For the second year in a row, Calmore Sports’ Ben Johns and skipper Mark Lavelle have been named in the Voneus Village Cup prestigious “Team of the Year“.

But not only that but Mark was announced as its captain and secured the Golden Ball for claiming the most wickets in the tournament this season – tied with Yorkshire side Carlton Towers’ Robert Holah and Paul Bennett from Horndon on the Hill of Essex while there was certainly no tie for the Golden Bat though as Johnser’s 496 runs at 82.67 with four half-centuries and a ton at Ventnor saw him finish 173 runs clear of his nearest challenger.

BEN JOHNS (Calmore Sports)
Ross Martin (Dumbleton)
Tom Arnold (Bramshaw – wk)
John Dotters (Rainford)
Stephen Punchard (Cropston)
Greg Davis (Cookham Dean)
MARK LAVELLE (Calmore Sports – capt)
Robert Holah (Carlton Towers)
David Miles (Goatacre)
Jamie Diamond (Dumbleton)
Ian Allen (Cropston)
12th: Daniel Holland (Dumbleton)

Ben’s run scoring has become something of legend in the competition, considering the club has only been playing in it for two years!  And even more impressive when you factor in that he only had 2 runs in his first three innings last season – he now averages 64.16 in his 18 innings with 770 runs!

He certainly put start behind him by recording six consecutive 50+ scores across the two seasons – three last season including the Final winning 58* against Alvanley and then kicked off the 2022 campaign with 58, 56 and 100* before adding a sensational 96* against Oxford Downs and 95 in the semi-final against Foxton Granta.

A truly remarkable record for a player who is Calmore through and through – and has not missed a single 1st XI game in any competition since making his debut in 2013 aged just 15.

Captain Mark’s run in the competition is equally as impressive with 36 wickets at 11.97 each with the ball – 17 last season and 19 this.  He has only failed to take a wicket in two of the 18 games played – away at Cookham Dean and over at Ventnor but has collected three or more scalps on seven occasions with the best saved for the two semi-finals – 4-20 against Stoke Green and 3-25 against Foxton Granta which saw him retain the Golden Ball award for a second year.

It was another exceptional year in the competition for Calmore Sports – 2021 champions and 2022 runners-up is a record that any club would love to have!

Whilst it was fantastic to see our two players recognised, it was also good to see another Hampshire based player make the XI as Bramshaw’s free-scoring keeper-batter Tom Arnold slotted in at number three and was the teams’ named man behind the sticks.

Congratulations Ben and Mark – and Tom as well – another huge feather in the county’s cap!