GREAT MELTON U15s beat GREAT WITCHINGHAM U15s by 6 wickets at Melton Park in the ECB National Cup 1st Round
With Alex Rennie leading the way with 4-17 the U15s produced one of their best-ever all round performances in their first game of the season to defeat Great Witchingham in the first round of the ECB competition. The Witches, fielding the bulk of the team that beat Melton’s U13s in two County finals last season, elected to bat first on a grey, misty evening and Pitcher and Ashford scored 24 off the opening bowlers, Ben Carding and Connor White, before the introduction of spin, in the shape of Matt Rennie, brought a breakthrough, Rennie dismissing Pitcher for 8. A series of hilarious missed run-outs was the only blot on Melton’s fielding copybook as Ashford and Charlie Rogers rode their luck a bit to take the score to 46 after 10 overs. Henry Lynch (4-1-16-1), on his Melton debut, removed Rogers and went on to bowl 4 excellent overs of spin, as well as taking 2 catches, and it was the slow bowlers that would prove to be the match-winners on the night. Ashford (32) and Hudson DeLucchi (19) threatened to take the game away from Melton, as DeLucchi hit two towering sixes but left-arm spinner Alex Rennie, bowled Ashford then off-spinner Tom Moye had DeLucchi caught by White. Showing admirable control Rennie and Moye strangled the remaining Great Witchingham batsmen, Moye returning figures of 3-0-13-2 and Rennie 4-0-17-4 as Melton restricted the visitors to 97-8, all 8 wickets falling to Melton’s slow bowlers.
Melton’s reply didn’t get off to the best of starts with Ben Carding (6) and skipper Joey Greenslade (4) both falling to catches by DeLucchi but Alex Rennie and Rob Smith batted sensibly to push the score to 54 before another spinner, Charlie Rogers (4-0-12-2) claimed a second wicket with the dismissal of Smith for 15. With the light failing fast and spectators shivering in the gloom, the match was still evenly balanced when Rennie fell for 15 to leave Melton on 66-4 but Connor White and James Robb ensured that would be the last success for the visitors, taking control of the match and seeing Melton home with 11 balls to spare. White, like Lynch, has joined Melton from Vauxhall Mallards and both look valuable acquisitions. White’s unbeaten 24 was a splendid knock in difficult conditions and he was well-supported by Robb whose 14 not out included a pressure-relieving six.
Melton look to have a very well-balanced squad at U15s with some solid batsmen, penetrative seam bowlers and an excellent spin attack that includes three off spinners, a leggy and a left-armer! Witchingham are a talented – albeit much younger – team and this was a really good performance. It just seemed a little strange that victory came without the familiar face of manager Duncan Greenslade on the boundary edge, job commitments preventing him from attending.
Melton now play Horsford, away, in the 2nd round (to be played by June 1st)