YMCA Cricket Club, Bristol
Playing cricket at Golden Hill since 1902


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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 performances.

Grant Stiddard - made an 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 and Basher (Pete Basterrechea) 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 Eleven.

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 overs.

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  
Played 18  
Won 7  
Lost 5  
Tied 1  
Abandoned 5  

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.

Simon White
2003 First Eleven Captain

2005 YMCA Cricket Club