Chairman’s Message - August 2021
Hello everyone and welcome to this months edition of my thoughts and observations concerning the club. Apologies for my absence over the last couple of months, I’ve been pretty busy!
As I write this latest edition, I am sat on the balcony watching out final All Stars edition of 2021. The programme has been a massive success, with the children and parents enjoying it so much! The coaches and volunteers have been a credit to the club so massive thanks to them, especially Stuart for co-ordinating the whole thing.
Whilst on about juniors, our Under 9 team have won silverware! They participated in a 6 week summer festival series involving teams from the Derwentside area and won each and every one of the 18 games that they played to finish on a maximum 54 points. This is a fantastic effort and they deserve much praise. One of our players, Louie Graham was voted player of the tournament. Something made all the more impressive by the fact that he has only just turned 7, well done Louie!
A couple of weeks ago we held a presentation day and BBQ for our juniors which was very well attended and it was great to see people presented with their All Stars certificates and trophies from All Stars up to Under 11 level. The kids played for hours on the bouncy castles, while the adults enjoyed some food and beverages while watching the Academicals romp to a 10 wicket win over Littletown.
The entire junior programme has been a massive success this season, my thanks go out to all of the coaches and junior committee for ensuring everything has ran smoothly throughout the year. We aim to have an Under 13 team next year too now that some of our Under 11’s are ready to step up so we can’t wait to see how they get on in 2022. Keep an eye open for updates about winter coaching on our socials…
At the start of August, we were eventually able to host a memorial match for my predecessor - Alan Waters. We hosted an old timers game between Shotley Bridge and ourselves on a damp Friday night. Despite the weather, the event was exceptionally well attended, the only down side was that our lads allowed Shotley to stroll to an easy win! The event was designed to raise funds for charity and thanks to the generous nature of those in attendance, the raffle and auction raised in excess of £3,000 for Macmillan and the Foundation of Light. The two clubs are aiming to do something similar next year down at The Spa to raise funds for the Air Ambulance, another worthy cause.
At this point there are only four Saturday games remaining in the season. The 1st X1 sit in pole position after a nail biting win over Morpeth at Longhirst last weekend, while the 2nd X1 sit in fourth place in their division, something that could have been much better if they had won some tight encounters and not had such horrendous problems with availability in the middle part of the season, often playing with 9 or 10 men and somehow still managing to win some of those games!
The 1st X1 have 3 of their 4 remaining fixtures at home as they push for what would be a first league title in 40 years. The 2nd X1 have left too much to do for a promotion push but could still finish strong and aim for a third place finish, a marked improvement on previous seasons and an indicator that they should be playing higher up if they could consistently turn out full strength teams….
The Academicals have had a difficult season and currently sit bottom of their division, however they’ve had some excellent wins and strong performances but they can avoid the drop if they pull out the stops in their final two games against Brandon and Lintz. Got everything crossed hoping for the right results!
All in all another very positive update, we are already holding discussions with regards to the 2022 season and beyond both on and off the field. As always we will look toward keeping our playing staff as strong as possible and we have a couple of projects in mind to continue to improve the club over the winter, we will share these updates as and when they happen.
Keep an eye on our socials going forward for news of our winter social events and the start of the darts & dominoes.
If you are willing and able, we would encourage you to come and support our teams for the final four games of the season, as always it will be great to see you all and having that 12th player available might just give them the edge that they need. Look forward to seeing you all soon!