Brooke v Fakenham

On Saturday afternoon, Fakenham produced their best bowling and fielding performance of the season by far, to beat both the forecast torrential rain and 3rd place Alliance Premier side Brooke.

With heavy rain the forecast for all day on all weather services, it was to everyone’s surprise that half an hour after scheduled start time play was able to start., however the biggest surprise of the day was not that the weather had abated, but that Fakenham’s Captain David Coyle had actually won a toss, although the laws of probability said that it had to happen sometime.

Electing to field on an overcast day with a wicket conducive to seam bowling, Fakenham as usual entrusted the opening over to Luke Caswell to ensure a good start was had in a game that had reduced to 30 overs aside on a small ground that made targets difficult to defend. Caswell made Coyle wonder why he’d bothered  winning the toss after one ball as his first delivery was a long hop, dispatched for four. Sanity returned however, and from then on it was all Fakenham. Caswell and Lloyd Marshall bowled perfectly for the conditions and gave the  Brooke batting line up no respite as they were reduced to 16-4 off 8 overs when Marshall (2-6 off 4)was removed from the attack. Caswell completed his spell picking up 3-20 off his allotted 6 overs.

Brooke were definitely struggling at 20-5 but with Cebo Tshiki at the crease anything was still possible.

Fakenham’s Billy Buckingham has other ideas however, returning his best figures in the Alliance Premier, Buckingham dismissed the dangerous Tshiki before showing himself to be the best rabbit hunters around, dismissing Brooke’s bottom order en-route to a brilliant 5 wicket haul for just 8 runs as Brooke were dismissed for a paltry 61.

Fakenham’s biggest concern now was going to be the impending rain and Jon Ewart’s running between the wickets.

Ewart and Keegan -Fairlie ensured no early alarm bells rang as they steadily took the score to 22 in the face of some very good bowling, before Ewart finally ran out -Fairlie for 17

Ewart (10) and Ben Harvey(9) were both dismissed lbw, but by this time Fakenham were almost home and dry. There was still time however for Will Dunger’s frailties against the slow long hop to be exposed as he hit one to square leg with just one needed to win. It was left to Caswell and debutant Olly Hall to see Fakenham secure a 6 wicket win and 23 points, just before a prolonged deluge arrived that would have curtailed any more cricket for the day.

The win leaves the side with a 14 point advantage at the top of the Alliance Premier, Saturday’s game is a home fixture against Garboldisham (start 12:00) and Fakenham will be hoping for revenge  for the early season loss away to the side.

The successful day was also evident elsewhere, In their home game (at North Elmham) Fakenham 3rd’s also dodged the rain in another 30 over game against Beeston in Norfolk League 4W. Although losing the toss and being asked to field first the Fakenham side made good progress and with more accuracy in the bowling it could have been even better as they dismissed the Beeston side for 109 with only James Laing really showing any resistance  as he made 52 and with second highest scorer being extras with 31 and Tom Gill run out for 14 being the only other batsman in double figures.

Ben Ashford and Mark Campbell opened for Fakenham and found the conditions to their liking with both finding the boundary with regularity. Campbell was finally bowled by George Bridges for 24 but the damage had been done and Fakenham  with just the loss of one more wicket  reached the 110 target in just 19 overs with Ashford an annoying 49 not out. The win lifts the side to 2nd in Norfolk 4W.

The 2nd team also added to the success of the day with a home 7 wicket victory over Beccles in Alliance 4



1st V Cromer Match Report

Fakenham’s attempts to extend their lead at the top of the Alliance Premier division were thwarted as a delicately poised game against Cromer was curtailed by a torrential thunderstorm.

As was expected and now seems to becoming standard practice, Fakenham lost the toss again and were inserted on a dry wicket which was expected to turn later for this match sponsored by Colin Marshall and Son Ltd.

The wicket played unpredictable from the outset with the odd ball occasionally rising steeply off the dry surface which may well have been a contributing factor to Jon Ewart’s (2) early dismissal. Keegan Monahan-Fairlie, still hungover from celebrating his first century the previous week, continued where he left off against Dereham. Punishing loose bowling, whilst remaining watchful, Monahan-Fairlie and Luke Caswell steadily moved the score to 41 off ten overs, a great position to accelerate from, before Caswell (5) was out followed shortly by Ben Harvey (2) and Will Dunger (4) who all came and went.

