Lacking Mental Strength

Sunday 6 May 2018
GRACES CC  100 all out (Leo 30, Wright 4-38, Greenham 3-10)
JUDD STREET TIGERS 94 all out (Sikandar 51, Newton 4-10)

The Tigers lost by 6 runs in the 40th over, failing to chase down 101 at a rate of only 2.5 per over, losing their last 7 wickets for the same number of runs, the last 4 for no runs at all in 6 balls. Having reached 75-2 in the 29th over, and with just 22 needed from the final ten overs, they couldn’t manage it.

Afterwards, No Longer Director of Cricket but Head of Cricket Relations Steve Bignell fronted up at the post-match press conference:

IMG-20180430-WA0000
In cooler yet happier times the No Longer Director of Cricket but Head of Cricket Relations Steve Bignell keeping warm

Naturally, everyone is very disappointed with this result, gutted in fact. There were some tears in the dressing room afterwards. It’s our third defeat already, but as bad defeats go, on a scale of one to ten, this was an elevenI know our supporters are very upset, but not as much as the players. We threw away a winning position last week, and although we were badly beaten at Southgate Compton, we had them 0-3 and 20-5 before they made 243. Our game management is just very bad at the moment. Everyone is doing their best, but it’s just not happening.

Some people may point the finger at our guests and missing players, but that’s unfair. Even our regular players are going to miss some games, that’s a fact of life, but it’s discouraging that only seven Tigers were available. I appreciate it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, but it’s indicative of where the club is at the moment. Attendance was poor at the autumn AGM, and the January social, as well as the pre-season nets. Recruitment has been non-existent so far and our regular players are getting older and more prone to breaking down.

Asked if his team was ‘mentally weak’, as some critics have suggested, Bignell replied:

Look, we are not professionals, we are not even league players, we are people who enjoy a friendly game of cricket on a Sunday. It’s not a matter of life and death. For three-quarters of the game we were doing fine. You have to get the guest players involved and I thought the skipper (Richard Burgess) did that very well, but he had to deal with people never seen before. Graces generously loaned us two players, who in fact scored 23 of our runs, the remaining Tigers, apart from Ali, managing only ten between them! It’s only three games into the new season and already the club has fielded 21 different players, seven of them guests, with more expected next week when the team travels to Porto. It’s just where we are. 

I thought Mitch bowled a really good spell early doors and Wrighty got good value for his long hops and full tosses, Ian Daffern had an excellent debut behind the stumps and Ali Sikandar played a great innings despite being handicapped by a thigh strain. The wicket got very difficult towards the end as it had seen a lot of cricket, the Winchmore Hill juniors having played on it earlier in the day. Graces kept things very tight and it became harder and harder to get the ball off the square. We just crumbled and gave it away. We let them bowl 11 maidens in 40 overs and could only score 15 runs in our last ten overs. It’s not good enough, but when the team has to make 5 or 6 changes every week, what can we do?

He was asked where the club goes from here on in:

To Porto, obviously, but I expect to see greater commitment for our next home game in two weeks’ time, with everyone pulling together. Look, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The club is almost solvent again after a very difficult period, it was a lovely day and there was a big crowd, though they might have a got a tad bored when we were batting. Nobody got shot or stabbed, Arsenal won 5-0 and Haringey Borough won promotion to the Bostik Glue Premier Division. Happy days!

Thank you very much

 

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