Diss beaten in their season-opening Norfolk Alliance Premier Division clash against champions Fakenham
Diss (148) started their second straight season in the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division with a tight 35-run home defeat to league favourites Fakenham (181-7) on Saturday.
Skipper Mark Williamson, captaining the side for his third straight season, won the toss and inserted the away side into bat on a chilly and wet afternoon at Rectory Meadow, with the game being reduced to 40 overs per side.
Diss made the perfect start in the opening 10 overs, with openers Sam Hunt and Williamson each picking up wickets.
Williamson had John Ewart caught behind for five and Hunt (1-24) surprised Harry Bammant (9) with a short ball – Lewis Taylor taking both catches.
Consistent spells from Robert Tooke (1-14) and Jordon Warren (2-37) resulted in further inroads in the Fakenham top order. Tooke had Ben Harvey caught for three, and Warren trapped Luke Caswell (7) lbw shortly after.
Diss had their fifth wicket and reduced Fakenham to 54-5 when Warren bowled Richard Ewart for three. The away side were 60-5 at the halfway stage of their innings after a dominant 20 overs from Diss.
However, Fakenham turned their innings around in the second half, primarily thanks to the work of batsmen Will Dunger and Will Buckingham.
The two steered their team to a competitive total and took advantage of some looser bowling at the end of the innings.
Despite the finest of efforts from debutant Rob Lockwood (1-53), Dunger passed 50 and Buckingham contributed significantly.
Nevertheless, Lockwood would pick up a deserved wicket when he bowled Buckingham three shy of his half century.
Diss finally removed Dunger for an excellent 65 thanks to Williamson (2-24) but the damage had already been done.
Fakenham scored over 100 in the last 16 overs of their innings and recorded a total of 181-7.
In reply neither of the Diss openers Williamson (6) or Brawn (5) could get going, both falling LBW to Caswell.
That brought overseas debutant Jebb Swallow to the crease, fresh from a half century in a warm-up game.
The Australian looked to counter-attack the Fakenham openers and put pressure back on the fielding side.
David Tooke edged a fine delivery from Caswell (3-14) to slip and was out for one, leaving Diss on the brink with the scoreboard reading a worrying 25-3.
However, Swallow and new batsman Robert Tooke had other ideas. Both waited for the bad ball and stretched the Fakenham field when given the chance. They guided Diss to 66-3 at drinks and kept the home side in the match.
After a couple of rain intervals, Swallow and Tooke continued to build a solid partnership.
Swallow brought up a composed first league fifty, looking at home at the crease.
But with just 70 needed for victory in the final 12 overs the matched took a cruel turn for Diss. Tooke was unluckily run out from a direct hit for 39, and that sparked a flurry of wickets for Fakenham.
While Swallow still looked secure at the other end, Taylor (0), Warren (7), Alfie Brydon (1) and Doug Young (0) all fell in quick succession, meaning Diss had collapsed from 110-3 to 136-8.
With the run-rate climbing and running out of partners at the other end, Swallow decided to go big and lost his wicket as a result.
He was bowled by Dunger (4-33) for an impressive 64, and with him went Diss’ chances of victory.
Hunt and Lockwood attempted to help to Diss reach 150 for an extra batting point, but they fell four short as Hunt (3) was adjudged LBW to David Coyle (2-20).
Diss were dismissed for 146 inside 38 overs, still 35 runs short of their target. It could certainly be described as one that got away from the hosts, having been in several promising positions.
Diss will look to bounce back from their opening day defeat when travel to Stow tomorrow (12pm).