2010 Match Reports

Grouse & Label 20-20 Competition 29 Aug 2010 - RUNNERS UP
Well what a great day it was in Bisley with the hospitality of the Grouse and Label boys second to none with drinks, all day barbecues, music and a very amusing chap on the public address system!

The day started quite slowly for the skipper as he had one too many the previous nights celebrating St Cross’s last league game and as a consequence turned up late for the toss…sorry chairman Jim.

But turned out it worked out perfectly as our game was on second which meant I could recover plus the boys could have a good laugh at my expense and start drinking. We watched a very entertaining innings between Yateley and Richmond Nomads with Yateley ending up with 200 off their 15 x 8 ball over’s. With a number of first time Vags we had a bit of an experimental batting line up which seemed to paying off early doors with 85 off seven over’s but we lost 4 wickets in that time Bertie for a duck the Colonel hitting a run a ball 16, new Vag Will smashing 27 off 15 balls and finally Tom cover driving his way to 24 left us 94 for 5 after 8 over’s with Boote and Luke at the wicket. Skip was still struggling and could not seem to time the ball but slowly started to middle the ball, in conjunction with Luke started rotating the strike for a few over’s to make sure we had wickets in hand to really push the score…… we scored 56 runs in the last three over’s with the Skip feeling in good touch now even playing two switch hits which helped him to 78 with Luke ending up on 22 not out and the Vags 186 for 6 off 15 over’s.

Luke and I came off blowing out of our proverbial but pleased with an excellent team performance.

With the other semi final going on Perty was indulging in a number of refueling stops….maybe the reason his first over wasn’t quite on the money! Stevie had a great first over taking 2 wickets both bowled setting back the Home teams reply. G&L’s opener and No.4 smashed the openers and skip round the park leaving the score 76 after 5 over’s coupled with dropped catches there was a feeling we could struggle to contain them! Into the attack came our spin twins of Scotty and Luke and instantly the batsman found it harder to hit the boundaries with pace off the ball. Lukey ended up with 2 for 33 and had the batsman in all sorts of trouble with flight and turn and helped Chairman Jim too two excellent stumpings, Scotty was miserly at the other end only going at 7’s and picking up one wicket. ‘Handlebar tache’ Tom Humphrey cleaned up the tail with his flighted off spin ending up with 3 for 10 and the Grouse & Label 30 runs short.

Having knocked out the home team we faced Yateley in a 10/10 final, Yateley had destroyed Richmond Nomads by 150 runs in the first Semi (a Barnsley for you Viz readers) so we new we would be in a tough game. Yateley one the toss and decided to bat first which turned out to be an inspired choice more about that later! Perts and Stevie opened up and were unlucky to see good balls going to the boundary as there batsman were a step up in class and Skip was probably too attacking with the field early on. Runs were being scored at a pace and yet again we dropped some crucial catches that could have kept their score to a manageable total. Luke and Tom bowled excellently again picking up three between them, as I said Yateley batting first was an inspired choice; for the final’s the pitch was a fresh one which was not as flat as the one used in the Semi and the sun had now started creeping over the bowlers arm from one end….Yateley batted superbly to score 130 for 7 which was probably 30 too many.

As Bertie and Jack walked out to face the first over the sun was know right over the bowlers arm making it impossible to bat on a spicier pitch and to quicker bowlers. We did not do ourselves any favors with some silly shots but Yateley were a bit too good for us on the day bowling us all out for 51 with only Stevie making it into double figures. So a bit of a damp squib of a final which was a shame but the Vags probably played their final in the semi and the best team of the day won.

Entertainment was laid on with lots of curried meats on the barbecue, drinks, music and fireworks so an excellent day enjoyed by all.

Special thanks must go to Pen for scoring and Garty for umpiring all day in the changeable weather, let’s hope we can win the final next year as we have been runners up for the last two years!


Weild CC 15 Aug 2010 - WON
After Saturday’s downpour we were very lucky to still have a game on but all was well for our traditional pre game preparations at the Yew tree pub.

