Match Reports



Match Reports

3rd June 2024
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V&A v The Town & Country XI

This game was about the sixteenth iteration of a fixture which has its origins in the connection between our erstwhile tea lady and doyenne of the side of cold roast beef, Sarah Jenkins and the Winters family.  Martin Winters had bought Sarah’s house in Cornwall and as a consequence had been introduced to Nicky Bird.  I can only assume that Martin wasn’t firing on all cylinders at the time as it is reported that he found Nicky both polite and amusing and suggested that his son, George, who had recently moved to Wargrave, gather a team to play the V&A.  In the early days their team was made up of George’s school friends and a rag tag of fellows from nearby Wargrave, who were for the most part, not very good at cricket.  They always won the toss, but seldom the match.  One one occasion that had the misfortune to come […]
13th September 2023
Nieboer's delivery stride

V&A v Bacchus XI

Bowling is arduous enough in 30 degree heat with a full complement of fielders, but when you only have six men and number six has just disappeared off to Henley station in search of number seven, so that you have a bowler, a wicketkeeper and three rather lonely fielders, the modest dimensions of cricket ground at Stonor take on Saharan proportions. “A good day to bat early”, quipped Ed Shepherdson as he smote his first ball for four and proceeded to smite further boundaries more or less at will.  Finding the fielder in these circumstances was about as likely as I am to find the pocket at snooker.  The Bacchus XI, for it was they who found themselves in this hapless position, had gamely stepped into the breach after we had been let down by The Refreshers, a team of barristers, in the middle of the week.  Eventually the Bacchus emissaries returned […]
31st August 2023
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V&A v Stonor CC

A rare double header for the V&A is always a logistical challenge.  This challenge was made doubly so by the fact that Nicky Bird, founder and eminence grise of the club was due to play a significant role, catering on Saturday and captaining on Sunday.  Sadly, medical complications meant that he had to go to hospital instead.  Nicky and hospitals have had a rocky relationship in the past, but he assures me he is being well looked after, but is disappointed in the nurses’ deplorable knowledge if the works of P.G.Wodehouse and the wine list leaves a little to be desired.  A mad communal scramble ensued to gather the requisite vittles for the day.  A joint of beef here, some baked peppers there, salads, potatoes, bread and various condiments, not to mention a variety of scones and cakes for tea and before we knew it, we had a spread fit for Bacchus himself. […]
2nd June 2023
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V&A v The Town & Country Folk

A fine day in the Stonor valley saw the V&A play host to local visitors from across in the Thames in Berkshire, a fixture which has been running for some fifteen years.  The Town & Country Folk used to turn up with a cavalcade of 4x4s which distributed hoards of youngsters around the ground.  The youngsters have grown up, and now make up half of the team giving the T&Cs some players who can run and throw to compensate for their ever more creaky parents. Nick Derewlany won the toss and chose to let the opposition bat first and before long they were reeling somewhat at 65-4 in the light of some tight V&A bowling.  Their innings was singlehandedly saved by a fine innings from local farmer, James Hunt, who took time to play himself in before lunch followed by a series of crisp straight drives and lusty pulls to […]
5th May 2021
OUT! Lachlan Nieboer has his man LBW

V&A v Silk Boudoir XI

One of my earliest memories of playing in a cricket match was my school’s Parents v School game. The master in charge of cricket was a rotund German with a gammy leg, who for reasons I cannot being to imagine had taken up cricket as a way of blending in with the locals.  He was also somewhat forthright in his views, so when my mother mentioned how much I was enjoying playing, he replied by describing me as the most ill-coordinated boy he had encountered and a lost cause as far as cricket was concerned.  Usually the School, after season of nets and matches, beat the less practiced Parents quite easily, but on this occasion a recent addition to the Parent ranks happened a regular for Worcestershire II’s. He hit sixes at will and when he tired of that, offered a series of towering catches which a succession of hapless schoolboys […]
6th September 2019
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V&A v Refreshers CC

