From it's earliest incarnation to the present time - Lancing Manor Cricket Club has , like many clubs of a similar size , gone through varying levels of success , on and off the field.
1st XI 1970
Reg Phillips, Russell Wood, Roy Loveland, Ted Poole, John Lane, Cyril Ford, John Ray
Barry Harman, Norman Johnson, Mike Reynolds(c), Neil Tomsett, Umpire Bill O'Sullivan
With the advent of a Colts XI in the mid 70's , LMCC developed slowly into a club of 2 XI's - with the ideal format of the 1st XI being for those of a competitive nature who wanted league cricket and the 2nd XI being the place for developing youngsters and those players who played for the love of the game -
During the late 70's one local resident (he lived a six hit due south of the ground) joined the club and would make a lasting impression, not least on removing many long-standing 1st XI players by replacing them with talented colts. That man was Les Lenham the well respected coach and ex-Sussex County Cricket Club Player.
Bringing his first class experience and considerable coaching abilities he turned LMCC into a reasonable force ..at club level ! - not withstanding his own contribution , 4341 runs @ 68.9 and 191 wickets @ 10.4 in over 100 matches including the club top score of 178 not out (made out of 200-3 !!) , his presence also helped the developement of colts such as :- Roger Geal , Chris Prees , Nick Bazen , Martin Gander , Paul Thurston and most significantly John Coles , a tall fast bowler of superb control who would play for the Sussex 2nd XI and is generally thought of as one of the best local bowlers of the last 20 years.
1976 Colts - Worthing And District Champions
Terry Smith, Simon Marchant, Steve Johns, Roger Bellamy, John Coles, Steve Scales, Chris Prees
Stuart Matthewson, Paul Thurston, Roger Geal, Mark Loveland, Dicky Dale(?)
1st XI 1980
Bill O'Sullivan(u), Steve Scales, Russell Wood, Nick Bazen, Mike Reynolds, Dicky Garrett
Les Lenham, Roger Geal, Paul Thurston, Geoff Stanford(c), Roger Fielder, Chris Prees
After Les Lenham departed at the end of 1984 , the club lost many of its leading players to clubs of greater strength (Coles to Worthing CC) (Geal/Bazen/Gander to Littlehampton) and club struggled for a few seasons. The lowest point being relegated to Division 2 of the Brighton League for the 1989 season after a poor 1988 in which only 1 of 14 league matches was won. The 1989 season saw the return of Coles/Bazen/Thurston and Gander , they joined the newer 'stars' of Steve Eke , Neil Reynolds and Simon Haggis to again create a strong side which was to win Division 2 of the Brighton League when losing only 2 of 15 matches. Indeed the 'class of 1989' had within it's ranks many who had played in LMCC's Evening League side (but not weekend side) of '88 which reached the Knockout Cup Final...only to lose in a reply after a tie !!...
LMCC in 1992 came close to another Brighton League Div 1 championship. Having lost only once in their first 10 matches , Manor were to lose their last 2 matches and finish 3rd.
The team by this time had lost Coles(again)/Haggis/Eke and Gander , but formed a base around Gary Mason (currently 7000+ runs), Danny Griffin (9000+ runs), Chris Salt (8000+ runs) , Dave Smith (7000+ runs) , Steve Luckhurst (3500+ runs 600+ wkts) and Neil Reynolds (17000+ runs 450+ wkts).
A move to a different league brought immediate success in 1995 , having joined the Sussex Championship League , they initially started in Div 2 - this gave opportunity for a potencially successful season - and so it proved. LMCC duly won the league , winning each match they played. Reynolds , Salt and Griffin all averaged over 50 with the bat , and Luckhurst , Jeff Read and Nigel French took 40 wickets between them at an average of 12. Reynolds & Luckhurst also won the respective Div2 batting/bowling trophy's for most runs/wkts.
The last 3 seasons have seen LMCC consolidate in Division 1 of a frequently changing League , the league (now the West Sussex League) has seen many changes in the teams represented as clubs try and find the correct level (within a fairly fragile 'pyramid').
The 1998 season saw a continued consolidation for LMCC with regards to success for the 1st XI - finishing 6th out of 17 in the League , with Luckhurst (somehow) winning Division 1's Bowling Cup with 31 wickets.
Unfortunately the 2nd XI has been sadly in decline for the last few seasons. Not so much as in the strength of the team , ably led by Jaffa Ullah and the batting skills of John Smyth (career Av of 60 !) , but significantly in the number of players available.
From a club able to support 2 XIs on each weekend day (with some thought of a 3rd Sunday XI), the last two years have seen insufficient members for this to be sustained. Indeed only a single Sunday XI has taken the field in the last couple of years-even then sometimes with 10 or even 9 players.
1999 saw much of an improvement on the previous season. Worries regarding the number of players was off-set with the addition of half a dozen regular new players. On the field the 1st XI finished joint 7th in division 1, whilst the 2nd XI, perhaps for to the long term benefit of the team, were relegated to division 3 of the West Sussex League. Sadly 1999 saw the last matches played by Jaffa Ullah after some 30 seasons with the club as he's moved on to a new life in Devon. Sadder news was that of the loss of Bill Winter late in the year. The leading wicket taker for the club with over 1500 wickets spread over 30 seasons, he contributed greatly off the pitch too, with regular maintenance of the pavillion as well as many years as team secretary.
