2016 Match Reports

Valley End CC 17th July 2016 - LOST
Apologies this will not be up to normal standards as the bar has been set very high this year from our various scribes but please enjoy a more descriptive account of events from the weekend.

The first really hot spell of the summer happened to coincide with Skipper in generous mood and a game that we probably should not have lost but well played Valley End. A good bunch of guys and a fixture that we always look forward to.

Skipper won the toss and decided to have a bowl as there was a bit of grass on the wicket and it was very muggy so perfect for our plethora of swing bowlers. We opened up with Perts and Emily and it took a few overs for them to settle into a consistent line and length and the batting line up really struggled. Perts was bowling some real peachy deliveries that I think better batsman would have struggled with, darting in and moving away off the pitch….a pleasure to be standing at slip knowing there is no chance of an edge!!! Emily keeps telling me he is a spinner now he may bowl at similar pace but he has a perfect out-swingers action and had introduced an in-swinger to his arsenal so a very handy pair of bowlers. They were 4 down for not many with Perts and Emily picking up 2 each and we had a typical Boote umbrella field throughout with only Jeggs looking after anything in-front of square on the leg side. Our opening pair where replaced with our ever reliable STD and the youngster of the team Maxi who has fitted in very well since Mr Willing’s recruitment drive earlier this year. Not sure if there has been a larger age difference in bowlers for the Vags but 25 years has got to be up there! The Scotsman was in miserly form and Max was devastating taking three wickets in next to no time again moving the ball both ways and bowling two batsmen with the perfect in-swinger starting outside off stump. This is where my generous nature came in and they went from being 60/7 to 167 all out, in retrospect I should have kept my foot on the peddle but a few bowling changes and some good batting from Valley End started to change the complexion of the game. The opening bowlers came back on but with an older ball and set batsman the wickets did not come, which bought Max back to finish up the tail with two quick wickets and finish with his maiden Vags 5 wicket haul well bowled Maxi.

W Perton 12 0 36 3

M Mayes 7 0 29 5

Now 167 should be gettable on a pitch with a short boundary one side but the wicket was not easy to bat as we thought and with a bowling line-up with no pace the target was going to be tough and so it proved. An early wicket bought skipper to the crease with Tris and managed to get the scoreboard ticking over but without 3 weeks of cricket it was hard to find your timing again. We put on 60 runs before I was bowled for 30 and replaced by Tris’s Brother from another Mother Andrew Wallace and they continued the steady work with a 30 run partnership with Andrew departing on 15. Another partnership of 30 between Max and Tris seemed to be taking us to victory but a very accurate medium pacer had other ideas finishing up with 6 for 41. Tris had worked hard accumulating runs while wickets were falling at the other end and perished with the end in sight but batted very well and finished up with 57. We lost our last 5 wickets for not many runs and ended up 10 short which was disappointing but great to be back paying cricket again.

Tris 57

Skip 30

Cheers Boots

Hook & Southborough Cricket Club 19 June 2016 - WON
The great London conspiracy; (continued)

Tomorrow (or today, or yesterday, depends when I actually get round to sending this) the nation goes to the polls to decide whether we should remain as part of the European Union. There are many good arguments on both sides. There are many awful arguments on both sides which do not stand up to fact, logic or reason. There is one particular argument however I would like to draw you, my dear reader, to look at. That is the idea that whole point of EU is to slowly centralise a continent-wide government, located in Brussels. This uniformity across all nations will abolish a lot of what makes each individual country special. In some cases this may be a good thing (less of French people being so French for example). But for others, it may signify the end of a way of life. To quote one commentator; ‘I will always order a British pint of bitter, not 0.568 litres of German larger thank you very much!’

Now, read into this as much as you will, you may say that this is happening and it is maybe too late to stop it. Others may say this is just fear mongering and there is no actual proof. I draw your attention to this in order to highlight a similar conspiracy to which there is undeniable proof: The gradual relocation of the Vagabonds to London.

The fact is that our new fixtures secretary (who is a dirty foreign/Scottish type may I add), is slowly relocating fixtures from the lush green surroundings to which we have become accustomed to the concrete jungle which is our nation’s capital. One recent article even claimed that he was in negotiations to move our home ground Clapham. We cannot stand for this. The very values of our club are being undermined.

