1991 – Carr Named National Cricketer of the Year

John Carr broke the Herts League record in 1991 with 848 runs at an average of 84.8. His last six innings were 55, 157, 105, 121, 63 and 78, and his feat won him the national cricketer of the year, sponsored by The Cricketer, a magazine edited by former England, Yorkshire and Radlett all-rounder Richard Hutton.

Nick Hampton, an Oxford Blue opener, made his debut, and Michael Voss, a compact Western Province left-hander, joined the club for one season from the Maidstone club The Mote at the suggestion of member Eric Howes as an unpaid overseas player. Voss smashed seven centuries, three of those in the league. His 154 not out against Welwyn Garden City provided wonderful entertainment at Cobden Hill, but the highlight was 156 at Hoddesdon in a ferocious run-a-ball partnership of 222 with Carr at almost 10 runs an over. In the penultimate match at Stevenage, Carr hit 63 off 19 balls after the home side had been bowled out for 74.

Edwards started his season with 8-24, demolishing Totteridge for 38 in a warm-up game to accentuate the widening gap between the two old-friend clubs. Later in an all-day club game at Chipperfield, Voss caused a sensation when his wicket was the day’s first to fall – after lunch – for a personal score of 181, watched admiringly by Simon Lloyd, his junior partner in an opening stand of 260, a Radlett record for any wicket at the time. Voss was a fine batsman, though if there were flaws in his armoury, it was a tendency to loft the ball and to fail against the better attacks. His first class career in South Africa was short.

The familiar bowling attack of Holland, Edwards and Blundell could do little wrong when backed by such intimidating batting, and Radlett finished 69 points ahead of runners-up Letchworth with 11 victories. Along with Bryan Adams and (Everything) I Do I Do It For You, Radlett seemed to top the charts for most of the summer. The few blips included a rare defeat by St Albans – the ageless Alan Garofall taking 6-34 at Cobden Hill – and elimination from the Herts Cup at Watford Town, a side inspired by the Herts and former Middlesex all-rounder Andy Needham.

Despite Carr and Voss, this was a team effort. Five bowlers took 20 or more wickets, six batsmen made 200-plus runs and all the 17 players used seemed to have their moments during the season. Tim Smithers, for example, took an important difficult catch at fourth-placed Hertford to set up a victory, and Blundell had praise for the fiery wicketkeeper David Hanson for his “immense” contribution. “His advice on the field is always interesting,” he said. “Behind the scenes he has worked very hard. He has cajoled less willing players to come to nets, to be available and to turn up early at matches.”

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