North Runcton edge out Brooke in low-scoring Norfolk Alliance affair
North Runcton maintained their push for a top-three finish going into the final weekend of the Norfolk Alliance season after edging out Brooke in a low-scoring encounter.
After heavy overnight rain, North Runcton skipper Ben Coote made the brave decision to bat first in this Premier Division clash.
It was justified by a quick opening stand of 33 in just six overs between Alexander Payne and Ben Skipper.
However, first-change bowler George Hooper bowled Skipper for 14 and Rob Setchell then had Mark Skipper brilliantly caught at slip by Jayden Borges for three before Hooper struck again with Jasper Payne being caught-behind for a duck to leave the visitors at 41-3 off 10 overs.
Harvey Cross joined Alexander Payne and they added 55 before Cross was caught for 26.
Payne succumbed to overseas bowler Nipuna Gamage, caught by Borges for a hard-hit 56 with three boundaries and four maximums.
Lucas Triffitt, batting at six, made 18 and Kirwin Christoffels just two; both victims of Gamage who finished with excellent figures of 4-17 from his 10-over spell.
Coote 18 and Sam Phillips 11 added a few more and, after losing Hazel run-out for two, it left Jack Major stranded without scoring and Runcton all out for 162 in the 41st over with a below-par score.
However, they fought back well with opening bat Borges falling leg-before-wicket to Christoffels for a duck in the second over.
Ben Baldwin and James Cross took the score to 30 before the latter was caught by Jasper Payne for 16, bowled by Ben Coote.
In extraordinary fashion, Ben Baldwin, facing a free-hit for a no-ball, smashed the ball to Harvey Cross set off for one but did not make ground with an excellent throw from Cross for 16.
Facing his first ball, overseas player Nipuna Gamage hit the ball well, took one and ran for a second but did not make ground quick enough before being run-out by Jasper Payne to leave the home team at 40-4 off 17 overs.
Robbie Bridgstock and Ali Shearer steadied the ship and at drinks had taken the score to 88-4.
A change directly after drinks saw Sam Phillips dismiss Bridgstock, caught-and-bowled for 26, Thomas Robson bowled for nought, and Lewis Reader caught by Christoffels for one as Phillips returned the figures of 3-30 off seven overs.
In between, Ali Shearer was caught by Ben Skipper off Jack Major for 26 leaving the home side at 100-8.
A good knock from Adam Robson, accompanied by Robert Setchell, took the score to 124 before Robson was caught-behind by Hazel off Coote for 17.
Setchell made 24 not out and, with George Hooper, took the score to 147 before he became the third run-out victim following a direct hit from Coote for five.
Christoffels 1-21 of 7.4 overs, Coote 2-38 off 10, Triffitt 0-16 off 10 with five maidens, Major 1-31 off 10, Jasper Payne 0-8 off 3 made up the rest of the Runcton bowling figures.
North Runcton end their campaign with a home game against Bradfield tomorrow, hoping that Downham Stow slip up against Garbolidisham, as they look to secure a third-place finish.