Fakenham need one more win to retain Norfolk Alliance title

PUBLISHED: 07:08 22 August 2019

Fakenham'’s Billy Buckingham puts bat to ball  against Downham Town on Saturday Picture: MIKE WYATT

Fakenham'’s Billy Buckingham puts bat to ball against Downham Town on Saturday Picture: MIKE WYATT

Mike Wyatt ABIPP

An excellent allround performance coupled with favourable results elsewhere has left Fakenham within one win of successfully defending their Norfolk Alliance Premier Division trophy.

After losing the toss Fakenham were promptly asked to bat first in bowler friendly conditions by opponents Downham Town.

Keegan Monahan-Fairlie and John Ewart were charged with the job of dealing with the opening bowlers Fletcher Coutts and 15-year-old George Bruce.

Ewart survived 12 overs before finally being put out of his misery by Joss Stuart for seven. Monahan-Fairlie and Ben Harvey continued to move the score along steadily as Fakenham reached 60-1 off 20 before Monahan-Fairlie finally departed for 41. Luke Caswell arrived at the crease and both he and Harvey, just as they had done the previous week, were happy to set a base for a later flourish.

A partnership of 40 ended when Caswell was adjudged lbw off Corbett for 20. The platform was set, and Will Dunger was the man given responsibility for capitalising and again he did with a run a ball 47. Harvey's departure for a well-made 36 brought big hitting Billy Buckingham to the crease and he sstruck 50 off 40 balls as Fakenham stormed to 240-6 off their 50 overs.

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In reply Buckingham took an early wicket and he and Caswell restricted Downham to 40-1 off 15. Lloyd Marshall picked up a wicket, Oscar Campbell immediately bounced out Ian Simmonds and Downham were 80-3 off 25.

However, Patrick Yates and Coutts, Downham's two best players were at the crease. At this stage Fakenham went for the jugular and Coyle introduced himself to bowl in tandem with Caswell, who immediately had Coutts stumped by Ewart.

Coyle accounted for Yates (53) and the potentially dangerous Stuart second ball to all but assure victory. Fakenham eventually ended victorious by 44 runs (Coyle 3-27, Buckingham 1-33, Caswell 2-28, Marshall 1-41, Campbell 1-33).

Fakenham have a 23 point lead with two games to go following morning leaders North Runcton's surprise nine wicket defeat against Stow.

On Saturday Fakenham visit North Runcton knowing a win would seal the title and the following week they host third placed Stow.

In Division Four Fakenham A were beaten by eight wickets at champions-elect Sheringham after making 164-8 (Mark Osborne 38 not out). The seconds host Snettisham on Saturday.

The first team game was sponsored by Baker Builders with ball sponsorship from Geoffrey Casson.

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