2012 Match Reports
Isle of Wight Tour 14th -16th September 2012
After assembling in Southampton, the Vagabonds were transported aboard the QEII by individual sedan chair (the Queen herself having personally requested that we utilize her vessel for the treacherous 45 minute journey). Nokes.P caused quite a stir by arriving in the traditional dress of the island of Hawaii, which he owns. Eleven cricket nets were set up on the deck, and each Vagabond duly “padded up”. However, due to an unfortunate oversight there were no professionals aboard for bowling, and the Gentlemen of the Vagabond XI were forced to retire to the bar. This disappointment was rapidly forgotten upon arrival in Cowes, where the touring party discovered that the whole town had come out to greet them, and that there was pink-and-red bunting in the streets. This scene was to be repeated everywhere the team went.
The Vagabonds were to stay in the South, and after a most intriguing automobile tour of the virtually uncharted island center (where the stick-warriors are drawn from), the team ate at the most agreeable Spyglass Tavern (Hyde.S breaking the record of Boon.D of Australia by consuming half the prawns in Ventnor). The Vagabonds were then received by the High King and Nuclear General of Ventor – a drunk Scotsman who couldn’t remember his own name and wanted to fight Willings.T. The team was taken on an open-top omnibus tour of the town, stopping at almost every public house to greet the ecstatic locals. We eventually put down at an establishment known as “The Confused Bull” to enjoy a marvelous new creation in British cuisine called “Tapas”, which was invented in Coventry. Hyde.S and Nokes.P entertained the other customers with some traditional English hymns whilst the rest of the team built up a complex, asymmetric rhythm by banging on the table. The other customers were so entertained that they became exhausted and had to retire to their beds. Eventually “The Confused Bull” ran out of wine, and the Vagabonds trundled back to their quarters at 2am. It is this level of professional commitment that sets the Vagabonds apart from other well known touring sides such as the All England XI.
Saturday was game day. In a move designed to demonstrate the masculine virility of the Vagabonds, Captain Boote.R decided to field in the baking sunshine. The ground was in a natural bowl that Chairman theorized had been moulded by a wayward V2 rocket. This was to prove something of a handicap as despite great enthusiasm (especially from Nokes.P and Postle.T) the unusually mountainous outfield hindered our attempts to take catches and prevent large numbers of runs being scored. Perton.W had a torrid time opening up from the Alpine End as Ventnor had doctored the wicket in such a way that balls pitched in traditionally productive areas such as the off-side and the leg-side were routinely smashed to the boundary. It was no better for Hyde.S as a number of ugly, poorly timed strokes that were clear edges unfairly evaded our elite fielding unit, often by 70 or 80 metres. On a ground with more traditional topography these would all have been out.
What was becoming apparent was that Ventnor had enlisted the services of a COUNTY PROFESSIONAL. This, along with a number of other irregularities had led Tweaker to initiate a quiet investigation that would have serious ramifications for the result of the game. As the score reached 130/0 from 13 overs Captain Boote.R was reluctantly forced to strengthen the slip corden by removing himself from it. Four overs later the COUNTY PROFESSIONAL reached his century, an unnecessarily aggressive affair indicative of one with a sexual disease of the mind. The applause of the crowd was exclusively for the Vagabonds, who had sportingly humoured this severely damaged individual. In a remarkable display of “The Spirit of the Game”, the COUNTY PROFESSIONAL then refused to retire his innings and went on to flay 150 at a strike rate approaching 250%. Ventnor had clearly not consulted the Vagabonds website.
It is difficult to assess our bowling except to say that it was all equally hazardous to the spectators. Howard.R had a rare opportunity to bowl, his run up measurement procedure particularly unconvincing. “I’ve nothing to lose” he said, “except the ball” came the reply. One particularly lush full-toss from Henderson.M disappeared out of the ground and unfortunately killed a cyclist. Henderson.M’s first three overs yielded more than 60 runs, an astonishing personal achievement. However, he then adjusted his radar to such an extent that the ball actually started to land on the pitch, and wickets began to tumble. By the time he took his fifth, Ventnor had collapsed to 317/6. Davidson.S took his first tour wicket, an edge to gulley that Bruck.J appeared to catch three times as it made its way towards him. There was some excellent catching in the deep from Willings.T, his second initially striking the hands so hard that it momentarily turned the surface of his flesh into plasma. This greatly aided him in snaffling the rebound. Chairman.J was excellent behind the stumps as ever; Howard.R remarked that much of his leg-side work resembled the slow motion scene from “Platoon”. We were also treated to a pair of thrilling “dives” from Perton.W. It was virtually impossible to tell that he had consumed two fried breakfasts.
Dragging himself to his feet for the second time, Perton.W was quickly recalled to the attack, more than anything because Captain Boote.R wanted to avoid any further “Crimes Against Groundfielding”. He immediately struck a septuagenarian lower order batsman in the chest with a particularly ferocious beamer. After some consultation it was controversially declared a no-ball. The batsman bravely played on, though it was clear to all present that he wouldn’t last the night as he had clearly ruptured several important chambers in his heart. Towards the end of the innings the trademark Vagabonds variety began to tell. Davidson.S even experimented with bowling at the stumps and was rewarded with two wickets in consecutive deliveries. Tweaker had managed to procure a set of alchemical equipment from a local gypsy and was conducting tests on some samples from the previous evening; Perton.W and Davidson.S having been kind enough to perform forceful regurgitations prior to the match. Final score: Ventnor 372/9.
So the Vagabonds strode out to bat. Tweaker was called in to umpire, and thus paid very little attention to the first 14 overs. As often happens in cricket, some runs were scored and some wickets were taken. The distribution of runs scored by various batsmen was entirely within the realms of normality, and the wickets were shared amongst the bowlers in a manner that wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if one had, for example, consulted a scorebook for the purposes of writing a match report. Perhaps the most exciting moment in our innings came when a small child fell out of a tree. Whilst others outwardly displayed polite ambivalence, Davidson.S, being a rough and intimidating Scotsman, found this openly hilarious. The child was not gravely injured and was rightly chastised for A) damaging a tree and B) moving behind the bowler’s arm.
During this commotion, the innings of the Vagabonds had reached a conclusion. Henderson.M was clean bowled for 49 (which is still a jug), leaving us 220 all out. On the face of it, this was a heavy defeat for the Vagabonds. However, the Tweaker Enquiry had reached its conclusion. After analysis of various fluids, Tapas traces and empty vessels from our evening in “The Confused Bull”, Tweaker had unearthed treachery. A solution of torpor had been inserted into the 20th and final bottle of Rioja consumed the previous evening, almost certainly by the COUNTY PROFESSIONAL. This information, combined with the unflashy and respectful manner in which the Vagabonds had gone about their batting meant that the 220 scored would count for quadruple. 880 all out – the Vagabonds had won this extraordinary game by a crushing margin of 508 runs.
