Cricket: Great Melton’s patience pays off

After three weeks waiting for the rain to stop, Great Melton's season finally got under way with a first junior coaching session on Friday which attracted 76 youngsters and games for the B, C and U11 teams –although the first and A team's Alliance start was again postponed with pitches, particularly the outfields, unfit for play.

Great Melton B (24 points) beat Horsford B (6 points) by 59 runs at Town Close in the Lucas & Fetts Norfolk League Division Two.

Great Melton B's fixture with Horsford B at Town Close School was really in doubt right up to the morning of the match, but sterling efforts by Chris King, the Town Close groundsman, ensured the match went ahead.

At the toss, Horsford skipper Adrian Bryan called correctly and elected to field and this, at first, appeared to be a wise decision as, after 20 overs, Melton had struggled to 39-2, finding batting difficult due to accurate seam bowling and slow outfield. However, the game turned in favour of the home team as Simon Brett (49) and Chris McKay (13) accelerated the scoring significantly punishing any bad balls to the boundary. At 82-5 after 30 overs Melton's middle order rallied with Fawad Kaiser (35) Eusha Fawad (20) and David Bunn (20) making useful contributions to see the home side to 156-9 after 45 overs.

After tea, Horsford also found batting difficult against the accurate opening attack of Gary Coulson (2-19) and Craig Woolrich (2-25). Wickets fell at regular intervals with Michael Farmer (3-12) bowling particularly well, and Fawad and Chris McKay chipping in with important wickets.

Under pressure from good bowling and excellent fielding and catching (two fine 1st slip catches from Chris Elliott via assists from wicket keeper George Ducker and strong ground fielding from Woody Loines) Horsford's run chase ground to a halt and at 69-9 after 29 overs the game was effectively over. Late resistance from skipper Bryan and Adrian Gilbert and some threatening clouds created a little anxiety in the Melton ranks, but a fine catch from Chris Mckay off Craig Woolrich's bowling clinched victory in the 43rd over with Horsford 97 all out.