Cromer CC round off Alliance campaign with heavy defeat

Cricket action from the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division match between Cromer and Fakenham. Fakenha

Cricket action from the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division match between Cromer and Fakenham. Fakenham in Bat with Cromer Fielding. Chad Bowes in bat for Fakenham. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Cromer season's ended on a low note on Saturday when they were well beaten by visitors Fakenham in their final Norfolk Alliance Premier Division match of the season.

The champions warmed up for their EAPL play-off semi-final against Godmanchester in impressive style when they saw off Cromer by 193 runs at the Norton Warnes Ground.

The visitors piled up an impressive 275-8, with South African run-machine Chad Bowes making 73, Luke Findlay 66 and Harry Blackiston 52.

Bowes then chipped in with figures of 4-33 as Fakenham bowled out the opposition for just 82 to end up with a 41-point advantage over nearest challengers Sprowston.

Cromer finished the season in third from bottom position, 23 points clear of the relegation positions. They won six of their 18 fixtures while losing eight, with two losing draws and two no results.

Old Buckenham finished third following a four-wicket win over Diss, who could only make 152, while Stow finished in the bottom two after losing a low-scoring game against Brooke. The home side looked in big trouble after being skittled out for 94 as Daniel Ward took 5-33, but Stow's batsmen fared even worse and could only reach 66, with Ben Watson (6-37) doing most of the damage. They will now be hoping Fakenham gain promotion to the EAPL which would almost certainly mean a reprieve for sides finishing second from bottom in the Alliance this season. Sheringham entertained Dersingham on Saturday to conclude their Norfolk Alliance Division Four campaign.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat first on what looked like a bowler friendly track, Sheringham set about building a competitive total. They were soon in trouble though. After skipper M Hudson (9) struck two boundaries in the first over he soon fell and it wasn't long before the hosts were 25-4.

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Some quick accurate bowling from J Cook, and some seam movement from Linsell, helped dismantle the top order. J Moy (4), B Withers (0), and R Cooke (1), all falling in quick succession. The reliable D Smith was still there though and alongside W Neave (9) began to rebuild the innings. The pair added 34 for the fifth wicket in tricky conditions before Neave fell, with drinks taken at 59-5 with half of the innings complete.

J Platt (5) was well caught soon after, and when C Moy (1) fell, the Lobsters were 83-7 with 15 overs still to bat. Veteran S Hudson joined Smith at the crease, and the pair initially frustrated the visitors as they ticked towards 100. Both rotated the strike well, Hudson bouncing back from taking a nasty blow to the neck while running to help see Smith to a well-crafted half century. With timing difficult and the bowling accurate Dersingham kept the scoring under control. Smith fell in the penultimate over for 62, while Hudson (11) was last out in the final over, his contribution also vital to the Lobsters' 122 all out.

With scoring difficult Sheringham knew the total was competitive if they bowled well and took early wickets. Spinner J Moy opened and struck in his second over, M Hudson taking a sharp catch at slip. A run-out followed in the next over and the Lobsters had the bright start they needed with the visitors 8-2. Some sloppy bowling followed though and this gave Dersingham a bit of respite, reaching 38-2 after 12 overs.

J Moy got the much-needed breakthrough in the 13th over and with brother Chris now in the attack and bowling accurately scoring seemed a whole lot harder, the latter striking in his third over to leave Dersingham 39-4. The visitors dug in and the game meandered for a period, before the introduction of Smith (1-17) turned things back Sheringham's way. A peach of a delivery removed the obdurate Saddleton and from here on the Lobsters didn't look back. C. Moy struck in the following over and the score was 53-6. J.Moy (3-21) returned to the attack to take the seventh wicket, and although there was a counter-attack from Southgate, J. Platt (1-31) returned and bowled him with his first ball to all but end the visitors' chances. There was a second run-out before C. Moy (3-28) concluded proceedings as Dersingham bowled out for 101 in the 39th over with Sheringham winning by 21 runs.

This was a third straight win for the Lobsters, who ended the campaign in fourth place and seem to be improving year on year. The sight of the younger players stepping up to make match-winning contributions is a positive sign for the future.

There is a tinge of regret, though, that they ended the season just 30 points behind second placed Mundford. Two poor displays against them ultimately cost the Lobsters a promotion that was well within their grasp.