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Lancashire Cricket Board - Presentation Evening was packed out and successful
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Presentation Evening was packed out and successful

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But the weather is still doing its best to mess up the end of season

Last Wednesday somewhere around 650 people packed into three quarters of the Point for the End of Season Presentation Evening. It was a fair old sight standing up on the stage seeing so many people had come along to celebrate the 2012 season. This was a season which must have been the wettest ever but which ended with three Lancashire age group teams as National Champions and another as third placed. Chuck in the fact that we were Festival winners down in Brighton as well, and the season ends as the most successful one ever. Not a bad old record really – the wettest and the most successful. I will settle for some of the same next season minus the rain.


Mind you the rain has continued to give us problems.


This week is the week of Finals for Lancashire Schools.


Yesterday – Monday – we had the Ainsworth Trophy Final at Old Trafford – with not a drop of rain to disturb us. The ground looked great and Head Groundsman, Matthew did us proud. Slap bang in the middle of the square. Matt Procter, the Announcer, was in attendance keeping spectators fully informed and Scoreboard Operator, Matthew ensured every ball and every run was there on the master electronic scoreboard. It must have been great for parents and family to see offspring heading out to the middle and to hear the announcement just as in a Test Match and then to see the name appear on the scoreboard. Well done all three Matthews.


Bolton emerged as winners after passing Sefton’s 163 for 9 with four wickets still in the shed. There was a lot of skill and determination shown. Unfortunately there has to be a loser but I am sure the players of both sides will remember their day at Old Trafford for many, many years to come.


Just to help here are three photos I took yesterday. Pick out the coin on the first up in the air. Looks like I am a talented photographer as well.



 Captains Josh Bohannon (Bolton) and Matty Virtue (Sefton) plus Umpires John Steel and Jim Briscoe


                                Bolton - Ainsworth Trophy Winners - 2012



                                   Sefton - Ainsworth Trophy Finalists - 2012 


Our Finals week should have continued today with the John Heaton Under 13 Memorial Trophy being contested between Bolton School and Lancaster RGS at Blackpool Cricket Club. Now Redders and other coastal dwellers are always eager to say they get less rain on the coastal fringes than others inland. In normal summers this may well be the case but in the summer of 2012 it did not really matter where you lived – you got the rain and plenty of it.


A phone call from Mr Reddy himself at 8.45 this morning confirmed our fears and the Final was cancelled. We have given up on this one and will now be playing it at the beginning of next season.


The third Final of the week should have been at Ribblesdale Wanderers CC, Clitheroe tomorrow (Wednesday) between Ribblesdale School and Merchant Taylors, Crosby. This was the Under 12 Bunbury Final. Phone call from Ribb Wanderers at about 10.00am put paid to that one. Herein we had a problem as this Inter-School Competition goes into national stages in 2013 and we have to find a winner before the end of this month. After going through the well-oiled programme of ensuring everyone who needed to know was informed of the cancellation including of course the umpires I needed to get the thinking cap on to try and avoid a bowl out or toss of coin. I am chuffed, and so are both schools, that this Final will now be played at of all places Old Trafford next Wednesday – indoors. This time rain cannot interfere.


In mentioning National Finals linked to our Inter-School Competitions I must add my congratulations to Bolton School Under 15’s who became National Champions in the Under 15 20/20 Competition when they beat Whitgift School in the marvellous setting of Arundel Castle at the end of last week. This competition starts and ends in the same season. We head towards Lancashire Finals before the end of June and then our winning school goes through to the Regional Finals. 


In the Under 12 Competition that will be completed next week at Old Trafford our winners go through to a National Competition in 2013. The Under 14 Harold Bailey Competition was completed on September 5th at Blackpool CC when Manchester Grammar School defeated Kirkham Grammar School. This Final had originally been scheduled for late June but had to be re-arranged to September because of inevitable rain. MGS will play in the National Competition in 2013.


One other Final which we hope to get out of the way is our Under 17 Inter-School 20/20 Competition. No National Competition for this one which weather again permitting will be at Rainhill CC between Rainhill HS and Manchester Grammar School on Friday morning. I am down to Match Manage this one as well.


A slight problem exists for next week’s U12 Final at OT. Last year Lancaster RGS won both U12 and U13 Trophies, and they are both still at the school. Ways will have to be found to get the U12 one down to Old Trafford. If the game had been played at Blackpool today then Lancaster would have handed over the trophy.


