Grantchester Cricket Club AGM, February 25, 2018: Secretary’s Report

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to present the seventh Secretary’s Report of the reformed Grantchester Cricket Club.

We are delighted to return to The Orchard Tea Rooms for our AGM and thank the owner Charles Bunker and the new manager Sue Cringle for their hospitality.

We have completed our sixth playing season at Spring Lane which continues to improve under the stewardship of Steve Wilson, Jerry Greggain and increasingly of Sam Ludford. The outfield is kept fast and short by Nigel Heath. We are indebted to the many hours of dedicated work they put in. We now have a very good collection of machinery and equipment with no urgent requirements. In last year’s Secretary’s Report, I mentioned that the Committee was discussing the purchase of covers. These were duly purchased and have helped immensely in pitch preparation and protection. Several matches went ahead which might have been called off and several were able to continue promptly after heavy showers had caused a break in play. The Heligoland match comes to mind. The hedge at the meadows end remains a problem when balls are hit into it. It seems unlikely that we are going to find a solution to the problem of housing the roller nearer to the ground. Bringing the roller from the barn continues to be a time-consuming task. The necessary introduction of key fobs for security reasons to access the barn has proved effective in protecting our machinery but has been an inconvenience when the fobs have to be passed from one person to another. The hire of the ground to a Japanese soft drink manufacturer to film an advert provided an unusual income stream.

We thank our landlord TFC for their continued support and in particular Antony and Richard Pemberton and Farm Manager David Knott.
The Orchard Tea Garden has once again been most supportive in its provision of tea for home matches. We have been delighted to meet Sue Cringle the new Manager who has continued the enthusiastic assistance we have enjoyed in the past. Charles Bunker the owner remains firmly in our camp. Another first was the holding of our Annual Dinner at The Orchard in January which was a great success and had a record attendance. Our skipper Dan Farman gave a rousing speech and gave the batting award to John Anderson and the bowling award to Jake Jones. James Menzies was this year’s Mystery Guest Speaker who told us a hilarious story about the fantasy world of Professor Berman.

Thanks to Christie Marian we continue to have an attractive bespoke website unlike most Clubs who have a standard play-cricket site. Jonty Este continued to drive our social media presence. We had a second season successfully registering availability online though it would help the Captain if players registered their availability earlier without prompting. An innovation this season was that as well as receiving an email informing them of selection, players received a pro forma telling them exactly what tea contribution was required. This appeared to work well and there always appeared to be an attractive and varied offering at tea time. One area where technology is not required is in the collection of match fees from our side and tea money from the opposition. In the past we have let a large amount of money slip through our fingers by neglecting this important revenue stream. The Committee decided that our match fees would be collected before the match and that tea money would be collected from the opposition before they left. Chris Morrison was given this onerous task and he discharged his duties most effectively as the Treasurer will demonstrate.

All the administration of the Charity Runs was done online as were bookings for the Quiz and Annual Dinner, including the menu choices.
We are grateful to Penguin Insurance, represented by John Anderson, for their continued sponsorship. In addition, we thank Rod Bishop for his personal sponsorship.

The Charity Runs took place on October 8th. We used the new course for the third time and the fact that there are no road crossings and a varied route once again proved popular. Numbers were down slightly on last year so we have moved the date forward for next year’s event to September 30th. A new feature this year was the introduction of chip timing which enabled us to publish detailed times immediately after the event. One of our members also captured footage of some of the action using a drone. This was posted on the website. We supported East Anglia Children’s Hospice as well as our regular beneficiary ACT. We donated £500 to EACH and £1000 to ACT. The weather was excellent and there were few problems apart from a premature start. The main organisers are Steve Wilson, Christie Marian and Justin Fairhall to whom we offer our sincere thanks. Sam Ludford acted as Chief Marshal on the course and on the course marking the previous day. We thank Jerry Greggain and Chris Morrison for carrying out the course maintenance and TFC for cutting certain areas of the course beforehand. We could still do with more helpers including marshals. We thank our sponsors, Flair Catering, The Orchard Tea Garden, HotelRes, Great Events, Cross Fit, Sports Corrective Therapy and Trumpington Estate. We also thank Francis Burkitt for providing the Village Car Park and Lizzie O’Beirne Ranelagh for the use of her paddock for assembly, registration and refreshments. A full appraisal took place afterwards from which we will try to make this year’s event even better.

The Annual Quiz in the Village Hall took place last Friday. These are most enjoyable and popular occasions with a tried and tested format. Our Quizmaster for many years Peter Hain has relinquished his post and we thank James Menzies for stepping into the breach. The Quiz was once again a great success. Again, we thank Justin Fairhall of Flair Catering for his support for this event.

