Although last season was in some respects disappointing, with our 1st XI not achieving what we hoped, our 2nd and 4th partly made up for this by gaining promotion in their respective leagues.
At the beginning of the season with the signing of two new players to go with our talented youngsters, we were full of optimism of achieving promotion back to the premiership. Sadly this was not the case as our Overseas Player was partially injured for most of the season and several others did not fulfil their potential. Billy Gordon was our leading run scorer, with one quite memorable innings of 170 not out, to ensure an unlikely victory against Upminster. He was also joint leading wicket taker along with Danny Evans and Danny Cocklin.
Our 2nd XI under the new captain Kevin Shallow had a memorable season and had it not been for a number of regular players missing in the last game due to a wedding, we may well have won the League. Lee Bones and Jamie Sorrell ensured our batting was strong throughout and with our Overseas star, Hamish Oxley spearheading our Bowling, the season proved a great success.
Under the Captaincy of Barry Bones our 3rd XI also had a reasonable season. Barry managed a remarkable 43 wickets and together with all rounder Lowell Mason, Mike Keanly and Mike Rowe the team performed well and finished in a creditable position in the league.
Our 4th XI also gained promotion due mainly to a fine all round team effort from a number of players. Tony Willison’s batting contribution was again outstanding, scoring almost 800 league runs.
This year we took the decision to use our 5th XI as a means to gain experience for a number of our youngsters, with a minimum of seven playing in each game. Although it proved difficult for the team to begin with, the second half of the season gave great promise with a number of youngsters making significant contributions.
Youth Cricket remains a high priority at our Club, with our Cricket for All Programme once again proving to be of great success. A testimony to this is seeing our 1st and 2nd XI teams field a majority of home grown youngsters.
With several changes already in place, we look forward to the new season with great optimism and excitement.