Middlesex crashed and burned in both SF's the Open losing a close one 7.5-8.5 and the u180 suprisingly losing by the margin of 6.5-9.5. The defeat of both teams means of course their hopes of retaining their titles are dashed, but following are also scuppered:
Open and u180: The prospects of Middlesex attempting to achieve Double Double is lost;
Open: With Surrey making it to the final the opportunity to have the same finalists in successive finals the first since 1984-85 & 1985-86 (Kent vs. Middlesex) is lost;
u180: The opportunity to be the first defending Champions since Devon (2004-05 & 2005-06) to reach final is lost as is their opportunity to be the first defending Champions since Warwickshire (1999-2000 & 2000-01) to retain title.
On the plus side I suppose it does mean you now get to enjoy your Summer as a break is forced upon us!
Match reports here:
The season thus comes to an end and there are mixed emotions:
The Open team are dethroned as National Champions but are crowned SCCU Champions and in defeating Warwickshire 14-1 achieve 3rd greatest margin of victory in County Championship history
The u180 lose both their National and SCCU titles.
Both teams will be determined to make a clean sweep of titles for the 2013-14 Cycle.
My thanks as always goes out to all players who have made this a good if ultimately unsuccessful campaign. Congratulations to Andrew Stone who on 41pts wins Martin Blaine Best Performance Cup. He pips Simon Spivack (40); Rick (39) and Mark Davey (38). A Middlesex success would have seen Andrew lose out as he was unavailable for the Final - so maybe there is a silver lining in the Open defeat!!!
With the 2013-14 Cycle in mind the fixtures for the Open matches have been finalised. Traditionally they are available in May however they were delayed due to the ECF Skype meeting of Union reps to discuss the NCCU proposal to change the format of County matches. The meeting went ahead as planned but would you believe the proposers were absent! The NCCU who wanted change for whatever unspecified reason failed to attend - poor showing. Those who participated were in agreement and were all at a loss as to what NCCU wanted and how to progress as a result! Needless to say due to consensus between attendees the status quo remains however it is suspected the coup launched by NCCU will be attempted once again in near future.
With the issue resolved it was possible for the County Controller to publish Open fixture dates
The dates for diary are:
5th Oct 2013 Kent Home
9th Nov 2013 Sussex Away usually Hassocks
18th Jan 2014 Essex Away Wanstead House Wanstead
8th Feb 2014 Hertfordshire Home
15th Mar 2014 Surrey Away tbc
In essence it is the 2012-13 fixtures reversed.
The u180 fixtures will be available in August once Grading List published and Controller knows who the entries are for the section.
Over the past cycle our home matches have been played at either The Pilot in Chiswick or at the Willesden Working Mens Club in Willesden. The intention is to continue having our home matches at the Pilot unless:
1) There is preference for matches to be played at Working Mens Club
2) The Open and u160 teams both have matches on same day if so Working Mens Club will be home venue.
Please let me know if you have a preferred venue for home matches and I'll act accordingly.
Enjoy your break and let's come back refreshed to launch a successful bid next cycle.
Go on the Middlesex!