Lapworth Cricket Club
Although the 2020 cricket season was dramatically shortened due to Covid-19 it has been a successful and very enjoyable period for the club.
With the league season abandoned the Cotswold Hills League ran two competitions, the CHL Cup for teams in the top divisions of the CHL and the CHL Shield for clubs in the lower divisions.
Our first team topped their group and qualified for the semi-finals; they were drawn away against the CHL 2019 Premier League Champions Exhall & Wixford. Lapworth batted first and scored 200 in the allotted 40 overs and then bowled out the hosts for 106 to win by 94 runs and record a superb win.
The final took place the following Saturday and we were again drawn away from home, against the other winning semi-finalists Bretforton. On a rather grey dreary day in front of a large gathering of supporters from both sides the home side batted first and after 30 overs had scored 83 with the visitors well on top. However superb attacking batting by two Bretforton players aided by a couple of dropped catches enabled the hosts to post a challenging 185 to win for the visitors. The Lapworth openers gave us a steady start and then Dave Pugh started to dominate the bowling however we lost wickets at the other end at regular intervals and nobody could stay with Dave who continued to plunder the bowling finishing on 84 NO but we fell short of the target by 31 runs to give Bretforton a deserved victory.
In the CHL Shield our 2nd team also finished top of their group beating our close rivals Dorridge III by just 0.25 on a points per game average. We were again drawn away in the semi-final against Long Itchington with the hosts batting first and scoring 151 in 40 overs. The visitors had a disastrous start to their innings and at one stage were 16 – 6 which quickly became 34 – 8, then came a fantastic fightback with Gohar Rehman 35 and James Agnew, last man out for 60, bringing us agonisingly close to victory losing by just 14 runs – a marvellous effort by these two lads. With no final to contest for our 2nd team the following week we entertained Broadway at The Melson in a play-off for the 3rd/4th place in the tournament. This time the 2s were victorious scoring 177 and then bowling the visitors out for 137 to win by 40 runs and secure third spot in the Shield.
These competitions put together very quickly by the CHL management team when the government announced that recreational cricket could return have proved to be extremely competitive and immensely popular by all who have participated in them. We are very hopeful that a similar competition could be played in 2021 in a mid-week 20 over format.
Another plus has been player availability during this rather short season, few members have taken holidays at home or abroad and the covid restrictions have certainly made life comparatively easy for our captain’s at weekly team selection. Right through to the end of August we were fielding three teams on a Saturday and on a couple of occasions we also fielded two Sunday XI’s.
We are of course now well into Autumn the dark evenings are here and at The Melson the ground team have completed all the end of season renovations on the cricket square which have included scarifying, reseeding and the spreading of a ton of loam. During the winter, the cricket square will also receive regular spiking to give much needed aeration to the playing surface.
Well the curtain has fallen on the strangest of cricket seasons and we all hope that the 2021 Season gets us back to a certain amount of normality.