Match Reports

Match Reports

18th September 2010


A FEW GOOD MEN are a team born at Durham University, and good they are, and men too – they can throw and run and bend and are all under 30. In embarrassing contrast we were mostly the wrong side of 55, with Cobb nearer 70. It cannot be long now before he takes the Capt. Oates walk and disappears, muttering that he may be some time. Only Scott and Alex were what you’d call nimble in the field, with Christiaan getting an honourable mention. The decrepitude that has crept up on us means that singles become twos as batsmen twig that a fielder will take a while to stoop and return the ball underarm in the rough direction of the keeper. We need a minimum of 4 young people in the field. Otherwise we give perhaps 30 runs away needlessly. I would be failing in my duty as acting […]
11th September 2010


THE MORNING LOOKED IFFY and an early decision was made to postpone to a 1 o’clock kick-off and forego the BBQ. I got to the ground at 12 and the pitch had dried and the sun was out. So we could have started on time. The afternoon was glorious, perfect weather for cricket, hot in the sun but with a cooling breeze. Martin was skipper, which he does both often and well. Adam enquired of Sarah the rationale behind the rotating captaincy. He thought, not unreasonably, that he had been overlooked all year because in a Hermits match he captained he had rather lost it, he found he couldn’t both bowl to his exacting standard and be tinkering with field places. I think Sarah was in broad agreement. The analogy was with Botham. You do not make your talisman, your best player, captain just because he is your best player, […]
4th September 2010

V&A Old Pros v. V&A Youth

It was a lovely day at Turville Park. Deer gambolled and sheep did what they do. Nick Emley won the toss and elected to bat, a controversial decision that proved unwise, but did not seem so at the time, particularly as some of us needed to prepare the BBQ. Nick was bowled first ball by S. Fraser, a portent of what was to come. Suva came in and walloped a four and looked in command. A nice hard cut to point seemed destined for the boundary when Robbie Lawson suddenly awoke and dived to his left and caught it. A stunning catch and it rather turned the game because Suva looked set for a ton. Adam limped in. To say he was not match fit would be like calling a stiff a bit under the weather. But you can applaud his pluck and that he stayed to see off some […]
14th August 2010


It has been an interesting week, and for aficionados of cricket at our humble level, a not untypical one. I shall detail the timetable of events as it illustrates the absurdity and pitfalls of organising cricket matches in a north European climate. I have two family games per year, one for my brother Tony’s team who play The INVALIDS at a charming ground at Maidhurst in Sussex, and one for The V&A against The HERMITS, my brother-in-law Tim Squires’ team. With awesome incompetence these two games were organised for the same day, AUGUST 14. And as I had agreed to play in Sussex before The Hermits’ game was fixed, I felt obliged to play for my brother, but to help get a team for The Hermits’match. On Wednesday we had just three people, including Adam Jacot who is palpably unfit for sport at the highest level, or even for the […]
17th July 2010


RICHARD WOOLHOUSE had to pull out at the last minute with a sick wife, an excuse which is acceptable to old pros like Martin Bowden [skip], who has a touch of the New Man about him – he allowed 30 mins. before luncheon to prepare his fare which was excellent I hear. Unfortunately the opposition skipper did not quite ‘get’ the traditions of village cricket; that the home side have the right to decide the type of game [but will always discuss and compromise], that whoever has fewer men at the start bats etc. Their captain insisted on 40 overs which we know to be too much [35 is top whack] as the ball is invariably lost in the undergrowth for long periods and an over can take 20 minutes. Martin had to be rather stern, which does not come naturally to him But the Pretenders were a very agreeable […]
10th July 2010


but ADAM JACOT was absent, possibly with a ‘diplomatic’ illness. It was a little girl called Florence, playing for the Old Talbotians, who bowled Adam a few years ago. He still feels the pain. Florence must be nearly 8 now. To be bowled again would be too humiliating, even for one as composed and self-assured as Adam. But Florence was absent too. Instead they had a boy of 10. Luckily for us he did not bowl. Their bowling was a bit average, two overs were dire, so they might have used him. He batted at the end of their innings, and popped up a catch to Dennis, which our skipper claimed to have dropped on purpose. If the catch had been dollied to Tom Bird, he would have dropped it, but not on purpose. Such was the depths of his collapse of confidence. It may be unfair to single him […]
3rd July 2010

V&A v. Thebertons

RUPERT MORRIS caught a catch. And a good one too, off Martin’s tight bowling. I would normally open with some stuff about the weather [glorious] but as news this takes second place to Rupert catching something. Not only did he catch a ball moving in the air but he also stopped moving balls along the ground. He swooped, he stooped, he threw overarm in the rough direction of the stumps. What had happened to this urbane figure, who does not usually run around like a madman, or like Sean? Kitty was there. Perhaps he wanted to impress the missus. But, unfortunately, whenever he did something heroic Kitty’s nose was in the Telegraph Magazine.Admittedly he did return to normal service when a ball passed him on the mid-wicket boundary, but it did deviate a bit. We were a respectable nine, eventually [it was Henley Regatta]. I was pleased with the numbers […]
15th May 2010

V&A v. The Legends

This was our first match against The Legends and what an agreeable bunch they are. The fixture had been arranged by Robbie Lawson and not only did he get all 11 Legends to arrive looking fit and eager by 11.30 am, but his heavily pregnant wife, Alice, had turned up with a lunch that has never – and will never – be bettered at Stonor. The V&A were, by contrast, either running late, hungover or in the case of Nicky and Martin, off sick. By 11.50 am there was no sign of the 2 Sams and the decision was made for Robbie to play for the V&A (everyone knew this was a crucial moment yet there was not a murmur of complaint from the Legends). Dennis captained, agreed a 35-over game, won the toss and decided to bat as we still only numbered 8. Robbie, batting at No.3 was called […]
6th May 2010


We have been playing Rob Noble’s team for 15 or more years, and it is always a pleasant day. They have our mixture of young [yesterday two boys aged 10 and 13], old [Rob], decrepit [Cobb] and extremely capable [a left hander from Essex]. They fielded first because several had to leave early. Dennis was captain [and caterer – with Estelle – for the second week in a row] and we agreed a 35 over game, which as usual turned out to be spot on. Adam Gutch and Rupert Morris opened but could not make much headway against some tight bowling, although Adam looked about to break loose when he whacked his third ball for a big four over square leg, but it was a false dawn….we were ambling along at 3 an over when both were out trying to force the pace. Thereafter no-one really dominated the batting. Bowden […]
1st May 2010


RICHARD WOOLHOUSE [SKIPPPER] PICKED UP Sarah’s lunch [she thought the weather too iffy to join us] and was few minutes late, so I tossed up with their affable skipper, James, which I won and elected to bat. My reasoning was that the forecast was for rain, so I thought at least we’d wallop a few before a truncated day. I also proposed a 30-over match. This was queried in both dressing rooms, but as my meteorological calculations suggested rain at 4.42 p.m., and it actually fell at 4.43 – a minute after the game finished – I felt vindicated. Our dressing room thought it was barmy to elect to bat first on a sodden but drying pitch. But there are other factors, like being able to help set out lunch etc. Anyway Sean and Nick Emley volunteered to open and faced some very tight bowling. They struggled to get runs […]