Ipswich 182-7 lost to
Long Melford 183-8
by two wickets
Tom Barnard’s knock of 83 runs helped Long Melford get back to winning ways with a two-wicket victory at Ipswich on Saturday.
Melford skipper Gareth Boon won the toss and put the hosts into bat first, and both he and Phil King had excellent control with the ball from the start.
After restricting Ipswich to 49 runs from the first 15 overs, Boon found the breakthrough when he bowled opener Rob Southall out for 48.
Barnard struck three overs later, trapping the other Ipswich opener Joseph Rusby LBW for 43 runs.
Stuart Hammond and Louis Perrin consolidated for the home side over the next 10 overs, however the accuracy of Barnard again broke a promising partnership, as he took a sharp return catch to have the former caught and bowled.
Perrin, aware of the overs running out, began attacking but with the introduction of Hugh Walters and some excellent ground fielding, Melford held their nerve well.
Ipswich’s middle order batsmen came and went regularly before the innings closed on a total of 182-7.
Perrin (46) was trapped LBW by Barnard for the fourth wicket, Walters claimed the fifth and two run outs in the final over left the visitors satisfied with three bonus points from their bowling efforts.
After the interval, Melford openers Steve Martin and Barnard took to the field to face Ipswich’s opening bowlers of Damien Smith and Southall.
Smith particularly caused problems from the start, with genuine pace seeing both openers struggle and explained how Ipswich had found themselves at the top of the division before the game.
Martin (eight) and Dale Brett were the first men to fall, while Barnard was able to accumulate runs at a great rate from the other end.
With Joe Harvey (five) next to be dismissed for LBW, Melford stood at 71-3 after 15 overs and well ahead of the required run rate.
Walters and Luke Codrington supported Barnard for 12 of the middle overs, enabling the opener to pass the 50 mark from just 52 balls.
Steve Hale came in at seven and played carefully and patiently, before taking over the scoring once Barnard eventually fell for 83, which came after a lapse in concentration saw him caught and bowled.
When Hale was removed for 34, Melford were still 23 runs short of victory, but Boon (eight) and Tom Bigg (10) scored the runs to see the visitors over the line.
n Long Melford’s Richard Kemp took two wickets for the Two Counties Over-70s in their draw against a Suffolk Combined XI Over-70s last week.
Kemp will captain the Two Counties side when they visit Billericay Over-70s next Tuesday (1.30pm).