Young Buck Locks Horns with
There is, perhaps, one YMCA
player who, above all others, can consider himself unfortunate
not to be included in the club’s
All-time Greatest Eleven, published to coincide with the
12/profiles/5.jpgth anniversary celebrations in 2003, and that‘s
Steve Buckland was, during
the /profiles/19.jpg80’s, the YM’s premier run-maker who, had he continued
his career during the subsequent years, would have surely
become one of (if not ‘THE’) greatest batsmen in the club’s
In a cricketing career that
spanned 16 years, the prolific opener Buckland scored over
6,000 runs for the YM, the only club he was ever to represent
at league level. During that period he achieved a superb
batting average of over 2/profiles/5.jpg (see table below) which, to
this day, remains higher than any of his contemporaries,
including the likes of Paul Lawrence and Alan Whale.
A fact that speaks volumes for his dominance over opposition
bowlers during the /profiles/19.jpg80’s.
First Eleven Batsmen with Highest Batting Average
born right-hander joined the B&D Division Two club in /profiles/19.jpg74 at
the age of 1/profiles/5.jpg and soon established himself as a regular member
of the First Eleven alongside his long-standing friend and team-mate,
Keith Milsom. By /profiles/19.jpg82 ‘Buck’
(as he was nicknamed) had become a prestigious run scorer and
was regarded by his fellow First Teamers as a key member of
regard in which ‘Buck’ was held is more than justified. Even
today, 14 years after his departure, he can still boast the
two highest First Eleven league scorers with 109* (/profiles/19.jpg88) and
131* (/profiles/19.jpg89), the latter remaining the YMCA’s highest ever
individual league total and, surprisingly, the most recent
occasion that a First Eleven batsmen has recorded a century in a league match.
Young Buck – Young Captain
As a result
of Buckland’s increasing influence with the bat and his
all-round stature at Golden Hill, he was encouraged to take on
the role of captain for the first time in /profiles/19.jpg82, at the age of
23. This was to be the first of four seasons in total that he
led the side during the /profiles/19.jpg80’s completing his spell at the
helm in /profiles/19.jpg88.
Remarkably, despite his
positive impact at Golden Hill and his dedication to the club
through four seasons as Captain, Buckland was never presented
with the Michael Harris Memorial
Trophy, awarded annually to club members who have made
an outstanding contribution over an extended period of time.
Buckland (back row,
centre) - A central figure in the /profiles/19.jpg90 Cup final team
In his final seasons with The Christians, ‘Buck’ took
advantage of the good summers of /profiles/19.jpg89 and /profiles/19.jpg90 by compiling
two of the club’s record run totals (see table below) falling
just short of Milsom’s imposing tally of 6/profiles/17.jpg runs. This
notable achievement proved to be a final reminder of
Buckland’s outstanding ability as, by /profiles/19.jpg91, he had taken the
decision to retire from full-time playing and made only the
occasional appearance in the following years.
RUNS IN ONE SEASON
1ST XI - 6/profiles/17.jpg RUNS (13 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg8/profiles/5.jpg
1ST XI - 614 RUNS (14 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg89
1ST XI - /profiles/5.jpg04 RUNS (14 INNS) IN /profiles/19.jpg90
What could have been…
His unrivalled tally of over 1100 runs in just two years hints
at the huge impact that a 31 year old Buckland, just entering
his prime, could have held during the /profiles/19.jpg90’s. But, despite
repeated attempts to lure him back to Golden Hill, it is only
during the occasional appearance at the annual Ted Whale
Memorial match that his tremendous batting talent are on
display – once more.
However, there’s always hope.
Despite a long absence, it is clear that Buckland would still
be able to play a major part in the YM’s recent revival and,
now in his mid-forties, he could still have many successful
years of cricket ahead of him.
The changing room door remains
/profiles/19.jpg/profiles/5.jpg9 in the posh part of Lockleaze!
Young Buck (not so young these days!)
played between /profiles/19.jpg74-/profiles/19.jpg90. [And I] Captained the first team for
some of these years. Usually opened the batting and was also a
very under used leg spinner!
Clubs Played For:
YMCA Match Played In:
Best overall performance
by the team that comes to mind was when we hammered Patchway
who were in a higher league than us in the B&D knockout
semi-final. Everything we tried came off, we bowled them out
for low 60’s and knocked them off in about 10 overs. Every game against Cleeve away was memorable in some way or
– a one kneed, vastily overweight and
slightly mad legend ……that’s according to Buckland!
Favourite YMCA Batsman:
Not many [team-mates]
got runs when I played !! Has to be
Keith Milsom for still playing as he did when I was a
young lad. That is a compliment by the way!
Favourite YMCA Bowler:
Chidgey who has been pounding away for years, ’Dowler’
[Phil Dowle] who despite been vastly overweight and with only
one knee has managed to keep it up. H Shah was also a very
good bowler but slightly mad.
Horse Race Lane ground – A pitch with happy memories for
‘Buck’ where he scored successive tons
Favourite Cricket Ground:
& Portbury. I played there twice and scored 109* and
131* in the league.
Favourite Cricket Ground:
exist any longer but Soundwell Venturers ground was a cracker.
They were cutting the grass with a manual lawn mower when we
turned up. We lost all the balls in the match - and lost the
game of course.
Botham, David Steele
or Chicken Omelette (no feathers)
pint of real ale or a pint of Trophy
Favourite Football Team:
Favourite Holiday Destination:
marry a woman!