Three matches end in ties on thrilling opening day in Norfolk Alliance
- Credit: Archant
You don't see too many tied games in the Norfolk Alliance - but there were three on Saturday, with two involving the same club!
The unusual double was recorded by Dereham, with their firsts finishing level with Sprowston after 50 overs in Division One and the seconds doing likewise with Diss seconds in Division Six.
Just for good measure there was also a tie in Division Three, where nothing could separate the second teams of Acle and Brooke after another thrilling finish.
The match at Sprowston went to the very last ball, with Dereham ending up eight down chasing their hosts' modest total of 168 all out.
Over at Norwich Road it was Dereham A who batted first and they made 182-6, with Stewart Allan contributing 72. Another tie was a long shot to say the least but once again it ended honours even as Diss finished on 182-9 (Liam Jarvis 4-20).
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The hat-trick of ties was completed at Acle who registered a solid 221-8 that was matched by Brooke, with six wickets down.
Premier Division champions Downham Town started in impressive style by cruising past Fakenham by seven wickets after restricting their visitors to 146-9. Jack Gould led the hosts home with an unbeaten 57.
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Last season's runners-up Cromer came unstuck at newly promoted Diss, for whom Rob Tooke blasted an unbeaten 93 in just 102 balls in an impressive total of 250-7. That proved way beyond the away side, who succumbed for 186 (Andrew Lawrence 50, Mark Williamson 4-51).
Skipper Ben Watson led from the front as Brooke saw off Acle by five wickets. He took 6-21 as Acle were dismissed for 159 and then weighed in with 45 to help see his side to victory on a day when Zimbabwean Tinotenda Mutombodzi top scored with 53.
Amit Dhadwai had a dream debut for Stow, scoring an unbeaten 111 as they beat Old Buckenham (148) by seven wickets while there was an excellent all-round performance from Norfolk's Ben Coote in North Runcton's 108-run cruise against Garboldisham. He topped scored with 78 not out in a total of 257-3 and followed that up by taking 4-27.
The biggest win of the day came in Division One, with Bradfield (349-8) beating Vauxhall Mallards A (77) by 272 runs. Ryan Sturgess had a day to remember, following up his 74 with figures of 4-9. Bradenham youngster Liam Kevern played a key role on his debut as Bradenham opened their Division Three campaign with an exciting win.
Chasing a victory target of 169 set by Old Buckenham A Bradenham found themselves deep in trouble at 48-7.
However Will Dewing was joined at the crease by 16-year-old Kevern and the pair put on an unbroken eighth wicket partnership of 122 to win the game by three wickets.
Dewing finished on 110 and Kevern on 11 as they broke a club partnership record for the eighth wicket which had stood for 33 years.
The bowling performance of the day came in Division Four at Sheringham, where the home side dismissed Rocklands for just 27, which took the visitors 25.2 overs to compile. Chris Moy (3-3) and Nathan Lomax (3-8) did most of the damage before Sheringham knocked off the runs required in the eighth over.
Swaffham bowler Ben Mills had eye-catching figures in his side's 129 win over Saham Toney. He took 5-12 in only 4.3 overs - and also managed to throw in seven wides and a no ball in his brief spell! It helped dismiss the visiting side for just 111 in their fruitless pursuit of Swaffham's 240-6 (Mark Eagle 56, Jasper Payne 55).
Martham also got their campaign off to a flying start following last season's promotion. They got all the way up to 284-7 in their 45 overs against Downham Town A, with the principal contributions coming from Lewis Dunn 92, including six sixes) and Nobert Bharath (68). The visitors were all out for 164, with Alex Sayer taking a hat-trick in his spell of 4-21.
The evergreen Chris Borrett, who now captains Norwich's second team, top scored with 64 in his side's total of 225-7 against Great Melton, who finished on 193-8 as Freddie Kemp took 5-61 in his nine overs. Daniel Tipple with 48 was Melton's top scorer.
John Curtis took the eye with both bat and ball for Hethersett and Tas Valley in their five wicket win over Great Witchingham A. He took 4-25 as the Witches were dismissed for 105 and then saw his side home in the 30th over with an unbeaten 37.
In Division Five Ryan Sadler scored 88 in Old Catton's total of 235-6 which was far too much for Horsford B who were skittled out for just 64 (Peter Young 5-24).