Record stand by openers

Great Melton v Norwich BGREAT Melton opening batsmen Richard Wood and Alex Cooper set a new first team record partnership for the club, adding 225 for the first wicket to break the 24-year-old record set by Alan Ely and Fred Green.

Great Melton v Norwich B

GREAT Melton opening batsmen Richard Wood and Alex Cooper set a new first team record partnership for the club, adding 225 for the first wicket to break the 24-year-old record set by Alan Ely and Fred Green.

Cooper eventually departed in the 41st over for a masterful 112 which included one huge six over the oak tree, which earned a kiss for his trusty guns. In form A team man Matt Clarke ended his long wait to bat and supported Wood ably rotating the strike for his more established partner. The ever-dependable Wood continued to his own century and ensured that he carried his bat once again. Clarke remained unbeaten on 26 as the scoreboard read 277-1 at tea.

277 is by no means an unchasable score on the batsman's paradise that is Melton Park, so the home team knew that they would have to perform well in the field to win the game. Ian Bettridge and Justin 'Jar-Jar' Stephenson were economical with the new ball in the opening overs and Stephenson was duly rewarded in the fifth over when he clean bowled Colin Whurr for seven. The Aussie was in the action again in his next two overs as he removed Burton (c Wood for 12) and Boothby (bowled 15) to leave the visitors reeling at 39-3 in the 10th over. Norwich skipper Chris McKay dug in, ending the match unbeaten on 63 as the visitors closed on 218-8.

Great Melton B v Horsford B

In a solid team performance, Great Melton B set Horsford B a challenging 215 to win, Horsford B falling 11 runs short with the 10th wicket falling in the final over at Manor Park.

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The Bs got off to a solid start with the returning Phil Lachowycz batting well and playing some fine drives in his first game of the season. Well supported by Owen Taylor, the pair stayed together until the 22nd over in a stand of 75. As is often the way, two more quick wickets fell, D Bunn being trapped lbw to one that didn't get up for one and Moxon pushing one to gulley chasing his third consecutive boundary for eight. In a team showing six from the week before, and fielding the youngest B team in several years, skipper Moxon was more than happy with the target of 215.

At 34-0 from the first six overs and with Read looking to play the ball hard through the covers, Horsford were looking to be favourites until Moxon took a tremendous one-handed catch high to his left in the covers with the umpire ready to signal four. Horsford's top order continued to play their shots against sometimes wayward Melton bowling. The ball seemed to find the field however, with Taylor catching Hunt for one and Moxon taking his second and third catches in the covers. At 74-4 from 16 overs, Melton were in the wickets and had slowed the rate and with Hepple (12 overs, two maidens 2-31) and Bunn (12 overs, three maidens 4-32) bowling full and straight the game swung back towards Melton. An eighth wicket stand between Bowker (56) and Gilbert (42 no) turned the tables again and with Hepple and Bunn bowled out, Lachowcyz was asked to bowl the final over and concede less than the 12 required. With Hunt chipping the ball to Moxon to take his fourth catch of the day, Great Melton wrapped up an excellent win.

Felthorpe v Great Melton C

It was a case of runs in the sun at Felthorpe, as 581 were scored in one afternoon and where George King, Simon Brett and Leo DeSalis all recorded their highest-ever scores, despite a weakened Melton C team losing by 79 runs. The experienced Robinson and the big-hitting Spicker set about Melton's young attack, their partnership of 147 taking the score to 245, with 10 overs still remaining. Spicker was eventually out for 108. Felthorpe's final total was 330 for seven.

To their great credit, Melton's youngsters put up a superb show of resistance with the bat. Fourteen-year-old George King bagged his first 50 with a superb array of shots and 15-year-old Simon Brett hit his first half-century too before being unluckily run out for 55. With Leo DeSalis and Brett bringing up the 200 with seven wickets and 13 overs remaining, there was a slim chance of victory, but the run-out of Brett and DeSalis's dismissal for a 69 ended any faint hopes. George Ducker (17) and Ben Fryer (14) made some good contributions as Melton were dismissed in the 44th over for a best-ever C Team score of 251.

