The 2017 cricketing summer will certainly be remembered as a step in the right direction for the Friars. Although we lost the annual Noble-Lewis Cup for the first time in its staging, and the subsequent 50 over match the following day, there was certainly cause for optimism. In particular from Will Mellhuish (S17), who compiled accomplished scores of 66* and 99* for the School XI effectively sinking the Friars hopes of any early season glory. We hope Will might be able to repeat these feats in 2018, only this time round for us, as opposed to against us.
Our path to the Cricketer Cup final would see the Friars drawn away from home in all rounds up until the semi-final. Unfortunate you might think, but in reality, the Friars made light work of a trip north to Uppingham and West to Clifton College. Uppingham were bowled out for 127 and Clifton College a meagre total of 61, the damage done on both occasions by the seam attack of Darren Hooey (V04), Ben Ryder-Smith (L06) and James Hambin (g96).
Regular season wins for the Friars followed against the Old Seagullians, Old Tonbridgians and Old Wellingtonians. Notable contributions coming courtesy of the bats of Henry and Hector Don (R08 and R14), as well as Alex Rozier-Pamplin (R10) and Oli Pike (W08).
A slightly more social away trip to Wellington was our final hurdle in pursuit of that home semi-final, and it was Andy Hollingsworth (L98) who lit the touch paper with a blistering innings of 92. A score of 280 - 6 from our 50 overs felt very competitive at the half way stage. A nerve jangling defence ensued but unfortunately saw the Friars defeated on the final ball of the match by just one wicket. The narrowest of losses in surely one of the great Cricketer Cup matches of recent history.
There was certainly no shame in losing in such a manner and as previously mentioned a very bright outlook for 2018.
Another cause for optimism has been the appointment of Simon Hollingsworth (L02) as our new Cricketer Cup Captain over the off-season. Simon is an extremely accomplished player having represented Surrey and England at youth level, Durham University as well as playing league cricket in the upper echelons of the Surrey Championship. He will add a certain calmness, experience and tactical nouse to an already exciting squad of young players. I, along with everyone else involved with the Friars, look forward to his leadership of our Cricketer Cup XI.
Ben Ryder-Smith (L06)
Club Captain, Old Carthusian Friars Cricket Club