Having narrowly missed out in 1998 the 1st X1 had high hopes of promotion as the season opened but having gained only 2 points from the first three games those pre-season expectations were soon called into question. However, as the season progressed, performances improved and with two thirds of the season behind them they stood in third position with a real chance of promotion. But here, in a repeat performance of the 50m season, the challenge faltered as they failed to win any of the last six games and finished the season in a very disappointing seventh position.
Ian Meyer endured an English winter to play another season but after taking the league by storm in 1998, would feel that he under-achieved, finishing with 585 runs at an average of 39. Pleasing then that his fellow countryman, Glen Morley , although a late starter, soon made an impact with bat and ball. His 317 runs at an average of 32, and 24 wickets at 14, did much to provide the impetus for mid-season successes.
In previous seasons Charlie Johnson has enjoyed considerable success opening the bowling with the new ball, old ball, in fact any old ball. But with the presence of University returnee Tom Grafton , and in the early season, James Dodd and later Glen Morley , to add pace to the opening attack, Charlie's role reverted to first change. But you can't keep a good man down and with his 27 wickets at 19 he remained the teams leading wicket taker. Late arrival Damien Honey also chipped in with 23 wickets at 14, as did James Dodd , 13 wickets at 11 before he left for New Zealand. We all wish him well.
So a season that promised much and delivered nothing. Hopefully the new millennium will herald an era of settled availability, consistent performance and good fortune from a talented side that has yet to realise its true potential.