day brightened by crazy new player. Top order failed....
batted well, Gagi bowled well. Yarl found it too cold. Michael from the
Wick was a great help! Mal Spiro staked his claim behind the stumps.
took us close, very close. Wright scored his first run. Lips had his birthday.
Mal stayed at No 9. Bob run himself out. 1st game at The Wick
Blues turned up with 5 players, took 4 of ours, we then played a 9 a side
on a sunny day and lost but we will call it a draw. Skippers note: Must
avoid Bank Holiday games. Highlight: Wright bowled Murray Snr caught Murray
||Bank of England
pefect game. A time game we won! Declared early thanks to top order rush
of runs. Fantastic opening partnership with Winch and Spiro. Great fielding.
Reeve took last crucial wicket caught Fitch with three overs left. Rapley
back behind the stumps with a great catch and then Sprio a superb catch
running round the edge of the boudary off Jones. Winch dropped a slip
catch! Wright caught a blinder. Whole team played a key part in this win.
mauling from Willesden Green. We suffered some dubious outfield catching
or lack of it (exception Alan Carter) Highlight of the day was Pads sending
a ball skyward then half way down the pitch assuming he would be caught.
Not so! As the ball was dropped, but this still left time for our agile
West India friends to run him out!
efforts by Archers to get the game called off(short of players, FA Cup
final and of course a spot of rain all lining up as excuses) the game
went ahead in showery weather.The words "skip is it still on"
drive Wright to near madness as he decides to open bowling and forgetting
he has an injured arm. One ball later new youth selection Miles takes
over. Further signs of madness were apparent when he gave one of our
two only bowlers to the opposition as they were short, perhaps, in favour
of a quite afternoon without Frank. As it turned out we put up a decent
score and with Birch making an honourable season debut, we won, mainly
because we held our catches and Archers Tavern, whilst having a decent
bowling attack, can not bat for toffee.
the toss and took full advantage batting first on a flat track and amassing
a imposing total. Over the years there have been many promises of new
players bringing new riches to the club then turning out to be complete
idiots - not on this occasion as we were treated to a proper batting display
by new boy Gary. He is welcome anytime. The opposition tried to talk there
way to victory with the aid of Mark politely sledging each member of the
team by name whilst he whacked another boundary, but it was not enough.
Game finished at 8.00pm - note to skipper NO MORE 40 over matches - 35
is our maximum. Numerous injuries were reported as a result.
game played in excellent spirit followed by BBQ and disco - raised £250
||Pacific in Cambridge
go like this: 1,3,2,19,3,4,3,1,0,6,2 all out 56 Yes, it's another tour
where the cricket is just a way of passing time before the main event.
More injuries this time to Rupert Barnes ( 4 stitches upper lip) and Ian
Collier ( possible fracture wrist). We fielded for 60 overs, had a great
lunch and tea in a superb location. Flaming Sambucas, Indian restaurant
and a trip to the Boomslang club. You know the rest.
||Bank of England
boy Rob picked up the "Duck Hat" on debut. Lips fielded like
a pro and thereby injured himself. Steve Lings gave the oppo a chance
by declaring Winch out LBW. A tight, fun game made more so by some interesting
bowling and keeping and the 4 x 4 bye over! Desperate Bank of England
sent out Dave Prentice's son ( aged 8) to try and knock of the winning
runs. Farther looked on anxiously, gnawing at his fingers nails. We won
- how I do not know.
a boiling hot day when Bangladesh beat Australia and Jason Kirkwood pocketed
£2500 we won two games in a hastily organised round robin competition.
Three teams turned up to play Spelthorne and our old friends Ploughmans.Crossbats
specialise in this type of cricket of 15 over games when we know standing
up in the field is limited to 30 minutes then we can have a breather.
With the incentive of "looser stays on" the opposition had no
chance. Sensing a pleasant afternoon lazing in the shade we stuffed Ploughman's,
then rested and had a tight game against Spelthorne. We are the Champions!
