Essex Ladies’ Beth Harmer was the difference between the sides as Swardeston beat Great Melton by 29 runs in the Shell Norfolk Women’s League. Despite an excellent all-round performance from Melton’s girls that included an unbeaten 31 from skipper Cassie Mawby and 26 not out from Ella Dye, Harmer’s all-round contribution was the big difference between the sides.

Wickets for Mawby, Dye, Alice Greenslade, Maddie Bunten, and Hannah Skittrall meant that Melton looked like preventing Swardeston from posting too big a total despite a good 32 from Abi Sutherland. However, when Alex Flatt hit her own wickets off the bowling of Becky Greenslade it allowed former Melton junior, Beth, to return to the crease, having initially retired with 30. She went on to plunder 38 more runs off the final overs to finish with 68 not out and take the Swardeston total from a modest one to a challenging 155-6.

Hannah Brook began the Melton reply with two boundaries and Becky Greenslade scampered some quick singles before both were out for 9 and 5 respectively. However, that was the last success the Swardeston bowlers enjoyed as Cassie hit some fine shots in her 31 (retired). With Ella (26 not out) and Claire Wells (15 not out) also finding the boundary and running well between the wickets, Melton’s total went past 100 and victory was still an outside possibility. Having kept wicket for 12 overs, Beth Harmer, then swopped the pads and gloves to bowl 4 of the final 8 overs, conceding just 15 runs. It meant that Melton, despite a gallant effort, finished 29 runs short.

It was a good team performance, though, and the girls batted well against some good bowling. They were perhaps just a shade unlucky to come up against a player used to performing at a much higher level. 

To view scorecard click this link: http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/4027959