During the past four years, the too serious nature of county cricket would appear to have affected school cricket, in that much of the "colour " in cricket, especially in batsmanship, has disappeared. This has naturally had repercussions which in turn have been followed by a reaction. For instance, three years ago, fielding, the mark of the successful side, was of a high standard ; recently a marked decline has been evident. To counter this, batting occasionally and bowling more often have reached a new, if not unprecedented peak.
Cricket First XI 1957/58
Keith Board, Bell, Anthony Rickwood, David Bows, Alan Wagstaffe.
Josh Hemming, D Searle, Ian Newsom, David Pike, T K Robinson.
E Powell, P Hawley, D Brian Needham, Peter Beckett.
Photo courtesy of Peter Beckett
The decline in fielding may be attributed to two main reasonsfirst, insufficient personal practice, for although one cannot bat and bowl effectively alone, one can develop one's reflexes and judgement at fielding by hurling a ball at an irregular surface ; the second cause, and understandable but not unconquerable one, springs from a lack of confidence on the part of the fieldsman owing to the uncertainties of the ground. Even our celebrated " Wag " must have some misgivings about the outfield (it is rumoured that his first remark to the Headmaster when both were standing on the " square " was " Well, sir, where's the ground ? "). Still, there is no excuse for continual failure to hold catches ; two members of the side in recent years have suffered considerable anguish as a result.
Yet school cricket in its other spheres, especially bowling, has been really hostile and the team has been fortunate in that its attack has generally included two left-arm bowlers. A word of advice, however, to prospective fast and slow bowlers in the lower school : although you may take numerous wickets with good length bowling, something more is required in the 1st XI, especially against the competent batsmen from Bradford and Nottingham. Try therefore to spin and swerve the ball (late if possible) as early in your career as you can.
School batting by contrast has been rather mercurial, varying from humiliation versus Wakefield to dominance against Nottingham. Perhaps the inconsistency of several team members may be attributed to a basic fault in technique and also to a lack of determined concentration. One's presence is of infinitely greater value to the team if, instead of an occasional, rapid, even brilliant but perhaps fortunate forty or fifty runs followed by an ignominious duck, a steady, if not always spectacular twenty or thirty runs are achieved.
Cricket does have its lighter side, especially off the field, as a recent secretary doubtless will recall, and defeats have been as readily accepted (although not too much, we hope) in the same spirit of cheerfulness and cider as have our great, if infrequent, victories. Promotion too from the junior teams has been eagerly sought, both for the opportunity to play 1st X1 cricket and also sample a " Wag special " tea, consisting of finest bread, butter (at least it was yellow) and no jam.
In conclusion, what are the lessons of school cricket ? They may be briefly summarised as the development of the vital " killer " instinct, bowling to some plan (it is really surprising how many more wickets are obtained if one thinks) and batting consistently (perhaps not a century every match). Finally our thanks are due to those members of staff. especially Messrs. Robinson, Hemming, and Wright, who have so freely given their time to encourage, advise and umpire. We hope that our cricket has repaid in some part the debt we owe to them.
D. A. PIKE.
Writing at the end of this season, it seems almost unnecessary to say that A has been entirely dominated by the weather ; but by the time this is printed, some of us may have forgotten the long weeks of cancelled matches and the vision of Whiteley Woods as a damp expanse of puddles and plantains. We have not checked the records, but it is surely doubtful if in any other year in the School's history eight consecutive matches had to be abandoned at the height of the "summer season," so that a game was not completed between June 4th and July 18th.
Comment on the team's performance has to be judged against this background, for such a long period without play was dispiriting and frustrating and made regular practice extremely difficult. It was doubly unfortunate coming at a time when, after a very modest opening to the season, the team looked like settling down to its true form. In the early games the main weakness was a surprising lack of penetration in the bowling, expected to be a strong department of the team. Draws in our favour against De la Salle and Barnsley were followed by two losses, against Woodhouse and Worksop, both due to generous declarations in matches where the bat was very much on top. The Stockport match, as last year, saw our batting in a very unfavourable light, though the game was saved ; but the much-needed first victory came in the match against High Storrs, even though the early batting made a total of 57 seem almost mountainous until Powell and Needham came together in a good partnership. In the later matches, a veil will generously be drawn over the performance against the Staff, but this was at least partly compensated by a handsome victory over Hymers College the following day. During the last week of term, some very strong opposition was faced but the team fought hard and the results have been very close ; but for poor fielding at vital points, at least two of the games might have been won.
