Back (from left): Matt Burrell, Asad Abbas, Richard Featherstone, Charlie Kemp, James Featherstone, Tom Hockenhull. Front: Andrew Sturman, Rhys Oxley, Andrew Mash, Ed Kemp, Charlie Gwynn.
Demoted twelve months earlier when marks were so low the ground lost its accreditation altogether, Oaks swept all before them in the Hampshire League last summer, winning every one of their 16 matches.
They took the County Division 1 title by storm and will return to Division 3 cricket in 2016.
Ed Kemp (683 runs) and Andy Mash (38 wickets) topped the CD1 batting and bowling charts, respectively.
2016 SPL3 skipper Tom Huckenhall (359) and Andy Sturman (342) provided the batting back-up, while all-round pair Abbas Assad (340 runs and 28 wickets) and Rhys Oxley (250 runs and 20 wickets) enjoyed fine seasons.
Fair Oak’s performances on the field came on the back of a lot of hard work to knock the ground back into shape.
Captain Mash, who took 38 wickets in Oak’s title triumph, said: I’m not too sure on the exact work that took place, but we brought in help from Ian Tulk (from the Ageas Bowl) while Tony Oxley returned to the area after two years working away in Belgium.
“These two were instrumental in helping the pitch get back to old ways.
“Even though we felt hard done by last year, we did concede that the pitch wasn’t up to previous Fair Oak pitch standards and with a lot of hard work from both Tulk and Oxley, plus further assistance from all club members, we are delighted with how the pitch performed and looked this past season.
“I think the evidence showed with the amount of runs scored on the Lapstone pitch. “Not only did it give all teams a great pitch to play on, it also gave our batsmen confidence that they may have lacked in the previous year.”
Once stumps were drawn on the 2015 season, the Hampshire Cricket Board’s accreditation team inspected Lapstone Park and provided a favourable report recommending Fair Oak’s re-admittance to the Premier League.
Fair Oak don’t intend to rest on their laurels from this summer’s successes when all four of their adult teams won promotion.
“The on-going plans with the pitch continue so that we can keep up and improve on the good standards we set this season,” added Mash, who is pictured with the County 1 trophy.
“We were delighted only see one player leave last season - it could easily have been a fair few more - with the calibre of our players attracting interest from other local clubs.
“The vast majority of our team consisted of Fair Oak players that have come through the youth setup at the club, and we are all very proud of that.
“Numerous games last summer, ten out of the 11 players had come through the youth teams.”