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It was once again a real privilege for me to lead this group of men this year.
We challenged ourselves with an ambitious set of goals, which was to win the Tom Hellaby Two-Day Championship and gain promotion, then go back to back and win theT/20 championship. Finally to go chase Nationals by winning the Jeff Crowe One-Day Cup.
Well, this was no fairy-tale season but as the saying goes, its about the journey, not the destination.
In the two day championship, for the first time since I’ve been here we beat the eventual winners, Grafton. In the One-Day comp we smashed the powerhouse that is Parnell as well as Suburbs who were in the final against Takapuna. We took winners Takapuna to the edge and lost by one run in a thriller on Vauxhall. If you thought we couldn’t get closer well, we tied with Suburbs in the T/20 and lost in a bowl-off, they went on to win that trophy.
So it was second in the Two-Day comp, semi-finals for T/20 and semis for the One-Dayers.
Its no surprise to anyone who plays or watches this group that we are successful across all formats. This group has talent and skill, an attitude and commitment to hard work, balanced with a team ethic around respect and all underlined by an approach to enjoy the game and back yourself - it comes together neatly in the Shore Way.
We clearly played some good cricket this year, and a feature of these team performances were the individuals who stood up to play a significant roles in winning a game. Once again Brungar was superb taking 57 wickets this season. Matt Selby signed off his career with a special season with the bat scoring 751 runs. Ben Wall with the gloves was an absolute pest for the opposition taking everything catchable and always keeping the energy up in the field. Batman and AC were awesome again, playing the crucial role of all-rounders with Selby. This year also featured big performances by youngsters Matt Strain and Gus McKenzie as well as a so many guys across the grades who came into the team.
Special mention must be made for the T/20 campaign under Mike Olsen. Building on the buzz after last years final, the play offs on the Domain were some of the best matches to be part of. Hundreds of people lining the boundaries, food, music, kids playing and so much support for the team. The connection so strong because many of our young cricketers are coached by the Premiers playing just there on the field. There were victories against Takapuna, Eden Roskil and that fateful game against Suburbs were shared by everyone at North Shore and ripple made it to the wider NZ cricket community.
I'd like to say thank you to all of you who represented the Premier mens team this year. You are great ambassadors for this club and continually taking this team forward leaving it better and stronger for the next man. It’s not just the players of course, so much goes into this team.
From Karen and her team in the kitchen, Toni and Shands, Gillian and, of course, our team manager Mike Duncraft. We also like to thank the board and committee for all its work, the families and friends who also share in our love for this game.
It is appropriate that we recognise some outstanding individual performances this season, but as we have said so often, it is the partnerships between real team mates that underpin our success and everyone here has had a part to play in this epic production.
Well done to all the prize winners. I hope you all enjoy celebrating and reflecting on another great season.
Go The Shore!
Back in 1927, a woman, Mabel Stout, had Emily Stevenson to keep her company in the dock at the Police Court, it was recorded in the New Zealand Herald.
Both women admitted that they were disorderly while drunk on Devonport Domain on Saturday while watching cricket.
They had, according to the senior sergeant, been in trouble before.
Stout was fined £1, or three days' imprisonment, and Stevenson, who had procured liquor while prohibited, was fined £2, or seven days.
We have it on good authority that the two women wen not, and had never been, members of the North Shore Cricket Club - but had simply become overly excited watching the game that was being played by the aforementioned club.
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