2XI Annual Report – 2010
Thames Valley League – Division 4a
Played: 18 Won: 11 Drew: 4 Lost: 1 Abandoned: 2
After a disappointing 2009 for the second team it was essential that promotion was attained to bring us back up to division 3 and a step closer to the 1XI. I’m very pleased to report that not only was promotion achieved, but we did so by winning the division.
A major problem with the twos in 2009 was putting together consistent batting performances. However with the addition of Richard McLeod to the twos, I was confident that our batting would be more reliable in posting 200+ scores.
I sat down before the season started and decided that the best policy would be to bat first, try to post 200+ and get our spinners on early. Fortunately that plan worked more often than not and we managed to get six 25 point wins from 8 matches (would’ve been more if Lappers & I could win the toss!!). That being said, we also chased a lot better than in 2009, winning 5 of the 8 times we had to chase.
As expected Macca was the glue in our batting scoring an impressive 778 runs @ 110, the highlight of which was his 133 not out against British Airways in the first round. Lappers had an excellent year yet again, finishing with 442 runs @ 40, including a ton against Princes Risborough and an exceptional innings of 68 (after we were 40-5) on a terrible pitch at Stoke Green. George Shiel was also a consistent performer with the bat, scoring 242 runs @ 40. George showed wisdom beyond his years at times and has a very calm head on his young shoulders. He will undoubtedly be an excellent 1XI player in the years to come and more responsibility will certainly fall to George next year should he remain in the twos. Along with Macca, Lappers & George, there were a number of other excellent batting performances as the figures will show, with 11 players scoring at least one 50 during the season. However if we’re to succeed at a higher level more batsmen need to produce runs consistently as opposed to just one or two good performances.
The bowling was very consistent all season. The key to our bowling was based around our spin attack of Martin Webb, George Shiel, George Simpson and Scott Morris. The four of them were excellent throughout the season, both in taking wickets and keeping the runs down. That said, the surprise package was undoubtedly Dan Evans. Dan has always had the ability to bowl quickly and produce unplayable deliveries but has often let himself down by a lack of consistency and being too expensive. His bowling this year, particularly the second half of the season has improved beyond all recognition and he's without doubt the most improved player of the year and there’s certainly a 1XI place there for the taking if the improvement continues into 2011. Dan ended the season the leading wicket taker with 24 wickets @ 15 and an economy rate of less than 3. An excellent season Dan, well done!
Our fielding throughout the season was another feature of our game that was generally excellent (the Chesham match apart!). It’s such a boost to have 7 or 8 players in the side under the age of 23 and it really shows in the field. Not to be outdone by the young guys, club veterans Lappers & Macca were often seen throwing themselves around in the field as well (although Macca’s diving usually came AFTER he’d already caught the ball!!!). The fielding was backed up by some reliable wicket keeping throughout the season. We were blessed this year to have three extremely competent keepers behind the sticks in Grant Morris, Jamie Knife & Simon Scott who all did a brilliant job.
Two other members of the team deserve a special mention - Timber & Vic! It makes such a huge difference knowing we have two extremely competent and reliable officials every week so thanks very much guys for all your efforts, they’re much appreciated. I must also add Phil Evans to that list for standing in when Timber was “holidaying” in Thailand.
Thanks also to Finchy & Tracey for the much loved teas.
My final thanks must go to Lappers who’s been a huge help the entire season, not least because he captained the side more often than I did!! Not only that, but the work he puts in during the week to get four teams on the pitch is huge and I think sometimes goes unnoticed. The success of the twos this year is in no small part down to Lappers. Thanks very much mate for your help.
Looking ahead to 2011…It’s obviously going to be a tougher challenge in division 3, but with the continued improvement of our younger players, along with the handful of senior players, I see no reason why we couldn’t challenge for promotion again next year and get ourselves into division two, which is where I believe this particular team should be aiming to play.
Congratulations to all of the teams on a very successful 2010 and here’s hoping for an even better 2011.