Guest writer: Tim Warren
Southwick Wanderers vs Brunswick Village 07.05.2017
Good morning Geoffrey, good morning Martin, good morning everyone. The proceedings were started in T20 style with some spectacular pyrotechnics and a champagne toast to welcome Southwick Wanderers to their new abode.
With 1 game won and 1 lost, the home side were eager to get off to a good start. Gwyllim, and Jordan opened the batting with clear intent to put runs on the board. Gwyllim falling foul of a low bouncing wicket and an early LBW appeal upheld by the umpire leaving his total on 2.
Max started sprightly, with a few boundaries and a heart in mouth moment as a miss timed straight drive landed safely away from a fielder, he continued well, notching up his 50 in style with a 6.
The run rate continued around the 5/over rate with 3 wickets tumbling during the first 19 overs, Jordan making a respectable 32, with some impressively athletic quick singles, which due to their rarity, a joy to behold by all.
The 19th over, was officially registered by Guinness world record books as the ‘slowest over bowled in the history of the modern world’ due to a hat trick of 6’s reaching the impenetrable forest of Berrylands Farm on each occasion.
After the drinks break, Max continued to swing away, slotting sixes at will, until a miss timed shot from a Keith Bars delivery was caught on the boundary at deep mid wicket 1 run short of 80… Max have a wonderful retirement, you have been an unrelenting servant to the sport of cricket.
Noodle stepped up to the crease next to create a stylish partnership with Lloyd playing shots with aplomb until an unfortunate run out cut their partnership short that’s 142 for 5.
The enigmatic MJ at the crease with noodle lasted a few beautiful overs, but like the star that burns too brightly, and dies too soon, their partnership too suffered the same fate.
Tim took to the crease next and, but for a 6 and a couple of 4’s held out for a dreary and unimaginative 25.
MJ valiantly swung out with 5 overs to go but came a cropper, bowled with an in swinging fast ball. Dan came in to bat next and wife Gemma, and team captain for the day remarked “he’s batting like a flange”, unfortunately her omen came true and after a valiant few balls succumbed to a ruthless bowler.
Gemma came to the crease and help guide the team to a final total of 193.
Credit goes to a good Brunswick fielding display to hold the home team under 200 runs.
Service resumed after the break and Brunswick in to bat with a total of 193 to beat.
Dan and Peter opened the bowling to a big swinging opener, plenty of pressure was applied early on and Dan was rewarded early on with a clean bowled wicked hitting off stump. Jamie, one of the opening batsmen continued at pace and caused trouble in the out field slotting boundaries at will for the next few overs.
Peter and Luke continued to make a real dent into the opposition batting order with a clean bowled wicket apiece and each creating a catch, one caught and bowled by Luke and the other a well taken catch by Noakes to limit Brunswick’s run rate.
Jordan and Tim were brought on next to change up the attack with some varied spinning from Jordy yielding fruit (to Jordan’s dismay as he had hoped for cake) dismissing seventh place man P. Styles halting him on eight runs. Tim finally got his wicket in the form of an LBW stopping 8th man on 7.
A chance to get Jamie out came and went, as Tim bowled a teasing ball down the Leg side which was swung for and clipped sailing straight into the gloves of MJ who snatched the defeat out of the jaws of victory and dropped him! In MJ’s defence he was only saving the glory for Tim for a few overs later Jamie was caught and bowled halting his total at 69.
With two wickets to get neither Jordan or Tim could break the last pair down and so the task was given back to Dan and also Gwyllim . It was G-man that made the difference expertly taking both remaining wickets to seal a famous victory on their first ever home fixture at the new ground.
The team (most of it) arrived at Ifield for an early 13.30 start to Wanderers second outing of the new season.
Presented with a well-kept pitch and a magnificent new pavilion Ifield were ready for the first game of their Sunday season.
A 30 over game was agreed due to the predicted wet weather forecast, the sky was grey and gloomy, enough to obscure the planes as they took off and landed at nearby Gatwick.
Gemma was sent in to complete the toss and won! Keeping the 100% record this season (take note Luke) strangely however with the Wanderers reduced to 10 after a late but not unforeseen drop out of young George and with David Field MIA Southwick elected to field with 9
Rolling back the years Luke opened with Dan and immediately found his old line and length getting the ball to swing nicely before he removed the opener Dobson for 14 (Bowled) Dan followed suit quickly after (or it could have been before) by trapping the other opener Ahmed for 6 (LBW) a very positive start for Wanderers with Ifield 23 for 2
I think there were more wickets in the opening pair but Luke removed himself from the line up to save the magic (and possibly the back) for later.
The next partnership however had different ideas…. With obvious gaps in the field the next pair piled on the runs in the coming overs, with no bowler really being spared the odd spank to the boundary.
Rob returned to bowl for the first time this season and after a few balls found his range, his spinning balls testing the batsmen, he was unlucky to end wicket less after his 6 overs
Ant Skywalker made his bowling debut for Wanderers and after a few looseners soon started hitting the right line and length consistently, he can be proud of his opening bowling stint.
At some point the rain started to drizzle and with Rob attending to his windows Wanderers were down to 8 for one over.
With the reduced numbers and with some stiff looking fielding Wanderers were leaking runs and just when it seemed that nothing could save us……..who should appear from the other side of the pitch but Caribbean Dave.
Ibrahim, making his debut for Wanderers (another Prash recommendation) turned his arm over and soon got into a good rhythm with some decent pace, he would have, on any other days, got more overs – but after a quick 45 minute turn around Mr Field took erm… the field, his appearance seemed to energise the team particularly G Man who had been sending down some great balls when he had Patel caught out for 67, an excellent double handed catch taken by Dan quite casually in the deep.
Dave soon added to the tally removing the big scoring Ahmed for 108 caught once again by Mrs Dan Manvell. With Dave making up for lost time he then removed the next batsmen with his very next ball caught by Southwick Wanderers 5th choice wicket keeper MJ which now means that if Dave makes it to another game this year he is on a hat-trick.
This left Ifield on 224 for 5 they finished their inning shorty after on a massive 229 for 5 off 30 overs
Particular mention must go to Gemma and Will in the field who seemed to cop most of the batsmen’s enthusiasm Gemma used every part of her body to stop the onslaught and Will never gave up, running the boundary hard right into the last over.
So after a lovely tea with many sandwiches and treats Wanderers took to the task of overcoming the mammoth score.
G-Man strode to the wicket and with his normal shy and retiring manner started hitting the opening bowlers all over with a mixture of big hits from the Cricketing manual and (as described by Rob) some that were more “agricultural”.
He was ably assisted by Ibrahim who looked assured and relaxed at the crease, until he lifted one to a fielder caught out for 14, not what he would have wanted for his return to Cricket but there are certainly more Wanderer runs to come for him!?
Will Barber our rock in so many innings in the past didn’t trouble the score before he lofted one to mid-on with a shot which, when he hits it with more conviction, normally scores him plenty of runs.
Wanderers were 36 for 2, the ship needed to be settled, if by settled you mean starting a run fest with Gwyllim then Rob is your man.
I can honestly say it was a pleasure to watch them both knocking the ball all over the park using a combination of great shot selection and brutish power.
Both men passed the half century mark quickly and the once enormous total seemed not so large anymore, Wanderers were motoring with balls flying to all corners of the pitch and beyond.
The fun had to end though and G-man was finally caught and bowled superbly by Mahed whose choice was to lose a few fingers or take the catch cleanly, he chose the latter.
An excellent 79 for Mr Jones
Gemma entered the arena and quickly left two balls later, I have no idea what happened as I was having a wee, sorry Gemma.
Ant Skywalker (yes that’s his name from now on) then took to the wicket and handled himself well at the crease, keeping the bowling at bay but this obviously slowed the scoring from the lusty blows of our South African immigrant.