Newsom has captained the team well in a difficult year. He has been handicapped by the lack of a genuine pace bowler but has handled his other resources shrewdly and has developed into a very useful off spinner himself, able to turn the ball on soft wickets and not afraid to use variations of length and flight. He might be criticised for not clamping down more severely on fielding lapses, but his own example in the covers has usually been excellent. He got off to a splendid start with the bat but latterly has been more inconsistent, finding difficulty in adjusting his play to the strange variations in pace of pitches on which the team has played.
In his last season with the team, Pike has topped both batting and bowling averages, with figures comparing favourably with those of last season. His batting is technically very sound, although he has been guilty of some impulsive strokes which have cost him his wicket when he seemed to be well settled, and, latterly, his judgement of short singles has been often faulty ; his best innings, however, have been most pleasing to watch and show the reward for continued application to basic principles. But he will be more greatly missed as a bowler, for on occasions he has held the team together and has been a constant danger to opponents on both hard and soft wickets. The only need now is for greater variety and a readiness to buy his wickets against aggressive batsmen if more orthodox methods are not effective.
Searle has been unfortunate in the wickets this season and has not generally been as effective as last year, although in the last few games he has been returning to his old promise and zest, and as soon as this happened the whole strength of the attack was sharpened. He enjoys his cricket and he has served the School well these last three seasons. Hawley, too, has been a most loyal member of the side, even though his bowling has not progressed much from his very successful days as a junior ; he has taken some useful wickets at important moments, but against really good batsmen he is more likely to play them in than get them out, because he has so little swing and variation.
Of the players on whom we must rely next season. Powell has been outstanding. He is the most improved batsman in the side, playing forcefully and with a sense of responsibility at times of crisis. If he can curb a certain impetuosity when the outlook seems brighter, he will score heavily next season and his fielding remains as sharp as ever. Needham in his first season with the team is another player who can score quickly, being blessed with a good eye and great power off the back foot, and he is now striving hard to curb his desire for aggression from the moment he arrives at the crease, so that he too should be a more consistent scorer next year. Bows is a batsman in a different mould, patient, restrained, and watchful, with a good defence but insufficient readiness to go forward and attack the bowling ; his running between wickets and throwing in the field need to be much sharper but he has done well as opening batsman in his first season.
Bell was a surprise choice as wicket-keeper but has undoubtedly justified his selection, even though he lacks experience and has found difficulties in stumping to the slower bowlers. His willingness to learn by coaching has been most welcome and this has shown itself in the steady improvement in his batting throughout the season. Even if this is his only season with the team he will have benefitted considerably from it. Bradshaw too, although only promoted from the 2nd XI for the later games, has done quite well ; he is keen and determined though inelegant as a batsman and he will have to improve his footwork if he wishes to keep a regular place next season. Wagstaff has had a very mixed season—his batting, which seemed promising earlier, has not developed greatly and in the field he is often clumsy, but he has tried hard to fill the role of pace bowler, though with limited success. He must use his height to better advantage next season and get into hard training during the winter so that he can sustain a longer spell of bowling. He has carried out his secretarial duties quite pleasantly and efficiently and deserves thanks for this. Board has had a poor season, after a promising innings in the opening match ; he will have to play hard for his place next year if he returns.
In conclusion, a season of rather poor results, definitely unflattering to a team which has shown promise occasionally blossoming into fulfilment. Our thanks especially to Newsom, Pike and Searle, who will be sadly missed next year, and to those others who are leaving and have rendered good service ; our hopes for a 1959 season of better weather and the chance to bring on some of the very promising players from the successful Under 15 side of this year.
T. K. R., J. C. H.
Full Colours have been reawarded to I. W. Newsom, D. A. Pike, D. W. Searle ; and awarded to E. W. Powell (1st XI), M. B. Hill (2nd XI).
