Norfolk Alliance: Topcroft all-rounder makes Division One leaders Dereham suffer
- Credit: Ian Burt
Division One leaders Dereham had a day to forget at relegation threatened Topcroft – but remain 10 points clear at the top as rivals Horsford A also struggled.
Chasing a modest total of 173, the visitors collapsed to 96 all out as Greg Rostron followed up his important knock of 51 with figures of 4-25.
It was also a tough day for the batsmen as second placed Horsford A took on fellow high-flyers Acle, who ended up winning a low scoring game after being dismissed for just 85. That paltry total featured an excellent unbeaten knock of 45 from opener Geoff Handley which turned out to be absolutely crucial as the hosts struggled just as much in reply. They eventually fell an agonising three runs short of their target, with Joe Flatt claiming 4-28. Tom Alexander had earlier claimed a hat-trick for Horsford.
At the end of an eventful day Acle had closed the gap on the promotion places to just three points, with Lowestoft also within touching distance following a comfortable eight wicket win over an Ashmanaugh and Barton Wanderers side who are in grave danger of being relegated for the second year running.
Wanderers had a centurion in the shape of Jordan Everett (116) but collapsed from 141-1 to 216 all out and that was nowhere near enough. Tom Brice, who had earlier taken a hat-trick in figures of 5-31, made an unbeaten 54, while Will Brice was also there at the end on 75.
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In the top flight Brooke moved back to the top by a single point as they saw off Cromer with more than 10 overs to spare while Sprowston were sneaking past North Runcton.
Overseas star Mike Jones was the main man for the new leaders, making 100 not out as they got home with five wickets to spare chasing a decent total of 235-8. The match also featured three half centuries, from Cromer's Matthew Warnes (78) and Tatenda Chiradza (52) and Brooke's Rob Setchell (63). Sprowston defended 204-7, but only just, with Runcton finishing on 202-7 in their 50 overs.
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Champions Fakenham were missing several key players and it showed as they were thrashed at third-placed Garboldisham to remain too close to the relegation zone for comfort. Kieran Pask took 5-26 as they were dismissed for just 71, with the hosts then knocking off the runs required without loss in just 11.3 overs. Fakenham would have found themselves in the bottom two on Saturday night had second from bottom Diss not come unstuck.
Swardeston A gave their own survival hopes a boost when they dismissed their South Norfolk rivals for 149 before sealing victory by six wickets, with youngsters Flynn Drinkell (55no) and Alfie Cooper (25no) seeing them home.
Downham moved up to fourth as Jack Gould's unbeaten 52 saw them through to a hard-fought win when chasing Old Buckenham's 216-7.
Former Norfolk openers Carl Rogers and Carl Amos went head to head in Division Two, with both men rising to the occasion in an entertaining match between the second teams of Great Witchingham and Vauxhall Mallards.
Rogers was the first to shine, maintaining his impressive summer with a score of 90 as the Witches set a tough target of 257-6 in their 45 overs. In reply Amos also sparkled but his 83 was in a losing cause, with Mallards going down by 42 runs after being dismissed for 215. The bowling star? You've guessed it, Rogers with 6-36!
Bradfield still lead the way by three points from Witchingham following a comfortable 79-run success over Beccles. Half centuries from Ollie Kimber and Jez Wright helped them up to 232-6, with Beccles then being bowled out for 153 in reply. Hethersett and Tas Valley are level on points with the Witches after making 237-6 (Ian Bryce 114)and then skittling Saham Toney out for just 89.
While Fakenham's first team were struggling badly there were no such problems for the seconds, who recorded a superb 10-wicket win over Swardeston B. They had a solid total of 217-8 to chase but made light work of it thanks to the excellent batting of Harrison Futter (101no) and Harry Bammant (114no).
In Division Three Winterton were given a good game by lowly Bungay despite getting all the way up to 285-4 (Louis Stronach 103, Devon Brannigan 75).
Their opponents put in a spirited chase, with David Fuller (104) leading the way, but ended up 35 runs short with eight down.
Division Four leaders Garboldisham A suffered a six wicket defeat after being bowled out for 127 by Martham, for whom Simeon Randall took 4-28.
Martham are now just 11 points off top spot.
Best of the rest
• Premier Division: Diss - Chris Cooper 82no; Old Buckenham - Matt Bint 65, Rob Thurley 59; Swardeston A - Sam Thelwell 5-43.
• Division One: Horsford A - Peter Minns 4-36; Mattishall - Gordon Chetwood 62, Kristian Fletcher 52, Jason Cole 50no; Norwich A - Chris Borrett 108, Sanjay Mishra 94, Yathesraj Kailainatham 4-9; Stow - Lloyd Richmond 4-44.
• Division Two: Beccles - George Milton 50; Bradenham - Will Dewing 4-14; Fakenham A - Oscar Campbell 6-44; Swardeston B - Will Kidner 86, Ben Chapman 64.
• Division Three: Acle A - Neil Moggan 51, Paul Newman 50no; Downham A - Jason Porter 91, Ian Simmonds 56; Great Melton - Richard Wood 83, Jason Whiddett 58; Swaffham - Jasper Payne 55no, Mark Eagle 53.
• Division Four: Dersingham - Pete Brassett 7-24; Great Melton A - Tim Hales 52; Hethersett and TV A - Tom Osborn 101, Stephen Hayes 68, Sam Morton 7-20; Sheringham - David King 93.
• Division Five: Bircham - Shaun Fisher 102no; Bradenham A - Mike Taylor 50; Mattishall A - Aaron Garner 98; Cromer A - Alan Lithins 128.
• Division Six: Dereham A - Neil Irons 5-15, Phil Rowe 61; Diss A - Andy Horobin 60; Hales & Loddon - Sam Ford 4-29; Happisburgh - Robert Breeze 53; Horsford B - Chris Browne 65; Topcroft A - Mike Talbot 4-27.