1996 Season Review
The 1st eleven spent most of the season under the threat of relegation but in the end survived in 18th place a relatively comfortable 27 points clear of the side behind them - Brentwood. They played throughout with plenty of tenacity and extraordinarily could look back on no fewer than twelve league games narrowly eluding them at vthe death. An injury pile up at the start of the season plus a little more luck at the right time and could easily have given the team more than the solitary win achieved during the season. Best individual performances came from Test Bowler Amir Nasir who was drafted in for three matches in mid season, capturing seven wickets on two of the occasions. No doubt he found Stanford le Hope away a bit of a culture shock ! Meanwhile Chris Leighton hit 114 against Colchester. Amazingly Kerry Marriott and Danny Hill, Chingford’s last pair defied the Chelmsford bowlers for 38 overs to scrape their side a draw.
The second eleven also suffered due to the injury situation but managed to carve out some very good wins despite having to use a considerable number of players, and against all odds finished in a mid table position.
Our 3rd eleven put aside the disappointment of relegation in 1995 to enjoy a magnificent season remaining undefeated in the League throughout the season to win the 2nd division Championship. Veteran all rounder Paul Cross had a brilliant season scoring 400 runs whilst taking 33 wickets @ 10.63 and was a major ingredient in their success. The bowling department was a dominant force throughout with Michael Blake (34 wickets), skipper Robin Runciman (24), Carey Harborne (22) and Atif Shabbir (17) doing most of the damage in the League. Malcolm Wright, Derek Lacey, Steve Vella and latterly Carey Harborne (205 runs @ 41.00) along with youngsters Robert Runciman, Paul Canham, Paul Adshead, Matab Ahmed and Zeshan Azem all produced timely performances with the bat to win vital matches. One ninth wicket stand of 77 in 8 overs by Matab and Atif at Southend was incredible - enabling a down and out Chingford to chase 180 to win again from a position of 103 -8. Special thanks are due to Ian Meston who travelled far and wide to provide the side with an Umpire.
One interesting incident happened in the 3rd XI game at Wickford, where Chingford with 9 wickets in hand were on the verge of victory at Wickford ….but thunderstorms were around. Although it wasn’t raining Carey Harborne decided to appeal against the light – the only time I’ve ever seen it happen in a Chingford match. The teams went off, 10 minutes later it rained and the game was abandoned !
Further positive news came in the shape of the considerable progress of the Colts section resulting in the U16s reaching the semi-final of the Mobil Matchplay for the first time. Of that team, four were considered good enough to represent the first team and a further three represented the second team.
In the Sunday As James Runciman turned in a superb all-round display at Kenton with 61 not out and 6-21 in our victory, whilst against Hemel Hempstead both Richard Alston and Naveed Ahmed hit centuries in a high scoring win.
There was little success in the Cup competitions as we lost comprehensively to Eastcote in the National and Weybridge in the Evening Standard.