Of course, it has been an extraordinary period for everyone, and we all know why. However, back in May when the committee was debating how to keep the club alive, we were faced with the likelihood of no cricket at all in 2020. That we have actually managed to play 14 matches and a club 6-a-side day is remarkable and I commend everyone involved in that achievement, including our opponents - all of whom made a decision to travel away in order to play against us. But back in July when club cricket was eventually permitted under special guidance from the ECB we only had two or three days’ notice before playing our first match. That we were able to do so successfully was because the ground had been properly cared for during lockdown by Harry and Rod, because the fixture list was kept under constant review by Gerry, and finally of course because of the players themselves who were desperate to play.
Financially, club members deserve a huge pat on the back for putting their hands in their pockets to pay subs, and very often to make donations over and above their subs in recognition of the un-played games. This sort of attitude makes clubs like ours a joy to belong to, and although we were unable to hold any meaningful fund-raising events there was never a real worry that we would come unstuck. The committee has always maintained an unwritten policy of holding about a years’ equivalent of costs in the club bank account, and this has paid off. When local government then made the decision to grant £10,000 to clubs to help offset problems and keep them alive for the future, this was a further enormous help.
The club has found several new young players, mostly local, who have thoroughly enjoyed their exposure to the Brigands and probably will form a nucleus for the future. That is good news. But better still I think is the spirit that exists among the team at all levels. There is some very good cricket being played on the Down, and most opponents this season were given a very good game, and some even left with their tails slightly between their legs! A new club record opening stand of 181 between Adam Jay and David Henderson was achieved against Hawkley.
The players had the full support of our umpires and scorers over the course of the 15 games played, and I would like to thank them all very much for giving up their time to making cricket on Broadhalfpenny Down such a well-ordered pleasure. Their presence makes an enormous difference to the quality and enjoyment of our cricket. Very sadly this year I have no reason to thank our marvellous tea-makers but I know they were with us in spirit and are working up new recipes for next year! Over the course of the short season the pavilion had to be “Covid” deep-cleaned between every match, and this was done by Gaille who we thank.