2014 Match Reports

Vagabonds Tour of Brittany 2014

On a mid-September Thursday afternoon, 11 intrepid Vags assembled at 3 mustering points around the South East. 10 then made their way to Portsmouth to catch an overnight ferry to St Malo (one young athlete had forgotten his passport and had a mad dash to retrieve it from his mother). With everyone eventually safely on-board, the first thought of all turned to food. Eventually, a large table in the centre of one of the restaurants was found. This may have been a mistake on the ships front, especially when Mr Nokes (who was a strange, god like figure to some of the younger and newer members of the touring party) proceeded to announce that he had brought each and every one of us a present. Having raided his youngest son’s toy box, a small plastic animal was given to each member on the proviso that it must be looked after and each and every time the ‘zoo keeper’ held his aloft, all others must do so. The last person to raise their animal in the air was to down a drink. This was done too much amusement multiple times, the other diners around us must have found it so exciting that they tired themselves out and left. Various other shenanigans were had that night; the entire squad invaded the stage during the evenings entertainment, Jeggings and Mr Perton went exploring and ended up on the bridge of the ship and a generally spiffing time was had by all.

As the cars departed the ship early the next morning, we made our way towards the beautiful walled city of St Malo for breakfast. For centuries this citadel had withstood attacks from the British, but through the excellent tactical use of blazers, the Vagabonds took the city with ease and demanded a selection of pastries, coffee and calvados before they would leave the terrified citizens alone. Vagabonds 1–0 Frenchies.

I am sure that the drive from St Malo to our next stop, an idyllic cider farm, was beautiful. The rolling French countryside and deep sunken lanes providing slightly better views than us city folk are used to. But as all sportsmen preparing for a big event I elected to have a powernap. The cider farm was fantastic, after a small lecture with pictures by the proprietor (Stevie Hyde providing one of the most pointless translation services known to man, he would have fitted in well at Nelson Mandela’s funeral), we proceeded to the tasting. Mead, Calvados and cider were all dispensed and several gallons of the stuff purchased and hastily packed into the cars.

After a light lunch and more driving, we eventually arrived at our base for the next 3 nights; a lovely gîte next to a lake run by the charming couple Didier & Marie- Laure. The cider was brought out and within 3 hours, 20 odd bottles of the stuff lay empty around a very contented and sleepy bunch of Vagabonds. Then, as the shadows drew long and the booze stores dwindled, thoughts yet again turned to food. A local inn 10 minutes away was found and we gorged ourselves on beer and hastily prepared sandwiches, kebabs and chips.
The next morning, after a dip in the cool lake to blow away the cobwebs, we donned our finest flannels and set off to play some cricket against the Central Brittany Cricket Club based in Silfiac. The pitch itself was an old football pitch, the wicket was no different, but is was beautifully set with tall pines along one boundary and fields around the others. Vagabonds won the toss and set out to bat. After confidently blocking out the first balls, Vagabonds were quickly not very many runs for quite a few wickets. The match which was supposed to last us all day, ended rather quickly with a French victory. There is no point going into great details about this as it will only serve to depress us all. Vagabonds 1 – 1 Frenchies.

It was decided, since tea hadn’t yet been reached, to have a cheeky game to 20/20. The Vag’s batted well, young Emily scoring freely, but probably lost one too many wickets and despite some tight fielding the locals managed to grasp victory with 2 balls to go. Vagabonds 1 – 2 Frenchies.

Despite not winning, the Vagabonds did what Vagabonds do best and enjoyed a drink with their hosts. Many beers were had we then returned to town to enjoy a few more. It also transpired that our base for the three nights was having a ‘music and moules’ night. Having returned, showered, filled our glasses and devoured as many crustaceans our bellies could handle, we joined the party in the front. As a sign of appreciation to our hosts, we unfurled a rather large Tricolour which we had found on the ferry on the way over. Saman took over the drums and we danced the night away. Mr Nokes and Stevie Hyde even provided the locals with a version of ‘La Marseillaise’, which I think will help build cross channel relationships for years to come. The locals were so overjoyed to hear this that they immediately left, undoubtedly to write down what they had seen and heard so that the tales will be passed on down to their grandchildren.
The next morning, it was decided that we had taken the cricket the day before altogether too seriously. So we returned to Vagabonds Basic Principles and headed straight to a bar for pre match isotonic sports beers and calvados. This was followed by taking a cooler full of beer out on the pitch with instructions to the opposition to refill it around the 10th over. With fielding positions marked out with beer bottles, the match got underway. Emily, having been fined for not wearing any team kit, was forced to wear all the jumpers. This amounted to 14 jumpers in 30 degree heat. After several overs he had to go for a lie down. The fielding was tight and bowling strong. We scuttled them out for what we thought would be a pretty easy target. It was, it was a solid victory. Vagabonds 2 – Frenchies 2.