Skipper lost the toss second time round as first time I waited until the coin landed to call correctly!

J Harding and Bertie opened up on a soft and wet pitch that proved to be against the stroke-maker all day. We lost James for 6 which bought Jack to the wicket to play his best innings so far for the Vags of 46 which was easily the highest score of the day for the Vags. Jack had good support from Hilton but they both fell in quick succession to leave us 5 for 79 and looking as though we may not make 100! Fortunately a good partnership for the 5th wicket put us above 100 with Luke H making 19, coupled with lower orders lusty blows we ended up all out for 137.

Tea was exceptional with Home made cakes and scones galore; with the Vags suitable full and lethargic we made our defense of 137.

We opened with THE Uncle and nephew combination which produced many close shouts but their player umpire took the line if it does not take the stumps out of the ground then it’s not out. Steve bowled excellently again and picked up the first two wickets, Steve finished with figures of 2-15 off 7. At the other end Perts bowled very tight lines and was unfortunate not to add too his wickets tally for the season of 17. Hibbs and Boote replaced the openers and both bowled tight spells with the wicket now offering a bit of bounce for the skipper picked up 3 wickets in his spell. Howard and Harding came on and Wield realized that they had to score some runs if they were going to get anywhere near our score and put on a partnership of 40 which was getting to close to comfort! Skip reluctantly bought himself back on and ended up taking two of the last three wickets to fall ending up with 5 – 12 off 8 at the other end Luke bowled excellently to finish with 2 – 17 off 7. So we had one wicket to take and 3 overs left so Perts came back into the attack to finish off the tail enders but they did well to hang on for a well fought draw 9 down for 121.

Eversley CC 8 August 2010 - WON
Another nail biter by the Vagabonds yesterday; we tried in vain to snatch defeat from the Jaws of victory!

Turned up to the excellent setting of Eversley on the Green with a number of on-lookers and a full Frog on the Wicket were ably entertained by two evenly matched teams.

Skipper won the toss and fielded as the wicket was green and soft which seemed like a good idea upon realising we only had 9 men on the pitch for the first over as Hendo (late as usual) and John Bulford deciding Hendo needed help getting changed stayed in the changing room until the second over! Eversley’s first two scoring shots were dropped catches and I did think to myself is it going to be one of those days….Stevie and Bertie bowled a tight line & length and were very unlucky to only have them one down but a combination of dropped catches (3) and a number of plays and misses led them to 40 for 1 after 12 over’s. A double bowling change produced a stunning catch by the ageless Hibbs at backward point which I am reliable informed is better than a “stunning catch” a quote from the man himself Ross aka Scotty Howard last week against Porchester! Hendo picked up 2 for 30 off 6 and Boote had 1 for 6 off 4 which left them in some trouble at 70 odd for 4, another double bowling change bought on the spin twins of Luke and Hibbs which briefly increased their run rate as they both settled into a rhythm and the left handed number 4 passed 50, Hibbs and Luke had a magic spell of 8 over’s between them returning 6 wickets with a diving forward full length catch by Skip to help Luke take his 4th wicket! I walked off happy with 172 to chase and a stronger batting line up then we have had for some time!

Vags opened up with John and Ben against a fairly ordinary opening attack and they both looked in good touch until John ran himself out and Ben dabbed one straight to gully which left us 40 for 2, two new batsmen at the crease Hilton and Bertie Clay then proceeded to put on 60 odd for the 3rd wicket with Bertie dispatching the ball to all parts which led the opposite skipper to bring on himself and their regular bowlers which started to make scoring more difficult and culminated in Hilton’s stumps being re-arranged. Boots joined Bertie out in the middle and immediately got up the opposite skipper’s nose by running down the wicket and bunting him for a couple of fours, Bertie completed a fine 50 and went into overdrive taking there spinner for three sixes and a four in 4 balls. With 20 needed and 6 wickets in hand we thought we were home and dry…Boots, Bertie (a fine 79) out bowled in quick succession, Luke and Hendo’s calling ended up with Hendo miles out and Luke went for a yahoooo over cover which left the Vags 8 down and still 14 to win. Cometh the hour cometh the men Bertie Kennedy and Stevie steered us home with, 4 byes and a well run two left us needing 8 Bertie on strike hit two balls to the boundary in three balls leaving the Vags victorious by 2 wickets.

