A quick summary of the season from a Captains perspective
The season was largely disappointing from a results perspective. The team won only one game away at New Brighton having been set 230 to chase on a road at Rake Lane.
Our opening game of the season set the tone for what was to come as we batted first against Rainhill and scored 220 for 4 (congratulations to Phil McLoughlin for his first Sefton century and Louis Jeck-Prestidge for his first Sefton 50) but were unable to close out the game with Rainhill hanging on at the end finishing 8 down, and similarly at home to Whitefield with them 8 down and us unable to take further wickets in the final 23 overs.
We had disappointing defeats away at Whitefield (a game we should have won) and at Bootle where despite not scoring enough runs we were well in the game thinks to a superb bowling effort, Mark Boyns in particular standing out. Defeats at home to Sefton PS and Oxton were the only games where we were not really competitive.
Our best batting performances of the season both came at New Brighton; batting second both times and conceding 270 runs first time and 230 second time we managed to draw the first game comfortably (great batting performances from James Whittaker, Tom Bongers and Ronan Brady at the end) and win the second game (a brilliant attacking 63 from Louis Jeck-Prestidge, another good knock from James Whittaker, a rapid 40 from Mark Ewing and ice cool Sam Parkinson closing out a tense run chase).
From my perspective more experience from myself as a captain will stand the team in good stead for next season which should turn some of those draws into wins (weather permitting).
Your Favourite Moment
I know I’m greedy but I’m going to pick three: - Phil McLoughlin’s maiden Sefton 100 – How could I not pick this; a great moment for Phil personally and also the first Sefton century of the season
Louis Jeck-Prestidge maiden Sefton 50 – I’d already told Louis that I was going to declare after 45 overs, going into the 45th over Louis needed 10 to get his 50. He got there thanks to some hard running and powerful hitting. His celebration when he got there won’t be forgotten for a long time.
Sam Parkinson hitting the winning runs at New Brighton - Ice cool from Sam Parkinson who kept his head in a tense run chase. For me this was important as we were winless to this point.
Your Favourite Match
Oxton away; a game that on the last ball of the match all four results were possible. Again, we
batted in the worst of the conditions but a patient 60 not out from Ben Syme with good support from Mike Lowe, David Foster and Mike Row down the order ensured that we posted 185 for 8 Dec.
Oxton began their innings well and batted like chasing 185 was then easiest thing in the world. Enter Ben Syme with the ball; he took 6 wickets including a hat-trick. Of the last over of the match they needed 3 to win and were 9 down. Ronan Brady bowled brilliantly under pressure in the last over, 5 dot balls meant that off the last ball Oxton still needed 3 to win. Unfortunately, their batter found the boundary to win the game despite the valiant effort of Sam Parkinson.
Your Favourite Away Ground
If I can’t say Sefton as technically, we had an away game against Sefton PS; then I’ll have to say Oxton. Nice ground, nice pavilion and nice bar.
Saul Marks - Scorer and person responsible for ensuring that I didn’t have any errors on Play Cricket against my name. Can out with the revelation at the end of the season that whilst he was prepared to miss a cricket match for an England Euro’s game, he was more than happy to score on his wedding anniversary (Saul I hope your wife isn’t reading this)!
Dave Smith – Umpire and all-round good guy. Saved me from having to do a lot of work umpiring myself this summer. Always there for a Sefton first XI game with Graham.
Player to Watch Eleanor Cantwell – Played only once for me this season but this is someone that had never picked up a cricket bat or ball until earlier this year. Her speed and control for someone that has only been playing a few months is incredible and I look forward to what she can do next season with a year under her belt.