A final evening of drinking, singing and good company concluded the tour. After a visit the Mont Saint-Michel the following afternoon, we headed home. As the French coast slid over the horizon, it was decided that this was a most excellent tour. We concluded that Vagabonds had performed rather well and probably taught the dirty foreign types one or two important cultural lessons. Vagabonds 3 – 2 Frenchies. A resounding victory for the Vags, to maintain their unbeaten run of tours. Having consulted the archives, it would appear that we have never lost a tour, and have only drawn once (Devon 2012, where it was Vagabonds 4 – 4 Rain & Hail). The only issue on our tour home was when our only ScotLankan Saman got ‘randomly selected’ at customs for a search and a rather in-depth interrogation of his passport.

It will be hard to better it in 2015, but, we will give it our best bloody effort.

Jeggings

Pre-tour missive from Barrie, our venerable founder and member number 1

My dear old things, I feel it is incumbent upon me to wish you all good fortune and strong livers on your forthcoming cricket tour of Brittany.
Of course we have crossed water on many occasions before, Isle of Wight ( twice ) and Wales (thrice ) and on all visits to these far off lands I do believe we have equipped ourselves well, often, initially, in the face of some hostility ( Wales first trip) where historical English wrongdoings seemed uppermost in the minds of the indigenous population.
Suffice to say that through the vag motto; In the Spirit of Good Fellowship ; ( English translation ) supported by vast quantities of (awful) local ale our two cultures soon merged to the degree that we were welcomed back on two more tours. Those were heady days when tours lasted four days, twice a year, and constitutions were severely tested. It may be of some concern that France could be of an even greater test than Wales but fortunately it is Brittany that we visit and there they are not as French as the French, if you know what I mean.
Having survived, to the astonishment of my GP, around nine tours I have every confidence that my fellow Vags will do justice to club and country and after drinking our opposition under the table will give them a damn good thrashing on the field of play, after which we will, I am sure, be offered a cordial welcome back at any time.
Bazza

Tichbourne Park CC 6th September 2014 - WON
The Getting There Bit

On a sunny Saturday September morn, the Vagabonds were due to play Tichborne Park away. As it has in previous years, the match coincided with the Arlesford Agricultural show. The cricket pitch lies in the middle of this cornucopia of cows, goats, combine harvesters and horses. The cricket was not quite as central as Dick Mountain thought it was however when, as lead driver in our convoy, he drove us into the middle of the showground. This caused great amusement for those in the cars, but less so for the heavy-set tweed clad lady who started to get very angry at the sudden appearance of half a dozen motor vehicles. After much delay and furrowed brows from passers-by, we eventually found the correct place.

The Fielding and Bowling Bit

The outcome of the toss was we were to field. The bowling was opened up by young Jamie and not-so-young-but-still-quite-young Hamish, who both bowled a cracking line and length. The first wicket fell soon after, and several more followed quickly. Despite the distraction of various animal noises, a sizeable crowd and spits of the rain the team kept their focus and fielded very well. The run rate was kept low and the fine bowling continued. Tom Willings, standing in for The Commodore behind the stumps was as agile as a fox and seemed to have as many arms as an octopus. All expect one of the batsmen exhibited the resourcefulness, strength of will and desire to stay at the crease as a cucumber in a microwave oven. The total of 103 all out before lunch reflected this, but also showed some great bowling and solid fielding from the Vags. Jamie added another wicket to his haul, Hamish, Ali, Dick Mountain and Stewie also struck but the pick of the bowlers was, and it will be no surprise to many, Paul Hibbert. I think he is officially a Vagabonds legend, and his 2-7 was testament to this. Age cannot weary him, nor shall it abate his lust for the blood (metaphorically speaking) of batsmen.

The Eating Bit (Part 1)

It is not often in the season that we get lunch, as we usually start at 2, but quite a spread was put out. In what was a sort of Ploughman’s Buffet, the particular highlights were a full cheeseboard, pickled onions and pork pies. I feel this is worth a mention as I do love a good ploughman’s and could not praise this, along with the ale on tab, highly enough.

