With the likes of Pat Walton, Finlay Hughes, the Carter twins, Saxon Earley and Ben Granville not playing for a variety of good reasons and Sam Johnson, and now James Bridges, injured, Great Melton’s already small U15s squad is looking even more threadbare. However, the players that are left – a good mixture of boys and girls – are enjoying their cricket despite the first three games of the season ending in defeats.
The first came at Old Buckenham who won by 35 runs in the Andy Seeley Trophy. The home side scored 118-3 with Finlay Goodrum (31 retired), Josh Heaton (20) and Daniel Bent (25 not out) the main contributors. There were 2 wickets for Kai-Wilkinson-Loines (2-12) and Rebecca Greenslade top-scored with 16 as Melton were restricted to 83-6.
Melton were drawn against Vauxhall Mallards at Halvergate in the ECB U15 K.O. Competition and, with the only possible option in order to meet the fixture deadline being Friday evening, it was a struggle raising 11. In fact, last minute injury to James Bridges and illness suffered by Ryan Twiddy meant Melton only had 9 players and many of these were U13s. With Will Woodhead retiring having scored 53, Matt Austin hitting 30 and Harry Bunn 51 not out, Mallards reached a daunting 198-2 off their 20 overs. With no chance of chasing down such a big score, it was a case of damage limitation for Melton who batted with some determination, Rebecca Greenslade (22 not out) and Lohit Kannan (20) scoring 69 before the first wicket fell. In fact Melton lost only 2 wickets in 20 overs in scoring 89.
Against Rocklands the game was a whole lot closer. Excellent batting by Josh Wright (30 retired) and Kai Wilkinson-Loines, who hit a huge and very sweetly-timed six in his 21 not out, plus useful contributions from Lohit (10) and Rebecca (9) helped Melton to 91-4. Wright then removed Daisy Eke, well caught low down by wicket-keeper Oli Leinster, for 9, and Lohit had Andy Thresh (7) also well caught by Caitlin Ellis, to give Melton a real chance of victory. There were a good spells by Wright (2-1-9-1), Ellis (3-0-14-1), Kannan (3-0-17-1) and Sam Nutt (3-0-16-1) but an unbeaten 31 by Rocklands debutant batsman meant they edged home in the 15th over with 3 wickets to spare.
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