Following last season’s covid disruption I am pleased to be writing this report with a full season of competitive league cricket behind us and although the threat of the disease still hangs over us and played a huge part in the 2021 season it is of huge credit to the club that no cases were linked to contacts made during games played at Failand. I would like to place on record my ongoing thanks to Nick Merrick for maintaining the risk assessments and keeping our facilities fully covid compliant in addition to the club captains for keeping their teams on message and ensuring that sanitising happened every 6 overs.
On the field congratulations go to the mens 3rd team who have secured promotion to B&D division 9 despite finishing outside of the automatic promotion places – the league restructure has seen their 3rd place finish in Div 10 rewarded. Elsewhere it was a season of great escapes with both the 1st and 4th teams in particular staging impressive performances towards the back end of the season to retain their places in the WEPL Bristol & North Somerset and B&D 13th Divisions respectively. The 2nd team finished a respectable 6th in B&D division 3 but with 5 of the 10 teams in the division finishing within 30points of the 2nd from bottom team then the threat of relegation was also a constant threat throughout the season.
The ladies team enjoyed several close games plus the weather and some bad luck robbed them of a run in the cup but it is good to see an increase to the number of games the team is getting to play.
My thanks go to the captains who in addition to ensuring covid compliant games took place each week had to get used to Spond in order to select their teams. Despite this new technology brought in to make captains lives easier there was still plenty of chasing going on and despite having over 80 mens players signed up to the app we had to cancel 3 4th team games this year due to lack of numbers and several other games were at threat so I would implore all members to make sure that your availability is up to date early each week and if your situation changes please let you captains know as late pull outs are a captains worse enemy.
Off the field the club ran another superb all stars programme with 60+ 5-8 year olds enduring the early season rain to get introduced to the games core skills and have a great deal of fun at the same time. My thanks again go to Gareth Griffiths who reluctantly ran the programme again as well as Clarissa Griffiths for all the work behind the scenes and on the day. Gareth will by starting a new ECB youth programme next year so the All Starts programme is being run by Steve Jacobs so my thanks go to him for stepping up for next season.
The committee has been discussing plans for an end of season dinner with initial thoughts being cautious as at the time we were still observing restrictions however as the covid situation eased there was more clamour for an event to mark the season – however securing a venue proved an obstacle. As I write this the plan is to host an awards night at the club in the new year so watch this space and the new committee will update you in due course.
I would like to thank the committee consisting of Stu MacArthur, Russ Baker, Dan Langan, Jon Sheeran, Craig Strachan, Maria Fowler, Mike Dodson, Alex Harris, Ben Harris, Declan Lawlor, Will Penny, Steve Jacobs, Nick Merrick, Peter Matthews and your president; Phil Thorn who have all provided consistent and valued support throughout the year. I am delighted that all committee members are remaining in place for next season.
Each year I write that the club relies on its volunteers; from those who take up committee roles to those of you who take the flags in after each game. Next year this will become particularly relevant as the committee is already stretched very thin and as already mentioned we are planning to put on the new ECB Dynamo’s programme so Gareth will require an army of volunteers to help with this so please let Gareth or anyone on the committee know if you can spare a few hours on a Friday night or any other time for that matter – we can always use a few extra pairs of hands and will be able to find something for you to do that will ensure we can all continue to enjoy our cricket each year.
There are a lot of things going on in the close season to give you better facilities next year including a new bowling machine and a refurb of the failand net facilities so look out for those. I am pleased that indoor pre-season training can resume this year and in a little over a month’s time we will be back at Bristol Grammar School so I look forward to seeing you there.