Melford in bottom two after defeat
Long Melford 155-9
lost to Clacton 156-7
by three wickets
Long Melford slipped into the bottom two after newly-promoted Clacton won by three wickets at the Meetingfield on Saturday.
Tom Barnard and Jason Wade opened the batting for Melford, with the former making a good start with three fours from the first over of the innings.
However, a delivery lifting off a length saw Barnard (12) caught behind in the third over, and with Adam Matthews caught at the wicket for zero, Melford twitched at 14-2.
Joe Harvey was next into the crease and lasted three overs before being bowled for nought, which left Wade and Dale Brett to steady the innings and begin to lay the platform for the final total.
Wade (24) saw a leading edge lift high to cover to be dismissed just as he looked set to push on, before Cameron Stace added 10 runs before being caught at point to leave them at 93-5.
Brett was undone by a straight one for LBW to depart for a hard-fought 39, which left Steve Hale (31 not out) to marshall the tail in admirable fashion and help Melford close out the innings on 155-9.
Phil King (2-33) struck in his first over for Melford to dismiss Clacton opener Imran Sheikh for four, as Matthews sprinted from cover to take a diving catch.
Ryan Chamberlain (five) fared no better as King found success again to leave the visitors at 19-2.
But Bradley Turner (26) and impressive opener Scott Facey (69no) repaired the damage, and despite Barnard (4-39) and Hale (1-36) taking wickets, Clacton got over the line in the 34th over.
n Long Melford’s Richard Kemp, Richard Powell and Alan Cooke will represent the Two Counties Championship’s Over-70s side against Hertfordshire on Tuesday (1.30pm).
n A Richard Kemp XI will take on a Two Counties Championship Over-60s side at Long Melford CC on Wednesday (1.30pm).