Well done Bangladesh. Man of Match Simon Fitch. Looser of Match Graeme
Winch and the whole of Australia.
Played on a stodgy wicket used that morning by the Colts, who, it appeared
can not read or tell the time as they used our pitch. This was a well
mannered affair with numerous batsmen walking without the need for the
umpires finger. Game probably lost when the Skipper decided 3 years was
a long enough break from bowling and it was time for a comeback. One over
later we were struggling and the opposition delighted. The pressure was
off....the game was over, the bar beckoned invitingly.
||Plums in Winchester
plums were squashed. Simon Fitch with a wonderful hatrick and Wright (taking
the ball from an injured Reeve) 4 wickets for 15 runs. Beer match followed
a much improved tea with no sign of a babybel but still the obligatory
plums. So, it was off to our accommodation, a student digs that was perched
on Mt Everest. Walking downhill to town with the excitement of the night
to come was easy. Mark Rapley was missing, busy fabricating his story
for the night. " I lost my glasses, fell over and tripped up, went
to hospital and had a lobotomy." Seeking out the loudest bar in town
we celebrated the cricket victory and then moved seamlessly to the local
curry house. Curry over, it was time for some more exercise back up the
hill of hills and our digs. Roll on The Pigs Nose!
not one our better days.Only setting the opposition 134 to win gave the
Skipper an early headache. On a dry sunny afternoon with the ball rushing
to all corners it was never on, despite a few early breakthroughs including
a low bending slip catch from Wright & a dolly to Lings at mid on.
Not enough runs meant it was also difficult to give everyone a game. Mind
you that did have one advantage of a not so smelly changing room due to
an early grumpy departure from Lippitt. Tut tut.....mid season tensions
surface. Mal Spiro's initiative to raise money for charity yielded £31-
so all was not in vain.
||Melrose with Jazz at the
Skip the sun was in my eyes" Finally, a sunny day at Hampton Wick
but this caused our downfall. With the sun beaming down on a glorious
afternoon catching dark red balls against a blue background presented
a new challenge. No 1. The ball high in the air directly over Rapleys
head. The warning cry was sounded " I can't see it" Fitch races
in a comical style to try and make the catch - passing Rapley on the way.
A good effort with Fitch ending a crumpled mess on the floor. No 2. A
ball basted to deep mid wicket by Damesh - Carter hovers underneath, the
ball hits his arm then chest and finally hits the ground. A brave effort.
No 3. Another ball high into the covers, smartly spotted by the skipper
( as he moved out of the way) as being a clear chance for Reeve. Dropped.
No 4. A huge hit again this time high over the gully area. Jones's chance
but he was looking the wrong way. Winch, realising no one could catch
anymore, saw his opportunity as Jones and Wright stared longingly at each
other, pushed past them both and cleanly caught the ball. By this time
the game was up and the Jazz beckoned with Rapley doing his customary
|| Worcester Pk
faltered against the old enemy we completely fell apart with a dreadful
batting performance scraping togther 59 runs. Tea became lunch and then
a quick drink in the bar and home in time for the Six o'clock news. Highlight
of the day was Clive Lawrence knocking some poor blokes helmet off when
bowling a speedy delivery,
||Six a side Tournament
||Cancelled - next
year we try again!