The victory celebration was to be held at Rex Piano Bar. Despite being the most exclusive eatery on the island it was completely empty when we arrived. Clearly the whole place had been reserved for the Vagabonds out of justified reverence (we had, after all, just smashed the island record for runs accumulated in a single innings). Besides the staff, the only other individuals present were a female Californian Pan-Pipe operator and a confusing drunk man who hovered around our table waving vaguely in the Recorder player’s direction and slurring “this iss all genuine offf course” before presenting his empty glass to whoever was seated nearest to a bottle of wine. His pure white beard was stained red in a most disconcerting manner by the end of the night. The tour policy of not revealing the exact location of our accommodation to any local was once again rigorously enforced, lest he be an actual creature of the night and/or genetically sub-normal.
Having finished her stint on the Bagpipes, the Californian approached our table, transfixed by the accuracy of our striped blazers. She invited the Vagabonds to tour her hometown “Pioneer, USA” which has zero registered cricketers and a grand total of no functional wickets. This is a better idea than it sounds. The team thoughtfully handed over all of Hyde.S’s contact details and prepared for desert – a cheesecake so sophisticated as to have virtually no flavour at all. The evening progressed along similar lines to Friday night. The highlight was when the locals presented “The Fattest Woman in Ventnor”. There was a mysterious marking on her shoulder that Perton.W later announced must have been a tattoo reading “Do Not Resuscitate”.
Game number two was against Northwood, a highly fancied chimney sweeps XI. Never before has such a dirty collection of whites been seen on a cricket field. Captain Boote.R cleverly lost the toss and we were put into bat. Bruck.J, with an increasingly impressive side parting, opened the batting with Nokes.P, who arrived wearing the traditional dress of the Island of Fiji, which he owns. Unfortunately Bruck.J was out LBW for a fine 38 (at this point Tweaker was removed from umpiring duties for repeatedly giving out top order batsmen). Postle.T joined Nokes.P at the crease and we were treated to a fine array of shots from the deft to the agri-cultured. After a strong start, the Vagabonds lost wickets at regular intervals – ever conscious of the need to sandbag after the total dominance they had showed the day before. Once again the real action was beyond the boundary, as the result of three days continuous drinking began to manifest itself in the form of life threatening air biscuits. Vagabonds were routinely forced to scatter or risk losing eyes to the poisonous fug. The most virulent offender was Hyde.S – I only see fit to single the man out as he seemed to take so much pleasure in it. The final score was 160 all out.
Tea was a masterpiece in beige. Chicken nuggets, tiny pies, individual crisp portions; surely we were never going to win after this feast. Things started well in the field – Hyde.S “The Green Comet” taking four quick wickets. But then the oldest of the chimney sweeps got going and never really stopped. The wickets dried up and the Vagabonds were defeated. Energetic work behind the stumps from Willings.T and Chairman.J could not save the day as a few too many catches dropped just short and the wides piled up in the scorebook. Tweaker was just about to chalk this one up as the first ever defeat for the Vagabonds in their 400 year history when a dossier landed on the scorer’s table. It seemed that many of the younger chimney sweep players had been forced to engage in most demeaning activities involving protective undergarments against their will (namely “gasmasking”), and been paid in Euros.
After consulting with the opposition captain it was determined that the runs scored by any chimney sweep would be awarded to the Vagabonds. That made the Vagabonds total 324/16 and the Northwood score 0/-4. The Vagabonds were therefore victorious by both 324 runs and 12 wickets. Final results on tour: Vagabonds – played 2, won 3. We returned home to find 300,00 people on the dock at Southampton. The Queen herself insisted on driving the QEII, and what a marvelous job she did. One must be cautious when passing judgment so soon, but surely this will go down in history as “The Greatest Tour”.
“Tweaker” Tom Humphrey
Tichbourne Park CC 9th September 2012 - WON
A quick turnaround bought JB and Pete Hoskins to the wicket and after the pair taking their time accessing the opening bowlers Pete fell to a good ball that cut down the hill which bought Tom and JB together who formed a good partnership of just under 50 before the opposing skipper got one to turn and bowled Tom for 25. Ali was then bowled first ball which left the Vags some work to do to chase down a competitive total, Skip and JB started slowly but had put a good platform together with JB playing a good follow up knock from his previous weeks 60. Unfortunately after tea JB had cramp which meant a brief spell off the field while trying to stretch out…..a fall off wicket and JB joined the skipper again where we carried on were we left of scoring at a good rate and were confident with 30 to go, the skipper departed having made exactly 50. JB continued to accumulate runs and with Phil K chased the score with 6 wickets, Phil K 18 not out and JB with another 65 not out which was a great end to the season beating a good TP side.
Editors Note: You forgot Stevie smashing into Ali as they both ran for the same catch. Ali got hands to it first, Stevie caught the ball as it bobbled out, the wicket was taken & Ali spent the rest of the day limping & cursing cricketers with rugby-playing physiques.
Grouse & Label 2 September 2012 - WON
Grouse & Label 20-20 Competition 26 Aug 2012 - 4th
Not the MCC 19 August 2012 - WON
setting of Bentworth….
Everyone, surprisingly, arrived on time (well the 10 of us who hadn’t
cried off the hour before) and the Skipper, on winning the toss, decided
that we would bowl first. An interesting decision but with only 10
fielders, it was felt prudent to get the ugly bit out of the way first!
We welcomed back Mark Henderson at one end, much missed with his proper
pace and swing and making his debut as an opening bowler at the other
end was Phil Kennelly. A promotion much warranted after his recent
displays. Mark started off, beating the bat regularly, and extracting
some good bounce and carry from a dryish pitch tinged with a touch of
green. His partner Phil, a touch slower, but bowling some booming
outswingers was also causing the NTMCC opening pair some problems. The
batsmen did play sensibly though and nudged and nurdled their way to 40
odd before changes at both ends bought the first
breakthrough. Paul H
with the first wicket as he accounted for their player with an excellent
ball that beat him in the flight and took his middle stump. Ali K had
come on at the other end to replace Mark H and, after taking a while to
settle into his rhythm bowled a few excellent deliveries. He took the
second wicket, his first, with a full bunger though! The batsman went
down on one knee to smash it over square leg and only succeeded in top
edging it to the Chair behind the stumps. 50 odd for 2 and the scoring
rate was slowish. Especially bearing in mind how fast the outfield was!
(Which made a really nice change!)
The Skip bought himself on to replace Ali K (Ali struggling for stamina,
as it was the last weekend of Ramadan!) and started off bowling off spin
in an effort to turn the ball away from the two left handers we were
faced with. NTMCC being a team with more than their fair share of
lefties! The Skip bowled well early on but, as is his want, soon decided
that pace was the answer. On changing back to his more familiar action
he did cause both the batsman a fair few problems. His extra height
making the ball lift alarmingly off a good length and smashing both
batsman in the nuts! No wickets had come though and with the score
moving into 3 figures the Skip decided to replace himself with the more
orthodox offspin of Budgie. James taking little more than 8 balls before
accounting for the well set batsman with a good ball that straightened a
touch and hit middle stump. 120 odd for 3. Luke H now came on at the
other end for the excellent Paul H and had nearly immediate success,
accounting for the other well set batsman with a rank long hop he hit
hard to point where it was expertly snaffled by Stuart D diving
forwards. Stuart’s first catch for the club and a good one at that. Luke
continued bowling away at one end and was soon bowling in tandem by
Stuart D and they bowled very well as a partnership. Stuart moving the
ball away from their batsman and creating a number of chances that could
have gone to hand. In the end Stuart bowled a beauty that left the right
hander took his outside edge and was well claimed by Budgie at first
slip. A proper test match wicket and nothing more than his excellent
bowling display deserved! Luke at the other end then claiming 2 wickets
in 2 balls. One an excellent catch behind by the Chairman and the second
a very adjacent lbw that was hitting halfway up middle and was pretty
difficult not to give out! Mark H chipped in with a superb run-out
picking the ball up at midwicket and throwing down the stumps from 25
yards…to account for their no 8. It was a superb performance in the
field, Tom P and Alfie (kindly lent to us by NTMCC after we were let
down) both throwing themselves about with abandon and backing up the
With their innings drawing to a close some lusty hitting ensured a total
of 183. A good total but, bearing in mind the
conditions, perhaps 50 or
so short of a match winning one. Excellent bowling and fielding from all
in very hot conditions and definitely a good ‘team’ effort.
