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2015 Colts' Review

This season's U16 in 2012 at U13. Same coach!

So a momentous season for the club is over and for many of us, it still hasn't quite sunk in what we achieved this year. Let's start with the Colts. It's ten years since we played our first matches when Brian Jeffries and Peter Jones entered us in the U12 IDentilam League. Current players Jake Hodgson and John Tolson played in the first game at home to Slinfold when they both took a catch in a 54 run defeat. Our first victory came in mid-July with a four wicket win at Findon. Hodgson and Tolson again taking four wickets between them opening the bowling. In the opposition that day was Sam Aviss who soon transferred to us plus all rounder Harry Metters who is now playing 1st XI for Findon. 

Over the years, the set-up has grown each year but the major shift was last season with the introduction of Friday night coaching. 

The key element is fun. Kids enjoy the movement at, and between, stations and the competition amongst their peers in their age group. Whilst it's not perfect, huge strides are being made as we are fast becoming the team to beat at any age. 

On the field of play, all colts sides flourished in 2015. Coaches are instructed to give everyone a go at batting and bowling in league games whilst really going for it in the Sussex festivals in the summer holidays. Fewer games were lost to the elements and we introduced an additional Girls team at U13 (as well as our Women VIII who stayed under the radar in their fledgling T20 league season). Our Girls squad almost tripled in membership and we won our first league game. Sarah Osborne continues to put a huge amount of effort into the female section and we again thank her for her efforts.

Some dodgy haircuts and a few familiar faces here

Patrick's U8s played a few friendlies including the thumping of Storrington in the derby where Matt Farnes took four wickets in four balls. Kids really develop when they play matches so well done to Patrick and his team for scheduling these. The U9s won their league after an exciting play-off against Billingshurst who had won the other division. Craig was aided by Paul Bethell who is becoming our go-to assistant coach and 1st XI golden oldie James Chaloner who added a few pearls of wisdom on match days and at the end of coaching sessions. The U10s had a quiet season as we bloodied several new players but finished with a bang as a close runner up to Cuckfield in the All Sussex Cup Final at Hove in early September. A terrific effort from Peter and Simon's boys which promises much for next year as they start standard cricket rules. 

The U11s were the one frustrated side this season. A league with next to no teams in it and a festival in which they only managed one game due to heavy rain. Doug and Ian's boys will be hoping for better in 2016. However the U12s went one better than last year. A reasonable showing in the league was followed by another SJCF Shield Final appearance and this year, they become the second WCTCC U12 side to win a Shield Final when they overcame Barns Green at Arundel. Three centurions in Cricket Week after we hadn't managed one in all the previous seasons and the bowling and fielding have really come on for Phil's boys. Like Doug, Glyn Lucas was in his first season as a L2 coach and his U13s started the year by winning the Indoor League before then winning their outdoor league too. We put them into the Bowl section of the SJCF and they performed brilliantly in a very tough group. Again some strong performers with the batting and bowling especially new signing Hugo Gillespie who has performed well in the Academy and fitted in very well into Glyn's side. 

The U14s didn't win their league but became the first Green and Gold side to top an SJCF Bowl group in the SJCF. More strong performances from the regulars. Finally the U15s did well in a tough WACA league before the U16s jointly won their SJCF Shield after the final was washed out against St Peter's. 

The Academy saw some personnel changes this year as Martin Glover brought in new signing Chris Adams to assist him and the former Sussex and England star was very well received by kids and parents alike. When Chris disappeared to help the Dutch in an ICC T20 competition, we welcomed Ashley Wright (brother of Luke) and he slotted in immediately. The Academy will continue next year and we hope to have more games for the kids to play together in. Thanks again to Martin for managing the set up so well. 

Next season we will need more helpers so don't be shy, step forward and ask to go on a one day Coach Support Worker course!

WH

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