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Captain Alistair Wright 07956-22-22-24 For scorecard click on Result i.e. Lost/Won/Draw
Please note the first three games are at our Old Deer Park and the one at Moormead. The rest at Hampton Wick.
||The Crossbats season opener played
in pleasant warm humid conditions with the dull thud of music from the local
fun fair in the background. With 2006 being the football World Cup perhaps
it was appropriate that the match winning moment was a piece of football
by Simon Reeve. The ball was thumped back so hard after Reeves delivery
that one has to say it was more likely our medium pace bowler was trying
to get out of the way, rather than achieve a clever deflection from boot
to stump. An unfortunate moment for Mr Cummings, cruelly run out
whilst backing up his batting partner. Whilst that might have been "the
moment" we can say that there were many moments when Ian Collier put
bat to ball. A superb innings, including a hatrick of 6's loads of 4's and
a bucket full of other glorious shots. So, with an unheard of 191
put on the imaginary scoreboard we felt the double confidence imbued by
the start of the season and a score close to 200. New bowler Brian Dunbar
made an impressive start and with Clive Lawrence operating at the other
end and it was not long before we had Morden in trouble. Suffice to say
we wanted to make a game of it and before we had chance to fully enjoy our
dominant position, we found, that in fact we were in danger of losing. It's
only April 15th but all of a sudden it felt we had not been away. A tense
nervous finish, spiced up further with some dodgy umpiring. A great start,
to Old Deer Park for the second game of the season. After the initial
confusion of finding a local pub team on our allocated square, the pragmatic
step was taken to avoid an ugly scene of 22 middle aged men having a punch
up in the middle of the park. Gracefully, Crossbats moved off to
play on the 2nd strip which seemed about 2 miles further into the park
. It was an absolutely gorgeous day only marred in the late afternoon
by the planes flying low overhead en route to Heathrow.
Another quality display from
Crossbats. Plenty of runs on the board from the top order with good contributions
from Wright, Carter and Winch followed up with veteran bowler John Gumbley
removing the Yarl opening pair . Brian Dunbar extinguished any doubt of
a Yarl come back by bowling out the middle order and ...well, that was
that - we had won! The Spinning Wheel beckoned..
||Match abandoned due to rain,
||Parkhill (League Team)
to Hampton Wick this was a day for veterans! Fuelled by the news that the
opposition were a league team and wanted a "warm up" game Crossbats
were fired up and ready for this fixture. The Captain came up with yet another
cunning plan. A time game and bluff the oppo into not bothering with the
toss as we are so crap and have a nice long bat. So it was, in these
circumstances, that the old vets were unleashed. Gumbley yet again ripping
out the top order and producing some remarkable figures. Was this the new
Frank? Only time will tell. Bob Jones returned to the team and made a superb
impact. Stylish fielding followed up with some outstanding bowling taking
a total of six wickets. Shell shocked, the league team all out for 99, headed
for tea. Now we all know that 99 is in fact a sizeable target for us, but
today was our day. Winch and Spiro batted fluently to get us off to a solid
start and for a moment the possibility of winning by 10 wickets was on the
cards. Not quite that dramatic but a fine win which saw the opposition drowning
their sorrows in the club bar well after Crossbats had gone home.
||In many ways this was one of our best
performances marred only by the constant rain that was never a downpour
but neither a drizzle. I say our best performance because Crossbats stuck
at the task. Yet another solid effort from our batsmen gave us a good total
to defend with the bonus of a fine last stand with Carter ( another 50)
and Jones 35, the latter showing, he can in fact run. You can never tell
by looks and The Blues surprised the writer with some quality batsmen waiting
in the nice, warm dry pavilion. The opening pair were well on there way
to victory before we managed to prise open the door. Excellent containment
bowling from Fitch, Jones and Gumbley with new boy Moidin making a promising
debut and taking the 1st all important wicket. Credit must also go to Man
of the Match Rapley. Surely one of his best performances behind the stumps
for some time. Rumours abound of a special new diet? Drug enhanced? A time
machine? A least someone can catch. Next week a tough one, The Bank.
unbridled joy. Was the best game we have ever been involved in? "Fantastic"
"Tingles up my spine" "Let's stop now, it can't get any
better" " Awesome"
Forced into another time game
we lost the toss and were put into bat. Normal BOE tactics, then go for
the draw. Sound batting performances followed with Carter collecting another
50 and Crossbats amassing a good total of 206. The FA Cup was causing
the skipper some concern as many of the regular faces of the Bank were
AWOL and in there place a mixture from the 2nd and 1st team. Was 206 enough?