Any suggestion that Rob may crumble under the pressure of the additional scoring required were unfounded as he continued to hit magnificent shots to all areas before he was finally caught just 11 short of his century with Wanderers on 194.
It was a superb innings and easily the best I have witnessed from Mr Black who walked back in on 89 (I did the math for you)
With only a few overs remaining it was up to MJ and Ant to try and bring Wanderers home, but the remaining total which seemed so possible with Rob or Gwyllim at the wicket was too much for MJ who hogged most of the strike and could not get away the pretty average bowling on offer.
Southwick finished agonisingly close on 217 for 5 for their 30 overs
Ant 3 not out
MJ 10 not out
Despite the loss it was a great game which was enjoyed by all
Joint first place this week
5 points Rob B
5 points G-man
1 point Dan
Special mention to Dave F who might have earned himself a point had he turned up for the first 90 minutes.
Southwick Wanderers beat Fittleworth by 5 wickets
Southwick Wanderers away to Fittleworth – St George’s Day Sunday 23rd April 2017
We arrived to a slightly chilly and overcast Fittleworth with plenty of time spare. G-man turned up just as the first ball was to be bowled. The reason for this was due to the queue at McDonalds Drive-Thru- I believe it was due to him ogling over his recent purchase of a blue VW Beetle for £100 24 hours earlier.
One of our guest players from St Peters Rich-o stepped up to the plate to partake in the coin toss……and much to our surprise he actually did what Luke cannot – win. It was agreed on a 35 Over outing with the Wanderers tactically (because it would be colder later in the day) opting to field first.
Out strode the opening duo of A Kitchener and M Shepherd for the home side facing off against myself and a returning Tim Warren. No wickets fell until the 5th over when M Shepherd edged behind off myself into an alert MJ’s gloves. First blood to the Wanderers.
After 9 overs and a score of 41 -1 it was then down to the Rich-o and Jordan to take the reins and hopefully some wickets.
It did not take long until Rich-o took his first wicket in his second over trapping opener Andy LBW for 33. It was then a few overs later that Rich-o then took his second of the day during his 5th over when, correct me if I am wrong, P Kitchener edged it to Jordan at slip. The St Peters duo working in tandem then took another 2 wickets between them-Tim catching off of a Rich-o ball and Jordan deciding to do it all bowling and catching out another Kitchener, this time hard-hitting L for 51. By then it was 138-5.
In come the old guard G-man and Luke to dust off the cobwebs and do what they have done for years. The Big G unfortunately this time did not take a wicket but that is a one off that I am sure will not be repeated this season. Lukey rolled back the years taking 2 wickets for 5 runs in his 2 overs. Finishing off was our ‘11th hour 11th man’ signing from the opposition, little J Adams, also pulling double duties bowling and catching his brother thus obtaining bragging rights for the year. He then also bowled another big hitter P Cowell with a floating full toss straight down onto the stumps. In between all this it seemed every other ball was sent Magnet Manvell’s way at point. The opposition stating she stopped at least 30 odd runs.
The Wanderers were led off by leading man J with Fittleworth all out after 31 overs for 191.
Leading the charge for the Wanderers first batting session of the season were Messrs Jones and Barber. Will was the first victim of the season after he was trapped LBW by A Morris for 10.
Debuting guest Ant Walker was next out to the crease, you could see by the way he took his stance that he has played in the past. Unfortunately, and this comes from more than one person out in the field, was removed by a very good ball that cut back. One that would have had the majority of players there Sunday walking back to the pavilion with their bat between their legs. I am sure we will see Ant put some runs on the board this season once the cobwebs have been brushed off.
So with G-man still out there, next out was Jordan who decided that he would carry on from where he left of last season and pile on the……………. runs. However he did decide after an over or so that he needed another bat as the current one felt ‘dead’. Unfortunately for Gwyllim, I had gone in to get said replacement before he could request his heavier trunk of a bat and was caught out after toeing the ball for 35. Had this been the other bat, the ball would have no doubt flown over the boundary. Lesson learned for Gwyllim, go hard and heavy….not home.
Rich-o was next out to complete the all St Peters affair at the crease which lasted a few overs and fine shots until he was caught out for 20. Tim was next out and was sent packing for LBW after attempting to skin the leather off the ball. The shot pre-meditated and no doubt looked shot of the season in his head. Definitely not the only person to have ever fallen this way and not the last.
Somewhere in between all of this Jordan obtained his first of no doubt many 50’s of the season. Apologies Jordie, if I had known I was writing the match report I would have paid more attention to all that was going on. The 50 did include 10 4’s and a 6 with a 4 bringing up the half century.
Out came little J Adams who only needed to survive his brother’s bowling to obtain the bragging rights- and succeeded. He was however removed shortly after by D Hodd.
MJ……all we can say was caught out by a very good overhead catch after slicing the ball backwards of point. I hope that position was correct.
Jordan still out there slaying on around 86 with 5 overs left. After a tactical move by the bench, I was sent out next to assist Jordan in hopefully seeing off the total which we did after a couple of overs with a four by myself securing what was a brilliant team win all round. Jordan the Dragon Slayer finishing on 91 Not Out!!
It was a very enjoyable return to Fittleworth and Gemma has already received a pleasant message from Andy looking forward to revenge next year.
Thank you to all those that Scored and Umpired the match.
Man of the Match Points –
Jordan – 5
Gwyllim – 3
Gemma – 1
For every cricketer, at whatever level, who claims he or she is not interested in averages, old scorecards, and anything else statistical, there is another one who claims that they are not. Half of them are telling fibs. Indeed, the pointing out of an erroneous scorebook, or indeed the scorebook’s central purpose to cricket itself, is not a vestigial practise. Gathering around the hallowed matrix at close, much like aspiring politicians hover round the Friday morning count, is one of the few traditions that is surviving. One senses that the scorebooks of the future will need more lines for logging the prowess of the blade and its ever increasing domination of the Sabbath. Wanderers will not be immune to such requirements as the batting in the latter half of the season has shown.
The rudimentary task of producing the averages this year has been a joy because The Author has watched as many matches from the boundaries edge this year as played in. I had a discussion with Mr Lincoln towards the end of this season concerning this. We both agreed that one of the joys of cricket, especially on a Sunday, was that one could participate and make a contribution at some many different junctures. No one ever need feel peripheral to events. Umpiring is a joy on a warm summers afternoon, scoring is also a joy as long as Dave Field gives me the odd over off for a fag break. One also gets hustled to the front of the tea queue. So I always sharpen the pencil for Jevington…
The season began at Littleworth. Although ‘began’ is a loose and almost mischievous term. It reluctantly farted its way into existence like a resentful early riser whose sleep had been disturbed by a vindictive, yet dutiful, alarm. Wanderers collapsed that day to the biggest defeat in living memory. At least it couldn’t get worse. The team were unprepared, to use a pre-watershed term, and had clearly not used, or benefited from, the pre-season nets properly. It was a disappointing day of careless and irresponsible cricket that could have easily weaved its way into the social fabric of the club; such was the enormity of that embarrassment. But really, we needn’t have worried.
Two better bowling performances, aided by an enigmatic Plumpton track, began to claw things back. But after the third defeat in a row only one Wanderers batsman had posted more than twenty- The Big Bear, Gywllim. This was to prove no flash in his amply stocked pan. Mid-May was to provide the start to the first turn of fortune. Wanderers suffered another defeat in a highly competitive match at the cycle track against St Peters. Jordan had been dismissed third ball by a straight one that had wisped its way through the gate- much to the mirth of his Saturday colleagues. What followed was the innings of the season from Will Barber. A masterful and elegant 104 not out. His selfless century was brought up in the final over with a beautiful and flighted on-drive to the south boundary. Although Wanderers had to suffer another drubbing in the field that afternoon we saw Peter Slaymaker introduced into the attack. The Author commented about how, despite unsuccessful on this occasion, he was the only Wanderers bowler who really hit the pitch when he was bowling. This observation was to be rewarded as time went on. The Tykes were leading the way.
