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2014 was again another very enjoyable season for Superstars with a small winning record of 14-12 and numerous close matches (including a ridiculous 3 ties - plus another in 6 a side). We also saw the best ever bowling by a Superstar, a winning tour and the start of a charity event that may continue for many years.
This was the first season in around 15 years that Chiswick wasn't our "home" ground after the extortionate pitch fee increases. We ended up at Abbey Recreation Ground in South Wimbledon, which had ok facilities but errantic attendance by groundmen including not telling us about a strike. It was also the first year we hadn't put a team into Sports Day in many years - because cricket was cut from the events list because of some hapless organisation.
Anyway back to the pitch (kind of) and the season began with a tour of North Essex, or "Constable Country" as the marketing team called it to avoid the "Essex Lad" comments. Jim did the majority of the organising (thanks Jim) with four fantastic games and the hotel was up to scratch with a wonderful view of the stylish people of Colchester making their way briskly home after a stylish evening of cigars and jazz. The games bought three wins and a loss, including an emotional win over Halstead for Jim and Paul with Alok taking the best ever figures for a Superstar of 8.5-3-34-6. The only other time we've had a "winning tour" of any length was in 2001 when we toured Sir Geoffrey Boycott's homeland - and let's face it no one in Yorkshire is any good at cricket.
Unfortunately the early "regular" season games were disrupted by rain but we managed to sneak in two losses (very closely against RSSB, rather less to Pirates) and a huge win of over 100 runs against LU Engineering.
One of those rained off matches was against friendly rivals Dodgers in the first Ken Block Trophy clash. That match was re-arranged when it became clear Sports Day would not happen to ensure the full three match quota. The first was the afternoon match in which collapsed like Brazil had done to Germany the night before before Steve Meyler (carefully) and Vijay (more spectacularly) got us to a respectable total with a club record 6th wicket stand Despite never being fully out of the game we never were really full in it either and DOdgers made the total with 4 wickets spare. The second match was the re-arranged match and was "ringer heavy" on each side but we again fell short. The final match bought another loss to bring the first ever Ken Block Trophy "whitewash" in either direction.
Other than that though we progressed merrily through the season. The first tie of the season came against Commons Old Boys, with Mike Duggan hitting the crucial runs. The second tie came only a couple of weeks later as sportingly/foolishly* Steve Meyler gave a "one short" against Vijay off the final ball of the match against old friends Hounslow Leisure. It took a couple of months for a third tie - and the first one in an afternoon game ever - when Richard Abigail went through the pain barrier to take two off the final ball against Treasury Solicitors. Someone somewhere earned a lot of money with these ties.
There was the occasional match which didn't end in a tie. Unfortunately two of these were thrashings at the Bank of England tournament (although we all enjoyed the tea) while another loss was a rare, well deserved, defeat against Jason's Dartford Harriers with an emotional Jason scoring the winning runs - we were delighted for him**. Noteworthy victories came against new opponents Albamorphics, Kensington Wanderers and LSE Kings.
Possibly the highlight of the season was the 6-a-side tournament where we raised £605.18 for the wonderful people at Make a Wish who grant magical wishes to children fighting life-threatening conditions. Put in context that money could take 6 of these kids to EuroDisney. There was cricket, but that seemed a minor part of the day.
After a season with three ties and a pretty much 50-50 win-lose ratio it seems fitting to thank Vijay for his help with fixtures. Obviously well done to Barry for all his organisation and for everyone else who did all the bits and pieces that make the club run (relatively) smoothly like chasing up availabilities, finances, teas (Ian, Ben, Mary and Penny) and tour (Jim).
Having thanked all of those people I'd like to not thank Gladstone Small, who never made one appearence despite this assurance in early April.
Winter well, hopefully see you at the social and then it will be March nets before you know it.
Paul Gaught, Captain of Vice
*Delete as appropriate
**Kind of
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Related Links
2014 Results
2014 Stats
2014 Constable Country Tour Report
2014 Constable Country Tour Gallery
2014 Awards Night Report
2014 Awards Night Gallery
2014 Ken Block Trophy
Alok's Club Record Bowling
Steve & Vijay's 6th Wicket Record Partnership
2014 History
Other Captain's Reports
2014 Season Report
2013 Season Report
2012 Season Report
1999 Captain's Report
1998 Captain's Report
1997 Captain's Report
1996 Captain's Report
1995 Captain's Report
1994 Captain's Report
1993 Captain's Report
1992 Captain's Report