Southwold’s 2015 season was celebrated at Southwold Sports Pavilion on Friday the 20th of November in usual fashion, as an excellent evening of speeches and awards saw several members of the club walk away with silverware.
After supper was served, once again by John Groom Catering, Director of Cricket Trevor Clifford took the stage to recount the season. It was a summer full of highs – an unbeaten season in the Norfolk Cricket League, record numbers of junior cricketers playing for the club and a Plate Final for the Sunday XI – and a few lows: the difficulty that faced the club on Sundays both in putting a team out and in competing in a league with a young side against experienced senior cricketers.
In recognition of one of these young cricketers who performed admirably on both Saturdays and Sundays as well as for his own age group, Ezra Fuller was named the Young Player of the Season. The Suffolk youth cricketer averaged 25.40 in the NCL in his first year of men’s cricket, with the 12 year old top-scoring with 35 against Diss, batting at No. 4.
The junior section of the club has flourished in recent years, and there are few clubs in Suffolk and Norfolk running four junior teams, let alone clubs of Southwold’s size. A lot of this is down to the hard work of Matt Barbrook who has put his Level 2 coaching qualification to good use, coaching the U11s to a successful season. He also scored 372 runs for the club in 2015, and was the leading run getter for the Saturday XI. For his efforts on and off the pitch he was named the 2015 Clubman of the Year.
The award for the Saturday Player of the Year was hotly contested – as well as Matt Barbrook’s stellar year, Stefan Clifford scored 355 runs at an average of 88, whilst Jason Hall blew teams away with his pace and bounce, taking 29 wickets at a cost of just 12 runs each. However, the award went to his new ball partner, Edward Garrard. In his second year for the club, he took 38 wickets at the remarkable average of 7.50 – including three 5-wicket hauls.
Not to be outdone, Jason Hall picked up the club’s Newcomer of the Year award. After moving from Australia in the spring, Jason has thrown himself into all facets of the club – within three weeks of joining, he was playing the guitar and singing for our season curtain-raiser in front of Graham Gooch and John Emburey. His wickets and his lower-order runs have been hugely influential in winning games, and his overall contribution to the social side of the club has been really valued.
Sunday cricket in 2015 was a challenge but one player stood head and shoulders above the rest – captain Gareth Gorst-Allman. In a tough year he scored 555 runs, more than 350 more than his nearest teammate. His resolve in difficult times was praised by Trevor Clifford, and his assistance to the Saturday XI when they were in need of a player appreciated.
It was a great night as the club celebrated a season full of runs, wickets and victories, and our thanks to John Groom Catering and the staff at the Southwold Sports Pavilion for their excellent service.