Weekend Round-Up (Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th August)
After raising hopes of a ‘great-escape’ from relegation following two successive victories, Great Melton First Team came back to earth with a bump last Saturday when they lost by just 2 runs to Great Witchingham A. Melton should really have been celebrating a hat-trick of wins after restricting the Witches to just 164-8 at Melton Park, with Rob Sims taking 2-10 in 9 miserly overs backed up by Tom Grant (1-32), Darshan Rai (1-31), Nick Mackenzie (1-35) and Richard Waddell (2-26) but they were bowled out with the penultimate ball needing 3 to win. After openers Ben Mann (5) and Lohit Kannan (4) had been dismissed by Dan Arnold, who finished with 4-34, Matt Clarke (31) and Sam Mann (36) batted Melton into a winning position but, other than 31 from skipper Waddell, nobody was able to stay with Tim Hales who finished on 39 not out. Lower order batsmen Grant, Rai and Sims were all out for nought as Arnold, James Hale (2-36) and Aaron Riseborough (2-43) saw Witchingham continue their climb up the table after looking relegation candidates themselves a few weeks ago.
The A Team were left without a game as Mattishall A (again) failed to raise a side but the 25 points awarded keeps them in the promotion race with just 3 games to go. The B and C Teams both won. The Bs have benefited from the return of Aslam Mohammed who is restricted to playing in the Norfolk League following his return from St. Andrews. On Saturday his bowling was too much for the Sandringham lower order at Town Close. After Wes Hudson (67) and Patrick Barrett had batted the visitors into a strong position at 120-1, Aslam took 5-35, all bowled, as Sandringham slumped to 183 all out, with Barrett left high and dry on 56 not out. Youngsters Caitlin Ellis (10-2-23-1) and Joseph Graves (8-1-41-1) also bowled well after Kevin Ellis (6-0-23-1) had got the breakthrough by dismissing Hudson. Skipper Matt Rushton then shepherded his side to victory, carrying his bat for an unbeaten 76, adding 60 with Aslam (36) and 55 with Kevin Ellis (31 not out) as Melton won with two overs to spare.
The Cs are on a good run and, on Saturday, a team mainly consisting of ‘golden oldies’ comfortably beat Garboldisham C by 9 wickets. Garboldisham elected to bat, having won the toss but, apart from a defiant 31 from number 9 Tom Corroboy, nobody was able to dominate the Melton bowlers enough to make a substantial score. Daniel Witting (20), Tom Ling (17) and David Thorne (17) threatened briefly but another ‘fifer’ from Melton’s record wicket-taker, the wily Leo DeSalis (10-2-25-5), saw the home side dismissed for 147. Gary Coulson (10-2-39-0) bowled with his usual economy, Steve Phoenix took 2-27, Clive Rennie 1-26 from 10 accurate overs and Duncan Greenslade (1-7) notched the final wicket and the bowlers were helped by some excellent fielding with 3 catches and a run-out by Jonathan Ellse, a sharp catch and stumping by Steve Clarke and another fine effort from DeSalis. Clarke and Michael Wormstone then put Melton in a strong position with an opening partnership of 67 before Wormstone was dismissed for 30 but Ellse came in and despatched the Garboldisham bowlers to all parts of the ground, hitting 11 fours and 2 sixes in an unbeaten 58. With Clarke also reaching his fifty Melton won with plenty to spare – 9 wickets and 14.1 overs. Corroboy had a good match for the hosts, following his unbeaten 31 with bowling figures of 10-3-23-0.
It was a disappointing week of results for the juniors with the U19s losing their first ECB T20 match against Hethersett & Tas Valley by 6 runs, the U15s going down by 1 run to Acle, the U11 Girls losing to Norwich and Brooke and the U11 boys coming unstuck against Hethersett & Tas Valley. It means there is still all to play for for the U11 Boys, U13s and U15s coming up to the final round of matches in the South Norfolk Community League while the U19s now need to beat Swardeston and Topcroft to have any chance of reaching the finals.