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Fakenham cricket faces two vital matches

PUBLISHED: 12:52 02 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:28 16 September 2010

Fakenham's East Anglian Premier League is boiling up to a nail-biting climax with relegation now a real threat.

The table shows Fakenham only two points ahead of bottom side Halstead with two matches left, writes John Cushion.

Fakenham's East Anglian Premier League is boiling up to a nail-biting climax with relegation now a real threat.

The table shows Fakenham only two points ahead of bottom side Halstead with two matches left, writes John Cushion.

On Saturday, Fakenham entertain a Swardeston side 42 points adrift of leaders Cambridge Granta and still in with a chance of the title.

Then Fakenham travel down the A1067 for the last game of the campaign at fifth-bottom Great Witchingham.

If they fail to stay ahead of Halstead, then they drop down to the Norfolk Alliance.

Halstead are at mid-table Vauxhall Mallards this weekend and finish at home to third-bottom Clacton

Fakenham were feeling the relegation pressure Saturday night as Halstead narrowed the gap between them to just two points after being involved in only the league's second-ever tie, claiming 14 points.

Fakenham mustered only seven points from their draw with visitors Vauxhall Mallards who, asked to bat, made 241 for nine with James Marshall making an unbeaten 103 from the No 3 spot.

Opener Robert Purton made 49 but Mallards fell away from 194 for three as the home bowlers made late inroads, Sean Cooper claiming four for 55.

Fakenham responded with 181 for seven, opener James Hill making 63 as Marshall completed a good all-round day with four for 24.

Fakenham (7pts) drew with Vauxhall Mallards (14) at Fakenham.

Vauxhall Mallards: C Amos c Rodrigo b Cooper 23, R Purton c Rodrigo b Stuart 49, J Marshall not out 103, P Free run out 24, O Stone c Rodrigo b Cooper 0, A Barton c P Gray b Cooper 6, R Goodenough c Hill b Cooper 2, S Plater lbw Stuart 0, P Bradshaw c-b Rodrigo 2, A Turner b Rodrigo 7, M Addison not out 5; extras 20. Total (9 wkts, 66 overs) 241.

Bowling: A Stuart 15-1-69-2, I Ali 12-2-43-0, S Cooper 18-3-55-4, G Wijekoon 18-4-42-0, S Rodrigo 3-0-19-2.

Fakenham: S Rodrigo c Barton b Addison 17, J Hill c Goodenough b Marshall 63, G Wijekoon c Goodenough b Plater 23, S Gray c Goodenough b Marshall 17, P Gray c Barton b Marshall 30, B Harvey c Stone b Marshall 10, S Cooper b Turner 1, S Piper not out 8, A Stuart not out 0; extras 12. Total (7 wkts, 55 overs) 181.

Bowling: P Bradshaw 10-1-27-0, M Addison 8-1-31-1, A Barton 5-1-27-0, S Plater 7-0-17-1, A Turner 17-5-45-1, J Marshall 8-1-24-4.

Fakenham's Norfolk Alliance Division Two side, due to complete its league fixtures on Monday, was beaten by the weather.

Swardeston B, who had been relegated by Saturday's results which saw Dereham reach safety, should have been the visitors. Each side was awarded five points.

In the West Norfolk League, rain denied Fakenham's Division Two side at Holt with their score on

20-2. They finished mid-table.

In Division Four, Heacham's failure to raise a side presented Fakenham with 18 points, and they finished third, 11 points off the second promotion place.

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