Half Colours have been awarded to D. M. Bows, B. D. Needham. P. C. Hawley, K. Bell (1st XI) ; J. D. Perry, M. Bradshaw (2nd XI).
Played 13. Won 2. Lost 6. Drawn 4. Abandoned 1.
April 26 (A) K.E.S. 119 for 6 dec.
(Needham 34, D. A. Pike 26) ; De La Salle College 58 for 4. Drawn.
May 3 (A) K.E.S. 116 for 8 dec. (Newsom 38, Bows 34) ; Barnsley G.S. 62 for 7 (D. A. Pike 5 for 14). Drawn.
May 7 (H) K.E.S. 106 for 3 dec. (Newsom 55, D. A. Pike 36 n.o.) ; Woodhouse G.S. 110 for 3 wkts. Lost.
May 17 (A) Stockport G.S. 74 (Searle 4 for 29, D. A. Pike 5 for 30) ; K.E.S. 48 for 9 (D. A. Pike 33 n.o.). Drawn.
May 31 (A) K.E.S. "A" Xl 113 for 3 dec. (Bows 58, Powell 33 n.o.) ; Worksop College 2nd XI 114 for 5. Lost.
June 4 (A) High Storrs G.S. 56 (Newsom 3 for 22, Hawley 3 for 1) ; K.E.S. 57 for 5 (Needham 26 n.o., Powell 22). Won.
June 25 (A) v. Sheffield Collegiate. K.E.S. 41 for 4. Match abandoned.
July 18 (H) K.E.S. 86 (Bell 22 n.o. Mr. Wright 3 for 25, Mr. Robinson 5 for 29) ; The Staff 90 for 3 (Mr. Robinson 40, Mr. May 38 n.o.). Lost.
July 19 (H) K.E.S. 146 for 5 dec. (D. A. Pike 66 n.o., Newsom 31) ; Hymers College 36 (Searle 3 for 3). Won.
July 21 (A) Bradford G.S. 157 ; K.E.S. 90 (Powell 31). Lost.
July 22 (H) K.E.S. 166 (D. A. Pike 31, Needham 30, Bows 22) ; Nottingham H.S. 112 for 6 (Pike 4 for 38). Drawn.
July 23 (H) K.E.S. 82 (Bradshaw 30 n.o.) ; J. G. Ratcliffe's XI 85 for 7. Lost.
July 24 (H) Old Edwardians 80 (D. A. Pike 6 for 14) ; K.E.S. 64 (Powell 21, Alsopp 8 for 21). Lost.
|Pike, D. A.||13||2||66 n.||236||21.45|
|Pike, M. R.||2||1||6||8||8.0|
After salvaging an unbeaten record from this watery wreck of a season (although we had a horrible fright in our last match !) the 2nd XI can look back on an extremely happy and enjoyable summer. Although lacking consistent batsmen, the side has made some respectable totals, and we have relied upon Perry to take wickets. Harmony off the field has been ensured by playing five members of last year's Under 15 XI, who were thus in their third year as team-mates.
The side's batting has proved to be unsound and unreliable. Dixon and Buchan, our original opening pair, lack the determination to wear down an opening attack, and have often been out to rash shots. Beckett and Sara, their successors, have been more fortunate and began with a stand of 51. The former has assurance and confidence, but lapses in concentration prevent his making the number of runs he should. Sara has courage and a good eye, and makes some excellent shots. The middle batting has been a constant source of worry. Bradshaw departed to the 1st XI after scoring an excellent 58 in the opening match, and no one else has been reliable for 20 or 30 runs. Sheasby hit a good 36 against Hymers, but has done little else ; Ellis has never really got into his stride, and Lord, undoubtedly the most gifted player in the side, has yet to produce the effort and energy to match his natural talents. Perry has shown himself a sound defensive batsman and saved the side on two occasions after early wickets had fallen quickly and cheaply.
