GREAT MELTON U11s beat MUNDFORD U11s by 64 runs at Melton Park in the South Norfolk Community League.
Sam Johnson and Josh Wright took centre stage as Melton U11s recovered from losing Saxon Earley (3), Mark Attfield (0) and Nat Buxton (0) to a second-over hat-trick by Mundford’s Charlie Wakefield, to eventually win by 64 runs. With Earley, for once, living up to his name with an early departure, chopping a ball onto his stumps, Attfield trapped lbw and Buxton clean-bowled Melton’s unbeaten record briefly looked under threat but Johnson and Wright set about repairing the early damage and repair it they did. They were still there at the end of the 16 overs, their unbroken partnership of 111 containing some excellent shots, sound defence and sensible running. Sam hit his highest score, 44 not out, and played the shot of the day, a delightful cover drive, while Josh scored an impressive 38 not out.
Josh then produced a brilliant catch to remove Wakefield, first ball, off Ben Johnson before taking 1-7 off his 2 overs. Although he took another catch he was, however, just edged out as man-of-the-match by Sam who followed up his star performance with the bat with 3 wickets for no runs in 2 overs, currently the best bowling performance of the season in the SNCL. Brother Ben weighed in with 2-15 and Mark Attfield (2-1-4-1) got the other wicket as Mundford were bowled out for 58 with one over remaining.
Mundford, who have only one victory in the league this season, can feel pleased with their performance, however. Apart from Wakefield’s hat-trick, giving him figures of 3-0-13-3, the visitors bowled and fielded very well, with wicketkeeper Maddy Bunten doing an excellent job behind the stumps. Kyle Norman hit 13 runs and there was a partnership of 29 for the last wicket between Jasmine Brown (6 not out) and Harry Wakefield (21). Melton, after that early scare, proved just too strong overall, conceding far fewer extras, with Ryan Twiddy, making his debut, Kit Fordham and Nat Buxton all bowling well without reward.
The win means Melton go into their final game, rearranged for next Sunday against unbeaten Rocklands, knowing that victory – or even a narrow defeat – will give them the championship and make it a hat-trick of South Norfolk League wins for Melton’s junior sides.