Norfolk League round-up: Majestic King reigns with the bat for North Elmham

Man of the match Grant King in full flow for North Elmham on Saturday. Picture: MIKE WYATT/ABIPP

Man of the match Grant King in full flow for North Elmham on Saturday. Picture: MIKE WYATT/ABIPP - Credit: Archant

Mid-tier batsman Grant King showed his higher-level colleagues how it's done by top-scoring during the latest round of fixtures.

King, who plays in Division Four of the eight-league set-up, stroked his way to an outstanding 159 for North Elmham during their impressive 228-run victory over Old Buckenham B. Unsurprisingly, he was named the J D Builders man of the match for his classy knock.

When Olly Hall went for 16 it looked like the Bucks had made a decent decision in sending the hosts into bat first. Just how wrong it was soon became evident with King in particular hitting a number of fours in quick succession to send the fielders scurrying to the boundary edges, at which point the quick single became an easy option for both batsmen.

On and on it went with changes of bowling unable to stem the tide of runs. King was the first to his 50 (eight fours and no sixes), Stephan Malherbe followed with his containing even less fours (four) as all the rest were run. And so it continued. King reached his 100 in 24 more scoring shots, gaining the century with only his second six of the innings.

Eventually Buckenham had some success when Malherbe played a tired looking shot (not surprising, only 24 of his 89 had come in boundaries) to be bowled. King meanwhile continued in the same form, now with James Dagless at the other end, his 150 coming up in another 22 scoring shots.

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It wasn't to continue however as a silly run out saw King dismissed for 159. But he couldn't really complain as he'd been dropped twice and his team still reached 300 without him. The Bucks were skittled for 72 in reply with Roy Websdale taking 3-14. The handsome win leaves Elmham in second place, 14 points ahead of Swanton Morley, with just two games left.

King may have stolen the headlines but there were some outstanding performances at the crease elsewhere. In the Premier Division, Billy Minns hit an unbeaten 82 for Horsford, Great Yarmouth's Steve Hak struck 85, Stuart Hilton of East Harling scored 65 and Happisburgh's Nico Papworth registered 51 not out.

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Two men who pushed King's heroics close were John Allen and David Cook. The former, of Martham, carried his bat for a big 109 while Rollesby's David Cook fell five short of that impressive total. He did, however, claim the prize of the weekend's finest all-round figures by then helping himself to a sensational 7-17 as his side humbled struggling Norwich Bystanders.

Fellow top-flight bowlers Saj Ali (5-30, Belton), Carl Allen (4-37, Happisburgh) and Ryan Sturgess (4-32, Happisburgh) could also go home happy after their performances with the ball on Saturday.

'Fowles destroys Halvergate as Gillingham clinch championship'

Gillingham wrapped up the Division Five title by doing a demolition job on relegation-threatened Halvergate.

The visitors found scoring difficult initially but contributions from the whole top order helped them along. Darren Fowles' unbeaten 44 was key as he cut loose to power the total to 172-6. Despite the late runs, Halvergate fielded well and Perry Kelf took three wickets, with one for Graham Harrop and a first senior wicket for Ben Carver. There were catches for Danny Cook, James Howley and Andy Key.

The hosts' reply began brightly as 16 runs were scored in the first three overs. Yet it all went wrong when James Howley was dismissed for nine causing carnage to ensue. Eight wickets fell for just 18 runs. Wiggs Motor Engineers' man of the match Fowles' 5-14 ripped out the entire middle order as nine Hares' batsmen were all out for ducks.

Credit should be given to Kelf, who witnessed the carnage from the non-striker's end, to bat through the entire innings for 14 not out. But it was nowhere near enough as his team slumped to 35 all-out as Gillingham got their hands on the title with two games to spare.

Halvergate now need to regroup and look to win the last two matches to try and secure their Division Five status. They sit four points behind Great Yarmouth A and 19 ahead of basement boys Norwich Bystanders A.

In Division Six, Acle B racked up an impressive total of 244-3 against Blundeston A with Owen Gooch (48), Jacob Fisher (88) and Vince Cox (74) filling their boots. Joe Flatt's 4-49 was the key components of his side's bowling attack as they dismissed Blundeston A for 147.

Brisley made light work of their 12th win of the season as two no-results continue to be their only dropped points of an impressive campaign. Steve Kay took 4-14 as Rocklands A were restricted to 101. And the champions got over the line for the loss of no wickets with John Nash carrying his bat for 58.

In Division Seven, title-winning Great Ellingham won again while whipping boys Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers C tasted their 11th defeat of a wretched campaign. Division Eight winners Beetley annihilated Hingham A.

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