Lots of Winners at Junior Festival – Despite the Rain!
Great Melton’s junior season reached a rather soggy conclusion on last Saturday when the annual Junior Festival was abandoned in mid-afternoon when the predicted heavy rain finally arrived. It meant that the senior (U17s) ‘sevens’ tournament involving four teams could not be completed although there was time for each team to play one game with M & M’s All Stars beating The Chalksters and the Renniegades beating Moysies Mob.
Earlier the weather had stayed fine and sunny for the U11s tournament involving 38 youngsters aged from 7-11. Playing a seven-over, 9 or 10-a-side format, the first two rounds saw all four teams secure one win apiece so, going into the final round, the winners medals were up for grabs. Eventually the competition was decided on ‘runs per wicket’ with Corey’s Crusaders consisting of Corey Rushton (Captain), Harrison Cunningham, Aiden Button, Ethan Ellis, Milly Hanworth-Knights, Jack Rowley, George Ryan, Freddie Pattison and Evan Mercer, pipping Buggies Big Bashers, captained by Henry Bugg. Marshes Marauders, captained by Henry Marsh, were 3rd and Alfie Sutton’s Superstars 4th. Henry Bugg, with scores of 15 not out, 12 not out and 8 not out and 0-2 and 1-5 as a bowler was judged to be Player of the Tournament with William Bailey, Henry Marsh, Alfie Sutton and Corey Rushton the other contenders. 66 youngsters took part in the event with a mid-day barbecue and plentiful supplies of beer, tea, coffee and cakes keeping parents happy.
Between the two tournaments Chairman and Junior Development Officer, Steve Phoenix, thanked the club’s huge team of volunteer coaches, managers and behind-the-scenes helpers before announcing the winners of the various age-group awards. Craig Wilson was a double award winner in the U15s, taking the Players and Coaches Player-of-the-Year Trophy with Kai Wilkinson-Loines ‘Most Improved’. The U13s Players’ Player award went to Charlie Green who scored over 300 runs and took 8 wickets, frequently opening the batting and bowling as the U13s finished runners-up in both the Alan Bridgewater and SNCL Carnival Cup competitions. James Bridges was the coaches’ choice while Josh Wright was Most Improved.
Ben Johnson, who also played for the U13s, was a clear winner of the U11s Players Player of the Year Trophy, having taken 13 wickets for only 57 runs while the Coaches Player-of-the-Year was Henry Bugg and Most Improved Harrison Cunningham. The Under 9s had joint Players-of-the-Year, Daniel Graves and Sam McKay, with a trophy for Harry Cheal as ‘Most Improved’ in the youngest age group.
The ‘Lucy Phoenix Cup’ for the Women/Girls’ Player-of-the-Year went to Caitlin Ellis with Cassie Mawby taking the Coaches award and Hannah Skittrall ‘Most Improved’
The Final award, the Alan Barnard Cup for the Young Volunteer of the Year was won by James Robb who took on the management of the U11s as well as assisting at Friday coaching, Cricketforce Day and on many other occasions during the season – he even helped clear up following the damage to Melton Park’s iconic oak tree. The Chairman praised James for his ‘winning mentality’ and his great rapport with both senior and junior members.
Certificates for ‘Best Attitude’ were awarded to the following: Rebecca Greenslade (U15s); Saxon Earley (U13s); Sam Davey (U11s); James & George Alcock and Noah Moore (U9s) and Jess Ellse, Rebecca Monsey & Connie Leinster (Girls). Commitment and Attendance Certificates went to: Oli Leinster, Lohit Kanan, Ryan Twiddy (U13s), Ben Johnson, Henry Bugg, Adtya Velu (U11s), Noah Moore & Nicholas Conway (U9s) and Caitlin Ellis, Cassie Mawby & Niamh Rushton (Girls).