a) Chairman Norman Atkins reported that: –
The 2016 season was probably the most difficult for Clubs for many a year. A cold and
wet start saw many games cancelled and then with the football overreaching well into
the season with the Euros, followed by a new reason for unavailability, music festivals,
and then the new football season, the result was a number of conceded matches. This
indicated that a number of clubs are struggling to survive. We are not alone and the
neighbouring feeder leagues are experiencing the same problems.
If this was not enough the behaviour of some players leaves much to be desired. The
number of reports and complaints to the Management Sub- Committee were more than
Then the Management Sub-Committee had the disappointing task of dealing with an
admitted breach of rule 13e by one club. The committee had no choice but to impose
penalties clearly set out in rule 13a.
However the curse, social media then came into play with members of the committee being
insulted for the action taken. In addition emails were sent to individual members of
This is clearly unacceptable and with the bad behaviour on the field mentioned earlier it
is clear that the “Spirit of Cricket” has disappeared along with the respect for
Officers of the League from some of our clubs.
The members of the committee are all volunteers, some of whom give up a huge
amount of time to provide a well organised league for you all to enjoy.
If we all walk away because of the abuse received I doubt very much that those
taking to social media will be putting themselves forward when we come to the
election of officers later in the evening.
Whilst having a moan I must mention the failure of Clubs to abide by the rules
generally. Failure to send in results, umpires reports or provide scorers in divisions
1 & 2 are the main problems.
These breaches have previously been dealt with by the way of fines. In the future
the committee will be discussing the imposition of points deductions for all breaches
of our rules on a regular basis.
Late results delay the updating of league tables and the issuing of information to the
press etc. They also make the work of our results secretary more difficult and time
Turning to action on the field, which surely should be the main item of this report,
we offer congratulations to Mildenhall who finished as champions of Division 1,
with Wivenhoe as the Essex runners up and Worlington as the Suffolk runners up.
Mildenhall without having to contest the play-offs will join the EAPL in 2017.
Unfortunately Woolpit finished bottom and have been relegated back to Division 1
Most divisions saw runaway leaders and there were very few promotions decided on the
final day of the season. It was a similar story at the bottom of the divisions with again
most relegation issues decided before the final games.
Congratulations to all our winners and, of course, commiserations to all the teams who
The flagship of the Two Counties was again the Overs 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Managed by
our President Geoff Newman, in his usual efficient way the seniors also experienced
a difficult year and in his report Geoff said it was the most difficult in the last 29 years
due to circumstances beyond his control i.e. weather.
Geoff, as usual was well supported by many helpers including the team captains, Pat
Patel, Edgar Dunkley, Graham Penny and Richard Kemp. In addition many umpires
and scorers gave their time to make sure our seniors looked a professional organisation.
In addition the clubs and their tea ladies provided essential support.
Also there were the usual social activities throughout the year.
At last year’s AGM the clubs voted in favour of the committee amending the rules of
our competition. Wholesale changes have been avoided but rule 15 was amended to
encourage clubs to play shorter matches, especially in inclement weather, with the
bonus points for batting being amended accordingly. This seemed to happen many
times in 2016.
Clubs were informed that they could send in suggested alterations by 1st August each
year. Many clubs did so and it was interesting that some clubs favoured more regional
divisions whilst other clubs took exactly the opposite view suggesting divisions 1-11
with promotion and relegation throughout.
The committee still has to finalise rule changes for 2017 but the following have already
Registration of players in Divisions 1, 2 & 3
Reducing overs in Divisions 9 from 90 overs to 80 overs
Earlier start times in April and from August 16th to the end of the season.
Having moaned quite a lot I have two further moans. Completed team cards are still
not being exchanged before the start, and clubs with bank holiday fixtures
strengthening up. There is no excuse for playing EAPL players in division 5. A rule
to prevent this would prevent players playing up in an emergency. Please be sensible
and avoid having yet more rules to break.
Now some good news- you will have noticed the return of our secretary Allison
Heathcote tonight. Welcome back and thanks for resuming your duties.