A comfortable victory over a weak, yet very amiable and spirited, Gully side sent Wanderers into a closely fought and narrow defeat to the Auld Enemy at St James. The Baker brothers, most capable players of all-round ability and characters of all-round decency and warmth, had by then joined the bus. A return to Plumpton the following week saw a season that was now in full motion. June was upon us.
From then on the team were to play consistent and sometimes remarkable cricket. Having lost six of their first seven matches, Wanderers only lost four of their remaining eighteen- all said defeats coming in close and competitive matches. The bat was to dominate the summer, which, despite its usual contradictions, mostly left Sundays to its own devices. Aside of one second innings abandonment, not a single match was lost to weather- although the odd one perhaps outlived its usefulness when rain set in late on.
June saw a defeat two draws and a single wicket victory in a hastily arranged 20 over match that formed part of the Brunswick Village charity day. The twenty run loss to Worthing Gents on the 5th had seen a net of 400 runs in the afternoon. Our very own Lloyd Crathern venting batting fury against us from a lowly number ten. His 76 not out had created a seemingly unassailable two hundred plus target. A month earlier Wanderers would have collapsed under such weighted pressure, but a steady stream of useful, if not substantial scores, had kept the result in the balance for much of the way.
The biggest stand of the season came in the following match against the Hackney Umpires, the big man Jordan topping the seasons individual efforts with 133 not out. His second wicket stand with Will Barber being worth 139. It was this match that saw Peter Slaymaker make his mark with the only five-wicket haul of our season. This was a match noted for a comical incident in which Jordan was unwittingly struck by an errant ball that was lofted in celebration in the outfield. It would have been even funnier had he not appeared hurt. He had, in fact, retired hurt when appearing undamaged after his swashbuckling innings earlier. Cricketing karma ? Both his batting prowess and his miss-fortune that day could be nominated as a champagne moment. I’ll let you decide.
July was hardly the height of summer, but the matches were played. Well, except one on the 17th where an established club pulled out at 7.30 on the morning of the match. Such late withdrawal was met with understandable disdain- especially as the weather had forgotten its vocation. A mixed bag of close results kept the month interesting. There were two six run defeats and a tie in the gathering gloom of a 20/20 evening at Lower Beeding. These were interspersed with a victory over Worthing Gents and a draw with age-old opponents Heathfield Park. What was noticeable was the good-natured spirit of these games, often commented upon, and the general contentment of those who attended the matches.
Interestingly, July had produced a match run aggregate of 376 (including 20 over matches). Surely amongst the highest I have ever known for any sustained period. With the results becoming so balanced and close in their outcome they almost became peripheral to the enjoyment of the occasion. However, there seemed to be an unconscious effort on behalf of Wanderers batsman to avoid the 50 jug. Five batsman were out in their forties, four in these fifties. Five times out of six Wanderers batted second. It doesn’t take a schooled statistician to work out which discipline was flagging.
Max Wheatley’s colossal 73 against the Zambuca attack was as embarrassing as it was devastating, the regularity, and the distance, of which the balls cleared the boundary was an indicator of how Sunday cricket often needs a balance. In contrast, and ironically, Wanderers were to lose that match by six runs. One Goliath doth not make an army victorious. The Big Bear, with equal aplomb, was to smack 98 off a young and inexperienced Heathfield Park attack, only to lose his head to possibly the youngest and most inexperienced bowler amongst them. Gwyllim had entertained us all with an array of splendid stroke play but fell as the moving pictures rolled and spectators poised to clap enthusiastically. This innings was an indicator of his newfound confidence, which peaked later on in the summer. It should be noted though that Wanderers did take plenty of first innings wickets, if expensively, with Prash being the pick of the bunch. His left arm swingers accounted for four top order Zambuca batsman shedding a miserly nine runs. Prash is the leading bowler of the current crop yet needs time and regular cricket to hone his masterful technique and awareness of conditions.
Wanderers ground out an attritional draw against Greys in early August and then played their part in a superb foray against Preston Nomads at the splendid Fulking. Setting Nomads 207 to win on a clear evening, with Gywllim again taking the opposition bowling apart with 94 from his colossal club, the home side eased home with talented youth and the unhinged stability of experience. It was at this time that Wanderers bowling troubles were most exposed. Yet despite this the match was rightly remembered as a perfect advert for the Sunday game- and Luke Smith the perfect example of a Sunday captain. Rather than closing off the game, and negating opportunities for players to be given a chance, the bowling was still spread among the team. This could be seen to contradict and challenge the earlier bowling lament. But those who are rightly given these chances need coaching as well as the overwhelming encouragement they receive- and nets before and during the season is the time.
A poor match at Angmering on a pitch and wicket deserving of the same description was abandoned a little later than necessary. Wanderers then ended the month with two victories. One, again in poor conditions at West Hoathly in a match that got ever shorter, and another at Lingfield in what was, by all accounts, a complete team performance. Will Barber’s 59 in the north Sussex rain was a testament to his gritty and tuned technique. The victory at Lingfield was on the back of batting first and posting another 200 plus total. Lloyd Crathern and Rob Black, two irregular but most affable and welcome Wanderers, were among the runs that day. Rob is a talented batsman and self-effacing spinner of the ball. He lives in Leicester but joins us when he can. His dog, Darwin, was the club mascot until Junior took his place like a lion chasing off the head of another pack. The club should consider a sponsorship deal with Pets Corner.
September came and saw Wanderers undefeated with four very absorbing games. A sweating Jevington pitch saw a game of attrition with the level headed Barber leading Wanderers total to 134. He was dismissed for 49, with a camera again at the ready, to market the new 40s club again. Wanderers bowled well, and ate well, that day. Peter Slaymaker picked up four and the opposition fell a few runs short in a drawn affair. The draw the following week at Chailey saw an opening 50 from the unstoppable Bear as Raunak Naidu treated us to a display of batting destruction that eclipsed anything Jordan, Max and Gywllim had blazed the trail with previous.
For those who wish to analyse an extraordinary innings for future annals, the statistics of Raunak’s Chailey bash are not fully recorded in TMS details. He was in, however, for a period of 14 overs, probably around an hour. His innings of 99 contained seven sixes and nine fours. The 29th over went for 29 runs (doubtless one of the most ever recorded by a Wanderers batsman in a main match). Raunak scored 99 of the 127 partnership. Joe Baker also carried his bat during the carnage for a more sober and anchoring 35 not out. This hasn’t happened, that I can remember for sometime. If only we had kept such detailed records before. The match ended in a draw with an excellent century from opener Demberry- the only one against Wanderers this year.
With two matches to go players were keen to get their chance on the field. Wanderers travelled to Rudgwick with a strong side. Batting first another fumbling search for the absent annals was sub-consciously made. The opening four partnerships all yielded fifty runs. Surely a record. What was most discussed was how retired batsman, two in this case, should be recorded in the averages. I wont start that again. A simple peak at tomorrow’s averages by the individuals involved will reveal an answer… Another draw occurred here, although prospects were briefly raised of an unlikely win when seven wickets fell in as many overs. The final pair held out.
And so to the final game. A jolly affair and a splendid end of match barbecue against Arundel at a temporary Chailey home. Arundel were weak and Wanderers had too many wanting a final bite at the cherry. Three players were leant, none of which caused vengeful embarrassment (they did volunteer) and Wanderers won comfortably. Another fifty from the Big Bear leading the way at the end. To ensure that any collapse wasn’t too dramatic Wanderers used every outfield player to bowl. A reflection, again, of the nature and spirit of the club these days. Arundel set another probable record when opening with a bowling partnership that had 72 years between players (the eldest was 86). One wonders if in a couple of decade’s time this will not be beyond us. Keep loosening up, Dave.
