On the last evening at the SPITFIRE GALA Dinner held in the Panorama Room at La Manga Club a toast was made ‘To absent Friends' coupled with the name Gerald Wadley (Worcestershire) who recently made a miraculous recovery from serious illness, and unfortunately could not make the journey, but who played a vital role supporting Organiser Martin Couch.
At the Awards presentation Gil Collins SPITFIRE Secretary said “SPITFIRE CHAMPIONSHIP aims were to develop more international competitions for 60+ and that next season in England there would be 25 Counties participating in national championships”.
He went on to make presentations of Medallions to key supporting officials in recognition of superb ground facilities and individual roles which enabled games to run continuously throughout competition.
Umpires : David Moore ( Spain ), Michael Iwanicki (Worcestershire) and George Wambeek Director of Cricket Spain together with his Umpire team.
Scorers : Penelope Atkinson ( Surrey ); Sheila Gardner ((Kent); Margaret Scott (Worcestershire).
Ground Staff : presented to George Wambeek on behalf of ground team.
Gil Collins then went on to award Cups to leading players. He received 6 nominations for Player of the Festival: John Goodreds (Worcestershire); Kenneth Longmuire (Australia); William Minto (Surrey); Alan Lacy (Hampshire), Fred Springer (West Indies) and Bob Nix (Spain) who was named ‘Player of the Festival' for his consistent batting performances during the Festival.
Best Batting Cup awarded to Ian Rowlands for match winning 89 runs in the Final.
Best Bowling Cup to Greg Johnson for his 3-15 in the Final.
Team Winners : Victoria Cricket Association of Australia .
In their responses Alan McLeish (Team Winners) paid tribute to his squad of Players and fine competitive spirit of all teams taking part. Greg Johnson (Best Bowling) said “He had only recently joined VCOA and never dreamed that he would soon be playing international cricket at 60+ in Spain with players from UK and West Indies ”.
John Hammer Organiser (VCOA) also made two special presentations: firstly, a Plaque commemorating the SPITFIRE FESTIVAL to Pedro …………. Catering Director in recognition of outstanding hospitality throughout the Festival, with the plaque to be displayed in Reception at La Manga. Secondly, a collectors item VCOA Cricket Cap to Martin Couch (SPITFIRE Organiser) for the achievement of a successful Festival.
Nigel Abbott (Surrey) on behalf of Surrey party also presented a special prize to Jill & Martin Couch in recognition for devising, and making arrangements to support this successful event.
Laurie Hindle (VCOA) contributed a ‘Bushmans Hat' to Bernard Brace ( Surrey ) as Festival Joker for taunting and Anti-Australian Behaviour. As minibus driver, Bernard left the entire Australian team stranded in the cricket ground car park for 37 minutes after the game!!
David Samuel ( West Indies ) said in Finale “Everyone who had attended contributed to a very enjoyable and special event, where “Cricket was the Winner”!
Next Event: SPITFIRE AUSTRALIA TOUR to Carnival of Cricket 60+ to be held at Armidale North NSW in November 2011, subject to approval at SPITFIRE AGM on 3 rd November at Radlett CC, Hertfordshire.