Our Chairman's review of the season.
2019 will be a season that will last long in the memory of those involved with the club. The tragic passing of our President, Chairman, Steward, Barman, Groundsman and heartbeat of the club just before the season began cast a large shadow. As we have before, the club rallied together and a determination to make the club something Bob would've been proud of shone through.
A moment must be taken to thank all of those people who worked so hard just to keep our heads above water as it became increasingly apparent just how much Bob did at the club. Paul, Norm, Les and AJ worked tirelessly to keep the club, bar and caravan park going whilst Janet and Dave, in particular, organised everything.
On the field a pre-season friendly against Stokesly CC was a welcome addition and a fixture we hope to continue. Player wise there were a couple in and a couple out although the departure of last year's highest run scorer Waleed Akhtar late on was a blow to our 1st XI prospects. The 2s and 3s would be facing a tough year following promotion in 2018 with the 2s now taking on 10 first teams, all with an overseas advantage, in Division C of the Aire Wharfe League.
2019 was a fantastic summer of cricket with the World Cup and The Ashes putting our sport on the front pages of the papers for a change. The weather was not kind to club cricket in our area though, the rain claiming 6 games during the year. This appeared to contribute to some very close league tables with relegation especially going to the final game in many divisions.
As it was we maintained our status in our respective divisions before the prospect of any final game thrillers!
The 1s had a mixed season, often performing better against the better teams and struggling against those in the lower half of the table, coupled with the inclement weather we struggled to get much of a rhythm throughout. Fawad Maqsood was the standout performer adding 28 wickets to his 411 runs. It was a shame he could only play 14 innings.
Mahir Ali bowled better than his figures suggested at times until fortune finally caught up with him in a home game against Ben Rhydding as he shot out the visitors for just 39, picking up 9 wickets for 10 runs. Dan Taylor got a short run in the side towards the end of the year and proved what he can do early on with 5-12 to turn round a game against Bardsey.
It was sad to see an early departure for our overseas Heynrych Nel with a knee injury. It would be great to have a fully fit Henry showing us what he's capable of in 2020.
Mick Scott called time on his 1st XI career at the end of the season to great appreciation and applause. He's not hung those boots up yet though with plenty of records to break in the 2s and 3s!
The 2s set out to simply survive in their 1st experience of C Division cricket and in the end they did it in style. Despite never being close to putting the same team out twice they fought gamely under Neil Cooper's leadership. The bowling unit proved itself to be a handful for every side we played and had our batting being able to match it we would certainly have added to our 7 wins.
A switch to bowling 1st change certainly helped Captain Cooper along with some strong pain killers and a large tube of Ibuleve Gel. A fine 2nd half to the season saw him end up as the highest wicket taker once again with 37 scalps. He was ably supported by Martin Wildsmith (29), Joe Lonsdale (22), Dan Taylor (21) and Will Murray (19).
Andy Oliver found some late season form to end up with 304 runs but overall it was a genuine team effort from the 2s with everyone who played contributing to their campaign at some point in time.
Lee Burke is proving to be a fine leader of the 3rd XI, although his final game declaration may have cast some shade on his captaincy credentials! Following promotion a 4th place finish was a top effort from the 3s. We all know that they're the team who suffers the most from player availability issues and it was an achievement just to put 3 teams out every Saturday.
Great to see Jai Aujla make a playing return, justifying the skipper's pub recruitment technique. Jai made 350 runs at an average of 50 for the 3s……if only we could get him bowling again too! Jai was backed up by consistent performers in the skipper, Rick Morton and Simon Hogan.
The bowling was taken care of by Mushy Subhan, Neil Smith and new recruit Mark Pease in the main with Mushy topping the charts with 30 victims.
To think were the 3s finished in the league, improved availability further up the sides could well have seen them in the promotion shake-up at the first time of asking.
Despite all these issues our sides continued to compete and the season really has to be seen as an on field success. Hopefully it's a good building block for an improved 2020 campaign.
Our junior section continues to build following it's re-launch in 2018 under Junior Manager Phil Hiley and our thanks must go to Phil for all his efforts organising it all. Our thanks also to an expanding team of coaches with the club funding a further 3 ECB Level 2 courses this year for Steve Hiley, Dan Bates and Louis Morton.
