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


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In truth, 2003 promised more than it delivered in terms of league results. Only two wins from ten matches played  was not brilliant from the Fourth Eleven, even in a Third Eleven league.

It was however a most bizarre season, where batting often over-performed at this level  (including four scores of 180+ runs, in four games lost), only to be let down by poor bowling. Before a bowl was bowled, key opening bowler Chris Stark suffered a bad knee injury (foolishly playing football - shades of yours truly in 2002) and did not play at all. Opening bat/medium pace bowler Bob Ward also missed several games during the first part of the season through injury.

Brian Dury - Super Veteran

Key bowlers Tony Wilcox and Ken Taylor bowled in almost every game, yet managed only nine wickets each at an average of 35 per wicket, despite bowling consistently throughout. They deserved much better. Yours truly was marginally 'better' with eight wickets at 20.37. Other all-rounders like Mark Williams and Tim Rutter had good  performances with the bat, but inexplicably fared much worse with the bowl. Thank goodness for super veteran Brian Dury, without doubt the Fourth Eleven's player of the season, with 25 wickets at 15.36, and three lots of five or six wickets in an innings. He was superb!!

Batting wise, Gareth Rees had an excellent season, topping the averages at 28.5. Roger Davis, Tim Rutter and myself also averaged 25+, with good support from Mark Williams, Bob Ward and Tony Wilcox. Add to that, the excellent contributions from Tom Riley (72 & 0), Chris Weeks (80) and Peter Sykes (32), and  it is easy to see how well the Fourth Eleven batted throughout the season.

Jack Hollinghurst - Good season behind the stumps


Jack Hollinghurst is my nominee for the best performances by a young player in the Fourth Eleven, where he was consistent (and loudly enthusiastic) throughout the season as first choice 'behind the stumps'. Martin Somers stumped three but caught none, when he very ably took over the role.

Chris Evans, Mike Smith and Jim Roxborough were the other regulars in a side which often had an average age of 50+. In my view, this was not a good policy, and one which the selection committee needs to address in 2004. Whenever a young player played well in the Fourth Eleven, he was promoted, which I agree is progressive, but NOT if the player concerned then gets less of an opportunity to bat/bowl in a higher team. This 'policy' also resulted in the Fourth Eleven looking like (grand) dads army. This zimmer frame fielding did not help the bowlers much!!!

I have very much enjoyed my three year tenure as skipper of the Fourth Eleven (truncated by a broken leg). It is certainly an interesting position, especially when the team on Friday night looks nothing like the one I selected earlier in the week. It is to YMCA's credit that throughout the season we had a full side for every Fourth Eleven game, and were also able to put out a Saturday Fifth (Nomads) Eleven on several occasions. Genuine thanks to all those who helped me throughout the season.

On a slightly less favourable note, I was sorry that Mike Smith was axed as captain/vice captain at the AGM. Mike always works tirelessly for the club, and he has been upset by this decision. However in elections, there are always winners and losers, and the appointment of Ed and Dickie will at least lower the age of the side.

Finally, I was pleased to win (comfortably) the captain's 'head to head' "double wicket" challenge/centenary match against Shaun, helped no doubt by people called Grant and Big Jim (who unfortunately were never available for the Fourth Eleven during 2003. Maybe next season?).

Sir Robert (Bob) Britton
2003 Fourth Eleven Captain

2005 YMCA Cricket Club