First XI – by Chris Guest
After last season’s promotion we were confident of challenging again in Division 2 for back to back promotions. New signings Powles, Shah, Stack and the returning Chisoro looked to add depth and challenge to current 1st team players.
A strong start to the season with wins vs Penkridge, Wombourne, Halesowen and Harbourne in the league along with Burslem and Sentinel cup competitions meant confidence was high. This was brought down to earth with defeats vs Hawkins and Pershore in the league along with Shrewsbury and Tamworth in the cups.
The season maintained a see saw effect with us winning more than we lost finishing with the joint most points in the league. Unfortunately an earlier incident where we had been deducted 36 points ultimately cost us the league winners medal for the second season on the trot.
Some excellent individual performances including Niall’s century on a poignant day at Wombourne, Shoaib with a strong 90 against Burslem, Powles with 2 five wicket hauls, TC with a 5 wicket haul, Jem excellent throughout the season behind the stumps and some superb fielding from all contributed to a successful season, however every player would agree they have more to give.
We move onto next season confident of success given the fact we obtained so many points this year. The team spirit showed throughout was outstanding and I was very happy we didn’t give up at any stage.
I would like to thank Dave Hayden, the captains of the other teams, all of the players who have represented this fantastic club, the people who have supported us and the club committee. A challenging season but true Fordhouses character shown.
Click here to access 1st XI page. Please scroll down the page for final league table and statistics
Second XI – by David Perrin
Having had several new players join the club, and the prospect of a number of players from the junior section competing for places in the team, we felt our aim must be a challenge for promotion.
As we strived to click as a unit at the half way stage we were second in the league. It looked pretty clear at this stage that Shrewsbury were extending their lead as the season progressed. This left us with what was an increasingly second spot promotion place fight on our hands between Brewood, Bridgnorth, Penkridge and ourselves.
Though as a team we did not reach our expected heights, they were some notable performances. These included a Danny Williams century against Newport. Zak Shah being the Birmingham Leagues leading wicket taker part way during the season. 5 wicket hauls for Danny Hussain, Haider Pervaiz, Zak Shah and Khuram Ahmed. Half centuries for Mitch Davies, Ryan Flannery, Haider Pervaiz, Khuram Ahmed, Maz Shah, Aqib Rashid, David Perrin. I must also mention our youngsters who have contributed with maturity namely Ryan Hughes age 14 with 2 match winning 3 wicket hauls. Vikai Dass age 14 with some stellar performances behind the stumps and Zak Shah age 14 who not only played in 21 out of the 22 games (the other game in the first team) but is the second team leading wicket taker with 37 Wickets. I must also give a mention to Zahid Shah who was the only player to play every league game this season with some stand out performances which included 3 wickets for 1 run against Newport and 37 not out in a match winning stance with Khurram Ahmed also 37 not out against C&R Hawks. One of the biggest disappointments for us this season has been not having our own umpire, which in affect has seen an average of two poor decisions against us each game. Unfortunately, in the end we missed out on promotion by finishing 3rd in the league.
On reflection we have improved on the previous year and have had a decent season. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has played second team cricket for their support, Dave Hayden who has produced some good cricketing wickets, Colin & Jan Thompson and team for always being there for us and the wonderful teas, Helen Williams for ensuring we keep our finances in check, the selection committee and last but definitely not least my wife Patricia for releasing me on Saturdays to play cricket (when I’m fit) especially us having a little toddler at home.
David Perrin aka Reggie
Click here to access 2nd XI page. Please scroll down the page for final league table and statistics
Third XI – by Scott Wickson
We entered this season with a young, highly talented, and ambitious set of individuals. We set off with one end goal in mind- winning the league title! We all knew that we were capable of it. We had the same core squad members from previous years, with an additional few new faces, who we knew were going to make the difference for us this season, they gave us that new dimension which we knew was going to make us a force to be reckoned with.
We knew the first game was going to be a real tough start to the season, playing against our arch enemies, and number 1 competition in the league, Wombourne, they knocked us down a peg or two in the game, as we suffered a defeat, but we weren’t going to let that get our heads down, in fact that was the point where we all turned around to each other and said “this isn’t going to be an easy journey, but we are going to make it”.
We then went on an unbelievable run of games, where we won game after game. Not every game was as easy as some, and we were tested on numerous occasions, but more often than not, we found the answers and prevailed. Of course we slipped up occasionally on the way, but we used it as a learning curve and always came back stronger.
The three games which you could say turned our season were: when we played away vs Cannock, we were skittled rather cheaply for 105, a poor display with the bat given our standards. However, we turned it around with the ball, everybody bowled exceptionally, especially Krishan Patel and Rohit Khanna who both got themselves three wickets, and it was Scott Wickson who finished it off for us taking the final two wickets in his 2 overs. Another defining game was our second clash with Wombourne, they were in first place, us in second. We piled up the runs as we made 312 from our 50, centuries for both Jinda and Michael Bellamy. The second innings wasn’t all that exciting as they set about blocking it from ball one, but we came away with the winning draw, and had closed the gap to a very fine margin. The third game was against Coseley where Scott Wickson, who made a brilliantly hard fought 84 not out, and Krishan Patel, who made a well made 75, got us out of a hole as they put on a 150+ run partnership, and got us up to a very good total of 226. The team then made easy work of dispatching the opposition for 89 all out, with an excellent display in the field, and another ball to take home for Stephen Mundy who took 6 wickets.