Tea was it’s usual excellent session! Glad to see some more coronation
chicken sandwiches (Thank you Gareth!) and it was nice to sit in the
shade for a while……how often have we said that this year?
Our opening pair of the Chairman and Budgie trudged out to open up and
soon settled down. Budgie looking very comfortable, timing the ball
about the park, but the Chair falling to a straight ball that snuck
through his defences meant that the Skip soon joined his ex-St Cross
teammate in the middle. NTMCC bowled very, very straight for the entire
innings and gave us very little to hit. Most of our scoring strokes,
early on at least, coming back down the ground. Budgie timing a couple
of lovely straight drives and the Skip smashing the ball back over the
bowlers head for a huge six and then following it up with a
couple of booming drives through the covers.
Inexplicably Budgie then shouldered arms to a ball that came back a
touch and bowled him! Most unlike our ‘gun’ batsman but it’s nice to
know he’s human! The skip kept going at the other end hitting the ball
to all parts and was joined by Tom P. Sadly Tom fell soon after to a
straightish ball that was probably going on to hit middle and leg and
Paul had little choice but to raise his finger. Out to bat walked
NTMCC’s own man Alfie who batted well with the skip and to the obvious
delight (not really!) of his ‘real’ teammates dispatched one of their
openers back over his head for a big six! He carved the ball around the
field nicely. It has to be said that it is of huge credit to NTMCC that
they would lend us such a good player! Sums them up really. All really
‘proper’ people. Alfie had hit 20 odd before he fell LBW to a
straightish ball that was close to pitching outside leg but, in fairness
to our umpire, he had been
starving himself for the last couple of weeks
and was probably seeing double by now! Ali K deserves a medal just for
surviving the day without keeling over!
The score was now 100 or so for 4 and Mark H joined the Skip at the
crease. With about 17 overs left to go we required about 80 to pull off
a good win. The Skip soon perished, a poor shot by his own standards,
playing slightly around a straight one and getting castled by their
opening bowler who was still on at one end! Talk about stamina! Luke H
now joined Mark H and as he walked out the Skipper said to him. Think
about it…I don’t want to lose this! For probably the first time in
Luke’s life he actually did as he was told. Well, Mark H did as he was
told and kept Luke focused! That’s probably more accurate! Taking orders
isn’t one of my strengths! With Mark coming down the wicket at the end
of every over and imparting ‘proper’ advice about the required rate the
pair of them kept the scoreboard ticking along.
Mark timing the ball beautifully (his first match for nearly 2 months!) and Luke slashing
away at the other end. To cut a long story short. Mark and Luke put on
60, Luke hitting a big six and a number of boundaries and Mark placing
the ball between the fielders and making sure not to miss out on the
very few bad balls both batsmen were receiving. Luke fell, going for a
pre-meditated hit into the leg side and getting hit plumb in front. We
needed 18 off about 3 overs and there was still work to be done.
Phil K walked out and played a superb innings, making sure Mark kept
most of the strike but also despatching the ball when the opportunity
arose. They got the requirement to 5 runs from the last over. With the
field being brought in, the opportunity was there to ‘go over the top’
and Mark didn’t hesitate when the chance came. Stepping down the wicket
and literally smashing the second ball straight and over the boundary
for a maximum! Vags had won! And what a way to do it.
Off the last over
with a 6!
Skip hit a good 30, Luke H 35 and Mark ended on 42 not out. It’s
probably one of Mark’s best innings for the club (and that includes his
ton a couple of seasons ago!) He kept calm, he kept the people around
him calm and he lead us to a great win against a good side who had
bowled really, really well at us.
The pub session was held in high spirits afterwards and all of the NTMCC
guys came down with us….another point in their favour! It’s so nice to
play against a group of properly like-minded people. The game was played
in an excellent spirit. They bowled and batted really well and with no
little skill and probably would have deserved a win, or at least a draw.
The game really was that close, with very little to choose between the
sides. We’re proud of this win and the way we did it and because it was
against a side like NTMCC who made for fabulous opposition.
A great day in the sun….is the season really drawing to a close? I
just feel like we’re getting started now…
Eversley CC 12 August 2012 - LOST
A bright, sunny day, a few fluffy clouds and temperatures that actually
made you feel like you were playing a summer game met us as we arrived
at Eversley for our usually close annual fixture.
Sadly one of our number (JB) had misread an email and decided to go to
Bentworth instead! (All is forgiven JB, having checked the emails sent
out no mention was made of the venue in the ones I’ve seen) By the time
he did make it to the correct ground we were unfortunately in a bit of
strife (as has been the case so often this season…)
The skipper winning the toss and deciding to bat seemed like a fairly
sensible decision on the face of it but what met our top order batsmen
was a hard, pretty fast pitch offering decent amounts of movement off
the seam and some big swing. This coupled with a pair of opening bowlers
who put the ball in the right spot more often than not and more than a
few poor shots meant we soon subsided to 40 odd for 4… The Chairman
to second slip where he was very well caught, Tom W getting
yorked first ball, Tom P missing one that cut back and Luke H having a
swipe at a very wide one after playing himself in pretty well for a
couple of overs. Inexplicable really….maybe if any of us had actually
played any cricket this season we would be doing a little better? Who
Soon, the Skipper joined our debutant Josh…….errrm…..foolishly I
have no scorebook in front of me and I really can’t be bothered to go to
the car and get it as I ache a bit, so I can’t remember his second name!
These two put on a bit of a stand. Josh playing a very fine innings for
a score of 60 odd punctuated with some very fine on drives and clips off
his legs and the Skip with his usual combination of lusty blows and
vicious cuts and pulls moving the score onto 80 odd before the Skip
played a poor shot to a ball that kept a little low and was castled.
Unfortunately the innings subsided a little after this. Phil K
couple of boundaries and Steve H and Paul H nudging the ball around
before Paul unluckily got just about the only ball that stopped on this
quick pitch and got caught and bowled.
All out for 130 and nowhere near enough runs on the board…
Tea was excellent as usual, as we we have come to expect from Eversley!
Thank you very much tea ladies…
So, we took to the field more in hope than expectation. Steve H opening
up from one end and bowling with his usual control and accuracy with
Phil K at the other end struggling early on to control the prodigious
swing he produced but then settling down into a good line and length and
producing a few absolute corkers that were probably too good really!
