FLynn stars in Win double As U17s Go Top
Two unbeaten half-centuries from the outstanding Flynn Crosthwaite helped Great Melton U17s to move clear at the top of the SNCL table with hard-earned victories at Brooke and Norwich. While Flynn’s individual efforts were the highlight it was a real team effort in both games against high-quality opposition.
Against Brooke, Melton found themselves having to chase a daunting 145 off 16 overs after the home side’s Jake Reynolds (50 retired), Ed Cross (37 not out) and James Cross (23) had taken the attack to Melton with some aggressive batting. Skipper Rob Mackintosh, with 1-11 off his 3 overs, was Melton’s best bowler but Millie Wimhurst (0-12) did well to stem the flow of runs in her 2-over spell. Even allowing for the short boundary on one side at Brooke, 146 to win seemed a tall order but Rob and Flynn, in particular, set about the task with relish. Flynn hammered 52 in just 26 balls, hitting 11 fours before retiring and, although Robert was more measured in comparison, he too reached a deserved fifty leaving Taha Raja (6 not out) and Harry Ryan (1 not out) to hit the winning runs. Melton achieved victory with 3 balls to spare and without losing a wicket.
The win meant that Melton arrived at Postwick with both themselves and Norwich boasting unbeaten records. Having lost the toss, Melton were asked to bat and Rob and Flynn did well to survive a quick and hostile first 4 overs from Max Brister and Norwich skipper Will Bowman and emerge with 24 runs on the scoreboard. With Rob playing the anchor role and Flynn continuing to bat with flair and fluency, the pair moved the score into the 90s before Flynn reached his second half-century with his 7th boundary (6 fours, 1 six). The partnership also featured some good running between the wickets. James Cooper was run out for 3 trying to push the score along as Bowman and Brister came back for the last 2 overs but Melton reached 122-1 at the close. Rob’s score of 23 in 16 overs, while slow was, in fact, vital in helping Melton get to a decent total against a very good attack and Joseph Graves added 7 valuable runs in the few balls he faced.
Bowman showed he meant business by smashing Joe Graves’ second ball for four but Rob and Joe then combined to remove Norwich’s key batsman for 16, as he top-edged and Joe claimed a well-judged catch off a real ‘skier’. That brought Emma Thompson to the crease to join Brister. Excellent bowling by Flynn (3-0-11-0), Ethan Rushton (3-0-9-1) and James (2-0-8-0) then really slowed the run rate in the middle overs and, by the time Ethan trapped Emma lbw for 13, the home side needed to score at nearly 10 an over. Brister tried hard and made 43 but some excellent committed fielding and good bowling by the returning Rob (3-0-13-1) and Joe (3-0-23-1), meant Norwich fell short by 26 runs, ending on 96-4. With Rob and Flynn leading by example it was a fine performance in the field with Harry and George Ryan and wicketkeeper Corey Rushton all playing an important part in an outstanding victory.
With some outstanding games still to be played and the South Norfolk League operating an average points system it seems likely that Melton U17s, who have won five out of five matches so far, will be crowned champions, although Norwich could still pip them if they manage maximum points in any, so far, uncompleted games.