MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES
Long Melford (146) lost to Exning (283-7)
by 137 runs
Long Melford slumped to their second defeat in three games as they were comfortably beaten at home against mid-table Exning on Saturday.
Jason Wade’s side had started the campaign by winning all five of their first five completed matches to top the fledgling Division Three table.
But this latest defeat, by 137 runs against Exning at the weekend, leaves them now trailing leaders Sudbury II by 23 points.
Melford won the toss and elected to field first on their home turf, with Exning openers Oakley Colby and Ben Atkinson making a confident start as they reached 50 without loss.
Colby (36) then departed after being caught by James French off the bowling of Chris Sturgeon, before his opening partner Atkinson (17) was dismissed shortly after, caught out by Chris Castle, again from a delivery by Sturgeon (2-87).
Another half-century partnership, this time between Tim and Matthew Catley brought Exning’s score into triple figures, before the former was caught by Thomas Bigg off the bowling of James French.
Matthew Catley (67) and Ben Readman (50 not out) put on the third half-century partnership of the innings to push the score on even further, with Readman and Gavin Jones (50) putting on 66 for the seventh wicket as the visitors looked to set a big score.
Bill Byford (2-48), French (2-93) and Bigg (1-41) took wickets for the hosts to try and derail Exning’s momentum, but the visitors closed their innings out with a score of 283-7 after 45 overs.
In reply, Melford’s run chase never really got going as too many batsmen fell for single figure scores to put the pressure on those who followed to the crease.
Opener Sam Blackman began the innings with a knock of 26, a figure only bettered by Sturgeon, in at number 10, who finished not out for 31.
It meant that Melford were unable to get near to the target set by their visitors, as they finished all out for 146.
Wade’s men (2nd) will look to bounce back when they travel to Haverhill II (9th) on Saturday (1pm).
n Elsewhere, a century from Matt Hoadley helped Long Melford II record their first win in six games in Division Six at the weekend.
Melford skipper Hoadley went into Saturday’s clash away at Braintree II having tasted defeat in all of their last five outings.
Rory Ainsley’s knock of 86, coupled with half centuries from Matt Kent and Adam Archer, saw the hosts Braintree finish with an imposing total of 260-6.
David Routledge’s three-wicket haul had helped restrict Braintree from posting an even larger total, which proved to be pivotal in the run chase.
Opener Hoadley scored an impressive 136 runs with the bat, while Neil Johns (26) and Adrian Howlett (21) also made key contributions as Melford reached the target with just two wickets to spare.
The seconds entertain Bury St Edmunds III on Saturday (1pm).