Both our openers beat the bat regularly but it soon became apparent that
the pitch had become a lot easier to bat on and there was little to no
margin for error. Soon changes came at both ends. The guile of Paul H at
one end bought immediate rewards as he claimed an lbw.
The score was, by
now 50 odd for 1 and with 80 odd for Eversley to get, it was hard to put
them under any pressure.
Paul bowled beautifully, showing great control and causing both the
batsmen problems, it’s as well as he has bowled all year and on another
day (with a slightly more helpful pitch) he could have taken more than
the 2 he ended up with…
Luke H came on at the other end and did ok, claiming a wicket with a
decent ball that went between bat and pad but it was very difficult by now .
Stuart Davidson replaced Luke H, looking to repeat his performance of
the previous week where he took his first wicket for the club! (Which I
haven’t mentioned before as I didn’t write a match report for last
week……because it was a dreadful game!) After a couple of sighters he
soon started getting it right and went past the bat a few times.
Unfortunately no other wickets fell and the game soon ended with
Eversley hitting the runs required for the loss of 3 wickets. Paul
taking a second wicket with a caught and bowled (I think)
So, lovely company, great ground, friendly (as always) opposition, and
some great bowling by Paul H….it wasn’t enough though….
We need to get this right boys, we haven’t won for ages! Lets hope next
week against Not the MCC is a turning point….
Portchester CC 5th August 2012 - LOST
Valley End CC 22nd July 2012 - DRAWN
Apologies for my tardiness but sometimes work does get in the way of
Luckily a lot of my job for this week is done already due the the
spectacular efforts of Nicky Burridge. Check this out guys!
https://scores.vagabondscricket.com/VECC2012.html – the online version of
https://scores.vagabondscricket.com/VECC2012.pdf – This is the
downloadable pdf. file. Download this for a full on stat attack! (Wagon
Wheels, scoring rates etc etc)
Nicky compiled all these stats on her ipad using an app called
nxcricket. It seems like an amazing bit of kit to me although I’m not
sure I really want to see where I’m getting hit when I’m bowling! A huge
thank you to Nicky for doing this, it really adds another dimension to
the games. It’s almost as if we’re professional! Needless to say,
without Nicky this wouldn’t have happened!
Anyway, we won the toss (I think??) and the Skip decided to bat first.
That seemed fairly sensible as it was really quite warm
and none of us
fancied getting heatstroke. The ground was extremely picturesque with
one very short boundary and the rest being of a decent size. The pitch
itself looked dry and hard and proved to be extremely abrasive. Sadly
our own exponent of reverse swing Tony Reid decided not to turn up. The
outfield was suffering from the recent rains and was still remarkably
boggy in places, meaning that a boundary to all but the shortest side
would have to be hit very well.
The Chairman and Budge opened up for us and generally looked settled
until the Chairman got a ball that cut back a little and grubbed and it
sadly bowled him for two off his pads. This bought the Skip out to join
Budge and, well, the rest is history really! They put on 148 for the
second wicket. Budge with his usual combination of immense technique and
timing, all flicks and footwork and the Skip with a slightly (only
slightly) more aggressive approach smashing any ball offering any width.
They both looked
confident and really took the game to the Valley End
bowlers who were certainly no slouches. It was entertaining to watch
from the boundary and we all felt glad we weren’t on the receiving end
of it! Sadly the Skip fell, caught in the covers, for 66 off 59 balls
with 12 fours. An excellent effort against some decent bowling. Budgie
just kept going though. Accompanied by the ever willing Jack Bruck the
scoreboard kept ticking along nicely. Jack taking on the role of
aggressor and Budgie taking more of a back seat (for this period of the
game at least!) Jack smashing two enormous 6’s and generally looking in
great form. Jack and Budgie put on 60 for the third wicket. Budgie
bringing up his hundred in fine style with another gorgeous flick off
his legs that pinged to the square boundary. A fantastic innings and one
that was appreciated by all. Well, I say all but I think their keeper
might be having nightmares after he dropped a fairly regulation chance
when Budgie was on
With a matter of 10-15 mins left in our innings, throwing the bat was
the order of the day. Jack succumbing to a mistimed drive as he was
caught going for another maximum and then Bertie Clay falling on his
sword in fine style trying to push the score on. Vags ended on 255 for 6
with Budgie making a fine 140 (131 balls,11 fours and 4 sixes) Our total
looked to be a good one but Valley End are a good side and with one
extremely short boundary we would have to bowl well to restrict them.
Tea:- WOW! Simply put one of the finest culinary treats we have had for
a very long time. Even the bread for the enormous sandwiches was
homemade! An amazing brownie/cake chocolate contraption that accounted
for a number of our bowlers before we had even taken to the field, a
fabulous fruit salad that slipped down beautifully on such a warm day
plus numerous delights such as homemade cakes, biscuits, and a truly
amazing homemade sausage roll that would almost certainly win
Thank you Valley End…Thank you very much. You are definitely the front
runner for tea of the year!
Back to business. We took to the field 1 man down…did I mention that
Tony Reid didn’t turn up? So we knew we would have our work cut out. We
felt quietly confident if we could keep their scoring rate down we’d
have a chance but with only 10 men that was made much harder than it
should have been. Opening the bowling was Vagabonds stalwart Stevie
Hyde, who bowled as well as he has done for a long time but with very
little luck. A catch went down early, a sharp chance to the chairman but
other than that he found the pitch as hard to bowl on as Valley End’s
bowlers did. It was flat! Very flat! At the other end Stuart Davidson
opened the bowling. Perhaps a little unfair due to his lack of bowling
but needs must as we were missing our opening bowler. Stuart found it
difficult to settle into a line and length but he did manage to hit one
of the openers on the head!
That’s what opening bowlers are supposed to
do Stuart! Great work! He soon cam off to be replaced by the Skip but
the flow of runs wasn’t stemmed and soon Valley End had rocketed to 92
in just 12 overs. Changes needed to be made and they were. Luke H coming
on for the Skip and Paul H replacing Stevie who had bowled extremely
well on a less than helpful deck and had beat the bat numerous times. On
another day he would have had 3 or 4 wickets but it just wasn’t to be.
Luke struck in his second over. First removing their no.2 and skipper
lbw for 19 then following it up 2 ball later with an awful half tracker
that the new batsman smashed straight down Stevie’s throat at square
leg! Bad ball, great wicket! This triggered a bit of a collapse as
Valley End went from 92 for no loss to 123 for 4. Luke taking all 4 top
order wickets. The second 2 coming from a decent ball that turned the
other way and went through the gate and the 4th from a mistimed drive
that went out to Budgie
at cow corner who took a very good steepler.
Paul H by now had got into his rhythm and the Valley End batsmen were
finding it harder and harder to score at the required rate. Paul took
the first of his wickets with an excellent ball that went on with the
arm and took leg stump and he followed that up in his next 5 overs with
another 3! All bowled. That says all you need to know about Paul’s
accuracy. He proved really hard to get after and he fully deserved the
wickets he took. His figures of 13-2-43-4 being a great reward for a
fine display. Stevie H came back to deservedly claim the ninth wicket
with an excellent slip catch from the skip who scrambled on hands and
knees to get to a ball that was dropping in front of him. But that was
where it ended. We didn’t quite have enough to remove their last batsman
and the game ended in a draw.
