Season 2016 Round-up
Every season brings change, a new start, a clean sheet. To a degree we can shape it by planning and preparing in advance but there are a number of factors outwith of our control. We cannot manage the weather, injuries, players making themselves unavailable and outstanding bowling spells (A McKay of Watsonians: 9 for 9 off 6.2 overs). No matter how well the committee and coaches plan, these are the factors which can decide the final outcome. Yes, they all played their part in 2016!
Carlton won the CSL Eastern Premier Division and went on to beat Clydesdale in the CSL National Club Championship Final. Our 1st XI finished in fourth place, losing to Carlton and Watsonians twice and Forfarshire once, with our home game being rained off. We only managed to play 13 out of 18 league fixtures. Clydesdale won the Citylets Scottish Cup, beating us in the Quarter Final replay in Glasgow. Congratulations to Carlton and Clydesdale.
Twenty/twenty cricket was our strength this season. We beat Penicuik in the final of the Masterton Trophy and went on to win the Murgitroyd T20 Cup for the third time in four years, meeting Aberdeenshire in the final.
Andrew Brock has stepped down as 1st XI captain having led the team over two very successful years. I thank him for his efforts and wish him luck as he returns to the ranks.
We were extremely pleased when Chris Sole was awarded his first cap for Scotland in August against the UAE.
In the Baillie Gifford ESCA Championship, the Seconds finished 5th. It is always a pleasure to watch Stuart Davidson captaining the 2nd XI. He ensures every player knows their role and keeps them aware of the game situation. You can see the younger players developing all the time. I hope he can keep going a while longer!!
The Thirds finished 4th in ESCA Division 4. Perhaps if a few more catches had been held it would have been top three. The players seemed to enjoy their cricket under the leadership of Grant Docherty. Johnny Metcalfe was top run scorer in the league. He used to be a bowler!! At times there were three or four U13’s playing senior cricket and troubling the scorer. Ali Docherty (age 12) finished with twelve league wickets.
The Grange Cricket Academy was launched in January, with a full and testing development programme for the twenty plus boys selected. The feedback from the parents must have been extremely rewarding for the coaches involved. Quote ‘’You have created a great environment where the boys have been challenged and learnt a lot through the winter. I notice how energised my son is after the sessions’’. My thanks to John Blain and Raj Routray for getting the Academy up and running.
On Friday the 20th May the new junior practice nets were declared open, having been completed in two weeks – start to finish. My thanks to Gus Reinink, Lee Spendlove, Tom and Kevin and the weather over the period. A generous financial contribution from the main club helped make it possible and I would take this opportunity to thank the General Committee.
The Junior Stags enjoyed their cricket and achieved a great deal at all levels. The U13’s and U15’s had a very special season. They both won their respective Scottish Cups and as ECB Scottish Champions reached the final eight of the NatWest National Club Championships – out of 1700 entrants throughout the UK. The U18’s lost to Clydesdale in their Scottish Cup final. Nearly three Scottish Cup wins!! Representative honours – just too many to mention here. Congratulations to the boys and all the coaches involved. It must have been very satisfying. Our Junior Stags are now well known and highly regarded throughout the UK. The standard has been set.
Mazars, our partners, enjoyed another successful season and we are delighted that they are staying with us for a further three years. The Club certainly appreciates their continued support. Unfortunately Yorkshire County Cricket Club was not able to make it three county championship titles in a row.
Over the season 9 players were ‘Out First Ball’, 2 bowlers claimed ‘Five For’, 3 batsmen accumulated a ‘Ton’ – all recorded for posterity on our website under ‘The Pavilion’. Interestingly the ‘Tons and Five For’ performances were well down on last year.
Finally, my thanks to everyone, who by their efforts make play possible; scorers, umpires, tea ladies and their helpers, coaches, ground staff, the committees (Junior, Senior and General), team captains, Rebecca White (now in Singapore), Robin Pollok, Bobby Frazer, Neil Ritchie, Ali Ross (Club Manager) and our bar staff.