Anyway, onto this week’s match:

Another team within the M25, this time Hook & Southborugh Cricket club near Kingston were the opposition. As is tradition, the fixtures secretary was not picked for any match considered ‘London’. Some people had to travel 3 hours through traffic to get there. Personally, I had a lovely 45 minute jolly and think we should play more matches in London (in direct contradiction of what I said earlier).

I don’t have a scorebook, so this might be a little sketchy. I assume we lost the toss, as Skip never wins them and we went out to field. Will Perton opened up at one end. The pitch was very slow, with a wet and long outfield. One boundary had to be taken in due to a large amount of standing water. Just how slow the outfield was is shown by the fact (spoilers ahead) that there were 7 boundaries in the whole match. Will whizzed a few past the off stump and Tom Willings took over at the other end. Again, Tom bowled nicely and soon enough he had his man. Shortly after another fell and Will got in the action too. Quite soon the opposition were not many runs for a few wickets. One of the opposition made a bit of a go at it and was dropped by us several times. PK and Luke Harding took over the bowling and both went nicely. Before long they were all out for 54. Some lovely bowling and, drops withstanding, some fairly tight fielding made this a very good achievement and one which we hoped we could easily catch. Tom WIllings ended up with 2 wickets for 8 runs off 7 overs, I think, which seems good.

The highlight of the innings was definitely the opposition bringing us beer out at the drinks interval.

We had in fact bowled them out so quickly that tea had not yet even arrived, so after a quick turnaround we went out to bat. Ben Chant fell early on to a very debatable LBW decision (we shall not name the umpire at the request of Richard Hill). The usually mild-mannered Ben was less ‘softly spoken’ than normal on his return to the pavilion. Trius started to score runs and kept the scoreboard ticking over while we made slow but steady progress towards the target of 55.

However, we were constantly losing wickets. In a very rare sight Jeggings hit a boundary before, in a slightly less rare sight, being bowled. Trius eventually fell with a few runs left to go and Tom Willings hit the winning runs. We made it for 8-ish wickets.

After this, we had teas, which was rather good. Chicken Tikka sandwiches were a nice touch.

It should be noted that some of the above facts may be slightly incorrect or just plain wrong, so please accept my humble apologies if I missed something. Any complaints should be made to Baz.

Remember, stop the rise of Stuart!

Jegs

Little Marlow CC 5th June 2016 - WON
I’m doing this from memory so forgive me if the figures are a bit wrong!

With the Skip lapping up the sun in Spain it was left to yours truly to captain the side in this traditionally competitive game. The pitch as usual was perfect for batting but actually had a little in it for the bowlers first up as we were about ti find out.

I lost the toss and Marlow elected to bat first.

Will P opened from one end with Bertie K at the other. The Marlow track is traditionally quick and true, probably the best batting surface we get to use all season so we were prepared for some hard work in the field. What we got was a fabulous opening spell from both our bowlers. They rattled through the top order! Will bowling as well as he has ever done and removing the first two batsmen in consecutive balls. The first a ball that shaped in then seamed away and sent the off stump cartwheeling back then very next ball he delivered another cracker that did just enough to catch the outside edge and the Chairman snaffled it behind the stumps. Bertie K soon followed that up with a couple of wickets from his end and with changes coming in the shape of Phil K and Max M (who both bowled very well on a track that had started to dry and become a lot easier to bat on) we soon had them 7 down for 100 or so. In all this time their No 5 bat had been very hard to remove. He went on to score a really excellent hundred and he took their score to a very respectable 203 all out in 37 overs. If I tell you that only two other Marlow batsmen reached double figures that really says everything about A) how well we all bowled and B) How good the hundred was from their No 5. Stuey D bowled a number of overs and really kept things tight. No mean feat on that pitch. A couple of superb catches by Andy W at 2nd slip should be mentioned as well!

Tea was taken (Excellent!) And we approached our batting with a certain amount of confidence. 204 at Marlow is very gettable. Good pitch and a fast outfield.

