By A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
HAVING been denied an annual dinner and awards evening, Tipton CC held an impromptu awards session after their final game of the season.
That final game, a home win over Heads & Tails, left the Tipton 2020 campaign comprising 17 games, 11 of which were won and six were lost.
As club president Bruce Marshall was in quarantine after spending time with family in Switzerland, chairman David Birch read out his address.
Birch paid tribute to two club stalwarts – Graham Hembury and John Williamson – who had died during lockdown and said many in the community missed them.
Birch thanked the committee for the way they had carried out the advice of the ECB and ensured that the club was able to enjoy a truncated season.
The chairman also thanked fixture secretary Dave Thayre, for ensuring there had been a full schedule when play started, and treasurer/statistician Phil Wright for keeping members amused with historical photos, plus photos and pen pictures of many of Tipton’s 300 plus players who have represented the club since 1985.
Awards were handed out and the chairman’s award went jointly to Jem Gillam and Birch for the way on-field nets were arranged and the pitch and field were ready for when play started.
Dave Alford, the club captain, presented clubman of the year to Wright who, once again, combined the roles of club treasurer and statistician with flying colours while also being very busy using the club Facebook and web page to keep members in touch during the period of lockdown.
Adam Gibbins received the most-improved player award, in particular for his improved batting, despite suffering a bad hamstring injury mid-season.
For the 14th successive year Phil Tolley stepped forward to receive the batsman of the Year honour. The prolific run scorer averaged 88 and he has now chalked up more than 18,000 runs for the club!
The bowler-of-the-year award went to Birch and he completed a hat-trick of this particular honour after a season of 29 wickets, which takes him to 623 career wickets for Tipton.
John Buckland, who held 10 catches and saved many a run with his athletic fielding, was named fielder of the year.
Amelia Tolley was the young player of the year. Amelia claimed 20 wickets in a campaign that also saw her impress with her fielding.
The Champagne Momentaward was presented to David Jessop for his wicket-keeping prowess at Whimple including a diving catch (unheard of at Tipton!).
A bottle of scotch was presented to umpire Pete Philbrick who drove down from Chard to officiate most matches.
Last but not least, a second award was presented to Phil Wright in honour of him having taken his 900th Tipton wicket taken during the final game of the season, the win over Heads & Tails.
Jem Gillham and David Birch, who shared the chairman's award. Burch was also the club's bowler of the year