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Bassetlaw Annual Report of Management Committee

By Paul Barker
December 1 2003

On 12th August last the monthly meeting of the Management Committee was held at the Lion Hotel, Worksop commemorating the holding of the inaugural meeting of the League at that venue on 12 th August 1903.

Presentations were made to the four clubs, Worksop, Retford, Kiveton Park Colliery and Whitwell who competed in the first season of competition in 1904 and it is pleasing to report that Whitwell and Retford will play in a pre-season friendly at The Rookery on Saturday, 17 th April 2004 to mark the first match played on 30 th April 1904 . Confirmation has also been received of arrangements for a Centenary Match between a League Representative XI and M.C.C. which will take place at Worksop Cricket Club on Wednesday, 28th July.

Memories of the summer of 2003 are of long spells of hot dry weather, but the weather affected as many as 118 matches, 20 of them in Division One, which was 6 more than in any other Division. On 17 th May throughout the League as a whole only the matches at Retford and Blyth were completed, 17 were abandoned on 24 th May and 18 on 26 th July including all of the five scheduled Division One matches.

Far fewer team records were broken during the season, the third since the re-organisation of the League, with only eleven new entries compared with twenty four last year. In permitting Cutthorpe to score 346–5, Mansfield Hosiery Mills lost their own record innings total for Division One, whilst the return game at Huthwaite Road provided the highest match aggregate for the season in this Division [532] when Hosiery Mills scored 270–9 and the visitors replied with 259-9. Cutthorpe were also involved in a thriller at Kiveton Park when the home side scored 260 runs to gain a five wicket victory.

North Wheatley 1 st XI change Division for the sixth time in seven years as their batting failed on too many occasions to survive. Five times they were unable to reach three figures, the worst being the second match of the season when they made an unwelcome entry into the record book by being dismissed for 31 against Thoresby Colliery, Saylesh Patel 7 wickets for 5 runs, and losing by ten wickets, and that after having won their first match by nine wickets. Killamarsh Juniors had a poor end to the season resulting in a drop to Division Two after two years despite taking forty points from their two matches against high-flying Cutthorpe.

In achieving the highest aggregate of runs in Division One, Tariq Rashid (985 runs) again scored five centuries for Bolsover, making a total of fourteen in three seasons and his 168 against Thoresby Colliery was a new record innings; Chris Marples (Cutthorpe) with three and Steve Musgrove (Retford), with two, were other batsmen to reach three figures more than once in an innings. Rick Peacock ( Arnold ), Peter Allen (Killamarsh), Jamie Radford (Kiveton Park Colliery) and Craig Collins (Farnsfield) all captured eight wickets.

Retford became the first team since West Indian Cavaliers in 1998 to enjoy an unbeaten record in the Division. In eighteen completed matches they achieved victory or a winning draw in all bar one, and their 63 points advantage over second placed Mansfield Hosiery Mills was the highest margin since the introduction of bonus points in 1992.

Worksop, in Division Two, were the only other team throughout the League to have an unbeaten season, and make an immediate return to the top. Paul Burton (58 wickets) Steve Ambrose and Steve Blagg used all their experience with the ball and Glenn Pym (940), Jamil Hassan (740) and Steve Walker (551) usually ensured that enough runs were scored. Edwinstowe, for whom overseas player Garth Brown scored 942 runs, reach the highest Division for the first time since 1976 and look forward to welcoming visitors to their new pavilion following the season long disruption caused when the old wartime hut had to be demolished before building work could begin. Michael Alexander had an outstanding year scoring 1110 runs, including five centuries, with Whitwell, for whom Nathan Morris took 8-36 against Anston, and Saeed Bin Nasir again carried the Pilsley batting before being recalled to a Pakistan training camp and being replaced by Faisal Khan who, like his compatriot, scored two centuries. Anston were involved in two record-breaking matches scoring 306-6 at home to Ashover and, at Eckington, sharing 537 runs for a new highest aggregate – Anston 273-3, Eckington 264-8. Marshalls and Whitwell played out a perfect tie at Middlefield Lane , both teams being dismissed for 136.

