Match Reports



Match Reports

19th October 2020
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End of Term Report – 2020

V&A CRICKET 2020 – END OF TERM REPORT BY THE CHAIRMAN, NICKY BIRD   COVID WREAKED HAVOC WITH THE FIXTURES but we had half a season, which the Stonor chaps thought impossible in early July, and so did not waste money and energy preparing a strip or the outfield. Worms enjoyed themselves, bunnies too. I came for a picnic at the pavilion at that time and the pitch was a field, seemingly returned to nature and poppies and clover and birds. It was desolate; no walkers about, not even Lachlan camping in the environs with his primer stove and pocket edition of Aeschylus. I wrote to the Telegraph pointing out the absurdity of cricket being banned while netball and outdoor gym was allowed. The crap about a cricket ball being a ‘vector’ was palpable nonsense (and so it proved). Boris read my letter and relented. Stonor worked miracles to return […]
25th September 2020
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V&A v GT’s

In the car, Nicky Bird chuntered on about how courtroom TV dramas fail to get the details right. Misuse of a gavel, no delineation between barrister and solicitor, a high court judge peering down from the bench at a shoplifter’s first hearing. It’s either a mistake, or they just can’t be bothered, he said. Against a growing tide of shortcuts and bitesize, there is a need for sticklers, like Nicky, to stand up and say “no, we’re not avin it guv”. In much the same way, long-form cricket on a Saturday in Stonor, is a tradition to be treasured and defended. It’s a holy grail. And as our Christiaan relic rightly pointed out (when their umpire enquired whether a ‘no-ball’ resulted in a ‘free hit’): “No!…this is PROPER cricket”. We were playing the GTs (see Phil Goodliffe’s email for background and more), captained by an amiable fellow in Miles Martin. […]
7th September 2020
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On Rupert Morris retiring

For 20 years or more Rupert Morris has graced our game, and Kitty has graced the boundary with her pleasant banter and erudition. But not her culinary skills, at which she is ‘useless’; fortunately, Rupert is not. He can create saumon en croûte de pâte feuilletée even with a bottle of Muscadet inside him, such is his mastery of cuisine. His talents are legion – supremo of the written word, of the green baize, of Holmesiana, a distinguished journalist, Humanist celebrant and sometime publisher. Master of many trades, but not cricket alas. He came to it late, never really played at Eton or university. We scouted him while he was playing for the GTs, already middle aged, but capable of a quick opening 30 if catches were missed. The transfer was made because the V&A was not then and should not be about cricketing prowess, but about clubbability – and […]
7th September 2020
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V&A vs The Unabombers

Habitually, whenever match report writing has been mentioned, I have avoided any eye contact and skulked off swiftly. V&A are match reports are witty, erudite and full of words you will usually only find in a book written by Adam Jacot; penned by arty types as a vehicle to show off their knowledge of literature and culture – not my bag. No condition is permanent however and following Saturdays game, whilst relaxing over a pint at the Golden Testicle, I was caught completely unawares and mugged by T-Bird. Oozing his abundant charm he fixed me with calculating eyes and asked me if I could write up the match report? He had already posted a curly blond, blue eyed child to cover the only exit and I was in trouble. I blurted that in Trivial Pursuit the Art & Literature cheese was always the one I was struggled to get and […]
28th August 2020
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V&A vs The Butlers XI

A V&A losing streak, it is said, is about as rare as the sighting of the Great Whyte Stagge of Stonor – at least according to Nick Pritchard-Gordon. “Never seen it before. Probably fable,” he says. I have to say, dear reader, that I am inclined to agree. No win in three weeks, despite teams of considerable talent. Hubris, I think they call that. Regardless, the first game of the annual double-header weekend was a must win and skipper Jonkers drummed up a solid XI. We fancied our chances.  Before the toss, as a brief aside, Jonkers admitted to self that he doesn’t much mind the not winning, unless of course he is captain. On those occasions he cares a great deal. His cries of ‘dicky knee, can’t bowl’ morph into Lionesque roars of appeal for yet another ‘plum’ LBW that hasn’t gone his way. This might explain why, knowing the opposition wanted […]
25th August 2020
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V&A vs Stonor CC

