With promotion from Alliance 3 confirmed, Great Melton produced their worst performance of the season in a 4 wicket defeat to nearest rivals Swardeston ‘B’ who secured their own promtion and were good value for their win.
Swardeston won the toss and chose to field first and it wasn’t long before they made the breakthrough when Alex Cooper edged Waterman and was caught at the wicket. Richard Wood and Dave Allum (32) built a steady partnership of 64 before Allum miscued a full toss and was caught. Chris Greensalde (12) looked assured and struck a number of sweet drives before he became the first of 2 wickets for Kevin Cooper but it was the quick losses of Marcus Godbold (6) , Richard Waddell (0) and Martyn Cook (5) that derailed Melton’s innings and when Richard Wood (53) was harshly adjudged lbw to Horrex it meant posting a competitive total was unlikely. Spirited batting from Paul Stearman (24) pushed Melton up to 170 but Horrex took 3 of the last 4 wickets to finish with 5 for 58.
In reply Swardeston openers Jonny Martin and Matt Hogg made a steady start against accurate bowling from Waddell and Scott – Hogg was fortunate to survive a stumping appeal early in his innings but it was the introduction of Ollie Harris that causd the breakthrough as he first had Hogg (19) caught at the wicket and then bowled Martin (29) to reduce Swardeston to 65 for 2 from 19 overs. Hooper and Cooper rebuilt the innings with a partnership of 45 before Hooper (34) needlessly ran himself out and then when Mark Scott trapped Bilham (12) and Pearson (15) lbw and Waddell had Cooper caught behind for 42, Swardeston stumbled a little but by that stage the total was in sight and although overs were running out the home side made sure of their victory with 11 balls to spare.
Melton’s bowlers toiled hard and kept the pressure on the Swardeston batsman but the game was lost through a lack of runs on what was a decent wicket. Victory against Sprowston ‘A’ on Saturday will hand Melton the Division 3 title but following Swardeston’s well deserved win the promotion places have been decided.
A Cooper ct. Croft b Waterman 1, R Wood, lbw b Horrex 53, D Allum c & b Pearson 32, C Greensalde ct Croft b K Cooper 12, M Godbold ct Waterman b Horrex 6, R Waddell ct Croft b K Cooper 0, M Cook b Horrex 5, D Godbold lbw b Eadala 6, P Stearman ct Pearson b Horrex 24, M Scott ct Bilham b Horrex 8, O Harris not out 0. Extras 23. Total 170 for 10. (S Eadala 9-2-28-1, J Waterman 7-2-20-1, K Cooper 8-0-30-2, J Pearson 9-2-30-1, D Horrex 11.3-0-58-5)
J Martin b Harris 29, M Hogg ct Wood b Harris 19, J Hooper run out (Allum) 34, K Cooper ct Wood b Waddell, A Bilham lbw b Scott 12, J Pearson lbw b Scott 15, B Hogg not out 0, M Croft not out 4. Extras 16. Total 171 for 6 (R Waddell 12-0-58-1, M Scott 11.1-2-46-2, O Harris 12-1-29-2. A Cooper 8-0-34-0, P Stearman 1-0-3-0)