At the end of the Division Three programme of matches Papplewick & Linby II and Arnold II became the first Second Elevens to be promoted to Division Two with Farnsfield II just missing out in third place, but evidently enjoying their cricket by commenting that it was good to have many more really competitive matches than were experienced under the former structure, none more so than when playing Milton at home the scores being Milton 253-7, Farnsfield 254-2 or when they tied with Sheepbridge. Grassmoor had a tremendous end to the season scoring 282-1 at Sheepbridge on the penultimate Saturday, when Paul Roe and Pete Bedford added 272 in an unbroken second wicket partnership, and 305-6 at home to Holmewood in their closing game. Sheepbridge were involved in two ties, the other being against Arnold II, but fared rather better in the three matches in which Steve Chapman scored a century.

The Welbeck Colliery Academy XI were champions of Division Four, but spare a thought for Ben Lake who, in the match at Ollerton Colliery, was the third victim of a hat-trick …. a hat-trick achieved by his father Graeme ! Spare also a thought for Graeme who hasn't yet been forgiven by either Ben or his mother Jane. Ollerton 280-8 and Harthill 237-4 created a new highest aggregate for the Division of 517 and the former club had the unusual experience of reaching the highest innings score 288-4, Paul Peacock 155, also a new best at this level, against Retford II and the lowest, 30 all out against Wadworth. After successive relegations Harthill turned things round by gaining promotion, but Clipstone Welfare continue their slide down the League. John Redfern captured 9-47 for Worksop II at home to Bolsover II on his way to 59 wickets for the season, Matt Booth (Wadworth) took 8-28 at home to Clipstone and James Brice (Bridon II) 8-43 on the opening day of the season, also against Bolsover II

In Division Five Waleswood Sports achieve their third successive promotion, with Raees Amjad taking 69 wickets and proving too quick for many batsmen at this level, but the best bowling performance came from his club-mate, Gary Lomas, with 9-24 against Kiveton Park II, the tenth wicket being a run out. Caythorpe II return to Division Four at the earliest opportunity helped by the highest innings total of 279-8 against Woodsetts. The latter were boosted by the return to regular league cricket of Alan Mosley who skippered the team and also scored 866 runs at an average of 66.62 with two unbeaten centuries, whilst his team-mate Alex Gregory had the best bowling performance in the Division with 8-27 against Rockware Glass. Wiseton, for whom Roger Wells accumulated 850 runs, were involved in a record-setting match at Basford Mill when their total of 246-7 was overhauled by the home team's 250-7. Ashover II had to rely mainly on a very inexperienced group of players resulting in a difficult season and, like the First XI, suffering relegation and a chance to regroup.

The newly elected Welbeck Colliery III, with several experienced former Second XI players, made it a double championship season for the club, though Cuckney II pushed them to the wire in Division Six and gained their third successive promotion. Clumber Park 's 318-5 against Blidworth II was a new record innings and the reply of 162 all out raised the match aggregate record to 480. At the foot of the table Eckington II's successful battle against relegation was helped considerably when Tom Dawson took 9-25 against Thurcroft II on 6 th September and scored 203* at Whitwell on 13 th September. Another highlight came when James Wood, making his debut for Blidworth Welfare II at the age of 14 took a hat-trick against Eckington II. Lea Park missed a third consecutive promotion by just three points which they would have achieved if Bilsthorpe, needing two runs off the last ball for a tie in the match at Lea, had failed to get them.

Bob Davis had a tremendous season with the bat for Glapwell Colliery II scoring 991 runs at an average of 82.58 with three centuries but his efforts, and those of his team-mate Kevin Lowe who took 62 wickets, were not quite enough to earn their team promotion from Division Seven. Two bowlers playing for Marshalls II had eight wicket hauls, Christopher Needham took 8-46 at Cutthorpe and Matt Housham 8-33 at Oaklands to help their team to championship success and Killamarsh Juniors II gained some consolation for the first team's disappointment on being relegated from Division One, by accompanying Marshalls into Division Six. The best bowling performance at this level was by James Butler of Leverton with 9-28 and certainly the worst batting performance came when the team were dismissed for 15 for the second time in two seasons. Since the end of the season the members of Leverton have decided to throw in their lot with neighbours North Wheatley, the club being called North Wheatley with Leverton Cricket Club, so regretfully in 2004 there will be only ten teams in Division Eight.

