2018-2019 was an excellent season for Ringwood, with league promotions and trophies galore.
In the Southampton League all three teams topped their respective divisions. The A and B teams’ seasons went down to the wire and were decided in the last match. After a slow start, the A team had to avoid defeat in the last match against Southampton A to pip them for the first division title. The match ended in a draw leaving Ringwood champions, two points clear at the top of the table. After a few close finishes over the last few seasons this was the first time Ringwood has ever won the first division title. In Division 3 it was a two horse race between our B team and Salisbury B with Ringwood edging it by one match point (and a massive game point advantage). Meanwhile in Division 5, the Team C romped home by 4 points clear. We also did well in the cups. In the Robinson Cup, Southampton A gained some revenge for our league triumph by beating Ringwood in the final. Ringwood C were more succesful winning the Division 4/5 Cup.
In our second year playing in the Dorset league team we were lead my non-playing captain Mike Jay. The team got off to a very fast start. They were involved in ALL the first three matches in the division and won each one. By the 22nd of October they had 6 points on the board and no one else had any! After that the team continued winning but also got gradually stronger with the addition of Peter Anderson and James Forster. The average grade started at 166 and peaked at 183 mid-season. We won the division with 7 straight wins followed by a drawn match with Poole and ended up 5 points ahead of Dorchester. Again, the first time Ringwood have won this league. Remarkably, until the last match, no individual team member had lost a game and 6 of the 7 wins were 2.5-1.5 – the closest margin possible in a match. A real testiment to team focus and spirit! A lot of the credit has to go to Mike for his captaincy and to Nikki Forster who helped with transport.
In the Bournemouth and District League the A Team finished top of Division 2 and with it a return to the first division. After a poor start, the addition of Peter Anderson and continual good form of Niall Woodgar guaranteed promotion back to the top division before the last match was played. Niall won the Boardman trophy for being the division’s top scorer with 7.5/10. The B Team finished a very creditable second in Division 3 just behind Southbourne C and was perhaps quietly relieved not to gain promotion. The knock-out handicap went less well with us needing to score 2.5 points against a tough Poole team in the first round, but going down 1.5-4.5.
24 players participated in all competitions for Ringwood, with every single one contributing to the success. A few stats for those playing lots of games for the club: Rob Davenport played 28 games, Pete Donaldson 27 (and did loads of driving), Martin Clancy 21, Bruce Jenks 21, Peter Anderson 21, Malcom Day 19, Alan Wykes 19, Martin Simons 19.
There were too many phenomenal scoring records in the season to list them all but I will mention a few.
Individually – Darrell and Alan both getting 5/5 for the Southampton League C team and Rob scoring most points for the club in the season at 18.
Teams – A season of “firsts” – we had never won a first division title before so I think the people who played in both campaigns deserve a special mention.
Dorset League – Martin Simons, Bruce Jenks, Martin Clancy, Richard Perrin, James Forster, Peter Anderson, Pete Donaldson and Rob Davenport.
Southampton League – Martin Simons, Bruce Jenks, Russell Pegg, Martin Clancy, Pete Donaldson, Christian Westrap, James Forster and Peter Anderson.
Apologies to everyone I didn’t mention!
The season was celebrated with a few drinks at the Original White Hart and a meal at the Indian Tree restaurant. A few of the players are pictured with the trophies and Amanda, the Original White Hart landlady.
Martin Clancy, November 2019