Stace stars as Melford lose again

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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION TWO

Long Melford 223-6

lost to Dunmow 309-5

by 86 runs

An unbeaten 115 from Cameron Stace could not prevent Melford suffering defeat at the hands of the division’s surprise package.

Dale Brett inserted the visitors, opening the Melford bowling with Jason Wade and Bill Byford.

Skipper Luke Swanston and Tom Pierson-McGeorge started well, so Brett changed Byford for Hall at nine overs and then Hall for Sturgeon after 17.

Pierson-McGeorge passed 50 first, just 36 balls and 47 minutes required, then Swanston at the hour mark from 72 balls.

Swanston (79) eventually fell to Sturgeon in the 28th over, his replacement being claimed by Wade in the 29th for a duck. With Pierson-McGeorge (80) caught at slip in the 30th over, Dunmow went from 162-0 to 172-3 in the space of three overs.

But Dunmow’s middle order responded. Oliver Rooney (53 not out) and partners Mark Rosewell (33), Nev Ali (6) and George Gallant (43) pushing the score to a challenging 309 runs. Ivan Newman claimed two wickets (Rosewell and Ali) to give Melford five wickets and a valuable two points.

After the interval Melford opened with Dale Brett and Stace, with the latter being dropped at slip on five.

Brett (zero), Byford (14), Ben Barnbrook (11) and Chris Sturgeon (nine) all went before Wade (22) helped Stace to 50 after a mammoth 110 minutes and 80 balls.

Chris Wenborn joined Stace to take advantage of some poor Dunmow bowling changes. Stace eventually completed his maiden century for Melford in 161 minutes and 113 balls. Wenborn added a valuable 42 before being caught late on at midwicket.

This was Melford’s highest team score of the season, but defeat leaves them third from bottom and battling to avoid relegation.