Top teams and players honoured at GCB prize giving

Southwell wins first league and Station Hill the second league

LEAGUE winners and top players were recognised and awarded at the annual Grahamstown Cricket Board (GCB) prize giving last Friday night.

The winners of the first league are Southwell, while Station Hill won the second league for the first time – cause for celebration among players and their supporters who turned out in force for the gala affair at Harry B’s at the Ski-boat Club.

Adding emotion to the occasion, the Station Hill Cricket Club presented blazers to three veteran players who have retired – Andy Jones, Wayne Gaseba and Nathan Hilpert. But they will stay on in supporting roles.

GCB president Leon Coetzee said at occasions like the annual prize giving, “you tend to repeat yourself year after year. But fortunately people forget, especially after a few beers and having won prizes.”

“All these achievements did not happen overnight. They came through a process of nurturing and development, and marrying the right girl who allows you to play cricket,” he said. “It all culminates in what happens this evening.”

He said cricket was not just a battle between bat and ball, but had the inevitable element of a wave of emotion that comes over the players – whether they win or lose.

“It creates a bond of friendship, understanding and community building.”

He thanked all those who had helped with umpiring, scoring and ferrying players back and forth by taxi over the season.

The Station Hill Cricket Club paid tribute to Jones, Gaseba and Hilpert, who started the club with a few friends in 2005, and helped to get sponsors as well as getting children involved in cricket.

Veterans Rex Amm, James Fox and Norman Elliott helped hand out the prizes.

Awards:

Highest batting aggregate: 1st league – Nicholas Zimmeran (Salem), 2nd league – Thanduxolo Shotana (Rainbows)

Most wickets fast bowler: 1st league – Leard King (Salem), 2nd league – Alvin Marney (Station Hill)

Most wickets slow bowler: 1st league – Warren Tarr (Cuylerville) and Devon Sykes (Salem), 2nd league – Matt Liesenberg (Salem 2)

Best all-rounder: 1st league – Francois van Rooyen (Manley Flats), 2nd league – Thanduxolo Shotana (Rainbows)

Umpires awards: senior umpire – Ant Bowdler and Barry September, rookie umpire – Chesley Daniels

Scorer award: senior scorer – Julia Painting

President’s Award for Service: Andrew Marshall and Justin Stirk

Rural player of the year: Brandon Handley

Winners Bathurst 1st League: Southwell

Winners Central Albany League: Salem

Runners-up 1st league: Salem

Club of the year: Salem

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