Determined Melford deny resurgent Halstead a win

TEAM EFFORT: Long Melford batsman Josh Arendse in action
TEAM EFFORT: Long Melford batsman Josh Arendse in action
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MARSHALL HATCHICK

TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION THREE

Long Melford 212-9
beat Halstead II 180-6
by 32 runs

It was another win for Long Melford at Meeting Field against Halstead II on Saturday to keep them at the top of Division Three.

It’s been a great start to the season for Long Melford, who also maintained their unbeaten run.

In overcast conditions Halstead hesitated on winning the toss before putting Long Melford into bat.

Melford’s openers Cameron Stace (22) and Sam Blackman (13) began the challenge by facing bowlers’ Lewis Brennan and Luke Robinson.

They quickly took the score to 28 before Blackman’s wicket fell off Robinson’s delivery.

Stace began to rebuild along with Bill Byford (16) but both fell in quick succession, as Ian Pont got in on the action with his wealth of experience.

At 56-3, Josh Arendse (37) and Ben Barnbrook (25) pushed the runs, taking the score to 107-5 with Pont again claiming both wickets.

But Steve Hale was then disappointed to be run out cheaply for only three runs.

It brought captain Jason Wade (42*) to the crease, who raised Melford’s highest total of the day and remained unbeaten.

He was ably supported by James French (25) and with more wickets falling at the end, Long Melford finished on 212-9 from their 45 overs.

In reply, Halstead lost both openers cheaply with French and Chris Sturgeon striking early on.

Halstead’s middle order came out battling and getting some momentum towards the Melford total.

But they were derailed with Byford striking on the first ball alongside a fantastic day with the ball for French. He bowled his allotted 15 overs, which included four maidens, and returned statistics of 4-36 to help swing the match back in his team’s favour.

However, both captain Gary Dicker (34*) and vice-captain Catherine Dalton (49*) stepped up to the plate with every intention of still going for the win, building a strong scoring partnership.

But Melford were able to send the field deep and were well supported by some death bowling by Sturgeon and Wade.

The tactic worked for the home team, as Dicker and Dalton ran out of time as Long Melford won by 32 runs.

They play fellow table-toppers Bury St Edmunds II away on Saturday(1pm).

n In Division One, Halstead I (223-3) beat Witham by seven wickets.

Halstead’s Josh Wells remained not out for 104 to help his side surpass Witham’s total within 38 overs.

n In Divisionsix, Long Melford II (104) lost to Stowupland (211-8) by 107 runs.