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Annual Dinner & Presentations

Cowbridge Cricket Club's annual dinner and award presentations took place at the Athletic Club on Friday, 10 November 2017, attracting around 80 members and guests who enjoyed a four course meal, speeches and entertainment.

The evening began with club president, Jeffrey Bird, reading out the names of members who had died in the two World Wars and, more recently, in Afghanistan. He reminded us also of the passing in 2017 of Ian Cran, who played for the club for 10 years; of Jake Griffiths, a stalwart of Bridgend Cricket Club; and of Glamorgan cricket legend, Don Shepherd, a previous guest speaker at the club's dinners.

Before sitting down for the meal, grace was given by the Reverend David Boult before an excellent meal for all was provided by Andrew Tucker and his catering team.

During the intervals between the various courses, club chairman, Hugh Williams, introduced the evening's specially-invited guests: the Reverend David Boult and Peter Knapp, both of whom assisted president, Jeffrey Bird, at September's Service of Dedication for the refurbished Fred Dunn Memorial Gates, sited at the entrance to the cricket ground; Australian cricketer, Michael Hogan, who has been appointed the four-day captain of Glamorgan County Cricket Club for the 2018 season; and Mark Llewellyn Evans, the world-renowned baritone and raconteur. The club was also delighted to welcome John Griffiths, chairman of Cowbridge Rugby Football Club as well as Richard Green of Abbey Glass and Andrew Brace of UK Press Metal, the latter being the two major sponsors of Cowbridge Cricket Club.

Following dinner, club awards for the 2017 season were presented by Michael Hogan, as follows:

The “H” Trophy (sponsored by Abbey Glass) for the first team player of the year went to Tom Merilaht for his consistent batting performances over 14 innings, averaging 87 runs per innings.

The 2nd XI Player of the Year award went to David Gascoyne who amassed 881 runs for the season, the highest in all of SWCA's divisions, as well as most wicket keeping dismissals and the best run getter in Division 5.

The club's “Young Player of the Year” award was presented to Heath Webb who not only captained the Under 15s team but established himself in the 1st XI in the latter half of the season.

The Ben Wright Trophy (“Club, County and Beyond”) was given to Alys Phillips for her consistent selection for the Welsh Under 13s international team.

The Peter Finucane “Catch It” Award went to Dr. David Thomas for taking two outstanding catches in a T20 game against Llantwit Major.

The Club Person of the Year award went to Joe Russell for his unselfish attitude in playing cheerfully for the 1st XI week in, week out, despite his minimal participation.

A fund-raising raffle followed the award presentations with 15 excellent prizes to be won including golf for four at both Cardiff and St. Athan Golf Clubs; T20 tickets for a Glamorgan CCC match; tickets for the Wales versus Georgia rugby match; and a cricket bat signed by Glamorgan CCC's 2016 players.

The evening's entertainment saw former Welsh rugby international, Rhys Williams, conduct a lively Q & A session with Glamorgan CCC's Michael Hogan who responded with honesty and sincerity to the questions posed both by Rhys and the floor. Following a brisk auction conducted by Rhys, Michael then presented Nick Wood with a bat signed by England captain, Joe Root. The bat was kindly donated by Richard Green of sponsor, Abbey Glass.

Next, 1st XI captain, Chris Willey, gave a brief account of the 2017 season where he praised the batting skills of Tom Merilaht, who accumulated 783 runs over the season, including two centuries and six 50s, and Ben Wright, who hit 847 runs at an average of 60.5, which included a 217 not out, another century and four 50s.

On the bowling front, Rian Thomas secured his first five wicket haul in a match and, along with our young opening attack, Sam Russell and Tom Harper, the future looks bright. Nick Wood returning to play cricket for the club had played a vital role with bat and ball and hopefully, said Chris, the whole team will stay together to push for promotion next year.

To the delight of the audience, chairman Hugh Williams managed to present a succinct resume of the past year. Hugh thanked the president, Jeffrey Bird, for his efforts in acquiring a new machinery shed and for organising the refurbishment and dedication of the Fred Dunn Memorial Gates. He thanked also the club's small committee for its efforts throughout the year, together with all of the coaches, helpers and parents in the running of four junior teams, spanning different age groups. The scorers of the various teams were recognised along with non-committee members who help with the website, the annual Bull newsletter and with umpiring. He also thanked Jamie Miller, our new groundsman, who took over from Tim Williams in 2017.

The audience was then nobly entertained by our principal guest, Mark Llewelyn Evans, a baritone of note and brother of well-known Welsh tenor, Wynne Evans. Mark presented a humorous account of how he and his brother became involved in singing and the major role their mother had played in their early life.

To the surprise of younger members of the audience, Mark then sang “Oh, what a beautiful morning” and concluded his presentation with an apt song on the eve of Armistice Day: 'Don’t Tell My Father'. This after-dinner speech with a difference was warmly appreciated and applauded by all.

Club Chairman, Hugh Williams, brought the evening to a close by thanking all for their support of the cricket club before wishing everyone a safe journey home and success for all the teams in the 2018 season.

The "H" Trophy, 1st XI player of Year: Tom Merilaht. Presented  to Dameon Merilaht, on behalf of his brother, by Michael Hogan

2nd XI Player of the Year: David Gascoyne, receives his award from Michael Hogan.

Young Player of the Year : Heath Webb

The Ben Wright Trophy (“Club, County and Beyond”): Alys Phillips

Club Person of the Year: Joe Russell

The Peter Finucane “Catch It” Award: Daniel Thomas.

Tom Harper received the award on Daniel's behalf.

Ian Evans receiving the award for the best wicket taker in SWCA's Division 5

Ben Wright receiving his award for the best batsman in SWCA's Division 1

Chairman, Hugh Williams, thanking guests and members for their support of the club

Some 80 club members and invited guests attended the annual dinner and award presentations, enjoying an excellent meal, speeches and entertainment

Q & A session posed by former Welsh rugby international, Rhys Williams (left), to Australian Cricketer, Michael Hogan, Captain of Glamorgan CCC's Four-day team for 2018.