Senior Round-Up: Week ending 2nd August

Last Saturday Great Melton fielded one of the youngest First Teams in recent memory, with 10 players who had come through the club’s junior coaching set-up.  Skipper, Richard Waddell, was the only exception but, determined not to be upstaged, he scored 31 and took 3-22 to guide his side to a comfortable 84-run victory over Thetford.  Luke Marchant scored 64, Chris Greenslade 59, Joey Greenslade 29 and James Robb an unbeaten 18 as Melton totalled 249-9 from their 40 overs, Craig Baulch proving Thetford’s best bowler with 2-30 from his 8 overs.  The visitors’ reply was blunted by Michael Farmer who accounted for three of the top four batsmen, Liam Conroy (5), Alistair Newey (22) and Mark Fowler (14), in a spell of 3-27.  Skipper Aaron Peek and Wicketkeeper Mitchell Plumpton both scored 36 as the middle order batsmen tried hard to get the Thetford innings back on track but a combination of Waddell, Ben Mann (2-19) and Alex Rennie (2-16) saw the visitors bowled out for 165 in the 35th over.

The A Team, playing against Mattishall 1st Team, looked like they might be chasing a huge score as Tom Spalding (43), Harry Gagen (25), George Gagen (29), Ryan Hawkins (30) and Matt Milne (32) all came out with all guns blazing.  Dale and Kyle Weston and Josh Wright, despite picking up wickets, all went for more than 8 an over before Jim Rice (1-30) and Matt Rushton (2-44) put a brake on things in good 8-over spells.  With Jason Cole finishing on 67 not out, however, Mattishall reached 293-9 – still a very large total to chase but better than it looked at one stage.  Any chance of getting close disappeared as Melton lost the wickets of Ellse, Aston, Hayward & Wright quite quickly before Rice, with a good 52, Kai Wilkinson-Loines (28), Kyle Weston (31) and Rushton (36) took the score to a respectable 209-9, Nick Riches taking 3-36.

On Sunday a team consisting entirely of players who didn’t feature on the Saturday entertained Aylsham St Giles in a friendly at Melton Park and won by 4 wickets.   Robert Mackintosh, making his Melton senior debut, started with 5 maidens in a row and eventually conceded just 21 from 8 overs, as the visitors made a slowish start.  Martin Alcock then took 4-51, including the wickets of Brendan Wilson (25) and Captain Andrew Prescott (37) before unbeaten fifties from Jeremy Cocks and Zak Davies enabled Aylsham to reach 216-4.  In reply, Clive Gristwood played some excellent shots in a well-made 31 and, with skipper Eusha Fawad retiring having scored 51 and double-figure scores from Imaad Khalid (11), Paul Stevens (18), Aidan Brand (30), Mackintosh (27 not out), Oli Leinster (19) and Fawad Kaiser (11 not out) it was a real team effort that saw Melton to victory with 3 balls remaining.  Jamie Taylor took 2-29 for St.Giles.

A midweek T20 between a Melton side and Norwich Hockey Club produced a dramatic climax with last man, young Joseph Graves, hitting a four and a six off the final over to give Melton victory with a ball to spare.  Chris Greenslade, with 28, Matt Rushton with 19 and Michael Farmer with 18 were Melton’s top scorers in their 118-8 while there were 3 wickets apiece for Graves (3-9) and Ethan Rushton (3-17).

 The young Melton Ladies team opened their season with a defeat at Winterton, the U15s lost to both Old Buckenham and Horsford and the U13 Girls lost to Saxlingham U11s while the U9s beat Old Bucks.