With 3 games to go, Taplow first XI were 37 points behind the all conquering Penn & Tylers Green. 2 weeks to go it was down to 30; one week to go it was 20 and on the last day we won, they lost, we out scored them by 21 points and won the league by a point! Hooray!!
2007 will be remembered as the year Will Midlane captained his side to the successful defence of the Chilterns League title as well as the cup. A consecutive double for the team who had never won the top division since 1975!
Penn were certainly a good side; we lost only 2 games all year, they just happen to be both against them! But before we start feeling sorry for Penn it should be noted that they completed 2 more games than we did; they seemed better able to dodge the appalling weather we experienced this summer.
So I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating William for his achievements but also for everyone who has played cricket for Taplow in either of the league sides this year.
It was a genuine club performance this year. Stuart Peters lead the second XI to a sensational first half of the season, winning 6 out of the 7 completed games. He then had to cope with the loss of many of his original band of players as they covered for those unavailable in the first XI during the second half of the year. In the final analysis the first XI won 9 matches, the second team won 7. A fine achievement I'm sure you would agree.
Well 2006 was all about the first XI. Taplow won the league in its inaurgural season back in 1975, and then we waited another 31 years before doing it again. 2006, Taplow finally are league champions. A look at the averages shows that the batting was led by Nilam who really missed out on getting an easy 1,000 league runs but I don't think we should hold that against him! The team was brilliantly led by Will Midlane who got the most out of a very good team. He also managed to retain the league cup again which now feels like our own property having won it 4 times in the last 5 years.
What about the second XI? No comment, as I said, 2006 was all about the first XI!
Second place behind the all conquering Englefield Green was the first XI's reward for a season largely without the availability of Chris Batt. Nilam scored 757 runs which earnt him the league batting award. William Midlane led his team on the field to another cup final win and proved himself an intelligent and imaginative captain.
The second XI found themselves in all sorts of trouble with only a few matches left. Affected by injuries and retirement they rarely looked like stringing even a couple of good games together. In the end a couple of wins at the end pulled us out of the relegation zone but a much improved performance is hoped for next year.
The first XI's return to the top division sees them end up runners up to Wraysbury but they manage to beat them in the cup final and so retain the John Midlane Memorial Cup. The second XI also manage to retain their championship title, bit tight though, only winning it on the last day when Wraysbury failed to win their final match against Little Marlow.
Congratulations to Chris Batt who won the first XI league bowling award.
The first XI bounced straight back into the top flight! In fact the whole club excelled themselves. The first XI were champions of their league, the second XI became champions of their league with a week to spare and to top it all, the club won the League Cup as well.
Disaster struck the first XI in 2001. Having won their first two games, putting them at the top of the table, they then put a remarkably dull string of draws together split with the occasional defeat. Fortunately, only one team were going to be relegated from the First Division in 2001 and throughout the year Littlewick Green found themselves proping the league up.
Typically, they then went on to get maximum points in their last two games and at the end of the last game we found ourselves bottom for the first and only time of the season - sufficent times to get relegated of course. If you look at the table you'll notice that we lost fewer games than everyone else, but since you don't get any bonus points for a "losing draw" (and we seemed to specialise in those), it all sadly adds up to Second Division cricket next year for the 1st XI.
Happily, our form hadn't deserted us in the League Cup competition. We reached the final for the third time in four seasons, just falling at the last hurdle, against Amersham Hill, at an attempt to repeat the success of 1998.
The second XI could have done better but at one stage they were also looking down the barrel of the relegation gun. A terrible run of matches in July and early August saw them collect just 29 points in 5 games (4 defeats and 1 abandoned) destroying all the good work at the start of the year. Happily, they managed to recover with a good points scoring run in although that series of matches in the middle of summer probably cost them a comfortable position in the top three.