Winning the Chilterns League was a great achievement for the Club's prestige, and I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating all those members that played in the league matches this year.
There were quite a few consistent performances by two or three players which I do not have to name in this report, we all know who they are, a quick look at the averages will give you a clue.
I would rather name one or two other players who may not be so obvious to pick out from this year's averages who, in my opinion, played an important part in helping to win the league trophy.
Charles Hawes innings against Marlow Park won us that crucial match, I as captain was considering to settle for four points for a draw, but Charles had other ideas.
Bill Haley's new role as a tail-end slogger also helped us to clinch some wins in the games where quick runs were needed to get a result.
Derek Newman was also an important link in the chain with some useful knocks and a very safe pair of hands he captured quite a few useful scalps off Bryan May's bowling.
Over the years that I have been fortunate enough to have captained either the first or second team for this Club, I think this year has been the most rewarding for me. Except, for one unfortunate incident where two senior players were not in unison in the art of calling for a run, the team spirit and the co-operation given by everyone made my job as captain much easier.
In conclusion, I feel that time has come for me not to stand for re-election as your captain next year but hopefully still play (if selected) and help Taplow second XI to win the league for the third time.
In my first season as Sunday second XI captain I learnt a great many things. First and foremost, what a great bunch of “lads” we mustered together. Not content with playing cricket they also took on the other tasks, i.e. umpires, scorers, kit transporters, money collectors, with next to no moaning. I also learnt how to con various members of the opposition e.g. a certain North Maids bat who had scored 80 odd and managed to persuade him the rain was too heavy to continue; a certain Yately captain who assured me they would play in a snowdrift but who realised anything less than 70 degrees and dry was no good to us (they did not have a bar anyway), and several opposition batsmen who, when faced with 3 slips, 2 gullies and 3 short legs, gave themselves up.
Seriously, it was a great season, undefeated until the end, but not without a struggle. The nearest must have been Hillingdon who powered to 174-5, the highest score against us. We were reeling at 30 odd for five but Chris Neal 12, Geoff Herbert 15 and myself, a few in a long time, took us to 63-8 and a draw - against all my principles but worth it to see their faces. And then there was Perivale - I think we realised when they asked us for a ball and scraped up some undesirable object off the field it was going to be one of those games, but we got away with it.
One can reflect on so many things; Gordon Adams' brilliant slip catch at Chalfont St. Peter and Bill Wood's magnificent run out to the bowlers end from cover in the same game. Tim Isaac bowled 13 overs here and took 2-12. Bessborough - a new fixture - when we found the ground, were put in their place, Gordon Adams scoring 57 not out of our 90 for 2. Next came Old Gaytonians humbled out for 50, Tim 3-11 in 9 overs, Brian Wells 3-9 in 5 overs. Their captain, John West, a C.I.D. man, is still sifting through the evidence.
Derek Newman and John Clark saved us at Fleet, despite their efforts to run each other out, and then Geoff Herbert weighed in with 44 out of a stand of 45, with Bob Bryant. This innings included 2 sixes into the trees.
Mike Blows came in to "strengthen” the bowling against Cove; fielding close behind the wicket it was difficult to tell if he was using a ball or a banana. He took 3-14 in 11 overs and Simon Wigmore 3-37.
Swing bowling brings to mind Alan Senior's 5-12 against Gerards Cross; one delivery started at 2nd slip and rather surprised the batsman by hitting off stump. Doug Hatch then reduced their opening quickie to a mental wreck by "placing" plenty of fours behind the wicket and we thrashed them by 9 wickets.
Finally, the Yately game. Barry Jones controlled a bar of soap to take 5-22, but after fielding for 34 overs in "damp" conditions and battling for 7 overs, we creaked rustily to the showers after yours truly had intimated a distinct displeasure at being out in the P-----G rain to the Yately captain.
Simon Wigmore batted and fielded with youthful consistency and Paul Goodrham took the bowling honours, a good all round performance, but at the end of the day honours could be shared all round by everyone who played.
Thanks must be extended to my wife for doing the lion's share of the scoring and to all the tea ladies for their three course meals.