We opened up with the Chairman and Tris. The chairman started strongly stroking a few boundaries and timing the ball nicely. Tris continued in his recent vein of form and got about 5! It will get better mate, we’ve all been there! This bought Andy Wallace to the crease and he soon found his rhythm. The chairman perished for a well hit 16 lbw and this bought Max M out to the middle. Sadly he couldn’t follow up his great knock at Broadhalfpenny Down. He got a great ball that did a bit first up and it accounted for his off stump. Bertie K came out to join Andy W with the score on 23 and that was about it! Both played beautifully. Bertie and Andy both flaying the ball to all parts of the ground (and a few places outside of it!) Andy very strong straight and on the leg side and Bertie straight and on the off side. Andy ended up on around about 84 and Bertie on 94, both unbeaten and the target of 204 was reached in the 28th over! That should tell you how well these two batted. An excellent performance from the pair of them.

A special mention should go to Zac Kennedy who made his full debut for the Vags. Sadly he didn’t get to show us his skills with the bat (he was down to come in next) but it’s great to see another talented cricketer coming out of the Kennedy stable.

It was a great win, the pub after was excellent and the opposition were their usual friendly, hospitable selves. It was a really enjoyable day. And, that’s 1 from 1 from me as Skip (actually 2 from 2 but the other was a long long time ago!) This captaincy lark is a doddle. By the way………….I retire!

Sorry it’s short, I hope it’s descriptive enough, sorry if I have missed anything out!

kisses

Luke

Worcester Park CC 29th May 2016 - WON
Did the Americans land on the Moon in 1969?

Who shot JFK?

Who really built the Pyramids?

And, who paid off that Russian linesman in 1966?

These are some of the great conspiracy of our time. A quick search of the internet will show that there are thousands, maybe even millions of different theories, some more crazy than others, but some which make you go ‘hmmm, maybe’.

One such theory which has, in recent weeks been gaining more and more traction is the Vagabonds slowly changing fixture list. A sudden emphasis seems to have been placed on playing as many away games ‘within the M25’ as possible. Could this be because our fixture secretary lives in London and likes to cut down travel? I couldn’t say. Personally, I am a fan of this as it allows me to get the tube to matches. The first of these such matches this season was played a few weeks ago in Worcester Park in South London. As a precaution in case this really is a conspiracy, the fixture secretary was not selected for this match.

It was a pretty glorious day. The sun was beating down on the huge outfield and a few Vagabonds were basking in its rays enjoying some isotonic sports drinks (to top up salt levels). Due to Skip ‘having a mare’ we took to the field with 10, chair having actually won the toss!

Emily and Rob Heyman opened the bowling and before we knew it, we had them at 8 for 3 after 4 overs. A fantastic start. At that point Skip arrived and blinded us all with his shoes.

On a side note, I recently read an article about light pollution and the best and worst places to be able to see the Milky Way. If you love looking at a decent star or nebula, the Dark Sky Parks of Scotland are fantastic. If light pollution is your thing and you enjoy a strange orange haze to your night time viewing then London (due to all the buildings and lights) and Bordon (due to R Bootes’ boots) are the places to be.

After the opening flurry of wickets it slowed a little, with the next wicket didn’t go until they had reached thirty. The wickets then fell pretty steadily after that, with everyone bowling a good line and length. We limited then to 147 all out, but it probably should have been less as 61 of these was from one chap, who we had dropped 3 times.
Some cracking figures for Emily who got a Michelle of his 8 overs and Trius who took 2 wickets in 3 overs. Well done all!

The tea was better than I remembered it being a few years beige was the predominate colour again, but there were a few new shades and textures in there which is always nice to see!

The batting started well, with us 84 for 3. New Vag Paul Abbot was unlucky to get wiped up early on and Skip went about in his usual gung-ho approach and got a cracking half century before being caught.

It wasn’t quite a middle order collapse, more a sort of ‘middle order trip-over-when-you-think-nobody-is-watching-and-carry-on-sheepishly’, with us losing the next 6 wickets for about 30 runs. This gave us a cracking with 20-odd to win and no wickets left. Another debutant Rob Bolderson batted very nicely getting a commendable 17 (our third highest score). Rob Heyman hit the winning runs with a 6 over towards the railway line with was caught and promptly carried/dropped over the boundary rope.

A very close game and a famous victory for the Vagabonds. Oh how the nation rejoiced.

