Honorary Secretary’s Report, 2018.

My annual report usually begins with a round-up with the changes to the Club’s General Committee made at the previous year’s AGM. Whist there were some new faces, the most important thing I wish to highlight is the incredibly poor attendance at the AGM last November. Only 19 members turned-out. That is from a membership approaching 100 people and of those 19, only 6 were active players! A ridiculously low number.

Whilst a quorum was reached to enable many items to be voted-on and some Committee members elected, the Club Rules state that certain positions may be voted on only by playing members. Simply, because fewer than one-fifth of the total paid-up players were in attendance, Captains, their deputies and Playing Sub-Committee members could not be “elected”. As far as I know this was unprecedented and in order to resolve the situation the decision was taken to keep the status quo by the existing role holders to remain in post then for the General Committee to co-opt people to fill any vacant roles later. The upshot was those who did not wish to be re-elected to the General Committee were Marcus Baker and William Heslam. Brought-in were Sam Summers, Paul Garrott, Michael Robertson and Rob Lankester. Sean Tidey took over as the Under 25’s Representative. A new role on the Committee was created when Bill Mansfield became the first Facility Manager. Later, MJE Baker stood down from the 3rd XI captaincy to be replaced by Paul Garrott.

I thank all those past and present members who have served on the General Committee. Despite some ups-and-downs, our Club remains solvent and runs smoothly thanks to the hours of work and commitment these people have been willing to contribute. Attendance at Committee Meetings has been 69% at General Committee Meetings and 85% at Executive Meetings. I hope that the forthcoming 2018 AGM will see more than 19 club members present to recognise and acknowledge them. And I shall be very disappointed if there are not more actual players there otherwise what is the point of running a cricket club?

Parents of Colts had indicated that there were too many other distractions to enable a proper regime of winter coaching and the decision was taken not to organise indoor net sessions. As anticipated, the ages of the young players prevented there being an Under 15 team this season but for the first time, an Under 9 Team entered the leagues to join the Under 11s and Under13s. The older Colts’ Sunday morning sessions run during the season by Coach Coordinator, Richard Barlow, also saw the continuation of the “All-Stars” initiative aimed to attract 5- to 8-year-olds. James Heslam oversaw an enlarged group this year and you will read in his report that he is optimistic for the future. Additionally, more parents are becoming more involved and that too can only endorse the ethos of Reed being a family-friendly club. Ian Osborne managed the U13s, James Heslam the U9s whilst Cilla Robertson administered the U11s.

To commemorate the late-Howard Marshall’s contribution to the Club over the past five decades, a ceremony was held in May to name the Clubhouse in his honour. On behalf of the Club, John Heslam paid tribute to Howard and in response Howard’s son, Justin, confirmed that Howard had been immensely proud of the Club and his involvement in its achievements on-and-off the field. A large gathering of past and present players, family and friends witnessed Justin unveil a suitably smart but simple plaque on what will now be known as the Howard Marshall Pavilion. Earlier during the afternoon, a Reed XI had overcome a Howard Marshall XI containing not only Justin but also three of Howard’s grandchildren, Jake, Becky and Aaron, by 10 runs.

Further improvements to the Pavilion were made with the installation of new windows at the front of the lounge and new external doors in both changing-rooms. Substantial funding for this was made possible by a successful application to the ECB Small Grant scheme. At the same time, our own Paul Watts constructed replacement wooden railings along the veranda. Worryingly, very minor damage was caused to the covers and evidence of littering and other “nefarious midnight activities” was found around the premises but those responsible clearly became bored and thankfully nothing further has occurred in the past couple of months.

