2008 Season Review

Chingford Cricket Club


The 2008 season provided the Club with its toughest playing challenge in many years with three of our top four elevens in their respective Premier division.  In addition, for the second year in a row and for a variety of reasons, we lost the availability of a number of regular 1st and 2nd team players largely without the compensation of new players of this standard joining the Club; the one exception being Algie Corbin whom the Club welcomed into membership in mid-season.


As a result, we knew it was going to be a difficult season and so it proved albeit with many positive aspects.

Saturday 1st XI


Sam Kirnon continued as captain in the Club’s second year in the Premier League but the team failed to take its chances to win games when they arose and were relegated on the final day of the season.


In three of the first four games the 1st XI had clear chances to record victories but ended up losing to Wanstead by 3 wickets, achieving a winning draw against South Woodford and losing to Saffron Walden by 31 runs.  Lack of runs, dropped catches, an inability to finish sides off and the weather all played their part but the net result was that the side got into losing ways and found it difficult to reverse the momentum.  The solitary win came against Colchester around mid-season and the side were in the bottom two nearly all season long.


Nevertheless, going into the final game of the season it was in their hands to stay up but on a wet and miserable day South Woodford won their match whilst Chingford lost by 9 runs to Ardleigh Green and so ended up bottom of the division and were relegated.  This final game summed up the season – clear chances to win were not taken and the team ultimately fell short.


However, in reality even if the side had managed to finish 9th survival would have been little deserved and would only be due to the reduction in relegation positions because of Saffron Walden leaving the League.


As in the previous year, the batting struggled.  Jamie Hill was the only batsman to average over twenty-five with 428 runs @ 26.75 including three fifties.  Rob Whitfield scored the only century with 113 not out at Upminster.


The bowling was the strength of the team led by Denver Carolus (35 wickets @ 24.34 including 5 for 76 v Gidea Park & Romford), Ben MacGregor (25 wickets @ 16.72) and Len Daniels (20 wickets @ 27.40).  The best individual performances were from Ben MacGregor who took 7 for 42 and scored 60 with the bat v Saffron Walden, Sam Kirnon who took 6 for 61 v Ardleigh Green and Len Daniels who took 6 for 67 v Wanstead.


The young players in the side will have learned considerably from their experiences in the Premier League and no doubt have aspirations to return in the future.

Cup Competitions


In the League Cup a first round win at Hutton by 5wickets (Billy Rhone 55 not out, Ryan Harris 5 for 30) was followed by defeat to Brentwood by 2 wickets despite both McPherson Meade and Sam Kirnon scoring fifties.


There were early exits as well in the Evening Standard Cup to Bishops Stortford by 4 wickets and the National Cockspur Cup to Brondesbury where we had to scratch due to fixture congestion.


Most years the Club has one decent cup run and this year the Shepherd Neame 20/20 Cup provided the excitement.  In the first two rounds the team, led by Matthew O’Sullivan, recorded comfortable wins against Epping (Rob Whitfield 51, Anthony Peek 4 for 33) and Harlow (Sam Kirnon 78, Jamie Hill 51, McPherson Meade 4 for 26).  In the next two rounds the team won two excellent contests, by 1 run against South Woodford and 4 wickets at Saffron Walden, to book a place at finals day.  In the semi-final a good team effort achieved a 4 wicket success against Woodford Wells.  In the final despite restricting Colchester to 126 with Ben MacGregor taking 4 for 12, Chingford were bowled out for 89 to lose by 37 runs.  Nevertheless it was an enjoyable run and produced some great memories.


Saturday 2nd XI

The 2nd XI was led once again by Robert Runciman, who faced the prospect of competing in the Premier Division for the first time without four key players from the previous season.


In the first match the side, weakened even further by early season non-availability, went to Wanstead and managed to bat poorly, drop 9 catches and as a result were comprehensively beaten by 8 wickets and failed to gain a single point.  It was quite clear that if the side was to compete in the division it would have to have close to full availability every week and fight hard for every run and wicket.


The next week saw a startling change in fortunes against Ilford.  After being put into bat Chingford scored 278 for 4 largely thanks to a brilliant innings of 144 not out by Truptesh Patel.  In reply Ilford were bowled out for 168 with Richard MacGregor taking 8 for 39.


This was followed by three consecutive convincing losses with few points being gained and as a result the rest of the season was a fight against the prospect of relegation.


However, from this point on the players began to adapt to the higher standards of the Premier Division and competed successfully for the remainder of the season achieving further wins against Loughton (twice), Colchester and Chelmsford.  The team ended up clear of relegation in 8th place with 184 points which given the slow start constituted a creditable performance in what is a tight and very competitive division.  


Four players scored over 300 runs; Billy Rhone (479 runs @ 31.93 with two fifties as well as carrying his bat for an unbeaten 112 at Colchester), Greg Hales (340 runs @ 28.33 with four fifties), Truptesh Patel (338 runs @ 56.33 with two fifties and a hundred) and Steven Piper (329 runs @ 41.13 with four fifties).


The main bowling duties were undertaken by Richard MacGregor (30 wickets @ 20.80), Richard Offord (23 wickets @ 21.74 including a superb piece of bowling at Chelmsford where he took 7 for 69 in an unbroken 26 over spell) and Anthony Peek (20 wickets @ 23.75 including 7 for 62 against Hainault & Clayhall).


