Great Melton A (5 Points) lost to Swaffham (24) by 5 Wickets at Melton Park in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Three
Great Melton A:
C Stearman b Puckey 0
L Whiddett lbw b Annakin 21
M Bunn b Payne 23
S Mann c & b Payne 0
L Hughes b Puckey 56
M Farmer c Dale b Payne 0
J Bickel lbw b Dye 6
S Woods b Puckey 24
R Hayward b Payne 5
R Sims Not Out 4
G Coulson b Payne 2
Total (All Out, 41.5 Overs) 174
T Puckey 11-3-43-3, J Payne 11.5-2-42-5, D Annakin 10-2-40-1, M Dye 9-1-31-1
M Eagle c & b Sims 11
C Upton b Farmer 44
M Dye c Bickel b Sims 23
J Payne Not Out 75
T Puckey c & b Bickel 1
R Bradbury c Hayward b Farmer 0
B Mills Not Out 4
Total (5 Wickets, 33 Overs) 175
G Coulson 5-1-17-0, R Hayward 10-2-31-0, R Sims 9-0-62-2, M Farmer 6-0-37-1, J Bickel 3-0-24-2
Great Melton A proved to be their own worst enemies as league leaders Swaffham piled on the agony to leave the A’s rooted to the foot of Division Three.
Even the luck of the coin toss has deserted the A’s right now as they were inserted by the leaders, and Connor Stearman was then bowled by Tom Puckey from the first ball of the match. For a while, a partnership was built as Martin Bunn looked in decent touch and Lee Whiddett used the pace of Jasper Payne and Puckey well, taking the score to 47-1 from 9 overs.
That was to prove Melton’s only position of strength in the match, as in the next over Payne dismissed Martin Bunn (23) when he played across a straight ball. Just two balls later, Sam Mann played a poor shot as his attempted pull when straight up to be caught by the bowler. Disaster then struck in the next over when Lee Whiddett (21) was given out lbw to David Annakin, in the first of two acts of generosity by the home side. The second came after Michael Farmer nicked behind off Payne for a third ball duck to leave Melton 53-5, with Joe Bickel (3) also being adjudged lbw. By that time Melton were 82-6 from 18 overs.
Liam Hughes and Simon Woods then battled away to try to restore some semblance of order. Hughes, in particular, looked solid as the pair added 55 for the 7th wicket, before Hughes perished for a fine 56 including 10 fours in the 35th over. Woods added 28 more runs with Ryan Hayward, with Woods making 24, before the innings was then finished off by the returning opening bowlers, Payne bowling Gary Coulson in the 42nd over to end up with figures of 5-42, as Melton were bowled out for 174, a total that looked about 60 runs below par on a very flat Melton Park wicket.
To defend such a total looked a very tall order, and Melton struggled for the early breakthrough, although Gary Coulson and Ryan Hayward at least produced some control with the score 35-0 from 10 overs. It was Rob Sims who broke through when he had Mark Eagle caught and bowled in his first over.
Melton’s generosity when umpiring was then not reciprocated when Michael Dye survived an excellent lbw shout off Ryan Hayward, and he bludgeoned his way to 23 before Joe Bickel took a magnificent catch running in full pelt from long-on to hand Sims his second wicket. Swaffham were 69-2 from 19 overs.
The shackles were then blown off by Jasper Payne as he proved destructive toward Sims and Michael Farmer. In truth, Melton bowled far too many full tosses and four balls, with Payne despatched with some ease. It was impossible to build any pressure and although Farmer did remove Chris Upton (44) with a fine yorker, at 133-3 in the 28th over the game looked up. Joe Bickel bagged two more wickets but Payne continued on to smash 75 not out as Swaffham comfortably overhauled their target from 33 overs.