3XI Annual Report - 2011
Thames Valley League Division 5B
Played: 18 Won: 6 Drew: 4 Lost: 6 Abandoned: 2
Fifth place in Division 5B isn’t a fair reflection of the fact that with two games to go, Harefield 3rd XI still had an opportunity to seize our second promotion in as many years. Our comfortable position in the middle of the table is however a fair reflection of the team’s consistency in the higher grade, an consistency which, with growing maturity, we can build upon and either push for a higher grade or push players into higher teams within the club.
The leading candidate for a place in the second team next year is Matt Ogden. His maturity and run-scoring belie his 14 years and he deserves the Batting trophy having rescued the top order several times in the first half of the season. Several other younger names; Gleeson, Duncan and McLeod among others will prove to be assets of the club for many years to come and another year in Division 5 (coupled with growth spurts over the winter) will no doubt see their names appear on the honours board in the near future.
The colts provided most of my personal highlights of the year; Ogden (78) and Lippiatt (38*) at Falkland, McLeod (28*) at home to Fleet, Gleeson and Ogden at Cookham Dean, the list goes on. My favourite match however was at Kew; David Cokeley got amongst the runs, but other than that the Top Order were found wanting and left numbers 9, 10 and 11 to drive us towards a competitive total. Fortunately number nine was one Mike Christelow, 10 was Length Petters and 11 was skip’s hero Labels. 33, 39 and 25 runs later (plus extras) and we had a score to defend. The wickets were then shared around; Petley, Prentice, Ogden, Harry and Hiren taking the scalps to see us home. It is the team spirit exhibited on such occasions, coupled with a win out of nowhere that make playing cricket for HCC surrounded by old faces and new that make me keep wanting to come back week after week. The fact that I had scored no runs up to this point (or indeed for several games afterwards) but still had the support of the senior players who in turn were showing the colts the ropes is a testament to the character of those guys. Thank you.
Most players and officials are already aware of my intention to step down from captaining the side next year. I have enjoyed the two year journey into the higher grade, supported by several individuals who should take credit for the fact that Harefield 3rd team are now playing more 1st and 2nd teams than their equivalent sides in a strong league. As was evident with my sporadic availability this year (although I wasn’t alone), other commitments dictate that I cannot continue the captaincy. As these commitments have escalated, I have been grateful for the contribution from several members of the club. Paul Collett, Mark Petley, David Cokeley and Phil Evans know how much their respective efforts have contributed to the success of the team and Paul Dean, who has been a tremendous servant to the club, should also take some plaudits for not driving the club into the red having not fined me for late submission of results sheets on an almost weekly basis.
I look forward to playing as high a grade as possible for the club in the coming years, having developed at least one attacking shot this year (has anyone found that ball...?), and wish my replacement all the best in this exciting time for the team and the club. My only hopes for the future of the club are that we continue to improve the quality of the facilities, the quality of cricket and the standing of the club within the community and the league. It’s great to be part of a club which has the means to do all three.
See you next year, Booby.
PS – no end of season report would be complete without a mention of Tracy’s teas…10/10 as always.