Ruthless bowling sees Melford go top

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MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION THREE: Long Melford 90-6 beat Woodbridge and OId Woodbridgians 89 by four wickets: Long Melford climbed to top spot after a red-hot bowling and fielding display helped them on their way to their sixth straight win.

With the forecast not looking good on the Saturday, Melford again had to thank groundsman Ivan Whitehart for making it possible to play.

The game started on time with Melford winning the toss and putting Woodbridge into bat in favourable bowling conditions.

It did not take long for the first wickets to fall with James French and Gareth Boon making the ball swing and having their opponents on 10-2.

Boon soon had his second and third wickets, the latter from a good one-handed catch by Ben Barnbrook, to leave Woodbridge on 23-4.

French, who was bowling exceptional well, claimed his second victim with a fine delivery removing Ed Parker.

From his very next over came his third with Ryan Scoopes caught behind by Chris Cleverly at 27-6.

Woodbridge found some residence with Ben Foreman, but trying to get his team to a decent score he tried to hit French over the top, but only managed to slice one to Stuart Whitehart at point, which gave French his fourth wicket of the game.

French finished with figures off 15-5-40-4 and Boon’s figures were 12-5-22-3.

With Bill Byford and Barnbrook brought in on the bowling attack, Woodbridge were 64-7.

Byford soon got in on the act, removing Andy Oswald, caught by Joe Harvey.

Barnbrook then got his first wicket, with David Driver caught behind by Cleverly, leaving Woodbridge 83-9.

He wrapped up Woodbridge’s inning with a delivery that turned and clean bowled Nathan Jenkins for 89 all out in a fine fielding and bowling performance from the home side.

With Melford only needing 89 to win, Nick Wright and Steve Martin set about the task.

Wright and Martin were going along nicely with Wright hitting some big shots before he gloved one to gully at 35-1.

Byford joined Martin at the crease, but Martin was soon given out lbw to leave Melford 45-2.

Stuart Whitehart was next into bat, but only scored one run as he was caught at mid-on.

Harvey came on and seemed to be going along nicely, but then got a good delivery and was caught behind to leave the hosts 60-4.

Craig Boon came in with Melford needing 30 runs to win, but was next to go after being ru nout.

Gareth Boon only managed four before being caught at mid-wicket.

Barnbrook (11no) joined Byford (22no) with plenty of overs left and less than one run an over needed.

The pair steadied the ship and saw Melford home.