Great Melton C (25 points) beat Dereham B (1 point) by 121 runs at Town Close in the Norfolk League Division 4 S & W
After a humbling defeat to Mellis previously, and the last two games being called off for waterlogged pitches, the C team were just happy to return to action. Their opponents themselves were coming off the back to a heavy defeat to Hingham but it would be the Melton who would triumph on the day, mostly due to superb batting performances from Chris Elliott (74*) and Aimee Palmer (65*).
Dereham won the toss and put Melton in to bat first on what looked like a fairly decent wicket considering the recent weather. It was Jamie Dutton and Chris Elliott who donned the pads first up and it was the experienced lefty, Leigh Johnson, who bowled the first over. Using the slope of the pitch to his advantage, he consistently angled the ball in to the right-handers pads but one loose full toss was dispatched on the leg side by Dutton for a boundary four. It was the young Alex Johnson who bowled at the other end but neither bowler really looked like troubling the solid-looking Dutton and the ever steadfast Elliott. Both bowlers bowled straight but the ball was just not coming on to the bat for either batsman and scoring was steady but slow.
Melton were on 33 when Leigh Johnson made the breakthrough, Dutton kindly offering the bowler some catching practice in the 15th over and it would turn out to be the only wicket to fall in the innings. Aimee Palmer, who was unlucky not to get a half-century the last time she played at Town Close, joined Elliott in the middle and they would go on to put on 154 runs together, smashing the previous C team second wicket partnership record of 115. It was Palmer who looked to be more aggressive, hitting boundaries with the bottom hand with regularity. Perhaps Melton would have got more runs if it were not for the two rain breaks that interrupted the innings, slowing the outfield significantly. Palmer’s innings was not without luck, several aerial shots being spilled by the younger members of the Dereham team. She didn’t let this affect her resolve and Melton eventually finished their 45 overs, amassing 187 runs with Palmer and Elliott bagging good half-centuries.
Thankfully, any significant rain stayed away and Dereham could attempt their reply. The young opening bowling partnership of Matt Rennie and Craig Wilson struggled to find their length and the ball often sat up ready to be hit. After a quiet first few overs, opening batsman Stewart Allen freed his arms, strongly dispatching four boundaries. Captain Clive Rennie had had enough and sent Chris Elliott to field at long on. Wilson sent down a short ball to Allen and without having to move, Elliott cradled the ball for Dereham’s first dismissal – Wilson out for 19. Number three batsman Lee Cannon (9) had picked up a muscle injury while fielding and was permitted to bat with a runner. He cannoned his second ball to the rope but Matt Rennie found the stumps, picking up the first of four wickets he would pick up on the day. Josh Richardson and Leigh Johnson also picked out the assured hands of Elliott in the field, both not troubling the scorers and gifting wickets to Matt Rennie and Palmer respectively.
Dale Weston bowled four consecutive maidens, all twenty-four deliveries being blocked or left by the cautious opener and opposition skipper Arthur Lake. A valiant innings lasting 25 overs, Lake eventually edged a good-length ball from Palmer and Kai Wilkinson-Loines did the rest with the gloves, falling for 11. An inexperienced tail-end struggled, both Rennies picking up more wickets. Number 10 Alex Johnson (7*) had to face a hat-trick ball from Matt Rennie with expectant fielders all around the bat. It wasn’t to be for Matt as he was well driven into the very open offside for a single. Craig Wilson came onto bowl and picked up the last wicket of the match, Adam Gooch finding the hands of skipper Rennie, Dereham’s reply was 66.
The match comes as a relief to Melton who conceded over 350 runs to Mellis the last time they played. Despite the rain, the match was played in a friendly manner and the Lord Mayor’s Procession provided some T20-esque musical atmosphere. Aimee Palmer was once again voted as “Top Banana” for a fantastic all round performance, scoring 65 and bowling a fantastic spell (6-1-13-3), we’ll gloss over the drop catch!
Next up for the Cs is a trip to North Elmham. When the two sides met in May it was one of the most competitive matches of the season so far, and Melton know they have to keep it tighter in the field this time around if they are to come away with a victory.
Great Melton C
Jamie Dutton c&b Leigh Johnson 15; Chris Elliott not out 74; Aimee Palmer not out 65; Extras b (9), lb (4), w (20) 33. Total 187-1 (Leigh Johnson 10-2-19-1; Alex Johnson 10-3-24-0; Dean Coupland 6-1-24-0; Sean Lake 5-0-17-0; Adam Gooch10-0-66-0; Stewart Allen 3-0-13-0; Taylor Allen 1-0-11-0)
Lake ct Kai Wilkinson-Loines b Aimee Palmer 11; Stewart Allen ct Chris Elliott b Craig Wilson 19; Lee Cannon b Matt Rennie 9; Josh Richardson ct Chris Elliott b Matt Rennie 0; Leigh Johnson ct Chris Elliott b Aimee Palmer 0; Taylor Allen b Aimee Palmer 3; Dean Coupland b Matt Rennie 6; Paul Coupland lbw Clive Rennie 0; Sean Lake b Matt Rennie 0; Alex Johnson not out 7; Adam Gooch ct Clive Rennie b Craig Wilson 0; Extras b (1) w (9) nb (1) 11. Total 66 all out (Craig Wilson 6.2-2-17-2; Matt Rennie 8-2-18-4; Dale Weston 4-4-0-0; Aimee Palmer 6-1-13-3; Kyle Weston 5-1-10-0; Clive Rennie 1-0-1-1; Mark Swaby 1-0-6-0)