How do you feel your first season has gone?
Having followed the 4th XI around for the last few years with Thomas having scored for them I did have some idea what might be involved. Keeping the team going was the main priority. We have a large junior section that can benefit from the availability of competitive senior cricket but until they come through there is a gap to bridge. Fortunately there has been a good number of willing volunteers to fill out the team and I am pleased to say that we fulfilled all of our fixtures this season save for one which we could not play due to other senior fixtures taking priority.
While we have also had a very young side finding their way in senior cricket for the first time we have also had a large part of the team who last played before the younger members were born! It’s been a bit of a learning curve for us all and I hope the team has enjoyed it as much as I have.
In the end we won 2 matches but that was not the real story. In the latter part of the season our performances have consistently won us bowling and batting points. We have been close in games and I am really proud of the performances that my players have put in. Everyone has given 100% and left the field with a smile win or lose. It must be borne in mind that a lot of the teams we faced do not appear to have such healthy junior sections as ourselves and often we are therefore facing a 2XI packed with 20 somethings with a handful of others.
Games against other clubs with the same “young players first” philosophy have been very enjoyable and I hope to see our opponents again next season.
Coach Wiggy has really engaged all the 3rd and 4th XI players and he must be given enormous credit for the numbers turning out at training every week (young and old) and the improvement in our results.
I would particularly like to thank the families of the players this season for all their help and support in transporting, supporting and sitting in the rain at Haslingden (twice). Without their time and support the team could not turn out every week.
What have you learnt over the first season?
That I still love everything about cricket and I am not sure why I stopped playing? I would encourage anyone who has not played for a while or wants to try it to get involved and give it a go.
There’s something in every game and individually I could think of one for every player. I think the main highlight has been our bowling and fielding performances. We bowled out 6 sides (and 1 also 9 down after 20 overs in a rain reduced game). It has kept us competitive in those games and with a little better batting we could easily have won more of those matches. One highlight that does come to mind was the 3rd XI Captain’s face when he learnt that despite us being bowled out for 59 at Norden we had earned 2 batting points…
It would be unfair to single out individuals but certainly the young players have all impressed with their enthusiasm and energy. It has been pleasing to see their improvement over the season.
Are you planning on staying on for next season and what are your plans to build in this season?
I would be delighted to be considered again, particularly given my batting average (let’s not mention my brief attempt at bowling).
More young players coming through and a stronger batting effort!
Where would you like to see both your side and the club in 12 months’ time?
The young players pushing on and continue to improve their overall game and the senior players try to improve as well. Winning half our matches next year should be our aim. I don’t think it is unrealistic given how close we have run some sides. I would also hope everyone tells me how much they have enjoyed the season again.
As a club it would be good if we could field some female cricketers. A lot of teams the 4XI have played this year have fielded at least one (often very good) female cricketer. While it is positive that Clitheroe field 4 teams every week from 60+ active players it is a disappointing fact, in my view, that we have not had a single female player representing the club at senior level this year.