Grantchester Cricket Club AGM, February 25, 2019: The Secretary’s Report

Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

We are delighted to be holding our AGM at The Green Man and thank the management for their hospitality.

It was with great sadness that the cricket season was marked by the death of our much-loved Honorary Life President, Maurice George Hyde, better known to us as Moriarty, who died aged 82 on the 19th July 2018. The Club was well represented at his funeral at Sacred Heart Church, St Ives. We were joined by old friends of Maurice from Highgate C.C. and from Elsworth and Conington. The eulogy, delivered by David Burden of Highgate Taverners, which was posted on our website, gave a most affectionate account of a talented and occasionally eccentric cricketer. One thing was clear; he was loved by all who met him and  left a lasting impression wherever he went. The wake was held in Maurice’s watering-hole, The White Swan at Conington, where there were additional speeches describing some hilarious incidents more suitable for telling in the pub than the church. It is appropriate that our longstanding annual fixture against Highgate Taverners was instigated by Moriarty.

We have completed our seventh playing season at Spring Lane which continues to improve under the stewardship of Steve Wilson, Jerry Greggain and increasingly of Sam Ludford. We thank Nigel Heath for all the times he has cut the outfield and will miss his efforts. We are indebted to the many hours of dedicated work they put in. Our machinery continues to work well. We have no urgent requirements but there has been talk of buying a couple of leaf blowers for coping with problems we have each Autumn at the Archer End. The hedge at the Meadows end remains a problem when balls are hit into it. I think we will have to hire our own contractor to address this issue.

We thank our landlord PFP 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 very much look forward to establishing a good relationship with the new manager Gary Hounsell and his wife Sophie. We thank Charles Bunker for his continued support.

We seem to have found an ideal venue for our Annual Dinner. This year for the first time we used the private dining room at The Rupert Brooke. Though I was prevented from attending by illness I am assured that it was a most successful evening on all fronts. Captain Dan reviewed the season and presented the batting award to Angela Wray on behalf of Will, and Michael Carrick received the bowling award in person. The Mystery Guest Speaker was AP Stafford who entertained the Members appropriately. We had a record turnout and we have booked the Rupert Brooke for next year’s dinner on 10th January 2020.

Thanks to Christie Marian we continue to have an attractive bespoke website, which is central to all our activities. Jonty Este continues to lead our social media presence.

 Our drive to recruit more players was most successful and I believe I’m right in saying that for most matches we had more applicants than places available. This is clearly a good problem for the selectors though it means that to maintain interest we must give all players a fair chance to play. We had 35 playing members, 13 up on the previous season. Registering availability online continues to work well as does the tea contribution system. However, we will need more volunteers to help with teas next season as Maxine Este has had to stand down due to work commitments. We thank her for her efforts in the past.

We are grateful to Penguin Insurance, represented by John Anderson, for their continued sponsorship. In addition, we thank Rod Bishop for his personal sponsorship.

Once again, our fundraising has been supported by the Charity Runs on September 30th. By most criteria it was our most successful event so far. We used the new course for the fourth time and the fact that there are no road crossings and a varied route once again proved popular. For a second time we used chip timing and took drone shots of parts of the course. We had a record number of advanced registrations, 510, and a record number of recorded finishers, 436. We were blessed by fine weather yet again. Justin Fairhall was our honorary guest starter. We were able to donate £3,000 to our designated charities: ACT Liver Perfusion Machine Campaign and Maggie’s Centre Cambridge. There were 29 online reviews of which 80% gave us a ‘very favourable’ score. We thank our sponsors: Lunchtime Company, HotelResUK and Great Events Cambridge. We thank Pemberton Farm Partnership for permission to use their land, Francis Burkitt for the use of the Village Car Park and Lizzie O’Beirne Ranelagh for the use of her paddock for assembly, registration and refreshments. We were pleased to have the Cambridge Independent as our Media Partner for the first time. The main organisers from the Club were Steve Wilson, Christie Marrian and Justin Fairhall. We thank Jerry Greggain for inspecting the course beforehand, Sam Ludford for providing water on the course and our volunteer Marshals on the day.

2019 will be the 10th anniversary of Grantchester Charity Runs. The date is the 29th September and we are hoping for 500 recorded finishers.

Our other fundraiser is normally the Annual Quiz in the Village Hall which should have taken place last Friday. Unfortunately, with only 4 tables booked a week beforehand, it was decided that it was not a viable prospect and was cancelled. Your Committee will decide whether it should be rearranged or simply held over to next year.

The Club has 19 Life Members of whom 3 are players. We have 23 paying playing members, 10 student playing members, 7 Family Memberships and 9 Social Members.

Your committee has met on 11 occasions since the last AGM.

Now we come to the most important part of my report, the 2018 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. 

“The playing record for 2018 would suggest a mixed season: Won 9, Drawn 1, Lost 7.  But results are not the sole purpose of GCC and the statistics, as always, do not tell the full story.

Over 35 playing members took to the field for Grantchester in 2018, 32 batted and 30 bowled. Over the season, the Team scored 2,958 runs at 6.1 an over, and took 100 of the Oppositions’ wickets, restricting them to almost 250 less runs in a freakishly similar number of overs. 

It must be noted that the glorious summer conditions made for predominantly batting wickets and this was not the year for the Sunday occasional cricketer to turn their arm and expect the old magic to return.  However, the bowling fraternity did so with industry and guile.  Carrick and Wray took the highest number of wickets, but they were ably backed up by Tewary, Menzies, Baker, Ludford, Thwaites and Jones M. 

Jamie Menzies’s 13-over spell against premier league batsmen at Chippenham must be given special mention for its persistent line and constant menace:  2-76 was not reflective of the quality, in light of the opposition.  The trophy for Best Bowler went to Michael Carrick, taking 10 wickets at 15.80 and returning best figures of 4-21 vs Woodcutters and 3-14 vs Menzies.

On the batting side, we took full advantage of the conditions when we could. 1 Hundred from John Anderson and a further 16 x 50’s from GCC set the tone for some imposing totals.  400 x 4’s and 39 x 6’s implies a season of swashbuckling entertainment and that is absolutely correct. 

Gavin Ayliffe’s 81 N.O, Guy D’Oyly’s 62 N.O., Fergus Wilson’s 75 N.O. and Kamal Munir’s 78 N.O.  were the notable performances to compliment John Anderson’s 102 vs Weekenders. 

However, the standout batsmen for the season was William Wray, who was the rock of the team.  He played 16 matches, scored 518 runs and recorded 4 x 50’s, averaged 37 and entertained us with 82×4’s and 14×6’s.  An excellent return and great to see the promise of the last few years come to fruition.

Aside from the individual performances, the Team notched some notable achievements.  Controlled aggression on Tour to knock off Swanage’s total of 175 with 8 overs and 7 wickets to spare, 182-2 off 20-Overs in a loss against Highgate Taverners, pushing Chippenham’s ‘Sunday’ Team to within 30 runs over 80-overs and of course a first win, at last, against the ever-competitive Menzies XI.

Statistics are the devil’s folly.  2018 was a glorious summer and GCC is in rude health ahead of the eagerly anticipated 2019 season.”

I would like to thank Lorna Wilson for her work doing the teas and Frannie Wray for umpiring.  We lost Angela Wray’s services as scorer and Nigel Heath as Umpire. 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 a message for the Club it is that we need more volunteers to fill vital roles and it is essential that our younger members step up to fill these vital roles which will inevitably fall vacant.

If I have omitted to thank anyone please accept my apologies.

David Foster – Secretary

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