Hethersett & Tas Valley’s promotion push comes a season early!

Alex Johnson bowling for Norwich A during their win over Bradfield in Norfolk Alliance Division One.

Alex Johnson bowling for Norwich A during their win over Bradfield in Norfolk Alliance Division One. Picture : Antony Kelly - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Hethersett and Tas Valley are mounting a double promotion push as the Norfolk Alliance and Norfolk League enters the second half of their respective seasons.

The first team are just outside the promotion places in Division Two of the Alliance while the thirds are in second place in Division 3 Central of the Norfolk League.

The firsts consolidated their third place with an excellent six wicket victory over Great Witchingham A. With second placed Topcroft losing, Valley are now just five points outside the promotion places.

Valley's aim at the beginning of the season was to blood a number of young players in the first team with the aim of making a concerted push for promotion in 2018. Now that promotion push may come a season early.

On Saturday experienced bowler Andy Harris stepped up from the seconds and was the star turn as Witchingham were restricted to 227-7 from their 45 overs. Harris captured 3-14.

When Hethersett batted they lost star opener Ian Bryce for just eight but their strength in depth shone through as James Shipley hit his maiden century for the club and ended unbeaten on 114 as Valley raced home with 231-4 with more than three overs to spare. Shipley was well supported by Robbie Matthews (43) and Nick Burrett (46 not out).

The thirds took on New Buckenham and were set a tough ask as their opponents hit 222-3. Valley were in no mood to cave in and reached their target with 226-7 with Rob Jones hitting 41 and virtually every other batsman scoring double figures.

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The seconds went down to Beccles A by four wickets. Valley scored 183, with Tom Osborn hitting 53. Beccles reached their target with just three balls remaining to finish on 185-6, with Tom Worley taking 2-28.

Valley Fourths bowled out Rackheath for 159 (Mark Worley 3-17) but were then bowled out for 61 with only Ed Blowfield and Sam Woodruff reaching double figures.

On Saturday Valley firsts are home to Downham, the seconds visit Garboldisham, the thirds are away to Hingham and the fourths host Hardingham.

Valley Veterans had an easy 89 run victory over Rocklands. Hethersett scored 175-4 off their 20 overs and then restricted Rocklands to 86-7.

On Sunday Hethersett finished on the wrong end of a 133 run defeat at the hands of Swaffham in the Mid Norfolk League.