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It was another mixed season but as the statistics show we became a difficult side to beat. Our final Chilterns League position of 10th was a marginal improvement over last season with, once again, another 'win' seeing us into the top 6.
I have to say that the rule changes introduced for the season were far from satisfactory and, on balance, should be amended - league rep are you listening??
However to the cricket, there were a number of notable team performances, such as at Amersham Hill and White Waltham, which saw us sweep to emphatic league victories. The batting honours go exclusively to Graeme Paskins who dominated the bowlers to such an extent that towards the end of the season, complacency crept in. He scored his first club century at White Waltham and produced a string of scores over 50. If he does decide to seek pastures new I am sure that the learning process of the past two years will prove invaluable.
Solid if unspectacular support came from the remainder thereby ensuring that the side rarely went short of runs. However there were many highlights:
A big plus was the form of the all-rounders, Ross Dunlop and Simon Wigmore. Ross showed his potential with 57 v Princes Risborough but unfortunately could not produce this form consistently. Similarly his bowling, which was at times explosive, e.g. 5-30 v Wendover could also be expensive. Simon Wigmore's batting went from strength to strength so much so that he looked most comfortable when opening at the end of the season. His bowling, though not so productive in terms of wickets, still proved economical.
On the bowling side, Tony Reynolds finished on a 'high' at Wooburn Narkovians and we wish him well at Southend-on-Sea. Nick Heaton's 9-52 against Birkbeck earned him an 'Advertiser' award as well as the match ball. Nick finished with 34 wickets and proved a most reliable new ball bowler. Chris Lowe and Geoff Reynolds both made useful contributions but by far the most consistent of all our bowlers was one David Wigmore. Not only did he prove to be the most economical of the Club's bowlers, he also produced week-in, week-out, control over line and length that could not be matched. He proved emphatically that he still warranted his place on merit.
My thanks also to Doug Hatch for his impartial umpiring (Wigmore nearly received an LBW decision) and to Nick Thorne for scoring without the need of a calculator. To all the tea ladies my thanks for your support in contributing to our 'Saturday pleasures'.
Finally a big thank you to all of you who supported me during the season and ensured that team spirit and morale remained high despite the results. Onwards and upwards to 1990.
The season got off to a good start with a win against Old Meadonians by 3 wickets. Then a good game against Chalfont St Peter ending 4 runs short of victory. The week after we went to Chertsey and were put into bat, shot out for 90, they won by 8 wickets. Caversham away next, good match won with 3 balls left, Chris Swallow batting well.
The long trip to Wallingford's ground seemed worth it until our batting fell apart just as we were getting on top of them. At Richings Park Tim Fitz-Desorgher batted well scoring one short of 50, we lost by 2 runs. Against Fleet a week later Tim scored 54. A good win against local rivals Cookham Dean, David Thornley bowling well, taking 5 wickets, then Gerry Mills scoring 67 n.o.. The West Drayton and Hanwell games are best forgotten.
From 16th July to 27th August we were unbeaten. Starting at Little Marlow we batted first scoring 189-1, Gerry Mills 77 n.o., Graeme Paskins 79. Then we bowled Marlow out for 106, Ian Kinrade taking 7-46. A brilliant match at Littlewick Green, put into bat scoring 227-6 Paskins 62, Scott Bradley 60, John Clark 63; Littlewick 218-7.
Two weeks later we played at Bagshot. On a red hot day we won the toss and batted, Graeme Paskins and Scott Bradley opened scoring 74 in the first 12 overs, Graeme going on to score 142 before being caught on the boundary: Taplow's total 273-4 in only 38 overs. Windsor Vics next, our best win of the season, Jon Wrapson bowling well taking 5 wickets, Vics 186-9, Taplow 187-2 Graeme Paskins scoring his third hundred in as many games.
My outstanding memories of the season were my 3 catches against Wallingford, Ian Kinrade's 7-46 against Little Marlow, Graeme Paskins 142 v Bagshot and 113 v Windsor Vics, and our fielding display against Ruislip Manor. Finally a thank you to all the ladies who helped prepare brilliant teas every week. A special thank you to Lyn Thornley.
PS. I hope next season Taplow tea prices will be raised to compete with other clubs (i.e. Ruislip Manor).