Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance round-up: Sprowston take over at the top
Damon Egan maintained his rich vein of form to help Sprowston win the Premier Division's match of the day – and claim top spot as a result.
In a competitive, low scoring game the young Australian played the pivotal knock as Sprowston beat Brooke by 23 runs on an afternoon when many matches were curtailed by rain.
Egan's 81, which followed a couple of centuries the previous weekend, helped his side up to a modest 162, which proved more than enough in the end, with the morning leaders being dismissed for 139 in the 49th over.
Tail-ender Will Minchin was the top scorer for Brooke with 28 while Will Hampson (3-23) and Frankie Sutton (3-26) caught the eye with the ball.
The win helped Sprowston to the summit for the first time this season, although it's desperately tight at the top, with Brooke only one point behind them.
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Cromer got their campaign back on track after suffering three straight defeats when they got the better of Swardeston A – but only just – in a thrilling match at the Norton Warnes Ground.
Their total of 298-6, which was built on an opening partnership of 104 between David Turner (43) and Matthew Warnes (89), looked more than adequate but a spirited reply ensured it was a close run thing. In the end Swardeston fell just five runs short, with their last pair at the crease after Daniel Martin (76), Sapumal Herathge (42) and Daniel Poulton (41) had all played good knocks. Fakenham provided more evidence that they appear to be finding their feet after a poor start to the season when they came through a tough test at Downham.
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The hosts batted well to reach 294-4 in their 50 overs, with Ian Harrison finishing unbeaten on 98 and Patrick Yates making 87.
It was a tough target but the defending champions rose to the challenge superbly to get home with one wicket to spare, thanks in no small part to Keegan Monaghan-Fairlie's innings of 57.
The Division One programme was badly hit by the weather, with only one match reaching its conclusion. But it was a significant one as Horsford A beat Stow by eight wickets at Manor Park to take over at the top.
Stow were bowled out for 166 and Chris Spenceley then saw the hosts home with an unbeaten 42.
Bottom side Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers did well to reach 267-9 against high-flying Acle, with Oliver Cardoe making 91 and Hendro Puchert 87.
But it counted for little in the end, with the rain arriving before Acle could begin their reply.
It was a similar story at Ingham as Lowestoft got up to 323-6 in their 50 overs (Nathan Garrod 74, Adam Savoury 57, Connor Nixon 50 not out). Norwich A only had time to get to 8-0 before the weather intervened.
Carl shows he's still got what it takes
Former Norfolk skipper Carl Rogers rolled back the years with an impressive ton as Great Witchingham A kept their Division Two promotion bid firmly on track.
Rogers made 123 to help the Witches post an excellent total of 269-6 in their 45 overs and it proved more than enough, with opponents Hethersett and Tas Valley being bowled out for just 147.
Leaders Vauxhall Mallards were indebted to Joe Larter's 103 and 70 from Carl Amos – Rogers' former opening partner for Norfolk – as they piled up 259-6, with Swardeston B ending up 37 runs short (Lewis Dorling 70, Ben Hogg 63). They remain 16 points clear of Saham Toney, with Bradfield a further point adrift and Witchingham another two back.
Two players reached three figures in Saham's exciting five-wicket victory over Fakenham A, with Harrison Futter (101) unlucky to finish on the losing side.
A total of 250-7 was overhauled for the loss of five wickets, with Nathan King starring with an unbeaten 108 and Ben Smart (72) also playing a key role.
Bradfield beat Brooke A by 75 runs after reaching 285-5. Chris Scannell made 107 before Jez Wright (5-35) shone with the ball.
Laurie Ollerton, 16, carried his bat to score an unbeaten 114 as Sprowston A lost to Winterton by five wickets after totalling 236-4.
Great Melton moved 14 points clear in Division Three thanks to a nerve-racking one wicket win over Swaffham, for whom 164-9 wasn't quite enough.
Spare a thought for promotion rivals Acle A, however. They were just seven runs short of victory against Bungay, with eight overs and six wickets in hand, when rain forced the game to be abandoned. Will Lewis had shone for lowly Bungay by making 112 out of their total of 216-9.