The 2015 season began as an exciting prospect for the Badgers Cricket Club following some rebuilding in 2014. The team was determined to grow from strength to strength on the field as activities and celebration plans off the field were progressing so well.
2015 began last May with a match against the Law Society on General Election Day but our result did not match the Conservatives narrow WIN I’m afraid. Indeed our winning ways did not return until we beat Mumbles Allstars in late May. That was the first of only 6 wins during the season, which had a full fixture with 20 or 21 games. Of these we played 16, managing 6 wins and the others were rained off.
It was a rather topsy-turvy season, with several players unavailable for numerous reasons. We were once again ably supported by a vivacious core group of senior citizens members both on and off the field. Although only Roger is here this evening, he with Colin, Barry and Dave Harris attended several games and umpired several games. We were tempted to ask Roger to put his whites back on ........ but then we remember his fielding performances and thought better of it. I have to also say that most of the Badgers thought Dave Rees had retired ... and that was while he was on the field!!
I think the successes of the season were down to the fact there some brilliant individual performances by different people in different games, some of which I will shortly mention, but a glance at the scorebook and at John’s entertaining reports suggests that every player should be mentioned at some stage.
I’m sure had we been able to put 11 players on the field more often, our winning ration would improve to Jeremy Corbyn’s margin of victory, so the challenge now is to recruit some additional Badgers into our set.
During the season, young Gareth, flush with fatherhood, celebrated with his first 50, scoring 66 against The Evening Post, and another 55 against Craig y Nos. He was the Badgers top scorer for …… two days! before Dave’s 71 against WAG. Gareth was also our top scorer for the season with 211, even eclipsing the reliable Dave Smith by 6 runs, although Dave’s 206 runs took him half as many innings!! Dave himself carried his bat against the Welsh Government, (perhaps cementing the decision to increase his work hours with them in the process!) with 71 unbeaten runs, and after a similarly unbeaten 61 against the Allstars. He was out eventually…. for 52 against Pennard but those innings ensured that he topped this year’s batting averages, with an average of 68.67.
In the astonishing 10 wicket win against Craig y Nos, yours truly was astonished that in a 120 run partnership I only contributed 27! (Guest Andrew Vey scored the other 69). I’m sure that the scorer often mixed us up!
Several others contributed 20 and 30s to set targets but the champagne moment of the season has to be Steve Lisle’s astonishing, and long overdue, 70 runs, (and again ….. 70 ruins) in the second fixture against Craig y Nos helping set a target of 146 for them to chase. Steve carried his bat, and at last the potential we all recognized and the enthusiasm Steve displays in all games was rewarded as he carried his bat and remained not out. In a fantastic game, Craig y Nos only failed by 2 runs to reach the target.
For those interested in statistics, Gareth batted the most times, Gareth scored the most runs and was ‘not out’ 5 times, but top of the batting pile was Dave Smith so congratulations to him on two successful seasons. Iago performed well with the bat and the only other to score over a hundred runs was Chris Price.
Rito entertained us walking to and back again from the square, and occasionally whilst he was still there!
On the bowling side Alyn Ridler took the most wickets (how did that happen?) with Gareth, and Tony Bidder was close behind, but Tony managed to top the bowling averages with his unique style of in swingers. Sajeev was also the pick of the bowlers with Phil Connor’s pies coming in third!
Who would have guessed that our best bowlers would be Alyn Ridler, then Tony, (not a surprise) and Phil third!!
The only other performance of note that Chris eventually caught somebody behind the stumps in Des Ormes making up for the fact that he dropped every other chance! I have to thank my Chairman for his excellent leadership and support, and to Simon, John MacNulty and Dave Smith in particular for deputising for me even when I was playing!!
But I can’t conclude this report without mentioning the tour to Des Ormes near St Malo, and paying tribute to Chris for organising this excellent trip from the Uplands to Des Ormes an back. (There will be a lot more to discover about the tour when the tour book is published.) But I’m sure you will agree that Alex Chase set the tone in the Uplands Tesco beer section, and 24 hours later had almost been banned from the sea, the bus, the resort and the restaurant !
Great work Chris and I can announce with absolute certainty that this was the best tour ever ................ overseas!!
May there be many more !
Underhill Park, Mumbles, Swansea
CAPTAIN - Dave Smith 07941 255846
VICE CAPTAIN - Simon Jones 07590 677504
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