Match Reports

Match Reports

19th August 2019

V&A v The Kingstonians

What a business this fixture was! The NOMADS, who we were due to play, cancelled on Friday owing to the Lord’s Test, and doubts about the weather (wrong on that count). Phil and I spent the day looking for an opposition, fruitlessly. The South London teams wanting a game all thought Stonor Injun country, fearsomely rural, and declined to travel. So we cancelled on Friday night. But then at 10.15 on Saturday morning a bloke from a Kingston (Surrey, not Jamaica) team rang to say his lot had just been let down and they could make it to Stonor by 1.30. Nine of them made it. Actually, they made it to Lord Camoys’ big house, late, because I gave them the wrong postcode, but they were charmingly gracious throughout the day. And as talkative on the field as us. Nigel Allsop did a sterling job in rushing to the ground […]
13th August 2019
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V&A v Warborough & Shillingford CC

Match Organizer for a ‘new-to-V&A’, Sunday afternoon fixture. Last time it was Hermits… Are these trials?  Or is this paranoia? Eight days before the game in the garden of the Golden Ball over chips and drinks after victory over Legends, Ross and Lachlan volunteer simultaneously to skipper. They agree to do the job jointly whilst Phil organizes the off-field stuff. To help recruitment, the beauty of the W&SCC, village-green ground is discussed loudly. The pub and the extensive playground, both adjacent to the pitch, also get mentions. Onto research: Their website shows lots of youth cricket but only two of their last seven Sunday afternoon games have been played or reported. An email is sent to their Match Organizer, re-assuring him V&A can get a side out. Four days pass without response… Martin B played for Acme CC at W&SCC in May and makes himself available to play for V&A […]
10th August 2019

V&A v Bandits

A windy day with changeable weather greeted the players as they rolled up at Stonor Park on Saturday morning to kick off the first V&A weekend double header: This was to be a forty over match, a departure from our usual format, and the V&A fielded an XI which the scorer noted as replete with 17 total middle name initials between them. Your correspondent is uncertain of the significance of this, but on his reporting debut will present the facts and not question them. Though the poet and philosopher N M H Constantine noted “grudge” as format of match in the scorebook, our opposition – the Battersea Bandits – are actually a very pleasant bunch, albeit a team we seldom beat. Team morale and prospects were however buoyed by the inclusion of evergreen veteran D J De Caires in the side, back from Barbados for a few games that coincide with […]
9th August 2019

V&A v Legends XI

As the XI sauntered into the Stonor Park Pavilion and greeted their fellow warriors, it was clear to the team that they had roused a level of trepidation in the opposition - only 9 appeared. Nick, who was wearing the armband, allowed the Legends to bat and so the game was set. Both teams agreed to meet on the pitch after a short interlude.
30th July 2019

V&A v Turville Park

Nicky Bird adds a trivial and unnecessary preface: Turville Park is where the V&A used to play, courtesy of my Dad’s chum at Winchester, Air Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris who ran the club. A fanatically keen cricketer, but useless.  He stood at third man and shouted a lot of facetious nonsense, but his benign temper pervaded his team and the game. I wrote his obit for The Times and upset Ian Chappell perhaps by claiming that Christopher invented sledging. Turville Park CC are everything a village side should be – a minestrone of age (Colin Simon), yoof (Charlie Hunt) and ability (James Hunt). They have their eccentrics – Barnaby Bazell – as we have. A couple of years ago our eccentrics duffed up theirs in a daft verbal spat now forgotten, thank God. The game this Saturday, at which I was a commis chef and umpire only, was marred by rain but […]
10th July 2019

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 […]
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 […]