Norfolk Alliance round-up: Cromer close gap at top as Old Buckenham falter in race for Premier title
Cromer closed the gap on leaders Old Buckenham thanks to a six-wicket win over Downham Town in the Premier Division of the Cecil Amey Opticians Norfolk Alliance.
Cromer moved to within a point of Old Buckenham, who suffered a surprise defeat at home to North Runcton. Richard Charlwood was the star with the bat for Cromer (199-4) hitting 64 whilst Matthew Warnes contributed an impressive 57 as the hosts knocked off the 194 runs Downham posted after they had won the toss and elected to bat.
Old Buckenham struggled at home to North Runcton as they lost by seven wickets. Dean Robinson starred with the bat for the visitors with an 85no after Buckenham had posted 184 - Ben Coote taking five wickets for the loss of just 28 runs.
Sprowston (208-9) strengthened their hopes of avoiding relegation with a 12-run win over Garboldisham (196 all out) although they remain rooted to the foot of the table as Horsford A (285 all out) beat Fakenham (234 all out) by 51 runs.
Brooke endured a difficult day at the office as they were skittled out for 80 at Acle (86-2) – Jaskaran Cheema taking six wickets for the loss of 21 runs.
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In Division One Diss strengthened their promotion push as they beat Vauxhall Mallards A by 65 runs to go 44 points clear at the top of the table.
Diss won the toss and elected to bat with Robert Tooke top scoring as he made a fine 72 to complement other fine batting displays by Chris Cooper (67) and David Tooke (60). Mallards didn't seriously challenge Diss' total of 276 as they made 211-7.
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Second-placed Dereham went down to defeat at home to Stow by 16 runs to lose ground in the title race. Stow elected to bat and made 240 from their 50 overs and in reply Dereham fell short despite Dan Lake's knock of 52.
Craig Guy hit 61 at Bradfield but it wasn't enough to see his Lowestoft side slip to another defeat to leave them bottom of the table. Zane Kennedy was the star with the ball for Bradfield (4-33) as Lowestoft were all out for 156. Bradfield knocked off the runs in 38.1 overs – Oliver Kimber top scoring with 38no.
Norwich A enjoyed a thumping win over Mattishall, who made just 133 in reply to Norwich's 204 (Alex Mhandu 38) whilst Swardeston A (201-8) beat Thetford Town (197-7) by two wickets.
Topcroft are the new leaders of Division Two in the Cecil Amey Opticians Norfolk Alliance after Beccles suffered defeat at home to Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers.
Topcroft (281-5) were easy winners over Great Witchingham (141 all out) as Harry Windridge's superb 155 spurred his side on to victory.
Meanwhile Beccles (236-6) went down to a three-wicket defeat at home to Wanderers (238-7) as Joseph Everett's 124no paved the way to victory.
In Division Three Martham (262-7) remain on course for promotion after an 82-run victory over Acle A (180-9) – Alex Sayer top scoring for Martham with 128 whilst Bungay (215-7) kept up the pressure with a 41-run win against Sprowston A (174 all out). Andrew Barrett's 82 helped bottom placed North Runcton (200-3) to victory against Old Buckenham A (199-3) by seven wickets.
Garboldisham A (244 all out) stumbled in their Division Four promotion charge despite Matt Allin's 87 as Hardingham (253-8) took the spoils – Brendan Scott top scoring with 62. Sheringham (308-3) took their opportunity to close the gap with a 116-run win over Hethersett & Tas Valley (192 all out). David King hit 152no for Sheringham whilst Richard Ellis (74) top scored for Tas Valley. Simon Mann hit 128 as Rocklands (244-3) enjoyed a seven-wicket win over Mundford (242-6) whilst Beccles (202-6) overcame Stow (200-8) by four wickets.
Snettisham (176-1) strengthened their grip on top spot in Division Five thanks to a nine-wicket win over Cromer (174 all out). Tony Park (73no) and Jon Forder (51no) starred with the bat for the leaders although second-placed Hockwold (52-0) kept up the pressure at the top with a 10-wicket victory over Old Catton (51 all out). Matt Allsop (4-7) and Simon Groom (4-9) proving the scourges of Catton. Bottom-placed Bradenham (115-2) have hope in their battle to avoid relegation as they defeated Swardeston CEYMS (114 all out).
Horsford B (177-9) are the new leaders of Division Six after they beat last week's leaders Denver (148 all out) - Chris Browne proving the pick of the bowlers with 4-46.
Dereham A (163-3) gained their third win over the season against Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers A (159-9) - Liam Jarvis top scoring with 60no.