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Your Roving Reporter Jack Nixon Reflects on the 2017 Season

Now that the dust, or rather rain has settled on an exciting summer of cricket, I will allow myself the luxury of reflecting on my first season of writing for the ACA Grades, it has been a great pleasure, even a privilege to put pen to paper on your behalf thanks to the enterprise of your hardworking committee. I might just repeat the exercise next summer, if indeed I am invited to be your scribe.

It has been genuinely nice to get around and meet clubs and players who hitherto had only been names on the register, getting occasional mentions in the Aberdeen Press and Journal and the Evening Express, two of my other outlets for scribing.

I have been well received by every club, though initially in some situations with a little suspicion in the early weeks.

I had hoped to visit more clubs over the season, but soon realised that Grade 1 had to be my main focus, given the interest in the top clubs of the majority our readers.

I have, nevertheless, appreciated the dedication of the lower divisions, but sorry that Grade 4 turned out to be a no go area for most participants, apart from the total commitment of Methlick who kept the flag flying with its burning desire to play.

I regret not seeing Stonehaven Thistle play in Grade 3, they did after all seal their promotion place early in the season with a remarkable unbeaten run.

My heart went out to all the relegated teams, but would say to each and everyone of them, good luck next season.

Without doubt AGSFPs were the achievers of the season, even before it all began, having three teams being a feat in itself, one of which won the top grade, and another promotion from Grade 3.

Knight Riders were also up there, finishing a respectable third in Grade 1, runners up to Bon Accord in the Aberdeenshire Cup before winning a nail biter in the final of the Turriff Cup against an unlucky Cults side.

Throughout it all there were two individuals who stood out, and will be strong contenders for my press player of the year award to be announced at the annual dinner on Friday November 3rd at Westhill. Rob Swiergon led AGSFPs with a verve and energy, while Somu Kumarasamy was no less effective with Knight Riders, proving once again that leadership really does matter when it comes to winning games.

I have also been appreciative of the umpires who have given so freely of their time, and superbly organised by Ian Sutherland. Robin Taylor has also done a sterling job in getting the results to me on a Saturday night, enabling me to make the early deadline of the Press and Journal on the Sunday. Ian Stephen has been my adviser throughout, proving to be more than simply your dedicated treasurer.

But while I am generally appreciative of all that goes on in ACA Grades game, I see the need to recruit youngsters before we lose another league. My small contribution is my Junior of the Year award which will reach its conclusion at the annual dinner, but in the end of the day it is over to you as clubs to market this wonderful game, something you have proved to be woefully inadequate in undertaking.

Unless clubs take this task aboard, there will be no future for the local game, so bearing this in mind let's have proper use of all social media outlets by means of a concerted effort, led by your committee. You know it makes sense.

And finally, I had a pleasant, but productive two hours with your president Martin Auld in which he outlined his strategy for taking the North-East game forward in partnership with Cricket Scotland.

In a week's time, I will publish my interpretation of what he intends for you all. I for one will certainly be buying into his deal. I urge you as clubs to do the same.

In the meantime, thank you for all your help, and patience. I look forward to seeing you all at the annual dinner on Friday November 3rd.

wytbu8  Sep 24 2017 - 12:29am   
 
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