1970 was almost a continuation of 1969 in terms of favourable weather and hard wickets. Our playing record was similar too, again nine games being won - although this time we experienced five defeats rather than three. Five games were drawn.
On the face of it this was another largely successful season but I cannot help feeling that these figures are somewhat deceptive. Almost all the good cricket was played in June and July and throughout this period we won five matches, drew two and lost only one. At times during these two months it was possible to select a side rather than persuade one to play and we were also able to field a fairly regular ruckus of players each week. For the remaining three months of the season however, the situation in terms of the availability of players for Saturday cricket varied from poor to quite depressing so that by September, rarely were we able to field eleven men, irrespective of cricketing ability, and some fixtures were only possible at all through a policy of deliberately weakening the first XI in order to make sure that the second XI was able to put up a reasonable performance. Earlier there had been the usual lack of interest for the first half of May and fixtures were cancelled in August when holidays took their toll of availability for cricket.
For years now Saturday cricket has been less popular than Sunday cricket at Taplow and inevitably the Saturday second XI suffers most. During a period when we are attempting to strengthen our fixtures and when Saturday league cricket may well become a reality whether we like it or not, this lack of interest is very disappointing. We need either a significant number of new players prepared to play throughout the whole season or for many of our existing players to be prepared to turn out more often.
My outstanding memories of 1970 were Gerry Bowyer’s performances with the bat - over 600 runs this time - and the support he received from Doug Hatch in the second part of the season. Bowlers again did not have a happy time with the good wickets but Paul Ray made progress and neared the 50 wickets target and Bob Holmes contributed some match-winning performances in the high summer period. These included a 9-49 against Chalfont St. Giles. At Colnbrook Tim Isaac caught a catch that was so incredible it bordered on the ridiculous, clutching one handed as he did, a ball that was dropping into the reeds for six, with his back to the whole situation.
For the most part we umpired and scored ourselves and were lovingly and efficiently fed at the bargain price of 2/6d. For the umpteenth season thanks again to those responsible.
"This is your captain speaking"
I'll not ask you to abandon ship, or HOPE, for that matter, when I type these few sentences to cover our results and sporting endeavours over the last season. "No names - no packdrill" could be my theme, because names and personalities plus the weird and wonderful things you each accomplished both with ball and willow will not be catalogued here. All team and personal records will be appended to this as usual by your good friend Simon C.
The Sunday team gave of its best according to availability, ending with - 7 Won, 5 Drawn and 6 Lost.
This on the surface is a mean average, but on reflection the games lost were so close we did not disgrace the Club, or give fixture secretaries the option of casting us aside in future negotiations. This obviously is our duty to the opposition a good fight and by the same token be remembered next season for our company, and sporting teamwork.
I enjoyed the season and the company, and trust you continue along the same, or even better "tracks" next year. As to results - I'll be selfish on your behalf and ask for more victories, it does tend to satisfy the ego especially on a Monday morning.
To those who scored - umpired - stood 12th man and helped generally, to the groundsman (bless him) and the hardworking tea ladies with supporters OUR THANKS.