Penkridge CC Blog 20th April in Association with MA Lawyers
After a long winter, and last week’s pre-season friendlies, the first and second teams got their respective league seasons underway in brilliant sunshine on Saturday.
In what is hopefully a good omen, the last time the season started on Easter weekend (also in brilliant sunshine) was in 2011 – when both first and second teams finished champions of their respective divisions. A repeat of this in 2019 would be more than satisfactory….
The weekend kicked off with a successful junior registration night, as over 30 children signed up for the new season, a number which is likely to double in the coming weeks as people return from the Easter Holidays. In addition, we already have over 30 children registered for the All Stars programme starting in May – all of which is great news, and very promising for the future.
As the cricket got underway on Saturday, the first team entertained near neighbours Brewood and were dismissed for 233 after being asked to bat first. Mohammed Ishtiaq (90) was the pick of our batsmen, well supported by youngster Ross Parker (46) and veteran Rana Hassan (27) as Tim Maxfield, Dave Wedge and Tom Bird all took three wickets for the visitors.
Despite 39 from Maxfield and 31 from Greg Clark, Brewood never really threatened the victory target as they closed on 160-9. Kashif Hussain (2-35) and Waseem Shah (4-49) were the pick of the bowlers, securing a winning draw for their team in a solid start to the season.
The second team are playing in a very tough division this season, against some quality, experienced teams, starting the season with a trip to Wolverhampton where they well beaten by strong opponents. Batting first, we were dismissed for 110 with only Atta Chishti (46) offering any real resistance with Richard James stranded on 18 not out when the innings closed. Wolverhampton made short work in reaching their target in just over 15 overs for the loss of just two wickets, both taken by captain Jack Pope.
No game for me this weekend – I will be captaining the third team this season, a challenge I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully we can be competitive whilst developing some of our younger players and having some fun along the way. With our scheduled opponents unfortunately having pulled out of the league already, we were left with a free weekend which gave me a chance to watch Wolves play Brighton – in hindsight the afternoon may have been better spent watching some cricket….
This week sees the start of our ladies coaching sessions on Tuesday night, probably our fastest growing section of the club. Senior nets on Thursday, the first junior coaching session of the year on Friday and a full programme of fixtures on Saturday before we have the pleasure of hosting the Shropshire D40 Disability team as they play their first friendly of the season.
Special thanks must go to groundsmen Neil Davis, Nick Giles and Peter Parnaby for their efforts in ensuring the ground looked absolutely superb this weekend. Also, a big thanks to Gary Pope and Jim Horobin for their efforts in constructing the new patio and wall in front of the pavilion, as well as Mark Axcell for organising the fund-raising effort that has contributed towards this.
An exciting week – and season – ahead. Hopefully the weather will continue in the same fashion as this weekend!
© Cricket World 2019