Clarke leads the way for Melton

Matt Clarke.

Matt Clarke. - Credit: Archant

With events at Carrow Road again playing havoc with availability, Great Melton produced four commendable performances, topped by the first team's stirring winning draw at home to Thetford.

Led by Rob Sims in the absence of skipper Olly Harris who split the webbing on the fingers of his left hand the previous week, Melton's team included Marcus Godbold and Martin Cooke who both travelled up from the other side of London to help the cause, plus fledgling fast bowler Marcus Mawby.

It was, however, Matt Clarke who stole the limelight, scoring 73 to help Melton to 219-9. Godbold hit a brutal 47 in quick time to get Melton past 200. Then Ben Mann, Mawby, Sims, young Alex Rennie, showing commendable control, and Paul Stearman (3-30), helped by a stunning one-handed catch by Mawby, had Theford hanging on at 183-8.

The A team travelled to North Runcton where three more of Melton's youngsters, Connor Stearman (39), Joe Bickel (31) and Alex Tonnison with a breezy 20, showed good form with the bat but Melton's total of 166-9 was never likely to be quite enough. Bickel bowled well too but North Runcton scored 170-3 to secure a comfortable victory.

Daryl Godbold was persuaded out of 'semi-retirement' to help the B Team and his class shone through both with bat and ball. His composed 79 not out was the backbone of Great Melton's run chase as Tim Hales' side, helped by a quick half-century from the skipper, enabled Melton to overhaul Drayton's 197-5 with a ball to spare.

Earlier half-centuries from Drayton's Keith Hunt and James Kay, who put together a century partnership, rescued the visitors from the precarious position of 64-4 at drinks. Grenville Ireland bowled 12 overs for just 12 runs - and that after his first ball had gone for four.

The C team had former first team skipper Ian Wickham making a guest appearance at Old Buckenham where two dads of juniors, Peter Graves and Kevin Ellis, were also persuaded to don their whites.

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Graves pouched two catches, on a splendid diving effort at cover. Buckenham B recovered from 23-3 thanks to John Lund whose well-crafted half-century anchored the innings. Ian Pape (24) and C.Sturman (28) eventually enabled the home side to reach 187-8 with David Bunn (2-14), Simon Carding (2-16) and Aimee Palmer (1-40) bowling well. Wickham (29), Bunn (32), Leo deSalis (24) and Carding (20) all made useful contributions in Melton's reply but Harding's 3-19 ensured they fell short by 32 runs, as Melton were dismissed for 155.

Unfortunately with Mattishall pulling out of the Mid-Norfolk Sunday League and Norwich calling off the Ladies' game, there was no Sunday action. Melton's own availability problems unfortunately meant they had to withdraw from the midweek Wensum Cup competition and the 10-man team that travelled to Norwich in the Bernard Matthews were no match for the strong home side.

There were junior games, though, with the U13s making it four wins out of four with a 60-run win at Swardeston against their B team in the Alan Bridgewater competition (Jack Gorman 30 retired, Josh Wright 23 retired, Ben Granville 2-7) and a 54-run victory over Mulbarton in the South Norfolk Community League (Finlay Hughes 43 not out and 2-5). The Under 9s got their season up and running with a 9-run defeat at Brooke.