Pannell's award caps great year for Keynsham
KEYNSHAM'S Richard Pannell has capped a season to remember by being named The Post's Cricketer of the Year.
The 39-year-old all-rounder took 30 wickets and scored more than 400 runs, at an average of 51, to play a crucial role in helping his club clinch a surprise promotion from Premier Two in the Globe Sports West of England League.
And Pannell talked of his delight at landing The Post accolade, which he received from Gloucestershire Cricket Board cricket development manager Steve Silk.
He said: "I'm on my last legs, so it's come as a very pleasant surprise, particularly as I've never won a Post bat!
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"I'm very pleased personally, but it's also nice recognition for the club after such a great year."
Keynsham turned the tables on rivals Goatacre on the final Saturday of the season to clinch a dramatic win and edge the second promotion spot and a return to Premier One after a break of several years.
Pannell was attending a wedding and sat out that last game, but made key contributions with bat and ball throughout a summer decimated by rain. He was the leading wicket taker in Premier Two and also finished in the division's top-ten list of run scorers ... not a bad effort from a player who made his first-team debut for Keynsham way back in 1989, and who also went into the season 'cold' after a series of pre-season friendlies all fell victim to the weather.
Pannell said: "Going back up came as a bit of a surprise – I thought next year might be our time to really press on – but it's great to now be able to have another go at Premier One cricket.
"There are two oldies in the side in me and Dave Burston, Gary Worgan our captain is about 30 and after that everyone else is probably under 23.
"Richard Coughtrie, of Gloucestershire, played about ten games for us and had a really important influence. We also had great team spirit and a very good work ethic."
Pannell received his award at a special gala night at Lodway, where 13 winners of The Post's popular Cricketer of the Week competition were also honoured, as well as five players who won man-of-the-match awards in Bristol Youth League Cup finals.