SNCL Premier League final table
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† P††††††††† W†††††††† D††††††††† L††††††††† Pts
Byfield††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 14†††††††† 3††††††††† 1††††††††† 318
Evenley††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 13†††††††† 3††††††††† 2††††††††† 300
Culworth†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 8††††††††† 4††††††††† 6††††††††† 243
Syresham†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 9††††††††† 3††††††††† 6††††††††† 240
Radway††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 7††††††††† 3††††††††† 8††††††††† 209
Hinton in the Hedges†††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 6††††††††† 2††††††††† 10†††††††† 190
Castlethorpe†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 5††††††††† 2††††††††† 11†††††††† 170
Bodicote†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 18†††††††† 2††††††††† 1††††††††† 15†††††††† 126
The above table is an accurate reflection of our performance over the whole season, with us avoiding relegation on the last day (some might say in dramatic fashion). It was a season of two halves: with the first producing a lot of poor performances with a lot of lost games; and the second producing some good performances on a consistent basis with some mixed results (106 points coming in the second half of the season).
There were a lot of good individual performances (mainly in the second half of the season), some of which were crucial for in getting us some vital wins. Iíll start with the batting: Rob Woodís knocks of 102 and 70 odd both against Hinton in games that we won (Rob hundred was my personal favorite batting performance of the season); Rich Lambís 60 odd against Marston helping us to get a big score which we were able to defend; Ananthaís two aggressive half centuries (one against Radway and the other against Bodicote in a hundred run partnership with Satya); Satyaís 70 odd against Bodicote; and finally Ajit quick fire knock of 48 against Evenley (a game in which we gave Evenley a real scare). In the bowling performances only one name stood out in particular. Satya bowled consistently and aggressively in most the games he played in, and was easily the highest wicket taker for us this season in the league (with two 5-wicket hauls). The twins, when fully fit, also bowled well. Ajay with his ever-lasting accuracy bowled particularly well against Castlethorpe picking up 5 wickets in the process. Ajit got his fitness and pace back towards the end of the season and bowled some crucial spells picking up plenty of wickets in the final few games. Both his and Satya spells against Syresham (bowled them out for 50 odd) and Hinton (bowled out for 33, some say itís the lowest ever total in the premier league) were my personal highlights of the season. As always our fielding wasnít the best. We dropped a lot of crucial catches (some easy and not so easy) in some tight games. But at the same time our fielding (and catching) was quite good in some games, especially at home against Radway (if Iím correct, the only game where we didnít drop a single catch). I hope next year we can improve in all three of these aspects, and also become a bit more consistent.
I personally quite enjoyed both of the cup tournaments. We produced some great team performances and some really exciting games in both of them. In the league cup, the semi-final win against Marston (by 1 run) at their place was one of the best games I have played in, with the game against Byfield (won by 5 runs defending a low total) at their place being one of the best games I have ever seen. Both of the cups ended in disappointment, with the league cup ending in a final defeat against Syresham, but a lot of positives could be taken out of them.
It was my first season as skipper, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. It was a bit of a struggle, and people would say it wasnít the best of starts, but I knew it wasnít going to be an easy ride. But a few people that I need to thank made the struggle a lot easier. In no particular order, these people are Alan, Rob Wood, Steve Lamb, Nicky, Chris Cooper, and Paul Wilson. Alan umpired every single home game (and one or two away games), and did a great job. Rob Wood helped out both on and off the field, and also stepped in to skipper the games, with great success, where I couldnít make it. Steve Lamb and Nicky also helped out both on and off the field plenty of times. Chris Cooper for all his work with dealing with the SNCL issues and meetings. And finally Paul for his excellent effort in recruiting new players. I would also like to thank the ground staff, in particular Charlie Yeomans, for producing great pitches to play on (in some cases where there was a lot of rain just days or a day before the game).
Finally, as we look forward to next season, I hope our players will be fit and remain fit during the season, and that we will have a more consistent team that will play better cricket consistently, and hopefully will have a more successful season.