It was a most enjoyable game played in an excellent spirit between two
good sides. Special mentions should go to their very sharp
bowler Edward Lea who on another day might have taken more wickets than
the 4 he did take and A Reedman their opener who hit a good 63. For us,
the Skip for a fine 66, some excellent fielding from Rob Hyndman,
protecting the shortest boundary as he did, Paul H for a fine bowling
display, reminding us all that on pitches like this he is a force to be
reckoned with and lastly but not leastly James Burridge for a fine 140.
That was the cornerstone of our innings. He gets the man of the match award!
A huge thank you to Valley End for being such friendly, amusing and fun
hosts and of course for supplying a sublime tea that will live long in
the memory. We will all look forward to the return fixture next season…
Hurst CC 1 July 2012 - DRAWN
job as well which I sometimes have to do things relating to!!!
Due to our original opposition Sowers CC being unable to raise a team
the cricket conference kindly found us a last minute replacement in the
guys from Hurst CC which is near Reading (I think) They turned out to be
excellent opposition and a really good bunch of chaps.
The Skipper lost the toss and was inserted on a wicket freshly dampened
by a short, sharp shower, then pretty much sodden by a 25 minute delay
as our opening pair were due to face the first ball. Not the ideal
conditions to be batting in but our solid opening team of The Chairman
and John Bulford were well equipped to deal with the early onslaught.
Sure enough they saw out the early overs The chair striking a couple of
sublime drives that whistled to the boundary before falling caught and
bowled and JB finally playing like we know he can and striking an
31 before succumbing to a ball that stopped on him a little
and looped up off his bat for a catch.The Skip was now paired with Jack
B and the two of them kept the score ticking over nicely, the skip
hitting a nice 30 odd and Jack a short and sharp 13 before falling
caught and bowled. Bertie Clay came out to join the Skip and played
beautifully for a quickfire 30 himself (seems to be a theme here!) which
included 3 enormous 6’s. Vags debutant Andrew Jefford walked out to the
crease and looked nicely settled before again succumbing to the vagaries
of the pitch and getting a leading edge that was snapped up easily.
This bought Tom H to the wicket and along with excellent support from
Hendo, Ali K and Stevie H took the score on to a very respectable 216.
Tom finishing with an excellent 45 not out that contained 6 x 4’s and 1
x 6. He looked in excellent form throughout his innings and made himself
very difficult to bowl too…well done Tom, just what was needed lower
So, 216 and a defendable total…..?
Tea was, as usual, excellent and with the weather improving as the
afternoon went on we felt that on the drying pitch we might be able to
make a few inroads early on.
Steve H and ALi K took the new ball (well, oldish ball after losing 2 in
their innings!) and both started excellently. Ali swinging the ball in
at a decent pace and sticking to a difficult line and length that proved
very hard to score against and Steve getting the ball to swing and seam
about. Steve soon struck with a superb ball that swung in, seamed in,
bounced and went through the gate and just clipped the top of middle
stump. It was a ‘proper’ wicket! Like what you see on telly! In all
honesty it was probably a bit too good for most players on the pitch. He
soon struck again, getting their No. 3 to mistime the ball into the
covers where Bertie C (if I remember correctly) was stood and he
snaffled up a regulation chance. They were now 30 odd for 2 off 8
and the game was nicely balanced. Changes were made at both ends with
Tom H coming on for Ali K and Luke H for Steve H. Both the spinners
settled into their rhythm’s quite well and although not that threatening
they did prove very difficult to score off. Hurst’s run rate dropped and
this bought with it an increase in pressure, chasing 216 as they were.
Hurst’s young batsmen had actually played very well against some decent
bowling and with 15 overs to go required well over a hundred runs for
victory. Their left handed opener L Smith was still at the crease and
playing beautifully so they did have a chance. Unfortunately the
pressure of scoring at 10 ish an over soon got to them and wickets
started to fall. Ali taking a good catch off Luke H and Andrew J
(debutant) taking an excellent catch off Ali to account for their opener
for a fine 78. Lower down the order one of their youngsters came in and
teed off for a while, hitting the ball extremely hard, but it never
really felt as though we were going to lose the game although, honestly,
we never really looked like bowling them out either! Hendo came in and
got rid of the big hitter, caught behind by the Chairman and then Ali
bowled out the last over very tightly to restrict them to 209 for 7. It
was an excellent run chase by Hurst and great credit should go to them
for ‘going for it’ for their entire innings. So many times we have seen
teams settle for a draw with 10+ overs to go, but there was none of that
here and they went for the win and very nearly got it.
Once again it’s great to be able to say that the opposition were a great
bunch of guys, very amusing and good company as well as all being very
useful cricketers. It was a very enjoyable day even with the early rain
and we look forward to playing them again in the future…..
See you all soon
Willow Tree CC 17th June 2012 - DRAWN
Another decent result for us!……….Well, nearly anyway….!
For most of the week I had been under the impression that this game
would not be happening. Forecasts of sideways rain and gale force winds
had pretty much turned my mind from the ‘summertime’ pursuit of the
great game. It was with some surprise then that Sunday dawned and the
weather was set fair for at least a few overs before we would have to
return to the pub. Not that that would have necessarily been all bad…
The skip won the toss and decided to bat on what was an extremely soft
pitch. It was so soft that it was unlikely to change at all during the
game. We also, on paper at least, boasted one of our strongest line ups
of the season and the decision to bat first was also thought to be
fairly sporting as we batted down to 11………this would actually
prove to be our saving grace in the end!
The Chairman and JB walked to the middle to face up to Willow Tree’s
opening bowlers. Both settled
down very quickly and although the going
was slow at first, mainly due to some great bowling, the pair of them
looked comfortable and the runs started to flow a little more freely.
Sadly JB succumbed to a decent ball that seamed and he was bowled early
on and the Skip joined the Chair in the middle. The Chair had picked up
where he left off last week, stroking some fine boundaries and generally
looking at ease before he inexplicably missed a straight full toss that
hit him in front of middle and leg. Inexplicable at the time although on
reflection the choice of an extremely dark coloured cricket ball against
an extremely dark background was proving rather difficult to pick up!
The Skip stroked a couple of booming boundaries before he too fell LBW
to one hitting middle and leg. Tom W and Tom H were now at the wicket
with the score on 38 for 3 and we needed a little steadying f the ship.
They put on a good 30 odd before Tom H was caught out by a ball that
popped a little
and he was caught. Justin Rhodes, making his season
debut now joined Tom W and the pair of them looked to consolidate. I say
consolidate but it’s not really their style! Tom W being super quick
between the wickets and Justin being able to clear any boundary with
ease! They put on a quick fire 35 before Tom fell to another ball that
stopped a little in the pitch and went straight up in the air off the
leading edge of his bat. L Harding came and went cheaply and this bought
R Hill to the wicket. The score was roughly 90ish for 6 and we
definitely needed more runs on the board. Richard got his head down and
batted beautifully, ably assisted by first Justin, then Phil K (who
smashed a huge straight six and finally managed to lose the nasty black
coloured cricket ball!) and then by Will P and Tony R.
