North Runcton maintain fine start to season

North Runcton warmed up for Saturday’s home derby against Downham Stow in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division by beating Heathersett & Tas-Valley.

Just two points separate North Runcton and the new league leaders going into the game following their 73-run on their travels.

Runcton’s decision to bat first looked to have backfired as they gifted the home side regular wickets reaching 82-7 off 21 overs with some very indifferent batting.

North Runcton's Ben Coote rescued his side's innings at Hethersett on Saturday
North Runcton’s Ben Coote rescued his side’s innings at Hethersett on Saturday

However, thanks to captain Ben Coote (45 not out off 64 balls) and cameos from Sam Phillips (22 off 27) and Dylan Amin (28 off 44) they were able to rescue the innings and post a respectable total of 189 off 42.5 overs.

With both regular openers unavailable it gave an opportunity for Jon Forder and Jack Major to open and both made 17.

Forder was dismissed leg-before-wicket and Major was bowled both by Ian Bryce – the pick of the home bowlers with 3-31 off 10.

Jacob Lockheart ran himself out for five, Tom Tansley played on for four, Jasper Payne was caught on the boundary for 13, brother Alexander got a corker of a ball off Bryce and was bowled for one.

Harry Lankfer, not satisfied with a six and a four in the same over tried another big hit and was caught for 12. Coote, Phillips and Amin steadied the ship.

Unfortunately, Phillips stood on his wicket and Amin was adjudged leg-before-wicket, as was number 11 Michael Annakin without scoring.

Runcton’s total proved too much for the home side as they were bowled out for 116 in 32 overs.

Coote removed Hethersett captain Ben France, clean-bowled for 14, and had Morton caught-behind by Tansley first ball for nought to leave the home side on 19 for 2.

It was then the Michael Annakin show, taking 5 wickets for just 13 in a miserly six over stint.

Coming in for the unavailable Will Lankfer, Annakin took his opportunity with both hands to show that his figures of 6-21 the previous week for the seconds was well worth a recall.

Jack Major took 1-32 and Jasper Payne 1-19 and the other wicket to fall was a run-out orchestrated by Jon Forder.

Wicketkeeper Tansley claimed a hat-trick of catches while Coote finished with 2-31 off 10.

In Division Three, North Runcton 2nds moved to the top of the league standings following a convincing home win against Downham Stow’s third string..

Batting first, Runcton started steadily against some accurate opening bowling and captain Tim Coote fell first with the score at 42, caught by Sam Leishman on his return to the club.

This opened the way for Mark Skipper and Jamie White to join forces for a second successive week to pile on the runs, this time compiling a stylish and hard run partnership of 206, during which Skipper went through to an excellent 100, accelerating to 140 before being bowled attempting to keep the runs flowing.

White neatly compiled his 81 not out and after their 45 overs, the home team moved strongly to an imposing 279-2.

Downham Stow – facing a stiff task – lost two early wickets, both to Joe Gent, and never really got going, especially against some very miserly bowling from Lucas Triffitt (1-8 off 7.4 overs).

The visitors lost wickets regularly, in spite of some lower-order resistance and good hitting from David Grady, Sam Sharp and Peter Griffin.

The visitors ploughed on to 171 all out at five runs per over but were finally undone with three wickets each for Gent and Jamie Ring, a remarkable run-out courtesy of the Skipper brothers and five catches in the outfield by Owen White.