Narrow defeat spells the end of Bungay CC’s brave battle for promotion

James Hale on the attack for Great Witchingham in Saturday's rain-affected game against Burwell. Pic

James Hale on the attack for Great Witchingham in Saturday's rain-affected game against Burwell. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Bungay’s Norfolk Alliance Division Three promotion battle finally ended in their penultimate match on Saturday as they slipped to a narrow defeat away to Acle A.

Chasing a soild total of 193-7 in 45 overs they were eventually dismissed for 170 in the 43rd to fall 23 runs short.

Bowling first, Bungay made regular inroads into the Acle batting through Callum Clark (9 overs 2-41) and Chris Fuller (9 overs 2-35).

Fuller also snaffled three catches and brother David again bowled a fine spell with three for 30 from his nine overs.

Constantly maintaining a run rate of around four runs an over, Acle battled to 193-9 from their allotted overs chiefly through 48 from Josh Larner and an aggressive 44 not out from James Hastings.

Bungay started their reply in steady fashion with an opening partnership of over 50 between David Fuller (39) and young Jude Ashken before the latter edged one behind for a composed 23.

Wickets fell quickly thereafter as the middle order collapsed, with the visitors losing five wickets for 30 runs and Jack Masters was joined by Matt Williams needing eight an over from the last 12 overs.

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Masters was out for a breezy 21 and was replaced by his father Ed, who gave excellent support as Williams started to hit out in pursuit of the target. With 28 needed from the last four overs Williams was bowled by Larner for a valiant 45, and seven balls later the brave chase was over, Masters the last victim, run out for 18.

Although this signalled the end of Bungay’s promotion effort, with Great Melton having claimed the second promotion position, the season has been a successful one on the whole and a vast improvement on the last couple.

The Black Dogs finish the campaign with a home fixture against Fakenham seconds and need a comprehensive win to ensure finishing third above Acle.

There was some cause for celebration at the weekend however, with the seconds’ promotion confirmed.

Bungay A had no game on Saturday but with Topcroft B losing in what looked like a tense final over finish against Great Yarmouth A and Colney having finished all their games in Division 4E of the Norfolk League they are now certain to finish second in the table.