It is now my duty to acknowledge the efforts of all those people who make the Two
Counties the success it is- Thanks to Steve Isaac for running the website and the
results service. Thanks to all the members of the committee – excellent attendance
at our meetings and vital work done by all members. Thanks to the members of
the disciplinary sub-committee, although there were no formal hearings, discipline
as you have heard is still a problem. Thanks to the press, the EADT and the Ipswich
Star which still gives weekly coverage – all the matches played with tables, results
and photos on a 2 page spread usually on a Tuesday. Unfortunately matters of
importance like this meeting, no longer get reported. However there were frequent
reports of our seniors matches. Thanks to David Mann for his weekly slot on BBC
Radio Suffolk. Thanks to Mel Phair and Phil Smith who run the umpires panel
appointments. This is a time consuming and often thankless task but it is so
important for us to have panel umpires in our top divisions.
Finally thanks to Mike Thew and the partners of Marshall Hatchick for their continued
sponsorship of our Championship. It is so important to have sponsors and in the
current climate they are not easy to find. Hopefully the sponsorship will continue
next season. So a reminder to all clubs and their members requiring legal services-
use our sponsors Marshall Hatchick.
b) Secretary –
I would like to start by thanking Tex for standing in for me during my absence and also thanks for all the kind messages received.
Whilst it was an unscheduled break, on my return it seems that things haven’t changed. There have again been numerous cases of disciplinary issues being reported and alarmingly a lot of these in matches where panel umpires are not appointed which makes it much more difficult to establish the correct facts. In almost all cases the cause has been dissent to an official which is rather upsetting and everyone should be reminded of the spirit of cricket.
Again I try not so send too many messages out, however when I do send them a reply is appreciated, I spend a lot of time chasing for responses which is unnecessary and time consuming.
Can I remind all Clubs that won a trophy last season that this should be returned to me tonight so it can be engraved in time for the presentation evening. If you have not brought it with you please see me at the end of the meeting so we can make alternative arrangements. I will be sending out the flier in the next couple of days advertising the evening, please let me know ASAP if your club is attending, especially the league winners.
The accounts showing a balance of £9976.59 were presented by the Treasurer, Andrew Barnes. There is a similar level of funds to that of last year. The income is marginally down due less activity in the seniors’ accounts.
The accounts were adopted.
d) Fixture Secretary
Norman reported that this season’s fixtures will run from Saturday 22nd April to Saturday 16th
September. There are 1200 fixtures to be arranged and this season there are only 6 bank
holiday fixtures. These should be distributed in the next 10 days or so. If you need to make
any changes these must be agreed with the opposition and reported to me by the 31st December.
e) Assistant Secretary
Alan Rogers presented a written report to all clubs with the statistics of the fines for non-reporting of results. The report contained concerns about the continuing lack of correctly completed score cards
onto sportstatz and the unnecessary extra work this involves.
f) Standards Sub-Committee
The forms for those Clubs who have panel umpires were distributed to those concerned. The main point from the reports was that discipline was worse than last season. A mention however for Easton who had an excellent record for both player and captain discipline.
g) Umpires’ Panel
There are still a few clubs that are not always sending in their weekly assessments of umpires. Also,
where captains have marked 1’s and 2’s they are not notifying umpires on the day and submitting a
report explaining the reasons for such marks. For us to improve, we need to know so that the
necessary corrective action can be taken.
We have recommended that captains meet with the umpires after a game for a debriefing to
include any areas of misunderstanding. Mostly it is the Laws of Cricket not being fully
understood and it is where an umpire can explain any action or inaction on their part.
We still can quite clearly see by the marks that are submitted, which team won and which
team lost. Winning or losing is not a criteria to mark umpires.
With the success of some of our umpires now officiating in the EAPL, it leaves more of a gap to
fill in our leagues. More new recruits are most welcome so that we can cover more fixtures.
