A’s outplayed as Bungay secure deserved promotion
Great Melton A (5 Points) secured a losing draw against Bungay (17) at Maltings Pavilion in Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division Four
Great Melton A's fine season looks set to fall short of a successive promotion after champions elect Bungay proved the stronger batting unit in a competitive match in Division Four.
Bungay won the toss and decided to bat first, with the early period of their innings featuring some excellent running between the wickets by George Mattocks and Will Lewis. Whilst Adam Thompson and Michael Farmer bowled very tightly, the former unlucky not to pick up an early wicket when Chris Elliott uncharacteristically dropped a regulation chance at slip, the score was 28-0 from 10 overs, mainly due to the quick singles that the opening batsmen were able to garner.
Ryan Hayward replaced Farmer and after a couple of poor overs featuring long-hops that the batsmen dispatched, Hayward dismissed both openers to simple catches by George Bunn and Farmer. With Oliver Harris bowling a superb spell, going for only 10 runs in his first 8 overs, the home side's progress was checked to 79-2 from 27 overs.
From there, Division Four's leading batsman, Tom York, punished any loose deliveries on his way to 66. Lee Whiddett (6-0-34-0) took some toll from the powerful batsman, as did Hayward (8-1-40-2), and whilst Farmer returned at the death to record an excellent 9-0-29-0, Bungay continued on to make 184-4. They perhaps would have made 20 runs more had their innings not been interrupted by a heavy shower.
The total looked chaseable on a decent wicket but Damian Loines (3) and Chris Elliott (9) both played on and after a slow start Melton were 24-2 from 13 overs. George Bunn and Martyn Cook then produced the best stand of the innings as they ran well and hit the bad ball, adding 54 runs in 12 overs. Unfortunately, Bunn (21) played a poor shot to the slow bowler, Haines, to be easily caught at mid-off and that failure to ram home a decent partnership was costly, as Martyn Cook (38) was also caught and then Paul Stearman (3) had a dreadful rush of blood as his huge swipe left him easily stumped. With those dismissals Melton were 90-5 from 30 overs and realistic hopes of a run chase were over.
Lee Whiddett (14) attempted to marshal the tail but with Oliver Harris (5) playing on and then Simon Woods (0) bowled second ball, it was clear that the run chase was not viable. It was left to Michael Farmer (12no) to once again show his batting colleagues how to use a straight bat as he, along with Ryan Hayward, comfortably saw off the remaining overs, Melton closing on 125-8.
Although this was a disappointing batting display, Melton have had a fine season and with 3 positive results in their remaining games, against the bottom 3 sides, a top 3 finish should be achieved which would represent a fine season, with the A's still having lost only once during the campaign. Ultimately, competing at the top with so many clubs' first teams, Melton A's less consistent selection and team strength has prevented them from being sufficiently strong to get the consistent results week to week needed for promotion.
G Mattocks c Bunn b Hayward 24
W Lewis c Farmer b Hayward 30
T York c Bunn b Thompson 66
M Elden Run Out 43
M Wise Not Out 0
Total (4 Wickets, 46 Overs) 184
A Thompson 11-2-41-1, M Farmer 9-0-29-0, R Hayward 8-1-40-2, O Harris 12-4-27-0, L Whiddett 6-0-34-0
Great Melton A:
D Loines b Mattocks 3
C Elliott b Elden 9
G Bunn c Fuller b Haines 21
M Cook c Payne b Haines 38
P Stearman st Wise b Haines 3
L Whiddett b Elden 14
O Harris b Haines 5
S Woods b Elden 0
M Farmer Not Out 12
R Hayward Not Out 3
Total (8 Wickets, 46 Overs) 125
C Fuller 11-2-35-0, G Mattocks 9-3-17-1, L Pawsey 5-1-14-0, M Elden 11-2-30-3, H Haines 10-2-19-4