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The First Eleven
What looked like being an outstandingly successful year for the 1st Eleven ended, as far as statistics go, as merely a good season in which twice as many matches were won as were lost. This anti-climax, as it were, to the season was brought about by a disastrous cricket week (disastrous, I hasten to add, solely from the point of view of results), for during this final week of matches only one win was recorded by the team. Until this point in the season the side had suffered only two defeats in twenty matches, and both could easily have been victories. The game against Chingford C.H.S. seemed to be well won, with our opponents struggling at 70 for 8, but victory was snatched from our grasp by a defiant, though not chanceless, ninth-wicket stand from our opponents.
Having scored 150 for 5 against Romford Royal Liberty, the School seemed once again in an impregnable position, but Romford took up the challenge in brilliant fashion and, in a match that produced some of the best cricket of the season, they just managed to beat the School side and the clock.
Close, exciting victories were won against King Edward VI, Chelmsford, and against Palmers, in direct contrast to the crushing defeats inflicted upon Woodberry Down, Parmiters, Dagenham and Romford Technical. Perhaps the team's best all-round performance and victory, however, came against an extremely strong Walthamstow C.C. side. Set to score 170 runs in two hours the side responded wonderfully to the challenge and won with one wicket to fall and one minute left to play.
In the game against Southend C.H.S. the team gave their best display in the field when, with only 64 runs to play with, Southend were sent tumbling to 23 for 8 and only time saved them from defeat.
The side, one of the strongest for years, certainly silenced its pre-season critics, and showed what can be achieved by practice, enthusiasm, and dedication.
Next year's first eleven should benefit from the experience gained this season, for there will be eleven players available for selection who have experienced 1st Eleven cricket.
I should like to thank all those members of staff who gave up so much of their time to organising and umpiring matches and in particular to Mr. Shaw, without whose zeal, dedication, encouragement (and criticism!) the cricket throughout the School could not have improved as it undoubtedly did. The team's thanks go also to Mr. Dade and his assistant for the preparation of such excellent wickets throughout the season.