An unbroken seventh-wicket stand from captain Duncan Lanchester and Ash Corbett saw Downham keep in touch with the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division leaders with a four-wicket win over Vauxhall Mallards.

Town won the toss and asked Mallards to bat first on a wet Brundall pitch. Carl Amos and Matthew Hague made 80 before Town made the breakthrough when Brenton Wright sneaked one through Amos’ defence.

Paul Harwood accounted for Hague, well caught by Pat Yates and Wright trapped Pete Free lbw and, with the help of a smart stumping from Rob King, dismissed Steve Goldsmith.

Addam Todd clean bowled Ian Kermode and Richard Goodenough and Harwood ran through the Mallards lower order in a three-over spell that yielded four wickets for two runs as he collected five wickets to bowl out the home side for 143.

With the pitch doing a few odd things Town struggled to 61-5. With Todd (43) still at the crease, Lanchester scored quickly but when he lost his partner, at 82-6, he took a secondary role as CGM Group Man of the Match Corbett marked his return to the first team, finding the boundary with ease.

Corbett saw Town home with a belligerent 48, including four big sixs. Lanchester finished on 32. A delighted Lanchester said: “Mallards had a strong team out, possibly the strongest they have ever put out in our league.

“To come away with 22 points was a top result. Asking them to bat and then seeing them on 80 for no wicket seemed a bad decision.

“We followed that by asking for the heavy roller at tea, as the wet pitch was full of holes, and with five wickets down, it seemed an even worse decision.

“But we do bat a fair way down so anything is always possible.

“Ash Corbett played very positively and although he and I have a bit of history with regards to me running him out, it all worked out well in the end and with 20 overs to spare.”

An 88-run second-wicket stand between Neil Gromett (56) and Jack Gould (54no) helped Downham Town Seconds (173-4) to a six-wicket win over Fakenham Seconds (169-6) in Division Two.