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North Runcton too strong for Brooke as they open their 2024 account in Norfolk Alliance Premier Division

North Runcton’s Mark Skipper was the toast of the team after making an almost all-run century in Saturday's 10-run victory over Brooke.

Skipper's knock of 105 included just four boundaries in 137 balls.

His stylish contribution to the victory was immense, solidly backed up by Kirwin Christoffels who contributed 51 off 71 balls, the two adding 74 for the second wicket.

Alexander Payne made by his standards a patient 26 off 41 balls. Jacob Lockheart made a decent-looking 12 off 19 before being bowled by ex-Fakenham captain David Coyle (1-40 off 10).

Lucas Triffitt launched two huge sixes in the last over as he made 21 off 13 balls and indeed those runs were needed to keep Runcton’s noses in front on 232 for 7 as Brooke made a a concerted effort for victory in the closing overs of their reply.

Nipuna Gamage with 2-39, Jayden Borges 1-34 and Dilan Sheemar 1-36 took the wickets for the visitors.

In reply, Brooke were soon in trouble with both openers caught-behind by Jack Hazel, one off the bowling of Ben Coote and the other off Christoffels respectively leaving them 21-2 off nine overs.

However, Nipuna Gamage and Dilan Sheemar steadied the ship and took the score to 65 before Michael Annakin took a blinding return catch to remove Sheemar for 15.

Alistair Sheerer joined Gamage and both made efficient half centuries adding 66 for the fourth wicket.

In taking a second spell, Coote bowled Gamage for 58. Hughes went for just 1 caught at mid-off by Ben Skipper off Christoffels and Freddie Royall was trapped leg-before by Jasper Payne for 12 to leave Brooke at 172-6.

Hopes of the visitors winning were dealt a blow when Shearer, caught at mid-off by Jasper Payne was trying to force the run rate off Triffitt for a well-made 56.

The visitors kept going, helped by some indifferent bowling from Runcton, wides contributing 22 for the whole innings but several helped towards the end of the Brooke innings.

However, wickets were taken too as the visitors took risks and both Setchell and Grisley fell cheaply to leave Brooke on 208-9.

Coyle and Hooper took the total to 222 before Coyle was bowled by Christoffels for 15 in the last over with four balls remaining.

Coote 3-25, Christoffels 4-50, Jasper Payne 1-29, Triffitt 1-43, Annakin 1-33 Joe Gent 0-32 were the analysis of the home bowlers.

Andrew Lawrence and Luke Caswell during Fakenham's defeat to Garboldisham at the weekend. Picture: Ronnie Heyhoe
Andrew Lawrence and Luke Caswell during Fakenham's defeat to Garboldisham at the weekend. Picture: Ronnie Heyhoe

There was no joy for Fakenham as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat at home to Garboldisham.

A poor batting display cost the hosts who were inserted by the visitors.

Only a fifth-wicket stand between Andrew Lawrence (50) and Luke Caswell (52) gave the score some respectability as Fakenham were bowled out for 184 in 45 overs.

An opening stand of 85 left Fakenham with a mountain to climb and although the host picked up two quick wickets, an unbeaten third-wicket stand of 98 saw the visitors home.

Barsham Brewery MoM: Andrew Lawrence.

Match and match ball sponsor: Norfolk Post and Beam.

Andrew Lawrence on his way to a half-century. Picture: Ronnie Heyhoe
Andrew Lawrence on his way to a half-century. Picture: Ronnie Heyhoe

In Norfolk Alliance Division Two, Fakenham 2nds lost to Horsford 2nds by 14 runs.

But Fakenham 3rds stopped the losing streak with a nine-wicket success over Hockwold in Division Two of the Norfolk League.

Hayden Lough picked up 8 for 21 with the ball as Hockwold were dismissed for 68 before Paul Lough hit an unbeaten 52 to guide his side home.

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