Every autumn the SHPCL publish Facilities Markings for every Club in the League. At the date of writing, markings for Championship and Premiership matches have not yet been published; the neutral umpires submit those reports. All the other match venues from Division 1 and down are marked to a different criteria and appeared on the SHPCL website in October. These are based on (subjective) submissions by the Away Captain in each League match. In Division 4A where Reed’s 2nd XI play, Reed Green was placed 2nd equal with an average of 8.12 points overall, the categories being Pitch, Outfield, Sightscreens, Boundary, Scorebox and Clubhouse. Only West Herts with 8.25 was judged to be better. Meanwhile, in Division 9A the Freman Oval, (the home of our Third Team), came in 3rd with 7.64 average points overall. Welwyn Garden City had 7.75 and Hatfield Hyde 8.1. Well done and thank you to Richard Robertson, Peter Wholley and Clive Collins for all the arduous work and long hours they put in on our behalf. Remember that these markings are from visiting skippers so it shows that they recognise what superb facilities “Robbo”, Peter and Clive produce for us.

At the Herts League’s AGM in February, a proposal was carried (53 Clubs for to 37 against) that all matches in Division 1 and below would be in the Limited Overs format. A separate proposal to reduce matches in Division 7A to 10B from 50 overs-per-side to 40 was defeated. (Matches in the Regional Divisions already are 40/40.) The Championship and Premiership matches are unaffected by this as they are governed by their own separate committee and they continue to play the twin formats of 9 limited-over matches (50/50) and 9 “Timed matches”.

By the time you read this, the 2018 Bonfire and Fireworks Party organised by volunteers from the village of Reed may have taken place. But each year Reed CC benefit from this event by opening our bar. The 2017 Bonfire Night was very well supported and generated bar takings of £886, which Bar Chairman Peter McMeekin thought was probably a record, despite the bonfire taking a bit of lighting after all the overnight and morning rain.

Father Christmas reappeared over the Reed skies in December thanks to his “little helper” Andrew Emms who apparently has a private phone line to Santa enabling him to make his annual visit with small gifts for the younger children. Sam Greaves is now our Social Secretary and coordinates all our social gatherings. There was a celebration night for the 2017 National Village Cup triumph that took more than £520 over the bar. Unfortunately that NVC success (and consequent bar profits) could not be repeated this season! We sampled the ever-tasty Curry Night presented by Marion and Paul Watts and saw the return of the popular Music Night supplemented by refreshments prepared by Marion and Peter McMeekin. Just prior to the beginning of the season, Tom Greaves beat Rich Wharton in the final of the Darts Competition and Graham Stuart overcame George Greaves in the Pool Final. The Chairman’s Match took place on 15th July, a day full of sporting clashes (the Tennis Final at Wimbledon, the Soccer World Cup Final etc.), but despite those other attractions, Stuart Smith’s XI prevailed against the Peter Tidey XI on a red-hot, scorching day. The Tidey’s regained some pride at President’s Day in August when their team won a 7-a-side mini-tournament. So successful were the two scheduled Quizzes that a third was added in October. All were fiercely contested with the June Quiz won by the Garrotts entering as “Not all legless”. Seven Teams took part in August which was won by “Salisbury’s Grigios”. The misnamed “A10 Losers” confused team member Peter McMeekin by winning in October. Thank you to all those that helped organising our social activities this year and if you have any ideas for other themed socials, please make your suggestions to Sam Greaves.

The 100 Club, (our own lottery administered by “Baz” Curtis), lost some members this year but still managed to make a profit of £1,240. We have 48 people currently entered each month and these are made up of 19 Non-Playing Members of RCC, 20 who interestingly are not even Cricket Club Members but continue to support us in this way and disappointingly only 9 RCC Players. 24 different people won cash in this year, so, to the other 60+ Players who have reportedly paid Subscriptions, why not sign on to the 100 Club? Simple maths show that there is a 50% chance of winning and the figures bear this out over the past 3 years.

Reed was again chosen to host two Herts Colts Area matches in the summer holidays and similarly Herts Over 60s played a fixture against Suffolk on The Green in July. The bar profits further benefitted from that latter match as there was an England World Cup soccer match that evening which the cricketers stayed-on to watch on TV.

