To mark another quite fantastic year for the Kent Ramblas, there’s the traditional set of awards to commemorate a range of achievements.
From a team perspective, 2015 saw us achieve a record number of wins in a season (seven), welcome some new faces to the fold (on and off the field) and largely see improvements across the board.
PLAYERS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR Tom Danks
According to our captain (who collated the results), it was one of the closest contests we’ve had for this coveted award, but there can be no arguments about the winner. Tom joined at the start of the season and was quick to display his prowess with bat and ball, as well as providing a safe pair of hands in the field. Away from the field, he’s also been a welcome – and lively – addition to the dressing room. And bar…
SKIPPER’S PLAYER OF THE YEAR Sam Ford
The skipper’s words on the night summed it up. There’s pretty much nothing that Sam doesn’t do. In fact, rumour has it he might be taking over match report and tea duties next season. In all seriousness, Sam’s performances with the bat were excellent (including the highest ever Ramblas individual score) and he was in similarly sterling form behind the stumps, as well as contributing with the ball.
FANS’ PLAYER OF THE YEAR Alex Danks
A newly introduced award to reflect our growing fan club (current count, erm, two…), Alex was a more than worthy winner, displaying great fortitude to come back from injury sustained minutes before the first game, delivering some searing spells with the ball – including that memorable game against St Mary’s Platt. He also showed that he’s more than capable with the bat and took some good catches to boot.
CLUBPERSON OF THE YEAR Lucy Brewer
A one-woman tour de force on the sidelines, spent contending with wasps, Olympic-sized hangovers and some truly awful batting displays, Lucy showed admirable devotion to the Ramblas cause by offering support home and away, as well as providing some quite exquisite baked goods to supplement our teas.
And, as voted for by the players (and the almost ever-present Lucy), here are the results of our ‘alternative’ awards…
RINGER OF THE YEAR Rich Ford
Not content with spawning two Ramblas, Rich got in on the act himself to turn out four times for the Ramblas this season, impressing in partnership with Sam against Eden Park and London City, as well as nicking a couple of wickets against the former.
MOMENT OF THE YEAR Alex claiming his hat-trick AND five-fer against St Mary’s Platt
Firstly, a word in honour of Ian’s efforts to become the first man to claim a five-fer the week before. He could (legitimately) have expected to revel in that for some time, but the following week witnessed a quite breath-taking spell of bowling that would not only notch up the second five-fer by a Rambla, but simultaneously take the first hat-trick. It was comfortably the premier piece of bowling by any a Rambla and fantastic to watch from close quarters.
CATCH OF THE YEAR Tom v Wickham Park / Doug v Tonbridge
A Danks duo. Danks delight. Dynamite Dankses. Danks very much. And any other Double D nonsense you can think of (easy Geoff…). This award was keenly fought between the elder two of our Danks triumvirate and it was a tie between the athletic dive at deep gully by Doug and the sprint, catch and roll of Tom versus Wickham Park.
INNINGS OF THE YEAR Geoff’s 100* vs London Saints
This was another tight category and it would be remiss not to highlight the sheer depth of warmth and genuine cheer from every Rambla when Pete Ford got his first 50. But, ever the showman, Geoff just edges out Pete courtesy of a 45-ball century that contained numerous big hits including a huge six to the long boundary and delivered just what the doctor ordered in terms of the game.
PARTNERSHIP OF THE YEAR Alex and Chris vs Chevening
Having put in a largely accomplished all-round performance in the field, the Ramblas reply lacked the same high standards as a stodgy start and middle-order collapse brought in Alex and Chris who put on a near run-a-ball 57-run partnership, before Chris pushed for one too many to be run out.
MATCH OF THE YEAR St Mary’s Platt (a) / Chevening (a)
Another tied category and two contrasting games. The St Mary’s Platt game followed a comprehensive defeat of Tonbridge Forresters and, courtesy of the aforementioned blitz from Alex, the hosts’ batting line-up was obliterated for 88, before the Ramblas comfortably chased down the total. In the case of our joint winner, a few missed opportunities in the field helped Chevening scramble to a challenging total that was made to look even better when the Ramblas struggled in their reply. However, the partnership between Alex and Chris propelled the Ramblas towards the edge of a famous victory, before falling agonisingly short by four runs.