I am sorry to report that tea is now a meager affair at The Bank.
Fed on just a quarter round of the most expensive sandwich in the world
each, and still hungry (apart from Spiro) - it was not long before we
were in the field focused on the task. Gumbley obliged by removing, LBW,
a particularly large burly opening batsman who seemed capable of scoring
the target alone in 20 overs. Slowly, we squeezed the rest of the top
and middle order out and then BOE assumed there normal position, of stout,
boring, defence. Still 10 overs to go & 3 wickets left. Another wicket
falls, it was Gumbley with another crap ball. 2 wickets left 5 overs to
go. Fitch straining ever muscle from one end and Lawrence thundering in
the other. Another wicket, bowled Lawrence. One wicket left 2 overs
to go. Bank of England look solid. Fitch finishes his spell. There is
just one over left. The batsmen can see the whites of the eyes of the
entire Crossbats team as they circle their prey. Lawrence is bowling the
last over. Six balls. Block, block, block, block, block..........BOWLED!
Last ball of the innings. Hugs and kisses all round. Revenge for
all those interest rate hikes. It's five wins on the bounce
||Well it had to happen sooner or
later, a return to form for Crossbats. When you loose your best two opening
batsmen to "ducks" and have not scored a run, you are in trouble.
Our fielding was a different matter. We really were quite good! Several
sharp catches from Winch and Dunbar, a steepler for Carter and a five wicket
haul for Lawrence. Just as well really, as Pacific bear no resemblance to
Pacific of years gone by. This was Team Australia, over in England, for
a warm up before their own season kicks off in the colony, in November this
year. England Coach, Fletcher's, obsession with having a long batting order
had nothing on Pacific who batted with considerable authority all the way
down. The Crossbats batting display was a different matter and after the
early collapse it was game over. Let us not forgot those amusing moments.
Short temper spats from Rapley after being reminded that 6 runs a over would
be nice, Reeve caught out twice in successive balls ( one a no ball), new
shoes for Dunbar, ducks for Collier and Winch, rank long hop wicket taking
balls from Gumbley and Fitch, diabolical wet miserable weather in the middle
of a water drought and of course a mud pat masquerading as a pitch. Let's
hope the sun shines next week.
push for 1000 runs this season forced us to abandon this game as he gave
his wicket away to a LBW / Caught behind ( yes you can be out in two ways,
ask Rapley) and also because it was pissing down all day. Carter did a good
job collecting the bails, driving Jones to the ground, eating tea and having
a pint of Pride. Well done Alan. New boy Steve Smith wondered what it was
all about. Roll on France where we can moan about the heat.
Thoughts were on a long day in the field on arrival to Spelthorne to
play Melrose, on a blistering hot sunny day, with the knowledge
we were already down to 9 players. Frantic phone calls to anyone to pluck
a couple of players on the drive up were in vein. More drama was to ensue.
Three teams were at the ground!! With diplomacy skills being sharpened
and Andy Donaldson (Snr) almost suggesting we should vacate as the other
team had "travelled from Croydon" - Sense prevailed and a mini tournament
was arranged. 10 overs a-side round-robin. 1st up were Melrose
V Netherne (a league team Melrose had booked via the cricket conference)
Easy win for Netherne. The sunbathing Crossbats thought they had there
work cut out as they were up next against the winners. It was not
to be. Some amazing cricket was to follow. 4 wickets in a Jones
over (including a run out) Jones' figures 2-0-3-4!!! Crossbats
bowled out Netherne for 49 in just over 7 overs! Crossbats won by
9 wickets. Next up were Melrose. Rags, on his captaincy debut
sort to keep smiles on faces and mixed the batting up a bit. Batting
1st Crossbats scored 80 in their allotted 15 overs. This wasn't enough
as the Melrose colts eased to their target. A win each then with
England keeping the Football crowd in the bar happy with a six - nil victory.
||Another glorious day of cricket.
