Match Reports

Match Reports

18th July 2019
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V&A vs The Jesmond Jaguars

Cricket, as a sport, is only described as ‘gripping’ by a meagre few these days. You’d think that the fixture at Stonor, Saturday last, would be the pinnacle of the sport. Down to the wire, nails bitten to the quick (on my part, anyway) and brows furrowed in concentration. Then, Sunday happened… I was in the number at Trafalgar Square – I wept with joy, I sank to my knees in a swill of discarded beer… and then Adam Chataway, erstwhile of the V&A and skipper of The Jesmond Jaguars sent me this:  “A great weekend for the game of cricket thanks to a pulsating contest that delivered heart stopping drama until the last over. I am gratified to see the impact our game has had on raising the profile of cricket and bringing it to new audiences. To have played our part in creating today’s scenes (Monday) at the […]
5th July 2019

V&A v Hermits

The Hermits have been a fixture in the V&A diary since day dot. I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t born when the club was founded, but there you go. Dear Leader N. Bird is seldom wrong on these things. He seldom adds a postscript to match reports either, so The Hermits must be a popular lot! It was damned hot. One of the hotter days I can recall at Stonor in recent memory, even by comparison to that heatwave of yester summer, which lives long in the memory of many a cricketer. Halcyon days have not been on the order of service this summer. Nick Emley announced himself to be “a bit hot”, and probably was talking about the weather – you can never tell. The V&A were to bat. Quite why The Hermits decided to take the field in blistering heat, with some uninitiated cricketers wearing shorts is beyond me. […]
12th June 2019
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V&A v Thebertons

There was a crossword clue this morning that read ‘thin mud (4)’. Of course, the answer was ‘silt’. Synonyms for ‘silt’ are, to name a few: sediment, mud, sludge, slime, and ooze. These are not generally monikers for the topsoil of a cricket wicket, but do spring to mind as a result of Saturday’s fixture at Stonor Park. It was so boggy that Adam Knight was overheard informing bowlers and batsmen alike to replace their divots. Wrong sport, right sentiment. Sawdust was very much the order of the day. The forecast was ominous, but the Anemoikept the rain away from Stonor, as they so often do. Theberton’s (or “Thebs” as they seem to call one another) are a charming lot, many of whom are lawyers of the Middle Temple. It would appear that Thebertons were men firmly on a mission, as the toss arrangement saw them bat first with a […]
5th June 2019

V&A v The Townies and The Country Folk

I often wonder what heralds the beginning of summer. Is it summer in mid-April, when the cricket season starts? Or, are we playing cricket in spiteof the weather, because that’s what good chaps do? Either way – it appeared on Saturday last that summer had finally caught up. It was one of those idyllic Stonor days: Cerulean blue, cloudless sky, with the mercury touching 27 at its zenith. Suffice it to say that if you weren’t barefoot, you were overdressed. Townies & Country Folk XI are not so much a cricket team of odds and sods, but a convincing cast for a rural tour ofOliver Twist, given the sheer quantity of progeny with which they travel. Thankfully, they all look rather healthier than a Dickensian horde of street urchins. Nobody was pickpocketed either. Or perhaps they’re the realization of The Pickwickians, who arrive at their cricket match, where they’re directed […]
14th May 2019

V&A v Top Knockers

Much has been made of the weather, of late. Skipper for the day, Nick Emley, Andy Taylor and myself toiled against the buffeting hailstorm at The Oval on Wednesday. Another damp squib, another washout. Professionals, and the ECB, might take a leaf out of the V&A book: we embrace the rain (we play in it often enough) as much as we embrace uncovered wickets and an outfield that seems to be made of tar one minute, and concrete the next. Despite the wind chill, it is getting warmer. Two jumpers rather than three was the order of the day. Several of us even ventured so far as to wear sunglasses, but that’s because we’re a trendy bunch. Top Knockers Cricket Club are a new fixture to add to the list of delightful wanderers that we have established over the years. Their heartland is Shropshire, and they’re a lovely lot, even […]
9th August 2018

