Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance: Fakenham turn up heat on Norwich
The battle for the Premier Division title and a chance to regain EAPL status took a dramatic twist as Fakenham pounced on a slip by Norwich to narrow the gap to six points.
Four-times former champions Downham enhanced their own prospects of a late title challenge as they set leaders Norwich a 221 victory target and then bowled them out for 104, with Greg Tulett claiming 5 for 31.
Ian Harrison (101) and Harry Evans (83) had earlier dominated Downham's 220-6 total, Aaron Watson taking four of the wickets.
Half-centuries from Keegan Monahan Fairlie and Sam Wells helped Fakenham to a 79-run win at Stow.
Despite a fine all-round show from Luandre Van Wyk, who having bagged 6 for 59 with the ball, added a half century, Stow lost by 79 runs, with Will Dungar taking 4 for 18 for the visitors.
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Big-hitting all-rounder Andy Lawrence inspired an Old Buckenham recovery at Acle, helping his side to 156-9 with an 89-ball 72 after they had been reeling at 77-5. Acle were well on track but after they lost their first wicket for 71 in the 18th over, spinners Tommy Alexander and Robbie Austin took a grip and the next six wickets fell for six runs before victory was wrapped up in the 39th over.
Vauxhall Mallards A needed a six off the penultimate ball of a tense match to beat Diss by one wicket.
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Will Hampson took four wickets in Sprowston's five-wicket home win over North Runcton, former skipper Phil Glozier helping to reach the 179 victory target with 58. Jon Forder had earlier posted a half-century fot the West Norfolk outfit.
South African Hendro Puchert's unbeaten 91 helped Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers to a morale-boosting eight-wicket win in their their basement battle against Lowestoft.
Richard Charlwood's unbeaten 101 and Oli Kimber's 74 kept Cromer's Division One title push on track with a winning draw against Bradenham. Brooke kept the pressure on in second spot, Ollie Stamp hitting 63 and Rob Panter 49 before Jonathan Willis bagged 5 for 17 in the 153-run win as Bradfield were dismissed for 76.
Swardeston A lost by three wickets to bottom-of-the-table Norwich A in a runfest at the Common. Daniel Martin posted 133, Steve Cadge (41) and Saphie Herathge (50no) as the hosts racked up 275-5. In reply Norwich A opener Martin Grellier hit 94 and Ali Horsley 77 with the pair adding 105 for the fourth wicket. Three quick wickets for Uzi Hossain (3-46) reduced the visitors to 241-7 before they won.
Horsford A won by nine wickets at Topcroft, with opener Jamie Heyburn hitting 117no.
Division Two leaders Beccles continued to power ahead, RJ Porter (70) and RC Porter (68) leading the way but Downham A's Jignesh Chauhan helped to deny them victory with a defiant 58 as the hosts clung on with a wicket in hand. Michael Crisp had earlier taken four wickets as Beccles posted 246-9.
Anthony Pearson boosted Saxlingham's hopes of beating the drop with an unbeaten 74 in his last game for the club before leaving for Australia and Dave Maskell hit 48 in a 42-run win over fellow strugglers Hales and Loddon.
Dave Horrex bagged five for 19 as Swardeston B bowled Saham Toney out for just 85 at Hilltops, R Goodwin hitting more than half his side's runs with 44.
Swardeston were reduced to 46-6 but Rob Micklethwaite's unbeaten 29 helped the hosts home.
Brian Whitwood hit 57 for Fakenham A and Richard Wood replied with an unbeaten 85 as Great Melton ended seven runs short of victory in a drawn encounter.
Kristian Williman hit 73 and Daniel Taylor took 4 for 11 as Garboldisham kept their Division Three title push on course with an eight-wicket victory over Swaffham.
But second-placed Sprowston A underlined their own title credentials, Sam Hales smashing an unbeaten 119 and Liam Palmer adding a half-century at lowly Hardingham. Ashkay Nagia took 4 for 37 as the hosts fell 38 runs short despite the best efforts of Brendan Scott (66).
Bottom club Sheringham enjoyed a victory boost, Matt Hudson's unbeaten 84 helping them to a five-wicket win over Acle A while Ali Poll hit 52no in Dersingham's winning draw against North Runcton A.
Division Four leaders Bungay suffered a surprise seven-wicket defeat at Mundford. Mark Leeder (5 for 20) did the major damage as freescoring Bungay were restrcited to 145-9. Ryan Woods (82) led the successful reply.
Great Melton A kept their promotion hopes alive with a 46-run win over Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers A. George Bunn topscored with 58 in a 22-8 total before Lee Whiddett bagged 5 for 30 to foil the visitors.
Peter Crisp hit an unbeaten 66 in Narborough's winning draw with Winterton.
Division Five title hopefuls Garboldisham A and Stow A both enjoyed comfortable away victories. Garboldisham won by seven wickets against Aldborough while Stow won by a simlar margin against Norwich B.
Rocklands A remained in the promotion hunt with a tense home win over Swardeston CEYMS who were dismissed for 173, Steve Gopaul top scoring with 40.
In reply Rocklands' Will Defoe topscored with 51 and S Pearce hit 33 not out to see the hosts home with three balls to spare.