End of Season Reviews, Captains & Colts’ Managers

1st XI REPORT 2018
A fairly disappointing season for the First Team this year! We once again held our own in the league and beat most sides but consistency throughout the season in selection let us down. However, there were lots of positives to take away from the season. Our bowling attack went from strength to strength with all 5 of our main bowlers taking over 20 wickets on some fairly flat pitches which was very encouraging. With the bat we passed 300 on a couple of occasions and 4 hundreds were scored but sadly we could not score consistently and this probably cost us a top 2 spot. We had some impressive performances from the first team fringe players, Richard Barlow impressed when selected, as did Matt Bowles and Jack Caine, hopefully these guys can kick on from here and really push for a place in the side on a more permanent basis.

Unfortunately our campaign to defend our NVC crown this year never really got going, losing to Langleybury in the first round, although we did have our revenge on them in the final game of the league season, beating them and sending them down into Division 1. With that said we wish them all the best and hope to see them back in the championship in the near future.

Moving forward into next season, I’m fairly sure there won’t be any cricket season weddings which should help out with the availability! We will be starting winter nets in February and hope to have a big pre-season so we can hit the ground running in May, where we will be playing for a big promotion push and also another trip back to Lord’s. Any new players and of course existing players are all welcome.

It has been a pleasure to captain the lads again this year, I think we’ve used 25 players in the first team this season, so thanks to each and everyone of you. Special thanks to Jack Tidey for his advice and help as VC.

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.

Winter well and I look forward to catching up soon.

Tom Greaves, Club Captain, RCC.
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2nd XI REPORT 2018
It was a tricky season for the 2nd XI, with some disappointing losses but also being the only team to inflict defeat upon the league winners, and standout team West Herts. A run of 4 consecutive wins in the middle of the season could have led to bigger and better things but an inability to get a consistently strong team out ultimately meant that losses were unavoidable.

Despite the largely stunning weather experienced this summer, providing some lovely batting conditions, the team found making consistent runs hard to come by and were heavily dependent on the bat of Chris Jackson. Chris’s self imposed relegation from the 1st XI was to the huge benefit of the 2nd team where he wracked up 671 runs at an incredible average of 84. Richard Barlow also performed well with 408 runs at 45 but his form led him to playing half of the season in the 1st XI. There are some senior batsmen in the 2nd team that will need to step up next season if we are to mount a serious title challenge.

With the ball, success was shared more equally with all bowlers at some stage putting their hands up. The two, Matts, Giblin (19 wickets at 26) and Bowles (20 at 19), as well as Owen Hughes (20 at 23) were the standout performers. “Herschelle” Giblin’s performances this season, were in many people’s opinion, the shining light of the club this year, being a 3rd XI stalwart to opening the bowling and consistently taking the wickets in the 2nd XI which resulted in a very popular and well earned call up to the 1st team for the last game of the season.

The chopping and changing of the team due to unprecedentedly poor availability in the 1st and 2nd XI’s did not help performances, particularly on the batting front, with a settled line up being integral to consistent run making. Over 50 different players represented the 2nd XI this season and I would like to thank each and every one. A big thank you to MJEB for standing in as wicketkeeper when Tim Tidey fell unwell and we wish him a speedy recovery. I would also like to thank Matt and the selection committee for all their efforts in getting as many teams out as possible each weekend, not an easy task. Ruth Tidey, as she has for the last few seasons has provided us with the best teas in the league and to Robbo for his exceptionally well prepared wickets. Wattsy, thank you for your officiating. If only all the umpires in the league displayed your ability and neutrality. This is my last season (for now) of captaining the 2nd XI, it has been a pleasure and you have all made my job very easy.

A quick rallying cry…. we are a wonderful cricket club (some may say the best in the country), so lucky with our fellow members, facilities and those that give their time to the club. Each and every member (especially the players) needs to do what they can to attract new members to the club because we cannot afford to lose the 3rd XI, which will happen if we have another season like last years.

