A Review of the 1946 Season
The end of hostilities and the return of the younger members from the forces enabled the Club to revert to a full three elevens in time for the 1946 season. A second ground had been secured in the shape of Ridgeway Park – and at Forest Side a new pavilion had been built with invaluable assistance from the Council.
The Borough had also pledged to construct a sightscreen for the ground, and were to arrange for the renewal of wire netting on top of the fence on the northern boundary of the cricket ground adjoining the public footpath
1946 saw the ground start to become further enclosed on the west side as work started on the construction of Kimberley Way. It is believed that this road was named after the South African diamond mining town.
Highlight of the year was the game against the West Indians, in aid of Colonial Comforts Fund. The Guardian picks up the story:
A spectacular tumble of wickets near the close of the West Indies innings on Sunday gave Chingford a chance for victory which they failed to exploit to their best advantage. In contrast to the lively batting of the Indians, the famous Leary Constantine scored a thrill-packed 65, it seemed to me (writes our reporter) that the local batsmen were content to “sit on the splice” when they should have been all out for runs. The match, which ended as a draw was played at the Forest Side ground.
Constantine who had the top scoring innings of the afternoon made the crowd gasp when he was dropped off his second ball before scoring. Despite the near escape he was aggressive from the start and in one over took three 4s and a 6 off Laurie Bayes, the Chingford fast bowler. Eventually he was beaten by a well pitched ball from Bayes, his only wicket of the day, but one well worth having.
Eytle’s light hearted 36 helped the Indians to top 160 with only five wickets down, but the visitors had a tail that failed to wag. By the time another 14 runs were on the board they were skittled out by the combined efforts of Swinfen and Harwood. Swinfen caught Eytle brilliantly when the West Indian cover drove Harwood and the latter played havoc amongst the remnants of the visiting side with his cunningly pitched balls.
By now the outfields which had been playing slow all day, was a little less sticky and runs were easier to get. Chapman and Swinfen, who opened for Chingford, had 40 up by the tea interval, but within a few minutes of the restart the former lifted a slow ball from Constantine into the deep field, where he was well caught by Cross. He had scored 33 out of 43 and gone for the bowling in an enterprising manner.
At 6pm the local side still had 120 runs to make and only one and a half hours to do it in which meant they had to score well over a run a minute in order to win. But its batsmen plugged away steadily at the bowling and loosened up very little. Swinfen who stayed at the crease for nearly two hours, was eventually dismissed by Forde with only 19 runs to his credit.
With the Chingford total at 136 for 5stumps were drawn at 7.30. Constantine had an average of 2 for 23 and also caught Jeffrey (who made 33) off a sticky spinner from Ablack, the WestIndian captain.
From the results we have the 1st XI Won 6 Drew 5 Lost 2 while the Sunday XI Won 6 Drew 7 and Lost 2. Bunny Swinfen scored 1045 runs – of which 561 were for the 1st XI including 108 at Highgate. Doug Insole hit the season’s highest score with 134 in the traditional Whit Monday game with South Woodford, and Bill Sharnock was the Club’s other centurion with 102 v Incidentals.
With the ball, the season’s best performances came from McForde, with 7-48 for the 1s v Edmonton and Harold Pryor with 7-34 v Woolwich Poly for the Sunday XI. Leading wicket takers were three familiar faces, namely Jock Harwood (69), Ken Dowding (50) and Bunny Swinfen (44)