Another Clean Sweep!
For the second successive Saturday Great Melton’s teams enjoyed a ‘clean sweep’ of victories with the As winning convincingly against Norwich at Ingham and the Bs and Cs continuing their recent improved form after struggling at the foot of their respective tables for most of the season. The First Team were without a game following Saham Toney’s withdrawal from the league which gave Matt Rushton’s B Team a rare opportunity to play at Melton Park. Despite the very blustery conditions, it was an opportunity both Melton B and visitors Wensum relished and an enjoyable match resulted in a 7-wicket win for the home side. Three wickets for Ben Johnson (8-3-19-3), two for Fawad Kaiser (10-2-32-2) and one each for Pat Creham (9-0-46-1), Anush Ganesh (10-2-23-1) and Matt Rushton (3-0-7-1) plus some impressive catches, notably by Steve Phoenix, Corey Rushton and particularly Crehan whose diving one-handed effort at slip was the champagne moment, meant that the visitors were restricted to 161-8, Andy Norman top-scoring with a patient 122-ball 52. The father-and-son partnership of Corey and Matt Rushton then provided a solid platform with 49 before Eusha Fawad joined Rushton Senior who was eventually out for 64. Ryan Hayward went for 7 but Fawad had moved smoothly to 59 when Aidan Brand strode to the wicket and finished the game with two fours in two balls. The players seemed to want to make the most of their chance to play at Melton as a game that started at 1.30 p.m. with no rain breaks didn’t finish until 8.15 – and there were still 8.2 overs left!
The runs were very much shared around for the A Team against Norwich B. Connor Stearman, with 45, and Matt Henderson, with 43 not out, led the way but Lee Whiddett (26), Kai Wilkinson-Loines (24), Kyle Weston (18), Josh Wright (23) and Tom Moye (34) all contributed well to Melton’s 251-7. The wickets were also shared around but Henderson just about earned the man-of-the-match accolade with 3-15. Kyle Mason (2-41), Weston (1-33), Moye (1-20) and Rob Sims (2-12) ensured maximum points for Melton as Norwich were dismissed for 133, Luc Brister their top scorer with 29.
The Cs probably endured the worst of the windy conditions on the clifftop at Southwold but, after restricting the home side to 153-8, 60 by David Bunn enabled them to record a 2-wicket win. Terry Booker scored 30 and Joe Booker and Sam Stephens 20 apiece for Southwold but two wickets for Martin Alcock (8-1-28-2) and one each for Alice Greenslade (1-31), George Woodcock (1-19), Jim Wimhurst (1-23) and Duncan Greenslade 91-20) ensured the visitors total was a chaseable one given Melton’s limited batting resources. With their main run-scorer Johnny Ellse missing, experienced Bunn provided the platform Melton needed and, with Leo DeSalis chipping in with 17 and skipper Greenslade with 19, Melton reached their victory target with 5 overs to spare.
The Sunday side made it a complete ‘winning weekend’ by beating Swardeston by 10 runs at Melton Park. With openers Ben Mann and Lee Whiddett racing to 100 in 103 balls, a big total looked on the cards but, once Whiddett was out for 34 and Mann for 72, both lbw to Joe Beadman, Melton collapsed, going from 123-1 to 163 all out, with Beadman taking 4-22, Charlie Barber 4-10 and Ezra Khan 2-16. Then Marcus Mawby, in a bizarre 2-over spell that included 3 wides, 2 no-balls and the wickets of Ben Hogg, Jonty Black and Ben Bowden, reduced the visitors to 15-3. Skipper Sam Thelwell, with 26, Khan with 27 and Barber with 26 threatened for a time but Melton kept chipping away, wickets going to Sam Mann (1-27), Ben Mann (1-10 off 8 overs) and Connor Stearman (1-25). The match hung in the balance for a time but Nick Mackenzie (6.5-0-21-3) and the returning Ben Johnson (8-0-34-1) bowled well at the death as Swardeston were dismissed with one ball remaining.