Membership for the WHCC Colts is now open. You can find a 2010 Colts Membership form linked below.

Colts Membership Form 2010

One of the most memorable matches in the history of Woking and Horsell Cricket Club boiled up to an incredible last ball victory at Chertsey last Sunday.

Despite several injuries Woking’s side was by no means weak, due to the popularity of the fixture. Chertsey won the toss and batted and were given a good start by Russel (71) and Dennett (7) who put on 52 for the first wicket.

Their initial momentum was not however continued with wickets falling regularly to the guile and experience of spin kings Bob Hollands (4-47) and Richard Kitchen (3-48). Further resistance came only from Perks (33 not out), before a declaration at 5 o’clock at 169-9.

Woking’s innings started dismally, with both Bob Moore and Paul Webb returning to the pavilion with only 24 on the board. Immediately, however, following his excellent performance behind the stumps, Paul Webb returned to act as runner for Ian Hopkins, batting in agony with a torn muscle.

Martin Raybould (49) and Hopkins (44) then batted brilliantly to add 90 in just 15 overs before both were run out leaving the remaining batsmen a target of some 45 in the last 14 overs. Mel Webb (21) and Nigel Pakulski (17) continued to push along in the face of an accurate attack from Kingston (2-45) and Reynolds (3-63).

Then came the eventful last over of the game. Woking required seven to win with four wickets remaining. The first ball provided the run out of Kitchen going for a sharp second run. A leg bye on the second ball was followed by Nick Day being bowled off the third. Hollands then pushed a single off the fourth, leaving four to win off two balls with two wickets remaining.

Nigel Pakulski attempted to smashed the next ball for six, but was well caught on the boundary by Ryan. The last ball therefore arrived. Bob Hollands having decided to ignore the pleas of players, captain and vice-captain wound up to hit the last ball with a swing reminiscent of Ian Botham, straight past the bowler for the four required, to win the game in Boys’ Own style by one wicket.

A century from Peter Murphy and some good spin bowling form John Crowe and Peter Craig enabled Woking to round off a good weekend with a comfortable win over Chertsey on Sunday.

The early part of the Woking innings was relatively sedate with Murphy and Nigel Taylor taking an hour to put on 42 before Taylor was trapped leg before wicket for 20 in Russell’s first over. Gregory then bowled Nigel Crowe for one with a full toss but Murphy and John Stressing came together in a stand of 107 the gradually saw the Chertsey outcricket wilt.

Murphy played the dominant role and although needing some luck in the 70s and 80s, he eventually went to his hundred with his third six. In the meantime Stressing had been bowled by Taylor for a solid 38, his second valuable contribution of the weekend. There was just time for a pleasant shot or two from Paul Mayho and Peter Richardson before the declaration.

In response, Chertsey never got on terms with the run rate required. A good opening spell from Phil Nuttall accounted for Tidbury and Stride and had taken two for 17 in 11 overs when rested in favour of Craig. The young, slow left armer justified his captain’s confidence with an excellent spell and with John Crowe himself flinging and turning his off-breaks, there was a steady fall of wickets. Dodd with 43 and Sanger with 21 held Woking up for a while but once they were gone the middle order collapsed only a few brave blows from Russell prolonged the end.
 

With the end of the season in sight and our promotion aspirations still firmly in our grasp we hosted SRK at Brewery road. With another excellent pitch prepared by Couch we were keen to win the toss and bat and set a large total for SRK to chase, the toss though did not go our way and it seems my winning skills in that department have deserted me.

There can’t be many fixtures that have the batsmen salivating as much as Bank of England away – the sort of deck that would see Smithy smiting Curtly Ambrose on the up through cover, then reverse sweeping the inevitable follow up bouncer.

The match was played on a sunny afternoon at Reeds School in a wonderful setting on a beautiful track for batting with a lightening quick outfield. Weybridge won the toss and not surprisingly elected to bat.

The weather was terrible, I lost the toss and we were put into bat. Jan and Toby started well but then a regular flow of wickets for the opposition bought James and I to the crease, we slowly re-built our innings and with a splendid maiden 50 for the club Digby brought our scoring in the rain to a respectable 236/9 with a handy little knock from Henri adding impetus and getting us to a respectable total. Morlers 38, I got 34.

So it was our return match against the unbeaten Valley End cricket machine, and I must say straight from the beginning nothing went according to plan.

Our thought was to bat hard and long and set Valley End a target they would have to chase, with our spin attack and Digby hitting some good form we thought as long as we get 220 plus we should be in a prime posistion to at least take a point from Valley End. So with that in mind I won the toss and decided to bat, step 1, check. Step 2 did not account for us to be 20 odd for 4! We then went into match saving mode, with James, Qais, Giles and myself diggin deep to try and post some sort of respective score. We managed to edge our way to 161 off 55 overs. Sometimes though we need to give credit where credit is due, they are by far the best fielding side we have played against and purely on that fact deserve their unbeaten record. Where we could normally bank on 2's there were only 1's, and when we thought there were 1's we were scrambling back just to make sure we were safe.

 This was another Sunday nail biter. Captain Matt remains in bed, Smithy remains in Philadelphia on business and the troops had to contend with Billy as Captain.

First thing – win the toss and bat – achieved

Opening partnership of above 50 – just missed as Billy was out with W&H on 46.

Woking and Horsell's 20/20 team's brave campaign ended last wednesday with defeat against a very strong Valley End side.

A total of 117 on a pitch with a lightning fast outfield was never going to be enough. Many batsmen got a start but no one past 20. Tim Ming top scoring with 18. Two run outs and a stumping showed a slight lack of discipline and also emphasised what an outstanding fielding side Valley End are. They were also able to call on the outstanding bowling of their 'ringer' Scott Jarvis who is currently among the top ten wicket takers in the premier league, taking 2 for 10 off his 4 overs here.

CHAPTER 7
Fight back time...?

Woking & Horsell –153 AO
Staines & Laleham CC – 157 won by 7 wickets
W&H lost by 7 Wickets
Man of the Match: Saf 39

Good weather was first thing we all talked about. We all were ready to win this game until we found out Ben was moved up to the 2nds. Who would keep wicket for us? Everyone looked at Hamza. Not experienced but was determined to keep well. Once again we lost the toss and we were put to bat.

Our two openers were looking good until Carl got bowled clear. The opening five again not performing well, we had to rely on the middle order and tail enders. Saf and Zohaib had a good partnership. Zohaib got out to a good bowler and had a good knock 20. Then came in the tail ender with the fire works. Hamza, Maneeb and Amir joining in the fun. 153 all out.

We all sat for lunch discuss who will do the match report – and guess who?!?

The two openers for the opposition started well and smacked our bowling attack around the park. Hamza dropped a catch (from the captain’s view). The best moment for our team was Ross Todd doing one hand catch on the boundary (thanks to our warm up one hand catchers) The other team finished the game in style.

Best Catch – Ross Todd one hand catch on the boundary.

This week, Smithy was not in Philadelphia on business and he took the reins for the visit of Worcester Park. Disagreements ensued over the format and number of balls. We ended up in a timed game with one ball - making for a few grumbles right from the start. Worcester Park arrived with a mix of colts, old guys and grumpies - a bit like ourselves!

W&H batted first and the two left handers Sal and Billy opened up. Sal was not his fluent self, but dug in and the partnership got to 53 before Sal, having just said he was batting conservatively walked halfway down the wicket and got bowled for 18. There were a few unusual bits in Billy's innings - two 3s were run, at least one shot went along the ground and he stayed in for more than a couple of overs. The middle order struggle was reminiscent of an England innings. Albert blamed the slow pitch for his dismissal to a full toss, Adam and Ferrari both went for 6. Our guest Kiwi, Andrew, looked very good in a quick 22 and Digby was going well before mistiming a drive into the air for 14. Jack Allen smashed an excellent 31 not out and Peter Allan threatened to run 2 at one point! Closing on 176 for 8, W&H were not too downhearted. Could be defendable.

Tea was even better than normal - we even got chocolate cake this week and sang Happy Birthday to Jacob Smith - he's now 3!

Worcester Park's openers faced up to Digby and Jack and edged their way to 106 before a wicket came. Yes - it was Albert who got it. Albert bowled well taking 3 for 52 off 13 overs. Digby beat the bat and found edges time after time - eventually he took his first ever wicket in July - hopefully the first of many. Alas the breakthrough had really come too late and Worcester Park got home with 2 balls to spare. Jack had also bowled well for no return.

In the end, not enough runs and too many edges!!

In typical English weather we set out to try and gain some momentum leading into the second half of the season. With some players showing good form and others starting to hint at their potential we took on Maori Oxshott at home.

 
Surprisingly it pretty much rained the whole game, with little bursts of nothingness to keep both umpires from calling a halt to proceedings! I lost the toss and we were sent into bat, Another strong showing from “Jannert Kreder” with 67 laid the platform what should have been a much larger score but with the rain and a turning pitch curtailing our efforts and making run scoring very difficult indeed. Some much needed injection from our lower order took us up to a healthy total of 206 with a fine 50 from Ian Meyer in difficult circumstances being another highlight to go with Jan’s earlier runs.
 
With a wet tea break and some more rain we wondered if we would make it back on the field but a rest bite in the rain meant we rushed back on. I managed to snare their opening batsmen first ball of their innings and had Tom managed to hold onto a sharp chance at silly cover we would have another wicket from the first ball of Damo’s over. Suffice to say we turned the screws and turned them hard. I raced to 4 wickets and unfortunately with Damo picking up the other 2 the opposition clearly indicated their intentions when the shutter doors came slamming down. Their number 4 batsmen scoring 10 off about 30 over’s. Suffice to say 91 for 6 in 43 over’s was an indication as to perhaps why Maori Oxshott find themselves scrapping at the bottom of the table at the moment, but credit for sticking it out and lesson for us in the fact that we need to get those remaining wickets, somehow. I thought we bowled incredibly tightly and never allowed them to get into the game in what turned out to be a really hard pitch to get runs on, making Jan and Ian’s efforts all the better. Some beers with a delighted opposition who realised it was drink the fridge night and were getting great value for money!
 
I somehow managed to snare man of the match although as stated I thought our two half centurions did a great job. Another valuable set of points but 13 would have been far sweeter!
 
Valley End this coming week, at home. With availability not being at its best we are going to have to dig deep and show true bulldog fight.  After the abuse received at Valley End both from players, spectators, and local reports it would be great if we could get as many people as possible down at the ground supporting this week.
 
Cheers for now.
 
Ryan Pogson (1st XI Captain)

A Truly remarkable batting display. It’s pretty much the only sentence I can use that still sums up the days play. Jan (92 from 67), Tom and Toby were supreme. But I am getting ahead of myself. I luckily managed to win the toss with a side selected with a specific purpose in mind. Bowl tightly and chase down any score set. Digby bowled brilliantly for scant reward and with Shazad bowling tightly we managed to curtail any fast starts. Damo and Ian then bowled unbelievably well in tandem and at one stage the opposition run rate had dipped below 3 an over. With some mixing and matching we started taking regular wickets and with a great piece of fielding work Tom had a direct hit and the start of a mini collapse of sorts from the opposition. We admittingly lost concentration in the last 15 over’s but eventually bowled them all out for 203 in 54.4 over’s. Damo and I sharing the main spoils with 4 a piece.

 
With another tea in our bellies and numerous discussions on the batting order I decided to keep the batting order as close to the original as possible. When Jan deposited the 3rd ball of the game way over the boundary for 6 there was a positive vibe that rippled though the side. 24 over’s later and it was game set and match, with 206/1 showing on the board. 8.5 an over for the loss of 1 wicket is great going.
 
On the negative side we dropped 5 catches and had a missed stumping. Again we are going to need to remedy these errors if we are going to continue to make our way up the league.
 
Man of the match, no surprise is Jan Kreder but a serious note to Ian, Digby and Damo who set up the “low” total with some great tight bowling. The “vibe and noise” on the field was kept up the entire game and it’s something we need to keep going.
 
The opposition were a great bunch of guys and to a man stayed for a drink after the game, although turning our offer to join fines down. Seeing the mess we turned ourselves into it was probably a good call!
 
Cheers for now!
 
Ryan Pogson (1st XI Captain)

 If the new slimline version of the old clock worked, it would have said ten to two when half the team were to be found in a huddle at deep fine leg, getting into a deep and fine mess in their struggle to untangle the boundary rope. We imagine the rope to have been left in this challenging condition to provide us with a team building exercise before the game. The effectiveness of the exercise is in question. Next week we will split the atom at third man.

Being far too sensible to get involved with the rope-a-dope shenanigans, three members of the Bennett family were making good use of the new nets. It was with a mixture of dewy eyed nostalgia and misplaced hope that we welcomed back to the fold David ‘I didn’t touch it’ Bennett, freshly returned from his North American jaunt. It was, we gather, an enjoyable and successful trip measured mainly on the basis of his being responsible for fewer crashes than his companions.

Also returning to the team was Smithy who also had an enjoyable and successful trip to America (did he mention where he went?) measured mainly on the basis, he says, of his out-drinking his companions.

Not for the first time this season the fixture card was cast aside as, not for the first time this season, we welcomed Old Woking to Brewery Road – Twickenham, our scheduled opposition, having pulled out in the week.

Sunny Sunday protocol was followed as the captain won the toss and elected to bat. \

The entertainment started with our opening crooners Dean and Bennett getting us off to a solid start until Peter ‘I prefer Frank’ Allan pressed the buzzer in the belief that Bennett did indeed touch it. Frank being unavailable, Bennett was followed onto the stage by (Francis) Albert.

Dean continued as front man on his way to an impressive 55. Jack raised the tempo towards the end but Woking (and Horsell) finished on a distinctly MOR 159.

Harmony, as always, was restored at tea thanks to Stephanie and Charlie.

Despite the best efforts of our bowlers, Jack, Smithy and Albert in particular toiling without much luck, (Old) Woking knocked off the runs without much trouble.

Our cigar chomping, Mike Portlock cap wearing keeper defied his 70 years and one day behind, and often miles to the leg side of, the stumps.

Fireworks during the drinks break were unexpected and unexplained.

Next week: Loverat to join Ratpack?

 

It was a beautiful Sunny day…with the 4s were playing Ashtead at Woking Park.

The cricket however was not so beautiful. Once again our batting let us down. Andrew Ward and Khan started steadily, but after the ball nicked the inside of Andrew's bat and was exceptionally well caught, all other wickets fell cheaply. 5 catches indicated not a lack of potential, but more a lack of descent shot selection. Everyone bowled fairly well, but with the low target we either needed to contain them early on or take a couple of early wickets. The pitch was fairly soft and neither transpired. I think we all know that we can put in a much better performance. One positive point was that everyone fielded well and never stopped trying.

I am sure we will do better next week.

Quinton

In the baking sun the 1st XI travelled to Churt and confident after our first meeting set out to make it 2 out of 2. With the Sun belting down I decided with a new look side (due to certain individuals deciding summer was a time for marriage and merry making) that we would have a bat. It would turn out to be one of those days, Malcolm Eddington tweaked his ham string at warm up but tried to bat valiantly but we stumbled and stuttered our way to 221 all out with handy contributions from Tom Dunbar (50), Qais Nawaz (45), James Woods (30) and myself chipping in with 33.

We felt quietly confident as at one stage we really were not looking good and thought that 150 would have been our end total. So a great fight back from the lads that definitely seemed to have our noses a little in front. It was just not to be. A straight forward catch was put down in the 2nd over and 100* not out later Churt’s opening bat carried his bat through. Their other opener also put on a 40 odd but their overseas player batting at 3 just middled everything we threw at him. So a 9 wicket thumping. Something we are not too proud of, but at the end of the day it’s catches that win matches. Digby Philip, Qais Nawaz and James Woods bowled wellbut at the end of the day to no avail.

A quiet beer and chat with the opposition was welcome and with pretty much full availability this coming week we need to bounce back immediately and start playing to our potential.

Cheers for now.

Ryan Pogson (1st XI Captain)

The longest day of the year and the skipper wins the toss and decides to field. Strange, I know, but that is what happened when W&H took on our friends from Surrey Gymkhana for the second time this season.

It's either one thing or the other. One week the batting fires and the bowling is poor, the next week the bowling's great and we get bowled out cheaply. If only we could put the two together, as we did against Mitcham, and the season would be looking a whole lot better. This week was the turn of the bowling to not get going. Maybe we were ten or fifteen light with the bat, but to only take three wickets, two of which were run outs, was disappointing.

So, off to Streatham we went. A game which has seen plenty of action down the years. Giles' six that wasn't given, Damo diving in a hedge trying to take a catch, scoring 80 all out and that being enough to win, thinking the game would be called off and drinking several beers before the rain cleared up, Roscoe getting the bus the wrong way, turning up half an hour late and getting a first baller, the list is endless.

This particular game won't live as long in the memory as some of those games, mainly because we try and forget most of our games two days later these days, but it had it's moments.

The work has now almost been completed on 2 new nets and this will provide plenty of opportunity for W&H players to practice. On the evidence of this match, they will be well used. The Ferrari stayed in the pits, Matt was still pleading injury and for those of you he did not tell, Smithy was “in Philadelphia on business”

On another lovely Sunday afternoon W&H went to Valley End and had what looked, on paper, to be a decent batting line up. Valley End rather unfairly decided we should play the match on a cricket wicket and not on paper. The W&H banter was at a slightly higher octave than recently, due entirely to the presence of Scott Stevens, making his first appearance for some time. When he speaks, very few people can understand him and his claims to be a Pom led us to believe that the locals have been adding something interesting to the Diet Coke.

The wicket looked good and stand in Captain Billy, decided to bat. The opening over was a bit wayward and our returning pal Scotty feasted off the first few balls. With the Umpire's arms half way out to signal a second wide off the over, Scotty chased the ball and lobbed it fairly gently to one of the youngsters in the deep. So, in keeping with many matches this season, Albert made his way to the middle at the end of the first over.

Conor and Albert hung around for a while and it looked like a decent total was still on the cards. Conor then missed a straight one and Uzi and John both fell fairly cheaply. Sam Way looked to be coming back into form, but played one lofted shot too many to hole out on 31. Billy joined Albert and scratched his way into double figures, making good use of the Chinese cut just past his stumps. Immediately after tea, Albert fell caught behind for a well played 41. Hamza’s new found resilience was, once again in evidence. He hung around for a while, contributing a dogged 17 before getting bowled trying to hit out near the end. Jerry’s quick fire 10 took the total to 188 for 9 – Peter adding another HPO to his collection.

Valley End set about the task with a purpose. The openers looked in good touch and one of them batted through finishing in the 60s not out. A very quick 50 from Ed Lea put the result in no doubt – along with some excellent blows, Ed really does know how to edge a ball very fast and hard!

The W&H bowlers kept trying until the end but, on a fast outfield, 188 was never really enough to defend. Valley End reached 191 for 3 with over 6 overs to spare. In the bowling department Albert took 2 for 41 off 9, Jack 0 for 14 off 6 and Sam took 1 for 9 off 4. Once again, man of the match plaudits to top scorer and top wicket taker, Albert. What will W&H do without Albert? We will find out next weekend, when he is away bowling (the 10 pin variety – that’s easier than the 3 pin bowling he does on a Sunday, because there is no one in the way with a bat!)

The hospitality and food were first class and this was an enjoyable game of cricket. Thanks to the Valley End people for the tea and BBQ and as always to Erica for scoring.

As for the result, W&H were well beaten – I blame the captain!

 

Once again the future of Woking and Horsell was to the fore as the ‘hit and giggle’ midweek XI cruised to another impressive victory this time against Westfield Saints. 

Preparations had gone far too smoothly, no drop outs and ten of the players were at the ground before the meet time. So inevitably the obstacles started to fall in front of us. Old Woking CC was the chosen venue for our 20/20 Frank Binks campaign to start and the ground was locked and no sign of the groundsman! Eventually we got the keys only to find that no pitch had been cut and there was not a chance that we could play on any of the old ones. Fortunately the oppo’s captain and Saturday Woking player Jack, knew that their regular ground, the Wheatsheaf was now available so via a stop at the leisure centre to pick up the keys and a stop at W&H to pick up a scoreboard we headed over there.

The day didn’t start particularly well with the bad weather and a dismal fielding practice which was cut short when a shy at the stumps kicked up of our “bowling green” outfield and hit M in the head.  Off he went to find some ice from behind the bar causing a reshuffle in the batting, sorry I meant scoring, order. So, what would this week bring?  Following a much needed victory at Mitcham last week there was a little bit more confidence in the batting compared to the feeble efforts against Ashford and Valley End and it showed.  Despite losing the toss and batting first for the first time this season, Tommo and Malcolm were on fire playing shots all round the wicket as we reached the drinks break 146-0.  It was at this point that M felt it was probably safe to post the first ever second eleven live score update on the new Woking and Horsell Facebook page, sign up folks you don’t know what you’re missing, without jinxing anything.  Predictably enough Malcolm was out four runs later for a superb 79 but that just seem to inspire Tommo who stepped up a gear and aided by Worgs, who also played some nice shots, we took our score up to 238-5 declared.

The new era in the City of London is known as PNR – post Northern Rock. The resultant financial crash and widespread depression is plain for all to see. There is a similar cloud over W&H. Captain Matt is so depressed at the loss of his wee pal, that he did a “footballer” on his teammates this week (he feigned injury). Whilst sitting on the touchline holding his knee, we all knew that inside he was pining.

It had been very wet overnight – the U13 game was cancelled due to puddles on the pitch, much to the disgust of the youngest Hargan who, having been supposed to play 4 matches over the weekend, now looked like he’d play none. The late call off of the invisible Paul (aka Tony) with a “sore shoulder” (we believe he also plays football) led to a vacancy. Two Hargans fought over one place until Billy decided he was also injured and gave up his place in the team so Sideshow and Angus could both play.
The absence of Matt allowed Smithy to take up the Captaincy. Old Wimbledonians won the toss and decided to bat and play started almost on time – a rarity this season. The pitch had dried out pretty well and the bowlers had some, but not a lot, of help. OW had an opener who took friendliness and bonhomie to a new level, but he began by hitting a lot of balls very hard! The game took on a familiar twist – Albert took the new ball and bagged the first wicket. It was an excellent catch by Hodgkiss Mark II (known to his friend and colleagues as Charlie McKeith). Happy was then joined by Ferguson and together they looked like they were going to bat W&H out of the game well before 4pm. Ferguson eventually fell for 49 (he did deserve a 50) to Smithy and guess what, there was a suspicion of some turn! Smithy and Charlie really bowled well to put the brakes on and both of them beat the bat frequently. Jerry came in to the attack and the opener, who had by this time got a bit bogged down to some top quality stuff from Charlie, saw his chance. Like so many before him, his eyes lit up, he mistimed it and the prowling Ferrari did the rest in the covers. Charlie’s left arm spin was causing all sorts of problems – some of them for Peter – and he ended up with top figures of 4 for 29 off 14 overs. It would have been 5, but for youngest Hargan dropping a new batsman first ball! There was method in his madness as when he came on to bowl, Angus beat the aforementioned batsman with a well flighted leg spinner to give Peter yet another stumping victim. The Ferrrari took a second catch and the jury returned a verdict of not proven on a potential charge of jug avoidance when he went a bit lamely after a 3rd one.
Tea was, as usual on a Sunday at Brewery Road, a real feast and, well fuelled and ready for the challenge, W&H went out to bat.
OW had a fairly tight attack and Sam went fishing early on and was on his Way (bet that one’s new on the family!). Albert walked to the crease in the second over. Albert and Neil (making a welcome appearance on a Sunday) steadied the ship until Albert played on having scored 17. Charlie looked good for a short while getting 15 and Neil fell eventually for 22, before the wheels started to come off. The Ferrari had used up most of its fuel last week, and the Hargans never got off the starting grid.
When the Captain (elevated to number 10 these days) strolled out to bat there were 10 overs left. The spectators, umpires and fellow players were ready to get into the bar early, but it was not to be. Smithy and Hamza decided to tough it out and they withstood some good bowling to see W&H home for a draw. Hamza ended up joint top scorer on 22 no and Smithy’s 1no will be talked about (mostly by him) for a long time. OW probably set a new Sunday record for stupid appeals – the best ones being from the square leg who appealed for lbw even if the bowler and keeper did not. At least we all had a good laugh about it.
The moment of the match was a piece of handiwork by the Captain when fielding close in – he managed to touch the ball with every part of his anatomy, before putting it down. Next year, watch him on Britain’s Got Talent.
Thanks again to Erica for scoring and to our young ladies for a fantastic tea. We’re on the road next Sunday – away to near neighbours, Valley End. Smithy, as he told everyone several times will not be playing as he’s “away in Philadelphia” - we assume the city, not the film. Our real Skipper is, as it turns out really injured, and won't be playing either - guess who's going to get a bowl!

Welcome to Khan, who played his first match with the 4s v Sunbury on Saturday, 06 June.

After the glorious sunshine last week, the light rain and grey skies were a marked contrast in our match v Sunbury. Sunbury won the toss and put us into bat.
were our top scorers.

After (an obviously inspiring) tea Simon immediately struck with his opening ball, short and rising, forcing the batsman to glove a legside catch to the wicket keeper. Sunbury then dug in, until Alexis pulled out a vicious offcutter in his fourth over to claim the second Sunbury wicket. Two overs later Simon claimed his second wicket with Khan having to judge the catch carefully. Unfortunately we were not able to take any more wickets, and disappointing was a declined appeal for caught behind off Abdul's bowling. Sunbury were able to pass our total after 27 overs losing 3 wickets in the process, giving them 13 points for winning by 7 wickets.

And so the 50/50 over format takes a break and we settled into playing our first 100 over/time game of the 2009 season. After an exhausting drive through London we finally all made it to Alleyn and Honor Oak thinking there had to be rain at some point during the afternoon. The pitch was well covered and the field hard, so when I won the toss I decided we would have a bat. 

Mitcham 2nd XI v Woking and Horsell 2nd XI

That’s a bit more like it!! A last!  The 2nd XI got their first points of the season with a victory at Mitcham despite a late wobble as wickets tumbled, thanks in the main part to Jerry Days captain innings of 95* delighting everybody involved.

Despite two crushing defeats in the previous two weeks when we just didn’t turn up at all, optimism was surprisingly high as set off for Mitcham.  Availability had improved, there was an injection of youth, (although M was still young enough to play in the youngster’s football team in the pre-match warm up much to his delight) and the previously weak batting line up had been lengthened.

Optimism was further heightened when we won the toss and the youthful bowling line up of Henry Peters and John Hargan tied down the opening batsmen with the first boundary not coming up until the 12th over.  Despite the intimidating atmosphere, the locals were singing, We’re Mitcham, we’re Mitcham, we’re Mitcham and that’s the way we like it, we like it, we like it, we continued to trurn the screw although the lack of wickets was a concern particularly given the new 50 over format.  The lack of wickets did become an issue as we the innings went on as the Mitcham batsmen became more expansive.  A couple of key wickets at crucial times did keep the score below 200 which was a good bowling effort from everybody that turned their arm over.  Special mention must go to the two youngsters but also to Chris Dunbar, who bowled an excellent spell despite no success which was all the more remarkable considering he collided with a fence and also with the sightscreen which he got up and kicked, and also to Paul Fortescue who took crucial wickets at crucial times and bowled some tight final overs which turned out to be so important.

So, over the road for tea, cheese and onion sandwiches,  lovely, Frank Lampard blockbuster, not so good.

Our innings began so well, Tommo and Malcolm looked comfortable and we reached 30 without too much alarm but in the time it took me to walk from the scorebox back to our changing room, albeit a bit further than Brewery Road and across a busy main road we had lost three wickets.  The mumbling had started and the lack of confidence shone through again.  “At least we’ll get more than we did against Ashford” followed twenty minutes later by, “at least we’ll get more than we did against Valley End” but to be honest we were always going to be in the hunt with Jerry and John at the wicket.  They both batted beautifully and timed our run chase pretty well although we could have done without the wickets going at the end.  Although Jerry scored the majority of the runs, much must be made of John’s contribution (34).  He hit the ball beautifully and on another day they would go past, rather than to fielders. Once John was out there was a bit of a wobble but we only needed four an over off the last eight and despite the run out of M (“you don’t get run out by direct hits at this level” Oops) and the slog\miss by Deano which “costus” a bonus point we got home due to some further impressive striking from the skipper.  We’re off and running.

Sunday 31st May was another great day, weather wise, and the crowds flocked to Brewery Road to see the return of the Ferrari to the starting grid. The threat of a boycott has been averted and Ferrari has signed up for another mega-million year. A Ferrari takes a fair while to reach its peak and it is best to treat it gently early on and gradually increase the power as it warms up. Starting from 5th on the grid, our Ferrari struggled a bit early on, but was running in top gear by the end.

The afternoon started well. Lyne, our scheduled opponents had backed out – it seems they heard that Lloyd was no longer playing and decided that, in the absence of his bowling, it was better not to fulfil the fixture. Smithy got to work and we were delighted to know that Surrey Gymkhana had stepped in. We will play them again in 3 weeks time, so this was the first of a double header!

The Surrey Gymkhana team had only arrived with 9 players. Ever the opportunist, the youngest Hargan immediately offered to play and, accompanied by some nervous comments – “he wouldn’t bowl quick, would he?” being one of them, he was joined in the opposition team by our overseas player Digby. Digby had been at Brewery Road, nursing a mild hangover and quaffing some of Mrs Hargan’s birthday bubbles, but he was press-ganged into playing.

The visitors have a very good attack and opener Vijay took 2 for 7 off six very good overs of left arm seam. He was faced by another new opening pair. A stranger, Mike Walsh, opened up with Usman (Captain Matt having tried to time his entry for the easier bowling again – more about that to come!) Both Walshy and Uzi lived charmed lives, offering up a couple of dolly catches which were duly dropped! However the tight bowling took its toll and by the 11th over W&H had reached 14 for 2! The big surprise being the first single figure score of the season for Player of the Decade, Albert. Billy came in at number 4 and the Surrey Gymkhana skipper decided to risk Digby’s lodging arrangements and Angus’ pocket money by bringing them both on to bowl. Both realised where their bread was buttered and took it easy on the old man, until Digby finally got his man, bowling him. At the other end Walshy had been entertaining. His footwork is legendary, especially to balls outside leg which are turning back in. He attempted to play these with differing parts of his anatomy, missing with all of them! When a leg spinner from Angus went through his legs and missed the wicket by a whisker, going for a couple of byes, we thought it was his day. Walshy fell eventually, caught and bowled to Digby for 36. We then had a very interesting partnership between Ferrari and Adam Portlock. Both hit some lovely shots (one or two of Ferrari's actually went in front of square) before Adam holed out for 38, trying to get a move on. Porters was followed by Captain Matt who, having broken his bat a couple of weeks ago, borrowed Billy’s. The bat was at fault as he was caught for a golden! Ferrari ran out of road (on 48no) when Matt called W&H off at 189 for 6.

Digby opened the batting for Surrey Gymkhana and looked comfortable when, on 18, he edged one from Hamza. This was a fine delivery, with the landlord getting his revenge in the slips.

Jack Allen bowled really well, taking 1 for 17 off 8, backed up by Hamza 1 for 26 off 7. Smithy got a lot of bounce (when he pitched it) and put in a good spell of 2 for 21 off 11. Porters showed his class in the field, taking two excellent, difficult catches - both off the Skipper. Matt had shown how much he misses the Northern Rock by bowling a couple of pies, before settling down and taking 3 for 28 off 5 overs. Porters then put a hard one down – the jury believes he is guilty as charged (of jug avoidance). Biggest surprise was the leading wicket taker only being introduced as bowler number 7!

Unfortunately, the opposition shut up shop once the top 5 were out and limped to 102 for 7 when the bar called us in.

Once again thanks to Erica for scoring and to Stephanie and Charlie for the great tea.

We look forward to the rematch!

CHAPTER FOUR
The stand in

Woking & Horsell 119 AO
Battersea Ironsides 73 AO

W&H won by 46 runs
Man of the Match: Sam Way

 

A tumultuous week leading up to the game with the skipper being called up to the Sunday XI and hence unavailable for normal Saturday duties. Cue the vice captain to take over, against the same side he skippered against last year - coincidence??

The game kicked off in perfect weather at Woking Park with W&H losing the toss and batting first. After some promising, but ultimately low scoring starts from the upper order W&H were soon on the ropes. The steady flow of wickets continued throughout much of the afternoon, with no batsmen making greater than 17! Special mention must go to Hamza however for top scoring - from number 8. The tail wagged again (thankfully!) and strike lower order batsman Hamid was lucky to be bowled on a no-ball. With the total of 119 not even surpassing last year's 149 against the same side its fair to say that heads were low heading back into the sheds.

But then... it happened. Scholars reading through the historical scorebooks of W&H glory years in the distant future will not beleive it. But it happened. The fightback!

Zohaib and Maneeb opened the bowling with some lean and accurate bowling, Zohaib taking two for his efforts in a fine display. This included a catch over his shoulder at long on from Paul Bennett that had the crowd on it's feet.

First change was Saf from the Guildford end which he kicked off superbly. A catch by the skipper at mid off and we suddenly had a game on our hands.

Sam 'the destroyer' Way was brought on from the pavillion end and bowled one of the finest spells W&H 3rds have seen in a while. The Ironsides had no idea what he was bowling and deservedly he ended up with a five wicket haul for his efforts. 

The attitude in the sheds after the game was nothign short of ecstatic. A bowling and fielding effort from all the boys (we didn't drop a catch!) - certainly one to be proud of. Now to follow it up next week against Ripley.

P.S. My apologies for the cricket related nature of this report as Walshy is away!

This past Saturday the 4s had a bye, and rather than waste the good weather on offer we had a 25/25 over match and a basics of scoring and umpiring workshop. After some last minute adjustments to availability on the day, we managed to get 17 players out on the field.
 

A belated welcome to Bilal Mir, Michael Hillman and Muhammad Iftikhar, who played their first match with the 4s v Dulwich on Saturday, 23 May.