Phil Frenay, Captain, RCC Second XI.
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3rd XI REPORT 2018
After a promising start to the 2018 season, it all went slightly downhill. Firstly, we lost our captain and probably our best batsman, Marcus Baker, and then myself, as captain, struggled with availability and form. However, throughout the season there were still some notable performances. Rob Willoughby scored a century in our second match and his brother Kieren, a match winning 83 not out, at Letchworth. Zac Conley scored a blistering 87 at Shenley in a lost cause and Kieran McKinna, his highest score in adult cricket of 39. Peter Baker also played some purposeful knocks throughout this troubled season.

Bowling-wise, Neil Haslam produced miserly spells most weeks without taking many wickets. Ian Roberts returned at the end of the season to help out massively and soon got back into his bowling rhythm. Rob Willoughby also bowled well but it was a real shame that he was not available for us more often. Rhodri Hughes played some useful innings for us, but he was too often called up to the 2’s or the 1’s.

Young Ross Gardner performed admirably behind the stumps and with bat and ball at times, demonstrating that he is one to look out for in the future.

George Garrott turned out for us one week after being injured for a few weeks and took 4 wickets to help us achieve a notable win, one of only 3 wins this season.

All in all we played 14 matches, won 3, lost 9 and conceded 4 owing to poor availability. Although it was a struggle for most the season it was still enjoyable most of the time.

I would like to thank everyone for their contributions in difficult times with a special thank you to Maseeh Naeem who helped me enormously on and off the field.

Paul Garrott, Captain, RCC Third XI.
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SUNDAY XI REPORT 2018
Generally speaking, this season went very well for the Sunday XI, with plenty of positives to take forward, despite inconsistencies with availability throughout the club. In particular, many of the club’s youngsters made noticeable contributions with both bat and ball. The mix of youth and experience in many of the sides put out this season was also great to see, with all individuals seeming to integrate very well. Alongside this, it was also good to see new faces, such as James ‘Crockers’ Crockford, who proved a very useful asset for the team.

A number of special events took place throughout the season. This was kicked off by a game in remembrance and commemoration of Howard Marshall – the club’s long-standing President who sadly passed away towards the climax of the 2017 season. Alongside this, a number of traditional fixtures took place, including President’s Day, and the visit of Orwell FC to The Green – with each of these events drawing many people to watch, providing valuable income for the club.

A further positive was the exceptional individual contributions from 3 of the club’s batsmen – Richard Barlow, Michael Robertson, and Toby Fynn – all of whom scored a hundred for the team this year. It was great to see 1st XI bowler Toby scoring his maiden hundred, followed by another the following week. There were also a few standout contributions with the ball, including Ross Gardner and Steve Hughes’ 3-fers, and Matt Giblin’s 5 wicket haul.

Finally, a great deal of thanks must go to a number of individuals for their contributions to Sunday Cricket this year. As ever, thanks to Bethan Smith and Rosemary Collins’ for providing their lovely teas throughout the season. Many thanks also go to Richard Robertson for preparing the pitches to play on, and apologies on my behalf for the confusion over which track certain games were supposed to take place on. Also, thanks to Matt Bowles for helping to field a side in the first part of the season during my absence, Peter Wholley for arranging the fixtures, Peter Baker for producing match reports, Peter McMeekin for his work behind the bar, and the Selection Committee for their help during my first year in a captaincy role.

I have thoroughly enjoyed captaining the Sunday XI this year, and I look forward to seeing you all (hopefully among several new faces) at Winter nets to prepare for the 2019 season!

Rob Lankester, Captain, RCC Sunday XI.
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COLTS’ LIAISON OFFICER’S REPORT 2018
2018 season commenced with quite a few new recruits as a result of parentmail advertising in the local schools and also graduating from last year’s ‘All Stars’ programme. From the U13s Sam Osborne played for the U12 Cambridge County Team and Ross Gardner for the Hertfordshire U13 Development Team. Well done to those two.

A special thanks to the coaches, Richard Barlow and his team, who have turned out on Sunday mornings to coach the colts in developing their skills.

Thank you also to parents who came up with the idea of bacon rolls and cups of tea on Sunday mornings which as well quelling the hunger also provided some funds for club. Hopefully this will continue next season!

