Beccles bowlers complete eye-catching win for Alliance Division One leaders

Chad Bowes on the attack for Horsford during Saturday's drawn game with Norwich at Manor Park. Pictu

Chad Bowes on the attack for Horsford during Saturday's drawn game with Norwich at Manor Park. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Beccles produced a devastating bowling performance to maintain their impressive start to the Norfolk Alliance Division One campaign.

Promoted last season after finishing runners-up in Division Two, the Suffolk side showed what they are all about by reducing Bradfield to 21-9.

A last wicket partnership of 35 between Michael Seago and Charlie Harkness prevented complete embarrassment for the visitors but their dismissal for 56 saw them go down by 154 runs after Beccles had made 210-8 in their 50 overs.

James Goodfellow (47) and Rob Porter (44) were the leading scorers, while Stuart Watkins spearheaded a superb bowling effort by taking 4-23 and Ian Ruddock took two wickets for one run in four overs.

The thumping win maintained Beccles' position at the top of the table, but they look certain to be overtaken at some stage with all their rivals having games in hand.

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Dereham moved up to second when they condemned Swardeston A to a first defeat. Duncan Hewitt (96) and David Lake (57) played the key roles in a home total of 261-7 and that proved more than enough, with Jake Anema's 4-25 helping to dismiss Swardeston for 103.

The losers are in action again today (12) when they visit a Horsford A side who have won all three of their games so far, while Thetford play host to Lowestoft in another Bank Holiday fixture.

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Stow won the match of the day in the top flight to stay top, albeit by a single point. Another side to have hit the ground running since promotion, Stow recorded a six wicket win at Diss after dismissing their hosts for 191.

Amit Dhadwai followed up his 103 the previous week with 85 this time around to lead the victory charge after Chris Cooper (67) and Rob Tooke (48) had shone for Diss.

Defending champions Downham Town are breathing down the leaders' necks after also recording a fourth straight victory. They bowled out a struggling Cromer side for 176 at the Norton Warnes Ground before replying with 180-3 in the 44th over. Opener Harrison Gregory led the way with an unbeaten 70 while Nathan Green had earlier posted the eye-catching figures of 7.1-4-6-4.

North Runcton (188-5) beat Acle (187-9) to move up to third while Rob Thurley's 107 could not prevent another defeat for Old Buckenham, this time at home to Fakenham.

It was an excellent day for the batsmen on a sun-drenched afternoon, with the latest round of matches at a lower level producing a string of unbeaten centuries.

Leading the way was Joe Greenslade of Great Melton A, whose superb 133 not out helped his side to a 42 run victory over Mundford in Division Five.

Jamie Carter scored unbeaten 121 in the same section as leaders Cromer A saw off Swardeston/CEYMS by 203 runs after making 285-4 in their 45 overs while Euan Gilmour of Hockwold made 108 not out as his side cruised past Sprowston A in Division Four.

There were two centuries as Swardeston B saw off Bircham by five wickets in Division Three after chasing down a more than useful total of 248-7. Lewis Gooderham (122) notched almost half of Swardeston's runs after Nathan King had scored 112 for the hosts.

Mattishall took over at the top of Division Two following a four wicket success at morning leaders Norwich A.

Chasing 179-9 they finished on 182-6, with Tom Spalding (59), Jay Eastoe-Smith (46) and Simon Chipperfield (42) all scoring their runs at an impressive rate of knots.

Martham moved up third thanks to a comfortable home win over Great Witchingham A, who were restricted to 143-9 chasing 210. Joe Oakley scored 44 and Kieran Spencer 40 to provide some late impetus for the hosts as they posted a more than adequate target.

Swaffham failed to maintain their recent momentum as they crashed to 91-run defeat at neighbours Downham A, who made reached 199-9 after being asked to bat first.

Another match to produce two centuries took place at Flordon as Hethersett and Tas Valley beat Saham Toney in a match that saw 467 runs scored for the loss of only six wickets.

Ben Smart's unbeaten 114 was the mainstay of the visitors' 233-3 while Ian Bryce finished on 104 not out as Valley passed their target in the 40th over.

The big match in Division Three saw leaders Garbolidisham A beat second placed Bradenham to move 25 points clear at the top.

Despite the efforts of the prolific Will Dewing, who made 46, Bradenham could only get up to 159 and Garboldisham knocked off the runs required for the loss of five wickets, James Worby making 54.

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