GREAT MELTON U13s lost to GREAT ELLINGHAM U13s by 5 wickets at Great Ellingham in the South Norfolk Community League
Despite an impressive all-round performance from Ethan Rushton, Melton’s U13s made a disappointing start to their South Norfolk Community League campaign, losing to Ellingham by 5 wickets. It was the second meeting between the teams in a week and Melton manager Clive Gristwood used the opportunity to give a few more members of his squad some match experience. It was good to see the likes of Callum Sparkes, Marcello Merdyk and Under 12s, Ben Fletcher, Nat Buxton, Harry Ryan and Rushton being rewarded for their skill and enthusiasm and they all showed enough to deserve further opportunities but, on the day, too many dropped catches, missed run outs and the excellent batting of Jed Bilverstone, cost Melton the match.
Melton totalled 80 in their 16 overs thanks mainly to a solid and sensible unbeaten 34 from Rushton who played some excellent shots. He and Ollie Leinster ran well and their 49-run partnership in 8 overs enabled Melton to post a reasonable score after Ellingham’s Arron Draper (3-1-5-2) and Jed Bilverstone (2-0-11-1) had removed skipper James Bridges (6), Ben Fletcher (1) and Nat Buxton (2) cheaply.
With Ellingham struggling at 28-1 after 8 overs, the Rushton/Leinster combination accounting for Atkin (1), Melton looked well in control but Bilverstone, who had started slowly, had other ideas, hitting several boundaries. The realisation that Ellingham could, in fact, win the match seemed to slowly dawn on Melton’s players. Although Rushton (2-1-7-1) bowled Draper, Bilverstone grew in confidence and Melton seemed unable to counter his aggression. As chances were missed, the home supporters became more excited and Melton began to show greater urgency. The final over came with Ellingham still needing 10…but Bilverstone only needed 4 balls!
Bridges only conceded 6 runs in 3 tight overs and Rushton and Leinster (2-0-4-1) both bowled as well as they had batted and, although, Melton’s cricket at times wasn’t as good as it could have been, credit must go to Ellingham who played much better than they did in the first encounter between the sides.