CRICKET: North Runcton came so close to beating Fakenham in the Premier Division of the Norfolk Alliance, losing by just eight runs.
Rain meant a late start and it was gloomy light when the low-scoring match eventually finished at 8.35pm.
Fakenham lost three early wickets before Harry Bammant (48) and Luke Caswell (78no) contributed a 99-run partnership.
The visitors were reasonably pleased with their efforts to restrict Fakenham to 200, with wickets shared by Kirwin Christoffels (1-62), Josh Ring (1-20), Michael Annakin
(1-19), Jack Major (2-35), Will Means (1-18) and a run out.
Good opening spells from Lloyd Marshall and Luke Caswell restricted runs without any early wickets. However, the introduction of Ed Laslett (4-27) and Paul Lough
(2-36) had instant success, with Christoffels (19), Michael Crisp (10) and Ben Skipper (5) all falling.
A fine half century was the highlight of the visitors’ early innings with Mark Skipper scoring 58 off 78 balls. With George Rawlings (20), he added 55 for the fourth wicket before Rawlings spooned a catch.
Ben Coote and Skipper took the score to 109/4 and then two 6s in one over for Coote saw the pair push to 132 in just three overs. Laslett removed Skipper clean bowled and two balls later Major was caught behind, leaving Runcton at 132/6. Coote went for 25 at 150/7. With six overs left, Runcton needed to score another 51 and Means (26 off 31 balls) and Phoenix Sherry (17no off 13) scored well but fell eight runs short with Means out off the last ball.
There was better news for Runcton Seconds in Division Four, where they beat Horsford Thirds by 55 runs.
Runcton posted 184/4 off their 40 overs. Consistent batting all down the list featured captain Tim Coote’s tidy 41, Darryn Faivelowitz’s positive 36 and an attractive knock of 50 not out from Jacob Lockheart.
When Horsford batted, Lucas Triffitt and Darren Cubitt bowled tidily and bagged an early wicket apiece. Tom Chudley was rewarded with three wickets and Sri Sivaraman finished off the game off with a smart 3-7 off three over.
Downham Stow’s top order were in sparkling form as they romped to a 134-run win over Acle. Openers Ian Harrison (45) and Keith Thomson (31) put on 106 with Ben Wilcox (66) and Fergus Lellman (83) adding 134 for the third wicket. Pat Yates weighed in with an unbeaten 52 at No.5 to help the hosts to 326/5.
Addam Todd (3-39) and Otto Esse (3-17) then led the home attack as Acle were bowled out for 192 inside 37 overs.
• With Denver’s first team’s match against Horsford called off due to a Covid outbreak in their opponents’ camp, focus switched to the seconds and they shone in the spotlight with a 176-run Norfolk League Division 4W win over Mundford.
Denver won the toss and batted first with Stuart Merritt (26) and Alex Hamilton (24) getting them off to a steady start before falling in quick succession.
That brought Lawtronics men of the match Tom Gilbert and Ryan Folker together and they steadily built a partnership, which gained pace as the match wore on. In the end the partnership was worth 183 with Gilbert scoring his maiden century (102 retired) and Folker scoring his maiden half century (55no) as Denver finished their innings on 276/2.
In reply Denver took two early wickets but then hit a wall of defiance in the Mundford batting line-up and it was well in to the second half of the innings before wickets tumbled with Max Merritt (1-18), Sam Dickerson (2-25) and David Chirnside 1-12 breaking the deadlock before Giles Lewis wrapped up the game up with 5-13 from seven overs.
• North Runcton are through to the semi-finals of the Mid Norfolk Sunday Challenge Cup after a 39-run win at Snettisham.
The visitors got off to a poor start, slipping to 20/5 after a catalogue of carelessness and lack of application.
However, led by Angus Williams (32) and an aggressive 39 from Lucas Triffitt, Runcton set a defendable 118.
Snettisham needed only three runs an over to win but were pegged back by Triffitt, who opened with a wicket maiden. Jack Major weaved his off-spin web to snare 5-21 off his eight overs and Owen White proved a thorn in Snettisham’s side with 3-15.
Despite Jamie Wing’s lusty 38, Runcton hung on to earn a semi-final trip to Fakenham on July 18.