Great Melton overcome dangerous opponents to stay on course for promotion
- Credit: Archant
Great Melton kept their Norfolk Alliance Division Three promotion hopes alive with a seven-wicket victory over Swardeston B, conquerors of closest rivals Bungay the previous week.
In a match reduced to 40 overs from the outset and where there was a break for rain in mid-afternoon, Olly Harris' decision to field first proved a good one.
Despite an unbeaten 49 from Alex Bilham Swardeston could only manage 157-6, with Melton's slower bowlers proving most effective. Aaron Garner claimed 3-24 from his eight overs while Alex Rennie and Olly Harris conceded just 32 runs between them in 11 overs.
Harris (2-16) and Aslam Mohammed (1-40) claimed the other wickets to fall.
Richard Wood (16) and Matt Clarke (32) then gave Melton a solid foundation, Ben Mann's enterprising 38 maintained the momentum and his in-form brother Sam (38 not out) saw Melton home with Joey Greenslade in the 33rd over.
For the second time this season the As struggled against Hockwold and were on the end of a a 10 wickets defeat. Joel Gilmour, unbeaten on 66, was again their tormentor-in-chief and, with Roy Bland, they comfortably scored the 128 needed for victory in less than 18 overs. Melton were, at one stage, 65-8 with only Tim Hales (24) and Connor Stearman (21) making double figures, but a last-wicket stand of 47 between skipper Simon Woods (44 not out) and youngster Lohit Kannan restored a little respectability.
The B Team, playing Gillingham at Ringsfield, didn't fare much better, struggling to 138-6 in their 45 overs, despite 30 from Eusha Fawad and 46 not out from George Bunn, making a welcome return after almost two years out of action with knee problems. Gillingham chased them down in the 31st over for the loss of three wickets, one each from Leo DeSalis, Josh Wright and Bunn.
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The C's, though, are on a good little run and, with Clive Rennie claiming 5-20 and 14-year-old Ben Granville scoring 35 on his Norfolk League debut, they eased to their third successive win after bowling out Winterton B for 108 in just 18 overs. Melton's all-female opening attack set them on their way, Caitlin Ellis claiming a wicket with her first ball (2-34) and Rachael Hustler (2-28) two in her second over.