Cromer CC lose Norfolk Alliance top spot after defeat at champions Brooke

Bradfield celebrate claiming a Norwich A wicket during Saturday's Norfolk Alliance Division One matc

Bradfield celebrate claiming a Norwich A wicket during Saturday's Norfolk Alliance Division One match at Postwick. See report inside. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Cromer were knocked off the top of the Cecil Amey Norfolk Alliance Premier Division on Saturday after suffering only their second defeat of the season.

The morning leaders went down by 85 runs at defending cham[pions Brooke and are now a point behind Old Buckenham, who saw off Sprowston by eight wickets.

It's getting increasingly congested at the top, with just three points separating the top four, and Cromer will be aiming to return to the summit on Saturday when they travel to a mid-table North Runcton side (1pm).

Their opponents at the weekend played like champions after winning the toss, deciding to bat first and getting all the way up to 320-5 in their 50 overs.

Four batsmen made half centuries – Dan Vihm 70, Rob Panter 68, Gary Chirimuuta 61 and Matt Collinge 50 not out, the latter from just 22 balls. It was a tough day for the visiting bowlers although Frankie Sutton did well to take 2-40 from his full compliment of 10 overs.

Sutton (33) and Matthew Warnes (31) put on 45 for the first wicket in reply but no-one managed the big innings that was required, with Richard Charlwood's 42 the highest score. When Cromer slipped to 128-6 there was no realistic chance of victory but from there they did well to get up to 235-8, with Devon Singh Parhar making 40 before Alfie Woodrow (28 not out) and James Craske (15 not out) put on an unbroken 42 for the ninth wicket.

Brooke are now third, just one point behind Cromer, while completing the top four are Downham Town, another point further back.

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They beat Horsford A by 44 runs after being restricted to 197-9, more than half of which was made by Harrison Gregory (101 not out). Joss Stuart (4-32) and Jack Gould (4-34) were the stars as Horsford were dismissed for just 153.

New leaders Old Buckenham showed no mercy on bottom side Sprowston, bowling them out for 172 and then coasting home for the loss of just two wickets, with Terry Perry (60 not out) and Nick Pentz (61 not out) there at the end.

Down in Division Five Cromer A gave second placed Hockwold a decent game at the Norton Warnes Ground before going down by 47 runs.

Chasing an impressive total of 270-8 (David Byrne 3-28) Cromer managed to reach 223-9 in their 45 overs with Peter Gascoyne and Jamie Carter both making 36.

The seconds are at home to Norwich A on Saturday.