ASHFORD CRICKET CLUB 2007
Committee Report 2007
The 2006 season witnessed Ashford Cricket Club reawaken as a force to be reckoned with in league competitions. Although a season best summarised for many players by "if only", the Club's rediscovered competitiveness was based on the enthusiasm and commitment of the players. At one stage during the season, the Club's four men's teams swept aside all Saturday opposition for three consecutive weeks - a remarkable achievement by all involved. The Club's membership continued to grow this summer, in particular in the colts' section. We also welcomed a new-look Ladies side too. Off the field, the Club, in partnership with Ashford Hockey Club, progressed in its efforts to take on the responsibility for the running of and future development of the Short Lane site.
This summer saw a marked improvement in performances on the field. All four Saturday men's teams finished in the top three of their respective league divisions. Both the 1st XI and 2nd XI just missed out on promotion from their respective divisions, finishing third with nine wins each. Congratulations to captains Rob Gaines and James Berressem in what for each was their first year in charge.
The 3rd XI had a strong first half to the season and held onto to a third place finish and promotion to Division 1 for 2007. Meanwhile a final-game defeat denied the 4th XI the Wey Valley League Division 1 title they deserved. Captains Paul Cousens and Hasib Butt should both be congratulated for leading such competitive teams while still offering young players the opportunity to develop through playing adult cricket.
Unfortunately, the Ashford Ladies suffered relegation in their first season competing in the Women's Cricket Southern League Division 3. Despite this setback, having an active, competing Ladies side is a boon for the Club and hopefully the team will recruit more players in 2007.
On Sundays, the Club continued to field two sides for the majority of the season with enthusiastic colts featuring in both teams. The Sunday 1st XI had mixed success but highlights included two thumpings dished out in local derbies against Egham and Chertsey. This year sees the ever-persuasive Paul Frost step down as Sunday 1st XI captain after seven years in charge and thanks go to Paul for his commitment to the Sunday cause. Congratulations to James Knill who, in his first year as captain, led the Sunday 2nd XI to the top of the Thameside Sunday 2nd XI League.
The Colts teams enjoyed mixed results, the pick of the sides being the under 15s who won all of their games to top the Middlesex League. The Colts section saw exceptional growth this year with an influx of some 70 new young players. The Club's involvement in the ECB Chance to Shine initiative, in which the Club provides coaching and equipment for after-school cricket activities at six local schools, hopefully will further develop local youngsters' interest in cricket and in playing at the Club.
With well over 100 boys and girls playing cricket at Ashford and Friday training nights thriving with activity, a note of thanks is due to all the managers and coaching staff involved and to the parents for supporting them. The Club continues to support new parents and playing members who want to qualify as coaches - around a dozen members will be attending coaching courses over the winter months. Anyone interested in getting involved in the Colts set-up should approach a member of the Committee - we'd love to hear from you.
Early in the season the Club ran, for the 60th time, its ever-enjoyable tour of Devon. Later in October some 50 members made their way to Malta for the Club's second tour of the island. The tourists won all four of their matches and among the many highlights was an awesome display of batting from Wendell Sebastian - he scored 160-odd from just 20 overs! Many thanks to the members on the Malta Tour Committee who volunteered their time and efforts to organise the flights, accommodation and tour itinerary.
Perhaps an unfortunate hangover from last year's anniversary festivities, the Club's social calendar was below par this year. While the Friday night BBQs and 200 Club draws continued to perform well - thanks to the great work of David Merchant and his volunteers, and Gordon Smith respectively - other regular events either fell by the wayside or were poorly attended. The General Committee and its social sub-committee will look to rectify this in 2007 and invite members to contribute ideas or suggestions for new social events.
However, the social calendar did end on a high note with the Club's annual awards evening held at the Ashford Manor Golf Club, early in November. Some 100 people comprising members, their families and friends enjoyed an evening of food, drink, dancing (and karaoke care of Paul "Don McLean" Frost) in comfortable surroundings - well done Peter Davies on getting the booking. The success of the evening owes a great part to Donna and Kevin Lambert's tireless efforts to contact members, take menu orders, sort table plans etc so I'm sure everyone who enjoyed the evening would join in thanking Donna and Kevin for their efforts to bring us all together. And thanks should go to the announcers on the night Rob Ford, Paul Cousens and Paul Frost.
The remaining event in the Club calendar is the Annual General Meeting to be held at the clubhouse on Wednesday 29th November at 8.OOpm. Enclosed is a copy of the agenda and the minutes from last year's AGM. Members are encouraged to attend the meeting - this is an opportunity for you to discuss items on the agenda, to air your views on how the Club is being run, and to offer suggestions for its future development. Also enclosed with this mailing is a detailed breakdown of the Club's income and expenditure, which has been prepared by the Club Treasurer Paul Frost. In addition to this statement of accounts Paul has included an explanatory note on the proposed changes to annual subscriptions and match fees for 2007.
At the AGM two Ashford stalwarts will be stepping down from leading positions in the Club. As President Peter Ash has given unwavering commitment to the Club - he can be seen supporting the home sides on Saturdays come whatever the weather. Among many achievements over the past five years acting as the General Committee's chairman Robert Evans oversaw the Club's recent, successful 150th anniversary celebrations. I am sure you will join me in thanking both Peter and Robert for their hard work over the years.
To conclude this brief note on 2006, I acknowledge the members for their contributions both on and off the field that made this a very positive year for the Club. The desire among members for the Club to succeed was fierce. Driven by this passion, the Club should continue on its upward trend and its members might expect much greater rewards come September next year.
For and on behalf of the General Committee