2022 Match Reports
Racqueteers CC 24th July 2022 Home- Won
This will be a quick one!
A lovely day, very warm and after a handful of enforced withdrawals after losing the toss saw Vags take to the field with 10 hardy souls. Special thanks to Matt P and Timmy G for stepping into the breach at such short notice!
Stu B and Stevie H opened up for us and after a couple of overs to get going both bowled excellently. Stu getting the ball to hoop around and bounce a bit and Stevie bowling very accurately and giving the batsmen little to hit. It was slightly surprising that the first wicket fell by way of a run out (very surprising for Vags actually!) with Bertie C arrowing in an excellent throw that the chairman took behind the stumps and whipped off the bails. Bearing in mind the nature of the wicket and the speed of the outfield they both did excellently and both got through 9 overs each before the change came. Stu with 9-0-55-0 and Stevie with 9-0-31-0 but they deserved more. Tom H and Luke H came on in a double change and got to work on a pitch that definitely got more helpful as the game went on. Tom with 1-28 off 6 bowled particularly well and really helped put the pressure back on the batting side and Luke with 4-33 reaping the rewards at the other end. Thanks Tom! Some excellent fielding from Simon A, Phil M and Matt M with Timmy G and Tom both taking good catches helped us restrict them to 219. This was an excellent effort given we were a man down. Timmy G and Phil M mopping up the tail in the end and both deserved more on a fairly unforgiving pitch. The Chairman with 2 stumpings and a caught behind standing up had a great game too.
Tea came, we made our own. No complaints!
So 220 to win, The Chairman And Tom H in the middle and a solid start. They had to young quicks opening who were very decent. And definitely caused both openers a few problems. The Chairman(15) unfortunately getting a leading edge early on and being caught in the covers. But not before he had clipped a few over the boundary. This bought Bertie C out to the middle and after a couple of fine boundaries succumbed to a strangle down the leg side that was unseen by the umpire (Me!) but Bertie walked. This selfless act obviously meant that the gods were now with us as we would see later. Matt M came in and looked assured against a pretty quick pair of bowlers, banging a few through the offside himself before getting castled. Out came Timmy G to join Tom H and the game was about to change. 81 for 3 with the last 20 overs just starting. Tom and Timmy batted superbly. Tom taking the lead role at first with some perfect drives through the off side and a few stonking cuts to the short boundary. Timmy taking on the quicks (one of whom is a school friend) by literally smashing them all over the place! Timmy played a particularly sweet on drive that sailed over the boundary and nearly landed in the next field, the longest boundary on the ground. The runs were coming quickly now and the two of them didn’t let up. It was one of the best partnerships we’ve seen up at Bentworth for many a season. Tom Ending on 66 not out and Timmy on 72 Not out. We chased down the target of 220 with 6 overs to spare and for the loss of only 3 wickets against a very decent bowling attack. Remarkable scenes!!! A really fine performance from the lads this time out. Everyone contributed and we made the oppo’s total look well under par. Which at half time it hadn’t.
Well done Tom and Timmy and well done everyone else.
All the best
Tommy (66 not out) & Timmy (72 not out) took the Vags over the line with 7 wickets to spare with a 139 partnership. Congratulations to them both, especially Timmy getting his first ever half century, and undefeated at that!
Very Occasionals CC 17th July 2022 Home - Drawn
It was a gorgeous day for a spot of cricket, as evidenced by the good turnout at the pub prior to the game. A number of the Occasionals joined us and it seemed set fair for a really good matchup.
Skip lost (?) the toss and we were asked to field first.
