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Following the recent publication of the 2004 season league averages for Phil Dowle's relegated side, ymcaccricket.com takes a look at the impact that the inclusion of this year's wickets had on the Second Eleven's Overall Bowling Averages compiled between 1978 and 2004....

Spicer - could teach the younger bowlers a trick of two!

Recordbreaker Spicer on guard for a challenge
One of the YMCA's most consistent bowlers, Andy Spicer proved that there's no substitute for experience and determination last season by taking a magnificent 22 wickets and, in doing so, took his record total of Second Eleven league wickets to 162.

University lecturer and author, Spicer took his tally to an impressive 162 second team victims, all of them since joining the club just over a decade ago. As he steams towards the landmark 200 dismissals for the seconds, he can rest assured that it will be somewhile before his record is threatend as his closest rival amongst the current players is Brett Sutor with 58 wickets.


Sutor - Spicer's main challenger is over 100 wickets away

Naturally the seam-bowler from Redland was pleased with his achievement and spoke to ymcacricket.com at length about taking so many wickets in recent times: "I'm very proud to be the Second's leading wicket-taker, especially in a side that won two back-to-back championships and reached a high level of performance that was sustained over a considerable period."

"there are some good bowlers coming through, I'll need to be on my mettle"

Looking ahead to next year Spicer, who some will be surprised to learn is in his early fifties, put himself on alert for the challenges ahead: "I'd like to think I can hold my place in the side for another two or three seasons, but there are some good bowlers coming through, so I'll need to be on my mettle".
The father of one young son, Sean, also took the opportunity to look back on the disappointment of last season: "This season was a disappointing one, especially with the late news of relegation. But really we only have ourselves to blame as we contrived to lose several games that would have been far easier to win, notably against Stapleton. What seemed to be missing was that sense the Seconds used to have of KNOWING we'd come out on top even when the pressure was on, the conviction that we were going to win every time we went out to play."
Spicer declines an early 'bath'....for the moment!
But the lifelong Arsenal fan had the last laugh as his took a look ahead to 2005 and beyond: "I'm pleased to be well on the road to 200 wickets. Should make that before I slump into my bathchair!!"
As well as Andy Spicer's impressive contribution in 2004, several other players made thier mark. Most notably newcomer, Vipal Mandalia, who took 15 wickets at just over an average of 10 runs. Other worthy contributions were made by Callum Yeo and Matt Quaife who took 11 wickets between them to confirm, what many had predicted, that their generation will soon become the premier second team bowlers. Spicer had better watch out!
Article Published: Thursday 7th October 2004

2004 YMCA Cricket Club