There is little doubt as to the highlight of Ann Coe’s year as secretary of the Mewies Solicitors Craven League.
It was her to trip to Lord’s - the home of cricket - for the England & Wales Cricket Board’s dinner to celebrate all the counties’ OSCAs (Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards).
Coe stated: “For a number of years now, the YCB (Yorkshire Cricket Board) has provided all clubs in Yorkshire with the opportunity to nominate their volunteers to receive an OSCA.
“There are various categories, and every year I sit here and tell you to nominate the people who make a difference, and that your club couldn't do without.
“This year our league was well blessed, Alice Wear from Denholme was runner-up in her category, which was for services to scoring. I received the YCB award for my endeavours running this league, and Jack Greenwood, also from Denholme, won the lifetime achievers’ award.
“Jack and I were invited to Lord’s. Jack's invitation allowed him to take a guest, and Geoff Fisher, from our executive committee, went along with him.
“On arriving at Lord’s, how wonderful was it to see a friendly face, Joe Steel, who is associated with Bingley Congs.
“You see our league gets everywhere; apparently he (participation manager [young people] has the office at Lord’s next to Mike Gatting. Impressed, well I am.”
Coe added: “We had a guided tour of Lord’s and then a three-course meal with about 400 people in attendance, which included celebrities and professional cricketers.
“Jack, Geoff and myself were sat on the Yorkshire table. It was a wonderful afternoon, and when Jack was presented with the most precious award, the ECB Lifetime Achievers, for his commitment to cricket and his club, I swelled with pride that Jack had won from a small cricket club in our small rural league.”
Less enjoyable, and much more problematical, was the Craven League’s decision to allow clubs themselves to organise when the rescheduled fixtures from the first Saturday of the season.
Coe explained: “When the season started, we had snow on some of our fields and the league committee decided to reschedule the first week’s fixtures.
“What a disaster that was - there wasn't a day available that was suitable for every club to play the fixture, so it was agreed to stagger the matches throughout the season.
“The reality was it caused arguments between clubs, Peter Roberts had to find umpires prepared to stand on a Sunday, Trevor (fixture secretary Coe) and I had to wait by the phone every Sunday night waiting for the results, and some clubs had to be reminded they were playing. Sincerely hope we never do that again.”