In their final external match of the season, the Great Melton u9s enjoyed a comfortable away win at local rivals Heathersett and Tas Valley.
Melton were asked to bat first under cloudy skies, and it was Tommy Elliott (2) and George Ryan who opened the batting for the visitors. Against accurate and quick bowling from Hethersett’s main bowler, Tommy showed an excellent defence, and saw him off comfortably. This set it up for Melton’s second pair of Blade Early and Jack Rowley, who increased the scoring rate and ran sensibly. An exquisite straight drive boundary from Jack had coach McKay asking Jack for batting tips!
Melton actually started the day with 9 players, which was fortunate as Hethersett could only muster 6 players. Oliver Wormstone (3-0-14-1) generously opted to play for Heathersett, and they were grateful for his excellent bowling. One ball in particular to Blade was exceptional, taking out Blade’s off stump. A convincing cut for 4 by Blade in Oliver’s next over left the honours shard at 1-1.
James (6) and George Alcock (3) batted well and did not get out. A well-timed boundary running down the slope was a particular highlight. The boys put pressure on the Hethersett fielders, and took a number of overthrows. Finally, Harry Cheal (12) and Sam McKay (10) closed Melton’s innings. Sam showed his intentions early, cutting his first ball for 4. Harry also hit a boundary, and the boys ran well together to put on 33 for the final pair which gave Melton a score of 2-197, net 187.
Melton set about defending their total with style, with George Ryan (2-0-6-1) in his first game back from injury picking up an early wicket. All round the bowling was very tight, with Blade (2-0-3-0), Tommy (2-0-6-0), Sam (3-0-4-0), George Alcock (2-0-4-0) and James (2-0-10-0) bowling with great control. Jack Rowley was the stand out bowler taking (3-1-5-2). One wicket was an excellent catch by Blade fielding at mid-off who looked very comfortable under the high ball. Harry Cheal was again outstanding behind the stumps and only conceded 7 byes. Harry often stood up to the stumps and comfortably stopped the ball, something not often seen at u9 level. In the end Melton ran out convincing winners, and it was satisfying to finish the competitive season on a high.
Many thanks to the parents who helped score and organise the children whilst I umpired