2011 Match Reports

Grouse & Label 20-20 Competition 28 Aug 2011 - 4th
Sorry for the lateness of this report, I found it a bit of a struggle
moving my arms about yesterday!


The day started off in confusion as 4 of us found ourselves at the
ground in Bisley with no sign of any activity there at all! As it turns
out The Grouse and Label now have a second ground at Weybridge where the
event was actually taking place! Not to worry though as a few frantic
phonecalls in a ‘Challenge Anneka’ style made sure we all arrived at the
correct venue in what turned out to be fairly good time.

There were 4 teams competing as usual. The Grouse and Label, Richmond
Nomads, Weybridge Vandals (I think?!?!?) and ourselves. Breakfast was
being served as we arrived so we all tucked into some bacon sandwiches
whilst the skipper took on the task of actually finding out what was
going to happen! We duly found out that we were going to be the first
game, being drawn, as we were, against the hosts. We were in the field first on what looked to be a pretty decent pitch, if a little damp, with some worryingly (for a bowler anyway) short boundaries!

Sadly we took to the field 1 player short as a certain fast bowling all rounder had failed to catch a train in time due to a heavy night in Oxford. Not the greatest of starts and, as it turned out, a big hindrance on such a ground. Opening the bowling for us was the wily, foxlike cunning of Tom Humphries with his off spin and Will P at the other end bowling with his usual aggression. We started extremely well considering the gaps in our field were larger than the other teams gaps and with help from some excellent fielding in the first 8 or so overs had restricted them nicelyto 65 or so for about 4 wickets (I forgot to take the scorebook so I am doing this from memory! Sorry!) Some tight overs getting bowled by our two openers, Luke H and Phil K. Special mention should be made for the efforts of Tom Holland sweeping out on the boundary who covered an enormous amount of ground due to our lack of an 11th player. Sadly, after those first 8 overs we let things slip as our fielding deteriorated and one of their batsmen got his eye in and started to play some lovely strokes. A few catches went down, none of them desperately easy and their batsman kept hitting the short boundary and the score swiftly moved on to 152 at the end of their innings. Their player hitting a fine century off little more than 10 overs!

We left the field relatively pleased with our efforts, the lack of an
extra man in the field was a big disadvantage on such a small ground but
with 150 or so to chase we felt we were still in it if we batted well.
The other two teams now took to the field to start their game and whilst
they played we all retired to the bar to watch the start of the grand
prix, eat some more gorgeous food and generally lap up the lovely
friendly atmosphere. Whilst this was happening a rain shower came in and
although the other two teams were plucky enough to continue through it,
the shower turned into a full on downpour and we all took cover in some
conveniently sited marquees on the boundary (left there by a wedding the
previous night, lucky for us!)

We watched on as the Weybridge Vandals compiled a huge score in their
allotted overs. 220+ I think! Some great hitting by their batsman
entertaining us as we tucked into more fine food laid on by the guys at
the Grouse and Label and huge amounts of alcohol no more than stone’s
throw from us. By the time it was our turn to continue our game the
pitch itself had become a bit of a quagmire, resembling a ploughed field
in places, so the odds were against us. The Skip and Tom Holland walked
out to face the G&L onslaught but sadly we didn’t start well! Tom
nicking one to the keeper second ball and then wickets falling regularly
as the pitch proved a tad difficult to play on. This shouldn’t diminish
the achievements of the opposition bowlers as they bowled very well and
put the ball in the right place more often than not. No one really got
in on the pitch and our innings subsided to 60 odd all out with little
in the way of highlights although Tom Humphries’s massive straight six
that very nearly sailed into the river was a fine, fine shot.

So, we had lost our first game, which meant we were now to play the
losers of the other game in the 3/4th place final. Luckily this was due
to take place at the same time as the main final but on another, less ploughed, pitch situated next door.
We ended up being drawn against the Richmond Nomads, a friendly bunch,
although their red and white blazers were a little distasteful!! 😉

Before the two games commenced lunch was taken. And my, what a spread!
Proper curry, proper rice, Samosa’s. Absolutely incredible! When I say
‘proper’ curries that is what I mean. Not restaurant food but real,
authentic homemade indian curry! It was delightful and a number of us
returned for seconds. Of course all of this was washed down with more
alcohol and by the time we were due to play our next game a number of
our players had to be woken up and told to get ready!

Sadly the drizzle had returned and for the first few overs of our
innings (we batted first) it was fairly uncomfortable watching from the
boundary as there was little to no cover for us. It didn’t last long
though and the sun came out after 5 or so overs. The Skipper and the
Chairman opened the batting. Both hit some good shots, many which on the
other pitch would have passed the boundary with ease but on this pitch
(twice the size!!!!) merely rolled to a halt on the damp, lush outfield.
So, lots of running needed which was definitely not what we wanted being
full of curry and beer as we were. Wickets started to fall as tiredness
crept in and a minor collapse saw our score at 40 odd after 7 overs with
3 wickets down. Luke H came to the wicket and played pretty well if a
little slowly and compiled a score of 47, getting bowled in the last
over. (Pretty happy with that if I’m honest but I just wish I could hit
more boundaries!) The Chairman hit a few lusty blows and our final score
was 104 (I think!) Not too bad on such a huge wet pitch but probably 30
light of a defendable total, especially as we were still one man short
in the field. We took to the field and Tony Reid bowled an excellent
couple of overs from one end with Will P at the other beating the bat
but neither being able to make the breakthrough. With the score on 35
for no loss after 4 overs the pressure was on. We then had what can only
be described as a purple patch! Luke H being helped to a decent haul of
4 wickets in his 3 overs by some truly excellent fielding. First the
Chairman with a very sharp stumping that seemed to confuse everyone!
Their umpire even asking whether he had used the same ball! Then Ross H
with the moment of the day, the batsman mistiming a push off Luke and
sending the ball looping over Ross’s head at midwicket.
Ross half turned and stuck out his right hand, plucking it from the air with the ball
someway behind him. The umpire next to me said “Wow!” I think that says
it all! I’m beginning to think that Ross is only comfortable taking the
outrageous chances! Will P followed that one up with another beauty on
the long off boundary. The ball hanging for a long time before he
pouched it. Unfortunately it was not to be as the ball seemed to find
the one gap where our 11th man should be on a regular basis from there
on in and the Nomads got home with a few overs to spare. So, we had won
the ‘chicken hat’ for the 4th place team…….We didn’t mind too much,
the skip had to wear it after all……

We returned to the bar for more drinks and the presentations. The home
made Samosa’s were absolutely gorgeous and it was good to see that the
vast majority of all the teams hung around until late to celebrate a
really enjoyable day. The G&L boys hadn’t finished though, they got
their aprons on again and served up one of the finest bbq’s I’ve had for
ages. Spicy lamb chops, lamb burgers that were so tender and some truly
awesome chicken wings that had us all in the line for seconds.

So, sadly a losing day for us but I very much doubt any of us cared too
much. Even with the slightly inclement weather we had all had an amazing
day and I for one would say this is probably one of the most enjoyable
fixtures that we play every year. The welcome we received from all at
the G&L and the other sides was brilliant and then when you add in the
lovely food, enormous quantity of alcohol, music and commentary not to
mention a pretty spectacular firework display at the end of the evening
it all amounts to a truly brilliant days cricket. One problem
though……..I really want to win this next year!

I’m sure I have missed loads out as there was so much going on but it
really just remains for to to thank the G&L boys profusely for such an
enjoyable day. We’re all looking forward to it next year and we’re also
looking forward to being able to repay your hospitality with a Sunday
game on the 4th of September next year at our place!

To all at the Grouse and Label. Thank you!!!!!

Not the MCC 21 August 2011 - DRAWN
We met, as usual, at the Sun Inn for various convoluted warmups, one in
particular, a concoction of ginger ale, rum and bitters seemed to loosen
up a couple of members of our side rather nicely……

The weather was gorgeous as we made our way up to the ground and, with a
few cheeky beverages inside us we felt a good day was in the offing.

Skip lost the toss and we were asked to bat first. The pitch looked very
green so patience was definitely required and our opening pair of the
Skip and JB certainly seemed up to the task in the opening exchanges. JB
timing the ball beautifully and Skip playing in circumspect fashion
early on. The MCC opening bowlers were excellent and kept a very tight
line and length without ever truly looking dangerous. Skip soon took a
liking to the quicker of the two openers and dispatched him with aplomb
for a big
six and then a few four’s before skying one to midwicket after
being caught out by the very two paced nature of the surface. 22 for him
and a decent knock if a little short! JB remained, nudging and nurdling
the ball around and looking very comfortable and he was joined by the
Chairman who came in and quickly settled himself in. A huge straight 6
showing he was seeing the ball rather well. JB soon fell for 30 too a
decent ball but he should feel rather pleased with the way himself and
the Skip saw off the new ball and kept the scoreboard ticking over. It’s
a very, very important role and one which he played magnificently. Out
strode Bertie Clay to join the Chairman and they both progressed the
score on nicely. The Chairman striking one gorgeous on drive that
sounded like a gunshot to the boundary and Bertie, taking his time to
assess conditions knocking the ball into the gaps. Sadly the Chair fell
LBW for 26 and with the score on 90 odd for 3 with 30 mins left to bat
needed an injection of runs and rather sharpish as the pitch would
undoubtedly flatten out a lot for their innings. We needn’t have worried
as out strode Tom Humphrey to join Bertie and the pair of them batted
beautifully together. Tom timing the ball exquisitely and looking very
classy with some delicious off drives and back foot punches and Bertie
keeping the scoreboard ticking with a mixture of clips off his legs and
smashes over the infielders. With 15 mins to go before tea the Vags were
on 120 or so for 3 and it was time for the rate to be increased. Cometh
the hour and all that but Bertie (ably abetted by Tom) stuck his hand up
and said “I’ll take this one chaps” and proceeded to smash 7×6’s (Tom
one) in the last 15 mins and took our score to 196 at tea! Smash is the
correct verb for it as his first 6, a back foot punch that hit a tree on
the boundary halfway up and knocked off a branch set the tone for the
rest of his innings! It was a fabulous innings and Bertie
ended on 67
with Tom on 35. Unfortunately Steve Hyde, distracted by the Portugese
charm of the Skippers young lady friend messed up the scoring at this
point so both Tom and Bertie’s scores are plus or minus about 10! It
looks about right though!

An excellent tea, as usual, supplied by Gareth, was taken with the Vags
in a fairly confident frame of mind. 196 was a decent score on this
pitch and if we could start well we had a good chance.

Opening our bowling was Will P and Richard Hill (Dick Mountain) and they
both caused both openers problems from the start. Will bowling with huge
aggression after controversially being called for a wide for one the
batsman hit and Dicky M moving the ball into and away from them at the
other end. The first wicket was not long in coming, Dicky setting their
left hander up with an inswinger he barely kept out then bowling a
beautiful away swinger next ball the batsman nicked and The Chairman
took an excellent low down catch to his left.
Proper test match wicket
that one and fully deserved!

Out came their No 3, a very useful looking bat with good technique and
the score moved on rapidly at this point with a combination of nicks
over the slips and good looking straight drives as both our bowlers
looked to keep the batsmen on their front foot. Will finally taking the
wicket of their No 2 with a slightly slower delivery he mistimed to mid
off where Steve H was waiting to pouch the catch. A catch that was
likened by a certain player to watching a building snaffle a chance. A
slight wobble as if caught by an earthquake then no movement at all!
Perfect! This was followed up by an excellent ball first up to their No
4 that he only just managed to keep out. Will was bowling with a huge
amount of aggression by now, and his next ball, a perfectly pitched
inswinging yorker, accounted for him before he even had time to react.
Fast, swinging and perfectly placed! Another perfect delivery! 2 wickets
in an over and
The MCC were now 70 odd for 3 with approx 20 overs to be
bowled. We had a chance, so did they. It was getting interesting!