Thanks must go to Garty for umpiring again which makes our life as players so much easier and the oppo for being good lads on and off the field, role on the Vags fun bus!

Cheers Boots

Saints CC 4th July 2010 - WON
The fourth of July, famous in some parts for a declaration of independence, and marked by fireworks. If ever there was the personification of a celebration of independence, then the Vagabonds brand of cricket is it. And so, in fitting style, we celebrated. We lit the fuses, we stood well back, and we wondered in amazement as the rockets from one Vag in particular snapped, crackled and popped their way through the heavy Bentworth sky.

Saints were 30 minutes late, but after an untypically vigorous warm up, the Vags eventually took to the crease. Chairman Jim and Captain Richard Boote led from the front, and got us off to a flyer. Jim played the holding role as Bootie let fly at the opening seam attack. With the score at fifty without loss after 7 overs, a bowling change was made and the man who looked like Johnny Bravo was replaced by a sharper operator from a short run up. An inevitable victim of their own success, Jim was clean bowled second ball after the change. Tom Willings joined Boote at the crease, and the pair settled into the middle overs. ‘Settled’ is the right word. Rarely did the pair swap ends, choosing to deal mainly in boundaries. Boote shot past fifty for the second innings in succession. Spin replaced seam, and the ball peppered all areas of the boundary and adjoining countryside. Willings passed 50, Boote closed fast on a first ever ton. His century mark passed with schoolboy grins all round. The scoreboard rocketed through 180, 200, 220 and then the breakthrough. Tom missed a straight one on 77 with the scoreboard showing 228, 2 runs short of the record partnership for the 2nd wicket. Willings, tears in his eyes, made way for Hilton Scott, who then immediately made way for Tony Reid. Tony, then Luke Harding and Will Perton played around Bootie, as the skipper continued on his assault. In the final over before tea, Bootie passed the 150 mark, finishing unbeaten on 154. Unbeaten is not entirely accurate. The scorer’s book will not tell you that Richard was bowled on a no-ball (well called, Perty), dropped at least 4 times and all but run out, but as Bootie tells me, ‘capitalising on good fortune is a key part of becoming a good batsmen.’ Quite, and at 292-6, we certainly did just that.

Typically poor form to critique a home tea. Suffice to say that home teas are always fantastic, and are the high standard by which we measure all others, but this offering provided by Mary at the Sun in the sad absence of Gareth was superlative. Gourmet sandwiches and homemade chocolate cake complimented by what must be the pinnacle of Mr Kipling’s commercial baking empire, the country slice. Magnificent.

As the Vags took to the field, tummies sloshing and groaning under the strain of gluttony, only the weather looked like endangering a deserved victory. As always, a strong bowling line up provided the man with the Midas touch abundant riches in variety and depth. Swiss and Perton bowled tidy opening spells, both hitting the keeper’s gloves firmly and often. The Saints opening pair scratched a little for runs, and feeling for the ball, it was no surprise that Perty caught an edge. It was also no surprise that it went straight to that man again, Captain Boote. It was that kind of day. Perty and Swiss then took apart the top middle order, and 5 wickets fell in quick succession, 3 to Will and 2 to Tony, with Ross Howard pouching a good high catch.

Boote made the bowling change, Stevie Hyde mixing things up in place of Perton. Immediately another wicket, a top edge spooned into the hands of the back-pedaling Willings. From the other end, Paul Hibbert was unlucky not to pick up a wicket second ball, Willings putting down a sharp chance at point. Just rewards were realised just a few deliveries later, however, when Paul timbered the bamboozled bat. The scoreboard was now embarrassingly one-sided at around 90 for 7.