Whilst behaviour has continued to improve, there are a few isolated incidents where some of
our umpires fail in their duty to report in an effort to further reduce any bad behaviour. We
continually inform our umpires that unless we report responsibly, culprits who avoid any
sanction appear to believe their ill-advised actions are part of the game. Captains and
Umpires alike must protect the spirit of the game.
When there have been reports by umpires, can they be informed of any action taken.
Thanks to all the captains for their co-operation in helping to make cricket enjoyable for
all. Also thanks to the 2 Counties committee for the improved dialogue we now have.
h) East Anglian Premier Cricket League
There was no representative present, but Andy Abbott, secretary sent a written report.
As in 2015 the weather for 2016 has been kind to us resulting in only 9 Fixtures being cancelled, a
further 7 Fixtures being abandoned and long may such weather continue.
The standard of cricket being played has been maintained with a trend for those winning the toss
batting second and being prepared to chase a score that had been set, winning increasingly being
viewed more important than a draw or a possible loss.
The top of the League was dominated by Swardeston CC, who eventually became the League winners
for the 5th consecutive season and congratulations to them. The runners were Cambridge Granta CC.
Swardeston also went on to win the Nat West Club T20 and were beaten finalists in the Royal London
National Club Championship.
Throughout the season a number of Clubs struggled at varying times, amongst them being Burwell,
Great Witchingham, Horsford and Woolpit. Only on the last Saturday of the Season was the relegated
Club confirmed in a fixture between Horsford CC and Woolpit CC, the decision finally confirmed by
the weather with the match being abandoned.
Regretfully Woolpit CC were relegated back to the Two Counties League for the 2017 Season. During
their period in the League Woolpit CC proved to be a popular Club, well organised, and with good
facilities. We wish them all best for 2017 and believe we may well see them in the League again.
There was no need for Play Off matches to be played. Mildenhall CC are promoted to the League for
2017 as winners of the Two Counties League.
For the first time in many years the Clubs at the Annual General Meeting held on Monday have voted
for a change in format adopting a split format similar to many ECB Premier Leagues.
Each side meeting each other once in a 50 over win lose game and once in the current format.
The first 5 games and last six of the season will be 50 over games and the middle eleven will be of the
The EAPL welcomes your management committees’ decision to have player registration for your top
three leagues and hopes that you will take up the Play Cricket option as then direct on line links can be
established with all the feeder leagues.
The EAPL wishes to place on record its thanks once again to your Chairman Norman Atkins for his help
in preparing the Leagues fixtures.
i) Essex and Suffolk Cricket Boards ( Dan Feist)
Dan Feist gave a presentation “ Cricket Unleashed “ on behalf of both boards to the meeting
and answered questions relating to the presentation.
j) Suffolk Groundsman Association
Ross Stannard advised that the association had assisted in a lot of end of season ground renovations. They will also be continuing to run more workshops assisted by Adrian Gayle and David Oakes.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS FOR 2016/17
The following were elected:
a) President Geoffrey Newman }
b) Vice presidents
Phil Drury, John Bradley, John Stuck, Mike Thew, Gill Denny }
c) Chairman Norman Atkins
d) Secretary Allison Heathcote }
e) Asst. Secretary Alan Rogers } en bloc
f) Treasurer Andrew Barnes } Prop: Eye 2nd: Boxted
g) Fixture Secretary Norman Atkins }
h) Results Secretary Steve Isaac }
i) Management Sub-Committee
Geoff Eveling (Braintree) } en bloc
Rick Jones (Ipswich) } Prop: Eye 2nd: Boxted
Pat Patel (Frinton on Sea) }
Ross Stannard (Eye & District) }
j) Disciplinary Sub-Committee
Michael Thew (Chairman) }
Hugh Newman (Vice Chairman) }
There are also two representatives each from Suffolk and Essex Clubs (should be regular players from Divs1 or 2) and two umpires from the umpire’s panel. These do not have to be elected members at the AGM.
i) Appeals Sub-Committee
Philip George (Colchester & EE) } Election not required, this committee
Toby Pound (Felixstowe) } is drawn from known solicitors willing
Chris Yemm (Hadleigh) } to sit in such rare occasions, new volunteers
would be welcomed.