Change at both ends with Tom Humphrey replacing Will P, Tom’s off spin
seeming to be a good choice against the two left handers now at the
crease. Steve Hyde at the other getting the ball to swing nicely and
surprising a both the players with his quicker ball that is genuinely
quick! Tom didn’t have to wait long to claim his first scalp. His first
ball hitting their No 3 in the unmentionables after turning and
bouncing, his second ball a bat pad that went straight down and his
third a gorgeous flighted delivery that drifted and the batsman played
all around and took his off stump! A fine display of what he is capable
of and the end of a promising looking innings for their batsman who
looked rather useful. Steve at the other end caused the batsmen all
sorts of problems too and was unlucky to end without a wicket. The Skip
decided to change things
around fairly swiftly and Luke H came on for
Tom H with the Skip himself replacing Steve at the other end. Luke H
taking a wicket in his second over to a fine catch 10 yards inside the
boundary by Will P and The skip accounting for their number 6 with a
quick ball that rattled the stumps. Not the MCC were now 110 for 7 with
6 or so overs to bowl in the game. A win for them looked unlikely so it
just remained to be seen whether we could take the last 3 wickets to
claim a victory. Will P coming back on for the Skip and The Skip
changing ends to continue his spell. One more wicket fell, a great ball
from Will that took the batsmans middle stump but sadly that was it as
their lower order left the ball very well and kept out the straight ones.

A draw but a winning draw (like so many this season!) but a really
enjoyable day. The opposition were a great bunch and played it in a
great spirit and with no little talent all the way through their line
up. The weather was gorgeous,
one of the nicest days for cricket this
year and the Sun Inn was it’s usual welcoming self!

Stand out moments for me were Bertie’s very fine knock with some of the
biggest hits we’ve seen all season, Will P bowling quicker than he has
for a while and getting his just rewards, Dick Mountain for a fabulous
piece of intelligent cricket to snap up the first wicket and Tom H for a
superb display with both bat and ball. His batting setting us up nicely
with a defendable total and his bowling claiming the wicket that opened
up their batting line up and allowed us to get so close to claiming a win!

Excellent fielding from the rest of our side as well just added to the

Thanks to all who participated, great fun all around!

Luke H

Wield CC 14 August 2011 - DRAWN

Well, I think it’s fair to say that quite a lot happened………..
Arriving in good time we settled ourselves into the magnificent
surrounds of the Yew Tree Inn for the pre match warm-up. A lovely day
seemed in the offing and we certainly felt confident as we had, at least
on paper, one of our stronger line-ups preparing to take to the field.
Traditionally our games against Wield have always come down to the last
ball so an exciting game seemed on the cards…Skipper and opposition ‘Head-Boy’ Dougie Butler wandered out to the
middle to make the toss which our ex-middle order batsman won and chose
to field first. It has to be said we did start a little late (sorry
Barry!) but we can in no way be held responsible this time as we were
all there at the allotted time! It was the home team who seemed
reluctant to leave the confines of the great pub situated next to the
ground on this occasion!

JB and Skip took to the field whilst a few of us returned next door for
supplies. Those that know the Wield ground will know that all the
boundaries are basically uphill from the wicket. The pitch sitting in a
natural bowl as it does. Previous scores around the 150 mark have
usually been sufficient to ensure a tight game and as our openers walked
out it was this score that they probably had in mind as a target for
their efforts. Opening at one end was a pretty decent medium pacer and
at the other end a young lad barely taller than the stumps! Both bowled
very, very well. The shorter of the bowlers keeping the ball pitched
well up to the bat and proving rather hard to score off and the other
moving the ball away a little off the pitch and bowling at a decent
pace. Jb cracked a few lovely boundaries as he started to settle at the
crease and the Skip, taking his time, which is always good to see,
nudging the ball about and keeping the strike rotating. Sadly the
Skipper got deceived by a ball that held up in the pitch a little and
skied one to mid wicket where it was gratefully snaffled. 21 for 1. Out
came season débutante James Burridge to join JB and they progressed the
score onto 25 before JB was caught out by one that kept low and was
bowled for 18. A shame for JB as he had looked in much better form than
in recent weeks. Saman joined Budgie at the crease and the score moved
on to 46 with Saman hitting a couple of lovely backfoot punches that
surely would have hit the boundary on a flatter outfield before he was
caught looking to accelerate the scoring further.

Joining Budgie at the crease was our no.5 bat Tom Postle and the pair of
them got their heads down and started milking the bowling beautifully.
Budgie hitting a gap in the field with almost every scoring stroke and
Tom smashing it through the ring whether there was a fielder there or
not! In what seemed like no time our 100 came up with Budgie passing 50
and Tom into the 30’s. The pair of them continued on their merry way.
Both batsmen continued to find the gaps and hit some gorgeous shots. It
might be a little disrespectful to the opposition to describe it as a
batting master-class by the pair but the fact that neither gave any
chances at all in their innings says it all really! Budgie reached his
hundred with a 3 clipped off his legs to the fine leg boundary and the
score was approximately 200 for 3 with still nearly an hour to bat. Tom
followed him soon after with a straight drive for 4 that brought up his
maiden century for the Vagabonds although, judging by his strokeplay, I
very much doubt it will be his last. Budgie, by this point was bringing
out all the shots and played a delightful reverse pull for four and Tom,
obviously inspired by this, got out the reverse sweep to great effect.
As tea came the Vagabonds ended their innings on 314 for 3 as Budgie
smashed another ball into the field next door and the skipper called
them in. Tom Postle finished on 114 not out with 20 x 4 and 1 x 6 and
Budgie on 152 not out with 14 x 4 and 4 x 6. Not only had they posted
the highest total seen at Wield for a very long time, if ever!
(according to a few locals) but they also managed to smash the previous
4th wicket record partnership for the Vags, which previously stood at
188 by Mike Garton and Lacky Monroe. Their 268 was a truly awesome stand
and their entry into the Vags hall of fame richly deserved. It was good
that Mike was in attendance to witness this, standing, as he was, as our
umpire. So, 314 for 3 and it still all to play for.

Tea. Wow, TEA! What a culinary delight! As many of you know I do enjoy a
good tea and I also do love a good critique of a good tea. Well, here
goes…….The smell permeating the tea room as we entered can only be
described as mouthwatering and the selection of delights that awaited us
were stunning. Home made cheese straws, some served with branston
pickle. Home made cookies, excellent tuna and cucumber sandwiches. Small
chipolata sausages fresh from the oven, cooked to perfection. Beautiful
cheese and pickle sandwiches, packed to the gills with tangy cheese
loveliness. And this is without mentioning the almost heavenly chocolate
brownies I am reliably informed by the Skipper were so ‘short’ as to be
an almost perfect concoction (I believe ‘short’ is a cooking term?) and
an L.D.C at least on a par with that famous cake we sampled in
Braishfield a couple of seasons back! When you picked a slice of it up
it drooped satisfyingly in the hand but with no fear of breakage thus
immediately suggesting the correct amount of moisture. It’s lemony
goodness playing a sweet symphony on the taste buds. The mugs of tea we
were served were easily on a par with what I would prepare for myself at
home and I can think of no bigger compliment than that. I’m not sure the
Vags give awards to the opposition for the quality of their teas but I
think maybe we should, if only so we can insure we are always invited
back! A truly magnificent effort by the ladies of Wield and the
surrounding villages (I believe that the brownies came from
Bentworth……) and a huge thank you from every one of us for a
fabulous feed in gorgeous surroundings!

Taking to the field after this feast was a struggle to say the least but
we had a job to do!

Opening up were the Uncle/Nephew combo of Stevie Hyde and Will P. Will,
no doubt, looking to impress his rather lovely new girlfriend Susie who
had accompanied him to this game. How did you do that then mate? She
didn’t dribble, she’s great looking, strung together a number of
sentences that made perfect sense and kept us all amused with her abuse
of you whilst you were umpiring! Good find that one buddy! Top work!

Will came charging in with the wind at his back and, to be honest
struggled very early on as, no doubt, the effect of such an incredible
tea was taking it’s toll. Steve at the other end manfully running into
the wind and bowling a few excellent balls that
had the batsmen playing and missing. Will was building up his pace nicely and hitting the gloves hard and by his 3rd over had settled down into the excellent line and
length we have become accustomed to. Both batsman struggling to get bat
onto ball and, when it was pointed out to him by Budgie at slip that
their no 3 batsman was chatting up Susie adding at least 5mph to the
next ball and very nearly yorking him! Steve, sadly, was our first
casualty of the day, declaring after his third over that he had had
enough of bowling! I think the LDC had taken it’s first casualty!
Replacing Steve was PK (Phil Kenelley) and Phil ran in bowling right arm
around the wicket to the right handed batsmen. A tricky line to get
right but when he did the angle proved very testing for the batsmen. The
Wield openers were beginning to accelerate the the scoring and had just
posted an opening stand of 50 when Phil, encouraged by Mike Garton to
bowl over the wicket took a scalp with his first ball from that angle!
He ran in and bowled a beautiful inswinging yorker that accounted for
their well set No 2. An excellent ball and highly amusing given Phil’s
reluctance to bowl from this angle! 53 for 1 and, hopefully, game on!
Replacing the impressive Will P at the other end was Luke H and he was
lucky enough to take a wicket in his first over, an excellent catch by
The Chairman, scrambling from his position behind the stumps to snap up a
bat pad that looped up to silly mid on and was taken by our keeper
inches from the ground. 54 for 2. Luke settled down nicely once he found
the right pace to bowl at and with some excellent tips from Budgie at
1st slip (Just bowl straight!) The third Wield wicket fell when Luke
bowled their No. 4 off his pad and the score was now 73 for 3. Phil had,
by this time, been replaced by the Skipper at the other end. Phil
finishing with great figures of 1-27 off 5. He went for a few runs but
bowled a really testing line and length. The skipper, bowling his off
spin from 8 feet in the air extracted some great bounce from the pitch
and proved very testing for the batsmen to score off, thus helping Luke
at the other end keep the pressure on. Luke snared his 3rd wicket with a
catch at mid on from Will P in the next over and the score was now 96
for 4. Luke continued bowling fairly well and was aided admirably by the
efforts of Ali K in the field, close in on the off side. Time after time
Ali got some part of his body (usually his hands!) in the way of the
ball and he never, ever backed away once. I think we might have found
your fielding position mate! Excellent effort. Luke continued wheeling
away and was rewarded with another wicket next over, a well taken catch
at second slip by Tom P and then one in the over after, a stumping. A 5
for for Luke but still work to be done. It was now 105 for 6 and we
needed to take their last 4 wickets in the remaining 8 or so overs. Luke
took their young number 3’s wicket with another catch snared by Tom at
second slip a couple of overs later (he top scored for them with a fine
43) and it was 127 for 7. Will P came back at the other end to replace
the Skip who finished with figures of 0-22 off 5 and almost immediately
took the wicket of the Wield captain Dougie Butler. with a good, pitched
up ball that kept a little low and caught him plumb in front. 129 for 8
and only 1 over left to bowl! Luke came in to start his last over and on
his second ball got one to turn a little from middle stump and take the
outside edge of their number 10 which was taken excellently by the
Chairman behind the stumps. 135 for 9 and 4 balls to bowl at their
number 11. Sadly Luke couldn’t produce the right ball and Wield held on
to claim the draw. A great game, and as usual, one that came down to the
last ball. Will P finishing with figures of 11-3-28-1 and Luke with
figures of 12-1-35-7 which was a good display albeit on a helpful pitch!

