Fakenham Town lose grip on top spot in Norfolk Alliance Premier Division
An abject display of bowling and fielding, coupled with an inability to build on a good start with the bat, led to Fakenham suffering a surprise loss to lowly Garboldisham.
Having successfully won the toss, again, Fakenham immediately opted to bat on a day and wicket that positively screamed runs.
Keegan Monahan-Fairlie and John Ewart continued their recent good form, setting a great platform to start the innings with an 85-run partnership off 21 overs.
Fairlie departed for 32, caught-and-bowled, which slightly stalled Fakenham’s progress.
Ewart was now beginning to find his stride, however, and was striking the ball ominously well, en route to 61 off 71 balls before chasing a wide ball and offering the keeper a catch.
At 105-2 off 29 overs, Fakenham had only scored 20 runs off the last nine overs and had lost their early momentum.
While Ben Harvey and Luke Caswell were looking assured at the crease, in the face of accurate bowling, there was a definite feeling that 250 was a minimum required score on what was a very good batting track.
The pair took the score to 185 before Caswell (47) was bowled in the 44th over.
Harrison Futter (7), Olly Hall (2) came and went in search of quick runs, before a late burst from Lloyd Marshall (12 off six balls) saw the team finish on 226-5 with Harvey making 51 not out.
Fakenham’s bowling has often been their strength.
Discipline, accuracy and tight fielding have become standard practice, just not in this innings, however.
From start to finish Fakenham were scruffy and wayward.
Bad ball followed bad ball, poor fielding followed poor fielding and 46 extras is the highest conceded for more than three years and, with 35 wides compared to Garboldisham’s eight, it was easy to see where the game went.
Despite a three-wicket burst from Billy Buckingham, Fakenham were never really able to build pressure at any time as Garby went at over four-an-over throughout.
At 100-4 off 25 there was still a chance for Fakenham and, when that became 145- 5 off 38, 82 off 12 were required and Fakenham were finally in a position to sense victory.
Garboldisham’s Danny Cash, 56 off 73, had other ideas, however.
Despite Marshall (3-46) taking three quick wickets at the end, Cash, in conjunction with number 11, Phil King, saw Garby over the line by one wicket in a game that owed as much to Fakenham’s tardiness in all departments as it did to the opposition’s excellent chase.
The loss puts Fakenham back into second spot behind North Runcton by a mere two points, but the players will have to perform a lot better at Norwich at the weekend if the team want to retain their Premier Division crown this season.
The match was sponsored by North Norfolk Roofing, with ball sponsorship courtesy of Countrywide Joinery Ltd.
Fakenham 2nds defeated Rocklands by 37 runs after Pete Matthews 73 and Jack Ashford 54 got the innings off to a fine start before finally scoring 194-6 off their 45 overs.
In reply, a 4-13 spell from Harvey Osborne led the way to another straightforward win for the side.
Fakenham 3rds saw their fixture cancelled by the opposition, who were unable to raise a side.