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Captain's Report 2009.
Here is the Captain's Report as delivered at the AGM...

Honourable secretary, committee and ordinary members it gives me great pleasure to commend to you the AMCC captains report for the 2009 season. I'll try to keep my synopsis brief, but with your permission Jim - I invite anyone to interject should I have forgotten a glittering performance or a calamitous escapade from last season.

Starting with some statistics:
Not including the Inter-mariner match, there were 20 fixtures scheduled for the season, of these:

We Won 5
We Lost 4
We Drew 5
And 6 were cancelled for reasons I shall give as we go through the list.

Following 2 successful net sessions at the Surrey Cricket Centre with at least 11 mariners and the England Women's Cricket team present, the season began with a victory at Fernhurst on 19th April. A strong bowling performance saw Fernhurst bowled out for 121with Charlie Van Oppen and Mike Powell the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets each. After a stuttering start the Mariners reply was buoyed by debutant Ryan Morris' 58 and Mike's 18 but it was Charlie and Stephen who saw the mariners across the line with some big sixes.

Midhurst was the first fixture to not take place - they phoned on the morning of the game to say they could not raise a team. Unfortunately they got hold of me in Berlin mid a friends stag do, I tried my best to contact as many members of the team but was not able to stop several players from going to Midhurst, for this Jim, I am still apologetic!

On the 3 rd May the Mariners travelled to Tillington and batting first made 138 with Stephen top scoring with 30 closely followed by Extras on 29. The Mariners did not cover themselves in glory in the field and despite some frugal bowling from Stephen and Toby the mariners only took 2 wickets and Tillington passed our total with 3 overs remaining in the match.

Warnham on the 10th of May saw a battling draw with the Mariners restricting the home side to 180 all out - with 3 wickets for Magnus. The game stands out for a delay involving a six hit off Magnus into the children play area where it struck the hand of a teenager. Thanks to our fielding first aid team and an ambulance the victim was back in the bar with the bar that evening with the offending batman buying him a drink. The mariners were 11 runs short of their target which included Ryan's second consecutive half century of 71 in a truncated second innings - a case of we should have had 'em!

On the 16th of May under 'pretty agreeable skies' the Mariners beat Ebernoe by 5 wickets. The home side batted first and were 177-5 at the end of their 43 overs, However quick fire runs from Methley, Morris and Westwood saw the mariners win with 178-5.

The next scheduled match the floaters was cancelled ahead of time with Simon Newson confirming the floaters were now out of commission. However Puttenham did see the mariners take of Captain Crawford's Screaming Commandos the next weekend. The touring commandos amassed around 175 before the mariners were all out for 172 despite a swashbuckling 108 from Tony Dixon, indeed what made the narrow loss more galling was Will Westwood, fielding for the oppo, taking the catches of Tony and then Magnus to finish the game!

At Charterhouse the following weekend a relatively high scoring draw saw the mariners restrict the home side to 199 for 7 before narrowly missing out on victory finishing on 192 including 74 not out from Matt Beckett and a cameo 40 from Ryan.

At Dunsfold the next week the Mariners failed to capitalise on the good bowling of Nick Barnes who got 4 wickets but they secured a draw after bowling out Dunsfold for 155 and then making 146-9. The following match at Easebourne on the 21st June was cancelled due to their unavailability.

The last weekend in June saw the mariners triumph at Toys Hill. The home side made 175 for 8 before the mariners knocked off the runs with 5 wkts in hand, Neil making 30 at the top of the order and Tim Goldman making 87 at no3, out going for the ton.

At Chiddingfold the Mariners batted first and dominated with 50's for Magnus and Ryan and a thunderous 47 from John Chesterman on their way to 237-7. Chiddingfold's reply started strongly before a sharp runout sparked a collapse, however the mariners were unable to take all ten wickets despite the bowling of Hamish Whiteman and Leo Methley- the latter of which struck with a wicket maiden in his first over for the mariners. Chidd finishing on a paltry 108 for 9.

Sunday 12th July saw the under 40's captained by myself and Stephen take on the over 40's captained by Richard - at Puttenham. The match descended into a rain interrupted & beery draw but notable retirees on 25 or more with the bat were Charlie, Robin Harris, Mike Powell and some memorable debuts taking place for some younger mariners. Special mention should be made of the Tea - proving again the mermaids take on all comers, in the cakes department at least!

Normal service was resumed with Mariners once again failing to overcome Oxshott. I was actually at Lords watching Andrew Flintoff attempt to decapitate Ricky Ponting (present company accepted) but in what sounded a much more thrilling and high scoring occasion the mariners amassed 224 with Charlie getting his first 50 before the target was knocked off for the loss of just 2 wickets by the Maoris. Try for 300 next year.

The mariners were back to winning ways on the first weekend of august, beating Shackleford in a nail biter. Shackleford finished on 176 - 8, but after a stalwart 63 from now regular opener Mike Powell and runs down the order from Sam Foster, myself and Neil Hursey, the mariners got across the line with Jim holding the fort at the non-strikers end to win by 1 wicket.

In a bad run the next 2 matches fell by the way-side with both Hambledon and Follies Farm both unable to fulfil their fixtures.

So in late august the mariners returned to Ebernoe for a competitive draw with the home side batting first and scoring 175-7 with Richard Stemp making a notable 66 before being bamboozled by Richard Francis. In reply the mariners did their best to go for the win and in doing so secured the draw ending on 156-6 - with Mike Methley 50 not out.

At Witley the next week I was not present for a match that, by all accounts was an eventful to say the least. but I'm reliably informed it was a draw in which LBW's were hard to come by. Witley made 217-6 and the mariners batted out to 167-5 with Stephen doing his best bit of boycott - stick of rhubarb etc. with 24 not out and a contrasting Westwood perhaps venting his fury, plundered 4 sixes on his way to 39. I'm also reliably informed hands were shook at the pub afterwards!

Since Toys Hill was unable to field a side for the scheduled last match of the season, Kirdford was the Mariners only game in September. But it was a winning end to 2009 - Jake Scoring 69, Freddie Hodgson 34 and Charlie 33 on the Mariner's way to 198 all out. In the field the mariners hit their straps, all be it slightly late in the season and 3 wickets from Rough, 4 from Wootton and god knows how many catches from safe hands Tony Nixon saw Kirdford all out for 101 - the unlucky P Shepherd for the oppo finishing 51 not out having taken 6 wickets earlier in the day, oh well.

I can pay testament to a good season for the club despite the 6 cancellations - however I must say this was due to lack of opposition numbers and the mariners roster was strong throughout the season - sporting several fresh faces - and some older ones in good form.

Back to the numbers and for the season as a whole perhaps, statistically at least, our bowling and fielding did not equal our batting which was much improved. Maybe it's the 20:20 or at least antipodean influence but we averaged 170 runs a game last season rather than the 134 the season before - however - we did take around 25 wickets less than in 2008! Enough stats - see you at nets.

Honourable Secretary, Gentlemen, This concludes the Captain's report, thank you.

Mark Wootton 29/01/10

He Stoppeth One of Three...