ASHFORD CRICKET CLUB 2011
Committee Report 2011
How can 2011 be sum up? Maybe the simplest way to describe is a year of consolidation. Enclosed are the captains' and managers' views on the performances of their respective sides. Here, for all they are worth, are mine.
Looking at the tables one could be forgiven for thinking that the club struggled as a whole - however as we know the tables do not always paint a true picture. The 1st XI fresh from the previous year's promotion performed well enough to secure their place in Division Two by the end of May, and thus one has to reflect on a missed opportunity to achieve a more comfortable position. In my opinion there are a number of reasons for this; The discipline of the side at times let the club down, turning out late for games, sometimes with less than 11 players is never going to give you the best platform to compete. At times application of the considerable talent we have was missing, and I am as guilty as anyone, however these are two areas that are being worked on, and once improved the 1st XI should have no difficulties in this league in 2012. I would like to thank on behalf of all at the club Richard Mansfield who is stepping down as 1st XI captain, Richard has led the side admirably and has led the club back to where it should be at the top end of the league structure.
The 2nd XI played what can only be described as inconsistent cricket throughout the season, often getting into match-winning positions only to let games slip away - the same must to be said of individual performers. Again, like the 1st XI there is no question of talent, the side should be expecting to push for promotion in 2012. I had the (mis)fortune of captaining the side in 2011 and will be stepping aside in 2012 - the team needs experienced leadership - a self-styled enforcer perhaps?
The 3rd XI suffered a bad start to the year, but managed to pull off some cracking victories to achieve a respectable mid-table position after last season's disappointments. The 4th XI performed admirably, and as a team ground out some impressive results, a quality that is essential for any player looking to make his mark on the club's higher XIs.
The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the 20/20 side reaching the area finals. Despite losing in the semi-final, due in part to some poor fielding (I won’t mention any names…), the team showed exactly what this club can achieve as they progressed through some tough games only to beaten by Premier Division Wimbledon.
Sunday cricket experienced somewhat of a renaissance in 2011, the club regularly fielded two sides, even getting the likes of Ross Wright and Robert Evans to show why they are regarded as real club men. The cricket was relaxed and enjoyable, the way a Sunday should be after a night of contributing heavily to club finds - long may it continue!
The season saw some exceptional individual performances. 1st XI league hundreds were made by Richard Mansfield (111*) and Chris Evans (100) who proved his star is yet to fade. The signet, Andrew Tippell took a hat-trick towards the back-end of the season in a devastating spell of 4 wickets in 4 balls. However, I am sure for the majority at the club the performances produced by Aussie overseas Sam Gilmour, will stick in the memory, almost a 1,000 runs at 40 and 49 wickets. I speak for everyone connected to Ashford in saying that he and partner Salli will be fondly remembered and always welcome at the ACG.
The Ladies section continued to improve and grow its membership thanks to hard work put in by all concerned, especially captain Becky Halls. The ladies at one point looked certainties for a promotion charge, however games were at a premium due to some rotten weather and a number of teams forfeiting fixtures, which ultimately meant this failed to materialise. We are lucky to have an extremely dedicated section and the club must ensure this continues to thrive by securing more cricket for the ladies in the coming seasons.
The Colts teams enjoyed mixed results, the pick of the sides probably being the U15s. The only positive to come from limited availability of senior players for weekend matches was that it did provide opportunities for colts. Those that did play performed well and I look forward to see many of their names, and those of other colts keen to play longer-format cricket, on the availability lists next year.
Back in May the Club ran another successful Devon tour. Some new faces, in addition to the usual suspects, made for a more diverse tour party. Feedback from the tourists was positive and suggests that take-up for the 2012 Devon tour will be even higher - it would be good to see some old faces too - you know who you are!
During the summer, the General Committee identified the option of a 2012 tour to Menorca in the late-October half-term holiday. Cricket on the tour will be played at Menorca Cricket Club (www.menorcacricketclub.com). Although in the early stages of organising the tour, we want to gauge members' interest. So those of you who fancy a week on this Balearic Island should contact Robert Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org; 07785 290546).
At the Clubhouse many of the social events run this year received good support; Friday night barbecues were another success and source of funds for the Club thanks to likes of Keith Nash and Kevin Antonio; and we muddled through another season's bar rota, many thanks to Karen Wright for taking on that task. Special thanks should go to Alison McCreedy who helped to raise over £300 from the sale of ECB raffle tickets and further funds through the sale of used/unwanted/old kit - please get in touch with her if you have anything to donate! The time and effort of the members involved in these and other activities to maintain the Club and the benefits we enjoy there are much appreciated. I’d also like to thank Nev Ali and Amber Cousens for the work in making teas an enjoyable experience!
In other news, the club's annual dinner will take place on the 12th November at the Queen Mary Sailing Club, we have sold almost 80 tickets so it should be a very enjoyable evening. Wednesday 23rd November will see the AGM taking place at the clubhouse starting at 8pm. Accompanying this letter is a copy of the agenda and the minutes from last year’s AGM. In light of the issues we have faced this year, I encourage members to attend the meeting and take this opportunity to air your views on how the Club is being run, and to offer suggestions for the future. It is after all your club, so make it the club you want it to be and get involved.
That's 2011 in two pages, I’m sure you have your own highlights and memories. However lets not forget that this club has the potential and talent pool to be achieving considerably more than it did this season, with the right steps 2012 can be a marked improvement. I wish you well and look forward to seeing you all next year.
For and on behalf of the General Committee