Dereham delight as lead builds up

Dereham extended their lead at the top of Norfolk Alliance Division Two with a 90-run victory over Downham A.

Dereham were asked to bat and lost opener David Lake early on and runs were difficult to come by in the early stages.

Jake Anema fell with the score on 51 in the 19th over but Hewitt and Daniel Lake got into their stride with a partnership of 102 for the third wicket as the runs started to flow.

Hewitt fell for 85 from 106 balls but Daniel Lake carried on to finish on an impressive 74 not out from 74 deliveries. Neil Irons smashed a quickfire 28 not out to help Dereham to a final total of 223-5.

In reply, Downham started well but soon found themselves two down with Gary Starling and Bradley Raper picking up early wickets.

Starling finished with excellent figures of 3-19 from his 12 overs, before Jake Anema claimed another three wickets in a tremendous season with the ball.

Downham's last pair did threaten to thwart Dereham's bid for outright victory with a defiant stand before Raper (3-48) took the final wicket in the 42nd over.

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Dereham A put up a spirited display before their unbeaten run came to an end at top of the table Mattishall A.

The home side batted first and Mark Stokes (24) and Ian Weetman (29) got off to a good start before Dereham A took three wickets to leave the leaders at 48-3.

S Clifford (46) and Kevin Bingham (32) then helped Mattishall A recover and along with Fordham (25) saw them to a total of 185-8.

John Fox continued his good bowling for Dereham A and was unlucky not to get any wickets in his 12 overs. His opening partner Andrew Guida also bowled well as he got 2-40 from 12.

Ian Battelley (1-15), Richard Milbourne (1-55) and stand-in skipper Tom Head (1-33) also got wickets and Dereham A got three run outs.

Dereham A lost wickets regularly and got behind the run rate but when George Pledger – who top scored with 39 not out – came to the crease and increased the tempo, there was still an outside chance of victory.

But he ran out of partners and Dereham A fell 26 runs short.

Battelley (22), Jack West (19) and Head (18) all got useful runs and the seven points means Dereham A are only two points from fourth place.

They travel to Bradfield A on Saturday in a fourth v fifth place match.

Dereham's Sunday side were beaten by just three runs in a thrilling game against Hethersett and Tas Valley.

Hethersett batted first on an excellent wicket and posted 242-6 from their 40 overs. Neal Widdows took 2-38 whilst there was a wicket apiece for Andrew Guida, Jake Anema and Ryan Widdows. Anema also claimed a terrific run out from a direct hit.

In reply, Max Cheetham and David Lake got Dereham off to a strong start before Cheetham was adjudged lbw for 25. Duncan Hewitt made a fluent 39 before edging behind and teenager James Harbour compiled an impressive 41.

Some big hitting from Andrew Marshall (24) and a composed 36 not out from Jake Anema put Dereham in position to win the game late on, but they were unable to score what would have been a winning boundary of the final ball of the innings.