The 2009 season

The 2009 CCA Junior 4B shield, won by Romsey Town CC. The names of all Romsey players who played at least four league matches appear on the shield; those unlucky to miss out were Dave Clark, Malcolm Creek, Paul Jordan, Tom Jordan, Andy Page, Andy Ralph and Dave Williams (all of whom played one or two games).

After "nineteen years of hurt" Romsey Town won the league for the first time since 1991. It might only have been Junior 4B, but we played good cricket throughout, and, after our first-up batting failure against eventual runners-up Weston Colville, we won all eleven league fixtures that weren't cancelled. Even better, it was an all-round team success, with everyone either playing a critical innings, holding a match-winning catch or bowling a perfect delivery at one stage or another. For every headline-hogging fifty or five-for there was a great effort of the sort that slips under the radar of statistics, like Russell Woolf's one-ball innings that gave us a last-ball win against Elsworth or the direct-hit run out by Rod Dennis that catalysed what ended up being a comfortable victory against Dullingham.

Of course it was almost inevitable that the statistics looked pretty good, too. Our batting was decent, with all the top-order averaging more than 20, although it was far from dominant, with only one batsman averaging more than 36. That was Jon Steele, who scored 342 league runs at 57.00 (not to mention about 200 more in friendlies), book-ending the year with our first and last league fifties. But the real key to our great season was a succession of great bowling and fielding performances. Four bowlers took 13 or more wickets at less than 16.00, and the fielders backed them up with a total of 41 catches and 10 stumpings. Andy Owen won the bowling award with 13 wickets at 9.31, but more than honourable mentions are due to Rog Shelley (22 wickets at 11.27), Adrian Mellish (13 wickets at 13.15), and Daniel Mortlock (23 wickets at 15.13). And if any further evidence was needed of our strength in depth, the best spell of the season was delivered by Marcelino Gopal, who took 5/11 in a fairytale performance against Dullingham.

The Dullingham game was in the middle of a heady two-month period during which every Saturday seemed to be spent basking in glorious sunshine at our new home ground, at Trinity's Old Fields site on Adams Road, whilst watching the top order knock off a small target with ease. With the return of Ev Fox (2 catches and 4 stumpings) to the wicket-keeping role, all the pieces had finally fallen into place; for the first time in living memory Romsey seemed to have the perfect balance of batting, bowling and fielding. After our inglorious fall from Junior 2 in 2006 it now seems entirely possible that we might be able to get back there if we can reproduce our 2009 form when we play in Junior 3 next year.