Great Melton’s U15s Captain Josh Wright was the star of the show, collecting a hat-trick of awards, as the Club celebrated the 2018 season at Glen Lodge, Bawburgh. Josh, who played 42 games, scored 562 runs and took 50 wickets, had an outstanding season and added the A Team and Junior (U18) Player-of-the-Year and Most Improved Player awards to the U15 Player-of-the-Year trophy he had already received at the Junior Festival.
Chairman, Steve Phoenix, said that, whilst the 1st Team’s relegation to Division 3 of the Norfolk Alliance was disappointing, success could be measured by the fact that Melton field 14 teams, managed to play 162 matches – 86 senior and 76 junior – and, apart from the 1sts, all the other teams more than held their own with a few competition wins for the juniors including the U15s carrying off the Andy Seeley Cup.
Luke Marchant returned from university to take the 1st Team Player-of-the-Year shield for his 18 wickets and 176 runs in his first season back following 5 years at Vauxhall Mallards. The B team award went to Matt Rushton who, not only skippered the side, but finished top of the batting and bowling averages with 325 runs and 20 wickets. Jonathan Ellse, who scored 297 runs at an average of 67 took the C Team trophy and George Bunn’s new club record 203 not out for the Sunday side against Acle helped him to the Sunday Player-of-the-Year award.
16-year-old Caitlin Ellis capped a superb season in which she took 31 wickets by being voted Women/Girls’ Player-of-the-Year. Her haul of 7-15 against Hethersett & Tas Valley C also earned her a share of the Aldous Special Award for the outstanding performance with George Bunn.
A special engraved glass was presented to Matt Clarke to mark 600 Appearances, a feat that places him 4th in the ‘all-time’ list while new Pavilion Manager, Marcus Mawby, was voted Clubman of the Year. The Young Volunteer-of-the-Year Award had already been presented to Kyle Weston.
Steve Phoenix lamented the sad passing of three of the club’s Vice-Presidents, Malcolm Scarlett and Alan & Kate Barnard during 2018 but announced that a generous £5000 legacy left to the club in memory of Alan and Kate would be part-used to purchase new sight screens. Another Vice-President, Barry Johnson, presented the trophies before one of Melton’s longest serving volunteers, groundsman Mike Phoenix, was invited to present the final shield, the Aldous ‘Clubman’ Award to Volunteer of the Year, C Team Manager Duncan Greenslade.
The Chairman remarked on the ever-growing number of female members reflected in the turn-out at the dinner and thanked the huge team of volunteers before presenting some flowers and chocolates to Caroline Mawby and Ethan Rushton who, he said, had taken on one of the ‘worst jobs’ – the Friday night barbecue duties.
The evening ended with dancing to DJ Tim of Mobile Disco Network.