Great Melton B 175/7 (7pts) lost to Saham Toney A 209/7 (24pts) by 34 runs.

A second successive stylish half century from teenager Sam Johnson was not enough to save Melton B team in a run chase after the football at Town Close.

Winning the toss on another warm dry afternoon, Saham Toney set about compiling a big score in the reduced overs game by attacking Ryan Hayward (0/44 off 5) on the hard flat pitch. Leo de Salis (0/31off 6) also failed to make a breakthrough as Martin Wood (49ret) and Jamie Leicester (39) shared a 91 run partnership.  Matt Rushton’s direct hit ran out Leicester, before Martin Wood retired feeling unwell.

Daniel Bowman (14) and Robert Raven (14) kept the run rate high with brief stays at the crease, followed by Fred Patten (31) and Ben Goodwin (23) to take the visitors beyond 200 and a 5thbatting point.

Ben Johnson (2/25) was the pick of the bowlers, enhancing his growing reputation, with Matt Rushton (2/32) also bagging a brace.  Ethan Rushton took a very smart return catch to dismiss Goodwin, and Connor Stearman removed Raven. Corey Rushton did well behind the stumps but with 14 wides and 3 no-balls, his job was not made easy.

World Cup B team style

A two and a half hour tea break to watch the football did not disrupt things too much, but needing to chase at 7 an over, Melton required a big start and despite the best efforts of Phil Bugg (22), the hosts were 25/2 after 4 overs. Eusha Fawad (10) played two classy off side drives, but fell to Freddie Calver (1/29),

Sam, batting at 4, began his innings with four successive boundaries off his first four deliveries faced and although offering a number of chances, showed great mental strength and maturity to put them behind him and push on to a very well deserved 50. Matt Rushton’s 34 of 34 balls had the hosts dreaming of a unlikely win, but he fell to a direct run out, and though Ryan tried to maintain momentum with a big 6, his stay was all too brief to make decent inroads into the deficit.

Leo de Salis, added 16 valuable runs to take Melton past 160 and a 4thbatting point, finishing unbeaten, whilst Corey played two delightful late cuts, and Ethan pulled Denton through mid wicket for his own boundary.

Eusebio Huckle (3/17 off 6) bowled extremely well, and was well supported by Fred Calver (1/29 off 6) and Ben Goodwin (1/13 off 3) for Saham Toney.  All the youngsters performed above expectations for Melton with Sam’s half century gaining him a top banana vote, with Corey and Ethan sharing the champagne moment.