Harefield Cricket Club - Secretary's Report 2014

A.G.M. 4th December 2014

Reports of Club Officers

Cricket Secretary (Michael Woodwards)

I am sure that back last April most of us at Harefield faced the 2014 season with some fear and trepidation.

After many seasons of success, championships and promotions our 1st and 2nd XIs faced a season at the highest level of cricket that either had ever played in.


It is a measure of this Club and our player’s abilities that in the end it proved we had little to fear.

There were some struggles and battles along the way but the 2nd XI competed well in TVL Level 2 and was only denied the Championship and promotion by the English weather.

Above all our 1st XI in what I consider this Clubs greatest achievement on the Cricket field, earned the right to play a second season in HCPL Div. 1 – the highest level of the Club game.


Our 3rd and 4th XIs finished in mid table security in levels 5 and 8 of the TVL respectively, the 4s not far from promotion but more of that later.


Our Sunday 1stXI led by Scott Morris completed their rise to the top division of the Chess Valley League by topping Div. 2 and winning all their games played…….. A remarkable achievement considering fitness levels after a hard Saturday night.


Our Sunday 2ndXI including many young players performed with great credit in Level 7 and came very close to another championship season.


Our colts system continues to provide us with players for senior cricket

This year saw Calum Woodcock, Howard Lippyatt, Jordan McLeod, Jack Fosberry and the Ogden brothers making significant progress & contributions to senior teams.


Several more, most notably Tom McLeod, Will Shepherd, Llewelyn Woodman and Freddy Lavers have been introduced to senior cricket with much success.

This Club has always backed our young players by giving them game time in senior cricket, not just to make up numbers but to significantly contribute in batting and bowling. We of course value our senior players in lower teams who help with development of our young players.

It is an important Club policy that youth will always be given its chance at this Club.


League Cricket in 2015

After the changes last year brought about by the Hertfordshire Clubs withdrawal things are remaining the same in 2015. Our teams are playing in the same Divisions as last season. Fixtures were published a fortnight ago and are now posted on the Club web-site.


I understand that in the Sunday CVL our 1st XI will play in Div. 1 and our 2nd XI in Div. 6. The League AGM is next week so all should be made clear then.


There is one important change being introduced for 2015 in the TVL, that being the introduction of electronic reporting of results and markings. Being of a certain age and a technophobe I am not best placed to explain what this involves but I am sure Statto and Vic can enlighten us later.

Apparently results can be sent by smart phone or tablet (Whatever they are??)


There will be a TVL Captains meeting pre-season to explain what is required. I would like all our three TVL Captains to attend but at the very least one of you must attend.


The Club has a very proud record of not having received a TVL fine in the past seven years and I don`t want the introduction of electronic reporting to change this. Indeed the whole idea of electronic reporting is to make admin easier.

I will now briefly touch on the season`s performance of our teams - The Captains Reports to come will go into detail on individual and game performances.


First Eleven


Our first season in HCPL Div. 1 was at times quite stressful as we struggled to come to terms with cricket at the highest level of the Club game.

I think it is fair to say that our team took the first half of the season to understand what is required to compete at the very top level of Club cricket.
They responded with a strong final nine games which included four away wins and a draw.
If that form can be replicated over a complete season next year then Harefield CC will be firmly established in HCPL Division 1.

Justice Chibhabha had a stunning season finishing the season as joint leading run scorer in the League - 689 runs in 15 innings at an average of 49.21 including one century and six fifties.
In a great all round season Justice also finished third place on the League wicket taking list with 34 victims.

He was well supported by team-mates, most notably Simon Macey, George Shiel and Doug King who came good when it mattered towards the end of the season.

Our brilliant final game victory at Banbury confirmed a second season in the top division of the Home Counties Premier League and consigned Big Wes to Level 2.
Congratulations to all our 1stXI squad and coaches for a great outcome to the 2014 season, the Club is very proud of your efforts and achievement.


Second Eleven

Again under the strong leadership of Jamie Knife the twos played some great cricket to be in contention for the Div 2 championship throughout the season.

We finished just 12 points behind eventual champions Cookham Dean due only to the fact we lost three games to the weather while Cookham lost none.

The main reason for this high finish in Level 2 is the overall playing strength of the Club.

Regularly our 2ndXI would field almost a whole side with significant 1stXI experience.

For the first time ever the Club has 17/18 players of genuine 1stXI ability/experience and this of course adds to the strength of all our teams in the Club.


Our star performer was Mluleki Nkala in his last season for the Club but he was well supported by all the team most of whom contributed significantly throughout the season.


Harefield has always been well served by our overseas players over the past 35 seasons but I think the efforts of Justice and Syke this year have been the best ever.


Third Eleven

The Threes finished comfortable in 5th place in Div 5A. We were in contention for promotion at the half way stage but results dipped towards the end of the season. David Cokeley is standing down as Captain and I would like to thank him for his time in charge.

