Match Reports

Match Reports

1st October 2023

The Royal Household CC v V&A CC

Royal Household CC 214-2 (41 overs) (T Mellor 100 not out, A Hawkesworth 100), The V & A 30 (Mandip Sohi 5-3). Forgettable or unforgettable? That is the question. How long will this loom large? How long will it hurt? What will those who didn’t play make of this, the most feeble of responses on record from a V+A batting X1? How will some of you, grandfathers to be, pass this down? One compensation for recording such a match is the range of adjectives justifiably on offer: from dire to diabolical, from abject to abismal. It was October and so a bonus game. I remember playing when September meant mud on the boots and leaves on the spikes. But today the sun even shone: physically at least. It all seemed idyllic and, once endless admin allowed us past the gunmen gatemen, we were soon all safely secluded in our security […]
19th September 2023
PHOTO-2023-09-18-17-41-13 B

V&A vs. All Sorts

    The ALL SORTS are named after a box of liquorice sweeties. Like Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts they’re a mixed bag. Some are butch and young, others not. David Pitlarge suggested, by the way, that I have a Manichean view of cricketers, they are either butch or effete. But there are exceptions and skipper Adam Jacot falls in between: his feminine side is dominant in the kitchen but his virility is apparent in his bowling and robust batting. His manliness was evident when a ball smacked him in the mouth. He retired reluctantly from the field, was patched up by the wonderful Emma and returned to his bowler’s mark, bloodied but uncomplaining. His captaincy was typically tactful, with late-order batsmen bowling and everyone getting a chance to do something, however badly. Adam’s fielding was as always languid, and generous to the batsmen. Christiaan and I had a chat about the […]
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 […]
3rd September 2023

V&A v Legends X1

The Legends, as their name suggests, are a team that seek to aspire and leave a legacy that can be handed down through the generations. Playing only twice a year this seems like something of a tall order, but who am I to question the deeper tides of human endeavour. Memories struggled to recall previous results and thoughts quickly turned to more serious matters such as what was on the menu for lunch. Under the skilled leadership of Joe Tetlow, V&A elected to field and the opening salvos from Lachlan Nieboer and Christiaan Jonkers were textbook in their execution as under cloudy skies and a damp outfield the Legends openers struggled to reach the boundary. Rarely has there been such spirited and concentrated appealing by V&A, as time after time bat engaged with pad, yet the umpires remained resolute in their decisions of not out. Lachlan was seen appealing to […]
31st August 2023

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. […]
21st August 2023

V&A CC v. Raedarii CC

  V&A v RAEDARII CC, STONOR, AUGUST 19, 2023   When Colin Cowdrey faced the Aussie paceman Jeff Thomson in his last innings, the conversation went like this – Cowdrey: Good morning. Mr. Thomson, I believe. My name is Cowdrey, pleased to make your acquaintance. Thommo: That shit cuts no ice with me, Fatso. Now piss off. I mentioned this exchange at lunch because – apart from it being exactly as old as our club – it typifies two cultures, that of the venerable MCC, patrician and courteous, and that of the Brave New World of sledging and swearing. Faded flannels v lurex. Raedarii CC (‘coachmen’ in Latin) are very much old school, polite and helpful. They cleared their dishes. Said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and called me ‘Sir’. Their charming skipper, Rupert Baddock, even emailed to ask whether it was true that our dress code demanded jackets and cravats […]
13th August 2023
conington 23

V&A CC v Howitzers (tour)

There are two Coningtons near Peterborough, and I found the wrong one. I gave Joe and Nick Constantine a lift and they weren’t too impressed. We drove around the lanes of a scrubby village and asked yokels for the cricket pitch. ‘No idea’ was the stock answer and I thought them moronic not to know their most picturesque spot. ‘It’s by the church. Opposite the manor house,’ I said. Blank, stupid looks. ‘Mark Braid is the owner.’ Who? Then a bloke said – ‘You might mean the other Conington.’ Fuck. So we were late. We were 13 for 0 when we arrived with Jasper and Marc looking comfortable against goodish bowling on a flat pitch. But Marc, a very good batsman indeed, contrived to nick a fastish ball to the armpit of a bemused first slip. Out. Enter Lachlan who looked set for a good score but played back to […]
5th August 2023

V&A v Turville Park

With the holiday season upon us, and short of a few regulars, I was delighted to receive the call up from Adam J to play for the V&A, as did a couple of my Town & Country regulars, Tom Walsh and Pete Bridge, along with Tom’s eldest son, Vincent. I think that Adam was probably after the very capable bowling and batting of my youngest Barnaby, who has the scalps of a few notable V&A regulars in recent years (no names!), but with Barnaby away, the V&A had to make do with second best. I played my first game for the V&A over 20 years ago, probably in the last century in fact (Nicky will know the exact date no doubt), when a touring V&A side were down in Cornwall seeing our great old family friends and V&A stalwarts, the Jenkins.  I happened to be on holiday, and I was […]
19th July 2023
ollie unabombers

V&A v Jesmond Jaguars

I’ve written one match report for the V&A prior to this. Funnily enough, it was for our game against the Jesmond Jaguars last year. Writing our match report for this fixture is swiftly becoming a yearly tradition. If you don’t yet know what Jesmond is, and want to change that, you can go back to that report. Jesmond was well summarised by one person as being ‘not a bad’ postcode to be in in Newcastle. The Jags played rugby together at university. The game was initially delayed by some pretty torrential rain. The power went out multiple times in the Stonor pavilion. The dogs were deeply displeased. The children were scared. Steph reported leaks. Nevertheless, this was a chance for the first game of one hand one bounce I’ve seen in the Stonor pavilion. The rubber matting in the home changing room created deep cracks for bowlers to exploit, along […]
4th July 2023

V&A v A Few Good Men

It was something of a perfect storm of extenuating circumstances this weekend as the Regatta descended upon Henley and the Aussies upon Lords. For the V& A this is a bit of a Christmas-and-birthday-at-once situation. Thanks to the efforts of our seasoned selectors, we ended up with an 11 a side game by Saturday morning, not including their skipper who had a motorway mishap but including this skipper, who was just very late. By the time I arrived we were already two down after only a few overs, Tom P-G and local colt Tom Atkinson both getting caught. Obviously, I’m not totally privy to the circumstances of these wickets but TPG’s lack of willingness to talk about his caught and bowled said a lot. The often reliable and elder Pitlarge missed the opportunity for a father-son partnership getting bowled by Rupert for 2 leaving Pitlarge-the-Younger (Alex) to steady the ship […]