Opening from one end we had the return of the Will P making only his 3rd appearance of the season and at the other end Phil (Shaaaarooon!) Mitchell making his second ever appearance. It was a decent start from the pair of them. Both getting a fair amount of swing and the odd one to do something off the seam. Soon enough Phil got their No 1 batsman out with an away swinger that clipped the stumps. Their No 2 batsman, a very decent looking bat, was by this time getting into his stride though. Hitting a succession of nice drives that flew to the ropes. It soon became apparent that anything timed off the bat that beat the infield was going to gather pace towards the boundary so a big score was always on the cards. Their No 2’s innings was finally ended by Al Witman with a good ball that trapped him in front but not before he had scored 68. Him and his partner had put on 50 odd for the second wicket but now Vags were back in the game. Al and LH wheeled away for a few overs, both taking regular wickets but both being hit to the boundary by the Occasionals aggressive batsman on a particularly unforgiving pitch. Their scoring picked up towards the end of their innings and although Matt Mitchell made his debut with the ball and took a couple of really good wickets and James Boissier bowled well at the end they made a very decent total of 254 all out. Luke and AL both ending with 3 fers.
Special mention should go to the Skip who not only took a great catch on the boundary off a ball that was really travelling but also managed to get clouted in the plums so hard it was touch and go he’d ever stand again. He eventually returned to his feet and continued to field but it was a big hit and he looked rather pale for a while. I heard the impact from 30 yards away. Steve Berryman took an excellent catch in the deep too.
So, we’d all bought our own teas so they were by degrees excellent (Thanks babe) healthy (Al and Boots producing salad bowls, Al’s containing produce entirely from his own garden) and shameful. My brother bringing a garage sandwich.
Our usual opening partnership of Tris and the Chair took to the field and soon found themselves in the thick of the action. Occasionals being made up of a group of twentysomethings they all seemed able to bat, bowl and field which isn’t really in the spirit of things but did make for a good matchup against the athletic specimens Vags had selected. They put on 30 for the first wicket, the chairman succumbing to a bowl that stayed very low and hit his pegs. The skip came and went for a quick 19 and into the fray came Steve B. Steve, as is usually the case, looked composed and before long he and Tris had moved the score along to 115. Tris (44) then nicked one behind off the spinner and out came our lord and saviour Al Whitman who proceeded to hit one straight up in the air off one of the worst balls ever bowled! Steve then fell next for a fine 51 and a flurry of late order hitting saw Trev(22), Luke H(30), JB(1 not out) and Perts (17 not out) move the score to a final 236 for 7 at the close. Perts hitting a lovely 6 off his first ball!
Match ended in a draw, we all went to the pub, an excellent days cricket all in all against a very friendly, noisey bunch! We look forward to welcoming them to Bentworth next season. It has the potential to become one of our prime fixtures.
Love to all
Crondall CC 3rd July 2022 Away - Won
‘Life is a game of cricket on a Sunday afternoon’…
In 1923, the nations railway companies were re-organised by the government and the existing 123 private railways were formed into four new companies, know collectively as ‘The Big Four’. All of the companies in the 1920s and 1930s created distinctive in-house styles in their advertising posters and reflected the aesthetic of the period which was at times both Art Deco an often abstract in style.
These artists and their promotional works developed into a pervasive style and developing iconography that in time, along with the artists who illustrated the Ladybird series of books familiar to all, (many of whom had in fact contributed to the ‘Railway Art’) evolved to illustrate an England and its way of life and even establish a new representative national aesthetic. This particular pictorial zeitgeist that transcended the second world war and permeated further into the 1950s and 1960’s, even into the 1970’s, speaks to the England ‘that was’ celebrated by many of those who influenced my youth.
There are at the ground copious but fleeting glimpses and allusions to old world village architecture, through an occasional gap in hedges or on the enveloping horizon views surrounding the ground it was comforting that the onward march of father time had not comprehensively eroded either the true old England (or the one of the collective imagination at least) and the modern revival ‘railway art’ poster titled ‘Life is a game of cricket on a Sunday afternoon’ came to mind; what a glorious scene in which to be immersed.