Special mention
must obviously go to Budgie and Tom P for a fabulous
batting display. Phil K for his golden moment with the ball, Ali K for
some awesome fielding and as ever, Mike Garton for umpiring for us all
day and for generally making it a nicer place to be!

Roll on next week, back at our home ground against Not the
MCC….hopefully see you all there….

Luke H







Eversley CC 7 August 2011 - LOST
This is going to be short and sweet as I am under the cosh today, time

Ok, in the absence of our Skipper, off enlightening the foreigns about
the joys of cricket the Chairman took on the role of captaincy. He
promptly won the toss (1-0 Chairman!) and elected to field first.

Our team was a little threadbare this week with various absences and we
found ourselves with only 4 frontline bowlers so we need to start well
in order to stop it becoming a rout against what is a very good Eversley

Opening up was Bertie Kennedy at one end and Steve Hyde at the other.
Both settled in very well with Bertie snatching a wicket in his second
over with a good ball that lifted sharply flicked the glove and was
snapped up by the Chairman behind the stumps. In Steve’s 3rd over a
magnificent piece of fielding by the one and only Tom Willings accounted
for their handy looking number 3. The ball hit out to the cover
boundary, Tom chasing it down like Michael
Jackson in a playground,
picking it up throwing it hard and flat towards the Chairman about 3
inches above the bails which were whipped off and saw their player a
couple of yards short going for his second run. At this point Eversley
were 10 for 2 and we had indeed started very well. Sadly it wasn’t to
last as, with the pitch allowing little to no room for error and a gusty
wind causing all sorts of problems for the bowlers our opposition soon
picked up the run rate. Bertie got their number 2 out thanks to an
excellent catch from Rob Hyndman in the covers but that was the only
real bright spot as their 4,5 and 6 batsman all hit 50’s then retired!
PK came on for Steve and Luke H for Bertie but nothing stemmed the runs
other than Tom’s astounding efforts in the field. His work definitely
saved 30 odd runs…..he set the standard we should all try to get close

Phil bowled very well but with little luck as did Luke. Phil picking up
a wicket towards the end of the
innings with a good ball that claimed
the batsman LBW and Luke taking one with a ball that turned and bounced
and flicked the batsmans glove and then hit the stumps. Bertie bowled
very well to end up with 4 wickets on his return at the back end of
their innings but by then the runs were on the board.

Eversley ended on 229 which looked like a winning score…

Tea was taken and our openers JB and the Chair walked out to face their
openers. Sadly things didn’t got to well from here on in! Both our
openers hit boundaries early on but once JB fell to a ball he misjudged
the length of, wickets started to fall with alarming regularity. Only
Tom W looked at all settled at the crease of the top order TOm making 16
before skying a catch to mid off. Our lower order generals Andy K and
Steve H hit a few lusty blows before Steve fell to a brilliant catch
close in and we all trudged off to the pub! We didn’t score many!

Special mentions to Bertie for his 4 fer and Tom W for his
display in the field……..they are really the only high points of our
day but it was most enjoyable and the Eversley team once again proved to
be an excellent bunch of guys…just a shame we couldn’t beat them like
last year!

Portchester CC 31st July 2011 - DRAWN
Wow, what a great day! Beautiful weather, two decent sides, The Sun in
all its pub-like glory and a great match to boot!
Skip started off proceedings by losing the toss and we were duly put in
to bat on a greenish looking wicket. We all thought it would do
something early on and at this point we were worried about making a game
of it as Portchester are a very good side and have racked up a great
number of runs against us in the past!

Sure enough the Portchester opening bowlers soon had the ball nipping
all over the place and swinging in the air. This allied to the fairly
unpredictable nature of the bounce meant problems for all early on. Our
opening pair of JB and the Skip both playing and missing with some
regularity. Sadly the Skip didn’t last long as he was cleaned up by an
excellent ball that seamed but stayed a little low and took his middle
stump. Tom Holland joined JB at the crease and all look serene for a
short time. Tom timing the ball beautifully for a couple of boundaries
and generally looking a class act, and JB finding the middle of his bat
for a couple of great drives that hit the boundary in a flash due to
great timing and an outfield that was lightening fast. With the score on
23 Tom fell to another great delivery that did a bit and crashed into
his stumps. 23-2 and it was looking like it would be a struggle. Justin
Rhodes making his much awaited season debut for the Vags walking out to
join JB in the centre. They moved the score onto 31 before JB fell to
yet another good ball that he nicked behind to their young keeper who
snaffled it expertly. Tom Humphrey joined Justin at the crease and both
settled in very nicely. Justin reminding us all of his ability to hit a
heavy ball as he clearly felt that attack was the best form of defence
and launched a blistering attack on their first change seamer hitting
him for 3×6’s in 5 balls and certainly wresting a little momentum back
for the Vags. The second of these 6’s was absolutely massive and was
still going up as it crossed the boundary, much to the amusement of a
couple of Portchester fielders who later remarked that the bowler had
only been talking that morning about having only been hit for 2×6’s all
season! Tom at the other end was timing the ball well and unleashed a
couple of great boundaries. One of them a sublime off drive that
wouldn’t have looked out of place up at Trent Bridge! They progressed
the score to 67 before Justin played around a straight one that kept a
little low and was bowled. Good to see Justin back and hitting the ball
so cleanly! Tom was joined by Ross and very quickly Ross clipped a
beautiful on drive off his toes that whistled to the boundary. One of
the shots of the day! Sadly Tom soon fell to their wily off spinner who
got him to play back to a ball that stayed very low and hit him straight
in front of middle. 71-5 and a score of 130 or so would have suited us
in order to give them a bit of a game!

The Chair had joined Ross in the centre and they both progressed the
score onto 81 before Ross fell to another decent ball that clattered
into his off stump. 81-6 and something was needed! Luke H joined the
chair at the crease and immediately the ball started to come onto the
bat a little easier. To be fair to Portchester they had put away their
opening bowlers by this stage but the pitch was still tricky to bat on
and their change bowlers were bowling fairly straight. The Chair and
Luke began hitting out a little. The Chair hitting a number of sublime
boundaries including 2×6’s and a smashed off drive that nearly killed
his brother at the non strikers end! Sadly the Chair fell on 33 playing
all around a straight one that hit his middle stump. Luke was joined by
Phil Kenelley (from now on known as PK as opposed to KP!) Luke was going
well at this point and aided by some gorgeous hitting from PK they took
the score on rapidly to 218! Luke hitting 13 boundaries in his 66
including 3×6’s and PK hitting 9 with 3×6’s in his excellent 52. A
number of balls were lost during this partnership and both players
seemed to time the ball well. Great to see PK finally getting some time
on the middle and proving all that great batting in the nets wasn’t a
fluke. An excellent innings from him and a richly deserved half century.
Luke fell to their spinner in almost identical fashion to the chair and
Tony Reid joined PK for the last few overs of our innings. Tony then
seemed to take a liking to their opening bowler who had been brought
back to stem the runs and proceeded to literally smash a quickfire 19
off about 7 balls! A huge one bounce 4 to the longest boundary followed
by the hardest hit square cut the author has seen in a fair while. PK
sadly fell in the last over and Will P held up an end whilst Tony
produced his magic from the other end. Will did well considering the
state he was in after an all nighter at Global Gathering that left him
unable to communicate without shouting and dilated pupils that must have
let far too much sunlight in……..!

The Vags ended on 250 for 9 after facing 38 overs from Portchester. It
was an excellent performance from all of our lower order and satisfying
that we felt we had enough to give our opponents a decent game. We knew
how strong their batting traditionally is so although we had posted a
decent score we were still a little wary of getting too carried away.
The pitch seemed to have flattened out and the outfield was very quick
but we would have to bowl well.

Tea was taken in traditional Vagabonds style, crashed out on the grass
in the summer sunshine whilst Will P tried to concoct a text message to
his girlfriend with the help of a number of team members. The message he
ended up sending was far worse than anything we managed to think of……

So, we took to the field to defend 250. Will P opening from one end and
Tony Reid from the other. Almost immediately it became clear that the
pitch still had a lot of life in it. Maybe it was the pace our opening
pair bowled at but both bowlers got the ball to seam and swing, much as
our opponents had done in the early part of our innings. Will mixing it
up well and getting both players to play and miss and Tony swinging the
ball into the left hander and away from the right and probing on a good
length. Soon, this excellent bowling paid off with Will foxing their
decent looking left hander with a slower ball he hit straight down the

Valley End CC 24th July 2011 - LOST
Sunday was a good opportunity to put our below par performances of recent weeks behind us against a new fixture; it all started well with the sun out and the opposite skipper winning the toss but deciding to bat on a wet soft one!

Opened up with Stevie and Tony as Perts was away enjoying himself in a field with some like minded people….it was an excellent start by the opening pair both bowling an excellent line and length with movement both in the air and off the pitch, with the field in close the opening bats were struggling to pick up runs which resulted in an early break through from Stevie with a cracker jack that swung away and cut back bowling the skipper neck and crop! Tony was bowling beautifully at the other end making all batsman who faced him play and miss but it was one of those days where he bowled almost to well finishing with figures of 9-5-14-1. Steve at the other end picked up two of the first three with 7-3-17-2. With the score at 30 odd for three the batsman decided that a mixture of attack and defence was the order of the day – even with greater aggression from the oppo regular wickets still went down with our change bowlers of Phil and Hendo prospering picking up another three in the next 15 over’s but a partnership between there correct no. 4 and Mini Mongoose wielding no. 8 of 50 started to change the balance towards Valley End. In particular the no.8 hit some big blows with the 20/20 bat but it was all fairly agricultural which reminded us of a certain skipper!!! With Valley looking like they may make it past the 150 mark Tom H and skip ended up with the last three wickets with their relative spinning options; an excellent ground fielding display was only tarnished by a couple of dropped chances with Valley End finishing on 145 all out with a confident vags walking off for one of Gareth’s excellent teas and a chance to catch with Baz who was able to finally make it down after a tough year or two!

JB and skip strode out to the wicket with optimism of chasing a par total down – especially as we were down the far end of the square with a short legside boundary to target for the left/right hand combination. After both looking in complete command against the Valley End opening attack taking both bowlers for boundaries JB nicked behind with the score 28 for 1 off 4 over’s….unfortunately what happened after that was a lesson in how not to run with two wickets gifted to the oppo in run outs and as has been the case in recent weeks people not valuing their wicket high enough and we limped to 62 all out with an early drink for all of us at the Sun.

Special mention must be given to my front 4 bowlers of Reid, Hyde, Kennelly and Hendo for keeping the pressure on the valley batsman throughout their spell with Tony the pick of the bunch but not by much – plus Valley End proved to be a great bunch and we are all looking forward to putting up a much better show at Valley End next year!


Crondall CC 17th July 2011 - DRAWN
Guess what? We actually played a full game of cricket yesterday! I know,
I know, amazing! I awoke yesterday morning to black clouds, heavy rain
and a strongish wind and my first thought was, “Oh well, at least the
Open is on!” Within an hour Steve H had sent a text around confirming
the game was still on and with a certain amount of surprise we jumped in
the car and made our way up the M3. Through, it has to be said, an
enormous storm in Basingstoke that seemd to be heading in the direction
of Crondall.

