1st XI Skipper Pete Wallis gives us his resume of the the 2013 season…
This has been a momentous season for this great cricket club with much success for both teams. The on-field achievements have however been put firmly into perspective with the sad passing of two Minchinhampton stalwarts, Rex Barker and Tony Smith. Rex was an esteemed player, chairman and groundsman for many years and played a pivotal role in acquiring lottery funding for our fantastic pavilion. Much has been said about Tony’s role in the club and I can only echo the same. From a personal point of view I remember ‘Tone’ being an extremely supportive and enthusiastic cricketer and a truly lovely man. I would like to dedicate our promotion to their memory and our thoughts remain with their friends and family.
The season began back in May with all of us hoping for a repeat of 2012’s success but over a full, and sunny, summer. Thankfully, both were to be the case. The SDCA fixture computer had thrown up a potentially tricky start at home against perennial bogey team and fellow Twitterers , Whitminster. Thankfully we showed the strength of our entire team and tied up a morale-boosting opening day win. This strength in depth was to continue throughout the season with new boys Priesty and Ross (kind of returning from the team we don’t mention!) fitting in well and raising the bar even further from last season.
So in no particular order, here are my moments of the season :
Innings of the Season
A certain Mr Garschagen dominates this area and I am told that his century against Painswick was a brutal knock but my innings of the season goes to his imperious 99* against Stroud in our T20 victory. The shot of the game being the straight drive onto the by-pass…much to the surprise of passing motorists I imagine! If only J had managed to work out how to connect and get him on strike for the 100!
Bowling Spell of the Season
Honourable mentions must go to Priesty and ‘Tinkerman Turton’ who both took regular wickets however unfortunately they coincided with me not being there so can’t comment! This was also the breakthrough season of youngster A Waring whose tweak and guile reaped a number of key wickets! Finally, and more seriously, to J who bowled with great skill throughout the year and fully deserved to be top wicket taker…look after it for me until next year mate!!
The spell of the season must however go to ‘Flash’ who, having been used sparingly before (and after!), came massively to the party at Randwick away where he bowled doggedly into the wind and took 7-39. He will also tell you, and Michael Holding, that he deserved at least 12 that day…
Wicket of the Season
A clash at Fortress Minch between us and Frocester was a chance to lay down our championship credentials and an element of revenge was in the air following the reverse fixture. Our nemesis from the first game, Mr Whincup, strode to the crease to face a buoyant ‘Flash’ from the tennis court end, overseen diligently by league-appointed umpires. Having safely negotiated the first ball, Flash produced a ripper, which, ahem, cut a mile and pinned the batsman in front of all three, prompting a huge appeal and the finger to be raised…Delight around the ground for all but a few…
Catch of the Season
A category with a number of options but one clear winner…
Honourable mentions to Rich Scott for his cat-like reactions from a Preisty quick one, Ross for a dive many footballers would have been proud of, Marcus for avoiding face-reconstruction and Simon for the most nonchalant one-handed grab possible.
However the winner is the one and only Rafa, who took a number of superb catches, the most memorable being at Randwick, where he stormed down the not inconsiderable slope before diving and plucking one just off the turf. Well done Rafa, who says you never win an award!!
Sledge of the Season
Names will be removed to protect the parties involved…
Painswick at home stands out for me and our friend ‘Coach’, who managed all of 3 balls after a hefty level of chirp during our innings, before being dispatched with a J Waring Slower Ball © …
The best almost-sledge was Mr Cruickshank’s nod towards a fabled and much-loved Steve Coogan character…if only he hadn’t dropped him!
Rafa’s chirp at Frocester certainly won’t be making the top 10…!
Having been pleading, chirping and bribing all season…club sponsor Mr Penn was eventually thrown the ball in the season-ending game at Whitminster, only to highlight my captaincy inadequacies and dismiss not one but two batsman with devastating lift and surprising pace! I hereby apologise Simon and will bow to your superior knowledge from now on!
Antipodean Moment of the Season
A number to choose from, mostly on the pitch, where seemingly a number of fellow teams were less than impressed with their appearance… but our friends from the Southern Hemisphere also gave us many laughs off the pitch. None more so than after the cancellation of Eastcombe away in early May where I spent a hefty afternoon introducing Pat and Josh to the British pub culture. This resulted in Josh making friends with the pub dog and some apparently less than impressed evening dinner hosts…
Team Performance of the Season
Having struggled to 150 against the ever dangerous Eastcombe at home, we managed an excellent bowling display, restricting them to 20 runs from the first 20…my highlight being the massive cheer for one batsman getting off the mark after half an innings batting!! This was a trait of the season with the entire team contributing throughout and someone always putting their hand up when we needed them.
Stupid Dive of the Season
Courtesy of yours truly at Uley where, having inserted the opposition on the hottest day in living memory, I thought I better set the standard by diving to save four…cue a broken hand, an incorrectly signalled four and 5 weeks on the side-lines…rest assured, my diving days are over!
Tweet of the Season
Picture the scene, a few of us are celebrating a(nother) win in Cheltenham when we spot our Twitter friend Mr Tindall (@miketindall13) celebrating his impending fatherhood…cue, a post-Stowford J including him in a number of tweets and him being delighted to chat!
Next year we are hoping to get Mr Chairman to learn the workings of Twitter i.e. typing something!!
Dick of the Season
A plethora of options for this prestigious award…namely me for getting injured…
The award though has to go to Dave C, who managed not only to be stumped by, but also drop our favourite keeper…too quick to burst into a chorus of ‘AHH-HAA’ Dave!!
The ‘Jim Fannon’ Award for Friendliness
It can only go to Jim Fannon…has an opposition player ever contributed so much to our fines jar?! I can only imagine the good people of Brisbane were the winners in his absence from our home game v Tormarton…
So, what a season…I have thoroughly enjoyed leading these warriors into the weekly battle. Special thanks must go to Mike for producing another unbeaten home pitch, Andrea for supplying teas worthy of champions, Al for stepping in as skipper when I was injured, J for all his help on and off the pitch, Simon and Cocksy for their kindness in being club sponsors and all the WAGs who tirelessly support their brave soldiers!
Roll on next season!! Onwards to take on the County!!