Great Ellingham v Bradfield

ELLINGHAM were buoyed by an early wicket from Standley (1-29) who was at his nagging best. What followed was a 109 stand for the second wicket between Grapes (120) and Abs (41) before he was removed by Glover. Bradfied posted an impressive 265-5.

In reply Ellingham got off to a solid start before Ewin (12) fell to Kimber (1-26). Cooper (51) and Abel (16) added 48 for the second wicket before C Wiseman (3-21) started a mini collapse which also removed Cooper and Kruger to leave Ellingham teetering on 104-5. However Allum (57) and Glover (41*) added 72 for the sixth wicket and Ellingham posted a respectable 206-7 from their allotted overs. On reflection Ellingham probably left themselves too much to do with the bat.

GREAT MELTON A made it three wins in a row with victory over Topcroft A in a closely fought contest.

Melton were asked to field first and the Topcroft openers Reeder and Ridley accumulated steadily without ever cutting loose. At drinks Topcroft were 77 without loss and they built on this. The final wicket fell off the last ball of the innings, leaving Topcroft on 172.

There was a similarly steady start for Melton, as Lee Whiddett (15) and Tony Alborough (28) put on a half-century. Alborough was first to go, lofting Holmes to mid-on and inexplicably his partner repeated the error in the same over. Bunn perished the same way and this poor batting left on Melton 64 for three. Chris Elliott and Damien Loines then set about the repair job and doubled the score to 128 before Loines went for 34. Stearman was next in and followed his match-winning knock the previous week with more fireworks in his 26 that put his team in charge.

He was well caught by Reeder and a fine diving catch by Holmes saw the back of Andrews for seven. With keeper Steve Clarke joining Elliott, Melton had two experienced players to see them home. Clarke clinched the win with a flick over square leg to the boundary in the penultimate over, with Elliott unbeaten on 42.

HINGHAM A recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season, beating Great Witchingham C by 57 runs, with John Morland producing a devastating spell of spin bowling that will surely leave him in the reckoning for bowling performance of the season. Hingham A were reduced to 60 for six when Garwood was dismissed (0) and looked unlikely to post a competitive target. However, a crucial seventh-wicket partnership of 89 between Edwards (60) and Fenton (30), as well as late runs by Baldwin (9), guided the team to 163 all out from 43.4 overs.

In reply, Great Witchingham made a steady start until a superb direct hit run-out by Garwood offered a breakthrough. This was followed up by a majestic 12-over spell by Morland (7-23) which left Great Witchingham reeling. Morland was ably assisted by very tight bowling from Edwards (0-10) and Chilleystone (0-25), each of whom maintained pressure on the visitors' batsmen. Meanwhile, Garwood (0-21) bowled an extremely impressive spell, and can consider himself unlucky to have not taken a wicket.

The Great Witchingham innings was eventually tied up at 106 all out in the 37th over, with Fenton claiming his first league wicket in his opening over.

Great Ellingham A v Rocklands

GREAT Ellingham A played Rocklands in a thrilling 400 run match last Sunday. Rocklands got off to a slow start with some tight bowling from C Glower and S Lawrence (10-3-17-2). The fall of the first wicket however brought P Dunning to the wicket who scored quickly with some powerful hitting. Dunning fell three short of his century on 97. Lake (15) and S Pearce (10) helped Rocklands to 194-6. C Oxborough (9-0-51-2) was the pick of the Ellingham change bowlers.

Ellingham got off to a bad start, reduced to 2-2 in the third over but a 163 run third wicket partnership between B Potter (40) and P McIntosh (111) turned the game. The return of J Roweil (7.4-0-20-4) to the attack and the fall of a couple of late wickets made for a tight finish but important contributions from T Evenett and A Potter saw Ellingham home with eight balls to spare.