Jegs

Waverley CC 22nd May 2016 Home - WON
Skip lost the toss and we bowled first, an interesting decision given how damp the pitch was but maybe the thinking was that the pitch would cut up and get worse!

Well, the ball did a lot! Perts from one end continuing his great early season form and getting prodigious movement, PK at the other with his twirly in-dippers that seamed about. I’m not going to go through every wicket but Perts removed their well set opener with a great ball that swung away and took an edge. The Chairman diving forward in front of first slip to snare a great catch. It was Will’s only wicket of the dat but he deserved far more. Bowling especially well to their left hander and really tying him down.

Changes at both ends bought a flurry of wickets. Stu D and Mikey Gayle being the architects. Stu got huge seam movement with his variably paced overarm and Mike G with his inswingers. Mike actually took a tremendous catch off Stu’s bowling. The ball being smashed to square leg and Mikey running and jumping, taking the ball above his head as it travelled at a rate of knots. Brilliant catch. Stu ended with 3 wickets, the best being a ball that pitched a good foot outside off and seamed back to clip the top of middle as the batsman shouldered arms. Mike took 4! A fine reward for some excellent bowling. He bowled two batsmen, had one caught by Perts and another taken by the chair behind the stumps (another good performance by the Chairman on a very tricky pitch). More bowling changes came and it was one of them Mr R Howard who mopped up the tail. 2 great wickets for him and well deserved as he bowled excellently.The last wicket producing a dainty little dance from him!

Waverley all out for 119. Not the best score but it would still take some getting on this track.

It seems that the Skipper has snared himself a young lady who can make a good cake. Tea was nice!

Tris and Ross opened up and it was slow, slow going for the first 10 or so overs. Waverley’s openers bowling a very tight line and moving the ball all over the place. Ross fell early and he was replaced by the Skip. It was a wicket where survival was possible but scoring runs was very tricky. Luckily the Skip took his time, played himself in and played one of his best innings of the last few seasons. He ended up with 63 before he was bowled by one that kept low. Tris had struggled to score but he had kept an end blocked up. He eventually fell in the 16th over…………………….for 5.

The Skip was joined by Andy W and they took us close to our target. Andy smashing the ball all over the place (He hits a long ball does Andy!) Andy ended up with 45 not out and the chairman on 2 not out.

In the end a comfortable win but it took some getting. All the seamers bowled really, really well. Creating pressure even when the wickets weren’t falling. The oppo, Waverley, proved themselves excellent opposition and top chaps. The game was played in a great spirit. It’s always an enjoyable game against this side.

So, we march on, a solid win in tricky conditions. Pity the weather was a bit iffy.

Sorry for the shortness of this report….got stuff to do!

Luke H

Bowling figures:

W Perton 9-3-19-1

P Kenelley 4-2-18-0

R Hill 4-0-7-0

S Davidson 7-2-18-3

M Gayle 6-0-17-4

R Howard 3.5-0-18-2

Batting:

R Boote – 63

A Wallace 45*

Newport Inn CC 15th May 2016 Home - WON
A lovely day for our 2nd home game of the season.

Skip won the toss (yup, really!) and he elected to bowl first on a green looking surface.

We opened up with PK at one end and Will P at the other. Both extracted prodigious movement in the air and off the pitch and created a number of problems for the opposition openers. A number of early chances being created but, as is the norm in the last few games, none being taken. Both Will and Pk bowled excellently and Pk struck in his 3rd over, removing their No1 with a good ball that dipped in and hit him in line. At least the umpire thought it was in line anyway! (It was close!)

Changes then came at both ends, with Richard H replacing Phil K (6-1-32-1) and Rob H replacing Will P (5-0-22-0) This signalled the start of a collapse with both Rob and Rich bowling an excellent line. Rich striking first to bowl their No 3 and Rob following soon after to bowl the No 4 for a duck. Rob was bowling quickly and getting big inswing and seam movement whilst Rich was moving the away and beating the bat often. Rich soon got another through the opposition batsman’s defences and when Rob, in the next over bowled Newport Gentleman skipper James Light with an inswinging Yorker for a duck Newport were 70 odd for 5. At this point nearly all the runs had been scored by Newport’s No2 A.Gregory who produced a fine knock on a tricky surface. 2 more bowling changes followed and S Davidson soon struck. Removing the aforementioned A.Gregory, caught in the gully by Will P. Gregory made 84 in the end. An excellent innings. Max Mayes was bowling at the other end and continued where he left off in the last game. Bowling with a decent pace, swinging and seaming the ball and keeping things very tight. Very impressive. He deserved a wicket but sadly it wasn’t to be.

