Norfolk Cricket League: St Andrews keep their nerve to get the three points needed for title

St Andrews are the champions of the Norfolk Cricket League. Picture: Norfolk Cricket League

St Andrews are the champions of the Norfolk Cricket League. Picture: Norfolk Cricket League - Credit: Archant

St Andrews sealed their First Division One title of the Norfolk Cricket League sponsored by Ashburnham Solicitors, after beating Kirkley & Belton to grab the three points they needed to ensure their success.

Saxlingham were bridesmaids for the second time this season, as they thrashed relegated Reepham & Salle by nine wickets, and are eligible to participate in the Norfolk Alliance in 2019.

Caister took third place, Shawn Goodby starring with 101* and 5-29, supported by Ryan Goodby (56) and Paul French (50*) as they beat Narborough. Billy Yarham (64) and Ben Reedman (75*) ensured a nine wicket win for Overstrand over Castle Rising, while Felthorpe remained winless as Southwold beat them.

Relegation issues were still to be decided at Level Two, and Saham Toney dropped down from the West as Mellis thrashed them by 10 wickets. Gillingham went down from East as they lost to Great Yarmouth, Ryan Irvine's 60* seeing them home. Elsewhere in West, Aslam Mohammed hit 71 for Great Melton B in their win, and James Spinks took 4-13 as Beeston won, but it was not enough to deny Castle Acre the runners-up spot as they also won at Sandringham A.

Great Ellingham's James Hawkins hit 51 as they grabbed a consolation win against Gooderstone.

Back in East, there was a high scoring game at Happisburgh where only four wickets fell. Andy Hawes (53), Roger Carpenter (52*) and Bharath Ramakrishna (57) saw Drayton to 232, but James Woolston (66), Richard Voisey (79*) and Wayne Catchpole (62*) saw the hosts home by nine wickets. Rollesby lost to Eaton, but stayed up as Gillingham could not take advantage, while champions Aylsham St Giles beat Wensum, and Halvergate had a walkover against Kirkley and Belton A, who need to seek re-election.

The climax to the NCL season happens on Wednesday as the U9 Softball Finals Day takes place at Horsford, starting at 1pm. Bircham, East Harling, Hales & Loddon, Horsford, Old Buckenham, Reepham & Salle, Snettisham and Sprowston will be competing for the inaugural trophy.

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Thornham beat Beetley in a promotion showdown to seal the best runners-up slot from Three West in the Norfolk Cricket League – Kevin Williamson starring with 50 and 4-8.

North Elmham won thanks to Oli Jaggard (68) and Iain Sinclair (57), while Rocklands were indebted to Andy Thresh (92) and Daniel Paterson (50*) as they won, while Matt Footman's 4-31 helped Castle Rising A to victory.

Greg Evan hit 67 for Martham over in Three East, while Bradley Penton's 5-17 ensured victory for Coltishall. Three Central saw Cringleford Lodge grab the runners-up spot as Jacob Merrill (54*), James Lawes (51*) and Jake Cutter (4-23) starred. They displaced Ketteringham Hall, for whom Sam Birleson (59) and Ben Patrick (60) top scored. Reuben Dalton took 7-34 for New Buckenham and Alex Pattison took 5-37 for Hingham in their wins.

Reepham and Salle A took top spot in Four North as Aldborough lost again. Felthorpe A's Julian Dismore grabbed 119* and Simon Pitkethley 51* in their win over Sprowston C, Shaun Corcoran (56) and Laurence Dou (54) replying.

Brooke B took the Four East title, Simon Cushing's 81 and Clive Bennett's 58 ensuring their win over Old Catton A who had also won promotion. Maj Jawad hit 54 for Southwold A, but Kirstie Macrow (4-26), Michael Boyce (51) and Mark Thompson (56) ensured the win for Great Yarmouth A.

In Four South, Clive Rennie hit 54 for Great Melton C, while Ben Way replied with 52 for Hethersett & Tas Valley C, as they lost by eight runs.

In Four West, Boughton's Ashley Legge cracked 128, supported by Sam Baxter's 59 and Oliver Short's 61* as they overwhelmed Thornham A, for whom Jim Clarke scored 67. Denver also won thanks to Daniel Clifton's 52 and Harvey Wardle's 54.

The Norfolk Cricket League's post-season Captain's Meeting will be held at Drayton Bowls Club on Thursday, September 13, starting at 7pm, and the showpiece Annual Awards Dinner will be held at Hotel Mercure on Friday, October 19, starting at 7pm.

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