A season of success and promise for Goring Cricket Club

2012 has proved to be an excellent year for Goring Cricket Club. All teams have had success and the future bodes well.

This season review starts with the most important part of the club – The GCC Academy. Our juniors are the focus of the club and we are very proud to have such an excellent selection of enthusiastic and talented youngsters who are coached and supported by Academy Director, Derek McGee, Performance Cricket and a plethora of volunteers. Coaching sessions on Tuesday evenings have continued to prove extremely popular with in excess of 40 boys attending during the course of the summer.

It was a successful season on the field as well, with GCC Academy performing impressively in the Oxfordshire Gauntlet Goblet tournament before falling agonisingly short of making the final on net run rate. The academy then went out on a high with the Colts team winning the inaugural GCC Eights Tournament against some tough local opposition. The Academy is the future of the club and it is our mission that they will be the bedrock of the senior teams for many years to come. We have started to see the early fruits of this strategy this year with Academy players such as Owyn Tong-Jones, Charlie Edwards, Alfie Gammer-Flitcroft, Tom Castle and Alex McGee playing regularly for Sunday / T20 teams.

In 2011 we launched our own T20 team for the very first time – the GCC Ultras. You can never miss us as we are resplendent in stunning luminous pink shirts. The ethos of the team is to increase access to cricket to club members and play fun yet competitive cricket followed by a social drink afterwards.

The Ultras entered a competitive league for the first time in 2012, the South Oxfordshire Wednesday T20 league. The team quickly established themselves with some excellent early season performances that saw Goring storm to the top of the table in early June, including an early victory against previous champions Crowmarsh. Sadly we couldn’t keep our form up as defeats against Moreton, Dorchester and Tetsworth derailed our title hopes, however the team finished with a flourish, annihilating Ewelme to finish the season in 5th place.  This was a hugely promising first soiree in to competitive T20 and there is no doubt that next year will be back up there at the right end of the league challenging for honours.

Noteworthy T20 performance during the year came from Steve James, Tom Ferry, Len Sexon, Donny Norman and Will Brownlee who all picked up 3 wicket hauls. Fifties were scored by Ed Everitt, Stephen Wincott and skipper Jonny Russell, the latter falling agonisingly short on 92 of a T20 century. Two all-rounders really stood out with Jonny Westcar picking up a couple of 40’s plus taking wickets and Andy Benning, a 2012 new signing, proving a vital fulcrum of the team scoring 64 not out, plus two forties as well as some great spells with the ball that included a team best of 4 wickets.

2012 was a real success for the Sunday team under new skipper Donny Norman. Players from the age of 13 and onwards played friendly afternoon cricket for Goring Sunday this season and despite battling some pretty horrendous weather the team delivered some excellent results with great performances from both the juniors and seniors. In fact at one stage, the Sunday team had went on an undefeated run of nearly two months. Performance of the season has to go to Alex Crawford for an incredible 148 not out against Astons.

Last but by no means least is the Saturday GCC First XI who play in the Berkshire League Division 1. For the last 2-3 seasons we have flirted with relegation from this division, but survived by the skin of our teeth so we were looking to kick-on in 2012 and start challenging at the top end of the table. The man to take on that challenge, was new club captain Kenza Barton. It certainly was not dull playing for the team this year as the notion of a draw was thrown out of the window and the team went all out to win every game. This proved successful as we won 6 out of 11 games and were in contention for promotion throughout the season. In the end we fell just short and finished 5th, but Kenza and all the players should be proud of their achievement. A telling statistic is that Checkendon who finished second and got promoted won two less games then Goring!

The performance of the season was undoubtedly from the ‘Maestro’, Peter Slade, who took an awesome 8-21 against Shinfield which was the best bowling figures from anyone in the league in 2012. Other notable performances were 50’s from Jonny Westcar, Stephen Wincott and club legend Duncan Kent who we only wish could turn out more for us, as well as the Maestro’s lower order batting that was a pleasure to behold.

Also a big thanks to Keith Walker who took on the umpiring mantle this season for Goring and not only did he prove to be an excellent umpire, but his support of the club and knowledge and good humour was a very welcome addition this year.

The season climaxed in September with the traditional President’s Day. A hugely successful today, expertly hosted by Club President Tony Hedge and attended by many players and families, involved two T20 matches and the Academy awards ceremony. The first match saw the President’s XI comfortably defeat GCC, before the big grudge match between the Over 30’s and Under 30’s. In an incredibly tight and exciting game the Over’s showed the benefit of experience to win narrowly in the last over.

All in all it has been a great season for Goring Cricket Club. We are looking forward to 2013 with great excitement, hoping to see many more new members, as well as competing for Division 1 and T20 titles and the continued development of the Academy.




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