Down to earth with a bump
KEITH PEEL England football fans were in front of the TV set well before half-time at Highfield Lawn after Fakenham's cricketers had been brought down to earth with a bump.
England football fans were in front of the TV set well before half-time at Highfield Lawn after Fakenham's cricketers had been brought down to earth with a bump. A week earlier they had become the first team this season to beat reigning Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League champions Bury St Edmunds. But on Saturday, they slumped to 55 all out and lost by eight wickets to Vauxhall Mallards in a scheduled 120-over match which, in the event, spanned a mere 42 overs and lasted only from 11am to 2.30pm, which included a lunch break. Richard Moores was the destroyer-in-chief, taking five for 19 from his 14 overs, half of them maidens. Paul Bradshaw, the Mallards and Norfolk captain, captured three for 25 before being forced out of the attack by the hamstring injury which has troubled him for the past month.
David Wells scored 26 of Fakenham's runs, while Derrin Bassage led the reply with 36 not out.
Mallards are now second in the table, behind Bury, who returned to the top when they beat Cambridge Granta by 61 runs while morning table leaders Swardeston lost by 73 runs at Clacton. They slip to third as a result.
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Horsford are fifth after drawing with bottom team Mildenhall at Wamil Way, while second from bottom Norwich boosted their survival hopes with their first win, by 60 runs at Godmanchester.
Martyn Cull scored 90 as Clacton were bowled out for 188 by Swardeston, for whom Michael Eccles, Richard Sims and skipper Mark Thomas all took three wickets.
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Chris Swallow took five for 21 as Swardeston collapsed from 77 for two to 115 all out in reply, with Jaden Hatwell (35), Richard Sims (35) and Will Rist (23) scoring the bulk of their runs.
Horsford went on a 305 for seven declared spree at Mildenhall, where Grant Flower (147) and Matthew Wilkinson (50) put on 118 for the fourth wicket.
Former Zimbabwe Test player Flower, who is turning out for Horsford when not required by Essex, has now scored 380 runs in three Alliance innings and only been out once.
Andrew Squire scored 69 not out and Peter Worthington 40 as Mildenhall mustered 170 for eight in reply, with Richard Gilliat, Jaik Mickleburgh and Paul Newman all taking two wickets.
Skipper Chris Borrett scored 66 and Gordon Kerr 54 as Norwich posted 249 at Godmanchester, who were all out for 189 in reply.
Craig Park top scored with 52, while Marlon Franklyn bagged four wickets and Kerr three.
Bury made 293 for eight at Clare College, with Paul Grayson scoring 82 and Chris Warn 55.
Cambridge Granta were then bowled out for 232, of which Jacques Du Toit hit 107 before becoming one of Justin Bishop's four victims.