Martham CC are pipped in thrilling finish

Alex Rennie played a big role in a thrilling victory for Great Melton against Martham. Picture: Stev

Alex Rennie played a big role in a thrilling victory for Great Melton against Martham. Picture: Steve Phoenix - Credit: Archant

There was a nailbiting finish to Martham’s top-of-the-table clash with Great Melton in Norfolk Alliance Division Three last Saturday.

In near-darkness, as a storm broke overhead, Melton’s skipper Olly Harris and last man Alex Rennie steered their side to a one-wicket victory with a single off the final ball.

It was a terrific game of cricket which ebbed and flowed as Martham, a side very much on the up, looked likely to post a large total following opener Louie Stronach’s 65 and useful contributions from Jack Whatmough (22) and Joe Oakey (20).

But a superb spell of bowling by Rennie, who conceded just 12 runs in his nine overs, pegged them back.

Three wickets for Harris (7-0-45-3), two apiece from Ben Carding (7-0-30-2) and Richard Waddell (7.3-2-16-2) plus two run-outs courtesy of Aaron Garner, saw Martham dismissed for 195.

A solid second wicket partnership between Jason Whiddett (27) and Matt Clarke (36) then got Melton’s reply off to a good start but 4-43 from John Allen kept the visitors in the game as wickets fell regularly.

A quick-fire 46 from Ben Mann in gathering gloom put Melton back on track but, when he was out, Garner, Waddell and Grant fell in quick succession.

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When Carding became the ninth batsman to be dismissed, Melton still needed over 30 in five overs but Harris (18 not out) and Rennie (16 not out) showed remarkable composure, and eyesight, to get Melton over the line.

Winterton were involved in another dramatic finish in the same section as they went down by five wickets to Old Buckenham A. They made 156-8 in their 45 overs, with Danny Snowling top scoring with 48, and then saw their total all but matched by the Bucks, who finished on 157-5 to get home in the final over, with the experienced Peter Free (62 not out) seeing them home.

Acle A were beaten by 73 runs by Swardeston B in a match of three centuries.

Swardeston’s total of 259-4 was built around knocks of 101 not out from Will Kidner and 110 from Sapumal Herathge. Skipper Neil Moggan led Acle’s reply by scoring 111 but it was not enough as his side finished on 186.

Acle seconds make the short trip to Winterton on Saturday (1pm) while Martham host Sprowston A.