Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance round-up: Day of shocks in the top flight
- Credit: Steve Adams
It was a topsy turvy day in the Premier Division of the Norfolk Alliance with the top three all losing – and the clubs occupying the bottom two positions both claiming impressive wins.
The biggest surprise of the day came at Sprowston, where the promotion chasers were well beaten by a Diss side battling desperately to preserve their top flight status.
The visitors looked in trouble at 150-8 but 96 runs were then added for the final two wickets, with Will Dawson and Robert Wood providing timely support for the main man Liam Brown (84).
In reply a Sprowston side clearly missing overseas star Damon Egan, now back playing in Australia, succumbed for just 155, with Sam Hales top scoring with 38.
A consolation was that the bonus points they picked up took them back to the top of the table following an equally emphatic defeat for main title rivals Brooke.
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Mike Jones' side were unfortunate to come up against one of the Alliance's best batsmen in top form as Fakenham's South African star Chad Bowes blasted a magnificent unbeaten 169 off 146 balls to guide his side to a formidable 291-1.
Luke Findlay and Keegan Monahan-Fairlie provided the necessary support with half centuries.
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In reply Brooke could only reach 193, with Lloyd Marshall, Toby Hood, Yin Lo and Matthew Thurston each striking twice.
Third-placed Garboldisham came undone against bottom side Swardeston A, who made it back-to-back wins to keep their survival hopes alive. They got home by six wickets chasing a modest target of 170, with Daniel Poulton making 57 not out and Daniel Martin 59.
Cromer dropped into the relegation zone as their miserable run continued. They posted a decent total of 247-5, with David Turner and Tatenda Chiradza both making 101, but it was not enough as Addam Todd (86 not out) led Downham to a tense two wicket success.
There are new leaders in Division One following a second successive defeat for Dereham, who went down by 88 runs at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Lowestoft Town.
Horsford A moved two points clear after winning a 30-over game against Topcroft by eight wickets, with Oscar Binny contributing an unbeaten 75.
An excellent all-round display from Ryan Conroy (91 and 4-40) helped Thetford edge past Acle by 10 runs to stay in touch with the leaders while, down at the bottom, there was a welcome boost for Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers.
Jordan Everett made 109 – his second ton on the trot – as they beat fellow strugglers Norwich A by nine runs in another match reduced to 30 overs by rain. Paul Wiseman was the star man for Norwich, returning the figures of 5-16.
Hockwold are closing in on promotion
Hockwold took a giant step towards claiming the Division Six title when they recorded a comfortable 121-run success over fellow high-flyers Happisburgh.
The clash between the two clubs promoted from the Norfolk League at the start of the season was lit up by a superb knock from Hockwold's Roy Bland, who scored 106 in just 69 balls, with 13 fours and seven sixes, in a daunting total of 278-2.
With Simon Groom taking 4-19 Happisburgh never got close, to leave their hosts 41 points clear of third placed Thetford A, who only have three more games to play.
Up in Division Two leaders Bradfield turned in an impressive display to overhaul Swadeston B's 169 for the loss of just one wicket, thanks largely to the efforts of Chris Scannell (74 not out) and Jez Wright (71 not out).
Troy Allan's 129 helped Vauxhall Mallards A cruise past Bradenham to keep up the pressure but Great Witchingham A lost ground when their game at Beccles was abandoned.
Hethersett and Tas Valley also had a frustrating afternoon as they fell three runs short chasing Fakenham A's 226-9.
Ian Simmonds (4-17) and Ashleigh Corbett (51) both caught the eye in a six wicket win for Downham A over Hardingham which kept their side 37 points clear at the top of Division Three.
Second played third in Division Four, and it was the former that came out on top as Martham beat Sheringham by 97 runs after making 200-6. Leaders Garboldisham A had a comfortable win, bowling out Stow A for just 67 after totalling 241-8 (Jon Olpin 82, Jonny Wyatt 75).
Division Five saw one of the biggest individual scores of the season so far, with Mattishall A's Garth Stoltz scoring 193 of his side's total of 295 against Swardeston/CEYMS.