||Mid Week Beckenham CC
a timed game, Crossbats took to the field and restricted the hosts to
181 with Jones the pick of the bowlers taking 4. Good support
also from Fitch who was accurate and had little luck. Dropped
catches once again were a problem. Keeper had to leave the
field with a nosebleed as the pressure got too much. Crossbats just failed
in a spirited attempt to overhaul Camborne's total - Reeves batting was
particularly impressive reaching 40 + with good support from Kirk. Nice
fixture, nice opposition, no showers but we will be back. Author M.Spiro
Captain Alan Carter
||Pig's nose Devon Tour
was some late news delivered to Alan Carter on Thursday night on the eve
of the tour. Our hosts advised us there would be no camp beds and to bring
something to sleep on. For some reason Carter decided to keep this information
to himself much to the surprise of Spiro and Kirkwood . Late that night
Spiro paced round the music hall (our accommodation/bedroom/dorm) refusing
to lie down on the hall floor preferring to spend the night in a chair
whilst Kirwood chuntered on late into the starry night about paying £15
to sleep in such basic conditions. Yes, the tourette was off to a good
start! Next day a familiar sight greeted the team. Rain. Lots of it. The
locals promised good weather at 4pm - it seemed very unlikely. At the
appointed hour a strange thing happened. A person dressed all in white
entered the pub. The game was on! Leaving our home ( The Pigs Nose Pub)
we made the short journey down the path where a local farmer had converted
one of his fields into a cricket pitch. The weather at this time
seemed worse. It is difficult to explain quite how bizarre the conditions
were. Imagine, if you will, playing cricket in a thick misty rain cloud.
Not under it - I stress - but IN IT! Bowlers literally could not be seen
running in until the last minute as they passed the umpire and appeared
out of the gloom. Umpires advising the scorer of 4's and 6's did so by
a loud shout to the boundary as no hand signals could be seen. Starting
at 4pm we played 30 overs, lost the game, as we always do on tour, and
headed back to the digs. A most enjoyable night followed with a blues
band and the customary lock in till the early hours topped off with some
fine singing from the local barmaids. The beer got cheaper, the jugs larger
and the music louder then eventually late, late, into the night if was
time to lie on the floor. This place is great!
doubt teams are now queuing up to play us as we failed again to register
a win. Having said that, it was a better team performance with only three
catches going down. Encouraged by their umpires, Willesden Green, eventually
found their rhythm and accelerated past our target of 160 with ease. It
was Malcolm's Spiro 20th anniversary with the club. We will wait until
the 50th for our drink.
played to the constant incessant background of a local band, rejected
at the first round of Pop Idol. I am sorry to say this ground seems to
be suffering from local vandals with the changing room broken into the
previous night and having to be boarded up after our game. I say game
- I mean slaughter. Advised to remove all valuables this information was
not heeded by all the team with some small change reported missing. £1.50
can buy a small joint as was witnessed by Sir David as the locals puffed
happily in their front gardens. Tea was the usual splendid Sri Lankan
affair with pokoras available for all. On the pitch we were put into the
field and suffered as Yarl amassed an imposing total. Another five catches
were put down and with all fielders back on the fence these talented batsmen
took us apart with sixes flying to all parts. 35 overs and 270 odd runs
later it was our turn. No chance, but a useful opportunity to work on
some batting averages.
||Hampton Wick Royals
a long consultation after winning the toss we elected to bat first and
make full use of the bar facilities as we enjoyed our first outing on
the 1st eleven pitch (for those of you who do not know the bar overlooks
the pitch) After building his innings Spiro was out caught to a excellent
catch at slip for 5. Enter Nick Reed, bottom pushed out in his elegant
way. Moments later unable to control himself Wright did something not
seen since 1978. Calling for a quick single as Nick dropped the ball down
near his ankles. Completely aghast that such a run should be attempted
Nick had no chance. Was the Duck cup in Mr Wrights thoughts? A much better
performance from Crossbats followed and a somewhat surprising score was
posted of 207. The sun still beating down we took to the field and soon
found our limited attack being put to the sword. Turning to anyone who
could claim to bowl Mal Spiro took his chance. Two wickets quickly followed
and Malcolm was in unfamiliar territory bowling for a possible hatrick.