A brief resistance slowed Vagabond progress, and necessitated another bowling change. Yet again, the change yielded wickets, with Scott Howard picking up two wickets in an over, one very well caught by Perton, who by now will be in need of some osteopathic attention to his back, so far did he have to stretch and bend over backwards. Still, if you don’t go down the medical route Perty, I’m sure you can find someone at work to oil you up and rub you down. 9 down, and the batsmen threatened to batten down the hatches, Anderson and Panesar-style. It wasn’t to be, though, and rounding off the innings was Luke Harding’s beguiling flight and turn tempting the last man into driving a solid shot to the faithful hands of Saman Jayalath. Well held, that man, and well played all. 135 ish, all out.

To The Sun, Bootie’s round, good banter, and Bootie’s round again. It could, and should, have gone on for ever.

Aardvark Memorial Match v Alderbury CC 24 June 2010 - LOST
On 24th June at Bentworth a match was played between a Vagabonds Invitation XI and Alderbury CC in memory of Vagabond legend Andrew Geach. The team line up was vintage Geach, including names such as Monro, Parker, Ziegler, Rowell, Hyde, Clay and Tristram (coach, motivator, and ice bucket guardian).
The ground was as beautiful and immaculate as ever and the weather was fitting for such a great occasion. In spirit with tradition we elected to get the fielding out of the way first so that lunch and the afternoon could be ‘fully enjoyed’. Parker and Ziegler opened the bowling and rolled back the years to produce swing, seam and steep bounce….and plenty of four balls. The opening batsmen got off to a good start but a stunning catch from Jamie Monro behind the stumps broke it up and began what was to be an exhibition of very fine stump work all day. He got four dismissals including a very sharp legside stumping and a brilliant catch standing up to Guy. Having not kept for over 3 years it was a remarkable display.
The rest of the fielding and bowling was mixed, with a few dropped catches, plenty of long hops and the odd flash of brilliance, including a superb diving catch from Chan Monro who was fresh back from the front line in Afghanistan. The innings ended with the touring side just short of 200 from their 30 overs.
Lunch was magnificent at The Sun, a hog roast and all the trimmings organised beautifully by Geachy’s sister Helen. It was washed down by jug after jug of Ringwood Best, on our side anyway. Our opponents elected for orange juice and some fielding practice!
Our opening partnership, Tim Rowell and Simon Clay, fresh from two helpings of banoffee pie led the charge for the first two overs until Tim was adjudged LBW for 4. There was a silver lining in this cloud however, as he broke the golden duck spell that prompted his retirement. Prior to this innings he had been out 4 consecutive times first ball!
This brought Lachy Monro to the crease and after a few classy cover drives he was out trying to hook a ball into Alton that didn’t make it passed mid wicket. A mini collapse was stemmed by some lovely boundaries from Simon Clay, Hugo de Salis, Guy and Ziggy, but sadly we fell short of the target by 50 runs. It was a fine and credible performance considering most of the team hadn’t played for 3 years or more.
The match was followed by drinks at the ground for the teams and the 50 odd guests that came to watch and a great raffle organised by Stuart Tristram which raised over £1200. The day wouldn’t have been complete, however, if the yard glass didn’t make an appearance, which it duly did, and we had the last laugh by inviting the winning skipper to oblige having filled it with lager!
The day finished with beer and laughter at The Sun – wonderfully nostalgic and very fitting, as a day of good cricket with great blokes and great banter was Geachy’s favourite thing bar none.


Lachlan Monro

Little Marlow CC 6th June 2010 - DRAWN
The day was set fair for a good game as we all (surprisingly!) arrived in good time for one of our more enjoyable games
at Little Marlow. I say we arrived in good time but that is not quite accurate as apparently the game was scheduled for a 1.30 start and seemingly none of our team were aware of this! Captain Boote had a quick look at the pitch and on seeing a fast, bouncy, hard track had no hesitation in electing to bat first on winning the toss. I believe this is now a one hundred percent record for our new club captain!


