Having won the Wicklewood Shield last July on a glorious warm evening against Eaton our Midweek B team started the defence against the same opposition on Tuesday. It’s fair to say the weather was significantly ‘fresher’ but nonetheless a well-fought game played in excellent spirit ensued.
Melton chose to bat first with Alex Pattison (14) and Jon Moxon opening up. It was a solid rather than spectacular start but Moxon unleashed three powerful boundaries and after Connor Stearman (5) departed he found a good ally in Daryl Godbold. At the half way point on 51-2 acceleration was needed and it came, with Moxon’s 34 followed by Neal Clarke’s 4. James Robb (33) joined Godbold (30) and their half century stand came at a good pace. Cameos from Duncan Greenslade (2) and David Bunn (1) took Melton to 127-7 off the 20 overs which felt a bit under par on a decent track and with large boundaries.
Kyle Mason and Adam Thompson (4-0-21-2) opened the bowling well with the latter making a rare but welcome appearance in Melton colours. His early wicket united Eaton’s danger men Barker and Butcher who kept them ahead of the required rate. Barker was caught by a casual one-handed take above his head by Thompson at point but after 10 overs Eaton were cruising at 72-2. Clarke’s spell (4-0-31-1) brought some control initially in tandem with Bunn (4-0-27-1) but it was hard for skipper Chris Elliott to defend the boundary and prevent the singles. Robb produced an excellent spell (3-0-10-1) but Eaton could not be contained and clinched a six wicket win in Mason’s second spell (2.4-0-27-0) with more than two overs to spare. Butcher remained unbeaten on 53 in a composed, well-paced innings.
With Cringleford having withdrawn from the tournament both sides will progress from this mini-group to the semi-finals and with the final being held at Melton Park we have every incentive for our semi-final, date and opposition as yet unknown. Thank you to all the players who turned out and others who helped me by providing ‘phone numbers, wicketkeeping kit and the scorebook … a proper team effort! (Chris Elliott).