The Batting Bit (Part 1)

New Vagabond Stevie Berryman stepped out with a rather full Jeggings to open the batting. The two opening bowlers were pretty handy. A chap with decent pace came hurtling down the hill while a nifty leggie fizzed some up the hill. The scoring rate was not massively high, but knowing that the total was low and we had plenty of time, it was decided to just absorb the good opening pair and then accelerate afterwards. This very cunning plan seemed to be going perfectly, after several overs of blocking and hitting off of the odd bad ball, the fielders seemed to be rattled and the bowling more erratic. Looking forward to getting more pedestrian balls soon, the Vagabonds started to accelerate the scoring. However, there was then a small incident. Many of you will have read the excellent book ‘Penguins Stopped Play’, in this book, a group playing in Antarctica have their match interrupted when a herd (I assume that is the correct word) of penguins invade the pitch. Sadly, there are not many native penguins in Hampshire, but there was however a rather large bull who elected to crash through the fencing in order to get a better view of proceedings. The bull was well mannered enough to wait until the end of an over to do this, as to not put the bowler off during his run up. In the ensuing confusion, man in white jackets trying to corral the animal off the field and even bringing a rather lovely looking young female cow onto the pitch to tempt the bull back, play was delayed for a while. Once it resumed Jeggings was cleaned bowled. The dastardly trick of staging a pitch invasion to break up play was noted by all. Skip then skipped to the crease.

The Eating Bit (part 2)

Tea. Only 1 hour after a lunch there was scones and cake. Highlight was the lemon drizzle. Light, tangy and moist. Perfect.

The Batting Bit (Part 2)

With the total slowly homing in to view, a flourish of runs came. Boote sadly fell for 16, followed by Kelvin for 7. Tom WIllings, following is acrobatics behind the stumps, played some nice shots in front of them to reach the total. Due to the scorers messing up the adding up, we had in fact won several runs and several balls before we went off, but no matter. Top marks for Mr Berryman who scored a fantastic 53 to drive us home to victory.
Overall, a lovely afternoon, and a cracking way to finish the season in England.

Next stop: France…

Grouse & Label 31 August 2014 Home - DRAWN
The Grouse and Label are a team that the Vagabonds share many similarities. Their team motto is ‘Cricket played in the correct way’, they seem to have a laugh in the field and they do enjoy a cheeky drink or two. Another thing that they seem to share with several members of our team is turning up late to a match which was meant to start at midday. After the toss, 10 of our heroes in red and pink strode out to have a go and some bowling and fielding. One member of our little gang (who shall remain anonymous) elected to turn up an hour late having woken up shortly before in a ‘strange house in Eastleigh’.

With only 10 players and no skipper, Tweaker set the field and asked Mr Davidson and Mr Perton to open up our attack. Half an hour into the match our unnamed missing player strode over the boundary rope looking somewhat, well, ropey. Now that the Vags had their captain (who shall remain anonymous) a determined focus descended over Bentworth. The warm later summer air bristled with anticipation of a wicket. This was quickly shattered when the skips first action of the match was to add a load of overthrows to the total. This was quickly made up for with a cracking catch off of a venomous drive. The main points of note during the opposition’s innings were as follows:

• Some lovely fielding by Emily, the ball seemed to follow him like a magnet.
• A cracking throw in from Tweaker resulted in a very rare run out.
• Jeggings and Trius got rather upset when a giant Wasp cross with a Tyrannosaurus Rex landed on his shirt and would not budge. Jeggings was convinced it would eat him and Trius wouldn’t help move it due to it ‘looking angry and thirsty for the blood of the innocent’. A suggestion of sacrificing the horse in the adjacent field to a god call off the terrible beastie was promptly put down by Mr Hyde who said horses should not be wasted in such a way.
• Some lovely bowling by Mr Hill, Mr Harding, L, Mr Davidson, Mr Perton and Mr Hyde resulted in 6 wickets and 251 runs (-ish, I have no scorebook).

Tea was taken at a leisurely pace. Talk turned to the up and coming tour and the season that is drawing to a close. After a while it was decided to get on with the cricket so Emily and Tweaker walked out to give it a bash. Emily fell early on, perhaps being unfortunate to find the only fielder capable to catching his vicious shot (in that he was tall, paying attention and had hands so hard they would rival Mr Gale in a hardness of hand competition). Trius followed up and hit some lusty blows fell for 70-odd. A cracking knock that left the Vagabonds needing about 120 off of 11 or so overs. Jeggings was next out with the order of the day being ‘hit hard, hit it to the boundary’. He initially struggled to do this, taking a few overs to get his eye in. Once he did have his eye in and started hitting the boundary on a regular basis the chase was probably off. Tweaker reached a very patient and aesthetically pleasing 50. Jeggings was then run out (I would not dream of saying an umpire was wrong on any decision, but in this case he was). This put the skip in with only a few overs to go. Tweaker then inexplicable attempted a ramp shot, he got down a little too early for it (the bowler had barely started his run up) and was clean bowled. This put in Mr Harding to soak up the remaining few overs.

