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Topcroft hold nerve to avoid drop

PUBLISHED: 11:41 05 September 2008 | UPDATED: 07:38 01 August 2010

Topcroft held their nerve to send Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers down in a tense relegation shoot-out.

Wanderers, who were challenging for the Alliance Premier Division title last season, went into the game hoping to claw back a 13-point deficit on Topcroft and haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

Topcroft held their nerve to send Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers down in a tense relegation shoot-out.

Wanderers, who were challenging for the Alliance Premier Division title last season, went into the game hoping to claw back a 13-point deficit on Topcroft and haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

They batted first and posted 172 for nine, but Topcroft managed to sneak past that total with two wickets in hand, thanks to the efforts of James Goodfellow (71) as Lyndon Brown's 5-41 proved in vain.

Topcroft's final home game was sponsored by Bungay Tyre Services and they welcomed Norwich and Coltishall Wanderers on Saturday where a loss would have resulted in relegation from the Alliance Premier Division.

Topcroft won the toss and elected to bowl first.

Topcroft opening bowlers Gunawardene and A Todd made runs very difficult to come by, restricting the Wanderers' batsmen to only 25 runs off the first 10 overs.

I Todd was introduced into the attack and removed Taylor for 12. This brought the dangerous Brown to the crease, but he was soon trapped lbw by Baldwin for six, leaving Wanderers 51-2.

Warburton then removed Ingram, bringing the attacking Young to the crease. He set about increasing the scoring rate with two big sixes.

With D Todd bowling a miserly spell from one end, Marshall was introduced into the attack and bowled Youngs with his third ball for 19.

D Todd then removed Williams for a composed 46, leaving Wanderers struggling on 117-5.

With only 12 overs remaining the Wanderers' batsmen had to chance their arm to add to their total, and Steward was soon removed by D Todd for 16.

Marshall then dismissed Hayes thanks to an agile catch from Goodfellow, and a direct hit from Shipley led to the dismissal of Mackintosh before I Todd returned to the attack to claim the wicket of Humphries from the last ball of the innings. Wanderers ended on 172-9 with a well struck 24 from Jackson.

Topcroft knew that they would not be relegated if they could avoid being bowled out - but the team wanted to finish the season with a victory.

However, their innings got off to the worst possible start with Warburton bowled in the first over by a fired-up Brown. Wright soon followed and Topcroft were 23-2.

Brown then trapped Gunawardene lbw for 11 before removing Shipley with an unplayable yorker: Topcroft 46-4.

Goodfellow and Baldwin began to rebuild the innings before Baldwin played around a straight one to be lbw for 21.

I Todd and Goodfellow batted sensibly through a brutal spell of bowling from Brown, with Goodfellow bringing up a vital half-century.

The pair took the score to 135 before Todd was bowled by Hayes for a well-grafted 27.

Rostron was Brown's fifth victim, leaving Topcroft 147-7.

Marshall joined Goodfellow and was soon put on his backside by a vicious bouncer from Brown.

Goodfellow set about winning the game but was bowled by Young for a fantastic 71. This brought A Todd to the crease with the spectators becoming increasingly nervous.

But Marshall held his nerve to score the seven runs required winning the game with a four through the offside to secure Topcroft's Premier League status for next season. This sparked excited scenes around the ground for the players.

This was a great performance from the team, with notable contributions with the ball from D Todd and with the bat from I Todd and a match-winning performance from Goodfellow.

Cunningham's Auto MoM: James Goodfellow.

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