Norfolk Alliance Premier Division: Skipper Barrett’s derby delight as North Runcton beat Downham

Captain Andrew Barrett couldn't hide his delight after North Runcton beat Downham Town in the first West Norfolk derby of the Alliance Premier Division season on Saturday.

Runcton enjoyed their first victory over Downham for at least five years thanks in large to an outstanding century from opener Alistair Price.

His fantastic knock of 102 helped Runcton successfully past the visitors' total of 194 with five wickets to spare, much to the delight of Barrett.

He said: 'I'm absolutely over the moon we beat not only our local rivals, but an excellent Downham side.

'The magnificent opening partnership, especially Ali's hundred, was not only important to the team, but made for compelling viewing. A good bowling effort, backed up by our good start with the bat, was enough to see us home.

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'After going close on a couple of occasions in recent years, to beat a team like Downham is a great achievement by all.'

After winning the toss, Barrett opted to bowl first and his side got off to a flying start with Kieran Bunting taking two early wickets to leave their rivals on 6-2.

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A direct hit run-out from Price helped peg Duncan Lanchester's four-time Norfolk Premier champions back even further, but a fine knock of 68 not out from Dom Tulett, ably assisted by Lanchester's 35 and Josh Stuart's 23, gave the visitors hope.

However, good bowling from Mark Skipper (3-45) at the end of the innings, made sure Downham stayed below the 200 mark.

In reply, Runcton's innings was based upon a fantastic opening stand of 139 between Jon Forder (40) and Price.

Australian Harry Evans (3-42) caused the hosts to wobble, but Anthony Dobing (17 not out) and Peter Coote (eight not out) eventually helped their team across the finishing line with five wickets to spare.

Defeated Town skipper Lanchester said he was 'disappointed' by his side's loss, but felt Runcton 'rode their luck' at times during the game.

He said: 'Ali Price laughed at times during his innings when he nicked and edged the ball and said it was his day.

'A couple of decisions went against us and it was one of those days. Runcton were probably due some luck against us though, so what goes around comes around.

'It's been a bigger game for them recently after our success so they were cock-a-hoop, but fair play to them. They had their strongest side out and deserved it in the end.'

Mid-table Runcton travel to basement boys Acle on Saturday while fourth-placed Downham welcome Lowestoft Town. A rejuvenated Stow – who secured their second win on the bounce by beating Acle by 57 runs at the weekend -–look to continue their improved form at Diss.

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