Management Committee Report - 2011

This year twenty-one teams have represented the Club indoors and outdoors, nineteen in league competitions: a truly amazing achievement. We were the only Club in the Mid Essex League to field five sides and in the South Essex District Colts League we were one of only two Clubs to field 2 sides in each of the 3 age groups. Playing membership again increased with 96 players of 15 and over and 110 colts under 15. 173 boys and 11 girls under 21 have practised at the Club this year. Reports of the performances of teams and individual players have been covered at the presentation evening and the colt's presentation evening so I shall merely pick out the highlights.

 

On the field

Colts

143 boys and 9 girls under 15 have attended coaching sessions during the past season. It is fantastic to see such an interest in the game and this has been made possible because of the dedication of our coaches, managers and parent helpers. Once again our 'B' teams played some good cricket, which is testimony to the coaching given and also to our approach to allow players of all abilities to belong to the Club and develop their skills. And whilst the numbers have been high, there has been quality too. Seven of our boys were selected for the District and four of our girls are in the County squad. The Under 13A came top in their League winning all of their 7 games. Unfortunately they lost the semi-final under Duckworth Lewis rules. Pick of the sides this year were the Under 15As This team had a fantastic year losing only two games all season and won the South Essex District Championship - this is the top trophy in South Essex District colts cricket.

Adults

6th XI The Club fielded 7 teams on 11 Saturdays during the season and had good wins against Chelmsford 6th XI, Stanford le Hope 5th XI and Stock 4th XI. Highlights again were the excellent performances of some of the very young colts, all of whom will be eligible to play League cricket next year with parental permission.

5th XI The 5th XI won 8 games and finished 6th.

4th XI Won 12 games but finished 3rd narrowly missing promotion by 5 points.

3rd XI Suffered because of regular calls for players from higher teams. Won only 7 games and finished 7th.

2nd XI Won 12 games and lost only 4 to finish as League Champions.

1st XI A disappointing season with the side in or close to the relegation zone all season.

A similar format as last year for our President's Day raised more than £500 for Charity. The Women and Girls XI competed as Rayleigh CC in the Essex & Suffolk league and won 4 league matches. Once again their performances improved during the season. At the end of the season the Club hosted a six-a side competition, which was very successful.

Selection. As ever there were quite a few late cry offs but despite this we fielded a full six elevens during the whole of the league season and as mentioned before seven teams on 11 Saturdays. Despite the considerable number of matches played on the two squares the preparatory work done on the ground in the autumn of 2010 again paid dividends.

Sportsmanship. Two reasons for the management committee to celebrate this year were that four of our five teams were in the top thirty teams in the Sportsmanship table and secondly this was the first year for many years that no complaint was received about behaviour of any player or team during the playing season, which in view of the number of teams is a major achievement. Coaching. Coaching was organised by Mike Sullivan for colts on Saturday mornings and weekday evenings from late January to mid September and the results can be seen in the excellent development of our youngsters. Coaching was also available for adults and women & girls.

Off the field

Finance The club held its own and is financially healthy as you will hear in a few minutes but if we are to further improve and develop the Club we will need to do more to build up our development account - more of which later.

Social events Apart from the Presidents Day and Women's Festival Day we had two other successful Club social events this year: another excellent quiz run by Mike Walsh and an enjoyable 50th birthday hog roast paid for by Mike Law.

Bar Colin White has again done a sterling job managing the bar but whilst takings during the league season were relatively good they have been quite low outside these four months not helped by the fact we have now lost the footballers who used the bar during the winter as they no longer play at Rawreth Lane.

Catering The barbeque manned by Emma Grob and friends during the league season was a great success and contributed to a lively social scene after our Saturday matches. Thanks to everyone who prepared teas for our cricket teams and the mums who have provided refreshments for our colt's teams.

Honours boards Several members have requested that we have honours boards showing details of century makers etc. Clearly there is not enough room for the wooden panels one can see in some clubhouses even if we chose to afford them so we have compromised by putting up frames which show exceptional performances by our players.

Downsides. Not everything has run smoothly at the club during the past 12 months. Two days before Christmas the changing rooms were flooded due to a burst pipe above the shower in the home changing room and brought part of the ceiling down in both changing rooms. The only redeeming feature was the cleaner came in and found the flood fairly soon after it had happened otherwise it could have been leaking throughout Christmas. As if that wasn't bad enough three days after Christmas thieves broke in to the container having broken through the fencing on the adjacent playing field and stole a sit on mower and tractor worth more than £3000. Fortunately we were covered by insurance for both incidents and the company paid out reasonably quickly. Unsurprisingly our premium has increased. We have improved security and we will be draining the water system to the showers in the next two weeks.

Last year I listed quite a number of issues, which caused extra work for committee members. I am pleased to say that there has been some improvement but some issues remain. The work in collecting overdue match fees and subscriptions from a tiny minority of members has caused Lorraine Frost and the committee extra work which is time consuming and unnecessary. Other annoyances are members not putting empty cans, plastic bottles and cigarette butts in the appropriate containers at the pavilion so that someone else does not have to spend time picking up these items. Also a habit seems to have developed of members leaving their kit in the changing room, when it is to be used by other members during the week. It should be noted that any kit left in the pavilion at the end of the season will be considered club equipment and disposed of if not of use to other club members. Another source of disappointment has been the lack of support for work weekends although I was pleased to note that 6 members turned up to help Paul Spratt do the end of year work on the squares.

