Stratford-upon-Avon Cricket Club

Stratford-upon-Avon Cricket Club

Incorporating Stratford Bards

1st XI Season Report

I think the best and only way to describe the 1st XI’s season this year would be up and down! Many highs and lows ultimately led to a 6th place league finish, winning 10 games, losing 9 with one winning draw and one tie.

The season got off to a strong start and after the first 5 games of the 50 over format we found ourselves in 2nd place. Things looking rosy with what traditionally is our stronger suit, the 55 overs win/lose/draw format to come. However, this year for a number of reasons we just didn’t fire in these games. Not aided by injuries, overseas Adam Bayliss’ stress fracture being stand out and a run of poor availability and inconsistent performances.

We reached the half way point of the season sitting precariously close to the 4 team drop zone knowing results would have to improve fast. A further two loses in the coming weeks, including an absolute drubbing at the hands of relegation rivals Sentinel left the outlook looking very bleak, being third bottom and 20 points from safety.

The sign I believe of a close knit team is how well they deal with adversity, after the Sentinel game it would have been easy to crash and burn out of the Birmingham league. We knew we had 9 games left to save our season and all the lads agreed that hard working and sticking together would be the only way we would be able to survive. I’m delighted to say that of those remaining 9 games we only lost two, turning over several of the top teams along the way. This ironically left us closer to promotion than relegation!

Since the season we have learned that we won the Fair Play Trophy for 2017, a great achievement showing we played the game in the right spirit throughout the year.

There were several key performances throughout, with again everyone putting in match winning knocks or bowling spells showing the depth we have throughout the side. With the ball Mike Brown led the way claiming 41 wickets at an average of 20. Perry Derrick taking 34 at an average of 23 (that’s despite all of those drops we’ve heard about!) Adam Bayliss before the back injury had taken 23 wickets at an average of 13 and looked set to claim well over 50 league wickets. Ant Pratley, Sam Douthwaite, Aidy Witts and James Urquhart also chipped in with important scalps throughout. The best figures of the year were recorded by Perry, who took 6-43 in beating Stourbridge away

Unfortunately for the 1s this year nobody passed the 3 figure mark but there was plenty of 50’s. Aidy Witts and Chris Calcott with one each, Chris Whelan, John Price and Adam Bayliss with 3 each. In reaching 89 away in a must win Bank Holiday match vs Brewood, Chris Calcott recorded the highest individual score of the year. A knock showing incredible maturity for a change… and a very special moment for him and his family.

One man however was a shining light with the bat in hand and showed incredible consistency in scoring 683 runs, averaging 49 and hitting 8 50’s. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the 1st XI Player of the Season goes to David Bailey.

As a team we would like to thank everyone that has helped and supported us through the year. A special mention of course to Ivor who is a vital cog in our team. One man has really stepped up and helped us out a great deal this season. My biggest nightmare is finding a scorer, someone to hide away in a hut all afternoon tapping away on a laptop and deciphering Duckworth Lewis isn’t easy! So Rob thanks for everything you’ve been a star and really are part of our team.

So in summary a season that in the end worked out okay but really with a bit more consistency could and should have been a lot better. Here’s to 2018…

Club Dinner & Awards Night

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Dinner & Awards night on Saturday. It was great to see so many familiar faces celebrating what could have been a very different season, should a few results gone our way for all three teams. Regardless of the cricketing outcomes, its fantastic that we can all get together, enjoy each others company as a ‘club’ – John’s four letter word of the night – whilst having plenty of fun. So thank you all for making it a great event!

 

 

Bards season report

Stratford Bards achieved a very respectable 4th place in the 3rd division of the Cotswold Hills League.

A lack of players saw the team concede the season opener and often field only 9 players – however that didn’t stop the Bards reeling off 10 victories from 18 games.

Captain Sam Bishop led the way with a remarkable 813 runs – including 3 centuries – and looks set to top the run charts for the entire Cotswold Hills league system. He also contributed 16 wickets, which would have been more had he not kept wicket in some games.

Iain Lythall topped the wicket takers list with 18 wickets at just 16.89 – his 128 overs containing 30 maidens. There were also valuable contributions from opener Richard Sykes (292 runs) and the London-based duo of Will Noble (216 runs and 8 wickets) and Tim Smart (186 runs and 5 wickets).

The club also welcomed various new players including Richard Smith, Aby and young players such as Alex Beesley, Henry Smith, and Matt Ricketts.

Captain’s report (sanitised version):

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all Los Bardos for your efforts this year. It’s been tougher than a throats singer’s tonsils to get a side out, massive credit for Bish the Elder getting the ground looking great and performing brilliantly, Matty Hallett for his bowling, scoring and stat logging. And everyone else who has contributed.”

“Many thads” to to all players involved, to Sam Bishop for his work captaining the team, to Paul Rathkey for umpiring, and also to John Bishop, Iain Lythall and others involved in preparing and maintaining the Alscot Park wicket and ground.

