First Team Secure Promotion – Despite Cancellation!
Senior Round-Up: Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th August
Great Melton First Team secured promotion back to Division 2 of the Norfolk Alliance without a ball being bowled when their scheduled game at Bircham was called off in the morning leaving Melton and Bradenham too far ahead of the chasing pack to be caught. The reason for the call-off, according to Bircham, was that the covers had blown off the wicket and, after heavy overnight rain, the pitch was unplayable but the fact that for most of the day on Saturday it was windy and sunny – perfect drying conditions – and virtually every other game in the Alliance was completed made the cancellation doubly disappointing. It was especially galling that Melton were left with just 5 points whereas title rivals Bradenham picked up 24 for beating Acle, thus narrowing the gap at the top to just 3 points. It looks like a winner-takes-all final game when the two clubs meet on the Bradenham Common on the final day of the season.
The C Team’s game against Old Catton A was also called off as Catton failed to raise a side but the As and the Bs both played. The A Team won by 71 runs against Lowestoft A at Melton Park after Jonathan Ellse, persuaded to step up from the C Team for one week as the As were short of batsmen, scored 69 in their total of 213-6. Woody Loines (29), Matt Henderson (21) and Ryan Hayward (15) all chipped-in with a few and there was a unbroken 7th wicket partnership of 40 between skipper Simon Woods (16 not out) and Rob Sims (18 not out) before Dale Weston blunted Lowestoft’s reply with superb figures of 9-4-9-4. Simon Halley scored 57 for the visitors but there was a wicket apiece for Kyle Mason (1-17), Sims (1-44), Anush Ganesh (1-44), Henderson (1-8) and Kyle Weston (1-14) as Lowestoft were dismissed for 142.
The B Team’s mini-revival that saw them record consecutive victories was ended at Felthorpe where, on a very green, soft wicket, they lost the toss and were bowled out for just 73. Melton’s batsmen had no answer to Felthorpe’s Jordan Coldham who exploited the conditions well taking 6-31 from his 9 overs. Aidan Brand, with 20, was the only Melton batsman to reach double figures as Ben Hunt (2-10) and Hernant Raut (2-9) helped Coldham dismiss the visitors in 33 overs. To their credit, Melton bowled and fielded well in defence of their small total and it wasn’t until the 29th over that Felthorpe scored the winning runs and it was Coldham (19 not out) and Raut (22 not out) who backed up their bowling with a match-winning partnership. Chris Wright (3-9), Flynn Crosthwaite (1-12) and Joseph Graves (1-9) ensured Melton bagged 5 wickets and 2 points to add to the one batting point in what was a disappointing day for stand-in skipper Eusha Fawad.
A young Sunday side lost at Barney by 7 wickets. Ben Mann (29, Leo DeSalis (26) and Oli Leinster (18) plus a generous portion of ‘extras’ (29) allowed Melton to reach a below-par 123 all out. Barney used 9 bowlers with Charlie Nunn (8-5-8-3) easily the most impressive but there were two-fers for Lewie Bragg (2-24) and Jack Burton (2-17). In reply there were wickets for Taha Raja (1-14), Joseph Graves (1-19) and Ben Johnson (1-27) and, when Burton was dismissed for 26 with the score on 68-3, Melton were still in with an outside chance but Nunn (32 not out) and Jacob Seed (17 not out) saw the home side to victory inside 23 overs.