Review of Lapworth Cricket Club Season 2018

Wow what a summer – “cricket weather” in the cricket season and virtually all summer long – whatever next!

It’s great to report that Lapworth Cricket Club have enjoyed another very successful season particularly for our 1st team as they claimed the runners up spot in our first ever season in the Premier Division of the Cotswold Hills League. The fantastic weather produced marvellous rock hard batting wickets and that combined with lightning fast outfields enabled many batsmen to punish the bowlers as they toiled in red hot conditions under the burning sun. Our 1st XI won 14 games losing just twice during the season and the irony was that it was the weather that cost the 1st XI being crowned champions as they had two matches – both played at The Melson – when heavy rain intervened and both games were abandoned as draws with – on each occasion Lapworth were in winning positions in fact in one of the games v Shipston Stour they only needed to bowl a further 3 overs and we would have won the game. Our main rivals and eventual winners of the league Wellesbourne  managed to escape the rain on both occasions where they were playing and that proved to be highly significant as they won the league by just 4 solitary points.

In contrast our 2nd team had a very disappointing season as they finished in the bottom half of D6 of the CHL. Having finished in third spot in 2017 we had high hopes of a top two finish but continual demands from the 1st team weakened the side and the push for promotion never really materialised. On a positive note a number of our highly promising youngsters played in the 2s during the season and they are showing excellent progress and will be challenging for first team places in a year or two.

The mid-week eleven had a topsy turvy season in the Premier Division of the Shirley 20/20 league. In the first half of the season they won just one of their first five matches whilst in the return fixtures they had a clean sweep winning all 5 games even inflicting the only defeat of the season on the runaway winners of the league Shirley. The third place finish is the highest position that the club has achieved in the Premier Division.

The Sunday XI have had another enjoyable season, they play “friendlies” throughout the season but these are every bit as competitive as league games and although the win tally was low this team is proving to be the ideal training ground for players in readiness for league call ups. Our annual game v Rowington for the Orcutt Cup this year played at “The Melson” resulted in our neighbours returning along the Old Warwick Road still holding the Cup.

As the cricketers pack all their kit neatly away ready for the start of the 2019 season, the cricket club ground staff prepare for what is their busiest month of the whole year – firstly the Cricket square has to be cut, scarified and then reseeded before 2 tons of top dressing is spread evenly across the wickets. Obviously we want the weather to stay dry whilst all of those jobs are being completed but once the top dressing is completed the request will be for rainfall – although not too heavy – interspersed with plenty of warm sunshine in order to germinate the seed. If all these various acts come together within a couple of weeks the cricket square will be transformed again into a beautiful fresh green carpet. The success of the end of season square renovations impacts dramatically on the standard of wickets prepared next season. But that’s still not the end of our season for the grounds man because during November and December as the earth becomes softer the square needs to be spiked three or four times as conditions allow.

If anybody out there has a burning desire to join the ground staff at Lapworth Cricket Club, please give Richard Evans a ring on 07739 430463 – no offer will be refused!