GREAT MELTON U13 GIRLS beat GREAT MELTON U13 BOYS by 1 wicket at Melton Park in the South Norfolk Community League

Beth Harmer scored 80 not out to lead Melton U13 Girls to a nail biting 1-wicket win over the boys in a thriller of a match that went to the final ball.  Needing three to win, Beth swept James Bridges’ final delivery to the fine-leg boundary to signal a first defeat for Melton’s Boys in their quest to retain the South Norfolk Community League Championship.

Both teams were under-strength but the girls produced an excellent all-round performance and, on the night, had the game’s outstanding player in Beth Harmer who had to retire having scored 40 but returned with just 4 overs remaining when the sixth wicket fell.  With 50 runs still needed to win and 8th batsman Alice Greenslade at the wicket, the boys were still firm favourites but, with Alice offering excellent support, Beth smashed 2 sixes and 6 fours off the final 4 overs to spark huge celebrations.

A victory for the girls looked highly unlikely early on as, despite losing Finlay Hughes for 13 to a catch by Harmer of Lucy Morton, Melton Boys raced to 81 off 8 overs with James Bridges (24) and Josh Wright (26) in control.  However, with Wright run out and Bridges and Olly Black (1) both stumped by Becky Greenslade off Cassie Mawby, the girls fought their way back into the match.  Sam Williamson bowled her brother Jack for a duck and Vicky Monsey bowled Oli Leinster to claim her first-ever wicket but sensible batting over the last 4 overs by Cameron Graveling (18 not out) and Marcello Merdyke (2 not out) pushed the boys score to 135-6.

It looked an uphill struggle for the girls when Lucy Morton was bowled by Bridges in the second over but excellent running by Harmer and Greenslade, plus a few boundaries, kept the score ticking along.  Greenslade was brilliantly caught one-handed diving backwards by Olly Black at mid-on for 12 and, after Harmer retired, Sam Williamson scored a valuable 12.  There were two wickets in an over by Black who bowled Williamson & Monsey (0), Mawby (0) was run out off the first ball she faced and Graveling bowled Caitlin Ellis (0) and, at 86-6, the boys were firmly in the driving seat.

Beth Harmer had other ideas, however, and the result was great entertainment as the girls pulled off an audacious win.

Steve Phoenix

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