Great Melton Junior Cricket Festival
The sun shone and there was some excellent cricket played as 68 young players enjoyed Great Melton's seventh Junior Festival.
On Friday the Under-9s were in action with a round-robin seven-a-side competition resulting in a win each for the Sharks, the Eagles and the Dragons.
With all three teams having lost six wickets it came down to runs scored. Just nine runs separated the teams, but the medals went to the Eagles team of Kai Wilkinson-Loines, Will Thompson, Sam Johnson, Hollie Marchant, Joe Wright, Lohit Kannan and Alice Greenslade. Player of the Tournament was Dragons' captain Mark Attfield.
On Saturday morning it was the turn of the U11s and U13s who played an eight-a-side competition with the Foxes team of Sam Carding, Rob Smith, Marcus Mawby, Ryan Howard, Craig Wilson, Connor Jermyn, Ben Bailey and Theo Hinton winning the Eddie Symonds Cup. Lightning captain, Connor Stearman, was Player of the Tournament with 53 runs in his three innings without being dismissed as well as some economical bowling (3-0-10-0).
The afternoon U17s/U15s tournament followed the same format as the club's senior six-a-side and included two invited over-age players, coaching assistants, Ryan Hayward and Jake Mardell.
Three teams with names again based on County T20 teams, the Gladiators, the Steelbacks and the Spitfires, played each other twice with the final match between the Gladiators and the Spitfires deciding the competition.
Gladiators, led by Daniel Hayward, scored 62-2 and Spitfiires were restricted to 52-1 in reply so the Gladiators team of Hayward, Mardell, Josh Wilson, Scott Lyle, Joe Bickel and Peter Frazer won the trophy. Player of the Tournament was Wilson whose powerful batting brought him 86 runs in four undefeated innings.
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Between the two Saturday tournaments, Great Melton Patron Sir Edward Evans-Lombe presented the end-of-season trophies and certificates following what has been the club's most successful junior season ever.
Chairman and junior development officer, Steve Phoenix thanked all the volunteers that had helped make the club so successful and said that, in all, the juniors had won 46 and lost just 14 of their 60 fixtures, with one game rained off.
The U11s had won the South Norfolk Community Shield Competition and had reached the final of the Terry Moore Trophy while the U13s had also finished runners-up in a County competition, the ECB Trophy.
Both the U13s and U15s had finished third in the South Norfolk League and in the Alliance competitions' Group stages while the U17s reached the Carter Junior Cup semi-final. Four players, Chris and Joe Greenslade, Luke Marchant and Tom Moye had represented Norfolk.
It was a good day for the U13s Connnor Stearman who picked up three trophies.
As well as the Player of the Tournament, Connor was also voted Players Player-of-the-Year and Manager's/Coaches Player-of-the-Year.
Other Award winners were as follows:
U9s: Manager's/Coaches' Player-of-the-Year, Patrick Walton; Most Improved, Matt Carter, James Carter, Olly Black; Excellent Attitude, Will Singleton, Joe Wright, Aaron Bradfield; Commitment & Attendance, Sam Johnson, Lohit Kannan, Mark Attfield.
Girls: Manager's/Coaches Player of the Year, Aimee Palmer; Most Improved, Hollie Marchant; Excellent Attitude, Cassie Mawby, Charlotte Walker; Commitment & Attendance, Emma Bunn, Aimee Palmer, Becky Greenslade, Alice Greenslade.
U11s: Player of the Year, Ryan Howard; Manager's/Coaches Player of the Year, Fergus Hughes & Luke Marchant (joint); Most Improved, Logan Stearman; Excellent Attitude, Luke Marchant; Commitment & Attandance, Jake Bush, Tom Moye, Lewis Thurston, Matt Walker, Craig Wilson.
U13s: Most Improved, Craig Attewell; Excellent Attitude, Alex Rennie; Commitment & Attendance, Craig Attewell, Sam Carding, Ben Carding, Joe Greenslade, Olly Thompson, Marcus Mawby, Rob Smith, Matt Thurston.
U15s: Player of the Year, Craig Woolrich; Manager's/Coaches' Player of the Year, Scott Lyle; Most Improved, Craig Woolrich; Excellent Attitude, Joe Bickel; Commitment & Attendance, Michael Farmer, Joe Bickel, Dylan Green, Stuart Wilson.
U17s: Commitment & Attendance, George Bunn , Daniel Hayward. (Player of the Year Awards will be presented at the Club Dinner on October 8th)
Great Melton U11s (16 points) beat Saxlingham U11s (0 points) by seven wickets at Melton Park in the South Norfolk Community League.
Saxlingham only had six players at the start of the game and, by the time a seventh man arrived, they had been bowled out for just 21 in 4.3 overs. Only Smith, with 4 not out, scored any runs with the bat. The other 17 came from extras as Melton Captain Ryan Howard took 4-2 in 1.3 overs and his twin brother Jordan 1-2 in one over. Ryan Howard (14 not out) and Fergus Hughes (8 not out) then knocked off the runs in 3 overs to give Melton the maximum 16 points and secure the Under 11s championship.
With the game over so quickly the teams then played a 12-overs-per side friendly. Melton reversed their batting order and totalled 54-5 with Craig Wilson top-scoring with 13, his highest-ever score, and Matt Ling scoring 8. Melton allowed Saxlingham to field an U13 player, Brooker, who proved to be the mainstay of their innings, scoring 20 before retiring. Despite an excellent penultimate maiden over from Ryan Howard when Saxlingham needed one run to win and three dot balls from Craig Wilson in the final over, a wide on the 4th ball gave the visitors a narrow victory.