Perry too has been our main bowler for only he possesses the penetration and nagging accuracy which obtains wickets. He bowls with careful thought and can spin the ball a great deal. It is a pity that he has not had more matches and a wider variety of wickets : he should do well in the 1st XI with a little more experience. The opening attack has never looked really menacing, but has always bowled with enthusiasm and optimism. Bagnall has been rather erratic and Rickwood lacks the venom that should characterise a fast bowler. Lord imparts a lot of spin to the ball, but tends to sacrifice accuracy to this ; nevertheless he has taken a number of good wickets. Laughton, with an economical and restrained action (no doubt due to the measurements of his flannels), has bowled accurately, but has had few opportunities to display his skill.
The ground fielding has not been impressive, and was positively bad in the oppressive weather encountered at Mount St. Mary's. On the other hand, the catching close to the wicket has been superb (despite accusations that it was a " grovelling " competition). Half-chances have been snapped up with reckless disregard for the cleanliness of the flannels or the well-being of the body. Ellis was a competent wicket-keeper in Bradshaw's absence.
This has undoubtedly been a happy and cheerful team, and our Cricket has been of a high standard. Messrs. Wright and Hetherington have again kept an avuncular eye upon us (the latter's leg-breaks in the nets have been especially useful in the development of our aggressive strokes) and we wish to convey our gratitude to them for the time and energy they have spent upon us. Our best wishes also go to Mr. Hetherington in his new post.
M. B. H.
Played 6. Won 3. Drawn 3. Lost 0.
K.E.S. 112 (Bradshaw 58) ; De La Salle 84 for
Barnsley G.S. 88 (Lord 6 for 19) ; K.E.S. 89 for 6. Won by 4 wickets.
K.E.S. 96 ; Stockport G.S. 47 for 8. Drawn.
Mt. St. Mary's College 47 (Perry 6 for 5) ; K.E.S. 49 for 5. Won by 5 wickets.
K.E.S. 119 for 6 dec. (Sheasby 36 n.o.) ; Hymers College, Hull 70 (Perry 6 for 16). Won by 49 runs.
Nottingham H.S. 156 ; K.E.S. 87 for 8. Drawn.
(Hill has an average of 54 over two seasons, having been out only once in that time. This season he made 26 runs without conceding his wicket, giving an average of infinity).
Highest score of the season was Bradshaw 58 against De La Salle College.
Also bowled : Rickwood 4 for 67 ; Laughton 3 for 58 ; Bagnall 1 for 46.
Bradshaw stumped 6 ; Buchan took 4 catches.
The team has had a short but successful season under the shrewd leadership of Pike. The weather managed to reduce the number of fixtures from ten to five and very nearly succeeded in gaining a numerical advantage. Despite this interference and the demands of external examinations, the team maintained a high standard of performance.
Pike (128 runs, av. 32), Eason (93 runs, av. 31) and Dench (72 runs, av. 36) have been the most successful batsmen. All three have the natural ability to develop into extremely useful players. Both Hardie and Ratcliffe seemed capable of a big score, but their indecisive methods of defence soon resulted in their early dismissal. The rest of the side batted according to their positions, although Aldridge with lusty hitting and rather reluctant defence assisted in several stands of considerable value.
Aldridge (15 wkts., av. 5.1) and Cottingham (6 wkts., av. 15.8) proved to be an effective opening pair of bowlers, but they seldom produced the devastation that was expected. Cottingham lacked the accuracy that Aldridge maintained throughout the season. Dench (12 wkts., av. 2.4) and Cockayne (12 wkts., av. 7.3) bowled with intelligent variations of flight and pace. Their ability to retain a length when subjected to hard hitting assisted considerably in their success.
The fielding has been sound with some excellent close-in catching ; the exception being in the last match when one of the opposition was given five " lives " before being dismissed. Dungworth performed creditably behind the wicket and with the correct size in gloves he should do even better !
Wright carried out his duties as scorer with care and accuracy. He " lost " three runs in the course of one game, but fortunately " found " them before the end.
Senior cricket in the school will benefit if the team continue to play with the same enthusiasm and skill which they have shown this term. We wish them every success in their further ventures into the game.