In fact the last 3 wickets put on nearly 60 runs and it was with some
relief that our innings ended on 155. It wasn’t exactly what we wanted
but it was a tricky pitch and we
felt it was defendable. Richard Hill
ending up with a fine 47 and good partnership contributions from Phil,
Will and Tony.
Tea was taken….a gorgeous spread from Mary at The Sun Inn more than
filling up any gaps we might have had. The coronation chicken sandwiches
being a particular tour de force.
We took to the field with some optimism and that looked to be well
placed when first Tony and then Will struck early on. Tony taking a good
caught and bowled that involved a dainty little shimmy and Will P
finding the outside edge and the ball being taken by the Chair behind
the stumps. Both our bowlers were probing away on a good line and
length. Will P swinging it both ways at will which was particularly
impressive for me stood comfortably in the slips as I was. Tony was
swing it away from the batsmen but also getting decent seam movement
and, as an opening pair, they caused no end of problems for our
opposition. Sadly Tony tweaked a banjo string or something and had to go
and lie down for a while but he was replaced by the batting hero Richard
Hill who picked up where Tony left off. Our opposition had put together
a bit of a stand at this point and it was the introduction of Phil K in
place of Will P that finally broke it. Phil running in at a fairly
gentle pace and getting the ball to move prodigious amounts both in the
air and off the pitch. His first over, after a couple of false starts
was near unplayable. The ball rearing up of a good length swinging and
seaming. It only took a couple of deliveries of his second over for him
to account for their No 2 with a ball that swung away, bounced and
seamed back in ad just clip the off bail. Excellent bowling! With the
partnership breakers job now done (Well done Phil!) Luke H came on and
bowled a couple of maidens to start off with that helped (with the
efforts from the other end of the Skip) in building the pressure on
Willow Tree. They were falling behind the asking rate and runs were
proving hard to come by. The next breakthrough came as their decent
looking number 5 drove at one that wasn’t quite their and the catch was
taken magnificently by Justin Rhodes at mid off. The ball was struck
hard at about head height to Justin left and he shuffled across to it,
took off and plucked it out of the air (slightly behind him). Catch of
the day! A real stunner. the score was now 65 for 5 with roughly 18
overs to bowl. It was tighter than it looks on paper though as the pitch
was proving difficult to bat on and we were bowling and fielding
excellently. the Skip bought on Tom H and it was this change that really
opened up the game. Tom getting the ball to turn a little and bounce a
lot and picking up 3 quick wickets that reduced Willow Tree to 90 ish
for 8. Tom’s first an LBW his second an excellent ball that came back
through the gate and took middle stump and his third a contender for
catch of the day a ball smashed towards the mid on boundary and snaffled
by our own Jonty Rhodes, Tom W. Tom made this catch look ridiculously
easy. It was gloomy, the ball came out of a dark background and it was
travelling quickly and yet he ran around the boundary leapt in the air
and took the ball above his head as if it was the most natural thing in
the world! A superb catch!
At the point our opponents decided they were going to play for the draw.
Not really the Vags way of doing things, especially with 35 ish to win
required from 5/6 overs. As the overs ticked down it was obvious that no
attempt was going to be made to actually win the game so the Skip bought
everyone in, crowded the bat and put the pressure on. With one over to
bowl and 8 wickets down it was going to take something special and it
very nearly happened. The Skip electing to replace the impressive
Humphries with himself (Tom H – 9-1-21-3). The skip bowled great. Full,
quick and a touch of movement. The first two balls were kept out but the
third wasn’t. A great yorker
accounting for their number 9 who had shown
a decent defensive technique. So, 3 balls to claim a deserved
win……sadly it wasn’t to be as their number 11 coped with the Skips
quick yorkers extremely well and blocked out to claim a draw for his
side. A great bowling display all around, Will P with figures of
12-0-28-2 including the wicket of their top scorer, Tony R finishing
with 3-0-5-1 Richard H 6-0-19-0 Phil K 3-0-11-1 and the Skip 4-0-11-1. A
good performance from Vags although dissapointing not to claim the
victory that was probably deserved.
Special mentions should go to our bowlers not only for their efforts
with the ball but also with the bat that aided Richard Hill in setting a
defendable total after our batters had come up a little short. Justin
Rhodes for a superb catch and great batting and Tom W for his all around
greatness in the field….as usual it put the rest of us to shame.
Roll on next week and the annual trip to Brook CC……
Little Marlow CC 10th June 2012 - WON
First things first it was amazing we actually had a game to play bearing
in mind the appalling weather we’ve experienced over the last few days.
With this in mind the fact we all turned up, on time, is incredible! Our
hosts wanted to play a strange mixture of 40 overs a side where the side
batting first got 44 overs and the side batting second 40 although the
side batting first could declare and have the overs they didn’t use
to……….errmm..well do something with but we haven’t worked out
what…luckily it didn’t come to this…far too confusing.
The Skip marched out to the middle and did the toss….he lost and we
were put into bat. Our opening pair, the chairman and jb walked out to
face the best Marlow could throw at them on a slightly greenish wicket
but one that traditionally played very well. Their openers ran in and
got the ball to move all over the place in the
early exchanges but our
opening pair were resolute and, although cautious, saw out the first 6/7
overs with little in the way of scares. Sadly Jb got caught out driving
on the back foot to one that stopped in the wicket and he was pouched at
mid on. This bought the skip to the crease and he and the Chair started
to move the score along. The Chairman hitting some delightful drives to
the mid-off and straight boundaries and the Skip playing with a level of
control we haven’t seen from him in a while. While the Marlow bowlers
were still hitting a good line and length and occasionally getting the
ball to move off the seam our two batsmen played very sensibly. The
Chairman cleverly farming the strike to the Skip who punished everything
wayward. He hit a couple of particularly gorgeous back foot drives that
nearly killed the fielders at mid on and mid off. The most important
thing about his innings was, as I mentioned before, control. He actually
thought about it this time
and so, it was with some surprise that he was
out caught, driving at a ball that wasn’t quite there and being caught
on the boundary. The fact he mistimed it all the way out to the longest
boundary shows what good nick he was in. When he departed the pair of
them had put on 96 for the second wicket and the Vags were sitting
pretty at 107 for 2 after 25 overs. With the chairman still playing his
opening role to perfection he was joined first by Ross H who sadly
didn’t last long as he got a decent ball that clipped his off stump and
then by Bertie C who smashed a couple of boundaries in the usual Clay
style before succumbing to the pitch and poor shot selection and being
pouched at mid off. This bought Rob Hyndman to the wicket, complete with
new bat and a desire to see whether it ‘worked properly’! It certainly
seemed to as he hit some lovely shots and supported the Chairman very
well as the added 30 for the 5th wicket at a decent rate. The Chairman
was the next wicket
to fall, caught again for a fine 56 which formed the
basis of our, by now, more than respectable total. An excellent innings,
full of sturdy defence and the occasional stylish drive to the ropes.
