The Marauders earn their place in Norfolk history
Gt Melton CC v Swaffham CC
Melton’s Midweek Marauders ended another successful and enjoyable season by lifting one of cricket’s oldest trophies, the Junior Cup.
Fielding a strong well balanced side Gt Melton started the game as favorites following two comfortable league victories against their fellow Div 3 opponents. And this view was further enhanced when the Div 3 champions put an early stranglehold on the Swaffham batting after electing to field first.
David Bunn (2-18) impressed again as he and Nick Gristwood (1-30) bowled immaculate lines and lengths to restrict the score to just 31 off the 6 over’s they had bowled in tandem. Eagle (7) and Oxborough (8) couldn’t get going against the relentless accuracy and both fell to Bunn.
Early in his 4 over spell Olly Harris (1-32) continued the pressure asserted by Gristwood, also finding the guile to dismiss Titmarsh for 14. The match looked pretty much over when Alec Payne skied an attempted slog off the spin of George Bunn but Daryl Godbold put down the chance and Payne gleefully carried on. His 23 off 11 balls threatened to take the match away from Melton as over’s 10,11,12 and 13 went for double figures.
Another missed chance and a bizarre incident where Bunn had bowled one of the aggressors only for the umpires to not agree didn’t help the cause but Melton finally picked up a semblance of control as Bunn’s (3-39) and Gristwood’s last over’s took 4 wickets. The Swaffham innings closing on a slightly below par 124 for 9.
Alex Cooper and Richard Wood, who had again looked sharp behind timbers, opened up Melton’s reply and when they could reach the wayward early bowling of Joachim and Dye, looked in prime form.
Cooper (20) unluckily fell smashing Smith (3-16) to the cover boundary fielder and when Wood fell to the same bowler, for the same score, Swaffham were back in the game.
Tom Wilson, who took an excellent catch to dismiss the dangerous Payne, battled away as he and Marcus Godbold kept the run rate around the asking rate even though neither hit their best summer form.
The introduction of the sharp J Payne (2-19) had real effect on the match as he dismissed both Wilson and Whiddett with full quick balls and when Godbold was ran out going for a second run, a brave Swaffham could claim they were on top and sniffing an upset.
Daryl Godbold (8) and the cool, calm and collected Simon Brett (8*) scrambled enough runs to leave Melton needing a getable 10runs to win off the last over but with G Bunn yet to face the match did hang on a knife edge.
3 runs off came off the first 3 balls, Melton needed a boundary, and Bunn found one as he expertly guided the fourth legitimate ball to the third man boundary for four. That left Melton needing 3 runs for victory off 4 balls and Bunn duly obliged with a spanking straight drive off the very next ball to win the cup for Gt Melton by 4 wickets.
So the Marauders will join the likes of Didlington and Melton Constable Institute on the 120 year old trophy and they will keep it safe and sound as its team reflects on a superb season for our ever improving club.
Wonderful just wonderful!