And that’s a wrap!
This year’s junior presentation night took place on Monday 10th October, and what a turnout!
Renowned for throwing a good party, word certainly got out about our junior presentation night, and it was great to see so many players and their families attend this year’s awards.
With members ranging from 5 to 96 years old, everyone in attendance showed their appreciation not only for the games of cricket and the countless hours of practice they had put in over the summer but also for Benwell Hill CC and the coaches. Coaches, who put in an endless amount of time and effort making sure that everyone has fun and enjoys the game (ok, winning, winning is also a very big part of it – but don’t worry, Benwell Hill Juniors did not disappoint in this summer’s tournaments).
Breaking the ice and getting everyone into the Benwell Hill swing of things, Head Coach Barry Pearson kickstarted the evening with an eventful game of heads and tails. Then, with some worthy winners and everyone smiling and chatting, the coaches got down to business.
First up was Coach Coolio, aka Mark. This year Mark looked after our All-Stars, which saw an incredible turnout and a wide range of ages from 4 to 8. What’s more, many of our wonderful All-Stars kept their cricketing career going by joining our junior setup.
A setup which saw our Under 9s as an unbeatable squad!
There was a lot, and we mean a lot, of under 9s this year, and not only this, but they were also strong, they were good, and they were ready for action. Benwell Hill dominated in the 2022 under 9 cricket festivals, and in some instances, we even took two teams, a first for the Hill and more than any other cricket club in the North East. To say we were on fire is an understatement. The kids represented Benwell Hill to the highest degree, friendly, professional, and displaying outstanding cricketing skills.
Moving to our Under 11s, managed by Coach James.
A harder league and a big step up for many of our juniors, as this is the first time many players have experienced playing hardball with pads and helmets. However, as James was keen to tell us, we have some extremely talented crickets in our junior squad. With a mix of wins matched with losses, the under-11 squad grew as a team as the season went on. And a big theme coming from all of the coaches was the strong teamwork and incredible friendships. These guys support each other come rain or shine. Whether they’re hit for a 6 or take 5 wickets (we’ll get on to the under-19s game shortly).
Coach Scott for the Under 13s stepped up next.
Now, we have to announce that, sadly, Scott is retiring from coaching this year (again), but what a year to go out in. In a very close league, the under-13s pipped our main rivals South North to be crowned league champions on the last day of the season! A result that no one could have predicted, this was certainly a worthy end to a gruelling season, and we couldn’t be prouder of the team.
A group filled with attitude is our Under 15s, headed up by Coach Baz. This team suffered the opposite luck to the under 13s on the final game of the season to finish 2nd in the league and finalists in the league cup. Our talented under 15’s, however, did get to showcase their skills in the under 18’s team, with some even headlining in our senior teams!
Last, but by no means least, our Under 19s. Another strong season and a very mixed team consisting of under 19s and under 15s, the highlight of the season came at the County Cup Final at Tynemouth.
A truly magnificent finish to a game of cricket, this team managed to turn the tide at the last moment with Warren taking an unbelievable 5 wickets in 7 balls to win the game from right underneath our opponents.
Capping of a fantastic end to the season for both Warren and Freddie who also experienced an incredible win at Lords (yes Lords!) with Northumberland County Development team just a few weeks previously.
Outstanding work and representation.
At the end of the presentation we heard from long-term member Tony Pearson (no relation to Baz), who shared stories from his days playing at Benwell Hill and how great it was to hear about our younger generations taking the lead. Tony was also kind of enough to donate a branded Benwell Hill cap to every single junior member (don’t worry if you haven’t received yours, we do have them ready for next season) to show his support and encouragement to the teams.
From all of the coaches and the Benwell Hill committee, we would like to say thank you. Thank you to all of the players and their families. Our junior teams should be incredibly proud of their accomplishments this season, and with wins across the leagues, we look forward to 2023.
Our 2022 winners of the evening:
Under 9 Player of the Year - Aryan Mandal
Under 11 Player of the Year - Nicholas Walder
Under 13 Player of the Year - Rory Mustard
Under 15 Player of the Year - Freddie McGregor
Leon Mexter Award for Under 9 Most Improved - Joseph Haxon
Alan Evans Trophy for Most Improved - Aaron Armstrong
Tom Hounsome Award for Best Individual Performance - Freddie McGregor
Neil Hamilton Trophy for Star Performance - Warren Poxon
British Legion Award for Best Attitude and Commitment - Ben Robinson