With the season now put to bed time to reflect on 2019 and to look forward to 2020.
Winning three of the last four games of the season propelled the First Team to seventh position in the highly competitive top Division of the NEPL but the weather intervened so often that it is probably a mistake to draw too many definitive conclusions from the season.` Could do better` was a familiar refrain on my school reports and I think any honest assessment of the First Team in 2019 would probably say the same. On the plus side the team spirit displayed was almost always positive and there were many memorable performances even in a truncated programme of matches. My congratulations to Philip Nicholson on eventually getting over the First Team League Appearance Record line and my best wishes to Max Williamson, Joe Anderson and to Rory Hanley as they set off on their Gold Coast adventure.
Looking forward to 2020 I am delighted that Messrs Coetzer, Harding and Doneathy remain committed to our cause and I remain firmly of the opinion that 2020 could be a memorable year for us. For that to come to pass it is obvious real dedication is required in terms of availability and determination to improve. The less said about the various Cup Tie performances the better – see above re availability.
The Second Team finished second and almost swept the board in winning three trophies but probably feel in their heart of hearts that the big one –the League Title- got away. Losing twice by heavy margins to South Northumberland –the Champions- will have been especially galling to Andrew Dawson who has again done an outstanding job of leading the side. Poor availability hit us hard on both occasions and a close scrutiny of the Fixture List when it is published for next season will surely pay dividends at all levels.
The West Tyne League is competitive and for our third team to finish fifth was highly commendable. We were able to turn out competitive sides with the right balance of youth and experience virtually every week and I enjoyed the games I was able to get to. Some might refer to it as village cricket but there are some serious players in many of the teams and we do well to hold our own. My own personal unbiased (of course) nomination for overall Hill player of the year- Chris Pounder- was a stalwart performer in the team and enjoyed his best ever season. If ever effort and determination paid off it did here.
The Sunday NEPL third team won their League convincingly and my congratulations to all concerned. If I single out our answer to Trevor Bayliss -Barry Pearson – and Andy Jewitt who led the side off and on the field I am sure I will be forgiven. This cricket is not necessarily about winning as it is designed to expose younger players to longer games on good wickets but the number of players who registered excellent performances showed that it is possible to meet both objectives.
The Thursday thirds enjoyed another successful season and fulfilled the main objective of providing opportunities for those looking for some practice and for those playing members who struggle to commit to weekends. Mark Wright is improving in the Haves dark art of fielding ringers on the right occasions but has yet to uncover his own Liam Botham or David Walder for Humshaugh away which may be what is required to bring home the Trophy bacon!
Our Women`s team battled through exam commitments to perform strongly in the Northumberland Womens League and their after match catering remains a thing of beauty. Sally Anderson leads from the front in this aspect of our Club –no team enjoys their cricket more and hopefully we will be able to build on the foundations that are now in place to produce our own players.
On the Junior Front I do not think we have ever had so many promising players in virtually all the Age Groups. Turnouts on Tuesday evenings were outstanding even in an inclement summer and results were encouraging especially in the younger age groups. Barry Pearson and his team spend countless hours coaching and organizing competitive games and we can only thank our lucky stars for this fortunate state of affairs.
In concluding this rather hastily compiled piece I must pay due tribute to Geoff Chambers for his efforts to `get the game on`. In a dreadful summer he has managed to (just about) maintain his sanity which was no mean effort.
On Saturday November 9th the Club will stage its Annual Dinner and I fervently hope all members –male and female – will make every effort to attend. A packed Club on that night is the goal so please help me by spreading the word and by buying tickets.
Finally elsewhere on the website you read of the sad news of the death of our President Norman Green. No one loved the Club more – R.I.P.
Chairman – email firstname.lastname@example.org mob: 07791 683827