Openers John Bulford and James Harding strode out to the crease to face a fairly accurate but not particularly quick opening pair. Both got their heads down early on, playing themselves in in a style the Vags are most unaccustomed to! This, however, obviously paid dividends as the two of them proceeded to put on 153 for the first wicket. James starting to take the initiative with a flurry of beautiful on and off drives that sent the ball pinging to the boundary with increasing regularity. It didn’t take John long to find his feet though and he bought up his fifty with a delightful off drive to the boundary. At this point mutterings of “Shall we go back to the pub?” started to be heard not only from the remaining Vags but also from a couple of Marlow players! John continued to take the initiative and both openers continued at a good rate until James fell 3 short of his 50 bowled by the off spin of their best bowler Angus. By this time John had reached a very fine century, a chanceless innings and one that was appreciated by all. John looks to be a very fine addition to the club and it was a real pleasure to watch him in this innings. Maybe the Vags have finally found their Strauss and Cook??

On the fall of James’s wicket Jack Bruck who had been sat watching all this from the boundary with his pads on walked out and lasted 3 balls before he was dismissed to a very good catch at slip. Typical really! As usual Jack took this in good spirit only to be told by Tony Reid that those 3 balls work out at just over £2 a ball when you take into account his match fee! In at 4 was débutante Richard Poostie who hit a crunching boundary first up but then, sadly, succumbed to the wily off spin of Angus (a Mick Jagger lookalike!) Wickets continued to fall with alarming regularity and only Hilton Scott and Tony Reid managed to keep the score ticking over both hitting big sixes and looking comfortable. Hilton with a pull over midwicket that was still going up when it hit a tree on the boundary and Tony with a straight six that stayed flat all the way to the sightscreen. At tea the vags finished on 220 with mention to their bowler Angus who took 7 for 30. This total score being arrived at after taking a mean of the bowling score, the batting score and the actual runs scored in the book as they were all different! Does anyone know of a scorer for the Vags?? Preferably of the feminine persuasion?? Perts?? Do you know anyone at work who likes cricket??

Tea was good and varied, however I am not a fan of disposable plastic cups to serve tea! Fish fingers made for an interesting addition to our usual tea as did the chicken nuggets! No lemon cake sadly so nothing to report their although one of the opposition was celebrating his birthday and bought down a very fine chocolate cake….

So, we took to the field defending 220. We felt fairly confident as our line up was, as usual, heavy on bowlers and we all felt the extra pace and bounce of Perts, Bootie and Tony might just give us the edge. Things were kept very tight in the opening spell with Perts beating the bat often and bowling a very tight line and Bootsie bowling with real pace and aggression, so much pace and aggression that the Chairman had to retire to the pavilion between overs to add another pair of inner gloves. A couple of chances went down in the slips during the day. The ever enthusiastic Bruck binning one in front of first slip and the author himself putting one hard chance down off Perts and another from the very impressive Bertie Kennedy. Not great slip fielding but in our defence this is a massively hard ground to field on as at one end the ground falls away behind the stumps and at the other it rises so the ball either comes very, very low or very, very high! Bootsie soon decided to make a change and on came Kennedy and Reid both of home bowled very tightly and and beat the bat often. Reid in particular bowled some completely unplayable deliveries turning the well set batsman right around and it wasn’t long before he accounted for their opener with an off cutter that took an edge and found the chairman’s well padded gloves. He followed this up very next ball with a full pitched ball on middle stump that caught their number three plumb in front and Gartie raised his finger to send the batsman back to the pavillion. The hat trick ball was bowled and very nearly did the business but sadly that honour will have to wait for another day! Luke came into the attack and immediately took the wicket of a large lad who had already hit a couple of big shots. He missed a straight one basically! At the other end Ross (Scott) Howard made his bowling début for the Vags and immediately settled into a probing line and length. His figures of 5 – 0 – 31 – 2 a good reward for some excellent bowling on a very batsman friendly track. A slight flurry of rain made the ball rather wet and at this point the Captain turned to Hilton Scott who bowled a couple of tight overs, flighting the ball beautifully and taking a key wicket, John Bulford with a fine catch at point. At this point Marlow were 163 for 7 with approx 5 overs to be bowled. Perts and Tony were recalled to the attack and perts soon had their number 8 caught in the covers by Hilton, another excellent catch and probably the best of the match as he dived low to his right to pull off a stunner. Reid then accounted for their number 9 with an excellent ball that hit middle stump and Marlow were 198 for 9 with 1 over to be bowled. Perts tried everything he could to take the last wicket, varying his pace and line but alas, to no avail. The game ending in a draw and both teams keen to get into The Kings Head for a pint or two.