We arrived in good time at the ground to find clearish skies but a very
damp outfield and a stodgy looking pitch. No sooner had the Skip won the
toss and elected to bowl first the rain came and we all sat around in
the pavilion for 40 mins whilst we watched the rain fall and, seemingly,
our chances of getting any cricket played. At this point an armchair in
front of The Open looked like a good place to be!

When the rain finally ceased the wind helped dry the outfield very well
so it wasn’t long before we took to the field to commence our assault.
We took to the field 1 man short due to the absence of Mr Tony Reid.
Still not sure why there was no sign of him……..

Opening our attack from the ‘top end’ was Will P. The pitch looked as if
it would suit the seamers and that thought was proved to be right. Will
running in and bowling as well as he has done all season. Lots of
movement, both in the air and off the pitch making every batsman he
bowled at struggle. At the other end the wily campaigner that is Steve
Hyde took the new ball and after a few mulligans settled into an
excellent spell that saw him hit our keeper, The Chairman, square in the
grille with his first pitched up ball that lifted alarmingly and swing
the ball hugely, every delivery.

The Crondall opening pair put on around 20 for the first wicket before
Steve deceived their No. 2 who mistimed a drive high into the air that
was snaffled by Skip in the covers. Well bowled Steve! At the other end
Will was still wheeling away and his excellent display was rewarded with
a truly excellent wicket next up. A good length ball pitching on middle
stump that seamed away and lifted finding the outside edge of their
other opener. Both the Slip and the Wicketkeeper were moving down the
leg side due to the original path of the ball and yet The Chairman still
managed to stick out his right hand and snaffle a truly magnificent
catch low down even though his not insignificant mass was moving in the
opposite direction. It was a brilliant delivery from Will P caught with
a stunning catch from The Chairman. Proper Test match stuff! Probably
the best catch we have seen all season thus far.

At this point Crondall were 30 odd for 2 with 10 overs bowled and we
were confident of keeping them to a gettable score. Both Steve and Will
continued wheeling away beating the bat often and making scoring on a
slow outfield and stodgy pitch very difficult. Changes were soon made to
give our opening pacemen a rest with Luke H coming on for Will P and
Phil Kenelley coming on to replace Steve H. Luke settled in well,
pushing the ball through a lot faster than usual due to a pitch that
meant anything short was going to get smashed and soon took the third
wicket, another good catch from the Skip. Phil, meanwhile, having taken
an over to settle in, and bowling right arm around the wicket to the
right handed batsmen had got into a great rhythm and was looping the
ball away from the batsmen and getting some surprising lift and bounce.
The score had progressed to 60 odd for 3 by this point. Their No 3
batsman had started hitting out at this point and aided by some full
tosses from Luke started to accelerate the scoring. Not many runs were
coming from the other end though and once the skip made some more
bowling changes. Bringing himself on for Phil and Will P back on for
Luke it looked as if we would restrict them to a very small total. The
score had moved onto 90 for 3 with approx 20 mins to play before tea and
a target of 120 ish looked to be on the cards. Sadly their No 3 had
other idea as he started to play some big shots, clearing the boundary
with some regularity and even playing a couple of cheeky reverse sweeps
off the Skip for boundaries.

Sadly we did let things slip in that last period of play. Will P still
bowling excellently and claiming his second wicket with another great
ball that hit the top of off stump and then creating the run out chance
that finally claimed the wicket of their No3 for a well hit 70 odd that
was a very, very good innings. Crondall ended on 154 for 5, probably 30
runs too many but plaudits must be given to their top scorer who played
excellently. Bowling figures were :- Perton – 14 – 3 – 33 – 2, S Hyde –
7 – 0 – 27 – 1, Kennelly – 6 -1 – 27 – 0, Luke – 4 – 1 – 19 – 1, Boots –
4 – 0-35 – 0

Tea was taken………very good it was too! A selection of cakes and
sandwiches and the welcome return of that old favourite the rice krispie

Our new opening pair of The Chairman and The Skipper returned to the
middle to face the Crondall opening attack and seemed to settle in very
nicely. The Chairman hitting a couple of delicious straight drives to
the boundary and the Skipper, for a change, taking the time to play
himself in, but still unleashing the odd booming drive!

The pair took the score on to 30 odd before The Chairman became the
first wicket to fall playing on to a ball that kept low on a pitch that
was no showing some alarming variance in bounce. Out came Ross H and he
held up an end whilst the Skipper got into his stride. The Skip was
looking in great form and looked to be finding the tricky conditions to
his liking as he started his assault on the Crondall bowlers. Big
booming drives and pulls, the odd clip off the legs and always an
aggression about his play that put all the bowlers on the back foot.
Ross at the other end, after getting off the mark was finding the going
a bit trickier. The Crondall bowlers were bowling very tightly and it
was hard to score for anyone new to the crease. Ross, in the end, coming
down the pitch to the spinner and the ball bouncing sharply over his bat
and being stumped. This bought Ali K to the crease to join the Skip. The
score was 60 for 2 (or thereabouts) Ali settled in nicely, hitting a big
on drive for 6 that seemed to come out of nowhere and nudging and
nurdling in order to get the Skip on strike. By this point the Crondall
side had bought on 2 new bowlers. An off spinner from one end who was
causing the ball to bounce alarmingly (one ball pitched on a good length
to Ali then bounced over his head!) and a seamer from the other end who
bowled very wide of the crease and angled the ball into the right
hander. Runs from the ‘non skip’ end were proving very hard to come by
but when Skip was on strike it looked like a different game. One shot in
particular, a straight drive off their seamer pinging from his bat with
the sound of a gunshot and still on it’s way up when it hit the top of
the tree on the not insubstantial boundary. Sadly the difficulty in
scoring runs for everyone other than the Skip was to prove his downfall
as he soon departed for a fantastic innings of 53 trying to force the
pace in order to keep up with the rate.

We were now 80 for 3 and wickets soon started falling with regularity.
Mark H departing 3rd ball to a good catch, Ali, being deceived by the
stodgy pitch and getting caught and Luke H doing much the same! Phil K
was very unlucky to play on to a ball that kept low and we were left on
90 odd for 7 with 5 or so overs to be bowled. We needn’t have worried as
the experience of our middle/lower order batsman saw us through with
some degree of comfort for the draw. Jack Whillans scoring a fine 20*
with a few excellent boundaries including a lovely slog-sweep 6 and some
excellent running between the wickets and Steve H at the other end
cuffing the ball about with gay abandon but selecting the right ball to
do it off! Both saw us home to the draw, The Vags ending on 125-7.

It was a game we might have won but the combination of an excellent
innings from their no 3 and the slightly strange pitch that seemed to
get worse as it dried not better meant we fell a bit short. The draw is
a fair result though.

Performances to note are Will P for being excellent with the ball and in
the field all day. Steve H for backing him up magnificently with the
ball and seeing us home through those last few overs with the bat. Phil
K for a great bowling display and some excellent fielding which saw him,
on one occasion, pick up and throw down the stumps from 30 odd yards out
for a very close run out decision. Jack W for a great display with the
bat. When all about you are losing their heads? Rely on Jack! The
Chairman for a fabulous display of keeping on the hardest pitch
imaginable and for the catch of the season so far. And last but by no
means least The Skipper for an excellent innings that nearly took us
over the line!

We all went back down to the rather excellent Plume of Feathers pub
where the very kind landlord bought out a couple of plates of free chips
and we all had a rather nice little session with the oppo, a great bunch
of guys, and reflected on a good, enjoyable game played in a great
spirit with no little talent on display as well!

Roll on next week, someone else will have to take responsibility for the
match report as I’m not around!

Luke H

Odiham & Greywell CC 10th July 2011 - LOST
Well, where to begin!
We made the short trip to Odiham CC in good time, in fact, in such good
time that we had 15 mins in the nets before crossing the car park to the
pavilion, most un-vaglike, but in our defence Odiham’s well appointed
ground did have a rather nice bar so it seemed daft to look elsewhere
for a spot of pre match lubrication.

Sadly we had arrived knowing we were one short as Pete H had done his
back the previous night and had struggled (no fault of his own!) to get
hold of anyone to let them know, the message finally being received as
we were in the car on the way to the match. The toss was duly taken and
the Vagabonds took to the field, one man down but feeling fairly
confident. The opposition wished to play a 40 over game and after a bit
of negotiation it was decided to lift the restriction on the number of
overs each bowler could bowl as we only had 4 bowlers in our side! I
shall now, attempt to do this from memory as our esteemed Skip has taken
the book this week in order to compile some stats………..which makes
him a bigger nerd than me…..!

Opening up first was Will P bowling his usual excellent line and length
and getting the ball to lift rather alarmingly at times on a very tired
and iffy looking pitch. At the other end Tom H came on to bowl his off
spin. An interesting decision on the face of it but obviously Skip knew
what he was doing as Tom immediately settled into an excellent line and
length, a spot of turn and some great bounce. Both opening bowlers
bowled beautifully and it wasn’t long before the chances started coming.
Tom H having a sharp chance go down in the gully in his first over and
Will P making both batsman play and miss regularly. Sure enough, the
wicket came, their opener going for a straight drive off a ball that
wasn’t there to hit and skying one to the skipper who pouched it
comfortably. Tom H was still wheeling away at the other end and making
it very difficult to score runs. Whilst the outfield was fast and the
boundary, at least on one side, was fairly short the quality of the
bowling and some excellent ground fielding restricted them to approx 30
odd after 10 overs. Changes were made at both ends with Luke H coming on
for Tom and the skip coming on for Will P.

Both of them settled in to a rhythm rather nicely, the skip after toying
with his usual medium/fast stuff deciding that that was far too much
like hard work and reverting to the off spin he bowled so well in the
nets during the winter. Runs were still proving difficult to come by and
the fielding was still very sharp. I would love to say that the
miraculous arrival of a very hung over Mark Henderson who promptly
returned home to get his kit and join us in the field was a major part
of our fielding prowess but that would, sadly, be a lie as he didn’t
manage to get a single part of his body near any of the first 3 balls
that went near him and looked to be in a little, semi-drunken world of
his own…….bless! Still, great to see him stepping up to the plate
after no sleep for 24 hours, good commitment to the cause!

The second wicket fell when the Skip took an excellent caught and
bowled. The ball hung in the air for a long time and, again, was well
pouched. Luke H then bowled their no. 4 and the score was 60 odd for 3
after 17 or so overs. Both continued wheeling away, Luke taking 2 more
wickets, one caught and bowled and then another bowled as the
opposition’s batting began to crumble in the face of a tricky pitch and
some good bowling and excellent fielding. The Skip chipped in with
another wicket soon after, bowling their batsman with a well flighted
ball that crept under the bat and hit middle stump. By this time it was
approx 100 for 7 with 8 overs or so to go and we looked as though we
would restrict them to 130 odd in their 40 overs. Both opening bowlers
returned, Will P, again, bowling excellently and troubling both batsmen
and Tom H returning for his second spell and again teasing them with an
excellent line, length and flight. Sadly our excellent fielding
displayed did desert us a little in the next few overs and we allowed
them a number of runs which, perhaps, on another day, we wouldn’t have.
Tom H taking 2 wickets in his last over. The first a very quick stumping
from the Chairman (who kept excellently all day) and the second, the
very next ball, a very well taken caught behind whilst standing up that
was a very difficult chance the Chairman made look easy.

The innings ended on 142 for 9 in their 40 overs which was probably
10-15 runs more than they should have got based on the excellent
fielding we had displayed earlier in the innings (Mark H excepted!) It
would be churlish to single anyone particular out for their great work
in the field as all did a fine job but, as is often the case, Tom
Willings distinguished himself! Good performances from all our bowlers
and Ali K should get a mention as well for some excellent fielding close
in. Bowling figures were (from memory) Will P 2-40 odd off 10, Tom H
2-31 off 10, Luke H 3-35 off 10 and Skip 2-33 off 10.

