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Nether Whitacre Cricket Club

 Cow Pats and Cricket Bats by Maurice Barnett ©.

Chapter Eleven

Chapters: [Introduction] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [Appendix]

The Seventies - Old Players Fade Away And New Recruits Arrive

Now, under the Captaincy of Frank Baird, we started this decade where we left the last - we won the Fillongley Cup, beating Corley in a replay, after a nail biting tie. We appeared in the final again in 1972, and lost to Berkswell C.C.

John Webb and Paul Chaplin continued to spearhead our attack (as fast as ever) but when they retired from the game in the mid seventies, our impact on the K.O. Cup never quite reached the heights of past years. (We are still awaiting a couple of high class quickies to operate together, to match our current batting strength.) (1987)

Nevertheless, our performances on Saturdays were satisfactory and the 1st XI still proved a difficult team to beat:

Averages For 1970
 1st XI Batting   L Florey   19.5   
   F Baird   19.4   
 Promising young player   D Whitehead   15.7   
 Bowling   P Chaplin   52 wickets   8.2 Av 
   J Webb   77 wickets   9.7 Av 
 Promising young player   K Baird   27   13.8 Av 
 2nd XI Batting   D Beale   16.7   
 Bowling   K Fox   27   15 Av 
 Player of the Year   J Webb     

The time covered by this section of our history saw the addition to our 1st XI playing strength by the introduction of Sid Dennis and Steve Taylor (very good all-rounders), J Hayes, and G Simkins. One batting highlight was Frank Baird's 134 not out against Birmingham Co-Op, and a bowling feat to be remembered is Paul Chaplin's 6 for 12 against Coleshill. The later occasion was in the Wilnecote Cup, when we scored a miserable 61, but dismissed our opponents for 44 (1971).

The 2nd XI began to have a more stable look, with the inclusion of several more experienced players (eg Derek Hambleton, Arthur Luckett, Arnold Hutchings, and Roy Austin, one of several players who joined the Club and who worked at the Post Office Engineering Test Section at Fordrough Lane in Bordesley Green.

Other players who joined the Club from this rich source were Clive Powers, Terry Finn, Martin Garvey, Brian Milne and Ken Fenemore. Later, Tony Knight was also to join the Club from the Post Office. Other new younger members such as the three Johns - Barnett, Luckett and Greaves, also, Alec Joyce, Roger Jones, A Teweeks helped to blend the side. John Greaves had first joined the Club the year after his brother Jim in 1967 and between them they were to play for the Club for over 30 years. In addition there was the reliable Keith Fox, John Cresswell and Derek Beale.

An example of our newly found success is reflected in our victory over Marston Green in July 1971, when we scored 147 (Barnett 55) and they were dismissed for 49 (Hambleton 7-15). This game has been mentioned because it stood in stark contrast to many previous matches, resulting in demoralizing defeats. From then onwards the second team began to relinquish the habit of being on the losing side.

Occasional Sunday matches were introduced in the seventies - but this was a project that got off the ground very slowly.

By this time several older members recognized they were beginning to 'Creak at the joints a bit' and ought to retire. (It was nothing to do with the subscription having been increased to £6!) Thus we three, Arnold (Hutchings) Arthur (Luckett) and me (Maurice Barnett) gracefully withdrew from the scene. In due course we were privileged to be made Life Members.

Others left to explore fresh fields.

In 1976, Walter Birch became Chairman and from then onwards a new period of activity and re-organization prevailed - another new and stimulating era had begun.


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