1st XI statistically speaking 2017
The first statistic to stand out is that the team finished 3rd. Plenty of disappointment here but it is the clubs highest league standing since the late 1990s when two seasons were spent in division 1. These stats don’t show the greatest win in the clubs history. Beating Boughton Hall in the cup to progress to the quarter finals in June.
What they do show is a pleasing trend of player availability. Just 15 players deployed this season compared to 28 last. The 11 wins only yielded two ‘doubles – Cheadle Hulme and Mobberley with no teams doing the deed to the Alv. Chris Charles might have won 11 out of 20 tosses, but crucially very few of the vital ones. 171 points came in the 1st half of the season from five wins with 197 from 6 wins in the second half,
On to the batting. It was a tough year for batsmen, being a wet Summer and nobody passed 500 runs, but arguably that is a stength with good runs coming from almost everyone including a fabulous 44 from Billy Ouzounidis batting at number 11 at Romiley and several important knocks from Lee Ainsworth at 10. Aside from Si Gee’s brilliant 97 v Lindow, the next top score was just 67 (Mike Rowlands). The last ton scored in the 1st XI remains Jon Suckley in 2014 but there have been 4 batsmen get into the upper 90 since without converting!
Gee topped the averages at 32.3 as well as topping the aggregate and hitting the most 4s. Top 6 hitter this year was Chris Charles who scored quickly enough to top the strike rate at 73 / 100 balls. Billy Ouzounidis remained below the orange line but his healthy average and a series of very useful cameos helped the team out on a number of occasions, including the 6 off the last ball v Boughton Hall!
There were some very handy partnerships with the Ste Charles / Mike Rowlands effort at Christleton the first on the first day of the season (105)
Bennion / Ainsworth 58 unbeaten at Cheadle Hulme to win the game and Ouzounidis and Chris Charles at Romiley to give the team a chance were other highlights.
It was a bowlers year and all 6 of the regular bowlers had good years as well as some brilliant cameos from Sophie Ecclestone. Billy Ouzounidis topped the pile with 37 wickets at just 15 average. Arguably his best performance came with the new ball and at the death against Boughton Hall – taking out Goodwin’s stumps at the top and then bowling the coolest series of yorkers to finish the job.
His new ball partner is probably the unluckiest bowler in the league. Topping the economy rate stat at 2.9 / over, he must wonder how he ended with just 27 wickets. He did bag the best analysis though with 6 for 17.
Ainsworth also topped the 30 wicket mark and had a pleasing average of 17.5, just ahead of Mike Rowlands who chipped in with 17 (often vital partnership breaking) wickets. Ste Charles and Jimmy Ecclestone both contributed with some telling spells, often brought on to slow the rate down, which they did admirably.
Fielding was an area that Alvanley showed a vast improvement in during 2017, an observation that is widely held, epitomised by Jon Whitley and undoubtedly caused by him too, with training and pre-match well organised, fun and intense. In Whitley, Chris Wright and Ste Charles, Alvanley have three live wires and the big guys all have good hands. Keeper Si Gee bagged 24 catches behind the stumps whilst Andy Bennion topped the fielding catches with 11, just ahead of Ainsworth – 9.
Of course statistics don’t tell the full story. Sometimes a 10 not out on a tricky wicket or in a high pressure situation can yield as much satisfaction as a 50 on a ‘road’.
It should be noted that so many people contributed to what, on reflection is a good season. Volunteers such as Lorraine Geddis and Col Jones (scoring), Col Gee and Ian Charles (ground) – our pitches were fabulous, Robin Geddis and Jon Lewis (photos) and the many supporters that come along in all weather, – you are appreciated!