Our Club Chairman and 3XI Captain Charles Daniels gives us his views on the 2021 season
A quick summary of the season from a Captains perspective
A thoroughly enjoyable season and it was my privilege to captain the team.
47 players in the 15 games we played presented so many challenges in the days leading up to most games but this didn’t affect the fantastic efforts on match days.
Our fielding has improved drastically which is testimony to the hard work put in at training.
Stability in the 1s and 2s will lead to improved results (famous last words) for the 3s and 4s.
Played 15 Won 7 Drew 3 and lost 5 to finish 6th.
Your Favourite Moment
Our double over Ormskirk. We won comfortably away (how often has that happened?) and we were well on our way for an easier win at home. Having declared at 179/6 (Lowe 80 including 2 mighty 6s) Ormskirk were in all sorts of trouble at 117-9. Slowly but surely, they crept closer. With the game on the top pitch having finished the crowd was building and so was the tension. With only 7 needed their No 11 skied one over my shoulder. I turned to see who was at mid-wicket and was relieved to see it was Adam Ahmed. No danger - comfortable catch – game won and Adam starts the celebrations and he is loud! Walking off the pitch I explained to him I was so pleased that it was him under that catch. He replied "You shouldn’t have been as I dropped one like that in the 2s!"
I could have mentioned dead bat at Wallasey, the shampoo discussion or the tale of one of our players ‘lucky escape’ from a gang of Year 7s but they are stories for a different day!
Your Favourite Match No question our final game of the season away to Orrell and for so many reasons and not just because we won. We arrived with junior football matches taking place on the outfield resulting in a delayed start and their groundsman on holiday. Orrell needed to win to avoid relegation. They declared on 179/8 following marathon bowling spells from Mitch 16-6-41-3 and Mark Ewing 17-4-54-2 (someone bowled more than Chris?). The team are still puzzled with what happened when Harry (25) and I (40) opened the batting as we abandoned our normal test match approach and went T20 mad (that’s my interpretation! We would have both been drug tested). In typical Sefton fashion we collapsed from 79-1 to 90-6. After being dropped down the order for disciplinary reasons (shying and missing the stumps on a regular basis) Paul Morris smashed 43* and last man Mitch hammered 22 with 2 4s and 2 6s to win which sent Orrell down. What a game to end the season with Ian ‘culture’ Dawes’ batting at 3 in order to get to the theatre, Sarah Jackson making her debut and the return of James Hague too.
Your Favourite Away Ground
Playing at Northern is always a fantastic experience for a 3rd XI cricketer. 3 fantastic pitches and wonderful facilities. Playing at Northern is probably the only games in which I miss cricket teas.
This season we held on for a draw against the champions with a valiant last wicket defiance from Corran Murphy 34* from 59 balls and Ronan 8* from 22. What guts and determination.
And we just couldn’t force the win against Simon King’s team after scoring 213 (James Daniels 67) they replied with 181/8 (Adam Ahmed 3/32). Even the spin twins of Morris and myself couldn’t force the breakthrough!
My vice-captain, Paul Morris. 236 runs in 10 innings at 26 as well as 18 catches behind the stumps and even a run out. He is the calmness to my ‘excitable’ (let’s leave it at that) nature. Words of wisdom for all our players and above all he talks some utter nonsense to the opposition batters who are even beginning to think I’m the quiet one (well I had to try!).
All who attend Tuesday night training should have a debt of gratitude to him as he has made training so much more enjoyable this season than I’ve ever experienced at Sefton. Our large attendance demonstrates the impact he had at training.
Honourable Mentions Mark Boyns bowling superbly picking up 23 wickets at 13 and his far older (in looks) partner Chris Mitchell 21 wickets at 17. James Daniels for the 3rd year on the run being the 3s top scorer with 264 at 38 with a top score of 92*
Player(s) to watch Charlie Nelson (best bowling 5/6 in our win away at Goodlass) and Oli Vasco (3/8 in our draw v Goodlass) both hard hitting batters, talented swing bowlers and exceptional fielders. Also excited to see the impact that Ronan will hopefully have in the 3s next season. One final mention to Ian Dawes who is developing into a fine spin bowler. I can’t wait for next season.