Although 2010 was a slightly disappointing season, there were many positives to take from it. Finishing fourth as our 1st Team did, was an excellent achievement, particularly as our overseas player Cameron Nupier was injured at the beginning of the season and did not play a League match. Likewise Craig Smith, who had taken 37 wickets in 2009 was also injured for most of the season. Billy Gordon was the top batsman with 743 runs. Simon Savides in his first season with Hornchurch scored 662 runs closely followed by Paul Murray with 638. The top bowlers were Marc Whitlock with 30 wickets, Jamie Went with 27 wickets and Billy Gordon with 20 wickets. There were only two centuries scored all season by the 1st XI, one by Billy Gordon and the other by Simon Savides. Billy Gordon, Michael Bones and Jamie Sorrell all continued to contribute in the 1st XI. The three have progressed through the club from the youth level and have promising cricketing futures in front of them.
In the League Cup we were away to Chingford in the first round and emerged the winners. We then played Loughton at home but were on the losing side. Paul Murray again captained our 1st Team with great commitment and enthusiasm. He is a superb cricketer, club member, as well as leading our coaching programmes. Congratulations to all who played in our 2nd and 3rd IX’s, certainly a difficult year with the lack of availability of quality players. However, both teams rallied well and in the end comfortably stayed in their leagues. The leading batsmen for the second team were Kevin Shallow 452 runs, Luke Edwards 446 whose runs included two centuries and Brad Hotchkiss with 270 runs. Top bowler was Daniel Foxton with 18 wickets, followed by Dave Kiff and Hamish Oxley both with 14 wickets and Jack Filtness 13 wickets. We were pleased to welcome Hamish Oxley to our club and he was the overseas player for the 2nd team throughout the season. He will also be playing again for us next season.
The leading batsman for the third eleven was Lowell Mason with 327 runs, followed by Mike Keanly 276 runs and Frankie Jacobs 196 runs. Leading bowlers were Barry Bones with 24 wickets, Michael Rowe 18 and Dave Kiff 12 wickets respectively.
The 4th IX were again led by Alan Foxton who led the team to another creditable season narrowly missing out on promotion. The leading batsmen for the 4th XI were Imran Khan 569 runs, George Clark 300 runs, Jamie West 289 runs and Gary Pritchard 275. Only two centuries were scored throughout the season one by Jamie West and the other by Gary Pritchard. Alan Foxton was the best bowler with 24 wickets followed by Charlie Jacobs and Mohammed Bilal both with 18 wickets.
Our 5th and 6th teams struggled this season, particularly the 6th team where a lack of reasonable standard players made it impossible for the club to field sides of any strength. It has been decided to withdraw our 6th team from the league next season. The best batsman for the 5th team was Lee Gilbert with 537 runs and George Green 212 runs. The leading bowlers were George Green with 24 wickets and Chris James with 20 wickets.
The only batman in the 6th eleven who scored more than 100 runs was Jeremy West with 133 runs and the best bowler was Doug Shewring who took nine wickets.
The Jeff Rodriques Trophy for U15/O40s was a repeat on last year’s final against Five & Heronians. This time Five & Heronians emerged the winners.
Mark Ede who has played for Hornchurch for 40 years, scoring over 17,000 runs as well as taking a significant amount of wickets has decided to retire. Mark will be sorely missed for his experience and enthusiasm, but although he stated that his playing days are over we have not given up hope of persuading him to turn out occasionally for our lower teams.
If you attract a full house you must, or must have been good at what you did. A full house packed into St Edwards Church, Market Place, Romford for the funeral service of Howard Mayes who died on 28th December 2010. He was only 49. Howard began his career with Hornchurch as a colt. His ability to lead blossomed when he became 1st XI captain in 1984 and stayed in this position for five years. He again captained the first team in 1993.
In 1988 he led a “fun loving” but good cricketing eleven to win the Division 1 Chargecrest League. Howard contributed 50 wickets to this success. Howard was a good bat scoring 2,806 runs, but he was a better bowler as his total wickets of 652 testifies. This included a five wicket haul in an innings 19 times in the league.
As is all to often the case, it sadly takes something like an untimely tragedy to put someone’s achievements and qualities into focus. Anyone around the club at that time – not least those who played in the 1980’s trophy winning team will vouch for the important role carried out by Howard; he was an important architect in the development of Hornchurch into the vibrant and important club it is today. Our thoughts are with his wife Ann and daughters Sarah and Emma at this sad time.
Our youth cricket was once again very successful with our “Cricket for All” programme attracting over 300 young people throughout the summer. The commitment of Paul Murray our head coach and a number of other coaches deserve a special thank you, together with Steve Durrant and all the managers who give up so much time throughout the summer managing and organising our youth teams.
We once again take this opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the local community and to raise the profile of cricket in the area, surely something we can all benefit from. We would also like to thank our sponsors Grove & Dean, Sportsmatch, the Jack Petchey Foundation as well as our numerous advertising sponsors who all provide significant and welcome financial help to help the Club achieve its aim.
May we conclude but offering a warm welcome to all players, umpires, scorers and spectators visiting Harrow Lodge and our associated grounds during the 2011 season.