Melton look back at great cricket season

There was very much an upbeat mood at Great Melton Cricket Club's annual meeting as various officers reflected on a successful 2010 season.

Treasurer Grenville Ireland reported a healthy financial position despite the cost of further improvements to the pavilion while all the team captains presented very positive reports.

Chairman Steve Phoenix congratulated Mark Scott on the first team's unbeaten season while Scott, who guided his side to the Alliance Division Four championship in his first year in charge, paid tribute to all the members of his squad who produced some excellent cricket to take the club to its highest-ever position in the Norfolk cricket pyramid.

All the other teams finished comfortably in the top half of their respective tables, with the young Sunday side competing well in the Mid-Norfolk League's Shield Premier Division to finish a creditable fourth. The midweek team reached the final of the Wensum Cup as well as providing some enjoyable social cricket, and boosting the bar profits, against a variety of touring sides.

With 180 youngsters having attended at least one of Melton's twice-weekly coaching sessions, several youngsters representing county or district sides and the U15 and U11 winning the South Norfolk Community League, the junior section continues to be the life-blood of the club.

Girls' cricket is a target on the club's development plan so the appointment of Mark Cadge as girls' co-ordinator is a major step forward. Mark, a former manager of the county girls' U13 squad and father of England development squad cricketer and Great Melton coach, Louise, is an excellent appointment.

There were only two other changes, one of them quite significant with coaching co-ordinator David Bunn, stepping down after a great deal of work improving the club's coaching set-up and increasing the number of qualified coaches to 12.

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His place will be taken by Simon Carding, a level two coach who is already heavily involved with the club's juniors and who has a host of good ideas to build on David Bunn's excellent work. David will continue in his coaching role.

The other change is Lee Whiddett replacing James Dorling as A-team captain. Not surprisingly Mark Scott will continue to skipper the first team with Damien (Woody) Loines leading the B-team, having taken over from Jon Moxon midway through last summer.

Mally Howard (captain) and Clive Gristwood (manager) will continue their sterling work with the C-team, Daryl Godbold will captain the midweek team and, until Marcus Godbold returns from uni to take control of the Sunday side, it will be skippered by Nick Gristwood with the emphasis very much on youth.

Other officers elected were: President Andy Seeley; chairman Steve Phoenix; secretary John Burdett; treasurer Grenville Ireland; welfare officer Celia Phoenix; membership secretary Andy Cameron; groundsman Mike Phoenix; coaching co-ordinator Simon Carding; junior representatives Nick Gristwood and Josh Wilson.

With over 50 volunteers in various roles in the club, the positions of junior team managers have also been filled by Paul Stearman (U11), Duncan Greenslade (U13), Dave Bickel (U15) and Vince Lachowycz (U17).

Melton have several projects in the pipeline, with plans to purchase covers, re-furbish or replace the practice area, provide a shelter for the junior pitch, develop coaching equipment and coaching and re-furbish the kitchen and carpet the clubroom.

Junior indoor coaching sessions are already running at Hethersett High School, the U16 are currently competing in the Vauxhall Holiday Park Indoor Cricket League and senior pre-season nets will start at the UEA towards the end of February (dates to be announced).

Potential new players should contact chairman Steve Phoenix or first team captain Mark Scott.