Melton Feel the Payne!
GREAT MELTON 1st TEAM (178-7) 7 points lost to SWAFFHAM (288-7) 23 points by 110 runs at Melton Park in the Norfolk Alliance Division 2
The difference between top and bottom in Alliance Division 2 was amply illustrated on Saturday. Top-placed Swaffham had a player like skipper, Jasper Payne, capable of consistently making big scores while Melton, currently, do not. Payne timed the ball beautifully from the start as he powered his way to 153 with 14 fours and 7 sixes. When he was eventually bowled by Luke Marchant Swaffham, helped by useful contributions from Alex Vincent (28), Alex Payne (20) and Joe Lenderyou (33), had amassed 288-7 and, given Melton's recent batting woes, the game was already out of reach.
It was credit to spin bowlers, Aaron Garner (9-0-32-2) and Joe Bickel (9-1-37-0), who slowed things down in the middle part of the innings, that Melton were not left chasing even more.
With the accumulation of bonus points about as much as Melton could hope for, things looked decidedly shaky when George Bunn (5), Richard Wood (6) and Matt Clarke (9) were all back in the pavilion with only 45 on the board. Steve Cadge (22) and Dan Tipple (32) resisted for a while but the veteran Maurice Dye (9-3-14-2) accounted for Tipple & Luke Marchant (9) leaving Melton at 90-6 and struggling for even one batting bonus point. However, Aaron Garner accumulated steadily while skipper Richard Waddell showed spirited resistance and the pair added 88 runs before Waddell was dismissed in the final over for 46, leaving Garner unbeaten on 43. Melton's final total of 178-7 was still 110 short of the visitors but the fact that there were still 3 wickets in hand was encouraging.
So, with 7 weeks of the season gone, the firsts are still looking for their first victory but, with availability dire for this week's clash against another promotion contender, Mattishall, all they can do is soldier on and do the best they can with the players at their disposal. The good thing is that spirit is still strong and a first victory is surely just around the corner.
For full scoreboard click on the Play-Cricket link: http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/3341239