Norfolk League round-up: Teen comes to the party as Tas Valley clinch promotion
- Credit: Archant
A 10-run victory for Hethersett & Tas Valley thirds over Lowestoft B prompted a promotion party at Flordon.
The 24-point haul ensured runners-up spot in Division Five of the Norfolk League in a high-scoring match that saw Valley opener and former youth team player Tom Osborn, aged just 14, hit a magnificent unbeaten 173 which included 17 fours and 10 sixes and earned praise from his skipper Dale Clarke.
'Tom's innings was the most complete performance I have seen in my nine years at the club. This was the best match of the season and a great way to gain promotion from Division Five,' Clarke said.
A run-filled match concluded in the gathering gloom as the light faded fast. Valley's total of 261-4 looked to be unassailable, but Lowestoft had other ideas and the match was in the balance until the last few overs when solid bowling restricted the visitors to a reply of 251-6, giving Valley a slender 10-run victory.
The win saw them finish 27 points clear of third placed Frettenham who suffered a final day reversal at the hands of runaway champions Gillingham.
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There were also a string of other fine individual displays as the NCL's fixtures for 2014 came to a close.
Top-flight headlines were taken by Belton's George Savoury, who scored 28 runs and took 3-13, and Alex Ellis (77) and Adam Cory (4-25) of Great Yarmouth.
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Division Two's Connor Ingram (Blundeston) signed off with a mammoth 170 while Caister's Mark Hewitt made it 44 wickets for the season by taking 5-35.
Steve Horner brought his Division Three term to a close by carrying his bat for Costessey. He finished off the year with an impressive haul of 121.
The big scores continued to wrack up in Division Five with batsmen keen to exit the campaign with a bang. Joining teenager Osborn in posting a century were Lowestoft's Ranan (100) and Sprowston's Richard Black (143).
Hingham's Sam Guy hit 117 in Division Eight. Beetley duo Paul Taylor and Keith Daykin both registered half-centuries.
Yet some of the lower tier's best performances came with the ball.
Andy Smith took 4-38 for Garboldisham in Division Six during a match where his team-mate Angus Pringle helped himself to a crisp 42 runs.
Just 24 hours later, another teenager was showing off his talent in the Mid-Norfolk Sunday League. Left-arm leg spinner Cameron Marrable, aged just 14, helped Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers clinch the Division One title by taking eight wickets in their final league match of the season at Aldborough.
The young Wanderers' side included four under-15s and was captained by 18-year-old Jordan Everett. Ashmanhaugh batted first scoring 225-9 (John Ewart scoring 55), then bowled Aldborough out for 98 (Marrable taking 8-29). The other wickets were taken by 14-year-old George Angier and 15-year-old Joe Everett.
'King's latest ton helps Elmham end on a high'
North Elmham ended the season with an emphatic 205-run win over already-relegated Winterton.
The innings was dominated by Grant King unleashing havoc on the opposition with his third century of the season as Elmham posted a massive 305-4 after 45 overs. Elmham's total was also ably assisted by strong contributions from Stephan Malherbe (59) and John Livings (70).
This score could have been much higher but Elmham recognised that Winterton were choosing to give all their youngsters a bowl and reined in their onslaught. Throughout Winterton fielded with great spirit and humour and never let their heads drop despite numerous delays to find balls in the hedges and roads surrounding Elmham's ground.
Youngster Tom Lardner in particular played with great style as his side tried to post a reply when it was their turn to bat. He frustrated Elmham's bowlers for a large chunk of the innings.
After he departed, the main resistance arrived with the visitors' 11th wicket pairing as they took the Winterton score to 100 with some hefty hitting before their resistance of sorts ended.
With several of the Elmham players choosing to cool down with ice bucket challenges post match, Elmham's out-going first team captain Iain Sinclair was able to reflect on a successful period for the club with three promotions in four years.
Elmham join Reepham & Salle in moving up to Norfolk League Division Three next season.