CRICKET: Willoughby reflect on successful year on and off the field

Senior Player of the Year Ashley Rayner receives his trophy from club president Eric Palmer
Senior Player of the Year Ashley Rayner receives his trophy from club president Eric Palmer

Saturday teams moving to different league next season

Willoughby Cricket Club took time to reflect on a successful and enjoyable 2018 season both on and off-the-field at their recent Presentation Evening.

Club chairman Brian Hall presents the SNCL Division 4 trophy to 2nd XI captain Badj Rahman

Club chairman Brian Hall presents the SNCL Division 4 trophy to 2nd XI captain Badj Rahman

Once again the end of year event brought together all sections of the club, both young and old, including many of the club’s officials, former players, friends and associates, including some of whom travelled significant distance to attend the evening.

Looking back on the 2018 campaign, Willoughby’s Saturday teams enjoyed a productive combination of stability and league honours. After several years absence, the 1st XI under captain Ben Hollis enjoyed a successful and competitive step back up to the Premier Division of the South Northants Cricket League by finishing in a respectable position just below mid-table. The 2nd XI under the guidance of Badj Rahman made an instant amends from the season before by gaining promotion as Division 4 champions, and in some style. Particularly pleasing for both teams was the introduction of the club’s youth players being given their opportunity and the faith in their abilities by both captains was merited by the impact they made with many of those youngsters now established figures in both the 1st and 2nd XIs.

The same can be said for the club’s Wednesday XI who under the captaincy of Sean Thornton narrowly missed out on promotion in the Rugby and District Cricket League (RDCL), whilst the club’s Sunday friendly XI continues its resurgence of recent years with a subtle blend of up and coming youth and experience producing some excellent results and performances.

Junior cricket at Willoughby continues to go from strength to strength. The club’s Kwik Cricket sessions were as always well-attended, and despite the pre-season withdrawal of an Under 11 team, Willoughby fielded teams at Under 13, Under 14 and 15 level. After slow starts, both the Under 13s and Under 14s improved noticeably as the season progressed, with both deservedly ending up with mid-table finishes in the RDCL and Warwickshire CB Youth League respectively.

Junior and Youth Players of the Year Jake Quinney and Tom Stevenson with Eric Palmer

Junior and Youth Players of the Year Jake Quinney and Tom Stevenson with Eric Palmer

The club’s Under 15s ended their junior cricket days in some style by winning the RDCL Under 15 league and KO Cup ‘double’, and remaining unbeaten all season which included during their end of season tour to Norfolk. It was also a fitting end for manager Karl Quinney who after 18 years is stepping down from his role as team manager and coach, during which time he has been the team manager of the current Under 15s and several other age group teams, the lead on junior cricket coaching and overseeing the management and development of the club’s junior and youth section.

2018 also saw great success for Willoughby’s Ladies team who were crowned Rugby and District Cricket League Champions, and were only denied being also unbeaten for the year on literally the very last ball of their season!

The following senior/adult cricket awards were presented by Club Chairman, Brian Hall.

Saturday 1st XI Batting – Ashley Rayner
Saturday 1st XI Bowling – Ashley Rayner
Saturday 1st XI Captain’s Player of the Year – Dave Alcock
Saturday 2nd XI Batting – James Goodwin
Saturday 2nd XI Bowling – Kamesh Ganti
Saturday 2nd XI Captain’s Player of the Year – James Goodwin
Single Wicket Competition (for the S G Ivens Rosebowl) - Jake Quinney
Centurion ties were awarded to Tom Stevenson, Kamesh Ganti, Richard Foxon, (also Alex Proudman and Manny Sidhu from 2017)

Willoughby's Under 15s did the RDCL league and cup double, remaining unbeaten all season, including their tour

Willoughby's Under 15s did the RDCL league and cup double, remaining unbeaten all season, including their tour

Club caps were awarded to James Andrews, Michael Deery, Dan Farrow, Callum Hanks, Justin Hanks, Archie McMillan, Sam Middlemiss, Rees Moor and Matty Cartridge in recognition of making their senior league cricket debuts.

Willoughby CC Taverner’s Awards, presented by Eric Palmer:

Senior Player of the Year – Ashley Rayner
Junior/Youth Player of the Year – Jake Quinney and Tom Stevenson
Fielder of the Year – Hassan Nawaz
Clubman of the Year – Karl Quinney
Wooden Spoon (for most senior ducks) – Callum Hanks and James Andrews
Mr Hall also gave an excellent tribute to the late Tony Adkins who sadly passed away during the 2018 season, before the room gave an impeccably observed minute’s applause in his memory.

Floral presentations were also handed to Rebecca Fell, Glenys Rowe and Beryl Hallam for their wonderful efforts and service during the course of the season.

Single Wicket Competition winner Jake Quinney receives the SG Ivens Rosebowl from the Ivens family

Single Wicket Competition winner Jake Quinney receives the SG Ivens Rosebowl from the Ivens family

Many thanks to everyone who attended what was a highly enjoyable evening and club event. Particular thanks are extended to Dave Alcock, James Barnwell and Graham Hallam for the setting up and management of the bar, and also to Ben and Miranda for their great efforts in putting together the buffet.

Plans are well underway for next season already at Willoughby both on and off-the-field.
The club’s Saturday 1st and 2nd XIs will be moving leagues for the 2019 season having been successfully accepted into the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire County League (NCL), with the 1st XI entering at Division 6 and 2nd XI beginning in Division 13.

Further development and investment of the club’s facilities are well advanced with the next stage of the outdoor net and practice area redevelopment taken shape in recent weeks.

Before they are used next year, the club will begin their 2019 season preparations with their pre-season indoor nets and training sessions which get underway in mid-January. Once again Bilton School Sports Centre will be the venue for the senior/adult sessions on Tuesday evenings from 22nd January 2019 from 7.00 to 8.30pm, with the club’s Under 13s and Under 15s training at the same venue on Saturday afternoons from 19th January 1.00 to 3.00pm.

New players at both senior and junior/youth levels are always welcome. For further details contact Karl on 07775 883102 or visit the club’s website at www.willoughbycc.org.uk