GREAT MELTON lost to Swaffham by 33 runs at Swaffham in the Norfolk Alliance Division 3
Swaffham handed out a sobering lesson to Melton last saturday to effectively bring an end to any ambitions of Division 2 cricket next year. With the gap to leaders Downham Market already substantial, there was no room for any sloppiness. However, sloppy cricket was exactly what Melton served up for much of this match, as they lost by 33 runs.
However, for all that Melton fielded and bowled well below their usually standard, matters might have been much different if, at 67 for 3, middle order batsman Dye had been caught without scoring. Instead, he went on to score 51, and was able to marshall the remaining Swaffham batting effort. In particular, Bradbury put together a match winning innings of 44, including 12 from the last over, to get the home side to a good total of 225 for 6. Pick of the bowlers were Rennie with 2-27, and skipper Harris who bowled with his usual discipline and control to get through his full 9 overs with figures of 1 for 27.
Melton’s response hit the rocks immediately due to some very aggressive quick bowling from Payne who consistently hit the pitch hard, back of a good length. However, at 116 for 3 off 29 overs, the contest promised to a tight one. Matters turned during a critical 31st over as three wickets went down. Firstly, Greenslade was bowled for 10, and then Stearman was caught in the deep. There was then a terrible mix up between Wood and MacKenzie which resulted in the latter being run out without facing. The game was effectively over.
One of the brighter aspects for Melton was a great knock from Ben Mann who hit a quick 39 to put his team back in the hunt. It was a shame he could not have gone on to provide longer support for Wood who was left at the end on 91 not out.