Norfolk Cricket Alliance: Sprowston continue resurgent Premier Division form
- Credit: James Bass
Sprowston continued their resurgent form in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division with a winning draw against league leaders Downham Town.
The previous week Sprowston had beaten high-flying Old Buckenham to leave Lowestoft Town cut adrift at the foot of the table.
They continued that good form against Downham on Saturday despite getting off to a nightmare start, as they were reduced to 6-3 and then 27-4.
Partnerships of 61 between Rob Purton and Sam Hales and then 50 between Purton, who top scored with 76, and Andy Hanby saw the home side recover well to post a competitive score of 180-9. Alex Stuart took five wickets and Paul Harwood three wickets for Downham.
In reply, the league leaders were reduced to 66-5 before a partnership of 34 between Dom Tulett and Ashleigh Corbett was followed with a seventh-wicket partnership between Corbett (46) and captain Lancaster.
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In the end eight runs were needed off the final over and Lancaster blocked out a maiden to secure a draw for his side. Ryan Pearce bowled superbly to collect four wickets for Sprowston.
Fakenham failed to take advantage of Downham's slip though, losing by 22 runs at Swardeston A, who were all out for 195, with an unbeaten 61 from Ian Tufts leading the way.
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Dan Martin then took 4-24 for the home side as Fakenham were bowled out for 173.
Third-placed Old Buckenham also failed to fully capitalise on their chance, taking 14 league points for a winning draw at North Runcton.
Old Bucks finished on 203-6, with Rob Thurley scoring 60, but Runcton survived their overs on 184-9 to see four wickets from Rob Austin for the visitors fail to lead to an outright win.
An unbeaten 51 from Otto Esse saw Division One leaders Stow claim home victory against Topcroft but second-placed Brooke kept up the pressure by beating Garboldisham by six wickets.
Garboldisham were all out for 88 in 27 overs, with Ben Stone taking 6-23, the best figures for a Brooke bowler since 2008. The visitors then reached 91-4 in 20 overs.
Great Witchingham A have pulled further clear at the top of Division Two after a comfortable victory at Downham A.
The home side made 175-5 but the Witches reached 176-6 to claim the win, with Ben Briggs scoring an unbeaten 63.
With second-placed Dereham losing at Hethersett & Tas Valley, the Witches are now 18 points clear at the top of the table.
Andy Kerling scored 61 for Division Three leaders Thetford in an eight-wicket home win against Narborough. That has opened up a 42-point gap at the top for the leaders, with Vauxhall Mallards A up to second after an eight-wicket home win against Dersingham.
Brooke A remain in control of the Division Four title race after a 53-run home victory against Garboldisham A.
Second-placed Great Melton A also picked up 25 league points after a huge 245-run win at Hales & Loddon, who they bowled out for just 57 after scoring 302-5, and have a game in hand on the leaders.
Old Catton continued their march to the Division Five title with a four-wicket win at Mattishall A. Peter Young took four wickets for the leaders as the home side were bowled out for 100 and reached 101-6 to stretch their lead to 54 points at the top of the table.
Diss A have closed the gap to leaders Lowestoft Town A to 20 points in Division Six after the leaders were heavily beaten at Cromer A when bowled out for just 83 after the home side had scored 273-5.
Diss A took full advantage with a 37-run win at Bradenham A after Dan Williman batted the whole innings for 86 to help set a total of 171-6 for the visitors.
John Read (30) and Greg Caffyn (27) gave the home side some hope but they both fell to John Rogers, whose four wickets did most of the damage to bowl Bradenham out for 134 and claim the victory.