Established 1891

A chat with 1st XI skipper Gary Chappell

With it being the halfway stage of the Tolchards Devon League season we figured it an opportune time to catch up with ‘Ninch skipper Gary Chappell and pick his brains with regard to the ‘Ninch season so far.

First up we asked:

1. What is the skipper’s overview of the first half of the season?

“The first half of the season has gone far better than expected.

If I’m honest, I felt we would be scrapping at the bottom given our availability issues and poor pre-season preparation, but the fact we currently sit third says a lot for the quality we do have.”

2. Which has been the best and the poorest performance of the season so far?

“There have been so many good performances, but the Exmouth game was an all-round great team win with many guys contributing with bat and ball.

In other games it’s seemed to be one or two who have stepped up, but the fact we won that game against a strong team when we were missing a few was the most pleasing!”

3. It is unusual for a promoted team to be challenging for the title. Can we keep this run up?

“There is no reason why we can’t continue winning games and pushing at the top.

We don’t have the depth that other sides do, for example being able to bring in Devon U17s from the 2nd XI when short, but our first choice 11 is as good as any.

There is a long way to go and the next two weeks are massive games.

Now relegation can be forgotten about it would be defeatist and negative not to look up and believe we can win it!”

4. Have any individual players surprised you so far?

“No one has surprised me. I know how talented our players are and it’s nice that it’s all come together this season.

Success breeds success and players seem to be bouncing off each other and putting their hand up to win a game if others fail.”

5. What does the team need to do over the second half of the season to turn it into a memorable campaign?

“Keep doing what we’ve been doing! A positive attitude and 100% commitment and we can do no more!”

6 What has pleased you the most about the team so far and what displeased you the most?

“I am most pleased about the positive approach and enjoyable atmosphere, and the fact everyone seems keen to win games of cricket.

We’ve rolled over in previous years, but we’re a lot tougher opposition now!In terms of what has displeased me – that’s led by our availability as it’s really affecting the 2nd XI and has cost the 1st XI at least one win.

That said, it’s only amateur sport and there is more to life than cricket and I have no problem with people holidaying or going to weddings.

Also, we still lack a ruthless streak and don’t nail teams when we have them under the cosh.

We’re a lot better than we were, but that is one area that separates challengers from title winners!”