Fixtures for our three senior teams are now available.
As in previous seasons, they can be easy added to your own calendar – just follow the instructions here.
You can also see all club fixtures and social events on our NEW online calendar here.
The new season is soon upon us, with this is mind we have decided to reward those who secure their membership before the season starts. Therefore, we are introducing the 2018 – Early Bird Offer, for anyone securing their membership before 1st March receiving a FREE playing shirt, worth £28!
Your membership will now include; Free Playing Shirt (early bird offer); fixture book; newsletter; 2018 parking pass and a key fob for new members!
Steps to secure your membership –
Email Fiona Blake: firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information at the point of payment:
BACS Information –
Cheque Information –
We are delighted to announce our captains for the upcoming 2018 season!
1st XI – Chris Whelan
2nd XI – Josh Hickman
Bards XI – Matt Dutton
Chris Whelan returns to his post as captain, four years after leading Stratford to a third place finish – missing out on promotion by 6 points. The ex-first-class cricketer, who represented Worcestershire, Middlesex and Glamorgan, will hope to improve on last year’s disappointing mid-table finish.
Josh Hickman remains as 2nd XI captain for a third consecutive year. Josh has never finished worse than 4th in the league – agonisingly missing out on promotion last year by a single point!
This will be Matt’s first year as captain, as head junior coach his aim will be to introduce more future Stratford 1st team players into adult cricket, starting with the Bards team. Best of luck to Matt for the year in Cotswold Hills League, Division 3.
Stay tuned for more Panthers news with our upcoming AGM on Thursday 7th December at 7:00pm.
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…
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.