CRICKET: Derby honours went to runaway Norfolk Alliance leaders Downham Town in their clash with Stow.

But it was a close run thing with Town ending their neighbours’ resistance just 13 runs short of victory.

The hosts had Alex Stuart (108) and Jack Gould (72) to thank for the bulk of their 275/7 with Stow captain Otto Esse
(4-75) their main antagonist.

Tom High led the Stow reply with a solid 138 but their victory hopes were dashed when they lost their final wicket with 14 balls to go on 263.

Harrison Gregory (3-66) was the pick of the home bowlers. 

North Runcton remain second, 34 points adrift of Downham, after a 65-run win over Brooke.

Kirwin Christoffels (79) and George Rawlings (54) top-scored in their 247/6 with Jack Major (3-29) then helping send Brooke home for 182.

Downham A went down to a 71-run defeat in Division Two, despite 68 from Paul Harwood, and Bircham also suffered a in Division Three, beaten by 38 runs at Brooke A.

An unbroken seventh wicket stand between Chris Sheehy (95no) and Jonathan Wills (46no) proved to be Bircham’s undoing, helping the hosts post 243/6. Bircham’s reply foundered on 205 with Nathan King (82) starring with the bat.

The day’s second West Norfolk derby, in Division Four, also brought defeat for Stow, this time the A team losing to their North Runcton counterparts.

Stow’s hopes were damaged when Mike Broad retired hurt on 76. Jack Southgate responded manfully with 71 to help the hosts post 209/6 but Tom Tansley (75) and Tim Coote (55) helped guide Runcton home by six wickets.

The Gilmours continued to rattle up the runs for Hockwold with Euan (69) and Joel (64) sharing a big opening partnership against Rocklands.

But it was Roy Bland who top-scored, with 94, in their 270/6. Bland then wrapped up the man of the match honours with 5-17 as Rocklands slipped to 120 all out.

Ryan Twiddy fell five runs short of a century but was still on the winning side as Snettisham saw off hosts Hardingham by 77 runs. Damien Twiddy added 55 and then took 3-18 in the Hardingham reply. Adam Daniels grabbed 4-45 as the hosts were dismissed for 173. 

In Division Five, Denver lost their first game of the season, to Horsford. Put into bat, the visitors made a slow start with some tight Denver bowling from spin twins Joe Manning and Kev Cornwell. 

An excellent partnership of 120 from Will Woodhead (92no) and Sam Lincoln (48) took the Horsford score to 188/4. On a quick outfield, the target looked achievable. However, with seven wickets down for 94 and only Harvey Wardle (42) showing any resistance, a win looked a long way off. 

But Dan Clifton joined Tom Gilbert, making his Alliance debut, to put together an excellent partnership of 58. 

But, with seven runs required from the final over and one wicket remaining, CGM man of the match Gilbert was run out for 50, trying to get back on strike.

Sandringham cruised to a 143-run success at Thetford A in Division Six.

Jack Melton-Doy (77) and Callum Lee (63) laid the foundations with, Ben Melton (48no) and Steve Dobing (44no) sharing an unbroken fourth-wicket stand to help them to 276/3. Thetford failed to reach even half their target, all out for 133 with Kristan Heffer taking 3-37.