Read on for final table plus batting/bowling statistics.

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President’s Day Report

Sunday 21st June saw the annual President’s Day held at Swans Nest Lane. Many former players and members from decades past gathered for lunch, memories and a T20 game.

2017 Membership & Fixtures

The new season is fast approaching and so the time has come to outline arrangements for membership renewal. The club offers a range of playing and social memberships, and there is a £40 discount for new senior playing members (£100 vs £140).

To see the full price list, membership benefits, and instructions for joining/renewing, please see our membership page.

In other news, the 2017 fixture lists are now available as a downloadable calendar. If you’re using a smartphone or tablet, just click any of the below links to add the fixtures to your calendar.

Seniors: 1st XI // 2nd XI // Bards // Sunday & Midweek

Juniors: Under 11s // Under 13s // Under 15s

Please note that the Sunday & Midweek fixtures are subject to change and you should confirm the start time with the captain beforehand.

Junior fixtures correct at time of writing and can be subject to change. Coaches can confirm dates, times and venues closer to the time.

Colin Davis wins award from Midlands Cricket Club Conference for services to Junior Cricket

Congratulations to Colin Davis who received the Halesowen Trophy at the recent Midlands Club Cricket Conference in Birmingham for services to Junior Cricket.

Awarding the trophy to Colin is Paul Horton (Leicestershire CC player).

Colin was joined on the night by fellow club stalwarts Brian Webb and Paul Biddlecombe.

Well done Colin!

Winter Nets

The dates for our winter nets are now confirmed. The full winter schedule is:

  • Sunday 29th January
  • Sunday 5th February
  • Sunday 12th February
  • Sunday 19th February
  • Sunday 26th February
  • Sunday 5th March
  • Sunday 12th March
  • Sunday 19th March
  • Sunday 26th March
  • Sunday 2nd April

Time: 5pm to 7pm every week

Venue: Evesham Cricket Centre, Prince Henry’s School, Victoria Avenue, Evesham, WR11 4QH.

Cost: £6 per person per session (money to be collected on the day).

It goes without saying that juniors are very welcome, particularly those who are looking to play senior cricket next season (assumed U15 and up). This is a great opportunity to integrate with the whole senior squad.

The Evesham facility has a balcony viewing area should anyone want to watch the session – all welcome!

Dependent on weather and the state of the grounds, outdoor training will commence at Swans Nest Lane in the first week of April.

Should you need to contact anyone regarding details, please use our contact form.

Season Review: Disappointment for 1st XI

With defeat on the final weekend of the season, Stratford’s 1st XI were relegated from the Birmingham League Division 2.

Despite the hope following last seasons promotion and a winter which saw several new arrivals – overseas player Yassir Sirdar, batsmen Dave Bailey and the returning John Price, plus allrounder Perry Derrick – the team couldn’t find enough consistency in either batting or bowling to stay in the division.

The season started encouragingly, with victory away to Old Elizabethans – but 6 wickets for Mike Brown the following week couldn’t prevent defeat at home to Tamworth.

Dave Bailey scored an unbeaten 104 away to Stourbridge as Stratford chased 238 for the loss of 7 wickets. This was the first 1st XI century by a non-overseas batsman since 2013. Fortunes changed quickly though – in the very next game, Stratford were bowled out for 39 inside 21 overs in a humbling home loss to Womborne.

The team showed good strength of character to win their next two completed games – first by bowling Penkridge out for 94 in a tense 4-wicket win, with James Urquhart returned season-best figures of 5-29. C&R Hawks were then bowled out for 79 as Mike Brown and Ady Witts bowled unchanged to take 5 wickets each. Victory was easier said than done – after 6 ducks, Stratford scraped a 1-wicket win.

A trio of defeats followed to leave Stratford in danger of relegation at the end of July. A crucial defeat during August came at home to bottom club Stourbridge. After Ben Pigott’s 6-48 saw the visitors bowled out for 217, the hosts were all out for 164 with Dane Kirby carrying his bat for 72 not out.

Victory at home to Halesowen gave the team hope – Jake Salmon (122 from 106 balls) scored his first ton for the 1st XI – but defeat in the final two games of the season confirmed Stratford’s fate. They fell 11 runs short of the 181 needed to beat C&R Hawks before being bowled out for 158 in a 3-wicket loss away to Coventry & NW.

Stratford finished just 11 points shy of safety but ultimately didn’t do enough with bat or ball to stay up.

Dave Bailey topped the runs table, but was the only player to pass 50 more than 3 times, though Dane Kirby played some useful innings after being promoted from the 2nd XI midway through the season. The bowling attack was expertly led by captain Mike Brown who took 40 wickets (bettered only by 4 players in the division), but was shorn of last seasons leading wicket-taker Tom Grundy – first to injury, then to relocation.