Luke H came out to join Rob H and, with the focus now on quick runs with
only a handful of overs left , hit a few boundaries in a quickfire 25
that, aided by Rob’s excellent innings and Bertie K’s pinch hitting (one
fabulous back foot drive almost carried a fielder across the ropes with
the ball!) at number 8 saw the Vags total reach 195 off our 44 overs.
Not a massive score but on this pitch we thought it was decent and, more
Tea came and went, a culinary delight and a vast improvement on last
years poor effort. It’s not the done thing to critique a tea too hard
but this was a vast improvement!
Sadly, by now the rain had come in and Marlow started their innings in a
light drizzle that dampened Vags spirits a little. We all loike playing
well and we
all love cricket but stadning around in murky light when
it’s drizzling is not my idea of fun or, looking around the field at
that point, many of my teammates either!
Skip was lucky to have his first choice opening bowling partnership to
call on for the first time this season and they soon proved their worth.
Tony and Will P both settling into an excellent line and length and
proving extremely difficult to lay a bat on let alone score any runs
off! Will P struck first, taking the outside edge of their No. 1 and
Skip gratefully pocketing a sharp one at 4th slip/Gully. It went fast,
so it was a great start! 0 for 1! Tony followed this up at the other end
with a lovely ball that left their No. 2 and was snaffled with an
excellent diving catch by the chairman behind the stumps. Full length
one handed and just nestling in the webbing. A proper wicket! 0 for 2
and Vags were definitely on top! Our fielding was excellent at this
point and we were making life very hard for our
opposition. Sadly the
rain had increased and after Tony nearly ended up on his backside after
one delivery it was decided to leave the field to see whether the rain
After a certain amount of discussion it was decided to return to the
field to see ‘how it goes’ after 20 mins or so and, although the drizzle
was falling this subsided as the innings progressed. Will P soon struck
again with another excellent ball that took the outside edge and was
again pouched by the Skip in his customary position of 4th slip/gully.
Another sharp chance well held. Will then followed this up with a
stunner of a slower ball that pitched perfectly and swung the ‘other
way’ AFTER bouncing and missed the batsmens leg stump by millimetres. He
was pretty much unplayable at this point. He soon took his third wicket
with another ball that took the outside edge and was caught by the
Chairman again with ANOTHER full length diving catch! This was getting
strange. The bowlers were bowling
beautifully, the fielders were
stopping everything and really helping to build the pressure and the
keeper was having ‘the perfect game’! Soon enough Tony Reid was replaced
by Bertie Kennedy and with Will P bowling his allocation of 10 overs in
one burst the Skip bought himself on. Will ended with superb figures of
Bertie soon got stuck into the Marlow batting line up and soon enough we
had them 6 down with barely 50 runs on the board and 20 odd overs having
been bowled. Bertie bowled a really good line and length and was
deceptively quick. All the batsmen playing the ball late as a matter of
course but not choice. His 2 wickets were both caught out in the off
side ring and he ended with 2 for 23 off 6 overs. Another great
performance. The Skip was next to strike, catching the batsman’s outside
edge and sending the ball to the Chairman behind the stumps who managed
to get a thumb on it which then hit him square in the thigh and
ricocheted to Andy K at first
slip who literally plucked it out of the
air showing incredible reflexes! This made up for the drop 2 balls
before where Andy was heard to cry…..”It didn’t carry” as the ball was
hitting him on the full! Tony came back on at the other end and soon had
another wicket with another superb ball that took the outside edge and
was snaffled…..again by the Chairman. When you’re in good nick you’re
in good nick I guess! Marlow had a little flurry withy 9 wickets down,
one young batsman looking particularly useful with anything short and
hitting a couple of lovely hook shots but the result was never in any
doubt and when he was trapped lbw in front of all 3 by Luke H the game
was over and Marlow had been bowled out for 99 in 34 overs. Tony ended
with superb figures of 8-0-18-2.
So, some fantastic individual displays, The Chairman with a fine 56
opening the batting plus 3 catches behind the wicket, two of which were
stunners. Will P and Tony R for showing exactly why they are
choice opening pair, The Skip for two great catches at gully and a fine
innings of 43. To add to this it must be mentioned that everybody
contributed in this game. The fielding was superb, the catching first
rate and the general energy in the field a credit to all involved. Well
done everyone. Let’s have more of the same in the future. Apologies If I
have missed anyone or anything out…as I said at the start, a lot happened!
Big thanks to our hosts who provided a great tea, an awesome wicket (as
is always the case here) that helped all departments and a friendly
bunch of players who displayed no little talent. Even the rain didn’t
dampen the spirits too much in the end.
Waverley CC 27th May 2012 - LOST
the mid 70’s, barely a cloud in the sky and a beautifully prepared pitch
and outfield meant we all approached this game with no little enthusiasm.
The Skip won the toss and decided to bat first on a pitch that looked
unlikely to change much during the day and, other than our opening pair,
the rest of us remained in our mankini’s fully expecting a large opening
stand and the opportunity to listen to TMS on the radio.
As is the usual Vag way this didn’t happen! The Skip and Jack B starting
very well with an opening partnership of 30 odd before Bootsie played
on. Not quite what we had wanted! Bertie Clay came out and looked
comfortable before he missed a straight one and got bowled. 40 odd for
2! In next was Tom H who settled in nicely and with Jack timing the ball
sweetly at the other end a certain amount of hope returned that the rest
of us could actually spend some time enjoying the sunshine as
worrying about our batting! We spoke too soon though as Jack soon fell
after making 20 odd. 53 for 3 and not the kind of batting performance
the pitch or the opposition bowling attack really warranted. Sadly Tom
P, Ross H and L Harding all came and went rather quickly. Ali K clearing
the ropes a couple of times and the Chairman with a valiant little
innings the only two bright spots in what was, even by Vag standards, an
appalling batting display. Steve H did collect his second golden duck in
a row though! I think it’s fair to say that if we continue to bat as
badly as this then it’s going to be a long time before we win a
game….or even draw one! Poor, Very poor! We ended with a score of 127
which was probably a hundred light on this pitch with this outfield.
As we had collapsed so monumentally we actually had to go out in the
field for 30 mins BEFORE tea! Personally I can’t think of anything
worse…..We actually bowled very well in this session. Steve H
up for his first baller with a great opening spell that soon accounted
for one of their openers with a ball that swung in clipped the pad and
took off stump and Luke H bowling their no.3 with a straight one. Sadly
after the break the bowling fell away a little as the pitch seemed to
flatten out a little more (if that was possible, it might just have been
poor bowling though!) Their no 1 batting comfortably and their no.4
despite a very close caught and bowled that may or may not have carried
looking solid at the other end.
Changes cam at both ends with Tom H bought on to replace Steve H and the
Skip coming on for Luke H but nothing could be done to stifle the flow
of runs and although a lot of edges were found and some balls were put
just out of reach of the diving fielders we never really looked like
taking a wicket. Tom H sadly having to leave the field after dropping a
catch close in that left him with blood flowing and an even more shaky
hand than usual!
This prompted the Skip to bring on Ali K for his first
bowl for the Vags and no sooner had he come on he found a way through
their No 5’s defenses with an excellent yorker! He followed this by
claiming a 2nd wicket. The opposition skipper clipping one off his legs
that was excellently caught by our substitute fielder at square leg who
happened to be a member of the opposition, kindly lent to us to replace
the bloodied Tom H.
