GREAT MELTON U13s beat MATTISHALL U13s by 18 runs at Mattishall in the Alan Bridgewater Competition
The U13s final Alan Bridgewater group match proved to be an excellent encounter with batsmen on both sides revelling on a hard wicket with a huge, fast outfield. Luke Marchant, Fergus Hughes and Tom Moye all retired on reaching 30 including several all-run fours while Matt Ling, having retired with a nose bleed, returned to score 10 not out while Ryan Howard hit an unbeaten 18. It meant that, despite some good bowling by the Mattishall lads, especially spinner Gaskin (2-0-4-0), Melton didn’t lose a wicket in scoring 139.
It was a tall order for the home side to chase such a big total and it became even harder when wicketkeeper Matt Ling caught opener J.Chapman (0) in Aimee Palmer’s first over. Ben Chapman, however, put bat to ball with real intent playing an array of shots that took him quickly to 30. Even the normally economical Craig Wilson came in for some punishment but, once Chapman departed, Wilson (3-0-24-3) came back strongly taking three wickets to catches by Marchant (2) and Hughes. One, by Marchant, was a brilliant diving effort at short mid-off. N.Gaskin also came in and played his shots, becoming the 5th batsman to score 30. A run out, by Wilson, and a wicket for Marchant, however, meant that, with 6 wickets down, Chapman and Gaskin were allowed to return. Both carried on as they left off but, despite their best efforts, Mattishall still finished 18 runs short. Nevertheless the home side’s total of 121-6 was a very good response. Ben Chapman finished on 42 and Gaskin on 40. Matt Ling did a good job as wicketkeeper.
With no time to rearrange the match cancelled by Fakenham, the U13s will now need to wait for the final Group 2 tables to be published to find out if they qualify for the quarter finals but, with only 1 defeat, it seems likely they will finish runners-up to Great Witchingham and thus play the winner of group 1 (Swardeston or Mulbarton) away.