A Straightforward Selection

Its been a “Ranty” kind of a week but all the Facebook Furore now appears to have died down. I could start another rant about the Selection Committee, but I won’t – not for now anyway. 

So yesterday was Under 15s finals day at Dinting CC, where our boys demolished Mottram and then thoroughly outplayed Hawk Green in the final. Games were played in excellent spirit throughout (!) and it was great to see Hadfield watching the final after they lost in the second semi-final. A thought for the league, if Finals Day is to be retained, and it is one of the questions in the junior questionnaire, then it should really be made into a prestigious event. At the moment it is left to individual clubs to turn up and sort themselves out, with official umpires arriving in time for the final. Now, I am sure that most clubs are perfectly capable of doing this, after all, its what we do every week of the season at junior level, but from a player’s point of view, they should be made to feel that they have achieved something from the start. The Compstall Cup semi final has official umpires, so why not on Finals Days? After complaints about an umpire wearing shorts, to see semi finals umpired by team managers and assistants in “civvies” cannot be good for the league’s image, and certainly does not send out the right signal to the players. There was talk that no one was willing to do it – which I would be amazed at. I am sure if the league put their hand in their pocket and paid four more umpires it would give Finals Days the recognition that they deserve, but with four finals days that’s 16 umpires at £35 each (well you could possibly half that – they are much shorter games than on Saturdays), that comes to £560 (or £280). It’s a lot of money, but maybe junior fines could be put towards it. 

On Saturday the seconds had a magnificent win, restricting a strong Hazel Grove side to 176-9, with all of the wickets being taken by juniors. They then knocked them off for 7 wickets, with the vast majority of the runs being scored by juniors. Seniors beware, there are a raft of talented youngsters lining up to take your place. As chairman of Selectors Neil Woolley quite rightly said on Saturday night, there is no one knocking on the first team door at the moment, but there are several knocking from the other side trying to get out! Incidentally, good to see the Chairman on the ball regarding the seconds. As I can’t be at Selection this week he sent a text message saying “Second team is straightforward this week isn’t it?” My reply was equally straightforward. “Yes Neil – we’ve got no game”.