Hard work ahead for Fakenham cricketers

Fakenham players realise this is going to be a tough season needing plenty of hard work, said their South African skipper Michael Smith this week.A major blow to the first team's season has been the injury to county quickie Ian Slegg, who is unlikely to bowl at full pace for the rest of the season.

Fakenham players realise this is going to be a tough season needing plenty of hard work, said their South African skipper Michael Smith this week.

A major blow to the first team's season has been the injury to county quickie Ian Slegg, who is unlikely to bowl at full pace for the rest of the season.

Smith was talking in the wake of elimination from the Carter Cup at North Runcton on Sunday, the Norfolk Alliance Premier outfit repeating their exploits in the Lady Mary Trophy with another tight victory.

Fakenham bowled Runcton out for 152 with Stephen Earl and Shaun Cooper each claiming four wickets, but were bowled out for 148, Australian Keegan De Ridder getting into the thirties. At the start of the season, Fakenham had fancied their Carter Cup chances.


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It followed a wash-out of Saturday's home East Anglian Premier League fixture with Horsford, which means Fakenham travel to Vauxhall Mallards on Saturday bottom of the table with 28 points from five matches, 22 points adrift of Norwich and 24 behind Great Witchingham, whose weekend game against leaders Swardeston was also a weather victim.

“We have struggled a little bit,” said Smith. “We have been hampered with Slegg being unavailable and not being being able to bowl properly.” The key paceman bowled off only six strides on Sunday, and Smith expected that at best he might get back to 60 or 70 per cent of his normal speed. “I cannot see him getting back to full pace this year, it's a huge loss.”

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Smith said: “All the guys realise it's going to be a hard season which will need hard work.”

On the plus side, with seven players aged under 23, the long-term prospects for the club looked good.

Fakenham's Alliance Division Three side entertain Swaffham on Saturday from 1.30pm.

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