Melton Mowbray CC Seconds clinch league title at Houghton

We're going up! Melton Second XI toast their title win. From left, back - Trishan Panchal, Brian Draper, Karl Tew, Adam Thompson, James Culy, Alan Wright; front - Callum Hull, Archie Cropper, Matt Wright, Mark Mabbott, Liam Tew EMN-190827-115839002
We're going up! Melton Second XI toast their title win. From left, back - Trishan Panchal, Brian Draper, Karl Tew, Adam Thompson, James Culy, Alan Wright; front - Callum Hull, Archie Cropper, Matt Wright, Mark Mabbott, Liam Tew EMN-190827-115839002
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Melton Mowbray CC Second XI clinched a County League title with a game to spare with victory at Houghton and Thurnby on Saturday.

Mowbray made the trip knowing victory would guarantee the Division Nine East title, and duly wrapped up a 122-run win.

It is the first part of a probable double for the club with the First Xi needing just one win to clinch the Division Three title.

On a hot day, Melton won the toss and batted first on a tired and worn wicket.

Both Houghton opening bowlers did well, restricting run-scoring opportunities on a pitch with very low bounce.

As Melton crept to 28-0 off 10 overs, both James Culy (13) and Mark Mabbutt (16) were bowled trying to accelerate the scoring, and when Callum Hull was also bowled, the visitors had slumped to 32-3.

Adam Thompson (13) and Trish Panchal (14) took the score to 66 before both fell in quick succession, bringing in Liam Tew and captain Karl Tew.

Karl was dropped off the first ball, but then easily dealt with the conditions.

Where everyone else had struggled, the New Zealander hit a rapid 93 not out off 52 balls, with nearly every scoring shot between mid-on and mid-off.

With regular wickets falling at the other end, Melton smashed 59 off the last four overs to post 200-9 at the close of the innings.

In reply, the hosts were soon in trouble as Liam Tew took three wickets from five balls in his third over.

With Karl Tew running out their next batsman from mid-on, it was only opener Ali (25) who kept the innings together.

Archie Cropper continued his excellent form, taking three wickets with his leg spin, while Callum Hull also claimed two victims.

With the last wicket pair batting, opening bowler Matt Wright returned and took an excellent caught and bowled from his second ball to bowl out the hosts for just 78.

Melton finish their season at home to Uppingham Town Third XI on Saturday (1pm start).

Melton: Mabbott 16, Culy 13, Hull 1, Thompson 13, Panchal 14, L. Tew 11, K. Tew 93*, M. Wright 6, A. Cropper 3, B. Draper 0*, Extras 30. Total: 200-9.

Houghton and Thurnby: 78.

Bowling: L. Tew 5-12-3; M. Wright 5.1-6-1; Cropper 10-16-3; Hull 6-13-1; A. Wright 3-15-0; Thompson 1-1-0.