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 contributedĀ 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 othersĀ involved in preparing and maintaining the Alscot Park wicket and ground.

Read on for final table plus batting/bowling statistics.

Cotswold Hills Division 3 – Final Table

# Club Played Won Points
1 Dorridge & Hockley Heath 18 15 335
2 Stoneleigh 18 12 279
3 Norton Lindsey II 18 10 262
4 Stratford Bards 18 10 235
5 Shipston on Stour II 18 6 200
6 Long Itchington II 18 6 198
7 Ebrington 18 7 195
8 Stanway 18 5 182
9 Earlswood III 18 5 152
10 Exhall & Wixford II 18 2 79

2017 top wicket takers

# Bowler Wickets Average Best Bowling
1 Iain Lythall 18 16.89 3/15
2 Sam Bishop 16 25.06 3/20
3 Will Noble 8 13.75 3/19
4 David Clifford 8 21.75 2/10
5 Richard Smith 8 17.88 2/10

2017 highest run scorers

# Batsman Runs Average 50/100 High Score
1 Sam Bishop 813 81.30 3/4 117
2 Richard Sykes 292 32.44 0/2 73
3 Will Noble 216 72.00 0/1 135*
4 Tim Smart 186 186.00 0/2 78*
5 Iain Lythall 134 22.33 0/0 37