Norfolk Alliance Division Three
Downham ‘A’ (9 points) lost to Swaffham (25) by 2 wickets
Downham ‘A’ 201-10 in 42.2 overs (C. Sharp 27, A. Corbett 77, T. Puckey 8-1-28-3, J. Payne 12-1-61-2, M. Dye Snr 11.2-1-33-5). Swaffham 205-8 in 44.3 overs (M. Eagle 13, Puckey 12, C. Upton 23, Payne 66, M. Dye Jnr 21, D. Annakin 12*).
Swaffham made it four wins out of four with a narrow victory over local rivals Downham.
Skipper Mark Eagle won the toss and elected to bowl first and his decision was vindicated as the hosts were soon reduced to 28-3 after Tom Puckey claimed two wickets, one caught by Maurice Dye and the other bowled via the inside edge. Jasper Payne claimed the other; thanks to Brockman-Smith taking a sharp chance in the slips.
The innings was changed by a partnership between Downham wicketkeeper Sharp and captain Corbett. Corbett, who was dropped in the slips when he was on 0, looked a class above his teammates as he regularly crashed the bowling to the boundary. The introduction of the dependable Dye Snr again proved decisive as he removed Sharp and then proceeded to slow the run rate.
Payne returned to have the impressive Corbett caught behind for 77 as Downham were reduced to 135-5. Payne continued to bowl unplayable deliveries without any luck. Fortunately Dye continued to take wickets at regular intervals and ended up with another five-wicket haul. Puckey returned to have Dungay caught, one-handed, by Brockman-Smith in the slips.
Eagle and Puckey opened and saw Swaffham off to a steady start against the consistent lines of the Downham opening bowlers. However, both were dismissed to leave Swaffham at a precarious 43-2.
Nonetheless, Payne joined Chris Upton and for the fourth week running he dispatched the bowling to all parts as he scored his fourth half century in succession with 66 off only 35 balls! After his dismissal Swaffham trickled towards the total losing wickets regularly, but not regularly enough to put Downham in control. Swaffham reached their target with over five overs to spare with notable contributions coming from Michael Dye and David Annakin who helped see their side home.
Swaffham move 17 points clear at the top of Division 3 and will hope to make it five wins out of five when Acle ‘A’ visit on Saturday.
MoM: Jasper Payne for his combined efforts with bat (66) and ball (2-61).
Memorial game: Bernie Brown XI vs Richard Watson XI
Swaffham players past and present turned out in numbers for the annual memorial game at Myer’s field on Sunday. Bernie (a policeman for over 30 years) and Richard (a final year university student) both died tragically in separate car incidents 12 and nine years ago respectively.
A reduced overs game saw a rare triumph for the Bernie XI although victory was irrelevant on such a day of remembrance. Colin Yates (MBE), a former cricketer at Swaffham and friend of Bernie and Richard, made some heartfelt words at the tea interval.
Many ‘refreshments’ were enjoyed throughout the day as tales of past friends and family-members were regaled. The day put into perspective that cricket, and life is just a game and everyone should cherish every moment they have.