I thought that we had a good match v Dulwich. Dulwich won the toss and put us into bat. After a shaky start, losing one of our openers  with 3 runs (all extras) in the second over, our top order played to their potential (mainly with straight bat I was pleased to see) and 

In glorious weather I won the toss and in what has become the norm in the 50/50 format selected to bat without hesitation, with a strong batting line up we felt confident but unfortunately we just did not make enough runs. Ian Meyer scored a good 50 and Toby Green extended his good run with a solid 40, in a rare lapse in concentration Jan Kreder fell cheaply and try as we may to up our tempo but with wickets falling at regular intervals we had to settle for a modest 215. With many of our batsmen including myself being given a couple of lives due to some ordinary fielding we really should have made more runs. It has been quite quickly established that 220 is the bare minimum for a win, and in hindsight is a score we are going to have to start attaining week in and week out. Old Hamptonians bowled tightly and had probably set the tone for our innings with some diciplined line and length bowling.

There was hardly a dry eye in the Clubhouse as The Northern Rock announced that he had bought his final jug for his W&H team mates. After a long and extinguished career of occasional off spin, occasional batting and outstanding diving in the field, Lloyd has decided that saving the country’s economy is more important than the joy of Sundays at Brewery Road. The tax payers money he used to buy beer so wisely will now be invested in new players for Newcastle united. Mind you, I think a pint of London Pride is worth more than their entire team!

The sun shone, the Valley End ground was in immaculate condition, their pitch was a road, our overseas player had arrived, all looked good for a days cricket.
 
I lost the toss and Valley End had no hesitation in batting first, something we would have done exactly the same with had I managed to sneak 3 in a row. Digby Philip in his debut started strongly and on a VERY flat pitch we managed to bowl Valley End out for a sizable total of 257. Qais Nawaz once again showing how he can never truly be left out of any W&HCC 1st XI as he returned beautifully after an expensive first spell to finish with 4/51 (8.1), but our star performer was Digby with 4-38 (9).

CHAPTER THREE
Who are you?

Woking & Horsell 112ao
Merstham 118-2

W&H lost by 8 wickets
Man of the match Jack Allen

With availability all over the place and the team sheet changing more than a female chameleon in a clothes shop the captain the let alone the members have no idea who’s playing in the illustrious 3rd team.  In view of this a player profile has been undertaken for your delectation.

4s Vs Reigate Priory Woking Park

Reigate 4s win by 6 wickets...

 

...

After last Sunday’s win over West Reading, Captain Matt rang the changes. More correctly availability, or lack thereof, did it for him. Having seen media reports during the week, our Skipper was concerned. Firstly the heading in his normal Daily Star spoke of a huge increase in the Northern Rock balance sheet. Further investigation revealed that Mr Cochrane has capitalised the expenditure on the jug (see last week’s report) and, even although the contents were consumed rather quickly, this jug is now considered a pretty good asset by the banking community. The second heading was from the Sun, his other daily paper. “Ferrari in Quit Threat” - surely not. Again further investigation required. It seems rule changes have led Ferrari to consider whether or not to continue in the Sport. The rule changes in question are his proposal that all left handed batsmen over 50 be allowed three lives, that fielders over 50 be allowed the “one hand one bounce” rule in taking catches and that all shots hit behind square on the off side count double. I must admit to some sympathy with the suggestions.

CHAPTER TWO
Eurovision Doughnuts Contest

Woking & Horsell 186ao
Ramesh Parthasarathy 52
Mike Walsh 52

Wallington 189-8
Carl Dingwall 4-53
Zohaib Shabir 4-59

W&H lost by 2 wickets
Man of the match Ramesh Parthasarathy


A wise, or was that a boozed man stated that if all caterpillars became butterflies we wouldn’t have annoying and drably coloured nocturnal insects with two wings flittering around our bedside lamp when we are reading our favourite book, ‘Carnival Rides’ the refreshingly good autobiography by Mike Walsh, (now available at all major retail book stockists).

It was another Saturday, and with it round 2 of the league. In what can only be described as typical English weather we welcomed Farncombe to Brewery road. I somehow managed to sneak in another win at the toss and elected to bat as we had heard from famed weather reporter Qais Nawaz that the weather would clear by 16h00 allowing us the benefit of the sun and hopefully a drier ball. 

The 4th XI started the season welcoming three players who had not played for some time. J. Spooner, S Townsend and Q Dippenaar. Together with a mix of five Colts in the squad they took on Kempton 4s in their first match (a friendly) of the season. Kempton survived 4 dropped catches and a declined lbw appeal to put on a score of 221. After another fantastic tea, W&HCC started at a fast pace, but when wickets started to fall, we were unable to sustain the run rate. While the lower order was able to pick up the run rate the 40 over limit was the ultimate constraint.

Top scorers:

Mo Ahmed (26)
Quinton Dippenaar (26)

Wickets taken by:
Q. Diepenaar: 7-0-37-1
A. Ward: 7-0-24-1
A. Hargan: 5-0-17-1
J Ayling: 3-0-##-1

Vin-Sing Ming - 12/05/2009

Welcome to Abdul Zafar, Gary Raife and Jon Finch who joined the team for the first time.

Unfortunately we had a disappointing loss to Ashtead 4th XI on Saturday. I think that there were a number of lessons to be taken away which we can use to build on future success this season. The match showed that we need to arrive on time/ warm up and make sure that we are aware of the fielding and batting objectives as the game develops. Hopefully we will not have the same problems with venue as per Ashtead this week, and I will make sure that players are confirmed by Friday evening. I believe that there is high potential in the squad and we should get the desired bowling and batting results to perform reasonably well in the league.

Top scorers v Ashtead were: Simon Townsend (26, not out) and Piers Leigh (21), while wickets were taken by:
M. Ahmed: 08-1-44-1
S. Townsend: 12-4-35-1
D. Baylis: 06-0-35-2
Q. Dippenaar: 03-0-24-2
J. Finch: 04-0-25-1
P. Haddad: 02-0-05-1

Vin-Sing Ming - 11/05/2009

Having heard on Sky Sports News that W&H were to be boosted by the return of our very own Northern Rock, Weybridge pulled out of the Sunday fixture on Thursday. Smithy, left with little time and a Skipper who was off in Ireland where his “mobile does not work”, did the necessary and found some opposition. Unfortunately, having been found by Smithy, the opposition (West Reading) could not find us and they arrived at Brewery Road well after the scheduled start time of 2pm. It seems they spent some time in Wokingham – enough said.

The 2009 league got off to a great start with an emphatic bonus point win over Churt. The weather stayed kind as we started the 2009 league on another great pitch prepared by Couch. Our new found scorers in Morgan and Tristan carried on learning from Erika and I finally managed to win a toss and had no hesitation in selecting to bat. With Peter Murphy providing his services as umpire (Thank You) our opening pair of Jan and Ian once again established themselves with yet another solid opening stand of 45 before Ian tried the sweep and was unfortunately out LBW.

CHAPTER ONE
Carnival Expenses Crunch

Woking & Horsell 224-8
Steve Wernberg 72
Carl Dingwall 43*

Weybridge Vandals 156-6

W&H Winning draw
Man of the match Steve Wernberg

My mum told me not to talk to strangers, just as well I ignored her (probably explains why I’ve got fillings) as we wouldn’t have had a team! We had more drop-outs than Kings Cross, the Paras and the England rugby team put together. This revived fond memories of my life as the 4th team captain. The great telephone conversations of the past ‘You don’t know me but would you like a game of cricket this Saturday’ or the old favourite ‘Have you heard of Ian Botham?- ‘err, yes, why?’- ‘Well your playing cricket with me on Saturday then!’

The sun shone, whites were donned and the cricket season moved into second gear as the Woking & Horsell side played a friendly against our opposition from across the M25, Chertsey. With the majority of the 1st XI squad MIA with the bank long weekend we had a mixture of youth and experience and were keen to carry on sweeping out the cobwebs.

After the trial of last Sunday, when we had to toil in the field for hours on end in the sunshine, the Sunday XI journeyed to Crondall, where Porsches are common and the ground is shared with the local bowls club. If only the wicket was like a bowling green...

Membership forms for Colts are available form the link below. Please note that the Colts form below is different to the Seniors membership form.

Colts Membership Form 2009

Welcome everyone to the 2009 cricket season at Woking & Horsell.  Let’s hope that the weather is kinder to us this year.

For the second year running we will be offering the club shirts supported by sponsorship from “Esso” and they will be on sale at the subsidised price of £10.  (N.B. This will be for one shirt per colt player – if additional shirts are required they will be at the full price). 

As usual there are a number of important points to bring to your attention and I would ask that you do read these carefully. 

  1. Pre Registration Evening – Wednesday 22nd April from 6.30 to 8.00 at the club house on Brewery Road.  Please bring cheque books or cash!    
     
  2. 2009 Subscriptions – This year subscriptions will remain unchanged from 2008 - £60 for the first colt in a family and £45 for each additional sibling, this includes all match fees for the full season.  Under 8’s subscriptions are £45 and £30 respectively.  This year we will issuing a complimentary new club cap to each paid up colt as part of the subscription.
     
  3. Friday training - starts 24th April – The times for 1st May are:
    U8’s, U9’s, & U12’s             Club ground (Brewery Road)         6.00 to 6.55
    U10’s & U11’s                      St Andrew’s School, Horsell          6.15 to 7.30 
    U13’s to U15’s                     Club ground (Brewery Road)         7.00 to 8.00
    U17’s                                     Club ground (Brewery Road)        Tony Bennett to Advise

    Please note that these times will apply for the first two weeks of training only.  After this the times will revert to 6-00 to 7-10 and 7-15 to 8-30, except for the St Andrew’s times which will remain unchanged.  Please ensure the children arrive promptly for the start of their session.
     
  4. VOLUNTEERS – We are again ABSOLUTELY DESPERATE for more parents to become involved in the tasks associated with the workings of the Club in order to continue our success and we need YOU to volunteer.  Most of the roles needed have nothing to do with cricket but just the running of a volunteer club – so if you know nothing about cricket you can still help.  I cannot over-emphasise the importance of this.  None of us get paid for this and we all need to share in the running of the Club for the benefit of our children.   
     
  5. PARKING -   Please avoid parking on the grass verge opposite the club house and remind others who may not know if you see them parking there.
     
  6. DOGS - Please do not bring any dogs to the ground.  Being a sporting facility there are obvious reasons why dogs are banned from the area.
     
  7. DROPPING OFF & COLLECTION – Please note that we can only be responsible for your children when they are under our supervision during the period of training.  Please ensure that they are dropped off safely and that you come into the Club ground to pick them up at the end of training.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me, Membership Secretary Gillian Head, or your age-group manager.  I do hope that the sun will shine and that we will have a very enjoyable and successful season.

David Le Brocq
WHCC Colts Chairman

The scene was set perfectly - the visitors were from a Surrey village (Shalford) and the sun was beating down. April? it looked more like mid-summer. A day to win the toss, bat first, score well over 200, let the opposition sweat in the field, have an excellent tea, get them out for less than 150 and down a few pints of Pride.

The meet time arrived and passed, the sightscreens were under repair, the away changing room door couldn’t be opened, numbers were falling off the scorebox, players were missing and the weather forecast was dodgy, yes another cricket season at W&H had well and truly arrived!!

 

1ST XI PREVIEW OF THE SEASON

Woking and Horsell 1st XI in 2003 simply weren’t good enough. Neither as a team nor as individuals. We thought we were, we expected to be up the top of the table, maybe that was half the problem. On paper at the start of 2003 we had a very strong team, at the start of 2004 it is much weaker – on paper. But when has “on paper” meant anything.

During the winter Walshy resigned. His efforts during his 8 years as captain were monumental. The dedication that he gave to the first team was endless whether it be – on the field as captain, or off the field – preparing a wicket, ferrying people’s kit around, making numerous phone calls checking everyone knows where they are going or solving every captains nightmare of last minute drop outs. However, (for now) he has had enough, and as he usually does, he has made the right decision and we all wish him well. (with his performances in the bar this year)

This already put us a captain and a batsman down. Also over the winter we have lost the services of Dikko, Regan and the Human Dog – Toby Green – who we will greatly miss in the field especially. Also several of the 2’s players who would have been considered replacements for these guys– the likes of Hobbsy, Hanks and Horse – have disappeared from the club, leaving availability very sparce.

Quaggy was the obvious choice for new 1st XI captain, having been vice-captain last year and stepped in for Walshy on a few occasions. He was left with the task of putting a threadbare squad together for a pre-season chat before the race night. So what was his chat, well his chat was good - we talked about the importance of discipline on and off the field such as making meet times (which was quite apt as Rosco turned up 20 minutes late for this get together), we talked about the need to battle to the end and not give up as soon as we believe we cannot win, we talked about making sure every newcomer is made welcome in the team, but above all we talked about enjoying ourselves. Back in 1999/2000 we didn’t have the best team in the world but we did have the best team spirit (on and off the pitch) I have ever seen any side have. Perhaps we have been guilty of taking ourselves too seriously, certainly last year we were guilty of putting too much pressure on ourselves. There were glimpses of this spirit last season – namely in games against Ashtead, Dorking and Old Wimbledonians (and it is no coincidence that those games produced some of our best cricket of the year), but there is no reason why we shouldn’t have this spirit in the majority of games.

As for players well 1st XI stalwarts – Glenn, Damo and Giles will be back to join Quaggy.  Mr Hasselhof in particular will be looking for a spectacular farewell season before he returns home to the land of Chris Martin. Porters will be looking to build on an excellent return to the 1st XI ranks last year and Roger has been stolen from the role of 2nd XI captain as we are going to need his steady opening bowling which proved such a bonus last year.

Toby Aldred will be given a chance to shine at the top of the order and Rosco will be looking to prove his undoubted ability with both bat and ball. Many others will be battling hard for 1st team places – certainly many of the younger players will be looking to push their way into the side – Awais, Shiraz, Woodsy, Worgs to name a few. More established players such as Po, Munge and Gibbers will never be far from the skippers mind (what money on the Murphy brothers both batting in the top 6 before the season ends) and who can discount the one-legged Couch from making an appearance at some stage.

Along with these names, we wait with baited breath for the arrival of our South African overseas player Duncan Smethurst. I hope that everyone will make him a welcome addition to the club and that he will embrace the Woking and Horsell culture (?!) whilst repaying us with some class performances. It certainly sounds like he has the pedigree.

So good luck to Quaggy’s attempt at getting the enjoyment back into playing 1st XI cricket at W & H. It will be a tough season, expectations will be minimal and survival will be the first aim, but if he gets the backing he deserves from all who play for him then we could just pull off a few shocks and finish higher than people expect us to.

WHCC 152 AO - G Morley 53*

Chertsey 69 AO - R White 4-21

by Damo Honey

Each year we arrange one pre-season friendly and sometimes we are lucky enough to play the game. Well we were lucky this year as we took on our close neighbours and good friends from Chertsey in glorious sunshine.

I would like to report that fresh from last weeks chat, all the team turned up on time, fit and raring to go, and we embarked on a full and professional warm up – led by Magoo.

A more accurate transcript of events would be the following.

The 1st team captain and ex cricket chairman met each other (surprisingly on time) in a drunken haze only hours after they had last met in the South East’s most premier nightclub. The captain proved unable to open any of the doors required and phoned for assistance. Meanwhile South West Trains were proving about as reliable as the fridge’s middle shelf and providing other equally hungover members valid excuses for missing the meet time. Eventually all doors were open, players arrived and warm-ups started 45 minutes late – by which time late call up Couch had shelved those legendary “Pitchcare.com - Technical Merit Award August 2003” gloves and 1st team debutant Awais must have wondered if he had struggled to grasp the captains accent that we all have at times and that he was actually playing for the ‘fufths’.

Warm-ups were a shambles as well, Magoo was too hungover to be inventive, which was probably just as well as the Rhino palmed the first high ball into his chin, Alders nearly took one on his head and Couch just ran away from one that went in the sun.

Eventually the game got underway (with 2 umpires – a miracle for most games let alone a friendly), Quaggy had won his first toss and elected to bat (take note Walshy). Rosco and Alders started cautiously but didn’t look in much trouble. The first run was scored in over number 4, Rosco took a swan dive for no reason in the middle of the pitch and the season was in full swing. Well as full swing as 22 for 2 off 16 overs can be.

Once Glenn and Quag had replaced the openers and got their eye in, the run rate started to increase and before you knew it the hundred was approaching. Glenn brought it up with the second of 3 huge consecutive sixes – sorry suxes. This one was in fact so big that it took an Ashley Cook tile with it on the way down. As players scuttled off to find lost balls and spectators disappeared worryingly to check where they had parked their cars, Quaggy lost his wicket and immediately called his translator Glenn to retire with him so that he was able to converse with the rest of his team.

Po started off with a cracking cover drive and Awais looked sound on his debut. Unfortunately a mix up led to the latter being run out and Po didn’t last much longer. This brought Munge’s reincarnation ‘M’ to the crease and he immediately showed he is as confident with the bat as he is with the ladies from his work (I wonder if the editor will spot this bit and edit it out – obviously not) by pushing a quick single from his first ball received. Roger was in good nick as well and that was left for Gilesy to step up to the plate and crash his first boundary for 720 days by smashing the ball back over the bowlers head………

Well nearly, he nicked it through the vacant 1st slip area. Scenes that followed have not been seen at Brewery Road since Morlers scored his first run in 6 innings. Both sets of players took part in a standing ovation whilst Roger hugged his batting partner similar to the way in which Brian Lara was hugged when he broke Hayden’s world record.

Magoo missed a straight one next ball, Roger played some nice shots and the formalities were completed when Rhino missed a straight half valley for his standard opening game of the season duck.

170 was the target for Chertsey and to be honest they never got started. Roger bowled an immaculate line and length, was Couch rolled back the years at the other end. The fielding was excellent for a team that had had no practice and Giles was in inspired form behind the stumps.

Damo and Rosco came on to continue the pressure and blow out a few cobwebs at the same time. Both bowled commendably accurately and were rewarded with a wicket apiece. Rosco sent the middle stump cartwheeling out of the ground whilst Gilesy produced a fine stumping off the Rhino.

The score was 26 for 7 and more worringly the time was only 5pm. Suddenly panic set in, half the team were still hungover and the thought of having to drink again frightened them. This combined with some stubborn tail end resistance from the Chertsey boys saw the game prolonged beyond 6pm. Awais picked up a couple of wickets and the new bowling machine Aldred picked up his first scalp to ensure that we have a new Toby who tells us he should be bowling each week!

All in all it was a very promising performance, the batting was solid, the bowling accurate and the fielding very impressive. Awais did well on his debut and no one showed that they would be overawed by playing first team cricket. The post match chat was brief but positive and everyone is looking forward to the Addiscombe game, determined not to see a repeat of last year.

All that was left to do was for the usual suspects to travel wearily up to Clapham (via Norway) to say bon voyage to Toby and Alex. We wish them well on their travels and we will miss the Human Dog’s bark in the field this year. Make sure you keep in touch with the website Toby and don’t forget you need to elect someone to take over your key phrases such as “rattle his cage”. After his bowling performance my money is on Alders.

Egham 189 AO - R Morley 5-33

WHCC 127-7 - I Meyer 47*

by Damo Honey

So the 1st XI season finally started on Saturday. There were no dropouts, no injuries, no working in fish and chip shops and no piss ups in foreign cities, so Quaggy had a full strength squad to pick from – well that lasted until about 9pm on Thursday when he spoke to Giles.

When news filtered round that Magoo had dislocated his shoulder, most people’s reaction would have been something along the lines of “oh no poor bloke…. Not again….. he must be really down….. wonder how long he’s out for…. That’s a real shame…..” etc…

However, when everyone found out that he got injured playing mixed netball the reaction changed to “Gay”, “Softcock”, “Pigeon Heart”, “Pathetic”, “Bring back his brother” etc…..

So Deano was called up, he had proved a very able replacement for Giles when we found ourselves in a similar situation last year and we know he will not let anyone down. However, it left us with only 5 of the team that had played against Met Police in the last seasons finale on view.

By 12pm the fines had been racking up already – Rosco was in a different post code, Po was in a different universe and Quaggy was trying to justify that he was “just checking that none of the team were out in London at half 11 the night before”.

Anyway fielding coach Alders took us through our paces with an inventive selection of warm-ups although no one’s hands were particularly left stinging as he struggled to find the middle of the bat.

The captain gathered everyone round mid-way through warm-ups and the tone was somewhat different to the one the first team are used to hearing, phrases like “then we’ll have a little look….” And “right batsman have a bat, bowlers have a bowl” were replaced by an annoying whining, repetitive tone similar to one that a mosquito might make. Weird!

Then something totally new to us – the toss was completed in under 3 hours and not only that but it was won as well!!! As is the law in Surrey Championship games - win the toss, bowl first. Ross and Sunil opened up but without success, Rosco dropped short once too often and was replaced by Duncan “Motty” Smethurst. Motty could have had a wicket second ball, but Ross shelled the first of many catches dropped during the Egham innings.

Q eventually brought the Rhino and Hasselhof into the attack and both picked up a wicket almost straight away. For once the Catflap was firmly closed as Rhino grabbed his first catch since 2002. After the Egham openers had raced to 75 for 0 off under 20 overs, the middle order was restricted to 30 for 3 off the next 15 overs and things were looking up.

However, for a few overs the wheels fell off, several chances were missed, the ground fielding was abysmal and heads dropped. The only bright moments throughout this came from the bowling of Woodsy (Mini-Me). He kept the ball up to the bat, was not phased by making his debut and with an ounce of luck would have picked up a couple of wickets.

As Egham looked to hit a total of 220 plus, Quag introduced himself and Maggot Morley back into the attack with differing success. Rosco bowled fast and straight and got reward for this, whilst Quaggy’s deliveries disappeared fast and straight and took himself off.

Maggot hit the stumps four times in total, much to everyones pleasure and amusement at continuing cries of “bowl at the stumps”. Rog nipped in with a couple and 175 for 3, had become 189 all out. But in truth it should have been 120 all out, if we could have held our catches.

Tea was consumed, tactics were discussed and then quickly reassessed as within half an hour as Rosco, Duncan and Glenn were back in the hut with the score still under 20. Quag and Alders looked assured (except when trying to work out whether Egham’s spinner wanted to bowl round or over the wicket) and took the score above 50 before Alders fell for a useful 28.

Unfortunately neither Po, Porters or Woodsy were able to give Q the support he needed and at 80 for 7 people would be forgiven (given some of last seasons “roll over and die performances”) for thinking that we were heading for defeat. However, Sunil joined the skipper in a show of strength which we hope will be typical of the 2004 Woking and Horsell 1st team. They batted out 12 overs for a draw and this sort of resolve is going to be what is needed if we are to make the most of our season. Quaggy was left 2 short of 50 in a splendid captain’s innings

Not only did this mean that we didn’t start our campaign on a losing foot, but also that it denied Egham (who we imagine may be in a similar section of the table to us) the 9 extra points that a victory would have given them. A word also for the umpires, we are always far too quick to criticise them when they make mistakes, so here we should congratulate them on the way in which they handled the game, making it far more enjoyable to play in.

The debrief after the game was short and painless, we know what we did wrong and it is up to us to change it on Saturday against Maori Oxshott. The fines session on the other hand was long and painful on the pocket. Plenty of money was handed over for poor fielding and rash shots amongst other things, Magoo was still classed as late for missing the 1st few balls of scoring duty and Alders and Hasslehoof were very fortunate to be let off with only a light fine for committing the cardinal sin of boozing during the game. Vulluge lads!

Post match bleating ensued accompanied by a tasty bbq from Morlers the naked chuf and a raffle by Maggot, during which Blairo managed to successfully win back the bottle of vodka that Mrs Blair had won and subsequently left at the race night. Prize 2 was drawn by Chris Murphy and Peter Murphy and won by Andrew Murphy – and people have the nerve to say that this club is wrong!

By half past nine the sun had gone down and the serious boozing ensued. The drinking mat came out and ensured that people left the club in various shocking conditions. I think that Gribbler picked up 1st prize with Audi and Rhino making up the podium, but everyone had enough attempts to ensure that bar profits will remain high and that Chertsey A&E will remain on standy on Saturday evenings.

Bring on next week and hopefully the first rendition of “13 points in the bag”

WHCC 296-7 - R Morley 100* I Meyer 71* P Day 63

Maori Oxshott 190-8

by Damo Honey

A much improved performance from Woking saw them nearly take all 13 points in a run fest at Maori Oxshott’s ground on Saturday.

Ian Meyer won the toss again, but this time chose to bat on what looked a slow flat batting track. His decision looked to be justified as newly promoted opening batsmen Peter Day and Duncan Smethurst managed to see off the new ball without too many difficulties. Day in particular was playing some nice shots off his legs and was scoring freely.

Smethurst eventually pushed a ball from Thompson straight back into the bowler’s hands and was out for 14 with the score on 56. This brought Ross Morley to the crease and after a cautious start began to pick up the scoring rate. Day reached his maiden 1st XI fifty with a glorious cover drive and then proceeded to dispatch Oxshott’s spinner Padesh out of the ground and far beyond.

With the score on 106, Day tried one shot too many and was stumped for an excellent 63. This brought Ross’ brother Glenn to the wicket and he was keen to cash in on the flat batting track, playing some of his trademark drives before falling to a shooter from Hewitson for 17.

Skipper Meyer strode the crease and continued his recent good form with the bat by striking a series of boundaries both sides of the wicket. At the other end Morley was batting with immense ease combining big hits with excellent running between the wickets, reaching his maiden 1st XI 50 in the process.

As the score reached 200 with only 3 wickets down, this pair launched one final assault on a tiring Oxshott attack and the result was devastating. In the final 7 overs 96 runs were scored at an astonishing rate that Morley and Meyer’s fellow countryman Chris Cairns would have been proud of. Meyer finishing up with 71 not out off just 42 balls, whilst Ross Morley at the other end turned his debut 50 into a simply magnificent maiden century. His innings took only 118 balls and included a high proportion of glorious boundaries.

Meyer declared immediately after Morley reached his century bringing Woking’s innings to a close on 296 for 3 off 51 overs. This gave them 51 overs themselves to bowl out Maori-Oxshott.

Left arm spinners Woods and Honey opened the bowling with the old ball but it became evident from an early stage that taking wickets was not going to be easy on such a benign pitch. Ross Morley and Roger White took the new ball after 9 overs and beat the bat on occasions but found it difficult to make inroads against stout Oxshott defence.

Eventually Morley made the breakthrough having Freeman well caught behind by Dean Faulkner. Whilst White continued to go past the bat, Morley tired quickly after his exertions with the bat and was replaced by his brother Glenn. Both picked up a wicket apiece and the game was well poised at 150 for 3. Meyer then reintroduced spinner Honey who picked up a wicket with his first ball and Woking sniffed a chance of victory with 6 wickets require from the remaining 15 overs.

Wickets continued to fall but not quickly enough and eventually 2 wickets were required from the last 3 overs. As fielders surrounded the bat, Oxshott’s captain Hewitson stood firm and the innings closed at 187 for 8.

Skipper Ian Meyer was a lot happier after this week’s game, “The whole team performance improved greatly from last week. The batting was excellent, Pete gave us a great start from which to build and Rosco’s innings was simply superb from start to finish. I’m really pleased that he has found his touch, he found it hard last season, but his performances this year have been of the highest level.”

He was also pleased about his own innings, “it was nice to bat on a track like that, come in when the bowlers were tiring and take full advantage. I really enjoyed it.”

Spinner Damien Honey was also pleased with the way the bowling and fielding went. “To prize out 8 wickets on a track like that was a really good effort. It was not easy for bowlers but everyone stuck to the game plan well, it was just a shame that we didn’t have a couple more overs at the last few batsmen or I think we would have won. The fielding also was a big improvement on last week’s unacceptable performance.”

This weekend Woking travel to Mitcham without Honey who is away, but have opening batsman Toby Aldred available again and expect to be confronted with a similarly good batting track.

WHCC 188-8 dec - I Meyer 75

Mitcham 189-3

by M

Well, lets try and take the positives first.  Quaggy's fantastic run continues, scoring the runs that the old Quaggy would have scored.  Glenn looks in good touch and as Po said on the way home, he's going to score some big runs very soon, plus we batted all the way down this week where as last year we probably would have been shot out for 120. Unfortunately that's about it.  We didn't bowl very well and quite frankly we were very poor in the field and when that happens you often get what you deserve and we did.  Where it all went wrong no-one is quite sure especially after a pretty decent warm up session, I exclude Mr Aldreds 'mare from that.  The northern hemisphere also proved their superiority (had to get that in), off the field anyway, in their victory in "Marco ball", god knows what you call that game.  Anyway on to the match.

An ok start with Motty playing one fantastic cut\thrash through extra cover and Po finding the sweet timing that had been characteristic of last week but they were both back in the building across the other side of the road with 25 on the board and with the ball moving around and the odd one spitting off the pitch the Morley brothers found the going quiet tough.  Ross was next to go, "this lot don't bowl any pies" was his comment back in the hutch but I think his motivation for getting out was clearly the £3.95 steak he kept banging on about next door.  This brought Quag to the crease and with Glenn we started to get back in the game.  Glenn was looking particularly good and he played some delightfiul shots but was cut short in his prime, caught by the man at deep square catching him without using his hands which probably saved Mitcham an insurance job as the ball was heading for the road at pace.  Next up was Porters as Quag started to dominate with his straight driving and the score moved on slowly but positively.  Poters came and went and was fairly quickly followed by Aldred who despite hitting a four off his first ball had his pins re-arranged by their overseas.  Coming out to bat M was given the helpful advice that Toby didn't really know what the bowler was doing, fairly obvious looking at the state of his stumps.  M and Quag put on a useful 35, with Quag doing the majority of the scoring, both on the field and in the scorebook.  After Quag was caught in the deep M took over with a brief cameo but was left disappointed with the 5 he was given in the scorebook especially having deposited their left armer out of the ground for six.  Surely I'm not that fat.  Quaggy would probably be disappointed that he looks like me with the bat though

Good tea.  Note - Giles turned up up just in time for a free tea probably having not eaten for several days.

It all started fairly well with the ball, we took a couple of wickets early on with 40 on the board but the wheels came off after that.  The fielding scene was set by M who having done the hard work to get to the ball to run the batsmen out decided to throw the ball to third slip instead.  Fortunately that didn't cost too much as Ross removed him, but the fielding didn't get above lethargic.  A crucial catch went down which might have made a difference but the way we were going, probably not.  The end to the game befitted much of what had gone on before, Mitcham winning with a massive Portlock wide\no ball.  His comment that he hadn't been told it was reverse swinging cost him 50p!  Anyway, on to next week, Honor Oak who are also down there.

Beddington 179-9

WHCC 144 AO

by Toby Aldred

Despite dominating phases of the game Woking & Horsell fell cruelly short of even a point on Saturday, succumbing to their second successive defeat. Having won the toss Thompson had no hesitation in inviting Beddington to bat and under a sunny sky that choice soon looked vindicated. Storey opened proceedings with a leg side full toss but made amends next ball with a caught and bowled. More wickets fell as Beddington batsmen played a succession of howling strokes and at 80-7 an early shower beckoned. However a rather annoying stand of 70 odd between the fourth member of Busted and the Beddington skipper put paid to thoughts of tea and cake and a competitive total was placed by a last wicket stand of 30 odd. However thanks to some good fielding by Ambrose, bowling by Johnson (a masterly 4-for and less we forget quite an impressive dropped catch), Storey (soft cocked a 3-for) and Kas it was a score W&H would have settled for at the start.

After a melon fuelled tea, Ambrose opened up with a four and a swift dismissal. Gibney then played a selection of easy to the eye strokes and moved the scores along to 40 before mistiming a drive and patting one back to the bowler. Day and Porters looked comfortable before Val fell to a delivery. Portlock could consider himself unlucky with a leg before decision that hit him outside the line of off. Thompson and Aldred began to pick things up before Thompson fell to a rather well taken catch at slip. When Kas fell next ball W&H looked in a spot of bother but some lusty blows by Bird, streaky chip and chasing from Aldred and quick scampering between the wickets began to turn the game around. At 144-6 Woking & Horsell seemed inpole position however the loss of the last four wickets for no runs ratherput the dampers on proceedings.

WHCC 108 AO

Epsom 95 AO

by David Gibney

Renewed self belief together, some inspired  captaincy and a fine bowling and fielding display combined to bring the bulldog spirit back to the 2nd XI as 13 unlikely and crucial points were bagged against Epsom.  It was W&H's first win since May 31st and sparked scenes of jubilation seen all too rarely at Brewery Road this season.

Epsom won the toss and invited W&H to set a target, their decision based on reluctance to have to bowl W&H out  second to win the game, as they had three regular bowlers missing and an opening  bowler who had never bowled at this level before.  This was reflected in  the way that new opening pair Jayson Bird and Mark Surridge set about the  start of W&H's innings, with 35 runs on the board after 8 overs  including one mighty straight six clattered by Jayson.  However when Jayson  was adjudged lbw, the batting demons of the past few weeks returned, as Gibbers,  Po and Hobbsy were all out to indifferent shots in quick succession.   Debutant Uzman Zafar had betrayed his nerves to his teammates before the start  of the game, but proceeded to play a calm and careful innings as he and Mark  attempted to build an innings-saving partnership.  Mark had batted well for  a top score of 28 when he was out to a rush of blood and a skied catch, and  from there the end came all too quickly, as Uzman (for 27) and Qaiser fell in  quick succession, the old guard of Steady and Deano failed to stage a  rescue act, Shiraz was out to a great running catch at cover and Ben played  a defensive shot round a straight one.  The team realised that once  again they had batted like clowns - all out for 108 on a decent pitch that begged for a target of around 160.  The vital win looked a very distant prospect.

Hobbsy had seen the damage that had been done by  Epsom's medium paced and slower bowlers and decided to open up with Steady and  Gibbers, and the old ball.  Ed achieved the important early breakthrough,  bowling one of Epsom's dangerous openers, but then with two experienced players  at the crease playing well and not many runs to play with, Hobbsy showed his personal desire by braving his injured calf and taking the new ball with Ben.  Ben struggled with his line, but Hobbsy embarked on an accurate and skillful spell, nipping one back to bowl Epsom's other opener.   With Shiraz now displaying his precocious talents again and applying  pressure at the other end, Hobbsy gained the reward of another wicket, and when  the second to last ball of Shiraz's 5 over allocation - a beautifully disguised slower delivery - earned a caught and bowled, W&H began  to sense that the game wasn't beyond them and that Epsom were feeling the  pressure generated by tight bowling and fielding.  The score had crept  to 85-4 though, with only 24 needed for victory when Hobbsy brought Gibbers  back in to the attack, and almost immediately a catch was skied to  Hobbsy at mid-off, the next man was bowled, and then a brilliant running catch  was taken by Ben over his shoulder.  When Hobbsy bowled the next man  first ball there was suddenly more excited expectation than hope, but Epsom's  skipper was still there - a good player who could win the game on his own.   In Gibbers' next over he took 4 crucial runs with two sweep shots, so Hobbsy set  a leg trap (it wasn't just for bad bowling, honest) and next ball the same shot  brought a sharp catch from Steady at short square leg and the game was almost  won.   Then with Hobbsy bowling at a very nervous colt who had the hard  edge of the second XI (Storey, Smith and Faulkner) chirping in his ear, Po took  a fine low catch at frist slip, Epsom were all out for 95 and an incredible  victory was completed.

