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COWBRIDGE CRICKET CLUB


2nd XI Report


Jon Smart


Cowbridge 2nd XI Captain

2nd XI Team versus Drefach  on 29th July

The team played 16 games, winning seven, losing eight and, with one match abandoned, finished 6th out of the nine teams in South Wales Cricket Association Division 5.

On the face of it, our final position suggests that this was a disappointing year for the 2nd XI which now has aspirations of promotion rather than the goal of merely avoiding relegation. However, 2017 was far from being a disappointing season. Indeed, with three games remaining, the team was third in the league and just three points away from a promotion place.

A defeat in the next match against Kidwelly, Cowbridge’s closest rival at that time, made promotion more difficult with just two games then remaining. Losing to Maesteg Celtic the following week put an end to promotion hopes, ultimately confining the team to its mid table position. As in 2016, the 2nd XI comprised a good blend of experience and youth. The continuing policy of trying to select at least two Under 13s each week for the 2nd XI can only benefit the Club long-term as the youngsters learn from the experience around them and hopefully progress to the 1st XI sooner rather than later. Heath Webb has already taken that next step and had a good season in his first year in the first team. Based on the performances of the five Under 13s to have played in the 2nd XI during 2017, Will Harris, Lewis Sevenoaks, Siân Russell, Alys Phillips and Harry Treharne, will all shortly follow suit.

Whilst the youngsters collectively had a good year, the notable individual performances came from the more senior statesmen. Averaging 58.73, David Gascoyne amassed 881 runs - the most runs scored across all divisions in the SWCA league. He was ably supported by his opening partner, Jonty Webb, who scored 389 runs at 32.42 and by Alistair Lawson with 228 runs and Naveed Younas with 202 runs. The wily off-spinner, Ian Evans (who during his time at the helm never considered himself to be a bowler!) was Division 5's leading wicket taker, securing 25 wickets at an average of 10.28. Ian was well supported by Naveed who took 16 wickets and by Michael Hordley who picked up 11. Leading run-maker, David Gascoyne, also topped the league's fielding statistics with 21 dismissals standing behind the stumps.

It is fair to say that the statistics show that the team is currently somewhat reliant on one or two individuals each week but, with the youngsters developing nicely, their contributions will hopefully be greater in 2018, enhancing the strength of the team considerably. Promotion is now looked upon positively and certainly not impossible as the 2nd XI has made considerable progress over the past few years. Results have been more favourable and winning brings with it greater enjoyment and camaraderie. The team environment is excellent and this will no doubt continue in 2018 under newly appointed captain, David Gascoyne.

I would like to thank all of the players for their continued commitment along with our ever- reliable scorer, Jeffrey Davies, for his services during the season. I would like to thank also our band of loyal supporters who turn out regularly on a Saturday afternoon to watch the cricket (or do a word puzzle!).

Finally, I would like to thank the club's committee for its continued support and assistance during what was an interesting year for me personally!

Wishing everyone good luck and enjoyable cricket in 2018.