River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Gooderstone CC - Mid-Season Update

September 2006

A mid-season update on the fortunes of Gooderstone Cricket Club.

An awful lot has happened to Gooderstone this year. It has been a year that has been busier on the pitch than ever before with the Club having 70 fixtures across 5 teams, and a massive amount of work behind the scenes to ensure the Club's future. 2006 has proved to be a year of mixed fortunes with the Club going from strength to strength off the field, whilst struggling on it.

As regular readers will be aware, Gooderstone 1st XI was promoted to the first division of the West Norfolk League somewhat fortuitously at the end of the 2005 season, and as expected we have struggled under the demands of the higher division. In particular the batting has proved to be quite brittle. We have continued to perform well in the field, but too often we have left ourselves with too few runs to defend, and therefore required very attacking fields to try and take quick wickets, allowing the opposition to score too freely.

Despite this, we have seen some good performances and notable achievements with the bat:

Captain Tony Leggett narrowly missing out on a century with an unbeaten 97 against Grimston; a Club record third wicket partnership of 155 against Hayley EA; and Jason Porter, who moved up to Number 3 at the beginning of the season scoring his first league fifty. Jason has also starred with the ball taking 29 wickets so far this year (43 in all competitions) with a six wicket haul against Castle Acre that had the most incredible scorecard where only the two opening batsmen actually scored any runs, and the following day he took his first hat-trick against Mattishall giving him weekend figures of 10 wickets for 68 runs in 15 overs.

The 2nd XI has also had a hit and miss season, though they are fairing better. The team has introduced a number of new players this season which is encouraging, although too few of them are playing on a regular basis. The team has also suffered due to injury, work commitments and the need to make players available for the 1st XI, with only the vice captain playing in all fixtures so far.

When the full team is available it is the most talented team in Division 5 but key absences has weakened the team's batting and bowling attacks too often to make a real challenge for promotion. Notable performances have been seen from club stalwart Derek Vine, who despite injury has averaged 27, with the ball 5 wicket hauls have been taken by veteran Andrew Eves and "new boy" Kevin Freezer.

The Sunday XI continues be a good environment in which to start bringing through some of the younger players. This year they have retained the John Blows Cup against Welney, but missed out on the Suckling Trophy against Hockwold, and seen Ally Drohan hit his maiden century against Harpenden.

Encouragingly, in their first full season of fixtures, the Colts have proved to be the star team, winning three-quarters of their fixtures, and beating larger Clubs such as Swaffham, Downham, Narborough, and Mundford along the way.

Both Adam Evans and Ash Drohan have hit half centuries in 20 over matches, and Adam Chalkley is averaging 44 with a series of obstinate innings in which he has proved hard to dismiss. With the ball, James Kaveney skittled out Narborough taking 5 wickets for 3 runs in a devasting 3 over spell, with the bowling attack ably supported by the Cross brothers Nathan and Daniel, James Plumtree and Samuel Morgan. Finally, behind the stumps Adam Chalkely has taken to the gloves like a natural with 8 dismissals, and has graduated already to being a reserve keeper for the Sunday XI.

However, the real success story has been seen off the pitch. When this correspondent first started submitting articles to the Village Pump, the Club was on the verge of folding due to lack of funds to resolve issues with the equipment for ground preparation.

From that point the Club and its finances has been transformed, the Club's future has to a large degree been secured.

The whole Club has pulled together and through hard work and generosity of many people a host of changes have occurred. In regard to the management of the Club, a new constitution and policies on child welfare, equality & diversity have been drafted and accepted and a new Management Committee has been installed with dates and minutes of all the meetings available on the website.

The finances of the club have also been addressed with more formalised practices and accounting. A range of activities have been undertaken to resolve the financial issues previously experienced with more fundraising activities such as Quiz Nights and the annual Fete being boosted by the introduction of a 50 Club, the link with easyfunding (more information available elsewhere in this issue), a World Cup Prediction Game, and an active search for more sponsorship being answered by Gooderstone Parish Council, The Swan Public House in Gooderstone, ANB Pine, Clanpress, LMS BDS Ltd, and Sequence UK Ltd.

The Club also took part in the NatWest CricketForce volunteer weekend which resulted in the refurbishment of the pavilion and improvements to the practice nets supported by local people and businesses such as Bonnett's.

The coaching on Saturday mornings has continued to be well attended, and have been supplemented this season with a full programme of matches against local Clubs. In addition the new management of the club has been able to obtain funding for the Colts from the Norfolk Rural Fund, something that simply would not have been possible to achieve 6 months ago, and without the changes being driven through.

Other items of note over the last few months have been the 25th anniversary match of the annual fixture against Iconoclasts a touring side. This game also saw the rededication of a new bench in memory of Claude Gathercole who was a great servant of the club.

Remarkably, this tour match has been played every year since 1981. In contrast, of seven league and friendly games scheduled against Narborough over the past two seasons, only one has been completed. This season matches have also been played in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, and teams entertained at Gooderstone from Brighton and London.

The Club would like to thank everyone who has help support the Club this year whether by deed, donation or just kind words of encouragement. The off the field challenge has been met and the now the missing factor is to replicate the Colts success across the other teams in the Club.


Gordon Mitcheson-Smith

Secretary & Treasurer - Gooderstone C.C.

T: (01366) 500922 E: gooderstonecc@yahooo.co.uk

M: (07780) 640269 I: www.gooderstone.play-cricket.com

Gordon Mitcheson-Smith

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