The Wanderers log has seen scores of visitors this year and a number of comments have been made about how folk are feeling in touch with events at distance. One article, about the Brunswick Village charity match, had 139 readers. It seems that for everyone who plays in a match there are four others who want to read about it. The club is clearly held in much affection beyond the playing field itself. Southwick Wanderers, despite the erosion of Sunday cricket in the county, is in a healthy state at present. This season has shown this more than any I can remember. But much of this emanates from the attitude we see on the pitch. An old Physics teacher told me, when I was twelve, that attitude + ability= Success. Let that continue to be our platform.
The Big Bear, Gwyllim Jones had finished the 2015 season in poor form. The match report from Warninglid on last year’s penultimate game claiming: ‘Normally an influential presence at the crease, one senses time is running out for the Big Bear to turn it round this season, but he will doubtless be back and firing next’ He started the season with a duck, but 681 runs later we have the product. Gywllim only knows how to play one way. His timing and shot selection this year has been more measured and his defence more focussed.
Joe Baker has a steady and impenetrable defence that could calm many a potential collapse- although, after having carried his bat for two and half hours at Chailey, he may be suited to the opening roll. There is a need for more time exposed at the top order and an encouragement to overcome his reticence to drive or pull the ball the times. That’s what nets are for.
As a former, and rather frustrated, bowler myself my judgements are more likely to be harsh than fair. Yet Peter Slaymaker proved that it’s often age and cricketing wisdom that mends an ineffective attack. Peter’s focus was a traditional line and length and believes in hitting the pitch hard. Bowling no more than medium pace off a few steps he caused batsman to think a lot more about pursuing the cavalier approach that permeates the game nowadays.
Prash Meshram is the best bowler in the club. But with his commitments he cannot play as often as he would like. His flowing action and ability to cut the ball across the batsman would prove even more effective if he was able to give the game more time. He’s also an all-round decent chap.
Shall I call them ‘Wiljo’ or ‘Joiam’ ? The Baker brothers took sixteen catches between them this year and provided outstanding support to all the bowlers in the field. In fact, the fielding this season was of a high standard in general.
The approach on the field sets the standard for environment of it. Luke Smith is the best Wanderers captain in the The Author’s time for fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment. History shows that folk follow this lead. Whilst many have made a huge contribution to the club again this year, Luke’s attitude and approach has held it together. Even as captain, he will sit out to give others a chance. Folk understand that giving an inexperienced bowler opportunities can cost a match, and it has, the fabric of the club is made stronger by people accepting this. Luke, unlike many others in this form of the game, will do this. There are club’s who would have been in civil war over the start of the season. Wanderers just carried on. That’s why the club is so strong in a melting environment of Sunday cricket.
|Result||Southwick Wanderers won by 152 Runs|
In a match that no-one knew about, and cared even less for, it has been reported that Baker Will and Baker Joe terrified the opposition with a display of batting and bowling the likes of which we have never seen before- and doubtless won’t see again.
As Lukey wasn’t present, one of the brothers probably won the toss and decided to bat. With a display of amazing stroke play, that nobody was there to witness, the boys took the hapless opponents apart in a blistering forty over thrash.
At 300-0 the innings closed and the opposition took to the field.
Both brothers took five wickets. Although one might ask why it took them so long as they had to umpire for themselves and the crease was vacant throughout.
With the score on 148, and our Will finally managing to bowl a straight one, the innings came to a close. Both the boys shook hands with eleven clumps of thin air and the season finally ended again.
The scorecard below is a reflection of this historical game, although alas it is too late for the averages.
Darwin the Dog is most miffed at gaining second place in the ‘man of the match’ stakes but it was felt that Junior deserved the top slot as he needs cheering up after his recent operation.
The match reaches an exciting stage…
|Fall Of Wickets|
|11||Nobody||Too Scared To Bat|
|Fall Of Wickets||?|
|1||Junior The Dog||5|
|2||Darwin The Dog||3|
|3||The Baker Brothers||1|
As the early autumn sun lowered in the west, and a crispy air engulfed the barbecue embers, the pavilion of rural Chailey Cricket Club was awash with wistful chatter. As much as the summer was saying goodbye, the cricket schedule had been holding out for as long as it could. But now was the time of benediction. The grace of a Barber drive, the love of a Lukey toss victory, and the fellowship of a Wanderers social gathering had indeed been with us all. Amen to another season.
Chailey had hosted the final match in the absence of Plumpton’s invitation. Overnight rain had made way for a dry, bright and breezy afternoon. Arundel, most affable opponents, had struggled for numbers. Under normal circumstance the match may have fallen victim to this current Sunday struggle amongst the more established clubs. Thankfully, due to enthusiasm for one final hurrah, the Wanderers were over subscribed. The Author, Lloyd and Butcher jnr joined the opposition ranks and a forty over match was agreed upon. Lukey won the toss (read that again) and elected to bowl. The stage was set for the final scene.
Even with the added strength of young Butcher and the very able Lloyd, the Arundel innings struggled on the pudding pitch. A team of able Sunday cricketers lacked the flashing blades of Wanderers recent renaissance. As much as Arundel are a successful West Sussex League side, the Sunday team are a splendid tribute to the friendly game. The attitude and desire to include everyone was a pure testament to this. The youngest player was 14 and the eldest, wait for it, 86. More on bowler Denny in a bit. The opening exchanges were a little muted. With DJ Dave and Raunak employing some steady arms the score eased its way to 27 in the ninth over.
Lloyd became the first victim, stepping back to a ball that kept fairly low. Raunak had bowled especially well in his first spell, turning the ball off a fine length, and was most deserving of a wicket. The wicket set a pattern of struggle for the visitors, the next fourteen overs yielding forty-five runs as Wanderers continued to make proper use of a drying wicket. As the score crawled into the seventies a further four wickets fell, Baker Joe, Max, DJ Dave and Will B joining the party in a rotating attack.
Ensuing was seventeen overs of attritional cricket. Sensibly, Arundel clawed their way to a respectable scoreline. Batsman Pitts providing a measured but combative approach to a fully resourced Wanderers attack (every outfield player was used). Naturally there will be no mention of the pea roller from the hand of Will B that sent The Author back to the hutch without scoring…. But after this batsman Shoulders accompanied Pitts in a stand of twenty four which was only ended by a superb one handed catch, behind his head, from Johno at deep square. The innings ended on 139-7, the full forty overs being used.
|1||Crathern (L)||lbw||b||Naidu (R)||11|
|2||Dip||c||Johnson (M)||b||Baker (J)||17|
|3||Theodoridi (A)||b||Wheatley (M)||11|
|4||Butcher (M)||c||Wilson (J)||b||Field (D)||12|
|8||Shoulders (M)||c||Johnson (M)||b||Naidu (R)||12|
|Fall Of Wickets||27,34,52,64,72,102,131|
Tea was had, and particular thanks must go to Catherine for her rallying of domestic assistance in ensuring grumbling stomachs were fed and watered. Wanderers opened up with The Big Bear and Will B. It soon became apparent that, in these latter weeks of the flashing blade, matters would be swiftly concluded. But let’s take a brief look at the environment in which it occurred before dismissing a bowling attack as weak and ineffective against a plethora of talent and experience at village level.
Opening from the Pavilion End was a bowler of much ability, and, despite a number of loose balls being punished by Gwyllim’s club- and this was regular and without ceremony- one must take into account that perhaps fifty years previously things may not have been so one-sided. Yes, fifty years. For bowler Denny is eighty-six years young. Coming in off about six or seven paces he produced as much swing as anyone else had all afternoon. Granted, a number of deliveries were falling errant, but one sensed that this was not one of his better afternoons. For as long as he is able this old soldier will be playing the friendly game- and a fine chap he was too. A few Wanderers will be seeing retirement before any such considerations on his part, The Author being one of them.