At the foot of Windsor Castle where the river curls round the ground
the setting could have only been surpassed by being in the shadow of the
castle, for a blazing sun made this a brilliant toss to win.
As a reluctant opposition took to the field on a batting wicket Crossbats
did their best, helped along by some dismal umpiring from Muppett. Seemingly
in contradiction to the laws of physics a ball passes Arses entire body
to take out his leg stump. Perhaps he was just getting out of the
way as usual. Lawrence then took on a new role of top order batsmen holding
up one end and grinding out a respectable 17 (topped only by Wright 25).
Desolately at the boundary we wondered if we would make 75 and were exceedingly
grateful to amass a dismal 123 – thank God for extras.
Crick and Kirton M then taunted the Crossbats field. It was slow but
almost steady, Crick’s dolly being dropped, ostensibly with the sun
blinding Smith (Steve) the openers laid a solid foundation of 40 runs. 123
never looked enough. Finally, Morris chucked a full toss to Crick
which he obligingly lobbed back into Rick’s hands. Crossbats’
elation was short lived as Johnson and Kirton continued to push the score
along until a hot and petulant Spiro demanded a drinks break. Arse
took the opportunity to call the team into a huddle “just to make
the oppo worried.”
But it was that Lawrence magic that worked and Kirton’s leg stumped
went flying. Then Spiro joined in needing two catching chances behind
to remove Johnson off Ash. Fired up and with judicious breathers Arse
nurtured Lawrence to remove a further 5 wickets. Fayez (the
Wanderer) did his bit leading to yet another Lawrence finish. Crossbats
triumphs with barely a margin of 3 runs. Cranbourne are desolated and looking
forward to the return. (Author A. Carter)
Who said bowlers can’t bat? With 8 of them in the team one of
them had to! Robert Hodges Stroppy Jones 92 NOT OUT. Ian Collier,
watch out, the shield in not safe! We must also applaud Rapley behind
the stumps. 4 catches! Two stunners; one down leg side and one high
in the air. Bank of England took their mauling in good spirits but
still couldn’t resist muttering that an “overs game” just
isn’t proper cricket. But this was Robert’s day; a PB
and to top it all a high handed catch at gully – and the sun was out!
The 40 over a side tour match began under dark foreboding skies as storms
threatened to arrive from the nearby Pyrenees. Never mind - just
like an ordinary game in Blighty - lets bat first to avoid having to do
anything too strenuous for a couple more hours! The Gimme bowling
from the previous evening was replaced by some decent line and length and
the openers toiled - Spiro buffed one with his bat to a close fielder and
heralded the arrival of Winch who steadily built his innings to what was
to be a match winning 72 Sphing got a shocker of an LBW decision
- much to his disgust and the financial distress of Lips - but reasonably
steady contributions from the middle order and a spirited flourish from
Jones at the end set a target of 160 - something to bowl at at least.
After tea and an impressive thunderstorm the skies finally cleared but it
still didnt help the mood of the seething Sphing who grabbed the ball and
opened with a tidy 5 over spell claiming 3 early victims. The game
fluctuated throughout the 40 overs - most bowlers only lasting a few overs
at a time - but the ever plucky Jones bowled through his 8 overs, Rags bamboozled
yet more foreigners with his action and bounce and thanks to clever (!!)
captaincy by stand in skipper Lawrence - Winch was forced to come out of
bowling retirement to bowl to the last over with 10 men on the boundary!
14 required to win - it was never going to happen
- an easy win! 100% French tour record maintained. (Author C. Lawrence)
was an early 11am start with the pressure of a 4pm finish required due to
the ever summer presence of the football World Cup. Playing ones contemporaries
is always fun but can result in over competitive grudge games and tears
at bedtime. Not so anymore as this popular fixture proves. The old war horses
were in good form for Saturday 1st team and polite sledging was the order
of the day. Initially a 30 over game, but reduced to 25, under threat from
Glover to leave at 3.30pm whatever the circumstances. Ian Murray wisely
wanting his strike bowler to complete the game made the necessary noises
to his opposition skipper and all agreed the shortened version of the match.