Every game which we played was just as good as the last.
Our last game of the season summed up our whole season, we still needed a minimum of 8 points to secure the league title, so the pressure was still on. However, we all played with the relaxed and free flowing attitude that we have done all season, which resulted in probably the teams most impressive batting performance of the season as we piled on the runs to make 337 from our 50 overs, with Jainesh Patel making 129 which consisted of six 4’s and thirteen 6’s (and about 5 balls getting lost over the canal) & Manish Sehdev showing yet again how dangerous he has been all season with a quick 50. Also cameos from Charlotte Whyle and Harjivan Dhinsay. At the end of the game we had become the League Champions! We all walked off the pitch filled with elation, huge smiles on all of our faces, the speakers were blasting, champagne bottles popping, selfies being snapped, and lots of horrendous singing and dancing! It’s fair to say that we deservedly partied hard that night, and the celebrations went on into the early hours of the next morning.
Our bowling attack was very impressive this season. Stephen Mundy was the pick of the bowlers, and was danger throughout the whole season. I told him and Keith at the end of the season club gathering (I had a few too many to drink at this point) that he is the one player that made the difference for us this year, he was that one component which we had always lacked, and one which we needed to get reach our goal. He is the epitome of a perfect team player, I’ve never seen one man so dedicated to the sport that he loves, and the badge he so proudly wears on his chest. His 37 wickets, including four 5 wicket hauls, and career best figures of 7 for 16 speak for themselves. Krishan Patel another new player in our side also had a sensational season, facing a swinging ball is a fearful prospect for any batsman, and countless times Krishan proved to be unplayable for the oppositions, he picked up 24 wickets along the way, including two 5 wicket hauls. Rohit Khanna also chipped in with some very important wickets, as did Kathryn Whyle, Jainesh Patel, and Matt Askin.
There was also plenty of memorable moments and innings with the bat. Manish Sehdev bludgeoned his way to quick fire scores all season, making his way past 50 on four occasions, and coming out as the teams top scorer with 430 runs in 14 innings. Michael Bellamy also played an integral part at the start and midway point of the season, setting us with with good starts, and scoring a 100 in the process. Rohit Khanna also popped up with the odd match winning performances, showing how his unique approach to batting can be effective, his most memorable innings were his 85 vs Cannock which helped win us the game, and his 79 vs Brewood which took us home. Jainesh Patel also began to play freely towards the second half of the season, making three scores above 50, which included an excellent 70 vs Beacon, and a destructive 129 in the last game of the season vs Wightwick and Finchfield. Also, Harjivan Dhinsay, arguably the most technically gifted batsman in the side, who always plays with flair and panache, ended the season in fine form, playing some of the shots of the season along the way, one of the many young talented players we have coming through at the club, definitely one for us all to keep our eyes on.
It’s fair to say that as a team we lost a fair few balls during the course of this season, but it was always enjoyable to watch.
The individual accolades are not what won us the league though, it was the team ethic, and the way in which we approached and played every game. What stands out is the fact that the group of individuals became a team early on in the season. We bonded and gelled together throughout the course of the whole season, that’s why we’ve become such a tight knit unit. We played each and every game in the same vain- with enjoyment, banter, but also with that competitive edge which every team member had. Every single player produced a match winning performance or moment throughout the course of the season, and that is what I think set us aside from the rest. I think almost everybody in the team can agree that it was a great season, which ended in the best possible way. The best season of cricket that many of us have been a part of.
A massive congratulations and thank you goes to the players that we have had the pleasure of sharing the field with this season- Jainesh Patel, Scott Wickson, Krishan Patel, Stephen Mundy, Harjivan Dhinsay, Rohit Khanna, Manish Sehdev, Matt Askin, Connor Bowdler, Michael Bellamy, Kathryn Whyle, Charlotte Whyle, Karn Khanna.
We now move on to a new challenge next season!
Click here to access 3rd XI page. Please scroll down the page for final league table and statistics
4th X1 – by Ben Clifton
I would like to start off by thanking everyone who contributed to the 4th team this season. Players and people who have given up their time to support the team.
As much as this season has been a frustrating one with not being able to have a settled side i feel that has given a lot of the younger players a chance to play senior Cricket, some for the first time. Which will be beneficial to the Club in the long run.
Along with some disappointing performances there have been some fantastic ones. Wouldn’t be fair to pick one or two as all were as equal value. Having still being in the Promotion race with just a handful of games remaining pays testament to the Players sticking at it all season.
Once again thanks all Roll on the 2018 season…
Click here to access 4th XI page. Please scroll down the page for final league table and statistics
Finally a special congratulations to our over 45’s who retainer the Staffs Marstons Cup.