The curtain came down on a season like no other with Great Melton’s annual President’s match and it was the ‘Club Team’ captained by Simon Woods that proved too strong on the day for President Nick Evans-Lombe’s XI.

The President’s team were hardly helped by injuries to, first Chris Wright (hamstring), then Steve Phoenix (knee) but really it was the assured batting of Jonathan Ellse (41), Eusha Fawad (40) and Rob Mackintosh (43), who all retired having reached 40, plus young Sam Davey who played some excellent shots in a confident 31, that helped Simon Woods’ side to an impressive 226-6 off their allotted 35 overs.

Fawad Kaiser showed the advantage of bowling at the stumps with 2-31 and there were 2 wickets for Oli Leinster (2-17) and one for Phoenix (1-25) plus a direct-hit run-out from Lohit Kannan.

In reply Kai Wilkinson-Loines, showing excellent timing, raced to 40 and, with Lohit scoring 25 and Chris McKay 36, the President’s team were off to a solid start. However the pressure of scoring 6.5 an over proved too much and Oli Leinster (20) was the only other batsman to reach double figures as Martin Alcock’s took 4-23, Sam Davey 3-10 and Sudeep Athanti 2-23. The President’s XI finished 66 runs short on 160 all out but, as usual, it was an enjoyable game in which every player batted and most bowled. The fine sunny weather and the resplendent setting of Melton Park made the threat of a second spike of Covid19 and talk of a long hard winter seem a world away.

Sudeep, on debut, scored 14 to go with his 2 wickets and took a fine catch to dismiss Wilkinson-Loines and win the game for the ‘Club XI’ and young Sam McKay who came on as a substitute for Chris Wright, fielded and bowled well but the man-of-the-match was probably Sam Davey for his 35 runs, 3 wickets, a catch and a run-out.

With just a Ladies/Girls match and a C/B Team-strength friendly at Tas Valley to be played, attention now turns to planning for 2021 – which is difficult enough in the present circumstances. The priorities will be to find another Treasurer and Membership Secretary to replace officers who are standing down; to decide how many senior teams to run and on which days; and to find another 2nd pitch to replace Town Close.

The full President’s match scorecard can be found on Play-Cricket: http://greatmelton.play-cricket.com/website/results/4509166