A Review of the 1981 Season

In 1981 the 1st XI at last improved its performance, winning four League games and rising to a mid-table position. This included a victory against Woodford Wells where Graham Lord and Peter Joslin opened the innings with a stand of 181 after we had been put in. Another memorable innings was Basil Swaby’s defiant knock at Orsett which clinched a closely fought victory in a game in which veteran Ted Alston in the twlight of his career dismissed Essex Batsman Paul Pritchard. Over the season Richard Alston emerged as a batsman of considerable power, scoring nearly 500 runs in the League at an average of 42, Graham Lord also had a good year scoring over 400 runs at an average of 36 in his last playing year at the Club.

The Second XI book is missing but under the Captaincy of Roy Lambert in his final season for the Club finished 12th in the League. Richard MacGregor’s 8-38 was the best bowling performance in the entire 2nd XI League, despite which the Brentwood Gazette reported “…wickets were pointlessly sacrificed against some fairly ordinary slow bowling by MacGregor” !

The Thirds under Ian Meston finished a creditable 5th in the League.

The Sunday As managed only 2 wins , although a Saleem Awan century against Southgate was a memorable innings. Unusually Peter Joslin was dismissed handled the ball in the all-day fixture against Hampstead.

In the Bs iain Hastings achieved the rare feat of a “ton”…..off his own bowling against Enfield ….although he did bowl 30 overs and take 4 wickets!

Chingford returned unbeaten from the tour of the Wirrall with 3wins and 2 draws to their name. 1st eleven captain Mike Higgs arriving at the final game at Hampton in Arden shaking after Tour Manager David Jones had stopped on the motorway to look at a signpost ! On the field Paul Cross turned in two superb bowling performances with a seven wicket haul at Boughton Hall and a six wicket return at Neston.

Chingford celebrated the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer by playing home and away fixtures against Cockfosters, rather than watch the events on the television and Graham Hainsby hit a century in the home match.

1981 saw the demise of the Thursday XI which had been formed a few seasons ago taking over the fixtures of the North London Bakers. With only a handful of members playing , the teams were being made up of players from other Clubs and with this generating no extra subscriptions, the Committee decided to call it a day.

The League handbook was beginning to evolve and for the first time Clubs were asked to submit an annual report although for the first attempt the 20 Clubs all submitted potted Club histories.