Acle still flying high

Acle moved up to second place in the Alliance Premier Division with a hard-fought 59-run win at North Runcton. This was an impressive and controlled bowling performance from the whole side.

Acle moved up to second place in the Alliance Premier Division with a hard-fought 59-run win at North Runcton. This was an impressive and controlled bowling performance from the whole side. With Downham champions-elect, Acle moved above rivals Mallards but with three tough fixtures to come they will need to maintain their high standards to hang on to their spot.

Asked to bat first, Acle got off to an excellent start as Rob Porter and Dave Huggins combined to add 111, Porter in particular unleashing some punishing strokes. But his dismissal for 62 sparked an all too familiar Acle collapse as six wickets fell for 43. At 154 for six the game was evenly balanced, but crucially Hayden Murray found a willing partner in Geoff Handley and the pair added a further 51 in good time to tilt the balance back towards Acle.

Murray, playing the most fluent innings of the day, took the visitors to the brink of the final batting point before being stumped off the final ball as Acle finished frustratingly on 224 for nine. Darren Cubitt ended with figures of six for 55, but Acle's total looked above par on a drying wicket.

Neil Grady producing a terrific 11-over spell which, although without wicket put Runcton well behind the required rate. Coote and Jefferson looked well set, however, and at 83 for one almost halfway through their reply, Runcton had the opportunity to push hard for victory.

The introduction of off-spinner Shaun Roberts proved crucial as he captured three quick wickets, including overseas star Mohammed Wasim and with spin twin Hayden Murray chipping in with two, the home side were reduced to 112 for six.

Mark Bunting and Jefferson launched a counter-attack, Bunting was run out for 23 but with three overs left and three wickets in hand the home side looked safe. Then man-of- the-match Tom Nudd's first over produced two terrific inswingers to remove Jefferson and Cubitt in successive balls. In the following over Paul Newman bowled last man Faivelowitz.