Diss promoted at first attempt

GOING UP: Diss celebrate taking a Lowestoft wicket
GOING UP: Diss celebrate taking a Lowestoft wicket

CECIL AMEY OPTICIANS

NORFOLK ALLIANCE

DIVISION ONE

Diss (91-1) beat

Lowestoft (88)

by nine wickets

Such is the digital age in which we live, Diss learned of their promotion back to the Premier Division on Saturday via Twitter.

Having made light work of visiting Lowestoft, who were bowled out for just 88 runs, Diss were free to scroll through social media by mid-afternoon to watch their fate unfold.

Not only did Diss need to win their encounter at Rectory Meadow, they were also reliant on one of Stow and Swardeston II slipping up.

Stow did not oblige, overcoming Vauxhall Mallards II by a five-wicket margin to clinch the league title.

And with Swardeston’s second team chasing 165 for victory at Dereham, it seemed Diss would have to settle for third spot and another campaign in Division One.

However, Swardeston ended up losing by 30 runs, moving Diss up to second spot and securing an immediate return to the top flight of Norfolk cricket following last term’s disappointment of relegation.

“We were probably done around 3pm and once we had a chat with the lads, we kept updating Twitter and the Play Cricket website,” said captain Mark Williamson.

“When we saw what Swardeston were chasing it looked like they would do it.

“We were checking every 10 minutes and while there was a couple of mixed messages, it was great when the news come through that Dereham had bowled them out.

“The lads had a great night celebrating — they deserved it.”

Williamson lost the toss and saw his opposite number opt to bat first — a decision the Diss skipper admitted he would also have taken.

But, with Chris Cooper in wicket-taking mood, it proved to be a decision that backfired against the visitors.

As they had been doing throughout the season, Diss struck early with Cooper having Adam Savoury (4) caught at slip by David Tooke.

Daniel Taylor (1-32) also struck by getting the key wicket of Tom Brice for a duck.

After that Cooper started to rip through the Lowestoft top order, removing Joshua McAvoy (1) Craig Guy (0) and Nathan Garrod (12) all in quick succession to reduce the away side to 23-5.

Lowestoft briefly recovered through David Brown (20) and William Brice (14), but they both ended up falling to Cooper, as he finished with figures of 6-28 and made it 35 wickets for the season.

Skipper Mark Williamson (2-14) also joined in the fun, notching a couple of wickets himself and a good piece of fielding from Mark Brawn ensured a run out.

In the end, Lowestoft were dismissed for a mere 88 runs in just 29.4 overs.

Diss’ run chase started with a bang as Williamson thick edged the first ball for four over third man.

Himself and Cooper were determined to see out the game before the tea break, and Williamson in particular did just that, pelting 43 in just 38 deliveries with some delightful shots — including a six.

He was eventually bowled by William Brice (1-15), but David Tooke (9) helped Cooper (29 no) see out the victory and guarantee the hosts what ended up being a crucial 25 points.

Cooper had been the star of the show and along with team-mate Rob Tooke, he received special praise from Williamson for their overall contribution to the promotion-winning season.

“We had never played in this league before and so we were not sure what to expect,” added the Diss captain.

“We lost two or three players as well, but I always thought if our big players performed on a regular basis, we would be there or thereabouts.

“And that is where the credit has to go to Chris and Rob. We have had some good performers this season, but those two are the stand outs.

“They have both took over 30 wickets and scored well 600 runs. They have been superb and we could not have done it without them.”

Williamson’s reign as skipper, which started at the beginning of the season, has coincided with the return of a positive feeling around the club.

By Williamson’s own admission, things had gone stale over recent years, but he believes an improved team spirit helped to fire his men back to the Premier Division.

“The team spirit has been great this year, on and off the pitch,” he added.

“We have also had plenty of people turn up for training, which was pleasing.

“The committee have worked so hard behind the scenes and they also deserve a lot of praise.

“The club has been a good place to be around this season.”