Setbacks for pacesetters as Topcroft and Beccles both suffer defeats

Action from Saturday's Norfolk Alliance match between Dereham and Lowestoft. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Action from Saturday's Norfolk Alliance match between Dereham and Lowestoft. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The form book was turned upside down in Division Two of the Norfolk Alliance on Saturday when leaders Topcroft were beaten by bottom side Bradenham.

The struggling visitors, who had lost all seven games before the weekend, kept their nerve to seal a two wicket victory after Topcroft had made 233-3 batting first, with Harry Windridge, who was dropped on nought, scoring 74, Ben Baldwin 64 not out and Ian Todd a swift unbeaten 33.

Will Dewing saw the chase through with an unbeaten 83 while Rob Ellis (72) and Mike Taylor (54) also played important roles for their side.

This game was a definitely an eye opener for all players. With the team Topcroft has, they now can play more aggressive cricket with the bat and take bowlers on to get higher totals that are needed in the modern game of win/lose cricket.

In the field it was the first time in weeks that the majority bowled very poor lines and lengths and fielders were not as switched on as usual, which never helps, and it could be argued that the bowling cost Topcroft the game.

Second placed Beccles were also beaten, with fellow promotion chasers Hethersett and Tas Valley coming away with an impressive five wicket success.

The star for the visitors was once again Ian Bryce who followed up bowling figures of 5-57 with his sixth ton of the season as Valley finished on 212-5 in the 38th over chasing Beccles’ 211. Bryce’s unbeaten knock of 108 featured 20 fours and two sixes, meaning he only had to run 14 times on a scorching hot afternoon.

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Alex Wright again turned on the style to make 85 for Beccles, with six fours and five sixes, while the other main conrtibutors were David George (38), George Milton (32) and Stuart Watkins (20).

Topcroft, who remain three points clear at the top, travel to Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers tomorrow while Beccles are at Downham Town A.

Beccles A’s bowlers had a tough day in Division Four as Garboldisham got all the way up to 300-8 in their 45 overs, with Jonny Wyatt cracking a superb 140 featuring 18 fours and seven sixes.

The visitors ended up losing by 128 runs after being bowled out for 180, Jamie McDowell top scoring with 37.

Beccles A are at home to Hethersett and Tas Valley A tomorrow.