GREAT MELTON U13s lost to GREAT WITCHINGHAM U13s by 4 wickets at Sprowston in the Alan Bridgewater Cup Final
Great Melton’s county cup final record before this match read Played 7, Lost 7 and the odds always looked stacked against the U13s bringing about a change of fortune in the Alan Bridgewater Final at Sprowston. Facing Great Witchingham on a day when all 8 of their U12 County players were available and, having been defeated by the Witches twice already this season, the writing certainly looked on the wall when Luke Marchant first lost the toss and then his middle stump, first ball to Daniel Arnold. Matt Ling and Fergus Hughes steadied the ship before Ling was out in the 7th over with the score on 21. Witchingham’s bowlers gave little away but Hughes (20) and Tom Moye (13) began to increase the run rate until Hughes was run out going for a non-existent second run. Ryan Howard hit two fours before being given out stumped and, despite a late flourish from Craig Wilson and Kyle Weston who both scored 5 not out, Melton’s 16-over innings finished on 73-6.
With Arnold (3-0-13-2), Rogers (3-0-6-1) and Drinkell (2-0-4-1) all bowling very economically and picking up wickets it left Witchingham needing just 74 – a very gettable total given the Witches strong line-up.
It looked as if they would win comfortably when Charlie Rogers and Flynn Drinkell moved the score on to 37 off 7 overs despite good opening spells from Marchant (3-0-13-0) and Wilson (2-0-13-0). The introduction of the left-arm seam bowling of Ryan Howard (3-0-11-2) and the off-spin of Tom Moye (3-0-13-0) suddenly put the brakes on the scoring, however, and with Rogers (8) and Will Grisley (7) falling lbw to Howard and Fergus Hughes bowling a wicket-maiden to send back Witches skipper Hudson DeLucci (8), Melton approached the last 3 overs still with an outside chance. Witchingham needed 12 runs but, with Drinkell still at the crease and wickets in hand, they made it with 8 balls to spare, winning the match rather unsatisfactorily when Kyle Weston bowled a wide that went for 4.
Drinkell’s unbeaten 28 to go with his 1-4 won him the man-of-the-match award, presented by Norfolk Development Officer Kevin Denmark. All 10 of Melton’s Alliance squad were at the final and all of them received a medal presented by Alliance Chairman Peter Thomas. One day, I’m sure, it will be a winner’s one! Well done to all the U13 squad for reaching 2 County Final’s this season. A win at Rocklands on Tuesday in their final match will give them the South Norfolk Community League title and at least one piece of silverware to celebrate a fine season.