No trophies at all this year for the Mount. After their record breaking year of 2011 there will be nothing on the shelf this year. The final one – the League Trophy – went to Farnworth last Saturday as the Mount’s season flittered away at Social Circle. It often happens when you have a year like last year that the muck cart follows the Lord Mayors show. Perhaps that’s how they feel at the County Club as well. I am looking forward to the Lancashire lads bouncing back in 2013 with the Mount back to where they belong as well.


It looks therefore that next Wednesday in the Indoor Centre at Old Trafford that my Lancashire Schools year will be over. No way. We have already started the whole process of moving on into the winter programme and looking ahead to the season of 2013. It is an almost seamless transition from one year to the next. We need to analyse this year and a number of meetings of managers and coaches have been scheduled already. The ECB will need to confirm their intentions for our ECB National programmes and then the scheduling of matches can commence.


The programme of player assessments has already begun with three sessions this week for the boys. I will be at Lowerhouse CC on Sunday again for the U15 Boys Assessments. I say again as I was there last Friday with Sophie and many other girls at a session to sort out the U15 Girls Squad for the Indoor Coaching Sessions in the New Year. It isn’t often that you can win a Player of the Month title on Wednesday and then be assessed for next season on the Friday. These are the demands that our young players have to be able to handle to maintain their positions within the system.


Many, many moons ago when Number 1 Son had become an MCC Young Cricketer at Lords’ he spent some of his formative years in the company of one Jonathon Harvey, now Lord of the Manor at Read CC. I had not seen Harvs for some time, and just as with buses, when one meeting comes along, another usually follows soon after. Harvs was at our Presentation Evening last week, and he was at Lowerhouse Cricket Club last Friday evening. The reason for me meeting up with him is that his daughter Nicole was part of the Under 13 Girls team this season, and was being assessed at Lowerhouse as well. Both events also gave me chance to meet Harvs Mum and Dad, Dave and Wendy. We spent a great deal of time in their company on our many visits down to London when the lads were having the time of their life as Young Cricketers. What was that establishment called – the King of Bohemia. Most of the Young Cricketers lived at a hostel in Hampstead and frequented the King regularly. It no longer exists I am sorry to say. Whenever the good lady and I visit London we still use the same hotel just down the road from Hampstead. It used to be a Trust House Forte establishment but is now run by that Lenny Henry mob. One of the first times we stayed there we had gone down to Lords for a final between Lancashire and Worcestershire. The Worcester lads stayed there as well as did some of the newly appointed Sky Sports Cricket Commentators. I can remember Bumble appearing for breakfast in a striped blazer that did not do him any flavours. That the Worcester Chairman appeared at all for breakfast was something of a miracle as I have never seen anyone consume what he consumed that evening and into the early hours of the morning.


The good lady was with me and she seemed rather pleased to see Ian Botham but seemed somewhat transfixed by another Worcester player whose name escapes me. He was a quick bowler with long blonde hair. Can anyone help? Mind you when we got down to Lords where Harvs and our son were doing a roaring trade selling programmes she bumped into Richard Hadlee leaving her with a glow which lasted all day.


All of these reminiscences triggered by meeting Jonathon Harvey again.


But that is the great joy of cricket.


At the end of the Presentation Evening I did manage to sell some of my books – but we still have quite a lot left. I am going to look at some imaginative ways of trying to coerce many more to buy this wondrous book. I intend to let you see more of the photos etc that I have in my archives and possibly may move down the eBook route to try and cover the printing costs of the Book itself.


As I pointed out in my last blog the Most Famous Zoo Keeper in the World sanctioned another cruise – this time across to the Caribbean. As now required by edict from she who must always be obeyed I am sworn to secrecy about when this event will take place. You can rest assured that when we return from our cruise with the Queen that I will have even more pictures of myself to regale you with at the start of each Blog. The one I have used tonight to start the blog is a very complimentary one taken when I was somewhat more sylph like than I am now. In a determined attempt to erase some of my summer added weight I have now unearthed our Nintendo Wii and will be back hard at work from tomorrow. I set it up today and did the Health Check to see how much weight had been added this summer. You know when you see something in a shop you would like to be buy but the price is outrageous and your response is “HOW MUCH” – well that was my reaction today. I could not believe what that Nintendo told me today. I have a lot of work to do as otherwise I will need to buy some new clothes before we set off.


The Shakers are still in the bottom four of League One. They have a match tonight at Tranmere when we must hope for a win. Where are Tranmere in the League – Top.  Just our luck!!!


It is just a tad early for a Tesco Moment. Might have to cut them out for a while though.




The Proof Reader has checked everything and without having to even think for a moment came up with the name of that Worcester and England player with the long golden locks – Graham Dilley.

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