2006 Season Review - Chingford Cricket Club

Prior to the start of the 2006 season and after 11 years of outstanding service leading the Club, Jeff Runciman decided to stand down as President.   His contribution to the successful running of the Club during this period was immense, a fact which was not always fully realised by others because much of the work he put in was behind the scenes and not readily visible.  Our thanks go to Jeff and Pam, who stood down at the same time from the position of Club Secretary after many years, for all their efforts and we look forward to their continued involvement with the Club in other ways.

The Club Presidency passed to Bill Birch who oversaw a successful season both in terms of performance on the field and improvements to the infrastructure of the Clubhouse.

As usual Forest Side consistently looked superb and recognition for this should go to grounds man Mark Lawrence who was faced with a month and a half of rain at the start of the season followed by two months of drought – hardly ideal conditions for maintaining the look of the ground.

The Club made good progress at all levels and continued to build up its Colts section largely due to Mark Campbell, Sam Kirnon and Ryan Harris.  However, the highlight of the season was undoubtedly the 1st XI winning Division 1 and so gaining promotion to the Premier Division for the first time.

Saturday 1st XI

The 1st XI was captained by Shaun McMurray who building on the near misses of the last two seasons led a side with a good blend of youth and experience to 10 wins and the Division 1 title.

The top performer was Niraj Odedra who not only scored over 800 runs at 74.18 and took 36 wickets at 21.64 but by his attitude and commitment continually encouraged his team mates to greater heights.  Shaun McMurray also averaged over 50 with the bat and five bowlers averaged fewer than 22 with the ball.

In all five hundreds were scored.  Three by Niraj Odedra who brought his non-league batting form of previous seasons into the league games, and two typically savage assaults on the bowling by Sam Kirnon, the highest being 139 at Hornchurch.  The individual bowling highlights included 5 for 42 by Angelo Bass at Shenfield, 6 for 33 by Ryan Harris at Westcliff, 6 for 88 by Ben MacGregor at Fives and Heronians and 7 for 46 by Niraj Odedra against Chelmsford.

Important contributions were also made by Len Daniels, who bowled impressively and caught some amazing catches, Greg Hales, Mac Meade, Matthew O’Sullivan, Bryan Pietersen, Paul Shawyer, who kept wicket extremely tidily and averaged over 30 with the bat and Robert Whitfield.

Congratulations to the team for their achievement.  Next season will be a different type of challenge but one to which the team looks forward.

The 1st XI also put together an excellent cup run in the National Cockspur Cup beating amongst others Colchester and Brentwood before succumbing to a very good Brondesbury side in the regional final.  The first game in this competition against Bardoli saw a Club record breaking partnership of 277 between Shaun McMurray (196 not out) and Niraj Odedra (100) in a score of 379-5.  Angelo Bass then took 7 for 21 to enforce a comprehensive win.

Saturday 2nd XI

The 2nd XI was back in Division 1 for the first time in a number of years and achieved their primary objective of consolidating their position.  Led by new captain Robert Runciman the team finished 8th in what was a close and hard-fought division.  For most of the season the team was placed in the top half but a weak final month and an inability to win games they should have done earlier in the season led to a slightly disappointing final position.

James Runciman returned for half a season and demonstrated his class with 595 runs at 119.0 including three hundreds.  Hundreds were also scored by Richard Alston (115 at Wickford), Truptesh Patel (121 at Upminster), Nick Shawyer (125 against Wickford) and Andrew Chipchase in an early season friendly.  Nick Shawyer and Peter Shawyer averaged 82.5 and 55.33 respectively.

The bowling lacked some penetration although highlights included Richard Offord’s 6 for 41 and 6 for 45 against Westcliff and Brentwood respectively, 5 for 71 at Hainault & Clayhall by James Runciman, 5 for 101 at Ardleigh Green by Steven Piper and most encouragingly a maiden five wicket haul in the 2nd XI for 15 year old leg-spinner Alfie Taylor whose 6 for 30 bowled the team to a win against Wickford.

