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Captain's Report 2010.
Here is the Captain's Report as delivered at the AGM...

Honourable secretary, committee and members it gives me great pleasure to commend to you the AMCC captains report for the 2010 season. A very good year with several notable individual performances and some outstanding team efforts, as a result this report is slightly elongated - although with your permission Jim, I still invite members to interject with their own recollections as we go.

Firstly, outlining the season in numbers...The mariners had 19 fixtures scheduled, of these:
We Won 9
We Lost 4
We Drew 1

And had 5 fixtures that went unfulfilled - although none of these were abandoned because of problems at our end.

Following two well attended net sessions at George Abbot School in Guildford the Mariners opened the season up against Fernhurst on a shirt sleeves spring day. Batting first we lost wickets in the 3rd and 7th overs before the ship was steadied by Mike Methley, Ryan Morris and Jake Holmes who got us up to 153 for 5. A quick 57 not out from Will Westwood, including 3 sixes and 7 fours, saw us end the innings on 204 for 6. In reply, despite being 54 for 3 at one stage, some tight and aggressive bowling put the pressure on Fernhurst but alas they held out for a draw, managing just 115-9 from their 36 overs. It was to be our only draw of the season.

Midhurst fell by the wayside for the 3rd year running and without going into too much detail the fixture will hopefully be restored at Cowdary Park this April. This was followed by a cancellation at Tillington - I believe due to rain.

So on the 15th of May at Ebernoe it was just the second outing of 2010 for the Mariners. Ebernoe had perhaps enjoyed more time in the middle as they went to 196-7 despite Charlie van Oppen claiming 3-38 off his 10 overs (and then heading straight for an Ice bath). In reply the mariners were all at sea at 99 for 8 and despite 53 from Magnus Bowles and last ditch 33 from Neil Hursey we succumbed at 157 all out - losing by 39 runs.

Perhaps disappointed by this lack of early season form the Mariners sprang into life at Warnham as we skittled the home side out for 112. Ben Corke taking a hat trick with the last 3 ball of the innings in only his second appearance. Records indicate this is only the 6 th hat trick for the Mariners and the first since 1991. In reply most of us never got near putting pads on as Tony Dixon and Ryan Morris saw us over the line scoring 63 and 39 not out respectively, we lost just one wicket, a certain Tim Goldman for 2.

We hosted Captain Crawfords blah blah blah at Puttenham on May 30th and perhaps struggling with the early start of 12noon managed to reach just 107 all out, with Mark Wootton making 50 of the total before an ill advised reverse sweep saw him off to light the barbecue. It should be noted that we lost John Chesterman to the clutches of Lady Gaga during the break and that his replacement in the field, Dermott Madden ended up in hospital with a knee the size of a football. With burned beef and beer in the belly the mariner's bowlers set about successfully defending a small target with Stephen Rough and Ryan Morris conceding just 10 runs from 9 and 7 overs respectively whilst both picking up a wicket each. This left the door ajar for Magus Bowles to blow it off its hinges taking 6 for 8 in 6 overs seeing off Captain Crawford's ten men for just 58 all out. This was immediately followed by more beer, beef and cakes and a visit to see Dermott!

In a tight game at Dunsfold the Mariners batted first but failed again to put together a strong team performance and it was down to Westwood to plunder 62 from 33 balls, including 5 sixes and 5 fours, to get the total up to 158. In the field the mariners put up a strong fight to defend their score, however, with Stephen Rough off the field with what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder - after a stop of his own bowling - and Ryan Morris alternating between JagerBombs and pain killers in an effort to bowl through a sore back and head it was down to Westwood to take on his nemesis of Dunsfold once more. However, even his 4 for 48 from 14 overs failed to prevent them from over hauling our score with 2 wickets to spare.

At Charterhouse on the 19th June the Mariners faced a somewhat under-strength Maniacs team who were playing two games that day. Bowling first the Mariners utilised a rotation policy in the field given our strong side and despite a fight from the Charterhouse middle order the 10 boys and men where all out for 153, Ryan Morris the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 29. In reply an opening stand of 50 by Charlie VO and Matt Beckett got us off to a good start, this compounded by 46 not out from Old Carthusian Tim Goldman saw the mariners across the line with just 4 wickets down. From the teachers bar at Charterhouse we transferred ourselves to Godalming for a team outing, unfortunately without Tony Nixon, who was called off on fatherly duties - perhaps a lucky escape. There are far too many stories from the shenanigans that followed long in to the next day to recount here, but needless to say it will be mentioned in many of the memoirs of those present. Not least CVO who after much deliberation in the pub was nominated Mariner or the match by Jim.

At Toys Hill the next week just 7 plucky Mariners took on 9 of the locals and still came out on top, after bowling Toys Hill out for 146 despite conceding 44 extras in the process! Magnus' 3 for 15 putting him on top of the bowling stats. In reply Neil Hursey fell for 24 but this was the only wicket lost as Nick Barnes and Ryan Morris saw AMCC over the line with 58 and 39 not out respectively.

In a more competitive match at Chiddingfold on the first weekend in July the mariners fielded first and in a 35 overs match restricted the home side to 161 for 9, Ben Corke taking 4 wickets backed up by some other economical bowling. In reply an uncharacteristically steady batting line up chiselled away at the runs, Magnus Bowles hitting a 6 to win the match and pass 50 at the same time. The mariners winning by 2 wickets with 4 overs to spare.

A midsummer's day at Follies Farm saw an absolute run fest, the home side batting first and getting to 254 for 6 in a 40 overs match, buoyed by a 101 not out from skipper D Long. Andy Crossley and Hamish Whiteman both contributed with the ball taking 2 wickets each. In reply it was a one man show from the Mariners, Tony Dixon opening the innings and hitting the ball to all parts on his way to 156 not out. Unfortunately though, support came sparingly from his fellow batsmen and ultimately Tony's vast contribution was in vain as AMCC fell 7 runs short of their target from the 40 overs.

