Big shock in Norfolk Alliance as struggling Acle beat leaders Downham

Brett Stolworthy is dropped in the slips during Great Witchingham's game against Copdock at Walcis P

Brett Stolworthy is dropped in the slips during Great Witchingham's game against Copdock at Walcis Park on Saturday. Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Acle turned the formbook upside down on Saturday to breathe new life into the Premier Division title race - and boost their own hopes of avoiding the drop.

The bottom side produced a tremendous performance to pile up 265-9 in their 50 overs against leaders Downham Town before going on to record a thrilling nine run win.

It helped them move to within 20 points of the safety mark while at the other end of the table Town are now just 34 clear of second-placed Fakenham.

Acle's big total was built on an opening stand of 126 between Geoff Handley and Tom Wilson, with the former going on to make 111 after his colleague was first out for 46.

Downham got close to their target but it proved just beyond them as they were dismissed for 256 off the first ball of the final over. Jack Gould led the chase and it was a pivotal moment in the game when he was run out for 81.

Fakenham took full advantage of the shock result as they cruised to a 161 run win over Garboldisham after making an impressive 283-6.

The Premier Division's leading run scorer played the innings of the day as Stow beat Cromer at the Norton Warnes Ground in a match that produced over 650 runs.

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New Zealander Amit Dhadwai blasted 164 in 137 deliveries, with 28 fours and a six, as the visitors scored at more than seven an over to post 359-7.

To their credit the Cromer batsmen also gave a good account of themselves as they went looking for the win to put some distance between themselves and the bottom two - but they ended up finishing 59 runs short. Opener Frankie Sutton was unlucky to finish up on the losing side after hitting 15 fours and eight sixes in a superb innings of 143.

There were four wickets each for Dan Taylor and James Hardy and a century from Rob Tooke as Diss moved further way from trouble by beating Brooke. Diss made 262 and then dismissed their visitors for 191 (Charlie Grisley 64).

There are new front-runners in Division One after Dereham saw off Thetford by 47 runs in the second flight's match of the day. Dereham made 192-9, with Kristien Fletcher desperately unlucky to be left stranded on 99, and then did a good job with the ball to dismiss the morning leaders for just 145 (Ryan Conroy 61).

Great Melton finally recorded their first win of the season in Division Two on Saturday - and it was a notable triumph too as they saw off promotion chasing Martham on away territory.

Melton were restricted to 158 by their high-flying hosts, with Matt Clarke's 35 the top score.

But their modest total proved to be enough as Martham were bowled out of 138 in the 38th over. Richard Waddell (4-31) and James Robb (3-21) were the bowling heroes for the bottom side, while Joe Oakey made 37 in a losing cause.

The surprise result means Martham are now only nine points above Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers, who totally dominated their game against Saham Toney.

One of the biggest stands of the summer - an unbroken 232 for the fourth wicket - helped them all the way up to 268-3 in their 45 overs, with Joe Everett (117 not out) and Tom Harris (102 not out) doing the damage.

Saham Toney could make only 92 in reply, with Everett taking 3-14 and former county cricketer Robbie Joseph 3-19.

Leaders Swaffham went marching on, although they were given a decent game by Norwich A before winning by five wickets.

Alex Mhandu (97 not out) and Will Bowman (65 not out) helped Norwich set a testing target of 245-4 but Swaffham got there with nine balls to spare. Just for once skipper Jasper Payne wasn't the star, with his 26 being totally eclipsed by an unbeaten 120 from his brother Alec.

Garboldisham A are now 69 points clear at the top of Division Three following another impressive performance which featured two centuries and two four wicket hauls.

Jonny Wyatt (115) and Andrew Whistler (104) starred with the bat in a total of 298 against Brooke A while Gavin Barnes (4-23) and Ben Buckmaster (4-66) combined to help dismiss the oppsotion for 236. Opener Andrew Carver led the resistance by scoring 86.

In Division Four Hockwold proved they could win a game without the prolific Euan Gilmour when they beat Beccles A by 54 runs after making 272-6. Simon Groom finished unbeaten on 97, with 10 fours and five sixes, while Euan's brother Joel made 52.

In Division Five Lowestoft A's Dan Edwin took 7-21 and then made 110 not out in a three wicket win over Horsford B.

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