Saturday 3rd XI

Considering that the 3rd XI was led by a number of captains during the season 7 wins and a 3rd place finish in Division 1 was a triumph.  After the elected captain stood down at the start of the season, Paul Canham took over the reins for the majority of the games but he in turn was supported by several players who carried out the captaincy duties when he was unavailable.

Batting honours were shared around the team with eight players scoring 50s in the league (Roy Williams and Andrew Chipchase getting three apiece) but no one getting to three figures although Alfie Taylor came close with 98.  However, Andrew Chipchase did score a hundred in an early season friendly a week after he had performed the same feat for the 2nd XI.

The leading wicket-takers were Andrew Chipchase (8 for 25 at Billericay), Michael Blake and Stephen Thorne all three of whom picked up five-wicket hauls.  In addition Chris Baldock and Edwin Jabbari both took five wickets in the last game at Westcliff and top-order batsman Paul Canham showed he was truly an all-rounder by taking 5 for 63 against Woodford Green.

Saturday 4th XI

Mark Campbell captained the 4th XI again this season building on the success of the previous year when promotion to Division 1 was achieved.  The team, which comprised a blend of youth and experience, won 7 games and finished third and the importance of the 4th XI as a feeder system from our Colts section can not be overstated.

The regular batting was led by John Woodland (497 runs at 55.22 including one hundred) and Mark Campbell and Steve Hart who both averaged over 35.  Important contributions also came from emerging Colts players such as Tom Hayden and Tom Neale who both scored fifties. As is the nature of the 4th XI the regular contributors were supported by those who were only available on a handful of occasions, most notably Peter Tarrant who scored 150 at Southend-on-Sea.

The bowling relied on the vast experience of Carey Harborne (29 wickets at 13.69), Paul Hart (27 wickets at 17.52) and Michael Blake (20 wickets at 12.1).  Good support was provided by the likes of Edwin Jabbari and Adam Campbell.

Sunday A XI

As in previous seasons the A XI, which was led by Greg Hales, participated in the Chess Valley League on Sundays finishing third in the highest division even though two games had to be conceded because of Cup commitments.  Without these concessions the team would probably have won the league.

During the season hundreds were scored by Richard Alston, Matthew O’Sullivan, Niraj Odedra (who won the league award for most runs in the division), Billy Rhone, Greg Hales and Robert Whitfield.  The bowling was disciplined with several consistently good performers – best bowling figures were Len Daniels’ 5 for 40 against Harrow.

Sunday B XI

After several years of being regularly promoted from the bottom to the top division in the Chess Valley 2nd XI League, this was the season Michael Blake’s men won it all.  Going into the last league game against top side Harrow, the B XI had to win well to draw level on points and have a chance of taking the title on a net run rate tie-breaker.  After bowling Harrow out for 175 the team had to knock off the runs for no more than 3 wickets which they duly did although not without some tense moments before number 5, Martin Steel hit the winning runs.

Sunday hundreds were scored by Peter Joslin, Robert Whitfield, Nick Shawyer and Truptesh Patel.  The league bowling attack was mainly based around Michael Blake, Stephen Thorne, Richard MacGregor, Peter Joslin and Nasser Rashid.

Valuable contributions were also provided by other regulars such as Majid Azam (5 for 55 against Hanwell) as well as guest stars such as Richard Alston and Steven Piper.

Cricket Week and Tour Game

Another very successful Cricket Week with a number of close finishes took place with the highlight being Alfie Taylor’s maiden hundred.  Well done to those who played and organised.  In addition thanks to those who catered for the Club during the season both during Cricket Week and at weekends.

For the first time there was also a one-off mid-week game away at Parley where a win was achieved due to Shaun McMurray’s hundred and Michael Blake’s 5 for 46. 

Overall a very good year for the club with the 1st XI leading the way but also pleasing was the way Colts such as Alfie Taylor, Anthony Peek and Tom Hayden became automatic selections in the senior sides and the fact that on several occasions the Club was able to field a Saturday 5th XI and a Sunday C XI.