BOVEY Tracey chairman Nigel Mountford looked to the future with confidence when the club celebrated being Devon’s best at their annual dinner and awards night.
Skipper Peter Bradley led Bovey to the Premier Division title last season, the first title for the club since 2002.
It was Bradley’s third and final stint as 1st XI captain and a perfect way to end his tenure, although he will carry on playing under his successor.
The new skipper will be off-spinning all-rounder Toby Codd, whose 39 wickets at 15.21 each helped Bovey to the title last summer.
When players and members met in the Dolphin Hotel in Bovey Tracey to raise a glass to the 2017 season, Mountford said a strength of the club was the depth of talent rising through the four Saturday league sides.
“An encouraging sign was the emergence of some of our young players in Chris Yabsley, Ashley Causey, Will Christophers and Sam Taylor – and there are other players on the production line waiting for their chance,” said Mountford.
“As proud as we are of the first team’s success I do feel this has much to do with the formation of our 3rd and 4th XIs some years ago.
“Young players have moved into senior cricket at a much younger age than waiting for their chance in 2nd XI cricket.
“We are the only Premier club with four senior teams and a thriving and successful colts section so the future looks good.
“The county club has recognised our success and the talents of our players in the selection of Matt Golding, Toby Codd and Hugo Whitlock for the Minor Counties Championship and one-day matches.
“Additionally, Ashley Causey, Chris Yabsley and Will Christophers have been included in the Devon Lions representative teams.”
Bovey were out in front of the Premier Division virtually from start to finish and won the title by a massive 45-point margin.
Mountford said the addition of a couple of players to the squad had turned the perennial also-rans into title winners.
“Josh Mailling joined us from Plympton and had a most successful season and Ryan Bougourd made a welcome return from Shaldon,” said Mountford.
“We also engaged the services of a very useful overseas player in Zimbabwean Luke Jongwe, who fitted into the team well, performed well when required.
“It was good that we did not always have to rely on Luke. The balance of the side meant we had plenty of options and always someone stood up when required.”
Jongwe did his bit though, notching 550 league runs at an average of 45.83 and taking 19 wickets.
Bradley’s last act as captain was to present Codd with the bowler of the season award.
Batter of the season Golding – 711 runs at 59.25 – was unable to collect his trophy as he is playing Grade cricket for Beaconsfield CC in Melborne with Mailling and Will Christophers.
Among the awards winners was a father-and-son in the 4th XI, where dad Tony England was the leading batter and son Sam the best bowler.
4th XI batting: Tony England (firstname.lastname@example.org); 4th XI bowling: Sam England (email@example.com); young player: Sam Harvey; all-rounder: Harry Pitman; 3rd XI batting: Richard Wyatt-Haines (352 @32); bowling: Malcolm Senior (firstname.lastname@example.org); all-rounder: Archie Christophers; 2nd XI batting: Derek Perry (488@44); bowling: Jeremy Christophers (email@example.com); 1st XI batting: Matt Golding (711&59.25); bowling: Toby Codd firstname.lastname@example.org); young player: Chris Yabsley. Highest score: Harry Senior (155 v South Devon II). Clubperson of the year: Sophie Whitlock.