Great Melton’s Nat-West Cricketforce event, cancelled on 23rd March because of the poor weather and soft ground conditions, and rearranged for last Saturday (7th April) brought a workforce of 50 to Melton Park. Considering that the date fell in half-term and clashed with a 12.30 kick-off for Norwich City’s televised match against Aston Villa, an event at Wymondham Rugby Club and Rob Sims’ wedding it was a great effort and Volunteer Coordinator, Chris Brook, was very pleased with the response.
While new Pavilion Manager, Marcus Mawby and his mum, Caroline, supervised the re-stocking of the bar and the cleaning and reorganising of the kitchen, the rest of the workforce took advantage of the long-awaited Spring-like weather to prepare the ground for the new season. The new fence was painted, areas around both pavilions touched-up and tidied; home changing room re-decorated; sightcreens, covers, portable nets and artificial wicket prepared; guttering installed on the junior pavilion; and, most importantly the old net area stone-picked, levelled and seeded.
The willing army of volunteers completed Chris Brook’s list of jobs by 2.00 p.m. and even the absence of the normal Nat-West sponsored tee-shirts (not sure what happened to them this year!) didn’t dampen the spirits. Hannah Brook provided bacon butties and there was the usual supply of coffee, tea and beer. It was also good to see a mix of old and young involved in the various tasks, including several new members.
With groundsmen, Mike Phoenix and Grenville Ireland, having dodged the winter weather to do much of the ground preparation in advance, Melton Park looked resplendent by mid-afternoon. A big-thank-you to everybody who helped.
The final senior pre-season net takes place on Wednesday 11th April at Easton before the season kicks-off on Friday 20th April with Junior Coaching and Saturday 21st April with the First Team taking on Great Witchingham A in the Alliance Division 2 and the B/C Team playing the usual pre-season friendly at Eaton. Both matches are away. The first full programme of league fixtures is on Saturday 28th April. New club members (playing or non-playing) are always welcome.