Another game that might have been
5ths tumble to local rivals
The season finished as it began with a close defeat to a team that were only marginally the better side for the 5th XI. Looking back on the season, we can see games like Leverstock and Shenley where we failed to put away the poorer sides, and other games like Chorleywood and this game, where we gave it away ourselves.
The match started brightly enough with a run out in the first over thanks to Joe McCusker, but after that we bowled too short and at 60/1 Watford Town were running away with it. However some tighter bowling from Mick Pushong and Sean Lindsay (certainly his best spell for the 5th team this year) pulled the reigns back in. 5 dropped catches once again cost us dearly and the 6th wicket pair were able to push on to set a decent but gettable total. But the 5th XI mantra of 'a game for everyone' means that if you have to gift a few runs to the opposition then so be it. And the Watford Town interpretation of a wide certainly didn't help the run squeeze.
As often this season, the reply started well, with Gavin (21) and Paul (19) putting on 43 in good time, but once they both departed, the runs dried up and a succession of poorly judged shots added to our own downfall. Young Jack Lee was the one bright spark with a cracking 17 which helped Ricky get over 100, but with just 34 needed to win, Ricky's last wicket fell and we once again fell at the final hurdle.
A season that could have been ended with the 5ths bottom of the table. Had we played the 4 games we conceded through having not enough players, we still would have been close to the relegation zone. Were there 5 or 6 worse teams than us - Yes. But with 269 runs separating the top two batsmen, we need a more solid base for 2014. With an average runs of just 117 per innings, and only 7 wickets per game, you are not going to win trophies.
However the season was a great success for bringing in the younger players, and also getting some of the legends back in whites for a game or two. And every game was played in an exemplary manner with respect for the opposition the most important factor. We laughed our way through many games and always played up and played the game.
The Batsman, Bowler and Player of the season will have to wait until next Saturday to learn who they are. There might be some surprises.