End of Season Reviews, Captains & Colts’ Managers

1st XI REPORT 2017

A season of “what ifs” for the First Team this year! Once again we proved ourselves to be in the top four teams in the Championship Division and if it hadn’t been for some availability issues I could now be writing this as a Premier League Captain. However, there were lots of positives to take away from the season. We beat every team in the League this year with the exception of Dunstable where rain halted our progress over at their place, showing we really aren’t far away from winning this League. Jack Tidey, back in the side after a lengthy stretch away with injury, was very pleasing to see, and towards the back end of the season was starting to really look back to his old way. Ed Wharton having another fine season with bat and ball, and backed-up by the Heslam brothers, Rob Lankester, Sean Tidey and some handy lower order hitting from myself, Stuart Smith and Mitchell Cooper. Rich Wharton also contributing with some match-winning knocks and outstanding performances with the gloves throughout the season. Mike Catt at the age of just 15 made his First Team debut and hit 66 not out in only his second innings, proving he really will be one to watch in the future. Our bowling attack served us well as per usual with Ed and Jack leading the way supported by Toby Fynn and our spinners.

On a slightly sadder note, Chris Jackson, the “granddad” of the First Team, has decided that after 22 years, (I think), he is going to hang-up his First Team boots. I wouldn’t even like to guess how many first team runs Chris has scored but he is one of the finest batsmen I’ve been lucky enough to play with. It has been an absolute pleasure to play cricket with him ever since I made the First XI in 2010 and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I have learnt a huge deal from him and he will be sorely missed. Good news for the Second Team however, as Chris will still be around and playing for them!

A great season overall in the League for us, hopefully next year we can really push hard for that Premier League spot that we really want! Perhaps with some slightly better training sessions, slightly better availability and the addition of an overseas player next season, this will be possible.

A few quick words of thanks also to Groundsman Richard Robertson for all the countless hours he and his team spend on the ground and to all the tea ladies that have made sure we haven’t gone hungry throughout the season. A great deal of thanks also goes to Peter Wholley who scored every game with the exception of one this year. Not only that but he sorts out all the playcricket.com statistics which make my life a lot easier towards the back end of the season, so thank you for all your hard work.

I’ll finish by saying a few words about the National Village Cup, a competition that means a huge deal to the Club. I’m sure everyone is aware that this year we managed to win it for the second time in the Club’s history beating a confident Sessay CC from Yorkshire by 7 wickets in the Final at Lord’s. It was a fantastic cup-run and on behalf of all the players I would like to thank everyone that came up and supported us throughout; it really was appreciated. I would like to thank the Committee members at the Club for getting behind the cup-run but I’d especially thank Peter Baker for organising the stuff behind the scenes throughout the competition. A lot of hard work goes into this task and we really appreciate it.

Winter well and I look forward to catching up soon.

Tom Greaves, Club Captain, RCC.
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2nd XI REPORT 2017
Reed’s Second XI suffered a stop / start season due partly to the poor weather in August and more generally due to poor or inconsistent availability throughout the year. More games were won than lost, but a lack of momentum meant that a serious title charge never came to fruition.
Reed’s consistent shortcomings were with the bat, with only Richard Johnson, Richard Barlow, Matt Sampson and Karl Ward having anything resembling a respectable season and even then in many of these cases the volume of runs scored was below previous years and expectations. The batting highlight of the year came at Hoddesdon where Karl Ward smashed an unbeaten 78 when Reed were staring down the barrel of a low first innings score. His efforts with both bat and ball in that match resulted in a pulsating draw which went down to the final ball of the match. Matt Sampson’s match winning 77 against West Herts must also not be forgotten, in helping the team win (relatively) comfortably.
With ball in hand Reed tended to fair a little better. Wickets were generally shared around, although the consistently excellent Karl Ward finished the season with 28 wickets and the retiring Pete Tidey with 20. The performance of the season in the field however must go to Matt Bowles who in the last game of the summer against second placed Hoddesdon took 5-11 including a brilliant (!) hat-trick. Matt who has in previous years been a part-time bowler took 15 wickets and finished with an average of just over 19.
In many ways it was a disappointing season, however there were some excellent team and individual performances that will provide encouragement for next season’s campaign. As ever a huge thanks must go to chief cheer leader and best tea maker in the league, Ruth Tidey for helping us out throughout the season, Robbo for preparing some really excellent cricket wickets and Wattsie (plus Richard Apperley and Neil Haslam in emergencies!) for travelling all over Hertfordshire and officiating our games.

