1998: First title for the seconds since 1979

The honours in 1998 belonged to the second XI, captained by David Holland, who won the Chilterns League Second Team Championship for the first time since 1979.

As David Holland noted: This was the last year of the Chilterns League in its current format before the split into two divisions. Having not been a supporter of such a change, this season’s games convinced me that the change is essential. A number of our league games were mismatches and that is not in any way detracting from our performances.

One example of the sort of mismatch was the away match at Great Hampden. David Holland wrote: Great Hampden was a waste of time. Glorious day, I lose the toss, Hampden bat first, 10 men all out for 79. Brian Wells 2-14 and Chris Lowe 3-20 make the early breakthrough and Mike Bradley taking 3-9. We win by 9 wickets in just 11 overs.

The title was won in the final league match at home to Chalfont St. Giles. Captain Holland was on holiday in Tenerife, and bowler Chris Lowe was also away, so it was left to Alan Kitley to skipper the side. Just six points were needed to win the title. Batting first, Taplow scored 243-9 – and five batting points. That meant that just two wickets would bring the one further point needed – and at 63-2 the league was won, with a wicket from Tim Isaac who had been a member of the 1979 winning team.

The first XI, captained by Lewis Fisher, finished in eighth place in the league – enough to confirm their place in the top division for next season. Australians Jeff Mooney and Craig Windus were dominant in many games – including the league match at home to Great Hampden (another mismatch).

Mooney hit his highest score of the season in a Sunday match against High Wycombe. The following season he went hit 200 – see story here.

The third eleven, captained by Greg Lightfoot, had a mixed season with six wins, 7 draws and 5 losses. One of the highlights was a 240-run opening partnership between Trevor Plowman and Keith Franklin.

Another report mentions a comical finale to a match against Bix, involving Greg and Lawrence Brown.

The club won the Chilterns League Cup with a win over Amersham Hill at Wargrave.

The annual tour to the New Forest, with the Maidenhead Advertiser printing a report of the games.

Presidents Day saw a match between a President’s XI including West Indians Keith Arthurton and Roger Harper, while the Taplow team included Australian Ian Harvey alongside Mooney and Windus.

After the end of the league season, friendlies continued to be played.  A headline for a report of a match at home to Farnham Royal said “Taplow enjoy female touch” – when the Royal team included Louise Newman. Not sure you cfould do that today!

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