Local cricket in focus

ACLE'S good recent form continued as they earned a comfortable 76-run victory over Topcroft that strengthens their hold on third place in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division.

ACLE'S good recent form continued as they earned a comfortable 76-run victory over Topcroft that strengthens their hold on third place in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division.

Acle were put into bat on a green, seaming wicket and were reduced to 12-2. Peter Nobbs and Dave Huggins combined to blunt the home attack before accelerating to a partnership of 120.

Acle then lost both well-set batsmen within a couple of overs at 139-4 with 10 overs to go.

Entertaining cameos from Tom Wilson and Paul Newman pushed the total up to 198-9.

Topcroft's reply reached 42 without loss before Tom Nudd removed Goodfellow for 22. Acle were still struggling to make inroads until Hayden Murray effected two run-outs from consecutive balls with some sharp fielding in the covers. Nudd removed Rostron, reward for another excellent spell of swing bowling from the 17-year-old.

Overseas player Phillip Duplessis was bowled by Murray as the ball ran agonisingly back onto the stumps from a defensive stroke and Murray completed a hat-trick of run-outs with a direct hit from cover, while Newman returned for a second spell to pick up a couple of wickets.

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Nudd finally applied the coup de grace to finish with excellent figures of 3-22 as Topcroft were dismissed for 122. Acle MoM: Peter Nobbs.

Halvergate beat Great Melton by seven wickets to maintain their position as Norfolk Alliance Division Five leaders.

Halvergate won the toss, asked the home side to bat first and had them 98-5 before young Melton batsman J Wilson (78) brought his side back into the game. He put on 79 runs for the sixth with S Clarke (25). Alan Booth finished with 3-36 and London with 4-31 and Halvergate were set 210 runs to chase down for victory.

Skipper Steven Clarke was caught with the score on only 19. However, his opening partner Luke Hannant with Simon Brister started to build a significant partnership. They had put on 93 runs when Hannant was caught for 45 with the score on 112 in the 23rd over.

Brister with solid support from London (15) put on a further 66 runs. Brister, fast approaching his century, was joined by the hard-hitting Shaun Howley. They quickly knocked off the remaining runs with Brister finishing on 102 not and Howley 19 not out. Brister hardly offered a chance in his superb innings which contained 16 boundary fours.

Eden Resourcing MoM: Simon Brister.

GREAT Yarmouth endured their third nail-biting final-ball drama of the season, beating Rollesby by four wickets.

After breaking any early shackles the Rollesby openers saw the scoreboard rattle round. With Chaney joining Alger glorious stroke making was the order of the day as the Rollesby pair raced past 50. The introduction of Oxborough reaped early dividends as Alger (38) was smartly stumped by Derry. Rollesby reached 100 from only 20 overs before Oxborough struck again, Chaney (34).

Yarmouth turned to veteran spinner Johnston and he too was soon in the wickets as J Browning mis-timed a shot to Vickers to depart for 34. Payne and Roffey kept the home side moving with a crucial 36-run partnership before the returning Vickers removed Payne (12). Roffey with M Browning took Rollesby to 207-6. Roffey finished top scorer on 40.

Yarmouth set about the chase with Nicholls weathering the storm against D Cook and Sole solid at the other end. P Cook claimed the first wicket, a yorker squeezed onto his boot by Sole (10) and ballooning up for an easy, if unlucky, catch. Gary Thompson was promoted up the order to No 3. Classy drives and pulls saw Yarmouth match the rate set by the home side earlier. The highlight of the knock was taking 22 from one Alger over before the Rollesby captain had the final laugh, taking a return catch to end his innings on 42.

Derry came to the middle for an incident packed cameo before returning a catch to Flett who took the diving chance well. Yarmouth were 106-3. Kapila and Nicholls added 79 for the fourth wicket. As the victory target neared Nicholls began to show signs of wear. He had been given a battering by the Rollesby quicks. A pulled muscle, which necessitated a runner, seemed to be the final blow as a tired shot saw him depart for a brave 72 with 23 more required.

Yarmouth captain Fitzsimmons departed in the penultimate over, leaving five runs to be scored from the final six balls. The first five balls saw Yarmouth running on everything. Unable to get a bat on ball four extras were run and, crucially, Kapila (60) was run out. Scores tied with one ball remaining and a new man on strike. Harvey held his nerve and with Ruddick charging from the non-strikers end was able to scamper home the winning run.

Burton Arms Man of the Match: Keith Nicholls. Honourable mentions to Gary Thompson (42) and Kapila (60).

GREAT Yarmouth A played hosts to Norwich Union and won by three wickets.

The visitors surprisingly decided to bat first on a rather green pitch.

The visitors started briskly adding 20 in quick time but were all out for 109. Cockrill (3-26) took two in two balls. Fewkes (2-18), Halls (1-29) made it 77-6 before the returning Noakes mopped up the tail, taking four wickets in 10 balls.

The Yarmouth reply again started poorly as Hodds chopped one onto his stumps with the score 5-1. J Doggett fended one off to short mid-wicket for three, the score 16-2, G Doggett joined Hall (10) who was caught as he tried to go over the top, the score 40-3 in the 17th over.

Carrier smashed his first ball to the boundary for four. The score moved on to 55 when Doggett got a leading edge back to the bowler for 17: 55-4.

Noakes was next to go caught at gully for six with the score 65-5. Carrier set about the change bowlers, Arnold, in particular, who went for 24 in his first two overs. Beales went for one at 92-6.