Tea was duly taken with a number of rather refreshing beers served cold
from the tap. I cannot comment on the quality of foodstuffs on offer as
I did not partake myself but I am assured it was up to the required

The skip had decided to reshuffle the batting order for our chase in the
hope that a bit of a change might see our top order firing as we all
know they are capable of doing.

Out to the middle walked our new opening pair of Tom W and JB and both
settled in nicely and timed the ball around the ground with an ease not
seen in the first innings. The bowling was fairly good and straight and
both openers got us off to a flyer before, sadly, JB mistimed a drive
(the pitch playing a big part) and skied their wily spinner to mid on.
30 odd for 1 off about 6 overs and a good start, pace wise! Ali K came
in at 3 and looked to be settling in nicely before latching on to a
short ball and smashing it straight down the neck of the fielder on the
boundary. A shame, as, once again, Ali looked confident and assured. It
will come mate!

We were now 40 odd for 2 as Tom W was looking in fine form, sending the
ball to all areas including a few gorgeous off drives to the boundary
off their opening quickie. He had been joined By Bertie C and Bertie
looked in great nick, smashing the ball to all parts including a big six
over square leg and a sublime back foot off drive that pinged to the
longest boundary and gave the fielder stationed out ther no chance at
all. Sadly Tom didn’t last as a bowling change bought on a tall, lanky
looking kid who ran in from the boundary and hurled down a fairly quick
ball (aided by a slightly dubious action!) and Tom threw his hands at it
and was well caught by the keeper low down to the left. Although wickets
were falling regularly runs were coming and after 15 overs we were 60
odd for 4. Bertie fell soon after, but I can’t remember how! I think I
was in the bar…… Our new batting pair of Rob H and Mark H looked to
get played in but sadly, for the pair of them they both struggled. Mark
getting bowled (i think?) and Rob H perfectly timing a defensive push
straight to the hands of the fielder. The Skip came in and looked
assured before a rush of blood saw him try to pull their quickie and he
got bowled neck and crop. We were now 70 odd for 6 and victory looked a
long way off. Tom H had come to the crease and was playing beautifully.
Timing the ball excellently and hitting the gaps in the field. At the
other end the Chairman had appeared and after smashing an excellent
square cut for 4 was unlucky to be given out to a catch in the slips
over which their was some doubt as to whether it carried.

Luke H came out to partner Tom at 94 for 8 with 12 overs to be bowled.
It was still within our grasp but only just. Luke hit a few boundaries
and allied to some good running and calling the pair took the score to
130 for 8 with 6 overs to go. 13 to win, 2 wickets in hand. Sadly it
wasn’t to be as they bought back their quickie who cleaned Luke up with
an excellent yorker first up. Out strode Will P and although the pair
added a few runs to take us to 135 he succumbed to the pitch and was
caught mistiming a drive. 135 all out. A game we should have won, either
with a slightly better batting display or a slightly better fielding
display in the last 6 overs. A big disappointment but it was good to see
how desperate the oppo were to win as they did, certainly the younger
players, have a very high opinion of their own ability. Not all that bad
for a team with 15 or so to pick from against a big club like that with
100+ players to choose from. No sour grapes though, they deserved it in
the end, we were the architects of our own downfall and only have
ourselves to blame for losing.— Tom W, Tom H, Bertie C and Luke H all
hitting scores in the mid 20’s.

As usual it is now time to hand out the special mentions. Garty, for
umpiring all day, getting every decision correct, being a true vag and
always making the day more enjoyable. Thanks mate! Ali K for his
excellent fielding, the runs will come soon, I’m sure. Tom W for a
superb performance in the field and an excellent one with the bat. The
Chairman for another excellent keeping display. All the bowlers bowled
well, restricting the oppo to a gettable score but my man of the match
for his performance with both bat and ball is Tom H. Excellent all round
display! Keep it up! We’ll miss you next week as you attend the ‘Chap
Olympics’ in Bedford Square. Good luck in the 100m Saunter!

The Vags bus rolls onto Crondall next week. Should be a good one!!

See you all there!

Sorry if I have missed anyone out or got anything wrong. I had a few
beers yesterday and the memory isn’t as sharp as usual today…..

Luke H

Waverley CC 3rd July 2011 - WON
Well, we had a great game against our new opposition yesterday, due to Saints being unable to raise a side we reverted to the Cricket conference who matched us up against Waverley who are fairly local to us being based just outside Farnham. Apparently we have played them before a long time ago and based on their excellent drinking and social skills it would be a shame not to play them on a regular basis.

After a few pre match warm ups in The Sun we arrived at the ground in good time, Skip wandered out to the wicket for the toss and came back having chosen to field after calling correctly. The pitch looked far whiter than anything we have played on recently at Bentworth and he felt that with overhead conditions in our favour (very humid with cloud cover) the best option was to bowl as there was sure to be very little movement off the surface.

The Waverley openers came out to the middle and our opening pair of Will Perton and Tony Reid were waiting to meet them. Tony started and almost from the first delivery was making the ball swing prodigiously. Once he had settled into a decent rhythm he was starting the ball out wide of the leg stump only for it to swing to a point where it was missing off by the time it reached the batsmen! In all honesty the ball was probably swinging too much as it would have taken a better player than was at the ground in order to nick most of the them. Will P at the other end started in much the same fashion. It took him at least a couple of overs before he worked out his angles but when he did, he too was swinging the ball a couple of feet and proving to be a real handful for the openers. Tony finished with 5-0-20-0

The fact that the first 30 odd runs came as a result of nicks through the slips, wide of them and over them says it all really. Nothing off the face of the bat early on as the good balls were just too good. Runs had been coming though as a quick outfield added to some fairly aggressive shots from one end had taken the total to 60 odd without loss before changes were made at both ends as our openers began to tire in the oppressive humidity. Skip (R Boote) bought himself on to replace Tony R and Luke H came on to replace Will P. Skip struggled with his line early on, trying to control the swing and his weird floppy wrist position but when he got it right he extracted more life out of the pitch than anyone else, even getting a few balls to carry through at chest/neck height to the Chairman behind the stumps. Not at all bad off 4 paces! Luke was throwing up a few and trying to vary his pace a bit as their was little turn to be had. This seemed to work fairly well early on as he bowled their opener J Wright around his legs as he came down the wicket to him. It only just clipped leg stump and to be fair would probably have been stumped if it had missed but a good start to the spell all the same. Wright left the field with an excellent 54 to his name that had included a couple of well hit sixes.

Waverley’s number 3 came out to the middle with the score on 69 (ish!) for 1. By this time both Skip and Luke H had settled into some kind of rhythm and they troubled both the batsmen. Waverley’s scoring rate had dropped sharply and as the pressure began to build the Skip struck with an excellent seaming delivery that caught their number 3 plumb in front of middle. 78 for 2 with approx. 18 overs having been bowled. They kept up the pressure, allied to some excellent fielding not least from débutante Ali Kanji and the always impressive Rob Hyndman and wickets soon began to fall a little more regularly. Luke H having their number 4 caught at mid on having mistimed a drive and then having the number 5 (and skipper) plumb in front when he missed a straight one. By this time it was approx. 110 for 4 and the Vags were back in the game. Skip (7-1-32-1) replaced himself with Tom Humphrey who immediately started increasing the pressure with his well flighted (if slightly pacey!) off spin bowling in tandem with Luke at the other end. Luke was taken off after 9 overs finishing with figures of 9-0-34-3. With 4 down the score had moved on to 130 odd as, still whiling away was Waverley’s number 2, S Knoxy who, although scoring slowly, showed excellent concentration and was proving a very hard man to get out!

Tom Owen came on to replace Luke and after 3 good overs from Tom H, Will P was brought back to see whether he could make some inroads into the oppo’s line up. Tom O, again took a while to settle into things but bowled a few lovely balls and definitely looks to have a lot of talent, a bit more practice in the nets and he may well have our more established bowlers looking over their shoulders. Will P wheeled away from the opposite end from where he started and this seemed to suit him very well, claiming 2 wickets in 2 balls with near unplayable deliveries. The first wicket from a ball that swung a foot, pitched outside leg stump and then seamed and hit middle and off and the second from a near identical ball that hit the top of off stump (sending the bail 20 yards towards the boundary – according to JB who paced it out!) They were now 150 odd for 6 and, with time running out a flurry of runs saw their final total reach 179. Their opener S Knoxy finishing unbeaten on 50. An excellent effort given the conditions both on the pitch (which was a little two paced) and the humidity. Perts finished with 9-1-40-2

Tea was gladly taken, with us looking at their score and thinking that a good start should see us through but that we would have to play well.

Our standard opening pair of JB and the Chairman strode manfully out to the crease to face their bowlers and sadly, that good start we have become so used to didn’t happen. The Chair being caught at mid on from a shot he absolutely pinged that nestled straight into the hands of the fielder. 0-1 and not the best of starts. The Skip walked out to join JB and the pair of them settled into things very nicely. JB timing the ball beautifully for a couple of boundaries and the Skip after looking at the first 5-6 balls bludgeoning the ball around the field. Sadly it wasn’t to last, and, after putting on 31 for the second wicket JB was caught at point after cuffing a ball that lifted straight to the fielders hands. The Skip was still going well and had progressed to 29 scored nearly all in boundaries including a lovely six over mid on before he was deceived by the pitch and smacked one straight to the fielder at square leg. It was a good catch but a big shame for the captain as, once again, he had looked in great form. It was now 49-3 and our two batsmen Ali Kanji and Tom Humphrey looked to consolidate. Tom moving the scoreboard along nicely with a mixture of well timed big shots and nudges and nurdles. Ali at the other end looked composed and assured and hit a couple of gorgeous drives before unluckily being given out lbw to a ball that kept a little low. Tom was joined by Rob Hyndman and they moved the score along nicely to 80 odd before Tom played one shot too many and was caught for 32. Another top innings that added the right impetus at the right time from Tom. It was now 80 odd for 5…….I shall hand over to the Skip for the rest of this!

Courtesy of The Skip:-

“Well what can I say – “cometh the hour cometh the man” we were in a bit of strife which has been nothing unusual the last few games with our top order flattering to deceive….chasing down 180 Luke joined Rob at the crease with the Waverley bowlers and wicket keeper (let us knew we were in a game all day) sensing victory with around 100 needed off 23 overs I always thought the run rate was not a problem but keeping a cool head and your wicket under pressure is a lot easier said than done! Luke and Rob put on an important partnership of 30 odd with Luke hitting some mighty blows; targeting the short legside boundary at one end with great effect. Rob departed caught going for a big shot which bought Tony to the crease with 60/70 to get and only three wickets left as we had ten….runs were still coming quickly but there was some good deliveries mixed in which all added to the tension! Tony tried to sweep a straight delivery which he inadvertently let hit his pads which bought “Petal Perton” to the crease….in-between times Luke seemed to be hitting a boundary or two every over which was bringing the total ever nearer to the Vags grasp….Cool hand Luke had a minor blip when caught on the boundary only for the fielder to lean on the fence which bought up Luke’s third maximum of the innings and a great cheer from the Vags! Runs were coming quicker and more easily now as the wheels started to come off the Waverley bowling display which was all down to how easy Will and particularly Luke made the run chase look, it was a credit to them both when Luke hit the winning boundary with 5 overs still to bowl which made skip a very happy boy!!

