A Review of the 2001 Season
After the extreme disappointment of being relegated last season, the 1st XI pleasingly played to their true potential by winning the Division 2 Championship in some style. Winning the first game off the last ball of the match against fellow promotion winners, Harlow was just the start needed and set the tone for a wonderful season, which witnessed many close encounters with several victories prised out at the death.
The batting in the main showed great consistency with James Hill and Captain Shaun McMurray contributing many fine innings whilst Mark Williams returned for the last five innings to average 45 opening the batting, and Richard Alston hit 140 v Ardleigh Green. Jon Dyers had another fine season with the ball, taking 42 wickets whilst James Runciman took 32 wickets despite missing seven matches through injury. Steve Piper, Kerry Marriott and Shaun McMurray provided valuable back up. It was also heartening to see the progress of youngsters Billy Rhone and Martin Steel who gained valuable experience playing in a strong side.
We found our season in Division 2 enlightening in that there were no easy matches. The standard seemed little different to Division 1, which highlights the success of restructuring the league. In the Cups we had an Evening Standard win over Sutton before losing to Dartford, and in the National we went out to Saffron Walden after beating Purley.
Sadly the success of the 1st XI did not reflect elsewhere in the club as the 2nd XI were relegated despite some fine batting from Darren Ross and the 3rd XI narrowly avoided the drop but gained some solace from some notable performances from up and coming youngsters Stephen Thorne, Marc Fletcher and Ryan Harris.
In the Sunday Bs, Paul Canham played two crucial innings, hammering the Harpenden attack for 142 and Sawbridgeworth for 135, while Billy Rhone played his finest innings to date, hitting his maiden ton against the Wormcasts in Cricket Week.
David Behling took an incredible 5 catches in the Sunday C match at Snaresbrook. This is believed to be a Club record for an outfielder.
Sunday Cricket saw the final year of the Herts and Essex Sunday League with Chingford’s other commitments seeing us complete only one fixture. Our Fixture List now included Chess Valley League Games, and the decision to apply in 2000 proved a well thought out idea to preserve good competitive cricket on Sundays. We appreciated it would take some time to progress our teams through to the top Divisions, although by 2006 this objective had been achieved.
This move has retained many of our “traditional” fixtures in Herts and Middlesex that would otherwise have been lost. The inaugural season saw the A team finish 3rd in Division 4 and the B team 4th in Division 4.