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Great Melton come through tough test to ensure they will finish second

PUBLISHED: 18:49 22 August 2017

Sam Arthurton works the ball away as he moves towards a half century for Great Witchingham against Burwell. Picture: Tim Ferly

Sam Arthurton works the ball away as he moves towards a half century for Great Witchingham against Burwell. Picture: Tim Ferly

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Great Melton clinched second spot in Division Two behind champions Martham with a six-wicket victory over Old Buckenham A.

With Bungay losing it means that Olly Harris’ team have an unassailable 46-point lead going into their final fixture at home to Acle and should be in Division Two next season unless a Norfolk side is relegated from the EAPL and no Norfolk side is promoted.

It was a potentially difficult fixture at Old Buckenham Hall where wickets and runs were at a premium.

Tight bowling in the overcast conditions, especially by the slower bowlers, Harris (9-2-22-1) and Aaron Garner (9-2-17-0), made run-scoring difficult and, although James Alexander scored 64, Old Buckenham A only lost two wickets and still had Peter Free there at the end, Melton did well to restrict them to 159.

The home side’s bowlers were equally difficult to get away but Richard Wood played a typically patient innings, batting 43 overs for his unbeaten 56 and, with Ben Mann hitting an entertaining 41 against his former club, Melton reached their target for the loss of Clarke, the Mann brothers and Joey Greenslade.

The Bs lost to Division Two East champions Caister by 25 runs. Paul Brown’s 71 and Martin Hewitt’s 40 not out of 25 balls enabled Caister to recover from a slow start to score 180-5.

Melton lost opening bowler Craig Wilson who was struck on the right-hand by a thunderous drive from Brown off the third ball of the afternoon, an injury that rendered him unable to bowl again or bat. Josh Wright (10-3-27-1), Leo DeSalis (10-2-24-1) and Matt Rushton (9.3-4-26-1) all bowled tidy spells but trying to find a fifth bowler to replace Wilson proved difficult.

Melton’s reply was similar to Caister’s with the bowlers dominating, especially left-arm spinner Myhill who conceded just 12 off seven overs.

Chris McKay (44) and Rushton (22) gave the innings a bit of impetus but Melton finished on 155-8, still 25 runs short.

The C team had club president Nick Evans-Lombe and his son Atticus poised to make their debuts at Hales and Loddon but sadly the hosts were unable to field a side and conceded.

Atticus, however, did score his first half-century for the club the day before although his efforts weren’t enough for the U15s to defeat Norwich.

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