As a visual depiction of England, it is considerably more enigmatic to the modern world and could arguably never have existed at all, but if it did there would be no better exemplar than the wonderful English village that is Crondall. Certainly, as I sat on the benches settling Teddy down to bask in the intermittent warmth of the summer sun whilst the opening batsman strode to the middle; looking around I was moved to observe the church tower of the 12th-century Norman parish church, All Saints (which has been called ‘The Cathedral of North Hampshire’) through a vibrant tree line of high summer that surrounds the cricket ground.
The keener amongst you will have already noted that the Vags were due to bat first and we had been assigned to the crease after our Skipper had lost the toss where we were despatched to the middle at the behest of the opposition.
Opening was our esteemed Skipper Trisha and our Chair, the venerable James Harding and the rest of us settled down to catching up or getting to know the honorary members for the day who had gallantly stepped into the breech to facilitate the days cricket; Phil Mitchell and Charlie Armstrong. Tom Nokes took up the mantle of scoring with Chris in support and we were therefore all set.
James opted for a mature outing competently selecting only those balls which would effectively find the boundary whilst at the other end the Skipper was selecting good balls for either a boundary but also favouring a stretching the his legs occasionally to run between the stumps for one or two. We on the benches were in no hurry and mercifully neither were the batsman.
After a flurry of boundaries and the beckoning of a 50, Chair negotiated with an unexpectedly high pitching ball which glanced the bat and he was caught too cheaply considering his form for 38. It had been a quality performance and no doubt he felt a touch unlucky but the 64 partnership up to that point laid a (spoiler alert) match winning foundation.
Skipper welcomed Chris Brown to join him at the crease who was settling in with some decent Cricket, but the boundary was elusive on the day and regrettably he was caught for 6 runs with the score now standing at 75 for 2. This meant the moment we were all waiting for had arrived and the sporting edifice that is Rossco made his way to the middle. He settled in, picked off a couple of singles and then ‘boom’ the boundary was found but alas to the detriment of his next stroke it seems which was sadly caught, in similar fashion to Chris, for 6 runs. Both had been helpful in nudging the team along however and the score was just shy of 100 with a total score of 82 in the 22nd over.
Now I must admit I had liberally extolled the virtues of the batting abilities of Charles Warwick Armstrong to the Skipper earlier in the week and with befuddled recollections of his recent high score (adding 100 runs to the gallant 165 actually achieved), so there was no small trepidation on my behalf as he took up position as our 5th batsman using some antique willow and a rag tag collection of sporting equipment hastily assembled for his cricket season; uniquely wearing ‘Footjoy’ cricket boots; who knew?!
The personal trepidation was wholly unwarranted however as he teased us with immediate singles to nonchalantly bypass the ‘settling in’ or ‘get your eye’ in stage, casually thereafter finding the boundary with no infrequency and scant regard for the selection of a 4 or 6. Looking every bit the natural sportsman the opposition were regularly hunting for balls hastily ejected from the theatre of play. Suddenly his limit of 50 was reached and as quickly as Charlie strode out to the middle, he was back with us on the benches for 52 from 22 balls.
Max Hill took up the mantle to join Skipper who had been hunting for his solid half century and there seemed to be a change in gear. 6’s were by this time mundane and Trius was finding the boundary alacrity but perhaps enthusiasm of a truly decent ball eluded him and he was caught behind, so near to his 50 with 44 from 51 balls (22 runs from the last 8 balls).
This juncture set the scene for a ‘Hill Sandwich’ with cricketing competence young and, well, not so young or experienced and well, not so experienced! Yikes, you get the point of course dear reader! Both fine cricketers got stuck in and with similar outcomes (Max 25 from 10, Dick Mountain 24 from 12) put on a partnership of 49, both with 6’s and multiple boundaries apiece! The stage was set and despite a given call for LBW in the last ball of the innings we were all grateful for the batting performances all round with a final score of 211 for 5.
Spirits were high as Tea was served and gratefully consumed despite some of the adjacent Bowles club spoiling for a fight with accusations of negligence in the clearing up department. It was all to play for and as evidenced by the first half there was a good batting pitch to contend with, so our bowling attack were keenly aware of the requirement for some early progress in the coming offensive.