The total that we scored was inconsequential. We were comfortably short of our target, but a draw seemed a fair result. So the two teams descended to The Sun were beers were swilled, roasts were consumed (apart from Mr Perton, who is in roasting retirement following his appalling efforts a few weeks ago). All in all, it was a beautiful way to end our season playing in Bentworth and put everyone in a good mind with one match to go before a tour which, hopefully, will go down in the history books.

Jeggings.

N:B: If you cannot read this because the text is too small, I really do not care.

Not the MCC 17 August 2014 Home - LOST
This weeks match report comes in larger text for the benefit of our deaf viewers.

After spells of heavy rain all week, the Bentworth wicket had developed into the sort of green seamer that gives Indian batsmen Alzheimers. I presume we lost the toss, because we batted first. Under dogfighting gliders from Lasham airfield, the openers were Tweaker and Hyndman.R (AKA Jeggings, Ham Jegg and Chips, Jeggs Benedict etc etc). Early swing and seam made batting treacherous, and certainly kept the slip cordon interested with the majority of runs being scored backward of square on the off side. A solid partnership of roughly 40 was broken when Cadbury’s Cream Jeggs edged a drive to point. This brought Captain Boote.R to the crease, who incidentally features in the next installment of of The Chronicles of Commodore Harding, available soon. Skipper really got on with things, despite the challenging conditions, and scored a magnificent century, much aided by Cementos Gale at the other end who finished 31 not out. Perhaps the best feature of Boot.R’s innings was his decision to smash straight sixes in the other direction this week, so that they could be more easily found in the plowed field, rather than the inaccessible one protected by thorns and probably ebola infected badgers. 206-2 at the interval.

In the field of quantum physics, there is a peculiar idea – should all the atoms of two objects line up correctly, they may pass through one another without contact. If you take the example of a man and a wall, he may literally walk straight through it, though the chances are so slim that you would have to wait trillions of years for it to occur. If, however, you take the example of a cricket ball and a certain Sri Lankan/Glaswegian Vagabond at square leg, it may happen several times in the cricket match. Yes, Saman provided us with endless amusement in the second innings, as did our other overseas player for the day, “Chemical” Ali Kanji (who risked indefinite detention by googling pictures of suicide vests throughout tea – RED FLAG). Despite a few quantum anomalies we had a pretty good time in the field – Davidson.S agonizingly close to hanging on to the best catch I’ve ever seen at the ground. Perton.W, Boote.R, Kanji.A, and particularly “Prohibition” Paul Hibbert bowled very well, though with regards to actual wickets and statistics I haven’t got a clue, ask Boots. All I know is that Scrambled Jeggs took a flying catch at midwicket, potentially now leading the fielding statistics. Our total was probably 10-20 runs short, with Not the MCC chasing it down in the last over for the loss of 8 wickets. An enjoyable and competitive game for all, only slightly marred by a drastically overhung Perton.W failing to finish his roast in the Sun and being given a physical warning from Davidson.S – who himself had eaten two.

Tweaker

Portchester CC 3rd August 2013 Home - WON
Well, after the disappointment of a rained off game this weekend it occurred to me that there had been no report of our (spoiler alert) STUNNING VICTORY against Porchester last time out. This despite the fact that the team featured three keen scribes in Jeggings, Harding.L and Tweaker himself. Tweaker’s excuse is this – He has been in Wales, which as you can imagine was a harrowing experience. How is it that you pay for the Severn Bridge toll on the way in and not the way out. Surely that should be the other way around? Anyway, let us put minor domestic racism aside and talk cricket.

We arrived at Bentworth to be greeted by athletic, shirtless and lager soaked youths doing a vigorous almost actual warmup. Some of them were Antipodean. As it was the postponed birthday celebration of Arturo “Cementos” Gale, the Vags eschewed any sort of physical exertion in favour of standing around looking immaculate and drinking champagne. The contrast between the sides was highly reminiscent of the now sadly departed “gentlemen and players” era. Captain Boote.R extracted himself from the champagne ring and proceeded to either toss or come to some sort of agreement with the opposition the resulted in them batting first.

