It is now Monday morning and the events of Saturday 9th September 2023 at the Home Of Cricket are a good few hours distant. The pleasure and the pain are I believe, the best words to describe what was once again, a wonderful day out at Lord's blessed with fine weather (in truth probably a tad too hot). To reach one National Final was a wonderful achievement, to do it again in consecutive years was a magnificent effort by the players. The match itself proved to be another thriller with the result hanging on the last ball of the match. It had that surreal feeling of deja vu but unfortunately, the result was not in our favour. However, I look back to last year when the circumstances were so similar and that feeling of elation and immense pride we all had winning what was such a close match. Yes the tables were turned this year and it could have gone either way. Knowing how we all felt last year as that last wicket fell, I have no doubt that the players and supporters of Cuckney CC had exactly that same feeling this year and congratulations to them. Cricket by it's very nature, is a game of small margins and I'm sure many, both players and supporters, will reflect with hindsight on those passages in the game that went towards producing what was another extremely close final, not unlike some of the other results experienced by the team this season. Could we have scored more runs, taken the catch opportunities that didn't quite go to hand, marginal run out chances and more, are all reflected upon but on the day lady luck was with the Cuckney players.
Out of 200 teams that entered the competition we again proved ourselves to be worthy finalists and in my opinion, we are rapidly becoming one of the best club sides in England. All of the members of the 1st XI squad who played in the qualifying rounds and then represented Bexley CC in the final, are a credit to the club and their families and friends. A never say never attitude and a determination to perform to their best, in sometimes challenging circumstances, demonstrates exactly what Bexley CC is all about. Yes it would have been nice to win again but as in life, there has to be winners and losers. Personally we are not losers, we were runners up in a National competition and that, whilst disappointing, cannot be taken away. To the parents and families and friends of the players, you should be immensely proud of their achievement this year. As a parent, that feeling of pride can never be taken away. To see your son striding out on to the outfield to bat, sitting up on the home dressing room balcony and just being part of a very successful team is a massive pleasure and one all parents should feel.
However, the day is not all about the players and I would like to thank all of you that were involved in the logistics of the day. Planning coach travel for our 200 or so travelling supporters, ordering and distributing supporters shirts and ensuring that everybody had a safe and enjoyable day is a huge effort. I appreciate your hard work.
And then of course there are our passionate, dedicated and often excitable travelling band of supporters. Your loyalty and vocal support did not go unnoticed on Saturday and from my position on the home dressing balcony, happily snapping away with the camera, the effect around the ground was amazing and inspiring and I have no doubt led to a closer finish to the match that in all honesty, some were expecting. Thank you all for your support, your impeccable behaviour and on a high note, your singing "in tune"; marvellous and thanks to Messrs Dave Pask and Jack Bell who I believe were the cheerleaders for the duration. The atmosphere certainly benefited from the large Bexley contingent. I sincerely hope that despite the result, you all had a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Once again, thank you to everyone for making it yet another special Bexley CC "jolly" to Lord's. How about we do it again next year??
(Photos from the day will be published very soon)
Steve Griggs, your very proud and honoured to be the President of Bexley Cricket Club.