V&A v The Legends XI

V&A PLAYERS: Nick Emley*, Rupert Morris, Ross Ashcroft, Adam Jacot, Nick Constantine, Phil Goodliffe, Christiaan Jonkers, Tom Pritchard-Gordon, Nick Pritchard-Gordon, Martin Bowden, Matt Lambert. I was listening to TMS the other day and they were lamenting the lack of decent cricket writing that exists in the public sphere. I sympathized. Not enough people have encountered ‘Flanneled Fools’ yet. There was also no small amount of consternation regarding cricketing novels. But could you write a novel about cricket? Wodehouse’s ‘Mike’ is about as close as you could get. I think, alas, that the book would become more about social divisions, subtextual aggressions, jealousy, envy, spitefulness and rage… the sort of stuff that is better suited to things like ‘Love Island’ (Don’t pretend you don’t know what it is, Christiaan…). If you only wrote about cricket you’d probably come up short. There are only so many ways you can artfully say: ‘He’s […]
1st August 2018

V&A vs. Turville Park Cricket Club

It is rather an auspicious time to be a cricketer. England are about to play their thousandth Test Match, TMS have just released the greatest English Test XI of all time and the journeyman off-spinner Joe Root recently took 4-5 in a Roses clash. It’s enough to make any cricket player glow with warmth and affection for the game.   I’ve done a few of these now and am beginning to get the hang of it. Our equanimous leader, Nicky Bird, il miglior fabbro, once told me that it was a simple enough task. You make a few jokes at someone’s expense, you thank the caterer and you mention a moment or two of good cricket, throw in a few witty quips and finish with a full stop.   However, in reporting on last weekend’s fixture at Turville Park CC I fear his tried & tested formula is redundant. There […]
24th July 2018

V&A v The Cricketers Club of London

As far as I’m aware, cricket was not altogether popular in the dust bowls of American history. I’ve failed to find any proof that Prairie hands took to the turf during a lull in the swirling winds, amidst the tumbleweed, to crack the ball around in flannels and serge. It is of no consequence, though, as Stonor Park and our own arid pastures have afforded similar conditions of late. Taking to the field has become a matter of tripping the light fantastic in the Devil’s own cauldron. Still, mustn’t grumble.   The day dawned hot and dry. The fanciful rumours of rain clouds threatening The Chilterns were wrong, as they so often are. The opposition, The Cricketers Club of London, were an affable lot full of vim and vigour. I like an opposition whose players tuck into a cold beer before a ball has been bowled; it shows character. As […]
15th May 2018
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V&A v The Authors XI

  The V&A Cricket Club is fortunate enough to have one or two Vice Presidents who are pleasingly quotable. The Rt Hon Sir John Major is one such individual. In April 1993; during a speech to The Conservative Group for Europe (sorry Ross), Major said: ‘Fifty years on from now, Britain will still be the country of long shadows on Cricket grounds, warm beer, invincible green suburbs, dog lovers and (…) as George Orwell said, ‘Old maids bicycling to holy communion through the morning mist’ and, if we get our way, Shakespeare will still be read, even in school.’   Well, Saturday’s beer was cold, Shakespeare is still read in school (usually badly, though) and we are indeed a club of canine enthusiasts. What he left out was that we’d also still be the country where, in May, it is common to find 22 flanneled men hiding from a persistent […]
9th May 2018

V&A v The All Sorts XI

  The world of cricket is rather light on sibling rivalries. There were the Waugh’s, of course, from a time when The Bogans played a form of cricket that didn’t vaguely resemble the histrionics of a soap-opera. It isn’t received wisdom that Cain and Abel fell out over a backyard cricketing squabble, but I think there’s a lot that The Old Testament isn’t telling us. Liam and Noel Gallagher are more into the sport where you fizz a pig’s bladder around with your foot. They fizz tambourines at one another too, so they must have decent arms. Wasted talent.   The Jacot de Boinots, by contrast, play it hard and fair. Adam, our skipper for the day against The All Sorts XI, refrained from any scurrilous remarks as his brother took the crease. He did say loudly that his brother ‘plays it upishly’ on the drive, though, so have some […]