GREAT MELTON U13s lost GREAT WITCHINGHAM U13s by 48 runs at Walcis Park in the Alan Bridgewater Semi-Final
The U13s hopes of joining the U11s in a County final were ended by old rivals Great Witchingham. The semi-final followed a similar pattern to last year’s ECB Final with Melton bowling and fielding well to restrict the strong home side to a getable total but, after a promising start, Melton found the Witches attack had just too much firepower and they slipped to a 48-run defeat.
Witchingham, batting first, totalled 110-3, with Melton’s bowlers pegging them back after Hudson Delucchi and Flynn Drinkell had scored 42 off the first 6 overs. Saxon Earley stumped Drinkell off Fergus Hughes for 11 and it was Hughes (2-0-12-1) and Aimee Palmer (3-0-10-0) who slowed the scoring rate with excellent spells of bowling after DeLucchi had retired having scored 30. Will Grisley (30) became Witchingham’s second batsman to retire but Arnold was dismissed by Beth Harmer, well caught by Kyle Weston, for 7 and Blackiston run out by Pat Walton for 4 as all the Melton bowlers performed well and made the home side work hard for their runs.
Melton needed a positive response and, despite only 8 runs coming off the first 3 overs, Hughes and Earley took the score to 35 off 6 overs with Hughes hitting 2 superb fours off the dangerous Arnold before chipping a catch to mid-wicket for 16. Earley, running well and sweeping with abandon, had added 17 when he was adjudged lbw to Murphy. With the score 49-1 with 7 overs left it needed some quick runs for Melton to have any hope of getting close to the Witches total but, after Earley’s dismissal the momentum was lost. Pat Walton hit 11 but the other 5 batsmen could only score 4 between them as Witchingham’s all-County attack turned the screw. Blackiston took 3-2 and Grisley 1-3 as Melton slipped to 62 all out in the penultimate over.
It was a disappointing to surrender rather meekly after performing so well for three quarters of the match but Witchingham are virtually the Norfolk U13 side and just had too much strength in depth for Melton who were also without captain Tom Moye. The win makes it 3-0 in matches between the sides in recent seasons but Melton can feel proud to have won their group and remained unbeaten until the semi-final.
The team was: Fergus Hughes, Saxon Earley, Patrick Walton, Aimee Palmer, Luke Richards, Kyle Weston, Bethany Harmer & Craig Wilson.