Spirit saw us through - Normanton

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President David Normanton has paid tribute to Towergate Halifax League clubs for their fortitude in 2012.

This summer was notable for torrential rain and floods with almost one third of junior and senior cricket in the league washed out.

Four clubs - Copley, Bridgeholme, Greetland and Sowerby Bridge - suffered particular problems and Normanton, speaking at Friday’s league annual dinner at The Venue, Barkisland, described conditions as “unprecedented.”

Normanton said everyone in the sport had been affected financially and added: “I want to pay tribute to the clubs for keeping going in those conditions.

“It showed the spirit that is at the heart of our clubs and always sees us through.”

Normanton, figurehead for a 10th year when the league celebrates its centenary in 2013, had particular praise for one Calder Valley club.

“The whole community rallied round at Bridgeholme. They cleared the debris from the ground in days when it should have taken weeks,” he said.

Chairman Anthony Briggs said that in spite of the trials and tribulations of this summer the league had a bright future.

“Approaching the 2013 centenary season, both senior and junior leagues continue to flourish,” he said.

“The league is proud of its history, heritage and tradition.”

League coffers were boosted by £3,000 from the Calderdale Community Foundation, which helped pay for the trophies handed out on the night.

Normanton said the Foundation, which was represented by Emma Bolger and Charlotte Woods, “recognised the major part that cricket plays in our communities.”

The guest speakers were former New Zealand cricket captain Jeremy Coney and comedian Mike Farrell from Keighley.

The winners of special awards were announced on the night.

Neil Crosland won the outstanding contribution to cricket award for his 35-plus years service at Outlane.

The Roy Smith Sportsmanship Trophy, based on points awarded after games by umpires, was won by Wibsey Park Chapel.

The Heritage Trophy, presented by cricket historian Dr Peter Davies, went to Triangle. They have celebrated 150 years in existence, which is 51 more than the Halifax League.

The Roy Smith Sportsmanship Trophy, based on points awarded after games by umpires, was won by Wibsey Park Chapel.

The event was attended by 210 people although eight clubs, including some who had won team and individual trophies, were not represented.

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