Clayton and Jones helped the 1st's score to 134 - an imposing total. We
would normally need 35 overs to get anywhere near that....... Fresh from
France Carter took up the challenge and with Collier coming in at number
5 the target was achieved with some ease and a very useful contribution
from Extras of 26. Portugal was calling. Glover was happy. 3.10pm, time
||Midweek 20/20 Spelthorne Melrose
||Another win with excellent bowling
from Peter Adams - 5 wickets. Great batting from Dave Prentice, Winch and
Collier. We only had 10 players but that was enough! We set them a target
of 140. They got nowhere near and the departed batsmen took the option of
watching Portugal v France in the bar rather than witness the final mauling.
few weeks ago we played in a beautiful setting in southern France with the
backdrop of a imposing Chateau, this game was played with the backdrop of
the A40. The noise of the constant traffic, screeching cars and sirens was
constant. The pavilion was no better, smelt of urine had dodgy showers and
needs to be burnt down without further delay. Then there was the journey
there. The traffic was so bad it would have been quicker to fly to France
and play our friends in Auch again. Eventually the team assembled minus
one - this was indeed the Skippers worst nightmare. Things went from bad
to worse when the opposition won the toss elected to bat and wanted to play
a 40 over game. Two days later the sizeable target of 203 had been posted.
Crossbats set about the job with some optimism but on an uneven pitch and
some clever slow bowling from some very polite lanky bloke, the wickets
started to fall. We fell some distance short in the end. Highlights of the
game would have to include: Two jugs of orange juice for £8, Wright
bowling again...and yes, getting the star batsmen out. Cricket is a cruel
game and the tantrum thrown by the skipper was an indication of the pressures
of the day. Losing his wicket to a ball that bounced so many times down
the wicket that the temptation to play a golf shot was irresistible. There
is played on, and then there is played on. As the ball rolled up to the
crease Wright took a slog, miss cued and the ball crashed into his stumps.
The umpire called a no ball, and Not Out, but with the opposition crowding
the umpire like a Portugal football game the red card was brought out and
Wright/Rooney was OUT. The ref had changed his mind and decreed 2 bounces
and a roll was legal. Elthorne deserved this win, they were polite and sociable,
next season we will have to make sure we play them at Chiswick, their normal
ground and not this motorway lay by. Oh well, at least next week it's only
Another year, another defeat against Willesden Green. The game followed
all the usual traits of a Willesden Green encounter. Half an hour after
the game was due to have started the opposition still hadn't appeared. Some
frantic phone calling from Mupes eventually revealed that they were on their
way on would be arriving shortly. This was greeted by a mixture of relief
(Rags had already handed over £60.00 for the tea) and despondency
(the majority of the team were quite settled on the idea of having a few
beers and watching the Test Match). Anyway, the game eventually got started
with Willesden winning the toss and choosing to bat on a pitch that resembled
something closer to an allotment than a well prepared strip. Despite Willesden
making a characteristically rapid start, the bowlers persevered and chipped
away at the Willesden top order. Lawrence bowled with his usual fire, and
was well supported by the other bowlers with Jones, Collier, Fitch, Ash
and Josh The Aussie ringer all claiming wickets as well. The bowling was
backed up with some surprisingly good fielding . Spiro deputising behind
the stumps kept well, and unlike previous years, catches were held - notably
Lips holding onto to two catches and Mupes' fine catch on the boundary.
Having kept Willesden down to 189, there was genuine hope that we may be
able to record a famous victory. Could the batsmen perform and see us home?
In a word no. The top five all perished cheaply closely followed by the
remainder of the team. Willesden were their usual selves in the filed. Constant
chatter, banter, arguing, appealing and field changes led to our innings
lasting a surprisingly long time. In the end it was a relief when Ash was
the last man out and we were able to retire to the bar for a bit of peace
and quiet. Two defeats on the spin now - the last word on Saturday was someone
asking if we could play the Plums next week... (Author S. Fitch)
||A sense of foreboding hung over
this game. Our opposition were a colts team suitably fired up by a canny
skipper. We bowled at 11 plucky youngsters at our normal "speed"
but they scratched and battled there way to a respectable 150. Tea resembled
a swarm of locusts with Crossbats picking up a few crumbs. When our turn
came to bat we witnessed some very accurate bowling and excellent fielding.
