Cricket: Great Melton busy preparing for start of new season

NatWest Cricketforce 2012 again swung into action at Great Melton as a team of senior and junior players, club officials and parents hoed, raked, dug, repaired, painted and cleaned in preparation for the new season.

During the course of the day, 61 people came to lend a hand, one more than the previous year's record.

With a plentiful supply of tea, coffee and bacon rolls, co-ordinator Mally Howard's band of merry men and women undertook a variety of tasks.

Despite a dampening drizzle early on, the rain cleared and the sun came out and, by the end of the day, the scorebox had been decorated inside and out; areas of weeds and rough grass around the perimeter of the ground removed and the area re-seeded; railings repaired; the net practice area tidied and made ready for action; the net put on the portable cage; the covers put on the frames; the sightcreens cleaned; and the kit store organised and new coaching equipment sorted and marked.

Chairman, Steve Phoenix said: 'While the weather wasn't as good as last year, it was still a good turn-out and really great to see whole families, including some quite young children, helping out. Everybody worked really hard and seemed to enjoy it. A big thank-you to all who gave up their time. However, the turn-out of senior players, especially the 1st and 2nd teamers that actually get to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Melton Park was, as always, disappointing.'

Cricketforce clashed with the U12s playing in the Lords Taverners Regional Tournament at the UEA.

The boys, who finished runners-up to Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers in the Norfolk competition, were invited to play when Suffolk dropped out. Without three of their first choice players it was always going to be tough against the champions of Hunts, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire but the squad of Fergus Hughes, Tom Moye, Logan Stearman, Patrick Walton, Craig Wilson, Matt Ling and Arvind Shanmugan performed well. They beat Ashmanhaugh and narrowly lost their other three matches.

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