Howard Smith, Kent 60+ and 70+ Manager, shares his end of season report for 2023 and information on Indoor nets this Autumn, open to new members.
It is always difficult to say something original (as can be seen by my After Dinner Speeches) but after last year’s excellent season 2023 can be viewed as the ‘nearly’ season. Attached to this Report is an excellent breakdown of various stats prepared by our Webmaster, Roger Shaddock:
Once again we played in excess of 100 matches giving 120 players a game and this year we amassed 23 centuries.
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This year the weather played it’s part and clearly affected our final League placings but in all fairness other Counties were similarly affected. Of our 12 matches in April, 10 were cancelled and the week beginning the 9 May all seven matches were lost to the weather. A credit to the Captains, they always fielded eleven players, some took reserves and we mustn’t forget we always had our own excellent Umpires and Scorers and often provided two officials for our opponents. During that time there was never a poor umpiring decision and never a run short in the scorebooks.
Once again we played on 13 Home Grounds, all in excellent condition. We are very lucky in Kent having support from our clubs and hopefully in the future we can spread our net a little wider. I always mention that our Captains are extremely competitive and will pick on ability and availability. Whilst on the subject of Captains we say goodbye to Pete Meyers and the laid back Lance Morgan and thank them for all their help and successes over the years and welcome Nigel Bardsley and Mick Clark and wish them well in filling the outgoing big shoes.
We are also extremely fortunate to have the support of the Kent Cricket, Shepherd Neame and CKRServices for which we are most grateful.
Made the last 16 but lost in a 20/20 away match to Lancashire on an unplayable surface. The ground was unplayable for a 45 overs per side so they were persuaded to play in a 20/20 lottery. The Team may have suffered from the squad system losing to Counties they would have expected to beat thus giving a different last 16 draw. However Messrs Butterfield, Phillips, Staple were selected to play for England Over 60’s in Barbados and all featured and contributed to England winning the Caribo Cup. The same triumvirate played for England in the Home Grey Ashes Series and were heavily involved in winning the series. Messrs Butterfield & Phillips have also been selected to play for England in India at the end of the year.
Finished top of their Group and could’ve been seen as favourites but lost to Wales in the semi-final who proved too strong. The second year running they’ve perished in the semi’s.
Again topped their Group and again could’ve been seen as favourites. However they lost off the last ball of the match when the Oxfordshire batter struck a four which was needed to win the match. Probably the one that got away.
Having almost made the Fourth Team Division Trophy their own they came second to a strong Essex side. As I mentioned thanks to Lance for his work over the years and to Mick Clark and Tony Jimenez seeing the Team through to the end of the season.
70+ First Team
Again a good third place in their Division following a strong finish they fell foul to Gloucestershire in the semi-final who were the eventual winners thus relinquishing the Trophy they won last year. Messrs Swadkin and Towe both played for England in the home and away series of the Silver Ashes and without doubt starred in both.
70+ Second Team
Again the 70+ Second Team came home with the bacon under the leadership of the languid Watts. Plus 31 players featured.
70+ Third Team
In their second competitive season the 70+ Third team, led by the nervous Dick Clark, (who got a lot of advice during each match) won their Division having won 14 of their 16 Fixtures.
The week of the 22nd August we lost three semi-finals which was so disappointing for us all but it can be seen we’re strong at the bottom of our pyramid and all good Clubs build from below!
We were also honoured with two Fixtures against the Australian Tourists. The 60+ First played them at Gravesend C C on a beautiful day and the Aussies, having won, were eventually persuaded to return to their hotel well after midnight. We were also honoured to play the 70+ Tourists on the County Ground at Canterbury. The Tourists were delighted especially as they batted first and then it rained for the rest of the day. A great privilege.
Indoor Nets – Autumn 2023
Moving on we have 4 Indoor Net sessions at Polo Farm in November this year and (14/21/28 Nov/5/Dec) 6 Indoor Net Sessions at the County Ground Beckenham and Polo Farm in March/April a good chance for new members to show their skills. New members are always welcome and you can see more details on our excellent Website:
Dinner next year is likely to be on the 15 November 2024 and we hope to present more Trophies!
2024 Kent Memberships are now on sale – be a part of Kent Cricket and guarantee your place at Kent’s home matches next season.