All in all it was an excellent win against a really nice bunch of guys. It was a close game, hard fought but friendly and although Waverley were disappointed to lose they were all smiles by the time we hit the pub for a very enjoyable session. Definitely a fixture we would like to repeat in the future.

Big thanks as usual go to Gareth for his excellent tea and a big congratulations to Ali for making a good début for us. We look forward to seeing you very soon mate! Top bowling by Perts and Tony deserved far more than the figures suggest, you need to not bowl so well boys, too good for the batsmen to hit most of the time! Tom H for an excellent innings, umpiring in a German colonel’s hat and refraining from giving a Nazi salute when giving someone out! The Skip for doing the job very well and his words of wisdom throughout plus writing a lot of this report and the Chairman for basically sorting everything out and keeping beautifully.

Roll on next week against Odiham and Greywell CC!

Luke H

Brook CC 26th May 2011 - LOST
Well, we definitely got the weather for it! As I sit here writing this I still have a slightly uncomfortable ‘glow’ around most of my exposed parts and due to wearing sunglasses do look a little like a panda! Finally a day worthy of the moniker of ‘Summer’

To be honest it was probably a little bit too hot but it made a nice change from overcast skies, drizzle and gale force winds!

As most of you know this fixture is an all day game so, surprisingly, we all arrived in good time for the 11.30am start. Skip ambled to the middle with their Captain and duly lost the toss and we were a little disappointed to find ourselves being asked to bat first on a drying pitch that certainly seemed as though it might have a bit of life in it early doors.

JB and the Chair marched out to take guard and the game began. The Brook bowling was fairly accurate (at least from one end!) and the pitch did seem to be a little two paced meaning a high degree of concentration was required to last any decent length of time. Luckily both our openers are happy to sit back and wait for the bad ball and progressed serenely to an opening partnership of 35 off 13 or so overs, only rudely interrupted by a massive swarm of bees that sent grown men (Their lot not ours!) screaming like little girls across the ground to the safety of the far boundary!) before the Chair was deceived by a bit of tennis ball bounce and the ball bounced over the shoulder of his bat and landed on top of the bails, just nicking one of them off. The Chair had looked in fairly good nick, dispatching both openers for tidy boundaries and timing the ball very well but he was caught out by this one. He left the field with 19 runs to his name. JB was joined by Tom Holland who immediately looked settled at the crease and they both continued on their merry way, slowly but securely, for another few overs until bowling changes at both ends saw Brook bring on their spinners. Well, one spinner and one seam bowler who flighted it! Tom was looking good but sadly most of his well timed strokes seemed to hit the fielder and it was as he was trying to lift the pace a little that he was deceived by their very good legspinner Methula (Brook’s paid professional who plays most of his cricket for Northern Districts (I think??) back in New Zealand!) Going for a big shot he missed out and was smartly stumped. 65 for 2 after 19 or so overs. Out walked the Skipper to join JB who was still struggling to time the ball but was showing enormous patience in the style we have become accustomed to. Skip wasted little time in despatching their good spinner for a big straight six that ricocheted back off the far sightscreen and ably assisted by JB they took us to about 85 for 3 at lunch.

Lunch was great, a selection of pates, french bread, pasta salads, cold meats and green leaf salads were very much the perfect accompaniment to a few drinks from the excellent pub opposite. Followed by some rather lovely raspberries and cream in what a delightful 40 mins spent stuffing our faces. Some may note that I make no mention of cake! Well, I never thought I would say it but cake was the last thing anyone wanted on a day as warm as this so Brook will not lose any points for this oversight as it would have been a waste of high quality confectionery items! It was very well thought out, truth be told!

JB and the Skip both went back out after gorging themselves and settled down nicely before the Skip was bowled by a good wrong’ un from the guy that was PAID TO PLAY FOR THEM! (Did I mention that before?) Out came Tom Postle to join JB who was, by now, beginning to find the middle of his bat. Tom looked very assured and dispatched a number of lovely boundaries including a lovely maximum before being caught out by one that kept a little low and being bowled by their other slow bowler Underwood (Not THAT one!) 19 for Tom. Next to depart was the excellent JB who showed remarkable patience allied with increasing aggression that saw him reach 37 before he was bowled by their pro with another great ball. It has to be said that it was nice to see a really good leg spinner operating. He had the ability to turn the ball both ways plus had a very good flipper and quicker ball. Great bloke as well!

We were now up to 120 odd for 5 and still felt as though we could reach the magical 200 mark in order to post a defendable total but sadly their wily leggie had other ideas and soon accounted for Pete Hoskins with a quicker ball that went the other way and cleaned him up. Don’t worry Pete, no shame in that! At the crease now was Rob Hyndman and Mark Henderson and both played comfortably, Mark hitting a lovely boundary before being choked out by a bowling change that saw his eyes light up and smash a full toss straight to the waiting fielder. Luke H came out to join Rob and was happy to watch their leggie’s last over of his spell from the non strikers end. Rob hit him for a gorgeous slog sweep 4 that pinged to the boundary then defended two more balls that fizzed and popped from the by now dry surface before the leggie, on being told he was being rested and was on 4 wickets decided to bowl a stunner on his last ball that cleaned up Rob. Rob had no chance really and you did get the impression the bowler was playing with us all a little. He finished with excellent figures of 14-2-49-5 and did look a class apart with the ball. Rob’s innings shouldn’t be dismissed though, very, very promising from the new recruit, looking forward to seeing more from you soon buddy! Luke H hit a couple of boundaries before hitting one straight down the throat of a fielder on the boundary and the final pair of Will P and new recruit Tom Owen (that’s 3 Tom’s in the side without Mr Willings!) scored a few before Tom smashed one back at the bowler that he stuck a hand out at and parried to the fielder at mid off! It had been one of those innings really! Total of 158 was 50 odd light but at least it was enough to make a game of it!

Seeing as we had only lasted 40 odd mins since lunch we took to the field almost immediately with the opening partnership of Hendo and Perts running in hard (well Hendo anyway!) swinging and seaming the new cherry beautifully. In fact Hendo accounted for their skipper and No.1 bat in the first over of the innings with a beauty that smashed into the stumps from a thick edge. Fully deserved as the previous ball he had been caught in the slips but all were unsure as to whether it carried. Perts at the other end, in more of a state than usual due to an unwanted man-love incident the previous evening started to settle into a decent line and length and was swinging the ball both ways although it did seem, judging by his general demeanour, that he wasn’t sure which way it would go himself! Both bowlers beat the bat regularly but the nature of the pitch meant anything even a modicum short sat up to be hit and runs did come, not exactly easily, but certainly at a decent rate. With tea approaching one over from Tom Owen put some nice pressure on the batters and we went to Tea with them 1 down for 50 odd.

Another great tea, cake, excellent sandwiches, swiss roll plus the leftover pate, bread and pasta salads! Lovely stuff!

We took to the field, by now melting in the extreme heat and Tom continued from one end with the Skip taking over from Perton (who retired to the boundary with a wire brush and some dettol) down the slight hill. Tom’s bowling definitely has some promise but the lack of any recent cricket meant he did struggle for line and length and was replaced fairly soon after by Luke H. The skipper was charging in down the hill and made both batsman hop around and play and miss and Luke unable to repeat the big turn of their (Professional) leg spinner settled into a decent line and length. Actually Luke H had their other opener plump LBW first ball but didn’t appeal (nor did anyone else!) as he felt it was going down leg only to be told by Garty that he would have given it if he had appealed! Dammit! The Skip soon accounted for their No.3 with a great ball that seamed back and bowled him and Luke got their other opener LBW with one that kept low. They were now 75 for 3. They now had two young players at the crease, both of whom looked pretty decent but Luke accounted for one of them when he was beaten in the flight (well he went for a slog!) and was excellently caught at mid off by the Skipper. A really good catch as the ball went high. Great work! Out came the new batsman and as the batsman had swapped ends and the over had been called found himself taking guard to the fired up Skip who charged in and immediately had him pinned dead in front of middle! Another great ball from the Skip, who bowled with great aggression and control all day on a pitch that allowed little room for error. They were now 100 or so for 5. We had a chance, a slim one granted but a chance all the same. We all looked up as we high fived and talked up our chances to be greated by the guy who was paid to play for Brook striding to the crease. (It’s nice to know we have 11 players to play for us without resorting to paying anyone isn’t it?)

Anyway, he and the young lad at the other end settled down very nicely, the pro smashing the ball to all parts including a great ‘Dil’ scoop esqe shot from Hendo that sailed over the Chairs head for 6. In the end he was just a bit too good for us and quickly finished the game, smashing 46 not out off about 20 balls! It should be said that he was a really nice guy and very, very talented so although it was felt that a game without him would have been much closer (5 wickets and 46 not out) it would have been poorer without him in many ways.

In the end Brook won deservedly by 5 wickets. The Skip finishing with excellent figures of 2-24 off 8 and Hendo 1-37 being the pick of the bowlers. We repaired to the excellent Dog and Pheasent opposite for evening drinks in the shaded courtyard and what a lovely evening it was! A perfect end to a , near, perfect day!

Special mentions must, as always, be given to Garty for umpiring both ends all day on arguably the hottest day of the year and for getting EVERY decision absolutely spot on……………as usual! A fine testament to his powers of concentration. Just wish we could get a bat back in your hands mate! Rob Hyndman for an excellent little cameo that bodes well for the future. The Chairman and JB for another solid start to the innings, JB, glad you have found a little form mate! And the Chair also for an excellent keeping display. All the Tom’s for being top lads, playing well and being good guys to have around, you are all a very good fit for the club and Pete H for an excellent fielding display! I’m going to give our man of the match this week to the Skip. Well done mate, great to see you bowling like that again.

Back to Bentworth next week, hopefully the weather will continue, got to get back to winning ways lads!

Sorry if I have missed anyone out, it’s never intentional!

Luke H

Willow Tree CC 19th June 2011 - LOST
For what seemed like the first time in ages we awoke to a fairly dry morning and it looked as though a day without any rain interruptions was on the cards!

We got to the ground in good time and were informed by the opposition that as they only had 9 and 2 had to leave early they would like to field first then open the batting with the two early leavers in order to allow them to get home by 7! This seemed a little bit harsh as by the looks of the pitch it was going to be very, very tricky to bat on early on.

Sure enough the skipper, in the spirit of fair play, relented and our openers, the Chairman and the Skipper himself took to the field. Making up the numbers for the opposition was our own William Perton as, somehow, we had managed to select 12 for this game! Willow Tree’s openers tore in (well, ambled briskly!) and our initial feelings about the pitch were soon proved correct!

The first wicket fell to the single most low-down piece of shady beastliness since 1939. Our own Perton, picking up the ball one handed in the gully, turned and in one smooth (ish) action threw down the stumps at the bowlers end to run out the Chairman with little more than a handful of runs on the board. It was a fine piece of fielding but will never be spoken of again.

Out strode Ross (Scotty) Howard who sadly survived only a few balls before being caught LBW and being given the finger from the umpire. Frustrating for Ross as he had been looking to build on his recent good form but as it turned out he was far from the only one to struggle. The Skipper was now joined by Tom Humphrey and both looked to be settling in nicely before, in quick succession, first the skipper fell, getting a thickish edge and caught in the gully then Tom fell to a gentle half pitch ball that got to head height and he could only hit it back to mid off. This was not the start we had planned and survival seemed to be the key from now on. Huge chunks were coming out of the pitch and the inconsistent bounce and pace was proving incredibly hard to cope with. If the ball hit a green spot it would dig in, stop and either shoot low or bounce to chest high and if pitched up and kissing the surface would come through quickly…………at chest high!

