Mulbarton Youth Cricket Carnival

MULBARTON CC celebrated their tenth annual Youth Cricket Carnival on Orchard Park; the last year of this popular event to be organised and run by youth manager, Joe Harris, who is stepping down from this role after 12 years to hand the reins over to Nick Morton.

On day one teams from Old Buckenham and Garboldisham joined Mulbarton to showcase the improvements made in the girls' game. Garboldisham won this tournament last summer and again demonstrated their cohesive and accomplished approach to the sport in winning both of their matches to retain the title.

Against visitors Great Melton on Wednesday, Mulbarton dominated the U11 encounter, coasting to an easy victory before the tables were turned in an exciting and very close U13 match.

In the last game of the day Mulbarton U17s restricted Melton to 155 off their 25 overs before rain prevented any further play.

Garboldisham were the scheduled visitors for Thursday but the whole day was abandoned without a ball being bowled as the rain continued to fall.

With the square too wet for cricket on day four, the club improvised a strip on the outfield from the net matting for The Orchard Park Trophy, an intra club tournament and one of the main highlights of the year.

In the first game hat-trick winners Bees had to work hard in overcoming Falcons by 15 runs and in match two against St Johns Falcons lost far too many wickets to pose any real threat with their below-par score easily reined in. With both Bees and St Johns unbeaten the result of the final game would be the trophy decider.

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St Johns, having restricted Bees to a modest total, were just eight shy of their target with four overs to go. But Bees fought back and in an extraordinary finish they took a wicket on the very last ball to leave the match tied.

St Johns were declared eventual winners by dint of their slightly greater margin of victory against Falcons. There was another nail- biting finish in the single-wicket trophy too with the title holder Button setting the most modest of targets against Mackenzie.

Mackenzie made hard work of his task after losing a wicket on his third ball but a well-struck boundary took him beyond Button's total and he was able to block out the remaining three balls to lift the trophy by just one run. Mark and Tom Ferguson of Castle Colour Press, long-time supporters, were welcomed to the presentation ceremony.

U11: Best batting M Samson, best bowling S Morton, Player of the year S Morton.

U13: Best batting J Whitlock, best bowling S Morton.

U15: Best batting C George, best bowling R Everett.

U17: Best batting N Mackenzie, best bowling B Gibbins,

Players' player of the year A Holden.

John Allen Future Cricketer Award: A Kidner.

Joe Harris Single-Wicket Trophy: N Mackenzie.

Orchard Park Trophy: St Johns.

Over 30 adults and children assembled on the last day of the carnival for the traditional finale to the season; the parents' and siblings' match. The well-attended game, captained by U11s Matthew Samson and Sam Morton provided some wonderful entertainment and an exciting finish with Samson's XI running out narrow winners by eight runs.