The decision to drop down to the 5th Division of the Cotswold Hills League was thought by some to be drastic but events over the season proved, I feel, to have been correct. At times, selection was made tough by having too few available and it was only by the skin of our teeth that we managed to prevent calling a game off due thanks to some very last minute arrivals.

Having said all that, we avoided relegation for the first time in a few years and the future season can be met with a little more optimism.

We won 6 and lost 7 games, including games where we only fell 6 runs and 5 runs short, with 5 being abandoned. This was a big improvement and enabled us to finish the league in 7th place (out of 10), some 60 points clear of the two teams relegated.

Highlights of the season included Tim Smart’s innings of 100no, after suffering an injury during fielding, when we chased 179 to win by 2 wickets, bowling Elmley out for 62, James Paton’s maiden 50 against Fladbury, scoring 239-8 against Earlswood and then bowling them out cheaply (a game that effectively secured our future in the league with some 3 games to go), but probably the pick was the last game of the season.

Against Welford there was problems with getting the wicket ready as the mower had broken and it was only due to two of the Welford lads cutting and preparing the pitch that the game was able to take place. We made 232-4 with James Perkins (36no) helping Pete Richards add 143 for the 4th wicket in only 21 overs. Pete was eventually out for 164, which sent Paul Rathkey scurrying to check the record books and we later found out that this was the 3rd highest score by a Bard and the highest score by a Bard at home. A tight game was won when we dismissed Welford for 214 with still 4 overs to go.

All in all, this was a lot more enjoyable season, where we were at least competitive in many games and I would like to thank everyone who has turned out. Once again we relied upon our youth players and George Dick had an impressive first adult season, turning out regularly despite school commitments at times. I’d like to pass on thanks to some of the “old timers” who helped through out the season by supporting myself and the club with their willingness to contribute on and off the field – Martin Malone, Paul Rathkey and Thadius Kaminsky-Gaze. And finally, thanks to everyone who helped on the wicket – Brain Webb, Iain Lythall and others, plus Will Noble for looking after the Alscot side of things and keepiong the bar well stocked.

John Paton – Bards Captain

MOST APPEARANCES
1 – John Paton – 14
2 – Martin Malone – 11
3 – Daniel Paton – 11
4 – Paul Rathkey – 10
5 – Thadeus Kaminsky-Gaze – 10
6 – Steve Cootes – 9
6 – James Paton – 9
8 – Nick Harding – 8
9 – George Dick – 7

 

MOST RUNS
1 – Pete Richards – 354
2 – Steve Cootes – 233
3 – Martin Malone – 197
4 – James Paton – 161
5 – Tim Smart – 116
6 – James Perkins – 66
6 – Charlie Blake – 66
8 – Paul Rathkey – 64
9 – John Paton – 56
10 –  Nick Harding – 45

 

BEST BATTING AVGE (3 inns)
1 –  Pete Richards – 88.50
2 – Steve Cootes – 38.83
3 – John Paton – 28.00
4 – Martin Malone – 24.63
5 – James Perkins – 22.00
6 – James Paton – 20.13
7 – Francis Jeavons – 12.33
8 – George Dick – 11.33
9 – Nick Harding – 9.00
10 – Paul Rathkey – 8.00

 

HIGHEST SCORES
1 –  Pete Richards – 164
2 – Tim Smart – 100no
3 – Martin Malone – 74no
4 – Pete Richards – 66no
5 – Pete Richards – 64no
6 – James Paton – 58
6 – Steve Cootes – 58
8 – James Perkins – 36no
8 – Charlie Blake – 36
10 – Shabaz – 31
MOST WICKETS
1 – John Paton – 21
2 – Daniel Paton – 11
3 -Thadeus Kaminsky-Gaze – 10
4 – Dave Clifford – 9
4 – George Dick – 9
6 – James Paton – 8
7 – Nick Harding – 4
8 – Iain Lythall – 3
8 – Will Noble – 3
8 – Steve Cootes – 3

 

BEST BOWLING AVGE (4 Wkts)
1 – John Paton – 10.33
2 – James Paton – 10.88
3 – George Dick – 13.56
4 – Dave Clifford – 16.89
5 – Nick Harding – 20.00
6 – Daniel Paton – 22.64
7 – Thadeus Kaminsky-Gaze – 33.33

 

BEST ECONOMY  (15 Overs)
1 –  John Paton – 1.78
2 – Steve Cootes – 3.33
3 – George Dick – 3.70
4 – James Paton – 3.73
5 – Daniel Paton – 4.26
6 – Thadeus Kaminsky-Gaze – 4.95
7 – Nick Harding – 5.00
8 – Dave Clifford – 5.15

 

BEST BOWLING FIGURES
1 –  George Dick – 3/7
2 –  Dave Clifford – 3/11
3 –  John Paton – 3/12
4 – John Paton – 3/14
5 – John Paton – 3/15
6 –  John Paton – 3/21
7 – Daniel Paton – 3/22
8 – James Paton – 3/28
9 –  George Dick – 3/33
10 – Iain Lythall – 3/34

 

FIELDING
 1 – Paul Rathkey – 6
2 – Martin Malone – 5
3 – John Paton – 4
4 – James Paton – 3
4-  James Perkins – 3
4 – Pete Richards – 3
7 – Henry Hopkins – 2
7 – Frank May – 2