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Change of captain at Fakenham CC

PUBLISHED: 12:02 19 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:28 16 September 2010

Relegation fears increased for Fakenham as they crashed to an eight-wicket home defeat by East Anglian Premier Cricket League leaders Cambridge Granta against a weekend background of a change of captaincy.

Relegation fears increased for Fakenham as they crashed to an eight-wicket home defeat by East Anglian Premier Cricket League leaders Cambridge Granta against a weekend background of a change of captaincy.

RAF duties in Afghanistan are taking Sean Cooper off the local cricket scene until late May next year, and before Saturday's game at Highfield Lawn he revealed that Stephen Gray is the new skipper with Ben Harvey his vice-captain, writes John Cushion.

Cooper could do little to help his side in his last game of the season as Granta asked them to bat first then had them dismissed for 74 in 38.3 overs, the new captain top scoring with 20 as Gary Park found conditions to his liking, claiming six for 25. Opener Sean Park hit 59 in Granta's winning 76 for two.

The points gap between bottom side Halstead and Fakenham is reduced to 13 with four matches to go.

Fakenham are left with Horsford (a), Mallards (h), Swardeston (h) and Great Witchingham (a).

Cooper explained that, with five games to go, it was felt time to look at Stephen Gray and Harvey as the leadership duo.

He admitted that work had stopped him giving everything he wanted to as skipper and thanked especially director of cricket Colin Brassett for his support.

“It's the right time to give the younger players a go, and winning the Carter Cup last weekend is a good way to go,” said Cooper.

Of the new leadership, he said: “They can bring new ideas, new enthusiasm and a fresh input.”

In the club's three-year plan he had intended to stand down next year. This second year was meant to be one of EAPL consolidation with a mid-table finish.

But Cooper said with many unavailabilities, and a certain lack of commitment from some players, that had not happened.

He described the Carter Cup win as one of the highlights of his career. “It showed what the side is capable of doing, but we need to do that week in, week out.”

He said on his return, without the captaincy, he would be able to expand his game and bowl a lot more.

“And I think I will still be playing when we win the EAPL,” he said, concluding with a big thank you to all who had backed him at Fakenham.

Fakenham hopes of promotion from Alliance Division Two were dealt a blow by the weather as they were rained off at Downham.

n Saturday they visit Garboldisham.

In the West Norfolk League, the Division Two side made 130 to Denver's 131 for four.

The fourth division side beat Gooderstone by six wickets. John Sadler took four for 39 as Gooderstone were bowled out for 143, then Harry Blackiston (58no) and Will Dunger (65no) led the charge to a winning 144 for four.

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