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Brockhampton 2nd string gain promotion to top flight
IT’S fantastic,” said skipper Glyn Harrhy after his Brockhampton 2nd team clinched promotion with a win over Stratford-upon-Avon 2nd at The Parks.
The 91-run success was enough to clinch the runners-up spot and means that Brockhampton will play in the Second Xl Premier Division next season.
“At the start of the season, a group of the senior players got together and made promotion our target so that we could give the young players in the side the chance to play at the best level they can,” said Harrhy. “And now it’s mission accomplished.
“In the second-team, it’s the same at Brockhampton as at other clubs where the first-team will rightly take key players when they need them - players who would be bit-part players in the first-team are perhaps genuine all-rounders for us.
“But we have had a crop of 15, 16 and 17-year-olds who have come into the side and not just filled in but played key roles.”
Harrhy said that he was delighted with the contribution made by his younger team-mates and the progress they had made.
“Jamie McIlroy has come into the team from Builth Wells and learned really quickly,” said Harrhy, who is Herefordshire Cricket’s performance manager.
“And when he’s made a step up, either to the first-team or to the Herefordshire 2nd team, he’s fitted in straightaway.
“James Mokler has kicked on well as has Max Porter, although if I was being ultra-critical I would say that he might be disappointed not to converted half-centuries into centuries.
“Jamie Blanchard, our leading wicket-taker with 28, has also done very well.”
Harrhy also reserved praise for two senior members of his side, Dave Hope and, especially, Dave Mokler, who played vital roles in the success.
“Dave Mokler has gone from being wicket-keeper for more than 20 years to playing as an outfielder and a key batsman,” he said.
“He has been the one we have looked to, going in at number five or six, because he has played the game for so long that he has known when to accelerate and push on.
“He is an excellent role model for the young players in how to play the game and how to play it with a smile on your face.”
Harrhy has himself been an important contributor to the success as a player as well as a captain, notching 735 runs at an average of more than 40, taking 26 wickets at under 18 each and also picking up 18 catches. “I’ve been telling people that I used to be a good fielder but I do seem to have been a ball-magnet this year. But it’s more of a tribute to the bowlers as I’ve mostly fielded in the fully or the covers and the bowlers have put it in the right places.”
He added: “I must also mention Roy Wargen’s pitches - what a fantastic pitch to play on.”
On Saturday, Harrhy was again a major contributor, adding a crucial 64 from number three after opener Porter (85) had given his side a fine start.
Later on, after Oli Cross had scored 34, Dave Mokler (27 not out) combined some powerful hitting with some scampering between the wickets as the 48-year-old often outsprinted his teenage son George (15no).
McIlroy (4-26) and Hope (1-37) made the key early breakthroughs in the Stratford innings before spin-twins Blanchard (4-26) and George Mokler (1-25) wrapped things up, with Harrhy collecting a couple more catches.
Now the skipper, who brought forward his 40th birthday celebrations to the night of the win from the actual date of September 27 - “I wanted to make sure that I had 22 people to attend my party,” he quipped - is already looking forward to next season. “We are hoping that we shall keep the basis of the side, although we will probably lose Jamie McIlroy to the first-team,” he said.
“But I am confident that we can compete and comfortably so.”
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