Downham Town closing in on Norfolk Alliance Premier Division title

South African allrounder Luke Schlemmer in action at Walcis Park on Saturday. Picture: Tim Ferley

South African allrounder Luke Schlemmer in action at Walcis Park on Saturday. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Downham Town moved into pole position to clinch the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division title as they won again while closest rivals Cromer were suffering a 46-run defeat.

The leaders now have a 26-point advantage with just three rounds of matches to be played, meaning two more victories will confirm them as champions no matter what anyone else does.

Town's good run of form continued at the weekend when they bowled out a doomed Sprowston side for 141 before getting home for the loss of four wickets.

Cromer were bowled out for just 128 chasing a modest total of 174-9 at Acle, with Steve Gopaul taking 4-41 and Shaun Roberts 3-15, and are now only 10 points above third-placed North Runcton, who came through a thrilling match at Brooke.

In a fixture reduced to 40 overs per side the defending champions posted a challenging total of

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237-5 which was built around a fourth-wicket partnership of 130 between Gary Chirimuuta (77) and Matt Collinge (53).

Runcton had plenty of scares in reply but eventually hit the winning run in their final over, with one wicket and two deliveries in hand. Ben Coote led the impressive response with 77 while John Habershon took 3-22.

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At the other end of the table Fakenham recorded one of the most important victories in their recent history to move out of the relegation zone at the expense of beaten opponents Garboldisham,

Knowing a defeat would leave them in deep, deep trouble Fakenham produced an excellent bowling performance to dismiss their hosts for just 123, having reached 218-8 in their 40 overs.

It's a case of as you were at the top of Division One, with the leading three sides all winning.

Diss were restricted to 163 at Thetford, but then bowled their hosts out for just 77, while second-placed Swardeston A edged past Bradfield's total of 146 for the loss of seven wickets.

They were helped by no fewer than 52 extras, while Ed Botwright had earlier scored 73 for the visitors.

After two successful abandonments Dereham finally got back to winning way – and in emphatic fashion too – when they romped home by seven wickets after bowling Vauxhall Mallards A out for 93.

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