Keenly contested game at Fakenham is cut short by downpour

Fakenham'’s centenarian of last week, Keegan Monahan-Fairlie, adding yet more runs to his tally with

Fakenham'’s centenarian of last week, Keegan Monahan-Fairlie, adding yet more runs to his tally with an unbeaten 78 in the rain affected match against Cromer Picture: MIKE WYATT - Credit: Archant

Fakenham’s attempts to extend their lead at the top of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division were thwarted as a delicately poised game against Cromer was curtailed by a torrential thunderstorm.

Fakenham lost the toss again and were inserted on a dry wicket which was expected to turn later for this match sponsored by Colin Marshall and Son Ltd.

The wicket played unpredictably from the outset with the odd ball occasionally rising steeply off which may well have been a contributing factor to Jon Ewart's (2) early dismissal.

Keegan Monahan-Fairlie, who celebrated his first century the previous week, continued where he left off against Dereham. Punishing loose bowling, whilst remaining watchful, he and Luke Caswell steadily moved the score to 41 off 10 overs, a great position to accelerate from, before Caswell (5) was out followed shortly by Ben Harvey (2) and Will Dunger (4).

At 60-4 Fakenham were wobbling somewhat but Harry Bammant, as he has done so often recently, restored order and helped Fakenham towards a respectable position. Bammant finally departed for 24 as the score reached 118-5. Aware that 160 would be a more than competitive score with Fakenham's bowling attack, both Monahan-Fairlie and Lloyd Marshall were prepared to adopt a patient approach and Marshall was finally stumped off the bowling of Frankie Sutton for nine, leaving the hosts 144-6 with six overs to go in the allotted 40.

Fakenham captain David Coyle took on the Cromer attack with a swift 13 ball 20 not out, and with Monahan-Fairlie, who finished on an important 78 not out, helped Fakenham to what looked an above par 176-6.

Cromer started positively in their chase and had reached 29-0 off 9.3 overs before thunder and lightning brought a halt to the proceedings and followed by absolutely torrential rain and finally put an end to what had promised to be a closely encounter. The abandoned game leaves Fakenham tied with North Runcton at the top of the Alliance Premier Division as Runcton's game was also abandoned but they gained three extra bonus points before rain hit them.

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The second team lost their game against Cromer A in Alliance Four by 75 runs after their hosts had made 275-8, whilst the thirds must have waited an age for the ground to dry before finally winning their game against North Elmham in Norfolk League 4W.

Fakenham are away at Brooke on Saturday (noon).