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Old guard in the prizes at North West awards

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THE annual North West presentation dinner took place at the White Horse Hotel on Saturday evening and more than 150 guests were present for an award ceremony dominated by a few familiar faces.

The biggest winner on the night was Decker Curry; the former Irish International picking up both the Premiership batting award and the coveted Radio Foyle Player of the Year trophy.

Curry was magnificent for Ardmore in 2014, scoring 1180 runs at an average of 56 and claiming 35 wickets as well. The BBC broadcaster described Decker as “Bradman- like in his quality and dedication- a player whose achievements will be remembered for many generations to come”.

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Curry received a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd as he received the trophy.

Fellow Ardmore and former Donemana player Gary Neely picked up the Premiership bowling shield making it a successful night for the Bleachgreen club. Neely took 48 wickets for Adrian Murphy’s team this summer; him and Decker combining to great effect to keep their side in the top flight.

St Johnston’s Ryan Macbeth was another big winner- the teenager rewarded for a haul of 51 wickets by taking home the Championship bowling award and the Young Player of the Year. The bowler and his team-mate Jassi Wallia were outstanding in a fantastic season for the Donegal side. Richard McDaid claimed the batting honours as he boasted an average of over 50 as Drummond won the Sammy Jeffrey Shield.

There was a hugely popular winner of the Club Person of the Year award as Strabane’s Paddy Gillespie received the trophy. Paddy’s lifetime of service to his club and indeed local cricket generally was fittingly recognised but he wasn’t the only winner in his house as son Mark was presented with the Harry Henderson Fair Play award by umpires Chairman, Connie McAllister.

Andy McBrine was voted the Bannigan Players’ Player of the Year for the second season running- the Donemana and North West Warriors player continuing to make great strides at all levels of the game. Bready’s Craig Young was voted the Warriors Player of the Year while Coleraine’s Rishi Chopra was selected as the Emerging Player.

Mark Olphert won the newest award- Coach of the Year- while Emma Allen and Toni Millar won the Ladies batting and bowling respectively.

The Derry Midweek batting and bowling trophies were claimed by Bready pair Mattie Barr and Jordan McCorkell.

The Qualifying Divisional awards were won by Dwayne McGerrigle (Q1 batting), Peter Allen (Q1 bowling); Ivor Dunn (Q2 batting), Ian Moore (Q2 bowling), Garth Watson (Q3 batting), Paul Blackburn (Q3 bowling), James Thompson (Q4 batting), Warren McIlmoyle (Q4 bowling)

Finally there was a second standing ovation of the evening as current North West General Secretary, Jim Lindsay, indicated his intention to stand down at the end of his current year. Jim received a glowing tribute from current Cricket Ireland President Joe Doherty before being presented with gifts from both the North West Union and the Umpires Association.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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