Around the cricket grounds

HALVERGATE took another big step towards the title in Norfolk Alliance Division Five with a comfortable win at Rocklands.Halvergate now have a 22-point lead and have one hand on the league title.

HALVERGATE took another big step towards the title in Norfolk Alliance Division Five with a comfortable win at Rocklands.

Halvergate now have a 22-point lead and have one hand on the league title. With only three points required to be certain, they will be looking to round off their excellent season this week at home to Beccles.

Rocklands were made to work hard by opening bowlers Shaun Howley and Tim Crane who restricted them to 23 from the first 10 overs for the loss of one of their openers to Howley.

Pat Hill, after an indifferent first over, soon settled to a good line and length. With Kelvin London tying things up at the other end, the pair started to build some pressure on the batsmen. Hill had two batsmen caught behind then Crane picked up the key wicket of the opposition captain, W Defoe, for 36 thanks to a good catch in the deep by Tom Knapp.

At 74 for four after 24 overs, Halvergate were in control and continued to restrict the scoring and pick up regular wickets.

S Halls batted well in the middle order to score 27 but another wicket from Crane and two more from Hill saw Rocklands slip to 108 for seven from 36 overs. Only B Glover offered any resistance at the end and scored 17 before he was the last wicket to fall after a superb diving catch down the leg side from stand-in keeper Luke Hannant.

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An outstanding performance from all of the bowlers had restricted Rocklands to 137, with good support from the fielders, in particular L Hannant who took three catches and a stumping without conceding a bye.

Halvergate openers Steve Cooke and Luke Hannant made a solid start and after 12 overs had taken the total to 36. S Carr found the edge a few times with no reward.

However, runs were coming easily from the other end and the batsmen could afford to see Carr off without taking any risks. Cooke passed his half century and the pair put on 83 runs before Hannant eventually fell for 20 hard-earned runs. A few overs later Cooke also fell when he drilled a catch to extra cover. His innings of 63 uncharacteristically contained 11 fours.

Will Gilder and Tim Armstrong comfortably knocked off the remaining 40 runs scoring 23 and 17 respectively to record an eight-wicket win for the Hares.

Eden Resourcing man-of-the-match: Steve Cooke for his innings of 63.

HALVERGATE A snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to keep their Norfolk League Division Five promotion hopes alive in a tense encounter against a spirited Old Buckenham B side at home on Saturday.

Halvergate A go into the final round of matches needing a win at Colney to give them a chance of finishing in the promotion places.

In perfect conditions the visitors elected to bat. Dalton and Armitage played intelligently against the Halvergate opening duo of Glyn Debbage and David Jones before Debbage accounted for Armitage, caught behind by Steve Utting.

Oliver Gardiner made an immediate impact with three wickets to leave the visitors in trouble on 66 for four in the 26th over.

Newberry and Bartlett dug in to add vital runs before Gardiner claimed his fourth wicket by bowling Bartlett. Newberry continued to make life awkward for the Hares with some intelligent batting.

At the other end, Thompson was run out and Jones dismissed Halls before Paul Ryan dismissed Newberry for a vital 50 runs and Paul Fitt for a duck.

The final Old Buckenham pair managed to evade capture and add vital runs to the total with the visitors closing on 141 for nine from their 45 overs.

The Hares openers Steve Utting and Ben Key punished loose deliveries. The visitors gained some joy when Paul Fitt bowled Key, bringing Chris Mills to the wicket.

Both batsmen played some positive shots before Brown accounted for Mills with the home side on 47 for two after 13 overs. Stuart Hannant played a supporting role as Utting played some excellent shots to pass 50 and at drinks the home side were coasting at 106 for two with 23 overs left.

When play recommenced, the home side pressed the self- destruct button with both batsmen falling to Halls.

Paul Ryan, Aaron Brooks and David Jones soon followed without significant additions and when both Damien Hurley and Graham Harrop were dismissed, the Hares were still nine runs short of victory with the overs running out.

Glyn Debbage struck the winning runs to seal a memorable victory.

ROLLESBY entertained table-topping Hardingham in their penultimate Norfolk League Division One game of the season when the visitors had no hesitation in deciding to bat first.

Hawes and Fowle proceeded serenely to 89 before Sparkes trapped Fowle for 28.

Duckham and Hawes took the score past the 200 mark before both fell in quick succession, Hawes to Liam Roffey for an excellent 93 and Duckham to D Cook for a belligerent 71.

Any hopes Rollesby had for a little respite where dashed as Harris (26 not out) and Goodrum (32) ensured the momentum was continued and the innings finished on 276 for three. The pick of the Rollesby bowlers was D Cook (1-42) who managed some degree of control, while L Roffey recorded his first wicket for the first team.

Rollesby's response started slowly as P Cook and M Duxbury found life difficult against J Goodrum and S Meikle, with both Cook (8) and Duxbury (4) falling to Meikle.

There was then a brief cameo by S Alger who scored a breezy 21 before he was clean bowled by Hawes, who then quickly accounted for M Browning (0) to leave the home side 64 for four and out of the game.

D Cook and A Chaney batted with patience, taking the score past the 100 mark, before Chaney perished in the deep for a fine 48. And when Cook followed for 30, the home side were 129 for six. L Roffey (0), J Flett (0) and Sparkes (2) fell in quick succession, and at 142 for nine the extra point was looking a distance away.

However, J Browning provided N Flett with support and the pair saw the remaining overs out without too much drama. The innings finished on 167 for nine, with N Flett 27 not out and J Browning 13 not out.

Rollesby will be looking to try and finish the season on a high, but with several absentees this might be difficult.

Filby King's Head man-of-the-match: D Cook (1-42 and 30 runs).

BELTON travelled to Overstrand keen to avenge the early-season drubbing they received from the bottom- team in Norfolk League Division Two.

Skipper Tom Knight jumped at the chance to bat on what looked a good pitch.

Steve Day and Gary Warner were soon smacking the ball about until Day was out to one that kept alarmingly low and Warner to one that didn't bounce.

At 32 for two in only six overs, at least the scoreboard was ticking over nicely. Runs continued to flow and wickets continued to be lost.

S Vishal and F Khan hit some big shots into the trees necessitating a change of the ball (twice). A needless run-out accounted for Cameron Nichols for 16 and Belton were facing the prospect of defending a low score.

I Parkin bowled a 12-over spell of leg spin from the pavilion end and picked up a wicket and seven maidens and for the cost of 27 runs.

Yet another run-out accounted for Mark Hodds and Belton were in trouble. Struggling to post even 150, the visitors found heroes in George Savoury (30) and Liam Peake (13) who frustrated the home bowlers and pushed the score to 183 from 44.4 overs.

In reply, Belton bowlers were looking forward to the same vagaries of bounce that plagued the batsmen in the first innings and, not for the first time, the Cricketing Gods decreed otherwise.

Early wickets did appear - courtesy of Saj Ali and Vishal - and when Tom Knight's brand of off-spin accounted for P Parkin for 51 it seemed the tide might turn towards Belton.

M Warley had other ideas and was unbeaten on 50 at the end as Overstrand inched closer and closer to the winning post.

When Cameron Nichol trapped Cunnington lbw for nought, there was some hope but with only four runs to get and two overs to get them the writing was on the wall.

S West, in at No 11, nudged one past square leg with the field in and victory again went to Belton's bogey side.

Saj Ali's four for 42 led the Belton bowling attack.