Hethersett & Tas Valley miss out on promotion to Norfolk Alliance Division One

Long-serving Steve Goldsmith receives a guard of honour from his Vauxhall Mallards team-mates after

Long-serving Steve Goldsmith receives a guard of honour from his Vauxhall Mallards team-mates after coming out to bat for the club the final time at Halvergate on Saturday in the Norfolk Alliance match against Stow. Turn inside for a report. Picture: Alan Tinkler - Credit: Archant

Hethersett & Tas Valley's brave promotion push faltered at the final hurdle as they failed to pip Beccles into runners-up slot in Division Two of the Norfolk Alliance.

Valley knew that they had to win at Great Witchingham on the final day of the season and hope that they could take three points more than Beccles, who started the day in second place.

Sadly the cricketing Gods conspired against Valley as they went down to Witchingham by five wickets. Well before the end of the match, however, the information filtered through to Witchingham that Beccles had comfortably beaten Downham A by six wickets after bowling their opponents out for a humbling 80.

That put the dampener on Valley's day and they found it hard to pick themselves up after the disappointing news.

Valley had to field a below strength team due to unavailability through holidays. Batting first they managed to post a fairly competitive 191-9 from their 45 overs.

Opener Ian Bryce cemented his role as most valuable batsman in the division with a battling 59 to take his total of runs for the club in league and cup matches this season to over 1,200 and over 1,000 in the Norfolk Alliance.

Mark Gricks hit 43 but it all proved to be to no avail as Witchingham replied with 192-5 with over six overs remaining.

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Valley A finish second from bottom of Division Four but have avoided relegation as only one team goes down.

They went down to Beccles A by six wickets. Valley were all out for 161 off the last ball of the innings, with opener Paul Reeve hitting 81. Beccles reached their target with nine balls remaining with four wickets down.

Valley B beat New Buckenham by four wickets to finish third in Division Three Central of the Norfolk League just six points out of the promotion places. Buckenham could only manage 113-6 in their 45 overs. Valley reached their target in 35 overs with Ollie Kilbourn top scoring with 49.

Valley C lost to Rackheath by 101 runs. Rackheath scored 201 with Leo Sergeant taking 4-32. Hethersett were then bowled out for 100 in 35.1 overs.

Old Buckenham (234-4) beat relegated Sprowston (232-5) by five wickets in their final Alliance Premier Division match of the season. Bucks' skipper Terry Perry scored an unbeaten 117.