A Sunny Saturday To CelebratE a A successful season
Junior Festival Report
Unusually, the sun shone on a Saturday as Great Melton’s junior cricketers celebrated a successful season at an action-packed Junior Festival. With no event last year because of Covid, and a shortage, this summer, of proper cricket weather it was great to see the sun and a return to the tried and tested Junior Festival format: a morning tournament for U11s and an afternoon one for U17s with the presentation of awards taking place during the lunch interval. Jack’s Jaguars, captained by Jack Joice, won the U11 competition with the captains of the three teams all vying for the Player-of-the-Tournament trophy which went to Will Moulton whose six off the final ball of the final match was enough to give his side victory and second place. The senior tournament was very closely fought with Sam’s Spitfires, captained by Sam Davey, just seeing off the challenge of Harrison’s Hawks. In a ‘100-style’ game where the limelight is often on the batsmen, the senior Player-of-the-Tournament was a bowler, Fletcher James, who bowled very well in both his matches, especially in the first game when the pressure was on, to he ensure his team were able to reach the final.
Chairman Steve Phoenix, Head of Junior Coaching, Matt Rushton and Junior Secretary Maxine Rushton were all on hand to ensure the handover of the awards went smoothly. The Chairman thanked the Rushtons in particular for their energy and hard work in ensuring that there was a full programme of cricket coaching and matches on offer to a record number of 203 juniors (including 60 girls), despite the difficulties of the last two years but recognised that, in a club run by volunteers, it’s a team effort with many people – in particular the coaches, managers and, of course, the groundsmen, playing an integral part. The Chairman particularly highlighted the work of the club’s young volunteers before presenting Megan Ellse with the Barnard Trophy as the Young Volunteer of the Year for her work with the women and the younger girls, who she represented on the club committee, as well as her group leadership of the All Stars and Dynamos Coaching.
In total 54 junior matches had taken place with Melton’s teams winning 36. The U13s won the Alliance Alan Bridgewater Cup while, with a few days left for teams to complete unplayed fixtures in the South Norfolk Community League, the U9s, U13s, U15s and U17s top their divisions. Many of the older juniors have comfortably made the transition to senior cricket with the likes of Robert Mackintosh and Corey Rushton appearing in the first team and Sam Davey scoring a maiden century for the B Team. Some highlights were Corey scoring 261 runs for the U15s at an average of 87, James Alcock who led by example as captain of the U13s, scoring 301 runs and taking 27 wickets while brother George was not to be outdone, contributing 272 runs of his own. The Chairman also congratulated the record number of 17 young Melton cricketers who made it into County Junior squads.
The Player of the Year awards went to Corey Rushton (U15), James Alcock (U13), Niamh Rushton (Junior U13 Girls), Jack Joice (U11) and Ellis Pailes (U9) while the Managers/Coaches’ Awards went to James Cooper (U15), Sammy Belderson (U13), Rebecca Davey (U13 Girls), Oliver Smee (U11s) and Emma Lawrenson (U9s). The awards for ‘Most Improved Player’ in each age group were won by Isaac Francis (U15), Albert Cook (U13), Poppy Osborn (U13 Girls), Rupert Beasley (U11) and Jack Brown (U9).
In addition to the main award winners certificates for ‘Outstanding Commitment and Attendance’ went to: U15s Benedict Bailey, Will Bailey, Fraser Evans, Sam McKay, George Ryan, Finlay Sutton; U13s George Alcock, Harley Duke, Charlie Hosmer, Will Joyner, Angus Lowder, Adit Raje, Bryce Stoltz, Ansh Thakur; Junior Girls Freja Ballam, Daisy Burke, Kate Cooper, Beatrice Fawkes, Lois Hill, Millie Hopkinson, Jess Hydes, Francesca Bailey, Daisy Boorman, Lily Dennis, Maya Lowen, Jenny Moore, Samia Mohammed, Beatrice Williamson; U11s Henry Burke, Jake Carter, Joe Hydes, Zak Lawrenson, Will Moulton; U9s Ben Ashworth, William Rice, Zak Pocock, Niall Thompson, Louis Whiddett