Fakenham opener Richard Ewart (25) helping himself to some of the Dereham bowling.

Fakenham entertained newly promoted Dereham for this Alliance Premier match on Saturday sponsored by TKR Plastering and completed a comfortable 7 wicket victory, making it 2 wins from 2 games this season, and carrying  on from where they left off at the end of last season, extending their club record to 14 straight league wins in the process.

Having won the toss Fakenham chose to field in almost perfect bowling conditions. Luke Caswell and Lloyd Marshall opened the bowling and were looking to capitalise with new ball. Marshall could not quite find his rhythm, whilst Caswell could, but somehow, he could not find the initial breakthrough that his spell deserved. Dereham slowly worked their way to 30-0 before Fakenham struck. From then on it was almost all Fakenham. Caswell, with 1-11 from his 10 overs set the tone, soon followed by Will Dunger, 3-25, and captain David Coyle, 2-29, as Dereham limped towards a total well short of a par score for this ground. Their pain was soon over however, as the returning Toby Hood, having his first bowl in the first team for over two years, took 3-13 to finally reduce Dereham to 129 all out.

Fakenham were without three of their recognised opening batters (Jon Ewart, Harry Bammant and Keegan Monaghan-Fairlie) but they were able to use Harrison Futter (after his 75 for the 2nd’s last week) and Richard Ewart in the roles, and between them negated the threat of Dereham’s opening attack. The two moved Fakenham to within 100 of victory before Ewart departed (25). Ben Harvey followed shortly afterwards (1) and Dereham finally sensed an opportunity. Futter was living dangerously, he was dropped three times, but in between these mistakes he was showing his undoubted ability, especially when despatching two straight sixes. Futter eventually perished to a catch at deep square leg (34). This left Luke Caswell (47)and will Dunger (12) to steadily and serenely move towards the winning line and secure a valuable 24 points to move Fakenham to second place by just a one point margin to Downham.

The man of the Match was awarded to Luke Caswell for his performances with both bat and ball.

Next week the 1st’s are away at Cromer with the usual 12:00 start.

Continuing the success, the second team had another good win to add to last week’s performance as they beat Winterton away by 3 wickets, with Mark Jarvis the outstanding performer with 59 from the teams 119-7, leaving them in 3rd place in the table. Saturday will see the 2nd’s at home to Cromer 2nd  for their Division 4 game.

The 3rd team were also in action again, on Saturday away at Denver and after winning the toss they elected to field first and in a match restricted to 30 overs they kept Dever to 148-4 whist replying with 149-3, lifting them to 4th place in the table. Next week they will be playing North Elmham with a 1:00 start.

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Diss v Fakenham – Alliance Premier

On Saturday Fakenham 1st team, in the defence of their Norfolk Alliance Premier Division crown, continued from where they left off last season, despite being run far closer than the score would suggest at Diss.

With strong winds and rain in the air the game was reduced to 40 overs per side.

Having been asked to bat Fakenham were immediately on the back foot, faltering to 17-2 and then 50 for 5 as Harry Bammant(9), John Ewart(5), Ben Harvey(3), Luke Easwell (7) and Richard Ewart (3) all came and went without overly exerting the scorers.

At 50-5 a serious rebuilding job was required. Will Dunger and Billy Buckingham duly obliged, both were patient and happy to creep slowly towards the 100 mark before they unleashed their full array of strokes. Dunger was more brutal in his clearing of the boundaries and pavilion whilst Buckingham relied on timing and deftness of touch to make his way to 47 before being bowled. Dunger, however,  cruised to 65 off 68balls before playing on to his stumps. Fakenham were at this stage 160-7 and in danger of possibly posting a decent total, which with some lusty hitting from Lloyd Marshall (16 off 10) ensured they did and the 40 over innings closed on 181-7.

As per last season, Marshall and Caswell opened the bowling and were charged with getting early breakthroughs whilest at the same time maintaining tight control. Caswell did just that, his opening spell of 3-13 off 8 reduced Diss to 20-3 while Marshall’s 0-23 off 8 was equally important especially into the very strong wind. At this stage Fakenham were favourites, but with Tooke and overseas player Swallow at the crease, Diss were still in with a chance.  They soon became clear favourites as the score moved to 120-3 leaving them requiring only 6 an over from the remaining overs.

