Event marks end of successful year

Ed Lander and Edwin Smith at the Matlock Cricket Club awards.
Ed Lander and Edwin Smith at the Matlock Cricket Club awards.

One of the best years in Matlock Cricket Club’s history was celebrated in style at the traditional venue of Matlock Golf Club last weekend, where 79 guests experienced a warm atmosphere and a sense of achievement.

Special guest was Edwin Smith, a local Derbyshire County Cricket hero, who in a 20-year career bowled lethal off-spin to take over 1,200 wickets (including 51 “five-fors” and a best performance of 9-46) and scored 7,000 runs with a highest score of 90. He presented the awards.

Other special guests were Keith Brown and Dave Reynolds, in respect of the entente cordial that exists with Matlock Town FC and the now-retired David Brittain, perhaps the best, and certainly the most entertaining, cricket coach for juniors.

The incredible achievement of Matlock’s 16-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman Harvey Hosein on being selected for the England Development Squad was acknowledged.

Notable absentees included Andy Hawkmoon, lifelong player-member, multi-award winner and bowler extrordinaire, prevented from playing a single game by essential surgery, Peter Camm, who in his three-year career with Matlock has taken 180 wickets, and the remarkable Devon Conway, now back in Johannesburg, who scored 1,342 runs, including six centuries, with a highest score of 142 and an average of 74.5, accounting for 31 per cent of the total team runs. He also took 39 wickets. His parting eulogy read: “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened”.

He may be back, but probably wearing a South Africa Proteas shirt.

Junior presentations were introduced by former junior co-ordinator Ray Mullaney as the young players anticipated the trophies awarded for Batting, Bowling and Player of the year in each age category, each presented by Edwin Smith, who had coached a number of the recipients.

In the under 15s, the batting award went to Philip Braund, the bowling to Rehan Shah and player of the year to Joe Shields. In the under 14s, the winners were Chris Statham (batting), Jack Easom (bowling), and Sam Allen (player of the year).

In the under 13s, the winners were Elliot Hitchcock (batting), Jack Stevenson (bowling) and Fraser Neil (player of the year) while in the under 12s, prizes went to Max Webber (batting), Byron Wilson (bowling) and Harry Rosenbaum (player of the year). In Kwik Cricket, the awards went to Kieran Pell (batting), Oliver Lord (bowling) and player of the year Byron Wilson.

The highlight of the evening was the celebration of the 1st XI’s return to the Premier League as runners up in Division One; winners of the Marston Smooth Trophy and the semi-final winners in the DCCL 20T competition at the County Ground, the final versus Marehay being postponed to April due to rain intervention

The batting trophy was won by the now-legendary Devon Conway, while firebrand quick bowler Peter Camm with 65 wickets at an average of 13.52, won the bowling award.

Ed Lander was voted Players’ Player, and also received the prestigious Most Improved Player shield by being the meanest bowler in the league, bowling 231 overs, 58 maidens an economy rate of 2.86, reflecting his amazing hit-top-of-off-stump accuracy.

The Most Promising Junior Player shield was presented to bowler Ed Blackburn.

The final trophy, a new Jill And Peter Stapleton Clubman Of The Year shield, is awarded on votes given by the members of the Club Management Committee.

Leading candidates were Steve Pell, for masterminding promotion for the first XI and Guy Roberts for leading the third team from extinction. It was won by Guy by a single vote.

The most unusual candidate was Ian Blackburn as “a volunteer one never has to ask”.

The party is now over. Matlock CC are setting objectives for 2013, planning recruitment of players, organising winter training, and introducing a total coaching regime in readiness for submission to the AGM of November 6 in the Matlock Town FC Social Club.Event