At 60-4 Fakenham were wobbling somewhat, but Harry Bammant, as he has done so often recently, restored order and helped Fakenham towards a respectable position. Bammant finally departed for 24 as the score reached 118-5. Aware that 160 would be a more than competitive score with Fakenham’s bowling attack, both Monahan-Fairlie and Lloyd Marshall were prepared to adopt a patient approach, despite the innings drawing to a close. Marshall was finally stumped off the bowling of Frankie Sutton for 9, leaving the hosts 144-6 with 6 overs to go in the allotted 40.

Fakenham Captain David Coyle, clearly enraged at losing yet another toss, took on the Cromer attack with a swift 13 ball 20 not out, and with Monahan-Fairlie, who finished on an important 78 not out, helped Fakenham to what looked an above par 176-6.

Cromer started positively in their chase and had reached 29-0 off 9.3 overs before thunder and lightning brought a halt to the proceedings and followed by absolutely torrential rain and finally put an end to what had promised to be a closely encounter.  The abandoned game leaves Fakenham tied with North Runcton at the top of the Alliance Premier Division as Runcton’s game was also abandoned but they gained 3 extra bonus points before rain hit them.

Elsewhere the second team lost their game against Cromer 2nd’s in Alliance 4, whilst the 3rd’s must have waited an age for the ground to dry before finally winning their game against North Elmham in Norfolk League 4W.

Next week the 1st team are away at Brooke, start midday.


Dereham v Fakenham – Norfolk Alliance Premier

Fakenham’s Keegam Monahan-Fairlie on his way to his well-deserved Club and Alliance maiden century

Dereham v Fakenham – Norfolk Alliance Premier

On Saturday Fakenham returned to the summit of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division courtesy of a 56 run victory over Dereham.

Fakenham’s captain, David Coyle, yet again wasted everybody’s time tossing up and Fakenham were inserted on a sporty wicket that had sufficient pace and bounce to give interest to both bat and ball, while the overhead conditions were certainly conducive to swing bowling as well.

Keegan Monahan-Fairlie and Jon Ewart were entrusted with opening the batting and getting through the opening spell, a rarely completed task this season. However this time the target was achieved and in some considerable style as the pair batted watchfully whilst maintaining a good positive intent. With 50 runs on the board within 12 overs, a big score was on the cards. Ewart was now looking to dominate the bowlers as he struck five 6s, Monahan-Fairlie was more cultured and settled for running ones and twos using his superior fitness levels to push the fielders. Both players continued steadily and took their totals to within touching distance of maiden centuries for the club before Ewart departed for 97, caught at deep mid-wicket off Duncan Hewitt. This dismissal only served to bring even more pain to Dereham as Will Dunger stride purposefully to the crease. At his belligerent best, he smashed a 24 ball 44 which included  5 sixes. He finally departed with just 2 balls remaining and Monahan-Fairlie 99 not out. Not to be denied, Monahan-Fairlie secured the single needed to bring up his maiden Alliance hundred and Fakenham ended 268-2, their best batting performance in a while.

This score was always going to prove a tall order for the league’s bottom side, but Ryan Fitt, in between swatting flies with his bat, connected with some lusty blows and moved the score along to 40-1 off 8 before he departed. Batsmen then came and went at regular intervals with only Duncan Hewitt (61) and Jonny Bidewell (46) offering enough resistance and intent to get Dereham believing the impossible was possible. Once Toby Hood and Coyle accounted for the pair it was left to the pair to finish the innings off and restrict Dereham to 212-9. Hood 2-30 and Coyle 5-35 were the most successful bowlers.

With North Runcton losing at Cromer, the win ensured that Fakenham once again took over the top spot in the table but with next week’s game at home being against Cromer they will certainly not trying to emulate Runcton.

The second team meanwhile had a good 109 win at home over Winterton in Division 4 with Olly Hall scoring a fine 116no out for his contribution to Fakenham’s 246-7.

Not to be outdone the third team also had a 62 run win over Denver to round off a highly successful couple of weeks for the club.