IT’S always great to stand out in your chosen field, but at Builth Wells Cricket Club it is the actual field that stands out as it has been named the Marches League Ground of the Year 2021.

The Garth Road pitch has achieved the accolade, completing a pretty stellar season for the Mid Wales club – their second team won the Marches League Division 2 title, while the first team held on to their Marches League Premier status.

After a pandemic-affected 2020 campaign, the end-of-season award has been the icing on the cake for the club – especially for hard-working groundsmen Rob Wall and Mike Williams.

“We’ve always had a very good pitch, we’ve always thought we’ve had one of the best in the whole Marches League. So, this puts the gloss on that and ends a very good season,” said Wall, a bowling stalwart who has played every year since making his first appearance for the club as a 13-year-old in 1965.

“We’ve won this title before but it’s been at least four or five years since we last won it.”

It’s a fine reward for the painstaking process it takes to get a cricket pitch up to scratch each week, particularly in a region so affected by the often changeable UK weather.

“With the weather and the fact the pitch is fine cut grass, it’s very time consuming, but the more you put in to it the better surface you play on, so it’s all worth it,” added Wall.

“I look after and prepare the square and the playing service, while Mike Williams does the outfield, but it’s a collaborative effort.

“It’s a wonderful accolade on top of a successful season, with the second team winning their league and the firsts staying in the top division.

“And with Covid having affected us the previous season it’s a nice added bonus.”

The club also paid tribute to Brynley Owen for all his efforts in helping to maintain the pitch, while there was plenty of praise on social media after the award was announced.

Kevin Lloyd said: “Excellent work by those involved. It seems to me that Builth Cricket Club continues to punch well over its weight. Congratulations to all those involved.”

Nic Lee added: “Should win it every year. Beautiful setting.” And Eurig Towns said: “Fantastic and richly deserved. Well done all for the work you do on the ground.”