BGCC 2012 End of Term Review: ‘A right mixed bag of marbles’
Life, they say, can be like a box of chocolates: sometimes with nice caramels & hazelnut whirls and at other times ‘orrible artificial coffee flavoured. A little bit like this year’s summer really. All over the place weatherwise with rodents of all shapes and sizes scampering to the higher grounds to avoid the floods. To say the least, the cricket season was in for an uncertain and bumpy ride.
On the opening game of the season, which was rained off in the drought conditions; the BGCC in conjunction with Austra Harmon of the Poland Trust, proudly opened its new all-weather nets…which were under water.
Sadly the same fate was to befall the next 3 games, which were all abandoned to the whims of the stormy weather (indeed a record 7 cancelled in total). Our new groundsman, Paul Tipping was left pulling his remaining hair out in trying to prepare pitches that didn’t resemble water chutes at a World of Water adventure park. But persevere he did and it wasn’t until the end of May that finally a chink in the blackened celestial armour was spotted and seized upon by all teams in the bedraggled league.
So, the 1st team were looking towards capturing former title winning glories and the 2nd team aspiring to bounce straight back up into the 3rd division with a loud resounding barbarian crash.
Once again the 1st team were lead by the ever chirpy Billy Scott-Malden and vice skip Gerard Weide who all acquitted themselves well with good team performances throughout. With regular numbers short for the 1st team, but with no fear of relegation, Billy was able to give some of the 2nds a good try out and get them used to cricket in the top flight. Obviously some of these players will become permanent fixtures next season so it was important to bed them in readiness for a charge for the top next year. Both Malcolm Burt and John Tipping seemed to have secured their places in the 1st team with steady batting and wicket keeping.
But undoubtedly the star for the 1st team was young Mr Tom Haines, son of the mighty Mark Haines. Tom proved to be not only a great fielder, but also an extremely accomplished batter quickly earning him a regular high end middle starting line up position scoring a highly impressive average of 20 runs a game! He even out scored his dad with 169 runs for the season versus a mere 136!
Mark Haines stole the show with 23 wickets (best 4-42), followed by the skip Billy Scott-Malden 20 wickets (best 4-21), Gerard Weide 14 wickets (best 4-34) and Mike Ellis with 13 wickets (3-13).
Who else but Gerard Weide lead the way with a masterful 126 (392 for the season), followed up by the Ellis brothers of Jonathan 82 (139 season) & Mikey 55 (176 season), the ever dependable Paul Tipping put in a handy 54 (173 season), with a remarkable year for Tom Haines 38 (169 season) and a credible Jez Palmer with 35 (153 season).
Steady performances - rebuilding the team up for next year.
Won 4, Lost 4, Drawn 4, Cancelled 6
Ably lead from the front by the majestic Phil Brown enjoying his second term in office, backed up by Mike Ives as the VC (who had a chance to take the reins for a game as the skip was off on a sneaky holiday; only to have his hopes cruelly crushed by the game being abandoned).
Phil steered the team to an unprecedented 10 wins out of 11 games, taking the 2nd XI to new heights and in the process only claiming the ‘Division 4 League Champions’ title on the way! The Horde are now back in Div 3 on the 1st attempt! Who knows, with another season like that, they may even join the 1st team at the sharp end of the league!
Yet again, the 2nd team was blessed with some great new Brockhamite recruits in the forms of Angus Hodge (a demon all rounder), Tom Noakes (great little bowler) and Will Stone who amazed everyone with a stunning bowling spell of 4 wickets for 4 runs in a match winning performance against Horsley and Send. Well done the youth training scheme!
Mike Silence lead the way with a mighty 20 wickets (best 6-15), closely followed by Andrew Ellis 19 wickets (best 4-11), James Haddow 16 wickets (best 3-17), Phil Brown 13 wickets (best 4-27) & on his debut Will Stone 9 wickets (with an amazing best of 4-4).
Tim Kent imperiously headed off with a high of 56 (112 for the season), followed by James Haddow 55 (145 season), Chris Pitchford 42 (97 season), Mike Silence 42 (91 season), Phil Brown 59 (68 season) and a Chairman stomping performance for Tim Hartley 34 (59 season).
Congratulations all round – brilliant team effort.
Won 10, Lost 1, Cancelled 7
All in all it has been a good year, despite the best efforts of the English weather. Both teams were able to field solid teams most of the time, and what we lacked in depth on occasions, we more than made up for in great team spirit, hard work and the sheer enjoyment of the noble game.
While on one hand we lost the legendary ‘Baggers’ and that laugh to some distant outpost in Wolverhampton, on the other we welcomed back a man of great standing in the form of Josh Miller who had been away for a lengthy time as he was literally being slowly rebuilt. Marc Steele joined in for a few games at the end of the season and made a huge impact on the bowling front, as did Geoff Kirklands’ new secret weapon; the ‘mongoose’ on the batting side (...and on a certain VCs’ nose). A further dimension was added to the entertainment of the troops in the form of ‘Foxy Boxy’, which has nothing to do with scantily clad ladies 'duking it out' on the cricket square after the match as some members had hoped.
We also said farewell to our Chairman and 1st team Umpire of long standing, Bernard Flint. A huge 'Thank You' from the entire club and we wish you well in your retirement. Feel free to pop along anytime as you will always be assured a friendly drink. We welcome on board as the new Chairman – Tim Hartley; a giant amongst men who has more than proved himself in the field and is extremely handy with a bat. If we could just find the key to the padlock on his wallet....
Sadly I move on to pastures green at the end of this year (again!). I shall greatly miss the battles and fun both on and off the fields of war. There will always be a piece of Brockham in my heart, and I don’t mean that tiny piece of hardened fat from all the BBQs and beer quaffed with such gusto with such great comrades in arms. Though I daresay, if called upon in an hour of desperate need, I may join in another foray and enjoy one more hoorah.
Gentlemen, it has been an honour!