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November 27, 2009

Blankney Cricket Club 2009 Review

It has been a difficult season for the Sunday XI side that finished rooted to the bottom of a very strong premier division. Other teams in this division contained many ECB players, we also faced Lincolnshire's opening bowler and two others that are being watched by 1st class county sides.

We were not helped when we lost our captain three days before the season began, leaving us in turmoil to say the least. Phil Woodcock stepped in for the first game before James Ingamells stepped forward and ran the team very well with limited resources for the rest of the season. To be honest there were few highlights and we only managed one victory throughout the season.

I think everyone is now looking forward to going down a league and getting back to playing proper 'local' village sides next year where we will at least be able to compete.
The Sat XI continued in the South Lincs and Border League playing on some really nice grounds. There was a good blend of our more 'experienced' players and some very promising youngsters.

The team was led by Simon Behan who with his wry sense of humour made playing fun, like it should be. He certainly led from the front, scoring 939 runs including three centuries and seven fifties to top the whole of the South Lincs and Border batting averages - quite an achievement in 18 innings. He was well supported by David Pearse, Phil Woodcock, Andy Foster and Callum Steele with Simon Craft also scoring runs at important moments. Ted Shores also impressed and probably hits the ball the furthest!

The best bowling came from our most senior player Ian Holvey who picked up a total of 37 wkts (25 on a Saturday) which included one 5 wkt haul and a hat trick in the last game of the season (buying the jug really hurt him!). He was also well supported by Phil Woodcock, Tom Woodcock, Sam Palmer and Ted Shores. All the last three are younger players who showed great promise with the ball but Tom Woodcock in his first season really impressed and there is no doubt will turn into a very good bowler as will the others, given time. Another young player worth a mention is Gareth Schwandt who joined us late in the season but showed raw pace and he certainly needs developing.
Andy Foster continued behind the stumps and managed to keep us all motivated on both days when times got difficult.

The Blankney Estates team continued under the leadership of Simon Atkinson in Division One of the Lincoln Midweek League and although not having as good a season as last year they did manage to keep their division one status. They also played in the final of the Senior Midweek Cup for 2008 which was carried forward to this year but they maintained the record of Blankney clubs in this competition over the years, losing in the final to Hartsholme - nevertheless a great achievement for the estates side after their best season last year for many a year.

Special mention must be made of David Pearse who has spent a lot of time on the ground doing work this year. The ground has looked magnificent all season and has gained rave reviews from all who have visited us. He has also done a great job of controlling the moles which have plagued us for years now. His work has helped Tony Fox tremendously during the season.

Thanks go to the tea ladies Sally Holvey, Amber Loakes and Rachel Peacock who continue to produce teas that must be the envy of the majority of the teams that visit us.

At times during the season as a club we have been under the cosh, batsman have felt the brunt of the pain, particularly Jimmy Pearse who for some reason only known to himself decided to bat in a cap against probably the fastest bowler in the Sunday leagueI think this was red rag to a bull as this bowler then decided that he wanted to knock this cap off the said Jimmy Pearse's head. This he managed to do, hitting Jim square on the temple and putting him on to the floor - after a while the foolhardy Jim decided to bat on not knowing whether he was at Blankney playing cricket or in The Star consuming yet another pint - needless to say two balls later he was back in the pavilion, his stumps having been laid flat! We all knew Jim was hurt as he sat on the balcony refusing the offers of free drinks!

Jim eventually went to the hospital where he caused the doctors great anxiety as they could find no sign of brain activity but they were soon reassured when they were told this was normal!

On the social side of things the club again ran the curry evening which was well attended with a great mix of curries being available - some were not for the faint hearted!

Thanks go to all those who donated the curries etc. which raised funds for the club. As a club, the committee and members have a lot of work to do during the close season. We want to encourage youngsters to come and play at Blankney and make them welcome. The social side of the club will be enhanced to raise funds for all the things we would like to see at the club which in turn will encourage players to join us. These are tasks that will ensure that the club continues and that we all continue to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in which we play our cricket at Blankney.

Several of our players will be attending coaching courses this winter and it is hoped to organise coaching for youngsters next year; further details of this will follow in a later edition.