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Diss CC turn in solid performance to stay on course for promotion

PUBLISHED: 19:45 08 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:45 08 August 2017

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley

Norfolk player James Hale delivers for Great Witchingham during Saturday's clash with EAPL leaders Sudbury at Walcis Park. Picture: Tim Ferley

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A business-like performance saw Diss take another step towards promotion to the top flight of the Norfolk Alliance at Thetford, the visitors prevailing by 86 runs on a day disrupted by the weather.

Diss were asked to bat first in a rain-reduced 35-over contest and initially found it tough going, with Chris Cooper (9) and David Tooke (4) falling inside the first 10 overs.

Mark Williamson was crucially still there however when the rain arrived with the score on 49-2.

After a lengthy delay, the beating sun and drying ground meant play could resume following an early tea.

Lewis Taylor (1) gave James Baulch (2-35) his second wicket but this only brought in Robert Tooke, and the ensuing partnership would turn out to be a game changer. The pair of Williamson and Tooke stepped on the gas, adding 69 valuable runs in just nine overs through a combination of intelligence and pure power. Tooke departed lbw to Liam Conroy (4-34) for 33 — at better than a run a ball — but Williamson continued, his exemplary captain’s innings of 69 thwarted only by the late introduction of Craig Baulch into the Thetford attack. A series of small contributions down the order helped Diss to a competitive total of 163.

As has been the case on several occasions this season, Diss’ efforts in the field started with early inroads. Lockwood feathered behind for a duck off only the fourth ball of Cooper’s spell before Ryan Conroy was cleaned up without scoring a couple of overs later. Dan Taylor (2-18) got in on the act too, pinning the dangerous Liam Conroy leg before for 10, and at 12-3 there seemed no looking back.

Cooper was now bowling with guile and fluency, putting Javaid (0) out of his misery and ending Smeed’s (5) resistance lbw, either side of Iqbal being snaffled in the slips by Robert Tooke off Taylor. Thetford were choking at 20-6, Cooper the star turn with an incredible 4-6, including five consecutive maidens at the start of his spell.

Though the hosts’ lower order found the ropes on a couple of occasions, two great takes in the deep by Dan Taylor, plus wickets for James Hardy (2-22), Williamson (1-21) and Robert Tooke (1-3), saw Thetford all out for 77 in the 30th over.

Diss now host fourth placed Stow in a crucial game on Saturday at Rectory Meadow (1pm).

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