Whether the win will be enough to avoid the drop  back to division 2 remains to be seen, but more of the same fight and determination shown in the second half of this game, as well as a few more runs over the next couple of weekends will  see W&H give themselves every chance of retaining their current league  status.  Next Saturday is the 26 pointer against Whitgiftians where nerves are sure to be tested again, but after today this team knows it's up to the challenge.

WHCC 76 AO

Camberley 78-2

by Toby Aldred

Having played some very good cricket over the last two weeks without quite managing to pick up full points Woking & Horsell looked forward to grabbing a much needed 13 off a Camberley side two places below them in the league. With sun shinning, two umpires and a long batting line up the were no massive worries when Hankins lost his last toss of the season and W&H were inserted to bat. Three and a half hours later there was still nothing to worry about, or that should be no game to worry about as Woking succumbed to their second pre-4.30 loss of the season.

It began as meant to go on, Gibbers following up last week's mighty innings with a first ball duck, a succession of batsmen following him into the pavilion with only Horse (25) and some lusty blows from Bird and Storey scraping the score up to a pathetic 76. To be fair to Camberley they made the most of a bit if dampness in the wicket, bowling a tight line and length and extracting some, at times, difficult seam movement. Still this was way below a competitive total and despite Ben picking up a scalp with the first ball of the innings and a generally more spirited show in the field Camberley strolled to victory off just 23 overs.

So well and truly a game to forget and certainly not the right way to send off Hankins to Australia. With six games remaining Woking are second bottom and very much relegation candidates. However the bottom half of the table is tight and the team more than good enough to get the three or four decent results that should see the side to safety.

Sutton 184-6

WHCC 181-8

by Toby Aldred

A fine all round display by Peter Hobbs almost saw Woking & Horsell finish off a cracking day's cricket with a great second innings victory. Having gone to the wicket with Woking, chasing 185, and seemingly drifting towards a winning draw Hobbs cracked the ball to all parts of the ground in a rapid 38. With the last over due the deficit had been reduced to 10 runs but after Hobbs was bowled off the second ball, and despite some sharp running between the wickets, White and Hankins could only get Woking to 181-8. To fall so close was a disappointment, particularly considering some of the pathetic comments made by the Sutton captain. So just for the record, we might well be a "f**k@ng bunch of *****", and as you say maybe you "shouldn't have to play such f@@@@@ shit sides" but at least we play a cricket in a manner befitting grown men and can take an easy four points off a side allegedly so superior.

Anyhow village layabout aside this was a most entertaining game of cricket played on a superb track under glorious sunny conditions. On a day when most things went right for Woking Hankins won the toss and put Sutton in. Early inroads were made by both Hobbs and White (including 2 in 3 balls) as Sutton
struggled to 40-4. But despite an extremely tidy fielding display and a fine spell of bowling from Storey (whose deserved wicket was cancelled out by overstepping the mark - cost us?) Sutton ground their way back into the game with a fine 5th wicket partnership of 120. Their number six finally going to a great catch in the deep by Hankins off a rare Hobbs full bunger.

After a tea interval where a total of about 5 sandwiches and 7 cakes where eaten (it was hot) to most people's shock and delight W&H 2xi complied a decent opening partnership. Gibney in particular looked in regal form, playing a number of delicious looking cover drives and cuts, but Seward also joined the party hitting a couple of rasping boundaries. Horse however was the first to fall, a rather unlucky looking LBW, and a couple over later Gibney, looking for another big shot was left high and dry by an exaggerated off break. At which point the inning rather stalled. Aldred put together a painful 15, a score which Staples and Mouzoures although looking more fluent could match but not better. With the
emphasis now on attack Woking lost a number of quick wickets and looked set for the winning draw until Hobbs injected some high drama into proceedings.

So for the second week running it was a case of close but not close enough, andHankins will surely be looking for his side to go one step further and grab all13 points in his final game of the season, this Saturday. 

OMWs 165-9 - P Richardson 5-46

WHCC 145-9 - T Aldred 41

by Toby Aldred

On a rather hot, sticky day Hankins lost the toss but readily accepted Old Midwives skipper's invitation to bowl. Ben and Jason both bowled testing spells and after a few overs Storey opened his account for the season, kindly persuading their opener to spoon a catch to mid off. After an impressive burst of 1-12 Storey was replaced by this week's 1xi guest player, Peter Richardson, who bowled an excellent spell that saw him finish (if not nearly finished off!) with 5 wickets off 20 stamina sapping overs. OMW's eventual total of 165-9 was mainly due to a fantastically patient knock of 73 by their number 3, ably supported by his middle and lower order. W&H could be well satisfied with their performance in the field, aside from Dicko and Ben, Jason and Gibbers also picked up important wickets.

Chasing 165 seemed a reasonable challenge but the pitch, although reliable in bounce was quite slow and made timing shots difficult. With Ed and Thomo both attempting to lay solid foundations the innings got off to the slow start, the result being that after 15 overs W&H were going at little over 1 an over and had lost Smith to a catch behind. Aldred and Thomo slowly crept the scoreboard up but following an excellent spell by OMW's opening left armer Thomson nicked one behind. Seward and Aldred began to step up the scoring rate and when Horse was bowled, Richardson continued this. However having posted up the hundred and with just 10 overs remaining Aldred (41) skied one to deep mid-wicket. Despite a fine array of heavy hitters to follow (Day, Mouzoures, Hankins, Bird) no-one could quite manage the big over W&H required. With Dicko gone for a fine 40 and the penultimate wicket falling, Storey (with Gibbers seeing out the last 6 balls) was required to play his customary defensive role to ensure a well deserved four points.

OWs - 235-9 - P Hobbs 4-45

WHCC - 175-9 - P Hobbs 33*

by Toby Aldred

On a gorgeous sunny day Old Whitgiftinians won the toss and after mulling over the options to bat or bowl, with only 8 players having arrived, elected to bat. Beautiful Ben and Curtley were given the new ball but despite the odd play and
miss the openers got off to an absolute flyer posting 60 off the first 8 overs. A double bowling change brought Hobbs and Hankins on. After having a very close appeal for a caught behind not given, Hankins and Hobbs both took important
wickets. Hobbsy in particular worked over the batsmen with as fine a spell of bowling as we've seen this season. But with the muggy heat increasing he had to take a blow with Gibbers and Hankins now bowling in tandem for the next 20
overs. Gibbers, extracting considerable turn, was unlucky to have three catches ropped off his bowling but in his longest spell for over two years picked up three wickets. Hankins also took a deserved couple, with Hobbs finishing with
four. After 53.5 overs Old Whits declared on an impressive 235-9, with all their batsmen, right down to 11, having chipped in.

Gibbers and Thomo made a slow start in reply. Looking to kick start the run rate Thomo played an adventurous looking shot which flew at pace to the wicketkeeper who took a good catch. Gibbers followed not long after, bringing Horse and
Aldred to the crease. After scratching around for a few overs both players opened up and had seemngly brought Woking right back into the game. However with score on 80 (ish) Horse aimed one extravagant sweep too many and was clean
bowled. Not long after Aldred slapped one straight down long off's throat and was swiftly followed by Rob, Day and Hankins. Curtly and Hobbs attempted to push Woking towards at least 4 points, both belting out some meaty punishment to the
Old Whit grenade launchers, however when Curt fell it was a sure sign of time to shut shop. Deano stayed put with Hobbs for another five overs before leaving the beautiful one to see out the penultimate over to guarantee the point.

A few well chosen words were uttered in the changing room after as this was a game W&H should have taken at least four points from. Even after the score Old Whits raised the batsmen should have really applied themselves better against an attack that could at best be described as ordinary. However with the league still quite open the 2XI should take heart from the fact they are good enough to compete with all the sides in the league.

WHCC - 88 AO

Walton 90-3

by Ed Smith

Although we were missing several of our regular players, the side selected was strong including two new members making their Brewery Rd debuts.
 
The pitch, having it's second outing (used in the abandoned match against Sutton), had greened up since cutting the day before, especially the low patch in the middle. It was not clear as to whether it had been rolled.

Overnight rain had left it very damp. Losing the toss and being inserted though not ideal, was seen at the time as possibly to our advantage.

So far this season, the square has behaved itself at 2nd XI level. The pitch in question did offer a great deal of seam against Sutton and wasn't on that occasion dangerous, even when it got a thorough drenching.

On Saturday though, the first ball of the match from Walton's skipper Blair shocked everyone, not least Mark Surridge. Pitching a fraction short of a length, body line, the ball reared and crossed Surridge's chest taking the glove to be caught in the cordon. Elbow guard was requested by Smith.

Ed Smith & first drop Toby Aldred survived the next couple of overs, taking tight singles before Aldred got another shocker from Blair on glove to be caught. 7-2! Blair was going to be a tough customer, particularly for left handers with the body line cutter, rearing and crossing the bat at a brisk pace.

Right hander Staples on debut showed good application and technique during the inning's best partnership of 22 with Smith. Staples also took a heavy blow on the bottom hand from Blair.

The partnership continued on, batsmen giving little away and by the 11th over feeling comfortable with the score havingmoved on to 27-2.

Staples then departed for 10 adjudged LBW attempting to work the ball to mid wicket. The 3rd wicket breathed life back into Blair just when we didn't need it. Blair continued to exploit the tennis ball bounce against Smith to the point where he just had to go. Smith charged putting the last ball of Blair's 7th over into the trees. Using feet and attacking anything over-pitched appeared to our best chance of setting a total.

Peter Day at the other end joined in by putting the other opener over the tractor shed. Day facing his first over from Blair soon followed his leg cutter edging to the keeper. Andy Mouzoures, making his home debut soon settled after being put under pressure by Smith to make the singles.

Mouzoures opened his account with a six into the trees at long on at the Brewery Rd end. Again a promising partnership was snuffed out when Smith was adjudged LBW to Blair, a bowler who had up to this point been struggling to keep anything short of a length from bouncing above head height, never mind hitting the stumps! The Umpire having contributed a number of no-balls to our total on such occasions.

Only Mouzoures managed to deny Walton his wicket, picked his shots well and compiled a patient 25 not out. Unfortunately nobody in the tail was able to help him put together a decent partnership, most falling to the left arm spin of the other Blair.

Woking struck back restricting Walton to 34-3 before tea. Ambrose was unlucky not to have bagged the first wicket when a leading edge flew up landing short of cover. To turn a game like this, we needed to throw ourselves at chances like this. 

Ambrose was soon rewarded with an edge to Faulkner and Surridge taking 2 had Walton's left handed top order in all sorts of trouble at the end Blair had enjoyed his success.

Mark also had problems controlling the excessive bounce putting several balls clear over the batsmen's heads. Fortunately, the umpire at that end had long ago given up no-balling these deliveries.

After tea, bowling support at the other end wilted as the surviving Walton batsmen decided to attack. They didn't have it all their own way giving chances off Surridge and then Johnson. Skipper Faulkner was outstanding, especially whilst standing up to Surridge and Johnson.

Woking & Horsell 88 all out, Smith 21, Mouzoures 25*, I Blair 5-35,

Walton 90-3

In the final analysis, the pitch and the toss were main factors influencing the outcome of this match. Surridge for one could not be expected to anticipate that a quick ball short of a length would come through at shoulder height. Most of the side tried to overcome the condition of the wicket but most got out to the first horror ball they saw.

Others simply failed to apply themselves to the big job of trying to set a total to bowl at.

In the end, we simply didn't take our chances with 5 going to ground.

Staples and Mouzoures (the former sustaining a hand injury, and the latter a bruised forearm), both new members to our club and decent batsmen. We can only hope they have the chance to enjoy better batting conditions and will not be too disillusioned by what they experienced on Saturday.

WHCC 215 AO - T Aldred 66, R Smith 45

Beddington 84 AO

by Andrew Murphy

It was a new look side that took the field against Beddington on Saturday with a mixture of the out of form (provided by the ailing first eleven) the in form (provided by the improving thirds), the infirm provided by various sporting injuries, (stand up Po and Magoo) and the handful of second team regulars left.

n a glorious hot day, Hanks did the honourable thing and lost the toss, leaving the decision to the opposition captain and giving us a nice two and a half hours of sun bathing.  Every game I’ve witnessed this season and probably most of last the opening partnership never makes it to twenty and this week was not going to be THE week as first Ed and the promoted Hobbsy fell quickly to the new ball.  Enter the out of form.  Regaan and Toby soon got to grips with the pitch and the sunbaked outfield and started flaying the bowling to all parts, particularly Regan who clearly enjoyed their spinner coming on.  Just as it looked like Regan would enjoy his short break in the twos with a hundred he played one shot too many and was caught.  Enter the in form.  Andy Mouzoures.  Fantasy League Player of the Week.  Went back to the pavillion with a duck to his name and a minus ten for his troubles – oh well, it was more than Couch got this week.  Now for the infirm.  Po, never one for running much anyway, (wonder where he got that from) decided that the best way to deal with the bowling and the hot waether was to smash it back from whence it came.  This he successfully did for about 10 minutes until he was bowled by an excellent slower ball.  Minge wasn’t there for that long either and as the skipper came to the wicket we were in a spot of trouble at 125-6 with a score of 200 needed to give us something to defend.  No worries there then.  The tail wagged superbly with Toby opening up and reaching a well paced sixty six and with Des smashing the ball to every part of the ground, sometimes in the opposite direction in which he intended, at one point he appeared to hit a leg stump half volley through his legs but he showed the advantages of spending less time behind the W&H bar and more in the police gym with his running between the wickets.  215 all out.

We got off to a flyer with Hobbsy taking a couple of friendly looking LBWs in the second over although I’m sure I heard a squeal from our librarian wicketkeeper so it must have been out.  After that though the score moved on quite rapidly until the introduction of Regan “I told you I could bowl Walshy” Smith, maybe Walshy didn’t understand what the hell he was going on about and Hanks.  After Regans two wickets in two balls and Steve taking a couple at the other end the game was sure to be ours and as the wickets beagn to tumble it became clear that the last pair didn’t fancy batting out the last 26 overs in 80 degree heat for one point (or was it that they’d had enough of blocking Hanks bowling).  Anyway whatever it was, their number 11 had an unsuccesful wild heave and that was it.  Thirteen bagged and tagged.

Man of the Match – Toby for an excellent 66

Quote of the day – Their scorer, about Hobbsy “Is he related to Jack?”  He realised that he probably wasn’t after the first couple of overs.

Old Midwhitgiftians 191 AO

W & H 167 AO - P Day 50

by Roger White

Oh! Defeat is such a bitter pill to swallow, especially when victory was within our grasp. It will be a game remembered for our inability to put meaningful partnerships together. Something we as players need to take more responsibility for. Our biggest strength, i.e. batting a long way down, can also be our weakness in that we give our wickets away too cheaply. An area, I am sure, our illustrious captain will pick up on in the next game.

The pre-game warm-up was once again led by Mark Surridge. Out of his bag appeared a baseball mitt and a rugby ball.( Cricket Anyone??) After I few fielding exercises Mark got the guys involved in what he called “ Hand hockey.”  A game played by running into spaces and passing the ball along the ground to your teammate. This again seemed to help Steve with his tossing ability - Two in two and looking good.

OMW got off to a fair start, scoring 30odd in the first 10 overs. John “Curtly” Ambrose had a mixed opening spell of beating the bat regularly and being guided, and edged, down to third man. I was fortunate to claim the first wicket bowling wide of the crease and drawing the batsmen into an edge. Steve claiming the fairly difficult catch low down and making it look regulatory. Thereby justifying his all round talent and giving me a middle finger for the pre-season banter about his slip ability, or should we say lack of. After being spanked to the boundary by the oldest man on the park at 68, I was then fortunate to claim his wicket with an off-cutter that he chose to leave. My very next ball hit the new batsmen on the full and I thought my 3rd wicket was in the bag, only to be turned down by the umpire. OMW then consolidated well and were scoring at a reasonable rate. Their no.3 looked very good on the drive and was proving quite a challenge to remove. Mark was introduced into the attack and after some steady overs mixed with a few expensive ones, he had the no.3 defending a good length ball and edging it to Peter Alan, standing up. “Hawkins” Hanks was bowling from the other end and was doing a good job of limiting the runs. He then decided that the facilities were not good enough for his guile and deceptive flight, floating in a full toss to deceive the batsmen. The catch comfortably taken by “Cheets” ( Neil Cheetham) after posing himself a challenge by stumbling over his cap first. I was then re-introduced to the attack and took a further two wickets before the Peter Allan show began. His first display of mastery began with a regulation stumping off Mark followed by a brilliant leg side stumping (off Mark again) that had us in absolute awe. W&H is certainly blessed with fine keepers and Peter is one. The player I refer to as the “Dave Richardson” ( the SA wicketkeeper of a few years back- for those misinformed individuals) of W&H as he quietly and unassumingly goes about the business of “clashing symbols.” All of this with about 20 years on the rest of us and applying his trade with as much enthusiasm and zest for the game as any player in the club. Mark then “selfishly” claimed another two wickets in a row to end the OMW innings and claim a ‘fifer’ for himself. All this after bowling 18 overs on the trot.( Only happens when the Skip has you in his fantasy league team).

Mark Surridge 5 – 66 off 18, Roger White 4-33 off 14

The W&H innings started off a little slowly as our batsmen got use to the pace of the wicket. Mark then opened his shoulders to lift the run rate and played a glorious maximum off-drive. A shot possibly surpassed later in the day by the big hitting of Peter Day. “Cheets” was first to go with a mistimed cover drive and Mark (22) was soon to follow with a ball that he seemed to play inside of the line. Adam (27) joined Ed Smith at the wicket and was again taking up where he finished last week. Unfortunately, a fine piece of fielding (direct hit) had Ed short of his ground and we were three down. John Seward and Adam then set about restoring the innings before John was undone with a LBW decision. Peter Day entered the fray and soon became W&H’s restorer, hitting the ball with great gusto. Adam and Peter took to the attack before Adam was next to go, caught at slip trying to drive. Jason Bird was next in and was also involved in a miscued shot to cover. I then had the pleasure of joining Peter at the crease. A man with a simple attitude to playing cricket -  Defend the good balls and take maximum out of the bad. Peter and I were comfortably scoring at 4 to 5 runs an over (well, Peter was, I was spectating) and OMW’s total looked to be in sight. Peter went to his fifty with a mistimed shot over cover. His innings consisted of some very big hitting and on two occasions had the fielders climbing fences to retrieve the ball. All in all, it was a well - paced innings from a batsmen with much talent. Unfortunately, Peter got out the next ball (bowled) after his fifty trying to loft one over the boundary. Steve “Skipper” Hankins walked to the wicket at 7 down and only had one intention – to win the game. He looked comfortable at the crease and was soon playing shots to the boundary. My job was to still rotate the strike and things were working well as the run rate dropped to 3 per over. I was next to go LBW and John Ambrose followed shortly afterwards. Steve still batting positively skied one to be caught and our day was through.

Peter Day 50, Adam Portlock 27, Mark Surridge 22

Man of the match : Mark Surridge (hard decision with Peter Day’s 50)

Wally of the day : Roger White – Again.  For incorrectly answering a question from Peter Day on whether he was coming “around the wicket” to the left-hander, watching the side screen being moved and then having it all moved back when he eventually woke up to the fact that he was staying “over the wicket.” Schoolboy cricket!!!!!!!!

Quote of the day: “It’s annoying losing a game we should have won.” – Steve Hankins

Coaching tip :  And what is  Round the wicket?

                Over the wicket  - Bowling arm closer to the stumps

                Round the wicket - Bowling arm away from the stumps

                Both terms apply equally to both left-arm and right-arm bowlers.

Chirp of the Day:  In answering a question from a spectator, “ We will get the score with 3 down.” Followed by a loud appeal and W&H going 4 down. – Steve Hankins

Moment of the Day : Peter Allan’s leg side stumping off Mark Surridge

Camberley 161-8 dec

WHCC 162-6 - A Portlock 59*, P Day 32

by Roger White

Well, well, well – a much inspired team performance from the Twos saw them to a start of the season victory and 13 points in the bag. You could tell the team was up for this one with a pre-game warm-up( much to the captain’s dismay) led by Mark Surridge. Last season saw warm-ups being relegated to a couple of catches and the Captain expending energy losing the toss. This time the warm up seemed to work as Steve won a toss, giving us the opportunity to put Camberley in and limit their scoring to a gettable total. Must be something in this warm-up, skip?

The team took the field and were rather quiet through the first couple of overs, possibly because everyone was focussing on the task at hand. Adam Portlock lifted the team in the fielding department with a fine display. Attacking the ball to limit singles and chasing hard to restrict the runs and support the bowler. His efforts in the field were rewarded with two catches and a run-out. The run out occurring after I graciously grassed a difficult chance to allow him all the glory. This did not help Peter in getting onto the score sheet though. Camberley started off rather well supported by some good fortune. They had 15 after 3 overs but some quick wickets halted their run start and seemed to take the fight away from them. Peter Hobbs was unfortunate not to take a wicket in the early stages as he beat the bat regularly or was edged into space. The introduction of Mark Surridge meant that the responsibility of restricting Camberley and taking wickets was left to the mature members of the team. Mark certainly did not disappoint and was soon in the scorebook. A catch comfortably pouched by Adam. Mark was soon to claim another with “Amo” Singh holding onto a scintillating catch from a very hard and well struck drive . The joy of the wicket was soon surpassed by the antics of Amo as he wrung his soft pre-season hands in pain and leapt around the park. Camberley continued to bat cautiously as they struggled to 90 odd for 7. Steve Hawkins alias Hankins and Eddie Smith worked hard to try capture some wickets but unfortunately, Camberley remained resolute. Eventually reaching 161-8 after 55 overs. A score the  “boys” were happy to chase.

(Roger White 4-53 off 19, Mark Surridge 3-13 off 11)

Mark Surridge and Amo Singh started off the W&H innings rather well with both batsmen timing the ball well and knocking Camberley’s main bowler out of the attack. Amo was undone by the pitch when a ball climbed rather unexpectedly on him and he pushed the ball to gully. I then joined Mark at the crease and felt it was going to be my day when I was presented with a nice half volley second ball up. Mark (24) and I continued to press for runs before he was undone by a rather dubious lbw decision. Adam Portlock (59no) then strode to the wicket and instantaneously set about getting the runs. Pushing the ball around with much ease and making me run hard for each run. Rumour had it that he was under selection pressures back home as Kate was setting about forming her club fantasy league team. He certainly impressed, scoring runs freely and mixing aggressive shots with cheeky singles. Life was looking easy as I set about feeding him the strike. Unfortunately, a rush of blood resulted in me lofting a drive to mid off and my day was over. Jon Seward then entered the fray and was also intent on pushing the ball around. Unfortunately, his innings ended a little prematurely as he was beaten by the ball. Peter Day was next in and started off circumspectly. However, after been pushed hard by Adam he decided the only way to stop being chased between stumps was to hit the ball over the boundary. A few lusty blows rapidly moved him to 32. Hitting a six to the longest part of the ground and later claiming he never timed the shot. I look forward to seeing him hit a timed shot as I doubt there is any field big enough to restrict him. In all this time, Adam was still playing good positive cricket. On 49, Adam lived dangerously by lofting a drive right of Mid-on who thankfully could only get one hand to it and put it down. Just when we were thinking Adam had used his get out of jail card he chose to then run the single and take on the arm of the fielder. Scrambling a single in the knick of team and earning a well played innings of  50. When 8 runs were required, Peter impatiently decided to finish the game and was bowled trying to hit the ball back to Woking. Jason Bird then marched to the crease after spending a half hour warm-up session walking his baby all over Camberley club. It obviously had some effect as he smacked two fours to the deep mid-wicket boundary and finished the game. (Adam Portlock – 59 NO, Peter Day - 32, Mark Surridge -24)

Man of the Match : Adam Portlock

Wally of the day : Roger White – for thinking he had scored major points selecting Adam and himself in his fantasy league team only  to find out afterwards the competition  starts on the 10 May.

Quote of the day : “ Top of Div 1” –Steve Hankins

Training tip : Adam to play less shots in the air because “he is too good a player to give the opposition a chance.” Hanks ( or is it Hawks)

Chirp of the Day : “ I set the field, you just bowl.” Said tongue in cheek when Roger White ( bowling) asked for the 3rd man to come up.

Moment of the Day : Jason Bird hitting the winning runs.

Chertsey 206 -7 dec

WHCC 167 ao - A Singh 47

by Andew Murphy

Dear, oh dear oh dear, what an earth was that!? A very poor start to the season and a performance that didn't bear much resemblance to the championship winning side of last year.  Ok, maybe the team didn't bear a great resemblance to last year either with several players missing, but even so that was a poor showing.  The missing players won't be too concerned about their places for the forthcoming league season and I doubt Camberley (this Saturdays opposition) will be quaking in their boots either.

The fielding, bar Hobbsy and Gihans excellent early catch, was very ordinary even given the bumpy nature of the outfield which was its typical April self.  The strange thing was how well we started, Roger White got back into the swing of things picking up where he left off last year with two early wickets and Mark, coming on first change, took four wickets to leave Chertsey in touble at 100-7.  The problem was that from this point onwards the fielding got more and more ragged, at one point Ammo ran past the ball, turned, ran back stepped over it again as it trundled over for four.  One thing that I didn't want to write but I guess I'm going to have to, is that we missed Hanks slow bowling. Stand in captain Porters took a terrible tonking off one over with Ashley Cook and several cars taking evasive action.

The batting didn't exactly set the world alight either and we were very soon 15-3 and in trouble.  Chertsey showed that taking catches and bowling in the right areas at least reasonably consistently does help and wickets fell at fairly regular intervals.  The one bright spot was Hobbsy tucking into their spinners with a breezy 33. The overall verdict was, "a lot of improvement needed."  However on a positive note, we lost to Chertsey last year and won the league.  Divison One is unlikely to be quite so inviting. 

SATURDAY 2ND XI REVIEW OF 2002

The 2nd XI achieved their goal of winning the Division Two championship title through a combination of commitment, teamwork and enjoyment. This success was a just reward for always playing positive cricket, which resulted in eleven wins, four winning draws, two losing draws and just one defeat.

This was very much a team effort by a squad full of match winners, who invariably batted down to eleven and always backed themselves to win. The leadership, tactical judgement and sportsmanship of captain Steve Hankins should be applauded, despite his ineptitude as a ‘tosser’.

The 1st XI’s consistent availability allowed the ‘twos’ to field reasonably regular side, which was underpinned by a strong top five. Richard Thompson (338 runs) and newcomer Amrender Singh (358) frequently provided a good opening stand, which  allowed the stroke playing middle order of Jon Seward (253), Adam Portlock (329) and Roger Greenway (368) to play their natural game.

A variety of bowlers were used throughout the season, all of whom helped win key games. Before his elevation to the 1st XI, Mark Surridge (18 wickets @ 11.61) led the seam attack, sharing the new ball with young Halim Mohammad (12 @ 17.17) and the enigmatic Peter Hobbs (13 @ 15.85). Following the opening spurts, the combination of Ed Smith’s (26 @ 15.12) probing outswing, and Steve Hankins’ (26 @ 19.19) ‘bit of both’ strangled many innings. However, possibly the most influential bowler was the speedy Roger White (23 @ 9.57), who’s promotion from the 4th XI half way through the season coincided with a finishing run of 6 wins and 4 winning draws.

The bowlers were generally well supported by a dedicated, if aging, fielding display, led by Dean Faulkener, who reinforced his reputation as arguably the best wicketkeeper in the league.

Despite a disappointing opening day losing draw at Dorking, three excellent chasing victories over Sanderstead (Thompson 77, Greenway 65), Egham (Portlock 47*) and Old Wimbledonians (Surridge 5-39), enabled W&H to be amongst the early leaders.

Following an inept batting display resulting in only one point against a useful Chessington outfit, the match against eventual runners-up Camberley was already a ‘26 pointer’. W&H were put in and struggled to 151 all out, thanks mainly to Greenway (73), who put on fifty for the last wicket with Faulkener. These proved to be crucial runs, as a superb bowling and fielding performance saw Camberley dismissed for 134 led by Mark Surridge (5-26), and the gap narrowed to one point.

The good form continued at home to Limpsfield, as Portlock (75*) and Singh (60) were the mainstay of a commanding 227-5, which allowed Halim (5-30) to secure victory with just overs to spare.

The sole defeat of the season at Purley focussed the minds, and Chipstead & Coulsden were duly bowled out for 41 (Ben Storey 6-16), despite the help of 20 extras! This was followed by frustrating winning draws against the negative Metropolitan Police (Singh 52) and Warlingham (Thompson 70), when the opponents were left nine down. Winning ways were soon restored however, as Hobbs (61) and Greenway (51) helped set a target of 202, which Old Emmanuel never looked like reaching as they were spun out for 71 (John Dunbar 4-19).

The following two weekends proved pivotal to the campaign. Despite taking an under strength side to Honor Oak, W&H restricted the hosts to 183 all out (White 4-56, Smith 4-50), before a magnificent run chase on a wet track, realised victory with three balls to spare (Singh 53, Portlock 51, Des Cooke 20 off 8 balls). This win took W&H top of the league for the first time, and the following week the lead stretched to 17 points, as Horsley and Send were beaten by seven wickets. This does not tell the full story however and it should be stressed that Horsley and Send showed great sportsmanship to play on in dreadful weather, when other sides would have been back at their own clubhouse! After White (7-21) ripped out their top order, Horsley and Send recovered to 116 all out, however Steve Hankins (61*) quick fire assault secured maximum points, before the clouds opened again.

A winning draw at Dulwich (Singh 50, Hobbs 4-16), where their last wicket pair survived the last six overs and a comfortable seven wicket win over Worcester Park (White 4-30), meant that one win from the last two games was required to win the league.

A strong batting recovery against Avorians, led by the ‘retired’ Steve Wilmshurst (50*) and debutant Jayson Bird (47) posted a total of 225-8 in 50 overs. Avorians proved predictably stubborn and were content to bat out for a losing draw on a good track. Disappointment turned to delight however, as other results went our way and promotion was secured. The final Saturday saw a nail biting three wicket win at Brook and W&H were crowned as worthy champions.

Our sincere thanks go to all umpires, scorers, groundsmen, tea ladies and bar stewards around the league and congratulations to promoted Camberley, who we look forward to renewing our rivalry with next season in Division One.

2ND XI REVIEW OF THE SEASON

by David Gibney

As a team playing at such a level for the first time in their history, consolidation of a place in Division 1 was always going to be a major achievement for the 2nd XI this season.  Given that call ups to the inconsistent 1st XI, injuries and extended holidays robbed the team for long periods of many of the players who had won the 2nd Division championship so convincingly last season, the final league placing of 8th and jubilant avoidance of relegation on the last day of the season is something that the team can be proud of.

Hopes of a much higher position were held after the first few weeks however, as good wins against Camberley, where Adam Portlock scored 59*, and Beddington, against whom Toby Aldred scored 66, were set aside close fought defeats against Midwives and Normandy.  From there though a mid season malaise followed, with heavy defeats by Walton and Spencer and 4 drawn matches, all of which could and possibly should have been won, particularly at Sutton where a good run chase fell 3 runs short in the final over.  But by this stage the side has lost its captain, confidence, and ability to win, and the three defeats that followed to Camberley, Beddington and Walton were sorry affairs.

Bottom of the table, three games to go and finding points impossible to come by, relegation seemed a certainty, especially as Epsom reached 92 for 4 chasing 112 to win in the next game.  It was at this point though that the season turned again, as stand-in captain Peter Hobbs took it on himself to inspire his team to a nerve-destroying, fate-defying victory with a 5 wicket burst as Epsom were bowled out for 99.  The relegation clash against Old Whits the following week was no less heart-stopping as the bowling of Hobbs again and James Morley almost turned another certain defeat into a win – 1 point the eventual result – but the final weekend victory over Spencer, more comfortable this time thanks mainly to fifties from Morley and Jayson Bird, was enough to ensure survival and high spirits at the end of season party.

Sadly there weren’t any consistently strong performances throughout the season worthy of mention, probably the main reason for the tally of only four wins all year, though Hobbs deserves enormous credit for bringing the team together and getting the most out of them when it counted.  The emergence of some of the younger players towards the end of the season, notably Shiraz Hussain and Uzman Zafar, was a real positive though, and the team can reflect that they are more than able to hold their own at this level - only champions Walton outclassed them twice this year.  With some old hands returning and some new players coming through, there is every reason to approach next year’s campaign with renewed optimism.

WEY VALLEY XI PREVIEW OF THE SEASON

2004 WEY VALLEY XI PEN PICTURES

(Due to possible legal proceedings under the Obscene Publications Act no pictures have been provided)

To preview the 2004 season profiles of the possible superstars for the forthcoming season are provided to give you a rough idea why they were selected (apart from being short of players!)

 

Mike Walsh

Role:  Supposedly skipper + Telecommunications Manager

Nickname:  Walshys brother + Fifty pence

Cricket Golden Moment:  The Monthly Phone Bill

on't Mention:  Cobhams Man eating Rabbits

 

Clive Moon

R:  Allegedly Keeper and Transport Manager

N:  The Cat (cause of his liking for Wiskas - what else!?)

CGM - Nick Moon!

DM - Edged chances

 

Des Cooke

R:  Legal advisor

N:  The Fuzz, The Plod, The Old Bill etc

CGM:  Opening the bowling for 4s first league game - what an honour!

DM:  Swag, pickpockets and arrestable grannies

 

Faizel Saleem

R: Apparently bowler

N: Morphious

CGM:  Being the only player allocated a squad number

DM: His Dads broken windows, flattened fllowerbeds and Machine Gun nest

 

Peter Smith

R:  The Team tweaker?

