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BCEW Brian Johnston Memorial Trust Development Festival 2015

18th September 2015

The sixth annual VI cricket development weekend took place at Leicester University on 12th and 13th September, and was once again a great success with a record 102 players taking part in the event, including new groups from Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

Ten teams representing 14 clubs entered the competition and were split into two divisions, roughly based on the South & West and North & East development leagues.

Teams then played all five sides in the opposite group, meaning that they pitted themselves against players who they don't regularly come up against in a normal league season.

A table of all clubs was then drawn up and the last round saw 10th playing ninth place and so on, with the final being between the two top teams of Berkshire Stags / RNC Bulldogs (combined team) and Lancashire Lions, who came out on top in a hard-fought final.

There were many good individual performances throughout the weekend but the awards went to Andrew Slater as best newcomer, Carl McGhee AKA Macar best total, Elyse Bezuidenhout as best female player and Ryan Wilcock took the award for best partially sighted player.

Honourable mentions should be given to the Durham and Dorset sides who battled on despite being low on sight in their teams and for the same reason, narrowly beating them to the coveted 'Spirit of Cricket' trophy were the Surrey VICC.

A big part of the weekend is the social aspect and many players and officials arrived on the Friday night in order to mix with other teams and most of the rest joined in on the Saturday too to meet old VI cricket friends and to get to know new ones.

It should also be mentioned that this year’s festival was the biggest visually impaired single venue cricket event ever held in the UK and was both the first to contain ten teams and over a hundred players in one place.

A big thank you must go to all of the umpires, scorers and the many other people from various clubs who also helped out over the weekend, and especially to the good people at the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust who kindly funded the event for us for the sixth consecutive year.

By John Garbett
BCEW Development Director