Walsham-le-Willows begin new Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Three season with win over Long Melford
Walsham-le-Willows (258-5) made a winning start to the new Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Three season by getting the better of hosting Long Melford (178) by an 82-run margin.
Thanks to Joe Scarce (pictured below) – a new addition joining from Division Six outfit Sudbourne – Walsham were given a flying start as he punished any loose deliveries on his way to 54, which included 12 boundaries.
When Scarce was out caught at short fine leg by Chris Sturgeon off the bowling of Bill Byford, and Walsham skipper Liam Bryant (24) and Ned Campbell (0) then followed shortly after, it fell to Oli Jackson and Ben George to take the time to rebuild and accumulate before moving through the gears towards the back end of the innings.
George was out with eight overs to go for a well-made 59, which included six fours and three sixes.
Meanwhile, after an Ali Waugh (22) cameo and some late boundaries from leading run-scorer Jackson (94no), Walsham finished with 258-5 from the allotted 45 overs.
The Long Melford reply took a couple of early hits as Bryant first bowled Thomas Bigg (3) and then had Joshua Burgess (14) caught behind by Scarce.
Opener Grant Hancock mixed defence with all out attack and made 58 runs before being bowled by Mark Rothon early in his spell.
George and Rothon then took charge of proceedings and a steady flow of wickets ensured that the Melford chase was never allowed to build any genuine momentum.
The bowling trio of Bryant (10-2-36-2), George (14-0-48-4) and Rothon (13-4-37-4) were the wicket-takers for Walsham, backed up by good fielding and some sound catching, meaning that the visitors travelled back to base with the first 20-point haul of the season.
Walsham, who also made a positive start to the 2018 season before tailing off to a degree, will be aiming to make it back-to-back victories tomorrow afternoon when they travel to face Haverhill II (12.30pm).
Haverhill’s second string opened their 2019 campaign with a seven-wicket win over their Bury St Edmunds counterparts to set-up a competitive fixture.