Champagne on ice for leaders

It has seemed inevitable for much of the season, but Downham and Lowestoft could finally clinch their respective Lovewell Blake Norfolk Alliance championships tomorrow.

It has seemed inevitable for much of the season, but Downham and Lowestoft could finally clinch their respective Lovewell Blake Norfolk Alliance championships tomorrow.

Downham have led the way for most of the year in the Premier Division, while Lowestoft have seemed like Division One's champions elect since the early stages of the season.

As they prepare to play their penultimate match at home to Vauxhall Mallards tomorrow, Downham know nine points will guarantee them the title, as even if second-placed Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers were able to draw level on points, they have won fewer games.

Lowestoft, meanwhile, need just eight points to give them an unassailable lead and they are at home to Diss tomorrow.


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But the truly remarkable story of recent weeks has been the revival of Acle, who have given themselves a decent chance of avoiding relegation from the Premier Division, having looked dead and buried just a few weeks ago.

They would complete the transformation and move out of the relegation zone if they beat the team above them, Beccles, tomorrow, in a hugely important game for both sides.

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The teams chasing second spot in Divisions One, Two and Three do not yet know if that will be good enough for promotion - that will depend on whether Fakenham are relegated back to the Alliance. If they are, and no Alliance team replaces them, then promotion for second-placed teams will be rescinded in order to maintain the structure of the league.

That could be bad news for Swardeston, who are currently second in Division One prior to their trip to Norwich tomorrow, although Diss and Mattishall are also firmly in the running.

Division Two leaders Bradfield are 13 points clear and they host a Hunstanton side who are hovering precariously above the relegation zone. Bradfield could also claim the title tomorrow if they win, although they would be relying on second-placed Bradenham slipping up at desperately out of form Horsford.

Garboldisham need a good result at Dersingham to boost their chances of avoiding relegation.

Division Three's top side, Mundford, have a four-point advantage over Sheringham, but tomorrow Mundford have a tough assignment against an improving Fakenham side. Sheringham are at home to Ashmanhaugh.

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