As the 2012 season looms large on the horizon, it’s probably that time of year to take a look at the key figures of the Kent Ramblas family…
One of two members of the squad that can feasibly be called ‘Big Guy’, Bense took it up a notch in the second season, marrying an excellent debut behind the stumps with a much stronger performance with the bat. Is also helping to increase the Ramblas fanbase this year…
Most likely to… take a hit to the Jacob’s
Least likely to… drop a dolly
One of the co-winners of the ‘Clubman of the Year’ award, due mainly to her tireless – and excellent – contributions in the kitchen. The team are already looking forward to another delicious curry.
Most likely to… sit next to Geoff
Least likely to… get Stitch’s name right
The other ‘Big Guy’ of the team and one who was sorely, and sadly, missed for the majority of last season due to injury. His teammates will be hoping his infectious good nature and pacy bowling return with aplomb this year.
Most likely to… be smiling
Least likely to… play every game
The team’s vice-captain and newly-appointed 20:20 captain, Coop can be counted on as one of the few members of the team able to put their bat behind the ball during the obligatory Ramblas middle-order collapse. Last year also saw him hit a career-high with the bat and is a more than competent stand-in wicket-keeper.
Most likely to… score a streaky four to get off the mark
Least likely to… go home with clean trousers
A latecomer to the Ramblas party, Ian performed with distinction and great commitment last year, racking up some serious air miles in his travels from Reading to West Wickham (via Peckham). A great addition both on and off the pitch (though his running between wickets is a concern).
Most likely to… be confused as a member of the Loughlin family
Least likely to… get a Christmas card from Felipe Sanchez-Rodriguez
One of the side’s true all-rounders, Stitch was consistently among the wickets last season and can also be relied on to help up the run rate towards the end of an innings. Has made the fine leg position his own, but could probably do with a new hat.
Most likely to… check his stats first
Least likely to… buy a round
Another co-winner of the ‘Clubman of the Year’ award, energetic Tanja was a fervent supporter of the side (despite not having too much to support at times) and was also a contributor to the award-winning teas.
Most likely to… be cheering from the sidelines
Least likely to… be sitting still
The Ramblas’s original stumpsman can still be called upon to perform with distinction as wicket-keeper, but has set his stall out to be our pinch hitter at the top of the order. Now lurking with menace on the boundary rope, few batsmen will be chancing their arm against his, erm, arm.
Most likely to… attack the bowler
Least likely to… say a bad word about anyone
The team’s prize asset, particularly with the ball, Mark managed to add consistent line and length to his game last season, as well as an extra yard of pace – all the while carrying a shoulder injury. A few more runs wouldn’t go amiss, but a constant threat as our strike bowler. Skipper’s player of the season in 2011.
Most likely to… say “I shouldn’t have played that shot” after playing an adventurous shot
Least likely to… go a game without a wicket
Last year’s players’ player of the season, Geoff bowled some wonderful spells and developed an uncanny knack of getting wickets despite batsmen looking to get after him. Even more impressive, though, was his batting; with his middle-order hitting the catalyst for some tight finishes.
Most likely to… say “yes” to a beer
Least likely to… say “no” to seconds at tea
Ruth continues the family theme and was the third co-recipient of the ‘Clubman of the Year’ award. Along with Sheena, she was responsible for some exquisite spreads at tea, while also manfully holding the fort on her own (with a hangover) on one occasion.
Most likely to… to sunbathe
Least likely to… want to run about
Our very own King of Spain stepped up to the mark on more than one occasion last year, most notably with a superlative bowling performance in our humbling against Eastry. Also improved immeasurably with the bat to offer some resistance at number 11.
Most likely to… beat himself up over bowling a bad ball
Least likely to… know the names of the fielding positions
Recovered from a nervy start to the season to get a few good starts with the bat in the second half of the year and will be hoping to add to that in 2012. His fielding also went up a notch and has developed an arrow-like arm from the deep.
Most likely to… harm a teammate when throwing from the boundary
Least likely to… take a risky single
Our erstwhile captain and co-founder pulled a blinder last year, helping to secure a home ground and also top-scoring with the bat. His slow and steady accumulation helped rescue some dire situations last season and could be the bedrock for an inaugural win in 2012.
Most likely to… cause palpitations when under a dolly
Least likely to… give his wicket away cheaply
The final member of our four-man committee, Laurie battled through the season with numerous ailments. Started well with the ball before injury hit and was confident enough to move around the batting order as the situation demanded.
Most likely to… get injured immediately after bowling a bad ball
Least likely to… organise a game within the M25
Another whose impact was curtailed by injury, but bowled on despite the pain and was unfortunate not to garner more wickets from his military medium pace. Biggest contribution, arguably, was the post-season quiz.
Most likely to… cause untold damage to the dressing room
Least likely to… score runs at any sort of pace
The demands of keeping our streets safe mean the Ramblas are cruelly denied the full-time services of PC Rich. When available for selection, though, his skiddy right-armers frequently trouble batsmen, and his bucket-like hands can also be relied upon in the field.
Most likely to… succumb to impatience and go for a huge swing
Least likely to… play every game