We returned to the usual one game weekend after the excesses of the week before, where our usual Saturday fixture was followed by a fixture against Stonor village on Sunday.  Rather bizarrely, having hitherto beaten all comers, the V&A were skittled by a combination of wily bowling and wallyish batting and villagers knocked the runs of with relative ease.  Nobody cared a great deal because whilst Martin Bowden and Norman Reid were putting together a plucky last wicket stand, a certain Ben Stokes was writing himself into the history books with a last wicket stand of his own. As for this match, Andy Taylor won the toss on a bright morning and chose to bat, sending in new boys, Nick Derewlany and Joe Tetlow to open proceedings. They got off to a sprightly start, in spite of tidy bowling and skipped, though a mixture of elegant drives and lusty pulls, to 92 at about […]
10th July 2019
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V&A v The Authors XI

Cricket has offered literature a surprising amount of material over the years.  Jeeves was a Warwickshire medium pace bowler before lending his name to P.G.Wodehouse’s gentleman’s personal gentleman.  Sherlock Holmes is supposedly a portmanteau of Nottinghamshire and England wicketkeeper, Mordecai Sherwin and teammate Francis Shacklock, and Sherlock’s brother Mycroft named after the Derbyshire fast bowler, William Mycroft.  James Bond was an ornithologist, but the name of his arch-enemy, Blofeld, which Ian Fleming lifted from his club’s register, was the father of the commentator Henry Blofeld.  Both Wodehouse and Conan Doyle played cricket for the Authors XI in its original incarnation, long before it was brought out of hibernation in its current guise to play against poncey teams like the V&A. The fixture is now in its fifth year and despite two rain affected matches, has been enjoyed by all concerned.  The Authors are a convivial bunch who, unlike the V&A, actually do […]
8th May 2019
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V&A v The All Sorts

It was bloody cold.  At one point, just before an early tea, with the wind whistling down the Stonor valley alternately carrying with it driving rain or hail, I felt entirely ill equipped as umpire with a mere two jumpers, a body warmer and an umpire’s coat for protection.  If we are to continue to play in these conditions an umpiring sou’wester outfit shall be required.  The rain had been infrequent, but but the howling gale was a constant.  It meant that one either bowled with the wind or directly into it.  The latter option was not much fun, as the wind acts not only as an impediment to bowling, but also as an aid to the batsman who sought to smite the ball in the direction from whence it came.  I found myself in danger of developing a cricked neck from watching the ball sail back over my head […]
12th September 2018
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V&A v A Few Good Men

The final scheduled fixture of the V&A season (there are now a couple of impromptu additional fixtures planned) has traditionally been against A Few Good Men.  Sadly, on this occasion they should have been renamed Too Few Good Men because, despite the best efforts of their captain, Alistair Metcalfe, they could muster a mere eight players when eleven is the traditional number.  The V&A were also a few regulars short, but such is our current strength in depth that his proved to be a welcome development allowing some of the more occasional members of the V&A squad.  Nick Emley, captain for this match, was concerned about the lack of batting and consequently implemented the impromptu opening partnership of Jonkers and Grantham with the instructions to ‘get your heads down’.  Observing my batting in the nets, Lachlan suggested that I might not be psychologically suited opening the batting.  He may have […]
13th June 2018
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V&A v Thebertons

The day began, as every day should, with an anecdote from the rich and varied life of Nicky Bird.  His wife had been taken ill and whisked into hospital accompanied by Nicky, the dutiful husband.  When the doctor came round he if he might be excused in order to take a snifter. Nicky is a resourceful fellow and, aware that the NHS does not stretch to a fully functioning bar had brought his own. He was just pouring himself a finger or two of whisky, when he was accosted by a member of staff.  Their exchange reads rather like something from Holby City would if they had co-opted P.G.Wodehouse as a script writer. “What are you drinking?” said the nurse. “Whisky, what does it look like,” answered Bird. “You can’t drink that in here, this is a hospital.” “Why ever not, it is the cocktail hour afterall?” “We have recovering alcoholics, it […]