Robin Lett: Champagne on ice – until next year
1st XI captain Robin Lett is proud of his men despite an agonising end to the summer…
After a very long season in which we have experienced just about every emotion – and despite losing just one game all year – we missed out on a third consecutive league title by the narrowest of margins on Saturday.
We went into the game joint top but with a tough away trip to Frocester in prospect and knew it would be a very difficult task to secure the maximum points we needed to take the crown.
I have written many times over the course of the year about the part the weather has played and ultimately that is what has cost us, having completed two fewer games than the eventual champions Bridgwater.
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We beat Frocester comfortably after boldly declaring with five overs left in our innings in order to secure two precious extra batting points, but we were unable to complete the miracle required and skittle them out for less than 120 on a flat pitch.
Of the 13 games we played, we accumulated more than 250 points at an average of nearly 20 per game – including one loss – as opposed to Bridgwater, who averaged just 18 with three losses. However unjust it may seem right now, these are the rules of the league we play in unfortunately and as a cricket club we strive for perfection.
At the end of the day we weren't perfect, not quite anyway, and had we won that game we lost way back at the beginning of May, we would be champions. I couldn't be prouder, however, to be a part of this wonderful group of players that have given so much for the club this year.
We were left with a mammoth task at the halfway point but at no stage did anyone lose heart. Our performances have been exceptional since June and I couldn't have asked for any more.
Sadly, we have to say goodbye to two players that have been instrumental to our success over the years. Adam Kelly, who joined us in 2008, helped the club to three league titles and has taken nearly 200 wickets in his North Parade career, will now concentrate on his PHD in sports psychology.
It is also with great regret that we see Ben Staunton departing for pastures new in Australia. He has been in the 1st XI since 1996 and has been part of eight championship-winning sides, as well as playing in three Lord's finals. We will miss his presence on and off the field at Bath Cricket Club.
After the game on Saturday we spoke about many things but ultimately we all believe we are the best team in our league. We have put the champagne on ice for now but we will be back to open it next year.