N:  The Stud, Smithy, Warney

CGM:  Resigning as 3rd Team Captain to play for the Carnival

DM: Pukka Pies

 

Andy Walker

R:  More of a Kebab Man

N:  Ooooooooh Jonny Jonny Wilkinson

CGM:  Moving from Aussie when the call from the 4s came up

DM:  The Beached whale impression at Guildford City. Where's Rainbow Warrior when you need it!?

 

Shazad Hussain

R:  Team Pain in the Bottom

N:  **** sake pay attention

CGM:  See below

DM: Being locked in the bog at Cheam Parish

 

Saleem Zafar

R:  Team Swearer

N:  Team Swearer

CGM:  Annoying the opposition more than his own team

DM:  Hundreds and thousands on trifles

 

Trevor Woods

R:  Youth Development Manager

N:  "Jacko"

CGM:  Providing future 1st XI players and ****heads

DM:  Scary Monsters down dark alleyways

 

Chris Murphy

R: A Murphy - like the rest of his family does sod all for the club

N:  Gribbler or Fozzy

CGM:  Exporting WHCC to the far echelons of Europe

DM:  That the wooden house of Troy was made of plastic

 

Peter Grafton

R:  Tuna

N:  Mikes boss

CGM:  Not enough room to mention, well theres............

DM:  Exeter, late nights and the haddock

 

Mansoor Suleman

R:  Playing cricket

N:  Manny

CGM:  Pulling out of the Pakistan World Cup Squad to play at the Wheatsheaf

DM:  Overpriced CurlyWurly Bars

 

Charlie Johnson

R:  Ooourrrrrhaaaaarr (whilst pointing) + bar profits contributor

N:  Couch

CGM:  Zuma and the Museum of Becks

DM:  Batsmen in black trainers

 

Rajeev Marwaha

R: Player Provider

N:  Not printable!

CGM:  Debut for the 4s

DM:  Isotopes

 

David Fowles

R:  David Fowles

N: Fowlesy or D.F. (your own suggestions please)

CGM: Making Robin Millar leave the country

DM:  The Lemon Curd incident and the Fench Horn

 

Mike Stevens

R:  Who knows, where are you!?

N:  Are you Will in disguise?

CGM:  Playing in the inaugural 4s league game

DM:  The bird of Paradise and the Bishop

 

Any information or similarities which may incriminate the above is purely intentional!

WHCC 79 AO

Olinda 80-0

by Mike Walsh

Chapter One

"Finding Nemo"

Bloody fantastic, the cricket season is finally here!  Its been hammeing down for two weeks.  Theres been more drop outs than the RAF parachute team, I've made more calls than the African Hoola Hoola bird to its mate.  I met four of my players for the first time at the meet time (albeit 35 minutes late) and got completely and utterly stuffed.  It was the thought of these things that kept me going, in the darkest hours of winter, great!!

What a humdinger of a week for O2 as they announce record profits for the month of May and its only the eighth!  I've been in the job for five years and I can safely say its been one of the worst weeks in my association with the carnival.  I scouted the universe looking for past, present and future players, could I find Nemo, like heck could I!  With all the water around he could have been anywhere.  Anyway, finally secured the 11th player at 9.45pm Friday night and just hoped there wasn't going to be any drop outs.

To add to the complications the opposition captain rang me 7.30 Friday night claiming he may have to forfeit the fixture as he only had six players but was waiting on a few more to confirm their availability, hw would let me know Saturday morning.  Received the expected call that morning and to my amazement he had eleven.  the same morning their first team fixture had been cancelled, well the rest is history!

Like a school of fish we were picked off one by one by the nibbling sharks.  We were fish out of water, we were completely battered, it was utter codswallop and we reeked of out of date tatare sauce.  We had congealed and even the local alley cats were walking around with pegs on their noses!

Unfortunately the opposition were far too strong for us.  We showed a bit of battle and managed to weed out 77 runs from 27.5overs.  We needed to bowl out of our scales or hoped the weather conditions would worsen and we could swim to the shore.  Alas neither were forthcoming and they literally smashed their way to the target without loss from 12 overs.  We haddock it!

A few positives to take from the match were the very pleasant tuna sarnies, Omar Hussain and Rajeev Marhawa bowled well against superior batsmen. David Fowles, Ed Harman and Omar showed good commitment in the field.

Not an enjoyable week or day but I'm sure Rick Stein has suffered the same problems!?!  At least back at base camp I had the pleasure of a fish and chip supper, whose idea, don't tell them Pike!

The Golden Moment - Umpire for the day Awais Khan commentating that the skipper was batting like nasser Hussain after all these years I had no idea he respected me so much!

The Mad Chaffinch Syndrome - can't think of anything as all went swimmingly well!

WHCC 236 AO - S Zafar 89, P Grafton 43

West Byfleet 64 AO - M Walsh 5-14, D Fowles 4-19

by Mike Walsh

Chapter Two

"Go West Young Man"

There's the Manchester derby, the Milan derby and the the Merseyside derby, but the Woking and Horsell v West Byfleet derby eclipses any Darby and Joan in the world.  You could feel the tension of the big match.  The game was all ticket and dignataries met us before the match in the players lounge (changing room 2).  We even met connections of the Mayor (or was that Meyer!)

Anyway the town was buzzing.  The shops traded half day so the local folk could queue up and get settled for the biggest fixture in the sporting calendar.  Sky TV couldn't cover it because they couldn't afford it!  UEFA and the IOC asked if the match could be cancelled until later iin the year so as to not belittle their forthcoming Euro Championship and Olympic Games.  No way!  This game goes back a good year against the ye ole rivals and tradition cannot be broken.  Names are lost and found in this sporting event.  Security was high and so were my players, the aura of anticipation smelt like a jacuzzi of mouldy leaves sprayed in asphalt and cod liver oil.  Des had been called in as tickets were rumoured to be changing hands for curly wurlies or pen lids on the black market.  This match was going to be more rivetting than 2 shipyards.

To the match!  Lost the toss and was inserted.  Batting was made to look hard on an uneven pitch.  If you pitched it up it skidded but if you bowled short it sat up.  The West Byfleet opening bowlers bowled tightly and used the conditions well.  However, once they came off our middle order took control with fine efforts from Pete Grafton (43), Billy Hargan (25) and an exceptional innings from Saleem Zafar batting at No.7 and scoring 89.  Scary thing but Saleem batted with a lot of common sense and concentration.  What's the world coming to!

Why do blackbirds fly past the front of your car whilst you're driving, what's that all about?

They hunt in packs, they destroy together, there's a new fast bowling rivalry to match Larwood and Allen, Trueman and Statham, Lillee and Thomson, Holding and Marshall, Walsh and Ambrose (not R&J), Botham and Willis and now coming to a horror movie near you soon, lock up your daughters and guinea pigs, its Walsh and Fowles!  Destroyers, we're talking HMS Nottingham!

The crowd was in complete hysteria, women were fainting, dogs were meowing, Des was arresting squirrels and the grass had turned to jelly. Steve Ryder was apparently quoted to say, "they will have to extend Sports Review of the Year so the nation can taste this feast of cricket!"

Why do blackbirds, and starlings are just as bad, keep walking along the road when you are driving towards them instead of flying out of the way, whats all that about?

The Golden Orfe Moment - Saleems match winning innings.

Mad Chaffinch Moment - Dave Fowles opening triple wicket maiden over, now what's all that about!?!

WHCC 138 AO - N Cheetham 79

Addlestone 139-1

by Mike Walsh

There I was, trundling through Woking on Monday morning when I heard a shout from a cricketing enthusiast (autograph hunter), call out, "have you heard Vaughan is injured and you're in the shortlist to replace him."  Could it be true, my first Test, captain and at the home of cricket.  Would the England Management fall back on the experience of Hussain, look forward to Trescothick or go for the element of surprise, Walsh?

Obviously, the England management were impressed by the performance of the Carnival the previous week against West Byfleet.  The selectors were more impressed than a Monet masterpiece.  Duncan Fletcher was apparently quoted in an unnamed tabloid to have said, "Walsh showed more tactical leadership than Napoleon.  How can we not consider him?"

Soon carrier pigeons of support came in.  The Carnival players were very keen to see their skipper voted in as it would not do their claim for a Test place any harm.  Could the England team see a revolution?  Walsh and Trescothick opening the batting, Fowles and Harmison steaming in, Moon taking up the glovework and Zafar taking over from Flintoff as he doesn't get on with it enough.

Can't believe we were overlooked.  More shocking than 20 pylons and more depressing than a region where barometric pressure is less than that of its surroundings.  The majority of the depressions that cross the British mainland (mainly the Park) are from the Atlantic.

Didn't happen, so lets move on, but at least we wre in the selectors thoughts!?!  Addlestone and Hamm Moor, reigning league champions, brought their style of alcoholic fermented apple juice and the meat from the upper part of an oinkers leg smoked, into the game.  There was, to note, some extremely poor acting of uncultivated heather, the red grouse was not suitably overcome with joy.

To the match you cry, to the match.  Batted first, steady at 53-2 from 21 overs, 113-3 from 33 overs and then the fondue hit the melting pot.  the major contribution from the Rt Hon. Treasurer Neil Cheetham scoring 76.  A lacklustre approach in the field lead to many dropped catches and the use of seven bowlers to try to find a breakthrough.  We lost and were undone by a much better team.

The Golden Orfe Moment - Neil's attempt to ruin a poor match by scoring a patiently crafted innings of 76.

Mad Chaffinch Syndrome - Spectator Angus Hargan (Quiksilver to his mates), Billy's 8 year old son eating crisps from a Tardis packet and then cover driving a ball purposely into my car!

29 May

Guildford City 269-4

WHCC 39 AO

by Mike Walsh

CHAPTER FOUR

"DIARY OF A MADMAN"

SUNDAY:  Hungover from drowning my sorrows from another well crafted defeat and realise I've lost my mobile phone.  No worries there then, well I mean I hardly use it in my role as skipper!  Spend several hours trying to contact O2 to cancel phone.

Build an RSPB standard conservatory in my garden to observe why the blackbird tilts forward and raises its tail feathers when it sits on my fence.

MONDAY: Spend several hours in attempting to contact O2 and in their shop trying to obtain a new phone.  Been re-assured phone will be in use by the evening.

Have 6 players only available.  Have £5 of 10 pences to go to the public phone box as mobile is not operational yet, to ring the world for availability.

TUESDAY: See first sentence for Monday.

Car whitewashed by the WPLA (Wood Pigeon Liberation Army) as they fel that blackbirds have been mentioned too much in match reports and they have been overlooked.  Happy now!

WEDNESDAY: See first sentence for Monday

Car whitewashed by the CDT (Collared Dove Tigers)  This organisation realised they would get publicity if they crapped all over my car.  Please note that any pooing from a great height will never again be published.

THURSDAY:  After several days , finally have a phone.  Been through the carrier pigeons, 74 bloodhounds, 17 racehorses and 2 rolls of cellotape.  Found out that I hadn't lost my phone, it had just exploded due to overuse.

FRIDAY:  Call press conference just like the great English Test Captain that I was compared to in a previous report, Nasser Hussain.  All the major papers from around the globe attend, the Horsell Herald, The Knaphill Chronicle, the Bisley Times and the Chobham Sport.  Unlike Nasser Hussain I feel its time to bow out whilst at the lowest point of my career.  Unfortunately no replacements!

SATURDAY: Panned by Guildford City whose paid overseas player decides to despatch my bowlers out of the Park on several occasions.  Five balls lost!  Most enjoyable afternoon after such a lovely week!

Golden Orfe Moment - Being put out of my misery!

Mad Chaff syndrome - O2s wonderful customer service.  The WPLA and CDT have been told that O2 are an anti-bird establishment!

WHCC 260-5 - I van der Walt 151*, M Walsh 47

Ashford 240

by Mike Walsh

Chapter 5

"The Super Silly Swingball Sprint"

It was a game that almost didn't happen.  there were only five available from the previous week and the threes didn't have eleven either!  After being talked into attempting to keep the fixture the result was more than satisfying.  A rallying call was made and I would like to thank those who responded in my hour of need and made my job a lot easier than it looked after selection.  The club needs strengthening so keep the good work going.

Even though some of us passed their clubhouse we thought we would visit assorted playing fields instead.  After boredom kicked in (30 seconds) we went back to plan A and re-visited their clubhouse.  I suppose we should be thankful that some of us did not end up in Kent!

With a victory apiece for both teams this season (ironically Ashford had a walkover the previous week) it was potentially going to be a well matched fixture in view of both teams being 4th XIs.

After being inserted the ball was seaming and swinging more than a London jazz club and we were soon looking down the barrel when the score was 22-3.  We still had fresh thoughts of last weeks paltry total of 39 and an early finish looked on the cards (We are the Cardinals, we are the Cardinals.......etc).  However on his fourth eleven debut, entered Ian van der walt who slightly put a different context on things.

There were doubts and many cricket journalists criticised the decision to give ian his first 4th team cap in such an important and high profile match!  Ian answered the critics with interest with arguably one of the best knocks I've sen in my 4th team reign (he di give me quite a bit of his jug!)  It was a fantastic display which culminated in nineteen fours and a six.  Ian, when you play at a higher arena (to be honest how can it get much higher than the dizzy heights of the 4s).  Don't forget where you learnt your trade.

After a record breaking 4th wicket partnership of 218, the score finished on 260.  With a big score to defend, an attacking field was et but the bowling was generally too short and many fours were conceded.  Even though we were picking up the odd wicket here an there they were always above the run rate.  Thankfully with the introduction of Richard Franklin the brakes were pressed and we eased ourselves back into the game.

Cumberland sauce is often described as a piquant sauce made from redcurrant jelly, served with game and cold meats.

Pressure was increased by notable fielding performances from Dominic Hewitt and Ed Harman.  Dominic, the only colt player in the team, gave by far the best fielding performance and was a crdedit to himself and the team with his positive attitude and his commitment in the field.

Anyway, we finally wrapped it up after 44.2 overs, Ian fortunately squeezed the man of the match award!

The Golden Orfe Moment - Ian's fantastic batting display.

Mad Chaff Syndrome - Skied catch chance was met by Faisel and Dominic looking at each other and then running towards each other, danced the Tango and the catch was dropped.

WHCC 58 AO

Cheam Parish 61-3

by Mike Walsh

CHAPTER SIX

"One Lion on our shirt"

After yet another joyful week of availability and dropouts (9) was follwed by another trouncing.  Just makes it all worthwhile!  We were destroyed by a formidable bowling display from an opening bowler who finished with the figures of 10-5-6-6 and half of them were extras!  However, I did apologise to their skipper for david Fowles effort (25*) at No.10 for taking it from 22-8 to 48-9!

Anyway, to commerate Euro 2004 and the golden days of the pride for playing for the 4s, me and the lads visitined Abbey Road studios to record a CD single to raise awareness for the deprived 4 XI players at the club!

We're coming home,

We're coming home,

The 4th XI is coming home,

We're coming home (x 4).........

Everyone seems to know the score

They've seen it all before (Guildford, Addlestone, Olinda etc)

They just know, cos their sure,

but..............

The Carnival gonna throw it away,

But we know they can't play, we just know they can't play,

cos we remember,

 

One Iion on the shirt,

The Carnival Trophy still gleaming,

Six years of hurt,

Never stopped me dreaming.

 

So many jokes and too many beers,

oh those so many spillages and tears,

that weigh you down, through the years

but I still see that,

Smithy spinning the ball,

Hockers getting a five for,

Penners belting the ball,

and Windy dancing.

 

One Lion on the shirt,

The Carnival Trophy still gleaming,

Six years of aftershock,

Never stopped us heaving.

 

I know that was then but it won't be again!

 

We're coming home etc

The 4th XI is coming home etc (x 4)

 

One Lion on the shirt,

The Carnival Trophy still gleaming,

Six years of drop outs,

never stopped me ringing.

 

Talk about the 4th XI coming home,

and then one night in the Park,

we were weak and we had no spark,

but I remember...

Uzzy ready for war,

Awais (turning up) late as before,

Munge certain to score (on the cricket pitch)

and Windy dancing.

 

One Lion on the shirt,

The Carnival Trophy still gleaming,

Six years of Gerry Cottles,

Never stopped us leaving.

 

One Lion on the shirt..................

...

WHCC 213 AO - M Walsh 73, M Worgan 35

West Byfleet 145-9 - M Kaneem 3-46

by Mike Walsh

Chapter 6

"Breakfast in America” 

Through the sponsorship of the Dutch millionaire, Stanley Miesegas, in 1969 Supertramp emerged.  Through the sponsorship of Mr J. Daniels, July 2004, some more tramps arrived, less super but suitably assigned to the title, Mr Mark, “George Best is teetotal” Worgan and a very scruffy gentlemen of the public!

Signing to A+M the band released a largely ignored and directionless eponymous debut in summer of 1970.  Normally directionless in the summer of 2004 and unbelievably ignored by the paying public, Mr Unsupertramp (laying under the tree on the boundary) voiced concerns!

The poor critical and commercial reception to the performances lead to a personnel reshuffle.  Trevor switched to lead guitar, added Fas on sax, recruited a new rhythm sectionof Mark “Oliver Reed is a lightweight” Worgan and had the backing of Clive on cymbals!

The new chemistry clicked and zoomed the new unit into major stadium players (The Park, The Wheatsheaf, West Byfleet Rec- the list is endless).  With their ecletic backgrounds of jazz funky house metal classic cricket a well crafted score became infectious with melodic hook shots.

They started with a single and solidified with a growing cult runbase.  “You lot rrr rubbish, can’t hit nowt” cried the biggest hobo under his tree.  One single lead to more singles, promotions (Mark “Gazzas dentist has fillings” Worgan, who should have batted eleven due to poor health), big plays, solos from Trevor (21), Mo Ahmed (20) and Mark “is that all you can drink Higgins” Worgan (35).  Even the encore at the end of the innings “gave a little bit.”

Even though they are big Parkside they had to breakthrough the trans-West Byfleet market.  Big hits in to the parks tennis courts were probably too subtle for the trans WB area.  However, a living breathing version of neo punk swing set out to destroy the WB charms.  Fas was saxy and debutant Kaneem blew his trumpet. The trans WB audince were listening to a music overload at 52-7 until musical differences kicked in.  Players had their minds on that difficult next game, even in the quietest moments disinteres occurred and the WB got up to 135-8.  Crisis?  What crisis?  The players performed and sent us 15 points up the charts!

Fact – Supertramp took their name from the 1910 WH Davies book “The autobiography of a Supertramp.”

Fact – Mark “Donkey Adams” Worgan was more boozed than the unsupertramp audience.

Golden Orfe Moment – Trevors opening guitar solo

Mad Chaff Syndrome – Mark “Ozzy” Worgan getting out of the car with a pillow and completely missing the door when trying to close it!

WHCC 66 AO

Addlestone 67-2

by Mike Walsh

CHAPTER (THE NEXT ONE)

“DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME

Charity begins at home and as the charity bus rolls it also exists away!  It was Sports Relief day and as the registered charity, the Carnival “R” Us jumped (well, actually slumped) into action.  The 4XI are now a recognised charity as they have helped and assissted such causes as Addlestone and Hamm Moor (twice), Cheam Parish, Guildford City and even donated 16 points to Temple Bar without turning up!

Sports, activities involving physical exertion and skill for entertainment.  Relief, financial or practical assistance given to those in special need or difficulty.  Well, we did not have time to exert ourselves (except Des see mad-chaff), skill, less said the better and as for entertainment we did enjoy the local constabulary fit of pique!  The relief was immense when put out of our misery.

This was more lemonade than cricket aid.  We gave away loads of freebies (wickets, runs, sordid words).  It was a glorius day for charity as the Carnival band gave away free autographed copies of their new single, “Do they know it’s cricket.”  Sir Bob rang up during the match and extorted we need more £$%^&**** runs,” or was it Saleem!)  Fas did try to blow his sax but he got a ball stuck in it, he must try and stop doing that.

The biggest disappointment for the lads was not in fact the result but the realisation that krypton was discovered by Ramsey and Travers and not Superman.  This did depress the mood in the camp but on this day of aid we were thankful for what we had due to those worse off than us, we couldn’t think of any, but surely there must be worse teams out there!?

Everyone has the choice between Hot Dogs and Hamburgers, however we chose Curly Wurly sandwiches sprayed inn deep heat.  Chewy with a strong burning aftertaste.

So, if your stuck, need assistance or help, don’t call the A-Team, call Carnival busters.  If your team can’t win and are constantly stuffed never fear the carnival are here!

The Golden Orfe Moment – The proof that times are changing in the fourth eleven, seven cars were taken to the match!

Mad Chaff Syndrome – P.C D.C -  Tremendous toy throw upon his dismissal – the cool headed bobby, before leaving the pitch, threw his bat across the ground, slung his helmet down and as it bounced, volleyed it in to the scoreboard.  Obviously had a bad week in the office!

WEY VALLEY XI REVIEW OF THE SEASON

By Mike Walsh

Once upon a time, a very long time ago, even before Nelsons momentous victory in 1805, before Henry VII victory at Bosworth field in 1485, long before Harold Bluetooth (and that was before the introduction of the extra smartie as well), in 965, and so long before Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 a group of boys were very bored.

Picture the scene, Queen Elizabeth Gardens, Horsell, reasonable Sunny was the number one tune at the time, my dinosaur needs to go on a diet by Mr Caveman and the square wheels was blasting out of the local cave (next to the bowls club).  A group of boys were participating in their favourite pastime, club cricket.  Boy, could they club in those days, ask the local T-Rex.

Bosh, Windy Millar bangs another Mike Walsh hand grenade into the tennis court.  Bang, bang Penners fends off another Chris Wearne delivery with his head.  Ar, ar, yes the Munge stretches for a misplaced Fowlsey swipe, and Simon Hockley needed a new loincloth as he was rubbing balls too much.  These boys were bored, they had nothing to do on Saturdays so they all got together to form their own team, (well in fact they all had been dropped the previous week by that horrible 3rd team captain, Peter Smith for being crap!).  It was  sad but true but they had to form their own entertainment – some were better at it than others!  What could they do, what was to be their inspiration, the great Aussie Bradmans team of the early 50s, the Windies 80s team, no we shall find solace of that team of all teams the Knaphill 90s team.  All they now needed was a name, the 4th XI was too obvious, what about the Carnival cried the Munge, Windy bought the 12ft boots, Penners brought the giant plastic hands, Wearny bought the permed red and green hair and Mike brought the clown bus with red hub caps.  Well in a nutshell that’s how it all started.

After four years of friendly fixtures, some had moved abroad.  Some were now alcoholics, some had ventured into ones cricket and well some had stayed put.  The next big challenge for the nascent team was an adventure into league cricket.  People had their doubts, I was being heckled in the streets, receiving hate mail, castigated by John Humphries on radio (fortunately it was only aired once on an October morning at 3.30 am on Reykjavik radio), and slammed I a TV interview by mark Nicholas, (which also fortunately shown in error may I add, on Bogotá Channel 2 instead of Take the High Road). The pressure was tighter than a jammed stopcock, could we make a fist of it?

Well, overall, yes we did.  Expectations were high, we were a reasonably successful friendly paying team.  Going into the season my biggest concern was would we score enough runs.  In fact my biggest concern turned out to be the teams strength and we regularly eclipsed last seasons average total of 140.  The bowling was patchy, the lack of a strike bowler or bowlers was evident on some occasions or even the depth of the bowling attack, now that a minimum of five bowlers were required.  Shall I mention its name, do I need to say its name, it’s a subject frequently mentioned in match reports, so I won’t mention it again, needless to say it was flaming exceptional!

We had a baptism of fire and it couldn’t be put out as there wasn’t any showers at our opening game against Headley.  Charlie got walloped by a bloke in black trainers, the bowling figures got mucked up by the opposition, the unmentionable subject was rather poor, personally run out, lost by 81 runs and then changed in the car park.  Great, can’t wait for another 17 matches of league cricket!

That was the biggest caning we received all season.  It became obvious that some of the younger players, Clive, Trevor would have to nurse the even younger players, Andy and Peter who would in turn……….etc through competitive cricket.  Even though some of us had played 3rd XI cricket the 45 over game was a different kettle of tuna.  Did we ever resolve that debate whether tuna was better in brine or spring water, something for next season to look at then!

We learned in some areas quicker than others, such as the need to bat for 45 overs, either to gain maximum batting points, or just to squeeze each valuable run from the opposition.  Something which was more difficult was scoring or more acutely the missed opportunities of taking singles.  It was evident from the opposition that the taking of quick singles was paramount.  To the credit of the team they got to grips with the new game and several credible performances should be noted.

Andy Walker started the season prolifically, top scored in the first three games, with scores of 41, 51* and 40.  Rob Staples with the performance of the year, 109 against Wimbledon Village, coming in at 41-5 which worsened to 64-7 and eventually finished on 236, incidentally he took 3-26 and took a superb catch.  Qaiser Nawaz with 87 and Pete Grafton 57 against league runner up Cheam Parish.  Pete also got us out of the smelly stuff the following match when we were chasing a low total of 76 and found ourselves 16-4.  He steered us through with an unbeaten 47.  Trevor's unbeaten 43 in our 10 wicket victory at West Byfleet.  Gribblers 68 almost did the trick in our 2nd game against Headley and a very destructive 69 not out by the WBC pitch preparer Mr C Johnson against Temple Bar.  Two superb knocks, not only because he turned up late for one, by Awais Khan, both unbeaten on 85 and 97. Also notably Paul Gorgolis hit a career best 96 not out and Gihans 59s at Wimbledon and Cheam respectively.  Also, even though he had a disappointing year, Salim hit his maiden 50 in the last game against West Byfleet.

Even though I've highlighted these great performances, there are plenty of other fine team batting performances.  We adapted to bat through our overs to get those extra batting points.  Often enough it was the tail that was left at the end and it would be unfair not to mention Faisal and Smithy whom both got stuck in and stayed with the recognised batsmen and\or guided us through to those extra batting points.

The bowling was patchy as previously mentioned and there was only one five for performance all season.  Often opening bowlers would bowl without luck, such as Charlie versus Headley (2nd game, definitely not the first!), Nick Challen and Shiraz versus Wimbledon and Mansoor Suleman in the reverse game.  The biggest problem was who to bowl at the right time and how long their spell should be, something I've not totally mastered yet! It was often the case the opening bowlers had the oppose 40 for 2\3 from 12-14 overs but had used most of their overs up.

However, there were fin performances from the Woods.  Trevor was the team meanest bowler and recorded 4-18 against Ashford and 4-14 versus the Vandals.  James often bowled too well for the opposition and couldn't find that elusive knick knack or hula hoop.  Spin twin Mr Smith at the death bowling of 4-34 against Headley.  Faisel demonstrated his no.1 mantle with 4-11 and 4-41 against Ashford and Cheam respectively.

m getting bored and Munge is getting a sore finger so I will sum up.  Glad we entered the league its been a big learning curve, learned a lot and look forward to an improved season next year.  If you take all the opposition individually there's no-one we should be afraid of and we should take that on board next season.  We often gave the top teams a challenge, we beat Cheam once, took Wimbledon to the wire twice and should have beaten Temple Bar.  Unfortunately the nature of the 4th XI is that we provide for the elevens above us and it sometimes leaves us exposed, there's not a lot we can do about that.  However, there are areas we can improve on and I personally think that my captaincy wasn't always up to scratch.  I have learnt, and if elected I have a few ideas which will involve the senior players taking some new roles.  next season I want to hit the ground running so bring it on!

Special thanks to Clive, Trevor and Peter for your assistance in often trying circumstances, and to Charlie for putting more effort into ground preparation that WBC.  Also thanks to Munge for writing this crap every week and Paul and Damo for off the field assistance!

West Byfleet 242-8 - D Fowles 4-30

WHCC 179-9 - S Zafar 56

by Mike Walsh

Well, we finished the season more or leas the way we started and probably the way it existed through its course.  I've dwelled on where it went wrong during the season enough, so I took the opportunity to interview the superstars of the team for their reactions.

MW- I'll start with you vice, how do you think the season went?

Clive - Toronto's lovely in May.

MW - As a senior player you were probably more frustrated than most with the poor fielding displays, comments?

Peter Smith - I refer you to the Thames Water Sewage dept.  I'm overall concerned the quality of the colts has diminished so I've taken active steps to introduce new blood into the team for next season!

MW - Whats your favourite number?

Faisal Saleem - Ten

MW - Um, er, why do you wear number one on your back then?

FS - Couldn't afford another digit, I work 7 days a week, 24 hours a day down mine, so I can pay for my match fee.

MW - Disappointing start to the season, good finish though.  Did you feel the pressure of playing under your brothers shadow?

Salim Zafar - XXX**&&££! er ££**@@ man, I'm neraly as tall as ^^%%$$££ him, man!!

MW - Whats this about you and emus poo?

Nick Moon - Don't tell the fraud squad, it was ostrich poo, thank heavens the Wheatsheafs showers were better than the teams catching.

MW - You've played at the highest level for the club but did you feel any pressure in your comeback season when you opened the bowling in the 4s first league game?

Charlie Johnson - Becks please

Live satleitte link up - MW (holding up a Lemon tango).  Guess what you've won.

Shazad Hussain - What a load of crap.

MW - Well did you?

SH - Hey, yeah, that chocolate cake was lovely

MW - Good season?

Trevor Woods - Not really, big fat Geoff probably bought too many dodgy signings and as in recent seasons had no-one to bolster the midfield - cost him his job you know.

MW - Hows the youth policy doing?

TW - Mainly boozed - James and Mark Worgan potential 1st team capt or cricket chairman there I reckon!

MW - Plethora of runs from you.  The Greek booze must be good?

Gribbler - The Lyceum made my Peripatetic wobble

MW - Ever thought about hitting the ball harder?

Andy Walker -Yes, put me down for bar duty any day!

MW - Its a shame Shazad outtangoed you this year?

AW - You want to see my flipper next year (They call me flipper)

MW - Mr Cricket Chairman, your view please?

Rhino - Sun arise early in the morning

MW - Tell us how you really did your ankle?

PS - No

MW - Go on, I'll buy you a packet of peanuts (dry roasted of course)

PS - A fundamental premise of Paeleoanthropology rests on the contention that uneqivocal evidence of human evolution would be found in fossils of known antiquity linking modern man to extinct ancestor.

MW - Flippin' eck surprise you didn't break both ankles.

MW - Any lowlights?

Neil Cheetham - Being run out by Gribbler.

MW - Is it true that you model yourself on Kojack?

Des Cooke - Who loves ya baby?  Who wants to suck on my lollipop?

MW - No pressure mate, but whose the best 4th XI skipper

Gihan Thabrews - Ashfords!

MW - Munge you've obviously enjoyed typing my amazing reports, comments, suggestions, review?

Munge - Michael, it has been an education.  As for suggestions buy a PC!

WHCC 152 AO

Olinda Vandals 156-3

by Mike Walsh

With the end of season feeling setting in, a player arrivedso late for the start of the match it was already the first game of next season!

Even though the scorebook is falling apart (the plastic spine hoops slipping apart - most annoying) the team couldn't recapture its form from the previous week or in fact play like the 1980s West Indian team as we did in the corresponding August Saturday Bank Holiday fixture last year against Spencer.  Batting first after Spencer won the toss, the top five batsmen all reached double figures.  Notable knocks from Walsh, 40 andHasan "Dickie Bird" Khan, 37.  Awais Khan was needlessly run out for 15 when he and Gaghan were left stranded at the same end.  Salim and Clive got us some cheeky runs atthe end and we ended up on a competitive 202-6.

Our opening attack of Simon Hockley and Rajeev Marawaha soon had Spencer on the back foot at 21-4 (surely you couldn't lose a match from here!)  However, the sixth wicket put on over a hundred which nullified our spin attack of J Woods and S Zafar.  With thegameslipping away a new tact was needed.  The re-introduction of the opening bowlers, two overs of Mr Kipling from Walshand a 4-18 spell fom the quietly spoken, down to earth, friendly, I won't give any advice to the oppo whilst umpiring Hassan Khan.  S Hockley finished on 3-28 and their no.5 batsmen D Coks was starnded on 86 no.  Aaaah, what avictory, those were the good old days.

Could the memories of that victory stir the blood, well no it couldn't stirtea.  Anyway, won the toss, batted, and got a ball so good I thought I was facing Jaques Kallis at Headingley and to be competely honest, lets be totally frank about this, I'm cetain, utterly sure it would have removed gary Kirsten from the game and England would have won.

Clive playedhimself in with a Cliveesque pull for 4 from his firsat delivery.  I thought Nick wouldbe up for a score (even though hamstrung)  Hehad covered himself in Emus poo.  I wouldn't say it stunk or anything but the keepere was sofar back Ithpought Michael Holding was bowling. In fact, I wouldn't make this up you know, really, truely, that when the ball pitched near Nick it was like it hit an ivisible wall and went at right angles.  Oh yes the power of Emus poo.  Apparently Nick is a big fan of the "poo" he rubs it on fresh.  Actually I think it wouldbe ideal for Salim wrist if he stuck his arm up..........(stop, censored).

Salim top scored with 27 and faisels rearguard of 26 crept us over that second batting point.  Yet again, the bowling attack of Mansoor and Mr Peter "at least I've done it once" Smith bowled well without luck andd we only achieved one wicket in the first 10 overs.  However their second wicket put on 62 and gradually pulled it away from us.  the fielding was a mixed bag with fie performances from Mr David "I've got a radio stuck to my ear" Fowles and Mr Peter "look I've got lead in my pencil" Smith were offset by some shocking lets turn singles into fours display.

On this occasion the problem was lack of runs and if we had another fifty on the board - well huge nose.  Anyway, we didn't, we lost, they were a nice bunch of lads and it was a close competetive match at the end of the season.  Just what the crowd wanted!

Lemon Tango Moment - My spread eagle star fish impression.  The utter disbelief of a stone dead LBW being turned down caused me to lay face down on the wicket and do funny shapes!

Castle Moment - beating Spencer last year.

WHCC 242-6 - A Khan 97*, G Thabrew 59

Cheam Parish - 131 AO - F Saleem 4-41

by Mike Walsh

In the library of focus is it the wise man who reads the history books?  In the chocolate bar of an enraged battle was this match a Bounty?

