- Published on 10 November 2010
- Written by Simon Harwood
This year nineteen teams have represented the Club indoors and outdoors, fifteen in league competitions: a truly amazing achievement. We were the only Club in the Mid Essex league to field five sides and in the South Essex District Colts League we were the only Club to field 2 sides in each of the 3 age groups. Playing membership increased with 76 players of 15 and over and 100 colts under 15. 150 boys and 11 girls under 21 have practised at the Club this year. One consequence of this is that the time needed to manage the club's affairs has continued to rise.
On the field
Reports of the performances of individual players has been covered at the presentation evening and the colt's presentation evening so this year I shall give only a very brief resume of each team's performance.Colts
This section really took off this year with over 40 boys and girls attending coaching sessions and there are some very talented players in the group. Unfortunately due to a lack of parents with a knowledge of cricket we only played two friendlies but won them both. Thanks to Nathan Healey for umpiring in these games. We need a major push next year to get more parents involved.
Played 10 games, winning 7 and losing 3 to be runners up in the South Essex District League
This team had a fantastic year losing only one game all season. They won the Adventure Island 6 a side competition at Garons and most impressively won the South Essex District Championship - both firsts for the Club.
We had a shortage of players in this age group this year and a lot of new players. They didn't win a game in the league but they carried on playing to the best of their ability and were improving as the season progressed.
With a young and relatively inexperienced side, won 3 and lost 4.
Under 14s indoor league team
This team was undefeated to win the South Area indoor league.
Playing in a league with other Club's A teams, Won 4 and lost 5 and came 3rd out of 5 and performed very creditably against some strong opposition.
As last year started well but fell away a little in the league as the season progressed. Won 9 and lost 6.
This year we were the only Club to field an 'A' and a 'B' side in all 3 age groups. Once again our 'B' teams played some good cricket, which is testimony to the coaching given and also to our approach to allow players of all abilities to belong to the Club and develop their skills. The Under11A's were clearly our most successful team this year but all our teams played well in the spirit of cricket and were a credit to the Club. Finally, there are 19 Clubs In South Essex plus several schools chasing 60 places in the boys district teams so on average a club like ours should have 2 or 3 colts selected. This year 5 boys were initially selected and another picked later, which again reflects well on the Club.
Only played 1 game but could have played more if we could have found opposition.
The 6th XI play some quite strong non-league sides and struggled as a result. Some excellent bowling performances by our colts in this team but the opposition bowling was often too strong for our batting. Both these teams gave good experience of adult cricket for some of younger colts.
The 5th XI won 5 games and finished 7th.
A disappointing season with the side languishing perilously close to the relegation zone all season. Some good wins towards the end of the season meant they finished 7th and survived by 18 points.
Again a very young side winning 4 league games and losing 3.
Won 13 games and lost only 4 to finish as League Champions.
Like the 4th XI a disappointing season with the side languishing perilously close to the relegation zone all season. Some good wins towards the end of the season meant they finished 7th and survived by 16 points.
Promoted for the second season running and for the first time to the Premier Division of the League. Good performances against the stronger teams but lapses against the weaker sides meant they relied on results on the final day of the season going their way, which fortunately they did. They will need to play with more consistency if they are to survive in the Premier Division 1 next year.
The club entered the Southend Evening league for the first time for many years and performed quite creditably. Three friendly games. Two lost but won the Purleigh President's Day competition again.
President's Day competition
The same format as last year for our own President's Day saw 10 teams playing mini matches in 2 leagues, followed by semi-finals and a final, which was won by Branksome. Most creditably £600 was raised for the Rayleigh British Legion Poppy Day appeal.
The Club again toured the Isle of Wight with four games scheduled. They won one and lost one but unfortunately the last two games were cancelled because of heavy rain.
The Club entered a team in the indoor league last year.
Women and Girls XI
Together with Rankins CC, the Club competed in the Essex & Suffolk league for a second season. Although they lost all their league games in the southern section, they won the play off against the bottom club in the northern section. Crucially their performances improved during the season and towards the end of the season several more new players joined the Club. It is noteworthy that three of our younger players have been chosen to join the Essex colts’ squad.
There were a few issues with the 2nd XI early on because the elected captain was unable to play because of injury. Apart from that selection seemed to go well for the rest of the season. As ever there were some late cry offs but despite this we fielded a full side for every league game during the season - a truly excellent achievement.
Despite the considerable number of matches played on the two squares the preparatory work done on the ground in the autumn of 2009 paid dividends and the standard of pitches was certainly an improvement on the previous season.
Coaching was organised by Mike Sullivan for colts on Saturday mornings and weekday evenings from late January to mid September and the results can be seen in the excellent development of our youngsters. Coaching was also available for adults and women & girls.
Off the field
Ownership of ground The Club now owns the land having now paid the final instalment for the land to the previous owners and the charge to them removed
Ownership of ground
The Club now owns the land having now paid the final instalment for the land to the previous owners and the charge to them removed
We had two successful Club social events this year: a brilliant quiz run by Mike Walsh and an enjoyable race night. It is hoped that we will have some more successful social events in 2011.
Colin White's return as bar manager has meant some improvement in our profits but as was said last year we have absorbed a number of price increases without putting up our prices. The prices from the brewery will increase again in January, which together with the increase in VAT will mean that price increases of our draught beer are inevitable and possibly other prices as well. It is our intention to remain competitive, however.
Thanks to all the ladies who have prepared teas for our cricket teams and the mums who have provided refreshments for our colt's teams. The barbeque manned by Emma Grob and friends for the second half of the season was a great success and contributed to a lively social scene after our Saturday matches.