There was also a request for divisional results secretaries as Alan Rogers is no longer wishing to do this job.
No volunteers were forthcoming so this will be dealt with at the next committee meeting.
PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RULES:
These no longer need to be voted at the AGM.
Norman clarified some of the rule changes affecting Division C for next season –
League to be renamed Sunday League.
No overseas players eligible to play.
No player may bowl more than 1/5 of the overs.
Any player who has scored at least 300 runs or taken at least 20 wickets in the previous season
in Div 1 or 2, EAPL or the top three tiers of any other ECB league is not eligible to play.
APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP – There had been two applications for membership from Saxmundham and Great Horkesley & Lexden but these have both been withdrawn.
MAKE UP OF DIVISIONS FOR 2017 SEASON-
Divisions 1-5 will each consist of 12 teams, Divisions 6-8 – 10 teams and Division 9 will be 3 regionalised leagues each with teams of 9.
FIXTURE MEETING AT IPSWICH CC – Monday 24th October 2016
Member clubs with teams in Division “C” were reminded that they must be represented at this meeting and not
leave until the fixtures have all been arranged. All Saturday competition fixtures will be emailed as soon as
The Ladies AGM will be held at Ipswich CC on Monday 31st October and all clubs entering a team must also be
represented at this meeting.
This will take the form of a winners and sponsors dinner at Hintlesham Golf Club on Saturday 26th November. All divisional winners are expected to be represented. Geoff Miller will be speaking at the event.
SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR 2017 (Rule 2).
Andrew Barnes had suggested that the annual subscription remain at £50 per club, this was carried unanimously.
RULE 25a. DISCIPLINARY MATTERS.
(a). Amount of deposit required to lodge an appeal £50
(b). Maximum financial penalties:
(i). A guilty club £500
(ii). A guilty player £200
BALL ORDERS must be in tonight with a deposit. All Clubs are reminded that every ball used in the Championship must be purchased through the Two Counties Championship.
NON-ATTENDANCE AT THIS MEETING. Brantham (who have now withdrawn from the League), Brockley, West Bergholt and Yoxford CC were not present tonight and delegates recommended to the Management sub-committee that a fine of £100 be imposed unless good reasons given.
Just to remind everyone and every club that the Annual General Meeting is being held on Wednesday October 12th 2016, at Colchester Rugby Club, Mill Road, Colchester. 7.15pm for a prompt 7.30pm start.
Semi Finals Herts O 50s v Ipswich Seniors
Herts 126 for 8, D Humpreys 25 A Waqas 23. G.Funnell 3-24
Ipswich 125 for 7 Jones 37, S Bumphrey 26, D Topley 26. M Neville 3-26
Herts won by 1 run
Audi Suffolk Alliance 103 for 5 , S Sargent 35, S Cooper 13no. T Oram 2-14, A Stockton 2-21
M H Two Counties 105 for 4 S Stobbs 33, N Meakin 27. R Uren 2-21
M H Two Counties won by 6 wickets.
Play Off for third place
Ipswich 106 for 8 Jones 14, G Denny 13. A Barnes 2-14
Audi Suffolk Alliance 110 for 3 S Sargent 37, E Davy 30.
Suffolk Alliance won by 7 wickets
M H Two Counties 94 for 8 A Stockton 35, S Henderson 19. M Neville 2-13
Herts 95 for 3 S Clements 30, N Illott 30, A Parsons 2-22
Herts O 50s won by 7 wickets.
Hertfordshire are Champions
The Annual Suffolk 20/20 Invitation Tournament played at Ipswich C C turned out to be an exciting event with three of the four games finishing in the final over. Runs were hard to come by and the bowlers generally were on top throughout. In the first semi final Ipswich managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Herts just got home by 1 run in a game they always looked likely to lose. In the final over they held their heads when Ipswich tried to smash themselves to victory when cooler heads would have had them running singles to secure victory. For Ipswich G Jones 37, S Bumphrey 26 and D Topley 26 showed up well on the batting front with A Funnell 3-24 doing well with the ball. Herts were well served by D Humphreys 25, A Waqas 23 with M Neviile taking the bowling honours with 3-26.
