A.G.M. 3rd December 2015
Cricket Secretary`s Report (Michael Woodwards)
2015 was another season of progress on the cricket field for our teams at Harefield continuing an upward curve that started over ten years ago.
Although I don`t recall the 2015 summer weather being particularly glorious there were no Saturday League matches cancelled at Harefield. The first summer this has ever happened since we first played League cricket 40 years ago. Every single match both home and away was played to a finish except for the 1s match at Oxford which was abandoned mid-way through the 2nd innings.
The 1stXI after battling relegation all season finished 7th in Div 1 of the HCPCL our best position ever the highest level of recreational cricket.
The 2ndXI after a difficult season retained their position in Level 2 of the TVL.
The 3rdXI competed well and finished comfortably mid table in Level 5 of the TVL.
The 4thXI were our greatest success finishing as champions of Level 8 of the TVL and are promoted to Level 7 in 2016. Playing at this higher level will hopefully mean a full season of fixtures. It was very frustrating to have four fixtures cancelled by opponents being unable to raise a side last year in Div. 8.
Sunday 1stXI finished 3rd in Div. 1 of the Chess Valley League which was a little disappointing as I think this is a League we should be winning and I am sure we can put this right in 2016.
Sunday 2ndXI It was a struggle to get teams on a few occasions but managed to muddle through.
Thanks to Ryan Finch and Cobus for their efforts.
The performances of our 1st and 2nd XIs were especially creditable as they received very little input from our overseas players last year.
Due to his international commitments with Zimbabwe Justice only played seven matches for the 1stXI. Zimbabwe`s tour to Pakistan and their home series with India and NZ were only organised in mid-May and then it was too late to make alternative arrangements.
Zimbabwe has an international programme set up for summer 2016 so we are looking elsewhere for our overseas player.
Cricket Officials and senior 1stXI players held a meeting in October to discuss this and it has been left to Doug, Ollie and Pedro to explore a number of avenues for and overseas player.
I am sure they can update us with progress later in the meeting
League Cricket in 2016
Saturday fixtures have been published and are posted on the Club noticeboard & web-site.
The electronic reporting of results in TVL last season worked very well and by the start of next season the TVL will have a new web-site which will take things a step further.
The results when electronically forwarded will automatically update League tables and statistics immediately.
One new introduction is that all Clubs will have to enter a list of all players onto the TVL web-site
There will be a TVL Captains meeting pre-season to explain the new procedures. 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 eight years and I don`t want these changes affect this.
The new TVL web-site is the same as the one currently used by the Cherwell League if any of you want to log on and have a look.
The TVL AGM passed two major changes for 2016. Division 1 will now be as the HCPCL with nine 50 over win/lose matches and nine time matches. All wins will now be worth 25 points.
I do not propose to review the performances of all our sides and players in 2015. I will leave that to the Captains in their reports to follow.
I would though like here to congratulate our Club Captain Simon Macey on his magnificent achievements with the bat and as Captain in 2015.
Simon scored 831 League runs in 17 innings at an average of 63.92 including 3 centuries and 3 fifties.
He finished 2nd in HCPCL run scorers only 5 runs behind the Aussie test match batsman Tim Paine of Banbury.
His record led Simon to be selected by All Out Cricket Magazine in their 2015 ECB Premier League XI. The team is the best eleven players chosen from all the Premier Leagues throughout the country.
We all know that Simon is leaving us to emigrate to Canada and while it is sad to lose him I would like to thank him on behalf of the Club for all he has done for Harefield CC as a player and especially as captain in steering us to the highest level of cricket that Harefield has ever played at.
Best of luck Simon in your new life in Canada I hope all goes well for you mate.
Our new ground-staff have now been in place for three 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 three years ago and we were told by the Contractor it would take three to four years to settle.
This would seem to be the case as the wickets continue to show an improvement and again received good markings by Umpires and Captains in both the HCPCL and TVL.
Rest assured we will do our best to see improvements continue.
The Club ground staff has this year done the Autumn maintenance work to both Squares
They have been scarified, spiked, seeded, top dressed and fertilized.
I would thank Vinnie Fazio for showing us what to do.
Thanks also to Kevin Shepherd who is free of charge rebuilding the retaining wall around the nets.
After well documented problems in recent seasons I am delighted to report discipline has not been an issue in 2015.
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 Yous – Finally 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.
Thanks to Cobus Jordaan for his pro-active and efficient work as Team Secretary which meant teams were never short of players and were posted on the web-site by Wednesday evenings
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.
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………….. All sponsorship money is spent on cricket, cricket equipment, training equipment, match day costs and Club facilities.
Harefield cricket is thriving and it is worth reflecting on how much progress Harefield CC has made in the past 7 years.
Go back to 2008 when :-
Our 1stXI finished mid-table in TVL Div. 1 way of the pace.
Our 2ndXI just avoided the drop to Div. 4 but were to be relegated in 2009.
We had only one ground, the 3rdXI were playing home matches in Amersham in Div 7 of the TVL
We had no 4thXI and only one Sunday XI playing in the CVL Div. 5.
Compare that to where we are now……..We are now without doubt the leading Cricket Club in this area with :-
A new ground at the Dairy Farm.
Two newly re-laid wickets
New sight screens, new covers and new mobile net.
Pretty much all the practice equipment the players ask for
A new double changing room.
A fully refurbished Club House.
Six successful senior sides all playing at least two levels higher than in 2008
7 years ago was when Barrie took over as Chairman and Craig as Secretary and they have worked tirelessly along with Paul Jennings to help make these improvements happen and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
The advancement of this Club is quite stunning and something of which we should all be very proud.
Custer - 3rd December 2015