Alliance double shows Fakenham club spirit

Fakenham snatched a spectacular victory at North Runcton to make it six wins out of six in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, writes John Cushion.

'It showed the ambition and spirit within the team,' said skipper Ben Harvey, who admitted: 'If we have too many tight finishes like that, I will have a heart attack!'

After North Runcton had made 264 for five, Fakenham got the start they needed – but the ask off the final eight overs was some 90 runs. James Moy and Rudi Hillerman then produced some power hitting to steer Fakenham home with 265 for six to put the side 37 points clear of N&C Wanderers at the top of the section.

'We didn't bowl particularly well first time round but the bowlers were better in their second spells. North Runcton were looking at 300, so we were pleased to have pegged them back on a decent batting track,' said Harvey.

Manager Kevin Gray emphasised the need not to lose early wickets and to have a decent opening partnership. The captain (51) and Keegan Monahan-Fairlie (66) built another three-figure opening stand before the latter was run out, the fielder having one stump to aim at.

Harvey and Stephen Gray continued the good work before a flurry of wickets made it look likely that a 90 per cent draw would be the target.

But Moy and Hillerman were fully aware of what was needed for the win, said an admiring Harvey. 'They said they both had the confidence to go for the win and had a big-scoring over each. I have not seen clean hitting like it.'

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South African Hillerman hit 50 off 29 deliveries, including two huge sixes into neighbouring tennis courts, and Moy 38 off 26.

On Saturday, Fakenham entertain second-bottom Cromer with Harvey keen for his side to maintain their momentum.

'These fixtures are traditionally fairly feisty and exciting affairs, and I'm sure they won't disappoint. Cromer will be a difficult fixture, they have some decent players and it's a shame such a Norfolk club who have done well over the years are now struggling.

Will Dunger turned in a fine all-round performance for Fakenham A with five for 37 and an innings of 100 in the five-wicket home win over Saham Toney in Alliance Division Two.

The visitors posted a formidable 282 for seven with Bruno Norman hitting 115 and Andrew McGeorge 82. Fakenham A replied with 284 for five.

On Saturday, Fakenham A are at top-two side, derby rivals Dereham.

Fakenham B's Dean Futter scored 70 but could not prevent his West Norfolk League Division Five side losing to Snettisham A by just one run: Fakenham B 183 for nine, Snettisham A 184.

The Division Two side made 191 to Castle Acre's 261.

Fakenham Sunday seconds' unbeaten start came to an end as they lost at Swaffham in a high-scoring match, going down by just seven runs despite 93 from Keith Bushell.

Swaffham made 213 in their 40 overs, helped by some very poor Fakenham ground fielding which may have cost at least 40 runs. Luke Cornwall and Bushell were among the wickets.

Fakenham lost two quick wickets, but Simon Featherstone – making a rare start – got into the 20s, as did 13-year-old Chris Beale. Bushell's innings gave the Fakenham side an outside chance of victory. But he was out trying to keep up with the run rate in the last three overs.

Despite a couple of big hits from Cornwall, Fakenham just fell short.