Not to mention the catches which were taken with the ice cool temperament
of Huggy Bear or The Fonz. Winch went for a duck, a super catch at slip,
Wright for 5 and Crossbats began the slide to defeat. No, not today. Collier
was in the mood. Focused on the job Froda took us to safety with Lawrence
as his accomplice and the "insane, lost all his marbles, Lings"
was there to finish things off.
||Hampton Wick Club Day
Another great victory against all odds - We had 8 - Superb team effort. Well
done to everyone there. (Author M. Spiro)
After their embarrasing collapse in their home fixture earlier this season
Cranbourne ensured that they brought a full strength team to dish out their
revenge. Having won the toss and elected to bat Crossbats set
about blunting the visitors opening bowling attack - the inswinging left
hander Crick caused his customary havoc and although scoring freely (mainly
assisted by Mr E X Tras) we raced (!)to 45 for 4 off the first dozen overs.
An important middle order stand between Mape and Giles (50 not out) and
a spirited effort from the tail enders saw us creep to a total just over
150. It soon became evident that this was not enough !! Dunbar
was easily the pick of the bowlers - running in as hard as his ever increasing
bulk could carry him - but to no avail. In his worst bowling
display of the season Lawrence managed to pick up 4 of the luckiest wickets
ever - is there no justice?!!! Cranbourne reached their target
with 5 wickets and plenty of overs to spare - all rather a anti-climax.(
nose Devon Tour
popular tour has it all. Dancing female teens, several brands of Pride and
a good supply of straws. Even the sun shone. We were feeling positive after
the excesses of the previous night plus we had a new nick name for an antipodean
who threw up in his car.....Shandy Pants was born. As we waited for the
toss we had a practice catching session with a tennis ball prior to the
game. The signs did not look good. Robson and Jerome aka Spiro seemed to
have lost whatever little co-ordination he once had and failed to make a
single catch. We should have taken the hint. Local daft rules made our job
even more taxing as all players are required to bowl 3 overs. This additional
handicap was too much and with every match catch dropped, bar one to Pads
behind the stumps, it was carnage. Back in the Village of the Dammed, news
was traveling fast of a local victory. It seemed that every passing resident
was dropping by the local pub to hear the news. Speaking of Pubs, there
are two in East Prawle. One is The Pigs Nose, which everyone goes to and
the other, is called something without Pig in the title. Surprisingly, it
was at this second pub that we started our Saturday evening and were treated
to some polite service and excellent food. Plus, there was a TV to watch
the 20 - 20 cricket final. Like moths to a bright light we eventually left
and made our way back to The Pig's Nose pub. A reggae band was in full swing
in our bedroom, bashing out some decent tunes. Peculiar perhaps to note,
it was an all white reggae band, playing to an all white audience...ever
seen that before? At 11.45 they finished the last number and it was time
to collect our bedding and set up camp. Not quite. No, it was time for the
pubescent disco. The parents seemed to have abdicated responsibility and
it was game on for the teens. 2.30 am and the disco seemed to be coming
to a natural close, surprisingly without any incident of fighting
or vomiting. Pads, acting as the local bouncer, pushed the final stragglers
away and Mape grabed a last bottle of wine from the bar as it was finally
time for bed. Considerable trouble had been taken by the team to bring sleeping
bags, so you might imagine the problems that punctured air beds, or air
beds with lost bungs, caused. In short, 3 people who thought they would
be sleeping in reasonable comfort, found themselves closer to the floor
and dog ends, than they expected. Lights out, time to sleep. Strobe light
on. Very funny. Lights off again. Will Shandy spew in his new bedroom? Nosh
drones on. Collier and Rags, spoon. Lips and Buff snore. Mape passes out
with one last sip of wine. Pads pretends to not hear. Goodnight campers.