Lacking in opening bowlers, the Vags initial salvos were sent down by Scott.E, an off spinner dressed in military medium clothing, and Hutchins.T, a wicketkeeper with an ongoing ruptured groin/hernia/prolapse situation. Despite manful efforts from both chaps, the score was rattling along at roughly 9 an over when Captain Boote.R turned to his twirlers. The surface proved to be much more conducive to spin, with Harding.L picking up 5 wickets to race ahead in the bowling statistics whilst Boote.R claimed 3. At the other end Tweaker chipped in with a couple of his own. Porchester were restricted to 245, largely due to a superb fielding performance – a particular highlight being Boote.R’s positioning of Cementos Gale at wide mid on with Porchester 9 down. The new batsman immediately struck the ball into his hands and the innings was complete. The status of the ball was at first unclear after it had struck the paws of Cementos. The blinding flash and thunderous crack left everyone in the vicinity dazed. All that remained was a pile of red dust.

A magnificent tea (featuring more champagne).

245 was a sizeable target to chase down against a very good side. The Vags lost Jeggings early – a lusty blow for 4 was followed by an unfortunate slice chasing a wide one. This brought Boote.R to the crease who really set about the opposition spinners, smashing at least 5 balls into the adjacent field. After dispatching the reclaimed shiny new nut into the field for the second time he exclaimed “thank you”. Tweaker was particularly happy, as it deprived the quick bowler up the other end anything decent to bowl with. Boote.R was eventually out for 67, which heralded the introduction of Kelvin “Celsius” Lockwood. He continued his outrageous run of form, finishing with 80 not out and shepherding the innings home after the loss of Tweaker for 52 with the end in sight. A brief flurry of wickets made things slightly tense on the sidelines, but the Vags passed the total with 4 overs to spare for surely one of their best ever victories. Well played everyone.

Tweaker

Crondall CC 13 July 2014 Away - DRAWN
As Vags gathered at the Plume of Feathers, the talk was of a rare and short-lived outburst of excitement at the Test. But if you thought our game would act as the perfect antidote to the drudgery at Trent Bridge, you would be wrong. A second hand pitch provided no pace and very little bounce, and was of zero assistance to bowler or batsmen. This was rather unfortunate as last time around Crondall prepared an absolute belter. Nevermind, it was a lovely day on a lovely ground and the Vags were, as ever, keen to enjoy themselves – the early stages saw fielders suddenly filing off the pitch for what they thought was an early drinks break. In fact it was Perton.W returning from the pub with two jugs for the men in Pink and Red. Despite the turgid conditions, the Vags produced Their best innings of the season so far with 249-5 from 38 overs. The stand out performance came from Mountain.D with a fluent 66no which took the Vags well beyond the desired total of 200. At the other end Gale.M produced another good start in his new role as opener before being undone by a straight full toss and Smith.W thrilled the crowds with his customary first ball boundary as well as a number of unfamiliar “defensive” shots. Lord Kelvin again looked in fine touch before being caught one handed in the covers by a man who was as surprised as everyone else that it had stuck. Stand-in Captain Tweaker snapped his bat in half, ran out Harding.L and was dropped 4 times (and once off a no-ball). Well played Skip.

A strong tea featured racially inclusive ham sandwiches on both brown and white bread and an enormous carrot cake which Davidson.S particularly enjoyed. He is now banned from his homeland for eating a non-deep fried vegetable based item.

Out to bowl came the Vagabonds, and with a large total to defend, the field was as tight as Jegging’s trousers. After Davidson.S removed the dangerous looking opener with an EBSALOOT SNORTAH, Crondall really shut up shop, showing no interest at all in chasing the total. Despite the Vags having 7 men around the bat, Crondall trickled along to 50-1 off 20 overs. Thrilling stuff. Perton.W was back to his best with two hostile spells for no reward. Davidson.S produced his best spell of the season to have two men clean bowled, both deliveries moving back in and clipping the bails. First changes were Mountain.D, bowling with great accuracy as ever and “Air Force One” Hyde, our resident Bill Clinton impersonator, who “did not have sexual relations with that woman”, but certainly did have sexual relations with the outside edge of the Crondall number 4’s bat. Harding.L was next up, bowling with great control and variation and making the batsmen play at every ball. One man who was unlucky not to take his first wicket was Reynolds.G who as an actual Navy man must surely feature in one of the Harding Chronicles at some stage. Captain Tweaker couldn’t help but feel at least partly responsible for dropping the catch. Finally I would like to mention Hutchins.T who kept kept wicket exceptionally well despite having a damaged groin.

