Captains’ Reviews of the season, 2015

1st XI REPORT 2015
The 1XI had a mixed 2015 season with some performances equal to or better than the standard set over recent seasons and some more disappointing. However, in a Championship significantly strengthened from the previous year and with some serious injuries to key players it remained a good season which hopefully sets a platform which along with a bit of luck can hopefully allow for another go at promotion to the Premier league in the future.
Key performers with the bat were myself, Chris Jackson and William Heslam, the latter despite only playing half the season. However, typically many others chipped in too with the likes of Stuart Smith, Tom Greaves, new signing Rich Wharton, Alex Mutucamarana, Sean Tidey, Mitchell Cooper, Jack Tidey and overseas player Phil Lill all showing their ability with the bat at this level. The signing of Matt Sampson with 2 games to go is also very encouraging looking ahead as is the classy innings Rob Lankester produced in the final game of the season underlying his promise in his first opportunity to bat in 1XI league cricket. And hopefully if work allows the talented Rich Wharton can thrive with a regular spot in the future top order.
With the ball Jack Tidey was outstanding. He consistently took key wickets at the top of the order which was crucial with the strength of the batting being particularly high in the Championship last season and his presence was sorely missed when injured. Phil Lill was also excellent more than filling the role required coming into the side for the season ending up leading wicket taker and top of the averages. Tom Greaves yet again bowled some crucial long spells for the team and Toby Fynn also made some important contributions. The find of the season was undoubtedly youngster Reece Fitzgerald who showed great composure coming into the side at a key part of the season and he looks sure to have a big future in the 1XI. Wicket keeper Sean Tidey was the sides golden arm and joking apart now provides a genuine bowling option for the skipper!When called upon the evergreen Ian Osborne also produced a couple of excellent bowling spells and chipped in with a few useful innings too.
The highlights in terms of team performance had to be the win over Botany Bay and the double over Flitwick and the disappointments the batting collapses versus Shenley Village, Stevenage and most notably I would say Chorleywood where the defeat led to the season disappointingly petering out with 3 games left and unusually very little left to motivate the side leading to an un Reed like end to the season.
Nevertheless as stated above, with a good winter of preparation of the existing squad and perhaps the odd signing, with Botany Bay moved on hopefully another push for the top of Herts league cricket is a realistic possibility.
Finally, a thanks to all the lads who have played for me in the 1XI over the last 6 seasons (and the 2 before!) and particularly the regulars, it has been a great time and hopefully more fun to come in a new era for the 1XI.
Report by James Heslam, Captain, RCC First XI
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2nd XI REPORT 2015
The second eleven started the 2015 season in the newly formatted Division 5B with many of the players who had helped gain promotion the previous year still available, coinciding with some very talented youngsters. The three under 17s in the team Reece Fitzgerald, Jack Caine and Rob Lankester all made significant contributions. Rob Lankester’s 100 not out against Welwyn Garden City and Jack Caine’s match winning knock of 65 were particular highlights. Reece Fitzgerald’s promotion to regular first team cricket will surely be followed by the talent of all-rounder Caine and batsman Lankester in the foreseeable future. There were a number of significant contributions from the senior players. The opening batting partnership of Richard Johnson and the ever dependable Vice-captain Phil Frenay was one that yielded some six 50-plus run opening stands in their 14 innings together. Richard Johnson’s runs were a joy to watch and Phil Frenay showed why he is regarded by his team mates and opposition players as one of the best batsman in the league. As vice-captain Phil has once again been a very popular VC and I would like to thank him for his assistance. Marcus Baker’s contribution with the bat this season as in previous years has been invaluable to our success. His cool calm approach to batting and his understanding of the game have seen the seconds turn possible defeat into victory and has been a cornerstone of the team. Other significant contributions with the bat have been Ed Garrott’s chanceless 45 against Wheathampsted amongst several good performances. Mitchell Cooper’s welcome return to second eleven cricket showed what a quality player he is with both bat and ball, his innings of 78 against Hoddesdon won the game for Reed against one of the toughest oppositions in the league. The bowling attack was still formidable with the always dangerous opening pair of Karl Ward and the evergreen Peter Tidey the leading wicket takers. Peter Tidey’s return of 29 wickets at 16 and Karl Ward’s season figures of 32 wickets at 15 set a great platform for the rest of the bowlers. The two lead the attack brilliantly all year and were many times the difference between Reed and their division 5b opponents. As in previous years both were backed up by the ever consistent Alex Kelly who with 19 wickets at 12 apiece, who with his real team centric approach was a joy to captain. However many of these wickets wouldn’t of been possible without the quality and dependability of Tim Tidey who has not only been an outstanding keeper for the second eleven but also helped both on and off the field all year.
I would also like to say thank you to our umpire Paul Watts. Paul has been the umpire for the 3 years I have been captained and has always shown complete impartiality, commitment to the club and has been as big an asset to the team’s success as anyone.