Hi-de-Hi. (Click here to see the pictures.)
to match report…. Lips took a stunning diving catch at mid-on…..
conference game as Melrose pulled out. As we move into the final throws
of the season the list of various injuries reduced the team to 10 and for
most of this game 9, whilst Rick focused on painting his house and not realising
he should be somewhere else on a Saturday afternoon at 2pm. We seem to be
coming into a nice vein of form as The Rain Men game approaches. Fitch &
Dunbar slogged us to 170 - nice effort, considering we were 60 odd for six
- which with nine players meant we were just two away from all out. In the
field we had a good day, topped by Sir David clattering the ball into the
stumps to claim another victim. A truly golden moment as the great man remarked
" I never thought I would see that again" It was a tight finish,
with Crossbats after just the last wicket with only 4 runs remaining but
this time it was not to be. Ohh.......! What could have been if, but, maybe.
was an eagerly awaited fixture and in many ways lived up to expectation,
that is, apart from the result! Crossbats assembled promptly and despite
a last minute pull out were able to field a full team. The Rain Men were
a delight to meet. A mixture of solicitors, barristers and some young
blokes they had picked up on the way.
We got underway
at 2.20pm, with the Rain Men opting to bat first, in a time game, mainly
because they still had three missing in transit. Immediately, it seemed
the rumours about the fragility of the opposition could be true, as they
lost two wickets and made slow progress to 50. Crossbats skipper elected
to hold back Dunbar and see how the game developed, however, after 18
overs of Ash and Gumbley it was time. A 5 wicket haul later The Rain Men
were in some trouble with Duvivier left to polish off the tail. Now it
was our turn.
Chasing 111 we made
a complete hash of it. Four ducks and a spectacular 21 minute vigil as
Spiro amassed 2 runs. We were in serious trouble. Jones played his usual
anchor role in the lower order but this time it was not enough. The pressure
was too much. The tension was unbearable. Needing just one run to win
Gumbely skied a ball to deep fine leg. Caught. The Rain Men celebrated
there fourth ever win in their history. Their scalp? Crossbats.
Back in the
early 90’s Gareth Pocock and Dean Johnson amassed a total of over
300 against Yarl. Gareth hit a double century and Dean a century. Ever
since then this fixture has been a high scoring affair and more often
than not, we win at home and loose away. It was around 5 years ago when
Dave Birch took us to our last away win, scoring a brisk lower order 30
or 40 to see us to victory.
Cricket should be played in blazing sunshine with the
odd fluffy cloud in the sky and then sprinkled with tea, orange squash
and sandwiches. Today, we played in gale force winds, occasional
driving rain and murky, dull, conditions. A late start reduced the game
to a 30 over match with Crossbats winning the toss and electing to bat
first. All the top order performed and Colliers sparkling 100 was a lesson
in spanking a bad ball and set the tone for the batsmen eagerly waiting
their turn. Our opposition fell apart in the field, numerous fielding
errors and overthrows. Yarl are a Sri Lankan team and one can only guess
at the things that were being said on the field in their native tongue.
Not familiar with that language, one must assume looking at their faces,
that they were not having a nice afternoon.
We set them a target of 200 and adjourned for a disappointingly
“English” tea which lacked any spice. As the skies continued
to darken Crossbats took to the field in a boisterous mood. Our fast bowling
threesome of Fitch, Dunbar and Mparadzi did the trick with Reeve claiming
a couple with his new loopy style bowling. The result was never in any
doubt but Yarl did put up a valiant effort getting close to the target
scoring 175 in 30 overs.
Not many games left now……..
was meant to be an easy fixture. Last season when we played The Plums
in July, we beat them convincingly and then did not win another game until
October. Cries used to go around the changing room…….”Skip,
can we play The Plums again, we need a win”
warning signs were there when they arrived and a sea of unfamiliar faces
presented themselves, some with the scary antipodean twang in their voice.
