Another tie for Fakenham at Stow
Hearts are being tested at Fakenham this season after their second Norfolk Alliance Premier Division tie in four weeks.
At the end of May they scored two from the final ball to tie with Norwich. And on Saturday they lost their final wicket with the scores level when chasing Stow's modest total of 119.
Paul Dunger, who was the man facing the last ball in the first of those epic finishes, said: 'I can't remember being involved in a tie before this season, and I've been playing for Fakenham for 35 years. So to have two in four weeks is remarkable.
'We've also had a couple of games where we were nine wickets down and within single figures of the target, so it could have been more.'
Emotions were mixed for 15-year-old Lloyd Marshall and 17-year-old Yin Lo, who came together when the ninth wicket fell on 86. But they clawed back to level the scores with plenty of overs to go – only to miss out on victory through a run out.
With early season pacesetters Sprowston having a weekend off, Downham took over at the top of the table with a 103-run win over North Runcton.
Ian Harrison (40), Pat Yates (49), Alex Stuart (39) and Brenton Wright (30) all played major parts in keeping the score ticking over at six an over to get maximum batting points on 236-6. And though Runcton started their reply well, the introduction of Joss Stuart (4-41) started their plunge to 133 all out. Wright (4-24) helped to finish the job.
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The individual performance of the day came from Gareth Hopkins, who crashed 139 from 128 balls in Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers' 207-9 against Norwich. But it was all in vain as opener Frankie Sutton's 79 led Norwich home by two wickets to consolidate third place.
Vauxhall Mallards A are fourth after winning by 21 runs at Cromer. Mallards were bowled out for 148 (Matt Hague 54) and a knock of 56 in reply from Cromer's Richard Charlwood couldn't save his team from being dismissed for 127.
James Heaney (a run-a-ball 45) and Andrew Lawrence (32 off 22) plundered 71 from the last ten overs as Old Buckenham reached 191-7 – but rain meant Diss never began their reply.
Swardeston A's lead at the top of Division One was cut after they lost by 15 runs at Mattishall, where the home side made 174-9 before Nathan Gosling's 5-33 helped cut short the run chase on 159, despite the efforts of Jason Reynolds (62).
Topcroft gained most benefit thanks to a ten-wickets win over Dereham, who were all out for 84. That took them level with second-placed Brooke, who made 211-9 thanks to Jon Habershon's 52 only for Lowestoft to hold out on 180-8 (Habershon 4-21).
Horsford beat Bradfield by 32 runs thanks to 4-50 from Tom Saunders while Beccles held their nerve to defeat Acle by 18, led by 65 from Richard Porter in their 153-9.
In Division Two, Hethersett & Tas Valley chased down Saxlingham's 232-3 to win by four wickets, Nick Burrett (55) leading the way. It helped them grab second place behind Great Melton, who made 211-6 at Bradenham, only for the hosts to hang on on 167-6. Garboldisham slipped to third after a frustrating day against Downham A. Ben Mann's 52 helped them to a total of 225, Michael Crisp taking 5-62. But Jason Coe (87 not out) proved a match-saving hero as Downham finished on 148-9.
Chris Binnie's 60 saw Norwich A to a thrilling win at Fakenham A. Adam Woodhouse (81) and Brian Whitwood (62) saw the home team to 203-3 before Toby Hood's 5-38 saw Norwich nine down when they scored the winning runs. Swardeston B were also nine down, but well short, at the end in pursuit of Saham Toney's 204-5 with Simon Mower taking 5-38.
Great Witchingham A continue to lead the way in Division Three after beating Swaffham by eight wickets with the help of 85 from Sam Dacre. The efforts of Thetford's Conroy brothers Liam (104) and Ryan (76) weren't enough to beat Sprowston A.
Hardingham lead by 31 points in Division Four after a six wickets win over Hethersett & TV A. Andrew Williamson's 5-37 bowled Narborough to a five-wickets success at Winterton, who were out for 114.
Ed Sturman hit an unbeaten 105 as Brooke A beat Thetford A in Division Five, Aaron Beaumont having taken 5-16 to dismiss the visitors for 148.