A really good game overall. Excellent performances from John Bulford, Tony Reid and the Chairman and special mention should go to ‘Scott’ Howard and Hilton Scott for both taking their first wickets for the club. Jack Bruck also deserves a special mention for taking over the gloves after the Chairman hurt his finger…..Jack did really well on a difficult pitch to keep on and it was a good effort.

So, on with the season, our first home game next week and I, for one, will be very, very happy to get back to Bentworth and to the confines of the Sun Inn. For me the Vags spiritual home and the sign that summer is really here!

Luke H

West Ilsley CC 30 May 2010 - WON
Week 3 of the season, and the Vagabond cricket roadshow rolled into West Ilsley . Smartly turned out in full blazer regalia (the only way to travel, gentlemen), not only was the team in the right place, but also at the right time. Except Hendo, who was late again, but at least not wet with his own piss. Still, one should be grateful for small mercies.

So, to the cricket. Match manager Dixey quickly abdicated captaincy to Richard Boote, the toss was subsequently won (for Bootie is the most marvellous tosser), and to the slope our 10 men took. A stiff breeze met the opening batsmen, and Will Perton, flushed of face from his vigorous professional endeavours in the adult entertainment industry (haberdashery department), took an over to find line and length before settling into a mean rhythm. From the other end, Tony Reid menaced with good pace and bounce and a not insubstantial tail wind. Plenty of textbook technique in the batting, but little excitement for the crowd of home mums. Hendo arrived, and disappeared inside the lovely pavilion.

Reid made the breakthrough, lbw. Batsman did his best ‘Muttley’ impression, Garton, sharp as ever on the draw, blew the smoke from the red hot barrel that is his right index finger. The most unconventional, and it has to be said, out of place, no 3 then arrived at the crease. Feet in concrete, the big fella swung until he connected. Both bowlers cringed at either beating the bat or being swiped to the boundary again. The run rate, at least, picked up a notch. Hendo appeared on the pitch. Finally.

It was about this time that the remaining opener decided his eye was in, and he stroked some magnificent boundaries. He even clouted a Maserati parked, in schoolboy error, at cow corner. Twice. Does anybody know our insurance details for such incidents – should I ever be interrogated by an irate mid-life-crisis-man again, I’d like to know where I stand. Prat.

Sadly for the home mums, the ante was not to remain set at ‘up’ for very long, and a cascade of wickets fell to some very accurate bowling. Pick of the bunch would have to be Paul Hibbert, who finished with 3-fer. Messrs Hyde, Boote and Henderson also got in on the act, and despite showing early promise, the West Isley batting crumbled. Fielding was sloppy for 90% of the time, but in the 10% that counted, Vags Hillier, Perton (off his own bowling), Hyde and Willings held fine catches. Chairman Jim showed fine work in a leg-side stumping off the bowling of Hibbert. At tea, 126 all out in a 40-over contest felt 40 or 50 light.

Let me tell you about tea. I don’t know if it was down to the audience (dare I say ungrateful schoolboys, who’d eat anything, and a slightly larger chap, who’d eat anything), and I doubt it was fair reflection on mummies culinary abilities, but a homemade lemon drizzle cake was notable in absence. And it wasn’t just LDC missing, the much-loved macaroon was replaced with the sort of meringues one might buy in Tesco! Who am I kidding? We all know that tea is the only reason we play cricket (besides, of course, learning wide-eyed about the intricacies of porn production from Pertie), and it was good, because there was a lot of it. Game on.

