Over 70 members and friends of Lymington Cricket Club were richly entertained at their annual presentation dinner, once again held at Towles Restaurant. In his programme notes, Chairman Peter Tapper had cause to reflect on both the hopes and concerns for the coming season. On the plus side, it was announced that Daniel Peacock would be the new 1st XI skipper, whose team will be strengthened by the arrival of left-arm spinner Aaron Heal from Perth, Western Australia. The winter just completed also saw the New Forest Indoor Div I title won.
Away from the playing side, the continued hard work that goes into the ground was reflected with both the 1st and 2nd XI's receiving the top ground-marks in their respective leagues, whilst club finances appeared as healthy as for many a year. Thanks were also given to Gates of Brockenhurst who are supplying sponsorship to go towards providing shirts for the clubs' Colts sides.
On the down side, the Women's section has discontinued, whilst an Under 17 side will not play in the New Forest League - believed to be the first time the club has not entered a side at any age-group in the New Forest League since it's inception. Of further concern was the current lack of a third team captain. Such concerns though were not the order of the evening and, after paying due respects to the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the festivities commenced.
First up was Sir Geoffrey Bigott – bearing an uncanny resemblance to Trevor Phillips, even with the Panama hat – whose incantations on the benefit of the forward defensive were familiar, even if the accent was less so. To the amusement of all present, the aforementioned Peter Tapper received his fair share of stick. Adger Brown, who delighted the gathered crowd with his jokes and vocal dexterity, gave the reply for the guests.
Although the new season starts at Southsea on April 13th, the evening was predominantly a time to reward those for their endeavours during 2001. Unsurprisingly, the 1st XI Player of the Year went to Ben Craft, who at the Southern League Dinner at the end of last year had scooped the SPL Division 2 Batsman of the Year award. The 2nd XI award went to Mark Jackson, who often proved the bedrock of a team who otherwise struggled to spend time at the crease, whilst the 3rd team trophy went again to all-rounder Simon Hayes. With Bob Iles and Mark Gannaway having won the New Forest Division 2 Bowling and Batting awards respectively, it was decided that they could not be separated in awarding the 4th team player of the year. Best all-rounder was Dan Peacock, whilst Matt Molloy was awarded the best Colt in Senior Cricket.
There then followed a special award to Robin Goff, who this year will chalk up his 50th season with the club. Those present were given a brief resume of Robin's time with the club which has seen him win player of the year for the top three teams, including first team twice (1967 & 1971, 1957 and 1996 respectively). Given these achievements it is remarkable to think his first century for the club came as recently as 1993. In addition to which, he was also first team captain in 1962. Other positions held have included Sunday team captain (1968 – the same year the pavilion burnt down, although Robin assures everyone the two facts are unrelated). Appropriately he was also a founder member of the bar committee (1971), whilst today, when not stood behind the stumps for the 4th team, he can often be spotted passing away the hours rolling the Sports Ground wicket.
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