Dereham finish campaign in fine style - but it’s not enough to secure promotion

Long-serving Steve Goldsmith receives a guard of honour from his Vauxhall Mallards team-mates after

Long-serving Steve Goldsmith receives a guard of honour from his Vauxhall Mallards team-mates after coming out to bat for the club the final time at Halvergate on Saturday in the Norfolk Alliance match against Stow. Turn inside for a report. Picture: Alan Tinkler - Credit: Archant

Dereham rounded off a promising campaign with an excellent home win - but it wasn't enough to secure promotion to the top flight of the Norfolk Alliance.

Duncan Hewitt's side needed to beat leaders Swardeston A on the final day and then hope for a couple of favours from elsewhere to go up but they didn't get them and ended up finishing fourth.

Stow and Diss it was who sealed promotion on a dramatic final day at the top of Division One by winning their matches with something to spare.

Swardeston A had gone into the weekend leading the way by eight points, but ended up missing out altogether after their defeat.

The morning leaders looked well placed to secure the win they needed when they bowled Dereham out for just 164, with David Lake making 66 and Swardeston's first team skipper Mark Thomas weighing in with figures of 3-30.

But on a pitch where the bowlers generally held sway it proved to be a more than competitive total and the visitors were dismissed for 134, with Jake Anema taking for 4-30.

It was then a case of checking the results from two other grounds - and the news wasn't good for either team.

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An in-form Stow side beat Vauxhall Mallards A by five wickets when chasing 225, while Diss breezed past Lowestoft in double quick time after bowling them out for 88.

In-form opener Keith Thompson was the hero for Stow, making an unbeaten 100 after his side had slipped to 131-5, while Chris Cooper returned the outstanding figures of 6-28 for Diss.

Stow's match was also notable for the final appearance of Mallards' former Derbyshire and Norfolk all-rounder Steve Goldsmith at the age of 52.

The veteran marked the occasion by opening the innings and scoring 84 in 76 balls.

Mattishall's season to forget in the same section ended with a comprehensive home defeat at the hands of mid-table Thetford.

The hosts were all out for 139 in just 23 overs and Thetford knocked off the runs in three overs less for the loss of just two wickets. Mattishall ended up finishing 66 points adrift at the foot of the table.

Dereham A ended their Division Six campaign with a 49-run run at Hales and Loddon. They made 255 and then bowled their hosts out for 206.