Tom Dawson's double-century on the last day of the season was only the second since the reconstitution of the Divisions and completed a remarkable coincidence in that Peter Greaves also scored a double-century, 200*, but on the first day of the season. Greaves went on to amass 958 runs during the summer for Weston and play a major part in the club's only promotion since 1978 as, in Division Eight, they finished in second place to Mansfield Hosiery Mills III, who have been promoted in each of their three seasons in the League. Weston's success of course did not end there as, for the second year running, the club has earned the James Maude Bowl and £500 for fair-play throughout the season. In the same Division, Todwick had a torrid time at Grassmoor when they conceded 372-5 before being bowled out for 73 to lose by 299 runs, a margin of defeat somewhat mitigated by the fact that the home club did not have a First XI match that day. Martin Bolus achieved the best bowling figures at this level with 8-17 for Arnold III against Wadworth II whilst in the reverse fixture his club mate Akhtar Shafiq captured 7-15, figures bettered by Keith Jones (Anston III) with 7-8 against Todwick. Bulwell II were involved in two exciting ties, in their first match of the season against Weston and in their last against Arnold III.

In Division Nine Clumber Park II, for whom Ian Batty scored a new record 167* not out at Harthill, gained successive promotions ending the season a single point behind Mansfield & Pleasley II. Plenty of experience was also shown by John Buck of Sherwood Colliery II in taking 56 wickets with a best performance of 8-28 against Basford Mill.

The record for the highest individual innings in Division Ten, set by Tom New, who has been selected to play for the England Under 19 team this winter, lasted only two years as Rob Stone (Holmewood II) hammered Mansfield & Pleasley III to the tune of 173* in a new record total for the Division of 314-5; his team also helped to create a new match aggregate record when overhauling the Ollerton Colliery II score of 244-5 to win by five wickets. Matches between Waleswood Sports II and Woodsetts III were ruled by the bowlers with Richard Chesterton (Waleswood) taking 7-16, and Paul Jackson (Woodsetts) 7-7 in the return fixture and a hat-trick was taken by Robert Pearson for Pilsley II against Papplewick& Linby III. Holy Trinity Cricket Club struggled to keep going despite a shortage of players, but vandalism to the pavilion midway through the season was the final straw. It is worth recording that, despite their struggles, at the time of withdrawal they led the fair play table; it is also worth recording that in the game with Papplewick & Linby III all six batsman who edged the ball to the wicket-keeper ‘walked', four of Holy Trinity and two of Papplewick. Had every player showed such sportsmanship during the season umpires would not talk of retiring because of the aggravation experienced, a loss the League simply cannot afford, and that blight on the programme of meetings, the Disciplinary Hearing, would not have been necessary, as it was on six occasions.

The end of season cup finals provided sharply contrasting matches. In that for the Mallen Trophy North Wheatley succumbed rather tamely to Bolsover. Tariq Rashid, who took 4-7 in a total of 110 all out before scoring 37, was selected as the man of the match, and with Steve Woolley (53*) ensured a comfortable nine wicket victory. The Tomlins Trophy final was a very good game with Thoresby Colliery scoring 193 all out, a total that would surely have been higher if Asadullah Butt hadn't captured his second hat-trick of the summer. In reply Cutthorpe lost early wickets, looked out of it until a stand of 77 between Butt and John McCollom took their team near to the target, and were thrilled when the Pakistani hit a boundary to bring up his hundred and take his team to success for the first time in the competition after three consecutive finals on the losing side: the choice of man of the match has rarely been easier.

The sad thing about the Tomlins Trophy is the low level to which entries have fallen and, in an effort to redress this, prize money will be awarded next season for the winners - £200, the runners up - £100 and each of the losing semi finalists - £75. This money has been provided by CFC Financial Services and the Bassetlaw Cricket Partnership.