And so it was to Oxshott with ten lambs raised ready for slaughter. Batting first we fought hard to set what should have been a competitive total of 212, with Ryan Morris' 70 supported by Jake Holmes and Will Westwood scoring 29 and 27 each. However, it took just 27 overs for Oxshott to knock off the runs for just 4 wickets, 3 of the scalps coming off the bowling off Jake Holmes. After the game we did stay at Oxshott to commiserate amongst ourselves it was just a shame there was no opposition around for us to congratulate. Oxshott proving to be an unhappy hunting ground once again - in more ways than one.

Under Hambledon sunshine the Mariners mid-season form was resurrected in another run heavy game. After an opening stand of 50 from a Holmes-Beckett -Uncle-Nephew combination, Nick Barnes scored 59 at no. 3, alongside Matt's 48 to record a partnership of 103 for the second wicket. This was bettered by a stand of 111 by Will Westwood and Charlie van Oppen for the 5th wicket. In an innings that saw many of us retrieving balls from the undergrowth Will hit 6 sixes in his 57 and Charlie another 6 on his way to 75 not out. The mariners declared on 309-6 from 35 overs presuming we had enough. The reply did not start according to plan as 192 runs were scored before the mariners took a wicket, indeed both Hambledon openers scored centuries. However, the drinks/smoke break saw a brisk team meeting and resulted in a successful change of tactics. With the openers removed Hambledon fell from 201 for 2 to 263 all out with only one other batsman making double figures as Stephen Rough recorded his first 5 wicket haul for the mariners taking 5 for 25, ably assisted by Mark Wootton who also picked up 3 wickets. The winning margin of 46 runs only tells a small portion of a memorable victory.

The first weekend in August saw the Mariners bandwagon roll on to Shackleford, batting first we got off to an aggressive start, however, none of our batsmen got past 30 with Tony Nixon coming closest on 27 - an innings consisting of 6 boundaries and 3 not so sharp singles! The mariners were all out for 142 from 38 overs but on the Shackleford strip we were confident this was a competitive total. So it proved to be as early wickets from Will Westwood and Ben Corke exposed the middle order allowing Magnus to continue his season's work with the ball, taking 5 for 14 from 7 overs. Westwood returned to take the last wicket as Shackleford were dismissed for 116 inside 29 overs, AMCC winning by 26 runs.

Sadly rain prevented the scheduled game at Ockham, although with better weather this season we'll hopefully get to experience their hospitality and 'gentle' banter! The second match of the season against Ebernoe was a keenly fought contest and a good all round team effort. Fielding first the Mariners were subjected to a large 2nd wicket partnership but fought back to restrict Ebernoe to 132-4. The as ever, immaculate scorecard reveals the change in momentum came with Greg Foster coming on to bowl - picking up 3 wickets for 28 including a wicket maiden. However, an 'incident' that Greg or John Chesterman (or an innocent bystander) may wish to describe somewhat scarred the performance and resulted in the second shoulder dislocation of the season. With the bat, Matt Beckett, 37, and Tim Goldman, 36, ably supported our Dubai connection in the form of Julian Dent on his way to 57. And with some quick runs from Charlie VO and Jake the mariners got across the line with 4 wickets in hand. There is a run out recorded against a certain R Francis - but details seem scarce on that one...

With both the Witley and the last game of the season at Toy's Hill being cancelled - the former hopefully not as a result of anything that happened in 2009 and the latter due to rain; Kirdford proved to be the last game of the season. On a track that might be labelled as 'questionable' the Dixon brothers Tony and Giles set about dismantling the Kirdford attack in an opening partnership of 97. The rest of the team spent most of the time climbing over walls and searching through hedges looking for balls as Tony scored 71 and Giles 57. It was just as well we got off to this good start as only one other Mariner made it to double figures, indeed AMCC collapsed from 166 for 4 to 185 all out. Taking to the field Ryan Morris found a spot - the size of a large serving platter outside off stump from which the ball jagged back to leg and Stephen Rough found an area on a full length that sent the ball hurtling towards the batsman's face. All of which meant Kirdford were soon 24 for 6 with 1 opener retired hurt. Stephen ended his spell with 2 for 11 off 6 overs and Ryan with 4 for 12 from 5 overs. Neil Hursey and Charlie van Oppen came on to take a wicket each before Jack Dixon required just 1 sharp turning legbreak to see off the last batsman, Kirdford were all out for 40, the mariners winning the game by 145 runs.

From a performance perspective this was undoubtedly a strong season for the Mariners, but of course winning is far from everything in our troupe and at times we missed the company of some of our long term lay-abouts and absentees, Francis, Lea, Rush, Falk and Petzold to throw out some names with considered abandon. However, whilst we hope to see these return to action it is also good to see some of the newer faces getting to grips and enjoying our peculiar brand of coarse sport, Ben Corke, Nick Barnes and Ryan Morris all making great contributions in 2010. Unfortunately we'll have to cope without the antipodean connection next season with his imminent return to Sydney; although Ryan is very much welcome to turn out whenever he finds himself back this way.

A final word on stats - we actually averaged less runs per game in 2010 than the previous season - 158 rather than 170 but our bowlers took around 20 more wickets, so it was a bowler's year. On the averages: Magnus' 21 wickets at 4.43 would see him walk away with the bowling cup comfortably (if we knew where it was, Jake's house I presume!!) but there is healthy competition between Ryan, Nick and Will for the batting cup although Tony Dixon did finish the season with a mere 290 as his average! A mark of a great season.

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

Mark Wootton - 27/01/11

He Stoppeth One of Three...