The Hills CC – 2018 Review
It is likely that the 2018 season for The Hills CC will be considered as a tough one, where results on the field mirrored sadness off the field.
Wicket-keeper Nic Pretorius acknowledged as much in summing up the season just finished.
“At The Hills, we've always prided ourselves on being a team that fights hard for the club and for each other in the changing room. It was a disruptive season in the Vineyard, but when the going got tough, the tough got going. I was extremely proud of how we battled in the back end of the season.”
There were many reasons to want top-flight cricket in 2019 and celebration of The Hills’ 50th anniversary season is certainly up near the top.
In the third last match of the season, Leinster were the visitors to Milverton in a true relegation battle. Needing big performances to ensure survival Max Sorensen provided what Pretorius described as the individual spell of the season.
“We had a couple of contenders for performance of the season, but when Maxie ran through the Leinster top order (and in the process getting a fiver) in that crucial encounter in Milverton, we were safe,” said The Hills captain.
Sorensen had Leinster 4/4 at one point and finished with 5 for 26 (on Game of the Day here), as The Hills consigned Leinster to the defeat.
With many changes to the first team over the 2018 season, The Hills were able to blood a good few young players and give them a taste of Premier League cricket.
“The club's aim,” says Pretorius, “will be to give these guys the opportunity to, in a few years, lead this club to the success the club members have become accustomed to, in recent times. Our overseas player, Daya Singh, was also an excellent addition to the club in 2018 and he added value in all departments. From working with the youngsters, to being our strike bowler. His innings of 87 against Pembroke also showed that he has some serious ability with the willow.”
For all the efforts of Sorensen, Singh, the youngsters and Pretorius himself, he says there was only one man in the running for Players’ Player of the Year.
On that crucial day at home to Leinster, Albert van der Merwe hit 57 of the 164 runs the home side defended, for a 50-run victory thanks to Sorensen’s 5-fer.
“Player of the year? Albert van der Merwe; skill, experience, class. Simple as that.”
The Hills will be looking to set high standards again in 2019, which is probably fitting given it’s their 50th anniversary season. As ever, a competitive match and a most hospitable welcome will be guaranteed at The Vineyard.
The Hills CC – 2018
Premier League – 6th
Irish Senior Cup – 2nd Round
Leinster Senior Cup – 1st Round
Alan Murray T20 Cup – Quarter-finalist