The 1983 cricket season, after the most depressing wet start for many years, saw the Saturday first XI continue its improvement although suffering a drop in its Chilterns League placing. The damp start inevitably left its mark on performances and it was not until late July that a settled team emerged, obtaining results reflecting its true strength.
A disappointment suffered before the start of the season was the unavailability of both Bill Adaway and Bob Clark who made such an impact on the 1982 season. However the club welcomed a number of new players who have given the playing strength greater depth although for any side to be successful it must rely upon consistent commitment and availability, which was not always evident during the season.
Once again Dave Greenaway was the mainstay of the batting, completing 1000 runs for the second successive season. On most occasions, reliable support was on hand, with Greg Jervis ending the season with welcome consistency. The bowling however relies almost exclusively on Clive Kellett although David Thornley's wickets against Fencibles and Chenies were most rewarding.
By having the first three Chilterns League games cancelled because of the weather the chances of obtaining league honours virtually disappeared. The season however produced some good team performances notably against Wooburn Narkovians (on a lovely wicket!), Henley and North Maidenhead. A pleasing aspect of the season was that every member, at some point, made a significant contribution with considerable improvements being shown by Phil Surridge and Greg Jervis.
Finally, I would like to thank all players, umpires, scorers and tea ladies for their efforts and support during the 1983 season, which made my job that much easier.
April - the longest selection meetings of the season despite the monsoon. May - selections got longer and it was the thought that counted. Ten Acres looked immaculate during the week but still the whites continued to collect the moth balls. June - oh no wait a minute. The first fixture took place at Richmond, not the easiest opposition to contain. Lack of a sufficient bowling attack - a prevalent aspect of the whole season - let us down in this game and in many others. Nevertheless we continued to stick at our task.
A major improvement over previous seasons was our ability to perform well with the bat, achieving 200 plus on three occasions, twice when batting second. In addition the majority of our batting excelled in the last 20 overs when 100 plus became an easy target with Dave Greenaway, John Ledgard, Chris Goodrham and myself all making significant contributions. Many players contributed to the bowling with Geoff Reynolds and Graham Kell prominent with their 'flight and guile’. Phil Surridge and Neil Bunting had mixed fortunes as the wickets got harder but were supported well by Tim Isaac and with Martin Carruthers and John Midlane prominent behind the stumps, gave us an even chance against the opposition. The most pleasing aspect from a captain's point of view was the enthusiastic approach to fielding, notably at West Drayton, and more significantly, everybody willing to contribute to umpiring, scoring etc. - an essential quality for Sunday teams.
The overall results belie the teams that we fielded and I hope that everyone who played enjoyed their games. In such a short season I think that we got the best out of it and our opponents provided equal praise and hospitality.
No season is successful without the splendid efforts put in by the tea ladies (it takes one hell of a club to beat a Taplow tea!) and Ken Spicer and David Wigmore's efforts to ensure the best ground conditions, therefore may I offer my supreme appreciation to them on behalf of the players, and also to Phil Goldthorpe and Reg Breeze for their contributions to the umpiring.
As a parting gesture may I personally thank everybody who contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable season, and also to making my association with Taplow Cricket Club a very happy time.