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Valley close to winning title

PUBLISHED: 09:42 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:39 14 July 2010

Hethersett and Tas Valley are within touching distance of the Norfolk League Division One title.

An eight-wicket victory over local rivals Great Melton on Saturday means they need just five points from their match at second-placed Great Witchingham this weekend in a game that has become a title decider.

Hethersett and Tas Valley are within touching distance of the Norfolk League Division One title.

An eight-wicket victory over local rivals Great Melton on Saturday means they need just five points from their match at second-placed Great Witchingham this weekend in a game that has become a title decider.

On Saturday, whilst Hethersett were racking up 24 points from their win over Melton, Witchingham were restricted to 22 points from their win over bottom club Rollesby. It means that slide-rule calculations will be the order of the day for the title decider.

The outcome of the championship could be effectively decided by the toss of a coin. If Hethersett skipper Matt Ellis calls correctly and opts to bat, the title will be virtually in the bag. Witchingham will know they have to take maximum points from the game, whilst Hethersett know that they can lose and still take the necessary points thanks to the system that awards a point for every 40 runs scored and every two wickets taken.

Hethersett saw off the challenge of Melton, but not before a few twists and turns. Hethersett won the toss and put Melton in on a damp wicket. Melton lost their first three wickets cheaply before Jonathan Howard (24) and Alex Cooper (47) steadied the ship. Melton accelerated towards the end of their innings to finish on 162 for eight from their 45 overs, with Hethersett claiming a vital fourth bowling point with a run out off the final ball. Matt Steward took two for 35 and Phil Walmsley two for 30.

Hethersett got off to a scratchy start, with openers Richard Ellis (8) and Tim Shelley (13) falling cheaply and Simon Redhead having to retire hurt after a nasty blow to the nose. That brought the two Matts together - Ellis and Steward.

Whilst Matt Ellis played the unaccustomed role of anchorman, Steward slammed the Melton attack for four sixes and seven fours in a match-winning unbeaten 66. Ellis provided superb and intelligent support with an unbeaten 44 to take the score to 163 for two off 35.4 overs.

H&TV Thirds' outside chances of promotion from Division 10 were boosted by a good 48-run victory over second-placed Garboldisham. Hethersett batted first and were bowled out for 137 in 42 overs, with Tom Brandon Street top scoring on 35. In a low-scoring game, Garboldisham were all out for 89, with John Nash taking four for19 and Joe Brett three for 17. Hethersett remain in third place with an average of 16.50 compared with Garboldisham's 16.61. On Saturday they wrap up their league season with an away game against Felthorpe, whilst Garboldisham are home to Norwich Union B.

Hethersett and Tas Valley Seconds' game at Lowestoft A was called off. This Saturday they finish their programme with a home game against Mallards B.

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