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CRICKET CLUB'S MEMORABLE SEASON WINS HERTFORDSHIRE'S CLUB OF THE YEAR AWARD

 

 Knebworth Park 1st XI

Knebworth Park Cricket Club had a truly remarkable season.

Their first and second teams both won the Division One and Division Three titles in the Saracens Herts League, the Fifth eleven gained promotion and the club became the first in the county to run a Sixth side in the league.

All that ended with the club taking the President's Trophy as Hertfordshire's Club of the Year.

Both the club's top two sides were captained by players who were born and bred in the village - Ryan Skeggs and Steve Holmes. In fact, the vast majority of the club's six elevens are products of the highly successful youth policy.

Ryan steered the first team to an imperious run. After looming towards the relegation zone in losing their opening three matches, they never looked backed in winning 13 of their 14 remaining matches to win the league by a massive margin.

The first's effort was a true team effort.

Tom Jenkins, opening bat and wicketkeeper, who became the first Knebworth player to break through into the county side was a key factor with his all-round performances and

Ryan Skeggs both produced match winning innings, none more so than when he led his side to victory from a seemingly impossible position against second-placed Langleybury.

Opening bat Adrian Holmes chipped in with valuable innings in blunting the opposition's bowling and overseas star Nathan Reardon - who looks destined for stardom back home in Australia -produced a series of scintillating innings.

The club's three veteran bowlers, Graham Fisher, Chris Brook and Krishan Canagasabey plus new arrival Adam Sergeant proved a handful for most teams.

All season, the seconds were dogging it neck and neck with local rivals Welwyn Garden City at the top of Division Three. They had both comfortably clinched promotion before the final game of the season when they met to decide the champions.

Tea and cricket

The result was on a knife edge in a high-scoring game before a good crowd right up to the last ball. Knebworth clinched the lion's share of the points in a drawn game to ensure they leapfrogged in to top place.

Then, in the evening for the first time, the club staged its awards presentation immediately after the last matches, attracting nearly every player from all the club's six elevens to round off a truly awesome effort by the whole of the club.

Presenting the awards on the club's balcony, the club's President Lord Cobbold congratulated the whole club for its magnificent season. 'This year has been the reward for hard work throughout the club for several years in running thriving youth policy and the hard work this season by all the players.'

James Wright, the club's Playing Committee Chairman, also praised the efforts of the players, remarking that over 50 throughout the teams had an average of over 20 in the league. 'This been an outstanding year for the first and second teams in winning their leagues and the fifth team gaining promotion. To run sixth sides has also been a marvellous effort. I know that there is no other club in the county with six league sides, and I wonder whether there is another in the whole country.'

First team captain Ryan Skeggs impressed the importance of the effort of the whole club and that the season has been the result of years of youth development and in encouraging everyone to compete and enjoy their cricket.

Herts 'keeper Tom Jenkins scooped two of the trophies in the Park's awards for the 2004 season.

Jenkins who spent the winter in Australia returned a better and stronger player, playing a key role in the Park's successful season and for his efforts he was named the club's Most Improved Player and took the Fielding Award.

He was leading the race for the batting trophy until Aussie Nathan Reardon came up on the rails in the last two matches to beat him to that one, Reardon finishing with a total of 670 runs.

Skipper Ryan Skeggs who topped the batting averages won the Les Burt Trophy for the Performance of the Season for his innings of 74 not out in chasing the daunting target of 262 for 4 to defeat Langleybury in July that took them to the top of the table for the first time - a position they retained for the remainder of the season.

Graham Fisher's six wickets in the final match ensured he gained the bowling trophy with a total of 39 wickets.

There was no contest for the second team award with Jarrod Turner staggering total of 1012 runs being the main ingredient in the second's success. However, Junior d'Abreu developed under his guidance and won the Young Player of the Year with his innings of 88 on Saturday justly confirming his achievement.

Steve Gregory's all-round batting (scoring 310 runs) and wicket keeping performances lifted the third team shield, while under-15 'keeper Jono Evetts who also played some important innings with the bat won the fourth team award. Club coach Jeff Crowley, who took 23 wickets and 256 runs was the best performer for the fifths.

Bowled over?

A new award because of the introduction of a sixth team saw another Under-15 Hayden Bartlett-Tasker take this cup because of his 95 runs and eight wickets in the team's late entry in to Division 13.

If you wish to join or find out more about the club, phone Chris Johnson on 01438 817448 or 07867580492

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Reviewed: November 25, 2009

 
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To contact Knebworth Parish Council please email
Claire Graham, Parish Clerk
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