Crossbats won the toss and elected to bat on a beautiful late summer September
afternoon. A new batting order emerged with Reeve coming in at number
three and Rapley at five. How would they fair? There are many similarities
between cricket and baseball and some would say cricket and golf, Reeve
perhaps forgot what game he was playing. The crowd were pleased; it was
good entertainment as he chipped balls neatly into the open spaces on
the green avoiding any fielders with some precision. Collier scratched
around the other end with his mind, perhaps on the dinner party he had
to attend that afternoon or his imminent move of house to a village just
outside Wales. Whatever is was, he was soon out, bowled and back with
his team mates relaxing in the deck chairs. Reeve was now on the
17th hole and looking good. His next shot chipped one up a little too
high back towards the 16th and was caught behind by his caddie. Rapley’s
turn now. This did not take long - “Out” caught behind,
another duck cup contender.
Carter/Wright, then a Wright/Fitch partnership of 90 (6th best partnership
of season) followed and the runs started to flow. Our strength today
was our bowling so when we finished 194 after 35 overs we were pretty
pleased, in fact, delighted.
followed and The Plums seems surprised at the large spread of goodies
and tucked in.
opening batsmen for Plums seemed confident and started by smacking Lawrence
to the boundary. Next over, Gumbley took his customary surprise wicket.
If this was The Plums 2000 – 2005 team then that would have been
it, game over. This team had a stronger spine and the next batsmen; in
fact all 10 of them could hold a bat. Runs were coming at an alarming
rate so it was time to summon Dunbar. First ball …WICKET, second
ball WICKET, then add to this, next over a juicy LBW (Mr Kirk –
more about that later) Despite this, the runs kept flowing and Plums were
racing towards their target. Dropped catches by Birthday Boy Ash and a
slow fall (pretend dive) by Spiro highlighted our fielding and then there
was a moment of utter brilliance. The ball hit hard to deep mid on and
both Spiro and Carter looked at each other hoping the other would go fetch.
Spiro started off the chase in his slow jogging style whilst the batmen
were sprinting their second. Carter reacted to this by speeding past Spiro,
collecting the ball and hurling it in. The batsmen were meanwhile on their
third run. DIRECT HIT!! From just inside the boundary, Carter had thrown
the ball onto the stumps. More wickets for Fitch, Lawrence
and Dunbar continued to apply the pressure. This game could go either
way. Last wicket. Big LBW shout. The Plumb was plumb. Not out. Another
BIGGER LBW shout. The Plum was plum again. OUT! We win, you lose, na na
was a fun game. Spiced up by Mr Kirk’s dismissal, LBW to Dunbar.
He threw his toys out of the pram in spectacular style and, after being
dismissed, took an early shower. Meanwhile, Mrs Carter has just completed
a marathon run from Brentford, home of The Mape’s, to Hampton Wick
and was also in need of a shower. That’s where the two met and a
rude exchange followed which left Mrs Carter fuming. No doubt Mr Kirk
is a confirmed bachelor with his only solace a porn magazine and with
no experience of dealing with feisty women.
and refreshed Mrs Carter went off in search of Hubby and whilst hunting
him down caught sight of the rude opposition cricketer. The verbal assault
was intensive and included the words bald, idiot and cunt. Trouble was
it was the wrong man. An innocent bystander caught by the wrath of Brentford.
Who said cricket was dull?
1. Judging a Wide
(a) If the bowler bowls a ball, not being a No ball, the umpire shall
adjudge it a Wide if, according to the definition in (b) below, in his
opinion the ball passes wide of the striker where he is standing and would
also have passed wide of him standing in a normal guard position.
(b) The ball will be considered
as passing wide of the striker unless it is sufficiently within his reach
for him to be able to hit it with his bat by means of a normal cricket
What is cheating? Not walking
when you nick the ball? Tampering with the ball? Sledging to put the batsmen
off? No, none of these. Giving "generous" WIDES when your team
is chasing a big score. Yes, I would say that's taking the piss.
And so it was,
on a hot muggy day, the game began. Playing on the main square Crossbats
elected to bat first and make full use of the bar. Another day of contributions
from the whole team, with the highlight being Dunbar's girlfriend in her
new brilliant red hair, closely followed her man's power hitting display
which included one huge 6 into the next door allotment and numerous 4's.