This great performance by our bowling debutant certainly played a part
in the Skip giving another bowling debut to Stuart Davidson. After a
couple of mulligans he settled very well into an excellent line and
length and bowled a few absolute jaffas. His second over for the vags
being a maiden! Bearing in mind he’s never actually bowled in any
game………ever, this was a brilliant effort and bodes well for the
They soon enough reached their target of 127 and, honestly, they
deserved to win. They are a really top bunch of guys, they play it
the right way, with no little talent and they fully deserved the win.
Well done Waverley! Thanks for a very enjoyable day!
We mooched back to the pub to drink beer, sit in the sun, eat sausages
and generally forget about the bad parts of the day (for us!) As usual a
fine welcome was given, plenty of alcohol consumed and we were all
reminded why playing at home is the best! The Sun Inn and especially
Mary giving us all a fine welcome and putting a cricket game into
perspective….beer and friends, new and old, are far more fun!
I had fun, shame we lost, but I still had fun…..that’s what it’s all
about after all isn’t it? We really need to bat better though 😉
Broadhalfpenny Down CC 13 May 2012 - LOST
season! Unfortunately we got beaten……! Rough and the smooth eh?
Anyway, to business!
On arriving at Broadhalfpenny Down we were met with ‘almost’ perfect
conditions. Barely a cloud in the sky, warm bright sunshine and a pub on
the boundary edge (The Bat and Ball) that offered a fine selection of
‘sports beverages’…Sadly the only fly in the ointment was the state of
the pitch. No blame can be apportioned to anyone for this, the simple
fact that we played at all is testament to the work our hosts put in the
the preceding 3 days. The game the day before had actually been called
off as they felt that our game would not be able to go ahead if the
Saturday game was played! Priorities eh? We like that The track itself
was still incredibly wet and it was obviously going to be very hard to
post anything approaching a large total so it was with much relief that
our Skip Bootsie won the toss and
elected to bowl.
We took to the field with our 10 men (Simon Clay failing to grasp the
concepts of distance and time and arriving during the 3/4th over – 50p
fine Mr Clay) Opening the bowling from one end was the ever lively
Hendo, who looks to have done a significant amount of gym work over the
winter and has bulked up admirably……….it might just be cake
though. At the other end Stevie Hyde, looking as lithe as ever took the
new ball. Both bowlers settled into a rhythm very quickly (no mean feet
considering neither had done any bowling since last season!)
Hendo probed away on a good length but soon found that the quicker you
bowled on this pitch the easier it was to hit! Most balls at a medium or
slow pace barely got above ankle height where his fast-medium actually
sat up a little more and made things slightly easier. Stevie was hooping
the ball about all over the place and soon had the batsmen tied down.
Sure enough he first wicket soon fell with a mistimed drive off of Steve being
safely pouched by Skip at Mid-wicket. A few runs later and
Steve took another with another mistimed drive going straight to Simon
Clay in the covers. Brigands were 30 ish for 2 after 7 overs and we had
made a decent start.
Changes at both ends now came with L Harding coming on to replace Hendo
and P Hibbert replacing Steve H. Luke settled into his bowling well and
beat the bat numerous times in his first few overs. Paul on the other
hand did what he did best. Throwing the ball up to the batsman, bang on
the right line and length and bowling much slower than Luke caused the
batsmen far more problems. The third wicket soon fell to a stunning
catch by the Skip………….I could go into great detail about how
amazing it was but instead I will give you this link to look
at…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkJMwzcj-_4 It’s a bit like this
only Bootsie is less ginger and taller! Class catch from the long
haired, lanky one….
Runs were proving extremely hard to come by as any cross bat shots where
almost impossible given the low bounce of the track and with Luke
replaced by Tom H at one end things tightened up even more. Tom
immediately found his line and length and, just as importantly, the
right pace to bowl at and he and Paul continued to cause all the batsmen
In fact, if it weren’t for the efforts of their No 3 batsman who struck
a fine, if unspectacular 50 (even though he was out twice and not
given!) their final total would have been a lot lower than it eventually
was……..Tom by now had really got into a fine rhythm and aided by a
fielding display that verged on the miraculous (for the Vags at least!)
was starting to turn the screw. His first wicket came with a caught and
bowled and he swiftly followed that one up with a great ball he turned
back through the gate to bowl their No 6. By now the score was 70 odd
for 5 and Vags were definitely on top with less than an hour of the
Brigands innings to go. Tom continued weaving his magic, finally bowling
their no 3 with another ball that went through the gate. An excellent
ball that deserved a wicket! He followed this up with a couple of lbw’s
to bring up his 5th wicket.
The opposition had by now bought up the hundred for the loss of 8
wickets and, with Tom continuing his excellent spell it wasn’t long
before he polished off the innings. Another clatter of stumps saw their
No. 9 returning to the dressing room and shortly after a mistimed drive
was well pouched by L Harding at deepish mid on. Brigands all out for
125 with Tom taking truly excellent figures of 10.1 overs, 5 mdns, 7 for
14 !!! Excellent bowling from our new VC!! He was ably backed up by all
the other bowlers, Paul H finishing with 220.127.116.11 and Stevie with
18.104.22.168 Our fielding had been just as good as our bowling and special
mention should go to Ross H, Stuart D the Chairman for some excellent
work. The Chairman especially for his work keeping on a very difficult
Tea was taken in high spirits, sadly no rhubarb cake, although I have
managed to acquire the recipe from the lovely Nina (their scorer and all
around culinary goddess!) Thank you Nina, I will report back with my
cake making exploits…
The bell was soon rung for the resumption of hostilities and our opening
pair of Jack Bruck and Simon clay marched out to face up to the oppo
with the feeling that although the target was going to be tricky on this
pitch it was within our grasp.
Sadly, with the exception of Jack Bruck and the Skip no one really got
going on this pitch. Their bowling was very tight and accurate and the
pitch seemed to have started going a little bit more up and down as it
dried. No excuses though, we should have knocked them off and we only
really have ourselves to blame. Jack hit 16, the Skipper top scored with
22 but other than this our innings fell apart! We finally subsided to 54
all out. Our last 3 wickets going in 3 balls to their bowler Beardall who
ended with 7 for 21. We amused ourselves by stealing fellow team members
towels as they showered, thereby forcing them to make the naked walk of
shame back to our dressing rooms….some managed this with more aplomb
All in all I have to say, other than a fairly appalling batting display
there is grounds for great optimism for the season ahead. We were well
marshalled by the Skip, all our bowlers bowled well, our fielding and
catching was top notch and the spirit amongst the boys was brilliant. I
would venture to say that although we lost (deservedly so!) we all had a
very enjoyable day in a beautiful setting with a great opposition team.
We all repaired to the pub where we all sat together, drank some more
‘sports beverages’ and got stuck into the pork scratchings supplied by
To give you an idea of the loveliness of our surroundings I took a few
photos! these were all taken within a mile of the pitch but give an idea
of how pretty it is around there…and I’m pleased with them so I want
to show them off!
Top work guys, I enjoyed it!