With the game dying a slow death the Vags experimented with some strange bowling techniques and putting everyone in the slips etc. which led to a flurry of boundaries at the end taking Crondall to 140-5 off 40 overs to draw the game.

Tweaker

Some additional remarks from the team:

Tweaker fails to mention he also hit 81 not out! Well played that man! -Luke

Having opened….. Double bubble/Time and a half at the crease. Minus tax plus expenses. -Petal

Great report but with a couple of personal elements edited out….your innings may have been a little lucky at times but you rode your luck and batted with great focus and commitment in, at times, roasting conditions!! The spine to the team performance and a captain’s innings! Plus, what a catch off your own bowling, snaffling a howitzer coming at you at head height – brilliant!!!!! -Arturo

What Art said. – Trius

Worcester Park CC 29th June 2014 - LOST
What ho, dear reader, what ho.

After a frantic scurry to find new opposition, the cricketing version of the popular homosexual ‘meet and greet’ app ‘Grinder’ paired us up with Worcester Park. Those of you not accustomed to the geography of our nations capital, Worcester Park is located in a nether region known as ‘zone 4’. It is not known if the pink and red glory that is a Vagabond blazer had ever reached these strange lands, but as the team strode confidently through the streets, the slack jawed yokels could be heard muttering something about the impending apocalypse.

The batting started with great aplomb. Young tweaker and former Colombian cartel leader Arturo started fantastically. After a steady start, the boys in the middle started to put the metaphorical batting pedal to the hypothetical cricket metal. Tweaker got a fantastic ‘fiddy’ while Arturo fell agonisingly short. A cracking knock, which brought cries of joy from the watching crowd (estimated attendance: 1 homeless man and a rather disinterested dog). In strode Skip who, after attempting this whole ‘patience’ malarkey for 2 overs, got bored and started twonking the ball about the park and also got his half century. The rest of the chaps did not fare quite so well, but a sizeable and competitive total of 208 was posted. The highlight of the innings was by far Perton W. Who, after arriving fairly late and on the worst side of ware, obtained a jug of beer, but before sampling any of his purchase, was called in to Umpire. The look of pain and hurt on his face made all around laugh.

Tea was taken, and it can only be described as ’50 shades of grey’, cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, scotch eggs and plain Doritos matched the drab drizzle that had started outside. As it was raining (but only ever so slightly) and the restart was delayed some of the boys found a football and displayed skillz (that is the correct spelling when in south London) that would have put them on a plane to Brazil had our chaps not, you know, not royally [email protected]~*%d it up. The small child whose ball we had stolen came and politely asked if he could have his ball back. Mr Davidson, a kind hearted Scottish giant, took the opportunity to say ‘of course ya’ wee nippa’, before proceeding to kick the football as hard as he could over the child’s head. He latter apologised, saying he didn’t mean to do that, he had in fact been aiming for the kids face.

Once the spits of rain and eased, 10 Vagabonds took to the field. We were one player short. However, a new style of dress had been discovered fashionable amongst the team, who elected to pull their trousers up to the nipple area, giving a fantastic male camel toe. As the 9 men who wore this fashion as a joke (and the one who wore it seriously)took to their places around the field, spirits were high. An early catch was snaffled by Tweaker but, as the pantaloons descended southwards, so did our hopes. As Worcester park hit 70 off of 12 overs, and some rather specialised fielding from some members of team (the pinnacle being Tristrum who elected to kick the ball of the rope in a very charitable gesture to the batting side), the bowling was rotated. With a new attack, the run rate lowered, and as the shadows lengthened, the Vagabonds began to sense that they could clench a draw from the jaws of defeat. However, in the final over, Worcester Park stumbled across the line to claim what I am sure will be a famous win for them.

After the usual post match discussion and high level analysis, a Roasting venue was sortied. 6 intrepid Vagabonds travelled over to The Swan in Chiswick on the advice on Mr Davidson. Once we got there, it transpired that it happened to be right next to his house, he had completely forgotten this and was surprised at the coincidence. What a stroke of luck that was then…

For the latest up to date stats, post match interviews and live text feeds of matches, please follows us on twitter @vagscc.