Bertie Clay and Ben wiped the crumbs from their cakeholes, made their way to the middle, and started to forge a partnership. Like the batting, the bowling of the West Isley team was at times brilliant, and at time errant. The wicket was slow, and as frustration took hold, both Dixey and Bertie holed out as balls held up on the bounce. Keith Hillier chirruped his way to the wicket….’I’ve not even picked up this bat before….I’ve not made any runs this season…blah blah blah’. Then he cut and pulled his way to an immaculate 44. Further down the order, Willings came, hit a couple of big shots, and left quickly for twenty-something. Hendo wielded the willow nicely, and was joined by skipper Boote. Boote played himself in with aplomb, crashing a six onto the pavilion roof first ball. With the game in the bag, Bootie then sacrificed his wicket to allow the Chairman himself to take to the crease and conclude matters. Big six to the 10 yard leg side boundary, 2 to get. That’s over. Hendo takes strike. Push to the now massive leg side, single on offer….and Hendo turns the Chairman back, denying the big man his moment. Next ball is crashed to the ropes, leaving Jim to consider the punishment to fit such a heinous crime. Hendo finished with an averages-friendly 26no.

Nonetheless, a welcome victory as the Vag funbus gets ready for Little Marlow in a week’s time, and some fine form particularly in the bowling line up. Joking aside, the West Isley chaps seemed a good sort, the match was competitive enough, and the location was picture postcard. A decent addition to the fixture list, and a damned fine pint on offer in the pavilion – the wonderfully named Good Old Boy. There’s a title in there somewhere, Pertie.

Newport Inn CC May 23rd 2010 - LOST
Half the team met at boots for a healthy brunch and pre-match banter which was an excuse for some of the Vags vices to be enjoyed before the game namely Nicotine/Caffeine/fry up!

To coin a phrase from the antipodean ramblings of 12th Man, It was one of those typical “stinking hot fu%$ing days in Bombay (Braishfield)”, skipper of the day was very pleased to have called correctly and had no hesitation in batting even with our tail starting at 4. It seemed an inspired choice as the two openers returning vagabond Jon Bulford & Chairman put on a cool fifty for the first wicket……what happened next can only be described as pure comedy; Newport went up for there first appeal of the day against Chairman, Stevie in response half triggered but then holstered his sweaty hand, a secondary appeal went up and Steve took an eternity to decide his first decision was the correct one and fired Chairman back to the shed. This caused much laughter to the waiting Vags as Chairman chuntered off the pitch, Stevie was replaced by Hendo which was an over too late for the chairman a smiling Stevie Hyde joined the rest of the vags as he muses “I will not be needed to umpire again all season”.

A mixture of unintelligent play and an uneven pitch that played it’s part throughout the game gave the Vags a below par Score of 184 for 8 with good contributions from the openers, Jack Bruck who looked like he could be on for a big score before being undone by some interesting bounce and combined with some lower order hitting with the pick of them Tony Reid holding out for a well constructed 26.

At the half way stage we were still buoyant and thought if we put in a reasonable performance in the field the game should be ours, we tucked into a lovely Tea with some of the best Lemon Curd cake that Luke has ever eaten…….. and doused ourselves in SPF 50 and ingested copious amounts of water in anticipation of the sapping heat to come.

Out on to the sweltering pitch it was the returning Perts and Tony opening the bowling; Perts took the first over and soon showed us what we had been missing……. a mixture of full tosses and wides but he soon found the radar combined with the now cunningly disguised slower ball minus the unsubtle Monica Seles grunt in his armory. Tony was bowling an excellent line and length and they where unable to lay a bat on him until an edge through to the bucket hands of Jack resulted in our first wicket, Perts at the other end picked 4 very cheap wickets which left Newport in disarray at 38 for 5. Enter stage right there skipper of the day who bludgeon our attack to all parts for an excellent 58 with the Vags skipper of the day picking up the crucial wicket, with over 50 needed and 3 wickets to take it seemed a fore-gone conclusion but as many an exasperated Vags skipper has encountered we love snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Boote bought back the all conquering opening attack after some very loose bowling from both ends, they tried valiantly but the momentum was with the Home team who sneaked across the line 9 down in the last over, special mention has to go to Perts for his excellent 6 for 26 first game back after being unavailable for the first because of his new hobby/job as “Set Designer” for that well known news channel Babestation!!!!

