Harvey Wardle, left, hit an unbeaten 153 for Denver in Division Five of the Norfolk Alliance, sharing a 256-run unbroken second-wicket stand with Neil Gromett, right, who scored 110 in the 309/1 total.Picture: SUBMITTED.

CRICKET: Denver enjoyed a run-laden day as they romped to a 153-run win over Swardeston CEYMS in Division Five of the Norfolk Alliance on Saturday.

The opening partnership of Harvey Wardle and James Harper took the score to 53 before Harper was caught. 

That turned out to be the only wicket to fall as Wardle carried his bat with some wonderful stroke play for an unbeaten 153, including 19 fours and two sixes. 

Partner Neil Gromett continued his recent run of form, scoring 110 not out from 96 balls, including 16 fours in a CGM Men of the Match partnership of 256 as the innings closed on 309-1.

Swardeston lost both their openers with only four runs on the board and, despite the dogged efforts of Kevin Cooper, who defended for the next 40 overs on his way to scoring 90, their innings ended on 156-4. 

Fakenham leap-frogged visitors North Runcton into top place in the Premier Division with a resounding 72-run victory. 

An excellent all round bowling and fielding display restricted the hosts with Michael Annakin (1-22 off 10 overs) the most economical bowler and Josh Ring (4-52) and Jack Major (2-38) the main wicket takers. 

A quick-fire half century from Harry Bammant (50), lusty blows from Lloyd Marshall (25) and some last-over hitting from captain David Coyle (22) boosted Fakenham to 206/9.

That total should have been within Runcton’s reach but a lack of experience saw them lose wickets regularly with the final one falling at 134 with 10 overs left.

They badly needed a player to anchor the innings after losing Kirwin Christoffels stumped off a wide for 30. 

Nick Freeman was the pick of the batsmen with 44 and did his best to give stability, staying until becoming the last to fall in the 39th over.

Fakenham’s bowling attack was the best Runcton have faced with Marshall taking four wickets, backed up by Coyle and Luke Caswell, while wicket keeper Ben Harvey took three catches and a stumping. 

Downham moved to within a point of their West Norfolk rivals in third place, with a 35-run win at Diss.

Openers Ian Harrison (64) and Jason Porter (39) got the visitors off to a solid start before Fletcher Coutts entered the fray to strike 102.

Wickets tumbled after that with Downham reaching the end of their overs with 256/7 to their name as Robert Tooke kept them on their toes with 4-60.

Diss’ reply was stuttering with only an unbeaten 101 from Tooke keeping their hopes alive. Coutts (3-31) and Joss Stuart (3-40) ensured a steady flow of batsmen to the crease as Diss ran out of overs on 221/8.

Stow fell to a three-wicket defeat at Brooke. After losing their first two wickets with only 14 runs on the scoreboard, George Cook (60) led a middle-order recovery, aided by Ben Wilcox (37), Finlay Wilcox (22) and Tom Davey (20) as the visitors reached 197.

Brooke knocked off the required runs with almost eight overs in hand, reaching 202/7.

Jonathan Forder’s six-wicket haul helped secure Snettisham a 63-run success against Fakenham Seconds in Division Four.

Lewis Jeavons (66) and Kieran Herbert (44) propelled the hosts to 224/7 before Forder took centre stage, taking 6-28 and adding a run-out for good measure as Fakenham’s reply was restricted to 161/8.