Paul Collett was leading run scorer and well done to Freddie Lavers our leading wicket taker.


Fourth Eleven

Like the Threes our Fourth XI had a mid table season finishing in 5th place.

It was a big disappointment to have to cancel our match at Cove due to lack of players, the first time we have ever had to do this….despite the tireless efforts of Jamie our Team Secretary who did all he could to get a side together.

The cancellation may not have appeared too significant at the time but in the final analysis if we had gone to Cove (the bottom side) and won the 4thXI would have been promoted.

Not only have that, without this cancellation HCC would again have won the TVL Respect your League award and the £1K prize money that goes with it.

Just goes to show how important it is to fulfil our fixtures!!!!


On the field the evergreen Mike Christelow and Neil Parnell were leading run scorer and wicket taker.



Sunday Teams


I spoke about our Sunday teams earlier and will mention here the respective leading run scorers being Justice Chibhabha for 1stXI and Matt Ogden for 2ndXI.

The leading wicket takers were Scott Morris for 1stXI and Ryan Finch for 2ndXI




Our Grounds

Our new ground-staff have now been in place for two years. Craig, Barrie and I are prepared and able to put in much more time on the ground and surrounds than our previous groundsmen.

We can all see the benefits in the clearance of trees and shrubs around the main ground and the general tidiness of both grounds.

Also more time spent preparing the Dairy Farm, including regular rolling has seen a significant improvement in wickets.

The main ground square which was re-laid two years ago will we are told by the Contractor will take three to four years to settle.

This would seem to be the case as the wickets showed an improvement last season, so much so that makings received by the Umpires and captains in the HCPL placed our pitch 4th of ten in Div. 1

Similar markings from the TVL placed the pitch 7th out of 30 in levels 1 and 2.

Rest assured we will do our best to see improvements continue.


Furthermore the Club is investing in new ground equipment including a new mower for the square.

Also we have spent over £3K on Autumn maintenance works on both squares and both outfields. Works done include:-

  1. Weed-killer, worm control and fertilizer has been applied to both outfields


  2. Both squares have been scarified, seeded, top dressed and fertilized.

All is looking good, indeed we have never seen so much grass on the squares at this time of the year.


It is also planned to completely refurbish the scoreboard with a brand new frontage with an LED light numbering system. Also a small electronic scoreboard will be placed in the main bar linked direct to the main board. Eggy and Timber will no longer have to leave their seats in the bar to find out the scores. A new scoreboard will also be purchased for the Dairy Farm.


We will also have to budget for the inevitable installation of a high fence or netting system in front of the new houses.


Player Discipline


After well documented problems in recent seasons I am delighted to report discipline has not been an issue in 2014. So no rant from me this year, just my thanks to the players for your responsibility shown on the field of play. The suspended sentences hanging over the 1stXI were never in danger of being imposed.

Marks from Umpires and Captains in the HCPL placed us 4th best disciplined of 20 Clubs.

Similar markings in the TVL placed our 2ndXI second best disciplined of 30 Clubs and Jamie our Captain as best and most respected by the TVL Umpires.

I am sure there is still some sledging/banter going on…..but now at least it is out of earshot of the Umpires.


Well done to all you players for playing the game in the right spirit….and long may it continue?

The good reputation of this Club depends on you.






Thank YousFinally I would like to thank on behalf of all the players :

Tracey and Matt for their award winning cricket lunches and teas - without doubt they are the best on

the circuit.


Paul Dean for his efficient scoring, administration and statistical works.

Vic Devers for his scoring and administration for our 2ndXI.

For the seventh season running we had no disciplinary issues or administration problems in the TVL, mainly due to

the efficiency and reliability of our two quite excellent scorers.

Steve and the staff for pouring our beer.

Thanks to all those who are involved in our colts organisation :-

to Steve Finch our Colts Manager, all the team mangers and to our qualified coaches and

to the parents for their help and support of youth cricket.

Thanks to Justice Chibhabha and Mluleki Nkala our overseas players for their contribution to the Club in general.

We are confident of welcoming Justice back as our overseas player next season and are currently in negotiations

for another Zimbabwean to be our 2ndXI overseas player in 2015

To Finchy again for his work towards the renewal of our ECB Club Mark status.

To our many sponsors and benefactors without whom this Club would not have made the strides we have

in recent years. All sponsorship money is spent on cricket, cricket equipment, training equipment, match

day costs and Club facilities.

Thanks also to Club Officers especially Craig, Barrie & Finchy who have worked hard to chase up, pester

and acquire for us most of these sponsorship funds.


I would like to thank Pete Morris for his work as Director of Cricket and assisting the 1stXI with training and


We are also very lucky to have such active and valued support from parents of our colts and young

players - particularly Pete Morris, The Shiels, McLeods, Lenchs, Richards`s, Lavers and Kings.

...............Thanks for all you do for Harefield CC

Custer - 4th December 2014