This match produced several tasters of tango, with in my opinion the greatest demon squelcher moment of the season!  Thankfully most of the downing of the Tango was done off the pitch rather than on it.  We had a pull out an hour before meet time, blokes with raging hangovers, even apparently and alledgedly a player was seen on match day on the booze with a mysterious girl which subsequently caused them to be violently ill the next day (please do not sue as the source of this information is complately and undeniably dodgy!)  Also there were blokes who spent more time on the M23 than at the cricket, a player who ate so much chocolate fudge cake they couldn't (or even be bothered) to bend down because they were so sumoed and there was the big tango moment of the year (see end).

Lost the toss and were inserted.  Mr Walker who apparently dankhis own body weight in booze the previous night, wasn't his athletic self decided the best policy was to aim for the middle ball.  Unfortunately, unintoxicated players followed suit and the score was 35-3 from 15 overs.  I bet you can't tell that there is a collared dove on my bird table whilst writing this.  He dabbles in my mixed seed.

Then enters Mr A Khan, who arived so late for the third eleven he ended up in the fourth eleven.  He joined Mr G Thabrew.  They dominated the bowling and put on 80 for the fourth wicket in 5 overs.  Juicy Lucy where are you?  Tolworth or Zanzibar we will never know -not here anyway.  Mr A Khan started off tentatively with Mr G Thabrew (59) dominating the partnership.  However, with support of Mr S Zafar woken up Saturday moning to be told of the big honour of playing against second in the league.  Mr A Khan took charge.  They dramatically took the score from 124-5 to 209-6 in 10 overs and we subsequently finished on a competetive 242.

Aftera top tea in which the devouring of a Chocolate Fudge Cake by the opening bowler Mr S Hussain the like of which has not been seen since Mr M Worgandestroyed Shalfords angel cake last year.  Please also note Mr P Smith was partial tothe home made scones with lashings of jam and cream.

With my bowlers suitably sumoed up they had to be pulleyed to the middle.  Mr E Hemmings (aka Mr J Woods) and Mr I Ul Haq (aka Mr S Hussain) opened the bowling and immediately kept i tighter than their trouser strings.  Mr J Woods was the pick of the bowlers and spun it more than M J Hargreaves.  Mr T Woods kept it in the same vein apart from when giving advice to Junior, when uopn bowling a poor ball blamed the advisor (Oh dear one less fishfinger for you for tea tonight!)

Upon digestion of the scones Mr P Smith enetered the frame with Mr F Saleem.  Both had points to prove even though Mr P Smith had a dodgy ankle the scones hadn't lightened the load and Mr F Saleem reselected after being dropped midweek.

The score at drinks was 75-4 in cmparison to our 72-3 at the same stage.  Mr P Smith bowled unluckily but should have three weeks break more often as he continued topin the oppo down.    Where he didn't get the luck Mr F Saleem did by claiming 2 victims with played ons.  With the oppo needing 10 an over with two wickets remaining, the match was sewn up and was completed with a run out due to a superb throw from Mr Stevens.

Lemon Tango Moment - I hope you enjoy it as much as me.  Upon leaving Cheam we realised a player was missing, Mr S Hussain.  Whilst investigating Mr T Woods entered the oppo clubhouse and heard a distraught yelp of help me. Following the calls of distress it became evident that Mr S Hussain had locked himself in the crapper! Tremendous!

astle Moment - See above!

Addlestone 243-9

WHCC 192-9

by Mike Walsh

Due to editorial demands and publishing issues I have been asked to truncate my column this week.  The editor has expressed that I spend less time on cricket and spend more time on Balderdash!

The day was so hot that it would make your kipper boil in the bag without having to trouble Southern Electric or the lead singer of Boney M!  In fact how tranquil would it may seem, would it not be better to donate your shallots to the shanty singers of the West Palm Beach, than to woo Ralph the Mouth from Happy Days with your ping pong ball gun.

Anyway, we were outplayed in all departments from the toss to the eatng.  They had more seire than Bono to win and we had as much yearn to win as a Bonio (dipped in Persil automatic) biscuit.  The opposition have some talented players and when they got off to a terrifiic start heads dropped and it was hard to get them lifted again.

Same old problems in the field but there were some noteable performances.  Mansoor bowled well and tight and deserved his 3 wickets.  Des bowled well (sometimes!) and recovered in his 2nd spell. Trevor looked the pick of the batsmen and Nick played some great looking (in fact sexy-ruff!) shots before he fell for 24.  Shazad planted a couple of big sixes into the members end - they don't like it up em!

Can't complain about the result, the better team won - unfortunately, only half of the team wanted to win saturday and we must lift ourselves as next week will be considerably harder when we visit, in our last away game of the season, Cheam Parish. They play nowhere near Cheam!

Lemon Tango Moment - The skipper chasing a Yorkshire Terror around the pitch who was threatening to raise a leg near the stumps.

Castle Moment - Shazad large six into Faisels garden

WHCC 243-4 - P Gorgolis 96*, M Walsh 73

Wimbledon 247-7

By Mike Walsh

After speaking to some of my regular readers to this column I have been asked to mention art in my next article.  I know alot of you are artists, either of the brush or non sober kind. Therefore due to popular demand I will cover a piece which I hope will be of some interest.

Before i get into the whats and ifs of our important match agist a title contender I would like to take the challenge up of writing a piece about impressionism.  This form of art originated in the 19th century and is famed by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissaro, Cezanne and Degas.  The movement gained its name in 1874 from a picture painted by Claude monetnamed impression: Soleil Levant, which showed the ray of light on water.  Thereafter, it bacame the inspiration of impression to take the scientific study of light.  I hope this small piece has poured cold water over you frustrated readers that have picketed me for art!

Anyway, the match was very competitive and the difference between the two teams was the opposition umpire, Uncle Bulgaria!

Thegamestarted verymuch like a home one.  You will be glad to know that it is not only Woking Borough Council that are the shocking side of sewage.  Wimbledon B.C not to be left out in the we can outcrap Woking B.C stakes had not opened or supplied keys to the pavillion so we had no stumps (borrowed from Old Wimbledonians) and pads and gloves were used as boundary markers until it was opened!

Won the toss and batted, and after the early loss of Orinoco (Andy) we didn't have too much trouble distiuting litter all over the ground.  Anything bowled just short of a lenght sat up and the ball went flying to the boundary over a quick outfield.  Very few scoring shots were wnything other than ones of fours.

Next in was Dave Beasant (Nick Moon) making his 4th XI debut who batted well, just like his Don days and a 66 stand was put on for the second wicket, when dave (Forest form) skied one down long offs throat.  Another sizeble partnership, 99, for the the third wicket saw the result of some positive play by Tobermory (Paul Gorgolis).  People thought he was on the Isle of Mull - well they were wrong!

Given out to a waist high full toss which at the time had no significance, but was borderline to being a no-ball, Uncle Bulgaria was the umpire.  Due to big blows from Tobermory and good support from little Dennis Wise (Rajiv Patel) we finished on a competitive 243.

The opening bowling was a bit mixed, a good spell from Alan Cork (Mansoor) and a disappointing one from, "remeber you're a womble Madame Charlais (Shazad).  Lawrie Sanchez (Rajeev) replaced the Madame and produced his best bowling display of the year. then replacing Corkie I broughtmyself on and bowled some interesting tripe!  The normal full tosses were despatched into neighbouring gardens but were unfortunately called by Uncle Bulgaria as no-balls. None of the no-balls in my opinion were above waist height and may have hit the middle of the stumps if the batsmen happened to miss such quality deliveries!

I then made an astonishing decision and whipped myself off quickly to be replaced by Nigel Winterburn (Faisel - spitting image or what!), The opposition kept up with the run rate but it soon beacme clear that we had to bowl them out if we were going o win.  After my 2nd attempt, my diplomatic chat with the team things picked up and we slowed them down by taking wickets.

As the game was drawing to a close, the last 10 overs produced excitement, more frustration that a Virgin anteater stag do, and more controversy when Nirvana fouled up their miming on Top of the Pops - Gosh!  There was a great bit of fielding (no, not a misprint) from Tony hart (Saleem) who knee slided to stop a four, picked up the ball and throw it over the stumps to Chaz (Clive) for a run out.

With a few overs remaining the impressive Corkie returned and the oppo played and missed him. they were falling behind the run rate and began to take risks.  Then a large spot of bad luck occurred!  Corkie bowled a lowish (?) full toss which the oppo batsmen whacked and was caught by a tremendous catch by Mr Beasant. Unfortunately, this like the previous full tosses was no-balled. Frustratingly we ran out of luck and this was summed up by a msitimed edge for four!  Needing four off the last over they didn't manage to win until the last ball of the match.

Frustrating result, batted well, bowled well in parts, fielding improved (could it get any worse!) but due to some unfortun ate strokes of bad luck deprived us of a victory which I feel we deserved against a potentil champion team.

Lemon Tango - Uncle Bulgaria - say no more

Castle Moment - Tobermory's flat six over midwicket

WHCC 182-5 - A Khan 85*

Match Abandoned

by Mike Walsh

The first recorded miracle play was performed in Dunstable in Kent in 1110 but nothing prepared me for the biggest shock of my cricketing career, the whole team at the clubhouse before the allocated meet time!  I was the last one there and I was on time.

Unfortunately the shock to the teams body clock was evident in the pre-match fielding practice, but then again it did confirm that we do not have a clue how to field.  The practice was comparable to hedgehogs dressed in Tudor sailor suits wearing concrete welly boots.  However, that may be a bit harsh to Miss Tiggy Winkle and Francis Drake who I have no shadow of doubt, if told to form a queue to the right and take it in turn to catch the ball, would not have looked blankly and walked to the left, remained still or was basically was about as much use as a space hopper that has overdosed on paprika Pringles and Bugs Bunny videos. Its no wonder we are more shocking than ten electric pylons in the field!

Obviously we scared the opposition with our dazzling fielding because when they won the toss they asked us to bat first. Myself and Andy Walker put on 55 for the first wicket which included more appeals than Terry Wogan on Children in Need!  The partnership included three big sixes from Andy and was about the few occasions the opposition keeper wasn't appealing. The partnership also included the Lemon tango moment - see below:

With the score at 62-2 off 12 overs the threatened rain started.  There was constant drizzle for about 20 overs which wasn't as annoying as Guildford's keeper (Saj) and I quickly remembered why when he was on our books he didn't get too many playing calls from me.  However, the danger was that if the rain didn't stop it would at some point become unplayable.

A good partnership between Gihan, fresh from Kiwi cake eating and Awais khan, fresh from baked bean stacking, kept the board ticking.  When Gihan departed for a Paul Hardcastle, then entered Starsky who was more reserved than a restaurant table until Saj complained that he was sworn at by him.  Starsky is to be congratulated on his restraint, bearing in mind the previous two balls, Saj kept crowing just as the ball was being delivered.

With the score around 160-4 and Awai making his fifty the rain began to get heavier and in view of this, it was decided to take early tea.  It was quite evident that Guildford didn't want to take the field again.  About half an hour later the rain eased, and we took the very optimistic view that if it didn't rain again it would be ok!  When we did start again so did the rain and play only lasted for a further seven overs until their opening bowler went flying.

Disappointing as there is little we can do about the weather but possibly this is one that has got away.  However, you must bear in mind we hadn't taken the field yet!

Lemon Tango Moment - Andy getting a top edge, and despite not knowing where the ball is, he calls for a single.  The ball has gone straight up in the air between him and the bowler so he is sent back straight away.  Andy then slips and as the bowler attempts to grab the ball for the run out, Andy belly flops to the crease just like a whale attempting to slide onto the beach trying to get to the baby seals!  Where's David Attenborough when you need him.

Castle Moment - Awais footwork whilst batting to gain a well deserved 85 after a year out from the W&H limelight.

WHCC 193-9

Temple Bar 194-4

by Mike Walsh

A wise man once said, the many moons of Saturn shine only on those that divide the scared geode and portray the oriflamme once the heat begins" unfortunately we did not endear the sentiments of the great wise one!

Rupert the Bear, Skippy, Michael Aspel, Chorlton and the Wheelies have all registered their disquiet about our poor fielding.  They are now banging big bass drum backed with Black Sabbath Marshall speakers to announce disillusionment to what amounted yet again to a WHCC loss rather than an opposition win. Taking nothing away from the oppo who batted superbly, you can't drop seven catches and expect to win.

After the fiasco of not playing at Woking Park after being assured it was ready it was a tremendous effort to get the game on at the Wheatsheaf Stadium. Several of the oppo weren't too keen mainly due to the fact that they had nine men (of which we were not aware at the time).  But due to the employment of Alan Titchmarsh (Charlie) and Raphael (Trevor) we had a pitch ready for a 2.30 start and a reduced 40 over match.

After a slow start by ourselves - 28-1 off 13 overs - Trevor replaced the outgoing batsmen, myself who arguably received the ball of the match which without a shadow of doubt would have got Steve Waugh out at his grittiest best!  Anyway, Trevor's intention was to get on with it straight away, crashing a 4 and a 6, before running himself out to what looked like a simple single.  Batsmen came and went with Usman, looking the most comfortable before playing all around one for 23.

With the score on 98-5 from 26 overs, the teapot retrieved from the clubhouse and the 2nds already enjoying the delights of sex on the beach, it was up to Charlie Dimmock, fresh from his visit to the Hampton Court Flower Show. Charlie stroked the ball the same way as he does the club lawnmower (with no respect!)  Ole Greenfingers and faisel (WHCC No.1) put on 31 in four overs which gave us a fighting chance of leaving a competitive score to bowl at.  Percy Thrower hit his favourite score, 69, which culminated of 7 fours and 4 sixes, of which one went straight into the children's play area and came straight out again (Thanks Richie - Headingley - 1981)  Leonardo's car was also on the receiving end of one of Chris Beardshaws master blows!

With a reasonable total set, coffee cake devoured the opening bowlers, alas Smith and Johnson gave us a good economical start but as with previous weeks, didn't reap the rewards of their efforts.  Mr P Smith deservedly trapped their no 1 bat LBW giving them a score of 19-1 off 10 overs.

What's the weather going to be like Skippy? Tut Tut Tut Tut (for those who don't understand roo language the answer was... al right Bruce, the Sheila is out walking the dingo at the moment but I don't give a XXXX for any other cricket match, but strewth you lot couldn't catch a kookaburra in a birdcage!) Flippin "eck I better not ask Rupert the Bear what he thought about our fielding.

You've guessed it the drops started! With the score at 60-2, after a good caught and bowled by Constable, the team cart got stuck in its own brook and gradually the wheels began to fall off the wagon. Even though the bowling was tight chances came and went, and with the score at 96-4 we had a chance.  then came a 90 run partnership which put Temple Bar back into the game and slowly out of our reach.  In all seven catches were dropped and three went down off their top un scorer who finished 81 not out.

It was heart breaking after another poor day in the field has cost us so dearly.  We got ourselves out of trouble batting wise due to our very own greenfingers, bowled well thanks to Charlie, Peter, Trevor and Mansoor, but directly caused our own downfall due to an unexceptionally poor fielding display.  We (me included) need to stay more focused and take chances when they arise. All in all our fielding is on a par with WBC!

Lemon Tango Moment - Apart from the obvious WBC  or fielding, Charlies beautiful collapse from the back of his van when attempting to get the lawnmower out of it! (5.9, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.0, 5.7, 6.0, 5.9)

Castle Moment - Charlie terrorising the local swings and slides population with his six bashing.

Ashford 207-9 - F Saleem 4-11

WHCC 211-6 - M Walsh 43

by Mike Walsh

After fielding like fat bottomed girls in our previous game against Headley we needed a miracle to put us back on the back page of the News of the World for the right reasons.

It was hotter than Barcelona and on this basis we were made to field upon losing the toss.  The opposition looked a stronger prospect than our earlier 10 wicket victory at the Dreamers Ball this season..  Shazad and the goold old fashioned lover boy, Charlie, wearing his new bracelet, opened looking fo that early breakthrough.  Yet again, as in previous matches, the opening attack tied your mother down, but didn't take the wickets they deserved.  their opening bats, one was a bit radio ga ga and the other made me look like Ian Botham, put us under pressure as no wixkets fell in the opening 20 overs.  Mr Ga Ga was more intent on sledging us than batting and often played and missed or even flash (ah-ah) and upon doing so often blamed the pitch for his misfortune.

Its a hard life and even though we were bowling tidily we couldn't get the hammer to fall, so after a spell from Trevor, you're my best riend, a change of tact was needed, so the skipper who neede someone to love camme on and took the first wicket after a few overs of dolly mixtures.  Mr Smith joined the party by removing the "I'm going slightly mad" opener.  We had to keep yourself alive and Peter bowled like the princes of the universe, with the exception of his ninth over which was more expensive than his first five overs.

With removing the openers wickets became easier to achieve especially upon the introduction of the Brighton Rock, Faisal, when after tasting the moonshine for 5 days had one vision and probably bowled better than he has all season.  Faisal slowed the opposition down by bowling a good line and length and taking regular wickets.  he bowled at the death on two legs and finished with figures of 5-0-11-4.

Even though we were set a total of 207 to win the show must go on.  Unfortunately, Andy Walker didn't show a kid of magic, which he had in previous games and was trapped LBW to the one that kept slightly low for five.  In came Amarinder who has been the invisible man this season.  After a few scratchy overs he got headlong into the bowlers and got a bisk 37 then fell by playing one too many shots.  paul Gorgolis was another one to bite the dust and fell unluckily by playing on.

Gribbler wanted it all and was here to let me entertain you.  It was important we didn't lose your head, as the score was 87-3 and there was plenty to do.  We needed some live magic and Gribbler went stone cold crazy and got us amongst the day at the races.  However, Gribbler and myself fell within four runs of each other leaving in a precarious position of 142-5 off 27 overs.

We needed to play the game with Usman and Trevor needing to save me from a potential defaet.  Both batted  tremendously and Trevor spread his wings hiting a quickfire 36 then getting out in hot space with only two needed.  With only a few required, Usman accompanied by too much love will kill you, Mr Johnosn saw us through.  Well, yes, we were the champions and it was heaven for everyone!

Lemon Tango Moment - Walking off to complete silence after getting 43 (it wasn't that bad was it!)

Castle Moment - Amarinders brilliant catch at backward point off Faisal.

Headley 270-9

WHCC 252-5 - C Murphy 68, N Cheetham 47

by Mike Walsh

Due to Woking Park being turned into the venue for this F1 season the match was switched to the arena of legends - Waterers Park.  A lot of the lads hadn't played at arguably the greatest cricket stadium in Surrey after the Oval and flippin eck pre match nerves were telling.  It was evident that some of our players were in awe of this great stadium.

This was the first game of the reverse fixtures and we knew Headley were a good batting side and in the away game we fielded like steamrollers on a session of Gordon's Gin and Baileys.  Had we learnt the lessons from the first game, no short or wide stuff and field properly.  Guess what, err no, we managed to outdo ourselves and field like daleks wearing lead boots, tight leather trousers and strait jackets. Even K9 would have scored fours against us!  It wasn't Tom Jones, Henry!

Lost the toss, they batted and we opened the bowling with the Woking express and Boycie (well in his moustache days).  Both beat the bat early and Boycie bowled a better line and length than his previous tour against Headley.  They played their shots as expected and it became evident that our luck wouldn't be in with edges not carrying, mis-hit shots just dropping short or flying overhead. Boycie claimed the first wicket, the batsmen caught by W G Grace off an edge that vibrated so loudly it made the Millennium Wheel spin round quicker than an old "78 record.  The batsmen didn't walk and even suggested he didn't hit it!

In came a batsmen with his thigh pad on the outside.  In the attack supporting Boycie was Tiger. Unfortunately Tiger couldn't find his usual rhythm and like most of the bowlers he bowled at least one four ball an over.  However, Boycie was turning, thigh pad boy, square on occasions and wasn't getting the luck he deserved, partly due to poor fielding.  Boycie picked up another victim, clean bowled due to coaching by W.H!

The Carnival really kicked in now, LBW decisions that were hitting middle and leg were given not out because they were missing off! Dollys were dropped, singles were turned into fours and even off Kojaks bowling a ball reared up so much that it went flying over W.Hs head who wouldn't have been able to get it on a step ladder.  even the cyber men decided to tear up their season tickets and storm out of the crowd due to our shocking display.

In hindsight I probably left Tiger on too long, but in my defence he has been by far our best bowler this season and I was hoping for some of that magic.  Rug replaced Tiger and as previously mentioned bowled reasonably well but giving away that four ball an over.  On came W.H, later than intended to bowl at the death and apart from one over of being hit into the trees by a batsmen in black jeans bowled a good spell and earnt himself a reward of 4-34.

Facing a large total of 270 to win the "Don" (what Howe? - Munge) decided to sacrifice his opening spot and to see if a pinch hitter (Kosack) could get us off to a flying start.  Well, not exactly!  After four overs the score was 14-2 with both Kosack and Tiger back in the hutch.  However, Mr Leopard Pork and Rug steadied the ship and put on 81 for the third wicket.  Rug was the victim and looked in no trouble until an indecisive shot of should I whack or defend it left a dangling bat and a dolly catch.

Leoparders was now partnered by Aristotle, who was the pick of our batsmen.  They put on 29 for the fourth wicket, Leoparders, being caught for a jug avoiding 47.  It was always important to keep wickets in hand and make large partnerships. A partnership of 103 by Aristotle and W.G put us back in contention, but due to failing light and the return of their opening bowlers, things started to get tricky and we got behind the run rate. Needing 43 off 3 overs when Aristotle was out for 68, Boycie was sent in to crash it and duly smacked two consecutive fours.  However, it was a tall order that we couldn't quite each.  The batsmen made a tremendous effort and darken skies (mainly due to the oppos desire to move the field every ball) probably was the deciding factor.

We were stranded 17 runs short and I am in no doubt whatsoever that this defeat was due to our diabolical fielding display. Too many of the key senior players including myself were surely not at the races in the field and there were fewer blokes in the field who were average in the field than shocking.  practice next week chaps.

Lemon tango Moment - Sorry its not the outcry of "the Don" in anguish after spilling a skier but a team vote for fielding.

castle Moment - Aristotle's batting performance to get us back amongst it.

West Byfleet 101 AO

WHCC 102-0 - M Walsh 40*, T Woods 43*

By Mike Walsh

Once again the availability was all over the place and the telephone was hotter than a WHCC BBQ sausage!  There were two new players to the club of which one was recruited as late as 9.30 Friday night.

In view of our weak batting line up it was always my intention (if we won the toss) to bowl first and hopefully chase a low target - flippin 'eck, we got a bit of luck and it happened!  We won the toss (the first toss I'd won to win a match), bowled brilliantly and did the job batting.  It also helped that the opposition were a few players light due to a stag do.

Yet again Shazad Hussain bowled marvellously with a spell of 5-1-10-2.  Shazas opening partner, debutnat Tushar Raut bowled a sharp spell and once he found his length, had the opposition on the back foot.  Then Edward left Windsor Castle after the garter service on St Georges Day.  There was enough in the pitch for the bowlers if you bowled a good line and length.  Our bowlers exploited the conditions and left the opposition trailing.

The change bowlers, Trevor and James "your sodding lucky" Woods continued the trend and kept it even tighter.  Trevor bowled more overs than runs conceded with figures of 8-4-7-2 and junior waslethalwith both the tongue and the ball.  However the command of the army was given to Somerset and he ordered his forces to march west to Exeter and then turned north to Bristol!  Don't know whether this was a wise course of action!  James was turning it more than a chefs omelette, but he didn't get much luck and deserved more than 2-25 as he beat the bat more than a vampire!  Faisal continued in the same vain as he picked up a two wicket haul.

With half the job done it was now up to the batsmen to see it through.  It was imperative that myself and the father of "the sodding unlucky" tried to establish a good platform for the forthcoming batsmen.  With the two teams deployed in an east west line just south of the pavillion it was our job to see off the opening attack.  Fortunatelky their bowling wasn't a tight as ours and upon reflection didn't use the pitch as well as we did.  There was a lot of loose stuff available with a high frequency of the poorer deliveries down the legside.  Thankfully the job was done after 19.3 overs and the anguish of ringing everyone in Surrey for a game of cricket became worthwhile.

We desreved the victory mainly through our bowling performance.  All or bowlers exploited the little the pitch had to offer and kept a good line and length.  Even though West Byfleet had a weakened team so did we and we got the luck that wasn't evident in previous matches.  This result was for all the hard work we'd put in during previous games.

Lemon Tango Moment - Trevors apology to the oppo batsmen for his sons over exuberant terminology!

Castle Moment - Trevors batting and bowling

Olinda Vandals 76AO - T Woods 4-14

WHCC 78-4 - P Grafton 47*

by Mike Walsh

With the Wey Valley boys looking to reverse the disappoinintg result of 455AD when the Vandals pillaged Rome, WHCC got a comprehensive win with a few hiccups on the way!

The Walsh wall was built and Olinda were sacked with a good bowling performance.  The toss was lost for only the second time this season which coincidentally was the last time we won a game!  Obviously the skipper isn't a tosser!

The centurions Rajeev and Shazad pulled out their charitots of fire and had the opposition on the back foot within the first few overs.  It took Rajeev a few overs to find the correct length on a dicey pitch but when he did the Vandals were quickly two down.  The wicket had a few demons which were portrayed by the first wicket of the day when Rajeev dug a short ball in which died on the pitch and took the middle stump only half way up.  Shazad was the pick of the gladiators and bowled a tremendous opening spell of 5-2-4-1and was unlucky not to have more victims in his net.  Legionnaire Faisel taking the catch of the day at second slip from his bowling.

The colleseum was now buzzing and the cohorts were baying for blood.  The next red lions thrown into the theatere were the Roman Candles Peter Smith and Trevor Woods.  Both kept the pressure on by bowling econimically and taking regular victims when Emperor Walsh gave the thumbs down.  The highlight (lowlight?) was very Spartacusesq (what kind of word is that Walsh!!) was Trevors attempted yorker which was nearer his toes than the batsmens and finished nearer Gribblers head than the stumps!

With half the job done the raw meat was not thrown to the lions yet and we wnet straight out looking to knowck off their total quickly.  Howevere in great tradition we batted more like Caesar Salad than a great Caesar and found ourselves staring worringly at 16-4 with Pete Grafton being dropped on the same score.

It started disastrously when on the third ball of the innings Mike received a ball that would have got Charlton Heston or Kirk Douglas out in their prime!  However, he got himself out early so he could lend his weapon to cohort Grafton.  Pete supported by Trevor batted sensibly by seeing off the opening attack and then feasting themselves on the change bowling.  Pete dispatched nine fours and finished the match by huitting the ball out of the ampthitheartre for six.  The Roman holiday was completeand the vandals destroyed (somehow!)

Lemon tango Moment - Arriving at the opposition ground early for fielding practice only to be told 5 minutes into the practice "you're not playing at this ground!"\Castle Moment(s) - Peters batting to get us out of the smelly stuff and collectively all of the bowlers, Rajeev, Shazad, Mr P Smith and Trevor for bowling the oppo out cheaply

Cheam Parish 315 AO

WHCC 270 AO - C Murphy 47, Q Nawaz 87, P Grafton 57

June 14 1999 the world was shocked by the resignation of the then Belgian Prime Minister, Jean Luc Demagne. June 14 2003 the world is in shock due to another Wey Valley League loss by the hands of the unbeaten Cheam Parish.

Yet again another capacity crowd filled the ground and such was the importance of this match even the third eleven forfeited their match to watch this run feast!  The grandeur of the match was such that even third eleven players (Andy Walker) phoned through to the stadium of fright looking for a walk on part. We duly assisted with an egg sandwich and a spot of umpiring.

With five changes to the originally selected team the batting looked weakened enough that upon winning the toss we elected to bowl first.  Yet again the opening bowler did well to contain the opposition with Jas Dhillon bowling a very impressive spell of 2-11 off 5 overs.  equally the change bowlers Peter "my hands still hurt from signing autograph signing" Smith and Qas Nawaz kept the ship steady and the opposition were held at 57-4.

However, as with previous weeks we left the door ajar and with the combination of excellent batting, shabby fielding, poor bowling and some indifferent captaincy decisions, Cheam were let off the hook and soon smashed their way to 208-6.  As the game progressed heads dropped (even though it was four years, the lads were still feeling the affects of the Belgian PMs decision) and the fielding standards fell with the notable exceptions of Messrs Grafton and Zafar.

With the ball spending more time in Faisals front garden than on the cricket pitch Cheam smashed their way to 315 all out.  Their no 6 and 7 hitting 73 and 113 respectively.  It would be a tougher mountain to climb than Church Hill in Horsell and we hoped our batsmen would respond to the challenge.

Gribbler was the new opening batsmen with the skipper and 66 was put on for the first wicket when I cruelly received a ball that made Shane Warnes ball against Mike Gatting look like it was going straight on.  It would be hard to imagine Brian Lara still at the crease after such a delivery!

Anyway, back from Swiss clock land, the batting performed admirably.  Gribbler continued to use Faisals lawn as a source of entertainment and Faisals father built a machine gun nest to shoot down any endangering small red objects approaching any windows.  With Gribbler jug watching his innings closed on 47 shortly after the electricity in the pavilion did the same.

As Nawaz and Pete Grafton continued in the same vein and the sand bags eclipsed the bushes in Faisals garden.  Rumour has it that peacekeeping troops were called in to protect the property! Both batted excellently and put on 119 for the third wicket.  They both kept the board ticking and their wickets in tact to enable us to have and end of innings bash.  Qas 87 consisted of 3 sixes and 12 fours which was highlighted by a reverse pull down to fine leg for four.  Peter batted sensibly looking for singles to rotate the strike and achieved his 50 just after the fall of Qas when the score was at 216-3. All bonus points were now secure and all that was left was to have a dart at the steep total set.

Wickets fell regularly in the run chase and we finally succumbed to a total of 270.  I find it hard to remember if the 4XI has achieved or exceeded that total.  It was an excellent effort against one of the best teams in the league and one we should be proud of.

The biggest difference between us and established Wey Valley League teams which was highlighted yet again was the standard of fielding.  Cheam are probably one of the best fielding sides we have encountered and gave us very little whereas our fielding contributed to our victory.  We need to concentrate for 45 overs and not to let our heads drop when the going gets tough. However, remaining positive, we gave, in my opinion the best team we have played so far one hell of a game and if we remain with a batting line up like this (the batsmen will end up in the 3s) a victory will not be far away.

Lemon Tango moment - Woking Borough Council look like they have this award sewn up for the year and its only mid June!  Someone give them 50p for the meter!

Castle Moment - Qas Nawaz varied stroke play

Addlestone 220-5

WHCC 159 AO

by Mike Walsh

As O2 announce record profits due to a throw back to the good old days of the 4XI and poor availability, everybody of past, present and future were rung for a game against our mid table rivals.  Blokes were rang who I never knew existed until I was told of their availability and were addressed with, "hello, you don't know me but would you like a game of cricket on Saturday!"

With our weakest team of the season, six of them being under 18 (three being under 14), it was always going to be difficult bearing in mind our previous record with reasonable teams.  The toss was won and we elected to field at Victory Park, hoping for an early break through and a slice of luck.  The victory carried 100 guns on 3 decks and a crew of between 800-900.

With no strike bowler at the skippers beckon call the duty of opening the bowling was split between youth, Shazad Hussain and musical youth, Mr Peter Smith.  As with the previous week the opening bowlers were the pick of the bowlers but failed to gain any wickets they deserved.

Faisal Saleem and Trevor Woods kept the bowling tight with Faisal making the first breakthrough with a good old-fashioned long hop!  Faisal also saw off their skipper and finished with good figures of 2-18 off 6 overs.  Trevor was whipped (wey-heh!) off after 5 overs to save him for the  end of innings onslaught.  With overs to be made up from the youngsters, John Travolta (Gribbler) offered his services.  It brought a tear to my eye watching him charge in again and sly grin listening to him returning a compliment to the umpire after being signalled a wide and stated as being even wider than the previous delivery!   Gribbler had more rust than the Titanic to offload (as well as alcohol and nicotine no doubt - Munge) but it is great to get him back in action.  Rust - a reddish\yelllowish-brown flaking coating of iron oxide formed by oxidation by the presence of moisture.

Shazad and Trevor picked up a wicket a piece and a last ball run out left us with at least a point and 220 to chase.  The majority of the bowling was steady but the failure top get regular wickets gave them the opportunity for a big dip at the end of the innings and probably 50\60 runs more than we were comfortable with.

With traitor Andrew Walker off with his friends in the threes, Trevor had the pleasure of opening up with the skipper.  The opening bowlers hardly gave anything away, however their quicker bowler decided to bowl more at Mr Walsh head rather than his stumps.  Obviously not seen me bat before would have been better off bowling straight!  With the job of seeing the opening bowlers off done, concentration slipped and both the openers played disappointing shots.  However, to be fair to the skipper that delivery would have sent Tendulkar back for an early shower as well!

We were soon 59-3 and 89-6 with batsmen getting themselves in and then out by poor shots  or no shots!  The oculist was on stand by!  Just as last week the tail wagged which incredibly saw us through to 2 bonus batting points.  The game was lost but there were  fine shots from Faisal and smasher Smith despatching the ball all over the park and peoples gardens.  If you don't believe me a copy of the scorecard will be available at the clubhouse for 50p each.  The souvenir copies autographed by Mr Smith are retailing at £100 each.  Don't delay as this offer is for a limited period while stocks last.  This is your excellent chance to get one of those rare moments of history to treasure for the rest of your life!

Even though we recorded another loss I was less despondent than in previous weeks as it was a fine effort from a weakened team.  It was always my intention to win this match but to go down fighting is very commendable and allot of pluses were gained.  Shazad showed he can bowl at this level and Trevor batted and bowled very well,.  Peter Grafton achieved some much needed time in the middle.  The return of Gribbler and slogger Smith who found his rhythm again and the art of smashing the opposition out of the attack.

Lemon Tango Moment of the Match - Mike putting someone in hospital with his bowling!  Unfortunately it was a lady in the adjoining bowls club who was hit on the back by a large six.  Faisal attempted to retrieve the ball and shouted out, "Mike, they won't give us our ball back!"

Castle Moment of the Match - Robin "Peter" Smith striking the opposition bowler for a large six into a tree which is in the adjacent car park.

