Gutsy display by Diss cricketers

ANOTHER gutsy display by the Diss batting line-up ensured their Alliance Division One title aspirations were kept intact, this time chasing down 185 on a difficult track at Saxlingham for a four-wicket win.

ANOTHER gutsy display by the Diss batting line-up ensured their Alliance Division One title aspirations were kept intact, this time chasing down 185 on a difficult track at Saxlingham for a four-wicket win.

The victory keeps Diss in second place still three points behind Brooke and seven points clear of Sprowston in third.

This week Diss entertain sixth-placed Bradfield at Rectory Meadow, which again is a must-win game with five left in the campaign.

Diss got off to a high-octane start when Henry Rush had opener Dave Lacey caught by a diving James Wilby for a duck. Fellow opener Stuart Mackie also fell for nought when Chris Germon drew him into a false shot with Will Dawson taking an equally impressive diving catch.

Things then got even better for Diss when Germon picked up another wicket with score on just two when Liam Brown caught David English with yet another low diving catch.

Diss didn't let their foot off the gas but Dan Williams and Ant Pearson dug in deep to try and salvage Saxlingham's innings.

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The pair put on 62 before Williams smashed a ball straight to Mike Tooke at mid-wicket off Simon Cooper's bowling for 30.

Free-hitter Oli Brown then blazed away in typical fashion, hitting two big sixes after being dropped by Andy Tebble in the deep. His luck eventually ran out when James Wilby took a safe catch at long-on.

Ant Pearson began to up the tempo and passed a well-deserved 50. Neil Forsdick became Rush's second victim of the day when he was trapped lbw for nought.

Pearson's fine innings came to an end of 74 when Liam Brown took a catch at deep point for the second week running, this time off pace man Rush to give him his third wicket of the day.

Tom Weal was ran out for nought, Ben Cudden played a constructive innings at number two to finish not out on 34, with Al Ely not out for 5.

Diss would have liked to been chasing a smaller total considering the start they had but were confident of picking up another win.

Danny Williams and Andy Lawrence caused the opening pair of James Wilby and Liam Brown some problems at the top of the innings, it was Wilby to go first when a fast yorker cleaned bowled him for a 17-ball duck.

Will Dawson dug in and rode his luck early on but he along with Brown steadied the ship until a settled Brown was caught well at first slip by Cudden. Dawson kept things ticking over while Chris Cooper set about dispatching the bowling to all parts of the ground. He raced to 25 off just 13 balls before he tried one too many big shots and was bowled by Cudden.

Dawson's dogged innings moved into the thirties, but again - just as he looked settled he perished off the bowling of Neil Forsdick.

Diss knew they were up with the run rate but the loss of quick wickets was starting to be a worry. Skipper Tooke paired up with all-rounder Rush with Diss needing 80 runs from the final 20 overs.

Both were tentative to begin but looked strong in defence. They pushed the score up to 126 until Tooke, who had previously not given a single chance, leant back on a cut shot and was superbly caught by Danny Williams.

Henry Rush then upped the ante and found the boundary to ease the pressure on new batsman Simon Cooper. Again a handy partnership formed and with Diss needing just 24 off the final six overs Cooper was clean bowled, again leaving Diss' hearts in their mouths.

Experienced club captain Mike Tooke then met Rush in the middle, Tooke smashed a glorious cover drive followed by a well-timed leg glance to see Diss home with six balls to spare - much to the relief and delight of the team on the sidelines.

Man-of-the-match Henry Rush finished with 45no off 58 balls to go with his 3-52 when bowling and Mike Tooke 10 not out off just 11 balls at the death.

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