That said, the 1st XI will start next season with promotion firmly in mind. The club recruited well last winter resulting in a much larger pool of players across the club’s three teams compared to last season, and a couple of new players could make the difference next season.

Many thanks to all players who took part, to captain Mike Brown, to the appointed all umpires, to scorer Nigel Turner and others who helped out during the season, to all who helped prepare the wickets at Swans Nest (including Brian Webb, Yas Sirdar and Chris Calcott), and to club sponsors REPL.

Read on for final table plus batting/bowling statistics.

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Season Review: Consolidation for 2nd XI

A new-look Stratford 2nd enjoyed a season of progress in Division 2 South of the Birmingham League 2nd XI league. Although they missed out on promotion with defeat on the final weekend, there were many positives to take.

Over the winter, several new players arrived including a trio of fast bowlers – Harry Williams, Tom Whitting and Archie Walker – plus batsman Andy Fisher. Meanwhile, Josh Hickman took over as captain.

Their first win of the season came away to Eastnor, where Harry Abell’s 127 made the difference in a 52 run victory, which prompted a 12 game unbeaten streak (plus 4 abandonments).

302 runs were posted at Barnards Green including 123 from Ed Cunynghame whilst at home to Stourbridge, Ben Pigott fell 4 short of a deserved century as 200 was chased with 15 overs to spare.

Away to Aston Manor, Stratford had the luxury of declaring with 337-7 on the board – an innings dominated by an unbeaten 208 from Jake Salman. Tom Whitting took 5-36 as the hosts survived their 54 overs, with Stratford settling for a winning draw.

The following week, an all-round bowling performance defended 192 by bowling visitors Bromsgrove out for 154, and a fortnight later, Tom Whitting took 6-28 in a 91 victory at Swans Nest.

The highest team total of the season was posted at Sutton Coldfield. The bulk of the 347 runs came from a huge opening partnership with Yasser Sirdar (154) and Andy Fisher (100), both making their first centuries for the club. Sutton Coldfield ground out a losing draw, scoring just 128 in their 50 overs.

Victory at home to Barnards Green included 102 from opening batsman Harry Adams plus 6-28 from allrounder Ben Pigott. And the following week, Luke Nardone scored 105 to set up a 95 run victory versus Stourbridge.

That was to be Stratford’s last win of the season – the final four games included 2 abandonments and 2 defeats, so the team had to settle for fourth position. Although they suffered just 3 defeats all season (only bettered by champions Berkswell), the team had 6 home games abandoned due weather which didn’t help their cause.

With numerous stand-out innings from their batsman plus consistent allround bowling performances, the team has much to look forward to for the 2017 season.

Many thanks to all players who took part, to captain Josh Hickman, t0 David Troughton and all other umpires, to all scorers, to all who helped prepare the wickets at Swans Nest (including Brian Webb, Yas Sirdar and Chris Calcott), and to club sponsors REPL.

Read on for final table plus batting/bowling statistics.

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Season Review: Bards win promotion

Stratford Bards enjoyed a record-breaking 2016 season which resulted in a second consecutive promotion – finishing second in the Cotswold Hills League 4th Division with 12 victories and just a single loss.

The squad was bolstered over the winter with Richard Sykes, Steve Cootes, Iain Lythall and Harry Jolly moving down from the 2nd XI, giving the squad plenty of experience. New faces included Matt Dutton and Jamie Carter, whilst Sam Bishop took over as captain from the departing John Paton.

After an early loss away to Inkberrow, the Bards were quickly into their stride with a brisk victory at Blockley and a hard-fought 2-wicket-win at Tanworth. Catherine de Barnes, Leamington and Alcester & Ragley were bowled out for sub-100 totals as the Bards stormed up the table.

The records started in July, when the Bards set a new record team score of 341 against Inkberrow thanks to 125 from Pete Richards.

This record only lasted a week however, as Overbury were subject to an onslaught from Tim Smart – he scored 211 from 123 balls (he moved from 100 to 200 in just 38 balls), including 10 sixes – as 390 runs were amassed.

The record survived the following week – just. The 385-4 against Blockley included a club record opening partnership of 278 between Luke Nardone (137) and Will Noble (171).

The season finished with 3 consecutive abandonments which scuppered hopes of overtaking champions Dorridge.

Other notable performances included an unbeaten 102 for Matt Dutton against Alcester & Ragley (Bishop also finished unbeaten on 97), 6-40 for Bishop at Tanworth plus a trio of 5-fers for Jolly.

Many thanks to all players who part, to captain Sam Bishop, to umpire Paul Rathkey, to Iain Lythall and all others who helped prepare the wickets at Alscot, to John Paton who left the club early in season following several years as captain, and to the Alscot estate where we play (and who also sponsor the team shirts).

Read on for final table plus batting/bowling statistics.

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