2XI Annual Report – 2011
Thames Valley League Division 3B
Played: 18 Won: 5 Drew: 2 Lost: 7 Abandoned: 4
On the back of an excellent season in 2010, hopes were high in the 2s for back to back promotions. However, due to a number of factors (the main one being dreadful availability), we just about managed to avoid relegation and hang on to our status as a division 3 side for next year.
A change in the rules of the Home Counties league meant that Richard McLeod moved back up to the first team, leaving a huge hole in the batting line-up. Without Macca holding the batting together as he did in 2010, the batting continually struggled to post competitive scores, as proven by the fact that we only passed 200 on just TWO occasions. The lack of consistency from the senior batsmen (Barry Webb, Chris Lee, Peter Lynch) was the biggest disappointment as all three are more than capable of scoring big runs at this level and should really have done better.
The only batsman to show any sign of consistency throughout the season was Paul Collett. Despite a below par season for him as well, ‘Lappers’ has captured the much coveted 2XI bating trophy for 2011 with his tally of 294 runs at an average of 24.50. Well done Lappers!
The one (and only!) batting performance of any note was Jack Shiel’s classy 125 against North Maidenhead, which helped secure a valuable 25 points in the final game to keep us in division 3b.
In stark contrast to the batting, our bowling was very consistent (barring a couple of performances) throughout the season. The spin duo of Martin Webb and Scott Morris provided the backbone of our attack, with ‘Wobbles’ showing his experience and quality in taking 31 wickets at an average of 10.19 and Scott backing him up superbly with 28 wickets at 19.04. On the seam bowling front, Dan Evans had a patchy season and although lacked the same level of consistency as in 2010, still put in some useful performances. Steven Quinn was unquestionably the stand-out seamer this year taking 18 wickets at the excellent average of 11.44. ‘Quinny’ showed considerable improvement this year and was rewarded with the outstanding performance of the season with figures of 7-25 against Wokingham. This performance was unquestionably the highlight of the season for me. Having heard Quinny earlier in the season say “I never take wickets”, finally get rewarded for all the hard work and effort he puts in was very pleasing. The four main bowlers were ably supported by the back-up seam of Chris Lee and Joe O’Hara, who, although lacked consistency, both made valuable contributions throughout the season with the ball.
The one major disappointment was that due to poor availability and 1st XI call-ups, our first choice attack took the field on just ONE occasion, which was undoubtedly a contributing factor in our final league position.
The fielding and wicket-keeping, in general was of a high standard, with many of the young guys such as Jamie Knife, Scott Morris, Dan Evans, Steven Quinn, along with the evergreen Paul Collett throwing themselves around and showing the sort of commitment and effort required to succeed.
As previously mentioned, the availability this season was abysmal and if the level of success that we saw in 2010 is to be repeated, then everyone needs to show the required level of commitment and be available for selection on a regular basis so our best teams can take the field. There’s no doubt that when we have a full strength side, we can beat any team in this division and with better availability next year we can certainly mount a promotion challenge.
I’ve decided to step down as captain for next year and I must, as always, say a few thank yous:-
Timber & Vic for once again providing your umpiring & scoring services for another season. It makes my life as captain a whole lot easier having your support every week.
Steve & Tracy for the excellent teas.
Barrie and the rest of the committee for giving me the opportunity to captain the 2nd XI these past two seasons.
Lappers, for your constant support over the last two seasons, particularly this year when times were considerably harder.
Finally, all the players who have played for the 2nd XI over the past two seasons. It’s been a real pleasure and I look forward to dropping back into the ranks next year and hopefully getting back to scoring some runs!
Winter well and see you in 2012.