A season without Dave Holland as captain - how would we cope? Well we finished in the' lower half of the league, which wasn't a true reflection of our playing ability.
Our first game against Ascot produced 120 run opening stand, Simon Wigmore (58) and Dave Holland (55). The game was drawn despite Ross Dunlop taking 3-21.
We won our next game in the local derby against Burnham despite only scoring 139. Dave Holland (55) was ably supported by Paul Newman (27) and Keith Paskins (17). Richard Lane then took centre stage with a marvellous display of bowling (5-27) as Burnham tumbled to 127 all out.
Our league matches began with a confident performance against KimbIe where we fell just 7 runs short of a well deserved victory . Graham Kell excelling with 11 overs 6 wickets 21 runs. This was followed by a great victory over Wooburn Narks, we reached the target of 200 in the 41st over with only one over to spare.
The weather, along with our performances, then turned sour. The c combination of wet wickets at I.C.I. and Stoke Green with a captain who couldn't win the toss to save his life led to 2 overwhelming defeats. Things looked up with a win against Amersham Hill where thanks to a fine bowling performance by Simon Wigmore (5-42), we bowled them out for 163.
A winning draw against White Waltham where Dave Holland top scored with 94 was followed by a fantastic win at the small Winchmore Hill ground. Having been 131 for no wicket, Eric Lark (64) and Dave Holland (51), we floundered to a very getable 194. Winchmore Hill raced to 53 off 8 overs before Simon Wigmore (4-41) and Graham Kell (3-30) took command. Winchmore Hill were bowled out for 168.
Winning draws against Wendover (Martin Fisher 106n.o., Nick Reynolds 4-26) and Bledlow (Graham Kell 12 overs 4-19, Nick Reynolds 3-37) were followed by a trouncing by Chalfont St. Giles.
Penn & Tylers Green was another one that got away. On their ground chasing a score of 251 was always possible and when Richard Thorogood raced to 109 out of 173-1 it looked likely. Taplow then committed suicide and had to settle for a draw at 230-8. Denham, another rain affected game, highlighted how dangerous some wickets can be and how bad umpiring decisions can ruin a game. Both of these affected Dave Holland who, for the first time, batted in a helmet and not for the first time received a more than dubious decision from an opposition umpire. The high point of the game was some excellent bowling by Tim Isaac (4-37) including a magnificent hat-trick and Tony Hutchings (6-55).
Cookham Dean should have been beaten far more comfortably than they were. Tim Isaac and Chris Lowe with 3 wickets apiece destroyed Cookham's batting along with Graham Kell (12 overs 4-16). Taplow crawled passed the 135 run target with only two wickets left standing.
We finished the league season with a draw against Chenies & Latimer. Tony Hutchings (3-37). The league fixture with North Maidenhead was abandoned but the end of season 'friendly', even though we drew, was a moral victory for Taplow. Simon Wigmore taking 5 wickets.
Overall the season produced some fairly good results. We deserved to win more games, maybe my inexperience was partly to blame. What I would say is that despite the childish disagreements at selection I have very much enjoyed being captain this year. The advice both Dave Holland and Graham Kell provided this year has been invaluable. I would like to thank all the players for their loyalty and support and hope they enjoyed the season as much as I did.
Finally, my thanks to Doug Hatch, Greg Lightfoot and Steve Holland for umpiring. Nick Thorne as always turned up to score for us. Most of all, a special thanks to the tea ladies for their superb efforts.
Question - Who wrote "with good availability the Sunday first XI will be a force to be reckoned with in local cricket in 1993?"
Answer - I did in last years report.
WRONG! I was very wrong. With only three wins on Sunday in 1992 the Sunday first XI clearly had a very poor season. We lost by some spectacular margins. 213 (yes 2l3) runs at Sudbury Court, 123 runs at Hatch End and by 9 wickets twice - Tring and Aston Rowant. Four humiliating defeats. Our other four loses were slightly less crushing, 7 wickets v Chertsey, 4 wickets v Harrow-on-the-Hill and 57 and 11 runs v Eversley and Chalfont St. Peter respectively. We beat GWR by 35 runs. Littlewick Green by 6 wickets and Pinkneys Green by 133 runs - with Chris Davis turning in figures of 8 overs 4 maidens 8 runs 4 wickets plus two catches in his debut first XI game. Well done Chris. A note here for the Fixtures Secretary - could we please have more against teams with "Green" in their names; we seem to do well against them. The rest of the contests were either drawn or washed out. The full results follow with, in a shameless attempt to massage the figures, the Bank Holiday games included and shown in brackets:
Matches 25(3) Played 21(3) Won 5(2) Lost 8(0) Drawn 9(1) Cancelled 4(0)
Last year I mentioned that dirty word "availability" or more correctly the lack of any consistency about it. This year only 7 club members played ten or more games for the side and 40 different players represented the Club in the Sunday first XI. This is consistency? Thus picking a settled side was not possible, however desirable. An early season run of low scores; 109ao,l34ao and 83ao; all resulted in losses but on the whole the batsmen did a creditable, if unexciting, job. The bowling however was generally not of the requiried standard. The seam bowling was usually accurate but not overtly penetrative, one spell from Tony Hutchings apart. Both the regular slow bowlers, Simon Wigmore and yours truly, took fewer wickets than in recent seasons and in my case at a greatly increased cost. But the bottom line is that the skipper carries the can and quite rightly too. If I had got it right more often we would have won more and lost fewer games. Still that is enough breast beating.
Three players scored tons - Graeme Paskins 126 n.o. Martin Fisher 105 and Dave Holland 105. Eleven players scored a total of 18 fifties - Dave Holland 70, 51 and 63; Graeme Paskins 54, 80 and 78; Greg Jervis 59 and 59; Martin Fisher 85 and 53; John Clark 51 and 59; Keith Paskins 76; Steve Roach 64; Tony Hutchings 61; Gerry Mills 59; Kevin Dolan 61 and Simon Wigmore 50 n.o. Only three bowlers took 5 wickets in an innings - Ian Kinrade 7 for 43 and 6 for 51; T Hutchins 6 for 22; and R Dunlop 5 for 36.
My thanks to the tea ladies and to my vice-captain Simon Wigmore. As 1993 looms ever closer let us hope for good weather, keen competition and with a bit of luck lots and lots of winning skipper's jugs.