Cricket round-up, Melton are champs

Cricket Round-upHaving clinched promotion the week before, Great Melton were crowned champions of Division Four of the Norfolk Alliance on Saturday but it was not as they would have wanted.

Cricket Round-up

Having clinched promotion the week before, Great Melton were crowned champions of Division Four of the Norfolk Alliance on Saturday but it was not as they would have wanted.

Despite the best efforts of both Melton and Hardingham, the weather was the winner with three heavy showers making Melton's uncovered pitch unplayable.

At the time Melton looked set for a decent total with the score at 110-2. Richard Wood and Alex Cooper's opening partnership of 98 had been compiled in difficult conditions and, after Wood had been dismissed for 30, the more

free-scoring Cooper's concentration was affected by the rain breaks and he too fell trying for the boundary that would have brought up his 50.

A third heavy shower in a short time curtailed play yet again and, although both Mark Scott and Hardingham skipper Barney Goodrum were prepared to wait for conditions to improve, eventually both captains decided there was no possibility of the pitch drying out.

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However, the six points Melton gained, were enough to see them crowned champions. It is a notable achievement for Mark Scott whose side have remained unbeaten in his first season in charge.

Great Melton: R Wood c Franks B Downes 30, A Cooper c Walker b Franks 46, M.Cook not out 7, J Whiddett not out 5; extras 22. Total (2 wkts) 110. Bowling: BGoodrum 7-0-28-0, O Howes 6-0-27-0, Franks 6.1-2-25-1, Downes 6-0-23-1).

Great Melton B (22 pts) beat Bungay A (3 pts) by eight wickets at the UEA in the Lucas & Fettes Norfolk League Division Three.

Melton B completed their season with a comfortable win over 10-man Bungay at the UEA, the highlights being a good all-round performance from Johnny Howard, an excellent innings by young Chris Greenslade and the final appearance by club stalwart Grenville Ireland who is hanging up his cricket boots at the age of 60.

The 'silver fox', who previously turned out for Hardingham before joining Melton in 1992, has played 329 games for the club putting him 15th in the list of longest-serving players. He has scored over 4,000 runs and taken 449 wickets. In his final match he turned in a typical

whole-hearted display, taking an diving catch and 1-26 from 12 metronomic overs.

Bungay struggled to 86-8 in 45 overs with C Cudden top-scoring with 30. Howard conceded just four runs in eight overs and took three wickets while Navin Sharma (12-4-22-2), Gary Coulson (7-1-13-1) and Jake Mardell (6-2-12-1) were all similarly economic in the bowler-friendly conditions.

Melton then took only 18 overs to overhaul Bungay's total, despite losing skipper Woody Loines (7) in the third over. Howard's 35 included two sixes and, with 13-year-old Greenslade playing some fine shots and looking untroubled at the other end, the pair added 52 in 10 overs. When Howard was out, George Ducker (4 not out) joined Greenslade (32 not out) to see Melton to a comfortable win.

Bungay A: C Cudden c Ducker b Sharma 30, T Porter lbw Coulson 9, R Ferguson b Mardell 4, D Mowday c Loines b Ireland 1, J Barber c Mardell b Howard 14, H Haines c Ireland B Howard 9, Howell b Sharma 8, Barrow b Howard 2, G Masterson not out 0, B Cudden not out 0; extras 9. Total (8 wkts) 86. Bowling: N Sharma 12-4-22-2, G Coulson 7-1-13-1, J Mardell 6-2-12-1, G Ireland 12-3-26-1, J Howard 8-5-4-3).

Great Melton B: D Loines b Mowday 7, C Greenslade not out 32, J Howard c Haines b Mowday 35, G Ducker not out 4; extras 9. Total (2 wkts) 87. Bowling: D Mowday 9.3-1-39-2, J Barber 3-0-16-0, H Haines 6-1-27-0.

Great Melton made their 10th visit to the Mulbarton Cricket Carnival and, once again, some good cricket was played before the heavy rain that was forecast for later in the day brought a premature end to the U17 match.

It came at the end of Great Melton's innings with Mulbarton needing to score 155 to win in 25 overs. Melton had raced to 65 off just seven overs thanks mainly to Josh Wilson who scored a quick 30 not out before having to rush off to an appointment.

A good spell of bowling, however, from B Button plus some rather rash shots saw Melton reduced to 77-6 by the 11th over, Button taking 4-30 from his five-over spell. However, an excellent partnership between Oscar Feeney-Mellor and Frankie Galvin rescued Melton.

Feeney-Mellor was quick to dispatch any bad balls to the boundary in scoring his first half-century for the club and, although Galvin only added nine, he provided good support for his partner as 76 were added for the seventh wicket. Melton were eventually bowled out for 154 with two wickets apiece for Nick McKenzie and C George.

