Fakenham go top of Norfolk Alliance after beating morning leaders North Runcton

Fakenham man of the match Lloyd Marshall was in fine batting form to add to his all-round performanc

Fakenham man of the match Lloyd Marshall was in fine batting form to add to his all-round performance Picture: MIKE WYATT - Credit: Archant

Fakenham returned to the top of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division table with a comprehensive victory over the previous unbeaten leaders North Runcton.

Having lost yet another toss, Fakenham were put in to bat on a slightly soft wicket that looked certain to test the top order.

Whilst Ben Harvey and Keegan Monahan Fairlie found scoring tough, they did manage to thwart the potent opening pair of Kirwin Christoffels and Ben Coote. Unfortunately the tide soon turned, as firstly Harvey (9) was caught at slip off Jack Major who also accounted for Jon Ewart (10) and Fakenham were struggling on 40-2. Monahan Fairlie grafted well for his 29 before he departed, and with Will Dunger (5) perishing soon after Fakenham were wobbling at 60-4 off 25 overs.

Harry Bammant joined Luke Caswell at the crease and together they began to build momentum, Caswell obdurate, Bammant flowing. As the score began to creep to respectability Bammant opened his shoulders to reach a well-deserved 50 before he was bowled around his legs.

Lloyd Marshall continued his recent good form with a quick-fire 25 before departing, followed by Caswell (29) and Billy Buckingham (3). It was left to captain David Coyle to finish the innings with a 16 ball 22 to propel Fakenham to an unlikely 206-9.

Runcton started positively with South African professional Cristoffels, in particular, looking very much at ease. Two wickets in three balls from Marshall gave Fakenham some hope at 30-2 but Christoffels was still in situ. Spin twins Buckingham and Coyle were introduced into the attack and from here on in things happened. Coyle got the big wicket of Christoffels, before the destructive Ben Coote joined the fray. Fortunately he was soon caught behind by Harvey before Coyle struck again in a devastating spell of 3-1 that totally transformed the game while Buckingham went wicketless despite bowling beautifully.

Fakenham rammed home their advantage with Toby Hood, Caswell and Monahan Fairlie picking up a wicket apiece before Marshall finally two took late wickets to finish with 4-20 and bowl Runcton out for 134. Man of the match was awarded to Marshall for his all-round performance.

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Saturday sees an away game against Stow (noon).

The second team were not so fortunate with their match against Snettisham, losing by 63 runs. Despite 58 from Olly Hall and 49 from Harvey Osborne the final total of 161-8 was a disappointing response to Snettisham's 224-7. On Saturday they host North Runcton A and are hoping they can repeat the performance of the first team.