Stonor Park, 23rd August 2020 Adam Jacot did a magnificent job in securing 11 good(ish) men for this crucial fixture against our hosts, Stonor CC. He also recruited a few for Saturday’s game. He proved those who doubted his organisational genius (me) wrong. We saw the return of noted all-rounder and economist Richard Woolhouse. He – and John Langley of the National Theatre who came to spectate – raise the tone, often lowered by the lumpenproletariat of Wargrave who make up our numbers. Langley talked of Pinter, whom he played cricket with – so much more edifying than the previous day’s banter about penile dysfunction. Stonor are our hosts and we are indebted to them for playing in such idyllic surroundings. So diplomacy suggests we should lose with grace (but not deliberately) in an exciting finish. There should be no vulgar appealing, no argy-bargy. With Christiaan Jonkers and his beard […]
26th July 2020
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V&A vs. Turville Park CC

This fixture was played at Turville Park Cricket Club The match v Turville Park was declared ‘on’ (around 9 am) by skipper Nick Derewlany, despite a dodgy forecast, because Turville had said we should play and etiquette thus demanded our presence. Adam Jacot, for one, looked at the sky, harumphed, reluctantly bolted his muesli, patted Emma and ‘sped’ down in his jalopy. He wished he hadn’t. Tom Bird was catching salmon on the Tweed, Jonkers was busy reading a book, Andy Jones was probably in the recovery position. Lucky them. I now eschew strong drink but not out of choice. I do not recommend it. Memory is better; I am not quite so repetitive but these things are marginal. Turville Park is where we used to play 40 years ago before moving to Stonor, for the better view and the cheaper pitch (only £25 then). There was a chestnut tree […]
22nd July 2020
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V&A vs. The Authors XI

  After some murmurings in the week about The Cricketers Club of London having gone cold, it transpired by Friday their fixture secretary was, in fact, dead. Over in W11, our very own match manager and captain, Lachlan Nieboer, had been neutered by some virtual auditioning in his bedsit. Fortunately, the Authors had also lost their game that Saturday and following a few late evening sweet nothings to his beloved biographer, Charlie Campbell, the cats were herded to a sunny Stonor for 11:30. On arrival, and in the bohemian absence of any coinage, we demanded to bat first and give our talented line-up a chance of putting on a show. Emley duly obliged. Having completed 8 balls in the nets and a cigarette, he was snaffled behind –  out for a royal duck. That brought Derewlany to the crease. Overcompensating for something with his new willow, he joined opener Marsh […]
16th July 2020
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V&A v Jesmond Jaguars

Cricket appears to be the sacrificial lamb of sport in the modern age. Preference is given to footer, above all else, and the whole ‘vector of disease’ nonsense has done real damage to the chances of Boris Johnson retaining his status as Vice-President of the club. I bet there’s a lot more VD among footer players, and even politicians, than cricketers – we keep ourselves nice, even in the grips of a global pandemic. Don’t believe me? Just look at how manicured Mr. Jonkers’ beard is. He also wears a blazer on match day. It was bloody good to be back and even better to do it against one of our more cherished opposition XI’s. The V&A have a long and occasionally feisty history with the Jags (last season’s fixture was one of the greats!) and they’re always up for it. Or at least seven of them were. At the […]
7th May 2020
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V&A Cricket Club in 2020

Because of the pandemic, all matches for May have been cancelled. We do not yet know the situation for the rest of the season, but Oxfordshire Cricket, with whom we are affiliated, are keeping us posted – you can go on their website for updates. The V&A Tour this year is also cancelled. In the meantime here is a quiz question (a starter for ten, if you like). Who are these cricketers?