The story for the League Representative XI was a depressingly familiar one; with eight of the originally selected players declining to play; a gallant performance by those who showed some loyalty and gave the Nottinghamshire Premier League XI a real run for their money; but exit from the President's Trophy competition at the first hurdle yet again. There has been preliminary discussion at the League Cricket Conference with a view to seeding the Premier Leagues from the others, running a ‘plate' competition, or even two separate competitions, and developments are awaited with interest. The Under 25 team, with an average age well below that level, fought hard in defeat against the Derbyshire County League and gave hope for better things in the future.

Mention has been made of Weston Cricket Club's success in the Fair Play Award. It should be recorded that Harthill were second and Lea Park third, and that for the first time, the full list has been published in the Newsletter. The umpires' reports on pitches, outfields and pavilions have also been scrutinised and letters pointing out shortcomings will be sent to a number of clubs as a result of these. The marks for pitches and outfields have been examined jointly to determine which have shown the biggest improvement in comparison with season 2002 and Everton Cricket Club were first, Sheepbridge second and Teversal third. It is intended to mark the achievement of each, and in particular the most improved, but details of this have still to be finalised.

Following negotiations lasting several months Arnold Cricket Club have amalgamated with Notts. Amateur Cricket Club of the South Nottinghamshire League. The new club, to be called Notts. Amateur & Arnold made application to have five teams in the League and, having considered the overall strength of the club, one team has been placed in Division Five for 2004. The headquarters of the club will be at Goosedale Farm, Bestwood, which has two squares, with the fifth eleven continuing to play at King George V Playing Field in Arnold . Anston Cricket Club will have a fourth team in Division Ten, Papplewick & Linby III will be on a new ground having moved to Burntstump Park near Arnold , and Biwater Clay Cross have reverted to their former name, Clay Cross Works.

Many of you will be aware that the E.C.B. has recently published its long-awaited Child Welfare policy entitled ‘Safe Hands', which is available on the Board website www.play-cricket.com, thus bringing cricket into line with other leading sports such as Swimming, Rugby Union and Association Football. Though a lengthy document, about 90 pages in total, it is essential reading for at least some members of every club. Those undertaking a coaching course this winter are receiving the necessary training, and seminars lasting approximately three hours will be held to train a minimum of one Child Welfare Officer for each club. Preliminary information indicates that 20 people can attend each seminar and that there will be a charge for attendance, which will also cover the cost of a resource pack. It is the view of the Management Committee that every club must adopt a positive stance towards the policy and embrace its contents. To quote the opening sentence of paragraph 2.1 of ‘Safe Hands', ‘All Young People have a right to be safe and enjoy their Cricket'. It also reinforces the view that every club should be affiliated to the E.C.B. via its County Board , a proposition likely to be put to the Annual General Meeting in a year's time, and have adequate insurance cover.

Clubs who are affiliated should recently have received Issue 4 of the newsletter ‘Play-Cricket News' giving information with regard to registering with the Inland Revenue as a Community Amateur Sports Club and enabling the club to be eligible for 80% mandatory rate relief, as opposed to the discretionary system currently in operation, though a local authority can still use its discretion and grant 100% relief.

Thanks to the efforts of Paul Barker and Bev Norris Bassetlaw League results and tables are published in the press and on a number of websites, notably that of Ashover Cricket Club for which thanks are also extended to Charlie Gwillim. A number of clubs have indicated a wish to have a website address as part of the club details in the Handbook. This will be considered on the assurance that the site will not allow the publication of anonymous derogatory comments about clubs and individuals, even when camouflaged under the guise of humour.

A year ago we mourned the death of the Chairman, Eric Adwick, who had served the League for such a long period of time and it is opportune to record the skill and understanding with which Jim Garton has taken over the reins, ably assisted as Vice-Chairman by Mike Smedley; also the dedicated service of Peter Neale, Bev Norris and Geoff Holden each of whom have held their respective posts for 15 years or longer. I take this opportunity to thank them, the members of the Management Committee and the many club officials who give so much of their time and energy in the support of recreational cricket in the area.

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