The 2009 Remnants season

2009 saw Remnants Cricket Club enjoy the most glorious of its thirty seasons to date. That's not to say we played particularly well - it was only a hard-fought victory in our final external game that evened our season's ledger (14 wins and 14 losses, to go with 1 draw and 1 tie, as well as several internal games), but rather that the weather was magnificent. We only had two cancellations (and one of them would probably have gone ahead if we'd been playing at Fitz that day), and miraculously played out all of our first 23 fixtures. Indeed we also managed to play pretty well early in the season, winning 6 (external) games in a row at one stage . . . but then we matched that sequence a bit later with the same number of losses, at least if you count our memorial game for the late Fitz groundsman and Remnants president, the much-loved John Hill. 2009 was also the end of an era in a different way, with Remnants creator Geoff Hales finally retiring as secretary after 30 seasons of organising our mid-week cricket for us. This led to what, for most people, seemed to the be the season's highlight, Geoff's retirement game, which saw various club legends heading out onto the field (or into the bar) for the first time in many years, and a total of about fifty people turn up to thank Geoff for his fantastic efforts.

There were also some fantastic individual cricketing efforts this year, most of which seemed to centre around George Speller, who played some incredible innings (94 off 53 balls against Churchill College and 85 off 37 balls against Little Paxton) and then followed up with possibly the most remarkable bowling performance in the club's history: 2 overs, 2 maidens, 6/0 (including a hat-trick) against The Travelling Theatre. It was thus no surprise that George won the bowling averages (with 11 wickets at 7.18), although it is maybe surprising that others got close, with Adrian Mellish (14 wickets at 8.07) top of the pile until the final internal game. Add in the fact that eight Remnants bowlers took 7 or more wickets for under 16.00 a piece (headed by captain Russell Woolf, with 25 wickets at 13.28), and you'd have thought we'd have won more matches than we did . . . especially given that plenty of batsmen scored lots of runs as well. Even though only three Remnants managed to post half-centuries (George, Nick Clarke and Dave Williams accruing three each), another nine batsmen had top scores in the forties, and six players passed 200 runs for the season. But scratch a little deeper, and it becomes clear we were losing plenty of wickets in the process: only Daniel Mortlock (235 runs at 47.00), George (303 runs at 43.29), Nick (534 runs at 41.08) and Phil Hastings (140 runs at 46.67) averaged over 40.00, whereas thirteen regular batsmen (in so far as they all qualified for full averages) averaged under 27.00. We did pretty well in the field, with 'keepers Andy Owen, Ev Fox and Rob Harvey all getting 9 dismissals for the year, and outfielders Tom Serby, Julius Rix and Richard Rex all taking 5 catches.

All in all plenty of people had plenty of fun, although there was a sense that it was our opponents having the best of it a little too often. Still, it's an improvement on 2008, so hopefully we can get back in the black in 2010. Although with Geoff no longer steering the ship with his steady hand, maybe the main aim for the next season should simply be that Remnants continue . . .