U15s First Defeat Comes in ECB Semi-Final
GREAT MELTON U15s lost to ROCKLANDS U15s by 6 wickets at Rocklands in the ECB U15 T20 Norfolk Semi-Final
The U15s tasted defeat for the first time this season against old rivals, Rocklands, in the County semi-final of the ECB T20. As has been the case in the past, the game was well-contested between two evenly-matched teams but, on this occasion, the home side played the better cricket and deserved to win. Melton's total of 123-8 in 20 overs was solid enough but Rocklands' batting suggested that they would make a good effort at overhauling it unless Melton's bowling and fielding was on top form. Unfortunately it wasn't, quite! The early bowlers struggled with their line and length, conceding a few ‘extras' and allowing Andrew Thresh (31) and Jamie Taylor (29) to become established.
Skipper Josh Wright rang the changes in an effort to dislodge the opening pair but it took a superb piece of fielding from Saxon Earley to achieve the breakthrough, his direct hit running out Taylor. By then, though, Rocklands were well on course for victory. Wright himself clean bowled Thresh and Ralph Garrod in successive balls to raise hopes and, to their credit, Melton generally fielded well and remained upbeat and enthusiastic throughout but, even though Cassie Mawby bowled Webster (1) to leave Rocklands still needing 10 off 2.3 overs, Jed Bilverstone (24 not out) and Luke Patterson (6 not out) saw their team home with a comfortable 10 balls to spare.
Earlier Melton, having won the toss, recovered well from the early loss of James Bridges (11) and Lohit Kannan (10), both bowled by Bilverstone. Earley (15) and Wright (24) only hit one boundary between them but ran very well between the wickets and, when Saxon was dismissed, Sam Johnson continued the good work with Wright. Johnson hit 4 fours in a spirited and valuable 33 not out but, with Charlie Green (5), Ollie Leinster (2), Caitlin Ellis (5) and Cassie Mawby (2) all run out in the pursuit of late runs, Melton's final total of 123 was probably 10-15 runs less than it could have been. Jamie Taylor conceded only 6 runs in his 3 overs and Bilverstone's 2-14 in 3 was equally valuable. Rocklands used 9 bowlers but the difference between the sides' bowling could be clearly seen in the ‘extras' column where the home side conceded 18 compared to 33 for Melton, that included 20 wides and no-balls.
Despite struggling with his line to begin with, Wright (4-1-15-2) recovered well and Mawby (4-0-22-1) bowled effectively in her 2 spells but, strangely, Bridges and Johnson only bowled 2 overs between them despite conceding just 7 runs.
Credit to Rocklands, though, who on the night, simply played better. Hopefully Melton, though disappointed, will have learnt a few lessons which will stand them in good stead for the Andy Seeley and SNCL competitions. Good luck to Rocklands in the final.
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