The Saturday Second XI finished the 2018 season in 5th place in County Division 5 of the “Dorset Funeral Plan League” having gained promotion as Champions of County Division 6 in 2017. They now look forward to trying to improve on that league position in 2019.
Team Captain – Garry King
Bere Regis CC 2nd XI Report 2018
Inconsistency led to a mid-table finish in Division 5 when at the half-way stage promotion looked an achievable target. Top spot was more or less decided by the half-way stage, leaving one promotion spot open and that eventually went to a Martinstown team that strengthened as the season progressed and it became clear that, as a club, second team promotion was a priority. We were not the only team to suffer from inconsistency though, borne out by the fact that we finished above Cerne Valley, who we twice lost to, but below Marnhull, who we beat twice. Indeed, we also beat Martinstown, but lost to Witchampton, who finished well below us. Harry Green, Oliver Mayo (both Under 15s) and Tom Munnings (Under 13) all made debut appearances in the last game of the season, while Louis Meaden (Under 14) played in three matches and bowled two impressive spells.
Such inconsistency was probably the result of an ever-changing team line-up and disappointingly, three times having to play a man short. The situation was not helped this year by the batch of promising young players being in their GCSE year and then finding that Saturday jobs help their savings accounts. Only Jake Perch from that cohort was available on a regular basis, playing nine of the sixteen games. Thirty players were used in all but only nine of those played in more than half of the games. Three established first team players played six games between them, all three playing in one of the games, against Weymouth, who were bottom of the division.
There were some notable individual performances, with hundreds from Dean Rogerson (102 v Weymouth), Jacob Kennard (101* v Marnhull) and Tom Bennett (100 v Martinstown). Paul Smith was the leading run scorer with 279, closely followed by Jacob Lambert with 258 and Tom Bennett with 236. From the bowlers 5 for 21 from Archie Weedon v Blandford, was the best return of the season. Cian Evans was the leading wicket taker with 19, including 4 for 11 v Marnhull. Adrian Moore was close behind with 16 wickets from just 29 overs, with a best of 4 for 12 v Bradford Abbas. Cieran Woodhouse bowled 81 overs during the season, taking 15 wickets with a best return of 3 for 9 v Marnhull. Luke Scott, Archie Weedon and Jake Perch all took 11 wickets apiece.
As a club, I feel we need to address the issue of what we do with a small group of young players who are now not quite ready for first team cricket, particularly in the Premier League, but who are probably not challenged enough by second eleven cricket, particularly if we are to continue introducing younger players and quite rightly giving them every chance to participate meaningfully. We have insufficient strength to advance through the divisions without a greater input from stronger, more experienced players. We risk alienating that small group by not doing so though. Equally, we will find it more and more difficult to introduce the younger players and to keep the supply line going if we do manage to advance. We must come up with an agreed club strategy with great urgency and then, whatever we decide, be prepared to support that strategy.
As always, my personal thinks go to several people for their support in what can be a frustrating task running a second eleven. Thanks to Herbie for fantastic work on the ground as always, as well as his support as club chairman. Thanks to my ‘senior pros’, Paul Smith, Adrian Moore, Cian Evans and Tom Bennett for keeping me going! And this year, a huge thanks to Rowan MacPherson for his scoring duties, particularly as he used the scoring app that uploaded results sheets immediately, saving me the bother of fighting with the Play-Cricket system after every home game!