Saturday, 28 October 2017

Nocton Cricket Club - review

2017 Cricket Season - Nocton finish third in Division 2

This was an unusually long season with all teams in Division 2 playing 18 matches and playing right through to the end of September – when the weather doesn’t always lend itself to cricket!

Promoted from Division 3 last season, Nocton won 10 of their games and finished third with 256 points behind Billingborough (285) and champions Scothern (290). We beat both these teams handsomely on the way to third place.

Once again the team owed a huge amount to three players in particular. Captain Dylan Garfoot was the lead scorer in all divisions making 908 runs during the season with 2 centuries, 6 half centuries, a top score of 147 and an average of 65. Vice-captain Mikey Atkinson came 4th in all divisions with 610 runs including 7 half centuries, a top score of 96 and an average of 61. Leg spin bowler Sam Bunn was the number 2 wicket taker in all divisions with 34 wickets at an average of 14.5. He never quite managed a 5 wicket haul but in several games he broke the back of the opposition with 4 wickets. Dylan and Mikey also chipped in with the wickets, Dylan taking 19 and Mikey 17. Dylan’s best was 7 wickets for 3 runs to destroy North Scarle; Mikey’s best was 6 for 32 in a crushing 9 wicket win over eventual champions Scothern.

Dylan Garfoot, only batsman in the league to make 900 runs
… and take 19 wickets
Sam Bunn, leading wicket taker in 2017
It was a strange season in many ways with no regular pattern of who beat whom. Every team we lost to … we beat in the return game, often by a big margin. We lost games that we really should have won like the penultimate match against Blankney. Set 159 to win, our first three batsmen made 122 of them but when they were out the rest of the team only managed 23 more runs and we fell short by 13. We lost our first game of the season to Old Lincolnians by just 20 runs but made sure of victory in the return match with Mikey and Dylan hitting 164 runs between them in a high scoring match. In a low scoring game against Owmby, when our “star” batters failed to shine, Nocton were all out for just 95 but it was “star” bowler Sam Bunn, with a season’s best 4-22, who helped put the visitors out for 82 to seal a 13 run win.

Mikey Atkinson in action with bat …

… and with ball
Despite the outstanding performances of just a few players, the highlight of the season was teamwork, togetherness and enjoying playing the game together shown by the non-stop banter and encouragement between the young players on the pitch. Our fielding improved with players prepared to dive full length on our often soggy field just to save a run – and far more catches were taken to dismiss opposition batsmen than usual.

The lads got on well off the pitch too. The night before the Aisthorpe match some of the players had a very enjoyable night out in Birmingham! Nevertheless they were at the ground first thing on Sunday, preparing the square and making sure everything was ready. Dylan may have been feeling a bit weary but he still hit his top score of the season, 147. To save energy running up and down the track he decided to hit boundaries which involve no running at all! He hit 18 fours and 9 sixes so he only had to run 21 times during his innings. He followed it up by taking 4 wickets for 8 runs in 12 deliveries to help Nocton to a huge 146 run victory.

We still played half our games with only 9 or 10 players so if anyone fancies trying out their cricketing skills next season there may well be the chance to do so.

Report and photographs courtesy of Jonathan Sides

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