Caught in the middle with Ron Raisey: The joys of umpiring available to young and old

OUR UMPIRE: Ron Raisey
OUR UMPIRE: Ron Raisey

This will be my last column of the season, now that all the Two Counties matches have finished. I hope that you have enjoyed it over the last few months, with my tales from the middle, the best place, in my opinion, to watch a match.

The rain on Saturday affected most matches but there were just two locally that couldn’t be played. These were at Haverhill, where Mildenhall were the visitors, and at Exning, who should have entertained Clacton.

Halstead had a very good win over second place Wivenhoe, running out victors by seven wickets. Wivenhoe 135-8, Joe Morris 3-12, Halstead 136-3, Josh Wells 60no.

A weakened Worlington were well beaten by Mistley, losing by 70 runs. Mistley 187 Shaun Lister 3-25, Worlington 117, ben Hyde 44, Jimmy Watson 40.

Hadleigh lost to Frinton II by seven wickets, Hadleigh 159-8, Kyle Tanner 47, Frinton 163-3.

In the battle of the basement in Division Two, Lakenheath comfortably emerged as winners over Long Melford, by nine wickets. Long Melford 103 Jason Wade 31, Dominic Palmer 4-15, Shane Leech 2-8, Lakenheath 105-1 Shane Leech 40no

Mildenhall were champions of Division One, and were promoted to the EAPL without a play-off as the winners of the Norfolk and Cambridgeshire leagues declined to go up. Worlington finished in fourth spot with their highest points tally since being promoted. Halstead and Haverhill finished in the bottom half of the table but comfortably clear of the relegation zone, while Hadleigh very luckily escaped relegation when Coggeshall were found to have played an ineligible player and were deducted 77 points, and at the same time Hadleigh were given an extra 13 points, meaning Coggeshall and Copford were relegated.

In Division Two all the action from our local sides was at the wrong end of the table. Lakenheath just avoiding the bottom two, however both Long Melford and Exning will face life in Division Three next year. Maldon and Elmstead Market were promoted to Division One and Copdock II and Kelvedon were promoted from Division Three.

Woolpit finished bottom of the EAPL so there will be another local club in Division One replacing Mildenhall.

Personally, I have enjoyed another season umpiring. It’s always a pleasure travelling into Essex and around Suffolk. It’s always good to meet up not only with fellow umpires but players who you have got to know over the years.

We need more umpires though, especially younger ones, so why not come along to one of our courses (£40), run by our training officer Terry Snell. They will be taking place in the Hall at the rear of Crowfield Baptist Church on January 28 and February 4. The contact to register is Katie Ostler at SCC. koastler@suffolkcricket.org

You will learn all the Laws of Cricket to both umpire club cricket and enhance your enjoyment of the game. If you have packed up playing through injury and want to give something back to the game, now’s your chance. I hope you all winter well and look forward to writing for you next summer.