Dereham’s Norfolk Alliance promotion hopes get a double boost

Action from the EAPL match between Swardeston (batting) and Great Witchingham (Jordan Taylor and Joe

Action from the EAPL match between Swardeston (batting) and Great Witchingham (Jordan Taylor and Joe Gatting batting). Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Dereham have a chance to move into the promotion places in Division One of the Norfolk Alliance with just one game to play on Saturday.

Duncan Hewitt's side maintained their promotion push at the weekend when they recorded a comfortable 119 run win over neighbours Mattishall, whose relegation was confirmed as a result.

And there was more good news to follow, with leaders Diss suffering what could prove to be a costly 120-run home defeat at the hands of a Stow outfit who turned on the style to maintain their late promotion charge.

Diss remain top - but they have played one more game than the three other sides in the promotion hunt and with a blank Saturday coming up could find themselves as low as fourth on Saturday evening week.

Dereham are now joint second with Swardeston A, who also won at the weekend, while Stow are a further eight points further back.

Hewitt's side now know they will be promoted with two wins, and will be aiming to take the first step towards their target on Saturday when they travel to a Lowestoft side who are now safe from relegation (12.30pm). Promotion rivals Swardeston are their opponents at Norwich Road on the final day.

After being asked to bat first on Saturday Hewitt led the way with an unbeaten 105 as Dereham made an impressive 259-4 off their 50 overs.

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That was far too much for the home side who were dismissed for 140 in 39, with James Harbour returning the impressive figures of 6-58.

Mattishall, whose relegation was all but certain going into the match, will now be aiming to round off a disappointing campaign on a high note, but they have got a tough match on Saturday at Swardeston A.

Mattishall A, who could only muster 10 players, made light of Swardeston CEYMS's numerical superiority to beat them by 48 runs in Division Five. Ryan Tripp made 95 and Keenan Stokes 65 in a total of 210-5 and Swardeston finished on 162-8, with Stokes taking 3-34.

Dereham A lost by 10 runs to Bradfield A in Division Six when chasing 297-6. They finished on 187-9 (Neil Burrage 51).

On Saturday Mattishall A host Lowestoft A while Dereham A are without a game.