As I look to procrastinate from essay writing, now seems a perfect opportunity to reflect on what has been an absolutely fantastic term for the UWMCC. Back in December Jonny Hall said there was no way we would ever surpass our success in CMD, but this term we’ve gone from strength to strength on and off the pitch.
One of our priorities at the start of the year was to improve the club’s charitable profile, and after our Movember success in first term we have had a very productive term raising money for our charity partners CALM. This was primarily through our efforts in the Milton Keynes Half Marathon a month ago, with 7/11 participants finishing under 2 hours… Not to undermine the efforts of those over 2 hours of course (they all count). Amazingly we managed to raise just under £1,400 – a big thanks to all who donated. This was further supplemented by a great tour quiz which raised over £100 for CALM also. Furthermore, with our smart new stash sporting the CALM logo hopefully we’ve helped spread their message and support their immensely worthwhile cause.
The UWMCC prides itself on its variety of extracurricular activities, and being a summer sport means there is so much room for activities in our diaries. With that in mind we continued kidding ourselves that we are decent golfers and did battle on a horrible day at Stonebridge GC back in February. We all breathed a sigh of relief as Tedmonds actually connected with the ball at the first tee, and despite the weather we had a cracking day. Credit to Bexson, who’s wild booming drive came through for him in emphatic fashion, winning with a 3 point margin. We also had a highly entertaining poker night at Kelseys at the start of the term, where despite my firm belief in #newbrand, my aggressive poker display saw me penniless very quickly. Dark horse Sam Walton did his best to steal our money but ultimately it was James ‘I need a dollar’ Hammond who prevailed. Jacob Swatton even returned for the trophy ceremony. Good signs for the finances of the club. We even had our best turnout ever at the club photo, which I’m going to claim is an indicator of how successful our year has been so far, despite having no logic or evidence to support that. Finally, despite concerns over having an Arsenal fan as our football team captain this season and his constant claims that “real champions come 4th 15 years in a row,” Sam Platt led our team to Saturday League glory. After years of heart-breaking losses it was a very satisfactory end to many of our football careers. We even got a plastic trophy.
Moving on to the important stuff, we have seen some extraordinary scenes in the indoor cricket arena this term. After apparently losing Varsity to Cov in the first time in 6 years, (there was a Varsity this year? Did anyone see it?) we have been witness to some exemplary performances in the stuff that matters – that’s right, Cov Indoor. Captain Cooper, having had a slightly tricky start to life at the Connexion arena, stuck by his guns of a fresh only policy and in a dramatic final game against regular rivals Warwick CC secured the title in the last over. A fine achievement, but unfortunately Cooper was on a walking holiday in Snowdonia during the regional finals in Edgbaston and, despite the admirable efforts from our 6 who answered the call, that’s where the dream ended.
However the real success of the term of course goes to Dan Goodyear’s indoor army. Having lost a game early on our chances of going far in the competition looked slim, but the boys seemed to improve week by week till they were a really outstanding indoor outfit. Highlights being Goodyear’s destructive batting vs Sheffield Hallam and, of course, smashing Coventry in the semi-final (basically rendering the Varsity loss redundant). Credit to Clayden for bowling a Flintoff-esque over to see us through to the final. The final in Sheffield against Portsmouth Uni can only be described as a modern day classic that will be replayed on Sky Sports/UWMCC periscope for years to come. There was great batting, especially from Teds, Goodyear and Kit in this high scoring game and it saw us home chasing a hefty total. Cue wild celebrations from the travelling fans and those live streaming back in the West Midlands. This also made Clayden the first person in BUCS history to win 2 national finals on one day. A fantastic achievement from all of our indoor players, and the first time we had achieved this honour since 2006!
With a brilliant term under our belts, 21 lucky clubmen headed out to Sri Lanka for international tour. It was a thoroughly enjoyable tour, and an experience I cannot recommend enough. We have some exhaustive tour diaries for those interested, but the highlight of the tour was securing a thrilling tie in our final game at Galle International Stadium off the final ball – meaning we hadn’t lost every game. Congratulations to Nish for a job very well done organising it.
Have a brilliant Easter everybody. Hopefully we will be able to transfer our hard work and success over the last 10 weeks into some victories in outdoor cricket this summer!