On the whole then not a bad season at all, we won more than we lost and kept draw games down to an acceptable few. However, poor availability at the beginning and end of the season did not help our cause. Neither did the loss to injury on the first day of July of bowling stalwart Richard Tyler who was greatly missed for the rest of the season. In the early part of the season scoring a competitive total was problematical as can be seen in the results of the first five matches, which contained over half our season's losses. Only once did we score over 150 runs, we won that game but lost the other four.
The message would appear to be obvious - if the team don't get 150+ they lose. Note to the batters "please score more runs next year" even if, over the season, thirteen of you did score 40 runs or better. The bowling, for the most part, muddled through, but it is both sobering and worrying that throughout the season only five bowlers took three or more wickets in a match. A few of the fixtures were complete "mismatches" - most notably, the Twos total inability to compete with the big guns of Wycombe first XI (overseas and ex-first class players and all). That is the end of the gripes.
Now for a few batting highlights:
Centuries were posted by Andrew Bond (118*) and Andrew Mills (100*)
The following scored fifties: - Laurence Brown (twice) (81) & (75), Keith Franklin (80), George Diack (78), Andrew Bond (64), Joel Holmes (62), Gerry Bowyer (60*), Simon Goodrham (56) and James Kent (52).
Scores of between 40 & 49 were made by Paul Bannister (49), Dave Holland (48) James Kent (46), Oliver Lowe (45) & (42), Keith Franklin (45), Gerry Bowyer (44), Simon Goodrham (44), Simon Christy (41*) & William Midlane (40).
Well done to all of the above (especially the none-ringers!).
The list of bowling highlights is much shorter: -
Bowlers taking five or more wickets: - Ian Kinrade - 3 times (8/33), (6/42) & (5/51), Bob Singh - once (5/31) and Richard Tyler - once (5/32)
Three or four wickets in a match were taken by Ian Kinrade - six times (4/21), (4/51), (3/34), (3/48), (3/55) & (3/61), Brian Wells - twice (4/22) & (3/13), Simon Wigmore - once (4/44), Richard Tyler - once (3/11) and Bob Singh - one (3/36).
My name is appearing too often for my liking but I also beg to report that yours truly, with the aid of a very friendly umpire at Odiham, slipped in with a hat-trick.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all the players who have turned out for the "Sunday Twos" this year. Occasionally eleven did seem to be an unobtainable number but we got there, eventually, most of the time. The tea ladies do an unenviable job manfully (or should that be "womanfully") and have not only my thanks but also my admiration. The "Taplow Tea" is still a thing of beauty and long may it remain so. My final vote of thanks goes to my excellent vice-captain Gerry Bowyer who has given me his wholehearted support and wise counsel with tact and good humour all year. Cheers mate!
I have decided not to stand for re-election as captain next season. I think I will miss some aspects of the job, but it is high time that a new face with new ideas took up the reins and that I faded gracefully into the outfield. I wish my successor the best of luck and sign off with this advice "Win the toss and bat!" and remember "the team takes the plaudits when you win, but the captain carries the can when you lose". Such is life.