As we know, Reed fielded an under-strength team in the National Village Cup match against Langleybury who subsequently ended-up as Herts & Beds Champions although they did not proceed much further. But the Captains’ reports will put more flesh on the bones regarding what happened on the field. However, I shall mention that overall player availability was patchy at best. Weddings, Exam revision, Saturday jobs, holidays, loss of players all contributed to the Selectors’ problems and Matt Bowles and his committee were confronted each week with not having sufficient players. So much so that the Thirds had to concede four games this year. Do we want them to follow the Fourths into oblivion? I have made a not particularly scientific study of player numbers and matches played (see below). Will we survive another season until the most promising of the Under 13 Colts are able to start playing Open-Age Cricket? Or wait for the current Under 11s to take their places? Or will they too begin to drift away?

The Colts’ results are promising. The Under 9s came 6th in their first season; the U11s fifth in Division 11C of the Cambs YCA whilst the U13s also got fifth slot in the CYCA Premier Division. Thanks to various Team Managers, scorers, umpires, parents and car drivers for helping to make things easier for our young players to participate. Reed has always been a volunteer-led club and we appreciate the time and commitment you give.

For the senior teams, after a lean year for centuries in 2017 when only the two Bakers scored one ton each, 2018 was much more rewarding with 11 individual centuries being recorded in weekend fixtures. Well-batted Richard Barlow (twice), Toby Fynn, James Heslam, William Heslam, Chris Jackson, Mike Robertson, Matt Sampson (twice), Richard Wharton, Rob Willoughby. In addition, Toby Fynn also reached three figures in the Chairman’s Match in July. Bowling-wise, the most remarkable return was George Garrott’s 6 for 14 in a Second XI League match, but there were three “5-fors” by Matt Giblin, Tom Greaves and Karl Ward, then two “six-fors” from Ed Wharton and Sean Tidey but topping those with an amazing 7 for 37 was Tom Greaves against Ampthill. In the field overall, Chris Jackson held 14 catches, Stuart Smith 13 and Ed Wharton 10. Brother Richard Wharton caught 10 as keeper and added 2 stumpings, whilst Sean Tidey pouched 11 as keeper to go with 7 catches in the outfield. Rob Lankester was also involved as a keeper making 5 dismissals, (3 catches and 2 stumpings) and held 9 fielding catches. MJE Baker totalled 11 (2 in the field, 6 as keeper and 3 stumpings). Chris Jackson’s experience and batting skills shone through as he racked-up 6 fifties and 1 ton for our Second XI. Significantly, “CJ” topped the League Division 4A Averages with 671 runs at 83.88.

The season was not without controversy when one First XI player was reported by the Umpires for dissent, a level 1 offence. This resulted in the player being banned of the final match of the 2018 season and he has a penalty of a one-match ban suspended until the halfway point of 2019 hanging over his head.

I try to thank all those who have contributed to the ongoing administration on the Club as I compile my report but realise that I may have missed you out personally by name. I apologise if I have. To acknowledge his 35 years’ involvement in the Club’s management, much of the time as Chairman, President Emms presented John Heslam with a suitably engraved pen. JQH had not sought re-election at the 2016 AGM and the award was in recognition and appreciation of all the work he had carried-out and the improvements he had instigated since joining the Club in 1980. Richard Robertson also plans to shed another role, that of our Herts League Representative which he has been for more than 25 years. This job entails being the conduit of information between RCC and the SHPCL. Thank you “Robbo”.