The success of the promotion to Division 4B had always been the target of the season and when victory was gained against second placed Old Chomelians on the last day of the season confirmation as champions was confirmed, an achievement that the team thoroughly deserved. The 2015 season has personally been the most enjoyable of the three seasons I have had as captain and I would like to thank all who have been involved in the season both on and off the field.
Report by Marcus Martin, Captain, RCC Second XI
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3rd XI REPORT 2015
Michael Robertson took over the Captaincy of the team for the 2015 season from Maseeh Naeem. At the start of the season hopes were high for a possible promotion place, even though at the end of the 2014 season the team were the last team to gain a position in the new league and were therefore on paper the weakest team.
The first game of the season seemed to bear out the optimism. Reed played away to Berkhamstead, scoring 199 for 8 and bowling out the opposition for 82 with new recruit Aiden Woodcock and Robertson both in the wickets. In the second game at Freman the team was brought down to earth against Harpenden IV when a new recruit to their club going in at Number 5 scored 131 not out in less than 20 overs and Reed were beaten by over 100 runs. The following game against Great Gaddesden pretty much summarised the rest of the season. Reed scored 163 for 8 and Gaddesden chased it with 9 wickets down. The next four games saw Reed win two and lose two, bowling out Potters Bar who were top of the League for 65. This was followed by a loss by 30 runs, a loss by two runs and a loss by 3 wickets. All close games, but with Reed unable to finish off games. Northwood were then bowled out for 91 with Reed winning by 5 wickets. This was followed by four consecutive losses, including against Potters Bar who chased down 266 with Sharma scoring 167 not out. This consigned Reed to relegation even with a win against Waltham Cross in the last game.
The team were rarely outplayed by any of the opposition. Reed beat the teams that came second and third in the League and were beaten by 1 wicket with a handful or balls to go by the Club that came top.
The main problem for the team was there was no consistency of availability and the batsmen too often lacked patience. Over 40 players represented the team over the course of the season. Only Michael Robertson played in all the games and only five players played more than half the games. Twenty players played only one or two games. Reed scored 291 points. Over the whole league of 27 divisions, only two teams were relegated with more points. Also rarely were a team relegated having won 5 games.
Next year, however, with hopefully more consistency of availability the team can do well and gain promotion. The main lesson learnt this year is that you do not have to try to win the game in twenty overs.
Report by Mike Robertson, Captain, RCC Third XI
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4th XI REPORT 2015
The 2015 cricket season was one great success for Reed Fourth eleven. Winning 10 out of a possible 13 fixtures and amassing 2553 runs in the season which eventually resulted in the 4s winning the league. Over 35 players were used and the combination of some golden oldies and some promising youngsters created a positive atmosphere and team spirit within the squad, which fully supported the success.
The 4s won their first 7 games and in those first few games there were contrasting centuries for both Peter Baker and two at the ‘Freman Oval’ for Zac Conley including a record breaking 4th wicket partnership of 185 with Kieran Willoughby (62) in a tense game against Datchworth. Rhodri Hughes scored 54* away at Hatfield Hyde. A controversial fixture away at Hatch End resulted in a narrow first defeat but the 4s recovered and despite being pressed hard by the likes of Harpenden and Welwyn managed to not drop out of 1st place for the rest of the season.
The batting highlights were led by 16 year old Z. Conley scoring 531 runs at an average of 76 including his third century of the season (127*) for an explosive 3rd wicket record partnership against Stevenage with new signing Martin Johnson who scored a season best 88. However throughout the year there were massive contributions from the ever gutsy Bill Mansfield who scored 274 runs including back-to-back 80’s including a vital match saving knock at home to Stevenage. Bill also took the most catches (8) including several spectacular ones. Mas Naeem scored 190 runs, Ian Roberts (110) including a match saving 59 away at Datchworth. At the end of the season, the returning Paul Garrott, averaged 92 in his two innings at the later end of the season.
With the ball, the returning Neil Haslam finished as the 4s leading wicket taker with 18 wickets as he bamboozled opposition all season long. The ever-reliable Ian Roberts took 12 wickets including (4 for 19) in his all round match winning display at Datchworth. Zac Conley also confirmed his all-round ability by taking 13 wickets. Matt Giblin, Alan Ward, Jack Childs and Steve Hughes were also reliable and all had game changing spells throughout the season. With no regular wicket-keeper, skipper Lloyd Bowman deputized for the season and took 6 catches.
Perhaps most positively for the 4s this season was the impact the younger players in the squad had upon the team’s success. Many of whom were getting their first taste of ‘Open Age Adult Cricket’ and these enthusiastic, often patient performances and exhibited great potential for the future both with bat and ball. Jonathan Adam took 2 crucial wickets in the top of the table clash at home versus Welwyn and bowled well throughout the season and likewise his elder brother George often frustrated opposition bowlers and dug deep in some tough situations. Spinners Ed Kershaw and Toby Emes both were comfortable and not daunted by the challenge of adult cricket. Oli Mansfield and Matt Yates both progressed immensely as the season progressed and by the end were both frequently reliable for taking the new ball and causing problems on different pitches.
