Phillips takes over as captain at Alphington

Hitting out - Mark Halse, who will be  number two at Alphington this season to new skipper Luke Phillips
Hitting out - Mark Halse, who will be number two at Alphington this season to new skipper Luke Phillips

ALPHINGTON will have a new captain in 2018 following the appointment of Luke Phillips to the post.

Stuart Shaw, who has been skipper almost continuously since 2009, has decided to call it a day.

Luke PhillipsPhillips , a 22-year-old batsman who has come up through the ranks from the 2nd XI and had a fantastic 2017 season with the bat.

He made 498 league runs at an average of 33.22, hitting two 50s and a ton in the six-wicket win over champions Cullompton.

Phillips will be supported by vice-captain Mark Halse, the only player in the team to make more runs than he did last term.

Steve Baxter, the Alphington chairman, said Phillips takes over a side in good shape after two near misses in the C Division promotion race – one each in the East and West section.

Alphington hope Phillips can take them all the way in 2018.

“Luke is really excited and keen to take the club forward for the forthcoming season,” said Baxter.

“After another second-place finish last year, we are actively looking for new players to join the club and boost the numbers for both 1st and 2nd XIs.

“We particularly hope to attract anyone new to the Exeter area. or anyone who would simply like to play at one of the leading clubs in the city.”

During Shaw’s term as captain new multi-lane nets were created to give Alphington some of the best practice facilities in East Devon. 

Shaw, whose support for the club while captain included sponsorship from his own business, said Phillips is the right man to take the club forward.

“Luke has my full backing taking on the first-team skipper’s role,” said Shaw.

“He has matured as a player and warrants his place as skipper.Stuart Shaw with the McKinley-White Cup

“Luke scored nearl;y 500 runs last year and 300 the year before and his commitment to the club is excellent. He was one of the few players to feature in all 16 games.”

Looking back on his time as skipper, Shaw said there were results and achievements that stood out for him.

“In my first season we won promotion to the A Division and beat the famous Sidmouth to win the McKinley-White T20 Cup,” said Shaw.

“The first season we were back in the A Division we did the double over Exmouth.

“Success manifests itself in other ways too.

“We now run two age-group sides in our youth section through to under-16 level, and have done for nine years.

“Last season we had two boys playing first-team cricket aged 15-16 – my lad Joshua and Tom Ballett - which was to me a great success.”

Membership enquiries should be directed to Baxter (07974660319 or email steve.baxter@live.com) or Phillips (07505257278 or lukephillips95@hotmail.co.uk).