With the Melbourne pitch looking in fine form, Melbourne captain Harry Collins won the toss in their first match in Division 2 of the York Vale and put Hirst Courtney in to bat on a glorius sunny afternoon. Melbourne’s new signing AJ Clarke joining them from the Harrogate League made his presence from the start known by taking the wicket of Alford when he had him lbw in the fourth over.
Brian Underwood saw off White in the 17th over when he was caught by Melbourne keeper Matt Beevers. Copeland found the occasional loose ball to roll the board along and it wasnt until the 21st over that Martin Kidd playing his first game since breaking his thumb early last season had Wild (26) out lbw. In the 32nd over Beevers took his second caught behind of the day to see off opener Copeland (37) off the bowling of Collins (4-42). With the board on 106-3, Hirst Courtney then lost wickets at regular intervals as no one was able to stick around long to support Goddard who was eventually bowled in the 36th over after making 27. Collins bowled both Knight and Hinchcliffe to bag himself four wickets and Tim Blackmore caught Hinch off the bowling of Clarke (2-28). White finished the 40 overs 13 not out in 142-9.
In reply Melbourne got off to a steady start and had 31 on the board after eight overs when Oliver Steels (14) was caught by a superb diving catch by veteran Stones off the bowling of Hinchcliffe. Collins made three before being caught off the bowling of Wild in the 15th over. Blackmore and Clarke made the most of any loose balls as Hirst Courtney tried bowler after bowler. An 89-run partnership was finally split up in the 28th over when Clarke, after hitting a strong 65 which included four sixes, was bowled by Thandi. Blackmore and Beevers wrapped up the match in the following over, Blackmore finishing on 34 not out and Beevers on four not out to bring Melbourne a seven-wicket victory at 143-3.
Many thanks to the matchball sponsor: Jelf Insurance Partnership. Next week sees Melbourne away at Askham Bryan.