A huge thanks goes to Richard Robertson, for his hard work on the Freman College pitch this season – it’s not very often 250 runs is a ‘par’ score on a clubs second ground. Excellent teas were provided from Bethan Smith, Tina Hughes, Laura Childs, Sue Bowman and Mas Naeem throughout the season – so a huge thanks to them also.
Report by Lloyd Bowman, Captain, RCC Fourth XI
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Sunday XI REPORT 2015
2015 was another good year for Reeds Sunday Friendly XI with 8 wins from the 15 games played. The card was full of fixtures against some of our annual rivals but we also encountered some new sides through conference matches. With most of the fixtures played at the club H.Q. the side was able to provide some great entertainment for the clubs supporters.
Yet again, a lot of the hard work was done by the youngsters, who are continuing to learn their trade. With the likes of Tom Nussey, Jonathan Lankester and George and Jonathan Adam making their debuts on Sundays, they were able to get some important experience. Meanwhile, Sam Rice, Toby Emes, Ed Kershaw, Reeds chief spinners put in important performances. Whilst Jack Caine, Owen Hughes, Matt Yates, Joe Graves, Zac Conley, Ben Moody, Rob Lankester and Ben and Ollie Mansfield represented the younger members who will be the future of the club.
Of the elder players Tom Walsingham, Rob Willoughby, Jack Tidey, Phil Lill (Reeds overseas player), Graeme Stuart, Peter Baker, Marcus J.E. Baker, Matt Giblin, Lloyd Bowman, Rhodri Hughes, Steve Hughes, Marcus Martin and Paul Garrott each played regularly and successfully.
When I look back there were some really impressive performances that standout by the youngsters. Rice’s 4 for 40 against Waresley and Emes’s 4 for 16 against Outlaws. Tom Nussey scoring an enterprising 30 against Outlaws followed by Walsingham’s 53 not out. Jonathan Lankester on debut bowling superbly before scoring 29 not out. Owen Hughes’s 2 for 1 against Preston and his 42 against Knebworth Blue. Zac Conley’s big hitting 41 followed by Matt Yates’s 28 not out against Little Hadham. Giblin’s 3 for 14 against Camden. Zac Conley 3 for 5 against Forest Gate and finally Ben Mansfield’s 21 against Little Hadham away.
The final two individual performances I would like to mention give me a lot of pride to be captain on those days. First, I had the honour of batting with Ben Moody when he made his maiden half-century. It was an entertaining innings and he is a great talent who can play in more than one style as the situation dictates not to mention his contributions as a keeper and clubman. He made 139 runs at an average of 27 this year. The second performance came from the standout player of the side. Rob Lankester scored 352 runs at an average of 58. He is a batsman with equally high measures of skill, patience and temperament all of which he showed when made his maiden century against Preston. He will no doubt go from strength to strength.
Phil Lill also made a century to go with his two half centuries from his three innings. Willoughby, Walsingham, M.J.E. Baker, Martin and Garrott each made 50 plus scores whilst the leading wicket takers were M.J.E. Baker (11) and Sam Rice (10).
A big thanks to Robbo and Peter Wholley for their work on both pitches and Peter’s work as fixture secretary. Also to Rosemary and Bethan for their teas which as usual were superb. The side continues to work as a nursery for these young players and judging by this year’s performances, next year should be an even better season for the club.
Report by Marcus J.E. Baker, Captain, RCC Sunday XI
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Mid-Week Captain’s Report.
This year as usual the midweek XI entered the Keatley Cup, with a mix of youth, experienced and very experienced cricketers. We won the group although we only played two games after Thriplow and Cockenach both pulled out due to the fact that they were unable to raise a side.
Unfortunately, unlike the first encounter against Foxton, when James Heslam, Rob Lankester and Sean Tidey had scored good runs, in the final, with largely a Second XI, we came across an in-form Dave Fagan who scored a hard hitting hundred including 11 fours and 9 sixes out of 134 for 4. This took the game away from us and unfortunately we were unable to chase a decent target being all-out for 77.
We also hosted Garboldisham in a tour game. This was a good opportunity for our younger lads to impress which they did. Rob Lankester made 50 and Jack Caine, 51 after Phil Lill had opened the innings with 64. We easily won the game against a good club (we never lose on tour).
Our final midweek game of the season was against Ickleford in a T20 Friendly. This was a good chance to test ourselves against a very good and competitive side. Despite 45 by Jack Tidey we lost this game too but again our younger players performed well.
Hopefully next year we will have a bit more midweek cricket. With the help of Paul Watts and representatives of other clubs we will be entering a ‘North Herts Midweek Cup’. Hopefully this will provide us with tougher competition on better pitches.
I would like to say thank you to all the lads that turned out for the Midweek XI this season. A huge thank you to Paul Watts for umpiring many of the games and saving a few arguments in the process.
Report by Sean Tidey, Captain, RCC Mid-Week XI.
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By |2016-12-27T13:13:31+00:00October 19th, 2015|Categories: 2015, 2015 Match Reports, 2015 Season Review, News, Season Review|Tags: , |0 Comments

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Hon. Secretary, RCC Oldest Centurion

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