Norfolk Alliance cricket: Downham underline determination to snatch back crown
Fallen champions Downham underlined their intention to snatch back the crown as they crushed last season's Premier Division runners-up Sprowston by 111 runs.
Alex Stuart hit an unbeaten 125 and Harry Evans weighed in with 61 in a 235-6 total for the side which won the top flight title four times in a row before slipping into the shadow of ex EAPL outfit Fakenham and newcomers Sprowston last term.
Sprowston struggled to get their reply on track as Adam Todd (5-36) and Angus Stuart (3-10) worked their way through the line-up with Iain Murrell (42) providing the main resistance.
The result sees Downham breathing down the necks of morning joint-leaders Norwich who kept their bid to bounce back from their EAPL relegation on track with a 176-run thrashing of Acle.
Chris Borrett hit 87 and there were half-centuries for ex-Canary Chris Sutton and Ashley Watson, while seamer Aaron Watson produced a stunning 7 for 24 return as Acle collapsed to 74 all out to continue a miserable return to the top flight after winning Division One last season.
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After a brief taste of life at the top Premier Division newcomers Old Buckenham slipped down the table but not before they had given Fakenham a scare with Rob Austin and Tom Alexander sharing six wickets and making the North Norfolk outfit fight hard for the runs in a low-scoring affair.
Lewis Rayner bagged six wickets in Vauxhall Mallards A's seven-wicket win at bottom-of-the-table Stow.
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An unbeaten 80 from Ruan Du Plessis and a half-century from Ryan de Coteau helped Lowestoft to success at Diss, Keiran Jones bagging four wickets as the hosts were dismissed for 197.
In Division One Dereham's Jake Anema ended up on the losing side despite a stunning 8 for 19 return at Norwich A, who managed to bowl them out for 91, 17 runs short of their target, with Olly Sutton taking 5 for 10 and Siyas Siyath 4 for 8.
Jason Cole (98) and Nathan Gostling (60) piled on the runs as Mattishall posted 274-9 and then dismissed Brooke for 110.
Marcus Evans and Ian Moody shared eight wickets in Bradenham's five-wicket win at Topcroft – a result which keeps them 12 points ahead of Horsford A.
Richard Porter (62) and Alex Wright (5-23) helped leaders Beccles to a 95-run Division Two win at Saxlingham. Downham A were made to fight all the way for their win over visitors Hales and Loddon as an unbeaten 70 from Aaron Nichol saw them home by two wickets in a low-scoring affair.
Hales had earlier been dismissed for 131, Dave Grady claiming four wickets.
Half-centuries from Adie Wood and Xavier Huckle helped Saham Toney to beat Great Melton by 59 runs.
Brian Whitwood and Adam Woodhouse also notched fifties as Fakenham A were defied by Hethersett and Tas Valley's last pair.
Swardeston seconds held on for a draw at home to Bradfield. The visitors posted 213-6 with Alex Kimber topscoring with 46 and Callum Taylor taking 4-52. In reply Callum's brother Jordan hit 60 but Swardeston could only muster 166-9 with Bradfield's Tom Seaman taking 3-37.