Luke H came on to replace Max after his 5 overs and luckily mopped up the last 3 wickets (Newport only having 10 players this week) Newport all out for 139. A very good bowling and fielding performance. Special mentions to Tris and Max for some excellent work in the field.

Rob H 4-2-7-2

Rich H 7-2-22-1

Max M 5-1-21-0

Stu D 4-0-27-1

Luke H 3-0-4-3

So 139 to chase on a pitch that was still doing more than a little.

The Chairman and Tris opened the batting and gave us a good solid start. Tris looking comfortable until playing an inexplicably dreadful shot and being caught at first slip! The chairman showed off his new lighter frame by looking quick with his footwork and seizing on anything short. A couple of great pulls for boundaries setting him on his way. He had been joined by the Skip and they put on 40 odd for the second wicket before the Chairman was given out LBW by me. That went down well. To be fair he took it well. The skip was sailing serenely on at the other end and he was now joined by Andy W. Andy hit a fine straight drive for 4 but was deceived soon after and departed with 5 to his name. Out came Max M, looking to build on his excellent display with the bat last week. Sadly it wasn’t to be as he was done by one that bounced a bit and was bowled. The Skip was joined by Rich H and they both took control of the innings. Rich with lots of big shots down the wicket and the Skip looking very strong square on. They moved quickly to our target and the game was over when the skipper hit a 4 then a mighty 6 to win the game with some 14 overs left to bowl.

An excellent innings from both the Richard’s ably supported by the chair (30 runs) Bootsy ending on 44 not out and Rich H on 40 not out. Great batting from the vags. Well done all.

This match report wouldn’t be complete without mention of the champagne moment of the day, possibly the year!

Skip, having placed himself at 1st slip had missed two chances from the excellent Will P and was the subject of some (justified) abuse for being a bit rubbish. A few overs later he was presented with another chance off the bowling of Rich H. The ball flew straight and true to 1st slip where the Skip met it, caught it, dropped it, then caught it again on the half volley. Rich H went up celebrating as he had only seen the first part of this. The Skipper, annoyed chucked the ball away, underarm, back at Rich who was now in the middle of the wicket with arms spread wide completely oblivious to the ball now travelling toward him. A shout from 2nd slip came but it was too late. The ball traced an arc perfectly from the Skip’s hand straight to the unfortunate Rich H’s crown jewels. A more perfect throw would be hard to achieve. Rich crumpled to the ground clutching his plums dramatically. We all laughed. A lot. So the skip dropped 3 catches then chucked the ball at his bowlers plums and left him reeling on the wicket. Great stuff! Memorable.

It was a great day, everyone contributed to a good win and the oppo, as usual with Newport, were a fine bunch of lads and made the day all the more enjoyable.

Looking forward to next week!

Best to all

Luke H

Broadhalfpenny Down CC 8th May 2016 Away - LOST
‘It was the best of times’

All the elements were in place for a fantastic day’s cricket. There was a clear blue sky, the sun blazed down, Hambledon cricket ground looked at its finest, overlooking the most picturesque Hampshire countryside and all was well with the world.

All of the Vagabonds were present and correct in timely fashion at the Bat & Ball pub conveniently situated adjacent to the ground. The ale flowed, Seafarers favoured by many and spirits were high as is often the case pre match as the excitement builds towards the first ball.

Thanks to that illusive yet magical of wonders ‘the sun’ all of the Vagabonds were on top form and were keen to don the flannels and enjoy a good days cricket, so much so, after Skip Bottom lost the toss we found ourselves occupying our fielding positions a good five minutes before the umpires had made an appearance let alone the opposition batmen arriving at the crease! Completely unheard of!

