The following has been sent in by Mike Evetts. Thanks very much Mike
In a division top heavy with teams from Colebridge, you might expect to find these teams involved in both promotion and relegation issues, and so it has proved, with outfits from the Shirley stronghold occupying the top two, and the bottom three positions at the halfway point of the season.
Top of the pile are Colebridge Dinosaurs, boasting an unbeaten record , twenty five points and a leading contender for the individual honours in power hitter Dan Ranford. Aided and abetted by guileful defender Jim Connor and vastly experienced Brian Morris, they are sure to be in contention for promotion when the lighter nights arrive.
In second place are Colebridge Chiefs, an interesting mix of youth and experience. In Sam Henderson they have a skilful and well coached teenager, who can only improve as the season progresses, an individual title is not beyond him either, as victories over both Martin George and Dan Ranford both bear testament to. In the same corner are former Cornish county player Mike Credland, whose absence will be sorely felt during January, and the silky defensive talents of Neil Wheatley, whose reputation needs no further embellishment here.
In third position are West Midlands Police, a team which has a roster of players with the names of Ducros, Opbroek and Ameghino boasts a variety of talent, as well as nationality, and should they be able to raise their game a notch in the second half, and ensure they do not turn out shorthanded, they will be pushing for a return to a higher tier.
In fourth position are Colebridge Eagles, with a victory over club mates Chiefs, and a draw against leaders Dinosaurs they have proved they are more than capable of holding their own. Much depends on the continuing good form of the famously feisty 75 year old Bernard Oliver, whose performances have earned him a shot at the individual title, a remarkable achievement in itself, and a tribute to his enduring love of the sport.
Fifth are Bournville C, now playing out of Northfield YMCA, their hopes of promotion lie with their left handed top spinner Martin George, and they must hope that his effort to secure the individual title in this division can help to pull back the six point deficit on Dinosaurs.
Sixth are Smithereens, their frequent, uncomplaining trips to Colebridge are sure to continue for the immediate future, they have not “laid an egg “on any of their first half outings and in unconventional pen holding retriever Dave Whittingslow have one of the most difficult to beat players in the Division.
Colebridge Falcons sole aim in the New Year will be to avoid relegation. In Mahroof Hussein, Frank Cotter and John Overton they have the players to do it, their matches against Colebridge Hawks and Giants, immediately below them, are crucial to their survival.
Colebridge Hawks have found the going tough following promotion last season, their hopes of consolidation this winter took a blow when they lost to 8-2 to fellow relegation candidates Colebridge Giants. The return fixture, at the end of the season, could well be key to any hopes they have of maintaining their status.