With talented new recruits such as FitzGerald, complete clowns such as Blogg and miserable bast***s such as Mansfield, this season was always going to produce a mixed bag of unexpected outcomes. With the squad assembled and fuelled by greasy unhealthy post-training Ram food, it was time to go and win the league.... Well that was the plan anyway.
Starting at home to Southampton 2s, the boys put in a good bowling display to restrict the opposition to 173 all out, a score which in truth should have been significantly less. Highlights of this bowling display being Hennessy c&b Hennessy as well as the older and significantly angrier of the two brothers telling the Southampton number 11 to "fu** off" after bowling the first straight ball of his spell to the poor bloke. After only managing 96 in reply we came second, not too much more needing to be said about that one! A swift reply and chance for redemption came a week later against Southampton 3s with the boys doing just that. After a mammoth display with the ball yet again seeing Southampton restricted to 86 all out and Bobb/Martin doing absolutely naughty bits with the ball, this was naturally going to be a walk in the park. Being the entertainers that we are though we didn't want to let Sue and Nigel Blogg travel to Southampton for nothing and the boys let Martin and Lewis at 10/11 knock off the last 24 runs to cruise home at 87-9. Easy. A suitable party and fines session followed with Blogg turning up 45 minutes late because he was "showering".... Poor girl. With the wind in our sails we next faced Winchester at home.......and got absolutely humped. The visitors notched up 216 in the first innings and with Our boys only managing 139 in reply the dream of finishing at the top looked to be slipping away. But alas, being the showmen we are we were never going down without a fight. What happened next will go down in EUMCC history. Ally Haines, Hanies, the rug, the vice captain, the man who cannot be tamed. Whatever you call this BFG he strolled out to bat in the fist innings and evidently took a liking to the Marjons attack. Finishing on a score of 150 including a 68 ball century, Haines was well supported by Mansfield (92*) who evidently had worked out which end of the bat to hold. El Crapitano however hadn't worked this out and got 0.... Again.... To take my tally to 4 games 6 runs. But anyway, the team got 398-5 so we can ignore that. In response, Marjons only managed 150 seeing the 4s squirm home by 248 runs.
With the mammoth win against Marjons and some quick (questionable) maths by coach Bradders, the message was spread round that with a win vs UWE and results going our way elsewhere, we could in theory finish top (don't ask, I don't know how Bradders worked this out either). With the boys motivated beyond belief, we managed to score 174 on a flat pitch, probably nowhere near what was required but stranger things had happened! In response, UWE appeared to be cruising until the Jamaican Wizard Jarrett Bobb produced a Jamaican Hot Spice of a delivery to begin a collapse. With UWE 9 down and needing 1 off of the last ball of the season to win the game and the title, the tension couldn't be higher. In came Hennessy, Ritchie up to the stumps, the ball was delivered. Now was the time for a hero, now was the time for an EUMCC legend to be born. The batsman comes down the pitch, misses the ball, Ritchie is waiting..... But it hits his pad and a bye is scrambled. Idiot.
After all the effort, all the drama, the season was over. What could have been a season of glory, what could have been the season of our dreams..... saw us finish 5th with Marjons below us on -9 because they didn't turn a side out 3 times. We had fun anyway... Woops. None the less, from the rainy miserable start in November and those early 9am training sessions that absolutely nobody went to after a social night we had come a long way. A true group of friends had been formed and I personally couldn't have wished to play with a better bunch of lads (yes, even you Hugo). From Clawworthy and his speedy bolts to Bobb getting a beating outside Moz, this year certainly couldn't be labelled as uneventful. A special thanks to Ally who without I'm sure would have seen me lead the boys to 5 straight losses, your contributions were invaluable. Also thanks to Bradders, you were alright too.
Player of the season - Will "shooter" Martin
Leavers - Ritchie, Haines, Northwood, Bobb, Hennessy, Keay, Morley.
Squad: Ritchie, Haines, Culhane, Hennessy, Trotter, Blogg, Blake, Kidson, Robinson, Lewis, Fitzgerald, Keay, Huxtable, Leworthy, Bobb, Mansfield, Morley, Gee, Martin and Northwood.