BURGHILL & Tillington CC were presented with their Clubmark award by Herefordshire's cricket development manager Steve Williams during the club's annual meeting held at the Bell Inn in Tillington.

They are only the fourth club in the county to receive this honour.

The road to success started in 2000 when, under the guidance of John Hogg, the club took the decision to start running a junior section.

Now the club run junior teams in four age groups from under nine to 15, all playing league cricket. Each group is run by a manager and regular coaching is provided by five ECB-qualified coaches.

The club has also developed codes of conduct, child protection policies and coaching plans.

Chairman Steve De Souza said: "We are delighted to have achieved this award and it is recognition for the years of hard work from club members, parents and children.

"The Clubmark award recognises that we are able to provide a safe and well-equipped environment for children to enjoy the game.

"We welcome girls as well as boys and have a long-term development plan which includes improving our existing facilities in partnership with Herefordshire Cricket and the local community."

The ECB have developed Sport England's Clubmark scheme specifically for cricket. It has been designed as a club development and accreditation scheme with a view to it being recognised by parents, local authorities and schools as a quality mark that cricket clubs can achieve. It indicates that a club provides a safe, effective and child-friendly environment.

Burghill will have fresh faces at the helm of both sides next season. Neil Box, who has been with the club for 10 years, will take over the first team captaincy from Mark Preece and Ian Oliver will replace Dave Knight in the second team.

Box is looking for an improvement on the field next term and is looking to strengthen the side as he felt losing key players had left them in a realistic position last term.

Club awards: clubman of the year, Steve De Souza; First XI player of year and batsman: Kingsley Morris; bowler: Matthew Biggs; fielder: Joe Symonds; second XI player of year and fieldsman,Nathan Fryer-Jones; batsman and most improved player at the club, Suttipong Kamjadphai; bowler, Graham Pennington.

MICHAEL Graves will continue to captain the Herefordians side in the Flint & Cook Marches League next season.

Graves was re-elected to the post at the club's annual meeting when he was also elected to the club captain's role.

All officers were re-elected unopposed..

Money was available for specialist coaching, it was revealed, and, with more than half of the membership aged under 19, this would be put to use during the winter and spring.

Life member Colin Trumper was elected as an honorary life vice-president while Terry Mason received an award under the NatWest/ECB Outstanding Services to Cricket Awards (OSCA) scheme.