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As the memories of the Second Team's topsy-turvy season are highlighted in the newly published league averages it is, perhaps, a predictable conclusion to an erratic campaign that Phil Dowle's team were initially spared the drop into the BDCA's Division Two by the narrowest of margins, only to be cruelly relegated, due to a minor restructuring of Division One in which THREE not two clubs were relegated.


Dowle - a technicality condemns his squad into Division 2

Tough season effects backbone of Second Eleven. The averages illustrate how the three early season defeats, under Mike Tilzey's temporary leadership, created a pressure which even the most experienced cricketers found tough. One striking statistic reveals that the key top-order batsmen of Paul Davies, Mike Tilzey, Richard Stone, Mac McMahon and Chris Drew failed, as a unit, to recreate the devastating form of the previous season in which they produced a combined average of 221 runs per match and, by the end of 2004, were only able to contribute an overall average of 82 runs per game, a fraction of last season's run glut (see table).

Comparison of Batting Averages
2003 2004
P.D.Davies 64.0 16.0
M.R.K.Tilzey 60.3 10.5
R.G.Stone 37.9 17.0
C.B.Drew 34.3 24.2
M.S.McMahon 24.4 13.5
Combined Ave. 221.3 82.0

However, there was some welcome news on the run scoring front thanks to Dave Moss (377 runs), Vipal Mandalia (ave. 31) and Kyle Bradley (who made his maiden Second Eleven fifty). Their expliots will surely offer Dowle some much needed encouragement for 2005. Further cause for celebration is the tremendous form of 3rd team batsmen Dave Spink who must surely go on to play a major part in the Second Eleven next season.


Iles - last season's top wicket taker was forced to work on Saturdays

In the bowling statistics it is the ultra-reliable Andy Spicer who, once again, takes the honours. All-time leading Second Eleven league wicket-taker, Spicer claimed another 22 victims at an impressive average of 10 whilst youngsters, Matt Quiafe and Callum Yeo showed enough of their bowling talents to offer plenty of encouragement for the season ahead.

Indeed, it is a tantalising prospect that the continued immergence of the younger bowlers, in conjunction with some more regular appearances from the likes of Mandalia, Southampton based student Matt Iles and the highly rated Matt Prior, could and should enable the YM to bounce straight back in next year.

Few would argue that if Dowle, who has indicated he will stand for re-election at the forthcoming AGM, can utilise all the talents at his disposal the disappointment of last season will quickly be forgotten and replaced by another great year for the Seconds.

Click here to view the 2004 Second Eleven Averages.
Article Published: Monday 27th September 2004

2004 YMCA Cricket Club