Rocklands (127 for 4 – 5 points) lost to Great Melton (130 for 3 – 27 points) by 3 runs.
Great Melton’s U14 cricketers claimed the first trophy of 2014, the South Norfolk Community Zip League Derek Barnard Cup, with a narrow win over Rocklands to make it a hat-trick of Zip League titles. Having lost one game Melton had qualified as runners-up in their group, behind Topcroft but won all their Winners Group matches.
In the final game of the competition it was winner takes all as Rocklands got off to a rather sluggish and nervy start against Melton’s organised attack, with their first pair losing one wicket and only adding two runs. Things got little better for the next two as they were pinned down, unable to get the ball away and losing a further two wickets to leave them with just seven on the board after eight overs. The key was to be the power play overs eleven and twelve and the final pair batted faultlessly propelling the score forward by thirty runs before a wicket off the very last ball took some gloss off their efforts. As usual the Melton bowlers were unerringly accurate leaving them to chase 128 to win.
Melton have struggled with run scoring throughout the competition but this was a modest total well within their capabilities. Rocklands looked worthy contenders for the title as they collected three wickets off Melton’s first pair, Ryan Howard & Kyle Weston to give them real hope. The second duo, Craig Wilson & Tom Moye, inched their way forward helped by a rather over generous portion of extras from Rocklands, something they could ill afford defending such a low total and, partly as a result of this, Melton’s last pair, Luke Marchant and Matt Ling needed only a further nine runs which they negotiated without alarm, Matt dotting out the last over to win by 3 runs.
Both sides played well in a predictably rather edgy game but in the end it was Melton’s marginally superior bowling attack that shaded it in this tightly contested and entertaining final. Organiser Joe Harris congratulated Melton on their third consecutive title and thanked all the other teams and spectators who helped to make this third season so successful and enjoyable. Steve Phoenix, who thanked Joe for his tireless efforts on behalf of youth cricket then had great pleasure in presenting the cup, medals and tee-shirts to skipper Luke Marchant and his team. Remarkably the team, managed by Martyn Moye, only used 7 players throughout the entire competition: Luke Marchant, Ryan Howard, Matt Ling, Craig Wilson, Tom Moye, Kyle Weston & Fergus Hughes. A big thank-you to David Bunn who umpired most of the matches.