It is very difficult to represent 1986 as other than a very disappointing season. We only won once - against Chalfont St. Giles at the end of June. Two of the drawn games can be regarded as 'winning' draws and in four others the situation was reasonably even. In the case of five of our defeats we either lost very narrowly or at least, having batted first, set a respectable target of 150 or so. Having said that, the fact remains that it was a very poor season. We had insufficient penetration, bite or guile in our bowling and the batsmen rarely dominated, although more runs were scored than in 1985 when we failed all season to top 150. We really need three or four younger players who can make the major contributions each week both with the bat and the ball.
Some of the players new to the club performed with some promise and could develop in 1987. Chris Cowley batted well on a number of occasions and by the end of the season was a much better bowler than when he began. Mike Eddowes batted attractively also and could be a useful bowler given 'more confidence in himse1f'. Graeme Paskins had an excellent first full season giving away few byes and obviously having great potential with the bat.
Of the regulars, John Midlane batted well. David Thornley had a very good spell in the middle of the season when he showed in three successive weeks that he could still bowl throughout an innings and take wickets. Bryan May had some good days with the ball and enjoyed the opportunity on a number of occasions to open the batting, which he did with some distinction.
There does not seem a lot else to say. Perhaps in some strange way our general inadequacies were summed up by the brief Taplow career of Ted Farnon. Ted at the age of 52 was perhaps a little past his peak as a left arm quick bowler and he certainly was not in 'prime' condition but for four or five overs in three games in June, before the heat got to him; Ted managed to put the opposition on the defensive. These were the only times that this happened all season. It was quite nostalgic to remember what it was like to be in control of a game. For the rest we just waited and hoped that something would turn up. Unhappily it never did.
Whatever happens 1987 can surely only be better.
Looking back on the season's playing record, we can be quite satisfied, for although we were not the strongest side to have played the noble game we certainly enjoyed the majority of our cricket.
We started promisingly passing 150 for the loss of only 4 wickets against Chalfont St. Peter thanks to Donald Henley-King's 68 n.o. and then bowled and fielded exceptionally to dismiss Chertsey for 107.
Our batting, which had lacked depth during most of the season, was waiting for the arrival of the hard wickets and our first win against Chenies & Latimer saw us score 165 batting second. John Midlane and I out on 115 for the first wicket, but the game apparently had slipped from our grasp when Graeme Paskins "cameo" innings won it for us. Our best batting was 202-5 at Bagshot, no one scored fifty but all seven who batted made runs.
The victory against Sonning was due to Tim Isaac's 6-32 and Dave Shoemark's steady batting and the season finished on a very high note with two wins as different as chalk and cheese.
The least said about Old Gaytonians the better, easily the worst game of the season, despite our victory. However, we played well to dismiss Hurst for 99 and just about knocked them off.
Geoff Herbert scored 51 on a “pudding” at Osterley. Tim Isaac bowled consistently well after his holiday (I wonder what he got up to?), Dave Shoemark's batting was much improved, Jerry Spring bowled beautifully at times, Mike Eddowes a performed well with the bat and Graeme Paskins showed enormous potential both batting and keeping wicket. Other stalwarts such as Jon Wrapson, Dave Vincent, Derek Newman, Keith Hawthorn, Chris Paskins and Tim Sparks all made contributions on more than one occasion.
On a sad note Nigel Bunce had to retire from playing following the blow to his head in the game at Hanwell and we wish him well.
Finally, thanks to all our ladies who did teas, easily the best around, to Geoff for his support and guidance (?), and the players for cheerfully helping with all the jobs like umpiring, scoring, buying the captain drinks, etc!
I hope you enjoyed the season as much as I did.