At the other end, and equally unfazed by the Gywillim onslaught, was young Benjy Atkin. His deliveries were of sometimes good length and quite nippy, yet he came in for equal punishment. The first five overs were therefore the subject of assumed records that need no research. The largest age difference between an opening, possibly any in fact, bowling pairing, and most likely the fastest Wanderers fifty in modern club history- believed to be around twenty balls. Gwyllim retired in the fifth over. He left the field with the score on 59.
What was most apparent was that Arundel could have turned the screws early if they had wished to. Bowler Shoulders accounted for both Master Wilson and Max Wheatley in the aftermath of the carnage. The best, and rather swift, spinner to have bowled against us this season. Despite the outcome seemingly being sealed Wanderers wobbled. Bowler Dip, from the Pavilion End, was quick and dangerous. His errant deliveries saw punishment from Master Wilson and Mr Noakes though- and thankful Wanderers were. At 130-5, and with Raunak having left, there could have been twist in the tale. Baker Joe and Johno, with some fortune, saw the Wanderers home in 20.4 overs. A most surreal passage of cricket.
So that’s all folks, well, apart from a few thoughts and a short benediction of my own. I forgot to mention the game of pairs that occurred at the end of the match by those who were desperate to squeeze the last puff of breath from the passing season. Mr Lincoln had a bowl and The Author was ran out four times in four overs (although Lukey will admit to causing three of them). As the light drew in, and the smell of burgers wafted in the air, time was finally called and we all met for a spontaneous social.
So, dear reader, what of the title of this final match day offering ?
‘Amicitia et liberalitas’- sounds rather grand doesn’t it ? Well, perhaps. But it runs deeper than that. It’s Latin, you probably knew that, and it means ‘Friendship and generosity’. Two words that currently run through the veins of this cricket club. Two words that sum up all the effort and time that people give to its social fabric. Two words that Luke epitomises in his captaincy, or Gwyllim shows when deciding that someone else should have another go when the fastest century isn’t beyond him. Two words that allow a bowler, new to the club, a run in the attack when the match is delicately poised. Two words that summarise the efforts of the ladies of the club who toil and ask for no recognition. Two words that have kept this club alive when many others are folding in this demise of Sunday cricket.
I spoke to folk on Sunday and suggested that they should become the club’s motto as well as being incorporated in the Mark IV badge for the anniversary year. This was met with much approval. The AGM will have the final say. But ultimately this is academic.
This year the Wanderers season has been most friendly and most generous of spirit- and that is all that matters.
|1||Jones (G)||Retired Out||51|
|3||Wilson (J)||b||Shoulders (M)||25|
|5||Wheatley (M)||b||Shoulders (M)||0|
|Fall Of Wickets||59,70,118,119,130|
|Result||Southwick Wanderers won by 6 wickets|
Photographs by kind permission of Gemma Manvell
As much as some cricket seasons, especially those that run deep into September, are less likely to end with a big bang and more a silent fart, Wanderers batting renaissance continued today to the point that some might be asking whether the resulting demands for a continued programme of cricket will mean that we have breakfast between innings as the tired watery sun of autumn is asked to wearily preside over the extended season. Certainly, a match in the first week of October is not beyond the remit of reason- if only to restore justice to the historic AGM’s of that month which produced sun lit afternoons of wistful memory and yearnings for those extra runs or wickets that would have bridged the gap between average and genius-and secured that coveted award…
On the subject of awards and accolades, some folk are very protective of their averages. As a bowler The Author was little bothered by this, but batsman are rather prickly creatures-, as this journal will reveal.
Wanderers lost the toss, as predictable as the seasons. I was wondering if someone could write a line for this statement each week Luke is captain as I am getting rather bored of it. Apparently he won the toss at Preston Nomads although my eyes of doubt were passed over the scorebook that afternoon. I arrived late and was not there to witness this miracle. One wonders if we were playing at Lourdes. That wasn’t that funny, no, but if any of you have been subject to DJ Dave’s jokes in recent time it will have felt that way. Rudgwick asked us to bat.
What ensued was not so much a day of apple indulgence, for those who read last year’s report, more flashing blades blowing raspberries at a tame attack. The much-feared youngster who troubled Wanderers previously was absent from the line up and little was forced upon any tired late season technique. In fact, ‘tired’ is not a fitting description of Wanderers top order at this time. Something of a renaissance has occurred and it is pondered that the first five these days would be a decent consideration when compared to any other of the last quarter century. Perhaps Yogi Whitehead, Martin Malpass, Barry Hawkins and Pappy Preston could contest any claims to the crown, but certainly no top order has accumulated heavy runs as such a rapid rate as this one. Today was no different.
Wanderers once again passed the 200 mark with ease. At present, until the long winter nights are completed, there is no official records, or collated references to official records, that can show if the first four wickets producing 50 partnerships is a modern record. I suspect it is. We saw this today and a joyful sight it was. The Big Bear continued from whence he finished last week with a fluent 59. Will Barber, the most concentrated and technically correct of the crop, made 51. David Noakes, for whom slower and lower wickets are made with his low centre of gravity when striking from the middle, made 52. Master Wilson, overcoming his fear of perennial opposition guest, Keith Barrs, made 50 in his own inimitable style (or is imitable at Wanderers these days). Some well-worn colloquials have disappeared in recent times when describing a Wanderers knock. The score ended at 241-3, although with Mr Higgs and Naidu having been dismissed during this period one might ask how this was possible. Well…
The magnanimous gesture of retiring by Mr Barber and Mr Noakes had allowed others a hit. A debate was had about whether such sacrifice should constitute a ‘not out’. The rules are clear…
MCC Rule 2:
(b) If a batsman retires for any reason other than as in (a) above (EDIT: Unavoidable cause), he may resume his innings only with the consent of the opposing captain. If for any reason he does not resume his innings it is to be recorded as ‘Retired – out’.
Attempts to allow not outs have led to the secretary over ruling the captain here but no one is going to fall out over this. What is most important is that Wanderers players have been willing to selflessly give others a chance, as is expected, and secondly that we have actually found ourselves in this strange position in the first place. How times have changed…..
|4||Noakes (D)||Retired Out||52|
|5||Wilson (J)||Not Out||50|
|7||Johnson (M)||Not Out||10|
|Fall Of Wickets||50, 102, 157, 213, 220|
Declaring fifteen minutes early, Wanderers gave themselves a bounty of time to chip away at a 10-man opposition. But Rudgwick’s batting provided a far sterner test than their bowling. Well, that statement isn’t entirely true. The opening batsman provided most of the test.
On a cool and cloudy evening, Wanderers huffed and puffed for eighteen overs against and established pair of Page and Ross, a left hand and right hand combination of evergreen villager and young and well-coached aspirer. Apart from one spill neither looked in any discomfort. Only the occasional vagaries of a springy and over used pitch might cause any danger. Both batsman steadily accumulated runs, the younger Ross playing some cracking drives and Page proving particularly accomplished off the legs. An hour and a quarter in, and almost on the stroke of twenty overs, Johno held Page off Raunak. Too late, perhaps, but a calamitous middle order, a throwback to Wanderers of the near past, did their best to keep things interesting.
Baker Will and The Slaymaker had made way to Raunak and Jordan. The pitch, although suited to a bowler such as Peter in form, had not been used as well as we would like. Jordan, although essentially a part time bowler, has years of the line and length principle hammered into his cricketing soul. To Raunak such a concept comes naturally also. For a few overs things went tame but, whether through frustration or not, the middle order then lost the plot against this measured attack. Seven wickets were to fall in a period of just seven overs. Even Wanderers in the troubled years of the blade, would have baulked at such an event. A glance at the home scorebook suggested that it was hurried, but not unique. With Raunak and Jordy both on four wickets there were seven overs and one batsman to despatch.
