A FORMER England bowler had local cricketers creased at the West Tyne League’s annual dinner.

Geoff Miller, who played in 34 test matches between 1976 and 1984, delivered a hilarious account of his playing career at the annual awards evening, at Hexham Auction Mart last Friday. The guest speaker paced up and down a makeshift wicket in front of the top table, with stories about Ian Botham and other greats of the game.

The 67-year-old even described how he once bowled out West Indian legend Viv Richards, only to be jeered by English supporters who had “paid good money” to watch him play.

The ex-Derbyshire player, who went on to become an England selector from 2008-2013, also mocked his own bowling figures, claiming he scored many more centuries with a ball than he did with a bat.

But he added: “We’re here to celebrate the great game of cricket. Every level of the game, from grass roots to the international scene, has a huge part to play in keeping it going for future generations.”

Miller was a popular figure as he laughed and joked with local players and officials, and presented them with the fruits of their season’s work.

Haltwhistle finally got their hands on the Division One championship trophy, after pipping Haydon Bridge in a closely-fought title race.

But there was consolation for the Bridge, who picked up the Division One Knock-out trophy after their success against the previous season’s double winners, Humshaugh. Stocksfield II were Division Two champions, while Haltwhistle II were Division Two knock-out cup victors.

Stamfordham won the umpires’ award for club of the season, after their successful promotion and survival in Division One.

The Steinberg Shields for most wicket keeping victims in Division One went to Allendale’s John Welch, with an impressive 12 catches and five stumpings. The Alan Graham Cup for most wicket keeping victims in Division One, was shared by Haltwhistle’s Ryan Bell, and Alex Pears, of Matfen Hall, who both totalled 18 wickets and stumpings.

The Corbridge Cup for best bowling average in Division Two went to Stocksfield’s Luke Masters, who took 22 wickets at an average of 9.59.

The Jack Brewis Cup, for best individual batting performance in Division Two, went to Stocksfield’s Matthew Page, with 116 against Hexham Leazes. 

Closely behind was teammate Steven Page with 109 against the same opposition, while Humshaugh's A Mullen was third with his knock of 108, also against Hexham Leazes. 

Haltwhistle stalwart Michael Parker received the chairman's award for his contribution to the league.