2007 Season Report
Bishopthorpe 2nd XI End of Season Report 2007
Following the disappointment of the 2006 season which saw Bishopthorpe IIís relegated from Division 3 after suffering a heavy defeat at Acomb on the final day of the season I am pleased to be in able to report on a more successful 2007.
Ultimately a successful season would have been one in which we regained promotion. However, with the loss of two talented youngsters to the first team and a number of injuries and unavailable players seriously weakening the side through the early part of the season it became apparent that our first priority was getting enough points to avoid a second successive relegation. During the first few weeks of the season, as a team, we set ourselves a goal of winning more league games than we lost in 2007. If we achieved this, we felt that in view of the standard of our opposition, the season would have been a satisfactory one. It went down to the final game of the season but a comprehensive victory against Ovington at home left us with 8 wins, 7 defeats and 3 games with no result possible. This return was good enough to give us a comfortable 5th place finish.
One of the highlights for the 2007 season has been the performance of the junior players. Ross Kelly followed up on his successful season with the ball last year and has developed into one of the best spin bowlers in the York Vale League. Ross finished the season our leading wicket taker with best figures of 6-35, and with a little bit more luck could have finished with many more than his 26 victims. This season Ross has also developed as a batsman. After an indifferent start he finished the season very strongly, improving on his personal best score in four out of his last five innings, finishing with a score of 42no against Ovington in the final game. Nats Jacob-Thompson is another who featured strongly last year and I expected him to make a big impact this season. Unfortunately a broken finger kept him out of the first month of the season and for a few weeks afterwards he struggled to find his form. However, our cup tie against a suspiciously strong Pocklington side in July saw Nats play the best innings of the season by a second team player and possibly the best innings under pressure I have seen anyone play at this level. We were chasing a modest total of 139 and Bishopthorpe were deep in trouble at 44-5. With a defeat looking almost inevitable Nats played some stunning shots and with Stuart Drabble put on an unbeatable match winning partnership of 95, finishing on 77 not out. Unfortunately due to injury and other commitments Nats only managed 8 games in 2007; hopefully he will play a bigger part next season as it is a pleasure to watch him bat.
2007 has also seen two more youngsters emerge from Sandy Kellyís Under-15 team and establish themselves in the senior side. Steve Williamson has shown potential with the bat, top scoring in his first game of the season against Tadcaster and sharing a partnership of 76 with Scott Reeves against Selby, finishing unbeaten on 32. Steveís best innings of the season was at home against Pocklington, on a difficult and very wet wicket where he again top scored with 43. Steve was also named as a runner up for the trophy for the most improved player. Johnny Hrycaiczuk only played a handful of games but looks to be a very promising opening bowler. His best game of the season was at home against Ovington where a return of 2-22 does not really reflect on what a good, aggressive display of fast bowling he produced. If I am picking the team again next season these two will be two of the first names on the team-sheet and Iím sure will both put in some good performances next season. The ability of all of these youngsters and their attitude towards the game is a credit to the work that Sandy has put into junior cricket over the last few years. We look forward to the next crop of youngsters coming through the ranks to the senior sides and if Graham Davies and his current under-13 side produce half the number of talented players that have come from Sandyís current under-15 side, the future for the club looks very bright indeed.
Taking on the captaincy of the 2ndís in only my second season playing club cricket was a big step and I would like to thank my vice-captains, Guy and Ross, for their help, advice and most of all their support throughout the season. My thanks also to Chris Moores, for his help with team selection, and also his helpful and positive attitude towards second team cricket this year.
By far the most frustrating feature of the season has been our inability to name a settled side. On no two occasions this year have we fielded the same eleven players. In total we have use 28 players (compared to, I think, 18 used by the first team). Some weeks we have had seven players available, other weeks we have had seventeen to pick from and I have still not decided which is easier, either having to find people willing to help out when we are short or having to leave people out when we have too many. However, I consider it an achievement that we have not had to take to the field with fewer than eleven players on any occasion this season, a large part of the credit for this goes to Ross and his uncanny ability to find a player from somewhere, however little notice you give him. I would also like to thank all those who have given up their Saturday afternoon to help us out.