Looking forward

An opportunity for Clubs to apply to join the Essex Shepherd Neame League (SNEL) arose for Clubs with 3 or more teams and with with Clubmark status. Clearly the Club was eligible so the management committee decided to consult members of the top four teams who would be affected by such a possible change. 40 votes cast to date 62.5% saying No, 20% Yes and 17 1/2 % leaving the decision to others. Although it was recognised by some as an opportunity to get into a better standard of cricket which doesn't arise often and could reduce the chance of having our best young players poached by other clubs. More people considered the Club not strong enough at present and the format and start times of games were not attractive.

Mid-Essex League At the league meeting last week, Thurrock 1st XI, Stock 4th XI, Wickham 2nd XI were elected to the League in place of Ashingdon (Div 6), Fyfield (Div 4) and Foulness (Div 6). If Pegasus & Corringham (Premier, 3 and 9) are elected to the Essex Shepherd Neame League next weekend as seems likely, Thurrock 2nd XI, Ongar and Thurrock 3rd XI will come into the League so which Division teams are likely to end up in will not be finalised until after the SNEL meeting. It would seem likely that our 1st XI will be playing in Division 1, the 2s in Division 4, the 3s in Division 7, the 4s in Division 9 or 10 and the 5s in Division 11.

Sunday League The league has been restructured again and we will be in Division 1. It is expected we will play 10 league matches and the remainder of games will be friendlies.

Indoor and Mid-week leagues. It is anticipated we will be playing in these leagues again.

President's Day competition. It is intended to use the same format for this event in 2012.

Women and Girls Two teams have been entered into indoor competitions this winter. We will make every effort to expand this section of the Club.

Colts Section Again we intend to enter 2 teams in each of the Under 11, 13 and 15 leagues and will play a number of under 9 games. We do need to get more support from parents particularly for the under 9 section.

Coaching. The Club has a policy of allowing all boys and girls who want to try and learn to play cricket to come into the Club. This is in direct contrast to some other Clubs in the locality who only want talented players in their Clubs. There is a downside to this approach. The number of young people coming to each session are often of quite different abilities making it difficult to provide the best coaching for youngsters new to the game whilst catering for the needs of more talented players. Next year we plan to limit the number of colts in each section according to the number of coaches allocated to that section so it is vital as many people as possible make themselves available to take up coaching. No one who has been a paid up member this year will be turned away but we will almost certainly need to have a waiting list for new members if our numbers exceed the recommended ratio of colts to coaches. If any member is interested in helping with coaching please contact Mike Sullivan as soon as possible.

Chance to Shine project. In conjunction with Rankins we will continue to develop coaching to local primary and secondary schools as part of the curriculum.

Discipline. It is really important that everyone representing the Club bears in mind the good reputation of this Club and that we expect our players to observe the 'Spirit of Cricket' both on and off the field and show respect to the Club, other Club members and members of opposition sides. This includes any communications on Facebook, Twitter and our website. You should be aware eight members of other teams in the league were disciplined by the league for inflammatory remarks about umpires and opposing team members and the Club Management Committee will treat any such action by any of our members, including parents, as serious misconduct.

Development projects and Finance. We have permission to construct a third square on the second Rawreth playing field to the north of our existing 3rd /4th team square. We can get water to this area but there are issues with the provision of changing and toilet accommodation, provision of a place to eat teas. We do also plan to have a results board in place in 2012.

Social events and 100 Club Absolutely vital to these projects is a vibrant social programme and we plan to run a full programme of events during the coming season. The 100 Club is a really good source of income but it is noteworthy that many of the people in this fundraising scheme are no longer active in the Club.

Officials and other helpers. Thanks to all the captains of our adult teams who worked hard to get six, sometimes seven, adult teams out each Saturday and also to the captains of our other adult teams including our women & girls XI. Thanks to Matt Walker who took over as fixture secretary and has done an excellent job in his first year. Also thanks to the managers, coaches and parents for coaching and running the colts teams and to Matt Kirby for coordinating our colt's fixtures and enabling us to fulfil all our league fixtures bar one. Thanks also the parents who have supported our colts in all weather and with dignity. Thanks to everyone who provided teas and refreshments throughout the year. Also to Colin White and helpers for manning the bar and particularly to Colin for cleaning the pipes each week which is a lengthy task and unpleasant in the winter months. Thanks to John Charles, Brad and Matthew Walker for all the work on the ground throughout the year and also to those people who turned up to clear up after the flood and decorate the pavilion before the season began. Thanks also to all the committee members who worked so hard behind the scenes this year and in particular to Lorraine Frost, who has done a brilliant job in dealing with the accounts. Thanks to Richard Verrinder who has taken over as Secretary, for putting the results and averages on the website when provided and who also managed the very successful Under 15A side. Thanks to Paul Spratt for providing excellent pitches. Thanks to all these people who have done so much to keep this Club going forward. To summarise, 2011 saw success on the field for the 2nd XI and our Under 15A side and, as I said in my opening remarks, to field twenty-one teams indoors and outdoors is a truly remarkable achievement. Yet again we have some excellent performances by our younger players, which bodes well for the future of the Club. Absolutely critical to ensure this forward momentum is maintained is that more people come forward to help, even if it only one small task to spread the work amongst more volunteers and also to try to ensure we have back up if the lead person is away or is ill. If you can help in any way at all, it would be much appreciated. As I have said for the past 4 years at least, we have a fantastic set up and are the envy of many Clubs. Let us all do all what we can to take the Club even further.

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