President looks ahead to next 100

League officials and guests at Friday's Halifax League dinner
League officials and guests at Friday's Halifax League dinner

Halifax League chief David Normanton urged clubs “never to underestimate their potential” at Friday’s Foster’s Halifax League dinner at The Venue, Barkisland.

The league has completed its 100th season and Normanton, one of only nine presidents in that time, said there was plenty to celebrate.

He said the 2013 season had been a successful one, aided by better weather than the previous two years.

“Let us continue that way as we approach the next 100 years,” said Normanton, who has been in office for a decade.

He thought player retention and sustainability were the key to a buoyant league in the future.

“Everyone has a duty to ensure our profile remains high,” he said.

Around 230 people - and there was a women’s table for the first time - attended the event. Former England one-day international player Paul Nixon and Halifax comedian Lea Roberts provided the entertainment.

There were three special awards announced on the night.

The heritage award went to the league to mark its 100th birthday while Greetland won the Roy Smith Sportsmanship Award based on marks awarded by umpires after matches.

The outstanding contribution award went to Ces Charles - a lift for him after his club Augustinians lost their Laund Hill ground and subsequently their place in the league for 2014.

Charles, who came from Grenada in 1974 aged 16, joined Augustinians two years later and has been there ever since. A long-serving and well-respected player, he has made his mark off the field with the development of junior players.

Champions Jer Lane, who received the league trophy and Parish Cup on Friday, have benefitted by the first significant transfer of the close-season.

They have signed bowler Sam Wilson, who was captain of the Clayton side relegated from the top flight this summer.