One person whom I cannot fail to mention and who has been absolutely invaluable is Cilla Robertson. She gave us fair warning that she would no longer be wearing 3 hats in 2019! Cilla announced that we would have to start looking for a different Welfare Officer and a new Colts Liaison Officer. Everyone at the Club knows Cilla but perhaps not all of us realise the amount of time and hard work she puts-in. Creating and submitting Clubmark applications, completing ECB surveys and strategies, attending training courses, maintaining records, not to mention the last-minute hassle of registering “guest players” on the morning of a League match as well as keeping “Robbo” and “Mikey” in check! The list is endless. She has never even played one match of cricket but could any of us have done so without her total commitment to Reed CC? Thankfully, Cilla has agreed to continue to be Membership Secretary, (if elected!) and that will still involve her in things like Data Protection procedures in which we have had to comply. I am sure you will join me in thanking Cilla whole-heartedly for everything she has done and continues to do for RCC.

As we move towards 2019 we know that we have much to do regarding attracting and retaining new players of whatever age or standard. We cannot allow the Third Team to disappear – that’s the initial stepping stone for Colts to play senior cricket as well as a place where some of us older ones moving the other way can still contribute and enjoy their cricket.

Peter G. Baker,
Honorary Secretary, Reed Cricket Club.
October 2018.

2015Players appearing89Played 10 or more40Made final appearance16
1 match only2 to 5 matches6 to 9 matches10 to 15 matches16 to 20 matches20 or more matches
(of those playing 10+)91399
Age group10 to 1920 to 2930 to 3940 to 4950 to 5960+
(of those playing 10+)91211242
2016Players appearing82Played 10 or more43Made final appearance18
1 match only2 to 5 matches6 to 9 matches10 to 15 matches16 to 20 matches20 or more matches
(of those playing 10+)131299
Age group10 to 1920 to 2930 to 3940 to 4950 to 5960+
(of those playing 10+)61612351
2017Players appearing74Played 10 or more39Made final appearance15
1 match only2 to 5 matches6 to 9 matches10 to 15 matches16 to 20 matches20 or more matches
(of those playing 10+)131178
Age group10 to 1920 to 2930 to 3940 to 4950 to 5960+
(of those playing 10+)61411251
2018Players appearing73Played 10 or more33
1 match only2 to 5 matches6 to 9 matches10 to 15 matches16 to 20 matches20 or more matches
(of those playing 10+)101355
Age group10 to 1920 to 2930 to 3940 to 4950 to 5960+
(of those playing 10+)21411141

122 different players have appeared overall in the four seasons, 2015 – 2018 (inclusive).
Of the original 40 players who played more than 10 matches in 2015, only 20 of them have played 10+ in each of the four seasons.
Of those 40 from 2015, only 31 are what I would describe as still being active.
Reasons for not appearing more than 10 times in any particular season include:
Injury; illness; family / child commitments; 4th XI no longer functioning after mid-2017; works / studies / lives out of the area; revision for exams; got a Saturday job; changing to other clubs; retired; stopped playing altogether.
Overall 56 players played 10 or more games in at least one season during the past 4 years. Apart from the 20 playing in all four years, 15 have achieved this in three seasons, 9 for two seasons and 12 in just the one year.
Standard; purely my own subjective judgement and based on if we still fielded a Fourth XI.
2017 was the year the 1st XI played 7 fixtures in the Village Cup therefore some of those players involved appeared more often that season. 5 in all seven games and 4 in six of them.
“Made Final Appearance” refers not only to long-term members who have ceased playing or moved away, but also includes “guests” who might have played fewer than 5 games. (19 one only; 12 two only, 4 three, 2 four and 4 five.)
The “Top Ten” aggregates over the four years are:
MJE Baker 96 matches; Rob Lankester 90; PG Baker 86; Sean Tidey 82; Tom Greaves 78; Rhodri Hughes 78; Owen Hughes 71; Joe Graves 70; James Heslam 69; Toby Fynn 68.
Eight more players appeared in over 60 matches and a further eleven in more than 50.
I cannot account for matches cancelled without a ball being bowled for whatever reason (e.g., weather, concession by either club), when players would have been available and selected to play but were prevented.
(Data from historic RCC records and accurate to October 2018.)