Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance: Fakenham take over at top

Fakenham took the honours in the Norfolk Alliance match of the day against Norwich.

Both teams started the day unbeaten with Norwich holding a 15 points advantage. The tables were duly turned, with Fakenham handing Norwich their first defeat of the campaign to take over as new leaders.

But it was a close run thing as Ben Harvey's men took the verdict by two wickets in a low-scoring battle at Highfield Lawn.

Norwich were bowled out for 127, Ian Slegg taking four for 33.

Fakenham struggled to reach their modest target, slipping to 70 for six. Their match-winner proved to be 16-year-old Ashley Jarvis, who steadied the ship with an unbeaten 29 which captain Harvey described as 'showing maturity beyond his years' to steer them home.

Having made it, Fakenham will not be able to rest on their laurels for long as they next face a trip to Downham, who won by 109 runs at Vauxhall Mallards A. Simon Potger took five for 51 as the hosts dismissed Downham for 193, Jack Gould top-scoring with 61. But Ian Harrison (4-29) and Greg Tulett (4-13) gave Mallards a tough time and they were all out for just 84.

Despite that convincing win Old Buckenham edged above Downham into third place after getting one point more from their 58 runs win over Sprowston after a nail-biting finish.

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A ton from Paul Donovan (103) and 55 from Terry Perry helped Old Buckenham finish on 201 for five. Sprowston couldn't get close, despite 57 from Rob Purton. But it wasn't until the third ball of the final over that Robbie Austin (4-26) was able to secure the last wicket.

It was a red letter day for Acle and Ashmanhaugh, both of whom notched their first wins of the season.

Acle won at Diss by 64 runs with John Lee taking five for 17 as they dismissed the hosts for 89 having themselves been all out for 153 (Mark Williamson 4-33). Ashmanhaugh, meanwhile, romped home by eight wickets at Stow thanks to an unbeaten 112 by Henry Puchet, who helped them to reach a victory target of 192.

In the day's other top division game North Runcton were all out for 66, Daniel Abeyratna's four for 14 doing the damage, when chasing Lowestoft's 164-8 (Keiran Bunting 4-44).

Mattishall remain top of Division One after a slender win at Topcroft, extending their advantage over Cromer, who had a winning draw against Norwich A (Antony Robinson 5-34, Richard Charnwood 59).

Third-placed Horsford A fell just short against Swardeston A, who won by two wickets. Extras top-scored with 27 as Horsford were dismissed for 116. Horsford skipper Alex Lincoln took four for 21 as Swardeston replied, but they squeezed home on 117 for eight.

Dereham beat Brooke by 52 runs largely thanks to a seventh-wicket stand of 61 between Duncan Hewitt (30) and Daniel Lake (28) after they'd fallen to 35 for six. Their final total of 152 for eight was too much for Brooke, who were bowled out for 100 thanks to Jake Anema's five for 17.

There was batting to admire at Bradenham, where 77 from the home team's Mark Hunter was not enough to stave off defeat to Bradfield, whose stars were Dave Yarham (58no) and Steve Bidwell (72no).

Swardeston B top Division Two despite suffering their first defeat, by seven wickets at closest challengers Beccles. Dale Reynolds (53) and Ben Hogg (46) put on 84 for the second wicket as Swardeston made 188 for three. But R C Porter's unbeaten 71 and R Porter's 81 steered Beccles home.

Individual batting performances of the day came from Great Melton's Richard Wood (100 v Hethersett & Tas Valley, whose Nick Burnett made 58) and Fakenham A's Brian Whitwood (97 v Downham A).

Adrian Gibson (53) steered North Runcton to a six-wickets win over Acle A, who now share leadership of Division Three with Garboldisham following the latter's seven-wickets success at Dersingham, who had no answer to Robert Fuller (five for 30) and Luke Rackham (four for 26) as they were bowled out for 89.

Liam Conroy took the scoring honours in Division Four as he blasted 122 for Thetford in a total of 240 for four against Narborough, who hung on with 177 for nine in reply.

Second-placed Thetford now trail leaders Bungay by 37 points after the leaders thrashed Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers A by 130 runs.

Mundford are third after dismissing Cromer A for 111 then reaching the target for the loss of eight wickets.

Tom York was again the mainstay of the Bungay batting with 71 in a total of 224 for four before the hosts were bowled out for 94.

There were two huge batting performances in Division Five. Ian Melvin cracked 132 for table-topping Garboldisham A as they amassed 276 for six to chase down Norwich B's huge target-setting 275 for four.

But even that was eclipsed by Simon Mann, who slammed an unbeaten 140 out of Rockland's 204 for six. Jon Andrews (77) and Richard Hayman (61) had led the way in Brooke A's 200 for six – but it wasn't enough.

In the same division, Swardeston CEYMS lost by four wickets to Stow A at Hilltops. Tom Snelling top-scored with 28 as the hosts totalled 126 for eight with Simon Cooke taking three for 31. In reply, J Fossy top-scored with 35 as Stow reached their target in the 44th over.

Bradfield A remain top of Division Six, but Lowestoft Town A dropped from second to fifth after defeat to Thetford A. After Thetford made 197 for nine Lowestoft's reply floundered against Matt Terry (five for 29) as they were all out for 126.