2000 - Saw a greater return on the pitch. The 1st XI finished 4th, with only a last ball defeat at the hands of 3rd placed West Blatchington depriving them of 3rd. Individually, Danny Griffin scored over 1300 runs at 53 with a record 12 fifties and 25 sixes. Dave Baker won the bowling Cup for the 3rd consecutive season, pipping Pete Daly by 1/100th of a run. Neil Reynolds scored 10 fifties in passing 1000 runs. Additionally, Dave Smith, Gary Mason, Nigel French, Jeff Read, Simon Haggis, Chris Salt , Andy Livermore and Steve Luckhurst all contributed to the 1st XI's success.
1st XI.v. Hove Medina May 2000
Steve Luckhurst , Dave Baker , Danny Griffin , Dave Smith , Nigel French , Gary Mason
Chris Dunne , Simon Haggis , Neil Reynolds(c) , Andy Livermore , Jeff Read
2001 - Despite what was to many a quite fragmented season, the results on the pitch were still to be commended in view of the small member base. To finish 5th in the league was excellent and had it not been for a couple of silly results (failing to chase West Blatchingtons' 118 by 8 runs) and for a couple of abandoned matches the 1st XI could have finished 3rd.
The 2nd XI, with a much more settled side, finished mid-table in Div 3 and enjoyed their time in due course.
The club has even contemplated moving grounds to the vacated Lower Beeding in order to change leagues, improving as a club in playing and reputation as well as being more attractie to new players. But as seems to be the case in recent years, a good idea was not acted upon and we will start 2002 still in the West Sussex League.
There is again talk of senior/better players leaving to ry their hand at 'better' clubs as the nucleous of the committee members very rarely sees other club members wishing to offer assitance. Hopefully with the AGM coming in March 2002 there will be one or two volunteers on show.
On an individual level, Neil Reynolds won the batting cup for the 6th time, although not since 1995. He scored 1144 runs @ 45 with 4 hundreds & 4 Fifties. Runner-up was Danny Griffin who due to rained off matches fell 26 runs short of 1000 runs for the season. Other notable performances were Nigel French's 269 @ 26.9 and Pete Daly finishing with a batting average of over 30 and a Trophy-Winning bowling haul of 30 wickets @ 12.7.
Chris Salt's also averaged in the mid-40's and but for the rain effecting the last couple of weekends could have challenged Neil for the batting cup.
Jeff Read, Steve Luckhurst, Dave Baker and Nigel French all had days of success with the ball, but all ended with season averages in the early 20's.
The 2nd XI was a familiar story with John Smyth winning the Batting Cup for the 5th year in a row. Jim Kublin's tidy medium pace won him the Bowling Cup for the first time. Chris Dunne was a good addition to the 2nd XI, averaging over 27 with the bat as well as ending up as leading wicket taker.
Seasons from 2003 to 2006 saw a decline in the club never seen previously. Membership numbers reduced as players got older and other interests took over - we rarely saw ex-members playing for other clubs, so one can only presume they gave up playing altogether ! -
Youngsters came and went and the average age of the team(s) grew year on year. With relegation from Division One of the West Sussex league in 2005 it was clear something needed to be done - it was decided to fold the Saturday 2nd XI, maintaining an XI each day of the weekened where possible.
This was a good idea until it was clear that we didn't have enough players willing to play both days of the weekend and so more and more matches began to be cancelled on sundays.
Through 2006 it was clear that if we had a Saturday game we couldn't fill a Sunday XI, so a reduced fixture list was compiled.
Relegation from Division 2 to 3 followed as the club's core began to shrink, with the likes of Mason, Griffin, Reynolds, Baker, Livermore and Luckhurst perhaps managing circa 10 games a season.
Jeff Read's emigration (back) to New Zealand was a massive loss, nearly 500 wickets in 12 seasons will unlikely to be replaced - his leg-spinning exploits will be sadly missed.
Reynolds, Griffin, Mason, Baker also featured regularly in the individual honours until 2006 when two new winners emerged - one playing his 20th season, the other, his 1st. Dave Smith's 500 runs @ 32 won his first batting trophy after 20 years of solid play. Wes Sysum stormed into the club as bustling all-rounder, nippy medium pace winning the Bowling cup with 27 wickets to support manic fielding and wristy batting - that also took him to the All-Rounder Cup(!).
A tour to Cork followed the 2005 to Munich - the best ever - with Brussels in 2007, Copenhagen 2008, Lisbon 2009 and Malta in 2010.
Stiff determination will be the focus to get us out of Division 3 as we have too many good players (on their day) to be in the third tier alongside the various teenage XI's performing for the various 3rd & 4th XI's we'll be facing.
At the end of the 2009 season the Committee sat together and planned one last effort to get the club going again. It was proposed - even without the playing numbers - to re-start the 2nd XI and enter them into Division 10 of the League. Through the winter months it was also agreed that we'd attempt to re-start a Colt's Team - of under 11's.
To the delight of everyone connected with the club new players emerged, youngsters appeared from nowhere and the 2nd XI played 12 matches in the season only failing by perhaps a couple of wins of promotion. More than 20 youngsters were in the Under 11's squad and altogether some 50 players played for the 1st/2nd XI's during the summer. Disapppointingly perhaps was the 1st XI's relagation to the 5th Division for 2011 - but enthusiasm has returned and word is spreading of the availability of cricket at Lancing if you want it.
2010 also saw after 25 seasons with the Club Chris Salt wiining his first Batting Cup and following both Gary Mason and Dave Smith in the last two seasons in passing 10,000 runs for the club.
Here is to an even better 2011 and taking the club forward.