Ashley Giles at Monmouth CC

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The former England one-day head coach drove down from Manchester after a call from his sister, Tracy Hodgson, who runs Monmouth’s girls’ team.  Giles, who is now head coach and Director of Cricket at Lancashire, proved a big hit with the youngsters as he carried out a question-and-answer session, handed out awards, posed for photographs and signed autographs.

Young left-arm spinner Ben Davies was given a special club honour after taking 33 wickets for Wales Under-12s – a new season’s record for the age group.

It was also a memorable evening for the Maguire sisters, who have made huge progress since joining the club two years ago. Shannon picked up the under-11s most improved player award and was part of the side who were runners-up in the Monmouthshire Junior League Under-11 Premier Division


Sisters Shannon, Megan and Lauren Maguire with former England spinner Ashley Giles


Lauren won the under-9s most improved award and captained Monmouth against a strong Chepstow team, while Megan, who collected a medal for having played for the under-9 team, bagged five wickets and has taken a keen interest in keeping wicket.

George Williamson, who represented Gwent, was the under-15s player of the season, while Ben Pilot, Sam Swingwood and Tom McNally won top honours for the under-13s , under-11s and under-9s respectively.

Catrin Watkins scooped the girls’ player-of-the-season award, while Patrick Stubbs was the most improved boy in the under-9s and Jordan Suttie marked his debut season as the most improved player in the under-13s.

The visit from the former England international one-day head coach, who lives in Droitwich, rounded off another outstanding junior season for Monmouth Cricket Club. The evening, hosted by Monmouth Rugby Club, was success, with all young players collecting at least one medal. It was organised by hard-working youth co-ordinator Jon Despontin. 

Giles was given a warm introduction by club chairman Martin Newell, who recounted the spinner’s heroics in the 2005 Ashes-winning series. 

The evening was attended by club president John Wigmore and Chris Jenkins, manager at the King’s Head in Monmouth, who represented the cricket club’s main sponsors, JD Wetherspoon.

Monmouth Cricket Club’s junior award winners for 2014: Under-15s: player of season, George Williamson. Under-13s: player of season, Ben Pilot; most improved, Jordan Suttie. Under-11s: player of season, Sam Swingwood; most improved, Shannon Maguire. Under-9s: player of season, Tom McNally; most improved boy, Patrick Stubbs; most improved girl, Lauren Maguire. Girls’ player of season, Catrin Watkins.

Special club award, Ben Davies.

Ben Davies with Ashley Giles

For more details about Monmouth Cricket Club's junior section, which has teams at under-9, under-11, under-13 and under-15 age groups, please call Jon Despontin on 07966 015609 or email: [email protected] 

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