West Norfolk League: Bircham extend lead

PUBLISHED: 11:52 16 July 2012

The top two met in Division One, with Bircham stretching their lead at the top to 12 points with a 46-run victory over Long Sutton.

Bircham successfully defended 127 by bowling Long Sutton all out for 81.

Sandringham had a resounding nine-wicket win against Hayley East Anglia by chasing the modest total of just 73 for victory.

Denver came through against Downham B in their derby match. Batting first, Downham scored 132 for eight with David Grady unbeaten on 75.

Denver secured victory with three wickets in hand.

No play was possible due to waterlogged pitches in the matches between Hospital and Castle Rising and Terrington and Snettisham.

Castle Acre maintained their unbeaten start in Division Two with an eight-wicket victory over Mundford A.

Martin Wall saw Castle Acre successfully chase 150 for victory with his unbeaten 90.

Ian Harrison had earlier scored 59 in Mundford A’s total of 149 for eight in a match reduced to 40 overs per side.

Michael Dye took five for 22 as Swaffham A bowled out Gooderstone for 57. They completed a comfortable seven-wicket victory in the 16th over.

No play was possible at Fakenham A v Thornham and Hockwold v Narborough A.

In Division Three, Hillington A saw off the challenge of Long Sutton A with a six-wicket victory. Batting first, Long Sutton A scored 178 all out, before Hillington’s Andrew Cooper (68) and Andrew Jarvis (45) laid the foundation for the win with an opening stand of 128.

Reeve Manning took five for 14 as Heacham posted 183 for nine with Jason Carter (54) top scoring. Heacham completed a 115-run victory by bowling Denver A out for 68.

Ciaran Chapman scored 50 and Mark Spillett an unbeaten 62 as Holt posted 191 for four in their 45 overs against Beeston. Marcus Mears took five for 30 as Beeston were then bowled out for 80.

David Hoare took five for 17 as Beetley bowled out Fakenham B for 83, before going on to win by nine wickets in the 34th over.

In Division Four, John Reed scored 107 for Gayton to help them amass 235 for six – the highest total of the day throughout the leagues. Martin Haylock took five for 11 as Beeston A were then skittled out for just 28 –extras top scoring with 15 runs.

Downham C defended a total of 90 as they dismissed Gooderstone A for just 54.

Waterlogged pitches prevented any play in the matches between Castle Acre A and Dersingham A and Northwold A and Dereham B.

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Opinion: It’s been a very eventful few days for Norwich City, and it all started with that brilliant 1-0 win at Ashton Gate. This win was thanks to another wonderful James Maddison goal and one hell of a save by Angus Gunn, one his old man I’m sure would have been proud to make. Sadly Norwich went out of the FA Cup at the third round stage for the fourth consecutive season, but gave a magnificent account of themselves and pushed Chelsea all the way – but it wasn’t to be as they were knocked out in the cruellest way, on penalties. The win against Bristol City means the club have won nearly twice as many away games as they have done at Carrow Road, Norwich are now unbeaten in their last four league games while conceding just one goal in those four games. Saturday gives City an opportunity to win back-to-back league games for the first time at Carrow Road this season, which is quite astounding considering we’re now in mid-January. I guess it just goes to show how they’ve struggled to break teams down and how inconsistent they have been on their own patch. Chris Wilder brings his out-of-sorts Sheffield United down to Carrow Road – I’m sure he’ll get a nice warm welcome from the Norwich faithful after some of the remarks he made after Norwich’s very impressive win at Bramall Lane in a bad-tempered game earlier in the season when the Blades we’re flying in the league, something they aren’t quite doing at this moment in time, having won just one of their last 10 Championship games. I think tomorrow gives the lads a real chance of closing the gap even more on the teams in those play-off positions. I scored a few goals against Sheffield United in my career, especially when I played at Bramall Lane – a brace for Leicester springs to mind. I scored a couple for Norwich against them at Carrow Road and looking back on my 96 goals for the Canaries, one of those was one of the most important that I scored for the club. The first of those two City goals came in a thrilling game when we found ourselves 2-0 with just 24 minutes gone, but we made the boos and the jeers turn to cheers with goals from Phil Mulryne, Tony Cottee (his one and only for Norwich), Chris Llewelyn and yours truly seeing us make a tremendous comeback to win the game 4-2. The other goal I was talking about came in our Championship-winning season on January 31 and, as I said, it’s right up there with some of the most important goals I scored for the club. It was a top-of-the-table clash as both us and Sheffield United had had a very good first half to the season and were fighting it up at the top of the league. It was a very close game with not many clear-cut chances until a ball broke to me in the 59th minute. It came to me perfectly, about 12 yards from goal and without breaking my stride I smashed it past the helpless Paddy Kenny and Carrow Road erupted. It was a very important win for us and as a forward there’s no better result than winning the game 1-0 with you getting the winner. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish both Russell Martin and Cameron Jerome all the very best at their new clubs. Both have been magnificent servants to the club and have been ultimate professionals while they’ve represented Norwich City and have always given everything when they’ve played. Both have taken harsh criticism in the last two or three seasons and at times been made scapegoats, but one thing is for sure, they’ve never hidden and taken everything on the chin and got on with things. Let’s hope that whoever comes in to replace Russ and Cameron will show the same level of commitment to Norwich City over the next few years.

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