TRING Park reflected on a successful 175th season at their recent end of season ball and presentation night.
The first team managed second place in the Home Counties Premier League – their highest ever finish – and the side also won the Bucks Senior Cup and the coveted Gazette Cup.
Keith Dutch, Michael Payne and Aussie Pete Handscomb, meanwhile, were all selected in the Home Counties League team of the season in recognition of their strong performances throughout the course of the year.
Other highlights for the team in 2011 included a first ever win over reigning champions Henley and a comprehensive victory over this year’s champions High Wycombe, by six wickets.
Individually, Handscomb topped the run charts with a haul that included two match-winning centuries against Bishops Stortford and Radlett, while George Harper’s 9-71 against Oxford provided the bowling highlight.
The other senior teams also performed well with a heavy emphasis on junior development – on the final league Saturday of the season the club fielded no less than 15 junior players in their four sides, including two in the first XI, and their contributions provide great hope for future success.
The Bucks Cup was won in a low-scoring final against Cherwell League side Wolverton. Tring were dismissed for 145 before bowling out their opponents for just 92 – 16-year-old Sam Shearman was the star, taking 3-20 after scoring a vital 22.
Leverstock Green were then beaten by seven wickets in the Gazette Cup final with talismanic spin-bowler Richard Yates turning in a captain’s performance.
Yates’ four wickets helped him to the man of the match accolade and put his side in a strong position to secure the comfortable victory.
Elsewhere, three of Tring’s 14 junior sides made it through to the final stages of the Hertfordshire competitions, with the U16s coming agonisingly close to winning a tense final with St Margaretsbury.
The junior section now boasts over 260 members with a thriving girls’ section.
At the presentation, chairman Ian Lewington made glowing reference to the improving strength of the club before handing out the awards assisted by club president Dave Kempster, which were as follows:
Player of the Year – Michael Payne; Young Player – Rory Criddle; Most Improved – Stephen Dutch; Clubman – John Knox; Lionel Hitchings Award for Individual Batting Performance – Sam Cherry v Henley; Mike Evers Award for Individual Bowling Performance – George Harper v Oxford; Dave Kempster Award for Junior Performance in Senior Cricket – Ali Partner; Ron Harivel Award for Best Trainer – Duncan Marriott.
The anniversary season climaxed with a game at Lords on the nursery ground against the Cross Arrows XI.