Dereham beat the rain to move off bottom
- Credit: Archant
Dereham beat Garboldisham – and the weather – on Saturday to move off the bottom of Division One of the Dipple and Conway Norfolk Alliance.
With the gloomy conditions severely curtailing the league programme there were enough breaks in the rain for Dereham to bowl their visitors out for 167 and then get the runs they required for the loss of just one wicket, with skipper Duncan Hewitt making an unbeaten 86. It has been a tough campaign so far for the side promoted from Division Two but a second win took them out of the relegation places at the expense of Mattishall and Great Witchingham A.
Mattishall's game at Beccles was one of five fixtures in the top two divisions to be called off without a ball being bowled, while the Witches had reached a promising 231 for two against Lowestoft when a halt was called.
Former Norfolk captain Carl Rogers was undefeated on 106 for the Witches' second string while Sam Dacre made 50.
Lowestoft picked by six points for their efforts, closing the gap on leaders North Runcton – who were inactive – to a single point.
In the top flight there were three starts – but no finishes.
Brooke saw no action at Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers but remain top after closest challengers Fakenham had to settle for just 10 points from their curtailed match with Sprowston, which saw them stuck on 250 for four when the game was abandoned at tea.
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South African all-rounder Chad Bowes top scored for Fakenham with 79 while Will Dunger added an unbeaten 68 not out before the premature conclusion.
Brooke's lead is now down to just six points, with Sprowston three adrift of Fakenham in third place after Saturday's draw.
Stow did well to dismiss Old Buckenham for 132 before their reply was cut short on 13 for one while champions Downham finished on 87 for two chasing a Diss total of 215 for five, of which Rob Tooke made an unbeaten 125 not out.
They remain sixth, 29 points off top spot.
On a miserable afternoon, just three sides managed to taste victory in the lower divisions of the Norfolk Alliance.
Pride of place went to Thetford who made full use of the time they had to beat Bradenham by five wickets in Division Two.
A fine bowling performance saw the home side dismissed for just 58 and Thetford then survived one or two scares to pick up 23 points and move to the top of the table.
Swardeston CEYMS made 176 for seven to beat Lowestoft A by three wickets in Division Five. Stuart Bartram rolled back the years with impressive figures of 4-42 for the visitors while Kevin Cooper starred with the bat with a fine 60.
Peter Sims certainly did his bit for Lowestoft, following up his 50 with figures of 5-35, while Matthew Reid was unbeaten on 80 as his side made 175 for six.
There was also some excellent batting on display as Bradenham A saw off Topcroft A by two wickets in Division Six. Topcroft made 199 for two in a 35-over-a-side contest, with Matthew Goodfellow unbeaten on 92 and Harry Taylor making 77.
But the total yielded only five points as Bradenham reached an impressive 202 for two in reply. Steven Matthews (44) and Patrick Dewing (40) put on 76 for the first wicket and then Andy Wilton (42 not out) and Ian Moody (53 not out) saw them home with an unbroken 104 run partnership with nine balls to spare.
The only other match to be completed was in Division Five where Beccles A and Hethersett & Tas Valley drew.
Hethersett made 194 for eight, with Robert Mitchell contributing 59, and Beccles finished on 188 for five in reply, with the teams sharing 12 points.
Chris Robson had an excellent match for Beccles, following up figures of 4-30 with 65 not out, while Jon Puxley also finished unbeaten on 55.
There were several notable performances in the games that failed to beat the weather.
In the Division Two match at Bradfield David Register and Alex Johnson both scored 77 as their side made 228 for five against Fakenham A, who were 7 for one when stumps were drawn early.
Meanwhile, in Division Three, Bungay's Chris Fuller took 4 for 39 as North Runcton A made 234 for nine and was 53 not out when the game ended with the visitors on 102-3.