Senior Round-Up: Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd August
As the shortened 2020 season draws to a close with the final matches in the Norfolk Cricket Board’s league, Great Melton’s planning for 2021 now hinges on the need to find a new ground for the B and C Teams. The decision of Town Close School not to rent it’s facilities to external users in 2021 was described by Chairman Steve Phoenix as “a huge blow” but, he added, “at least we know in good time and it gives us the winter to review the impact of Covid19, make decisions on the number of teams we run and make alternative arrangements.”
The weekend again showed that, despite fears that the pandemic might affect numbers playing cricket, the club is still able to comfortably field 5 teams, although disappointingly a fixture couldn’t be found for the Sunday A Team. The 1st Team, away at Sandringham, comfortably won by 6 wickets to finish joint 2nd in Group 5. Sandringham, who won the toss and elected to bat, were restricted to 136-6 with spinners Jim Rice (2-26) and Tom Moye (2-19), who took 2 wickets apiece, and Joe Barker (1-23) all impressing in their 8-over spells. Ben Mann then scored 37, Joey Greenslade 16 and Tim Hales an unbeaten 22 but it was Matt Clarke’s 52 not out that saw Melton to their target in the 35th over.
Old Catton’s win meant the Great Melton A finished bottom of group 6 having lost to Fakenham A by 72 runs at Melton Park but the team – a transitional one with several youngsters given a opportunity – have done well as all their rivals, with the exception of Catton, play higher up the pyramid. On Saturday Melton A had 3 father-son duos playing and one of them, Dale and Kyle Weston took the bowling honours, Dale bowling 8 overs for just 21 runs and Kyle taking 2-30 as Fakenham made 208-6 in their 40 overs. Harvey Osborne top-scored with 45 but Harry Bammant (37), Henry Thornton (34) and Luke Caswell (35 not out) all made 30s. 208 was a gettable total but Melton’s batting never really got going with the exception of Kai Wilkinson-Loines who scored an unbeaten 44. Dad Woody Loines made 28 but Fakenham’s total was never threatened as Melton finished on 136-7, with Tom White taking 3-39 and two wickets each for Archie Bradnock and Will Buckingham.
With only one Sunday game and good availability, priority was given to the club’s senior players for the match against Norwich at Melton Park. Against a good young Norwich side, Melton’s youngest player Taha Raja’s (8-1-24-0) opening spell was impressive but wickets were hard to come by and Fakenham batted well throughout their innings, Matt Whitt’s and Freddy Kemp both retiring with half-centuries as the visitors posted 193-1 off their 40 overs. A solid opening partnership between Imaad Khalid and Paul Stevens (17) gave Melton a good foundation before skipper Eusha Fawad joined Imaad to push the score past 150. Both batsmen were out 5 runs short of their 50s and Eusha leaving two new batsmen at the crease. Club President, Nick Evans-Lombe (14)and Steve Phoenix (11) tried hard against some good bowling but boundaries were hard to come by and the pressure told in the end. Wickets tumbled and Melton finished just 6 runs short.
Melton’s Ladies finally celebrated their first win, by 6 wickets at Hethersett & Tas Valley. Wickets for Alice Greenslade (1-6), Cassie Mawby (1-12) and Alice Brand (1-11) plus run-outs by Rebecca Davey and Rebecca Greenslade, helped restrict Tas to 93-5. Claire Wells then scored 23 and Millie Wimhurst 12 before skipper Cassie Mawby’s unbeaten 20 saw the girls home with 5 balls to spare.