2014 was a season that steadily gained momentum throughout the summer, culminating in the final 4 games of the season all going down to the last over and all of which were won. In years gone by the 2nd XI have ended up on the wrong side of such tight games, however in 2014 this was not the case.

The 2014 season was a real team effort with contributions from all who played. Notable moments include Harry Jolly’s maiden 5 wicket Birmingham League haul, Alex Marney’s 160 not out, Sam Douthwaite’s slip catch against Sutton Coldfield, Will Noble holding his nerve bowling the last over at Stourbridge, and Tim Smart and Charlie Blake closing the season out against Bromsgrove. Amongst these flashes of brilliance, the ever-presents of the team such as Nick Jones, Ant Pratley and Iain Lythall provided the base for the season’s success and were ably supported by the likes of Gareth Langman and Alex Hughes.

Whilst the team’s efforts were rewarded with a Championship, the support of Webby, David Troughton and Mike Perkins (standing in where necessary) should not go unnoticed. To have such consistent, professional and supportive umpires was a massive help throughout the season.

Whilst it is easy to dwell on so many fond memories, it is important to accept that the 2014 season is now in the past. Looking forward to 2015, the goal of the 2nd XI should be to consolidate their position within Division 1 of the 2nd XI League. Coupled with being competitive team in its own right, the 2nd XI should continue to provide opportunities to good young junior cricketers at Stratford to gain a first taste of Birmingham League Cricket. Fingers crossed, juniors such as George Dick (who took his first Birmingham League wickets in 2014) will look forward to contributing further in 2015.

Here’s to an enjoyable and successful 2015.

Richard Sykes – 2nd XI Captain