Batsman Driver, an appropriate name, at number nine, decided to attack the bowling but also employ frustrating defence. Batsman Callaghan simply employed frustrating defence. Lord Sponge, correctly, decided that a change in attack might bring new and dangerous initiatives to the batsman’s mindset. Despite some close calls against the newly employed Gywillim and Sponge, the batsmen held out for the draw. At close of play Wanderers had cause to be disappointed, but the position they found themselves in was not one of their own creating. At times the team have been further away from victory and more deserving.
So as the ripe old apples sat in the huge crate again and local rogues hid in the bushes in an attempt to scrump in fading light and avoid the hangman’s noose, the season came nearer to its close. Talk of AGM’s, dinners, Christmas and next year’s nets filled the cooling dusk. Each then went unto his, or hers, home and prepared for the falling leaves. There is another week to go though, or is it two ? Who knows ? The season never really ends does it ?
|1||Page (D)||c||Johnson (M)||b||Naidu (R)||39|
|2||Ross (J)||lbw||Naidu (R)||58|
|3||Page (J)||c||Slaymaker (P)||b||Wilson (J)||2|
|4||Faithful (M)||c||Baker||b||Wilson (J)||0|
|5||Hutchins (D)||c||Wilson (J)||b||Naidu (R)||8|
|6||Brogan (T)||b||Wilson (J)||0|
|7||Caygill (T)||b||Naidu (R)||1|
|8||Barrs (K)||c||Johnson (M)||b||Wilson (J)||0|
|9||Driver (J)||Not Out||28|
|10||Callaghan (J)||Not Out||3|
|Fall Of Wickets||83 103 103 111 112 112 114 118|
It is often written into the terms and conditions of a ticket to many an event that photography, or moving pictures of any kind, are strictly prohibited. Sometimes this seems a little harsh. But this is naturally to prevent the breaching of copyright rules- although with the advent of modern technology it is hard to implement. No such legislation is currently in force for Southwick Wanderers matches, although given the unfortunate timing of some of these features the AGM may need to reconsider. The Big Bear was caught on film being bowled out for 98 recently, as was Will Barber being dismissed for 49 last week. Despite suggestions that our Raunak should not in any way have history record his next run, the one that would bring up a swashbuckling century on a glorious September afternoon at Chailey, one Wanderers player failed to heed the warning. You now how many he was dismissed for….
The delusion of summer, as lamented in last weeks despatches, amplified its mocking mirth this Sunday. At one stage the heat became a little intense for a scorers focus on the sideline- or was that too many tins of Scrumpy Jack. Given that Lukey had opted out, Wanderers had the choice of whether to bat or bowl. It was decided to take first hit- and fruitful it proved.
Baker Joe was promoted to open the batting with the Big Bear. Robin to his Batman, or was it an unusual collaboration between the hare and the tortoise ? Either way, the decision was proved just. Anchoring the Big Bear’s heaving blade, Joe hung around for the entire afternoon’s display of blade swinging prowess from the other end-Raunak playing the Big Daddy to Gywillim’s Giant Haystacks. It was as if we were watching the first swing on the longest hole at times, both players opting to use the wood…
As Chailey’s opening bowlers were mercilessly plundered to all parts of the park the 50 found its way into the scorecard by the seventh over, the hundred, by which time the scoring rate had slowed to a more palatable rate with the steady Will B joining Baker Joe at the crease, the seventeenth. Gywillim had fallen for 61 of an opening 88 stand. Not quite the calculative output of percentages that Master Wilson has had in stands before, but nonetheless a mutual understanding of partnership. Joe would give consistent and quick-footed support to Gywillim’s array of sword work. After the mighty Bear fell, Mr Barber then made 15, falling at 112, and Joe had Raunak join him at the crease. Gwyllim, it seemed, had then been upgraded into an IPL colossus, for as Raunak took guard the swallows flew off to enjoy summer elsewhere. What followed was carnage. No tree top was safe.
For those who wish to analyse an extraordinary innings for future annals, the statistics of Raunak’s are not fully recorded in TMS details. He was in, however, for a period of 14 overs, probably around an hour. His innings of 99 contained seven sixes and nine fours. The 29th over went for 29 runs (doubtless one of the most ever recorded by a Wanderers batsman in a main match). Raunak scored 99 of the 127 partnership. But lets face it, Joe didn’t get a look in. When Ronnie was caught at deep square on 99 Wanderers declared. Joe had performed the task he was set finishing on 35 not out. The offending Wanderer with the moving pictures of Ronnie’s demise wont be named….
|2||Baker (J)||Not Out||35|
|4||Naidu (R)||c||b||Harding (M)||99|
|Fall Of Wickets||88, 112, 239|
At Plumpton last year Wanderers had been defeated in a 35 over match. Young batsman Demberry (P) had made 37 whilst opening. This year, in line with the rapid years of youthful development, he presented an even stronger and more open-faced bat. The outfield at Chailey is even and fast, although it could be said that is a mere footnote to Wanderers who take the aerial route. Some Wanderers may have been of the impression that the ten men opposition may not offer that much resistance beyond a couple of batsman we knew well. This was a poor analysis.
The Chailey response was a calm and measured affair that always gave the impression that, despite faltering briefly at 60-3, could always threaten with a few wayward overs. Thankfully the bowlers were rotated with this in mind. The Wanderers declaration had been well timed (Chailey had been offered four more overs by the close) for any more leverage and the match could have been lost. Demberry being the catalyst for any such defeat.
DJ Dave had opened up from the Pavilion End, Butcher snr the Downs End (interestingly titled as such by The Author for Plumpton matches as also by Chailey for their home affairs). No self-respecting cricketer can fail to acknowledge this glorious sites that adorns the distant scenery of many of our matches. Adrian have proved a little wayward but landed a couple of halting wickets in his five overs. DJ Dave found a fairly consistent line but was wicketless. The general feeling is that the Old Swinger is the unluckiest man in town also, another chance being spilled today.
Chailey were 54-2 after ten overs. Wanderers in the ascendancy. But somehow it never felt as though there would be time enough, the Demberry family seeing to that. The third wicket fell on 60, and that was to be the last till more flashing blades in the closing stages tried to push things along. Kamal, a friendly and affable Wanderers debutant bowled steadily and with pace from the Pavilion End. The Slaymaker, despite hitting the pitch, which had proved quite bouncy at times, failed to work his magic. Raunak came in for some stick from the Downs End. Demberry snr, much like Baker Joe, anchored the innings of the younger. When Demberry jnr fell to Raunak for 118, with the score on 183, the draw was almost a certainty.
And so it was. The overs dried up and, despite a couple of late wickets to Baker Joe, hands were meaningfully shook on a beautiful Sussex evening. Most Wanderers stayed for a while after being treated to pizza and tinnies by the most splendid hosts. As the night gathered in we pondered on the remaining matches and how quickly the seasons pass. Doubtless the AGM will be staged on a beautiful autumn afternoon most worthy of bat’n’ ball. There is a famous cricket match played at Preston Park each year on Christmas Day. One might wonder whether such novelty will wear off as it forms part of the main season in decades to come…
|1||Coppard (J)||b||Butcher (A)||18|
|2||Demberry (P)||b||Naidu (R)||118|
|3||Packham (R)||b||Butcher (A)||4|
|4||Arnold (J)||c||Butcher (A)||b||Kamal (K)||0|
|5||Demberry (D)||c||Barber||b||Baker (J)||35|
|6||Stevens (S)||Not Out||14|
|7||Crouch (S)||lbw||b||Baker (J)||0|
|8||Harding (M)||Not Out||0|
|Fall Of Wickets||48,54,60,183,194,198|
September, that month of beautiful delusion, when a warm and sunny afternoon feels like summer, whatever that is, has taken up a full tenancy. Alternatively, for some, it can feel like summer is merely teasing us to show its potential. Such teasing is often true of some Wanderers when it comes to such potential but all too often we return to type. A Dave Field first ball dab, for a scampered single, may spark thoughts of a quick fifty from the bench. The Author, eagerly bowling to mid air in the outfield, may bring memories of a quick and destructive bowling spell to roll back the years. As sure as winter comes neither is likely, but it could happen one day. It did reach twenty degrees in February 1998…
The sun wasn’t playing fools with us yesterday at the delightful settlement of Jevington, just west of Eastbourne. Cool and cloudy for most of the affair, the rain stayed off for a full afternoon of bat’n’ball. Luke was back as captain, so I need not report on which direction the toss went, and Wanderers found themselves inserted on a sweating and slow strip after the overnight rain. The well-tended Jevington pitch, in the chalky downland of South Sussex, is perhaps slow at the best of times. Even the dry summer of 1976 would have allowed a batsman to take an early swing and miss, have a cup of tea, and then return for another attempt.
