Cup triumph for Melton
Great Melton beat Drayton by seven wickets at Hardingham in the Wensum Cup Final.A superb display in the field and some excellent batting from Alex Cooper enabled Great Melton to win the Wensum Cup at the expense of old friends Drayton.
Great Melton beat Drayton by seven wickets at Hardingham in the Wensum Cup Final.
A superb display in the field and some excellent batting from Alex Cooper enabled Great Melton to win the Wensum Cup at the expense of old friends Drayton.
The neutral cricket ground of Hardingham looked an absolute picture for the final of an excellently run midweek competition but Melton captain Daryl Godbold was in stark contrast to the serenity of the ground as one of his youngsters failed to appear necessitating a hasty phone call to emergency replacement, George Bunn.
With Bunn's arrival not possible for a good half an hour Drayton skipper Eggett chose to bat against the ten men. Justin Stephenson and Josh Wilson (1-14) battled well with the Drayton openers of Woods and Hawes for the first six overs of the match and just as supremacy seemed to going the way of the batting side Wilson broke through the defence of Woods (7) to get Melton into the game.
That wicket, a good first over from the Melton skipper and the appearance of Bunn pegged Drayton a reasonable way back after looking, as they had, poised to accelerate their five runs per over initial scoring rate. Godbold's (1-6) second over brought the second wicket to fall, that of left-hander Hawes (13) and the younger Godbold, Marcus, (1-16) combined with his dad to dismiss the dangerous Smith for a good 18.
Leo De Salis, now bowling beautifully, picked up the wicket of keeper Davis (1) in the next over, with a smart catch from Jon Moxon at mid on completing the dismissal, and when the wily old seamer picked up the important wicket of the potentially hard hitting Trett (5), De Salis (2-15) had bowled his last two overs for two runs whilst taking his two wickets, just superb stuff.
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Chaos reigned in the Drayton batting when Bunn came on to bowl, the run out of skipper Eggert (6) and two wickets for the maturing leg spinner resulting amid scenes of panic from Bunn's first over.
Stephenson (1-11) came back to dismiss Soanes (2) in the 17th over but it was left to the brilliant Bunn (3-8) to end Drayton's misery as Foreman (0) holed out to DeSalis at mid-off leaving both R Reeve (6 not out) and Drayton's total (75) somewhat stranded.
The total of 75 though never looking enough wasn't perhaps disastrous as a slow pitch which seemed to indicate that Melton wouldn't have it their own way especially against a decent attack.
Trett (0-6) bowled an excellent first over to Alex Cooper to enhance this view but crucially the classy opener was able to score off the last ball, a push through the mid on region.
Crucially because the very next over Cooper expelled any doubts of the result really, as he smashed Raven (0-16) out of the attack in his first over.
The in-form right hander then dished out similar treatment to Foreman (0-20) in the sixth over, forcing his retirement for a wonderful 35, which brought much appreciation and from the decent crowd.
Tony Alborough, Lee Whiddett and Simon Woods batted positively before they all got out after finding various ways to score seven runs but nonetheless all three had made a marvellous contribution to the cup run especially Woods whose wicket keeping has shone throughout.
Jon Moxon (16) proved what a solid performer he is in this form of the game by picking up where Cooper left off and seeing Melton through to victory in the 13th over with a characteristic clip through mid-wicket for four.
Soanes (3-17) bowled well for Drayton and claimed all three wickets to fall, as did Trett (4 overs for 6 runs) but 75 was never enough runs against a strong Melton batting line-up.
So as Daryl Godbold lifted the Wensum Cup, after thanking umpires Kelly and Armitage, he reflected on an excellent midweek cup campaign where he has been able to find a good balance between youth and experience, as well as between bat and ball