The volume of cricket played by the Sunday Seconds was greatly improved from last season when bad weather was the main culprit for a lack of cricket. This year things were different allowing for eleven games to be played with seven of them victories.
One of the big factors of the side is the emergence of young players and in tune with this we saw the likes of U-15’s Ben Moody, Rob Lankester, Zak Conley, Josh Coldicott- Stevens, Owen Hughes and U-13’s Jag Lalli, Alex King and Ed Kershaw all make their debuts. This young lot are quick on the heels of Freddy Stuart, Rhodri Hughes, Sam Rice, Jack Childs and Joe Graves who were all regular players. Whilst the likes of Josh Conley, Chris West, Lloyd Bowman although not much older are quickly becoming veteran campaigners. All those mentioned along with Peter G. Baker, yours truly and Graham Stuart made regular appearances throughout the season.
It is always a pleasure to see young players enjoying their cricket especially when they achieve something special. Ed Kershaw playing his first adult game took a key, partnership breaking wicket. The expression on his face was fantastic. In the same game I had the pleasure of being at the non-strikers end when Freddy Stuart scored his maiden half century in adult cricket. What impressed me more than the skilful play that took him to his landmark was the calm and mature way he celebrated. We were still in the middle of a run chase and he wanted to focus on the win. Of course added to his batting (109 runs at 21) is his supreme fielding and level head.
Another memorable performance was Rob Lankester’s 60 in a 20/20 game against Cockenach. It was the perfect innings for the format with clean hitting of boundaries and incredible running between the wickets. Even more impressive was how he devoured the cakes kindly set aside for him by Rosemary upon our return to Reed.
But it’s not all about the youngsters! Lloyd Bowman had a superb season with many useful contributions with the bat whilst Graham Stuart made personal best scores with his new bat and bowled well also. There were half centuries from John Kershaw, Tom Walsingham and Richie Barlow. Peter Baker meanwhile proved what a class act he is topping the aggregates with 309 runs at an average of 44 including two fifties and a century. Sean Tidey dominated again making 160 at an average of 160 scoring a breathtaking 132 not out against Woodcutters. Whilst captain Marcus J.E. Baker made 237 runs including a century against Stevenage batting in partnership with Rhodri Hughes. Both played well and put on 150 together for the first wicket.
For Rhodri it was an exceptional year scoring 162 at an average of 32 and taking 6 wickets. He, like Freddy, continuously displayed the skills and maturity that will see them go far at this club. On several occasions Rhodri and Freddy had the chance to captain the side and managed the added pressure well.
In the bowling department Joe Graves once again proved his abilities taking 7 wickets with an economy rate of 3 an over. Sam Rice was tying the opposition in knots. Josh Coldicott-Stevens impressed the club captain whilst Owen Hughes bowled with more grit and determination than many adults. However, the leading wicket taker was the gentle giant Josh Conley with 8 wickets. Josh is a very impressive bowler with a great amount of skill and control, any batsmen to play him without due care and attention should be very wary!
Thanks must go to Paul Watts who, once again, has done the club proud with a fine fixture card full of old local friends and rivals which were appreciated by all. Another thank you is for Robbo for his outstanding work on the pitch. Finally, to the Sunday crowd that supports their club so loyally, although I’m sure Rosemary’s unbeatable teas are an even greater attraction!! Huge thanks to her as well. Well done Reed another great year to look back upon.