The batting reflected the conditions. Unlike the recent fluid affairs, the first 50 runs took 16 overs with two wickets going down in the process. The Big Bear had played late on to a straight delivery, and The Noodle had also had his stumps disturbed when looking comfortable at the crease-as if he would ever look nothing but placid in anything bar a nuclear holocaust. Even then one suspects that nothing but a mild discomfort would be displayed upon his measured countenance.
Once again, whilst other Wanderers seemed to struggle to bed in, Will Barber stood firm at the crease even if he rode his luck a little early on. Mr Barber, despite some decent scores, has much of this in the bank. His elegance and correctness of hand makes admirable watching on many a Sunday. This is a man who could make an industrious heave to cow corner look nothing but textbook. With Mr Noakes and Butcher Snr having returned to the hutch before three figures arrived Wanderers were in the unusual position, certainly of late, of having needed nearly 33 overs to cross the century mark. If the summer weather of 1976 had chosen not to run a CTRL and ‘C’ this year then certainly a fleeting visit by its scoring rates had found its way through four decades of changing cricket.
The final twelve overs proved no more fruitful. Page (S) had been the pick of the Jevington bowlers. Delivering with dangerous late swing from the top end, he had bowled nine overs for just twelve runs for what seemed like more than the one wicket. Fielder (S) had taken the extra wicket for similar figures from the lower end with a quicker but more erratic delivery style. In fact, even with a bit of occasionally poor pie chucking, none of the Jevington bowlers had been embarrassed. Any embarrassment was to be felt by Lukey though, who like The Author a few weeks earlier, had taken to recording moving pictures of Will Baker’s pending 50. You know what happens next- and if you are naive enough not to the first innings scorecard is below…..
|1||Higgs (A)||b||Fielder (R)||10|
|2||Jones (G)||b||Page (L)||5|
|3||Barber||c||Swansborough (A)||b||Scott (I)||49|
|4||Noakes (D)||c||Page (S)||b||Page (L)||9|
|5||Butcher (A)||b||Page (S)||5|
|6||Baker (J)||b||Scott (I)||10|
|7||Johnson (M)||c||Scott ®||b||Fielder (R)||9|
|8||Fennell (I)||b||Fielder (S)||0|
|9||Slaymaker (P)||c||Fielder ®||b||Fielder (S)||0|
|10||Smith (L)||b||Fielder (R)||11|
|11||Field (D)||Not Out||0|
|Fall Of Wickets||10,26,50,67,105,107,121,123,127,134|
Now, do I need to mention the tea ? Possibly not because you know all about it. And there was no let up in the quality or quantity this year. A splendid array of culinary delight awaited us. It dawned all too soon why Jevington had asked us to bat first. As the Wanderers gathered to stall any attempt at formidable reply full stomachs ached with expansion. But we took to the field imploring the push to victory.
Lukey opened the bowling from the top end, The Oldest Swinger In Town, the other. (Note another deliberate reference to DJ Dave for the Google spiders). Apart from the odd loose delivery both bowled well. It was clear that Jevington were going to have to work for the runs as much as Wanderers did. The first wicket fell to Lukey with, who else, Baker Joe, the single representative of the brotherly duo, taking the catch. The run rate at this stage was calm but wickets were the issue. Once Lukey had succumbed in his usual mid over to the crooked back The Slaymaker took over. Opportunities were soon to knock.
It was clear that Jevington had some heavy hitters in the mid order with the steadying influence of one of the Scott brothers at the top. But the carves and crashes all seemed a little out of sorts and the scoring rate struggled to run above four an over. The usual deck hitting and reliable donkey Slaymaker always looked a threat. A run out from cover and a return catch to Peter had Jevington at 68-3. When the spin of Baker Joe deceived young Scott at number 5, Jevington found themselves at 79-4 in the 27th over. Only twelve remained on this pedestrian of afternoons. All results were possible.
Now, a little mention, before the gripping finale, for Wanderers old crocks. The Author, despite contributing nothing more than a stuck out boot to the afternoon, had wondered if all this cricket thing had now become too much. The Big Bear had also trodden on a boundary-celebrating ball and injured his thigh in the process. Mr Slaymaker, once again, had ordered his finger tips to give his hands a rest when taking a catch and Lukey, despite sending himself delirious with a pain killing concoction prior to the innings, had once again gone crook in the middle of an over. Mr Lincoln, umpiring the day with much appreciation from all, had suggested that any return in another capacity was past its welcome. All these ageing and weary limbs are a testament to the lengthening years that village cricket affords one in sport- even if the 100th anniversary will be met with zimmer frames to assist in an outfield sprint and golf carts to drive us all between the wickets.
Returning to the fray, Wanderers were soon on top. As the middle order would start their innings so Mr Slaymaker would finish them. Numbers six and seven fell to this one of our splendid crocks. Opening batsman Scott was a reluctant LBW victim among them. Wanderers chased in the field and the light drew in. With six overs remaining Jevington were 95-6. It all became rather close, and seemingly correct in their assessment, the spoils divided themselves in appreciation.
With a silly run out to follow and the late order struggling to penetrate the outfield, whilst trying to hold their wickets, the game finished at its natural end in a draw. Jevington had fallen six runs short of victory and Wanderers shy of two wickets. As the team limped its way off in the gathering night one was left to ponder how a season takes it toll. Three matches remain and delightful they shall be. Weary limbs will once more reach the breach and folk will make there last effort towards respectable average. To assist in this, cameras shall be banned and the St John’s Ambulance will be placed on call. But, despite this, in his 47th season, The Oldest Swinger In Town will bowl with little complaint so as to prove mine and others protestations redundant.
This is village cricket. There is no such thing as retirement.
|1||Scott ®||lbw||b||Slaymaker (P)||24|
|2||Page (S)||c||Baker (J)||b||Smith (L)||19|
|3||Swanborough (A)||Run Out||18|
|4||Fielder (R)||c||Slaymaker (P)||b||Slaymaker (P)||14|
|5||Scott (I)||b||Baker (J)||5|
|6||Fielder (S)||b||Slaymaker (P)||3|
|7||Ritchie (M)||b||Slaymaker (P)||7|
|8||Page (L)||Run Out||11|
|9||Scott (M)||Not Out||10|
|10||Martindale (P)||Not Out||2|
|Fall Of Wickets||28,61,68,79,89,95,107,119|
So August is upon us, for many the last throw of summer. ‘Summer’, of course, is a mythological dream invented to anaesthetise the mundane months of winter when we only have the inevitable disappointment that the various football teams we support visit upon us. Certainly in England. But then again some of us define our summer by the amount of disruption our planned activities have to endure. As inconsistent as the weather has been, Wanderers have little to moan about this year. So if we then define our summer by our own cricketing performances- well, there is often less joy there.