All hopes rested on Carrier's shoulders and he brought up his 50 with a six, but Arnold had the last laugh as he bowled him next ball with the score 104 for 7 in the 29th over.

Needing seven runs from 15 overs Yarmouthwere rapidly running out of batsman, but Ali stayed calm and hit two fours in consecutive balls off Arnold to give Yarmouth victory by three wickets.

Burton Arms MoM: Mark Carrier, a match- winning innings.

BELTON faced Rackheath for the second week running, looking to build on the previous week's narrow victory and cement their place in mid-table of Division Two of the Norfolk League.

At 46-4 with 19 overs gone, Belton were struggling. Cameron Nichols led the recovery, ably supported by Tom Knight. They added 70 odd runs in good time. A quick 24 from Mark Hodds saw Belton reach 197-9 from 45 overs.

In reply, Rackheath relied on experienced campaigner Roger Symonds to anchor their innings. At the other end they were soon in trouble as Jean and M Rymarz were bowled by Gerry Jackson in his first two overs. Only three other Rackheath batsmen made double figures as skipper Knight juggled his bowlers and set containing fields.

Jackson's 3-49 was the pick of the bowling figures, but good support was obtained from Liam Peake (1-23) and Adam Savoury (2-24).

Rackheath were content to see out the overs without mounting a serious challenge. Richard Townsend's invaluable 17 at No 9 frustrated the Belton bowlers and the visitors were able to close on 176-7 from their 45.

MARTHAM visited top-of-the-table Felthorpe and decided to bat. A very good innings of 34 by opener Matt Beckett came before wickets began to fall, reducing Martham to 67-4.

A brilliant hard-worked score of 43 by Ian Fairbrother gave a glimmer of hope but again by making silly mistakes and with the home team's tight bowling Martham were up against it. The last six overs saw some good swashbuckling batting from Dunn (16), Ewing(17) and Abrahams (22) which left Martham on 159 after 45 overs.

Felthorpe were soon on 12-1 but Hall and Lofthouse through very careful batting took Felthorpe to 160-1 and victory.

MARTHAM A got the better of their visitors Hemsby A, winning by eight wickets in Norfolk League Division eight.

Skipper Dave Etheridge elected to field first with humid conditions prevailing under a cloudy sky.

The visitors saw half of their batsmen back in the pavilion with only 33 runs on the board. Only young Louis Stronach (18) had any answer to the guile and artistry of Chris Shales, with Courtney Randell also causing havoc with a spell of accurate bowling.

A cameo innings of 29, including six boundaries from his father Nathan, prevented a complete rout before spinner Hugh Ferguson wrapped up their innings with two wickets at the death. Hemsby finished on 78 with the excellent Shales claiming five wickets for only 18 runs from his 12 overs - his third five-wicket haul of the season. He was well supported by Randell 3-14 and Ferguson 2-7.

Andrew Whittington and Ferguson (10) put on 27. Ollie Woodhouse joined Whittington to make a quick 12 before Aaron Kemp (eight not out) and Whittington - who had batted intelligently for his unbeaten 43 - knocked off the remaining runs

BLUNDESTON travelled to North Elmham for the top of the table clash in Norfolk League Division Seven and asked the home side

to bat.

Blundeston's young attack bowled superbly well in the opening overs and were unlucky not to get more than a wicket each for Nick Mobbs and Elliot Gooch.

Martin Talbot and Lewis Chapman kept the score down and picked up four wickets with Martin bagging 3-11 to leave Elmham 40-6. C Slabbert hammered a quick 43 before he was bowled by Mark Bowns. Joplin hit 22 before being well caught by Graeme Talbot and keeper Sam Goffin caught Elmar, one of three catches, to bring the innings to a close for 122 in the 35th over, with Mark Bowns getting 3-18 and Scott Brindle 1-34.

Nick Mobbs was out first ball and Graeme Talbot followed soon after and the new ball attack of Keeble and Kay kept things tight and the pressure firmly on the young Blundeston batsmen.

Sam Goffin was promoted up the order and consolidated the innings with a good 23, ably supported by Elliot Gooch, before he was out caught off M Elmar. Lewis Chapman (7) joined Elliot to get nearer the target.

But it was when Saurabh Verma replaced Lewis that the tide finally went the Blundeston way with the young pair reaching the victory target in the 38th over. Elliot made a fine 54 not out whilst Saurabh made a fine 26 to see the team home by six wickets.

THE final of the Great Yarmouth Coronation Cup cricket competition will be held at Acle cricket ground on Wednesday, July 22, at 6pm and will be between Acle

and Hales.

SOUTH Walsham went down to Belhus, a touring side from Essex, by three wickets.

Openers Andy Scales and Chris Woods added 66 at five runs an over before Scales was well caught in the gully for 38. Graham Yallop fell for three and when Woods stepped on his own wicket for 30, Walsham's batting started to struggle. Neil Johnson hit the top score of the innings with a hard-hit 44 and although a spirited last-wicket stand of 24 between Mallett and Evans lifted the score to a reasonable total of 173 it was clear that Walsham were a good 50 runs short.

After tea Garth Futter and Graham Yallop made inroads into the Belhus batting, having them in trouble at 29-3, but some attacking play by Whitlock (56) and Day (23) helped Belhus into a winning position.

Futter took 3-33 but despite regular changes of bowlers Walsham couldn't make the important breakthrough to win the game. Belhus got home by three wickets with five overs to spare.

Upton White Horse MoM: Neil Johnson for his excellent 44.