LIGHT'S OUT is the weekly column full of wit and wisdom from former Gloucestershire chairman John Light
IT HAS happened again! I praise Forest Green and their form deteriorates. In this case drastically so.
Three matches, no goals and only one point gained, rather than nine. We are falling down the league. The next home match this week against lowly Barrow must bring maximum points.
Not enough goals are being scored. Close season signings were made to solve this problem but it has not worked.
Phil Marsh has been released, B J Koroma and Ben Wright have suffered injury and are currently bench-based, and it is only now that Magno Viera is showing some sort of form.
It gets worse. Reece Styche a player of spirit and potential has a wretched knee injury. He will not play again this term. This injury, plus others to key players Forbes, Collins and Hodgkiss as well as Bogan have weakened the side, especially in midfield.
Studying the fixture list I have come up with an unusual theory regarding the slump in form. Before the clocks went back we were playing like champions – since then form has been mostly mid-table. When British Summer Time returns results will improve, but perhaps too late for the play-offs.
The Ecotricity leadership has provided the club with firm foundations. The remainder of the season will prove if the building blocks, namely the players and management team, are good enough to complete the building. I do have doubts.
Cricket this week was shocked by the findings of the Tom Maynard inquest. Prior to his death there were many rumours about the lifestyle of some of the young Surrey players. Changes have been made at The Oval and last year’s captain has moved to another club. He was Maynard’s flat mate.
Do not worry about Gloucestershire players. The Bracewell regime is a strict but fatherly one. John and his wife Bernadette properly execute a duty of care in all the right ways. Rest assured – nothing amiss will happen at Bristol.
The name who means most in Gloucestershire cricket can now be revealed. It is Owen Dawkins. He has never scored a run or taken a wicket for the county and certainly will never do so in the future. His task is more important. He is director of the club’s Academy.
International cricketers, at respective age ranges are now being produced by our county. Dent, Payne, J Taylor and now Shrewsbury and Hammond are all U19 Internationals, with Kieran Smith and Lloyd Evans kicking in lower down the scale. It is Owen who spots them and brings them to Bristol.
Cash restrictions mean we cannot buy in established stars but all the evidence points to the fact we are growing our own and under Owen’s direction there will be more to follow. Gravel Grandee Roger Cullimore and I have already planned a party (2020) to celebrate us winning the championship.
That is quite a challenge, but apparently not as great as the one I set Mrs Light last week. There was a fine ecclesiastical occasion at Rodmarton, and the clergy, of whom Mrs Light was one, had to robe in the Village Hall. This was the scene of my first-ever cricket tea when as a 14-year-old I started playing for the village.
Imagine me as a bright-eyed schoolboy, slender and agile, was the task I set her. She admitted to failing completely, saying something like: “It was a bridge too far.”
The cricket teas I enjoyed in my teens were the most memorable meals of my life. Whether it was clattering in studded boots to the village hall in Coates, or being splendidly served in the stables at Poulton Priory, all were occasions to savour.
To my shame I cannot remember ever saying thank you. If any tea makers of the 1950s are still about can I put that right?
Perhaps the best teas were at Edgeworth, and we walked through the park to the old school to feast there.
Playing at Edgeworth was a joy. It was always May – the chestnuts were in flower and the wicket was quick and true. The outfield was never cut and you had to lift the ball to score. My highest score there was 39. Six sixes and three singles. I can still remember the attack; quiet, determined Basil Hayward, burly off spinner Tom Smith and the best ploughman in the Cotswolds, and with many trophies to prove it, C Underhill. Because of his ploughing prowess his name was frequently in the pages of this newspaper but the ‘C’ remained a mystery. Can anyone enlighten me?
The Quiz at Northleach was a boisterous occasion. Phil James ran it in his usual style, ensuring everyone had a splendid time. Despite the intelligence, grace and wit of my fellow team members we were eighth out of 11