Cricket: Harlow CC 5th X1 reflect on their season

Cricket / Tue 29th Aug 2017 at 03:10pm

IT has been a truly wonderful season for the 5th XI during the 2017 season. The growth and improvement of every player to take part has been huge and each one will continue to thrive for seasons to come.

Selection has been much better this year with a bigger core of players available to play. The previous two years has seen the side use in excess of 45 players each year. This year we have kept this figure down to 28. This has meant more consistency from each player which has resulted in better performances on the pitch.

The season started with a game against new league opposition in Tye Green. We started off on the right foot managing to score 327-4 from 45 overs. A great achievement in itself. Tye Green gave a good fight to chase this score down, however our bowlers struck at crucial times and never let Tye get a look in. A close fought, but well earnt victory by 43 runs.

Wanting to keep this positivity going, we were halted in our tracks as Albury conceded the next game as a result of not having enough players. Everybody was keen to not let this interfere with our strong opening stance in the league. Performances continued during the next couple of games as we managed so secure successive victories against Hockerill III and Birchanger II, both by convincing margins, 8 wickets and 268 runs respectively. 4 wins out of 4 put us comfortably at the top of the table with a healthy lead at the early stage.

A mid-season knock back with the withdrawal of Wethersfield and Sawbridgeworth IV meant a 16 game season was reduced to 12. Next up in terms of opposition was bogey team Thundridge, a team we have previously struggled against. We bowled extremely well and restricted Thundridge to 166 all out. Harlow knocked this target off with ease and won by 9 wickets.

Thorley II, Albury and Tye Green were the next group of fixtures before our season break due to missing fixtures. An emphatic win was secured over our title contenders Thorley II to give us the edge in the league. The team knew only a couple more victories would be enough for the title. The winning run continued against a depleted Albury side, with the opposition turning up with 9 players. They gave a good fight and took us all the way, however our bowlers held their nerves and secured victory. An impressive record of 8 wins from 8 games put us in a commanding position.

Next was Hockerill III, a team we have managed to beat on every occasion since joining the league. The Great British weather put paid to this game as torrential rain meant an abandonment and a chance for our rivals to catch up, which they duly obliged!

We picked ourselves back up from disappointment to record another comfortable win over Birchanger II. The opposition only managing to muster a mere 122 all out. Harlow saw off this team with 9 wickets and 16 overs to spare. Promotion was secured with victory. 32 more points were needed for the title with two games left to play.

Next opposition were Thundridge. A team who could do serious damage on their day. Harlow were simply too strong for Thundridge and bowled them out for just 91. Another low target to chase down, completed again with 9 wickets to spare. This time the target was reached in just 18 overs.

The team were buoyed by the news that came in the following day, upon release of the tables. We had secured the title before the last game needing to be played. The final game of the season was against second place Thorley II.

Harlow lost the toss and were asked to bat. An impressive score of 224 all out set a challenge for Thorley to dent Harlow’s impressive record. Harlow didn’t have any of it, they bowled extremely well to have Thorley finishing up on 179-9.

A truly superb season, finishing unbeaten with 291 points. A 59 point gap to Thorley in second. A Fantastic achievement.

Key performances along the way with the bat were:

J Sykes – 866 , B Yeats – 384

Key Performances with the ball were:

N McCarthy – 21 wickets @ 13.67 , M Hart – 11 wickets @ 21.55 , J Sykes – 11 wickets @ 12.64

B Yeats – 9 wickets @ 7.89 , J Tasker – 7 wickets @ 15.71 , M Baldock – 6 wickets @ 39.00

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