And so it began… Perton W running (trundling) up the hill (his choice) from what was effectively the pavilion end. On an extremely hot day and with the gradient working against him he bowled a fantastic line and length that kept the batsmen guessing, making it hard for them to score. It wasn’t long before a good chance flew between Chair and Boote R at first slip. I think Rich was standing in last season’s first slip position before Chairman became super slim which subsequently has left a gap neither filled in time to take the catch.

Chance number two was a full blooded off drive straight to (arguably just above) Davidson S who made a gallant attempt to catch it but was only successful in stopping what was a certain boundary and as Chairman so succinctly put it “seriously bruising one of his w*nking spanners”! A drop none the less I’m sure you would agree as we all did on the field of play.

What seemed like seconds but was probably a good minute or so, another dolly (went screaming) towards the iron girder that is Stewie D off Willie P but alas another drop! The tally had another line against the tatty!

Kennely P took the ball from the other end enjoying the slight slope in his favour and again kept a good line making it difficult for them to score with the ball skewing off bat edges without giving us any chance to make it count. The next opportunity for a wicket came from PKs bowling only to be palmed down by Davidson S who was still suffering from a swollen mitt from his last two attempts, another black mark against his personal tally and a black bruise on the spanner.

It is worth mentioning at this point that they had more left handed batsman in the team than any of us cared for and to make matters worse their No.1 bat was right handed and proving difficult to get out meaning on the hottest of days we all had to keep switching field positions which only proved to reinforce our dislike for lefties and make it harder for the bowlers to find a line and stick to it.

Though we lacked a wicket the bowling was tight, the bowlers stuck to their task and the field was giving little away. The scoring was slow going but the opening bats were looking comfortable and it wasn’t until the tenth over that PK made the break through. The surprise dipping full bunger that was cleverly turned into a yorker with a little help from the No. 2s box leading the ball to effectively strike the base of both of his middle stumps one after the other! Ouch! WICKET! And well deserved at that!

It is at this point in proceedings that I introduce Max Mayes, our newest and by far youngest Vagabond excluding Jeggings perhaps? Speaking of Jeggings, it appears that during the winter months he took himself off to a Buddhist retreat where over many hours of self-flagellation and hypnotic drugs he was taught to throw a cricket ball. Rumour has it he was taught by a wise old monk (aged 187). Rob had to give his body to him in return for some basic throwing tips. This has obviously paid dividends as he now has the ability to through a full 20 yards without looking like he may dislocate his shoulder or he is lassoing a pig! Well done Jegs, woowooop!

Anyway, Max took over from PK at the woodland end to bowl his debut over and after a nervous start he settled in. The oppo went after him a bit which was a little unfair but can be mostly blamed on Perts & PK for keeping such a tight ship early doors! With some key advice from our specialist pace man Stewie and old master Boote I am sure he has a bright future and wickets will come.

A change of bowler at both ends saw Boote R and Harding L step up to the mark. Pedals from the pavilion end and Bottom from the woods. Bottom up first with varied pace and angles of attack gave the batmen some trouble putting him away. One noticeable boundary save was by Chant B who wore a screamer to save four runs. Ben is another new member this season and his enthusiasm in the field is like Willings brother from another mother. A joy to behold and saves many a run over the course of an innings. As one of the more sedentary members of the Vags it is a real joy to watch and one I and several other members should be most grateful for.

Up steps Harding L, with the slope against him and a heavy cross breeze there was a lot for him to do to get the ball up and on the spot. First over he faced the enemy and the both kept their plans of battle close to their chest. Over number 2, like a trained sniper Luke had calibrated his sights and made the correct adjustment for the wind speed and direction offset. BANG! Great ball, undid their opener, OUT! BOWLED! Every one of us was pleased to see the back of him and he left a 66 on the board but it could have been much more (or much less had Stewie not dropped him so many times).

Harding L’s third over brought his second wicket, caught by Davidson S (yes the very same). Unfortunately I do not recall the circumstances of this wicket suffice to say we were all very pleased nay surprised to see one stick!

Luke’s fourth over and his third wicket! A clever ball forces the batsman to send one high into the sky that hung over Trius for what seemed like forever ‘CATCH THAT’ came the call, which Trius safe hands Hutchins caught with aplomb.

