Another season closes in style

Twenty two players, including junior youngsters Rhys Salisbury, Jake Power, Charlie Prior and Thomas Parton, alongside senior youngsters Ferdie Spicer and Charlie Knight, turned out alongside their ageing dads for the end of season "in-house" game with teams skippered by Andy Knight and Simon Prior. The Knights batted first and clocked 172 off their 30 overs against a largely spin attack, Charlie Prior accounting for four of the wickets in a devastating spell of leg-spin bowling.

The Priors responded with a steady flow of wickets, leaving a lot of work still to be done with only a few overs remaining and fewer wickets. Ferdie Spicer took charge and with a mature head coupled with great timing, he and James Parton - returning to cricket after a long rest - hit a remarkable 44 off 14 balls to win the game in spectacular fashion with one ball left. Ferdie finished on 69 not out

At the interval, Dave Roberts was awarded with "The Bat" by Chairman Eric Tracey. This is a special award, made "periodically to Club members who have consistently delivered outstanding service to the Club over many years". It is a cricket bat carved on one side by John Bracewell, former Black Caps Test player and later coach, and signed by Alastair Cook and Brendan McCullum while they were captains of England and New Zealand respectively. All of Dave's valuable work, both on the field as wicket-keeper, batsman and bowler and off, managing the bar, maintaining the ground, designing and constructing the new access ramp, mentoring players and many other unsung contributions were enthusiastically applauded by the social distanced gathering.

Frieda Yeo was also presented with a special award - hand-made by Dave himself - as a thank-you for her five years as scorer.

The following day a dozen or so stalwarts turned out to put the ground to bed for the winter, dismantling covers, sightscreens and nets in just over an hour. Work also began on removing the artificial strip, by peeling away the matting and underlay in readiness for excavation of the base and then returfing in due course. Work also started on preparing the square for scarifying, reseeding and top-dressing with new loam.

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