Norfolk League round-up: Champions elect aided by nearest challengers’ slip-up

Parts of Sprowston's pitch ended up resembling a boating lake after heavy rainfall on Sunday. Pictur

Parts of Sprowston's pitch ended up resembling a boating lake after heavy rainfall on Sunday. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth lost ground in their desperate attempt to cling onto the coat tails of Division One leaders Martham.

Fakenham's Emily Woodhouse taking a catch in their West Norfolk Division Three match against Snetti

Fakenham's Emily Woodhouse taking a catch in their West Norfolk Division Three match against Snettisham. Picture: Ronnie Heyhoe - Credit: Archant

The league's second place team lost their sixth match in twelve on Saturday as they fell 13 runs short against Belton. Harry Chanchalani's 5-25 put paid to Yarmouth's hopes of chasing down 136, which owed a lot to Adam Savoury's ability to carry his bat for 60.

Martham were made to work hard for their two-wicket win against bottom side East Harling. Yet it was a victory that leaves them a mammoth 89 runs clear at the top and seemingly well on the way to the title.

Horsford B sit third, four points behind Yarmouth, but their challenge to finish in the runners-up slot wasn't helped by a five-wicket reverse against Happisburgh. Sakib Shaib (52) and Dave Masdin's unbeaten 84 had powered their team to 191-4. But it wasn't enough as Carl Allen (52) and Rob Breeze (72) saw their team to glory with half of their men not needing to bat.

Near the bottom, it was a weekend to remember for Norwich Bystanders as they thumped Cringleford Lodge by 77 runs. Chris Asque struck 61 while Steve Andrews did the damage with the ball claiming fine figures of 6-29.

In Division Two, Felthorpe remain three points ahead of Blundeston who slumped to a shock 108-run defeat against Drayton. Rohan Humar (5-26) was the chief architect in the championship challengers' downfall as they were skittled for 60.

Jack Buckmaster bagged an unbeaten century to keep up Garboldisham B's hopes of overhauling Costessey at the top of Division Three. They remain just nine points off the summit.

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And in Division Four there was yet another win for Reepham & Salle after they set Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers B the daunting task of chasing 203 for victory. North Elmham in second lost to Swanton Morley.

'Rivals can't be separated as epic east coast derby ends in a tie'

Halvergate and Great Yarmouth A shared the spoils in a hot and humid Division Five derby.

Home skipper Graham Harrop won the toss and decided to bat on a hard and dry wicket hoping that his troops could improve their batting and set a competitive total. James Howley and Ben Key opened against some tight bowling from the Yarmouth bowlers. Howley went for five but Jason Brister started to move Halvergate forward, until he was caught behind for 19.

Steve Utting (13) supported Ross Sanders (62 not out) in a 42-run partnership and the latter continued to move the score along whilst he lost Graham Morris (1), Danny Cook (2), Matt Beck (0) and Adam Pitchers (1) before Harrop saw the innings through to the close as the home side ended on 132-8. Paul Kitchen took 3-16 and Robert Silverwood 3-40.

After a great tea, the Hares took to the field with something to bowl at, but needed a tight display. Cook supplied a wicket with the score on 14. A steady flow of runs and wickets saw the visitors move towards the target at 112-6 and needing just 21 runs to win from seven overs.

Matt Sole was finally out for 63 and some tight Halvergate bowling saw the score creep along to 125. Martin Manning added a quick-fire 12 and the scores were level with nine balls to go – and just one wicket remaining.

Manning defended a straight delivery from James Howley only to see the ball roll on to his stumps and dislodge the bails, leaving Halvergate to secure 16 points and Yarmouth 15, from a match that was tied. Another five-wicket haul from Harrop (5-27) was the highlight of his side's bowling display.

Other star performers across the league's lower reaches were John Nash – who scored a massive 114 not out for Division Six Brisley – and Chris Woods. He registered an unbeaten 101 as Division Eight Beetley won again.

This Saturday they thumped basement boys Hethersett & Tas Valley C by nine wickets.

The star man with the ball was the bottom tier's George Caplin. He claimed superb figures of 5-25. Not far behind was Division Seven's David Read who bagged 5-46 while in action for Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway A.