Fakenham CC lose final game - but stay up as rivals lose
Fakenham suffered a comprehensive defeat in their last league game of the season - but they live to fight another day in the top flight of the Norfolk Alliance.
A crushing 131 run loss at the hands of North Runcton raised the spectre of relegation, with four teams in danger going into the final weekend.
But fortunately for Fakenham one of the sides below them, Horsford A, also lost, meaning they finished a tough campaign third from bottom in the table.
It was a disappointing effort all round from the home side, although they had performed admirably to win their three previous games and set up their narrow escape.
After being asked to bat first visitors North Runcton turned in an impressive display to reach 240-7 in their 50 overs, with opener Dean Robinson falling just three runs short of a century.
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It was a tough afternoon for the Fakenham bowlers, with only Yin Lo (2-28) taking more than one wicket.
Faced with a testing target Fakenham started well enough, but once opener Keegan Monahan Fairlie went for 35 their challenge soon crumbled and they were dismissed for just 109 in the 31st over.
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Ben Skipper was the destroyer-in-chief for the visitors, returning the outstanding figures of 10-5-17-5.
As Runcton closed in on victory attention started to switch to events at Downham, where Horsford’s seconds were giving an excellent account of themselves.
They ended up staying in the bottom two - but only after going desperately close to saving themselves and condemining Fakenham to the drop.
Horsford put up a tremendous fight against the side who had clinched the title the previous week, bowling them out for 184 and then getting all the way up to 180 (Callum Metcalf 52) before losing their final wicket in the 42nd over.
Fakenham A also finished third from bottom in their section, Division Three.
Already safe going into the final round of fixtures they were beaten by six wickets at third placed Bungay on Saturday after making a respectable 179-9 in their 45 overs.