To the strangely appropriate lingering soundtrack of a 1940’s ‘Tea Dance’ taking place in the village hall, Tom opened from the ‘Poplar’ end and max from the ‘Road’ end (new and novel end names applied) with both settling without runs being offered to the opposition. Tom was successful with an LBW call in the 5th over to get us underway and Max following up shortly thereafter with a delivery accurately finding the stumps in the 8th over for only 22 runs on the board.
These first morsels of success lead to a change in the attack with Phil Mitchell (a much more pleasant fellow than his popular namesake) and Stu Best. Phil was bowling at the Poplar end and pinning them down with experienced accuracy and Stuart best at the Road end always hunting; there could easily have been more wickets than there were from these two, overall. Phil got his wicket in the 13th over (lucky or unlucky 13 was relative in this case) with the scoreboard at 39 with a delivery competently caught by Chris in mid-wicket. Stu deceived the batsman with a delivery that slapped into the brave hands of Max hill in the 16th over for 51 runs; the game was certainly afoot!
Despite the continued efforts of Phil and Stu (Phil was hobbling by this point which is never a good sign) over the next few overs there was no further breakthrough and the recreational leviathan of Rossco loomed into the batsman’s view at the Poplar end who, joining Stu initially and not now hampered by the overhanging nets at Dummer that had confounded him over the winter, looked dangerous finding the mark in his 4th over with a delivery competently caught by Charlie with some not insignificant athletic capability in the 23rd over with the score at resting at 78.
Now it may have been the pressure of the captaincy, the discontinuous sun from intermittent clouds that filled the sky or perhaps even a sugar low (we will never know) but an arm unexpectedly found itself around my shoulder asking if I could bowl the next over at the Road end to replace Stu. This encounter reminded me of the tap on the shoulder that a young undergraduate might well have experienced whilst at Oxford or Cambridge when the security services would like to enquire as to the individuals desire to serve the Sovereign and Country and I could not think of a reason not to (at least quickly enough) so the stage was set.
There was no time to consider what needed to be done; of course I have observed the activity of bowling many times and always successfully avoided the potentiality of me actually bowling, especially, it was noted, over the winter nets sessions but ‘if cometh the hour, cometh the man’ does have any truth I had no option to see what could be done.
To my astonishment (and the other 12 protagonists I am sure) I was bowling at the target, the correct one to boot and with the third ball the batsman kindly delivered the ball directly into the Skippers hands with a satisfying slap and the incredulity of this moment cannot be overstated. The excitement though brought forth some boundaries for the batsman and I finished my first over with 1 wicket for 11 runs.
Perhaps I had my eyes open by this point, but that early form could not be replicated, and I was pleased with two overs as time served and the score settled at 108 with 26 overs gone. Much more experienced and steady hands came back on with Max and Tom taking up arms once again. 6 overs went by with nothing much happening for either the bowlers or batsman and it was the 31st over by the time Tom found the stumps, well the bails really with that satisfying tinkle of the ball, that breeched the batsman’s defences, finding its target with the bails surgically removed and the score of 123.
Max had ben unlucky in this spell not to collect further scalps and as the overs neared their completion there was sufficient time to bring on Rich (DM) and Chris who had both been giving it their all in the field but had enough left in the tank to see what could be done to finish off the opposition.
Chris who had been amongst the most athletic of our fielders made a further break through with the penultimate ball in his first (and last) over which was in fact the penultimate over of the match. There was more expert catching from Tom here as the batsman misjudged the delivery which was scooped up at the last minute with a diving catch and it must be noted that overall it had been an impressive day from Chris, Max, Charlie, Skipper and Tom all displaying high calibre hands. Rich had kept them pinned down and gave away only 7 from his two overs one of which concluded proceedings for the day with a final score for the opposition of 130 runs for 8 wickets with 26 Extras.
