Champions end with a victory

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Rugby Cricket Club achieved ‘the triple’ at the weekend, as the second team won their final game to end on top of the Warwickshire Division Two 2nd XI table.

The first and third teams were already confirmed as league winners and now all three adult sides have ended as champions.

With the junior sides having also won their leagues, the 2012 season has been one of unprecedented success for the town’s premier cricket club.

Club chairman Colin Watson paid tribute to the hard work that made such an outstanding season possible.

“Through the hard work and commitment shown by players, committee and volunteers within the club, 2012 exceeded all expectations,” he said.

The brilliant year began with the £50,000 Sport England Inspired Facilities award and the subsequent successful completion of the £68,000 ground development project in April.

Mr Watson said: “All junior and senior teams excelled throughout the season, demonstrating maturity and dedication as the club and playing base continued to develop.”

With a clearly defined structure in place, sustainable development plans and a dedicated core membership, these achievements both on and off the field culminated in Rugby receiving the ECB sponsored award of Warwickshire Club of the Year 2012 at a ceremony held at Edgbaston in August.

Mr Watson added: “All of those involved both on and off the field should feel justifiably proud of their respective achievements”

The 1st XI came into the season off the back of a successful 2011 that had seen them promoted to Warwickshire League Division One for the first time since 2005.

The side’s strength probably lay in bowling as key batsmen were injured early on. The bowling attack was led by Matt Ewer with 54 wickets at 7.8, however the strength of the bowling unit was in how they bowled as a group and the discipline they showed.

As a group they conceded runs at under three an over through the whole campaign, with five bowlers averaging under 15 per wicket.

Riv Monsell had another great season with 35 wickets at 14 apiece and Owen Edwards added greatly to the bowling unit following his move to RCC with 23 wickets at 14.

From a batting perspective the story is more mixed. Edwards led the way with 428 runs at 30.6. Youngster Raj Chohan had a breakthrough year with bat and ball, scoring 379 runs at 22.3 and despite a poor start to the season Matt Ewer came through in the end with 290 runs at 29.

The real strength of the team was in its attitude on and off the field. Commitment was exemplary with availability solid from week to week and with an overall competitiveness and unity Rugby were generally a step ahead before they took the field.

The 2013 campaign will present a strong challenge for the club at a higher level yet again.

n More on the club’s successful season next week.

Warwickshire League Division One 1st XI

Rugby CC 1st XI 99 for 2 (20 points) beat Barby 1st XI 96 all out (0 points)

In the final game of the season Rugby won the toss and with a little dew still on the ground chose to bowl first. Riv Monsell (2-23) proceeded to burst through the top of the order as Barby were on the back foot from the start at 0-2 and it meant that rebuilding was to be the order of the day. There followed a very disciplined bowling and fielding performance from Rugby as all bowlers played their part. Neal MGrath (2-16) bowled with accuracy on his return to the 1st XI, highlighting Rugby’s strength in depth and removing a determined Rob Field (23) and Joel Gleghorn (15).

Mo Sadiq (1-25) and Raj Chohan (2-13) continued the good efforts as Barby struggled to break the shackles. The innings was never able to generate momentum as Matt Ewer (3-11) returned to clean up the tail. Barby were all out for 96 in the 47th over.

Chasing low totals is never easy and after a first over in which Will Sinclair removed both Rugby’s openers there was the potential for a hard fought contest but George Mackenzie and Ed Benfield combined to make short work of the target reaching 99-2 in only 13.4 overs. Both batsman ended on 41 not out with George especially strong on anything on his legs and Ed Benfield punishing some bad balls severely with four enormous sixes into the Lions’ ground next door.

A convincing win for Rugby and the perfect way to finish their season as they finished top of Warwickshire Division One with a record of ten wins, four draws and only two defeats.

Warwickshire Cricket League Division Two 2nd XI

Rugby 2nd XI 133 for 1 (20 points) beat Bournville 2nd XI 129 all out (1 point)

Choosing to bowl on an under prepared track, skipper Keith Bradbury was rewarded in spectacular fashion as Druhv Koria (9-0-20-4) demolished the home side’s top order, with Henry Parker taking four top catches at short leg. After 12 eventful overs Bournville were in all kinds of trouble at 18 for 6. 
A couple of missed chances allowed Koratania to make an aggressive 55, but after a stand of 80, Hinks (13.5-0-32-4) returned to wrap up the innings at 129.

In reply Rugby were never in trouble as in-form openers Chris Evans and Alan Milsom punished early wayward bowling as they raced to 102 in 19 overs.

Chris Evans passed 50 and Milsom fell for 36. Evans displayed a great range of strokes as he raced to 72 not out with Glynn Tapp (13 not out) sealing victory with a huge six.

With Knowle Village losing to Pak Shaheen, Keith Bradbury’s team ends as champions of Division 2 2nd XI, with 7 wins, 6 winning draws and only two losses.