As we reach the business end of another season, battles are being fought on cricket fields up & down the country to decide crucial promotion & relegation issues. Postwick on Saturday was not one of those places, with both Great Melton A & their hosts, Old Catton, all but assured of mid-table mediocrity and another season of Division 5 cricket, both happy enough to do their best to enjoy the remainder of the season.
Old Catton opted to make first use of the facilities and although Hayward started well for Melton, extras was comfortably the top scorer when he had opener Fossey stumped for 7. Tom Quinton pushed the score along nicely until MOTM Dale Weston came into the attack & immediately arrested the run rate. A 9 over spell of well- controlled swing bowling brought him 3-18, ripping the heart out of the Catton batting order.
James Robb bowled well in support & for a time it looked as though the home team would be restricted to not much more than 100 but a solid partnership between Turner & Shingles took them towards respectability. Bickel (3-27) made the crucial breakthoughs then Hayward (3-24) brought about a swift conclusion to the innings for a potentially challenging 158.
The Melton reply got off to the worse possible start; Woody Loines got himself out in the most bizarre fashion, managing to play a leg-glance off the backof the bat into the waiting hands of slip for 0. Tim Hales once again looked in great form until he nicked one to the keeper for 20. After him, Lee Whiddett, Nick Gristwood, Connor Stearman & James Robb all got decent starts but no-one could quite go on – testament to the nature of the pitch & conditions, so with 7 wickets down it was left to Woods & Hayward to keep their heads & finish the job. A unlikely champagne moment came with Ryan Hayward smashing a 6 over long on to bring up the win in 41st over.
This was a highly enjoyable afternoon & Old Catton were excellent hosts – we look forward to seeing them again next season.