Diss take season-ending derby victory at Old Bucks
Diss Cricket Club ended the season on a high in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division, with a six-wicket win in their derby with Old Buckenham on Saturday.
The result condemned their hosts to a bottom-of-the-table league finish, and relegation to Division One, while cementing their mid-table position of sixth.
Diss (189-4) beat Old Buckenham (187-7) to cap a remarkable second half of their league campaign, with the side recording six wins from their final seven matches.
With usual skipper Mark Williamson absent due to injury, Lewis Taylor had big shoes to fill for the final match as he spearheaded a side in good form.
They started well by winning the toss and choosing to field first.
Old Bucks made a quick start with opening captain Matthew Bint (67) proving tough to shift as he faced 160 balls from the front.
Despite Bint’s resistance, Diss kept the run rate low for much of the first half of the innings, with Sam Hunt (2-39) picking up the wicket of Ben Shearing (19), with Robert Tooke (1-31) also bowling tightly from the other end.
An elegant piece of fielding from Eli Meenhorst saw the end of Bucks’ overseas player Amith Sarma for 15, putting more pressure on the slow-scoring Bint at the other end, as the home side reached 75-2 after 25 overs.
James Hardy (1-22) bowled another tight 10-over spell, picking up the wicket of the frustrated Heaney (21).
Tooke (1-31), Hunt and Jordon Warren (1-46) both took a further wicket each as Bucks were restricted to 187-7 from their 50 allotted overs.
In reply, openers Mark Brawn (31) and Meenhorst started well, returning nine runs from the first over.
But Meenhorst was soon despatched for 10 runs to give the home team hope.
Taylor (56) next came to the crease and got off the mark in style, hitting a six over long-on as he demonstrated his fast-scoring intent.
He brought up his maiden first team half century as he put on 79 with Brawn to sees Diss to 96-1 at the drinks break.
Bucks took three quick wickets shortly after, however, as first Taylor was caught off Howes (3-32) in the deep for 56 before Warren (0) fell the very next ball, followed by Brawn, to leave Diss wobbling on 121-4 with nearly 70 runs remaining to win.
Tooke (54 not out) and Campbell Young (22no) both batted in a composed manner to steady the innings, and cashed in as Bucks grew frustrated.
They saw Diss home to the six-wicket victory as they put on an unbroken partnership of 68 as Diss reached 189-4 in the 45th over to leave them just one point shy of fifth-placed Brooke in the final league standings.
After failing to win any of their opening six fixtures, and winning only one of their opening seven, it ended a huge push in the second half of the season.