It had been planned that we would be entering sides in the new Surrey Junior Cricket Championship and participate in All Stars Cricket, Dynamos Cricket and Chance to Shine but everything came to a halt with the onset of Covid 19.
2020 started with the Russell Haigh Bursary at the Surrey Cricket Centre.
We also entered an under 13 team in the indoor Identilam league at Tanbridge House School but by April all cricket was on hold.
With the easing of Government restrictions we were allowed to start junior training in July and in total we managed to hold eight sessions for each age group and were able to arrange a number of friendly matches. In total 63 boys and girls registered which was very good considering all the uncertainties.
All Stars – Monjur Elahi & Annette Jones
With the All Stars programme being cancelled it was gratifying seeing nearly twenty girls and boys from this age group attending the specially prepared sessions.
Under 9s – Phil Mumford & Ray Smith
Under 9 sessions were run and some of the more talented players from last year’s All Stars moved up into this group. A special session was arranged in which a number of 1st XI players organised the training and passed on their knowledge.
Under 10/11s – John Callcut & Barry Jordan
This was a very enthusiastic group which showed continued improvement throughout the training sessions. Attendance was very good. We arranged two under 10 matches. We lost to Horley and it was good to see some under 9s stepping up. Unfortunately we could not get a team together to play Capel in their cricket week.
We had three under 11 matches all ably led by Freddie McLaughlin. We beat Capel and Merstham but lost to Salfords. Next year some of the players will be moving up to the under 13s and we have no doubt that if they continue showing the improvement and enthusiasm into 2021 then they will be a very good team.
Under 12s/13s – Angus Harper
We entered an under 13 team for the first time in the indoor Identilam League held at Tanbridge House School after Christmas. This was a real learning curve but on each session we lost the first match and then won the second. The competition was curtailed owing to the pandemic.
The U13 team only managed to play a few friendly games, like the other Colts sides, but still carried their enthusiasm and panache throughout the season. With 18 players stepping forward to represent the team over the course of the five friendly games, plenty of young player had the chance to enjoy themselves.
Sadly the first three games did not go quiet accordingly to plan and despite some strong individual performances, the missed catches and bowling extras allowed Chiddingfold , Dorking and Capel to all edge past us. Revenge was sweat though on the return match at Capel, where we proved decisive victors with every member of the team playing a part in either the batting or bowing attack. In the final match against Reigate Priory, some poor shot selection and unwillingness to take quick singles meant that we posted a low total which Reigate managed to chase down with three overs to spare. The only rain we saw all season started to fall just as Reigate hit the winning runs.
Special mentions go to Muntaha Farhat and Archie Gibbons as thoroughly deserving winners of the Russell Haigh Bursary. The skills that they pick up during the winter nets will help strengthen the depth of talent in the team.
This will undoubtably be a season we will not forget, but sadly for all the wrong reasons. However, with so many players joining the U13s, many also had the chance to play for the younger teams meaning that most players managed to get a few games in and not have a complete write off for the season. It also means that the squad for the 2021 season looks very promising. As always it has been a pleasure managing the squad and I look forward to seeing how they do next year.
Under 14s – Simon Wells, Caroline Clark & Lee Brien
The season ended with the annual Colts vs. Coaches match on the 12th September in which the youngsters were victorious. The normal awards ceremony was cancelled but the recipients of the Russell Haigh Bursary were photographed with Chris Haigh and Anna Lewis was presented with the Junior Club Person of the Year award.