Great Melton’s Beer Festival weekend proved a great success with the usual captive audience of parents at Friday’s junior coaching, which was attended by 108 youngsters, and about 120 guests for Saturday’s main social event, sampling 8 different beers, five of which were sponsored. One of the sponsors, Hethersett Butchers, also provided the meat for Saturday’s barbecue while entertainment was provided by rookie band, High Definition.
On Sunday, following a slight delay for rain, Melton’s Patron’s XI V Legends XI match got underway with Sir Edward Evans-Lombe’s ‘present players’ side, captained by Chairman Steve Phoenix, taking on a mainly ‘past players’ side captained by Ian Wickham. Liam Hughes (36 not out), Sam Mann (32) and Jon Moxon (30) all retired having reached 30 and Nick Mackenzie was dismissed for 29 as the Patron’s team totalled 193-8 in their 30 overs with Jason Roope (4-0-15-2) and Richard Grove (4-0-14-1) taking the bowling honours.
Grove (31 retired) also proved to be the ‘Legends’ best batsman and, although Wickham scored 29, Ian Arnold 16 and Mally Howard 15, no other batsmen reached double figures as the ex-players finished on 126-9, to lose by 67 runs. Lee Whiddett (4-1-16-2), Phoenix (3-1-8-2) and Hughes (3-1-4-2) all picked up two wickets apiece as the Patron’s XI got their hands on the Robert Phoenix Trophy which was won by ‘The Legends’ last year. The players then enjoyed a delicious curry supper, courtesy of Claire Hughes.
The Festival, which is likely to become an annual event, should have raised some much-needed funds towards the club’s major projects, the refurbishment of the kitchen, the provision on additional ladies toilets and the replacement of the nets.
A big thank-you is due to all who helped: largely the Social and Fundraising Committee but particularly Neal Clarke; to Claire for the food on Sunday and to Trish Ellse and Caroline Mawby for their help with the barbecue on Saturday as well as at every junior coaching session; to the ladies who helped serve the Sunday supper; to Gary Coulson and Clive Privett who umpired the match, and generally to all the club members who helped erect the marquee, prepare staging, man the bar or clear up after the event. It was a busy weekend but ultimately an enjoyable and profitable one.