the course of the season a total of almost £2000.00 pounds was raised by the Norfolk and Suffolk Over 70 side for the purchase of two defibrillators which are now an important part of the team's kit
On 27th November 2013 it was announced at the Spitfire AGM that Norfolk would split from Suffolk for the forthcoming season thus bringing to an end the succesful amalgamation of the two counties..
2014 saw the start of the new regionalised Seevent Championship for the Over 70's. Norfolk's captain was Mike Smith with Nobby Cobb as his vice-captain. Norfolk were placed in one of the two five team groups that featured, Suffolk, Herts, Worcester and Warwickshire. Heavy defeats against eventual group winners Suffolk and Worcestershire were followed by two very close and competetive losses against Hertfordshire. Two victories were recorded against newcomers, Warwickshire.
Suffolk and Worcester qualified for the play offs against Sussex and Essex respectively. Sussex once again won the title beating Worcestershire in the final.
The Over 70’s 2015 season was overshadowed by the unfortunate death of Mike Delf during a championship game against Essex at Little Badow. Mike suffered a fatal heart attack, passing away two days later.
Five wins and five defeats resulted in a third place finish behind Surrey and Essex however a play off place was within their grasp until they somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, losing to Essex at Mundford. Doing the double over both Kent and Herts, the latter featuring a 200 run partnership for M.Pearse and D. Dewson, and a fine victory against Surrey away had put Norfolk in a strong position but two narrow defeats against the old enemy, Suffolk, two more against Essex and finally against Surrey left Norfolk to contemplate on what had gone wrong. There were some good individual performances throughout the season with M.Pearse recording the first century by a Norfolk Over 70’s player, D.Dewson scoring runs for fun and good support with the bat from N.Cobb and skipper M.Smith. S.Fowle became the second Norfolk bowler to take five wickets in a game and D.Gale became the Over 70’s leading wicket taker with 46 in total since 2012.
A good season but in the end a bit of a disappointment at not reaching the play off’s after coming so close. Once again the title went to the South Coast with Sussex comprehensively beating Surrey in the final by 9 wickets
Season 2016 saw a change in skipper for the Over 70's with Mike Smith stepping down after two seasons in charge and Nobby Cobb taking over.
Once again the hopes were high and a play off spot looked possible. An away win at Kent to start the season then an un-explicable loss to Surrey at home closely followed by defeats against both Sussex and Suffolk. A tie against Surrey then wins against both Kent and Essex saw Norfolk in with a chance of a play off spot. Once again the chance was lost following a close defeat at home against Essex. The league season ended with defeats against both Sussex and Suffolk. The latter being most disappointing after an opening stand of 226 between Martin Pearse (133) and Nobby Cobb (98*)
Once again Martin Pearse excelled with the bat notching up 4 centuries and is still the only Norfolk Over 70's player to have done so. Nobby Cobb almost achieved that milestone but unfortunately was left on 98 not out in the final game against Suffolk. Derek Dewson was also a prolific run scorer as well as the third Norfolk player to take 5 wickets in a Championship game. Geoff Saunders with 20 was the bowler with the most wickets in the Eastern group.
Fourth in a five team group does not tell the whole story as one more win could have resulted in a play off spot. Unfortunately Norfolk have still to record a victory over fellow East Anglians, Suffolk.
Four friendly fixtures produced two wins and two losses, one of those against the Australian Over 70 tourists at Cromer. The season ended with Norfolk being invited to a T20 Competition involving Suffolk, Essex and Hertfordshire. The competition was won by Suffolk with Norfolk recording a win and a loss