A Review of the 1982 Season

 1982 again saw an improvement in Chingford’s Essex League position together with the promise of better things to come as 12 of the 19 players used in 1st team fixtures were under the age of 25.

The opening fixture with Wanstead resulted in a draw but fine all-round contention as they recorded well earned victories over Westcliff and Leigh on Sea.

A change of month heralded a change of fortune as the weather broke in early June. Defeat in a rain affected game at Brentwood followed by abandoned fixtures with Buckhurst Hill and Southend meant that Chingford’s early ambitions were beginning to fade. However with Gidea Park the only dry spot in the County on June 26, Chingford had an opportunity to make up lost ground , but a run chase against the clock on a sodden outfield only resulted in an inevitable draw.

Chingford’s lean spell continued as they lost to Hadleigh, Ilford and Walthamstow in successive weeks although Richard Alston’s 86 at Valentines Park must rank as one of his finest innings.

Draws with Fives and Heronians and Colchester and a defeat by Chelmsford in early August saw Chingford slip into the bottom half of the League as their run without a win extended to ten games.

At last Chingford’s form changed when Old Brentwoods visited Forest Side. In reply to 176-7 the homesters looked doomed on 4-3 but marvellous knocks from Richard Alston (93 not out) and Frank Beckles (50) saw their side romp to a four wicket victory.

The improvement continued as John Woodland on his recall to the side scored 77 out of a 214-8 total against Loughton, who collapsed to 148 all out in the face of some accurate bowling from Paul Cross, Richard MacGregor and Basil Swaby.

Defeat at the hands of old rivals Woodford Wells was followed by another at Hutton despite a whirlwind 84 from Basil Swaby. Disaster struck against Orsett when Frank Beckles (92 no) and Graham Hainsby (88) both finished on the losing side as the visitors’ Outterside smashed a century in little over an hour to take his side to victory in a grandstand finish.

Chingford bounced back with an impressive eight wicket victory in the final game to clinch eleventh position in the final League table.

Guided by skipper Jeff Runciman the 2nd XI maintained excellent form throughout the season as they finished third in their League. Backbone of the side was a strong, experienced bowling attack with Bryan Hart, Bill Birch, Buddy Jessop and Steve Miell all turning in superb performances. 

In the 3rd elevens there was a tremendous 227 apiece tie with Wanstead at the London Transport Ground. Iain Hastings had an eight wicket haul against Brookweald whilst Steve Wilson mimicked this against Old Minchendenians. Ian Lambert at the age of 16 hit a century against Woodford Green.

In the Sunday As the home game against Barnet saw Richard Alston retiring having been smothered in a swarm of midges ! The away game at Sawbridgeworth saw opposition bowler Nicholas concede 122 runs, believed to be a record against Chingford (take a blow !)

In the Sunday Bs Paul cross took an amazing 4-0 to secure a win over Welwyn Garden City. This team remarkably went unbeaten until the final game of the season at Epping.

Andy Lewis bowled what is believed to be a Club Record longest ever spell of 30 consecutive overs in the Sunday C game at Hertford. Meanwhile Fraser Lawrence took a hat-trick at the age of 15 in the away game at Old Cooperians. Not to be outdone Nitin Patel took 8-10 against Brittanic Lodge in a Sunday C game where all 10 opposition batsmen were out bowled !

For the 1982 season Malcolm Watson donated a trophy to the Club in memory of his father Jack , a hardworking member and patient spectator for many years. This trophy is awarded annually to the player who scores the largest number of runs for the Club each season. At the same time Bunny Swinfen also donated a sister trophy to be awarded to the bowler who takes the largest number of wickets over the season. The first winners were Frank Beckles and Iain Hastings respectively.

A tour of Norfolk was arranged but alas cancelled due to lack of support.

Finally 1982 marked the end of Veterans matches played annually against Winchmore Hill. My memories of these games include a Winchmore Hill old boy , a bit frail to say the least being helped to the wicket only to be facing Chingford 1st XI opening bowler Basil Swaby who was a bit rapid to say the least !

The winter of 1982 saw Doug Insole appointed Manager of the MCC tour to Australia.

The connecting building between the Clubhouse and the Cricket School, incorporating a foyer area had been completed in time to give drier access for the Winter months.