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Second Xl Report 2007
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REVIEW THE 2007 SEASON by reading the brief summary below,  followed by the Evening Telegraph article, both on this page.

For a more in-depth look at how our title winning season went, browse the pages               listed below........




The club joined the Northants County League in 1957 and except for the 1991 season the First Eleven has  played in the second tier of Northamptonshire cricket ever since - but after winning the Division One title this year we will compete at the top level in 2008! A great achievement and one that the Club and everyone associated with it (members, vice presidents, sponsors and supporters) should be justly proud of.

Five wins in the first five games saw Wollaston go straight to the top of the league where we stayed for most of the season - although the outcome was in doubt right until the end of the final game.

It was a total team effort. Six Bowlers were used regularly - taking 154 wickets between them and when called upon players stepped up from the Seconds and filled the breach to maintain the team/club ethic.

Although vice captain Matthew Jones scored 622 runs at the outstanding average of 41.47 all the other batsmen rose to the occasion when necessary – an example being John Pike’s total of 163 runs at an average of 32.60, usually batting down the order.

Again, when called on, batsmen made the seamless transition from the second’s with Tim Hudson’s two innings contributing 56 runs for once out, Marcus Shelton making 74 in his only game and  Darren Laughton making a typical match-winning 60. Congratulations to Harmit and his team, and everyone who has helped in any way.

The seconds finished just below half way in Division Three but going into the final game a victory was needed to make absolutely certain of Division Three cricket in 2008. The win was duly achieved and the Club members, friends, family and supporters celebrated the First Eleven promotion in fine style around the village during the course of the evening, - night – next morning, afternoon and evening!

So to 2008 and the Premier Division beckons our First Eleven with teams such as Peterborough, the  Northants Academy and Finedon Dolben waiting to take us on. Adjustments, concentration and hard work will be necessary both on and off the field. The matches will be 110 overs instead of 100 and most teams will have one or more ex-professionals in their ranks. Patience, commitment and focus with both   bat and ball will be a prerequisite to ensure that the team plays to its potential. It won’t be plain sailing  all the time but hopefully the highs will outnumber the lows.

The Seconds will travel to play the upwardly-mobile Oundle for the first time and this should      prove adequate compensation for losing the fixture with relegated Wicken and its hallowed sanctuary.

So both face some tough challenges during the course of the new campaign but hopefully         they will be met with optimism and enjoyment.




    Matches played 22    WCC runs 3534
    Matches won 11    WCC wickets 125
    Matches drawn 4    WCC average/wicket 28.27
    Matches lost 2    Opp. runs 3023
    Matches tied 0    Opp. wickets 161
    Matches abandoned 5    Opp. average/wicket 18.78

Most runs:       Matthew Jones   622 at 41.47   

Most wickets: Chris Perry    39 at  15.13        




Matches played 22    WCC runs 2783
Matches won 6     WCC wickets 133
Matches drawn 5     WCCaverage/wicket 20.92
Matches lost 7     Opp. runs 3469
Matches tied 0     Opp. wickets 158
Matches abandoned 4     Opp. average/wicket 21.96

Most runs:      Andy Luck  335  at  20.94

Most wickets: Adrian Ward 39 at 17.56 




                 CHAMPIONS - DIVISION ONE - 2007

Steve Musgrave   Simon Driver   Jeff Connon   Darren Laughton  Liam Bates  John Pike

              Chris Perry     Matthew Jones    Harmit Bahra    Nick Shelton      Mark Ralph


NEWS    Article by Andrew Radd                             Saturday September 22 2007

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph & Northampton Chronicle   

Wollaston climb to the top of the tree – at last

Times have definitely changed when it comes to communicating tidings of great joy.

In ancient Greece they would have despatched a hapless runner to cover the 20-odd miles, pass  on the message and promptly expire from exhaustion.  

Many centuries later; news of great English victories was spread by means of a chain of bonfires.  Not hugely effective in poor weather and very bad for the ozone layer.  

During the Second World War the BBC would place John Snagge, Stuart Hibberd or Alvar Lidell in  front of a splendid ‘Type A’ microphone to announce that Hitler was dead, Berlin had fallen or the  cheese ration was being increased.  

And so to September 2007 when Matt Jones used his mobile to ring through the details of Wollaston’s   title-clinching win over Geddington last weekend – while enthusiastic team-mates attempted to pull  his trousers down.  

That success at London Road was enough to earn the club a fifth Division One (or equivalent) title.  But as the first four came in the days before automatic promotion they will be enjoying their debut   season in Northamptonshire’s top flight next year.  

“It’s very special,” admits David Ward, who made his Wollaston debut back in 1962 and could    justifiably claim – if he wasn’t such a modest chap – to be the ‘soul’ of the club, having bagged  more than 1,500 league wickets on its behalf.  

“My father played in 1959, 1960 and 1961 when they won the old County League Division Two but  didn’t go up. 

“And I played in the 1973 side, along with (NCL chairman) John Hodges, when dad was president of the   club.  So yes, it means a lot.  

“We’ve put no plans in place really.  It has just happened and it’s all very exciting.  We’re just   savouring the moment!” 

