Three of the North West’s long-serving and most popular cricketers were honoured on Friday night with Contribution to Cricket awards at the union’s Annual Dinner.
Mark Simpson, Jordan McGonigle and Johnny Thompson, with an aggregate of 83 years playing between them each announced their retirement from club cricket at the end of the season.
Simpson, a one-club man with Brigade, was unable to attend the Dinner but McGonigle, a Donemana captain and Thompson, who ended his career with Newbuildings received a standing ovation when they received their awards from Bobby Rao.
Simpson won five Senior League titles, three Ulster Cups and two Irish Cups as well as playing in 10 Senior Cup finals, winning exactly half including the 1998 decider when he and opening bowling partner Gregory Wilson bowled out Ardmore, this season’s league champions, for 17 in the second innings.
McGonigle, who after captaining Ireland at U15 level, won nine senior cups, actually won 10 of his 11 finals with Donemana, including six in a row, plus six league titles. Another one-club man, he also picked up an Ulster Cup and Irish Cup winners’ medals.
Thompson, started his career with Donemana in 1996 at the age of 13 and via Glendermott and two spells with Brigade he won six of his 13 North West Senior Cups finals, five league titles plus an Irish Cup and All-Ireland Cup.
Ardmore captain Rachit Gaur was named the Radio Foyle Player of the Year, the only local player to score 1,000 runs as the Bleachgreen side won its first ever senior title, while at the other end of the league table, Mark Pollock’s individual performance with Burndennett – they won their only league game in their final match – was recognised with the Michael Bannigan award. Pollock scored 762 runs and took 32 wickets.
Alana Dalzell was named the top Women’s player, finding time among her Ireland and Dragons commitments to score 503 runs at an average of 63 for Bready.
Lucy McGranaghan won the Women's Young Player of the Year, while her boyfriend Scott Macbeth was named Men's Young Player as well as picking up the Premiership bowling accolade.
Bonds Glen's Cherith Thompson won the Club Person of the Year, while Sam Haslett won the Jack Glenn award, while Eglinton's Jenni Jackson won the Women's bowling award.