Fakenham jolt title favourites

KEITH PEEL Surprise side Fakenham have breathed fresh life into the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.


Surprise side Fakenham have breathed fresh life into the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

They won by three wickets on Saturday against previously unbeaten powerhouses Bury St Edmunds, who had been looking odds-on favourites for a second successive championship.

Fakenham, who finished third from bottom last season, are now third from top, with Swardeston the new leaders after they beat Mildenhall by four wickets.

Vauxhall Mallards drop a place to fourth after drawing with Clacton, while Horsford beat Godmanchester by 176 runs to move up to sixth and Norwich are bottom after losing to Cambridge Granta by six wickets.

Ian Slegg took five for 49 and Justin Granger four for 54 as Bury were bowled out for 120 at the Victory Ground, where Andrew Tweedie was their top scorer with 37 not out.

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Michael Smith (41) and Paul Dunger (31) spearheaded the reply, which saw Paul Grayson take five for 20 as Fakenham slipped from 100 for three to 107 for seven before sealing a memorable win.

South African Smith's influence on Fakenham this summer is delighting club chairman John Chaney, who said: “He's doing a great job. He's bringing the youngsters into the game, he's a good captain and club man.

“Everyone is enjoying training because he is making it interesting for the players.”

Michael Eccles took four for 58 and Jaden Hatwell three for 32 as Mildenhall were bowled out for 199 at Swardeston, where Peter Worthington scored 77, John Woods 39 not out and Francois Bester 35.

Richard Sims (74) and Hatwell (41) produced an 84-run second-wicket stand in the reply, which saw Swardeston slip from 146 for three to 154 for six before rising star Northamptonshire Academy player Robert Newton (44) and skipper Mark Thomas (14) steered them to victory with an unbroken 46-run partnership.

Sri Lankan Indika De Saram stole the spotlight at Brundall with a stunning 179 which included 10 fours and no fewer than 17 sixes.

That enabled Clacton to declare on 293 for nine, with Richard Moores taking five for 75.

South African recruit Derrin Bassage scored 115 and Moores 31 in Mallards' 255 for nine response.

Former Zimbabwe Test player Grant Flower hit 166 not out and Craig Thyssen 53 as Horsford posted 306 for six at Manor Park.

Norfolk spin bowler Chris Brown, who contributed 30, followed up with six for 31 as Godmanchester were bowled out for 130.

Jason Coleman took five for 18 and Jacques Du Toit three for 33 as Norwich mustered a mere 92 at Postwick, where Oliver Higenbottam was their top scorer with 22 runs.

Du Toit hit 32 in Godmanchester's 94 for four reply.