The 2003 season has been one that will stick in
the memory for many reasons, some good, others very sad. It was, of course, the
season where we celebrated our 125th Anniversary. We approached the season with
a great deal of confidence. I, for one, expected greater consistency in our
Grant Stiddard -
excellent start to the season
In the pre-season
friendlies we played well, in particular, Grant Stiddard. Then the league
season started and records began to be made. James Chidgey celebrated
becoming the highest wicket-taker in YMCA history, whilst another record was
less pleasing. Our first four league matches were abandoned through rain, and we
began to wonder if we would ever play again.
We finally played our first league match
against Bitton on the last day of May!! Keith Milsom made an excellent 82
took 5 for 36 to give us a winning start. We then preceded to lose our next two
league games, largely through poor batting, although some of the pitches and
umpiring were very poor. Tim Over bought about buying a spade rather than
a new bat - the ball keeping so low.
Then the weather got hotter and the pitches
better and performances improved significantly. First we beat Woodpeckers, with
Chris Marsden scoring 70 and myself taking 4 for 42. Then we played
Abbots Leigh who were unbeaten and destroyed them. Pete Basterrechea
took five wickets and with 167 to win, Keith Milsom with 67 not out and
Tim Over with an excellent 87 saw us home comfortably.
James Steven - made an immediate impression
in the First Eleven
We went to Failand on a high. James Chidgey
and Bill Machin bowled particularly well and we restricted them until the
very end when unfortunately, Basher
got carted for 31 off one over. Still, chasing 224 we got off to a great start
with James Steven and Keith Milsom, along with useful
contributions from Chris Marsden and Basher brought us to within
sight of victory. Just three runs wanted with six balls left. However, we tied
the game. The result was disappointing but very exciting.
We won our next game against Horfield and moved
up to third in the Division. James Steven got his maiden 50 in the First
The next game was a total disaster. We were
completely outplayed by Castle Green and then for the second time during the
season our game against the weakest team, Bristol Indians, was rained off.
Tom Milsom - carried his bat in two
successive innings where he scored 128 runs
Basher took over the captaincy for the
games against Bitton and Frampton. Both of them were won with major
contributions from Tom Milsom (80* & 48*) with the bat and James
Chidgey and James Dack with the ball.
I returned from holiday only to head the team
to a poor defeat against Lodway. Only James Steven made any real
contribution, with 46 well accumulated runs and three wickets for 48 from 15
We returned to our winning ways the following
week when we played when we played Woodpeckers. James Chidgey got another
five wickets and Keith Milsom and James Steven put on over 150 for
the first wicket.
Our last game was a big disappointment. We
didn't set them a good enough target. And although we took seven wickets, they
won fairly comfortably.
First Eleven Season Record
On the whole, the season was a successful one.
With a little more consistency from the middle order and a new strike bowler to
partner Jim (James Chidgey), I feel confident that the 2004 season will
be our best ever.
The Seven-A-Side Funday,
Ted Whale Memorial Match and all the social events went to make it a memorable
year but it was of course with great sadness that we learnt of Bill Machin's
illness. A man who loved his sport and someone who always gave 100% when playing
and in everything. He put hours and hours into working on the ground and
improving the facilities of the YMCA. He arranged social events and played a big
part in the development of the club. With the ball, he could be unplayable and
at the tender age of 53 he was still a big asset to the First Eleven. He will be
sadly missed both as a cricketer and as a friend.
First Eleven Captain