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Waterlogged Lapworth June 2012

2012 - Rain & Relegation, But A Rejuvenated Club

Well, the stumps have been removed and the covers pushed on for the last time (thank god!) in this heavily rain affected season - the first season in our newly regained individual status. It's been a tough one on the pitch, with so many results that could and should have gone our way going the other, ultimately resulting in the 1sts being relegated.

On the bright side, the major goal of fielding two sides consistently and throughout the year was achieved, which should count as a major success. Massive credit must go to the captains and all the players for making it happen. Anyone who remembers the days when Lapworth last had two Saturday sides will tell you that the extra buzz around the club that having two sides brings has been missed in recent years, but we're getting that back again now. It's nice having the extra interest of wondering 'how the boys are getting on'. The club is a better place busier, with both teams rendezvousing at the Melson after matches. It's great to get back to that culture and it's been great to see lots of new faces around the place. There is also a good pool of young talent coming through which bodes very well for the future.

It hasn't been all doom and gloom on the field either. The 2nds have vastly improved from the start of the season and to finish mid-table was a great effort. The club's two league tons came from the 2nds line-up and there were also plenty of stand-out bowling performances. Well done fellas and keep on improving for next season!

There were also some good performances from the 1sts. We really should have been good enough not to get relegated from that division and if just a few things had gone our way, we could have been battling it out at the other end of the table. These aren't just platitudes; think back to some of the games...

First game of the season, bowling the opposition out for 127, and failing to chase them down (we lost by 8 runs)...
Falling 5 runs short against Wilnecote after that miraculous one-handed catch by a guy with his eyes closed did for our man who was set and coasting us to victory...
Skittling Oakfield for 70 then being denied the chance of victory by a torrential downpour...
6 runs short of victory against Hunningham!
The last game of the season is a game we all know we should have won. From the position we were in with the bat at 40 overs we under scored by at least 20-30 runs, which would have been more than enough to grab those last two wickets (their 10 and 11 couldn't hold the bat!).
And this says it all really...

In our one game against the League Champions, Aston, we were more than competitive. We bowled them out for 177 - a great effort. However, it could have been much better. We dropped the only guy for them to score (he got 78, the next two highest scorers were 20 and 11) on 0. We were then going well in the chase before once again collapsing to 146 and surrendering victory.
That's a list of 6 games (we only played 13! [rain]). How many points lost there alone? About 100... We had nothing to be scared of in that league and if we had snuck just a few of those games mentioned we would've been safe.

Looking back at all that, it becomes obvious where the major problem lay for the 1sts. Our batting. We bowled and fielded well. Very well on the whole. We just let ourselves down massively with the bat. The stop-start nature of the season because of rain perhaps didn't allow our players to get into a rhythm of good form (which a lot of our batting relies on - we aren't bashers like other teams), but we shouldn't make too many excuses. We just have to make sure we get it right for next year.

There are still things to look forward to this year though. Our game against BBC Midlands team will be fun next Saturday, and the Sunday fixtures just keep on coming all the way through September. There is also the small matter of having to drink the club bar dry at some point!

So keep your heads up boys and let's look forward to working hard and winning in sunny (it will be sunny!) 2013.

Picture taken by Mark Pratt

Writing by Sean Troth