Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance round-up: Stars Bowes and Egan live up to the billing
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Overseas stars Chad Bowes and Damon Egan proved their value to their sides in no uncertain fashion at the weekend by guiding them to thrilling victories.
With wickets tumbling all around them the talented duo showed their quality by keeping a cool head and being at the crease when the decisive blow was stuck.
Young South African Bowes carried his bat for 70 as Fakenham edged home by a single wicket when chasing Cromer's modest total of 129. The defending champions looked comfortable after passing 50 without loss but the dismissal of Paul Dunger for 17 sparked a dramatic collapse, with Zimbawean Tatenda Chiradza taking six wickets. It was just as well for Fakenham that Bowes kept his nerve – while last man Toby Hood also deserves a big pat on the back for providing the necessary support at the death.
Over at Sprowston there was another exciting match, and with a lot more runs too, as the hosts secured victory off the second ball of the final over.
New boys Garboldisham set a testing target of 248-8 but Australian Egan organised the response in impressive fashion, finishing on 105 not out as Sprowston consolidated their second position in the Premier Division table.
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Leading the way by 17 points are still Brooke, who made it five straight wins when they saw off the determined challenge of Swardeston A by three wickets at Hilltops.
The hosts made a solid 204-9 (Matt Taylor 66, Mike Jones 4-36) but it was not quite enough as Nisrant Murria's 51 laid the platform for a hard-fought win.
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An entertaining local derby at Old Buckenham was dominated by three big knocks, with Diss eventually coming out on top.
Robert and David Tooke made 100 and 93 respectively in a fourth wicket stand of 192 in the visitors' total of 273-8, while Bucks skipper Terry Perry carried his bat for 114 in a response of 236-5.
Downham made it back to back wins in emphatic fashion after a poor start to the campaign when they bowled out hosts North Runcton for 78 before getting home without loss in the 16th over.
Acle remain top of Division One after a 42-run win over Stow that featured four half centuries, for Acle's Tom Wilson and Josh Larner and Stow's Warren Bowman and Keith Thompson.
Duncan Hewitt shone with both bat and ball for Dereham, with 4-36 and 72 not out in a 10-wicket win over Norwich A, while Mattishall followed up by their brilliant run chase of the previous week by beating Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers by 61 runs at Barton Turf. Tom Spalding top scored for Mallards with 87 while no fewer than 42 wides helped them along the way. South African Hendro Puchert made 57 as Wanderers were all out for 195 chasing 256.
Mallards top as tail-enders get job done
Vauxhall Mallards A are the new leaders in Division Two after keeping their nerve in a tense run chase.
A half century from Alex Wright helped opponents Beccles reach 175-9 in their 45 overs – and that proved to be a more than testing target. Mallards got there in the end however, with just one ball and two wickets to spare, as tail-enders Ryan Pearce and James Ing saw them over the line.
Morning leaders Bradfield came out second best in a low scoring encounter against Hethersett and Tas Valley that saw 16 wickets fall for just 193 runs.
Bradfield could only muster 96, with Philip Walmsley, Mark Gricks and Ian Bryce each taking three wickets, and the home side then edged home by six wickets, despite the best efforts of Michael Seago (4-23).
There were a couple of milestones as Bradenham defended 144 to beat Saham Toney by 21 runs.
Rob Ellis, 17, achieved his highest Alliance first team score of 74 before 19-year-old Will Dewing recorded his best bowling figures of 7-26, including a hat-trick.
There was a similar sort of game in Division Three as high-flying Great Melton and Winterton went head to head. Winterton's target of 102 turned out to be a competitive one, but Melton got the job done by three wickets, thanks largely to Paul Stearman's 47. Earlier Richard Waddell and Alex Rennie had each taken three wickets.
Melton moved up to second in the table, just one point behind new leaders Downham A, who completed an excellent day for the club by seeing off struggling Bungay by 60 runs after making 218-6. Jack Gould (42) and skipper Ashleigh Corbett (44) led the way for Downham before David Grady and Alex Vincent both took three wickets.