At the other end Dunbar was accompanied by Jones. Playing, with his usual
cunning, and a firm eye on his average of 139.5, perhaps it was not a
surprise, when he elected to "leave" the last ball of the innings........
NPL had to chase
194 and clearly had the team to do the job. A mixture of league players,
2nd's and 3rd's. After the first calamitous over and 3 catches going down
to Lawrence, Crossbats composed themselves on the job in hand. NPL had
the assistance of 47 extras (17 "wides") and they gradually
closed in on the target. Tight control on the game was maintained
with accurate bowling from Jones and Dunbar. The last 5 overs were a tense
affair with everyone on the boundary but NPL had left it too late and
with a final accurate over from Fitch it was all over....with just 8 runs
Another glorious day, sunny and warm.
A perfect days cricket in prospect. And so it was.......BA were a splendid
bunch, polite courteous and friendly. Crossbats fielded first after
winning the toss and ,with one exception, turned out a brilliant display
of ........................CATCHING. High catches, low fast catches, dolly
catches - we got the lot! Special mention has to go to Spiro. One would
not take a bet on anybody in the team holding onto a ball after it had first
visited the outer atmosphere, so when Spiro positioned himself and called
"MINE" we all thought there was no chance. A golden moment in
the season followed as the ball was safely pouched. Stunning. The final
target was 154. That's 54 more than we would feel comfortably chasing. Collier
and Wright got down to business, then Winch joined Wright in the chase.
It was slow progress on a stodgy pitch and came down to a final 5 overs
and 30 runs still required. Winch bashed a few fours then was bowled. Enter
Carter clutching his heart in an effort to slow it down. More singles and
fours - we were on target. Just two overs left now. 8 runs left which Wright
knocked off in two balls. Shouts of delight from Spiro on the pavilion balcony.
Arms aloft from Wright. A not out score........Bob Jones would be proud.
would prefer to suck cock" these are the words spluttered by Spiro
as the day began. An outburst brought on by the tedious task of putting
up the perimeter nets at Moormead. Not just a tedious task, a dangerous
one. For those of you unaware, the job entails putting metal poles into
their various holes which can be found on the boundary of the field. Locating
the hole involves some detective work as they are covered in grass,
mud and dog shit. The holes themselves are full of old stagnant rain water
and dog urine. Pushing the metal pole in, should be done with extreme
caution. Despite 20 years experience and perhaps having not put anything
else into a hole in the last two years Spiro could not hold back and pushed
to hard. Result: Dirty piss ridden water shooting out of the hole and
covering Spiro's face. His day was not going to get better.
we were back at the old ground for the last two games of the season!
fielded first in a monsoon. It was miserable. The ball was like soap the
ground was slippery and dangerous crater holes could be found in the outfield.
Despite this, Ash bowled his best performance and Collier pulled off a
hatrick, thanks partly to Carters beer belly. What a strange sound, leather
on flabby skin is. We did well and held them down to 175 runs which considering
Strongroom were half our age and also playing a Nigerian international
player - was not bad!
it came to batting it's perhaps best we do not dwell on the abject display.
Pretty flimsy. Disappointing after such a good season but it did at least
include a personal best from Steve Smith of 11. A day of injuries as we
hobble to the final game.....and here, for the record I list them. Rapley,
broken finger. Lawrence, bad knee. Gumbley, hamstring. Spiro, still retching.
Carter, eyesight gone. Next week we have the last game and end of season
bash. Will we finish on a high?
correspondent is too hung over, stiff and aching to file a long report.
Also, I know Pacific will read it and therefore one must resist the temptation
to slag off Billy, especially as some tickets to the game in Adelaide are
up for grabs. We won, they lost. Always good to see our friends from North
London and as the years go by, their offspring too. I never imagined I would
be fending off early tea advances by a young Holman. In short one could
say that it was about our bowlers and Pacifics batsmen. When your tail is
your number 11, then you have a solid batting order. Removing the other
10 for 138 was an excellent effort but still left us a worrying total of
138 to chase. On our last legs at the end of the season, with injuries to
almost the entire squad, it was Carter who made the difference with the
bat accompanied by Spiro for a significant part of the journey. Sweet memories
to take into the dark winter months.