G. W. T., D. J. W.
We are extremely sorry to be losing Mr. Wilson this term. His keen interest in school cricket, especially the Under 15 XI, has been evident for many years now and we are grateful to him for spending his time in coaching and umpiring. The team wishes him all success and happiness in his new post.
M. R. P.
Played 5. Won 4. Tied 1.
K.E.S. 122 for 5 dec. (Eason 64) ; Dronfield
K.E.S. 128 for 7 dec. (Dench 58, Pike 29) ; Barnsley G.S. 42 (Aldridge 6 for 15).
K.E.S. 81 (Pike 35) ; Stockport G.S. 78 (Cockayne 5 for 26).
Oakwood T.S. 21 (Dench 6 for 2) ; K.E.S. 23 for 1.
K.E.S. 129 (Pike 50, Aldridge 26) ; Nottingham H.S. 129 (Aldridge 6 for 37).
Throughout the season the wickets were pudding-like and the outfields slow but these conditions were not in themselves reasons for a succession of miserably low scores. The batting of the side was brittle and undistinguished. There was never a sense of purpose about it, indeed suspense was a feature of every innings. The feeble calling and hesitant running were a sad commentary on the cricket of the side. Batty, after changing his stance, improved beyond all recognition and ended the season with a wholly creditable performance at Nottingham. Blythe batted diffidently ; he must overcome certain frailties in his basic technique. The bold batting of Britton was most welcome at Stockport and Oakwood but in other games he batted with alarming ineptitude. Taylor always started nervously but he judged each ball on its merits and displayed some pleasant attacking strokes in front of the wicket. McAughey and Dennis were included for their batting but both suffered from many early dismissals and did not develop as might have been hoped.
Bailey and Bedford, in a last wicket stand at Barnsley, had the distinction of more than doubling the score and virtually winning the match.
Bailey was a promising fast left-arm bowler ; he needs to concentrate on attacking the stumps and maintaining a length. Bedford with a controlled easy action bowled steadily but often without bite. The medium-paced delivery of Betts kept the runs down and tested our opponents. Wesley and Styring bowled with wild enthusiasm.
This was a poor fielding side ; many catches were put down and there was a marked absence of anticipation. Only Batty, Britton and Wileman showed the required qualities. Taylor kept wicket competently.
The captain, Wileman, lacked the decisiveness expected of him ; his field placing was often unimaginative and his command over the team uncertain. He earned respect, however, for his excellent batting and fine slow spin bowling, nowhere more evident than in the final match of the season. Altogether a pleasant although uninspired team.
P. D. A., A. F. T.
Played 6. Won 4. Lost 2.
K.E.S. 53 ; De La Salle College 54 for 4. Lost by 6 wickets.
K.E.S. 52 ; Barnsley G.S. 47. Won by 5 runs.
K.E.S. 64 ; Stockport G.S. 50 (Wileman 6 for 18). Won by 14 runs.
K.E.S. 72 for 9 dec. ; Firth Park G.S. 75 for 5. Lost by 5 wickets.
Oakwood T.H.S. 60 ; K.E.S. 61 for 9. Won by 1 wicket.
K.E.S. 67 ; Nottingham H.S. 54 (Wileman 8 for 19). Won by 13 runs.
We have to struggle each year for fixtures, since most of the other Sheffield grammar schools do not seem able to raise teams ; but, though possessing undoubted talents, we have not been able to defeat the weather as well. Thus only two games were completed, and the team had no real opportunity to settle down and develop. Parson was an enthusiastic captain, and the side played with keenest and vigour. Those connected with the side include : Parson (Capt.). Bedford, Bailey, Bows, Cook, Dimbleby, Burley, Gott, Scott, Linfoot, Turney, Siddall, Parrish, and Morgans.
P. R. M.
(A) Oakwood Technical H.S. Under 13, 15 (Bedford 5
for 6, Linfoot 5 for 8); K.E.S. 16 for 0. Won by 10 wickets.
(A) K.E.S. 36 ; Mount St. Mary's Under 13, 37 for 6. Lost by 4 wickets.
High Storrs G.S. Under 13, 53 for 9 dec. ; K.E.S. 22 for 0. Drawn.