The Club has 19 Life Members of whom 5 are Honorary Life Members. There are 12 Social Members and I would like to mention one of them in particular. Ralph Gillis lives in Boston, USA, and, though he has not visited for a few years, he never fails to send a generous cheque for $100 as soon as I put out the call for membership renewals. All members please note. In 2017 there were 5 Family memberships accounting for 16 members which included 7 players. There were 15 paying Player Members. We had 9 under 25 playing members who do not pay a subscription. 64% of members paid by direct bank transfer. In my last report I expressed my concern that we were short of playing members and that we had put out an appeal via the Grantchester and Trumpington Parish magazines. We also put a permanent invitation on the home page of the website. I think it fair to say that we attracted a good handful of new players and that we always managed to put out a full team. However, we must not be complacent.

Your committee has met on 12 occasions since the last AGM.

Now we come to the most important part of my report, the 2017 playing season for which I thank Dan Farman for the content. It has been a pleasure working with Dan on the administration of the playing side. He has been unfailingly efficient and reliable and tolerates my world-weary grumpiness with good humour.

Grantchester Cricket Club is known as a Club blessed with an iconic ground, salubrious hospitality, a vision for excellence and a team that plays with the right mix of Corinthian Spirit and competitive edge that makes it a match for anyone who comes our way.

The 2017 Season was no exception.

The record states that we won 9 and lost 6 of our 17 matches (2 winning, rain-affected draws to boot). But we were only beaten solidly on two occasions and the ratio could easily have been more impressive had the cricketing Gods smiled on us a little more. However, respect is due to those teams that did beat us, for a level playing field it is and we are happy to accept defeat with a smile but in the pub after the match, win or lose, we treat those two imposters just the same.

Throughout the season GCC scored over 3000 runs at 6.05 (500 overs) and took 126 opposition wickets in 484 overs. Our Opposition were restricted to just 5.50 an over, scoring a full 370 runs less over the season.

The Club enjoyed 5 centuries, 13 x 50’s, 5 x 4 wicket hauls and 13 x 3 wickets. 20 individuals took a wicket or more, 30 separate individuals bowled and 33 individuals batted once or more

GCC is in rude health. We had a brief tour to Sheringham in North Norfolk thanks to George Hill’s contacts in the town. Some of the non-playing members enjoyed a very long weekend in spite of the fact that there was only one match.

Notable mention of the following is due, for their individual performances over the Season.

John Anderson scored 587 runs at an Average of 83.86 over 12 Innings with 1 Century and 5 x 50’s. He was a Herculean performer and deserved winner of the Batsman of the Year Award.

James Menzies scored 469 runs in 7 Innings with 3 Centuries, 2 x 50’s and an Average of 156.13. No superlatives are required.

Jake Jones bowled a consistently excellent line at genuine pace often too good for some of the opposition. He took 19 wickets at 9.79 and had an economy rate of 3.13 over 60 overs. He had a best performance of 4-10 and was GCC’s Bowler of the Season.

Chris Morrison took 22 wickets at 14.50 in 64 overs, taking a best of 4-13.

Finally S. Wilson & Co. for creating the Cricketing version of the Garden of Eden. Thank you from all the Players.

The Season’s results were as follows:

  • Reach GCC Won by 161 runs
  • Heligoland Rain stopped play. It is perhaps worth pointing out that this was a particularly enjoyable occasion only spoiled by rain towards the end. The Heligoland skipper presented Dan and Sam with embroidered commemorative towels in the pub afterwards. Who said the Germans are without a sense of humour?
  • Lidgate & Ousden GCC Won by 62 runs
  • Sheringham CC GCC Won by 56 runs
  • Jesmond Blades CC GCC Won by 20 runs
  • Christ Church, Oxford GCC Won by 30 runs
  • Menzies XI GCC Lost by 138 runs
  • Stapleford CC GCC Won by 48 runs
  • Highgate Taverners GCC Lost by 156 runs
  • Remnants GCC Lost by 5 wickets
  • St Giles GCC Lost by 16 Runs
  • Ixworth Vagabonds Rain stopped play
  • Lidgate & Ousden GCC Won by 6 wickets
  • Chippenham CC GCC Lost by 27 runs
  • Camden Casuals GCC Lost by 4 wickets
  • Hare St. & Hormead GCC Won by 64 runs
  • Remnants GCC Won by 7 wickets
  • Flycatchers Cancelled

Dan records that it has been a genuine privilege and a pleasure to Captain this Club in 2017 and that he is looking forward to 2018 already.

Finally, I record our thanks to our scorer Angela Wray and our umpires Nigel Heath and Frannie Wray and our Tea Team particularly Lorna Wilson and Maxine Este. I would also like to mention Sam Ludford who continues to improve our fixture list and is an enthusiastic supporter of all Club activities and Tony Kennedy who ensures the Club equipment is up to scratch and purchases replacements when necessary.

If I have omitted to thank anyone please accept my apologies.
David Foster – Secretary

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