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East Bierley pay tribute to stalwart Hamilton
Buy this photo » Steve Patterson gives it the long handle on his way to a half-century for Yorkshire
East Bierley skipper Lee Goddard described the weather for clubmate Gavin Hamilton’s testimonial fixture as “cold and miserable”.
But it did not detract too much from an entertaining afternoon as the JCT600 Bradford League club defeated a Yorkshire XI, who included Hamilton, by five wickets at South View Road.
Some of the 500-strong crowd made for the bar seats because of the weather as the first day of July threatened to match what had gone on in the previous month, but they still saw plenty of positive play.
Pace bowler Steve Patterson hit a half-century in Yorkshire’s 144, Goddard taking a wicket with his first ball, but Bierley knocked them off with five overs to spare, Mark Gill making an unbeaten 60 and Goddard chipping in with 40.
“Yorkshire weren’t flat out,” confessed Goddard when explaining the margin of victory.
The county side not only included Hamilton and Patterson but also former Bierley player Anthony McGrath, Gerard Brophy, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, former Cleckheaton pace bowler Iain Wardlaw, Twenty20 stand-in captain Azeem Rafiq and Adil Rashid.
Bierley’s better-known players, Goddard apart, included former Yorkshire bowler Paul Hutchison and last year’s overseas player Mohammed Azha Ullah.
Hamilton, now 37, played his sole Test for England in November 1999 against South Africa at Johannesburg but also played for Scotland for 17 years between 1993 and 2010 before retiring from the international game when Scotland’s captain.
He also represented Yorkshire for ten years (1994-2003) before spending two seasons with Durham.
Goddard said: “Gavin is a great player. He has stayed loyal to East Bierley when he could have chased the money and that is credit to himself and to the club.
“It is great to have him in the team, and not just as a player. He has a presence and also is willing to give sound advice.”
Goddard, who played for Derbyshire and Durham, said: “Not everyone can make that step down from county cricket to league cricket.
“You might be playing on hard, fast tracks during the week and then get on a sticky dog at wherever when you are playing a league match on a weekend against good players who are trying 100 per cent. But Gavin has made that transition and is showing no signs of slowing up.
“He doesn’t mind fielding at deep point or deep square leg and helps out the youngsters too.”
East Bierley faced Spen Victoria in a junior curtain-raiser.
Another testimonial event that has been pencilled in for Hamilton is a golf day but there could be other things too.