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Season 2004/05 - Year 4

The Association’s 3rd Annual General Meeting was again conducted at Redfern RSL Club, this time on July 14. After only one season in the Presidents Chair, Bruce Parfett made way for John Moore, citing a desire to move away from umpiring in the Shires competition in favour of having a crack at Grade Cricket. The meeting wished Bruce well on his new adventure. For the 4th season running both the Secretary and Treasurer remained unchanged. Membership numbers pre-season were solid and the season’s end membership tally stood at a record 45, an increase of two on the previous year. During the season eight new members joined and actively umpired while we lost six members to Grade cricket, retirement or non renewal. After a long period of many seasons where two day games didn't have enough time to get through the minimum required overs by the scheduled close of play at 6pm, the SCA finally made amendments to playing conditions allowing a days play to average out at a more sensible and achievable 16 overs per hour. For the first time in many years the majority of matches were now finishing on or shortly after 6pm rather than dragging on into the evening. On the field the Association had its best season on record due to strong membership numbers as well as a large overflow of Grade members being referred to us from the NSWCU&SA from week to week. The net result was all First grade games getting umpires as well as an average of 82% of second grade matches receiving umpires during the course of the season. It was a great result that was certainly noticed and appreciated by players and captains alike participating in Shires Seconds. Also on the positive side the Association supplied at least one umpire to 425 days of cricket within a competition that conducted 747 days of play. This is a completion rate of 56.89% of days played in the entire 5 competitions conducted in the Shires Association. This was a fantastic improvement on previous seasons, which have all been less than 50%. Unfortunately, on the downside, Shires suffered its worst season ever for player behaviour, which saw the numbers of Shires players reported to the SCA Judiciary increase from 6 to 19. A worrying trend. Also during the season, three of our members received appointments to representative matches. Peter Friend stepped in when Alan Green fell ill to appendicitis and officiated in the Annual Shires XI Vs Grade XI match at the SCG, which was won handsomely by the Shires lads. Chris Taylor umpired the Shires XI Vs Churches XI match at Mona Park, whilst Brett Osseweyer received an appointment to the inaugural Shires XI Vs Sydney Districts XI match at Alan Davidson Oval. John Moore was appointed to his third First Grade Grand Final in a row and partnered Alan Green on this occasion, where Strathfield CC took out the title also for the third consecutive season. Robin Gandevia and Brett Osseweyer were the appointed members to the Frank Gray (Under 24) Grand Final, won by Warringah CC. Stephen Blomfield took out the umpire of the year award and Geoff Taylor won the inaugural Most improved Umpire of the Year. Season 2004/05 was acknowledged by all and sundry to be a great success with hopefully more to come.