Southwold’s 2013 season was one of great success on the pitch: with the 1st XI retaining their Section A status for another year, the U15’s finishing 2nd in their Norfolk Alliance group and the Friendly XI winning all but three games – there has been plenty to celebrate.
It has been a good year for Southwold on all fronts – in 44 competitive matches played they won 57% of them. Much of this is down to the good work put in by the juniors: for the first time in many years, Southwold produced three junior age groups – the U9’s, U11’s and the U15’s.
The U9’s finished 3rd in their Norfolk Alliance Group, winning four out of their 6 games with a number of great performances that indicate a strong future. They enjoy playing cricket and will have a good 2014 season. The U11’s had a tough season, though they still won three games to finish 6th in a tough Group. They never gave up and with more practice they’ll become a team to reckon with next year. The most encouraging group are the U15’s who count amongst their number several regular 1st XI cricketers, including two who played in the 1st XI Cup semi-final – captain Aaron Goffin and Alfie Hunt. Losing only one League game in 2013, they finished 2nd to Hales/Loddon, and were quarter-finalists in their cup, losing to Diss. There was silverware for the club in the juniors though, as a scratch U10 team won the Topcroft Cricket Club Competition in August, the first time a junior Southwold team has won a trophy for a number of years.
Over the last few seasons there has been an increasing number of friendly games played on Saturdays, though in 2013 more were played on Sundays too. The Friendly XI were incredibly successful – of the 9 fixtures played the team won 6 of them, with two losses and a draw. The encouraging signs were the individual performances – Aaron Goffin backed up a century in that age group with a biggie for the Friendly XI – 127* – whilst Richard Woodhall (who holds the individual record for the highest league century for Southwold, 154*), hit a fifty and a century. Chairman Trevord Clifford also struck two fifties and Daryll Hill fell just short of another hundred for Southwold with 96 against Marlingford. The biggest ton of the year was for the Friendly XI as George Caplin plundered a brilliant 134* against Marlingford to go with his 74* he scored for the 1st XI later on in the summer. With the ball, U15 all-rounder Joe McKay took 5-47 against South Walsham to go with his two fifties, whilst fellow youngsters Will Tennant, Syd Barbrook and Ben Small also had success. The Friendly XI is the perfect place for new or lapsed cricketers to rediscover their love of the game, or for junior players to play at a standard that is a step up from their own age group. It is also the stage to prove to the 1st XI that you deserve a spot on the team sheet for the Sunday league games – as the level of cricket played on The Common rises, such competition is perfect for Southwold.
The 1st XI finished 5th in Section A of the Suffolk League, as well as reaching the Semi-Finals of the Cup. Captained in the main by Jordan Barber he led by example: two fifties and 19 wickets at an average of 16 apiece shows off his decent personal haul, let alone the leadership he demonstrated at a difficult time for the club. Southwold will miss him, as he leaves after 6 years at The Common. Whilst he bowled first change, the damage was invariably done at the beginning of the innings by club newbie Charles Le Versha and the evergreen Steve Hines. The former took 11 wickets in 9 games; the latter took 36 in 16 – including 7/24 against Saxmundham – becoming the leading wicket-taker in Suffolk. He also bowled 33 maidens, a credit to his unwavering accuracy and the standard of Southwold’s ground fielding. As the weather got hotter across the county the pitches got harder and team scores rose each week – a highest total of 245/6 against Easton was the highlight as Southwold became the only team to beat Easton in the league in 2013. Benefitting from these batting friendly conditions, Gareth Gorst-Allman scored 398 league runs, including scores of 95 and 76, both against top opposition. Alex Britten also scored his first 1st XI half centuries, with scores of 51 and 76 as he made 320 runs and all-rounder Sam Booker enjoyed a good year as usual, scoring 276 runs and taking 11 wickets.
It was a difficult year in many respects for Southwold but on the whole it was a very positive one. The promise of the youth points to a bright future, whilst the younger members of the 1st XI that have been around for a while are starting to mature as cricketers. A lot of credit must go to Chairman Trevor Clifford who, whilst fulfilling his Chairman duties, has been the groundsman, umpire, scorer, player and calming influence at times of stress. With strong leadership at the heart of Southwold Cricket, the club can build on an encouraging 2013 towards greater glory.
Southwold are always looking for new players and members – if you’d like to get involved please contact either Alex Britten at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Chairman, Trevor Clifford on 07900 267239.