If the side has had a weakness this season it has been our batting. Having said that there have been some very strong performances with the bat, passing 175 runs and taking maximum batting points on 6 occasions, all when batting first. There have also been some very poor performances with the bat, particularly when batting second. I was fortunate enough to miss the horror show away at Hemingbrough where we crashed to 28 all out. Another low point in the season was our game at home to Woodhouse Grange where we bowled superbly restricting them to 83 all out, only to fall an agonising 4 runs short of victory in our reply. On numerous occasions after a good start we suffered a mid-innings collapse and put ourselves under pressure, ending up with a below par score.
Despite this there have been some very good individual performances with the bat. Matt Collins hit a hundred for the second season in succession with a fine 107 away at Woodhouse Grange, and I mentioned early Natsí superb knock against Pocklington. Scott Reeves fell agonising short of reaching his first York Vale hundred at the age of 15 when he was bowled for 99 in the home fixture against Selby. It was a superb innings and I am sure Scott wonít have to wait too much longer for that first hundred. Andy Copeland deservedly won the second team batting award this year and has been a great addition to the side, scoring 282 runs at an average of over 30. This includes two unbeaten half centuries and Andy has both the technique and temperament to score a lot of runs again next year. I scored just short of 400 runs for the season but I canít help being disappointed after passing 30 seven times to only go on and score a single fifty. Another notable performer with the bat was Guy Mowbray. Content last season to bat at ten or eleven, Guy worked hard at his batting in the nets over the winter and performed very well batting at five or six and averaged over 20 for the season and included a top score of 58 not out, away at Sheriff Hutton.
The fielding has been of a very high standard throughout the season. A special mention goes to Stuart Drabble who has kept impeccably and provided valuable advice and encouragement from behind the stumps. The race for the fielding award went right to the wire with Mike Dale and Ross Kelly eventually sharing the prize, beating Andy Spence by just a single point. Three new players to the club also stood out in the field with James Naish, Dave Dathan and Alex Roworth all performing well. All also put in some good displays with either bat or ball and I hope they will build on these performances next year.
With the ball we have performed consistently well throughout most of the season. We only conceded maximum batting points three times, bowling out the opposition 8 times. The best performance with the ball was probably in the home game with Wheldrake when defending 106-6 we made better use of the helpful bowling conditions to bowl them out for 56, Ian Mercer the pick of the bowlers, taking 4-9. Throughout the season Ian Mercer showed the merit of putting the ball consistently in good areas and won the bowling award for the season with his 16 wickets costing less than 15 runs apiece. Guy Mowbray was runner up for the bowling award and produced consistent opening spells, more often than not picking up key wickets early on. After taking only six wickets with an average the wrong side of sixty last season, I didnít expect to bowl a great deal this season but with Scott and Tom promoted to the firsts we were faced with a shortage of bowling options so I decided to give it a go and picked up 5-35 from a 15 over spell in the first game of the season against Tadcaster. I finished the season with 24 wickets costing just less than 18 each. However Rossí return of 6-35 in the final game of the season made him the highest wicket taker with 26. Another notable performer with the ball was Matt Collins. After missing the first half of the season he was made to wait for his chance to bowl. With Sheriff Hutton cruising at 97-0 and needing less than 30 runs to win Matt came on and produced a remarkable spell, taking 5-16 in just over six overs. If only his captain had given him a chance a little bit earlier. If Matt hadnít missed a large part of the season his all-round performances would surely have made him favourite to retain the second team player of the year award for the third year in a row. He is a talented all-round cricketer who will take some replacing, and as Matt is moving on I would like to take this opportunity to wish him all the best for the future.
Of course, no review of the bowling would be complete without mentioning Mike Brown. The only reason he didnít win the bowling award, yet again, is due to the fact he didnít bowl enough overs. The 10 wickets he did take cost just over 11 each and if we needed any proof of just how difficult to play he has an economy rate of just over 2 runs per over gives us some idea. Mikeís best return of the season came at Woodhouse Grange where he dumbfounded their young batsmen and finished with 5-14. There are rumours that after 50 years with the club Mike has decided to hang up those famous bowling boots. Iím not completely convinced we have seen the last of him yet; we will have to just wait and see.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped out on match days, setting up before home games and volunteering with scoring and umpiring duties and to everybody who has helped with groundwork and pitch preparation. Thanks also to the ladies who have provided the teas, regarded by us and many visiting teams to be the finest in the league. I trust that the 2008 season will see the first team challenging again for the Division 1 title and if the seconds can build on what has been achieved this year, a strong start to the campaign could see a push for promotion to Division 3.
Bishopthorpe 2nd XI Captain, 2007