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Fakenham move top of Norfolk Alliance Premier Division with just one game remaining

PUBLISHED: 09:38 23 August 2018

Fakenham'’s best bowling figures against Diss were produced by Billy Buckingham, pictured on his way to a match winning 4-13 Picture: MIKE WYATT

Fakenham'’s best bowling figures against Diss were produced by Billy Buckingham, pictured on his way to a match winning 4-13 Picture: MIKE WYATT

Mike Wyatt ABIPP

Fakenham secured a 10th straight victory to move to the top of the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division with just one game remaining.

They saw off Diss by nine wickets after bowling them out for just 54 and later learnt that long-time leaders Downham Town had suffered a shock defeat at Stow.

Having already booked themselves a place in the EAPL play-offs, Fakenham now go into Saturday’s final game of the season at home to Brooke (noon start), with an opportunity to be champions, despite having been 65 points behind Downham at the halfway stage, and having only just avoided relegation last season with the very last ball of the campaign — a magnificent turn around indeed.

After David Coyle had lost another toss Fakenham were invited to bowl first on a notoriously low wicket that only becomes tougher as the day wears on.

With this in mind every run was crucial and with both Lloyd Marshall and Ash Layer missing, Fakenham were down to just one seamer. But when that seamer is Luke Caswell and the overhead conditions are in his favour there are not many better and he and off spinner Billy Buckingham set about producing a sensational opening spell.

Both bowlers bowled their 10 overs straight through and maintained an impeccable attacking line and reduced Diss to just 32-8 at one stage. Caswell took 4-30 while Buckingham produced his best Alliance figures to take a magnificent 4-13 including the dangerous Tooke brothers. Coyle himself picked up 2-1 off his two overs to help dismiss Diss for a paltry 54.

Fakenham pushed Harrison Futter up to open in place of the slightly out of form Harry Bammant and he repaid the faith by ending unbeaten on 22, with Keegan Monahan-Fairlie the only wicket to fall after he and Futter had produced a 50 run partnership as Fakenham completed the victory in well under three hours.

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