GREAT MELTON U13s lost to VAUXHALL MALLARDS U13s by 9 wickets at Halvergate in the ECB Competition
Melton U13s produced a disappointingly below-par performance in their ECB Cup quarter-final against Vauxhall Mallards who cruised through to the semi-finals with a comfortable 9-wicket victory. The late arrival of several players because of an accident on the A47 affected Melton’s pre-match preparations and, after losing the toss and being asked to bat, Melton never really recovered after skipper Saxon Earley was bowled by a Will Bowman full toss for 7 in the 3rd over. James Bridges (1) and Lohit Kannan (9), helped by some extras, edged the score to 30 off 8 overs but their stand of 22 was the highest of the innings. No Melton player reached double figures as Mallards’ accurate bowling and sharp fielding kept the pressure on. There were ducks for Charlie Green, Ollie Black, Oli Leinster and Nat Buxton as Melton’s batting simply fell apart. They were bowled out for just 59 in the 20th over with Will Bowman (3-0-19-1), Charlie Barber (4-1-10-2), Jonty Black (3-2-3-2) and Sam Utting (3-1-7-1) grabbing most of the early wickets and Archie Bradnock (2.4-1-10-3) cleaning out the ‘tail’.
With 20 overs to score 60, Mallards could afford to take their time and Melton needed an early breakthrough if they were to have any chance of an unlikely victory. Despite the motivation and encouragement of Earley it didn’t come. Utting and Ben Ashford took the score to 31 in the 8th over before Nat Buxton took a fantastic running, tumbling catch at mid-wicket off a steepler to remove Utting for 17. It was the champagne moment of the match for Melton as Ashford (26 not out) and Harry Nunn (8 not out) took Mallards to victory with 8 overs to spare. Josh Wright (2-0-7-1) and Charlie Green (3-0-8-0) bowled well for Melton.
Although Melton were missing the likes of Ben Granville, Jack Gorman and Sam Johnson and the Vauxhall Mallards side was full of County players, it was one of the U13s poorer performances with the batsmen seemingly afraid to go for their shots after Earley’s dismissal and some of the fielding below Melton’s usually high standards. On the day, though, they were simply beaten by a better side. Good luck to Vauxhall-Mallards in the semi-final.