WHCC 236 AO - R Staples 109, Extras 53

Wimbledon Village 237-8

by Mike Walsh

These things were the spurs that set those gentlemen upon that furious and fiery course which they afterwards fell into.

An awe inspiring game which gripped the capacity crowd (record attendance) at the Wheatsheaf Stadium, that dramatically twisted and turned with a sense of pace and tension worthy of a John Le Carre novel.  It was made for superb armchair entertainment.

With the weather hotter than the devils underpants the skipper decided to bat first upon winning the toss.  The lemmings (the top 5) came and went even quicker, less said the better which left the score at 41-5.  Then Rob Staples entered the fray and prevented alot of blokes being in a very boozed state by the early evening. Rob succeeded in connecting his subject matter which had troubled the modern 4XI batting society.

Rob played himself in gently and two more lemmings came and went and we were staring at a disasterous 64-7.  get the sick buckets ready boys its going to be a long night!  Then entered "number one" Faisal Saleem who played a responsible and meticulous innings that enabled us to turn the game on its head.  Rob took charge, swiftly moving to his fifty, with Faisal playing a supporting role instead of his normal cheese one! These two moved the score onto 170 when Faisal attempted his third cut on the trot to third man and was bowled.  A 106 partnership worthy of any wicket partnership in the 4thXI and a record partnership for the eight wicket in the 4th XI.  I haven't bothered to research this but if you would like to query this please write to Mr Y.B Wett at my squirrel is on a Benecol acorn diet (at least you lot don't have to type out this drivel - Munge).

It was now the turn of Saf Nawaz to support Rob through to his 100 and its not often you get one dsensible innings let alone three in one day! Rob finally succumbed on 109, which consisted of six 6s and thirteen fours and undeniable proof of cricketing assiduity which hold this born and bred 4XI player in good stead for the rest of the season in the 4XI!  It would be tragic for the lad if he was cruelly taken from his grass roots oin his development stage at W&H.

Our heads were up at tea and the opposition were in the descendancy which was evident at the time they started after tea. Shiraz Hussain and Nick Challen embarked on an impressive spell.  They kept the oppo down to two an over for the first ten overs and were very unfortunate to have them only one down at this stage.  With the skipper looking to keep overs in the locker for Shiraz and Nick it was the turn of the change bowlers.

Saf bowled a very steady 10 overs with a few run up hiccups in the middle of his spell and then the wheels began to come off.  With at least one expensive over from Messers Saleem, Smith and Walsh (in one case their only over - good decision to bring yourself on!), the oppo pulled themselves out of trouble and into a comfortable 170-3 off 30 overs. Nick was swiftly brought back into the attack and with the combinationo f Rob got us back in it with some quick wickets which saw them on 207-7 off 36 overs.  With Nicks spell over Shiraz was re-introduced and bowled superbly and was very unlucky to end up obtaining only one wicket.

With an atmosphere more rivetting than two shipyards the oppo crawled over our score with 2.2 overs remaining.  It was frustrating to lose after setting such a big total but we were staring defeat in the face at one stage and we shouldtake heart from some positive performances when we were in the smelly stuff.

First it giveth...............then it taketh away.

Lemon tango moment of the day - Woking Borough Council - changing facilities, electricity switches off about 5pm.

Castle Performance of the day - Guess who...um Rob Staples

WHCC 136 AO

Guilford City 139-3

by Mike Walsh

The big question on everyones lips before the match was not whether tuna chunks tasted better when tinned in spring water or brine but if we could compete against last years league champions.

Before the match started the oppo skipper honestly commented that their 1st XI match was cancelled and because of that it gave them a chance to take two of their players.  They basically were the diffrence between the two teams as combined they took 6-38 off 20 overs and with one of them opening the batting and scoring a classy 59 against the cream of the 4th XI bowling. Were we London Pride or Chiswick.....no......we would have done the same thing (What the fcuk are you on about Walsh?? Talk about ramblings of a mad man - Ed)

Anyway. We had the chances to win but due to a middle order batting collapse that England would have been proud of, left us 50 runs short of a winning total.  We were inserted after losing the toss and lost the very quick wicket of Jimmy Gill (another from Rajeevs stable) who middled the ball to gully who only caught it in an act of self preservation.

This brought in Matt Allan who prepared for his 4th XI debut by munching on a prawn baguette.  How relaxed can you get for probably the biggest match of his life!  Matt was very Walkeresque both in the way he crashed the ball around and his desire for a fag!  Maybe it was following in his little brothers footsteps that turned him on.

With Matt already undone by a good inswinger the collapse started when the score was 77-2, the skipper received a delivery which to be fair would have got Don Bradman out and seven overs later it was 92-6 with Messers Nawaz and Grafton bowled leaving inswingers.

The total score of 136 wouldn't be easy to defend and was made impossible when they scored at seven an over.  Chris Wearne showed some signs of his old 4th XI form of 4 years ago but soon injured his arm.  Even with the sky falling down and with Salim wearing a marquee (Mr Smiths jumper) were insufficient to stop their easy victory.  However when both the openers went, Jas Dhillon and Smithy put the brakes on against weaker batsmen which left us pondering what might have been if we had scored more runs and not the question of whether the tuna chunks were dolphin friendly.

Lemon Tango Moment - Oppo scorer comment in our scorebook - quote "Allan hit 39 (Very impressive)"

castle Cricket Moment - Matts very impressive 39

WHCC 132-3 - A Walker 40 - Match abandoned

by Mike Walsh

Well this match was more appropriate to JR Hartley than Bill Withers and was eventually abandoned after 32 overs of constant drizzle when the cats and dogs hammered down.

It was never going to be a good day after the skipper had the joyful task of driving Saleem to the away fixture and learning about his new girlfriend whose "logically" older (who isn't) than him!!?? and his imminent trip to Thorpe Park. Just imagine him going up and down on the carousel! (True carnival player)  It was no wonder we ended up going to Reigate by accident.

Anyway, we lost the toss and were inserted.  Mike Walsh and Andy Walker opened up with a fifty partnership which was cruelly ripped apart when Mike gloved a pull to the keeper for a flourishing six!  Andy was in a demented mood and was looking to make the most of a short boundary.  Andy, not a big fan of singles sounded like a contestant for the perverted heavy breather competition when he ran a three!  He played some crashing shots which culminated in six fours and a top edged six.

Paul Gorgolis (one of five debutants) scored a steady 33 and looked to pick things up just as the heavens opened.  Qaiser Nawaz also appearing for the first time, looked confident by getting off the mark with a forward drive through the covers for four, but gave it away by swiping across the line at a straight one for 20.

Tea was taken early. but the damage was done and the square was far too soggy to continue and the match was abandoned.

Best Lemon Tango Moment- Andy pushing the ball to leg and Mike looking for a single who was sent back by an amazed Andy and as Mike walked back to the crease he was struck on the back of the head by the incoming ball.

Best Castle Cricket Moment - Andys powerplay(!)  He made every effort to hit every ball out of the ground including a "lets dig for victory" yorker which he got under so much he almost covered the non striker in mud!

Well, the carnival is well and truly airborn and whilst Mr Walker is painting a pink fence in Denmark, the boys welcome Guildford City next week.

Liphook and Ripsley - 204-3

WHCC - 163 AO - J Woods 100

by Charles Johnson

James Woods has a tip for Stephen Fleming on how to make a century - when you get to 99, score 1 more !   The 16 year old left-hander, already established in Woking & Horsell's struggling 1st XI league side as reliable wicket taker, realised his potential with the bat on Sunday by scoring a classy debut century. Pacing himself on a wet seaming track, Woodsy batted through the innings until tiredness and perhaps the excesses of celebrating the completion of his GCSE's got the better of him. Woking's skipper, the legendary Charlie Johnson, was full of praise for the youngster if a little disappointed to be left stranded when chasing victory.

"Woodsy has attracted admiration from his senior colleagues already this season, and he has now proved his ability. At the start he played beautifully from the crease, selecting his shots carefully, and his timing was superb in the difficult conditions. When the chase was on he used his feet well and found the gaps."  Johnson added "It was a genuine ton. Liphook put out a strong bowling attack against us, including senior players from their Southern Premier League side and many of Woodsy's peers from the Surrey colts set-up, but he dominated them all".

Woking won the toss and sought to use the helpful conditions by bowling first. Playing through steady rain the seam bowlers found it difficult to keep their footing, and were unlucky not to get a breakthrough. Liphook batsmen rode their luck, chipping the ball around the infield and the odd loose delivery was crashed away. The spinners had even less luck, good spells with the now soggy ball by Oliver Guy and Woodsy went unrewarded. So many times the ball was spooned just past a fielder, and when a chance did go to hand or glove it was spilled like a piece of soap. The ground fielding was excellent however, there will doubtless be a shortage of washing powder in town this week, and Woking had done well to restrict Liphook to an achievable total of 204.

The batsmen set about the target positively, and opener Woodsy soon let everyone know he was in form with a couple of crashing boundaries and a sublime cover drive. After by a hard hitting cameo from Walker (14), the pace really picked up when Oliver Guy (25) joined Woodsy at the crease. Both batsmen punished full deliveries and Woodsy cantered past his fifty. When Oliver fell the youngest Guy, Harry, showed a brief glimpse of his own batting potential, and was unlucky to slip in the mud and be run out. The Woking tail did well to support Woodsy and keep the score ticking along, but wickets fell as we continued to play our shots, and last man Johnson went out to bat with 43 still needed. Worryingly, at the same time as Fleming was softing his wicket at Sophia Gardens with Woking 1st XI skipper Ian Meyer watching on, Woodsy was perspiring on 99.

Fortunately Woodsy was on strike, and was able to delight his proud parents by knocking a single off the next ball. The crowd gave him a well deserved standing ovation, even the sun came out. Attempting to hit his next ball for six it came to an end, and so did this match report.

WHCC 225-5 dec

BOE 120 AO

by Graeme Mattocks

The most prestigious fixture of the season finally arrived, and there could not be a greater contrast from the pitch and facilities of the previous week. Unfortunately Eddie George or Mervin King could not make it to the game.

The track was a real beauty, a batsman’s paradise, and much to my surprise we were inserted by the opposition but think this was due to the strength of their side.

Mouzoures started in a hurry, with some well timed drives, pulls and square cuts however Worgan was struggling at the other end and wasn’t long before he gloved one to the keeper. Regan joined Mouzoures and kept up the pace, with some good attacking play and both were enjoying playing on a pitch similar to those back home.

Mouzoures was looking set for his 50 before playing on for 46 (incl 10 fours), Gianotti kept Smith company who raced to 40 before the red mist descended and was stumped a good 2 yards out of his ground. Unfortunately I did not see how the Ferrari was out as I had gone to get changed , however it was in the very next over,  so from being in a very good position we were now delicately posed at 110-4 however the run rate was good at 6 runs an over.

Ed Smith and Albert set about building a partnership, alternating the strike and punishing the bad balls, they had put on 40 before Albert holed out to mid off for 25.

I joined Ed and we still had some work to do to get up to a respectable score and I wanted to make up for last weeks failure. Ed started to open up and we pushed the run rate along and put on 70 runs in 8 overs allowing Ed to get his fifty and I managed my first not out of the season, ending on 29.

The teas were delicious, it looked as though none of us had been fed before but I’m sure everyone will agree with me that you have to enjoy these to the maximum.

Beavis opened the bowling with a very soft and out of shape ball, however managed to pick up a wicket in his first over with Hall taking a good catch at backward point.

Cumar was bowling a good line and length from the other end, then followed an onslaught by their number 3 batsmen, showing no respect for the bowling which he despatched to all parts of the ground. Beavis went for 10 and 19 runs in consecutive overs and Cumar also went for 16 in 2 overs. However the skipper had a plan and immediately replaced Beavis and enticed their number 3 into holing out to Beavis (small revenge..) on the mid off boundary.

4 wickets followed in quick succession including two run outs, one of which was highly amusing when both batsmen ended up at the non-strikers end. The next 3 batsmen proved they could hang around a bit before the Mouzoures show started, taking a neat catch off of Rajeev and then a very swift stumping off the bowling of Johnson.  

They were content to play out for the draw so Beavis was brought back on and soon had things wrapped up with Mouzoures taking two more catches and another stumping off of the bowling of Ed Smith.

So back to winning ways after 3 draws a loss and a tie.

Valley End 193-7 dec

WHCC 131 AO

by David Fowles

The day promised to be a scorcher and before play had even started Fowles had made his best contribution of the day by marking out the square with a pride and skill matched only by Leonardo and he had a better brush and wider range of colours.

Young David Gianotti unsurprisingly had his usual whine about putting the boundary rope out and shortening the boundary, if only because even on a sun baked outfield he struggles to hit it hard enough for a four.

Graeme started the game better this week by bringing his trousers and the team were largely on time and raring to go until he lost the toss and we were unsurprisingly put into field on what was surely the hottest day of the year.

Early efforts from Mr Bronwyn and Mandar were impressive with many deliveries beating the batsmen all ends up but the wickets didn’t tumble, as they should have. Charlie was bought in from the Ashley Cook end to try and take some much-needed wickets and on his first delivery he had his man caught by Mattocks despite his best efforts not to get his athletic frame behind it. The very next ball the new batsman drove one in the direction of the Khedekarnator and was swiftly run out via the gloves of Alan Taylor. Cumar came on from the other end and once he loosened up bowled well but without delivering the bucket full of wickets we needed and was replaced by Mattocks.

Graeme bowled had obviously been taking notes from Charlie when he took a wicket with his first ball and despite being hit for some big boundaries he took 3 wickets for 42 runs. During his partnership with Charlie we had the Sunday teams ‘moment’ of the year as four runs were scored without the ball leaving the square. Charlie bowled a loose one, which was chopped wide and short of Fowles who managed to get two fingers to it to stop it going for 4, Cumar backing up threw it past the stumps (so they ran a second) where it was luzzed onto the stumps by Mandar and past the fielders (so they ran a third) the return throw was so pony and past the wicket that a fourth was run!

Fowles replaced Charlie and with his awesome pace and guile managed to take a wicket in his second over (played on) and despite having been hit for a 4 and a 6 in consecutive balls in his fourth over managed to deliver a dolly of a catch to Mandar who promptly dropped it…. Bugger…. Then Graeme took him off to bring back Mandar, now there’s justice for you.

Shortly afterwards Valley End declared on what was always going to be a challenging target of 194 to win especially with so many non-batsmen in the team.

We were all hoping that the Greek South African would match his maiden WHCC century from the week before with another quality score but sadly he was returning to the clubhouse within the first over! Charlie shortly followed bringing together the Sunday get out of jail pair of Gianotti and Hall for the umpteenth time. A good partnership formed and quickly both players managed to get into the twenties before losing their wickets and exposing our tail to their precise slow bowling. Graeme and Alan Taylor offered some resistance with the big man top scoring with 27 but once they both departed the rest of the team collapsed as we managed a paltry 131 all out in reply.

WHCC 186 AO - A Mouzoures 107

Sutton 150-7

by Graeme Mattocks

After the downpour on Saturday, did not expect to play on Sunday but pitch dried out well in the Sun and wind. Sutton won the toss and put us into bat on a spongy wicket.

Another new opening pair in the form of Mouzoures and Salam Zafar opened the batting, (it was supposed to be the fine figures of Mouzoures and Mattocks but the latter being completely useless without his wife left his trousers at home.... doh)

The ball was seaming around and alot of short stuff being bowled which was going past the batsmen at shoulder height.  Zafar played sensibly for 7 or 8 overs before losing patience and played across the line to a straight one, Ferrari was at the crease for about the same amount of time his team take to change the tyres....

Meantime Mouzoures was keeping the scoreboard ticking over without releasing any of his pent up anger. Hall kept him company for a while and made a patient 10 before being out to a blinding catch in the gully by the oldest man in their team.. (Albert looked on in disbelief and from the look on his face you would think he was the unluckiest man in the world.... now was not the right time to ask him about his forthcoming house move...)

Then followed Mattocks who kept Mouzoures company for 5 or 6 overs before chasing a wide one and getting a fine edge through to the keeper. Mouzoures soon started to open up those broad shoulders, and with each swish of the heaviest bat in the world followed a mini tornado.....

Mozoures soon reached his 50 making things look easy whilst everyone else struggled. Taylor although not looking at all comfortable hung around for quite some time supporting Mouzoures, who was now intent on destroying some of the nearby buildings with some lusty blows and rapidly went on to complete his maiden 100 for the club and was eventually out for 107. The only other highlight of the innings was Shazad who dispatched the 1st ball he faced for 6 and almost won £5 from the skipper with the next ball which fell just short of the boundary....

Then followed as shocking a fielding display as one can remember and surely on par with some of the horror stories i have read from Mike 'the storyteller' Walsh match reports....

Mandar and Hussain Sr opened the bowling and Mandar should have had a wicket in the first over but square leg (Hussain Jr) had the reactions of a 60 year old instead of a 14 year old and whilst the ball was in the air for an eternity he couldn't move the yard to where the ball bounced........ unfortunately this was only a sign of what was to follow.

Hussain Sr had a few problems with his run up and no-balled on quite a few occasions,  Mandar was bowling well from the other end and found and went past the edge on various occasions but was not going to be his day as the snicks were
either too quick for our 'athletic' (or should that be another word that rhymes with it......) slip cordon or found the gap between gully and the slips.

It just wasn't going to be our day but too be honest we didn't deserve it....

Bird replaced Hussain Sr but wasn't his usual self although he did get a wicket with a well disguised slower ball which made the batsmen look very silly.. Meanwhile the skipper had replaced Mandar at the other end and kept the runs down  efore their number 6 came in and hit a few lusty blows aswell as being dropped 3 times in the space of a couple of overs!!!!  2 of them regulation catches and 1 was a superb diving effort by Mouzoures but am sure he was disappointed not to hang onto it.

Hussain Jr replaced Bird and had immediate success with a rank leg side full toss which was taken comfortably by Bird with two hands this time....(think he had learnt from his earlier mistake and lethargic attempt at a caught and bowled) A few pleasantries were exchanged between the outgoing bat and bowler (with the bat only being abt 4 times the size and weight of the bowler.. not a wise move Shazad)

Mattocks was still toiling away without much success and getting more and more frustrated with the awful fielding as each ball went by until shock, horror.. a catch was held off of his bowling by Ferrari. (thankyou Dave)

Shazad continued to bowl a mixed bag but picked up a wicket in each of his next 3 overs and there was a real chance we could win this game despite our best efforts to throw it away. However Sutton shut up shop for the last 7 overs and played out for the draw.

I really hope this was a one off performance as don't want to go grey before I reach 30....

...

W&H 144 All out

Old Woking 123-8

by Graeme Mattocks

This week the Carnival was a day late and rode at full pace into town last Sunday. It seems everyone in Woking (including the President and Gina the tea lady) except the playing members and Groundsman knew that this was indeed a Home fixture and not an away fixture.......

Mouzoures and Gorgolis had already set off cross country in their 4x4's for Old Woking when a couple of chaps pulled up and took out some cricket bags from the back of their car. Now the skipper being an inquisitive sort of bloke (sometimes too much i know) put 2 and 2 together (which was a little hard after a night on the town) and enquired if they were from Old Woking. The reply was 'yes' too which my  reply 'oh s..t' and some other choice words, and  i rapidly came to the conclusion that the answer to my earlier equation was indeed 4. The fixture card was consulted and it confirmed that the game was at home....(is their an old chinese proverb which can be used here???? if not i'm sure i can event one... "before each game must look at fixture card")

Panic...Mouzoures and Gorgolis were called back from Old Woking, Couch finished his bottle of Becks in record time and went to work on the track which had been watered the previous night... the start was put back to 2:30 and everyone
pitched in with special thanks to Couch, Ferrari, Albert and Nick for getting things ready.

For this complete and utter f..k up and after a quick conference with some of the elder statesmen in the team we concluded that is only right to concede the toss and after a small deliberation their captain accepted and asked us to bat.

The track was damp and runs were difficult to come by and we had only scored 17 runs off of 9 overs before Jimmy woke up and started to hit the ball to all corners of the ground with 1 over going for 17 runs. Eventually he was out for 36 having put on 62 runs with Paul Gorgolis who was batting steadily at the other end. Ferrari did not get out of the starting blocks and was caught fishing at a wide one which prompted a mini collapse , with Gorgolis (27) and Mouzoures (0) both caught at mid off in the space of a few balls. Mattocks joined Albert at the crease and found runs difficult to come by and they only managed 10 runs in 7 overs before Albert spooned a catch upto Midwicket, Anwar followed in similar fashion.  Then came the 2nd highest partnership of the innings (23) between Couch and skipper in 4 overs before Johnson was out going for one shot too many (after injuring himself in the process) but had taken the score upto 126, Mattocks soon followed in similar fashion to that of Hall and Anwar having scored a patient 25. Thereafter the tail wagged a little and took the score upto 144.

The carnival returned at tea time with 3 of the team disappearing off to Woking and only returning half way through the first over.. Skipper was not impressed and made his feelings clear to the guilty parties.  Old Woking made a steady start and had put on 30 for the 1st wicket before Nawaz comprehensively bowled their opener. The 'Challenator' was bowling from the other end but wasn't making his usual inroads into the opposition. Cumar replaced Challen but had problems with his line and Mattocks replaced Nawaz and was getting the odd ball to turn quite sharply. Their number 3 played some aggressive shots before offering a sharp caught and bowled chance to Mattocks and Number 4 soon followed in the exactly the same fashion (lots of fantasy points...). Gill had been brought on atthe other end and the pressure was being built and he bowled 5 overs conceding only 4 runs.

The pressure was starting to to tell and the no.6 bat suicidally running himself out after not previously running anything more than a 1....(he suddenly felt the necessity to run...)  Another run out followed with some fine fielding by Hall and we were in the driving seat. Nawaz and Challen were brought back on in an attempt to clean up the tail and Nawaz bowled their skipper with a devilish ball and the oppo were 8 down with 32 runs required off of 4 overs. However the orders were sent out and numbers 9 and 10 batted out for the draw only offering one difficult skied chance to Mattocks running around from mid off to cover (although if u speak to couch he will try and convince you it was a dolly) which unfortunately I couldn't hold onto... (not for lack of trying - more likely for lack of talent and too much of a girth..)

not a bad game of cricket in the end, especially considering the circumstances.

WHCC 200-4 dec - R Hall 60*

Daisys XI 76 AO - R Marwaha - 4-14

by Graeme Mattocks

An interesting bunch of cricketers greeted me as i arrived at the ground and a few more ringers than expected were gathering in the away dressing room. This lead a few of my team to wonder if we were just here to give some of the 1st
team some batting and bowling practice.

Obviously they haven't been reading the match reports from Saturday. I would say that 10 out of 11 of the Daisy's XI were fielding serious hangovers, and there were reports that some of them hadn't gone to bed (which showed in the field) and the only one that didn't have a hangover should be ashamed of himself.

The toss was arranged so that the Sunday XI batted 1st and Mark Worgan and Paul Gorgolis got us off to a steady start against Maggot and Morlers (probably the best opening attack we will come across this season even if they were worse for the wear) and Mark eventually fell to Morlers for 15 with the score at 27.

Paul soon followed and Andy Mouzoures fell to one of Walshy Sr's devastating long hops (don't know whether that is better or worse than getting out to one of his full tosses/beamers)

Most of you who live in the Vicinity of Brewery road should have heard it as Andy crashed it straight into mid off's box (either the box was very large or........ but the echo was deafening). Honey was bowling a tight spell fromthe other end , even getting the odd ball to turn, so Albert and myself had to turn our attention to the indifferent bowling from the other end and grab as many runs as possible.

We had put on close to 100 runs before i got caught behind for 42 which brought Naz to the crease and despite a shaky start he batted very well, once Albert reached his 50 he opened up and the two of them took the score rapidly onto 200 at which point we declared. This was the 3rd time in a row that we have reached 200 and the stats show we've scored 636 runs for the loss of only 8 wickets in 3 innings!!

Maggot and Walshy Sr opened the batting against Nawaz and Khedekar who bowled a good line and length and were duly rewarded when Mike offered no shot to a straight slower ball from Nawaz. (as plum as you'll ever be Mike!!)

Maggot soon followed with Cumar taking a fine catch at square leg despite the umpire doing his best to put him off. James Morley played some nice strokes but also fell to a fine catch at Square leg.

Thereafter wickets fell regularly with Rajeev cleaning up the tail and finishing with figures of 4-14 and Cumar taking the last wicket with a fine catch low down off of his own bowling.

Another good performance from the Sunday side and hope can make it 4 wins in a row against Old Woking.

W&H 219-2 dec - J.Gill 132 M.Worgan 62

Old Suttonians 175 AO - N.Challen 5-32 S.Nawaz 3-43

by Graeme Mattocks

Availability for the game was good and despite a few changes during the week and a last minute change on Sunday morning we were still able to field a strong balanced side.

Come Sunday morning it looked as though my trip to Woking Market and Safeways had been in vain and that i would have been eating Sandwiches instead of big juicy steaks for the forseeable future..... Thankfully it didn't last for long and we were able to start on time.

On my debut skippering the side i did the honourable thing and lost the toss and was duly asked to bat. Shouldn't have bothered really as their captain offered us the chance to fix the toss and put us into bat as was a little worried about the game lasting the distance if they batted.

The author had been at the ground on the Saturday and saw half of the 400 runs that were scored and was confident that a good score could be made on a good wicket. Jimmy and Mark opened the batting (well actually they did all the batting!!) and Jimmy punished anything that was short with some exquisite square cuts and pulls, One of them warranting a standing ovation from the onlookers who were puzzled as to why the scoreboard was ticking over at such a fast rate of knots and that the wickets column had not been ticking over at a similar one.

A change of bowling was needed and their skipper duly brought himself on and almost snapped up Jimmy and Mark in the same over, Mark was dropped in the slips and Jimmy offered a sharp caught and bowled chance which he couldn't hold onto. That was the last chances either of the batsmen gave and Jimmy went on to make a very impressive 132 with an array of shots all around the wicket. He was well supported by Mark who went onto make 62 and also played some quality shots. Mark was eventually out off of the penultimate ball of the 39th over at which point I declared much to the frustation of Mr Walker who wanted to go and spank the last ball of the innings... (actually i was more worried about losing fantasy points in case of the inevitable...) and at this stage 2 or 3 players were looking at having a £7 shower..

Messrs Nawaz and Johnson opened the bowling with Saf in particular bowling a tight line and going past the bat on several occasions. The first breakthrough was made in the 9th over with Andy Walker taking a fine catch down the legside. Couch bowled tightly for 3 overs but then tried the dig it in short and wide theory for 2 overs so was promptly taken off. The  Challenator' (as referred to by Messrs Fowles and Smith...) replaced Couch and was as usual putting it on the spot and making the batsmen play pretty much every ball and was rewarded with a wicket in his 2nd over. Thereafter 3 wickets fell in quick sucession with some inspired field placings set by the skipper... Well it didn't takeEinstein to work out i needed a 4th slip after the previous 2 balls had gone through that region and the batsmen duly obliged and put the 3rd one straight into Ferrari's welcoming hands.

Then followed a mini-revival by their skipper and Wicket-keeper come leg- spinner and the game got quite interesting. But the vital breakthrough came from probably the worst ball of the innnings (bowled by yours truly) and the ball was gently lobbed upto Albert running around from backward point... Game on.

Challen and Nawaz were brought back on to finish off the tail and it looked as though they would hold out for the draw, but Challen steaming in off of his long run up ( 8 paces instead of 7) and with everyone around the bat found the edge of their 'SENIOR' player and Jimmy scooped up the ball to take the winning catch and able the 'Challenator' to collect another five for.. (yet more fantasy points for moi...he he he)

A thoroughly enjoyable game of cricket , played in the right spirit and sorry to Messrs Mouzoures and Hall who had an expensive shower but no doubt enjoyed the teas provided by Mrs M who i have to thank for putting up with me, allowing
me to play.... and preparing a lovely tea.

Looking forward to next Sunday already and promise the next report will not be so long...

...

WHCC 154 a/o – J Gill 79 n.o.

Horsley and Send 158 for 5

by David Fowles

A very hot day and a flat looking wicket made the decision to bat first when I won the toss easy and we started brightly with Jaideep despatching anything short or off line. The opposition were however loaded with 5 or 6 Saturday ones players so it wasn’t long before the run rate dried up and we started to lose wickets.

Only Albert stayed with Jaideep long enough to form a quality partnership (51). Once he went several more followed cheaply before Sean Beavis scored a rapid 23 and got the team to a respectable score of 154 all out off 44 overs. Jaideep ‘Jimmy’ Gill played some quality shots and without him we would have really struggled and by carrying his bat showed the rest of us what could be done.

In reply we knew it would be difficult on a hot flat track with quality batsmen looking to finish the game quickly. We stuck to our guns and the early bowling of Beavis and Khedekar was as tight as usual with Mandar particularly pumped up following his week off. The rest of the bowling contributed in wickets but couldn’t keep it as tight and the opposition rattled off the score with 3 overs remaining.

It was a real shame that we weren’t playing their two’s who are more our level but none the less we made a good account of ourselves in difficult conditions.

Hopefully for the next two weeks the stand in skipper will have more luck with the results while I am away on holiday !!

WHCC 133 a/o. Alan Taylor 42, Albert Hall 30

Worcester Park 94 for 9. Nick Challen 5 for 14

by David Fowles

Saturday night was subject to a deluge of rain but at least the morning had been kind and the wicket was soft but not damp. Smithy had recounted his batting exploits from the day before and regaled us with tales of injuries due to the popping and lively wickets on the Saturday. The pitch we were to play on looked like it may hold a few demons for the batsmen but I was confident that out team of all-rounders would prevail and so on winning the toss I decided to bat first.

Peter Smith opened as usual this time with Peter Grafton who was apprehensive and low in confidence but wanted time at the crease. Things started well and despite the low run rate we were handling the opening bowler’s in swinging deliveries well. In the 10th Over though Smithy played down the wrong line and was bowled off peg by the dangerous in swinger. Dave Gianotti’s 97 not out at Twickenham (before the fantasy league started) seems a distant memory as once again he struggled against accurate swing bowling and he soon joined Smithy. Peter Grafton was caught trying to push the score a long a couple of overs later and Graham Mattocks played the same shot with the same result an over later.

At 23 for 4 we were struggling for the second game in a row and the only hope was with our middle order and a weakened second string bowling attack. Albert showed his usual dogged persistence and good running to keep the score ticking along and was supported well by Steve North who looked good before being caught on 17. This bought the team senior statesman (Alan Taylor) to the crease to partner young Albert and the pair of them put on 61 for the 6th wicket. Once again Albert had a good knock going and let his concentration slip, but his 30 at a key time was invaluable on a wicket that wasn’t going to allow many runs to be scored.

At the other end Alan was rolling back the years and complied 42 runs including 6 fours before being bowled the next ball after Albert. Sadly none of the lower order could offer much support and stay in with Jayson and we soon crumbled to 133 all out.

We all knew that although the score was low all we had to do was keep the bowling tight and chip away at the wickets and we could win especially as we had plenty of time and overs to do it in.

Beavis and Butthead opened the bowling and the South Africans were soon giving the openers some problems and 6 maidens out of 15 overs and a wicket each was exactly what was needed. Fowles and Challen were bought into the attack principally to keep it tight and keep Smithy from having a bowl (we only had 133 to defend !). Our bowling continued the tight theme with Nick looking like taking the wickets while I kept plugging away controlling the run rate. Once Nick had warmed up with four maidens in six overs he started to make in roads into the wickets column and finished with 5 for 14 off 12 overs. I could only manage a single wicket at the other end but despite bowling 15 overs on the trot into the strong wind it only cost 2 runs an over.

This left the opposition on 73 for 8 with 10 overs left which I handed to Mattocks and Bird fully expecting them to clean out the tail in no time. Jayson did manage to clean bowl one of the rabbits but the last wicket pairing doggedly hung in there to earn their team a draw.

Next week finds us away to Horsely and Send where we have bowled well and won in the past so if the batting returns to last years standards we will be difficult to beat.

 WHCC 145 for 9 dec - J Gill 42

Park Hill 58 all out

by David Fowles

The weather had been variable all week with the Saturday teams the day before interrupted several times for rain but Sunday morning was sunny with a few clouds. Charlie had barely squeezed the roller into the shed at 13:15 when the heavens opened and 30 minutes of rain followed delaying the start of the game until 14:20.

The game saw three débutantes: Jaideep ‘Jimmy’ Gill to open the batting, Sean ‘Beaver’ Beavis and James Morley’s speed ‘gun’. Technically later in the game we had another team debut called excellent fielding.

The dampened wicket and humid atmosphere did lend itself to the possibility of some swing from the ball so I wasn’t surprised that my lost toss would result in us being put into bat. Jimmy started well and knew exactly when a shot was required and when to leave the best option, Peter Grafton looked a good bet until he unfortunately clipped one of his legs and was caught behind square leg.

The Italian Stallion came in but looked uncomfortable to the swinging ball and he soon tried to chip one over the close fielders but was excellently caught on the dive at Gulley. Albert got a wicked swinging delivery that shot onto his pads, result lbw and the next three batsmen quickly followed each failing to score any runs. The skipper went in but couldn’t get to grips with the movement and was soon skying the ball until he was caught for a massive 3 (more than the previous 4 batsmen put together !).

Once Rajeev Marwaha was caught the score was 71 for 9. This left Mandar and Sean to salvage some pride, we all know Mandar can bat but Sean was claiming all day he was rusty, hadn’t touched a bat for two years etc. The result was that 17 overs later I had to declare as a final wicket partnership of 74 gave us a very respectable score of 145 for 9 to defend. Incidentally the fastest ball was clocked at 65 mph.

Following Mandar’s unexpected additional exercise with the pads on he fancied a break and so I turned to last years opening bowler Rajeev to partner Sean Beavis to open the attack. Sean’s debut with the ball was impressive for it’s pace (up to 69 mph before James Morley unplugged it) and accuracy and on another day he would have got a hat full but finished wicket less. Rajeev’s bowling was variable with the odd fantastic ball swinging across the batsmen but countered by ones that had Alan Taylor wondering why he had yet again come out of retirement.

