Message from the Chairman
Since the last newsletter, the England men’s one day side has won the Cricket World Cup; the test side valiantly tried to lose to Ireland in the visitor’s first game at Lords; then lost at Fortress Edgbaston in the first Ashes Test; the England ladies side has come second in their dealings with the Australians; we’ve experienced a heatwave mid-week followed by washed out games at the weekend; and with more wet weather in August it’s looking like it’s a typical English Summer!!
In between the variable weather we have even managed to play some cricket, though not as much or as successfully as last year. A notable event was the break in to the groundsman’s hut. We are in a very prominent position, which sometimes means that we think it less likely that we will be targeted but unfortunately we were. Huge thanks to our groundsman Brian and his dad for securing the building so quickly. It’s also heartening to see the amount of goodwill out there in our local community in response to this event – a reminder that there is a lot of positive feelings towards the club in the local area and something I am keen that we tap in to, to better connect us with local people and businesses.
Big thanks to all those that have played the 150 Club over the years – we took the decision recently to invest funds raised through this scheme in a new electronic scoreboard. This has now been fitted and has been remarked upon positively. It means we can now properly convert the previous score-hut into storage, clearing kit out of the veranda and pavilion, making the space more welcoming for supporters and parents to sit.
As we near the end of the season, the next focus is on the Club Dinner and then onto the AGM late this year. I hope that all of you will support your club by attending these events and I look forward to catching up with you there.
Date for your diary
The Club’s Awards Dinner will take place at One Warwick Park on Friday 11 October, from 7:30pm. Please save the date in your diary. Further details will be coming out shortly.
This year really saw the fruits of the KCC funding for several of our playing members to take the ECB Level 2 coaching course. With Kevin Matthews, Andy Dennis and David Smith all attending and passing the course. This has grown our number of qualified coaches to five and the benefits of this have been seen in the structured approach to training, the improvements seen in our juniors and the results on the pitch.
The Under 9 season concluded with a series of games, followed by a BBQ and the ubiquitous slush puppy machine!! This is the first season that we’ve run this age group and we were really pleased with how it went and to have had such a healthy number of players. It bridges the gap between the All Stars programme and our Under 11 age group and it is really pleasing to see how many of the under 9s started their cricketing experience through All Stars and also what a great balance of boys and girls we have. We’re already starting to make plans for next season as all of the current group will still be under 9 next year.
All that is left to say is that we hope the under 9s have caught the bug and continue to play cricket in the garden or in the local park (weather permitting), but once it comes to Autumn/Winter, please play some winter sports and we’ll see you revitalised for next Spring for the cricket season.
Huge thanks to James Rumbles, Andy Dennis and Phil Davis for leading the coaching sessions and thanks to the many parents that helped out with coaching or around the club – it’s all hugely appreciated!!
Our U13s have had a sensational year, with only one loss recorded all season, an early season mishap to a Stonewall Park side (fielding a number of overage players) that was corrected in the return fixture. With the consistent results, they will be looking for the challenge of playing in a higher league next year. As an age group we had over 20 eligible to play under 13s this year and despite only having one league team we were still able to give game opportunities for all of the age group that wanted to play. Again, we are already looking ahead to next season and will be looking to enter two league teams at this age group.
Another positive has been to see a couple of our U13s move up to and enjoy senior cricket, both in league and Sunday fixtures. Hopefully this will only increase over the next couple of years as our juniors move up through the age groups.
A big thank you to the coaches; Steve Smith and Kevin Matthews, to Ian Salter (match manager) and Chris Holder (umpire/scorer) for your help over the season.
As we enter the off-season for juniors, we will turn our attention to next year's programme. In order to run each age group effectively, we really need volunteers that are willing and able to help out. We will shortly be arranging a Coach Support Worker training event to take place most likely in October and are also keen to invest in those willing to undertake a Level 1 or Level 2 coaching qualification. If you are interested, please do contact Chris Williams.
After finishing third last season in Division 2, it is fair to say that the first team has had a very different season and as a result currently sit two places above the relegation spots. Consistent availability hasn’t been there this season and the loss of our leading wicket taker to Tunbridge Wells CC was always going to leave a large gap in our bowling attack. With four games left, we’re hoping we can get some strong availability and stay in Division 2 for next season.
The second XI were promoted last year into Division 5 as the third place team. We have found results harder to come by this year and have not been able to put together a run of wins. We currently prop up the table, but in what is a very competitive league for relegation, it’s all to play for over the final four games. Again, we have been beset by inconsistent selection due to availability of players. It is pleasing though that we have fielded full sides each week, even though some weeks have been more testing in this regard than others. Let’s have one final push to give us the best chance to stay up.
The Sunday XI has played fewer games this year up to this point but we’re hoping to put together a number of fixtures up until the end of the season. These games present an opportunity to bring our juniors through as well as providing opportunities for our more occasional, social cricketer. The games we have played have been played in high spirits and cricket has definitely been the winner. Please update your availability if you are after playing time before the end of the season.
Thank you to all of you those that play the 150 club. It's been fantastic to see more and more squares being taken as the season goes on. A square costs just £2 per month and there is a monthly prize draw of £100. Running a cricket club is an expensive business and the funds raised through activities like this are so important in helping to keep a small club like ours running. As mentioned earlier in the newsletter, the recently purchased electronic scoreboard came as a result of money raised through the 150 club.
June: Michael Spencer
July: Geoff Brown
The August draw is happening soon so please get in touch quick if you would like to participate.
Although the weather wasn’t promising on the morning of Sponsors’ Day, the weather gods were in our favour and the rain held off throughout the day. With a revised format of pairs cricket, all players from our Sponsors' Teams got the chance to both bat and bowl against pairs of even abilities, with a representative team from Tonbridge Juddian’s winning out despite their attempts to handicap themselves by supporting the TJs beer festival the day before with some of their team MIA and others only getting in at 6am on the Sunday morning.
A massive thank you to Brian and Chris who manned the bbq for the majority of the day, as well as Kate Sharpe who helped behind the bar. Others helped out umpiring and scoring and otherwise supporting the event. It was a great day and the money raised will go to repairing the clubhouse and our local charity this year, The Meadows School Kitchen Project.
Thanks also to Alain, Alex and Jake for organising the day and making it such a success.
End of season BBQ
In a break from tradition, this year we will be celebrating the end of the league season with a BBQ at the pavilion following the final league game on Saturday 7 September. It will present an opportunity to empty all of the food and drink from the pavilion, so please come along and support. We’ll fire up the BBQ from about 7pm and will hopefully be celebrating both sides remaining in their respective divisions.