Of eighteen completed matches, six were won, four lost and eight were drawn. After a flying start to the season the team experienced a great deal of frustration as everyone of the drawn games was in our favour, and in three of them we were within a whisker of winning at close of play. Against both Ascot and Egham we required a mere three runs with wickets in hand, and against Chalfont St. Giles needed only to take their final wicket. Our most emphatic win was the remarkable 193 run defeat of Marlow Park on the opening day of the season, a game in which we achieved an all out total of 227 runs with five minutes to spare before the tea interval.
For the third successive year we enjoyed a largely dry wicket season and this was reflected by a high proportion of free scoring matches. Comparisons with the last wet summer of 1968 are interesting. Then 2996 runs were scored for 293 wickets - an average of 16.66. The batsmen who capitalised on the favourable conditions were Bill Haley and Doug Hatch, both of whom scored consistently, Chris Goodrham who came on a lot and had a particularly happy first half of the season, and there were various useful middle order contributions from a number of batsmen. We lacked a regular attack, and later in the season usually any second string bowling of any kind. Ted Cudd played few games and no other slow bowler was accurate enough to bowl for long spells so that only rarely did we have any real variety in the attack - However Bob Holmes took a lot of wickets cheaply (before doing his annual disappearing act with the season less than half complete) and when David Goodrham was in the side we had a bowler capable of using real consternation among the opposition - although he often failed to take as many wickets as he deserved. Late in the season Brian May looked likely to become a leading bowler in 1972. No doubt Alan King's remarkable season will be well documented in Doug Hatch's Sunday report but his 8-40 won us the game against Princes Risborough.
For me perhaps the pleasant feature of the season were the enthusiastic efforts of many of the players not mentioned so far; Tim Isaac who has now established himself as a regular member of the attack, Mick Finch who made several useful all-round contributions, Keith Hawthorn who batted and fielded aggressively and Peter Lewis who deserves great credit for always being prepared to play at short notice and with little previous experience of cricket devoted himself to fielding with singular determination and brought off a number of very respectable catches.
We had much greater availability in 1971 and given the same sort of enthusiasm in 1972 and another fine summer, the side should again play some very good cricket.
Once again we all owe a debt of gratitude to the tea ladies. I find it difficult to think up original ways of expressing this - and on this slightly ambiguous note I will close.
The results we obtained this year are only average as you will see from the complete list of matches played, but the team spirit and moral was first class throughout the season.
I cannot remember one occasion where we argued or disagreed over strategy during a game.
I'm sorry I have just remembered there was one occasion during the North Maidenhead match when a senior pro showed dissent when I changed the bowling at a critical stage of the game. Whether it was luck or foresight we won the match and the beer we drank in the bar afterwards soon made us forget our difference of opinions (I still say I made the right decision Alan).
Individual performances are shown in detail on other pages but the ones that I shall remember are:-
The other type of individual performances which do not get mentioned in detail are the lads that do not get many opportunities to either bat or bowl who only have their fielding to look back on and those chaps that have turned out to play at the last moment because somebody has dropped out.
People like Peter Lewis, Paul Spickernell, Sam Barlow, Dave Hutchins, Henry Strachey to name a few who have all fielded well and to them and all players that have played this season for the Sunday second XI, I say "thank you for making this an enjoyable season for me and for making my task as captain an easy one".
To all the tea ladies I give a special thank you for ensuring that on every home match tea was always prepared on time and that the spread was always better than that which we received on away fixtures.