West Norfolk teams turning on the style in Norfolk Alliance top flight

Aaron Watson in full flight for Norwich during Saturday's EAPL match with Cambridge Granta at Postwi

Aaron Watson in full flight for Norwich during Saturday's EAPL match with Cambridge Granta at Postwick. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

West Norfolk sides are setting a hot pace at the top of the Premier Division of the Norfolk Alliance.

Newly promoted Stow lead the way after starting the campaign with three straight wins, while defending champions Downham Town have followed suit and are breathing down their necks in second position.

North Runcton are also within touching distance of the summit after notching up two wins out of three, with only Diss preventing a West clean sweep of the top three places.

Stow's excellent start to the season at a higher level continued on Saturday when they condemned last season's runners-up up Cromer to a third straight defeat.

The visitors were dismissed for 204, Matthew Warnes top scoring with 45, and Stow knuckled down to get home by three wickets in the 46th over, thanks largely to a superb knock of 103 from Amit Dhadwai.

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Downham were indebted to an unbeaten 115 from Jack Gould as they cruised to a 76 run over visitors Acle. The century, which followed hard on the heels of 80 the previous week, helped take Town up to 271-8 and Acle were only able to reach 195 in reply.

North Runcton came out on top on a day for the batsman against Old Buckenham, when just seven wickets fell for a total 480 runs.

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The Bucks reached 238-4 in their 50 overs, with Tom Bart (60 not out) and Glen Meridith (70 not out) shining in an unbroken fifth wicket partnership, but Kirwin Christoffels (69) and George Rawlings (64) then set up a win for the hosts which came with 13 balls to spare.

An unbeaten 79 from David Tooke helped Diss to a seven wicket win at Brooke while there was a one-sided game at Highfields Lawn, with Fakenham making 248-6 and then bowling out Garboldisham for just 45.

There was a brief encounter at Manor Park in Division One as Horsford A bowled Topcroft out for 45 before getting home by 10 wickets. The game featured a first five wicket haul from Horford youngster Sam Collinson (5-20).

Swardeston A also also started the season well. They beat Vauxhall Mallards A by nine wickets after dismissing their visitors for 151 (Dan Martin 70 not out, Ed Botwtight 56). Beccles continue to lead the way after seeing off Lowestoft by three wickets in a low scoring game, but the EAPL second teams both have two games in hand.

Jasper Payne maintained his excellent start to the season as Swaffham recorded an emphatic win in Division Two's match of the day.

Payne and fellow opener Mark Eagle took centre stage after Swaffham had restricted leaders Norwich A to just 149-9, with Chris Borrett making 67.

Together they put on an unbroken 150 for the first wicket in just 24.1 overs, with Payne finishing unbeaten on 92 and Eagle on 44.

Swaffham's star man now has 234 runs to his name in three games this season after earlier scores of 55 and 87.

Norwich remain top by virtue of having played a game more than their rivals, while Swaffham also have Mattishall above them after they too made it three wins out of three following the opening day wash-out.

Jay Eastoe-Smith scored 107 and Simon Chipperfield 71 in an impressive total of 280-8 against Hethersett and Tas Valley, who fell well short on 227.

Garboldisham A and Bradenham are leading the way in Division Three. Garboldisham got home by five wickets after bowling out visitors Brooke A for 156 while Bradenham secured a six wicket success when chasing Swardeston B's 168. The highest individual score of the day came at Acle, where the second team's Neil Moggan made a unbeaten 121 in a seven wicket win over Bircham.

As with the top flight the early stages of the Division Four campaign are being dominated by teams from the west of the county. Newly promoted Hockwold are setting the pace while Snettisham are tucked just behind Hardingham in third.

Euan Gilmour (103) and Roy Bland (55) led the way as Hockwold won by 93 runs at Beccles A while Snettisham saw off Rockland by eight wickets after dismissing their visitors for 123. Meanwhile the prolific Brendan Scott made 76 in Hardingham's 83-run success over Stow A.

While their first team are struggling in the top flight Cromer A have made an excellent start in Division Five and lead the way by five points after notching up another impressive win. Their latest victims were Old Catton who were all out for 178 chasing an a daunting 323-6 (Carl Allen 75, Jamie Carter 82, Nick Bond 50).

Denver are second after beating Great Melton A by three wickets.

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