GREAT MELTON C (24 points) beat NORTH ELMHAM (8 points) by 21 runs at Town Close Sports Ground in the Lucas & Fettes Norfolk League Division 6
Great Melton’s C marked their first match at their new home, Town Close Sports Ground, with a 21-run win over North Elmham and got their new season following promotion to Division 6 of the Norfolk League off to a flying start. The new surroundings at the Newmarket Road ground were excellent but, with the wicket an unknown quantity, it was brave of skipper Mally Howard to bat after winning the toss. Openers Steve Clarke and Michael Farmer were circumspect against the Elmham opening bowlers, Websdale and Keeble as, with the ball breaking the surface of the bone-dry pitch, the ball came on slowly and tended to lift off a length. Only 9 runs were added off the first 11 overs and, when Clarke (9) and Farmer (3) departed, Melton were 15-2 off 13 overs and in need of some acceleration. This was provided by young Toby Wyatt who pulled and hooked effectively in a superb 37. David Bunn (10) and Mally Howard (24) kept the scoreboard ticking but wickets fell regularly. A score of no more than 120 looked likely but Steve Phoenix, batting at 7, smashed 7 fours in a bright and breezy 35 and, helped by Jake Mardell (8) took Melton’s score to 149. Howard was delighted with his side’s final total of 152 all out, feeling that it would be defendable on a wicket where no batsmen ever looked completely ‘in’. E.Grabbelaar (12-1-53-4), I.Sinclair (8.2-0-23-3) and R.Websdale (12-4-26-2) shared the wickets between them.
A missed run out and a dropped catch made it an incident-packed first over from Jake Mardell as North Elmham began their reply but the young bowler was undetered and by the end of his 6-over spell he had removed the first 3 Elmham batsmen, including the dangerous J.Olivier (22), to leave then at 39-3. R.Websdale (17) and J.White (24) then provided some stern resistance with a partnership of 41 to take the score to 80-3 in 20 overs at drinks. Skipper Howard then introduced David Bunn into the attack, switching Leo DeSalis to the other end. The move paid immediate dividends with the left-armer inducing White to edge a second catch to Joe Bickel in the gully. Bunn and DeSalis then strangled the Elmham reply, Bunn taking 4-15 and DeSalis 3-32 as the visitors were bowled out for 131 in the 38th over. It was an excellent start for Melton C in lovely surroundings – a great improvement on the UEA – and against a North Elmham team that played the match in an excellent spirit. In addition with the newly-qualified Alan Farmer standing as umpire, Elmham having their own umpire and with both teams having scorers, it was a relaxing afternoon – and a profitable one for the fines as everyone had to pay for ‘not umpiring or scoring’.
S.Clarke b.Sinclair 9, M.Farmer c.Sinclair b.R.Websdale 3, T.Wyatt lbw Sinclair 37, D.Bunn c.Sinclair b.Grobbelaar 10, M.Howard Run Out 24, J.Bickel c.Sinclair b.R.Websdale 3, S.Phoenix c.Tindall b.Grobbelaar 35, G.Button b.Grobbelaar 0, L.DeSalis c.Tindall b.Grobbelaar 3, J.Mardell c.Tindall b.Sinclair 8, D.Hayward Not Out 0, Extras 20. TOTAL 152 (R.Websdale 12-4-26-2, A.Keeble 6-3-7-0, I.Sinclair 8.2-0-23-3, E.Grobbelaar 12-1-53-4, C.Tindall 6-0-37-0)
S.Malherbe c. & b.Mardell 3, J.Olivier b.Mardell 22, A.Keeble c.Bickle b.Mardell 8, R.Websdale b.Bunn 17, J.White c.Bickel b.Bunn 24, C.Slabbert c.Mardell b.DeSalis 13, I.Sinclair c.Clarke b.Bunn 3, E.Grobbelaar c. & b.DeSalis 14, C.Tindall lbw Bunn 4, J.Pennells b.DeSalis 9, D.Websdale Not Out 4, Extras 10. TOTAL 131 (J.Mardell 6-1-26-3, D.Hayward 6-0-25-0, L.DeSalis 11.4-3-32-3, J.Bickel 3-0-18-0, M.Farmer 2-0-10-0, D.Bunn 9-2-15-4)