Great Melton (9) lost to Thetford (19) by 46 runs in the Mid-Norfolk League Boyle Division 1.
Great Melton continued on their travels this weekend facing yet another consecutive away game, the third scheduled in a row at Thetford with their fourth coming next weekend at Hillington.
This week, as regular Sunday skipper Lee Whiddett was unavailable it fell upon Neal Clarke and Tim Hales to do it jointly in his absence. At the toss Hales continued his good run winning his fifth in a row and deciding to field first.
Opening the bowling with Kyle Mason and Marcus Mawby they both settled into a consistent line and length probing around off stump testing the home side’s patience. Mason struck the first blow mainly thanks to an excellent one handed reaction catch at slip by Jon Moxon, meanwhile Mawby continued with his excellent discipline at the other end drying up the runs.
Mason was replaced by Craig Woolrich, playing his first game since last September, who looked a little rusty with a few wides and full tosses coming down put still troubling the batsmen. Mawby then got the reward for his patience by bowling A. Dennis for 11 to end his spell 1-19 off 6 overs.
Neal Clarke replaced the impressive Mawby and his first over was a bit of a mixed bag as it ended in conceding 3 boundaries, 1 from a bad ball another which could and should have been a catch at midwicket and the third from a good shot down the ground from M. Fowler.
In his next over he deceived T. Caley in the flight bowling him through the gate for 37 and with Woolrich getting into his stride the screw began to tighten and the runs dried up.
Woolrich bowled Fowler to take his only wicket of the afternoon and was replaced by McKay who kept up the pressure keeping the run rate below 3 an over then striking in his 5th over bowling Wabe for 7 whilst Clarke was tying the visitors batsmen in knots.
In his last over Clarke claimed his second wicket having A. Peak comfortably caught at mid-off by McKay finishing his spell 10-3-29-2.
With the bowling options a little short Melton turned again to Mawby and Woolrich and although hey conceded a few boundaries they bowled well at the death considering their lack of experience in senior cricket but showed good promise.
Thetford finishing on 209-7 off their 40 overs which considering the amount of regular players unavailable Melton seemed content with their work in the field.
In reply Melton lost opener Tim Hales in the third over for 2 and proved difficult thereafter for the visitors, although they didn’t lose quick wickets scoring runs proved difficult as the hosts bowlers bowled an immaculate line and length, Melton’s chase lost intent and batsmen became bogged down.
Joe Greenslade struggled with the un even surface and got to 12 when one nipped back through his defences whilst Matt Clarke battled on seeing partners come and go as Jon Moxon (3) Chris McKay (18) and Clive Gristwood all struggled not with occupying the crease but with keeping the scoreboard moving.
As a result after 30 overs Melton only had 97 on the board and after Matt Clarke departed for a hardworking 47 it was only when the home side put on a few part time bowlers that enabled Neal Clarke and Steve Phoenix to score freely.
The pair added 50 for the 7th wicket in less than 7 overs with Phoenix especially harsh on any leg side full tosses which helped them pass the maximum batting points to help their points haul.
All in all Melton made a good fist of it considering the selection problems faced and with so few bowlers available and with more available with the same level of performance in the coming weeks should win more than they lose.
R. Conroy ct Moxon b. Mason 11, T. Caley b. Clarke 37, A. Dennis b. Mawby 11, M. Fowler b. Woolrich, S. Bowden 43*, A. Peck ct McKay b. Clarke 23, M. Wabe b. McKay 2, L. Conroy lbw Woolrich 31, L. Greyson 1*. TOTAL 209-7 (39 extras). M. Mawby 9-0-42-1, K. Mason 5-0-32-1, C. Woolrich 8-0-46-2, N. Clarke 10-3-29-2, C. McKay 7-0-33-1, J. Greenslade 1-0-12-0
Gt. Melton Innings.
T. Hales b. R. Conroy 2, M. Clarke ct Coleman b. R. Conroy 47, J. Greenslade b. Coleman 12, J. Moxon ct&b Greyson 3, C. McKay st Bowden b. L. Conroy 18, C. Gristwood ct Caley b. L. Conroy 9, N. Clarke 19*, S. Phoenix 26*. TOTAL 163-6(27 extras). R. Conroy 7-0-15-2, L. Greyson 6-2-7-0, D. Coleman 6-0-21-1, E. Greyson 10-1-25-1, L. Conroy 6-0-27-2, M. Wabe 2-0-19-0, T. Caley 2-0-16-0, A. Peak 1-0-13-0