Club is financially healthy (see Treasurer's Report) and we have paid off all our debts well ahead of schedule.
District Club of the Year
The Club was nominated as Club of the Year at an awards ceremony organised by Rochford District Council and Active Rochford and won the award as Club of the Year. Brian also won the 'Services to Sport' award, which was an excellent double for the Club.
Reading this report so far might suggest that there are no issues at the Club. Unfortunately this is not the complete picture.
The management committee had one complaint from another club but this was resolved without reference to the league. There were two complaints from members about the behaviour of other members, which were dealt with by the committee. Several other things that have caused concern this year. The work in collecting overdue match fees and subscriptions from a tiny minority of members has caused Andy Thurogood and the committee a vastly disproportionate amount of time. Also a few members have been putting drinks on a tab despite a rule that this is not permitted at the club.
Other annoyances are members not putting empty cans, plastic bottles and cigarette butts in the appropriate containers at the pavilion so that someone else does not have to spend time picking up these items. Also a habit seems to have developed of members leaving their kit in the changing room, when it is to be used by other members during the week. It should be noted that any kit left in the pavilion at the end of the season will be considered club equipment and disposed of if not of use to other club members.
Another source of disappointment has been the lack of support for a work weekend when both the outside of the pavilion and the Clubroom needed repainting. This was achieved partly by a vary small number of the usual band of volunteers and partly by members of South Fambridge CC.
The committee make no apologies for this litany of issues at the club. Although the Club clearly has a good reputation in the wider community, this can easily be lost by inappropriate behaviour on and off the field. It is also vital that with so many young members at the club, adults set a good example to them. Management Committee members cannot be present at all Club games and activities and have to rely on the co-operation of all Club Members which has not always been forthcoming. It is important to understand that every member of the Club has a responsibility to uphold the reputation of the Club.
Another thorny issue is that there are quite differing opinions about the social side of the Club. One group of members considers it important that the decor of the clubroom is altered to make it more family friendly to attract more people to the Club and increase its use for social functions. Another group of members considers it important that the key to making it more attractive to families is to ensure that the behaviour of some of our members needs to improve.
As last year we will have 5 teams in the league with our 1st XI will be playing in the Premier Division, the 2s in Division 5, the 3s in Division 7, the 4s in Division 10 and the 5s in Division 11.
The league may be restructured again and we await notification of which Division we will be playing. It is expected we will play 8 league matches and the remainder of games will be friendlies.
Indoor and Mid-week leagues
It is anticipated we will be playing in these leagues again.
President's Day competition
It is intended to use the same format for this events in 2011.
Women and Girls
Coaching is already underway for girls from primary and secondary schools with a view to running a second side in 2011. They are entered into two indoor competitions this winter. Rankins are setting up their own women's team so the Team will play as Rayleigh in 2011.
Yet to be decided.
Again we intend to enter 2 teams in each of the Under 11, 13 and 15 leagues and will play a number of under 9 games. Our under13 and Under 15 sides should be stronger this year. We do need to get more support from parents particularly for the under 9 section.
We need more coaches and assistant coaches and hope to run a course in January for potential coaches and helpers.
Chance to Shine project
In conjunction with Rankins we will continue to develop coaching to local primary and secondary schools as part of the curriculum.
Development Projects and Finance
The Club has acquired more equipment and more storage space is needed. To this end we plan to construct a storeroom to the East of the pavilion which will double as a scorebox. We need to repair the drive and the nets. We have permission to construct a third square on the second Rawreth playing field to the north of our existing 3rd /4th team square. We can get water to this area but there are issues with the provision of changing and toilet accommodation, provision of a place to eat teas and not least the real possibility that Rochford District Council may require a realistic charge for playing at Rawreth Lane playing fields rather than the peppercorn rent we have paid for years. To this end it is vital we continue our fundraising activities and in particular support of our 100 Club.
Officials and other helpers
Thanks to all the captains of our adult teams who worked hard to get six adult teams out each Saturday and also to the captains of our other adult teams including our women & girls XI. Also thanks to the managers, coaches and parents for coaching and running the colts teams and to Matt Kirby for co-ordinating our colt's fixtures and enabling us to fulfil all our league fixtures bar one. Thanks also to all the committee members who worked so hard behind the scenes this year and in particular to Andy Thurogood, who has made an art form of handling an ever more complex set of accounts and ensuring that all debts are settled. Thanks to Mike Humphrey and Richard Verrinder for all their work on the Website during the season and for putting the results and averages on the site when provided. Also to Mike, Andy Lynch and Richard for the major redesign of the website launched earlier this month. Thanks to Paul Spratt for providing excellent pitches. Thanks to John Charles, Brad and Matthew Walker for cutting the outfield so regularly throughout the year. Also to Colin White and helpers for manning the bar and particularly to Colin for cleaning the pipes each week which is a lengthy task and unpleasant in the winter months. Thanks to all these people who have done so much to keep this Club going forward.
To summarise, 2010 saw the Club go forward yet again with success on the field and as said in the opening remarks to field nineteen teams indoors and outdoors is a truly remarkable achievement. Yet again we have some excellent performances by our younger players, which bodes well for the future of the Club. Absolutely critical to ensure this forward momentum is maintained is that more people come forward to help, even if it only one small task to spread the work amongst more volunteers and also to try to ensure we have back up if the lead person is away or is ill. If you can help in any way at all, it would be much appreciated. As has been said for the past 3 years at least, we have a fantastic set up and are the envy of many Clubs. Let us all do all what we can to take the Club even further.