Despite not being in action this weekend past, thanks to other results going their way, the First XI clinched promotion back to Division 1 at the first time of asking. It is a tremendous achievement for a team that lost a number of key players in the off season. With just two games left to play there is still the chance the the First XI can win the league but they will need two big performances to do so.
The First XI have lost only two league games this campaign, a controversial 3 run D/L defeat to Rush and bad day at the office away to Old Belvedere. Nonetheless they have been very consistent and committed this season and have definitely added up to a lot more than the sum total of their parts.
After a slight adjustment to the statistics database, which removed the game away -v- Leinster which finished as a N/R, we can take a look at who chipped in where for the side.
Twenty players have featured over the course of the season with club stalwarts such as Jonty Wardell, Chris Cavanagh and David Ford all turning out on various occasions. They were complimented well by the rise of the youth talent at the club with Tom and Rory Anders featuring prominently in the side at stages. Club professional, Jan Hendrik Steenkamp, played a big part in promotion and our other overseas addition, Joe McKay, played his part as well.
Massa Ahmed was the star with the bat this season churning out 235 runs @ 39.17 for the First XI with Syed Ali and Steenkamp both behind him averaging over 20 each.
With the ball it has been Jan Steenkamp who has certainly earned his salt with 24 wickets to his name with Tom Anders racking up an impressive 17 in second place while skipper, Conor Kelly, comes in third with 14 wickets.
However it has been a season that is much more about what the side has achieved as a collective rather than as individuals. Under new Head Coach, Matt Lunson, the team has achieved more than they may have hoped they could at the start of the season. With two tough games left, (a) -v- Pembroke & (h) -v- Rush, the shackles are now off and they can give their attempt at winning the league title their best shot safe in the knowledge that promotion is in the bag.
To skipper, Conor Kelly, coach, Matt Lunson and all the players who have contributed to the First XI success this season we offer you a huge congratulations on your achievements this year from everyone at Phoenix Cricket Club.