Southwold Cricket Club celebrated their 2014 season with an evening of speeches and awards on Friday the 10th of October, with the top awards being scooped by the younger members of the Club.
Following an excellent hog roast by John Groom Catering, the Club’s Director of Cricket Trevor Clifford began his speech by giving a brief summary of the season – with particular attention to the junior parts of the club. The U9 team, many of whom were present, were congratulated after their Norfolk Cricket Alliance victory and as a team were awarded the Young Player of the Season Award, held below by Reuben Harvey, the Man of the Match in their final win over Norwich Cricket Club.
It was acknowledged that without the assistance of dedicated volunteer coaches – Matt Barbrook, Jake Fuller, Day Harvey and David Barbrook, to name a few – the junior teams would not be in existence. Indeed, four of the club’s junior cricketers (Ezra Fuller, Harry and Finley Barbrook and Harvey, above) have been selected to represent Suffolk, a measure of the quality of coaching, and of the boys’ skill. However, what marks junior cricket at Southwold is the ever-present Geraldine Harvey, who supports the club by preparing teas for the junior games, serving on the Committee and acting as a soundboard for many fund-raising events – and she was awarded the President’s Clubman of the Year award by Roger Middleditch.
Senior cricket in 2014 at Southwold was a step into the unknown – with two teams now running on a Saturday and a Sunday, there have been more games than ever before. In order to pull that off, the club has needed new players and Chairman Peter Britten singled out Edward Garrard for the Newcomer of the Year award. Garrard took 24 wickets for the club in his debut season, the second highest return for any bowler, and at the best economy rate of just 3.1 runs per over. His average of 11.91 was exceptional whilst the way he integrated himself in the team in his first year was a model for all the players.
The Saturday XI, competing in the Norfolk Cricket League for the first time, had a successful yet ultimately frustrating year. Despite losing just two games they still finished 3rd in Division 8 and were hampered by five games that were ended by rain. However, captain Sam Booker still had time to make an impression as he took 30 wickets, including remarkable figures of 7/22 against Dereham, as well as scoring 465 runs. The stand-out innings was the 156* he made against Hethersett & Tas Valley CC, a club record in living memory. For his outstanding summer he was awarded the Saturday XI Players’ Player of the Season award.
The Sunday XI had a more difficult season but still finished 5th in Suffolk’s top-flight. As tougher opponents come into the league, and as they play against cricketers who play a higher standard of cricket on a Saturday, Southwold’s Sunday players have had to up their own game, and there have been a number of performers who have done that. Steve Hines took 20 wickets and captain Gareth Gorst-Allman took 17 as well as scoring 451 runs – but the Players’ Player of the Season award was presented to Aaron Goffin, who took to his new position at 3 in the batting order well, scoring 230 runs, as well as improving his bowling and being a dynamo in the field.
It was a night to celebrate the success of the summer and to look towards 2015 as the junior cricketers made their presence felt. With plenty of cricket just around the corner next season there is lots to be excited about.