The Lodsworth Cricket Club rounded off a successful 2005 season with their annual dinner and awards evening held in the upper room at the Lickfold Inn on Saturday 10th December. The guests-of-honour were the club president Don Ford OBE and his wife Mary. Thirty-three players, wives, partners and guests sat down for dinner.
In his after dinner speech the club captain Bob Powell remarked that the 2005 season was the most successful of recent years. The village team played 17 games of which they won 8, drew 4 and lost 5. In all the drawn games the team were well on top and counted them as “winning draws”. But the real success of the 2005 season was undoubtedly the fact that the cricket was enjoyable, several individuals played well above their performance in the previous years and team spirit was high.
The captain went on to thank the Hon Secretary and Fixture Secretary John King and committee member Tim Johnson – the two senior members of the committee – who generated sponsorship to fund the work on improving the cricket square, to purchase a new mower and the construction of a practice wicket. John and Tim did great work bringing on board a number of Vice Presidents of the club. Bob thanked Tim and Gillian Johnson for organising the VP’s lunch at the Hollist Arms in June.
Bob also thanked Paul Phillips the Club Treasurer and the main force behind the improvement of the wicket at the recreation ground. Andy Long the club’s Vice Captain was thanked for his support throughout the year and tactical placing of fielders! The club members gave a round of applause to Matt Hall another member of the committee who persuaded his company to sponsor the club for 2,500 to purchase the practice nets. Matt Hall’s parents sponsored the annual Awards trophies. Alistair Rix was thanked for setting up a Lodsworth Cricket Club website and organised a team in the Midhurst CC winter indoor league.
Last but not least the ladies behind the successful exploits on the field were thanked particularly those who at various times provided the traditional teas that make Lodsworth CC a venue that teams wish to revisit. The captain thanked Jill King, Vicki Braithwaite, Teggy Phillips, Sheila Houghton, Gillian Johnson, Shantheni Powell and Zena Davies.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of Awards. The Award for Batsman of the Year went to Jon Houghton. Jon was the backbone of the batting with four innings in excess of 50, a top score of 101 not out and an 87 and a 72. He finished with a total of 561 runs at an average of 37.40. The runner up was James Hickey. James was a class act with three innings in excess of 50 and an 81 and a 104 not out to his credit. That is the highest score by a Lodsworth batsman for many years. James pushed Jon all season and beat off a late challenge from Ollie King and he is the runner up for Batsman of the Year with a total of 389 runs at an average of 35.40.
The Award for Bowler of the Year was closely contested. The early leader was Matt Hall who took 5 wickets against Easeborne and 4 against Fernhurst to end the season with 27 wickets. Andy Long started slowly but picked up later in the season with 4 wickets against West Sussex Wanderers and 4 against Petworth Park to take a total of 25. Martin Howard was the bowling ‘find’ of the season and his 7 wickets against the Matt Hall XI brought his total to 22 wickets for the year. It was a close call but Andy Long’s 25 wickets were taken at an average of 10.45 while Matt Hall’s 27 were slightly more expensive with an average of 11.74. So the trophy for Bowler of the Year went to Andy Long and the trophy for runner up to Matt Hall.
The Award for Best Fielder of the Year was based on the commitment in the field but ultimately on the number of catches taken – Andy Long took 4, Rod Taylor took 4, Paul Phillips took 4, Martin Howard took 4 and Jon Houghton took 5. But the trophy went to a newcomer to the team who fielded close in on the leg side most of the year and took 6 catches – Alistair Rix.
The Trophy for The Most Improved Player of the year was a two horse race. Martin Howard scored 138 runs in 2004 and took 8 wickets. In 2005 he topped that with 148 and 22 wickets. Matt Hall scored just 93 runs in 2004 and took 12 wickets. In 2005 year he doubled his batting total to 187 and also doubled the number of wickets to take 27. By a narrow margin the trophy for most improved player went to Matt Hall.
The trophy for The Best All-Rounder of the Year also went to Jon Houghton. In addition to his 541 runs from 15 completed innings, he took 14 wickets and he claimed 5 catches. His batting early on in the season assured us of victory on several occasions.
The last trophy to be awarded was The Duck Trophy. The trophy went missing in 1995 but it came to light this year. The trophy is awarded to the player who distinguishes himself by getting the most ducks in a season. James Hickey got 2 ducks, Paul Phillips got 2 ducks and Rod Taylor got 2 ducks. But the winner with 3 ducks was Alistair Rix.
The awards ceremony was completed with a presentation to Oliver King, a former skipper of the club who will be emigrating to Australia in 2006. The club wished him and his wife Becky a successful life ‘down under’. Another player Wes Stander who joined LCC only this year will be leaving for Mozambique on December 16th. The club wish him well. The club will need to find replacements for these players and for Martin Howard who is studying full time at Exeter University in 2005-2006 and will only be available during vacation time.
Bob Powell mentioned that one of the successes of 2005 was that a number of young players from the village had played for the club. Edward Bristow, Alfie Baldwin, Harry Diamond and Richard Chase have all played at least one game and it is hoped we will see more of them in the 2006 season.
The new concrete practice wicket has been completed at the recreation ground and an outdoor carpet will be laid over the concrete by February. Not only will this give the Lodsworth team an opportunity to start practicing in March but its purpose is to attract youngsters from the village to nets sessions where they can be coached by senior players. Next on the agenda for John King and Tim Johnson is sightscreens, but more of that in a future report.
Lodsworth CC 2005.