Phil Frenay, Captain, RCC Second XI.
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3rd XI REPORT 2017
Starting my first year as Third Eleven captain I believed, and still do, that 11 players regardless of ability can be successful if they are playing as a team. The most important thing was for us to form a team unit based on positivity and hard work. These two mantras would stand us in good stead in some precarious positions and at the very least allowed us to enjoy our cricket and ensure we were playing the game in the right way. I’m grateful that everyone bought into this.
Right at the top of this report I wanted to bring attention to a young player who often goes un-credited but best encapsulates the term team man. Ben Moody put in a lot of hard work on and off the field to aid the team, club and captain. A free-flowing batsman he was unfortunately often hampered by batting in situations which required him to adapt. His innings against Welwyn Garden City won us the game and in total he made 195 runs. In the field he was always positive and bagged a creditable 12 catches and 5 stumpings.
Vice-captain Paul Garrott had a superb season with the bat. In total he made 345 runs with 3 half centuries including his match winning 80 against Mill Hill Village. He is a fantastic person for the younger players to look up to, somebody who plays with confidence and with a smile on his face.
Brothers Rhodri and Owen Hughes were two big features on the team sheet. Despite their age they both now have experience, which has seen them take on greater responsibilities. Owen was a consistent performer with the ball and put in some useful knocks with the bat. Whilst Rhodri was a live-wire in the field, showing remarkable athleticism and ability. His batting wasn’t too shabby either, 154 runs including a superb 63 away to Hemel Hempstead.
Steve Hughes had a season to remember and proved to be the heart of the team. Steve took 21 wickets at 16 apiece including his 4 for 13 away to Hemel and 5 for 23 against Hatfield Hyde. No one is more enthusiastic, supportive and keen than Steve, not to mention eager to umpire!! Other bowlers who performed well include Martin Johnson, Joe Graves and Matt Yates who also gave a crucial performance with the bat away to Bayford & Hertford; he is a budding all-round talent for the future. Impressive innings also came from Richard Barlow (54), Zac Conley (53), Rupert Martin (45) and Peter Baker (103).
I would like to give my personal thanks to all the tea ladies as well as Richard, Peter W. and Clive for preparing the pitches. Also a huge thanks to our number 1 supporter and scorer Jerry Yates.
So what for next season? How do we measure success? Is it through improved numbers? More wins? Or is it through people enjoying their cricket? Of course those things aren’t exclusive. If we are honest I’m sure each of us will want to think about where we can make improvements. But in my mind we have the most important thing to be successful – team spirit. So as for next season, I can’t wait!!

Marcus J.E. Baker, Captain, RCC Third XI.
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4th XI REPORT 2017
Traditionally since its creation in 2009, the Fourth XI has provided the starting point for aspiring teenaged players in Open-Age Cricket and given opportunities for older cricketers to continue playing competitive matches. That the Fourths could manage only to take the field five times and only once with eleven players saw its demise. Reed CC at full-strength should warrant the Selectors making difficult choices, but such was the lack of availability throughout the whole Club, for a variety of reasons, many players representing Second and Third Teams were arguably playing above their comfortable standard whilst the Fourth Team ceased to exist. True, youngsters headed for higher things did contribute and show promise, Jack Beber, Harry Hawes, Ben Mansfield, Kieran McKinna and Richard Stuart amongst them, but of seven other Colts who played regularly in 2016, only one re-appeared in 2017. This compounded the loss of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team regulars who also had other commitments during the season and 4th Team Captain, Lloyd Bowman, had no further group of reserves to call-on.
The first match was a friendly and Reed held-out for a draw 118 runs behind. An eight-man team was humiliated in a 333 runs defeat by Old Haberdashers having been bowled out for 20. It was closer in the next game – 9 players losing by 150 runs. Eight against Letchworth lost by 267 runs. By this time 3 matches had been conceded but then there was at last something to write home about. A batch of former members was in the area for a wedding and became available to turn-out for Reed on the 24th June, bolstering all the teams. Although the Fourth’s opposition, Old Albanian, knocked-up 296 for 3, Reed’s reply was 247, showing that with enough good-ish players to pick from, the 4th Team could register respectable scores.
Even outnumbered as they were in these completed matches, players such as Lloyd Bowman, Zac Conley, Neil Haslam, Steve Hoye, Owen Hughes, Steve Hughes, Michael Hubbard, Martin Johnson and Graham Stuart all managed to put in some useful performances. I thank Lloyd Bowman for his years of commitment in charge but this season was just too much of a struggle and cannot have been an enjoyable experience.