Ward wasn’t present when history was made – but his excuse is fair enough.  

He was busy playing for the second team – who also won, to kill off the threat of relegation                                         from Division Three – just up the road at Rushden.  

“We kept getting updates on what was happening at our ground,” adds Ward.  

“The first thing was that Harmit (Bahra) had to win the toss this time, and fortunately he did.  

“It’s rather ironic because when our firsts were relegated for the only time in 1990 it was Horton   seconds who beat us on the last Saturday of the season to send us down.  

“Now, of course, their first team is coming down and we’re changing places with them!”  

Founded in 1870, Wollaston joined the Northants County League from the Kettering and District in    1957 and a couple of years later won the first of three successive titles under the captaincy of Peter Wyant.  

The Class of ’73 put the club’s name on the same piece of silverware again, winning nine out of   18 games and edging out Great Oakley by a single point.  

But joining the ‘big boys’ involved more than simply winning the division below.  At that time you had to  APPLY for promotion (in writing to the Hon. Secretary by September 7) and the existing top division   clubs would decide if they wanted you or not.  

“It was a bit of a closed shop.  When we won the second division we did apply.  But we all knew there  was no chance of us going up.  

“If the opportunity had presented itself, we would have taken it.  But to be honest we just played in those   days and winning the league was a bonus.” 

Wollaston have needed to be patient in recent years, too.  

Since the NCL came into being in 2003 they have finished no lower than fourth in Division One and   were runners-up in both 2005 and 2006 – missing out to Irthlingborough and Burton Latimer by   just 14 and four points respectively.  

“We didn’t always feel we had the rub of the green with the toss in some of those             seasons – although I know anybody can say that.  

“It just seemed as though a good team would come down, or another team would get a             useful overseas player and suddenly perk up, and they’d take it beyond us.” 

There wasn’t, of course, a Northamptonshire League in the 1920s and 30s.  But it’s fair            to say that Wollaston could have been a powerful force in that particular era.  

Between 1913 and 1948 a quartet of men from the village – Ben Bellamy, Vernon Murdin,           Reg Partridge and Cyril Perkins – played more than 850 first-class matches for Northamptonshire   between them.  

Which made it hugely appropriate that Bellamy’s great-grandson, left-arm spinner Chris Perry,   should play a key role in last Saturday’s victory by capturing five Geddington wickets.  

And the aforementioned Matt Jones – who top-scored with 52 – is the son of Paul, who       notched 353 runs at 32.09 in the successful 1973 side.  

10 Chris Perry           Matt Jones

“I know people think we’re a village club and a bit insular.  But sometimes it does work    in our favour when the generations come through.  

“That was a nice touch with Chris and Matt.  It just rounded the whole thing off.”  

As with Burton Latimer a year ago, the existing Premier Division skippers will be quizzing           all-and-sundry in the coming months to find out “what’s Wollaston like” before the 2008            campaign gets underway next April.  

They could do worse than check out the club’s excellent website which contains, amongst         other delights, a full list of first-teamers' for the last 50 years, from Arthur Ward to David Clarkson.  

Proud of what’s gone before and hopeful for the future, even Wollaston’s opponents (and Isham’s record against them has been pretty dire in recent years) will concede they deserve a chance to  enjoy the view from the top of the tree.




Just as with the seniors, our youth teams suffered with the weather and lost a number of matches during the season due to rain.

The worst affected team was the Under 13’s who lost three games from their small schedule. Each of the teams finished second from bottom of their respective divisions.

Under 11’s

As a coach you hope that if nothing else the boys enjoy themselves and want to learn and get better, well this season they certainly did that.

The boys were very keen and I had great support from the parents and it was a very enjoyable season.

Played Won Lost Draw / Cancelled Points

16* 3 9 4 12

* Includes a cup victory, but we were unable to fulfil quarter final game due to holiday commitments.

Under 13’s

The boys tried really hard, but they seemed to lack confidence at key times which saw them squander good positions.

Played Won Lost Draw / Cancelled Points

9* 2 4 3 11

* Includes a 1st round cup defeat.

Under 15’s

Andy Silsby coached this team and had by far the biggest squad of any of our youth teams, but quite a number of the boys were Under 14 and as such the cricket was a little hard for them.

Andy worked very hard with the boys and should be thanked for all his efforts, along with Paul Clarke who provided support at matches whenever possible.

Played Won Lost Draw / Cancelled Points

14 1 9 3 7

* Includes a 1st round cup defeat.

Ernie Bryan Award

Under 13 Captain, Marcus Gross won the Ernie Bryan Award this season. Marcus led the team well and showed lots of enthusiasm as well being the leading run scorer and main strike bowler.

Practice Sessions

Practice sessions were run for each of the age groups, plus the very successful Friday night sessions for the 7 to 11 years olds.

I would like to thank all the coaches and helpers for their hard work with all the youth activities during the season. So thanks to:-

Andy Silsby, Chris Perry, Simon Driver, David Mercer, John Pike, Jamie Perry, Mark Ralph, Paul Clarke and Nick Groom.

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