Two more club stalwarts have been acknowledged with the prestigious Lady Sykes Candlestick awards for the selfless work and service they have given their clubs over their careers. The award is only ever given to individuals who are still playing, but have devoted their time as players, committee members and volunteers.
Skelmanthorpe’s James Crossland has strong family roots at Lidgett Lane where he has played his entire career from junior level. Growing up next door to the ground, he was a key component to the successful Skelmanthorpe side of the mid-to-late-00’s, helping them lift the Sykes Cup in 2007 and 2010 (pictured above). He was also a losing finalist in 2006 and 2011.
As a front line bowler, his best season came in 2009 after his 77 wickets helped Skelmanthorpe to a second-placed finish in the Premiership, 11 points behind Champions Scholes. He has taken over 300 first team wickets for his club and off the pitch has been the model ‘club man’ helping bring through some of their junior cricketers. Last season signalled his last one after a build up of injuries and surgery has brought a close to his career but finished on a positive note with a first team double of T20 Shield and Championship title.
Russell Evans from Hall Bower is the second recipient of the award having brought to an end a thirty year career, mainly as a wicketkeeper batsman. He began his first team and enjoyed his part of a competitive Hall Bower side that became a fixture in Section A and later the Premiership. In recent years the Castle Hill club have found a level further down in the Conference and narrowly missed out on promotion last season.
Evans’ best season with the gloves came in 2004 after he claimed 31 victims, level with Elland’s John Greaves and one behind the 32 victims Grant Jones (Delph & Dobcross) took. The top gloveman that season was Barkisland’s Nick Oddy with 41. Russell was also part of the Hall Bower team who made the final of the Sykes Cup in 2003 (pictured above) against Elland, but came on the wrong end of John Webster’s 141no; the biggest ever batting performance in a final.
Off the pitch, Evans - who lives a lusty hit away from the ground - has impeccably served his club supporting other committed fellows such as the late John Peaker who was club secretary for many years and the legendary Terry Woodhouse.
The league wishes to heartily congratulate both Lady Sykes Award recipients and look forward to presenting them at November’s presentation evening.