To get relegated by one point, and to go down with a record number of points, having beaten with ease the two promoted sides in the last month of the season and rather harshly have points deducted is of great disappointment to our Club.
Having said that, our 1st XI consisted of a very young team regularly fielding seven or eight players under 21 years of age. The season proved frustrating in many ways as most games we felt we had the better of, and with a little luck we could well have been looking at promotion, so close was the league. Billy Gordon, Chris Sains and Paul Murray were our top run scorers, with Marc Whitlock again taking most wickets.
Our 2nd XI having been promoted to the Premier League the previous year had an outstanding season, particularly as the Captain and leading Batsman Kevin Shallow of last year was away throughout. Under the new Captaincy of club stalwart Dave Kiff, the team finished in a very creditable mid table position. Our Overseas player James Bourke, along with Lee Bones and Myles Wells were the main contributors. It was also pleasing to see a number of youngsters seizing their opportunity at that level.
Unfortunately our Ground in Cromer Road, Hornchurch had extreme problems due to the water retention and bad weather, which meant our 3rd and 4th XI had more games than others cancelled therefore reducing their chances of finishing in a higher position. Each team managed to be in the top half and without the problems experienced both could have been challenging for honours in their league.
Our Youth Cricket Programme continued to flourish at the Club, with a number of youngsters now playing regularly for our league teams. Our “Cricket for All” and Youth teams are extremely important to us and with our Coaches Chris Gladwin, Paul Murray and our new Manager of our Youth Section Danny Imray, we now feel we can offer something special for all levels of ability.
In recent years we have unfortunately finished towards the bottom of the disciplinary league however, this season we came a credible 4th and as a Club we are extremely proud of the progress we have made.
We look to next season with great optimism, where hopefully our young team will mature further and return to the 1st Division.