Senior Round-Up: Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th August
An injury to Luke Marchant blunted Melton’s bowling attack on Saturday at Bradenham but the home side were good value for their 7-wicket victory. Marchant’s injury came whilst top-scoring with 33 in Melton’s total of 177 all out and meant that he couldn’t bowl. Jim Rice took 2-30, removing opener Brendan Scott for 30, but Melton’s other bowlers all went wicketless as Rob Ellis, with 64 not out and Will Dewing with an unbeaten 44, saw Bradenham, who beat Melton twice in claiming the Division 3 championship last season, to a comfortable win in 29.3 overs. Tim Hales, with a gritty 31, Connor Stearman (30) and Joey Greenslade (23) all made good contributions to Melton’s total but nobody went on to make a significant score as Ellis produced a man-of-the-match performance taking 5-42 to go with his 64 runs.
The A Team, at home to Old Catton, won by 5 wickets. Having lost the toss and been put into bat on a very hot afternoon, Melton bowled well and restricted the visitors to 192-6. Giles Picket (53) top-scored for Catton with former Melton junior Luke Prime contributing a good 43. There was 3 wickets for Matt Rushton and 2 for 14-year old Harrison Cunningham with Kyle Weston taking the 6th with the help of a fine catch from Harrison. There was also a good spell of 8 overs from left arm seamer Robert Mackintosh playing only his 2nd senior game for the club. The Melton openers, Jonathan Ellse and Nick Aston, put on 20 runs before Aston (12) and Ryan Hayward (5) were dismissed but Kai Wilkinson-Loines joined Ellse and both took advantage of the quick outfield, scoring freely with 17 boundaries between them in a pivotal partnership of 121. Kai was eventually bowled for 55, followed by Ellse for 67 but Kyle Weston batted in his usual style hitting 18 runs off just 9 balls before leaving it to Mackintosh and Matt Henderson (both 11*) to see Melton over the line in the 37th over.
The Sunday first team proved a little too strong for neighbours Marlingford who came to the rescue late in the week when scheduled opponents Hardingham called off. Skipper Eusha Fawad scored 50 before retiring and Joey Greenslade, Woody Loines, Chris Elliott and Aidan Brand all reached the 30s. There were two wickets apiece for James Cooper, Flynn Crosthwaite and Loines. It was good to see club stalwart and former First Team skipper, Chris Elliott, back at Melton Park playing his 616th match.
Liam Stevens first ‘fifer’ was the highlight of the Sunday A Team’s enjoyable friendly victory over Great Ellingham. 15-year-old Liam took 5-22 from his 5 overs, including the valuable wickets of Dave Allum (41) and Adie Cooper (2) as Melton, who had earlier totalled 168-5, restricted the home side to 145-9 to win by 23 runs. There were notable performances too from several other youngsters. 12-year-old James Alcock, on his senior debut, scored 21 and took 1-21, Corey Rushton scored 35 not out, took 1-30, held two catches and featured in a run out, Oli Leinster held a good catch and Alice Greenslade bowled well without reward. Clive Gristwood who retired with 28, Paul Stevens (30 retired) and Martin Alcock with 13 not out and a wicket, did their best to challenge the juniors but Corey, James and Liam were the stars.