By now we had our 2 débutantes, Stuart Davidson (met by Steve Hyde on a recent trip to Cuba) and Rob Hyndman, taking a break from his degree in Astro Physics to join us. By the way Rob, can you fix Richard Hill’s telescope? Thanks mate!

It wasn’t a great way to make their débuts and sadly neither lasted very long, Stuart displaying a fantastic eye and some impressive power to dispatch the ball to the boundary a couple of time before being bowled by one that kept low and Rob, having had an early delivery whistle inches past his nose then got another ball that lifted off a good length and being caught off the glove in the slips. By this time we were 38 for 6 and it looked as though we were going to struggle to make 50. This looked even more likely as Luke H fell to a ball that stopped on him and got caught and bowled! 41 for 7! Tony Reid came in and gave good support to Richard Hill, although he didn’t amass a big score Tony did stick around long enough to allow Richard to get settled and this effort shouldn’t be overlooked. Sadly Tony departed but we needn’t have worried though as by now Richard Hill was beginning to settle down and once he was joined by Steve Hyde at the crease they both began to make it look very easy. Or at least easier than the rest of us had made it! Richard, who really got his head down and nudged and nurdled with the occasional booming drive began to get the scoreboard ticking and he was ably abetted by Steve who played a few exquisite shots, not least off his nephew Will in the later overs, hitting him for a number of boundaries and obviously enjoying every moment! Richard and Steve put on 91 for the 9th wicket. This was a truly excellent partnership. Given the pitch they were playing on and the straight bowling it really does warrant the superlatives. As the game moved on Richard began to get into his stride, clearing the boundary with a big straight drive for six and passing his 50. Sadly Steve fell 9 short of the 100 run partnership, allowing Phil Kenelly to stride manfully to the crease in order to watch the last ball from the non strikers end!

Steve ended up on 36 and Richard 65 n.o. and our final total of 177 was excellent given the conditions and the pressure the two were under to post something meaningful. Brilliant effort chaps!

We took tea and by now the sun had come out which had started to dry the pitch considerably but we felt that 177 gave us a good chance of a victory if we could get into the wickets early on. Tony R opened from one end, swinging the ball a little and bowling with a very good line and length with Steve H at the other bowling his deceptively quick seamer. Their opening pair (the two who had to leave early!) had little difficulty coping bar the odd play and miss, as by now the pitch had flattened considerably and anything even just short of a length just sat up to be hit. Neither batsman displayed any sparkling technical ability but both had a very good eye and very quickly took the score on to 70 odd without loss. Change at both ends as Luke H and Richard Hill came on. Both were played comfortably whilst they looked for their line and length and this necessitated a change at one end with the Skip taking the ball to , hopefully, use his height to try to get something out of the by now, flat, road of a track! It didn’t take long with the skipper taking the wicket of their opener who had just past 50 with a great ball that seamed a little and took his stumps half way up. By now they were on 110 for 1 with little more than 60 to get and 18+ overs to do it in.

At this point wickets started falling with a little more regularity but runs were coming regularly too. Luke H picked up 3, one bowled, one stumped (excellent work by the Chairman, quick hands!) and one lbw. Maybe our luck was changing? Sadly it wasn’t to be as a combination of tricky fielding conditions, gloomy light and a pitch that by now was fairly easy to bat on conspired to allow them to score the winning runs with 3 overs remaining.

Annoying, as it really had been a game of two halves, but a close result all the same against a good bunch of guys.

Special mentions this week must go to Richard Hill for a really, really excellent innings in very tricky conditions and Steve Hyde for coping just as admirably and for showing his young nephew that he doesn’t have all the family cricketing ability! It’s certainly the best Steve had batted for quite a while. Without these two and the efforts of Tony holding up an end for a while we could easily have been rolled for 60 or less! The chairman also kept very well and both our new recruits, Rob and Stuart looked lively in the field.

A good day, followed by a good session in the pub and home to bed!

Next week, Brook CC for our annual all day game. Hopefully the weather will be good and we can get back to winning ways.

Once again, sorry if I have missed anything out or got any of the stats wrong, doing this from memory as usual!

Luke H

Little Marlow CC 5th June 2011 - RAIN STOPPED PLAY
Our annual trip to Little Marlow is always thought of as a good fixture,
great batting track, lovely ground and two decent pubs within a firm
front foot drives distance! The weather on the way up was not promising
but, having met up at the ground it was dry and play looked as though it
would start on time. Special thanks must be made to Peter Harvey who
stepped up to the plate at the very last minute to come and play for us.
Significantly strengthening both our batting and bowling…..oh, and
Will Perton who decided, at the 11th hour, that he would come and play
for us instead of meeting some girl he’s been on about for the last 3
weeks! Glad to see he’s got his priorities right! This of course allowed
Andy Kennedy a much needed rest after exerting himself in a game on the
Saturday down in Somerset!

Taking over the captaincy in the absence of Bootsy was the Chairman and
he duly wandered out to the middle with their very affable skipper and
lost the toss. Marlow deciding to have a bowl first.

As has become the norm our two openers J. Bulford (JB) and The Chairman
strode out to the middle to meet the best that Marlow had to offer. How
nice it is to have a firm, set, opening pair, at the very least it
allows us to make a couple of runs back to the pub for provisions! The
Marlow opening bowlers were pretty good, offering a decent pace,
although not quick, and a touch of movement in the air although nothing
extravagant. As usual the pitch played beautifully with the ball coming
onto the bat very nicely and a fast outfield giving full value for
shots. Our erstwhile pair settled in quite nicely and both looked to be
timing the ball beautifully, The chairman with a fine square cut for a
boundary early on and JB with a couple of boundaries, one a fizzing
drive through the off side. Unfortunately it wasn’t to last as, first
the Chairman nicked one to the keeper then, a few balls later JB dragged
one onto his stumps. Batting at 3 was Peter Harvey and 4, a débutante
for the Vags, Peter Hoskings.

We had high hopes for the pair of them and they both settled in
nicely before Peter Harvey was bowled! Not what we have come to expect
from the player but I reckon he is still in a lot of credit for previous
runs scored! It was now 28 for 3 and we needed someone to lead from the
front. Luckily Peter Hoskings started flaying the ball to all parts, one
particular straight drive that absolutely pinged from his bat and was
still going when it hit the hedge at the far end of the ground! Pete had
been joined at this stage by Mr Willings, a man with more unidentifiable
stains on his trousers than even Mark Henderson! Tom picked up were he
pretty much leaves off every time he plays these days, caressing the
ball around the field and generally looking as though he knows what he’s
doing. He even hit a very fine 6, whipped off his legs that sailed over
the boundary. The pair of them put on 41 before Tom unleashed the
‘Willings-patented’ square cut that looped up to point and he was
caught. Apparently it’s ‘his best shot?!?!?!’ 69 for 4! Tom Humphries,
fresh off the back of his unbeaten 94 a couple of weeks ago came out to
join Pete but sadly departed soon after, missing a straight half volley
and leaving the excellent Garty with no choice but to raise the finger.
Ross Howard soon followed him as an unfortunate calling error/mix-up
meant he was stranded and the fielder hit direct from 20 odd yards. Good
bit of fielding actually although I am pretty sure Ross is less
appreciative! Shame as Ross had been looking to build on his recent good
form but it happens! 86 for 6!

Luke H came out to join Peter and he looked to play himself in for a
while before doing anything stoopid! Peter was still going well at the
other end and they moved the score on to 101 before Peter missed one
that kept a little low and was bowled. 32 for Peter and a good début!
Out strode Bertie K to join Luke but he sadly departed first ball,
deceived in the flight by their wily leggie and smacked one straight to
cover! 101 for 8! Luke was joined by Phil Kennelly and the pair of them
put on 50 for the 9th wicket. Luke finally finding some form and
stroking 7 boundaries in his 32 and Phil at the other end hitting some
gorgeous shots including the shot of the day, a back foot off drive that
he literally stroked to the boundary, really classy! Sadly it didn’t
last as Luke, roughed up by two chest high full tosses in a row, one
that he top edged into the grill on his helmet, departed LBW to a
straight ball. Thank god for helmets though, that would have been very
nasty! Perts came out to the middle but sadly Phil was bowled shortly
after and the innings ended on 154 all out.

We were probably 50 or so light but we had a decent enough target to
bowl at and the weather by this point was definitely taking a turn for
the worse making a result look unlikely.

Tea, As has been noted before in previous match reports it is poor form
to criticize any form of free food but the tea was appalling. A small
selection of tuna sandwiches, 1 ropey looking pizza slice and some form
of breakfast cereal covered in chocolate is not ample for growing lads
and was the cause of many comments from our lads. They may be used to
rubbish teas, we’re not! Add to this the fact that they ran out of milk
and tea before we all actually got a cup and I think it might be
pertinent to bring our own pack lunch next year. Poor effort on the
whole and duly noted for the future!

We took to the field in a light drizzle, our opening bowlers Bertie K
and Perts no doubt charged up by the lack of Tunnock’s Teacakes, Lemon
Drizzle cake and other confectionery items deemed essentially to a good

Perts started off first and certainly bowled as well as he has done for
a long while. Lots of aggression, great pace, excellent bounce and carry
meant both their openers missed more than they hit and both were lucky
not to be out sooner. Perts accounting for their No. 2 in fine style,
beating him 3 times with quick lifting balls then finally catching his
handle/glove and the chance being snaffled by the Chairman behind the
stumps. Bertie K at the other end was also offering excellent pace and a
modicum of outswing and also had both players missing more than they hit
and edging over and wide of the slips almost every over. Two excellent
opening spells from the boys and very unlucky not to take more! On
another day they might have pocketed 2 or 3 each.

At this point the rain became heavier and it was decided to retire to
the pavilion to see if it would improve. Sadly we couldn’t stuff our
faces with the leftovers from tea as there hadn’t been enough to go
around the first time….RUBBISH! Like living in communist Russia
although, I would imagine they might have attempted to pad out the
offerings with some boiled cabbage or some such other depressing food
stuff. Anything would have been better than nothing.

The rain subsided and we once again returned to the middle. Luke H
coming on for the by now bedraggled and hungry Perts and Bertie K
continuing to bowl from the other end. By now it was dark, wet and a bit
cold and all of us were far more keen to go to the pub than to continue
but in the spirit of the match we didn’t moan about the wet ball, sodden
outfield, and near darkness………much! Bertie K did, however have
their other opener caught at mid on with a truly exceptional catch from
JB. Standing as I was at first slip I saw the ball all the way and not
only was it hit very hard by the batsman but it also dipped and swung a
little on it’s way to meet JB’s hands inches from the ground. Probably
the catch of the season so far and testament to John’s level of
concentration as I doubt, by this point, anyone else on the ground would
have caught it! Excellent work! Well bowled to Bertie too, he deserved
an awful lot more from an excellent opening spell.

By now the rain had come back and this, allied to a surprisingly good
cricket ball that still had the lacquer on after 50 overs meant a large
number of deliveries were flying out in all directions. Luke H bowling a
couple of overs and Phil K one. Luckily for us the umpires soon
succumbed to the gentle persuasion and removed us all from the field a
final time. Within 5 mins the rain came down even harder and it was
decided to retire to the Queens Head for welcome refreshment.

Lovely pub, lovely barmaid, great beer, good bunch of guys from both
sides and a most enjoyable day, other than the rain of course! Roll on
next week, if you haven’t got your name down yet then do it as
Washington are a good bunch and it’s at the home of Vagabond
cricket……….Bentworth! Hopefully the weather might be a little more
summery too….

