Another year, another cricket season and what a great programme of matches to look forward to. There are several new, and welcome, fixtures which will give our players plenty of opportunities to compete for our annual trophies.
Which gives me a nice lead in to provide some details on the history of the Trophies and who were behind them.
The Don Rock Trophy. The Brigands began touring to Devon in 1984 and had the great benefit of having Don, a great character, as the tour umpire for our matches against United Services Plymouth and the Saints. Don continued to join us for the Devon tour until 1988, but very sadly died before the next season began. In his memory and in recognition of how much he enjoyed the Brigands Tours, Don's wife Vivienne presented the Club with his Memorial Trophy to be played for between Brigands and Saints. The first fixture for the trophy was in July 1989 on Broadhalfpenny Down when the Saints came to us. Setting Saints 161 to win they were bowled out for 158. In August that year we again played Saints at Devonport during the Tour and held on to the trophy with a draw. This was a pattern for a few years with the exception of 1991 when against a very strong Saints team Brigands won by 8 wickets. The photograph of that victorious team hangs in the Bat and Ball, and we were never to lose a match to the Saints thereafter. With the Tour shifting away from Devon, and Saints’ last visit to Broadhalfpenny in 1994, it meant we held the trophy but without a relevant competition. Through Don's son David, a Hampshire player, we obtained the family's agreement for the trophy to be awarded to the Player of the Season.
The Bowell Bowl Ken Bowell was one of the earliest Brigands, playing in the 1960s and 70s and he and his wife Eve were great supporters of the Club and, later, Association events. He was the Club Treasurer in the 1980s and an Honorary Life Vice President. Late in life he moved away from their home in Lovedean to be nearer to family who presented the Brigands with the bowling trophy. At annual dinners there is always some fun with pronunciation at the presentations - it fits well with Ken's gentle sense of humour. But the answer is, the Bowell (pronounced bole) Bowl (pronounced bole) is for the best of those who bowl (pronounced bole!).
The Lovett-Turner Cup With a bowling trophy in place the Chairman thought there ought to be a batting trophy also. And in Nigel Lovett-Turner's own words "while we were on tour in Gloucestershire the Chairman engineered the situation to ambush me into volunteering to present one". Fortuitously, not only was Nigel happy to present a trophy, but in its first year, son Ewan topped the averages. So by happy coincidence, it was presented Father to Son.
So, over to you current players to compete for these trophies in the coming season.
Finally, while I don't wish to finish on a sad note, there have been past Brigands who have recently completed their innings: Tony Oglesby, (the Og!) played in the 1960s and 70s - a wily spin bowler, puffing on his pipe when not out in the middle – and died a couple of months ago in his early 90s; David Howard started playing at the same time as me in 1969 and continued through the 1970s and early 80s. He was one of the first members of the Devon Tour in 1985. On retirement from the Navy, David worked for the British Legion but sadly suffered a major stroke not long after he took over at the head of the Legion. Nevertheless, he was at Lord's for a Test match in his wheelchair, ever cheerful, whenever possible. He inherited the title of the Earl of Effingham from his uncle some years ago. David died last month in his early 80s.
Meanwhile, let's all look forward to a thoroughly enjoyable season and some great cricket on the Down.
Bryan Burns, March 2022.