Match Reports

Match Reports

23rd September 2018

2018 – End of Term Report

The season ended not with a bang but a whimper. Our last improvised fixture at Stonor was not to be. God intervened as She/He often does, though for most of the summer you’d have thought cricket was what God did, so glorious was the weather. And for much of it I was in the mountains of upstate New York in persistent rain. Fuck it. I am not sure that improvised games work, oppositions are cobbled together and inquorate. We should ensure, though, that we do not get any more fixtures snaffled by the bohemians of the Chelsea Arts Club. We had an astounding number of close, even nail-biting, finishes. Not of the engineered type I used to contrive when I was a sort of permanent captain. If the opposition looked to be needing help I’d put a wally bowler on. The trouble was the wally bowler knew why he was […]
20th September 2018

V&A v The Authors XI

The V&A play the vast majority of their games in the easy to organise, safe and beautiful confines of Stonor. It is when we have to – very occasionally – arrange a game away from this environ that one is instantly reminded of the levels of admin that other teams regularly face…and it is not an experience this season’s new, and therefore slightly green, fixtures secretary wishes to embark on again in a hurry. It is safe to say that this middle aged cricket administrator learned a few life lessons during the week! Without going into detail, after 500+ emails, The Walker Ground in North London – home to league cricket’s Southgate CC and out ground for Middlesex CCC – saw 10 men, many of whom we were meeting for the first time, take to the field for the V&A against one of our regular oppositions, The Authors. The change […]
5th September 2018

V&A v The Refreshers

A new fixture for us which got off to a bad start with the opposition fielding a mere 8 players and blaming both RyanAir and hangovers. In order to even things up, we lent them Nichal Sethi: recent recruits to the V&A are often bullied into playing for the opposition or, if they stay in our side, they have to field at forward short leg. We didn’t play our standard game (35 overs per side) but one designed to make the most of the day (first team bats for 2.5 hours, second team gets 1 hour and 20 overs). In the circumstances, it was decided that the V&A would bat first. The Refreshers are a team of barristers, but very decent company indeed. Their skipper had defended Stokes. Rather successfully. If you are involved in a pub brawl he is your man (not Stokes, the lawyer). Ashcroft and Taylor opened […]
25th August 2018

V&A v The Gardeners

V&A PLAYERS: Andrew Jones [Skip], Adam Jacot, Andy Taylor, Ross Ashcroft, Tom PG, Adam Knight, Vin G, Rupert M, Ben H, Nick PG, R Morris, N Bird (12th man) [/highlight What should have been a Bank Holiday double-header – matches in successive days for the V&A at Stonor – was scuppered by the weather. Heavy rain meant that Sunday’s scheduled match against Stonor CC was abandoned on the morning, a shame for all concerned, especially those like Bowden, Goodliffe, Emley and Mounsey-Thear, who decided to play just one game that weekend and picked the wrong one. One need not feel quite so sorry for the hardened athletes who gathered in the Golden Ball after Saturday’s pulsating encounter with the Gardeners, then went on to the Pritchard-Gordon gaff to carouse the night away, confident that their services would not be required the following day. Saturday’s match had given them much to relish […]
20th August 2018

V&A v The Nomads

Another Saturday at Stonor, another sensational game. We’ve had some brilliant finishes this season, but this one may well have topped the lot, for its many ups and downs, individual heroics, and pure quality. The Nomads are a serious team, who have been going for more than a century and include several former first-class or professional cricketers, of whom two or three were playing on Saturday. They have several overseas tours every year. Dennis de Caires arranged this fixture before his departure for Barbados, and warned Ross that he would have to pick a powerful team. Ross did accordingly, and instructed his team to muster at 11am to welcome the visitors – a polite gesture with the added benefit of possibly making their later arrivals feel a little hurried. Was that why Tom Brockton, on winning the toss, decided to bat? Whatever the reason, Ross was surely not displeased, for there had been plenty of rain […]
14th August 2018

V&A MetroTrash v V&A Yokels

__________________________________________________________ ‘An umpire should be a rock of insensitivity. He must be insensitive to raucous and determined appeals. He must be insensitive to being hated by 11 men, one of whom, the bowler, would like to see him impaled on a stump.’  – Simon Barnes ‘When I retired from first class cricket, I turned out for my village side. But I gave up ‘cos the pitch was a cabbage patch. And the dopey umpires were swayed more by loud appeals and a yen to get to the pub than the laws of cricket.’  – David Steele __________________________________________________________ I was a football ref for many years, at a lowly level. I was called a w*nker most days. Fair comment I thought. I now umpire at Stonor more than play, and although I am still a w*nker, cricketers are more couth and (mostly) only call me rude names as they trudge back to their mark. We […]
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 […]
18th July 2018

V&A v The Jesmond Jaguars

The morning was hot and sticky, unwelcome for a V&A side of extreme youth in varying states of disrepair. These ranged from Andy Jones (a bit groggy) to captain Constantine and new recruit Nolan (both struggling to come to terms with consciousness). Deers loafed in the shade across the valley, the toss was won, and birds fell from the sky pissing themselves with laughter at six would-be cricketers in their twenties contemplating having to bat in 30 degree heat. We were the future once, but it was clear that senior players would have to be relied on. The more experienced, thankfully, were at hand to raise the spirits. The first was Phil Goodliffe, whose wife Eve had been up since 6am putting the finishing touches to our lunches and teas. As Andy Taylor and self limbered up before opening, the Goodliffes pulled up in front of the pavilion and a […]