A trophy table laden with cups, shields and medals was proof enough of the continued success of Great Melton’s Junior section as 41 youngsters celebrated an excellent season at their annual Festival and Presentation Day. With the U9s Festival Day a few weeks earlier it meant that a total of 71 juniors participated overall. With Saturday’s event being a week later than normal, numbers were slightly down because of school sporting commitments but the U12s ‘Sixes’ Competition in the morning was closely contested. Michael’s Indians, captained by Michael Baker, looked favourites to win going into the final group of matches but, surprisingly slipped up against previously winless Matt’s Sunrisers. James Carter’s Knight-Riders team of Lohit Kannan, Ben Johnson, Cameron Graveling, James Gosling and Ahmad Sajid were quick to take advantage, beating Jack’s Royals to finish as champions. Player-of-the Tournament was the Indians’ Sam Johnson who scored 15, 14 and 15 without being dismissed including a 4 & 6 off the final over to take his side to a narrow win over the Royals. James Carter, James Bridges and Ben Fletcher were others in contention but there were good performances too from the U9s invited to play, Ben Johnson, Max Wilson, Joseph Graves, James Attfield and Corey Rushton.
The afternoon tournament between the U15s saw three teams play each other twice and resulted in victory for James Robb’s ‘Daredevils’ who won 3 of their 4 matches. The Daredevils – James Robb, Marcus Mawby, Tom Moye, Beth Harmer, Kai Wilkinson-Loines & Oli Leinster – were well-led by their skipper who also picked up the Player of the Tournament Award. Rob’s Superkings, captained by Rob Smith, were second with ‘Chalky’s Challengers’, captained by Alex Rennie, finishing third despite beating the Daredevils in their final match. Although James’ effervescent captaincy, knocks of 15 not out, 16 not out, plus bowling figures of 1-0 and 1-6 made him Player of the Tournament there were some other memorable performances, particularly from Rob Smith, Marcus Mawby, Tom Moye and Beth Harmer plus the 3 U12s, Saxon Earley, Oli Leinster and James Bridges, two of whom played in the senior tournament because of other commitments in the morning.
Between the 2 tournaments club Patron, Sir Edward Evans-Lombe presented the end-of-season awards – and there were a lot of them! The U15s, U13s and U11s received trophies and medals for winning the South Norfolk Community League which, added to the U11s Terry Moore Trophy, the U14s SNCL Indoor Zip League Cup and the Girls Norfolk Ladies Indoor Cup and Lady Taverners U15 plus Regional Runners-up Cups it means Melton’s trophy shelf is sagging under the weight of 8 trophies – not a bad season’s work!
Under 15 Players Player of the Year was Ben Carding who scored 317 runs with skipper Joey Greenslade, who scored 297, receiving the Managers/Coaches Award. Matt Rennie got the ‘Most Improved Player’ certificate and Connor White the one for ‘Best Attitude’.
In the U13s it was a very close call between skipper Thomas Moye and Fergus Hughes who scored 430 runs at an average of 72 and took 14 wickets but it was Thomas who carried off both trophies for his 31 wickets (18 for the U13s and 13 for the U15s) plus 280 runs. Fergus did, however, take the SNCL salver for ‘Best Batting’. Luke Richards was Most Improved and Craig Wilson ‘Best Attitude’.
The Lucy Phoenix Cup for the Ladies and Girls Players Player of the Year was won by Aimee Palmer who scored 306 runs and took 7 wickets as well as playing for the U15s and the Senior C Team. Beth Harmer got the Manager’s/Coaches’ Award for her 251 runs in a season when she scored her maiden century for the County U13s. Most Improved was Becca Greenslade while the ‘Best Attitude’ certificates went to Delphi Wilkinson-Loines (U9), Holly Marchant (U11), Caitlin Ellis (U13) and Emily Grisewood (U15).
The U11s had a really fantastic summer winning 23 of their 24 matches, their only defeat coming in the final of the Gresham’s Tournament. They became the first Melton side to win an Alliance Competition – the Terry Moore – and won the SNCL. Inspiring captain and wicketkeeper Saxon Earley was Players and Manager’s/Coaches’ Player of the Year having scored 340 runs at an average of 85 and dismissed 11 batsmen although Charlie Green (260 runs and 18 wickets) was a worthy runner-up. Most Improved was James Bridges while Oli Leinster was the player with the ‘Best Attitude’. Sam Johnson received the SNCL salver for ‘Best Bowling’ with Charlie Green runner-up.
Marcus Mawby, Alex Rennie (U15s), Fergus Hughes, Max Beckett, James Carter, Matt Carter, Daniel Davey, Finlay Hughes, Kai Wilkinson-Loines (U13), Robyn Edge, Erin Ketteridge, Caitlin Ellis (Girls) and Mark Attfield, Charlie Green and Ben Johnson (U11) were all awarded certificates for 90% plus ‘Attendance and Commitment’ to the weekly coaching sessions.
There were 80 junior matches played resulting in 64 wins – an 80% success rate. Chairman Steve Phoenix thanked the huge team of coaches, coaching assistants, managers, administrators, bar staff, barbecue chefs and parent helpers for their efforts in making Great Melton’s junior section such a vibrant and successful one.