GREAT MELTON A (10 points) played out a losing draw with VAUXHALL MALLARDS A (16 points) at Melton Park in the Norfolk Alliance Division 3
Melton A, shorn of many regular players and with skipper Lee Whiddett drafted into the first team, faced a daunting task with the visit of promotion chasing Vauxhall Mallards – a side that included former EAPL players Steve Goldsmith, Carl Amos and James Ings as well as Luke Marchant and Beth Harmer, youngsters who have played most of their junior cricket at Melton. The home side, on the other hand, included 5 players more used to playing B or C team cricket. Despite this apparent mis-match, however, Simon Woods’ side produced an excellent performance to escape with a losing draw.
The experienced partnership of Leo DeSalis (12-2-55-1) and Rob Sims (12-0-61-1) were certainly of a more gentle pace than Amos and fellow-opener Wilson are used to facing but both did a good job, removing Wilson (11) and Luke Marchant (0) to leave Mallards at 41-2 off 10 overs. Amos was then joined by Joe Larter and the pair put together a partnership of 134 before Amos was dismissed by Navin Sharma for a classy 104. Sharma (11-0-29-3), Ben Carding (7-0-44-2), making his Alliance debut, and Tom Smith (4-0-18-0) all earned some reward for their efforts on a warm afternoon but, with Larter scoring 78 and Seager contributing an unbeaten 34 at the end of the innings, Mallards were able to post 271-8. It was a commendable effort from Melton who also fielded with 10 men for 39 overs until George Bunn arrived, having had to work until 3.00 p.m.
It was a daunting total to chase but, despite Bunn’s late arrival, Mallards’ skipper Goldsmith agreed he could open the innings. Bunn and Connor Stearman faced a hostile spell from James Ings and a more accurate one from Marchant. Ings persisted in bowling too short and was exasperated as a series of edges flew to the boundary as 50 came up without loss. Change bowler Seager removed Stearman for 9 but Bunn was well into his stride and, with Fergus Hughes providing excellent support, brought up his half-century. An appeal for a caught behind that wasn’t given increased the visitors’ frustrations and Bunn was the subject of an unpleasant verbal tirade from the bowler which he answered in the fine style – by hitting the next two balls for four. Bunn eventually departed in the 27th over having scored a superbly defiant 93 with the score on 137. The game was delicately poised but, with a long tail, Melton had no hope of chasing down the runs and settled for a draw. Hughes battled away scoring a priceless 44 while Daryl Godbold (18), Sharma (12 not out) and Woods (2 not out) used up the remaining overs as Melton finished on 204-5, Seager (11-2-41-3) proving Mallards most effective bowler.
VAUXHALL MALLARDS A
C.Amos c. Stearman b. Sharma 104, J.Wilson c.Sharma b.DeSalis 11, L.Marchant c.Sharma b.Sims 78, J.Larter c.Woods b.Carding 78, G.Allard b.Carding 1, B.Harmer lbw Sharma 8, S.Goldsmith lbw Smith 10, T.Miller c.Woods b.Sharma 4, M.Seager Not Out 34, G.Bowman Not Out 1, Extras 18. TOTAL (8 wickets) 271 (L.DeSalis 12-2-55-1; R.Sims 12-0-61-1; B.Carding 7-0-44-2; N.Sharma 11-0-29-3; T.Smith 4-0-18-1)
GREAT MELTON A
G.Bunn c.Larter b.Ings 93, C.Stearman c.Ings b.Seager 9, F.Hughes c.Allard b.Seager 44, D.Godbold lbw Seager 18, B.Carding c.Seager b.Marchant 2, N.Sharma Not Out 12, S.Woods Not Out 2, Extras 24. TOTAL (5 wickets) 204 (J.Ings 9-0-52-1; L.Marchant 10-1-40-1; M.Seager 11-2-41-3; G.Bowman 4-1-19-0; S.Goldsmith 8-3-15-0; B.Harmer 4-1-19-0)