A Review of the 2012 Season
A good season for the club with the highlights being the 1st and 2nd XI’s both winning Division 1 and returning to their respective Premier leagues.
1st XI The 1st XI led by Shaun McMurray got off to a flier winning 6 out of the first 8 games. Then after a mid season wobble rallied to win 4 out of the last 5 games to come from behind and win the league. The outstanding batsmen once again was the prolific Shabaz Butt(928 runs @ 71) with 3 hundreds and 5 fifties. Other solid contributions came from Alfie Taylor(425 @ 42) with 1 hundred and 2 fifties and 14 year old Daniel Lawrence(555 @35) who carried his bat for 105 n.o v Harlow in the penultimate match. This was not only his maiden league ton but also helped clinch promotion. Already of sound temperament, we can only hope as Daniel progresses to the county set up his natural flair, and enjoyment of the game, is allowed to flourish. Ben MacGregor and Sam Kirnon both also passed 350 runs. We wish Sam all the best as he goes to live in Dominica and thank him for his contribution to the club over the past 8 years.
The wickets were shared around mainly by 4 bowlers. The ever reliable Ben MacGregor(27 wkts @ 16) and skipper Shaun(19 @ 19) bowled in their usual economical way but perhaps the surprise packages were the two left arm seamers Ali Aamir(24 @ 20) and big Len Daniels(27 @ 19). Len perhaps had the performance of the season with his 6-25( 5 bowled) helping to bowl Hornchurch out for 53.
Cups- The cup competition, traditionally the clubs stronger suit, did not produce the success of the previous season. Early knockouts in the National(Woodford Wells) and the League Cup(South Woodford) were followed by good wins over Bexley and Acton in the Conference Cup. However Tunbridge Wells proved too strong and dumped us out at the quarter final stage.
The 20/20 group stage went to plan with 4 wins out of 4. There then followed a good win against Hainault & Clayhall before losing to Brentwood, again at the quarter final stage.
Shaun was unable to captain for the last third of the season and praise should go firstly to Matthew O’ Sullivan and latterly to Ben MacGregor for breaching the gap. Ben will be returning to the captaincy for 2013.
2nd XI Under the captaincy of Christopher Baldock the 2nd XI also won the League. There was none of the drama of the 1st XI however, as it was clear from half way that this was a two horse race between ourselves and Ilford. Winning 7 games by batting first boosted the points tally and ultimately tipped the scales in our favour but we look forward to renewing rivalry with Ilford next season. The batting was a real all round effort with 11 different players averaging over 35. The two main run scorers were wicket keeper Billy Rhone(448 @ 37) and Truptesh Patel(379 @ 38).
The slow bowling was the main strength of the side with Aussie Liam Lannen(40 @ 15) leading the league wickets list. Liam will qualify as one of us next year and will hopefully look to step up to bolster the 1st XI. Richard MacGregor(20 @ 11) headed the averages and mention should be made of 15 year old Andrew MacGregor(12 @ 19) who stepped up to the 1st XI seamlessly when the opportunity arose. Seam bowlers ‘Unlucky’ Andy Perrin(17 @ 25) and ‘Flash’ Alex Gordon(20 @ 15) also bowled well. With the latter producing perhaps the performance of the season with 7-13 v Ardleigh Green to win a game that could well have meandered to a draw. He may have ended up with more wickets if he hadn’t had to finish his spell due to his age. What a great rule!
3rd XI Under the new captaincy of Paul Warren the 3rd XI came 5th in Division 1. Hopefully with improved availability next season will be more successful and enjoyable for the popular skipper. Paul was the mainstay of the batting(317 @ 24) with the main support coming fom new recruit Dave Terrace(193 @ 32). It has to be said that even allowing for bowler friendly wickets a few of the batsmen will feel that they underachieved.
On the bowling front seamers Sourabh Datar( 26 @ 11),also a new member, and Richard Offord(23 @ 11) both excelled . Along with young seamer Aiden Woodcock, neither would be out of place in the 2nd XI. Their personal highlights were 7-24 for Sourabh v Ilford and Richard’s 6-22 when successfully defending 81 v Upminster. Spinners Stephen Thorne( 15 @ 20) and Junaid Javed(13 @ 15) also bowled well.
4th XI New captain Scott Prestedge endured a frustrating season. Although relegated in 9th position, a reprieve came when another side pulled out of a league above. As with the 3rd XI it is hoped that stronger availability will help the skipper both on Saturdays and midweek. As with the 3rd XI the batting struggled and the top scorers were John Woodland(208 runs) and Howard Nicholson(195 runs).
On the bowling front the captain led the way with his ‘off-spinners’(26 @ 21) and also deserving mention is 14 year old all rounder Matt Smith(14 @ 21) who impressed and should go on to the higher teams. Performance of the season goes to Richard Offord with 7-62 v Basildon. Despite the poor results encouraging displays from youngsters Jack Bassett, Sam Burke and Eric Boisson provide optimism for next season. Happily Scott has agreed to skipper next season.
5th XI Once again captained by Bill Burke the availability problem inevitably hit the 5th team hardest and it is to Bill’s credit that no games were cancelled. A position of 11th out of 14 with just 3 wins reflected how tough a season it was. The leading runscorer was the determined Michael Blake(416 @ 38) top scoring with 116 n.o v Harold Wood. Chief support came from fellow opener Raja Farhan(227 runs). Other notable scores came from Jimal Akhtar 134 v Orsett and new member David Humphries 107 n.o v Orsett.
The leading wicket takers were young left arm slow bowlers Matthew Fairley and Christopher Watson with 12 wickets each.
Sundays Our Sunday A’s and B’s once again took part in the excellent Chess Valley League. Weather and cup commitments meant that despite just one defeat( v Brondesbury) in 5 games the title was out of reach for the A’s this year. The B team were once again led by club stalwart Michael Blake. Although results were not as good as Michael had hoped for his organisation on and off the pitch ensured competitive matches were played and several junior players showed signs of promise. The solitary league victory was at the expense of Chesham.
It is much to Michael’s credit, in his role of Fixture Secretary, that Sunday cricket continues to thrive at Forest Side.
In closing the 2012 report it is only appropriate that we mention Ron Lynch who passed away in the summer after a long illness. Ron in his capacity as an Essex player, Chingford captain, Essex League Chairman and President of Chingford was a true cricket lover and supporter. He is a Chingford Legend and will be sorely missed.