A Review of the 2013 Season
1st XI- Back in the Premier League after a few seasons our 1's got off to a flyer winning the first 3 games narrowly against Chelmsford,Colchester and Shenfield. These results provided important momentum and the feeling that we could prosper at this level and at various stages of the season we led the table. Eventually we fell away a bit losing the last 3 games leaving us in a final position of 6th but much confidence should be taken into next year. The highest run scorers were 15yo Daniel Lawrence and 19yo Australian, Shaun Eaton, who both scored over 600 league runs and the leading bowler was captain Ben MacGregor who took 36 wkts at 13 going for a miserly 2.5 per over.
In previous seasons our best perfomances have been achieved in the Cups and this year was no different culminating in the club's first League cup triumph. After a 1st round victory against Shenfield in a low scoring game, Pegasus, Hainault & Clayhall and a semi-final v Chelmsford were all beaten by wide margins. In the final we were up against a strong Brentwood side who had dished out our 2 largest defeats in the league. However the fact that we had beat them earlier in the National gave us some confidence.
The final was held at Wickford on a hot day with a good crowd. Batting first Brentwood struggled to get to grips with the slow pitch and accurate Chingford attack with Len Daniels opening up with 6-4-7-1. All the bowlers kept up the pressure with Ryan Harris ( 2 wickets) and spinners Ben MacGregor, Alfie Taylor and Liam Lannen (6 wkts between them) limiting Brentwood to 125-9 off their 40 overs. The Brentwood bowlers started well with the early wickets of openers Daniel Lawrence and Jay Edmonds and runs were hard to come by until Shaun Eaton came to the crease and took the game away from Brentwood with an aggressive 47 (7 fours 2 sixes). When Shaun was dismissed Alfie Taylor finished the game off in style with 8 overs to go and was not out 16 at the end along with skipper, MacGregor, who played the perfect anchor role for 35no. Along with his bowling figures of 8-3-12-3, this rightly earned Ben the MOTM award.
20/20- Having won all 3 group games against Wanstead, Harlow Town and Woodford Wells we progressed through to the knockout stage to play Loughton with optimism. However as with the previous season we failed to raise a strong side and were soundly beaten.
2nd XI- Also back in the Premier league after winning Division 1, the 2's found the going tougher than the 1st team. Players poor availability may be one of the reasons for this but also having 4 different captains cannot of helped. Original captain Chris Baldock earned his way into the 1's with some notable performances in Cup games and theres no doubt the side missed his skippering, batting and fielding.
However the season came down to an exciting conclusion away v Woodford Wells with the loser to be relegated. Batting first Chingford through mainly Matt McKay's 62 and Marc Fletcher's 95 posted a respectable 231 off 52 overs. After an early wicket from Kerry Marriott the Wells batsmen batted aggressively to get themselves into a winning position. However when the veteran spin pair Richard MacGregor(4 wkts) and Neil Dial(2 wkts) came on the game swung back to Chingford. Still the game was not over and some lusty lower order blows put Wells back in charge. At this point skipper,Truptesh Patel made a brave bowling change and quickie Mitan Patel cleaned up the tail to leave Chingford with a 14 run victory and survival. It must be said that the Wells took defeat graciously and the game was played in good spirit.
Top performers for the season were Australian, Matt McKay with 688 runs at 45 and new recruit Neil Dial with 42 wkts at 14.
3rd XI- Under the popular captaincy of Paul Warren the 3's enjoyed the highest placing of any of our XI's coming 5th. The strength of the side throughout the year was the seam bowling with Nadir Noori, Richard Offord, Sourabh Datar and Rob Ewing often restricting oppositions to low scores. The problem as in the previous season was the batting with only the skipper posting over 300 runs. Offord was the leading wicket taker with 24.
4th XI- Availability was quite frankly awful for the 4's and this led to a final position of 8th in the 4th XI Premier division, narrowly avoiding relegation. The best player in the side was undoubtedly skipper Scott Prestedge who took most wickets and was also the only batsman to make more than 300 runs. This included just missing out on a maiden hundred when being dismissed for 99 v Pegasus!
5th XI- The 5's had a tough season winning just the 1 league game. However the team finished the season stronger then when they started and with a few of the younger players improving there is more optimism for the 2014 year. Skipper Raja Farhan must be applauded for his recruitment of some raw but keen new players enabling us to field a side at all times. The leading run scorer was stalwart Michael Blake with 490 runs at 49 and the leading wicket taker was Ross Simmons with 10 wickets.
Sunday A's- Competing yet again in the excellent Chess Valley league we narrowly lost out on the title to Eastcote from Middlesex despite winning 7 out of 8 games.
In the National Cup after good wins against South Hampstead and Brentwood we lost out to a strong Waltham side in the regional semi-finals.
In the CCC Cup we lost out to Valley End CC in the last 16, having beaten Cockfosters and Witham previously.
Sunday B's- Under the captaincy of Michael Blake the B's endured an extremely tough season. With just 2 league victories and 4 overall the side were on the wrong end of some one-sided games. With Rez and Zesh Rehman and Dave Humphreys all scoring well decent totals were mostly achieved but the lack of penetrating bowling made it hard work to defend in the field.
The club would like to congratulate Matt Smith, Alex Agedah and James Bridge who all played for the County in their relevant age groups last season but special mention should go to 16 yo Daniel Lawrence who after impressing in the 2nd XI (maiden century v Middlesex) has earned himself a full contract with Essex . We're sure that all at the club are very proud of him and will watch his progress with much interest.