A Review of the 1983 Season
One of the worst Springs in memory saw no cricket played at Forest Side until the 29th of May, and then only due to a bring your own lawn mower morning organised by …Jeff Runciman !
A League season which commenced with a guest appearance by John “Houdini” Woodland at Wanstead (he hit a six to win it off the penultimate ball) produced a series of exciting games, most of which were decided in the last few overs and in several cases by the last few balls. After six games we had won three and with more luck could have won six- after ten we had won three and with some assistance from the Gods we might have won ten. Yet after nineteen we had won only four and thus rocketed from eleventh position in 1982 to eleventh position in 1983. In fairness to the bowlers who battled all season it must be said that “only twenty runs more” should be engraved on all our bats as it was batting performances which tipped the balance against winning in the majority of the close games. Perhaps the best overall performance was against the eventual Champions Gidea Park and Romford; both sides might have won a game in which over 400 runs were scored on a difficult wicket and only Andy Jenner’s forward defensive robbed us of victory.
Over the season the bowling was held together by Steve “Marathon” Miell, Peter Joslin, David Wilson and Paul Cross. The batting was more loosely held together by Graham Hainsby and Peter Joslin. Individually Richard Alston’s 95 (v Gidea Park), Graham Hainsby’s 88 (v Southend) and 81 (v Loughton), Paul Cross’ 6-29 (v Wanstead) and 7-51 (v Brentwood) and 6-55 (v Gidea Park) and Peter Joslin’s 6-8 (v Hadleigh) were outstanding performances and Graeme Stockton turned in an impressive performance in his first season as wicketkeeper.
As for the other elevens, with the loss of several players from the previous year and further players to the 1st XI due to injuries, the 2nd XI were always unlikely to repeat the challenge of 1982, and finished ninth. Outstanding performances here include Phil Joslin’s hundred at Colchester and John Woodland’s hundred at Fives.
The 3rd XI in dual harness under Peter Norgate and Ian Meston performed with customary solidarity. Here the performances of some of the colts were encouraging for the future.
Chingford were runners-up in the Waltham Forest Knockout Cup but lost to Leyton Falcons in the Final, played at Forest Side.
We toured the Wirrall with good quality games played at Neston, Oxton, Chalmondeley, Boughton Hall and Southill Park.
Finally 1983 was very much the end of an era - firstly of Buddy Jessop’s illustrious career at the Club and fittingly his final game for Chingford was a 1st eleven match. Secondly 1983 saw Ted Sandrock stepping down from Committee after some 36 years of exemplary service.