In the other semi final the M H Two Counties just got home in a nail biting game against the Audi Suffolk Alliance winning by six wickets in the final over. The Alliance side batted first and found runs at a premium against a sound Two Counties attack with all the bowlers giving little away. Tony Oram 2-14, Adrian Stockton 2-22 and Martin Southwell 1-14 securing wickets in their allotted 4 overs. Simon Sargent was the Alliances main threat with the bat scoring 35 with Stuart Cooper finishing with an unbeaten 13 to give the Alliance a final total of 103.
Two Counties set off like a house on fire and Stuart Stobbs 33 and Nick Meakin 27 put Two Counties well into the driving seat. Some tight bowling from R Uran 2-21, T Shahid 1-17 put the brakes on things however and it was left to Adrian Stockton 16no to get the Two Counties home by 6 wickets with three balls to spare.
In the play off for 3rd place The Suffolk Alliance won well in the only game that finished with overs to spare at the end. Chasing Ipswich’s total of 106 (D Jones 14, G Denny 13), Simon Sargent 37 and Eric Davy 30 ensured an Alliance win, despite A Barnes 2-14 efforts with the ball. The Alliance winning by a comfortable 7 wicket margin.
The final proved to be a low scoring affair between The M H Two Counties and Hertfordshire. Put into bat the Two Counties struggled against a mean attack with M Neville 2-13 and A Waqas 1-11 proving to be a real handful. Steve Henderson 19 and K Dobson 15 fought hard early on but it was left to Adrian Stockton 35 to get the Two Counties to a meagre looking 94 for 8.
Just as the Two Counties batsmen suffered Herts found runs very hard to come by S Clements 30 and N Illott 30 looked well in but couldn’t accelerate the run rate too much, it was left to an undefeated 18 from J Mather that got the Herts team to victory in the final over by 7 wickets. All the Two Counties bowlers fought hard with Alex Parsons
2-22 the main wicket taker with Nigel Dennis only conceding 7 runs in his four overs. Martin Southwell and Tony Oram also went for very few runs. A good game played in a good spirit with Herts still wondering how they survived their first game against Ipswich.
A great days entertainment that was well staged by the Ipswich Club successfully.
The M H Two Counties are pleased to announce the phenomenal achievement by local legend John Stuck who last week scored his 200th century. John was guesting for a team playing against the 40 Club at Loughton.
John will be figuring this weekend for the M H Two Counties in the annual John Hutton O 60s competition at Ipswich C C, Clayhall on Saturday. On Sunday he will be skippering The M H Two Counties O 60s team to play an Ipswich XI at the same venue.
*Abberton (20pts) 240-5, Wivenhoe (6pts) 189 Abberton won by 51 runs, 80 overs
Saturday September 24th: John Hutton O60s Tournament. Start 10.30am.
Graham Penny (capt), John Stuck (wkt), Martin Southwell, Steve Bulger, Andy Mills, Stuart Stobbs, Peter Boughton, Dave Hinchcliffe, Derrick Messent, Simon Rippingale, Don Curtis, Steve Isaac (12th man).
Sunday September 25th: Over 50s v Ipswich Seniors A. Start 11am.
Pat Patel (capt), Mark Paget (wkt), Tony Oram, Eric Davy, Alex Parsons, Steven Henderson, Terry Charrington, Nick Meakin, Andrew Gallant, Mark Comber, Roger Goodwin, Gerard Artindale.
Sunday September 25th: Over 60s v Ipswich Seniors B. Start 11am.
John Stuck (capt), Bob Richards (wkt), BJ Ball, Ray Black, Steve Bulger, Stuart Carpenter, Bruce Tompkins, Russ Abbott, Steve Isaac, Martin Southwell, John Stonehouse, Alan Cooke.