Boots made way for the pace attack of Davidson S to see if he could shake things up and it didn’t take long for a great caught and bowled opportunity to arise. A brilliant length ball left the batsman in two minds and he dollied it back to Stewie, steaming in from the opposite end… OUT! Oh no… Hang on… He dropped it! Our collective hearts broke! It just wasn’t to be!

Pedals continued to cause trouble at the other end using the breeze and varied pace and length forcing a number of close chances that on another day would have been wickets in the bag. Never the less his persistence paid off and he his fourth wicket was well caught stinger by Ben C on the drive moments after being put in that position by Skip! Inspired!

Harding L got a well earned Michelle (five for) by forcing the batsman to spoon another high into the air that PK had to cover some distance with a slight stumble to snaffle for the 5th wicket haul. 5/40 off 9. Good work Pedals!

And that was tea… Luke had a great five for, Perton deserved something for his efforts, Chair kept well behind the stumps especially stopping many a run down the leg side (as ever), everyone fielded well even Davidson who had a bout of the droppsies. They got 200 we remained optimistic.

Tea was as we have come to expect from the Brigades with a selection of sandwiches and home made cakes and a top scoring LDC (Lemon Drizzle Cake). I must remember to bring a plate next time as they are sorely lacking in this department. We had our full then prepared for our innings.

And so it brings me to the next chapter.

‘It was the worst of times’

It was time for us to bat… I will wrap these ramblings up as quick as I can and almost as quick as our innings.

Ben & Trius strolled out with the sun still high in the sky and optimism oozing from their paws or was that sweat!? It was still very hot. Both had to contend with what looked like very good bowling whilst the rest of us enjoyed the sunshine and the amazing vista and trips were made to the pub to get supplies (mainly alcohol) and pre ordering roasts for later.

It has to be said. It is times like these I’m reminded why we play cricket and how lucky we are to play at such a ground so rich in heritage in such idyllic surroundings. Truly wonderful.

Anyway. Some time passed before Trish returned to the Pavilion, with 2 to his name and bowled against his scorecard. Out walked Skip and shortly afterwards in walked Ben, bowled after a hard ground out 12.

In walked Howard R, he inspected the wicket, took a 2 guard, watched the first ball around his legs, OUT leg side stumping, Ross walks back to the pavilion in a very similar way to how a duck that was made of gold may walk had he gone out to bat and only face one ball before being stumped!

Mayes M, the new boy, the youngster… Erm… The Vagabond top scorer! Max looked more than comfortable facing an opposition that was rattling through the wickets. 19 very accomplished runs with several boundaries before being caught. Good work and a great first outing for the Vags with the bat and in the field.

Harding J got a steady 18 before getting out LBW putting on 40 partnership with Max, Hyndman R drew a blank out second ball, Harding L got to a quick 6 before being caught & bowled, similarly kennely P, 4, bowled, Perts like myself had a golden coloured water based bird finding himself bowled first ball. Stewie did his averages the power of good with a one not out.

Disappointing all out for 83! With their youngster (very good bowler obviously) with cracking figures of 6/14!!! He did at least get a grown up to buy a jug for us so it wasn’t all bad!

A fantastic day only slightly spoilt by the result. Better luck next time. Ale and roasts were consumed post-match in the Bat & Balls garden. Perton was drinking lime & soda and ordered a salad! He needs to be dope tested! I suggest he needs more dope!

Regardless of the result it was a good effort chaps and a wonderful day so HUZZAH to that.

Yours,

Rosco…

Hampshire Bowmen CC 1 May 2016 - DRAWN
There is often a discussion around my dinner table of constitutes a truly civilised society. My housemate who works in advertising argues that the epitome civilisation is the idea of the free flow of goods, allowing people luxuries and leisure time to enhance their quality of life. On the other hand I also live with an artist who says that the ability to express oneself, be it through music, prose or pictures is what sets us apart from the animals and shows that humans can do things that enhance the soul and not just fill their bellies. My final housemate is a junior doctor who believes that our ability to care and look after others shows that civilisation is not just about yourself and that ultimately everyone is equal.

They are all of course wrong. The hallmark of a civilised society is the encouragement of drinking beer while running about a field in whites and spikes (or whites and blue trainers in a certain members case) while chasing a small red ball.

