ANNUAL DINNER DANCE SPEECH 1979 by FRANK ORME
Mr President, Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen
I am accused often of the fact that time means nothing to me, Derek Hey will agree with this I know having left his wrist watch in the umpire's coat during a recent away game. Seriously though, I don't propose to bore you with lots of statistics, but rather to quickly run over some of the major happenings of the past season. It was a season as always, of mixed fortunes for teams and individuals alike.
History has been made when we lifted our first ever major trophy, the second XI winning the championship of the 2nd division of the Central Warwickshire League, which was tempered somewhat by the 1st XI having to seek re-election for the first time. Talking of history, if I can deviate for a moment, on looking up recently the history of Old Yardley, none of our members will be surprised to learn that Stoney Lane and Rockingham Road were named after the drive and path leading to our pavilion.
The Alpine Youth Competition which caters for areas of cricket which must be developed as life blood elements of the game, and in this our youth XI again made their mark, finishing runners-up to Aston Unity, and it is interesting to note that Aston Unity were only defeated by 10 runs by Nuneaton in the finals for which 280 clubs entered junior sides. These young men are to be commended for their efforts and we are sure the names of many of them will be heard many times in the future.
As I have already mentioned, 1st XI results disappointed and individual performances were well down on last year. I think there were several reasons for this, first, injury and illness robbed us of key players for a large part of the season. There is no substitute for experience and Roy Hall, the Sunday captain was much missed in this direction, let me hasten to add, this is no reflection on Ansell who applied considered application to a difficult task. Bryn Jones, Roger Smith and John Plimmer were others, and here let me add despite shortened seasons Bryn and roger had wonderful efforts enabling both to figure very high in our averages. Bryn's stroke play always to be admired, was even better than last season, due in a large part to the delicate wrist action on the starter button of the one-armed bandit, while Roger's little amble to the wicket earned great respect from our opponents. His batting concentration too has earned him a surprising result.
Losing early advantages were often the case, frustration as always then crept in, dropped catches became a disease, fielders and bowlers looked at each other, fielders obviously thinking why don't the bowlers hit the stumps anyway. The final reason is that without taking away any of the success of the 2nd XI, there is a wide difference in standards. Les Pearson despite his unquashed pleas that he was over the top, captained the Sat 1st Xl very well indeed, while Pete Holland and Derek Hey, when dropped into the 2nd XI came along with several good scores. Paul Wakeley proved our best all-rounder, his batting improvement was remarkable, can I say there is no foundation in the story circulated, that on Paul approaching a bar for a drink after one match, the barman said to him Ansells Bitter? Paul's reply was " iknow that, and I can't understand what I have done to deserve it," Paul's dry humour bids fair to equal that of our own Stan Redding for Paul was chided for bowling a rare wide, where upon his comment was the umpire's eyes must be very wide apart. This happened in the Senior Junior epic, nobly won by the seniors who were ably captained by John Green. John by the way made the highest score of the season, 84 a splendid innings. Tom O'Donnel's all-round ability made him a valued member while the Plimmers, Graham and Neil continue to be automatic choices, Graham undecided, need not be in too much of a hurry, time is on his side to obtain the highest honours the game can bestow. With no wish to cause family friction, one of the season's most pleasing features has been the remarkable advance of the batting of Terry Hall, he has always been in the shadow of brother Roy and who amongst us would have thought he would score more half centuries in one season than Roy.
Now to the success story of the 2nd XI. Apart from being League Champions 21 games were won in all. Admirably captained by David Genge and Martin Lawrence, who both captured great team spirit, good performances were too numerous to mention. We have ordered a trailer to Dave's car to take away his prizes. Classed as a veteran, certainly he was the oldest player on the field in the recent senior junior game, his leadership was set by example, 66 wickets in all including one illustrious weekend when he won the B'ham mail award with 7 for 11 and 7 for 18. Many times too his batting repaired tricky situations. 1979 we must acclaim as David's year, one which he will remember with affection and great support from his team mates including amongst most others, Pete Bacchus and Parveez Siddiqe.
Martin too, can do the same, for with his leadership and consistent batting,72 being his highest. Great cause for satisfaction was the teamwork in the never to be forgotten matches against Doncaster Town, the Yorkshire League team and Kenilworth Wardens 1st team.
So much then for the cricket part of the season, we know the players mentioned will never forget the unhonoured and unsung, backroom boys and girls without whom these matches would not be possible. Our club has now got growing pains with it's attendant problems, there could be a lurking danger we could forget we are a family club, don't let the S.M mean second rate and moderate, rather Super Magic the title. By virtue of Gala Day and in particular the successful sponsored swim (fondly remembered by Channel swimmer Stan Redding). You have shown that you don't need your name on a fixture card but are one of those human individuals who like to feel that the advice and service they give are useful. Let's all be realistic, energetic and enthusiastic, let's continue to pool our knowledge and expertise, no carping criticism, but constructive always. A final and apt motto must be "take courage."
Thank you for listening.