Great Melton C (5 points) lost to Hingham (24 points) by 8 wickets at Hingham in the Norfolk League Division 4SW.
The Cs last game of the season was a visit to local, table-topping rivals Hingham. They were looking to finish on a high after an agonisingly close defeat to Mellis the previous week, but the Hingham batsmen were confident and patient, chasing down the target of 165 in 31.2 overs.
The hosts won the toss and surprisingly put the visitors in to bat on a pitch that was still a little damp from the previous evening’s weather and exhibited some significant cracks at both ends. The innings did not get off to a good start, Melton losing Jamie Dutton for 2 runs when a half-tracker straightened and kept very low. The ball hit the pads, Daniel Edmonds appealed and Dutton was on his way back to the pavilion in the third over. Other opener Rebecca Greenslade played solidly and sensibly while Aimee Palmer at the other end was taking no prisoners with the bat. Starting off with four boundaries, the field spread and Melton had 43 runs on the board before Greenslade was eventually caught for 7.
Kyle Weston came in at four and would go on to put an important 56 run partnership on with Aimee. Steven Guy was the first change bowler, initially bowling with significant pace but both batters were able to negotiate him comfortably despite the pitch trying its best to make it difficult as possible. Gareth Motteram would end up being the pick of the bowlers with accurate, angling-in medium pace. After some solid aerial hitting from Palmer and good running from Kyle Weston, it would be the latter who would perish first, mistiming a drive and spooning the ball for an easy for Daniel Edmonds off the bowling of Motteram for 14. Dale Weston would be next – falling to ex-teammate Guy (now bowling ripping left-arm leg spin), stepping back on a googly and the ball rebounding off the thigh into the stumps. Palmer (63) then attempted a cut a wide ball from Motteram but could only find the edge, keeper Kevin O’Grady happy to oblige.
Melton were 105-5 in the 30th over and the priority for the lower-order batsmen was to bat the overs. Stand-in skipper lasted until the 43rd over, amassing 15 runs. Sam Carding was trapped LBW by Motteram for 1 and Oli Leinster on his competitive senior debut was bowled by Nick Scott for 2. Kevin Ellis (11) also fell foul of a low bounce, Motteram finding the stumps. Motteram got his five-fer with Scott catching Greenslade, Melton six runs short of their fourth batting bonus point. James Bridges (10*) managed to find the leg-side boundary rope a couple of times and both him and Kai Wilkinson-Loines survived the rest of the innings, Melton finishing on 164.
Hingham’s reply was mostly comfortable. Steven Guy was dropped by Duncan Greenslade at mid-on in the first over but he replied by launching Carding’s second ball for 6. After that, only Palmer was able to bowl a maiden but boundaries were coming at regular intervals. Guy (38) was eventually dismissed by Sam Carding, completely mistiming the pull shot and the leading edge being easily collected by keeper Wilkinson-Loines. Dale Weston trapped Nick Scott LBW for a duck but that would be the last wicket of the day. All five Melton boilers toiled to no avail – edges flashing passed Kevin Ellis at slip, lofted shots marginally avoiding the fielders, and the pitch offering very little assistance. Opener Daniel Key (63*) brought up his half-century with a cracking drive and Motteram accrued eight boundaries in his 40 not out.
It was a disappointing end to a solid season for the Great Melton Cs. They lie in third place with everyone else still with a game in hand. Garboldisham lie in fourth place 24 points behind Melton with a visit to fifth place Diss Bs so we have to wait to see whether Melton finish third or fourth in the league.