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BOWLING: Matthew has made real strides with his bowling this year. He has shown the capacity to bowl long spells and has demonstrated an encouraging ability to pick up wickets. Although he still needs to work on his approach to the crease, he can be very pleased with the way he reduced the number of wides and no balls he bowled this year. He is fully aware that at times he let himself and his teammates down with a lack of discipline but he has the potential to rebound next year and we hope that the 35 wickets he claimed in 2006 are the sign of things to come. However, he needs to realise that staring at 12-year old batsmen is not the way to impress anyone. B+
BATTING: He has shown the ability to hit the ball hard at times and also added a determination to protect his wicket when the situation demanded. However, he too early fell victim to poor shot selection and there were times – and I am afraid to say that King’s Langley was a prime example when he cravenly refused to run and exposed young Philip Gourd to a fired up pace bowler – where he appeared to be lacking in moral fibre and courage. There is work to be done. C+
FIELDING: Regrettably we have to report that there has been little improvement in Matthew’s performances in the field. At times his attitude has been very disappointing and his frequent requests to leave the field in search of sugar, a tissue or a drink did not reflect well on him. He sometimes seems to regard a travelling cricket ball as an object that is to be avoided at all costs, regardless of whether or not he is the nearest fielder in the vicinity. While he has shown the ability to hold on to some of the chances that come his way, his lack of attention and effort means that a great deal of work is necessary. I am afraid that his attitude (“I only turn up to bowl”) must improve. D-
HISTORY: Matthew has a fine ability to remember facts and figures. He is able to tell you exactly how many wickets he took against which opponent and has an encyclopaedic memory for his own performances. He knows exactly how many overs he bowled in each spell and is always willing to share the information with interested listeners. B
DOMESTIC SCIENCE: Matthew is a first class student in this subject. He particularly enjoys the practical element and loves to bring in food from home and likes nothing more than tucking into a family-sized pack of McCoy’s. He is also particularly partial to Double Decker bars and loves Coca Cola. Despite bringing in enough goodies to stage a small picnic for a dozen dinner guests, Matthew has shown a pleasing willingness to sample foreign cuisine and is never slow to plough into the teatime sandwiches. However, it would help if he learns that cramming in 11 sandwiches, five cakes, three bags of crisps and four bottles of Panda Pops are not particularly helpful if you are required to take the new ball 20 minutes later. A+
BIOLOGY: Matthew has really impressed us all with his biological knowledge. While some other students are content to go through life with a vague awareness that the knee consists of numerous ligaments, only Matthew is able to describe each one’s name and function. His detailed knowledge of the human body has enabled him to diagnose the various injuries that have afflicted him over the course of the season and he has been able to provide us with detailed medical reports on his condition. B+
DRAMA: Matthew has stormed to the top of the class in this subject. Whether he is in full flow delivering a Henry V type speech to explain his latest fielding mishap, pulling up in mid stride like a gut-shot soldier in the opening moments of Saving Private Ryan or effortlessly transforming a minor molehill into a full blown crisis, Matthew displays a touch of drama and theatre that a Hollywood actress would give her eye teeth for. Halle Berry’s Oscar speech has nothing on a typically impassioned piece of Freeman oratory. A
ATTENDANCE: Despite being plagued by a body and constitution that would make a 94-year old woman write letters of complaint to her creator, Matthew should be justifiably proud of his record of appearing in every game on a Saturday this season. He should be applauded for his endeavours. Wonders will never cease… A-
FINAL REMARKS: Overall Matthew can be pleased with his efforts this year. He has made impressive strides on the field and can be satisfied with his performance in earning the Young Player of the Year award. His ever-present record flew in the face of historical precedent and defied modern science. However, there is plenty of room for improvement in his overall contributions and he needs to realise that he is taking part in a group sport and it is important that he understands that there is no ‘I’ in team. It would also help matters immensely if he were to grasp the fact that there is a ‘Me’ in mea culpa.