Bradley outlines plan for Bovey development + Mailling on way from Plympton for 2017 season

Will Christophers collecting Bovey 2nd XI

FORMER Devon all-rounder Peter Bradley has agreed to skipper Bovey Tracey again next season following the departure of Sam Hickinbottom.

Officially it will be Bradley’s second stint as skipper, although in practice he has done three terms.Peter Bradley

Bradley succeeded brother Chris as skipper in 2010 and led the side until 2013, lifting the Devon Cup in his first season. He handed over to Andy Fairbairn in 2014.

Fairbairn missed most of the 2015 campaign due to injury, so Bradley stepped into the breach.

Hickinbottom took over last season, with Devon’s Matt Golding as his number two.

A work move to the Midlands has forced Hickinbottom to stand down and with Golding playing cricket in Australia this winter he wasn’t an ideal replacement.

So Bradley accepted an offer from the committee to return to the post, having first outlined his blueprint for Bovey Tracey’s future.

“The last couple of seasons have been one of change in the 1st XI as some of our established players fade from the scene,” said Bradley.

“Ryan Bougourd has gone, Ben Ayres does not play very often, Charlie Hill isn’t round much, my brother has only played occasionally and Andy Fairbairn hasn’t featured much, although he says he will.

“That is a lot of experience to lose and one of the reasons why I agreed to be captain again.

Bovey's outgoing captain Sam Hickinbottom (left) handing over the 1st XI bowling award to Hugo Whitlock“There are some exciting young players coming through – Toby Codd, the Whitlocks, Sam Taylor, a couple of Causeys – and others behind them.

“My job is to manage the change from the old order to the new one and build the nucleus of a team that will stay together for the next 10 years.”

Bradley has already started recruiting for the 2017 campaign and has high hopes of completing a clutch of signings in early January.

“There are three or four who are pretty close to saying yes – and one who has committed already,” said Bradley.

The one who has said yes is batsman Josh Mailling, formerly with Plympton who has played all through the age groups with Devon up to Minor Counties level.

Bradley’s reappointment was confirmed by Bovey members at the club’s annual meeting, which was held prior to the awards night in the Dolphin Hotel.

The highlights of the evening were the achievements of the club’s younger players, who dominated the prize givings.

Golding, who was 22 last season, topped the 1st XI batting list with nearly 400 runs at an average in the high 30s.

Top bowler was a photo-finish between teenagers Codd and Hugo Whitlock, who had 28 wickets each.Bowling award winner Chris Yabsley

Codd (13.42) took the bowling award ahead of Whitlock (15.85), who was more than compensated by winning the player-of-the-year award. Codd played for Devon during the season and Whitlock for the Lions Development XI.

Second team award winners were Will Christophers (batting), Chris Yabsley (bowling), Dominic Whitlock (players’ player) and Yabsley again for most improved. All of them are under 20 and many featured in the sides that won the Aaron Printers T20 Cup and the Devon U19 T20.

Andy Bishop used 51 players as 3rd XI captain – and topped the batting averages himself. Nat Saturley, 15, was bowler of and young player of the year. Veteran batsman Richard Wyatt-Haines was players’player.

George Pitman, who made 151 not out against Abbotskerswell in a 3rd XI match, won Bovey’s award for the best score of the season.

Teenagers won two of the three awards handed out by fourth team skipper Mark Taylor – bowler Charlie Clifford-Bourne and player-of-the-year Taylor Ingham-Hill. Batter of the year was Paul Scott