Saturday 3rd XI


The 3rd XI finished 9th in Division 1 with 4 wins but stayed up due to Saffron Walden being in the same division.  Mark Campbell captained the team after having successfully been in charge of the 4th XI the last few years. 


Leading run scorer was Marc Fletcher with 361 runs @ 36.10.  His total included an innings of 107 in a victorious run chase at Westcliff and on the following day he scored an unbeaten 117 for the Sunday Bs to become one of the few batsmen to score two hundreds in a single week-end for the Club.  The only other batsmen to contribute on a consistent basis were Nasser Rashid (322 runs @ 26.83) and Mark Campbell (284 runs @ 25.82).  Also worthy of mention was a blistering 154 not out against Hornchurch from Steve Piper who played a game for the team prior to his full recovery from injury and restoration to the 2nd XI.


The bowling was led by Mike Blake with 28 wickets @ 16.04 including three hauls of five wickets or more.  He was supported by Stephen Thorne (13 wickets @ 22.38) and newcomer Bilal Ahmad (15 wickets @ 23.33).


Saturday 4th XI


Paul Hart took up the 4th XI captaincy in 2008, having in past years skippered both the 2nd and 3rd XIs.  The team (along with the 3rd XI) were probably impacted the most by the general lack of depth at the Club following the off-season departures; this was reflected in their 9th place finish in the Premier Division which saw them relegated.


The only batsman to score over 200 runs was John Woodland (247 runs @ 30.88 including a hundred against Stanford le Hope).  The captain led the way with the ball taking 24 wickets @ 21.00 including 6 for 39 against Ardleigh Green.  He was well supported by Tony Barker with 22 wickets @ 25.09 including one five wicket haul.


Saturday 5th XI

This was the first season that the Club had entered a 5th XI and led by Kerry Edmonds the team managed to win 3 matches and achieve a respectable 5th place finish in 4th XI Division West.


The most successful batsmen were Barry Hayden (233 runs @ 38.83 including two fifties) and Kerry Edmonds (213 runs @ 30.43) whilst the bowling honours were shared amongst Mohammad Ansari, Steve Tall, Chris Watson and Raj Farhan who all took at least 10 wickets.

Sunday A XI

The Sunday A XI was captained by Ben MacGregor for the second year and again finished near the top of the Chess Valley League even though they were thwarted by the weather on more than one occasion.


Truptesh Patel was the only batsmen to score over 300 runs (324 runs @ 46.29 including two hundreds) and McPherson Meade the only other batsman to score a hundred.  However Matthew O’Sullivan, Alfie Taylor, Paul Shawyer and Billy Rhone all contributed with over 200 runs each. The only bowlers to take more than 10 wickets were Denver Carolus (20 wickets @ 16.90) and the captain (17 wickets @ 18.65).


Sunday B XI


The Sunday B XI, captained once again by Michael Blake, finished near the top of their Chess Valley League division and also played a number of well contested friendly fixtures.  Following the merger of the Chess Valley A XI and B XI divisions the Sunday Bs managed to gain promotion from the old B XI 1st Division to the new combined Division 5 where next season they will in the main be competing against other clubs’ A XIs.


The batting was led by Marc Fletcher (556 runs @ 32.71 including two hundreds), Peter Joslin (415 runs @ 34.58) and David Joslin (326 runs @ 40.75 including one hundred) but Rob Runciman contributed 232 runs @ 58.00 in the six games that he played.  Mention should also be made of a guest appearance in one match by Andrew Joslin who scored a mammoth 218 not out.


The bowling was again led by Richard MacGregor (38 wickets @ 12.97) with good support from Michael Blake (19 wickets @ 33.68) and Stephen Thorne (16 wickets @ 34.19).


The most memorable game of the season was the league fixture away at Hemel Hempstead on 22nd June which saw several members of the side briefly become national sporting icons.  The team arrived at the ground to find the Sky Sports cameras in situ and ready to take in the action which confirmed the skipper’s long held belief that the Sunday Bs were the premier Chingford side and the only one worth watching.  Not daunted by the fact there had been a mix-up and the cameras were there to interview a Hemel Hempstead player who was actually playing in the A team fixture at Chingford, Michael Blake swiftly convinced the reporter that better value was to be had by interviewing him.  And so it transpired that a news article including action shots of the game and an interview with the skipper was broadcast that same evening (every hour on the hour) on Sky Sports News.



Overall, although it proved to be a tough Saturday league season, there were many highlights in 2008 including the achievement of the 20/20 team, and the continued development of our Colts as they move up through the elevens stands the Club in good stead for the future.


Our thanks go to Ian Fullbrook and Todd Holland for taking on most of the umpiring duties on Sundays, to scorers Lee Wiles and Emily Hart and to all those who contributed to the success of the Club off the field during 2008.


Thanks also to Michael Blake for his work in researching and entering over 70 years worth of Club scorecards on to our website (www.chingfordcc.hitscricket.com).  This has been a labour of love with the information often having to be gleaned from newspaper cuttings and library archives. 


We look forward to the 2009 season and the celebratory events that will mark the Club’s 125th anniversary.