For all you fellows who like the stats here goes:
Tom Overs 7, Runs 26, Wickets 2
Max Overs 7, Runs 10, Wickets 1
Phil Overs 6, Runs 23, Wickets 1
Stu B Overs 6, Runs 19, Wickets 1
Ross Overs 4, Runs 17, Wickets 1
Paul Overs 2, Runs 23, Wickets 1
Rich Overs 2, Runs 5, Wickets 0
Chris Overs 1, Runs 1, Wickets 1
Thereafter it was amongst the quickest escapes to the pub I have yet witnessed by the team only to discover that no dogs are allowed (this was more of a personal concern but is notable none the less), they had clearly never met Teddy but it was still pleasant weather and benches were found for a post-match catch up. In my time with the Vags I have always enjoyed the company of the Crondall team, and we enjoyed an intermingled time. Noteworthy comment for the day, for me at least, was the parting words of Chair; “and something I never thought I would say, well played Paul!”. An exemplary day and most enjoyable Sunday afternoon…
Little Marlow CC 29th May Away - Drawn
Between bunting preparation and Union Jack cupcake baking, I found a spare moment this evening to pen some notes from our game against Little Marlow.
Vagabonds assembled bumper to bumper in the Queens Head, or was it the Kings Head… Little Marlow has both. Anyway, it was the one next to Ginger Spice’s house. It was lovely to see Soph, Ralph and Cora come to support the team! Vags started to get ready for the game in the usual way, then with 5 minutes till the first ball thought it best to head over to the ground.
We were put in to bat as Skip lost the toss, much to Elliot’s disgust who explained it’s just about understanding averages and 50:50s. A greener wicket than expected but as Tris and Chair saw off the first few overs it became clear that there were runs to be had here. Despite a relatively large boundary and a slow outfield Tris scored a nifty 42, to be replaced by Bootey. Chair managed to tick over the half century mark but fell for a solid 62. Both openers going in identical manner – caught on the boundary going for a maximum. Elliot joined Skip in the middle, who had clearly been eating his Wheaties, racking up a quick 50. Elliot was looking for a big score on his return to the motherland but was caught on 16. Mr Postle then had a front row seat as Bootes kicked on, hitting a meaty 6 to bring up his century. I was surprised as anyone when I looked up from the scorebook to see skip immediately declare on 101, mainly because it meant I was in next. Jeggs who was taking a stint as umpire began the 3-minute countdown, clearly thinking he would witness the first ever (?) time out… but with Rik’s help I stumbled out of the dressing room in ample time. Tom-Tom put on a combined 46 (Tom P – 34, Tom N – 12 n/o) to see the Vags finish on 309-4 from 43 overs. A very good score, but we also knew this was chaseable…
Packed lunches and takeaway beers were enjoyed with leftover Bakewell Tarts to spice up your life, accompanied by the usual sophisticated conversation pieces… “Blackcurrant jam tarts are the best, yellow ones are for sociopaths”. Trius said something kinda funny but I can’t remember what?
10 Vagabonds took the field, with Perts reportedly sulking in the dressing room when he found out his number one, two and three fans had not stuck around to watch him bowl. He was so late to the field that the ball was thrown to our other blistering pace bowler me to rough up their openers with some short off-breaks. What followed wasn’t particularly riveting stuff… we huffed and puffed but weren’t quite strong enough. Despite good bowling from the openers and first change (Nokes, Perts, Best and Hyde) we only picked up 2 wickets (one each for Perts and Best). The attack was freshened up with Waller and Jeggs who picked up a wicket each as we started to hold some catches, but the game was slipping irrepressibly towards a draw. A run out and two late wickets from Bootes gave the away side a glimmer of hope, but eventually the last ball was bowled, and Little Marlow finished with 251-7. A solid batting display as well.
And so here ends this week’s story. Despite an appetite for an ale or two, all the pubs were sadly shut and even if Gerri Had-a-well stocked bar, there was no getting over her rather large wall.
The eagle eyed among you will have noticed the 4 spice girls’ songs in this report.