The success of the First Team in winning the Frankly Digital Norfolk Alliance Division 3 championship was reflected in the awards at Great Melton’s Presentation Dinner held at Glen Lodge. Prolific batsman, Richard Wood, was Player of the Year for the fourth successive year having enjoyed an outstanding season that saw him score 843 league runs at an average of 93.67. Fellow batsman Dave Allum who was promoted to the first team early in the season and took his chance with both hands, scoring 367 runs at an average of 52, was voted the ‘Most Improved Player’ while skipper Mark Scott received the Aldous Special Award for his achievement in guiding the First Team to two successive championships in which the team have only lost once. In addition the captain contributed 27 league wickets. Two other first team players, Alex Cooper and Chris Greenslade, also received awards. Cooper, the club’s leading run scorer in all forms of cricket with 1049 runs, was voted Sunday Player of the Year for his 515 runs while 14-year-old Greenslade was the U17 Player of the Year having established himself as a first team player as well as being a regular in the successful Norfolk U14 side.
Jason Whiddett, a consistent performer over many years, at last received deserved recognition for his contribution to the club with the A Team Player of the Year shield, his 701 runs helping the second team, captained by his brother, Lee, also achieve promotion, finishing runners-up in Alliance Division 5. The B Team Award was won by newcomer Fawad Kaiser whose 26 wickets at 14 made him leading wicket taker for Woody Loines’ side that finished 3rd in the Lucas & Fettes Norfolk League Division. A third promotion was achieved when the C Team, skippered by Mally Howard, finished 2nd in their first season in Norfolk League Division 6. Experienced wicket-keeper and opening batsman, Steve Clarke, was voted Player of the Year for his 234 runs (average 29) and 13 victims.
The two Clubman of the Year shields went to two stalwarts of the club. The award voted for by the players again went to hardworking groundsman, Mike Phoenix, the 8th time he has won the Keith Hall Shield in the last 14 years. The Aldous ‘Special’ Clubman Award was presented to Assistant Groundsman and Treasurer, Grenville Ireland, who also organises the dinner and who was described by Chairman Steve Phoenix as “an unsung hero”.
Midweek skipper Daryl Godbold, whose team added to the club’s success by winning the Norfolk Junior Cup, received a special award to commemorate 500 appearances for Melton while appearance shields also went to Neal Clarke (300) and David Bunn (100). Other ‘appearance’ award winners who were not at the dinner were Martyn Bunn (100), Johnny Cooper (100), George King and Ryan Hayward (100).
With the U13s and U11s reaching County finals and the U11s winning the South Norfolk Community League, Steve Phoenix congratulated everybody on “the club’s best-ever season” and thanked the large team of volunteers for enabling this to happen before pricking any potentially inflated egos with his ‘chairman’s ode’ entitled ‘It Isn’t Fair!’ The awards were presented by Vice-President, Chris Lacey, a founder member of the club back in 1974.
With Great Melton First Team competing in Alliance Division 2 next season, the club now enjoys its highest-ever position in the Norfolk cricket pyramid and planning has already begun for next season. The A.G.M. will be on Wednesday 23rd November at the Pavilion (7.30 p.m.).