Season 2021 Round-up

As I write this round up on the season past in January 2022, England are three nil down in the Ashes and fighting to save the fourth Test.  A quote from Stuart Broad on the game of cricket caught my attention; ‘Nothing can bring you the satisfaction, the pain, the high and lows because nothing replicates it in life’.  He was of course talking about on the field of play but I think it applies equally well to off the field – behind the scenes.  I personally found it to be a very testing season but at the same time rewarding.  Enough said as far as this round up is concerned.

Heriot’s won the East Premier League and Scottish Cup.  Our 1st XI finished third in the League and narrowly lost to Heriot’s in the Scottish Cup semi-final (Grange 88 all out.  Heriot’s 89 for 9!).  Refer back to Stuart Broad’s quote!  Carlton won the Masterton Trophy and the Watts Frazer Trophy. The 1st XI remained unbeaten until the 19th June, losing to Watsonians in the League.  The defining weekend was the 17th and 18th July when we lost to both Heriot’s and Carlton and our chance of winning the League was gone.

In the ESCA Championship our Seconds finished fourth, with Gala claiming the title.  Our Thirds found the competition tough in Division 2 of the East League, finishing second from bottom with Leith FAB at the top.  However, it was a delight to see Catherine Edwards taking the most wickets (16).  Both teams were a bit unsettled throughout the season and this affected their performance.  Good to have a lot of new faces though.  Congratulations to Heriot’s, Carlton, Gala and Leith FAB.

This season we entered a side into the ESCA Sunday League.  They managed to complete five out of seven fixtures, with a number of games at the Grange.  This was run very much as a Development XI with fathers and their offspring taking the field.  Thank you to the Club’s General Committee for their ‘Casual Player’ support.  Three or four new members were signed up who probably would not have joined otherwise. 

Turning to the Junior Stags, our U14s won the Scottish Cup beating Clydesdale in the final and the U15s were the Scottish Regional winners of the ECB Vitality Cup T20 competition, again beating Clydesdale in the final.  Unfortunately, they lost in a ‘bowl out’ to Benwell Hill CC in the next round at the Grange, due to some rain.  I am still trying to work out why the game could not have been completed.  A hard afternoon for the boys – refer back to Stuart Broad’s quote.

Looking back, we said goodbye to Andy and Hamish Kidd (son of) and our long serving Junior Secretary, Vinit Khurana, stood down, as did our Treasurer, Lindsay Hayward.  All four contributed a huge amount to the Club – thank you.  We welcomed back Chris and Tom Sole – Tom will be looking after our Social Media this year.  Extremely important these days, especially when we have sponsors to promote.

Looking forward, we have a new booking system (TeamFeePay) in place for the Juniors which is already paying dividends.  We hope to be back at the Shrewsbury Schools Festival this year with an U11 side.  A Ladies cricket team is quickly taking shape and cricket teas could be back on the table (Oh, no!).     

Behind the scenes, I have to thank our club historian, Neil Leitch, for all the research he has put in to collating the Club’s playing records.  If you like facts and figures then please take a look under The Pavilion/Statistics on our website.  It will always be ‘work in progress’.

Finally, my thanks to everyone, who by their efforts made play possible; scorers, umpires, coaches, ground staff (Tom and Kevin), the committees (Junior, Senior and General), team captains, Robin Pollok, Chris Murphy, John Blain, Justin Lyons (Club Manager) and our bar staff.

And a final word for our sponsors, Gen!us Brewing and Close Brothers Asset Management (Junior Stags)…….well I had to give them a mention.  Thank you for your continued support.  Much appreciated. 

Rawdon Hesketh 
Hon President