Horsford lose after failing to building on dream start
- Credit: Archant
Horsford were unable to build on a dream start as they suffered a frustrating 28 run defeat at the hands of unbeaten Frinton in the East Anglian Premier League.
Ryan Findlay's side had their visitors in all sorts of trouble at 4-3 and then 37-4 on a glorious morning at Manor Park, with Callum Melcalf striking twice, but were unable to press home their advantage as a familiar face got stuck in.
Norfolk skipper Ashley Watson played a crucial supporting role with a patient 38 in 109 balls as his club captain Michael Comber led from the front with what turned out to be a match-winning innings of 101.
The pair added 98 for the fifth wicket, with Comber then organising the tail to get Frinton's total up to a hard-fought 205-9 in 64 overs.
Horsford were always in it in reply, but wickets fell regularly and in the end captain Ryan Findlay was left stranded on 40 as his team were dismissed for 177 in the 57th over.
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The win enabled Frinton to move to within two points of Swardeston, who had a much easier time of it against Burwell and Exning.
The visitors batted well enough to make 301-8, with Paul Summerskill scoring 77 and Crispin Clarke, Joe Gatting and Peter Lambert all taking two wickets, but it soon became clear that the respectable total would not be nearly enough.
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A second wicket parntership of 208 between Jordan Taylor and Stephen Gray saw Swardeston cruise along at a rate of over six an over, with Taylor making 114 (12 fours, one six) and Gray 139 (15 fours, four sixes).
Swardeston ended up wrapping the win up in the 49th over for the loss of just three wickets to set themselves up nicely for next Saturday's trip to Frinton.
A second wicket stand of 100 between Sam Arthurton (74) and James Hale (55) was the only highlight for Great Witchingham at Mildenhall. The next highest score was just five as they stuttered to 152 all out and the hosts overhauled that disappointing total for the loss of only four wickets, with three of those coming when the match was all but won.
Vauxhall Mallards suffered another comprehensive defeat to slip 62 points adrift at the foot of the table. They went down by 182 runs at Bury St Edmunds, who made 303-7 with Josh Cantrell top scoring with 61 and Sean Park and Alastair Alchin putting on an unbroken 74 for the fourth wicket.
Paul Bradshaw (3-26) was the pick of the bowlers and there was at least one batting star this week as Harry Barker made a defiant 49. However his resistance was never going to change the result, with Mallards being dismissed for 121.
There was a thrilling finish to the top flight match of the day between leaders Stow and fellow high-flyers Downham Town.
In the end nothing could separate them, with the game finishing in a tie after Stow's Pete Brassett was run out off the final ball of the game.
The hosts had done well to get that close after slipping from 132-2 to 169-8 in pursuit of Downham's total of 205-9 that featured a half century from opener Ian Harrison. Otto Esse and Ben Wilcox made 61 and 59 respectively for Stow.
The derby drama paved the way for another west Norfolk side, North Runcton, to take over at the top by a single point. They were set a testing target by Norwich, with skipper Chris Borrett and Aaron Watson both passing 50, and overhauled it in the 46th over with eight wickets down, thanks largely to an unbeaten 70 from Ben Skipper.
After seeing their long unbeaten run come to an end the previous week, defending champions Fakenham were beaten again in a low scoring game at Garboldisham. Chasing 108 the visitors were skittled out for only 75 as Phil King took 5-22 to rival the earlier bowling heroics of Toby Hood (5-17).
Cromer finally got their season up and running with a seven wicket win over Dereham on a day when both skippers made centuries. Duncan Hewitt contributed 102 for the visitors in a total of 226-8 while Frankie Sutton replied with exactly 100 to set up a comfortable victory in the company of Michael Warnes (76 not out).
Brooke made it back-to-back wins by seeing off Diss by 35 runs after reaching 286-8 (Carl Amos 51, Cebo Tshiki 48, Ben Watson 43). Mark Brawn (72) and Rob Tooke (52) were the main contributors to a reply of 251-9.
Old Buckenham maintained their perfect start in Division One by beating Lowestoft at The Denes Oval. Ben Shearing saw them home by four wickets with an unbeaten 83 as they chased 191-8.
Swardeston A and Sprowston also won again to keep the pressure on the leaders. Alfie Cooper made 94 to help Swardeston's second string to a 49 run win over Topcroft while Danny Palmer and Iain Murrell notched half centuries in Sprowston's 69 wicket success at Beccles. Rob Purton, back with the club after a spell at Cromer, took 3-36 as they defended a solid 260-6.