Gloucestershire veterans were back in the County Championship Premier Division after an absence of two seasons, mainly due to the return of Dave Harvey who missed a season through a wrist injury. Their first weekend of matches was at Cippenham and their opponent in the first match was Yorkshire. The team was Darren Griffin, Dave Harvey, Dave Adamson and Christine Williams. First up was Darren who put up an excellent performance to a very awkward player Richard Lightowler and managed an 11-6 win in the 5th, next was Dave Adamson who lost to Steve Pugh, on came Dave Harvey next and beat their number 1 Chris Clinton 12-10 in the 5th. Christine Williams met a very strong opponent in Janet Adams losing in 3. The match score at this stage was 4-2 to Yorkshire. Darren lost by the closest of margins to Chris Clinton in the 5th but Dave Harvey manage his second win to keep a 100% record against Steve Pugh. The match result ended 7-3 to Yorkshire.
In the afternoon Gloucestershire turned out against Lancashire, this time with William Dawe replacing Dave Adamson. This match was a good 6-4 win for Gloucestershire with Dave Harvey again winning both his singles matches to keep his 100% record. Darren also won both his singles against Phil Bowen and Keith Williams, William Dawe had a good win against Phil Bowen and the Christine and Darren combined to win the last mixed doubles against Bowen and Buoey. Cleveland had withdrawn from the first weekend so Gloucestershire had no game on the Sunday morning and were awarded a walk over 10-0.
Dave Harvey was awarded joint player of the weekend.
The second weekend was held in Draycote, Derby, and Gloucestershire’s first opponent was Cheshire. Darren and Dave Harvey both won their singles matches against Brian Johns, Phil Biggs, and Mark Evans. Dave Adamson lost 16-14 in the 5th against Mark Evans which was in the end crucial to Cheshire winning 6-4. Christine had the England number 1 vet Sue Collier and put up a good show but was unable to beat her; in fact all the women players were very strong and were all in the top 10 veterans in England. Christine is doing well and making good progress. Next up was Leicestershire and with our strongest team of Darren, Dave Harvey, William Dawe, and Christine we were convincingly beaten 10-0. The Leicestershire team of Chris Rogers, Dave Gannon, Maurice Newman and Karen Smith played excellently.
The following day the first match was against Kent who did not show up for the whole weekend so we were given a walk over 10-0, – we had a nice lay in, relaxing breakfast and visited Derby County football stadium. In the afternoon we played Sussex with our number one Darren dropping out with a thumb injury. Again we were up against a very strong side of Ritchie Venner, Nigel Eckersley, Peter Bartram and Rose Rainton. Dave Harvey managed a good win against Nigel Eckersley, with Dawe, Adamson, and Williams playing well but to no avail. In conclusion the team did very well ending up in 5th position. Below them were Lancashire, Kent, and Cleveland. The irony was that the two teams that withdrew from respective weekends were relegated which seemed just. Next season will be even harder as Dave Harvey has indicated he will be having a year out and on the ladies side the top 5 ladies in England will be playing in one team or other.
Thanks to all who helped, drove, played, and good luck next season.