Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions Fakenham’s title defence still faltering

Captain Will Dunger in action for Fakenham against Brooke on Saturday. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE

Captain Will Dunger in action for Fakenham against Brooke on Saturday. Picture: RONNIE HEYHOE - Credit: Archant

Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions Fakenham’s dreadful start to the season continued as they slumped to a fourth defeat in five matches.

Fakenham won the toss and asked hosts Brooke to bat on Saturday. This seemed like a good decision as opening bowlers Chad Bowes and Steven Earle had the Brooke openers, Robert and Richard Porter, playing and missing, the green tinge on the pitch giving the bowlers some assistance. But the Brooke batsmen stuck to their task and put on 42 before Richard was out for 27, lbw to Toby Hood, in his first over.

Jonathon Wills and Mike Jones went quickly and at 51-3 Fakenham were pleased with their decision to field first. Matthew Collinge joined Robert Porter and these two built a good partnership taking the score to 136 when Porter was caught for a patient 36. Another quick wicket followed and then the dismissal of Collinge for 50, left Fakenham on top with a score at 152-6.

Matthew Carver didn’t take long to make his intensions clear hitting the ball to all parts of the ground in rather an unorthodox manner. He was well supported by the more conventional John Habershon (44 not out) and they put on 109 in a few overs before Carver was run out for a swashbuckling 64 in the last over. Brooke ended on 261-7. The pick of the bowlers was Hood, (2-41).

Fakenham needed to make a solid start with Bowes and Paul Dunger opening the innings, but this didn’t happen. In the second over Bowes was caught in the deep and number three Keegan Monahan-Fairlie was also caught to leave the score at 16-2.

Dunger was joined by Harry Blackiston – who grew in confidence and started to play some glorious shots of which he is capable. He was well supported by Dunger who was determined not to give his wicket away and pushed the score on to 103 before he was out for 30 in the 28th over. Will Dunger was next in but Blackiston was soon out for an elegant 56. Dunger batted with composure and control with support from Lloyd Marshall, 17, and Tommo Yarham, 14 not out. Fakenham reached 40 overs requiring 80 runs and felt this was still achievable.

Dunger was playing good shots but with the score on 207 he mistimed a ball and was caught for 62. After his dismissal the wickets fell quickly and Fakenham were all out for 226 in the last over. Cookes of Fakenham man of the match was Blackiston.

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Fakenham, bottom, host Cromer, third on Saturday.

It was a better weekend for Fakenham A who recorded their second win of the Division Two season.

They beat Hethersett & Tas Valley by three wickets but also remain at the foot of their table.

They return to action Saturday at their Brooke counterparts.