Lowestoft hold leaders up
FRANKLY DIGITAL NORFOLK ALLIANCE DIVISIONS PREMIER, ONE & TWO: Improving Lowestoft became the second side to deny Fakenham victory on Saturday after an exciting Premier Division clash at Highfield Lawn.
Fakenham, who lost their perfect winning record the previous weekend at Diss, finished four runs short of Lowestoft's total with eight wickets down. It was another notable result for the visitors following their crucial victory against relegation rivals Cromer the week before.
The Lowestoft innings featured half-centuries for Ryan De Coteau (84), D Smith (59) and Mpho Sekhoto (50), while there were three wickets apiece for Rudi Hillermann and Ian Slegg. Set 245 for victory, Fakenham finished on 240 for eight, with the Gray brothers, Phil (49) and Stephen (48), top scoring, while Sekhoto took three wickets.
That presented Sprowston with a golden opportunity to close the gap for a second successive week – but they passed it up with an eight-wicket defeat at North Runcton.
Darren Cubitt (four for 18) helped bowl the visitors out cheaply before Simon McInerney fired Runcton home with 71no.
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Stow boosted their survival hopes with a two-wicket victory at fellow strugglers Brooke.
Oli Howes (79no) and Rob Panter (63) featured in a fourth wicket stand of 117 for Brooke, but a seventh wicket partnership of 114 between Stow's Keith Thomson (58) and Ed Landymore (69) decided the contest.
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The games at Cromer and Vauxhall Mallards A were both rained off.
In Division One, Andy Lawrence took four for 19 for Old Buckenham as they stretched their lead to 16 points with a 39-run win at lowly Hales.
Acle picked up a 25-run win at home to Norwich A, with Peter Nobbs hitting 81no and skipper Shaun Roberts taking five for 29.
Bottom side Saxlingham gained a 22-run win at Bradenham, despite Brett Stolworthy making 54 for the hosts, who lost their last four wickets for two runs.
An opening partnership of 155 between Swardeston A's Jordan Taylor (83) and Jonny Cooper (66) put their side on the way to chasing down a big target at Mattishall.
Ben Shearing added 46no from 26 balls to see Swardeston A to a five-wicket win with 10 balls to spare. Earlier, Jay Eastoe-Smith (81) and Jason Cole (67no) had top scored for Mattishall.
Sam Kimber hit 63 for Bradfield as they secured a 90pc losing draw at Topcroft, Chris Hancock making 76 for the home side.
In Division Two, Sheringham's second successive relegation was sealed with a six-wicket defeat at leaders Dereham.
Gary Starling (four for 11) and Jake Anema (four for 20) helped bowl Sheringham out for just 73.
Hethersett & Tas Valley narrowed the gap at the top to 11 points with a maximum points win at Downham A.
Ashley Corbett hit 54 in the Downham innings, with Lee King taking four for 52. Tas' stand-in skipper, Nick Burrett, fired a sparkling 89 and was well supported by Tristan Hunt (59) as the visitors won by four wickets.
Horsford A maintained their challenge with a 29-run win at home to Hillington.
Jamie Heyburn (71) and Matt Spenceley (57no) helped Horsford A set a challenging total, before Tom Whitehouse (four for 54) bowled them to victory. Ashley Jarvis scored 68 for Hillington.
Adie Wood lifted struggling Saham Toney's spirits with an unbeaten 101no in a winning draw against Fakenham A. Paul Dunger made 52no for Fakenham A.
Henry Phoenix's 115 for Garboldisham went to waste as Beccles overhauled their target to win by five wickets. Alex Wright earlier took four for 28 for Beccles.