A’s handed chastening start as poor availability takes its toll
Great Melton A (8 Points) suffered a losing draw against Sprowston A (17) at Melton Park in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Three
J Glozier lbw b Mawby 31
L Ollerton c Woods b Wright 55
B Graver b Wright 7
J Leverett Not Out 96
R Boothby b Wright 0
H Maul Run Out 17
M Ollerton b BIckel 5
J Spilling Not Out 6
Total (6 Wickets, 46 Overs) 245
G Coulson 12-2-46-0, M Mawby 11-0-45-1, C Wright 11-1-49-3, J Bickel 9-0-60-2, P Stearman 3-0-33-0
Great Melton A:
M Bunn b Niblett 4
D Loines Not Out 84
J Ellse ct b Evans 8
P Stearman ct b Evans 18
L Whiddett Run Out 33
J Moxon b Boothby 0
J Bickel lbw b Niblett 1
S Woods ct b Pearce 9
M Mawby Not Out 10
Total (7 Wickets, 46 Overs) 187
Niblett 10-0-32-2, Pearce 10-3-25-1, Spilling 8-1-40-0, Evans 7-0-37-2, Boothby 6-0-29-1, Gower 4-0-11-0, Maul 1-0-9-0
It has been a hugely disappointing start to the season for Great Melton's senior sides as a dearth of availability throughout the Club has left all sides short of players.
As a result, Great Melton's A team, in their first fixture of the season, minus skipper Lee Whiddett who was drafted into first team action, suffered their first defeat since August 2013 in a facile 9 wicket reverse at Hardingham, with 28 from Woody Loines the only highlight.
In week two it was Sprowston A who visited Melton Park. The returning Whiddett at least won the toss, and was able to call upon the strength of Martin Bunn, Jon Ellse and Paul Stearman who returned to the side.
Nevertheless this Sprowston side demonstrated the higher standard that last season's promotion has lead to, with Jon Glozier making a swashbuckling 31 to get the visitors off to a good start ar 51-0 from 11 overs. Gary Coulson could not even avoid been pulled to the fence on a few occasions, but it was the improving Marcus Mawby who eventually trapped Glozier in front to make the breakthrough.
B Graver (7) then came and went quickly, castled by the impressive Chris Wright, but that brought Josh Leverett to the crease and he played a superb hand in a significant partnership with L Ollerton (55). Nevertheless, Whiddett set canny fields and, coupled with fine bowling from Wright and Coulson, Sprowston could only reach 139-2 from 30 overs, despite Leverett looking in ominous form.
Nevertheless, it was Joe Bickel who bore the brunt of some brutal ball striking as Leverett hammered 5 sixes in an unbeaten 96. Ollerton also made 55 before becoming Wright's (11-1-49-3) third victim. Paul Stearman (3-0-33-0) did however take some punishment as Sprowston scored 45 runs in the last six overs to reach 245-6.
It was clearly a score that would challenge Melton's depleted batting, and a serious blow was dealt as a rusty Martin Bunn departed for just 4, and then Jon Ellse holed out for 8. But at the other end some impressive early season form from Woody Loines continued, such that the score was at least 51-2 from 14 overs when Ellse was dismissed.
Paul Stearman then came and went swiftly, hitting 3 fours and a six in his 18 before picking out a boundary runner, but at 88-3 from 19 overs the run rate was at least healthy, and Loines looked well set. He was then joined by skipper Whiddett, and they added 53 for the 4th wicket, with Whiddett contributing 33, as Melton sought to get close to the Sprowston total before leaving a run chase in the last 10 overs.
Alas, at 141-3 from 34 overs, Whiddett was run out for 33, and when Jon Moxon went the very next ball, any hopes of a late assault were over. It was left to Loines, carrying his bat superbly for 84 not out, assisted by Simon Woods (9) and Marcus Mawby (10 not out) to bat out the remaining overs, acquiring batting points and avoiding defeat, as Melton close on 187-7.
Considering the gulf in quality, this was a good effort from Melton and the 8 points may come in handy in what will be no doubt be a difficult season.