CRICKET ESPANA LEAGUE SEASON REVIEW
With the group stages of the league campaign now complete, the league directorate review the highs and lows of a challenging season.
COSTA BLANCA LEAGUE ONE AND DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
The 2010 cricket season in the Costa Blanca region ofSpainwill no doubt be remembered for many important issues.
A very close competitive title race saw La Manga C.C. edge out their two closest rivals Valencia Green C.C. and Sporting Alfas C.C .It was particularly unfortunate for Valencia Green who won eleven matches, and but for a cancelled fixture which caused a deduction of points they would have finished in first position.
Madrid C.C. enjoyed a solid season winning and losing six matches to finish in a creditable fourth position in the league table. The performances of Valencia C.C. and Mojacar C. C. did not prove successful, with both clubs finding the strength of opposition difficult on most occasions.
It has been deemed that these teams will play their cricket in the Development League next season. It is hoped that an improvement in results will enable both clubs to return to Division 1 in due course.
On a disappointing note the league saw the withdrawal of Albox CC, plus the further withdrawal of Valencia CC, followed by a subsequent re-instatement. Both clubs struggle to field a full side on many occaisions, mainly due to lack of player availabilty and limited finances.
For the National Play off Championship the Costa Blanca League will be represented by La Manga C.C. Valencia Green C.C. and Madrid C.C.
P W T NR L BP Pts La Manga 12 10 0 0 2 92 192 Valencia Green 12 11 0 0 1 81 191 Sporting Alfas 1 12 9 0 0 3 92 182 Madrid 1 12 6 0 0 6 65 125 Valencia 12 3 0 0 9 4 24 Mojacar 12 1 0 0 11 0 -20 Albox 12 0 0 0 12 0 -59
In the Development League special praise must be granted to Alcorcon CC for their superb performance in winning every one of their fixtures and amassing 183 points out of a possible 200.
Mention must also be made of the batting talent of Tariq Ali Awan who not only scored three centuries but also contributed a magnificent 226 against Sporting Alfas II. After a fantastic first season the Alcorcon cricketers have earned promotion to Division 1 for next season.
Madrid United C.C., another new club to join the League also proved to be a capable team. Finishing third in the league table has also earned this club an invite into Division 1 for the 2011 season.
In the development league, San Fulgencio Lightning C.C. in their 1st season in the Spanish League and Intellectuals C.C. had mixed results, both clubs losing more matches than they won. No doubt next season will see an improvement and hopefully both clubs will finish the season in a higher position.
Alfas II proved to be a resolute team finishing Runners Up to Alcorcon C.C. and will be more than happy with this result, having used the campaign to give their talented youngsters exposure to league cricket.
Madrid II finished last in the table. Two cancelled matches and a deduction of twenty points brought about this situation, and but for this unfortunate occurrence they would have no doubt finished their programme in a much healthier position.
P W T NR L BP Pts Alcorcon 10 10 0 0 0 83 183 Sporting Alfas 2 10 5 0 1 4 62 122 Madrid United 10 6 0 0 4 54 114 Intellectuals 10 4 0 0 6 41 81 San Fulgencio 10 1 0 1 8 49 69 Madrid 2 10 3 0 0 7 24 54
In all, twenty matches were cancelled, causing much disruption to the league programme. Every club except one either cancelled a fixture or failed to field eleven players on at least one occasion. Congratulations must go to San Fulgencio Lightning on this seasons fine effort, in being the most consistent team in fielding eleven players and playing their fixtures on schedule.
Finally, we must thank all the umpires,scorers,goundsmen and club officials for their contribution during the season and trust that these worthy ladies and gentlemen will be available to officiate once again in 2011.
John Dye, Chairman League Committee.
The Cataluyna league ran smoothly than any of the leagues, and this is good testament to the management skills of Robert Masih and Aseq A Arman (Nadeem) in organising this seasons league campaign.
The league was set up into two groups, each consisting of six teams, with are games being played at the Monjuic Baseball Park, next to the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona.
In group A it soon became apparent that the two standout teams were Ali CC and Cataluyna CC. Both clubs had 100% records when they played each other in July. By that time both teams had made the Cataluyna play offs so in effect they were only playing for bragging rights. Ali came through, thanks to a fine unbeaten half century by Faisalto give Ali top spot and a play off final place against the runners up in Group B.
