County Cricket

So my stop/start County season has stopped and whilst I have enjoyed it a lot, it has given me plenty of food for thought for the winter.

Our final game in many ways defined the whole season: a semi final, yet we still couldn’t field our strongest team because some players were cup tied, and some were not considered for selection because they had only just become eligible*.

I can see the argument for loyalty and rewarding those that have played during the season, but if you want to win you pick the best players available …. or you accept you are a sociable team playing for fun and you stop pretending otherwise.

I am still processing my own year and where it will fit next year and for now I have decided to take a clear break from all the talking and analysing and what ifs and havehund the old Staffs Kit up for the year, despite there being a friendly next week. I have played a lot of cricket the last couple of weeks and still have two club games and two NBCC games left and I want to ue those to try and play a slower more calmer innings to help me plan for the winter nets.

*Well that is what we thought but I was informed this week that we hadn’t understood the rules and a player that was a regular in the 2s could play a knock out game for the 1s and still be eligible for the 2s. Of all the lessons we need to learn from this season, reading was not going to be top of my list.

Church Eaton v KIdsgrove

My home debut, and a poor one at that! We were thrashed. Hard to do much against a 2s team when you have 10 players, one of which is the scorer, one had volunteered to play the night before and 4 were juniors just starting out in adult cricket.

Personally I was awful with the bat again. I am really struggling with the ability to build an innings and be patient. I think it’s a bit of over confidence, a tired body that really has had enough of the season, very slow bowling and slower wickets and that my focus the last 12 months has been on being more aggressive.

My bowling was good again, although three dropped catches didn’t really help the old figures, but we were never in it and an early end put us all out of our misery.

I enjoy Church Eaton, it is a small club with realistic expectations and ambitions and hopefully next season I can play more for them.

Unicorns v Graces

This was a big game for the Unicorns as a team and myself as a coach as a benchmark of how well they had progressed since last season. We had a strong side out, but not our strongest and I played to help primarily with the bowling.

We bowled first and held them to a respectable 187 which was far fewer than previous games and the Graces commented on how improved the bowling and fielding was and that we looked like a team this time round.

We started well with the bat but then the usual collapse primarily because our batters don’t yet get the difference between playing the shot they want and the shot the team needs, but we only fell 30 runs short which again was a better performance than previous years. Coach may well manage to hold onto his job!!!

NBCC v Green Lane

A T20 which once again showed that all the talk of ‘giving it some”, and “here for a good time not a long time” was just that …. talk!

Green Lane played good shots with intent and were undoubtedly helped by having 3 or 4 1s players in their team, but we gave them a game, had a great time, and as with these games the real benefit was what we achieved off the pitch!

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