2014. A review!
2014 saw Cheshire achieve success again in many areas of the game. The Premier team claimed their 8th successive ICC title, while the A-Team narrowly missed out once again in their section. There was another win for a Cheshire club in the National top-club competition, this time Partington took the title.
We had players in the England squad once again, going into 2014 was Gareth Stanway, James Neal, Grant Soller and Steve Proctor. Gareth, James and Steve all made it to the World Championships, something the County can be very proud of. For the 2014/15 season we have Steve Proctor and Steve Burrows in the England squad, and both went to the British Isles Championships in November with Steve Proctor in the main event and Steve Burrows in the A-team championships. Add to this we have the current England manager from Cheshire, Brandon Whittaker, and his assistant Keith Lackford.
The county competitions were fiercely contested as usual, with the singles being won by Gareth Stanway, the pairs went to Simon White and Grant Soller. Triples champions were Leslie Fennell, Bill Burn and Ben Holbrook, and the fours champions were Keith Lackford, Ben Holbrook, Ste Tinsley and Steve Proctor. The Nationals weren’t as successful as last year, with no titles for Cheshire. Lets hope for another National title in 2015! There were Premier team debuts for Jack Hardman and Lee Fletcher, while the A-team have also added to their squad this year.
The British Isles top team championships were held in December and were hosted by ourselves. It was a fantastic weekend, but sadly we couldn’t repeat our success of three years ago, as this time we came runners up to Oriel from Ireland. If we can claim our 9th ICC title next year then a trip to the Emerald Isle beckons for Top Team in December!
Off the mats we had our usual end-of-season presentation evening which was a great success, celebrating all our achievements together. A good night was had by all, complemented by some live music from the brilliant Great Escape.
Sadly, in 2014, we lost Gordon Whewell. He was a stalwart of the game and a great servant to Cheshire. Gordon was involved in the England set up in the past, and at the time of his death was our Chairman. Gordon, you will be missed.
Overall 2014 was another great year for the county, and as we stand both teams are in good form and strong positions in their groups. Lets hope for another good year ahead. Here’s to 2015!