Season Review – 2nd XI – “The Baptism Of Fire”
General observations over results and team continuity
- Team spirit
- New players introduced
- Youngster development
- Some notable performances in individual games and throughout the season that we should not lose sight of despite the relegation
- Notable injury issues in the bowling department and the loss of Steve Evans from the team
Thanks to those who played a role in supporting on and off the pitch
- All who played in the side through the season – everyone gave their best
- Notable thanks to
- Younger members of the team – Max, Jonty and Liam – I’ll talk in detail later but I want to thank them for 1) bringing the average down below 45(ish) and 2) their determination to learn from those around them and for caring about their individual performances – something too often lacking in younger cricketers these days.
- New members of the team who we would not have survived the season without – Dave Anson, Kev Prudoe, Dan Taylor, Ed Pugh to name a few.
- As ever the wonderful teas from Stella and the fantastic pitches that Dave and Chris provided us with.
- Overview stats for the team
- Win/loss etc W3 D3 L14
- Runs scored compared to prior years – as a team we scored 600 less runs in the season,
- Runs contributions – MW 647 (6th in league), Jason 553 and Sam H 305 @ ave of 152.5!
- Wickets contribution MW 32 @ 20.53 (2nd in league wickets) M Wood 30 @19.60 (4th in league wickets) Martyn and Simon both missing games with injuries restricted their contributions to 100 overs each for the season but definitely the most miserly – both going for under 4 an over. John Bird and Anthony Pittam the only other two to get >10 wickets.
- Jason – league record dismissals of 28 in the season (ably assisted by “Gimp and Guile” and “Pie Chucker” for 12 stumpings)
- Individual performances of note
- Josh 50 – opening game of the season at Wormelow and made his maiden 50 for the club – some delightful drives and some, what could only be described, as “Josh shots” took him to 52. Having come in at 67-4 he helped me rebuild the innings to 141-5 before I was out. He showed signs of what he can do when he gives himself time to get in – let’s hope we see it more regularly this year.
- Max – some moments that he may not treasure with his bowling but he has time to learn the importance of control and I remain hopeful that he can still get there – he certainly has the mental strength to achieve these things – something that he showed with the bat on a few occasions last year, playing with a maturity way beyond his years. The first example we saw of this was at Cookley where after an electric start from Jason 32 and Josh 26, Max and I were thrown together at the crease when Mr Wood I recall rightly, played one on. He joined on ~70-4 and batted 27 overs for 27 runs to completely frustrate their bowling attack and give me the ability to take advantage of the road like strip that was in front of me to accumulate 132* and post a score of 300-8. Without Max’s strength of mind and determination to dig in for the long haul we would not have achieved that total. It was one of grittiest innings I have seen from a lad of his age. I hope he remembers it for a long time to come. Other moments of brilliance he provided were at Droitwich where after being put in on a soggy track and posting 261-6 we kept our cool and got our first win of the season – Max with a swashbuckling 21 and then taking the catch of the season at long off and helping Birdy towards a 6 wicket haul.
- Jonty – it was great to see Jonty back this year and really enjoying his cricket again. He got a number of starts with the bat but never quite went on to get the “big one” that I think we all know he is capable of doing. Saying that he was unlucky at Oldswinford when he and I had built a nice little stand of 50+ only to get run out after a straight drive of mine ricocheted off the bowler (without him knowing an awful lot about it) and on to the stumps. I have a lot of faith in Jonty to become a good batsman for us in the future and I look forward to seeing him develop his talent further in the coming years.
- Liam – a great little player that you know will turn out for you week in week out and give his best. Still lots to work on but his enthusiasm and love of the game is fantastic. We need to work at keeping young players like Liam here for the future.
- Jason – a number of memorable knocks in one of his best seasons with the bat. 73 against Lye when we were chasing 165 – he (with extras @ 24!) almost single handedly got across the line – sadly we fell 9 runs short.
- Myself – best season by a long way. Maybe the responsibility brings out the concentration in me. A ton, 5 50’s and an average of 40 I would take every season I think!
- Dave Anson & Sam – who could forget the introduction of these 2 to 2nd XI cricket. Rain affected match of 35 overs per side. Sam had opened with Jason and was joined at the crease on 42-1 by Dave. They went on to pillage 282-2 in 30.4 overs before we decided to declare. It’s fair to say Rushwick were not expecting this onslaught and really did not know how to respond. While we got them 7 down we sadly fell just short of the line again.
- Martyn “miserly” Cound – has perfected the art of bowling a consistent line and length to batsmen that, with the right field set, can contain effectively. I know Martyn was frustrated at times by not taking wickets but his contribution was so important to try keep teams to totals we could at least aspire to chase. Without his contribution we would have been dead and buried way before we were. Rushwick 2-16 off 8, Bromyard 0-14 off 7, Lye 3-46 off 13, Feckenham 0-34 with 4 maidens off 11.
- Mark “Gimp & Guile” Wood – many great performances with the ball – despite dropping one of the easiest caught and bowled chances you can ever imagine down here against Rushwick I believe. 30 wickets in the season – my favourite one – I think without doubt against Wormelow – a game we could have one against what was one of the better teams in league – David Bannerman their skipper – one of the best bats in the division. We hashed up a plan to try and get him early on, knowing if we got him we might just be able to roll them – the plan worked to perfection as we opened with Mark at the bottom end and the Wormelow openers didn’t look comfortable – Bannerman chipping one to me at short mid-wicket.
- Mark “Pie Chucker” Whitehead – 32 wickets for the season. It wasn’t pretty at times but it was effective.
So, to end it all, it wasn’t how I envisaged it to go at the start of last season, but despite the losses, I thoroughly enjoyed leading this bunch of middle aged reprobates and youthful talent that promises us so much for the future. I want to thank all of you who played for us in the 2’s – I hope you all enjoyed your cricket and I hope we can have many more Saturday’s this season, whichever team we play in, where we enjoy a sun-kissed beer after a game and build on this to create not just a great second team spirit, but a great club spirit at this fantastic club we have.