BREAKING with tradition Barry West End Cricket Club held their 34th presentation night on Saturday 17th November at Cariad Café, just a long throw away from where they play their cricket at Barry Athletic Cricket Club.

It was a memorable evening for a group who play friendly cricket and socialise together, some might say they are more than just a pub team.

One thing is for sure they are known throughout South Wales and further afield for playing cricket in the right spirit and have a host of characters who don their whites and showcase their talents.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Mark Ewington, a West End stalwart.

Ralph as he is known to his team mates was also a member of the planning party who arranged the tour to Plymouth this year which was a resounding success, despite not winning a single game on the field. This might have something to do with the copious amounts of alcohol drunk on the bus on the way to Plymouth.

After enjoying the food provided by the Cariad Café staff and enjoying one or two drinks, it was down to business and the season awards.

There were a couple of notable milestones for two players, firstly Jason “Bertie” Thomas who passed 250 matches played during the season and secondly Tommy “Nine Toes” Miller who has now taken over 750 wickets for the club with his swing bowling.

The Batsmen of the Year award went to a familiar name, Mark “Cheesey” Williams who scored 621 runs for the season at an average of 38.81. Included was a century and three half centuries from the ever reliable right hand opener.

Bowler of the Year award went to Dafydd Frost, a young player who has added consistency with his pace and is dependable to call upon whether opening the bowling or coming on first or second change. This was evident in a game against Dinas Powys where he took 5 – 13.

A special award was presented to Neil “Harry” Holmes who has been around for the majority of the 34 years the West End have been in existence. Harry is renowned for his eccentricity along with his slow bowling and puts his agility and fitness down to a quick daily dip in the local sea.

Harry was awarded with a canvass photo of himself in his cricket whites and a trophy for 992 appearances for the club. This was presented to Harry by his friend, club gardener and local pyromaniac Rhys “Banto” Howells.

Hopefully, if he winters well we will see Harry in his 1,000th appearance next season in what will be a memorable day.

The final award of the night is the most prestigious, as it is voted by members of the club.

In what was a landslide victory Neil “Harry” Holmes won the Players Player of the Year and was presented the award by Dickie “Legside” Eastman who gave a very amusing impromptu speech to recognise Harry’s achievements and best moments.

In what was a fitting finale to the evening Club Chairman Glan “Ar y Bws” Williams gave a rousing speech to thank the many people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make all the magic happen.

From the tea ladies, to the groundsman, to the scorers, to the taxi drivers, to the captains, to the West End club staff and all the players who make Barry West End without doubt the best local club to play for.

Barry West End cricket club typifies a bunch of merry men who come together, play cricket in the right spirit, socialise after games with the oppositions and above all have a huge amount of fun in the process……indeed, we’re more than just a pub team.

Here’s looking forward to the clubs 35th season and doing it all again next year.

Winter well all!