Chairman's End Of Season Update

Chairman's End Of Season Update

By Nick Wake
28 September
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An amazing year for cricket…and a good one for TPCC


So, there we go. Summer is done and dusted. Ben Stokes has thrilled us for England with two incredible innings, he helped his team finally get Steve Smith out for less than 50 and fingers crossed, he inspired a new generation of young kids to get interested in this great game of ours. Meanwhile at the Park…… things haven’t been too bad either!

After an incredible season last year, the adult section can be very satisfied with the way things went in 2019:
- The 1sts finished 8th in the Home Counties Premier League with some great performances towards the end of the season, when it really mattered
- Following promotion last year, the 2nds finished 4th in Thames Valley League 2a – the standout team at the club this year.
- The 3rds, also following promotion last year, finished 6th, similarly delivering when it really counted in the crunch games at the death.
- The 4ths finished 9th and will go back down to Division 8 next year. As we’ve come to expect from Grouty’s army, the spirit never faltered and everyone, not least myself, is looking forward to shorter cricket next year!

To the captains: Shelvin, Toby, Mark, Grouty and to Club Captain Kempo, the players for making themselves available, the umpires, scorers – Shenica, Simon, Jan, Kevin, coaches, especially to Chris Curry, David Goodchild, Wilson Gumbs and Gareth Darby, and to Mr Greenfingers himself, David Doyle - a massive thank you to you all.

The Youth section has done us proud again. Numbers held up well and three of the teams managed to make it to the quarter finals. In terms of management, it’s the end of an era. A huge thank you to George Bezani and Vicky Butterfield for all that they’ve done over many years and best of luck to Lizzie Cooper who is stepping up to lead the Youth Section going forward.
We can also be proud of our Ladies. Not as many matches as we might have hoped for, but those played, we won them all. The club is extremely grateful to Sarah Woodall, who showed tremendous energy, resilience and tenacity to support the girls this season.

My personal highlights:
- Playing in the fours and seeing the kids develop. Two have caught my eye this season – Harry Grinham, what a talent and what a lovely lad. Harvey Chamberlain, fantastic to see him get his debut 50 this season in adult cricket. It was also great to see Joe Maggs develop to well. Joe even got uncharacteristically feisty at one point during the season, when he advised a batsman, who chose not to walk after a clear nick, in no uncertain times, where he could find the pavilion. Paul Orton would have approved.

I also want to say how much I’ve enjoyed my cricket again this season and so much of that is down to our captain and club legend – Mr Andy Grout. Grouty too, had his moments, including coming in at no. 5 in the batting order for one game, which must be an all-time high. In the penultimate game of the season at Wooburn Narkovians, he also took a pretty amazing catch, which I took pleasure in re-enacting at the Dinner Dance. To be fair, I made it look easier than it was.

- Another highlight was the ladies lunch. Never has there been so many attractive looking faces in the clubhouse at one time. I sincerely hope this becomes an annual fixture in our club calendar.

- On the subject of the ladies – it was great to see Nat and Gemma turn out for the fourth team away to Hillingdon. It was also fantastic to read about an amazing innings by Lottie in a game against Beaconsfield – 96 runs!

- Finally, I know I share this highlight with many people. It was joyful to see midweek cricket take off with the Piranhas team. The sight of Alex Laine padded up on the boundary edge was undoubtedly a highlight of the season.

End of Season Events
Thanks to some hard work from a number of volunteers, we enjoyed three super end of season events: The Dinner Dance, the game against the Lords Taverners and Rock the Park, where thanks to the efforts of Gordon Dutch, supported by Gary Mosely, Carl Stokes and many others, plus the generous sponsorship of Tring Park Nursery, The Akeman and the ever generous Tim Cooper from Dayla Drinks, we were able to raise well over £1,000 for the Hospice of St Francis.

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported these events. As ever, we desperately need more help to help organize. In particular, if anyone would be prepared to take the club lead for the Lords Taverners event, which Dayla have generously offered to sponsor again next year, I would love to hear from you. Unless someone, or a team of two or three come forward, we will be unable to stage it and that would be a great shame.

Wilson Gumbs
After many seasons of acting as 1st Team Manager and Coach, Wilson Gumbs has chosen to step down. The club is indebted to Wilson for his fantastic service. We wish him well in his future coaching career and hope to see him at TPCC on many more occasions. Matt Bowyer is leading the process for appointing Wilson’s successor working with the rest of the coaching team to put a structure in place for next year that will develop our young members and help us in our quest to give each player the cricket experience they desire.

Festival of Fire – Saturday November 2nd
Tickets are on sale now: https://tringfireworks.co.uk/book-tickets/
Do please support our biggest fundraiser of the year. If you can help on the night, please contact Andy Grout: agrouty@hotmail.com
Such is the scale and importance of this event now, that the clubhouse will be closed on November 2nd for all those other than the volunteers working the Festival of Fire.

Hope to see you at the club over the winter. Do come and enjoy the rugby world cup and a host of other great live sport.

Best wishes
Nick

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