The big success of 2015, our 150th year in existence, was the promotion of our 2nd XI to Hampshire Cricket League County Division 1. Young starlet Harri Williams reports on their season.
Under the new captain Harry Blackburn, taking over from Martin Roberts, Andover 2nd XI sponsored by Test Valley Windows embarked on a season in County Division Two following promotion the previous year. Despite the rain denying them the chance to finish the final match of the season last Saturday, they achieved promotion to County Division 1, albeit in tense circumstances – 1 point separated them from the team below.
Andover’s season started slowly with 3 successive defeats in May, all being low-scoring affairs, as the club struggled with availability and fielding a consistent side was tricky. However, with the new signing of Craig Ross, Andover got their first victory against Old Netley and Highfield thanks to a majestic ton from the army man. The following week a loss to local rivals Amport gave Andover the kick up the backside they really needed. The next week they smashed 300 to win against Bransgore and didn’t look back. Their amazing run of 11 successive wins, including victories over the top two sides, secured them a third place finish in the division and well deserved promotion.
During this run Andover posted 300 plus totals against the likes of Liphook and Ripsley, United Services and Bedhampton with leading run-scorer Shaun Attwood being a major contributor. The powerhouse was just shy of 700 runs for the season, including 6 fifties and a ton against Bournemouth. Teenager Harri Williams was second leading run-scorer with 297 runs in just 10 knocks. Alongside Attwood and Ross in the century club was Josh Ballantine-Dykes who notched two tons in just five games, making a massive contribution at the back-end of the season.
Furthermore, the batting line-up was well supported by a tight bowling unit, lead by Chairman and top wicket-taker Phil Knight who claimed 27 wickets in another vintage year for the big man. Youngsters Aidan Jansen, Olly Cox, Robbie Taylor and Ed Duckworth all sharing the rest of the wickets out between them. This young Andover side, with only 3 players over the age of 25, played an exciting brand of cricket all season and can look forward to the 2016 season with plenty of confidence.
Well Done to Andover Cricket Club. A great success! From all at Test Valley Windows.