Special mentions to Garty for coming such a distance, standing in the
rain, not getting any decisions wrong and basically being there, it’s a
nicer day when Garty’s around! Peter Hoskings for a great début,
bringing us one of Tendulker’s actual bats for us to gawp at and fitting
in very well, hope to see you again very soon! Andy Kennedy for his
tireless effort to find an 11th player that paid of in the nick of time
and to all the members of both sides for making what could have been a
bit of a miserable day into a very enjoyable one, weather excepted!

Luke H

Newport Inn CC May 22nd 2011 - WON
Right, once again I am doing this from memory as I can’t find the scorebook……again, so if I miss anything or anyone out then I’m sorry!

The day started bright, breezy and a little rainy at Skip’s house for a full english, a few cans of medium strength lager, some gin and tonics and a glass of Benedictine (more on this later) Big thanks to the Skip for the hospitality, it obviously seemed to have the desired effect as can be seen below!

We arrived at the ground via The Sun ( just for a couple of pints!) and the weather looked pretty good on the whole, still blowing a gale but bright interludes and the odd sprinkling of rain, nothing too serious though. Skip wandered out to the middle for the toss and something happened and we ended up batting first. I shall give Skip the benefit and say he won the toss but I honestly don’t know.

JB and the Chair (our own Strauss and Cook these days!) ambled out to the middle and opened the batting in the middle of the only serious rain of the day. It only lasted for 2-3 overs though and after that the sun finally came out. Once again they both did exactly what was required.
The bowling was fairly pedestrian, one straight up and down, no real pace but fairly straight and the other a legspinner who turned the ball a lot but bowled a lot of bad balls. He was capable of bowling the odd jaffa though! Our esteemed opening pair both got their heads down and put on 40 odd for the first wicket, once again creating the base for our innings. Sadly The Chair fell LBW shortly followed by JB who was bowled off his pads (I think! Most of this is guesswork to be honest!) In for the Chair came Skip and in for JB came Ross-Scott ‘Chip’ Howard. The Skip started off in a blinding fashion, timing the ball sweetly and it was a surprise when he fell fairly early on after mistiming a glance off his legs, his leading edge being snapped up at mid on. This brought Tom Humphries to the crease and both he and ‘Chip’ Howard got their heads down and played very well from there on. Not too much else to report here though…..

Aaaah, that wouldn’t really be fair would it? Actually Chip Howard went on the record his highest score (so far) for the Vags with a great innings of 60 something not out. He played shots all around the wicket off back foot and front and looked very, very assured. Particularly great were one late cut and a great back foot off drive that one bounced it’s way to the fence. All that with a 15yr old bat that has seen slightly better days! Tom at the other end was progressing along very nicely, his foot work was great and made all the better by it being his first innings since the VP game last season! They both kept the run rate ticking over very nicely and, as tea approached, Tom really stepped on the gas, hitting one of their spinners for a flurry of boundaries to take our total to 248 and his personal tally to 94 not out. An excellent effort from both of them. Have the Vags learned how to bat?

A great Gareth tea was polished off with much aplomb by both sides and we felt fairly confident that we had a total we could defend.

Opening our bowling from one end was Will ‘Larry Flint’ Perton fresh from a 48 hour bender, no sleep and the nastiest glass of herb based liquer (benedictine) known to man. At the other end, the height of professionalism himself Tony Reid grabbed the ball. The wind was back up by now making bowling very tricky but both Will (amazingly) and Tony (less amazingly) both bowled very well. Tony taking the first wicket in the first over (it might of been his second over actually, I can’t
remember) bowling one of their openers with a great yorker. Tony was making the ball nip around nicely and although struggling a little for length (The wind a big factor here) bowled an immaculate line. Will at the other end pretty much picked up where he left off last week. His first over was fabulous. He bowled full, with very good pace and accounted for two batsmen in 2 balls with 2 excellent swinging balls that completely flummoxed the batsmen and hit the stumps.

By now it was approximately 3 for 3 after about 3 or 4 overs and we were definitely on top! Both our openers continued to cause problems to the batsmen Will ending up with figures of 5-3-3-3 (It was something like that anyway) and Tony with 1 for 10 or so off 5. Change at both ends with Luke H coming on for Tony and Paul Hibbert replacing Perts. Luke was ably assisted by the wind that help drift the ball in to the right handers and took a wicket with his first ball, bowling him middle stump, next ball up a very good shout for LBW which was turned down then a wicket next ball. LBW to a ball that was hitting all three! Hibbs bowled his usual perfect line and length, made even more impressive by the gale blowing across the ground, he caused all the batsmen problems with his flight and deserved more than he got! Luke got another in his next over, caught very well by Tom H and then 2 in the next over, one bowled and another catch by Tom. Luke finished with 5 for 25 or so and Hibbs although wicketless definitely contributed to those wickets too having bowled so tightly. Phil K came on for Hibbs and bowled beautifully again. Great action, very cunning line (right arm around) and an excellent length. No wickets today for Phil but a good example of what he is capable of. Saman replaced Luke at the other end and almost immediately polished off their innings with a ball that swung both ways and seamed leaving the batsman with little choice but to nick it to gully! (Actually it was a half tracker the batsman only just reached that he looped up to the covers but this description sounds much
better!) Newport 48 ish all out!

We repaired to The Sun in good time to get stuck in to the numerous jugs that were bought (Chip Howard, Tom Humphries, Luke H and Saman) and spent the rest of the evening discussing Will’s porn industry job and the drawbacks of trying the burn the Kindle edition of the Koran….(Thanks Tom!)

Another convincing win for the Vags, great batting, great bowling and some pretty decent fielding too! Not sure how this has all come about but let’s keep it up guys! Man of the Match is very hard to pick. ‘Chip’
Howard for his maiden, unbeaten 50 for the club? Tom H for his 94*?
Perts for basically ripping the heart out of their line up in 2 balls? I can’t pick one really so it will be shared between all 3! Another special mention for Saman taking his first wicket for the club, Skip, for, well, being Skip and being damn good at it and JB and the Chair for once again setting us on our way so well.

Excellent stuff boys, looking forward to the next one!

Luke H

Wally's Hammonds 15 May 2011 - WON
Skip won the toss and elected to bat first, a brave move after our performance last week but as it turned out a fairly inspired one. JB and the Chairman strode gamely out to the middle to face the opening bowlers of this new team. The going was slow as they bowled excellently, not a lot of movement but very straight and a good length. Our openers saw out the first 15 or so overs in a very sedate fashion causing consternation amongst those left in the hutch regarding the pace of the innings. As it turned out this was exactly what we needed as the pitch was two paced and had variable bounce and the platform JB and the Chair gave us set us up later in the innings once the new ball pair were replaced. JB began to time a few lovely drives and the Chairman some cuts and pulls that started to increase our run rate. JB fell to their first change spinner who bowled with great flight although not much turn (this was more down to the pitch than anything else) and out strode the skipper who hit a few lusty blows before falling to a mistimed drive that looped up to the mid off fielder. Next up was the first of the 2 Tom’s making their debut for us. He looked very assured at the crease played all around the wicket and basically looked like he knew what he was doing! A refreshing change for a Vags batting line up! By this time the Chairman had fallen and he was replaced by Saman who succumbed to an LBW within a couple of overs. He was by no means the last person to fall in this manner. The second Tom arrived at the crease and immediately put us all to shame, timing the ball beautifully, and mixing up some controlled aggression with a very deft touch here and there. The rest of us chipped in where we could and we completed our innings on 158 a.o.

Tea was excellent, supplied by Mary at The Sun in the absence of our own Gareth. A disturbing lack of Lemon Drizzle and my new favourite Rhubarb cake but a great effort all in all and much appreciated!

We took to the field feeling that although 158 gave us something to bowl at we might be 20-30 light. As it transpired we were wrong! Taking the new ball were Will Perton and Tony Reid and both started off in the same fashion as the oppo’s bowlers. Excellent line and length from them both but added to this they both got the ball to move, off the pitch and in the air. Once the first wicket fell, a full delivery from Tony that hit the base of off stump, they didn’t really stop falling. Will ending up with a 5 for bowling some beautiful variations including 2 absolute jaffa’s one that pitched middle and hit the off stump and another to their best batsman (who actually looked very useful) that fizzed past his outside edge. Special mention should go to Phil Kennelly who snaffled two catches at mid on when the batsmen mistimed Pert’s slower ball. Tony took 3 although he was very unlucky to have a couple of LBW’s turned down that looked fairly adjacent from where I was standing! The Hammonds innings had descended into complete disarray as at this point they were 8 down for 20 odd! In the spirit of competition the Skip replaced Tony with Phil K at one end and Pert’s (who was beginning to look a bit ropey from a heavy night) with Paul Hibbert. Phil starts his first over and almost immediately bowls their number 7 off an inside edge. 9 down and 26 or so on the board. Phil’s first wicket for the club and allied to his two good catches a very promising start for him! Keep it up mate! At the other end Hibbs did his usual, perfect flight, a bit of turn and a great line and length. It seemed unlikely that a recovery was on the cards for the Hammonds and this was proved to be true as Paul mopped up the tail with a well flighted ball that took the number 11’s middle stump. 37 all out! I might just mention that Perts by this point had thrown up twice at mid on and due to this complete evacuation had livened up considerably, even more so at the thought of being in the pub by 6.30!

All in all a really good day, a bit bloody cold but very enjoyable and it is nice, just occasionally, to absolutely thrash someone! Man of the match is Perts without a doubt who really bowled as well as I have seen him bowl. Special mentions to Tom Postle and Tom Holland for some excellent batting on a difficult surface and for being top blokes, by the sounds of it this will not be the last we see of them! Our openers for doing exactly what our opposition failed to do and battening down the hatches, it was this that gave us the platform to win the game and last but by no means least Tony for an excellent spell of bowling that mirrored the performance he put in in the nets over the winter.

The oppo were a really good bunch, played it in exactly the right spirit and I think it’s fair to say that they are a better side than this performance might suggest, they are keen to play us again and we look forward to a rematch!

Excellent work fellas, lets keep this going!

Luke H

Broadhalfpenny Down CC 8 May 2011 - LOST
Started off as such a good day I woke to sunshine we had an umpire for the match and I won the toss……

Inserted the opposition as the pitch looked a little dicey, having had our opponents 8 or 9 wickets down the year before I did not want them shutting the game out from ball one!

Tony and Richard Hill formed an excellent opening pair with little luck for either bowler with LBW appeals being turned down on a regular basis as the bowlers exploited early movement off the pitch and in the air…Special mention to Richard Hill who has only ever had the pleasure of bowling up the Ben Nevis like slope/mountain at Broadhalfpenny bowled an exceptional line and length throughout his 8 over opening spell. We bowled and fielded well as it was our first outing this year and if we had a bit more luck with catches and people not bowling no-balls (skipper) when taking a wicket we could have run through them as both left armers in Hibbert and Harding were on good form.

Broadhalfpenny Down: 180/4 off 42 Over’s – The break enabled tea to be taken which resulted in the best Rhubarb cake which we all had a number of helpings…which thinking about it may have resulted in our lackluster batting display!

Wickets fell a plenty with our top order batsmen in very generous mood with only Tom Willings and JB making it into double figures we were starring down the barrel at 60 odd for 8 but a spritely partnership between Hibbert/Tony and Willings (running for Paul) started to get the opposing skipper a bit twitchy as the over’s started to decrease but alas we could not hold out as we departed to the bar with a 97 run loss and pride dented…..Chairman made a small presentation to the Broadhalfpenny Skipper of a Vags shield which they gratefully accepted, I am sure this will keep us as a regular fixture for years to come.