It was time for Dunger to star again, this time with the ball after a 7 year absence from regular bowling! Caswell inflicted the run out of Tooke before Dunger blasted away  to finish withC4-33 including the prize scalp of Jebb Swallow. Captain David Coyle, sensing victory, brought himself back in to the attack to pick up a couple of cheap wickets 2-20 and eventually get his side home by 35 runs and collect 23 points from a game that looked to be slipping away on more than one occasion.

The win leaves Fakenham in second place in the Division, just a couple of points adrift of leaders Downham.

Next Saturdays game is at home against Dereham, start at 12:00 and promises to be interesting.

Last weeks second team game against Hethersett and Tas Valley 2nd in a game reduced to 25 overs, saw an excellent 8 wicket win for the team to get their season off to a good start with Harrison Futter putting in an excellent unbeaten 73 out of Fakenham’s 116-2 and better  Hethersett’s 113-8. The win puts them to second in their division as well and on Saturday they are away at Winterton.

Saturday also saw a 3rd team in action from Fakenham, the first for a while, in a Norfolk League  4w match against Bircham 2nd’s in another weather shortened match, this one of 20 overs. Fakenham scored 58-6 off their 20 only to have Bircham score 59-1 off only 9.5 overs. Next Saturday they are away at Denver with a 1:00pm start.


Senior Cricket Round-up: Round 1 (4th and 5th May)

1stXI start title defence with a win

Despite the cold conditions and frequent rain showers, both sides were keen to play and Diss soon had Fakenham in trouble, loosing 5 quick wickets.  Will Dunger (65) and Billy Buckingham (47) helped to steady the ship and along with a quick fire 16 from Lloyd Marshall helped Fakenham to 181 from their 40 overs.

In reply, Diss started poorly as Luke Caswell ripped through the top 3.  Diss stalwart Robert Tooke (39) and overseas Jebb Swallow (64) looked to be taking Diss to victory, but after a short rain interval Caswell ran out Tooke before Dunger and Coyle ripped through the lower middle order with 6 wickets shared between them.

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2ndXI open campaign with home victory

It was excellent to see the 2ndXI welcome two debutants and many returning players for their opening league fixture of 2019, and despite the poor weather both sides agreed a reduced match of 25 overs per side.   It was a welcome return to action for Toby Hood, the seamer picking up the wicket of the dangerous Hethersett & Tas Valley opener Damian Fahy, before debutant Olly Hall got in on the act with a wicket of his own.  It was however 2016 2ndXI player of the season Oscar Campbell who did most of the damage; returning figures of 3-16 from his 5 over spell.  The final two wickets were shared between Father and Son duo, Shaun and Shane Fisher, who both returned to Fakenham colours with a wicket apiece as Hethersett & Tas Valley closed on 113-8 from their 25.

The 2ndXI’s response was led by Harrison Futter who notched up a brisk 73 not out as Fakenham made light work of the run chase, winning by 8 wickets.

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Youth progress at the heart of the 3rdXI

Our aim to re-establish a 3rdXI is to ensure our young cricketers have a suitable pathway into senior cricket.  This weekend, we were delighted to see many of younger players getting their first taste of competitive league cricket, with 6 of the side all from the youth section. Despite the result being a comprehensive victory for Bircham 2ndXI there will be many happy memories remembered.  For three families there was a first time as father and son played in a competitive fixture together (congratulations to the Rowleys, Holts, and Lawes families) and an equally proud moment for James Page, as he watched his son Charlie take a wicket in his first over in senior cricket.

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Sunday League underway     

Similarly to the Saturday 3rdXI our Sunday XI will be looking to offer our juniors with opportunities to play in senior cricket this summer.  Against a strong Swaffham side, Fakenham posted 184, with a highlight of the innings being Under-15 Finn Lowe’s 31 supported by senior players Richard Ewart (34), Will Dunger (38) and Billy Buckingham (44).  It proved to be about 20 runs too light, as Swaffham got over the line 8 wickets down and with 1.2 overs left, with young Archie Bradnock bowling a tight spell of 0-22 from his 8 overs.

Scorecard –