M H Two Counties O 60s v Herts O 60s at Copford C C on 13/9/16 (40 over game)
Herts O 60s 216 for 6. S. Clements 72, J Mather 62no. C Waters 2-32
Two Counties 217 for 4. C Walters 63, R Black 58, G Penny 37no. A Welch 2-70
M H Two Counties won by 6 wickets.
The Two Counties O 60s entertained the Hertfordshire O 60s at the lovely unique Copford ground on yet another scorching day. Herts batted first and after a steady start against some accurate bowling from Dave Hinchcliffe and Bruce Tompkins they lost a few wickets with a number of their batsmen reaching double figures but not sustaining any great progress. Simon Clements however notched a fine 72 and things were looking up for Herts. Martin Southwell however removed the dangerous Clements and he slowed things down by bowling three maidens in his 8 over spell. Herts finished on a good note with J Mather scoring 62no that pushed the score along but they never really succeeded in taking the Two Counties attack to the cleaners. Their final total of 216 for 6 was competitive but never really out of sight.
Two Counties lost Don Curtis early and John Stuck with the score on 38. With things hovering either way, Ray Black took control of things however and put the Two Counties in the driving seat with a swashbuckling 58 from only 45 balls in an innings that contained some scintillating drives. He figured in a good stand with Colin Walters who carried on the good work despite some good bowling from D Reynolds, J Mather and A Welch. When Colin departed with a well struck 63 it was left to skipper Graham Penny 37no to shepherd the Two Counties home to a six wicket win with support from Steve Isaac with four overs to spare.
A good game played in a fine spirit with both sides enjoying some excellent hospitality from the Copford Club on a very good cricket wicket.
Coggeshall CC have decided against appealling the Management Sub-Committee’s decision to deduct 77 points from their acrued total.
The effect sees them drop into 11th position in Division One, and, with it, relegation to Division Two for next season.
M H Two Counties O 50s v Halstead Seniors at Halstead on 11/9/16 ( timed game )
Two Counties O 50s 234 for 9 dec C. Walters 91, E Davy 68. J Rose 2-28, M Johnson 2-24, J Clinch 2-42, M Harris 2-44
Halstead Snrs 236 for 3. M Johnson 62, J Clinch 63no, O Rawlinson 49, R Holman 33. T Charrington 2-46
Halstead won by 7 wickets.
At Halstead the home side put their season to bed with their annual all day fixture against the M H Two Counties O 50s. Batting first the Two Counties got off to a bad start when skipper Pat Patel was out to the first ball of the game, Kevin Ross followed soon after and it was left to a 140 stand between Colin Walters and Eric Davy to repair the damage. They both battled very hard against some very good home bowling Colin just falling short of a century on 91 whilst Eric Davy struck an excellent 68. When they both were out after lunch a collapse followed and The Two Counties lost 6 wickets for 20runs. The Bowlers all shared the wickets J Rose, M Harris, J Clinch and M Johnson all claiming a brace of victims each. It was left to a last wicket partnership between Tony Oram and Mark Paget to enable the Two Counties to declare on 234 for 9.
Halstead controlled their innings throughout and they always looked likely to achieve the runs needed for victory. J Clinch 63no, M Johnson 62, O Rawlinson 49, and R Holman 33 built some good partnerships and the win was achieved with 4 overs to go. Terry Charrington was the Two Counties main wicket taker finishing with 2-46. As usual the Halstead hospitalty was second to none and a good days cricket was enjoyed by players and spectators alike.
Four concessions so far received on the final Saturday of the season, with Woodbridge & O.W. concession to Wivenhoe II handing the Essex club the title without having to play. Brightlingsea have conceded their Division Three match at Coggeshall. West Mersea have conceded their Division Six match to Kelvedon & Feering, and the final, and least surprising, Brantham have conceded for fifth time this season. They had been due to travel to Woolpit.