Brothers James and Tom Alexander played starring roles as Old Buckenham clinched the NACO Invitation Cup with a 46-run victory over North Runcton at Great Witchingham yesterday.

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James fired an unbeaten 96 to rescue the Old Buckenham innings after a shaky start and his sibling then bagged five wickets to secure Bucks’ second silverware of the season following their Lady Mary Trophy success.

It caps an excellent season for Bucks, who have excelled in the Alliance Premier Division following last year’s promotion and skipper Terry Perry said: “I’m really pleased with how it’s gone. This win is a testament to the hard work the boys have put in throughout the season and the way we’ve stuck together.

“We had to come back from seven for three after being put into bat and starting at 11am in September is always challenging for the batting side. It was tough going, but we managed to ride the storm out and we then had a great partnership between James Heaney (67) and James Alexander which got us up to a decent total.

“Runcton were up with the rate for a while and we had to hang in there, but we kept chipping away and taking wickets, which disrupts the scoring and eventually they ran out of batters.”

Runcton seamers Kieran Bunting and Darren Cubitt made the most of helpful early conditions to remove Bucks openers Ben Mann and Ben Askew before Perry also fell cheaply.

But Heaney struck seven fours and two sixes in his 90-ball innings, while Alexander faced 137 balls, striking 10 fours and two sixes.

Andy Lawrence provided some late impetus with a brisk 43, including three sixes, as Bucks closed on 261 for six from their 50 overs.

Jon Forder and Peter Coote gave Runcton a brisk start in reply, but Tom Alexander made the breakthrough. The off-spinner went on to dismantle the middle order, finishing with five for 27 as Runcton were all out for 215 in the 38th over.

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