Fakenham one win away from clinching Norfolk Alliance Premier Division crown
Fakenham are one win away from successfully defending their Alliance Premier Division crown.
The team hold a 23-point lead at the summit ahead of tomorrow’s game at second-placed North Runcton and a home meeting against Stow on the final weekend of the season.
Hosting Downham on Saturday, home captain David Coyle lost the toss and his Fakenham side were promptly asked to bat first in bowler-friendly conditions following Friday’s downpours.
Keegan Monahan-Fairlie and John Ewart were charged with the job of dealing with the new ball in what could be difficult conditions.
Monahan-Fairlie, in particular, looked comfortable and was able to score while Ewart struggled as overseas player, Fletcher Coutts, and George Bruce, 15, were both too quick for him.
Ewart survived 12 overs before finally being put out of his misery by Joss Stuart for seven.
Ben Harvey and Monahan-Fairlie continued to move the score along steadily as Fakenham reached 60-1 off 20.
Monahan-Fairlie (41) finally departed when Downham realised that they just needed to bowl an off-spinner at him.
Luke Caswell arrived at the crease and both he and Harvey, just as they had done the previous week, were happy manipulating singles, building on the good start, and setting a base for a later flourish.
A partnership of 40 ended when Caswell was adjudged leg-before-wicket, off Corbett, for 20.
The platform was set, and Will Dunger was the man given responsibility for capitalising and again he did, a run-a-ball 47 beforeHarvey’s departure for a well-made 36.
The wicket brought big-hitting Billy Buckingham to the crease and he smoked 50 off 40 balls as Fakenham stormed to 240-6.
Unlike the previous few weeks, Fakenham got off to a solid start with the ball, Buckingham taking an early wicket, and he and Caswell restricted Downham to 40-1 off 15.
Lloyd Marshall picked up an early wicket and Oscar Campbellbounced out Ian Simmonds and Downham were 80-3 off 25.
However, Patrick Yates and Fletcher Coutts, Downham’s two best players, were at the crease.
Fakenham went for the jugular and Coyle introduced himself to bowl in tandem with Caswell, who immediately repaid the confidence shown by having Coutts stumped by a surprisingly-energetic Ewart.
Coyle accounted for Yates (53) and the potentially dangerous Stuart second ball to all but assure victory.
Fakenham eventually won by 44 runs with Coyle 3-27, Buckingham 1-33 to add to his 50, Caswell 2-28, Marshall 1-41 and Campbell 1-33.