Peter G. Baker, Honorary Secretary, RCC.
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SUNDAY XI REPORT 2017
This year, in all honesty, has not been the most successful season for the Sunday Friendly side. The reality of the decline in playing members and poor availability has meant that fulfilling fixtures became close to impossible. This put our hard working Fixture Secretary Peter Wholley in an undesirable position of having to contact teams sending our apologies. In total we had to cancel an embarrassing 9 matches, just one less than the 10 we played. This obviously has a negative result on the club’s income in regards bar takings but also is a negative to those who enjoy watching cricket at the club on Sundays. But perhaps most importantly it upsets those that rely on Sunday cricket for a weekly game. The team relies on some players playing twice in a weekend to make up a full eleven. It was re-assuring to see that when it became an obvious problem that so many first eleven players turned out to help out.
It should of course be made clear that a number of those cancelled fixtures were because potential players preferred to support the 1st XI on their incredible journey to Lord’s. Clearly, not everything on Sundays went badly so let’s change the record and look at some huge positives.
Young players like Kieren McInna and Benji Mansfield showed some development in contributing importing innings. Not just that, its pleasing to see them become more comfortable within the team and not being afraid to share a bit of banter. Matt Yates, Joe Graves and Owen Hughes added to their experience. Whilst the likes of Matt Giblin, Neil Haslam, Peter Baker, John Kershaw and Lloyd Bowman also made appearances. Whilst Ollie Sayers made his debut, taking 4 wickets.
Rob Lankester and Rhodri Hughes once again both had superb seasons with the bat. Hughes made 194 runs with two half-centuries. Whilst Lankester, who also captained a few games scored 251 runs at 62, again with two half-centuries. He and Stuart Smith (55*) broke the 36 year-old record partnership for the tenth wicket making an unbroken 91. Half-centuries were also scored by Karl Ward, Jack Tidey, George Garrott, William Heslam, Toby Fynn, Tom Greaves and Mitchell Cooper.
Richard Stuart had a promising season with the ball and did a lot of running around in the field. Him playing with his dad Graham exemplified a big mantra of Reed CC of being a family club and together they played several games.
Perhaps the best thing to take from the season was the debuts in adult cricket of Ross Gardner and Sam Osborne. This early taste of that level of cricket will do them well as they develop through the colts system and eventually in to the Saturday league sides. Both were enthusiastic and showed the potential and skills that have singled them out for big things.
Finally, my thanks to Rosemary Collins and Bethan Smith for the doing teas. Also to Richard Robertson and Peter Wholley for ground preparation and also Peter again for his epic efforts as Fixture Secretary.

Marcus J.E. Baker, Captain, RCC Sunday XI.
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COLTS’ LIAISON OFFICER’S REPORT 2017

The ECB launched a new project aimed at 4 to 8 year olds, ‘All Stars’, and Reed was one of the centres to deliver the programme under the excellent guidance of James Heslam. 28 boys & girls turned out clad in their All Stars kit for 11 Sunday mornings and learnt the basics of the game. A few of the older ones will be progressing to join the main colts next season. We anticipate that numbers will increase again when registration opens in April. This project certainly will boost numbers coming into the colts.

2017 was the first season that there were only 2 age groups namely U13’s & U11’s, being coached on Sunday mornings. Each week saw new additions coming along to try out & then join the age groups. Progress was made under the coaching of Lead Coach, Richard Barlow, with Robert Lankester, Mike Robertson & Sean Tidey also taking sessions.

The Under 11s played in the Cambridgeshire Youth Cricket Association League where the format is Pairs cricket. This format is ideal for everyone to be in the game, with everyone given the opportunity to bat and most also bowling.

The U11s played 7 matches of which 4 were won and 3 were lost.
Granta were easily the best team in the league but, when all our experienced players were available, our U11s were more than a match for the rest of the league.
The team were often made up largely of boys in their first season of cricket, which will stand them in good stead for the future.
The highlights of the season were Charlie Walters scoring 33 (not out) off 15 balls against Cokenach and Sam Osborne with Adam Gardner scoring 26 off the last 3 overs to beat Royston. Will Green and Jacob Vincent also chipped in with valuable wickets.

The Under 13s had a very successful season in the Hertfordshire Championship Junior League. Of the seven league matches played, six were won and only one lost. The team then lost in the Quarter-final to Tring Park but took the game to the 18th over.

The batting was built around:
Sam Osborne 241 runs (average 40.2)
Charlie Walters 213 runs (average 42.6)
Jack Beber 129 runs (average 64.5)
Ross Gardner 114 runs (average 16.3)

The bowling:
Sam Osborne 18 wickets (average 8.28)
Adam Gardner 13 wickets (average 14)
Matthew Liebenberg 10 wickets (average 15.1)
Jack Beber 7 wickets (average 14.57)

The team’s average age was less than 11 years, so they did exceptionally well to compete in an Under 13s league. There are a lot of very promising young players at the club which bodes well for the future.
Neil Gardner, Manager, U11 & U13 Colts, RCC.

Thanks must be expressed to the parents who tirelessly managed the teams, umpired the games and scored in whatever the weather conditions.

Cilla Robertson, Colts’ Liaison Officer, RCC.
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Hon. Secretary, RCC Oldest Centurion

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