Great Melton’s hopes of a first County cup success were dashed, for the second time this season by local rivals, Swardeston, in the final of the Alliance competition, the Terry Moore Trophy. The consistency of Swardeston’s bowlers exposed some of the flaws in Melton’s batting and, despite a very bright start by Melton’s first pair, Fergus Hughes and Matthew Ling, Melton fell well short of Swardeston’s 20-over net total of 301. Opening pair Watson (17) and Joe Flatt (15) got Swardeston off to a good start with a partnership of 34 for the loss of one wicket but Melton looked well in the game when Sutcliffe (6) and Cushion (11) were both dismissed to leave Swardeston on 259-3 at the 10-over stage, a net total of 244. Grisley (13) and Baker (10) pushed the score on without further loss and, although Luke Marchant bowled Swardeston skipper A.Cooper first ball, then also dismissed Scrivener, the final pair managed to add 42 with Cooper scoring 34. The final total was 326-5. Marchant finished with 2-24 from his 4 overs but Tom Moye (3-0-16-1) and Craig Wilson (3-0-14-1) also impressed with the ball. There was some good fielding, especially from Matt Ling, and smart catches from Marchant and Hughes but several possible run out opportunities were missed.
Hughes, batting first before rushing off to catch a plane to take him to join his family holiday in France, got Melton off to a real flyer, playing some fine shots in his 21 as he and Ling put on 38 without loss in their 5 overs. For a time the powerful Swardeston side were on the back foot but they came back well as next pair, Ryan Howard and Craig Wilson were restricted to just 6 off their 5 overs for the loss of 3 wickets, two being run outs! Logan Stearman and Connor Jermyn fared a little better, managing to survive but only adding a further 6 to the score, the highlight being a fine straight drive from Connor. It left last pairing, Marchant and Moye with too much to do against Swardeston’s best bowlers. Marchant made 11 but was out twice and Moye 2 with one dismissal as Melton struggled to 271-6, a net total of 241. Will Grisley with 4-0-13-3 was Swardeston’s main wicket-taker but Cushion took 2-2 and Sutcliffe 1-4 while Cooper’s 3 maiden overs together with his 34 runs plus a stint behind the stumps earned him the man-of-the-match award from adjudicator John Tythcott.
Although Melton lost by 60 runs in the end, the U11s should be commended on an excellent season. They have won 9 matches in the competition and lost only 2, both to Swardeston. In the final they were without players such as Aimee Palmer, Lewis Thurston, Patrick Walton and Arvind Shanmugan because of holidays but they still performed with great credit. The team are also currently top of the South Norfolk Community League with 2 matches to play and many of the present team, including Fergus Hughes, Tom Moye, Lewis Thurston, Arvind Shanmugan, Logan Stearman, Patrick Walton and Craig Wilson are all able to play Under 11s cricket next season.