The second string bowling was carefully planned to harness the pace and swing of Mandar against the slow, tight but hittable bowling of Fowles. Mandar once again showed why he is our most consistent bowler as he swung the ball and shaved the stumps on several occasions and although he only took the one wicket his 8 overs contained 5 maidens and only 5 runs scored from the bat! The problem as always on a Sunday was going to be taking wickets and having some variety to the pace attack we posses and without the Cardiff bound Smithy or Fray Bentos Green it fell to Fowles to tempt the batsmen.

What followed was a master class in slow swing bowling reminiscent of Mark Butcher the day before against Zimbabwe in the first test at Lord’s. The bowling was tight and the ball beat the edge on many occasions with two flashed shots just avoiding the close fielders before Jimmy showed us his juggling act to take a firmly hit shot. Not to be out done Beavis and Butthead (Jayson) at mid on and mid off both took good catches running into and around the wicket off the skippers bowling. As pointed out by Alan Taylor (senior Sunday Pro) I am obliged to inform Smithy that my slower ball started on leg and cut back like a leg spinner across all three stumps to the amazement of the close fielders, so it can be done!

With overs fast running out and still with four wickets to take I made the decision to bring on the African Loin King Jayson Bird, now sans beard. Despite Alan’s earlier mystic Meg like predictions that I would get 5 wickets and Sean’s encouragement that I would clear out the tail Jayson made that academic as he took all four wickets in just two overs.

At the end of the day it was the first win for the Sunday team and welcome to a quality batman in Jaideep ‘Jimmy’ Gill (who will hopefully grace WHCC many more times this season) and another South African all rounder in Sean Beavis.

WHCC – 185 for 8 dec (41 Overs)

Kempton – 138 for 2 (36 Overs)

by David Fowles

The weather was fine early on but with the promise of rain during the day I was hoping to win the toss and bat, but once again failed. The opposing skipper though fancied his chances with the ball and put us into bat anyway at our first game at home this season.

Once again I opened with Smith and Walker and despite Andy’s early promise he got a corker of an away swinger that was edged and held in the slips leaving Smithy to deal with the whippet Gianotti. Suffice it to say it wasn’t a long wait for Dave to run another player out although the quick two looked on to the Whippet he had obviously failed to allow for Smithy’s Oil Tanker turning circle and beer assisted girth. Maybe Smithy hadn’t had his pre-match nookie this week to boost his performance but he graciously accepted the fault and was replaced at the crease by whippet number two, a.k.a. Albert.

By now the slow run rate was getting to Dave who was bowled trying to get some more runs on the board, hopefully he will return to run accumulation next week or many a fantasy manager will be angry! On the upside Albert was joined by the chip and charge positive batting of Graeme Mattocks and soon we were scoring at a much better rate. As Graeme started to score freely we were rudely interrupted by the bursting of the heavens and we took an early tea to minimise lost time. When we returned Albert played aggressive but once again got out just as it looked like he would put a quality score together, Cumar quickly followed and it began to look like a small total might have to be defended.

Fortunately the batting went deep this week and Fisherman’s Friend (Jayson Bird) came to the crease with that glint in his eye that he wanted to entertain his entourage (wife, kid and friends). Jayson started to try and cream the ball off the pitch but early on struggled with his timing. Graeme continued a WHCC tradition of making his first club 50 for the Sunday team but sadly fell on 54 to be replaced by Mo Anwar. Mo did well to support and watch Jayson as he launched three 6’s into the garage, parked cars and fence as he raced to 49 before being bowled going for one big moo to many ! At least it meant I could declare this week without the guilt trip of denying someone a landmark score !

In reply we didn’t really threaten to take wickets even with the combined efforts of anyone who could bowl. In fact the two wickets that fell were to Fowles and Smith which is a sad statistic the rest of the team should be ashamed of ! The rain, the pace of the pitch and my late declaration meant a safe draw to an enjoyable game was always the most likely outcome.

WHCC: 165 for 7 declared (D Gianotti 97 not out)

Twickenham: 167 for 6 (with only three balls left !).

by David Fowles

Once again a week of distinctly typical English Spring weather broke to leave a glorious warm day for our match in South West London. The team was strengthened by the return of regular Sunday batsmen Dave Gianotti and Albert Hall but as they never net during the winter we rely on them hitting form early on every year.

I won the toss (for a change) and decided to bat first despite the green appearance of the wicket. As per usual we have few options for opening batsmen in the Sunday team especially with several new faces who I was reluctant to chuck in at the deep end so it fell to Peter Smith and the rather reluctant Captain to take the responsibility. All I can say is that by batting so badly I at least got out early enough to give Dave Gianotti plenty of time to score himself ! In future if anyone wants to volunteer to open the batting for the Sunday team I won’t turn them down and would welcome their interest as soon as possible !!

Peter Smith although not scoring many himself did an excellent job and stayed in for an hour to support Dave and see off the opening bowlers in a partnership of 45. Albert came to the crease and straight away looked in good touch and was unlucky to be run out on 29 by Dave Gianotti but Dave was on a mission and by the innings end had run out two more of the team ! None of the other batsmen really troubled the scorers much but between them did a job in giving Dave Gianotti plenty of the strike and allow him to amount an excellent score of 97 not out before the declaration came at 165 for 7 off 45 overs. I wanted to go longer but with an over rate of only 15 per hour bowled at us we were running out of time to make the game a contest, Sorry Dave !!

The match saw the debut for the club of Stephen North, the quietest Australian anyone can remember who not only volunteered to go behind the stumps but also has a wife who wants to do the teas (first name on the sheet from now on then !). He proved his worth with some athletic fielding and stops and took an early catch from Sharaz’s pace bowling. Despite early wickets our combined efforts in the bowling department couldn’t shift either of them until too late in the game when the damage was already done but in the end it was a very closely contested game as Twickenham won the game with only three balls left to spare. Top bowler once again was Mandar with 3 wickets for 31 runs off 9 overs with excellent fielding contributions from P Smith and Sharaz.

Next week will see us take on Sunbury Village but without Mandar and Nick Challen the burden of bowling will fall to the skipper who has so far rested himself due to illness, fatigue, lack of talent, bone idleness and finding more suitable options!

Merrow – 165 all out

WHCC – 83 all out

by David Fowles

The week long forecasts of rain, lightning and plagues of locusts came to nothing as the strong winds that whipped through Surrey at the end of the week kept the bad weather at bay.

A cobbled together team of largely bowlers and absent of several regular Sunday batsmen was always going to make for an interesting game. Charlie Johnson who was guesting with us to prove his fitness for the season ahead made early in roads in to the top order and backed up by Mandar’s swing had Merrow 20 for 3. The second change tight bowling of Nick Challen and Saf Nawaz in particular continued the good work and Merrow were reeling at 62 for 6. The later bowling was variable and combined with some late order tail wagging the opposition eventually compiled a total of 165 all out. At one stage it looked we should have got them all out for 100 to 120 but with 5 dropped catches through the innings we got what we deserved.

In reply Andy Walker wielded the blade of justice with some vigour and impressed with a few big hits up the hill that only just fell short of being sixes. Sadly Peter Smith fell early to a good delivery and was too quickly followed by Rajeev Patel (unluckily run out off the bowler’s fingers after one of Walkers lusty hits back at him) and Matt Allan who was caught for 2. Andy Walker who was keen as mustard all day was then caught off the gloves to a ball that hit the magic looping spot on the pitch just as he looked set for a big score which left Bird and Fowles at the crease with the score at 33 for 4! I hit a few including a quality Chinese cut but was hoping for a Bird master class at the other end. Sadly the usual April pitch gremlins turned up and Jayson was bowled by a medium paced delivery that shot off the sloping pitch no more than 3 inches off the ground. Clive Moon followed shortly after and at 40 for 6 it left Charlie and myself as the only hope. An innings best partnership of 31 was not enough as despite hitting a few slapped fours I edged one to slip and Charlie was run out soon after with the rest of the tail following suit and capitulating.

In the end we allowed 30 runs to many to the opposition and missed our regular middle order batsmen.

W&HCC 3rd XI Season Report 2002

It was a mixed year for the 3rd XI as much of the previous years solid batting line up was now to be found in the 1st and 2nd XI. The side were unbeaten for the first month of the season, coming within 2 runs of beating Malden who went on the be promoted, and 1 run of taking a winning draw off Dulwich, who were in contention for the entire season. Members new and old, in Jayson Bird and John Dunbar made valuable and telling contributions throughout the season, whilst Neil Cheetham topped the batting averages and registered one of only two tons in the club this season.   Several members of the burgeoning U15  team made appearances for the 3rd XI this year, with Sharaz Hussain making the greatest impression on the pitch, with Mark Worgan the greatest impression on the teas.   Overall the season will reviewed with some disappointment. A notable lack of catches and some abject team batting performances clearly point the way forward, however there is much potential to realise and the strengthening throughout the club would suggest a better result next time.

3RD XI REVIEW OF THE SEASON

The book of WHCC

by Paul Fortescue

1:1. The phone will ring on Friday night, and it will be Hankins, and there will be much shenanigans, and crap excuses, and thou shalt ruin Walshy's evening also.

1.2. And Tradition said, thou oughtest try bloody hard to win the toss, then chase, for that is Tradition

1.3. And there will be much questioning and wailing and gnashing of teeth about 'Selection Policy'

1.4. And Damo will come down from the Chairmans seat, bearing the tablets of policy, and they shall be blank.

1.5. And the Couch will say "Hmm mmpph hhpph ..." and other such sayings being only understandable by .......Couch.

1.6. And at 12.30, the skipper will say "Bollocks, forgotten the [Scoreboard, balls, bails, teas, scorebook, maps......]"

1.7. And at 12.40 the opposition will say "Right then, we'll bowl"

1.8. And the team will say " Paul, you're a crap tosser - get someone else to do it"

1.9. And not enough runs will be scored, save by one or two players who will be in the 2nd XI next week

1.10. And there will be more crap excuses and gnashing of teeth for their will be insufficient sausage rolls and cakes.

1.11. And there will be speeches and utterances from all and sundry.

1.12. And there will be victory, and much joyous celebration, and embarrassed apology for comments made in the heat of fielding

1.13. And there will be letters written, to league and Council, and **** *** done by any of them

1.14. But pause, because in the great scheme, these matters will count for naught.......and WHCC will finish 3rd by many points.

1.15. Because in the big games, flaccidity will rule and the team will be stuffed by the top two teams.

1.16. ....Ding dong..ding dong........RAFFLE!!

1.17. And two hours after the team return the club, the 4th XI shall finish

1.18. And Walshy will chunter about the fielding

1.19. And Smithy will chunter about the fielding

1.20. And Worgy will be outside, drinking Castle with the 1st XI in his Versace shirt

1.21. And much beer will be drunkened, but the bar steward will be not much in evidence

1.22. And there will be much discussion amongst the Captains regarding "Selection."

1.23 And in the great judgement at the end of the season, 11 games will have been won

1.24. And in most seasons, 11 games will have been enough

1.25. And there will have been great performaces

1.26. Andy Mouzoures and Gihan will have scored over 150 to win the game at Chertsey, and Gihan's dad will have come all the way fro Sri Lanka to give two very fine LBW decisions at his end.

1.27 And against Weybridge, Ian vd Walt and Jayson will have a great partnership, to move the target from 100 to 161. And Helen and Bronwynne will neck virtually a whole bottle of pimms on the sidelines, and the scorebook will get progressively more messy as the afternoon wears on. And the chairman will be there to see his 3rd XI upset Weybridge greatly.

1.28 And against Chessington much aggravation will be stored up for next season at Goldsworth Park

1.29 And against Leatherhead, Jayson will take 4-16, and hit their Captain in the head, and then try again as the Captain refuses to put on a helmet.

1.30 And against Sanderstead, Wearny will take 5-29, and Zafar three catches, and Worgan will score 76* and bright and dazzling will be his hair and Qas will notch up a very useful 47*

1.31 And against Esher the highest score shall be 17, and the total will be pitiful

1.32 But again Cheam, Ed Smith will descend from the 2's and take 6-22 at the Wheatsheaf, including 4 bowled

1.33 And at Camberley Dunbar will take 4-45 in 19 overs, and Gribbler will emerge to score 63*, and Des will demonstrate Truncheoning.

1.34. And Guildford will score a shed load of runs, and the rain will come and so will Chad.

1.35 But at OMW, Usman will score 34 in a determined fashion, and Couch will take 5-36 as a remarkable victory will be secured.

1.36 And Rob Staples will score 106 against Dorking in the sunshine with Dunbar's bat, and Couch will take all the wickets and finish with 9-41 and everyone will be completely knackered because of the heat.

1.37 But at Wimbledonians, nobody will turn up, save for Matt Allan, who will score 50.

1.38 Worcester Park will see Awais score 89 and Trevor Woods, 45. Fortescue will take 6-49 and Dunbar the final wickets in a tense 3 balls left finish.

1.39 And in the end, the team will play Old Emanuel, if they can be bothered to turn up, and the team will bat in reverse age order, save for Dunbar and Woodsy who will swop. And Couch will be gutted to score only 6, and Munge and Worgy at 9&10 will score loads to resuce the side from 112-8.

1.40 And then Peter Allan will take his first wicket in the modern era and the team will win by 10 runs in another good close finish.

1.41. And there will be a Karaoke. Oh dear!

WHCC 178-9

Old Emanuel 168 AO

by Paul Fortescue

The 3’s set out for Old Emanuel knowing that nothing would change their league position of third, After discussion with th eopposition captain, it transpired that OE weren’t that bothered by the result either and so both sides set out for an enjoyable game. Clearly OE’s idea of enjoyment was to turn up late, get the guests to do the groundwork and then have a senior club member turn up and give them a hard time about turning up late…….so be it.

Well, we moved the covers off, to discover a pitch quite possibly more damp than the surrounding square that had been dried in the sun. The covers weren’t together properly. Then JD finished off the boundary markers. W&H won the toss, elected to bat and the captain was informed by the side that the batting order would be in descending age order. Whilst Peter Allan and Trevor Woods is a perfectly credible opening pair, the middle order of Couch and Fortescue would not cause many bowlers to lose sleep.  JD decided that he didn’t want to bat, so Woods Jnr was promoted from Youngest to number 3. Worgy immediately started to warm up for his anticipated bowling spell.

What an absolute shambles. Half their blokes rocked up at about 1.15 for a 1.00 start – they kept waiting and plonking about wasting time. Their 51.4 overs took 4 hours. The full times were in on the football during the tea interval. Highlights of our innings – Worgy  and Munge  in a fifty partnership for the ninth wicket and Couches howls of derision at scoring only 6 and being done by one that kept just a fraction low!

After tea Peter Allan reached a personal milestone. After years of unfulfilled promises from Smithy, Peter opened the bowling, and then took a wicket – smartly held by Gihan at short extra. Woodsy and JD continued with the old ball, taking the next two wickets between them, with good catches from Worgan and Couch. Staples and Gihan took a few overs, with Gihan showing promise for next year, and Rob and ability to turn the odd off break.

The new ball was taken. Worgy could finally stop warming up. We’ve all been that age, and hope that swinging our arms around to attract the skippers attention will mean an earlier bowl, and we all know it doesn’t work.  Worgy took a wicket with a shocker and Rob showed clearly how spinners can struggle to grip a new ball. The score was 119-5 with 15 overs left, the game neatly poised with much of OE’s batting still to come in their rearranged order.

The sixth wicket fell in the 36th, Couch having warmed up for a couple of overs. The skipper was on at the other end as the game moved on. This was quite the dullest game of cricket ever until the last 10 overs when both sides were still in the frame. Anyway, Couch and Fortescue cleared up the last six wickets between them to result in a W&H win by 10 runs with a couple of overs left. Everyone headed off quickly to the karaoke, keen to hear Uzman ask if there was any Bangra music.

WHCC 257-6 - A Khan 89, T Woods 45

Worcester Park 179 AO - P Fortescue 6-49

by Paul Fortescue

Every time the 3rd XI has rolled over this year, we've come back strongly in the next fixture. Having lost to Old Wimbledonians in quite shocking fashion last week, we had to beat Worcester Park to keep our miniscule hopes of promotion alive. Worcester Park were 4th coming into the fixture and a win for them would see them take 3rd place from us.

Saturday morning was a complete farce is every sense of the word. From the moment that Hobbsy rang at ten to nine. Munge ended up in the 2's, and the best part was having the Bird Caravan on the phone from mid Croydon  somewhere asking for directions to Whitgifts. Marvellous. Still, by 12.45 we had 11 players, all the necessary kit and the promise of tea to be delivered later. We even had an opposition and a track, replete with mushrooms as seems to be in vogue at the park. Clearly 4 weeks of baking sunshine is perfect Mushroom weather.

Earlier in the season, winning the toss would have led with little thought to the insertion of the opposition, but with it all but over, and considering the performances of the side, the skipper took the choice to bowl second. It's always so much more satisfying to win the game by taking 10 wickets, and in doing so you invariably play all the cricket.

We had a strong batting line up but didn't get off to the best start. 2nd ball saw one keep low to Worgy, who was paying back and pushing forward - a fairly easy LBW for Couch to give. Rob Staples joined Trevor at the crease and between them they moved the score to 87, before Trevor was caught in the deep for 45. Rob followed the over after for 37. Matt joined Awais in the middle and in 14 overs they took the score from 88 to 150+, Matt out, contributing 20. Awais featured in another 50 partnership with guest Ed McGregor, for once being outscored as they consumed 7 overs, with Ed making 30 and Awais completing his half century for the 3's.

The dismissal brought Woods Jnr to the crease. 32 runs scored in 3 or so overs tells it's own story as Awais moved from 61 to 89 in no time at all. He was eventually out C&B having falled just short of 100 3 times in five innings for the club and is surely the next candidate to join the 2nd XI survival campaign.

Andy Walker provided a marvellous cameo, scoring 7 runs including a fantastic 6, then falling over, spraining his thumb and providing Woods with a great opportunity to run himself out, which Woods accepted by the odd yard. The innings closed on 257 with Couch furiously disappointed at not getting a crack at a bowling attack, conservatively described as mediocre at best.

Their innings was somewhat enigmatic. W&H opened up with the spin twins, Dunbar and Woods. Woods adopted the pitch it up and let him smack it to a fielder approach, only let down by the absence of fielders, whilst Dunbar served up a mixed bag, his first five overs going for 1, 4, a maiden, then 8 and a no ball with a wicket off a full toss, hen 12, but the  breakthrough had been achieved.

After 15 overs the score was 60-1, the new ball came into Couch's possession and he was promptly deposited into White Rose Lane as Worcs Pk set about collecting air miles. The second wicket didn't fall until the 25th over, the left handed number three batsman proving that a mistimed chirp can make anyone look like a monkey's arse:

The opener had scored an all airborne 50 by this point, and was applauded by the skipper with " Well done mate, 50 runs and 200 air miles"

Number 3......smacks skipper back for 4. Very nice drive.......

Skipper...." Very good. 1 along the floor....."

Skipper's mate ".... If you get your foot across, you might do that more ofter....."

Batsman to skipper........" You should try batting next year!"

Next ball. Ta ta. Caught by Walker behind the stumps in quite the most physically intimidating manner possible.

The game changed at this point.  The score was 106-2 and Worcester looked like they were going to win it. Then, the opener, on 50+ just became subdued. Number 4,5 &6 contributed a total of 0 runs between them and when Couch finally had him trapped in front, 10 overs later, the score had changed from 106-1 to 130-6. 7 & 8 provided some resistance, totalling 43 between them but when both fell to Fortescue in the penultimate over, Dunbar was left with a simple equation. 1 wicket, 6 balls.

The oppo captain felt that this was an appropriate time to interject. Apparently Dunbar's figures were in green in the Worcester park scorebook......???!!!?? But then, last time we played this side, he came from tea in his wellies.

1st ball. Very very good LBW shout. Everybody within 5 yards of the bat. Loud it was.

2nd ball. Even better shout. Even louder. Awais gives the umpire the charge. The umpire gives Awais ( and the rest of us) nothing.

3rd ball. Big swish, gentle contact of ball to off stump and Dunbar giving the charge down the wicket. W&H win by 79 runs with 3 ball remaining. Marvellous.

So really,  that's that. 3rd place secured. Wimbledon and Dulwich set the challenging totals of 95 and 96 to chase so nothing to play for except next year, and places in the 3's 4's game on September 6th. Thanks to Ed for making an appearance, and playing probably the best shot (sweet sweep) ever seen at the park. Can you play for our 2's next week?

Old Wimbledonians 292-4 dec

WHCC 113 AO

by Paul Fortescue

This top of the table clash started off in the best possible way with a late change to the side. Nick Moon joined the team about half an hour after the meet time, due to the non-arrival of one of the other players. The fleet set off for Wimbledonians, and arrived to find the 1’s without any keeping gloves.

This game the 3’s needed to win. Before the start they would’ve taken a point and they were clearly nervous. We won the toss; it was a difficult decision, but with the depth of batting apparently at our disposal, and our good form in the field we really had to chase.

And chase we did. Almost from the start. The bowling varied, but was generally much better than 292 for not many would suggest, but a couple of early chances went begging and Charley must have had half a dozen balls fly through the air just out of reach of fielders. The ground fielding was very poor – the outfield was a shocker, as poor as the ‘fox holes’ end at W&H used to be, but all over, and the performance delivered was very poor. Perhaps the key chance was a regulation slip chance, from their centurion and off Matt’s bowling, but Nick’s hamstring had been ‘done’ for an hour already and he did well to get anything on it. To be fair, he did well to still be on the field.

The bowling and fielding has rescued a poor batting show a few times this year. We needed to see off 46 overs to take a point from the game and keep our possibilities alive. It didn’t happen.  A sequence of ‘sorry Paul’s’ trudged in from the middle as only Matt and Nick put up any resistance really. It did get better towards the end, with Couch and Peter Allan spending some time, but 113 was the pissier side of poor, to put it mildly. Matt’s 50 was by a long way the only real threat we made to them and Matt’s concentration and determination was such that he didn’t acknowledge the applause for his landmark.

On the day, they were miles and miles better than us. They seemed to care more and certainly had more focus. Not a single one of the chucked their wicket away and I don’t believe they dropped a catch. They’re bowling wasn’t great,  good enough for us and they certainly deserved to take the points. 

The greatest disappointment perhaps is maybe the number of changes is starting to have an effect on the togetherness of the side. The usual suspects were there in the changing room and in the bar later. Dulwich didn’t win, so the title would still have been within reach.

WHCC 236-6 - R Staples 106

Dorking 103 AO - C Johnson 9-41

by Paul Fortescue

The week passed without incident - actually without selection for a good part too until Friday. The mandatory phone call, this time from Munge brought the usual distraught response from Walsh as Woods Jnr made the step up to the £8 shower team. Munge has never beaten Dorking, but he did turn up later, to make a contribution ( fielding one ball and scorebook and tea!) so we fined him anyway.

Returning from the 2's, Cheets and Dunbar took up where Gihan and Matt left. Weddings are the scourge of the summer, second only to Wimbledon in the 'waste of space, should be in the autumn' stakes, and closely followed by football, which clearly is a sport to be played in 30+ degrees!!

Won the toss. Had a bat. Groans from the opposition, all ten of them. Dorking were not confident already, and then they coerced their umpire into playing, provided someone had some whites they could borrow. Worgan and Cheets opened up, Cheets was soon back, bowled round his legs. It did seem as though it might turn out to be a bit of a nightmare, but the sun beat down strongly and you could almost see the strength ebbing out of the Dorking players.

Rob Staples went in 3 and set about the Dorking attack immediately. He and Worgy put on 88 for the second wicket, then with Awais another 50 partnership.  Long drinks breaks were taken, and the most junior of the Dorking players came off with heat stroke. Rob crashed shots all around the place, reducing Dorking to silence and  eventually making his ton, with  14 4's and a brace of 6's. Dunbar contributed greatly to this, contributing the replacement wood. Couch and vd Walt added forty between them to compound Dorking's misery and take the score over 200, the declaration coming at 238 for 6, from 40 overs.

One Dorking bowler - Elliott, - the one who came back to the club for a while in the evening bowled 20 overs off the reel, returning 4-102 in a marathon effort. Rob was eventually out, to Elliott, for 106 in the first century for the 3's this season.

What is there to say about the Dorking reply. The heat was oppressive, quite breathless. They were never confident that they were going to get anything like the runs, and most batted as though they knew it. Still, the wickets had to be taken, and Couch duly delivered. In the context of recent weeks, 19 overs is a reasonable opening spell, but this was the best I've seen Couch bowl this year.

Two catches at slip for Worgy, two behind for Peter Allan, plus a stumping. An LBW, plus a couple of bowled victims made short work of the Dorking side. The ball that dismissed their skipper - the most stoic of them all, fizzed appreciably as it pitched, turned and hit off stump.  Couch recorded 9-41. It is a great shame that their number 11 was too ill to give him the opportunity of a tenth victim, which was surely deserved. Dorking all out for 103 in 32 overs.

Two excellent performances made short work of a side who do seem to be in some trouble, now second bottom. The news that Wimbledonians had been beaten by Chessington added some irony on the day when we found out about the leagues decision to call the game an abandonment. We will need to produce more performances of this calibre to beat Wimbledonians next week,  lthough the prize on  offer, second place should provide good motivation.

Well done to Rob and Couch, both sterling efforts. To Worgy and Peter for taking all the chances that came by and to Cheets who ran like a madman in the heat as picks up another FP for his efforts.

WHCC 143 AO

OMWs 109 AO - C Johnson 5-36

by Paul Fortescue

Come the designated meet time, the 3rd XI were all over the place. Some, surprisingly were at the club. Charley had just gone home. Matt was the wrong side of Heathrow and Peter was in his garage - looking for Matt's kit. Gihan was shopping and Worgy was busy catching the drips off a lolly, which was frankly so childish that my 2 year old would've gabbed it. Apparently the lolly wasn't a Chupa Chups lolly, as it had red and green stripes, as opposed to blue and white.

Due to a potential shortage of transport, the clubhouse became an airport and a huge pile of kit grew outside for transport to Sanderstead. In a great show of club unity several of the first XI, those that bring their own kit added theirs to the collection. There was a very real prospect of Quaggy's bat being used by Munge at one stage.......

10 men arrived at OMW. The pitch looked good. There was some impressive warming up going on on the top square, which turned out to be the opposition and one of the midwives batsman warming up on a bowling machine with auto feeder. Net's
weren't as nice as ours though. La de dah! The oppo skipper decided to put in an appearance at about 12.45 and duly, Fortescue lost the toss. Taxi.

Inserted. Skipper makes a promise. If we don't get 140 on this track then Matt Allan's keeping and Peter's opening the bowling. At 39-5 the lawyers were out looking for the technicalities to avoid this happening. Worgy good a good one that left him, caught behind. Gihan jogged through gently whilst the wicky threw the stumps down following a leg by call ( by Gihan!). Awais determined the pace of the pitch to be slow, proving it by getting a leading edge that floated gently to mid on. Munge had a gently waft at one - and hit it and Matt - well Matt still hadn't arrived.

Of 39-5 Rob Staples had 25, including 5 fours. Then he picked out on of only two leg side fielders to become the fifth victim.  Usman batting at 6 though was battin gas sensibly as anyone in a steaming rage could. This is a ground where passions run high for the 3's - ask Dunbar, and Usman manage to get hit in the head - by a fielder, with the ball!! Van der Walt looked like he might be the man to rescue the situation and stay with Usman, but was deceived. Bring on Couch.

With a variety of different stares and a cacophony of dodgy giggles, Couch and Usman put on 57. Couch scored just about half of those and later claimed "that's the best partnership I've ever had, with a bloke without his shirt tucked in".During his innings Couch hit a six and Matt arrived.

Matt's arrival spurned a change in the batting order. Fortescue and Allan Snr dropped down to 10 and 11, to make way for Matt at 9. Couch's dismissal cam eat an inopportune moment however as Matt has disappeared again. It's a long walk to the wicket when you start in the OMW car park, fetching fags. A cameo innings of some drama took the score to 136 as Matt crashed 23 in 4 overs. The skipper came in next and was out LBW in the same sentence. Peter Allan came in last and watched from the other end as Usman played one shot too many and the innings closed.

142 was not enough. It was enough to mean that Peter Allan wasn't bowling - just, but the track was better than that.

Usman registered his highest score for the 3's in this innings and showed a degree of determination and application lacking in too many of his teammates. He showed a great level of commitment and demanded it from the rest of the team as we went for tea. Worgy was the fist to rise to the challenge, instantly seeking retribution from the Midwives furniture, breaking chairs on his way to the nearest sugar fix. Tea - average, quality good, but variety very poor.

There was a goo ddeal of rabble rousing and uplifting of spirits and bowlers as we took the field. Early on the oppo Captain asked Worgy "Am I goin gto have listen to you all afternoon?", to which Peter answered "It depends on how long
you're going to bat". The answer actually for quite a while. He was accused of having only one shot by couch, pulled a ball and then announced proudly that that mist be two shots. Next ball, he demonstrated the lack of a defensive shot and lost his off stump to Ian vd Walt.

Charley had been plugging away from one end. He had the other opener early, caught behind and just kept going in a miserly, spell. He removed number 3 and 4 to leave the score on 67-4 and the game delicately poised. A dangerous partnership followed from their wicketkeeper, and their number five bowler, opening umpire and muppet who couldn't work out that as I bowl off the wrong foot,  that my right fooot is therefore my back foot. Muppet. Anyway, just to make it worse, Matt bowled him, - the ball hit the stumps hard enough for the deflection to beat two slips, but the bail didn't come off. Then he was dropped (skipper) and put one just over Munge's head. Anyway, Couch cleaned him up and Matt had his wicket by encouraging the keeper to hit a half tracker to point. A very W&H-esque shot.

98-6 and the tide seemed to be turning. A Couch appeal to the captain turned umpire was replied to with " You know that wasn't f****** out," which probably accurately summarises our assessment. A good LBW appeal left Couch searching for a cap to grind into the dirt Mike Walsh style, but his 5th was soon to come, another victim bowled to leave the score on 105 for 7.

Skipper came back on, a tense maiden. Charley - a couple of runs, skipper - a single and then 109-8. Charley, another maiden, the skipper 5 dots and then - 109-9. Charley  - another maiden and then finally the skipper left with the number 11.  Rob and Munge short in front, Batsman "I'm good enough to get it between you". And he was, in the air and though to Matt, who made great ground to take the catch that won the game. To say we were happy would be a bit of an understatement.

An examination of the averages shows that none of the regular 3's players is averaging over 20. The side is winning games through excellent bowling and fielding - and this was a great example. There were no poor performances, the odd misfiled and a rare dropped catch, but the level of application and commitment was excellent. After our innings we were 5-0 down in  football terms, but we came back to win 8-5. Fantastic. We were even accused of being "A bit verbal" by OMW.

Honours go to Couch for 24 runs and 5-36 with the ball. To Usman for 34 runs, another excellent display in the field, and demanding a response from the team when we were out of the game.

Sadly, Dulwich and Old Wombledonians both won also. We're 17 points behind Dulwich and 22 behind Wimbledon, so two wins. With 4 games left, including Wimbledon, we need to maintain our presence and performance level in the field, but find some consistency with the bat. Two abandonments are costing us right now, but that's in the hands of the league.

Guildford 240-7 dec

Match Abandoned

by Paul Fortescue

This fixture is one of the more attractive in the 3rd XI calendar. There's always something a bit different in games with local sides. The difference this week, was that Couch & Trevor did the pitch on Saturday morning, and it wasn't that bad. Serco did oblige us by turning up an hour or so after we'd finished, but they'll had to remove the cuttings, so it's not fair to say they didn't lend a hand. Both parties roundly condemned the council, so that makes that part at least, unanimous.

Writing match reports can be a pleasure. The scorebook is recovered, the victory relived and the hardest part is choosing which incidents to include. The scorebook this week is an absolute picture. It's the best bit of scoring work I've ever seen in a 3rd XI book. Seven different colours, no corrections. Smithy, eat your heart out. Sadly, the scores themselves are a bit poor to say the least.

We had a lot of changes. Lots. Another 7 from last week if memory serves me correctly, but this was still a good 3's team. Lost the toss, and Guildford chose to bat.

They batted very very well. We took a couple of early wickets with balls that stopped, dollying catches off edges to Usman and Trevor, who made good ground to get to his. Couch bowled without any luck,. Meanwhile, at the other end a succession of half volleys, full tosses and long hops found themselves being dispatched all over the ground as just about every wayward ball was put away. Trevor picked up a few fantasy points for a C&B and Couch just kept on plugging away.

38 overs later, Couch was finally removed. The lottery was definitely not on the cards judging by his luck. Woods Jnr was introduced and immediately picked up aC&B, from a full toss. Couch was distraught and lay prostrate in the outfield
beating the ground. Cheets turned in a decent spell at the pavilion end, and Woodsy picked up the opener, nearing his century with a decent slower ball.

Guildford stuck the ball in the hedge. We spent a few minutes looking for it, before John Worgan produced quite the most manky spare ball I've ever seen. Repeated requests from the umpires for Guildford to go and look for the ball were ignored, until finally, one solitary player went to have a look. The player who went was injured earlier in the game and needed a runner - and he was the only one who could be arsed to go. Couch found the ball at tea. If he'd walked back across the ground with a big "F*** Y**!" banner stuck on the ball it couldn't have made a greater impact.

They reached 240-8 in 50.5 overs. It rained. The chicken nuggets ran out before half of the side had a look in. We sat around for an hour and a half or so, listening to Cheets squirm about being bar steward then went back to the club.

It's very difficult to keep up concentration and effort in situations where the game is unlikely to finish, and if it does, you're likely to be behind it most of the time. The performance was poor - too much rubbish bowled, a couple of missed chances and a few misfields. In the field we stuck to the task well in the main with a lot of good stops and chasing down. I've given the fielding points to: Trevor Woods, who stopped just about everything, getting down well tosave runs at gulley and taking a good catch - not the C&B. The other two to Cheets and Usman for great commitment, even when we'd conceded 200, these two chased everything - and there was a lot to chase.

We've lost ground to Dulwich, who managed to get their win. Esher have jumped to 4th in the table. Midwives next week. Best leave Friday.

Camberley 140 AO - J Dunbar 4-46

WHCC - 144-3 - C Murphy 63*

by Paul Fortescue

A combination of a weeks holiday and a broken PC meant that the skipper woke up on Saturday morning blissfully unaware of the unscheduled moves and changes in the teams last week. Also, and perhaps more worryingly, he was also entirely unaware of who the 3rd XI players of the week were. This was compounded when a call to Matt " Hello Mate, can you tell me where I'm playing this week?" met with the reply " Actually, I was hoping you could tell me!"