They joined Phil Hiley, Martin Wildsmith, James Druce and Sean Kirkley providing coaching to the next generation. A nod also to 2 of our junior mums, Lindsey Wildsmith and Nicola Hartley, who stepped in to provide players and supporters with bacon sandwiches and drinks during our home fixtures.
Without the support of volunteers such as these our club would be nowhere.
Our under 11s took on their 1st league fixtures this year and there was a marked improvement over the course of the season despite few victories. The numbers continued to swell in the younger age groups and we will be looking to start an Under 9s side up in 2020.
Our junior philosophy is to make cricket fun, affordable and accessible for all children. Whilst many clubs around us are charging £80 or £90 per year membership we charged just £20. No match fee, no need to buy expensive club kit, we provide a club shirt for games, equipment to play in and all the coaching equipment required to learn the game. Hopefully this will bear fruit over the coming years as word spreads of what we're trying to do.
Off the field has been hard work for obvious reasons. A number of necessary changes have been forced upon us but with that comes opportunity too.
Former Esholt son Tom Buxton has returned as club manager and has already put his stamp on the teas in particular!
We're looking to improve the way the club house and caravan park operate as a business, already introducing things such as new projector screen, POS card payments and online caravan bookings. Tom will also be looking at running events throughout the winter with a new darts and pool league set to get under way as well as a regular poker night to complement the successful club nights and Westy Trophy that ran during the season.
On that note I'm delighted to say we raised over £400 for our charities, Marie Curie and Opening Up Cricket, at this year's Westy Trophy and had another fantastic family fun day in wonderful sunny conditions.
Moving forward we're looking into establishing a separate Social Committee to organise and arrange events and socials throughout the year in conjunction with Tom. Hopefully we'll be able to establish a social calendar allowing you all to plan ahead and book those dates off!
Fundamentally the club has to change, plenty of that has already begun in 2019, and we need our members to step-up and help to drive the club forward.
The fees we charge simply don't cover the costs of our cricket so raising funds in other fun ways allow us to keep those charges down. Who knows, if we raise enough we may even be able to lower them!
Please think about how you can help over our off-season…..join our social committee, suggest and help run a fundraiser, ask some businesses to sponsor us, encourage new players to join, help coach our juniors, have a private party at the club or encourage others to do so.
Everyone's time is precious but we're worth it……we're TPE!
Finally a big thank you to everyone who played, helped and watched our cricket this year, we hope you enjoyed it and remeber to spread the word of TPE. We'll be back cricketing again soon.
The club is saddened to have to report the death of former treasurer, secretary and programme editor Peter Taylor. Peter was involved at both Esholt and Tong Park CC prior to the merger and performed many roles at both clubs. He suffered a stroke some years ago but still continued to watch most home games during the season. Peter was a true cricket lover and will be...
Outdoor Nets available to book. Following an easing of government exercise restrictions people are now able to use cricket nets to practice and exercise. Nets must be booked online in advance using our new booking system - book here. Only one net can be used at any one time and are free to use for those who've paid their 2020 annual subscriptions. They are open for public use and we are...
The ECB updated us on their response to the Covid-19 crisis yesterday although the exact details in terms of dates remain unconfirmed. At this moment in time all forms of recreational cricket are suspended. We have cancelled our remaining indoor net sessions for seniors and coaching for our junior section. At this moment in time it looks unlikely that our season will begin on...
A great night had by all. Thanks to everyone who made it to our first hobby horse race night on Saturday 22nd February. It was a fun night, enjoyed by all in attendance. Big thanks to Louis Morton for organizing the night, his first as social secretary, and everyone else who got involved from Janet and Di running the tote to all our race and horse sponsors. We raised some...
Winter practice underway ahead of new season Our indoor nets are now underway ahead of the 2020 season. Senior nets take place on a Monday evening from 6-7.30pm at St Mary's School in Menston. Junior nets take place on a Wednesday evening from 6-7pm. New players to the club are always welcome at any level, age or ability.