Beccles claim a stunning victory

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders S

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Beccles closed the gap at the top of Norfolk Alliance Division Two to just three points with a crushing seven wicket win over leaders and local rivals Topcroft.

Beccles started the day 26 points behind and have now set up an exciting end to the season, with a short trip to Brooke A coming up tomorrow (1pm).

Topcroft won the toss and elected to bat first, with poor weather forecast for later in the day. They lost the wicket of captain Harry Windridge in just the second over to a fine delivery from the left arm seamer Ian Norman (1-7).

Norman and pace man Alex Wright bowled superbly in partnership, restricting the visitors to just the solitary run from their opening spellg. It was then that captain David George turned to the pace of Hickmans Supplies man of the match Stuart Watkins and accuracy and variation of Matt Lowe.

The pair devastated the Topcroft top order with Watkins (4-27) removing the dangerous trio of Chris Hancock, Ben Baldwin and James Goodfellow and Lowe dismissing the powerful Ian Todd and opener Jacob Rhodes. By the time the duo had finished their first spell the visitors were down to 25-7. The Topcroft tail showed some resilience in the form of Graeme Talbot (21) and Stuart Pywell (13) but the damage had been done. Spinner Ian Ruddock (1-12) claimed the wicket of Talbot and the reintroduction of Wright (1-15) saw the end of Pywell. It was then left to Lowe (3-4) to claim the final wicket and with Topcroft all out for just 75 the weather took centre stage.

After a rain delay of just over an hour Beccles lost opener Geroge Milton (0) early on as Todd threatened to put a spanner in the works. With chairman Chris Robson (4) also out Beccles found themselves 17-2 before Alex Wright (28 in 23 balls) and Robert Porter (24 not out) ended any nerves.

Beccles A, who were without a game last week, welcome Sheringham to Beef Meadow this weekend in a bid to continue their superb maiden season in Division Four following last season’s promotion.

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Topcroft are at home to Downham A tomorrow.