Brook CC 22nd June 2014 Away - LOST
Well, what an exciting day for news! It is unlikely that this report will fulfil it’s usual circulation after the exciting revelation that Luis Suarez has been found guilty of phone hacking.

Hitting:

Due to tactics and also unavailability, the Vagabonds were to play the game with 9 men. In fact they started with 8, as Perton.W was otherwise occupied scraping vomit off of his lady friend’s balcony. I will take this statement at face value and even if there is some alternative meaning to the phrase, I do not wish to know it. Having been inserted, Tweaker and Philps.A strode out to the middle, Tweaker complaining of a chronic lack of balance. This was perhaps unsurprising as he had become sufficiently drunk as to accidentally kick a woman in the face several hours previously. The opening exchanges were cagey, and conversation between Vags 1 & 2 revolved around what an exceptional surface it was for marking one’s guard. Perhaps they should have been talking about the opposition’s field placings, because shortly afterwards, Philps.A absolutely smelted one to backward point and was caught. Thus began a medium collapse that was to leave the Vags 30-3 with Commodore Harding joining Tweaker in the middle. What followed, to put it mildly, was boring. After 15 overs the Commodore had 4, Tweaker, 7. Extras was really streaking ahead with about 18. After some more events the game appeared to be heading for an early conclusion. That was until Perton.W and recent recruit “Lord” Kelvin Lockwood came together in glorious willowy matrimony. A club record 8th wicket stand of 129 took the Vags to an unlikely 199 all out. Lockwood.K with a sublime and chanceless 96 featuring reverse sweeps and other more traditional shots. Unfortunately he then gave a chance on 96 and was caught by the wicketkeeper (a man who incidentally possessed a unique and extraordinary technique for moving inside the ball and catching one handed – undoubtably he plays wicketkeeper in a jazz quintet).

Not Hitting:

After such an extraordinary rollercoaster of an innings would there be a twist in tale with the 9 man Vagabonds overcoming the skillful and full strength Rebekah Brook side on an excellent wicket?

No.

She got away with it.

Yes, despite a bold strategy of bowling many wides, no-balls and full bungers and also long hops and ones which were quite wide but also easy to hit. I’ve forgotten where I started. And we only had 9 in the field. I think it had something to do with the heat. And also the bit where a random spectator wandered onto the field and picked up the match ball only to claim that it was a “kid’s plastic ball”. Apparently he was some kind of cricket ball expert.

We lost by 8 wickets. BUT, on the plus side, we were treated to the spectacle of Hutchins.T running in to bowl, which was likened to “a ginger Lillee” and also Thor. Those of you who have not seen this must immediately sign up for more games and also stay signed up after you have signed up.

Over and out

Tweaker

Willow Tree CC 15th June 2014 - WON
Gents,

Apologies for the recent tardiness on the match reports, not good form!

I haven’t got the scorebook with me but I think I can remember most of what happened.

kip won the toss and decided to bat on what look like a fairly placid pitch. Emily Scott and the returning JB opened the batting and started off solidly. The bowling wasn’t quick but it was fairly accurate and the pitch was very, very slow which did create some problems for all batsmen early in their innings.

JB stroked a couple of nice boundaries and Emily pounced on everything short and they got us off to a nice start, putting on 40 odd for the first wicket. Sadly JB got undone by the slow pace of the pitch and got a leading edge that was snaffled. This brought the Skip to the wicket. Fairly soon afterwards Emily danced down the wicket, totally missed the ball and got bowled. 50 odd for 2 and fairly slow going. Kelvin joined the Skip in the centre and they proceeded to put on a very good stand. The Skip smashing the ball al over the place. Hitting the ball as he does can create real danger for the fielding side and this proved to be the case as one of the Willow tree players took a nasty blow on the forearm whilst attempting a catch and ended having to take himself off to casualty. We wish him well. It did look very nasty. Anyway, Kelvin was timing the ball delightfully and ably abetted by the Skip they put on about 120. The skip finally succumbing when he skied a ball that was well snaffled in the covers. 56 well scored runs that injected a bit of pace into the innings. Kelvin was still there and going strongly and he was now joined by Tom Postle who settled in well. At this point I should mention that both Paul H and the late arriving Trius were both fielding for Willow tree due to them being 1 short on arrival and then losing another player due to injury. It was Trius who claimed the next wicket. Not really in the spirit of the Vags but he is new so we’ll forgive him this once! Trius picked the ball up in the covers, wanged in a perfect throw and ran out Tom P! They had moved the score on to 170 odd with only a few overs to be bowled. Luke H joined Kelvin in the middle and immediately Trius was bought on to bowl for the opposition! Again, a dastardley move, him knowing that no Vag would ever give his wicket up to a fellow member and believing this was the way to stem the flow. Luke H knocked a few singles but Kelvin put his foot on the accelerator and took the score to 210 at tea. Kelvin ending on an excellent 83 not out. This follows up his 70 odd not out the previous week at Marlow. A very solid start for the man and a very welcome addition in all areas for the club!

