Alliance title race going down to the wire
The Norfolk Alliance title race is going right down to the wire with in-form Fakenham threatening to spoil Downham’s stranglehold on the Premier Division.
Premier Division leaders Downham suffered their third defeat in four games at Diss while Fakenham made it eight wins on the bounce to close the gap at the summit to just 16 points.
With just three rounds of matches to be played, everything looks set for a thrilling end to the campaign.
Downham were no match for an in-form Diss side, going down by 38 runs at Rectory Meadow as all-rounder Robert Tooke took centre stage.
He top-scored in a total of 235-6 for the hosts and claimed figures of 4-28 as the reigning champions were restricted to 197-9.
Jack Gould (51) and Ian Harrison (44) led the Downham reply, while skipper Mark Williamson supported Tooke with 4-33.
Fakenham took on an Acle side who had won their previous two matches and came through a tough challenge by four wickets.
Toby Adams made 51 and Yin Lo took 4-29 in an Acle total of 190 and Luke Caswell and Harrison Futter then both made 49, the latter undefeated, as victory was secured with four overs to spare.
Cromer lost to
by three wickets
North Runcton won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Cromer openers T. Davies (89) and F. Sutton (29) found the boundary with ease, reaching 75 in the first ten overs.
The breakthrough came from debutant Harvey Cross who cleverly ran out Sutton.
Runcton’s bowlers took vital wickets at the right times with some exceptional catching, which included a one-handed pluck on the boundary by T. Tansley.
When the dangerous D. Turner (43) was caught in the 40th over, Cromer lost their last four wickets for 25 runs to finish on 252.
The pick of the bowlers was K. Christoffels with 3-33 and J. Ring with 3-32.
Runcton’s reply started poorly as M. Warnes bowled opener M. Skipper with a peach of a delivery in the first over.
They continued to lose wickets as they fell to 50-3 off their first 10 overs.
This brought Nick Freeman to the crease, who despite the scoreboard, played an aggressive innings.
With wickets still falling, Freeman found lower-order partners in the shape of B. Skipper (24) and J. Major (26 not out).
Freeman reached his maiden Alliance Premier century off just 80 balls as Runcton reached their target with two overs to spare.
Ring Associates man-of-the-match Freeman said: “I was so happy to finish not out at the end of the game and see the boys over the line.
“I felt a big score was always around the corner and I’m pleased it came in a winning effort.”
Ball sponsor: Brown & Co.