A Review of the 2014 Season
1st XI: Champions! Not a word usually associated with Chingford. In fact a first ever Essex League Title for the 1st's.
Under the astute leadership of Ben MacGregor 12 wins were enough to secure the title and round off the gradual improvement in the side over the last few seasons. There was much optimism at the start of the season with the news that Aussie Shaun Eaton would be coming back for a 2nd season and that his mate from the MCCYC's Jamie Porter would be joining us from Fives & Heronians. It didn't take long to realise that these two along with the veteran Lenny Daniels and MacGregor would prove to be a potent attack. Porter would top the averages with 33 wkts @ 13
The team also had the potential to bat all the way down the order but the 3 leading run scorers were Eaton, Alfie Taylor and the prolific 16yo Daniel Lawrence who scored 798 runs at 57.
The success was built around the contributions of all 17 players that took to the field but the following individual performances stood out. Daniel Lawrence 153 v Chelmsford, 131 v Harold Wood and 98no v Sth Woodford. Alfie Taylor 110 v Chemsford. Shaun Eaton 7-37 v Chelmsford, 88 and 5-34 v Wanstead and 75 and 3-33 v Brentwood. Lenny Daniels 6-14 v Shenfield.
Perhaps the most stunning innings and win came at Upminster in a rain affected chase. Needing 29 off 2 overs skipper MacGregor wisely slogged a single of the first ball leaving Chris Baldock to smash the next 5 balls for 28 runs and win with an over to spare.
The title was won at Chelmer Park in the penultimate match with a victory of 79 runs with Jamie Porter taking the catch from Andrew Macregor's bowling and the celebrations began.
The cup competitions were less successful. After beating Winchmore Hill in the 1st round of the National we lost to South Woodford in the 2nd. In our 1st game in the Conference Cup we lost to Aston Rowant and in defence of our Leage Cup we were knocked out in the 2nd round by Shenfield after a 1st round win at Upminster. The 20/20 promised more as Loughton, West Essex and Epping were beaten in the group stage followed by a knockout win v Southend. Unfortunately we were beaten at the QF stage off the last ball in a great game by Colchester.
2nd XI: After last year's relegation battle a 4th place finish was a big improvement. We welcomed Sam Levido to the side to replace his fellow Aussie Matt McKay from the previous season. Although less prolific than his predecessor his contribution to the cause was immense both on and off the field.
The sides main performers were skipper James Hill (648 runs), opening bowler Kerry Marriott (24 wkts) and ultra veteran spin twins Richard MacGregor (29 wkts) and Neil Dial (24 wkts). There were also encouraging signs for the future with Chris Stephens, Zishan Rehman, Aamir Khan and Alex Agedah all impressing with the bat and Matt Smith showing promise as a bowling all-rounder.
The following individual performances stood out. Sam Levido 113no v Colchester. James Hill 122 v Wanstead. Neil Dial 6-52 v Buckhurst Hill and 5-75 v Colchester. Perhaps the 2 outstanding performances were Richard MacGregor's 7-71 v Buckhurst Hill and Mitan Patel's 83no in the win over Colchester.
We should also mention the contributions from Liam Lannen who was the best player in the team on those occasions when rested from the 1sts. As outgoing captain I would like to thank all the players who mucked in (especially the 6 different keepers) and made it such an enjoyable year.
3rd XI: Under the returning captaincy of Dan Carver the 3rds achieved a 6th place finish. There were some outstanding victories during the season most notably against Fives, Wanstead and Chelmsford. The main contributors to the team were Dave Terrace (372 runs) and keeper Mark Campbell (324 runs) and the outstanding Richard Offord (29 wkts). Outstanding individual showings came from Terrace 105 v Chelmsford. Paul Hart out of retirement to take 5-37 v Wanstead and Paul Warren with 127 v Fives.
Special mention should go to Richard Offord who 4 times took 5 or more wickets in an innings with best figures of 6-89 v Chelmsford. Richard also performed outstandingly when brought into the 2nds and perhaps should have played in that team more often.
Youngsters that impressed were off spinner James Bridge and all-rounder Jack Bassett.
4th XI: Led by Raja Farhan the 4th XI were arguably the most improved team on Saturdays at the club.
For much of the season a top 2 finish seemed possible only to fall away with 3 losses in a row toward the end of the season. A total of 8 wins ensured a 3rd place finish and a satisfactory season. The highest run scorers were Myles Joyce (334 runs) and Nishant Varshney (327 runs) with the leading wicket takers being Varshney (28 wkts) and Naveed Khan (36 wkts).
Outstanding performances came from Jack Bassett 103 v Buckhurst Hill. Aamir Khan 108 v Upminster. Ameetab Ashok 105no v Leigh-on-Sea. Sean Green 5-33 v Benfleet. Spinner Naveed Khan took 5 or more wickets 3 times including the outstanding club figures for the season of 9-27 v Basildon.
5th XI: Under the captaincy of Steve Brewer the 5th XI improved from the previous season with 5 wins as opposed to 1 whilst still managing to bring some emerging colts players through. The leading batsmen in the side were senior players Michael Blake (665 runs), Jamil Akhtar (649 runs) and Nigel Errington (317 runs). The bowling was a different story with youngsters Sam Marriott (14 wkts) and Ross Simmons (13 wkts) leading the way.
Best individual performanes were from Jamil Akhtar 105 v Hadleigh, 103no v Orsett and 154no v Harold Wood. Michael Blake 103 v Orsett and 104no v Harold Wood. Jack Bassett 102no v Wickford and Chris Watson 5-24 v Oakfield Parkonians.
From a statistical point of view the 290* opening stand between Blake and Akhtar v Harold Wood was the outstanding achievement of the season and as far as we can tell from going back through the archives this was a club record partnership!!
Much promise was also shown by youngsters Douglas Leung and Ed Smith.
Sunday A XI: Due to various circumstances it was much harder to raise sides this season and as such 3 thumping victories were all we could muster in the excellent Chess Valley League this season. With a final position of 6th place. .
Sunday B XI: Under the captaincy and organisation of Michael Blake the Sunday B's staged a revival with a core group of players being available each week. 5 wins from 9 games in the league saw a 3rd place finish.
Congratulations to Alex Agedah, James Bridge and Ed Smith who all represented Essex in their respective age groups and also to Matt Smith who is attending the Shenfield Cricket Academy and has just regained his place in the Essex squad.
Thanks and good luck to Shaun Eaton, who won't be returning next year, for major contributions in the last 2 seasons. Don't those Aussies know you can bowl.
Last but not least congratulations must go to Jamie Porter who was given a chance with the county 2nd XI due to injuries last year and grabbed it with both hands. Bowling with pace and skill he forced his way into the 1st team by the end of the season to become the first Chingford representive since Robin Hobbs to play for Essex.