Cilla Robertson, Colts’ Liaison Officer, RCC.
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The Under 9s and All Stars:
The summer of 2018 will be remembered as the first cricket season Reed CC operated an Under 9s team as part of its historically highly successful colts set up. The opportunity developed through the introduction of the ECB All Stars Cricket initiative for 5-8 year olds last season. This meant the club went into this season with a number of 7 and 8 year olds (mostly 7!) all up to speed with the game and in the coaches’ view capable of playing matches at Under 9s level. Although most of the children were two years below they proved their coaches assessment to be correct as a squad of 11 performed admirably and were competitive in every fixture. Although only winning 1 of their 6 matches they were never far away and I have no doubt with further cricketing development and a year older next season we will see the narrow defeats be converted into convincing victories! I also remember very well all of their excitement at the fine victory versus Letchworth! It really does bode well for the future as hopefully the children can stay with the club and progress through the age groups from u9s to u15s.

The squad consisted of 8 year olds Oscar Brickles, Jamie Rogers and Joseph Rhodes and 7 year olds Josh Heslam, Matthew Jackson, Rory Longland, Ethan Fox, Jon Green, Toby Cook, Harrison Saines and Luke Wilson. All of them performed strongly and had some fine moments through the season but probably the most consistent were Josh Heslam and Harrison Saines with the ball and Oscar Brickles and Jamie Rogers with the bat. The fielding was excellent and the enthusiasm could not be faulted although sometimes requiring the umpire/coach to channel!! It was also a pleasure to introduce Eddie Heslam to the game at the age of 5 when we were unexpectedly short on two occasions and he didn’t let us down I remember bowling one “no wides over” even if he did nearly run his older brother out!

Outside of the matches the children continued to participate in the All Stars Cricket sessions on Sunday mornings but focussing more on game play compared to the previous season’s mixture of activities. Thanks must go to Simon Jackson, Nigel Cook and the clubs coaches who helped me run the sessions and Simon for supporting me with all of the matches and running a game I couldn’t attend and also to Jamie and Vicky Green who kindly volunteered to introduce a very popular Bacon Sandwiches stall towards the end of the season! Another positive is the next generation of children coming through with a number of interested parents including Graham Aldridge, Will Clarke and Simon Blair taking the new 5 and 6 year olds off for their first introduction to All Stars Cricket. Next season is likely to see this continue along with more focussed Under 9s training to support the preparation for 2 teams at this age who I have no doubt will be looking to finish towards the top end of the league tables which would qualify them for the Hertfordshire Finals Day. That will be the aim anyway!

Finally I must sign off by mentioning a huge thank you to Cilla Robertson who has been Colts Liaison Officer at Reed since 1997and has contributed immeasurably to the success of the colts system and therefore the club during this long period of time. She will be sorely missed but afforded a very well earnt rest!

James Heslam, U9 Colts Manager and All Stars Activator, RCC.
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The Under 11s:
The U11s played in the Cambridgeshire Youth Cricket Association (CYCA) league where the format is 10-a-side Pairs Cricket. This format is ideal for everyone to be in the game, with each player given the opportunity to bat and most also bowling.

The U11s played 9 matches of which 4 were won, 4 lost and 1 Winning Conceded, resulting in the team being 5th in the league at the end of the season. The team comprised of a core of older, experienced players with younger ones supporting them. Every member of the colts played at least one game.

The highlights of the season were Charlie Walters scoring 40 (not out) off 15 balls against Saffron Walden CC and Adam Gardner scoring 21 off 16 balls against Wenden CC. Other players that contributed well to the team results were Oliver Keenan and Jacob Vincent.

The captaincy for the season was shared between Adam Gardner and Charlie Walters and Edward Cook when the other two were not available. All 3 took their role very seriously. Two of the U11s, Adam Gardner and Charlie Walters are also playing representative cricket at North Herts Area level and Charlie is also playing for the Herts County. Well achieved!

Thanks must be expressed to parents who umpired, scored and sorted out refreshments at the matches.

Cilla Robertson, U11 Colts Administrator, RCC.
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The Under 13s:
No report received as of 31st October.

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About the Author:

Hon. Secretary, RCC Oldest Centurion

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