Preparation for the First team season started way back in February with organised sessions at Overstone Park gym and winter nets at Northants County Ground. The lads that could attend these sessions put the hard work in and went into the season feeling positive towards their cricket.

When the overseas player for 2012 season arrived from Sydney, in time for the inter club warm up game, the club and first team felt in good spirits ready for the pre season trip to Sheriff Hutton Bridge in York the week after, successfully organised by Mark Carter.

Everyone in the team that travelled to York got involved in the game with good innings from the Bates brothers in particular.  Mark Gibbs, Jack Playfair and Steve Musgrave got some valuable overs under their belts and some wickets on the way, but a hail shower  made the game come to a premature end.

The league season started away at Horton and after a week of rain the game was firmly in doubt as we headed over on a gloomy Saturday morning. We started but in the front of our minds was, if there was to be any more rain, then the ground could possibly not take much more and then  that would be that, which after a few light showers an early tea the inevitable heavy rain came and we left with four points.

The game at Horton would set the trend for the most of the season with rain having an input on most games. We missed the next week and went into a tough run against Peterborough, Saints and Finedon. We had a very poor day at the office at Peterborough and getting bowled out for 30 would be something we wouldn’t have expected. But a wet wicket and Ajaz Akhtar hoping rubbing his hands it was always going to be a difficult task although we showed that we have quality bowlers and they were 5 down at the end.

The games against Saints and Finedon were similar. We bowled well first up to restrict them to what we thought was a below par score but with our batters not having much time in the middle and the nets over the previous month, we fell short on both occasions.

Then our first win came against our bogey team ON’s. We restricted them to a below par score and then Mark Ralph - in what was a difficult season for him, showed us the batsman he can be (and will hope to be in future     seasons) with a fluent and well paced  82 not out. 25 Points and time to move forward  - or at least we thought…..

With rain and wet wickets still playing their part and batsmen in no sort of form we fell short of a run chase at the County Ground against Northants Academy but we picked up a valuable 16 points. We then lost games  against Wellingborough and Rushton before a 17 point draw against Burton, after which we lost the last game before the mid way point to Brixworth.

At the turn we knew that a bit of fight and courage we would be fine but we all knew that with the tough run against Peterborough, Saints and Finedon coming up again it wasn’t going to be easy. We had targeted big points against Horton who were struggling worse than us and Stony who we perform well against over the past few years, but rain interrupted those so much so we didn’t bowl a ball again against Stony so only 9 points from those two games.

 Poor batting again against the ‘big guns’ let us down as well as ON’s away but availability on this occasion also led to our down fall.

We moved on to fixtures against the Academy, Wellingborough, Rushton and Burton knowing that these were the ones we had to perform 100% in, as by this point Burton had scrapped a few wins and were above us. And that is what we did. We came close in a run chase again against the Academy, falling just short due a great spell of end - of-innings bowling by their now first teamer Oliver Stone.

Wellingborough was a great occasion totally dominated by Wollaston CC, two hundreds in an innings brought up in the same over was a feeling I - and I am sure the rest of the WCC members who were there that day, won't forget in a hurry this joy, brought to us courtesy of Muzzy stepping up to open the batting, and Jimmy Hart who was finding form at the right time. Again rain prevented us winning this with only 2 wickets and genuine rabbits due to the crease and 40 odd scheduled balls in the innings remaining.

 We then went to pick up 30 points against Rushton with Jack Playfair now bowling quick and accurate with the decks improving, 30 points against Burton - Muzzy again in the runs and wickets. After this game we were mathematically safe from the dreaded drop but in true Wollaston fashion we signed off with 30 points against Brixworth – Jimmy Hart again a magnificent 100.

As captain I would like to thank the following people;

Mark Carter – Always having an ear for my issues and selection, even when he was the other side of the world.

Steve Musgrave – Offering his advice from previous years' as captain and playing 22 weeks - only two players could say they have done that.

Neal Perry – Always there to help in every capacity

Paul Bates – Fed the bowling machine all season on Wednesday Training sessions

Matt Jones – When the batting was falling apart early season Matt was as consistent in trying to pull it in our favour every time, and deserves a massive pat on the back proved that in a season we were poor with the bat he is a genuine Prem player

Les – Consistently there supporting us as well as always having a neat scorebook and some banter with the boys along the way

John Hodges and Paul Carter – In a season where the ground needed a lot of attention due to the poor weather these two men tried their hardest to make a game of cricket happen on as many Saturday as possible.

Andy Silsby – Works tirelessly for the club in every aspect and never lets you down

Players – All the players that played first team this year, it was a tough year but I cant question anyone’s efforts towards the cause

Supporters – We have some very loyal men and women that come to every game where possible, and they have supported us and deserve a mention. At times this year as mentioned in the report above we couldn’t put on the type of show they would like, but they stuck with us and maybe more than others believed that we could turn it around and put a valuable run of good performances together, which we did in the last few games and I hope that kept their appetite up for watching WCC in the 2013 season.

 Chris Perry

Wollaston CC 1st Eleven Captain