Everards County League: Melton Seconds pip Whetstone for first win

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James Culy took on the captaincy duties for Melton Mowbray Second XI as a very strong line-up earned their first county league win of the season.

Heavy rain on Friday and Saturday morning meant both captains wanted to bowl first, but the visiting Whetstone captain won the toss and put Melton in to bat.

James Culy and Greg Richardson secured their second successive 50-run opening partnership, riding their luck thanks to some sloppy fielding, until Richardson was finally caught out on 22.

Mark Mabbutt brought up a quick 22 with some big hitting before a mix-up saw him run out.

Whetstone continued to take wickets and when James Culy was out for 45 at fifth wicket down, it seemed the Melton innings might fizzle out.

But a cameo innings by Steve Booth (19 not out) took Melton to 142 all out in 41 overs, a disappointing total after the good start which looked 40 runs short.

Melton were much sharper in the field as Paul Stevenson started with two quick wickets, a skier caught by Steve Booth and a sharp take behind the stumps by keeper Jamie Tew, one of three catches he would take.

Scott Mooney bowled well at the other end, taking one wicket from his opening spell, but the Whetstone fourth-wicket pair began to build a partnership.

Darren Smith and James Culy came on to bowl, taking pace off the ball, and took three wickets in as many overs between them. Smith eventually finished with 3 for 32 and James with 2 for 26.

The Whetstone eighth wicket pair were looking comfortable and with 20 left to win, the captain turned to his opening bowlers again.

They quickly wrapped up the innings to bowl Whetstone out for 130, just 12 runs short.

The full 30 points lifted Melton up to seventh in Division Eight East.