There was sunshine and celebration all the way as Great Melton’s Junior season ended in style with a fun-filled ‘Cricket Fest’ last Saturday.  In the morning four teams of U9s and U11s completed a round-robin 8-a-side competition with all four teams winning at one game.  Will’s Wasps comprising Louis Armstrong-Brown, Ethan Ellis, Blade Earley, Alice Brand, Evan Mercer and Luke Davies, and very well led by skipper Will Bailey, won all their games to become champions.  Will took the Player of the Tournament award for his leadership, 32 runs and 4-17 but there were other notable performances notably from Aditya Velu, George Alcock, Sam Davey, Daniel Graves and Luke Davies.

The afternoon saw the seniors (U16s) in action with Kai’s Cavaliers, captained by Kai Wilkinson-Loines emerging victorious from a 4-team six-a-side tournament.  Kai’s team of Caitlin Ellis, Sam Johnson, Lohit Kannan, Liam Stevens and Alfie Sutton won all 3 matches with Wilson’s Warriors, captained by Craig Wilson, runners-up.  With Kai himself, Sam and Caitlin producing notable performances for the winners and Kyle Weston, Josh Wright and Cassie Mawby equally impressive for the other teams, deciding the Player-of-the-Tournament was difficult but it went to Caitlin for her 31 runs without being out and a vital over of 1-3.

In between the two tournaments Chairman Steve Phoenix and Junior Committee Chairman David Bunn handed out the various awards for what has been a very successful season.  The Under 11s stole the limelight having won 18 games out of 18 to carry off 3 trophies, the Alliance Terry Moore Cup, the South Norfolk Community League and its Carnival Cup.  The squad members present were presented with their South Norfolk medals and, in the absence of captain Corey Rushton who was at the T20 Final, Sam Davey received the winners’ salvers and his own award as Most Improved Player.  The U11s Player-of-the-Year award went jointly to Harrison Cunningham and Ben Gaskin while Rushton won the Coaches Award

The Alcock Brothers led the award winners in the U9s with James Player-of-the-Year and George Most Improved.  Jake Canning was the Coaches’ choice.  Lohit Kannan, who topped the batting and bowling averages for the U13s, was an obvious choice for Player-of-the-Year with Ethan Rushton Most Improved and Ben Johnson winning the Coaches Award.

In the U15s the players chose Kai Wilkinson-Loines as their top player with Josh Wright picking up the ‘Most Improved’ trophy and Caitlin Ellis the Coaches’ Award.  Rachael Hustler was not present to receive the Lucy Phoenix trophy as Women & Girls’ Player-of-the-Year so will receive it at the Presentation Dinner but Hannah Skittrall (Most Improved) and Millie Wimhurst (Coaches’ Award) were.

The certificates for ‘Excellent Attitude’ went to: Millie Wimhurst, Jess Ellse, Grace Hanworth-Knights (Girls); Blade Earley, Owen Ward, Jack Joyce (U9s); James Cooper, Daniel Graves, Will Bailey, Peter Thomas, Jamie Granville (U11s); Ryan Twiddy, Alex Joyner, Liam Stevens, Alfie Sutton (U13s) and Caitlin Ellis & Oli Leinster (U15s).

Other certificates were awarded for ‘Commitment & Attendance’ to: Hannah Skittrall, Becky Monsey, Connie Leinster, Niamh Rushton (Girls); Gyan Bilyard, Archie McKay, Blade Earley (U9s); Jack Barnard, Sam Davey, Aditya Santosh, Adi Velu, Dylan Crawley, Thomas Small, Sam Tredgett (U11s); Ethan Rushton, Harry Ryan, Ahmad Sajid, Ryan Twiddy, Dilshan Rai, Liam Stevens, Alfie Sutton (U13s) and Old Leinster (U15s)

The final presentation, that of the Alan Barnard Cup for the Young Volunteer of the Year, went to Marcus Mawby who has assisted in coaching and managing the U11s, helped with Girls’ coaching, umpiring and scoring and is an excellent role model, popular with the youngsters.  Marcus also won the award in 2015.

The Chairman thanked groundsmen Mike Phoenix and Grenville Ireland and Great Melton’s huge team of managers, coaches and other volunteers who keep the junior section “ticking along”.  With the bar open, the barbecue in full swing, bunting to add to the carnival feel and plenty of good cricket to admire, it was a fitting end to the junior season.

Steve Phoenix