Sadly, it was not to be but Crossbats had regained control of the match
with Hampton Wick still chasing 50 to win. Could Rapley be the match winning
bowler? 1.2 overs and 17 runs later we had the answer. No. However, it
has to be recorded that we did OK ! We caught all - yes ALL our catches
and posted a reasonable score. The bar followed and another beautiful
sunset but alas we were alone as most of the opposition would have been
arrested for under age drinking. Next week The Plums, I smell victory...........
was always going to threaten this fixture. We managed to get half the
game done before a torrential downpour arrived. Shame, the Plums turned
up with 11 and bowled us out for about 110. They seemed determined not
to be squashed, however, their batting was exposed by some excellent swing
bowling from our "student UB40 graduate" Kirk Laight. Urged
on by the prospect of a free tea a five wicket haul followed with Plums
only scoring 17 runs. Then came the rain and the pub.
into field Crossbats set about the game with some optimism. The locker
was full of bowlers and our opposition had only played a handful of games.
Clive Lawrence whipped out the two openers in the first over and the unusual
scent of victory was in the air. Over the next few hours our Moor Mead
neighbours were reminded about why cricket being played on the green was
perhaps not a wise reason to buy a house in the area. Balls rained down
on cars, roofs and at one moment an unfortunate dog out with it's owner
for a quite afternoon shit. Whilst the oppositions umpires dozed away
at square leg missing some inspired wicket keeping we spiraled out of
control as the score racked up. Finally it was all over and a sizeable
total was set. Well, if the locker was full of bowlers it left no room
for any batsmen as we fell on our sword. The Duck Cup soon became the
main focus of the afternoon with many of the team staking a late claim.
Two more games to go........
|| Strongroom CC
the knowledge that Pacific gave this lot a beating we approached this
fixture with some degree of optimism. I am sorry to report we were again
set an imposing total and with our hopeless batting we stood little chance.
It was good to see Simon Groves back for a game and he made a valiant
attempt to chase the target in the early overs. John Gumbley batting at
10 got the biggest cheer of the match when he passed the highest score
in the team of 19. Next week is our last game followed by the awards for
best batsmen etc. Can someone win a trophy for achieving a batting average
of just 14? We shall see.
cricket for days like these. After a run of lost games stretching back
to July when it was hot and sunny Crossbats on this chilly Autumnal afternoon
achieved the impossible. We won. Yes, I say again, we won. Pacific are
a strong team, they trounced us back in June but this was our time. Skippers
privilege is to opening the bowling at the end of the season and with
the opposition chasing a mediocre target of 151 it seemed the presentations
scheduled for the pub later that night would be starting early. Hypnotized
by the lack of spin, balls lofted high into the setting sun then bouncing
ankle length in the rain was just too much for the Pacific top order.
Winch, applying similar technique the other end proved to be a masterstroke.
For the first time in months we felt the tingling sensation of a possible
win. It has to be noted that Pacific have the luxury of a master class
player. This Aussie can keep, bowl and bat like a true pro. He is young,
handsome and endowed with a considerable amount of curly hair and also
has a good sledging technique. So, when you get some one of this class
thrusting his pads out not daring to use his bat to Wrights"hand
throwing grenade bowling" - well something has to be wrong. This
was the young lads last match in England as a contracted player to Pacific
so he will be taking some interesting memories of his last game back to
his mates in Australia. A ball fizzed skyward. Moor Mead was deathly still.
You could hear a pin drop whilst we waited to see if our new boy Laight
would cling on to the catch. Goodbye class batsman. Please leave
the arena....... Meanwhile, Billy Bunter was getting stuck in thumping
balls down to the fine leg boundary. The game was not ours yet. Enter
Spiro. Confidence high after a sound 23 with the bat it was his time to
bowl. Mr Bunter, ever true to his style, slogged the ball down to deep
backward square leg and found the gut of Groves. Spiro then removed Smith
next ball and a possible hat trick was on the cards. Sadly this was not
to be but Crossbats closed in for the kill with Reeve polishing off the
tail. A win. A great win that we can enjoy in the dark winter months.