Luke Riley and Jamie Dillon were both multiple winners at Yorkshire’s recent Disability Awards dinner for 2022.
Both the county’s D40 and S9 teams enjoyed significant success last summer, be it promotion or regional success, and it was celebrated at Headingley last Friday evening.
Riley took home both the D40 players’ player and coaches’ player of the year awards, with it noted on the night that the all-rounder often performed well under pressure.
That was highlighted best when he hit a brilliant unbeaten 68 in an impressive victory over closest Pursuit North Division challengers Shropshire in July. He helped guide the D40 Tykes from 75-7 to a three-wicket win as they chased 186 in 40 overs.
It was a key win in a campaign which ended with promotion to county cricket’s top division for 2023.
Dillon, who helped the S9 Terriers claim Northern success, was also named coaches’ player of the year plus batter of the year having scored 172 runs.
A total of 14 awards were handed out, seven for each successful side. Between them, they won a combined total of 13 out of 16 matches, losing only once. The S9 side won all of their matches.
James O’Connor won the D40’s batter of the year following 250 runs in five innings, including three half-centuries. The captain faced strong competition in this category given seven batters made at least one half-century, with a total of 11 scored in six matches.
Liam Savage won the bowler of the year award thanks to 11 wickets, including a best of 4-41.
Added to Riley’s aforementioned double, Owen Morris was named most improved player, with it noted on the night that he contributed “a weight of runs and wickets at important times”.
The biggest thing was Owen’s “personal growth and signs of leadership qualities”.
Jake Shepherdson claimed the fair play award having often played as a late order batter and fielder just to gain further experience.
The inspirational moment gong went to former England batter Gordon Laidlaw who, in September’s promotion play-off final win over Middlesex seconds, hit 76 retired not out and claimed two catches.
Back to the S9 category. Added to Dillon’s aforementioned batter of the year award, Oliver Fawcett won the bowler of the year gong thanks to seven wickets, including a best of 3-25.
Batter Richard Lovedale won the coaches’ player of the year award, who almost matched Dillon’s runs tally with 164.
It was said on the night that Lovedale’s stats weren’t the major consideration in winning the award.
“The award wasn’t decided on stats alone and is presented to a young man who displays an enthusiasm and pride in representing the White Rose which is second to none.”
Lovedale’s unwavering willingness to step up to the D40 team whenever required impressed management figures such as Russ Ingram and Owen Jervis.
The most improved player award went to Claire Domville.
Dinner MC Richard Graves introduced Domville’s award with the following words: “The most improved player award is going to an S9 team member who has improved in every area of the game, being positive in batting and running between the wickets, adding energy and mobility in the field, doing the job the skipper requires with a positive attitude whilst being vocal and encouraging towards team-mates.
“Most noticeable is the improvement in bowling accuracy, which shows in the scorebook.
“It is made even more remarkable that she charges around the field with only one lung in what is a predominantly male environment.”
The fair play award went to Archie Atkins-Sloan, the wicketkeeper who broke a finger two weeks into the season but still travelled to games home and away to support his team-mates.
The new Durham University student also oversaw warm-ups and planned and delivered training sessions.
And, finally, the inspirational moment award went to Jacob Grimes. In early July, in a win over Cheshire, he starred with 49 and a hat-trick.
It was said on the night: “What makes the performance even more admirable is the fact he did all this on his home ground with the added pressure of his South Milford team-mates watching on.”
Further mentions were made for England’s Deaf and Learning Disability Ashes wins in Australia towards the start of the summer, to which Henry Wainman and Alex Jervis contributed and the fact that eight Yorkshire players featured in the late summer ECB Disability Premier League competition.