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Colts News - time for change

3 months ago By Paul Blackwell

Please read and see where you can help

And so, that a wrap – or at least it almost is We have possibly a few more summer league fixtures but with the holidays well and truly upon us, it’s the end of the Tuesday and Saturday coaching and training sessions. Thanks to everyone who attended.

What a Colts season it has been. We started as usual in the cold in April with 4 teams entered into the league. An U14 team with a few new players; An U13 team that was at the bare minimum of 11 players; an U12 development team made up of U12,U11 and U10 players wanting to play hardball and an U10 team which appeared to be struggling for players in the winter but which was able to pick up a couple of players towards the end of the winter training sessions. Who knew what was going to happen next…

The Under 14’s (Year 9) started well and won enough games to get themselves a chance of a Quarter-Final place. They needed to win their last 2 games against Chorleywood and West Herts and though they won one game, they lost the other and so missed out by just a couple of points. The only team to beat Ricky twice, Bushey, then went on to win the County Cup. However boys like Tahir, Harvey, Kinushan and Bilal went on to represent the Senior Club in matches with Tahir playing in the 1st XI.

The U13 team wobbled through their League matches, winning 3 and losing another 2 more by just a few runs. Only Old Albanians were able to defeat them well, and so it was a pleasant surprise when the team qualified in 8th place for a Quarter Final against Welwyn Garden City who finished top of the Northern Division. However WGCC didn’t know what hit them as Ricky’s great team spirit enabled a win by just 2 runs and a place at Finals Day. At the finals, all 4 teams were the ones from the South, so Ricky had to play against Langlebury again. And once again, the boys did amazingly well to win and reach the County Final. Revenge was very sweet indeed. No surprise that the opponents in the final were Old Albanian and despite a resilient fight, it just wasn’t possible for the Ricky Miracle to come good for a 3rd time, however the boys ended up deserved County Silver Medal winners. What a team performance to be runners-up. Once again Neeyam, Harrison and Lewis (and their Dads!) have all played senior cricket already this year and the club looks forward to more of the same in 2018.

Under 12 B – As we didn’t quite have enough U12 and U11 players to make up a team each we combined the two together and entered the U12 B League which was meant to be for less experienced players. Unfortunately only us and the St Albans Girls team kept to this arrangement and the other teams (and managers) were intent on winning at all costs. However our boys stuck to it manfully and completed 9 games with some good individual performances. We will fix this for next year…see below.

U10 (Year 5) – A rather surprise package. In the winter I thought we would struggle, but we added a few new players to the team and I had a feeling that with the team we had we could certainly make an impact, and that we did! We only lost one game in qualification, to Chorleywood, and set some amazing batting scores in the process. We sailed through the Quarter-Final against Bishops Stortford (rather a late finish for those that were there) and went on to the finals at Hitchin. But there the fairytale finished as we lost by 9 runs in the semi-final but then beat Chorleywood to claim the bronze medal and 3rd place. This is a really talented group of boys and I see some exceptional talent in the ranks.

So we made 2 finals days out of 4 teams entered. A pretty good record compared to the bigger clubs around us. The boys, and the parents, we have, are a real asset to our club.

So onto the rest of this year and 2018. What of the future ?

Some of you know that I started the Colts at Ricky single-handedly in 2004 when my son Owen was 5 years old and I wanted him to play cricket for a team. We got some of his school mates and ran the first Saturday morning sessions. 13 years later and Owen goes to University this year and we have had hundreds of boys come through the club and it’s teams. Owen and then my other son Harvey have both played and helped me as coaches as they got older, which makes me very proud. Equally we have produced some wonderful players, including boys I have met at 6 and 7 who have become Herts County players and also many who have played Sub-county (Area) and District Cricket. 3 of this year’s 1st team are ex-Colts players and almost every Ricky team has at least 2 boys in the team most Saturdays. And of course there is the two County Championships, the 9 Quarter Finals and the 5 County semi-finals that have been such fun. So we have a great legacy already. I have enjoyed every minute of it.

But everything must come to an end and I feel it’s time to hand over the mantle to someone with younger children at the club. I also have a job that involves travel across Europe every week. I told the main club this 2 years ago though so far nobody has yet come forward to take on the role. However without children, I guess it’s not something many people will volunteer for. So it comes down to you, the parents. With my job and own personal life, I cannot continue to manage all the colts teams and do all the coaching on my own. And of course take no holidays between April and July !

What we have coming up is possibly some indoor Cricket League things which run from October to December on Sunday afternoons. This would be U13 and U11 and is softball indoors – it’s a lot of fun.

After this we have Indoor nets from January to March as previous years and then next years League entries. At the moment I am proposing we will have the following teams entered into the League:

U15 team (Yr 10) – Ubaid and myself will continue to run this group

U14 team (Yr 9) – Ben Soames has kindly agreed to take this team on with help from the other Dads. Thanks Ben!

U13 team (Yr 8 & 7) – We need more boys and we need someone prepared to take on the 8 or so games they will be playing as manager. Vacancy

U11 team (Yr 6) – this years incrediball team will be playing hardball in 2018. I hope we can get someone to manage this group. It’s such a talented group Vacancy

U9 team (Yr 3 & 4) – Our newest team that already looks hugely promising with the players available. Vacancy

Just as important is the current coaching set up. We do the session with all Junior School age pupils on Saturday mornings; We also run All-Stars Cricket for the ECB from 10.15 to 11.00am. I may be prepared to do this if others step in to do the main session from 9.30am to 11.00am. I am often available as a coach but won’t be able to commit to running the sessions.

For hardball, for Senior School boys, we have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings available at the club for whatever the organisers want to do.

It’s all about team effort here. If 5 or 6 people step forward to help and make a team, then we can keep this wonderful experience for the boys going forwards. You can email me on or message me via 07793 294774.

Updated 23:50 - 31 Jul 2017 by Paul Blackwell


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