KILMINGTON batsman Tom Gooding was a popular choice as player of the year at the Tolchards Devon Cricket League annual meeting and awards night.
Kilmington had a cracking season on their way to promotion from C Division East of the competition, winning 16 of the 18 games they played.
At the heart of Kilmington’s title-winning campaign was opening batsman Gooding, who batted on and on all summer. He scored three hundreds in a grand total of 968 league runs at an average of 74.46 and was warmly applauded as he went up to receive his trophy.
Other nominations included the Exeter duo of Ben Green and Rob Holman, Torquay all-rounder Mitch Pugh and Seaton’s Joel Seward.
Representatives of the 63 clubs who made it to the annual meeting at the Exeter Court Hotel near Kennford, were reminded by league chairman Nick Rogers in his presentation address that awards were open to players from any level of the league.
The same principal applies to the Bob Bridges Young Player of the Year trophy, which has previously been won by future England players Chris Read (1994), Mark Lathwell (1991) and both Overton twins, jointly in 2011.
Whimple’s 16-year-old all-rounder Cameron Kidd – 593 runs, 24 wickets – took the award for 2018 ahead of some stiff opposition.
Previous winners Jack Moore and Matt Petherbridge were in the frame again, along with rising stars Ashley Causey, Ed Doble and James White.
Bovey Tracey all-rounder Causey took 23 wickets and averaged 27.8 with the bat, Budleigh Salterton’s Doble topped the A Division bowling averages and Tavistock batter White averaged 57.67 for his promotion-winning side.
The services to the league award was presented to former chairman David Gambie (Topsham), who remains an active member of the executive 10 years after standing down.
Title-winning team captains or club representatives from all 15 divisional winners collected championship trophies from Jim Mardell on behalf of league sponsors Tolchards Drinks.
Among the other awards handed out were captain-of-the-year trophies to Sandford’s Richard Foan and Hatherleigh’s Mark Lake, who won the award for the second year running.
Before awards were handed out, club representatives and league managers had to plough through annual reports from officials and a raft of proposed rule changes.
Members heard the league showed an operating surplus of £2,219 for the year, down from £5,280 in 2017. Decreased revenue from handbook advertising was largely to blame for the drop, although some alary costs had risen.
Rogers told members that the league was financially sound and had more than £36,000 in reserves.
“There will be no need for subscriptions to rise this year and the subsidy we provide for match balls will continue, said Rogers.
Some rule changes were agreed, such as earlier start times by agreement, some were rejected, such as Plymouth’s proposal to have tea after the game, and some involving registration changes held over to an EGM before the start of next season.
Ed Leverton, the league secretary, said: “We agreed at the annual meeting that some of the proposals for changes to the regulations and rules need further examination.
“It was agreed that they would be brought back to an extraordinary meeting at the Exeter Court Hotel on March 1, 2019.”
The pre-season meeting to collect match balls and league handbooks remains as before as April 23, 2019, also at the Exeter Court.
One change that did go through was an increase in the financial penalty payable for failing to attend a mandatory meeting, It is now £50 and clubs absent from the meeting will be invoiced for it.
Richard Stevenson, the commercial officer for the league, gave a detailed verbal report about proposed cup competitions for 2019.
Fifteen clubs have already signed up for the Servicemaster T20 Devon Cup, 22 are pencilled into the Corinthian Cup for B-D Division sides and 15 have expressed an interest in playing in the new T20 cup competition for club from the E-H Divisions.