Great Melton 1st Team are still flying high at the top of Alliance Division 3 after a comfortable 8-wicket victory at Hockwold. Melton’s bowlers again did the business after Hockwold skipper Roy Bland had elected to bat, restricting the home side to a meagre 124-9 from the full 45 overs. Tom Grant and Aslam Mohammed did the early damage removing openers Mike Reeve and Joel Garner with the score on 19 and Aslam (8-2-17-2), Lohit Kannan (6-1-9-2) and Nick Mackenzie (7-2-25-2) went on to get two wickets apiece. The remaining bowlers, Rich Waddell, Luke Marchant and Grant, also finished with a wicket and very respectable figures. Carl Smith top-scored for Hockwold with 25 but Melton’s batsmen seemed to find run-scoring much easier. Connor Stearman (42) and Kannan (34) provided the perfect start with a partnership of 77 before Matt Clarke (35 not out) and Richard Wood (7 not out) finished the job.
The A Team featured in a similar low-scoring game against promotion-chasing Denver at Melton Park but, this time, it was Melton who lost – by 4 wickets. Jason Whiddett and Woody Loines scored 41 apiece and featured in an opening stand of 69 but progress was slow against an accurate Denver attack and, as scoreboard pressure grew, wickets tumbled. Paul Stearman, with 12, was the only other Melton batsman to make double figures as Dan Cornwell’s 4-18 in 9 overs helped dismiss Melton for 139 in the final over. Chris Rolfe recorded remarkable figures of 9-6-5-2. With Denver at 102-6 at one point and 2 wickets for Kyle Weston and one each for Kyle Mason, Rob Sims and Matt Henderson, there was the glimmer of a chance but Paul Morton’s unbeaten 60 saw Denver home with 18 overs to spare.
The B Team’s game at Yarmouth was called off following heavy rain and the weather also thwarted the C Team’s efforts to record a first victory of the season. Chasing Old Buckenham B’s 150-8, Great Melton were 48-2 after 20 overs when the rains came. Skipper Duncan Greenslade took 2-31 and Liam Stevens 2-38 and there was a wicket apiece for youngsters Ben Johnson and George Woodcock as several Old Buckenham batsmen got into the 20s only to get out. Josh Heaton top-scored with 32 but, when Melton batted, the dismissal of the prolific Jonathan Ellse caught behind for 27 certainly would have made any potential run chase more difficult.
The Sunday side enjoyed an excellent game against high-flying Swaffham which they lost by just 10 runs. After the visitors had elected to bat first young Joseph Graves (8-0-49-2) struck two early blows by removing both the Payne brothers, Jasper bowled for 39 and Alex caught for 1. Josh Wright (8-3-37-2) also took two wickets but 85 not out from opener Chris Upton enabled Swaffham to reach 199-6. Kai Wilkinson-Loines scored 28 as the score moved to 74-3 at drinks. Sam Mann and Aslam then gave Melton a real chance of victory with a 5th-wicket partnership of 74 before Sam (95) was caught on the boundary going for the 6 which would have given him his century. When Aslam followed for 29, Swaffham turned the screw and Melton were bowled out for 189 with a ball to spare, Dave Annakin taking 3-10.