June 20 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, May 17, 2012
POTTERS Bar CC go into the 2012 cricket season, the club’s 150th in existence, confident of making a good fist of things back at the top of Home Counties cricket.
After a pretty poor trot of things this time last year, skipper Chris Swainland proved a steady hand, his side quietly won the early games, recruited sensibly and eventually Bar won promotion by a narrow four-point margin over Stevenage.
In truth if you look a little closer, the difference should have been so much bigger, only for the British weather to intervene when Bar were on the cusp of easy wins.
So where does that leave the club for coming season?
They are a club who are a great deal more prepared than in 2010 when they suffered relegation.
Bar believe they have a squad who are all capable of contributing, whereas before they were over-reliant on three or four which was not the way to go.
Bar have done well in recruiting some proven quality players.
In Tanweer Sikandar, Bar have brought back a proven performer who in the two years he was previously with the club scored 1,333 runs at an average of 44.43 as well as taking 50 wickets.
He joins from Old Whitgiftinians in Surrey. The pull of HCPL cricket proved a big boost in him wanting to return to a club where he was loved and respected.
Also making the move to The Walk is James Kettleborough who joins from Hoddesdon where he had a fantastic stint.
In the five games Kettlenorough was restricted to he struck 384 runs at an average of 96.
His club cricket was curtailed to five games due to him breaking current England One Day International captain Alastair Cook’s Bedford School record.
Along with that Kettleborough is on the Middlesex Academy and opens the batting for Bedfordshire, Bar believe they have made an amazing signing where now free of his schooling.
The third new signings is Anthony Keely, a batsman who has joined from Woolaton in the Nottinghamshire Premier League. The Australian lives and works in London, and like the other two, is expected to be a great addition to the club.
The final signing is Dave Cameron, not the Prime Minister, but a hard hitting all-rounder from South Africa, who like Keely, has moved into the parish. He was born in the UK and so his British status makes him Bar’s very own bonus ball.
Cameron has played representative cricket for Nottinghamshire’s second string and is keen for a good stint of club cricket in arguably the toughest league in the ECB pyramid.
Added to those three, Bar still have three top all-rounders in Marc Milligan, Len Cooper and Dan Pascoe and bring young and current Herts opening bowler George Scott into the equation Bar have a strong and varied bowling attack.
The batting is strong, with ex-Somerset and Cambridge University captain Tom Webley, who could be available for about 10 matches, will be a good coup as he got better the longer the season went on.
Added to that the likes of Will van der Maat who went quietly about his business amassing 300 league runs at an average of 30 means the Bar will have a good all-round XI.
The team will be skippered by Swainland who broke all wicketkeeping records whilst in HCPL cricket last year, taking 24 catches and 10 stumpings.
The jewel in the crown however is Tim Phillips who wasn’t available last year but should be around a little more this time around.
The Essex all-rounder, now starting his fourth season with the club, took the most wickets in the First Class T20 competition in 2011. Whilst it appears his four-day cricket will be somewhat limited that loss is Bar’s gain as in just his seven matches for the Bar in the top league, he scored 420 runs at 84 and taken 11 wickets at 26.
To watch Phillips and Pascoe bowl in tandem could be an enthralling prospect and not one many batters will be crossing the road to face.
With the added characters of Jared Norman, Charlie Hodge, Sal Choudhry and Dave Breeze to name just four means Bar have a strong squad of about 15 of whom all can contribute and help Bar to hopefully improve on their best ever HCPL finish which was sixth back in 2009.