Fakenham breathing down leaders’ necks after another win in Alliance Premier
PUBLISHED: 09:52 06 August 2018
The title race in the top flight of the Norfolk Alliance is very much back on after leaders Downham lost again while rivals Fakenham maintained their hot streak.
Having looked like certainties to win a second successive title a month ago Downham have seen their advantage whittled down to just 16 points following a run of three defeats in four matches.
With their dip in form having coincided with a superb run from Fakenham, who made it eight wins on the trot at the weekend, everything looks set for a thrilling end to the season with just three rounds of matches to be played.
Downham were no match for an in-form Diss side, going down by 38 runs at Rectory Meadow as allrounder Robert Tooke took centre stage.
He top scored in a total of 235-6 for the hosts and then weighed in with figures of 4-28 as the front-runners were restricted to 197-9.
Jack Gould (51) and Ian Harrison (44) led the Downham reply while skipper Mark Williamson supported Tooke with 4-33.
Fakenham took on an Acle side who had won their previous two matches to prompt hopes of a great escape and came through a tough challenge by four wickets.
Toby Adams made 51 and Yin Lo took 4-29 in an Acle total of 190 and Luke Caswell and Harrison Futter then both made 49, the latter undefeated, as victory was secured with four overs to spare.
Brooke beat Stow by 52 runs and moved above them into fourth place in the league.
Tino Mutombodzi scored 104 and Flynn Drinkell 78 as Brooke made 300-7 in their 50 overs, while Stow finished well short on 248, despite a fourth wicket partnership of 147 between Tom High (84) and George Cook (74).
Relegation threatened Cromer gave third-placed North Runcton a good run for their money but were beaten by three wickets. Tom Davies made 89 in a solid total of 252, with Nick Freeman’s unbeaten 108 seeing the visitors home in the 48th over.
It’s looking increasing likely that Dereham and Thetford will be the teams going up from Division One this season.
Leaders Dereham beat Horsford A by three wickets after bowling them out for 139 while Liam Conroy’s brilliant 168 set up an easy win for Thetford at struggling Bradfield. The visitors finished on 270-8 and Bradfield could only get up to 116 in reply. There is now a gap of 42 points to third placed Topcroft.
Swaffham missed an opportunity to all but secure promotion from Division Two when they slipped to a rare defeat at closest challengers Martham.
The hosts took control thanks to second wicket stand of 149 between Brett Colclough (106) and Jake Tipping (59) which helped them up to a total of 238 in the final over.
Swaffham fell 37 runs short in reply - and it would have been a far heavier defeat but for a brave unbeaten 51 from tailender Tony Exley, who had earlier taken 4-42.
Martham closed the gap on the leaders to 39 points as a result, while Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers are three further back following a 61 run win over Hethersett and Tas Valley, which all but ended the visitors’ outside hopes of promotion.
Jordan Everett played a key role for Wanderers, following up a top score of 69 in a total of 240 with figures of 4-44 as Valley were dismissed for 179.
There was a surprise in Division Three as long-time pacesetters Garboldisham A suffered a second successive defeat after beimng dismissed for 132 chasing Bircham’s 220. The leaders remain 53 points clear of the third placed team however so there is no need to panic just yet.
Hockwold and Sheringham won again in Division Four to move a step closer to sealing promotion.
Leaders Hockwold beat North Runcton A by six wickets after restricting them to 167-9 in their 45 overs.
Joel Gilmour led the way with 68 while his prolific brother Euan went in unusual circumstances for just 25 after being given out handled ball.
Hardingham, who had started the day in third position, were no match for Sheringham, losing by nine wickets after setting a modest target of 169-7.
Cromer A and Sandringham became the first teams to seal promotion after winning yet again in Division Five and Division Six respectively.
Cromer showed no mercy on struggling Lowestoft A, bowling them out for 49 and then getting home by 10 wickets, Charlie Adams, James Craske and Emily Woodhouse all took three wickets for the visitiors.
Sandringham also won by 10 wickets at Bradfield A after being set 141 to win, with James Banham making 84 not out.
Under-13 Ethan Metcalf took an hat-trick in figures of 5-19 as Horsford B beat Norwich B.