After the rain last week, Great Melton A got their season off to a belated start with a disappointing home defeat to Old Catton.
Melton were happy to win the toss, but couldn’t quite make the early inroads they might have hoped for, being unable to exercise the control they needed to really put the Catton openers under any significant pressure. Cruising at 57-0, the complexion changed when change bowlers Rob Sims & Paul Stearman came into the attack. Sims’ wily left-arm spin accounted for both opening bats while at the other end Stearman, making a welcome return to cricket after a year out, took 2 quick wickets in his first 3 overs for only 9 runs. His comeback was unfortunately short-lived though. The ‘ping’ of his hamstring audible in Wymondham, he had to be helped from the field at the start of his 4th over to take no further meaningful part in the game. This of course robbed the hosts of a significant all-rounder & a being bowler light meant Melton couldn’t quite wrest sustained control for long enough periods & Catton’s innings finished on 214-9, probably some 30 or 40 runs more than they looked like getting at one stage.
In reply, the Melton innings got off to the worst possible start as Whiddett, Loines & Bugg all departed cheaply, leaving the hosts reeling at 12-3. From such positions recovery is a difficult business under any circumstances & being a man down made that all the more difficult. Things did improve though; Nick Aston batted very well for his 51, as did Matt Henderson for his 42 (a club p.b.) and for a while the chase seemed on, but despite their best endeavours, 215 always remained a long way off. Of the rest, only Wlkinson-Loines, Weston & Woods made double figures and the innings petered out in for 155 in the 35th over.
Early days & some rust shaken off, but there are signs that Division 5 will be a more closely fought contest this year & a tricky game awaits next, at Denver.
Full scorecard available here: https://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3966657