As is sadly common with cricket clubs, we experienced a break-in and we lost our large sit-on mower. The thieves bulldozed a few sections of the fence on the village side, but we have taken the opportunity to commission repair work on the entire fence. This was undertaken before Christmas. Nick Watson continues to do a sterling job on the cricket square and outfield and we are all in his debt.
Season 2019 seems a long time ago. We consolidated our position in Division 4 of the Kent County Village League under the leadership of Kendall Jarrett. As team secretary Sean Ashfield again worked wonders to produce XIs, which included several father/son combinations. We succeeded in reviving the Sunday cricket tradition by trialling a collaboration with Ightham CC to produce combined sides. Mark DuBock managed our participation in this format and is to be saluted as 2019 ‘Clubman of the Year’. News of the recent merger between the Otford and Shoreham clubs reminds us that we must never become complacent.
Off the field we enjoyed quiz nights in the White Rock, under the inquisitorial gaze of Chris Close. Chris also, with assistance from Jen (or Jen, with assistance from Chris) did a sterling job with our finances. Chris/Jen will be re-launching the Supporters Club, which continues to provide valuable revenue for UCC. I must also pay tribute to longstanding member Iain Taylor, who moved to Sussex, and to the retiring secretary Ian Batty, who has been succeeded by Dick Hawkes.
Finally, I should make mention here of 2 UCC members, both of whom died in the autumn. Dan Hardy, who died after a short illness, was a stalwart of the club for many years before his move to Singapore in 1990. Quite simply a legend in his own lunchtime. Mike Tong had been ill for many years but his death still comes as a shock. I am delighted to say that his son Andy has told me that a batting cage will be donated to the club in his memory.
May I wish everyone the best of luck for season 2020.
President, Underriver Cricket Club