Not for the first time for ESCC the season ended in nailbiting fashion with the last games deciding the relegation places in Division 5 of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Cricket Champiomnship.
We went into that final match needing to win to ensure that we would stay in Division 5. The weather added to the tension because there was a lot of rain in the preceding week and Simon went above and beyond the call of duty to get the game on. Our opponents were Eight Ash Green who were hoping to become champions of the division with a final-day win. Thanks to all the hard work the game was begun but there were regular interruptions because of rain and eventually, with puddles forming on the ground, it became unplayable and the game had to be called off. Our haul of nine points was fewer than we had hoped for and, giving us a total of 210 points for the season, was probably not enough to keep us in Division 5.
Many of the players went to the Crown to mull over the season and contemplate life in Division 6. Our only faint hope was that Great Bromley or Harwich, the teams immediately above us in the table, had had a nightmare afternoon. However, since they were playing each other, the likelihood was that they would each have gained enough points to be safe – if they had been rained off they would each have taken 6 points. The results did not appear on the website and all was very low-key until a text message arrived from David Eade, our treasurer, saying that Harwich had comprehensively beaten Great Bromley, who had only managed two bonus points from the match. This would mean that they had finished on 209 points!! Needless to say the mood changed immediately and the next few minutes were spent trying to confirm this information. Eventually the Two Counties’ website posted the results and we had survived by one point.
Given the difficulties caused by our shortage of bowlers throughout the season it is to the credit of Stephen, the captain, and the players, who managed to ensure that, even in games which were lost, we managed to pick up bonus points by scoring good totals. It was this determination not to go down without a fight which, in the end, saved us.
The Sunday side, for the second year in a row, narrowly missed out on promotion, finishing third in Division 4 of the Hunts County Bats Suffolk Cricket League. Luke has led a happy group who have had some resounding wins and scored runs for fun in most games. Sam Fenning was another maiden centurion in the final game of the season.
The final acts of the season are the Dinner and Presentation Evening at the Stowupland Crown on October 14th, and the AGM, which will be held in November. Places are still available for the Dinner at £25 per head. The menu is viewable elsewhere on this site.
Finally I would like to thank the officers and captains of the club who have, as ever, worked very hard to get the games on and Ed for his work on this website.
To Simon, David, Stephen, Luke and Sam – you have done a terrific job again this year. Enjoy the winter break – roll on next spring!!
Trevor Spall, Hon. Chairman, ESCC