2020 – Short and bittersweet
The 2020 season at Minchinhampton CC has now ended following last week’s fantastic intra-club game. The, now traditional, end of season match between club members, has proven a great way to bring everyone together these last few years and Sunday the 13th’s game was another fitting finish, with the sun out and plenty drunk from the bar!
2020 started very badly for the club. In March when COVID struck we had our indoor nets cancelled and all hope of cricket seemed unlikely. Then in April we suddenly lost our beloved Chairman Mike Waring, a huge shock to the club and of course to the Waring family. Mike was Mr Minch CC and did so much for us all, his loss will be felt for years to come. At this time, cricket at Minch seemed so far away. The square, for so long Mike’s domain, was left untouched, effectively from March to start of May. The worst time to leave it! John and Matt Hole managed to give it a cut mid April and by May we had got it back under control, despite no signs of cricket.
Once the shock of Mike’s death had settled slightly, Justin Hodges and John Hole stepped up to fill the role of Chair and Vice Chair respectively in the interim, until our next AGM. The next few weeks of endless calls, emails and zoom meetings might have left them wondering what an earth they had taken on!
Then by mid June, a glimmer of hope – nets could start. Jaime Waring assumed the role of groundsman and battled to get the mowers and kit started and the square in shape. A special thanks must go to Kevin Pring of KP Garden and Machinery Services for his generous help and knowledge on the mowers at this time. Nets slowly grew in group sizes and then in mid July we were given the go ahead to play. It was perhaps fitting that the first game back after the lockdown restrictions were lifted, an intra-club 30 over game at Stuart Fields, was on July 11th; what would’ve been Mike’s 69th birthday. It was an emotional yet great way to get back into cricket.
Two weeks later and we could start some fixtures. Again the pitch was worked on tirelessly by the new team of Jaime and Alex Waring, John and Matt Hole and the square suddenly started taking shape and looked great but our first league fixture! Both the 1st and 2nd XI were given tough leagues, all with teams traditionally at a higher level. What ensued was a tale of mixed fortunes!
The 1st XI despite losing their first game then went on a 5 game unbeaten streak, perhaps the highlight being a 75 run win away at Fairford who on paper were 2 leagues higher. Matt Cole had a fine year with batt and ball and established himself as a key 1st team player. Fellow Wycliffe student Liberty Maher built on his Minch indoor league success and took 10 good wickets in his first year and stalwart batsmen Jon Ablett and Taylor Williams notably had solid seasons with the bat. Jaime Waring also picked up 10 wickets and Pete Wallis secured his 200th Minch CC wicket against Cirencester. With skipper Matt Hole announcing he would be stepping down after 3 years, winning the GCCL East B mini league was a fitting way to finish.
In the 2nds however, quite the opposite run of results. Despite good availability all but 1 week they couldn’t secure a league win against strong opposition. It goes to show the difference in levels even in the district leagues. Simon Penn blasted some useful runs along the way and Simon Davies and Gino Beaumont bowled well throughout. The veteran Gloucestershire Over 60s player John Turton’s regular attendance couldn’t even sway things for Minch, but at the end of the day the lads were just happy to be playing cricket and socialising again.
And so 2020 comes to an end. The pitch has once again been renovated as we continue our big effort to improve our square. With such traditions as ‘Fines night’ and our end of season dinner postponed for now, we can only hope 2021 will bring back some normality for all. Winter well!
The MCC Committee