GREAT MELTON C team (26 pts) beat SWANTON MORLEY (8 pts) by 58 runs at wanton Morley
Great Melton C team are back on track. Even though it was just one step, it was a bold stride forward full of youthful vigour and confidence. The hosts were two players sort at the start time. Borrowing a spectator’s son, Captain Hickson took the fresh cherry and bounded in up the slight slope. It was the equivalent of an actor fluffing his first lines and then tripping over part of the set. Six runs and 11 deliveries later he sidled off to cover to lick his early wounds.
Melton’s newest opening partnership of Fergus Hughes (31) and Steve Clarke (31) looked to make the most of the open spaces, hard track and new ball, bringing up 50 in the 12th over. Fergus clipping a sumptuous on drive for 4 just before falling lbw to Jacob Seed. Tony Alborough (9), once a maelstrom of frustration swirling beneath a floppy white sun hat, is calmer nowadays, but his batting is more a thing of threads and snatches. After three tentatively prodded singles, he let loose with a crisp seven iron into the sight screen, before tamely surrendering his afternoon to Chamberlain’s straight one.
Fawad (27) unleashed a few trade-mark boundaries and the obligatory maximum into the trees, before leading with his pad and trudging off disconsolately to allow the youth to take centre stage.
Numbers 5 to 9 in the batting line up did not remember the last century. Connor White (38) will never be an elegant stroke player, but he will be destructive, and a 44 -un partnership in just 6 overs with Ben Carding (13) meant that Melton had landed a few hefty blows on the Swanton Morley chin. It was an innings which lit up the occasion, and he will be bitterly disappointed that he played down Bakerloo. It was left to the tail to get the visitors past the 200 mark, with Luke Richards (15) and Leo deSalis (15) seeing them across that line.
The large home baked cake was quickly demolished, washed down with mugs of tea, as Melton enjoyed the warm early summer sunshine, basking in the knowledge that a big innings was needed in the run chase.
With enough slips to fill an aging boy band, Ben Carding (0-14) settled into a tantalising line just outside off stump. In contrast, bother Sam (0-26), a curious mixture of arms and legs and a slingy action, struggled with rhythm and accuracy. Carding Snr (1-30) replaced his younger son, and was soon sending down yorkers which the batsmen jagged down on desperately like someone trying to squash a scurrying rodent with a broom. The first break came in the 10th over, the clubbing Steel (30) rapped on the pad, 7 boundaries in his cameo knock displaying his finesse. Connor White (0-25) settled into a probing line without any luck, as Jacob Seed (73) displaying a fine array of shots all round the wicket, dug in for the long haul. Fergus Hughes (2-21), Mick Hucknall-like, weaved a merry web of intrigue after drinks, bamboozling the batsmen, and capturing the all important wicket of Seed, juggling a low return catch, to throw his hat in the ring for top banana but Luke Richards (4-17) replaced Connor to take the accolade.
From a standing start, leaving the hand brake on, he floors it, unleashing himself, bounding towards the crease, to propel the ball onwards. His left arms swingers resembling Jon Lever in his prime. He ripped out the heart of the hosts middle order, which even included a rare catch for deSalis, loping heavy footed from mid off to mid on to surprisingly clasp the simple chance.
There was still time for Aimee Palmer (2-11) to display her lovely flowing action, mixing seamers with a couple out of the back of the hand, to mop up the tail.
Carding Snr, puppet-master extraordinaire, rubbed his hands with delight. He had seen his protégés behave like a pack of coyotes on a tray of sandwiches.
The home support did disappointment in a most understated way, just a murmur of disapproval, a slight rustling of newspaper sheets, and an almost imperceptible sighing as heads were collectively shaken. The sun shone, 19 wickets fell, and 358 runs were scored. It was good entertainment.