Hopefully the first of a monthly look-back at all things happening up at SBCI both on and off the field.
Well, here we go again after what has seemed to be a very long off-season. Fingers crossed the dry (but not necessarily overly warm weather) will continue for the weeks and months to come.
The usual pre-season uncertainty around availability and indeed a lack of players (particularly for our Sunday side) seems to have settled itself with some great work going on behind the scenes to get new signings on board and secure (if needed) the services of loan players from near neighbours Sowerby Bridge CC, as well as providing teas on the first weekend of the season. Thanks to, in no particular order Dave Grundy, Simon Wood, Phil, Chris, Tina and Zara Dalby and to the new Sunday Team skipper Greg Boocock for volunteering to take on the role after Dylan Evans stepped down before the start of the season. It’s not been the easiest of starts but the measures we have put in place will ensure that we will have a Sunday Team for the 2022 season, and hopefully beyond.
Elsewhere, if you’ve been up to the club, you’ll have noticed a few changes- the outfield has had some work done to it to ease the drainage issues we had at the beginning of the 2021 season (sorry that’s as technical as it gets), Mick and Jez have installed and painted some new fences and seats just down from the sightscreens and we’ve been able to purchase a new red tractor to replace the previous one which had served us well for many a year, but had come to the end of its useful life. Once again, the ground and surrounding areas has been well maintained over the winter and come the first match on Easter Saturday, it was looking its usual pretty self. Thanks to Mick, Tom, Simon, Dave and the usual group of volunteers who get the ground and surrounding areas looking as good as it does on an annual basis through their hard work.
Teas are back on the agenda after a couple of years of players providing their own due to Covid restrictions and Pam, Tina and Helen have done a sterling job in revamping how we do these at SBCI. No doubt the same excellent food, just done in a slightly different way. 2nd team skipper Brad Holt has also used his Vocation work connections to get a couple of Vocation ales on the pumps.
Finally, the 8:30 Saturday evening club draw is back as well, again, following an enforced lay-off. £1 a week for the rest of the season, if your number gets drawn out at 8:30 on the Saturday then you’re quids-in – if you’re not there then you get a smaller portion of the prize pot with the remainder being rolled over to the following week. Plenty of numbers still up for grabs – so please see Oliver Benson for further details.
On the field and fair to say it’s been a mixed bag for all three of our senior sides in the opening three weeks of the season.
The first team have had one win and two narrow defeats so far. Tom Wood already has 220 + runs to his name including back-to-back centuries in his first two knocks of the season, and he’s averaging a mere 74 so far this season. Alex Scholefield chipped in with 6 for 16 on the opening day, which also featured useful contributions of 41 from Alex and 74 from the skipper. Another 20 runs away at Bradshaw on a bitterly cold day might have turned a loss into a win, and a change of luck against Copley at the weekend might have seen us take home the victory. Improvements needed but being in the top half after three games represents a better start than in previous seasons.
The second team had a bad day at the office against Bradshaw on week 2 of the new season, but aside from that, they’ve enjoyed 2x maximum point victories. Mark Fellows has been the star of the show with 161 runs in the first three matches with Simon Hampshire and the skipper in the wickets on the first week of the season in a narrow victory at home to Bradshaw, and Brad again in the wickets last weekend with 4 for 24 as we beat Sowerby St Peters with 15 overs to spare. A run out a piece from Rob Larkin and Mike Veitch and 66 from Tony Kirby more than helped us along the way to a comfortable win.
Its one win and one defeat for the Sunday side so far in 2022. A good win against Low Moor on the opening weekend of the season (where we fully utilised the loan system) was followed up by a defeat a week later against a strong Almondbury side. Phil Earle turned back the years with both bat and ball as he played his first ever competitive game of cricket with his son, Albie and even took a catch to help Albie take a wicket.
First round of the Parish Cup and Crossley Shield take place this weekend, with matches away to Bridgeholme and at home to Copley respectively, for our 1st and 2nd XI’s. Both of these matches will be played on Saturday 7th May. The Sunday team will play Stones in a league game 24 hours later.
Some good numbers at our various indoor Winter sessions has carried on in the first couple of weeks of outdoor training, with plenty of children having signed up last Friday at the club, despite the less than helpful weather. We have lost quite a number of players at the older end of our junior section, so much so in that the Under 13’s side we have, is the oldest age group where we’ve entered our own side for the 2022 season, and we have had to play with eight players for the first two matches of the season, but hope to attract some more players as the weeks progress.
Our Under 9’s season starts this week, the Under 11’s have played one, won one and as mentioned, our Under 13’s side has two wins from two matches, despite playing with a less than full side and with the vast majority of that side being first year Under 13’s.
As always, we are always looking for new players, regardless of age or ability, so please do get in touch if you know anyone who might be looking to get into cricket in 2022!
Lewis & Dave