Unbeaten big guns Norwich and Fakenham stretched their advantage over the pack in the fast-developing private battle for the Premier Division title and the chance to regain EAPL status.

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All eyes will now be on next weekend’s shoot-out at Highfield Lawn.

Olly Higenbottam’s half-century helped to steer leaders Norwich to a six-wicket win over Vauxhall Mallards A, as the morning’s third-placed side saw their hopes of mounting a title challenge severely dented.

Ashley Watson took 4 for 19 as Mallards were restricted to 149-9, while Steve Goldsmith captured all of the visitors’ four wickets.

Meanwhile Fakenham kept the pressure on in second spot with a four-wicket win at last season’s runners-up Sprowston.

Will Dungar took 5-19 as the hosts were dismissed for 111 before Keegan Monahan Fairlee (63) helped his side to victory for the loss of six wickets with Sprowston’s Rob Purton claiming three of them.

Four times previous title winners Downham climbed back into joint- third spot with a seven-wicket win over Lowestoft while Rob Austin took 5-27, skipper Terry Perry hit 48 and Andrew Lawrence weighed in with 41 in Old Buckenham’s 88-run crushing of Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers which earned them a share of third spot.

North Runcton lifted themselves up a place to fifth after a four-wicket win over ailing Acle, Barend Van Schalwyk’s 5-20 helping to pile more the misery on the winless rock-bottom side who were shot out for 100.

Diss enjoyed a four-wicket home win over Stow, chasing down a 151 target with four wickets in hand, despite the best efforts of Luandre Van Wyk (4-38).

Mark Williamson’s 5-39 had earlier helped to restrict the visitors to 150.

Mattishall took up the Division One running after beating Norwich A by 111 runs. Cromer are in hot pursuit, after a 37-run win at home to Dereham.

Chris Carey topscored with 61 in the seasiders’ 227-9 total with Jake Anema bagging five wickets for the visitors.

Morning leaders Horsford A hung on for a losing draw at Bradfield but slip to third place.

Bradenham climb into fourth after conjuring up victory from an improbable position at Brooke.

Martin Fox took four wickets as Brooke were dismissed for a modest 112. Bradenham were in deep trouble at 10 for 4 and 20 for 5, with John Habershon ripping out the top five in an effort which was to return 6 for 27 from 14 overs. But Bradenham turned the game around thanks to Kevin Blakey (45) and an unbeaten partnership between John Read (31 not out), making his debut after a last-gasp call-up from the third team, and number 10 Alex Bates (22 not out). Matt Taylor took four wickets but could not prevent Swardeston A from slipping to a 35-run home defeat by Topcroft for whom Ian Todd took 4-53.

In Division Two Nick Burrett starred with 106 in Hethersett and Tas Valley’s six-wicket home win over Hales and Loddon whose 211-5 total was based around Rob Andersen’s 83 and a battling 54 from skipper Scott Armiger. Andrew McGeorge hit a sparkling 115 in Saham Toney’s winning draw at Fakenham A.

Swardeston B continue to set the pace after a seven-wicket home win over Downham A, Saxlingham’s Dave Adams took 4-25 as Great Melton were dismissed for 114 in pursuit of a 169 victory target.

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