Cataluyna took second spot, and consequently faced a tougher game against the Group B winners.Newcomers Fondo and Barcelona Eagles had a mixed season. Fondo were deducted four points for late attendence and a shortage of players against Ali, but on the plus side they had a great 4 wicket victory over Barcelona Eagles.
The Eagles did have one highpoint, in the game against Santa Coloma. They won the 25 over game by a mammoth 166, with their top batsman Quaser Zufiqar smashing 137 not out off just 77 balls.
Both Bengali and Santa Coloma found the going tough in their first season but the Bengali Boys did manage a victory against the Eagles. Both teams will be looking to improve on this seasons performances next year.
P W T NR L BP Pts Ali CC 5 5 0 0 0 0 50 Catalunya 5 4 0 0 1 8 38 Fondo CC 5 3 0 0 2 6 26 Barcelona Eagles 5 1 0 0 4 0 10 Bengali 5 1 0 0 4 0 10 Santa Coloma 5 1 0 0 4 0 10
In group B Last previous league winners Falco lost several key players during the off season, and it soon bacame apparent that the would not be retaining the trophy this year. They started the season with three losses and never really recovered, finally finishing bottom of the respective league.
Minhaj cruised through to the play off stages, as winners of group B winning all five of their games without much trouble. The other 4 teams were all in with a chance of the runners up spot right up to the end of the season, and it was Barcelona who finally took the runners up spot, to secure a match up against Ali.
Barcelona Internationals,Olot and Cornella both had two wins each to their credit, and one more victory could possibly have been enough for these three newcomers to have taken the place of Barcelona in the play off finals. Internationals..With a possible expansion of new teams in the Cataluyna league next year the future of Catalan cricket looks very healthy indeed.
P W T NR L BP Pts Minhaj CC 5 5 0 0 0 6 46 Barcelona 5 3 0 0 2 0 30 Barcelona Internationals 5 2 0 0 3 0 20 Olot CC 5 2 0 0 3 0 20 Cornella CC 5 2 0 0 3 6 16 Falco CC 5 1 0 0 4 8 8
The first weekend in August pitted Minhaj against Cataluyna and Ali with Barcelona. In the first game Cataluyna chased down 100 with 3 wickets to spare. Without the 29 not out from Kashif Butt, things could have been very different.
The other semi final was another close affair with Ali scraping home by 12 runs. Ali batted first and scored 143 for 8, in reply Barcelona totalled 131 for 8 off their allocated overs.
The Cataluyna play off final was a re-match of the Group A game in July. Again Ali CC claimed victory by 37 runs to cap an unbeaten season. Both teams will go forward to represent the Cataluyna league in the national play offs in La Manga the weekend of October 30th-31st.
The Southern league was the most evenly balanced league with all three teams in contention right to the wire. The parity of the teams was such that all 3 clubs had wins and losses against each other. In the end it came down to batting and bowling points to differentiate the top two teams and it was Combined Colleges who finished top with Cordoba claiming the runners-up spot.
Unfortunately, due to financial restraints Combined Colleges are unable to attend the play off finals in La Manga at the end of October. As a result of their withdrawal the CE committee decided to offer this place to the third place in the Costa Blanca 1 league. That position belonged to Alfas, but with a touring side due the weekend of the play off finals they were unable to participate.
As fourth place belonged to Madrid, so consequently they were asked to play, to which they agreed and now they have the daunting task of playing Valencia Green on October 31st. The other two semi finals will also take place at the Murcia ground, on the 30th October.All three games are scheduled for a 11am start.
P W T NR L BP Pts Combined Colleges 8 5 0 1 2 57 117 Cordoba 8 4 0 0 4 55 95 Malaga 8 2 0 1 6 16 46
PLAY OFF FINALS
Ali will be clear favourites to beat Cordoba, whilst the tie of the play offs is undoubtedly La Manga against Cataluyna. The two teams who score the most points(as per the CB League 1 scoring system) will play in the final, and the 3rd-4th place spot will be contested between the teams with the 3rd and 4th amount of points on play off finals deal. Both the grand final games will be contested at La Manga on November 13th, 10 am start.