MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES
Long Melford 197-6 lost to Great Dunmow 202-3
by seven wickets
A lack of runs on a batsman’s pitch and three dropped catches cost Melford as defeat left them 10 points above the relegation zone.
Long Melford won the toss and chose to bat first on a very hot and humid day.
But the hosts’ innings did not get off to the best of starts when Joe Harvey was out in the second over.
Ashley Skeggs and Brett Wright added 88 runs before Wright was out caught just two runs short of his half-century.
Skeggs continued at the other end but wickets kept falling as the overs were running out, Bill Byford falling lbw for 17 and Stuart Whitehart scoring 22.
Melford got to 197-6 from their 45 overs with Skeggs batting all the way though the innings for a dogged 67.
Hamlin picked up four wickets for 69 from his 15 overs and Linney leaked just 39 from his 12 overs.
Great Dunmow began well with openers Down and Swanton making comfortable progress, reaching 50-1 after 10 overs.
Melford battled hard in the energy-sapping heat, but found little reward until Stuart Whitehart got his second wicket with the score at 140.
Defending the total always looked to be a tall order for Melford with Great Dunmow’s wickets in hand and overs to spare.
Whitehart picked up his third wicket and was by far the pick of the bowlers on the day as James French and Hugh Walters struggled to contain the scoring.
With Melford dropping catches and some poor ground fielding, the result could have been very different, especially with a few more runs on the board.