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It was bad but could have been much worse. Four games lost, one off the last ball, but the win at Princes Risborough probably evens that one out.
Considering the problems experienced in putting eleven players out on Saturdays we did reasonably well.
The pathetic excuses for non-availability defies belief, added to the minimum three drop outs by Friday evening, leads one to the conclusion that the results were better them 'Reasonable'.
It must change otherwise the club will become weaker each year. Surely the club is justified in expecting members to be available at least one day per weekend. At the moment it seems that the club is the last consideration people look at for their weekend entertainment. Anything will do, Thorpe Park, picnics, squealors birthdays, American football, English football, shopping, decorating, the list is endless, all totally unacceptable, you are letting the club, your team and the opposition down.
In a season which saw three of our top players, Malcolm Clifford, Dave Greenaway and Tony Reynolds, missing one would expect some effort from the other members to make themselves available to help fill this void. Not a bit, if anything it was just the opposite.
However, no doubt these words will fall on deaf ears, if only we were all masters of our own destiny.
After all the trauma some good games were played, Amersham Hill (turned on a steepling catch by Scott Bradley), North Maidenhead (H), Chalfont St. Giles, Princes Risborough and North Maidenhead (A).
Individually the outstanding batsman was Dave Holland with bowling honours shared between Clive Kellett, Simon Wigmore and Graham Kell with Tony Cane turning in good performances with very little luck going his way. We must not forget a very welcome return to bowling form of Keith Paskins, who almost won the game at North Maidenhead with his five wickets.
Our fielding tended to be 'adequate' without Dave Greenaway and Greg Jervis, but Scott Bradley and Donald Henley-King excelled in the outfield and Graeme Paskins took over behind the wicket very competently. We must mention Graeme's elevation to the Bucks under 20 yrs. team, this is excellent for his age (15).
My thanks to Doug Hatch for standing in all our league games and for being prepared to play rather than see us with ten men.
The teas were again their usual high standard and I would urge Iris Midlane to keep up this good work for which many thanks.
For some time now we have not had an official scorer, but our thanks to Anna Christy for bravely entering this fine body of 'men' .
One piece of advice to the new Saturday Captain is 'leave your phone off the hook Monday to Saturday', you then stand a reasonable chance of eleven players.
Although it may appear that the Sunday first XI did not have one of its most successful years, it was always going to be hard with the absence of Malcolm Clifford and Dave Greenaway. However there were many bright events to report on. However with the arrival of a couple of new players and several of the promising youngsters playing regularly, one would have hoped for better results. Continually throughout the year, we struggled to get 11 people to turn out. (May I apologise to Gerry Spring for taking several of his players at the last moment!) On several occasions we played with 9 or 10 people, including some of our young colts. It would be nice if some of the Saturday regulars could play even just 3 or 4 games a year. The younger members of the side would benefit tremendously.
On the actual cricket side, two people shone above the rest. Simon Wigmore: without his bowling we would have been chasing 250+ every week. Although being hit for 43 runs in just 3 overs at Turnham Green, he proved to be regularly both economical and a wicket taker. His useful flurry of not outs showed what potential his batting has, and this needs to be exploited fully next year. Also a personal thanks to Simon for all his help and advice in the role of vice skipper.
The second person to shine was John Clark. John played regularly throughout the year and although never making the big score, he always showed signs of authority whilst batting. It was also helpful to know that if someone had to bat ten overs to save the game, you couldn't wish for anyone better. Also some of his catches were absolutely fantastic (perhaps he could teach the skipper a thing or two!). John also bowled well despite being brought on at normally the worst possible moment.
Although those two players had exceptional years, everyone else contributed to the team effort. Scott Bradley showed all the signs of having the ability and temperament to be an exceptional opener. Without doubt, Scott produced some of the best fielding any skipper could possibly hope to see. Not once do I remember him giving a chase for a ball up, and as for a safe pair of hands, ask our bowlers.
Graeme Paskins showed that if he continues to develop at his current rate, Taplow will soon have one of the best wicketkeeper batsman in the area. Although he missed the odd chance, he proved to be a perfect replacement for Clifford. His language was also a darn sight better!
Kevin Dolan joined the club this year and in only his first game showed the potential he has. It was unfortunate that he then struggled at little for the rest of the year. However, he will surely play a significant part in next year's side. Mike Noyes joined with Kevin and although not having a regular place, he showed that if quick runs were needed, he wasn't afraid to put bat to ball. Hopefully with a bit of luck, Mike could get a lot of runs next year.
Both Jon Wrapson and Mike Bradley bowled well, though at times it looked like Mike's Saturday night drinking had taken its toll! Mind you, he was able to offer a very nice (?) line in shorts! In some of his rare appearances John Midlane showed all that was expected of him, like a dropped catch, but also some excellent batting performances. (remember Hanwell and Bagshot).
Finally on the personal side, a mention to both Dave Thornley and Tim Fitz-Desorgher (who joined this year). Although both only played in the latter half of the year, both turned in excellent performances. Tim managed to score 14 off the last over to beat the President's XI (Allan Lamb watch out!) whilst Dave showed that he was still able to bowl long spells of tight medium pace (Turnham green, 20 overs on the trot). Also a year couldn't go by without mentioning Gerry Mills. Although not playing as many games as in previous years, he showed what a class above the rest of batsman he is! Whatever he does we need him next year, for his runs, his example to the youngsters and his sound advice to me!
Some of the highlights for me were Graeme Paskins' 41 versus the Stage XI, John Midlane's 30 odd at Hanwell, the Wigmore's (both father and son) bowling at Littlewick Green, Tim's 14 in the last over versus the President's XI, the progress of "Scotty" as an opener, the technique of Graeme, and maybe those few runs I got against Little Marlow (well surely you didn't think I'd keep quiet about that!)
Finally can I thank everyone who played for me. I hope you can forgive all my many mistakes and that you enjoyed at least some if not all of the games. Let's try to build on this year and make 1988 one of the best for Taplow.