ERNIE, A SHINing Light in a losing weekend
Senior Weekend Round-Up (Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th June)
A magnificent 120 from A Team opening batsman, Jonathan ‘Ernie’ Ellse was the highlight of a rather dismal weekend for Great Melton’s teams. Even Ellse’s excellent effort failed to bring a victory with Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers just edging a thriller at Melton Park on a day when three-teams-worth of Melton batsman between them barely matched Ellse’s individual innings.
The First Team had a day to forget at Beccles. Having restricted the home side to 152-6 off 40 overs, Melton were bowled out for just 37. Seven batsmen failed to trouble the scorers as John Allen took 5-8 in just 3 overs, Nick Smith 2-4 in 6 and Ian Norman 2-7 in 5. At one stage Melton were at 5-4 with most of the top order back in the hutch! Only Joe Greenslade (15) made double figures. Earlier Matthew Lowe (39) and Ben Milburn (29) top-scored for the home side with the wickets shared between Rob Mackintosh (1-27), Rich Waddell (1-27), Greenslade (1-22), Ben Mann (2-35) and Nick Mackenzie (1-27) with the luckless Alex Haverson again returning impressive figures of 8-5-8-0 but remaining wicketless.
The Alliance Division 5 top-of-the-table clash saw Ashmanhaugh set a target of 188-8 at Melton Park, built around wicketkeeper Devon Brannigan’s 75. George Angier (38) and Matt Wallace (30) took the visitors score to 174-3 but they were unable to push on to 200 as good bowling at the death brought 3 wickets apiece for Matt Henderson (3-28) and Josh Wright (3-18) to go with the earlier success of Dom Evans (1-31) and Paul Stearman (1-36). On a good pitch Melton skipper Simon Woods backed his batting line-up but only Ellse and Matt Rushton (27) produced more than single figure scores. Ellse’s resilience and their 4th wicket partnership of 65 left Melton 37 runs short of their victory target but, with overs running out and wickets tumbling Melton were unable to get over the line. The removal of Ellse, for an excellent 120 that included 16 fours and 4 sixes, in Tom Oldryd’s 3-23 spell was decisive. Melton were left needing 4 to win off the final ball. They managed two, finishing on 186-8 to lose by just 2 runs.
The Bs, having won the toss and elected to field, dismissed Rackheath for 144 off the final ball of the 45 overs. Kieran Latta (32) and Rob Holmes (31) were the main contributors to Rackheath’s total with Corey Rushton’s leg-spin bringing him 3-37 and two wickets apiece for Kyle Mason (2-19) and James Alcock (2-17). On the damp UEA wicket it was a challenging score but it became even more so as Melton slumped to 19-5. The lower order made a fight of it thanks to 22 from Aidan Brand, 20 from Rushton and a last-wicket stand of 23 between Alcock (15 not out) and Mason (11) but Rackheath deservedly won by 36 runs, to inflict a first defeat of the season on the Bs.
The Sunday side completed a losing weekend, going down by 37 runs at home to Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers. Half centuries by Kieran Spencer (63),Jordan Everett (55) and Daniel Oldroyd (55) helped the visitors to an imposing 257-7. Steve Cadge bowled well to take 2-29 in his 8-over spell but the other Melton bowlers conceded around 6 runs an over, although there were 2 wickets each for Ben Mann (2-54) and Joe Greenslade (2-23). At least the batting was better than it had been the previous day, though, with Chris Greenslade hitting 69 and Lee Whiddett (24), Cadge (22), Joseph Graves (19), Ben Mann (18) and Dom Evans (14) all making double figures but Melton finished on 220-9 to complete a blank weekend.
After 4 victories the previous week it was 4 defeats this weekend. That’s cricket! At least the sun shone!
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