Any poor performances on the last day of July were eclipsed by a splendid afternoon’s cricket from both sides that attended the hallowed field of home. Heathfield Park came along with a mix of seasoned old hands and aspiring youngsters, and Wanderers had the usual regulars and most welcome recent acquisitions. A day of warm July sunshine was the climatic offering and the cricket did its best to last long enough to enjoy it. It did rather well too, and a splendid day was had by players and spectators alike. If one swallow maketh not a summer, then there must have been plenty in the trees this Sunday.
The Author went out for the middle, not as captain but as the next sacrificial offering to the murderous toss, for very few Wanderers seem to negotiate the spinning the coin and come out victorious. However, the god of heads and tails was watching the Grand Prix and the visitors called wrong. With no waste in breath the chance to bat was taken, and a mutually agreed timed game arranged. Happy days.
Wanderers new opening pairing of Jordan and Gywllim opened the batting- and most fruitful it proved. Heathfield Park, a most amiable and inclusive bunch, gave the younger players a chance to have first pop. With The Big Bear in a run of great form it was always going to be a tough call, but the lads never lost their enthusiasm. The Pratt brothers opened the bowling with the eldest equipping himself well from the Downs End. The younger struggled, but showed enough promise to suggest there will be more to come. From my early days I remember encouragement being the key to development, there was much of that on show. Gywillim continued his hay making however, his first four scoring shots being boundaries. The opening partnership yielded 57 runs-mostly to The Big Bear.
The ninth over was to produce the first wicket, Jordan being the victim to a ‘caught and bowled’. The big man had looked in all sorts from the start struggling to execute the customary thump to leg. One suspected a big night on the wazz hadn’t helped- a perfect Sunday excuse anyway. With Max Wheatley joining Gywllim at the crease the two tree clearing Wanderers were in tandem and the potential for carnage was realised. Gwyllim continued to reach the ropes with much abandon. Fifty runs came in the next five overs until Max, uncharacteristically, chipped one to the keeper’s gloves. After thirteen overs Wanderers were 116-2- and it wasn’t 20/20.
Next up Mr Barber, by his own admission struggling in recent times, the free flowing clips, nudges, and flowing drives that accompanied his century at the cycle track seemingly a distant memory. Here he could comfortably support Gwyllim in an anchor role-perhaps more suited this time- and ably he did so. With The Big Bear’s bat looming ever larger the third fifty partnership of the innings came together and with this one taking seven overs things were slowing down…. As Gwyllim reached 98, The Author took out his camera to capture the moving pictures of a Wanderers century made. It didn’t go well. Young Frost, unfazed by the big man’s hitting, bowled a straight, if slightly short delivery, from the Racecourse End. Gywillim went to pull, missed, and was bowled. A wonderful display of resplendent fours and sixes had come to an end. All that was caught on camera, however, was a soft dismissal. Later on Gwyllim took a picture of the scorebook, his wistful reminder of a so nearly innings. Still, an innings of 98 is often more spoken of than a century-ask Will Barber who has a 99 to his name…..
At 179-3, and only 20 overs bowled, there was still plenty of time for others to get in on the action. The wily medium pace of old hand bowler Brown began to steady the run flow from the Downs End. Not only that, two wickets fell in the same over to his tidy line, Butcher snr and Johno both having their stumps disturbed. At 179-5, the Wanderers innings onslaught had stalled and attritional cricket was called for.
Will continued to work his way back to form with anchoring support from The Author, eventually falling to the steady arm of Simmonds snr, caught behind just shy of his fifty. Simmonds The Younger took two wickets for himself as the innings approached its close. The returning Tim Warren had equipped himself promisingly well with an innings of 29 not out and Lukey had clubbed a quick 14. Taylor Salerno, finally playing a game this season (and belatedly receiving his bowler of the season trophy from last year) made a brief appearance at the end. The innings closed on 261-8 after 39 overs.
We all had tea. And a nice spread did our Johno put on too.
The weather stayed warm and pleasantly breezy after the break as openers Loveday and Pratt (J) took to the crease. As ever, DJ Dave was to open the bowling from Racecourse End. Unlike Gwyllim, the opening pairing, Taylor coming in from the Downs end, did reach a century. But only in age….
The Heathfield Park openers looked pretty comfortable, accumulating runs at steady pace- although slightly behind the run rate. Taylor looked comfortable on his return with the ball and The Oldest Swinger In Town was himself- although the ‘no-ball’ he bowled was the first of his I can remember. There was talk of one in 1972. As the new ball pairing departed the opening partnership had found itself around the fifty mark. Wanderers were having to work for their wickets.
The breakthrough came with 63 runs the board, Tim Warren spilling the stumps of opening youngster Pratt (J). The stand had thwarted Wanderers hopes of quick inroads and subsequently a second wicket stand of 41 continued to do so. Jordan dropped an uncharacteristic howler off Lukey’s bowling during this period- naturally, this has to be included in any match report of acceptable standard. The fall of the second wicket was the subject of much amusement. Batsman Samuel, at three, sprayed a stroke straight towards Max at square. Clearly Max had been pondering Socrates as he seemed unaware that the ball was flying his way. At the last possible moment he held up his hands to nonchalantly take the catch. If only it was as easy as that for many of us others.
With twenty overs arriving the well-rotated Wanderers bowling was still proving ineffective. Batsman Cornwall, at number four, added a steady flow of runs as opener Loveday continued to anchor. Then came a splendid, if slightly Keystone Cops, run out. A single had been parked into the offside for the taking, only for a sharp overthrow to evade the bowler and, expectedly, The Author’s hand. Like a galloping Impala, The Big Bear at square swooped on the ball and threw down a single stump as opener Loveday tried to make his ground at the Racecourse End. A truly wonderful piece of fielding recovery. Simmonds snr then fell, bowled for a duck by Jordan, and a fleeting glimpse of hope was given to Wanderers prospects. 129-4.
With the overs running down, however, the match was heading towards a draw. And thus it was. Jordan picked up Batsman Cornwall, and young Frost fell lbw to Gwyllim- who completed his hand in every part of the match. The remainder of the overs were seen out by the pairing of young Wickenden and Setters, with some mature stroke play, and a draw was finally settled upon after 39 enjoyable overs.
So, as August arrives, another jovial and entertaining Sunday afternoon at Plumpton. As Wanderers folk retired to the pub the usual talk of the heroics of yesteryear and thoughts of the day governed the dialogue. Conversation turned to the 90th anniversary of the club that is arriving fast in 2017. Sunday cricket may be struggling in Sussex but good folk and company keep it alive. Today was another fine example of that.
|1||Wilson (J)||c||Pratt (J)||b||Pratt (J)||14|
|2||Jones (G)||b||Wickenden (T)||98|
|3||Wheatley (M)||c||Samuel (A)||b||Frost (T)||15|
|4||Barber||c||Samuel (A)||b||Simmonds (D)||48|
|5||Butcher (A)||b||Brown (M)||0|
|6||Johnson (M)||b||Brown (M)||0|
|7||Fennell (I)||c||Samuel (A)||b||Simmonds (M)||9|
|8||Warren (T)||Not Out||29|
|9||Smith (L)||st||Samuel (A)||b||Simmonds (M)||14|
|10||Salerno (T)||Not Out||6|
|Fall Of Wickets||57 112 170 179 179 199 219 244|
|1||Loveday (M)||(G Jones)||Run Out||49|
|2||Pratt (J)||b||Warren (T)||37|
|3||Samuel (A)||c||Wheatley (M)||b||Warren (T)||19|
|4||Cornwall (T)||b||Wilson (J)||37|
|5||Simmonds (D)||b||Wilson (J)||0|
|6||Frost (T)||lbw||b||Jones (G)||6|
|7||Wickenden (T)||Not Out||17|
|8||Setters (S)||Not Out||14|
|Fall Of Wickets||63 104 129 129 159 169|