Earlier, the home side had won the U11 match fairly convincingly. With Joe Greenslade, Ben Carding and Rob Smith all playing for the district team, there was an opportunity for some of Melton's other youngsters to play in a competitive match. Generally they acquitted themselves well in the field, dismissing Mulbarton for 86.

Alfie Kidner top-scored for Mulbarton with 10 and, although most of the runs came from wides and no-balls (which counted for two runs), there was some good bowling from the Howard twins, Ryan (3-1-7-2) and Jordan (2.4-0-15-3), Craig Attewell (3-1-11-2) and Matt Foster (2-1-2-0) plus good catches by Attewell (two) and Robert Marjot.

Mulbarton's bowling proved to be better than their batting and Melton's youngsters struggled. Ryan Howard (5) looked impressive for a while but, after being unnecessarily run out, Melton collapsed to 47 all out, Matt Samson taking four excellent catches. It gave Mulbarton victory by 39 runs.

The U13s then restored some Melton pride by winning by 10 runs. Skipper Craig Woolrich led the way with a half-century before retiring to give some others a bat. Michael Farmer scored a patient 22 not out and Sam Palmer a powerful 24 as Melton totalled 136-5.

Mulbarton made 126-9 in reply with Matt Samson scoring 29 and J Bartholomew 19.

Michael Farmer completed a good match with a 'fifer', taking 5-23 from his four overs.

A spokesman for Melton CC said: 'With Joe Harris stepping down after 10 years spearheading Mulbarton youth cricket, the future of the carnival is in some doubt.

'Melton are the only club to have appeared in every one and the club would like to acknowledge Joe's hard work in providing so much enjoyment for the young cricketers of Mulbarton and South Norfolk in general through his South Norfolk Community League. Well done Joe! You deserve a rest.'

HETHERSETT THIRDS: With Hethersett and Tas Valley's top two sides enjoying that champagne feeling, the spotlight switched to the third team's battle against relegation in the Norfolk League at the weekend.

With the first team having sewn up the Norfolk Alliance Division Three title and the seconds having made sure of runners-up slot in Division Five the previous week, club eyes were on what looked like a relegation dogfight for the thirds.

The team, a mixture of experience and youth, knew that victory over Bacton was essential if they were to stand any chance of staying in Division Seven.

They duly obliged with a 72-run win which saw them leapfrog over both Old Catton B and Old Buckenham C to finish out of the bottom two. Hethersett scored 188-9 from their 45 overs with Richard Parslow hitting 45, Ross Jones 36 and Tom Hutt 29. They then bowled Bacton out for just 116 with spinner Geoff Chappell taking 6-28.

The firsts crowned a fine season with another win - this time reaching what could have been a tough target at Dersingham. Victory saw them win Division Three by a massive 30-point margin.

Dersingam scored 233-3 from their 46 overs, but Hethersett made short work of the run chase thanks to a fine unbeaten 135 by Nick Burrett, who has been in sparkling form throughout the season. He led his side to 237-2 in reply.

HTV Seconds were put in by Great Melton and were all out for 185 off the penultimate ball of their innings. Joe Brett hit 46, Tristan Hunt 43 and Jack Smith 45.

The match was interrupted on numerous occasions by rain and ultimately called off for bad light with Melton on 177-4 from 40 overs with Matt Clarke hitting an unbeaten 87 and Jack Smith taking 2-60.

n New Buckenham left it late to record their second win of the season - just about as late as it gets. The winning runs came off the last ball of the last game of the season.

Old Catton, starting the match in third place and with a chance of promotion, must have fancied their chances again a Bucks team which has sat firmly at the bottom of Division Five for virtually the whole season.

But the wicket, affected by the week's rain, was to play a major part in Catton's innings as their batsmen struggled against accurate bowling and unpredictable bounce - or at times no bounce at all.

Kieron Connolly's first five overs went for just four runs; John Neville at the other end was also miserly. Scoring was so difficult that Catton had a mere 34 on the board after 20 overs.

Mind you, it wasn't just the wicket that made scoring so tough - the Bucks fielding was excellent throughout, with youngsters Richard Halfacree and Joe Heasman leading the way.

Catton were pleased to reach 140-8 thanks to some late, lusty hitting by Boulton. Neville finished with 3-19 from his 12 overs and Corey Connolly also picked up three wickets from his very tidy spell.

Bucks got off to a fairly brisk start, scoring at over four an over with skipper Terry Hardwick showing patience is a key weapon for an opening batsmen in tricky conditions. But when slow bowler Munday came on, the runs started to dry up and wickets began to fall.

Ashley Ling (18) and Neville (20) helped Hardwick steer Bucks towards the target. It all came down to the final over; Bucks were nine wickets down and needed nine runs to win. Hardwick, well supported by last man Pete Marshall, found a few gaps and the scores were tied with three balls to go. Dot, dot - and then a triumphant four from Hardwick (62no) brought victory to Bucks.

Sweet as it was, the most pleasing part of the result was the performance of the young players. Bucks fielded five aged 17 or under - the future looks very bright indeed.