Topcroft find Brooke too tough

In the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, Acle closed the gap on Mallards to 11 points with a 10-wicket win at home to Cromer, Haydn Murray taking five for 10 to dismantle the visitors.

In the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, Acle closed the gap on Mallards to 11 points with a 10-wicket win at home to Cromer, Haydn Murray taking five for 10 to dismantle the visitors.

Brooke beat Topcroft by nine wickets in a match reduced to 30 overs per side, with Brooke's John Reynolds hitting 77 from 52 balls.

John Habershon helped Brooke over the winning line with an unbeaten 33. Earlier, Phil du Plessis had top scored for Topcroft with 43no, while Habershon took 2-18. Lowestoft skipper Peter Sims took seven for 29 as his side beat Swardeston by 42 runs. North Runcton's game at Diss was rained off without a ball bowled.

In Division One, Old Buckenham bounced back to the top of the table, with morning leaders Norwich & Coltishall and second-placed Norwich both frustrated by the weather.

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Jack Jarvis hit 92no for Bucks, before James Heaney bowled them to a 75-run win at Saham Toney with 4-29.

It was Buckenham's first win since June 20 and puts them back in the frame for a quick return to the Premier Division.

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Bradfield beat Mattishall by 30 runs in a reduced-overs game. Tim Hales fired an unbeaten 73 to steer Sprowston to a five-wicket win at Bradenham. Earlier, Uzal Hussain had taken 4-35 for Sprowston, while Bradenham's Steven Matthews made 49.

Clinton Berkenshaw produced another dominant display for North Runcton A as they inflicted a rare defeat on Division Two leaders Hales. The South African blasted 71 and then took 7-27 as Hales were skittled out to lose by 98 runs. Hales' Graham Squire took 4-48.

Second-placed Swardeston A were unable to take full advantage of Hales' slip-up, as they could only manage a 90pc losing draw at Dersingham. Mark Jarvis hit 67 for Hillington as they got maximum points at Garboldisham.

Beccles moved above Saxlingham into third after beating them by six wickets, Alex Wright taking four for 37. Dereham's game at home to Mundford was a victim of the weather.

Tim Courridge starred with bat and ball as Diss A boosted their survival hopes in Division Five with a 119-run win at fellow strugglers Topcroft A. Courridge made 111 as Diss piled on the runs, and then bagged 4-33 to help his side to a crucial win. Halvergate stretched their lead at the top to 19 points with a six-wicket triumph against Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers A.

Tom Booth's 4-17 saw Wanderers dismissed cheaply, before skipper Steven Clarke led Halvergate home with 44no.

Cromer A skipper Alan Lithins smashed a century as his side dominated proceedings in a winning draw against Bradenham A. Alex Craske then took three wickets for Cromer, but Bradenham batted out their overs to make just 86 for seven.

The games at Beccles A and Rocklands were both abandoned.

Downham A took another significant step towards the title, seizing a maximum points win at Kirkley & Lowestoft Railway in Division Three. Jamie Heyburn (69) and Matthew Spenceley (63) helped Horsford gain a winning draw at home to Hethersett & Tas Valley. Matthew Ellis (51) helped Tas stave off defeat.

Brian Whitwood fired 60 as Fakenham sealed a 58-run victory at Swaffham. Anthony Reeve made 64 for the hosts.

In Division Four, Great Melton cruised to a nine-wicket win at home to bottom side Dereham A. Melton's Neil Hubbard took four for 33, before openers Richard Wood (82) and Alex Cooper (66no) helped complete victory in quick time. Leaders Witchingham got a five-wicket win at Stow A. Old Buckenham A continued their revival with a five-wicket win against Norwich A, Josh Lincoln taking 4-25.

A tight match at Bungay saw the hosts bowled out just five runs short of their victory target against Narborough. Sprowston A hung on for a losing draw at home to Acle A.

Only two games went ahead in Division Six as the matches at Hethersett & Tas Valley A, Mundford A and Vauxhall Mallards A were all wiped out. John Grant claimed four

for 42 as Mattishall A beat Thetford A by three wickets and Swardeston-CEYMS gained a 90pc losing draw at home to Lowestoft A.

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