Party time for Hethersett & Tas Valley III

Tom Osborn, who scored an unbeaten 173 against Lowestoft B.

Tom Osborn, who scored an unbeaten 173 against Lowestoft B. - Credit: Archant

A 10-run victory for Hethersett and Tas Valley thirds over Lowestoft B prompted a promotion party at Flordon on Saturday.

Hethersett and Tas Valley III - runners-up in Division Five of the Norfolk League.

Hethersett and Tas Valley III - runners-up in Division Five of the Norfolk League. - Credit: Archant

The 24-point haul ensured runners-up spot in Division Five of the Norfolk League in a high scoring match that saw Valley opener and former youth team player Tom Osborn (inset) hit a magnificent unbeaten 173 which included 17 fours and ten sixes and earned praise from his skipper Dale Clarke.

'Tom's innings was the most complete performance I have seen in my nine years at the club. This was the best match of the season and a great way to gain promotion from Division Five,' he said.

A run filled match concluded in the gathering gloom as the light faded fast. Valley's total of 261-4 looked to be unassailable, but Lowestoft had other ideas and the match was in the balance until the last few overs when solid bowling restricted the visitors to a reply of 251-6, giving Valley a slender 10-run victory. The win saw them finish 27 points clear of third placed Frettenham who suffered a final day reversal at the hands of runaway champions Gillingham. Ross Jones hit 38 for Hethersett and youngster Sam Morton took 2-57 in Lowestoft's reply.

Valley's firsts consolidated their fifth place in the Norfolk Alliance Division Two with a comfortable five-wicket victory over Saham Toney. The visitors were bowled out for 121 in 39.4 overs with Paul Reeve taking 4-28, Crispin Clarke 3-7 and Phil Walmsley 2-22. Valley replied with 124-5 from 31 overs with David Coyle 32 not out. Back-to-back wins for the firsts have illustrated what might have been in a season when the team just lacked a touch of consistency.

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Valley's seconds have also been inconsistent and finished fourth in Division Five despite a final day loss at the hands of Mattishall A. The home side scored a hefty 243-7 and then bowled Valley out for 136.

There has been much to celebrate for Valley this season. In addition to the third team's promotion, a number of former youth team players have been pushing through the ranks with a number playing games for both the seconds and firsts. The wealth of junior talent should ensure a bright future for the club.

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