The tea was of the high standards we have become used to over the last number of years but this time supplied by Mary at The Sun Inn. An excellent spot of LDC was served up too….which can never be a bad thing.

Next up was the bowling bit. Stuey D and Ali K taking the new ball. Ali bowling with good pace and swinging the ball. So much so that he got an early edge which was put down in the slips by yours truly. Stuey swinging it a touch but getting some surprising bounce and seaming it around. Stuey ended with 3 wickets. Ali should have had the same amount of luck but it wasn’t to be. Both bowled really, really well.

Changes at both ends with Mikey G and Emily Scott taking the ball.. Mikey G bowling a great line and Emily hooping the ball away from the batsmen. Sadly Mikey sprained his thumb early in his second over by getting it caught in his pocket (how is that even possible???) so his spell was cut short early. Emily chipped in with a wicket though, forcing a batsman to play on. Paul H now came on and out to bat came Trius. Trius played well. Looking unphased by the sledging and chin music he now faced! He hit a well made 20 odd before Paul H got him to nick one to slip. Luke H now cam on at the other end and the pair polished off the tail Paul ending with 3 wickets to add to his 410 and Luke getting the last to end the game.

Top keeping by the chairman as usual, very strong down the leg side which he needed to be as all our bowlers homed in on the leg stump on a regular basis!

We ended up bowling willow tree out for 150 ish so we recorded a win of 60 runs.

A good game, the weather stayed fair and we all repaired to the pub for more food and beer.

Lovely stuff.

Luke H

Washington CC 1st June 2014 Home - WON (By 10 wickets!)
No full match report, but we won by 10 wickets, Perts got a five-fer and we were down the Sun by 5:30!
More details would be welcomed by anyone who would like to add more
Stevie
Newport Inn CC 18th May 2014 Home - DRAW
After the disappointment of YET ANOTHER match rained off I feel it is my duty to attempt to lighten the mood with a report of the single game we have in fact played. It will not escape the attention of most Vagabonds that this report has arrived over a week late, so slowly in fact that it is almost as if it had been delivered by one Davidson.S. However, Fans of cricket based literature should not despair at my tardiness – perhaps the most exciting thing that happened last Sunday (not involving Perton.W) was the revalation that fellow scribe Hyndman.R has been so un-inundated with tasks at work that he has set about transcribing the adventures of one Commodore Harding in the Royal British Navy. I anticipate these tales breathlessly. Commodore Harding was in fact one of the star turns in a largely shambolic and dreadful batting display. His half century brought out the new Vagabonds jug in the Sun Inn after the game. I am glad to report that the team’s appetite for ale exceeded their appetite for runs. Of particular culpability was the on-field leadership – skipper Boote.R casually running himself out second ball before Tweaker top-edged the longest of long-hops to square leg. So spectacular were were these crimes against cricket that they will be tried at the Hague (if it ever stops raining). It was a disappointing start to the innings after a largely successful bowling display from Nelson.PK, Harding.L, Hibbert.P, Perton.W and Hyde.S. On the fielding front a couple of catches went down, despite the absence of a certain Columbian gangster. Hyndman.R held a couple of beauties – the first stage in a season long attempt to get his hands on Davidson.S’s big red ball. Perton.W also took an EBSALOOT SHORTAH off his own bowling – obviously wary of leaving the catching to anyone else after last year. As ever, Perton.W provided constant amusement for the team, initially by introducing his girlfriend thusly: “Team, new bit; new bit, team. *BELCH*”. He then went on to conduct some kinetic testing on his new sunglasses, using his face to intercept the ball with some sort of diving header. Next up for kinetic testing was his gentleman’s region. At bat, and attempting to save the game he took what can only be described as a firm blow to the gunnels (from the ball, not girlfriend…or boyfriend). This enraged Hibbert.P so much that he took the next opportunity to sashay down the wicket and loft the offending bowler for a brace of the Queen’s runs – the first time his bat has made contact with a ball for two years. Huzzah! and the game was drawn.

Tweaker.