August 2023 Newsletter
Message from the Chair
As we tip into August, we are very much heading to the business end of the season. Due to the worst of the weather in July, we have lost some senior league matches but both sides are placed well in their respective divisions, and thankfully junior games can and were re-arranged so a healthy amount of cricket was found for them with great development and some notable results. The women’s team also had a busy fixture list through July with a number of festivals and some friendlies arranged, and there was a full fixture list for our new U12 Girls hardball team and some friendlies for our new U10 Girls softball team. Despite the worst of the weather, there has been lots of cricket which is really pleasing.
L-R: George Gilmour, Jeff Parkinson, Graham ‘Sarge’ Constable, Peter Young, Adam Hookway, Mark Pulsford, Geoff Brown, Mandy Pulsford, Kevin Parkinson, John Pickett, Colin Ayres, John Pearce, Mike Dunn
We recently arranged an event to bring together Life Vice-Presidents and former playing members of the Club. For what was a relatively short notice call to arms, attendance was really good, as we met up in the Imperial Pub. It was lovely to see everyone catching up, hearing stories and tales of many years playing cricket together. We hope to repeat next year with earlier notice given so we can get even more people together. Hopefully, next time the weather will be kind and we can head over to watch some cricket on the Common!!
In the previous newsletter we sent out a volunteer survey and are following up with those that have offered their services. Although no-one came forward to take on the ‘catering lead’ role, it was great to see several parents volunteer each week to take on café duties and it helped it continue to be fantastic addition to the Club offer for families on a Saturday morning.
Some of our lovely volunteers running the café, using the newly opened serving hatch.
We are still on the look-out for someone (or team) to take on social secretary duties: as we have expanded our membership it is vital that we remain cohesive and don’t become separate junior, women’s and men’s sections!! Ideally a team would have representatives from each section so they can work together to develop a programme of social events for the whole club. If you are interested in this role or that of the 150 Co-ordinator or Social Media Manager, please do get in contact.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and enjoy any time you have off work.
Dates for the diary
Saturday 2 September End of league season bbq (from 4pm)
Saturday 9 September Junior Awards/Community Day (from 11 am)
With four weeks of the league season to go, the 1st XI sits fifth in Division 2 with 5 wins and 5 losses, and the 2nd XI sit third in Division 5 with 7 wins and 4 losses. The 1st XI still has to play the top two placed sides with a match against table toppers Penshurst Park next weekend, whilst the 2nd XI face two promotion chasers with games against (the as yet unbeaten) Hartley Country Club and (until recently second placed team) Outwood.
The Sunday XI continues to field sides each week, flying the flag (literally) and upholding traditions such as teas, whilst presenting opportunities to bring through our juniors with many of them playing key roles with the ball or bat. Despite fielding a 3rd XI earlier in the season, we haven’t quite had availability to repeat but the hope is that we will see the mighty 3s take to the field again by the end of the season.
With only a few weeks to go, please update your availability and make the most of what is left of the season, one that has recently been impacted severely by the inclement weather.
Women’s Softball Cricket
The Women’s Softball cricket section continues to train up on the Common on Friday evenings and although the Kent Festivals have now finished, a series of friendlies against other local sides continue to be arranged to give this growing section lots of match opportunities, with the next game against Cowdrey on 18 August.
The Kent Festival format has really allowed the ladies to witness and reflect on their own development. Playing against the same sides at 3-to-4-week intervals through the season has seen us go from being well beaten by some sides earlier in the season to then either having success against them later in the season or running them remarkably close and losing by the odd run, but with great batting, bowling and fielding performances on display.
Training continues through the summer, so keep heading up to the Common and we will keep improving!!
The junior softball section still has some matches and tournaments to play, but of the games played so far for the Under 9s we have tried to get game time for each of our 50 players – quite a task when we play 8-a-side!! We entered the Kent Super-45s tournament where we were paired with Tunbridge Wells and Linden Park across three rounds. Some good wins were seen, but it is always impressive just how much you see in the players development across the course of a one-day festival. There really is no substitute for game time. After hosting a game on 20 August, the Under 9s wrap up their season on 3 September with a tournament at the Nevill.
The Under 10s girls are a new squad this year, one which has grown from a handful of players to 15 girls during the season, mainly due to word of mouth. They have played two matches and won their first game versus Tonbridge Girls a few weeks back. They conclude their season with a tournament down at Tunbridge Wells on Sunday 10 September - pop along and support if you have nothing else on.
The hardball season for U11, U12 Girls, U13 and U15s concluded a few weeks back, just before school’s broke up for the holidays.
The U11s had a successful season, finishing second in their division with 6 wins and 2 losses. In amongst the various wins, there were impressive performance from individuals as well as from the team, and the pairs format worked well for us in allowing lots of children to play an active part in each game, something we feel is really important at this age group.
The U12 girls responded well to some last-minute changes to the squad and ended the season with 2 wins and 5 losses. They were competitive within all the games, but playing against some of the town-based teams with which the depth of their playing pools does make it difficult to compete consistently, but again, great progress was seen with lots of personal accomplishments.
The U13s finished 3rd in their division with a win/lose record of 6/3, including being the only side to beat the eventual league winners, Pembury. Strong batting displays, especially when we batted first often batting opponents out of the game, were the feature. Again, the focus was on ensuring game time for everyone in the group and everyone that played was actively involved, which is pleasing.
The U15s ended up 3rd in their division having won 4 and lost 5 games. With a good balance to the side, with an effective bowling line up and strength to our batting, we looked comfortable in our wins. For the majority of this year’s group going into senior cricket next year, it is really pleasing to see some of them take that first step by playing Sunday fixtures this season.
Club Shop (bucket hats)
For anyone that watched the recent men’s Ashes series, you will have a number of the England players sporting the headwear of the moment: the ubiquitous ‘bucket hat’. I’m pleased to report that we have jumped on that bandwagon!! These are reversible and in the Club colours of green/maroon.
We are holding a small number in stock, so if you’re interested, please get in touch. Yours for £20.
Recent winning draws, with each winner bagging £100:
May Andrew Potts
June Ben Holt
To get involved, at £2 per square per month, please contact David Smith