Senior Round-Up: Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th August

Great Melton 1st Team set up a championship deciding final game of the season against Bradenham with their 12th victory in 13 completed matches but beating Acle A was far from easy.  In the end Melton won a nailbiting, high-scoring match at Melton Park by just 2 runs with the visitors, boosted by 143 from Neil Moggan, so close to chasing down Melton’s 259-7.  Melton’s Matt Clarke was also a centurion, his 106 containing 14 fours and 3 sixes as he enjoyed stands of 87 with Lohit Kannan (23), 62 with Richard Wood (35) and 67 with skipper Richard Waddell who smashed a quick 54. For once the prolific Ben Mann missed out as Andrew Spaxman claimed 2-55 and Rob Porter 2-43 for the visitors.  After the early dismissal of Porter, caught by Richard Wood off the bowling of Waddell for 12, Moggan made light of the run chase and found willing partners in Vince Cox (20), Jordan Webster (15) and Chris Heath (23) but despite his superb effort, as the run rate increased, desperation set in.  4 run outs by Connor Stearman, Sam Mann, Lohit Kannan and, eventually, Moggan by Josh Wright left the visitors on 257-9 at the end, just two runs short.  Waddell, with 8-1-27-2 and young Kannan (9-2-29-2) were the pick of Melton’s bowlers.  With just 3 points now separating leaders Melton from Bradenham in the Alliance Division 3 table and both teams already assured of promotion, it promises to be a fine finale to the season at Bradenham Green next Saturday.

Melton A, assured of a comfortable mid-table finish in Division 5, lost by 55 runs against champions Sandringham.  Electing to bat having won the toss, Sandringham scored 225-6 with Ben Melton top-scoring with 48.  James Hearmon (42), Aaron Nichol (35), Marcus Ringwood (35) and Jack Burton (29) also made sizeable contributions but Melton’s bowlers kept plugging away with Dale Weston only conceding 11 runs in his 9 overs and Rob Sims (3-38), George Bunn (2-30) and Kyle Weston (1-40) getting among the wickets.  Bunn (32), Matt Henderson (34 not out) and Woody Loines (24) all enjoyed batting in the lovely setting of Sandringham Park but Melton were always behind the required rate and finished on 160-6.

The B Team also played the league leaders Norwich Bystanders and, although they again failed to post a competitive total, scoring just 126 all out, they did take 6 Bystanders’ wickets as the home side achieved their expected victory.  skipper Matt Rushton top-scored for Melton with just 17 but there was a good last-wicket stand of 27 between 13-year-olds Flynn Crosthwaite (13 not out) and George Woodcock (10) as Melton’s batsmen struggled against the economical bowling of Iain Taylor (10-6-19-4), Andrew Cogman (10-1-26-1), Steven Andrews (10-2-24-2) and Rahul Garg (8.5-1-26-2). Fawad Kaiser with figures of 9-3-27-2 was the pick of Melton’s bowlers and there were wickets for Matt Rushton (2-8), Corey Rushton (1-6) and Anush Ganesh (1-34) but 42 from Nathan Lake and 26 from Garg saw Bystanders home in the 29th over.

The C Team had Oli Leinster to thank for their third consecutive victory.  After dismissing 9-man Hales & Loddon for 76, Melton were in trouble at 7-2, 13-3 and 32-4 but Leinster, with a defiant and patient 41 not out, guided Melton to a 5-wicket win.  Duncan Greenslade took 3-8 and Martin Alcock 3-19 and there were wickets for Leo DeSalis (1-5) and Alice Greenslade (1-12) but Leinster’s knock and a performance behind the stumps that included 2 good catches and only one bye, easily made him the man-of-the-match.

The Sunday “funday” side completed a notable league ‘double’ over Swardeston, winning by 19 runs at Hilltops.  Marcus Mawby’s unbeaten 77 and Ben Mann’s 69 plus a quick 37 from skipper Aslam Mohammed meant that Melton totalled 241-9 in their 40 overs.  Aslam then took 4-28 and Ben 3-51 as, despite 75 from Swardeston skipper Sam Thelwell and 62 from Matt Taylor, the home side finished on 222-9.