Norfolk Alliance leaders North Runcton defeat A10 rivals Downham Town
Norfolk Alliance Premier
lost to North Runcton
by 5 wickets
North Runcton maintained their slender lead at the top of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division by dispatching of A10 rivals Downham on Saturday.
A convincing five-wicket victory at the Memorial Field saw North Runcton remain a point clear of second-placed Fakenham, who defeated Norwich, while Stow moved up to third after
Downham looked to be heading for a sub-century total, but thanks to brothers Ashleigh Corbett, Dom Corbett and Robert Hootton they bolstered the total to 132 off 46.1 overs.
Excellent bowling from Kirwin Christoffels (2-14), Josh Ring (0-19), Ben Skipper (2-24), removing both Ian Harrison and Fletcher Coutts clean-bowled, Michael Annakin (1-17) and an expensive Jack Major (3-53) restricted the hosts.
Two catches from Andrew Barrett and two from Josh Ring and run-outs by Ring and Mark Skipper capped a good fielding performance for the visitors.
In reply, North Runcton's Christoffels was the first to go, leg-before-wicket to Fletcher Coutts for 34.
Mark Skipper the pick of the Runcton batsmen and Jack Major took the score to 71 before Major was out trying to hook Coutts.
Coutts (2-30) continued to try to intimidate the visitors with some short-pitched and mainly erratic bowling and after Skipper (40 off 50 balls) hit him for two square-cut fours was replaced by the pick of the Downham fast bowlers George Bruce 2-25.
Credit also went to Dom Corbett (1-30) with a variety of spin bowling.
North Runcton lost further wickets Freeman, leg-before-wicket and Barrett, caught off his chest, as decisions appeared to go against the title-chasing visitors.
However Ben Skipper (14 not out) followed up an excellent bowling performance with a crisply his four to win the match.
North Runcton, who host Stow on Saturday, picked up 23 points while Downham, who travel to Fakenham in another West Norfolk derby, collected just three.