2006 End of Season Report
The two main objectives for me as captain of Bishopthorpe cricket club 1st X1 during the 2006 season were to build on the success of 2005 by retaining the York Vale HPH cricket league title and supplement this by winning one of the two knock out cup competitions available to us, unfortunately neither of these targets were achieved as both cups fell from our grasp and the title eluded us.
In truth the fact that Bishopthorpe did not retain the title was not too surprising as
we were never quite the same consistent force of the previous season with us not fielding the same side on two consecutive occasions for a variety of reasons. Unlike last year we never really got ourselves into a good enough position to sustain an attack on Drax who finished as champions and whose consistency and ability to win the toss and bat first on nearly every occasion is something to be admired and affords them the luxury of being able to post big scores and then pressurise, provoke and bully the opposition into submission.
During the first part of the season we had the annual stag night/tour abroad to contend with and world cup football fever kicked in big style from Germany. Where a couple of Englandís scheduled matches took place on Saturdays thus clashing with peoples loyalties between a day in the pub watching football or the local cricket fixture. With widespread absenteeism rife within the clubs ranks we were a little fortunate on both occasions to play sides who were either also weakened by the occasion or from the lower end of the table.
Excellent victories were recorded over Drax (somewhat unpleasant ending), Heworth, ABYPO, Wheldrake, Westow and British Sugar, whilst disappointing defeats on the opening day with a thrashing at newly promoted Fulfordgate by 110 runs (worst performance of the season caused by superior attitude, bad captaincy and general unease with each other) and an indifferent batting display against North Duffield (played at Tadcaster, very poor wicket, not enough runs scored, although we almost defended the small target) losing by two wickets in the end
Playing record, Played 9, Winning 6, Losing 2, No Result 1, Batting Points 26, Bowling Points 28, Result Points 129, Points 183, Halfway Position in table = 4th
At the halfway turn round stage we managed to redeem ourselves with an impressive 5 wicket victory over current league leaders Fulfordgate. However from this point onwards in the season a catalogue of freak injury occurrences were sustained with us losing a player just about each and every Saturday with a new injury. An August wedding to cater for, inevitable summer holidays, work commitments, people going awol and the problem of not wanting to cup tie regular second eleven players during their outstanding but prolonged cup campaign inevitably took its toll. The selection had now become difficult and a time-consuming process, just finding eleven fit players to take the field was treated as somewhat of an achievement.
All this contributed along with the start of the rainy season to 5 weeks without a victory from mid July until late August. It was at this stage that we probably relinquished our crown and lost the title. The team did however recover towards September with two victories in the final 3 games to finish 78 points behind the winners and 68 behind the runners up.
Playing Record, Played 9, Winning 3, Losing 3, No Results 3, Batting Points 30, Bowling Points 22, Result Points 91, Total Points 143, Position in table = 3rd.
From a statistical point of view we used 30 players during the season compared to18 the previous year. I won the toss on 8 occasions and lost it on 10, our best sequence of matches was between mid June and mid July (4 wins, 1 n/r) we completed the double over relegated British Sugar and Westow, whilst North Duffield returned the compliment. We collected the maximum 30 points on 2 occasions (British Sugar and Westow at home) and we got maximum batting points on 7 occasions and maximum bowling points on 5. Burn (the only team outside the top 4 to beat us) became the most unlikely side to win at Ferry Lane in 18 home encounters spanning nearly 2 years.
Overall the batting was generally up to the task with 2392 runs scored whilst losing 84 wickets with an average score of 133-5, and 5 Batsmen exceeding 250 runs in the season, Chris Moores hitting the only century with a seasons best of 132, and the team recorded its highest score 233-3 against Heworth at home. The bowling and fielding was generally good but we did experience problems once or twice in games when reaching the 30 over stage as the wheels came off and we conceded runs heavily. Only one bowler exceeded 30 wickets this year with Ryan Bushell recording the best individual return of the season with 6-19 at sunny Wheldrake.
Final Playing Record Played 18, Won 9, Lost 5, No Result 4, Batting Points 56, Bowling Points 50, Result Points 220, Total Points 326 Final Position in table 3rd
In the cup competitions losing to Drax in the first round of the HPH cup by 80 runs left a nasty taste in the mouth and was even harder to swallow when observing how easily they won the next few rounds and the final by much larger margins without appearing to break sweet. This 1st round defeat opened the trapdoor into the Mitchell cup quarterfinal stages where only lowly British Sugar and Askham Bryan YPO stood between a final appearance and us. Unfortunately things didnít go to plan that day as a weakened bowling side not only lost the new ball down a badger hole but also the match as we were bitten by underdogs British Sugar losing by 9 runs in a high scoring encounter and therefore ending our cup ambitions for another season.
There isnít a lot between the top four sides in the York Vale cricket league and Bishopthorpe are as good as anyone when fully psyched up and not psyched out.
But at times I felt let down by certain people last season and despite giving it my best shot I now realise that I have failed to communicate with and influence certain individuals who in my opinion are beyond help with their strange personalities and odd ball behaviour that will never allow them to regular play and fit into a team ethos. So perhaps the main difference between winning trophies and just playing this season could be laid at the door of attitude, commitment and consistency.
As the nights draw in and the leaves begin to turn indications are that autumn has arrived and winter isnít far away, so the thoughts of cricket on the village green are now long forgotten. But it wont be long before next season beckons once again and there are several promising players in the clubs junior section of which some have already experienced life in the 1st X1 this season. This promises much for the future of the club and with our good facilities and excellent wicket to bat on it is hoped that we can attract the right kind of new playing members into joining us and compliment and strengthen our current playing squad.
I have recently calculated that including the evening league and night cup games I have captained Bishopthorpe Cricket Club on over 300 occasions over the years. This has certainly been a challenging experience with some difficult and interesting situations to handle but one I must say I consider an honour and a privilege to have been invited to do and an experience I will always remember.
Finally I would just like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation once again and personally thank all the unsung heroes connected with the club who have contributed and helped me throughout the season. There are far too many of you for me to be able to name you all and I would probably upset someone by missing him or her out completely, but you know who you are and I couldnít have done my job as affectively as captain without you. I can but only say ď THANK YOU ď to you all,
1st X1 Captain 2006