Teaching and cricket are perfect partners for Stow batsman Will Denny, winner of the May Player of the Month award in the Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Cricket Alliance.
When he is not teaching the three Rs in the classroom at Terrington St Clement Primary School, Will is likely to be found coaching and managing the youth teams at Division One Stow Cricket Club – where he first put competitive bat to ball as a 10-year-old.
Denny began the current season with a bang, knocks of 95, 84 and 146 leading the way as he became top run-scorer in the Alliance for the month of May with 364.
His achievement earned him a pair of designer Montana polarising sunglasses.
Matthew Conway, a director of Swaffham-based independent family opticians Dipple & Conway, sponsors of the Alliance, said: “It is a fantastic start to the season. We couldn’t wish for a winner who better sums up the reasons Dipple & Conway are so proud to sponsor Norfolk’s premier cricket league.”
“We think it is hugely important to encourage children to follow a healthy outdoor pursuit.
“Will perfectly encapsulates those aspirations and I am so pleased such a great ambassador has not only set the personal achievement bar for 2016, but set it so high.”
Brought up in the village of Crimplesham, Stow was Will’s local club and has always been a big part of his life.
He said: “It is a fantastic family club, run by some great people who have always been a wonderful encouragement to me – and I like to think this honour is for the whole club, not just myself.”
Having played through the U11, U13 and U15 youth teams, Denny progressed to the senior side in 2007, since when he has figured as a top order batsman – currently at number three.
During May, Denny had knocks of 95 against Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers and 84 against Dereham, rounding off with a magnificent 146 against Mattishall.
However Denny has bitter-sweet memories of that day as Mattishall edged an enthralling encounter which produced an astonishing total of 700 runs and inflicted Stow’s first defeat of the campaign.
“I can’t ever remember being involved in a higher run total in all my years at Stow,” said Denny, an all-round sportsman who plays hockey for Wisbech, golf at Hunstanton and tries to squeeze in the odd game of rugby....when he can find the time.
“I just wished I could have batted throughout the innings. Perhaps if I had, we might have won!”
Will is the second Stow player to have won the Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Cricket Alliance Player of the Month award – colleague Mike Broad was the first-ever award winner in May 2014.
As well as the sunglasses, Will was presented with a commemorative pennant by John Tythcott, vice-chairman of the Dipple & Conway Opticians Norfolk Alliance management committee.
He beat off double challenges of nominees from Bircham and Hockkwold.
Dipple & Conway Norfolk Alliance May Player of the Month nominees: Will Denny – Stow, Division 1: 95, 84, 146; Duncan Hewitt – Dereham, Division 1: 62, 62, 74; 4-24; Will Pillinger – Bircham, Division 5: 100*, 61, 102; Roy Bland – Hockwold, Division 6: 79* 128, 76*; 5-30; Ryan Sturgess – Happisburgh, Division 6: 240 (Alliance individual score record).