With this in mind, several enlightened beings congregated at The Sun to fulfil the beer swilling part of civilisation. The sky was a cornflower blue and ale a pale golden. After a week of snow, wind and rain this was unexpected and very welcome. Our opposition this week were the Hampshire Bowmen, who we had never before played.

Skip lost the toss and we went out to bat first. Things got off to a less than ideal start: 8-3. However, our very strong middle order helped steady the good ship Vagabond. Tweaker was as impervious as ever while new Vagabond Andrew Wallace scored 52 on his debut. These runs coupled with a late flourish from Messer’s Perton and Harding (Luke) ensured we reached 181 by tea. Given our start this was a very good total on a rather green pitch.

Tea was provided by The Sun and the mountain of sandwiches was consumed with great gusto.

With a fairly strong bowling line up, we were confident that we may be able to scuttle them and take our second victory of the season. However a very strong opening pair meant the first wicket didn’t fall until the 13th over and despite some good balls and tight fielding the opener ended up retiring on 100. After this wickets began to flow quite freely, but they only needed 33 of the last 13 overs. Somehow we managed to limp over the line with Bowman being 5 short of our target for a hard fought draw. I think it should be noted that if their top chap hadn’t retired, they probably would have made it, but still…a draw is a draw!

Well done us! Pick of the bowlers was Skip who took 3 wickets, ably assisted by Mr Wallace, Willings and Chant who also took a wicket each. Mr Harding (J) was a colossus behind the stumps as he always is.

After the match we retired to the pub for liquid refreshments and high level performance analysis. Until next week chaps… Pip pip!

Jeggings

Dogmersfield CC 24th April 2016 Away - WON
First game of the season and what a start!

We arrived at the oppo’s ground to find a pristine looking square with a rather long outfield. Apparently it had been so wet there that the game was touch and go for a while. They had done a great job in the time available to them. The outfield was very slow but the pitch itself was a good one and the ball came on nicely. Surprisingly nicely given that it was late April!

Skip lost the toss and we batted first.

Tom H and Tris opened up for us, Tom departing early after one boundary and Tris following soon after lbw. 11 for 2 and not the best of starts. This bought Ross H and the Skip to the wicket and they put on 41 before Ross departed LBW. He played well with one great pull for 4 and a straight 6 that went miles. A good start for the bearded lad. The skip was playing well and really held the innings together. Everyone else chipped in with runs but the skipper got us to our score of 196 with a fine innings of 85. Special mentions should go to Ben Chant who looked to be a very decent player (making his debut) Phil K who proved what we all knew, which is that he is a batsman contrary to what he thinks! and Jeggings who held the bottom of the innings together. It was a really good effort from everyone but obviously the skip takes the plaudits. A good effort on a slow outfield.

Tea came and was of a very high standard. Thanks to the ladies who made it. Very nice!

We took to the field in as many layers as we could get on as it had turned quite cold. Messers Gayle and Kennelly (Kennely, Kenelly, Kenely …….god knows) taking the new ball. Both bowled excellently. Phil holding a tight line and getting the ball to swing in and Mikey bowling like he has all winter in the nets, angling the ball in and then getting the odd one to nip away. They both kept things pretty tight and it wasn’t long before Phil struck. Removing their No1 batter with a good inswinging Yorker that would probably have been too good for most people on the field. Phil soon grabbed a second when he removed their other opener who had hit a few boundaries. Tying him down for a few balls then giving him a slightly wider one that he hit close enough to Tom H that he could grab it. It had been a good start and we had kept things tight. Luke H came on and got a couple of early wickets and with Tom H making a welcome return to spin bowling they slowed the scoring which made wicket taking a bit easier as the ball had now become very soft and it was as hard to hit across the outfield as it was to bowl with! After Tom and Luke had finished their spells Stuey D came on to mop up the innings. Ably abetted by Ben Chant who got a wicket with his 2nd ball for the Vags, Stuey took the last 2 wickets, A very good caught and bowled and then bowling their skipper for a golden duck. Dogmersfield all out for 107. The chairman had a great game behind the stumps so it meant that everyone contributed to this performance and it must go down as one of our better starts to the season!

All in all a very enjoyable day and I think everyone is looking forward to our home game next week.

Luke