Fakenham renaissance slowed by an inept Norfolk Alliance Premier Division showing

Chad Bowes opens his shoulders during Fakenham's weekend defeat. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE

Chad Bowes opens his shoulders during Fakenham's weekend defeat. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE - Credit: Archant

Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions Fakenham’s resurgence was checked by a 34-run defeat at North Runcton.

After heavy morning rain, Saturday’s start was delayed until 3.30pm and the overs reduced to 30 each.

Fakenham – who had turned their poor early-season form around to start climbing the table rapidly going into the clash – won the toss and asked Runcton to bat first. Mark Skipper and Dean Robinson opened the hosts’ innings.

The visitors’ opening bowlers Lloyd Marshall and Chad Bowes bowled tightly and Marshall had an early success bowling Skipper for eight. Robinson when on four, also gave a hard chance which unfortunately for Fakenham was not taken.

He then went on to take full advantage of this let off, striking the ball extremely hard to all parts of the ground. Fakenham did have some success with the ball with Ashley Jarvis taking 3-38 in his six overs.

A fine 42 not out for Ben Allsop and 90 from Robinson gave Runcton 184-6 from their 30 overs. The Fakenham bowling and fielding was not up to the high standard that they had set in previous weeks.

In reply, Chad Bowes and Luke Findlay started briskly, putting on over 50 runs for the first wicket before Bowes fell lbw to Allsop for 32.

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Slow bowler Jack Major was introduced to the Runcton attack and soon removed the next five batsmen with only Findlay (27) making any useful contribution. Major finished with figures of 5-30 in his six overs.

At this stage Fakenham faced an uphill task with only Jarvis, Joe Bane-Young and Stuart Broughton making double figures.

This was an inept batting performance by the Fakenham middle order who finished all out on 150 on the final ball, finishing 34 runs shy of their target. Cookes of Fakenham man of the match Jarvis.

The damaging defeat saw last season’s title-winners drop to sixth in the tighly congested 10-team table.

They return to action on Saturday when they host Diss – one of the sides below them.

The loss saw Fakenham lose more ground on current leaders Brooke. They almost took full advantage of the wet weather to open up a 15-point gap at the top. While morning leaders Sprowston were left picking up five points after their home clash against Downham Town fell foul of a waterlogged pitch, their nearest rivals triumphed on the road.

Chasing 199 for victory at Garboldisham, Brooke got across the line for the loss of six wickets to add 22 points – just three short of the maximum on offer – to their total.

In other news affecting the area’s scene, The Dr Fisher Cup semi- final between Sandringham and Dereham will take place on Tuesday at Fakenham.

The winner will play Bradenham in the final, again at Highfield Lawn, on next Friday. Both matches start at 6pm.

n East Anglian Premier League Great Witchingham had to share the points with Copdock & Old Ipswichian on Saturday as play was abandoned at Walcis Park.

The third-from-bottom Witches will, weather permitting, visit Burwell this weekend.