So an enjoyable day all-round spent in the sun with the Vags not quite good enough to get over the line but much credit must be given to the oppo’s lower order batting which won the game added to some indifferent bowling from the Vags.

Thank you very much to John Bulford as it was his first game for us in 5 years we look forward to many more and Ross AKA Scott Howard for his debut and a fine catch is a keen acquisition to the club.

Having spoken to Garty on Sunday he has indicated that he is keen to umpire for us on a regular basis which is great news as his wit and humor has certainly been missed from a Vags game over the last few years.

Bring on West Isley!



Broadhalfpenny Down CC 9 May 2010 - DRAWN
Broadhalfpenny Down. The very English home of cricket it may be, but it’s also bloody cold in May and impossible to find using modern navigation techniques.

Tales of housing estates and A3 circuits over, the Vagabonds collective readied themselves in typical fashion. A pint or two for warm up, a quick hour’s drive to recover essential footwear, and for one particular Vag, successive trips to the gents to ‘dry off’ the salmon chinos. As preparation, it was unconventional, but as play would soon tell, devastatingly effective.

Captain Boote won the toss, elected to bat, and Hillier and Willings strode purposefully to the crease. A watchful start, well, for 4 overs at least, before the inevitable demise of Tom for a streaky 20. The pitch played it’s part throughout the match, with all batsmen struggling to come to terms with the variable bounce. All batsmen, that is, except Clay. Simon hit a majestic 102, including a number of towering sixes that troubled even the most ambitious nesting pigeons in the adjacent spinney. Supporting our centurion, Richard Hill looked in good touch before a knock to the face forced him temporarily from the field. Towards the end of the innings, Tony ‘Smithy’ Reid showed the sort of promise he’d been working so hard on in the nets in the close season, and together with Hendo, the scoreboard ticked along fluently.

At the interval, Vags had made 192 for 8. Lashings of tea, some sausage rolls for handwarmers, and a particularly fine chocolate cake. Deep breath, more layers, couple more sausage rolls, and to the field.

The bowling line up had it all – furious pace, swing and spin and the 12th man, the ever-unpredictable track. Hendo, dried off at last, was blisteringly fast and accurate to boot. At the other end, the bloodied Hill routinely beat the bat. While both openers looked steady, scoring was slow and some sharp fielding, particularly from the cat-like Chairman himself, gave little away. The pressure soon started to tell. Change at both ends – Tony for Hendo swinging the ball to great affect, and genuinely deserving of the breakthrough. Oohs and aahs rung round the outfield, but it wasn’t to be for Tony. For, at the other end, a spell of wizardry not seen since…well, since Paul Hibberd during the same fixture last year, was in progress. Once the first fell, a miscued slog sent down Hill’s still bleeding throat, batsmen like rabbits in headlights fell one after the other, the scoreboard transformed from 50 something without loss to 90 something for 6, including a reasonable lbw shout for a hat-trick and permanent entry into the Vags hall of fame. Luke Harding flighted and turned the ball delightfully, bamboozling all comers, and his 5-for felt scant reward for the trouble he had caused the entire batting order, only their young opener accumulating a score of note, one short of his fifty.

With the light fading, the clock robbed the game of the nail-biting finish the performances of Luke and Simon deserved, and the experienced Brigands tail end saw the last few overs off with aplomb and no short amount of good wit. Octogenarian Harry, I’m sure, would still be fighting the leaky Hendo off now if he had to.

At the close, a respectful draw. Brigands made 110 ish for 6. Some positive early signs for the season, but no doubt, the emails from Baz chirruping for ‘anyone who can bat’ to stick their hand in the air are only a moment away.

Would love to take credit for this excellent piece of writing but our esteemed opening bat Tom Willings was responsible.