After rousing Damo from his slumber, the team was announced. There was also a brief and potted history of the bewildering array of drop outs, together with a list of who had suddenly made themselves unavailable at late notice during the week.  Mattocks returned to the side, Amrender promoted to bat and keep wicket, Dunbar and Fortescue restored, and Gribbler and Shazad Hussain called up from the 4's following consistently good performances. Six changes, to a side that won last week!

Things were looking good. At the allocated meet time, at least half of the side had appeared, however, 20 minutes later there was still no sign of Ding Dong. Matt Allan immediately stuck up his hand and volunteered to keep wicket. Amrender was telephoned: in Surbiton; not great considering the game was in Camberley - pehapps he was looking for a lift from Damo and Munge, but no, he'd told Walshy he wasn't available last weekend. Panic. Calls were placed, firstly to Woodsy Jnr, who has exceeded his authority and was therefore banned by the league for a week, and then to Des, who was able to help out at such late notice.

[Editorial. Woodsy not banned by league, but by much higher authority: Mum]

The game started with little further incident. The toss was lost, again and Camberley chose to bat on a surface that has yielded over 200 in the first innings for the last five games. Wearny made a great start, having one of the openers warm Gribbers hands at Gulley for 0. Fortescue gave Worgan a regulation 2nd slip catch from the number 3 and then the Dunbar saga started.

Camberley will be disappointed with their innings. Only the Captain and Dibley made scores, with too many shots going in the air. There was once particularly Wey Valley moment. The number 4 stuck Dunbar for a boundary over mid on. Then he did it again. Worgan was posted, so he hit it again. At least they crossed. Dunbar bowled a marathon 19 overs, returning 4-45 in his first proper bowl of the season. Not a single ball down the leg side. Wearny and Fortescue were 4-47between them, Mattocks picked up the skipper, C&B after he's made his 50 and Shazad bowled his five overs for 13, taking a debut wicket in the process. 141 ao

Special mention should be made here to Matt Allan. Volunteered to keep wicket, then admitting he'd never even put gloves on before I anticipated an early change with Des on standby. But no byes is an excellent return especially on a pitch where Dunbar was able to take turn and bounce.

Tea was excellent. Even more so that the 1's were there too. More than one Camberley player commented that he felt as though he was playing away as the mass of sweaty Wokes filled up the bar.

Chasing 142 to win, Camberley opened up with a bewildering array of spinners. Worgan continued his education, playing some decent shots and looking solid before being stumped playing defensively. Tommo's innings was excellent, managing Worgy and never really looking in trouble, he registered 33 before a mental lapse caused his downfall.

Des gave us all a taste of what we can expect when he is fully qualified. Apparently they don't teach you how to drive with a truncheon, so Des bludgeoned his way with a series of pulls to 15, before being clearly disappointed after not getting hold of one properly and offering a return catch to the bowler.

Gribbler, batting at 3,  looked confident and assured, as his form and run of scores would suggest. A long innings formed the backbone of the innings. Only really looking uncomfortable when trying to get the very slow (Muir) bowler away, Gribber finished on 63*, with 4 sixes. Munge was called upon latterly to see the game home, a task which the Murphy boys completed confortably to complete a 7 wicket win.

Another good performance, solid and steady throughout. Big credit to Matt, JD and Gribbler, but a good team effort where in the field we really were a step ahead of them.

A crucial period now faces the 3's. This last win moves them to within 5 points of second place, with Guildford (4th) and Wimbledonians (1st) to come around atricky fixture at OMW (away of course.)

WHCC 95 AO

Esher 99-2

By Paul Fortescue

Two years ago the 3's bowled Esher out for 24 and the Esher chairman wanted 3rdXI cricket moved to Sundays or scrapped altogether. Last year they beat a weakened 3rd XI by 9 wickets with Fortescue and Smith putting on the top partnership for the 10th wicket.  Cricket is a game of such contrasts. On a day when arguably a strong 3rd XI was put out by the club, we produced easily the worst display of the season. W&H turned up, bent over, and let Esher and their first name terms panel umpire have their wicked way with them as the winning streak came to a rather abrupt end.

Clearly the lack of an entourage was to blame. There was no travelling caravan of supporters and sprogs this week. In fact, the only caravan in evidence was a long line of crestfallen batsman trooping their was back to the pavilion, to use the term loosely. Munge hinted at attending, but probably turned up once it was all over. Worgan Snr did make the long journey, missing the first 2 overs and Mark's innings along with them, but otherwise the only spectators were a rather strange family gathering who though that Coronation Rec was a place worthy of a picnic hamper.

Having lost the toss, and been shocked to be inserted W&H set about chucking it tucking in on a good looking wicket. Worgy missed a straight one, which was later adjudged to have cut back into him; Andy Walker chopped one he thought to be a no-ball onto his stumps. Paul Gorgolis defended stoutly but hen chased the sucker ball all the way to gulley. Qasier played one beautiful drive through the of side, before falling to an injudicious shot. Usman was out........but we don't know how. It might have been LBW or it may have been caught at short leg. The score was 24-6 at the start of the 9th over. Then came the promise of a decent partnership between Curtley and Ian vd Walt, who took the score to 49 before Curtley was undone to be caught at slip.

Deano was bowled round his legs, the ball pitching in a footmark to make it 49-7. Another promising, embryonic partnership, between vd Walt and Dunbar, was curtailed by another 'one shot too many' and Ian started the long walk. 57-8  in 17 overs. Esher, for the first time started to show signs of worry - not as you might expect at the sight of Fortescue throwing his toys miles and miles, but because they sensed an early end to the innings and the tea hadn't arrived.

Fortescue and Dunbar took the score to 72 before another poor shot accounted for JD and brought Wearny to the crease. The 10th wicked putting the total up to 95. Tea still hadn't arrived.

Esher did to us, exactly what we've been doing to teams we've played. They bowled well, keeping the extra's in single figures and didn't drop anything. I'm going to bleat about their umpire again, but in truth, it made no difference.

Tea. Very average. Nice to have it brought around on trays by the opposition, and there were plenty of sugary things for Worgy to tuck in to, but an absence of plates means we can only score thus a 4. Would be a total shambles in the rain.

We had a 45 minute session before tea. Curtley started with the mandatory 3rd XI full toss - 4 runs, before cleaning the opener up and prompting the first fight of the afternoon. A couple of balls later, the number 3 middled the ball onto his pads, caught by Andy Walker and given not out by the umpire. ******* ****** ******** **** is all I can say. It wasn't even a faint nick. The click was so loud a bloke from the earthquake monitoring station rang up to check what was happening. The team were fantastically well behaved and nobody showed any dissent whatsoever, which was remarkable - although not quite as remarkable as not giving it. The batsman was later heard boasting.

Whilst all this was going on, Wearny was building up a decent head of steam from the other end. Clearly motivated today, Wearny chucked his bat when he was dismissed and bowled an excellent, aggressive spell. Scant reward was the single wicket, taken at slip by Gorgolis. After middling Curtley, the left hander showed his class by paying and missing so often to Wearny that the skipper was prompted to chirp up ' Crickey, this bloke looks like he's batting for us.' The batsman's near immediate response was to miss some more, and then hit the ball repeated in the air.

We dropped 5 catches and didn't bowl well on the pitch and in the circumstances, but most of all we batted like drains. There will be a lot of enforced changes next week and a much improved performance will be required if the good start to the season is not to be wasted.

Sanderstead 158 AO - C Wearne 5-29

WHCC 162-4 - M Worgan 76*, Q Nawaz 47*

by Paul Fortescue

Last week Hankins didn't call. This week, the whole world, including Hankins called. They called in their tens and in their hundreds and in the morning and in the evening. The upshot of all this calling was a 3rd XI with six changes from last week. Pete Grafton only knew he was playing 3's 25 minutes before the start time. Even with a dozen changes up and down the club, the 4's put out a good enough side for West Byfleet. A fifth XI is surely on the cards now.

A tense moment. Arrival at the park. Would there be a strip - would there be a tent, or maybe a new block of flats or a statue of someone totally obscure? Actually there were two strips and no obvious impediments. Fantastic. No trip to Goldsunworthy park this week, The toss - he called Heads, so he batted first. 'Nuff said their.

This week's forgotten items were the teapot, and the scoreboard.

Wearny returned to the 3's following an injury. He and the skipper opened the bowling to the brothers Devaney. There must be short boundaries at Cow in Sanderstead, because from the first ball the wipe was the only shot on offer. Okay, the full bungers were put away, but such was the insistence on the wipe that Wearny was driven to ask " Is there something on telly you need to get back for?" Realising that this was the case, the bat had yet another wipe, and Wearny took the C&B chance. The skipper only pitched one ball in his spell, but it was enough to account for the other opener, surprisingly enough  owled by an in-ducker!

Wearny dismissed the number 3 quickly. A good catch by Matt at point, with Qasier doing a good job of getting out of the way following an assertive call. 23-3 and things were looking up. The fourth wicket put on 78 though, capitalising on a tiring Wearne, taking advantage of Qasier's struggle to find line and length and being bored to death by Dunbar. Qas found his  rhythm after cursing the hill ( welcome to the park) and had the next batsman caught brilliantly by Zafar at extra.

Sanderstead dug in and little seemed to be happening. Smithy and Matt bowled steadily but they passed 100 with little further incident. Wearny came back, much to Smithy's annoyance and had the number 6 caught by Grafton at slip. Smith, back on at the other end found a little more help in the track and had the top scorer caught by Grafton in the gulley for 39. It was 107-6. S'stead fought hard, with nobody offering cheap wickets. Wearne had another before needing a 'jug avoidance break' with 4 wickets, the skipper had another caught by Zafar. Dunbar made another catch for Matt before Wearny came back for his third spell, to pick up his 5 with a gentle lob to Smithy at Silly mid.

9 Catches and no drops except for a couple of half chances. Good fielding, but too much loose stuff being bowled. Whether straining for  or swing, or turn there were too many full tosses and 158 was probably 20 more than they should've had. Still, we had a good looking batting line up and confidence was high as we approached the first Gina Scott tea of the summer.

Sanderstead opened up with the spinners. Peter Allan departed soon afterwards being bowled for a consecutive duck. Usman, given the opportunity to try his hand at 3 was caught at slip and the boat was rocking at 9-2. Enter the world's quietest South African, Paul Gorgolis. He and Worgan made steady progress taking the score to 59 and getting us back in charge. Paul departed to another catch in the slips, and Pete Grafton used 2 bats in a 2 ball duck to round off his W&H
season in the worst possible way. At 59-4 nerves were jangling but Qas and Mark steadily wore them down, winning ht egame with a partnership of 103. Worgy took a life and Qas played one of the daftest shots the park has ever seen, including Fowles' efforts as he reverse pulled one with 20 needed. It resulted in a good LBW shout and he was probably lucky to survive.

Showers. Utterly crap again. Thanks WBC!

So another win - 5 wins plus the Chessington fiasco in the last six. Selection tonight is going to be fun.

WHCC - 140 AO - A Mouzoures 48

Leatherhead 81 AO - J Bird 4-16

by Paul Fortescue

The author is very pleased to report that at no stage during the week did Hankins call. However, without having to manage this aspect of preparation, losing the toss, getting a duck, no wickets and dropping a sharp chance, the author is feeling somewhat unfulfilled. Not as unfulfilled as Munge however, who can amend the above list by dropping a dolly (this isn't Dulwich!) and having to leave the pitch injured, due to try to catch aforementioned dolly with his nose. Still, he did do a sterling job in the bar on Thursday night.

Leatherhead have a new second ground. They lease the ground from a posh school for £5 a year. They have to maintain the pitch, but the school only uses it twice a season. It was therefore something of a mystery why despite the square accommodating eight strips comfortably, we were using one that had just been repaired, and where the repair work was coming out already. Perhaps they've subbed Woking Borough Council to do the groundwork, but no, the showers were okay, so that can't be it.

Toss. Lost. Called Tails, did everything right, but just wasn't to be. Huge surprise as their captain, inserted us on a track with an obvious ridge in it.

It was Weybridge all over again, except perhaps that Weybridge, as we've previously discussed was one of those deceptive looking tracks. This looked like some explorer from the middle ages had just hacked it out of the jungle - well, a few days ago as the outfield had had a chance to grow long enough to be slow. There was a strange bloke loitering at funny intervals. We thought it might be the explorers 'Man Friday' but it turned out to be Couch on the sniff.

Some team changes this week. Losing Dunbar to someone elses wedding anniversary, Walker to his girlfriend's birthday. Gihan off to sulk playing hockey after his duck last week and beautiful Ben reselected for the 2's after impressing against Chessington - okay, turning up and obviously looking meancing as his only contribution in the scorebook is 'DNB.' In came Mouzoures, paying the penalty for top scoring for the 2's a fortnight ago. Ed Smith, because ..... well I don't know why actually, Qasier Nawaz, fresh from spanking Cheam around the Wheatsheaf  and  Woodsy Jnr, who made a similar contribution to Ben last week, without looking menacing. The skipper returned to make the contribution mentioned at the top of the article and Usman was also retuned to action.

From the first ball it was apparent that it was going to be a difficult day. Both Peter and Ed struggled was the ball passed them at any height from 2 inches to five feet above the ground. They went cheaply but not without a fight - Munge's arrival batting at 4 not coming until the ninth over. He was unfortunate to miss the straight one that declined to bounce over the stumps - such a ball later to be called 'Wide' much to Charley's discrete disappointment. The first partnership of note was between Mouzoures and Nawaz, who put on over 40 between them before Qasier was trapped going backwards. Given by the scorer!

Just shy of his fifty Mouzoures top edged (he claims!  To the deep square leg boundary and a comfortable catch taken well, with no facial features involved. Matt and Usman at the crease. Usman batted very well and very sensibly for 25, being done by Kearns (9-9 vs Sanderstead), and this pair did provide the comedy running incident of the innings, where both ended up at one end. The fielder threw down the stumps, at the same end and Usman sauntered back down the track. A missed opportunity for Leatherhead.

Once Usman was dismissed, wickets fell regularly - one per over for four overs, leaving Woodsy stranded. Couch and the skipper put on four between them, Couch making four of them. The innings closed on 140 from 40 overs, and whist tea looked very promising, the urn wasn't hot, so Leatherhead agreed to bat for 20 minutes before the interval.

Once again, W&H took the field with a determination that has set this 3rd XI apart and made the difference. Jayson bowled a fiercely aggressive spell before tea, removing 2 top order batsman. Woodsy was turning the ball sharply from the other end and Usman, at first slip was doing most of the wicket keeping! At tea, Leatherhead were 15-2 and the new ball was  till to be taken.

Tea did not disappoint. It looked good and was far less treacherous than the Weybridge wicket.

After tea, the skipper took the pressure off by bringing himself on to bowl. There are some days when you're just better off staying in bed.  Munge continued his great day with the drop off the nose incident. Woodsy continued to bowl well, having the number 4 caught well by Ed in the off side. Jayson replaced the skipper for the second of his three spells, aking another wicket and hitting the stoic remaining opener ( Peter Kearns) in the face ( with the ball). Kearns returned, still without a helmet to face Jayson bowling round the wicket. He was later run out after good work from Nawaz who looks an excellent fielder.

Charley bowled an excellent spell, 2-7 in 8 overs with virtually no opportunity for the batsmen to leave the ball. He is clearly related in some obscure way to Des ( think about it!) as he proceeded to launch an exocet from square leg to Ed at the bowlers end, which went for 4 buzzers. Bronwynne thinks he's Swedish (LBW Johnson!).

Ed bowled a tidy spell, and once instructed ' No leaves' forced the lower order to play at the ball to good effect. His spell ended with a double wicket maiden, and Bird, once again replacing the hapless skipper cleaned out the last wicket to finish the game. 81ao with Jays finishing with 4-16.

This was another good team performance. Andy Mouzoures and Jayson walk away with the stats and Qasier with the fielding points. The fielding wasn't as sharp as it has been but the strength in depth of the club is really showing. We look forward to confidence towards entertaining Sanderstead (at the Park hopefully!) next week.

WHCC 161 AO

Weybridge 130 AO

by Paul Fortescue

The 3rd XI caravan rolled into Whitely village wondering why they had left so early. Weybridge were nowhere to be seen, but before us was a beautifully set ground, with ropes, sightscreens and all the facilities that 3rd XI grounds can
normally only dream about. Needless to say disappointment was not too far away, as the Whitely home captain informed us that our wicket was 'over there, on the other side of the aritifical.' Van der Walt set off in earnest to get changed in the woods.

During the week there was much to think about for the 3rd XI players. One of us, and we knew not who, was unlikely to play against Weybridge. The author is pleased to report that at no stage during the week did Hankins call, instead, on a wet Thursday afternoon, 2nd XI captain III, the grant winning Dean Faulkner was ensuring that Des kept up his 100% record of never playing for the team on the teamsheet.

4th XI reserve wicket keeper, Andy Walker was dragged kicking and screaming into the 3rd XI. Later described in the bar as a '3rd XI primadonna' by Walshy, Walker was aghast at not having the opportunity to extend his keeping career. He was not to be disappointed as the 3rd XI effectively played with 2 wicket keepers all afternoon, one behind and the other at short leg. He got to wear the box and the lid anyway.

Comments have been made about this author's employment status. The value of comments was clearly demonstrated by " Brazil is a country the size of Brazil." Thanks for that Andy.

Despite arriving 45 minutes early, the game started late. The Weybridge captain, of the same educational stock as the Green brothers won the toss and confidently inserted W&H on the same ground as they had previously chased 250 to win. Fortescue settled down to watch his side score a bucketful on a small ground and Matt settled down for the regulation kip.

W&H started brightly. Worgy took an early life and the odd ball jumped up, but the leaves were comfortable and only one of the Weybridge bowlers had identified the stumps. This was not unreasonable, as it was difficult to find the square, it consisting of only 4 strips and only 1 (ours) of those being remotely discernable. This promising beginning was a deception of the highest order, and certainly a deception of our highest order.

As it turns out this benign looking pitch, that had seen 500 runs scored on a previous weekend was a nightmare. It was, with the exception of Worcester Park's 2nd ground, the worst strip that the author has been forced to endure since moving to W&H. One end the ball popped from just short of a length and gloves were put through their paces frequently. AT the other, the popping was slower, but somehow more dangerous, as two players were hit in the head, one resulting in a trip to St Peters.

They Weybridge Captain took three wickets quickly, and his Aussie partner eventually found his line to join the action. Woking were reduced to 21-4 and the gameplan of ' get to 40 overs and we'll have a look' seemed wildly optimistic. Another wicket fell (47-5) as Usman tried one shot too many and the writing on very clearly on the wall. Weybridge were flying. Jayson came to the crease with the skipper's words of wisdom in his ears 'plenty of time Jays' and smacked the first ball faced to the boundary.

The Bird element of the caravan was in full swing. Bron brought her mum, sister, brother in law, son and parasol. We may have to restrain the parasol as it assaulted v.d. Walt in the wind and Jays was seen chasing it across the outfield.  One of the more ironic questins of the day came from Bronwynne.'Paul, whaat's a pakey?' [translate. Paul, What's a pikey?]

W&H numbers 6-10 all scored double figures. The top 5 lasted 17 overs between them; the middle order / tail (captain excluded) 37. Some belligerent hitting from Bird and Walker, and some intelligent leaving from Van der Walt moved the
score along to 135 - dreamland, before Peter Allan, last years opener came in at 10 to turn the screw and reduce the Weybridge optimism to disbelief. A 10th wicket partnership of 25 took the score to 160. The captain that played the number 11 frightened rabbit part perfectly as the innings closed on 161.

Let's be straight here. We got out of jail big time. The pitch and conditions were easier when the opening bowlers came off but 9 catches tells part of the story. It would be unfair to blame the pitch for our predicament, where some of our batsmen played expansive, risky shots exactly as the bowlers would like too early.

Their innings started with much, much chirping. One of their openers caught off the gloves by Walker at short leg. The number 3 on his way to hospital with a swelling above the eye reminiscent of a heavyweight boxing contest, their number run out but Usman. Apprently there are rules to chirping. How ridiculous is that? Chirping, sledging, whatever is outside of the game, so how can there be rules. Anyway, the postmortem of the chest to chest ding dong between Matt and their Aussie number 4 was that we had apparently broken the 'rules' after he had earlier broken the 'rules'. Balls. Skipper's comment's most appropriate here' Matt, get out of his way. You - you're out. The pavillion's over there.'

Bird bowled quickly and menacingly. The number 5 as clearly intimidated but he couldn't hit the ball - and Jays coundn't hit the stumps. Van der Walt removed him before Jays, has the opener caught at 'backward gulley?' by Usman - a good catch. Wybridge were 48-4, plus one ret'd hurt. The game was wide open.

Three Weybridge batsmen, last years captain, and their number 9 and 10 threatened to bat the game out. Matt, a really good catch at point, caught one. Walker took another typical short leg catch (skied, ice,  air traffic control etc) to get rid of their spinner (2 overs for 15. Have a blow) and Mattocks bowled that bit slower so that the number 9 could edge the ball to Peter Allan. Game over. Weybridge dismissed for 130. The caravan provided Pimms and lemonade. What can I say?

Purley 144 ao, Van Der Walt 4-29, Bird 3-21

W&H 146-3, Allan 43*, Cheetham 33

by Paul Fortescue

At last. At the fifth time of asking, W&H's 3rd string took to the field, confident of a game of cricket without distraction from the weather. Issues have been bubbling all week. Would we get the points from the Chertsey win? Would Mouzoures get a bat in the 2's? Who else from the 3's would be playing for the 2's this week? How do I change my fantasy cricket team? Can the 3's carry on from last week to win again? Des, so calm and collected - how best to ruffle his feathers? Will Derek Underwood win the contract to build the W&H nets?

Friday night passes without incident worth of comment. Saturday morning comes. The sun is merely creasing the horizon and it happens. The half ring that the phone makes before the full blown 'ring ring.' Surely not, no it couldn't possibly be, not on Saturday morning, and surely not at this time on a Saturday morning.

You all know what happens next. For anyone with any doubt, well stick around a few more weeks.  Des promoted to the 2's. The call is placed to Walshy, who's equally gobsmacked. A further call placed to Matt Allan - who's out, so no * on this occasion.

And so to the game. Purley for the 1's and the 3's. The new members greet Matt with curiosity. Usman on time. All the kit there. The scorebook arrives. The scorer arrives, complete with parasol. Tea, new balls, scoreboard, sunshine. All the advice is 'Skip, good toss to lose' so that should be easy.  Shake the other blokes' hand  stroll out there, comment on the bikini clad spectators, so preferable to having the Mentallist giving you jip. Nice shiny £2 coin, the flick.....' Heads' he calls. Heads? What the hell is that? Suffice to say, it came up tails and in true championship fashion the 3's took the field, but not before the Purley scorer had taken the parasol.

How many blokes wanted to put out the boundary markers. How many blokes wanted to field at 3rd man. How many blokes wanted Dunbar to open so we could justify a man on the fence at Cow and deep mid on. Lots. Lots and Lots that's how many.

Purley were bowled out for 144. Jayson has clearly picked himself in his fantasy team as the shoved team mates out of the way to secure two caught and bowled chances. Peter Allan secured an interesting, although uncontroversial stumping where two goes were required. Van Der Walt recovered from a ropey first over to secure 4-29 and Jayson finished with 3-21 to secure a South  African 7-50 return. Usman fielded as we are coming to expect with tremendous energy and athleticism and Worgan had his usual game of not touching the ball for 25 overs before taking another excellent catch in the slips. Another good performance in the field on a dreadfully sticky day, punctuated with comedy moments such as:

Mattocks bowls. It's full toss. The batsman crashes it to mid on. The umpire calls wide. I mean.....

Gihan. 'This English weather. It's so dry'

Matt and Usman sneaking a quick puff att he fall of a wicket, with their backs turned in a van attempt to avoid detection

Ian attempting to intimidate the umpire with a serious of appeals 'on the charge' - and finally getting one!

organ trying to be cool by rolling his sleeves right up to his shoulders. Don't bother mate, they were all 20 years too old for you.

The W&H innings: Taget 145 from 55 overs. Plenty of time. Cheets and Worgan put on sixty for the opening partnership. A really well done job as really it was the new ball that extracted the variable bounce from the pitch. Cheets bowled by
one that in the nets you'd pick up and toss gently back to the completely embarrassed bowler, and Worgan LBW and given from the pavilion. Gihan chases a wide one and get's snaffled up well at slip.  Drinks followed soon after and the Purley tactics are revealed 'We need to bowl some more shit balls.'

Matt Allan and Usman at the crease. Game over. Purley dropped a couple of catches, but much as last week, the conditions improved and the boys just hit the bad balls wherever they wanted. Matt finished with 43, and a *, with Usman on 22*, and for the second week running, the middle order sat in their pads. Some of the showers worked and the scorebook was immaculately completed in purple, as if to prove that Bronwynne was back.

We had a lot of spectators and are considering offering a crèche facility to pay for more jugs - of beer. Bronwynne naturally brought her lad, and half her ante-natal class to chat behind the bowlers arm. The skipper's wife and daughter
came. To balance things up, Cheets brought his parents and borther and Worgy his dad. Ian brought his wafe, their friends and their friends lad. Helen came along again and helped Worgy with the washing up (thank you). Trying to leave was like rush hour on the M25.

A cursory examination of the table shows we were unlucky to play Whitgiftians in the rain. Another two overs would surely have been enough to secure the win. The only four points they have are the ones they took from us. Weybridge, next weeks opponents have chased well and won as have we and toss may be crucial. The 3's have a good balance about them just now and we must hope that availability continues to be good.

Chertsey 183-9

WH 184-2, Thabrew 66*, Mouzoures 84*

by Paul Fortescue

Two years ago when playing Chertsey, John Dunbar didn't turn up, citing the poor and sorry excuse ' Nobody told me I was playing.' It is a measure of the progress of the 3's that this year, John managed to find their ground, and be there on time despite being forgotten in the mad rush to depart from W&H.

Finally, after weeks of trying, the skipper finally won a toss. A slight, inconspicuous chirp of 'err...tails' brought the downcast look from the Chertsey chappie followed by the inevitable thought process of ' wa-hey! I've won it', 'bugger, what do I do next?', and ' Oh yeah, it's the surrey championship, so we'll have a bowl!' One win from five is certainly not fantasy cricket leaderboard form and it's a good job it doesn't count.

he 3's this week has featured no less that 15 players, and that's just before the teamsheet was published. A succession of calls from Hankins has kept everyone, not least Hankins, on their toes, and the big question of the week is why everyone that's available doesn't just rock up at 11.30 on Saturday's and we pick the teams then? Four drop outs? Four!!!! Bloody hell, from one team!! That's nearly half of them!!! ( Okay, it might have been three, but it felt like 16!)

Chertsey's third team ground is one of those places that deceives you by it's appearance. It looks average, but the wicket itself is really good. The outfield looks flat form a distance ( 32,000 ft in A jumbo) but on closer inspection is
closely related to the 'football ground side' of the W&H outfield. Mouzoures is one of those players who deceive you by their appearance. Most weeks appearing in a Johnsonesque dual cab covered pickup he turned up in a very mumsie people
carrier, of the sort you might expect Woods or Cheetham to drive, and know, deep in your heart that Smithy will drive, and sooner rather than later. The mumsie theme continued with the keeping as a couple of early chances hit the gloves, obviously to their bearers complete surprise, only to be put down.

Gihan, in a desperate bid to keep his place turned up with a girlfriend, and an umpire. Worgy brought his Dad and Ian brought a girlie too ( sorry - wa(i)fe / girfriend / sister?). As is inevitable with non neutral umpires, some controversy emerged as the Chertsey openers fell to LBW decisions that a blind bloke in Senegal ( presumably selling cocoa beans to Dunbar) could've given. 

Chertsey scored 183, after going for it a bit too early and conceding a pair of stumpings in a South African union attempt to keep the Mouzoures fines in single figures. The aforementioned good looking pitch destroyed the ball in about 30 overs, and a couple of meetings with the low wall behind the bowlers arm did nothing to maintain the shine. Usman was outstanding in the field, securing the most difficult of the 3 run outs, Cheets snaffled a good catch at midwicket, and Des notched up a rather disappointing '3.6' for a good dive over one at deep backward square. The outfield, being both bumpy and hard ( no rain for a couple of days!) meant that quite a few misfields were in evidence.

That ground is a 200 ground and to keep them down to 183 was a good effort, needing discipline in line from the bowlers and commitment in difficult conditions for the fielders. Three run-outs were secured in another good display. It may have been possible to keep Chertsey down to 150 had a couple of chances been held and any one of a dozen top edges gone to hand, but generally, it was a good show.

184 to win. 47 Overs. Chance of showers. Teas - not bad.

A nervy start saw an early dismissal for Cheets. First league ball of the season. Whoops. Worgan batted well, again - fuelled by the customary sugar enriched diet before choosing the wrong ball to play the 'Gianotti Cut' at. Bowled, but that'll be the last time he takes coaching points from Ferrari. This brought Thabrew and Mouzoures together at 35-2.

There was a rain interruption. There is always controversy when you have an umpire and this was no exception. Chertsey left the field in a drizzly period and it took a fair degree of persuasion of get them back out there. Somewhat
disgracefully,it took the W&H score going to their club to get their sawdust!!!! The Chertsey Captain conducted himself very well and reasonably, but was badly let down by one or two of his more senior players, and one in particular who suffers from the mental illness when periodically complete abuse spouts forth.

There's not too much more to say about the game. In a chanceless 149* partnership, Thabrew and Mouzoures chipped, crashed and pulled a succession of Chertsey bowlers to all parts. Finishing on 66* and 84* both notched maiden 50s
for W&H. Gihan's dad had an aftershock. Mouzoures came back to the club for one, and stayed for a jug. (bar steward next week!). The 3's are up and rolling. Now, if only Chertsey had botherered to call in the score..............

...

W&H 190 ao, Mouzoures 40

Old Whits 163-9, Fortescue 4-33, Dunbar 3-21

by Paul Fortescue

And so it continues. A Fourth lost toss in a row means that Fortescue is surely in contention for the drop. Sent in to bat against Old Whitgift, with the teams ambition to get to tea, enjoy that and get back to the club good and early.

The usual shenanigans preceded the game. Portlock and Hankins (thank you both) on the blower, desperate for a game after Cranleigh blew off the 1's (again!). Uzzy on the phone, desperate for a lift after sleeping in again. Uzzy's little 'bruvva' on the phone - just desperate. Dunbar on the phone, desperate to get out of Basingstoke and Woods Snr on the phone, desperate to get out of Shopping.

A solid start, Dunbar and Worgan just shy of a fifty opening partnership before falling quickly. Thabrew and Mouzoures taking us forward whilst the skipper picked a fight with the Old Whits fixture secretary (another club we can't play friendlies against!). Dunbar bowled round his legs, Worgan nicking their leg cutter to slip, Thabrew missing all five attempts to hit a long hop that bowled him and Mouzoures picking out a fielder with a lofted shot. Allan demonstrated
early the squirrel killing shot that was to be a feature of the Whitgift innings before edging to slip, and Grafton, on his return was bowled by one that cut back into him and avoided the 'swish.'

Zafar continued as only he can with a display of cultured, considered, graceful and elegant wipes across the line. James Woods fell cheaply to another full toss dismissal bringing Woods Snr to the crease. A fine display brought the second top score. The skipper and Wearny brought the innings to a close with some very comedy running between the wickets whilst the rest of the team danced behind the bowlers arm, just to prove a point.

After tea, the rain seemed set, but after several inspections, it started to dry off. Mouzoures' bat was planed off to provide sufficient sawdust and the good spirit between the teams meant that the game restarted, having lost nearly an
hour.

Early wickets for Wearne (good catch from Grafton) and Fortescue removed the openers, but the Whitgift 3 & 4 set about crashing anything short or overpitched mercilessly. A fine, clinical display of batting moved the score from 7-2 to
84-3 before a good spell between Dunbar and Fortescue reduced then to 107-6. A knock of 76 from their number 6 (N Flood) included 5 sixes moved Whitgifts passed the winning draw total, but with the bottom 5 contributing a total of 2,
W&H were always in the game, eventually taking the 9th wicket halfway through the final over. Whits had 5 ducks in their innings, with three other bats 4,2, and 0*. Three bats scored all their runs.

An extras total of 4 wides is testament to a good, controlled performance in the field, where all the bowlers had difficulty standing up at the crease and a marked improvement in the field from Woods Jnr another highlight. Whilst 1 point is a meagre retrurn, this was an excellent game of cricket where the result could easily have gone our way. Bring on Chertsey

WHCC 125 ao

Dulwich 129-2

by Paul Fortescue

Early match form was continued as the 3rd XI started their league season with the skipper losing the toss for the 3rd home game in a row. It would be tempting to say that the toss was important, but as always, we'll never know. Dulwich adopted a clever seemingly new approach to bowling  - that is straight. They swung and seamed the ball and waited for their chances.  Binary Dunbar (bats and 1 and 10) fell victim to a good ball early and then Gihan used up all the teams lives being dropped on more than one occasion before deftly picking out the keeper. Mouzoures chased a good one before Allan and v.d. Walt picked out good catchers. Throughout all this Mark 'Cakeboy' Worgan demonstrated that he can bring his stubbornness and determination from the tea table to his batting, staying at the crease for more than 20 overs in an excellent performance. Late
entrant Uzman Zafar, who previously spiked his brother's food to get a game then cracked off 23 - the top score as he, Mattocks and Woods restored respectability to the total. Couch and the skipper, contributing few.

Woking took the field with plenty of purpose and belief. The temperature had dropped and it seemed the pitch had improved. Not that you'd know from the skippers bowling which worried 1st slip more than the batsman. Couch briefly challenged the outcome with the brace of wickets in a patchy spell including a superb catch from Zafar in the gulley. Mattocks produced a good spell with a couple of chances that fell into gaps (how the hell do you get an outside edge forward of square?) and v.d. Walt showed more promising signs in the few overs allowed to him.

The fielding performance didn't match up to the standards set against Valley End, but was still quite sharp. Dunbar demonstrated perfectly how to be nutmeged by a cricket ball and the annual ' Dropping of the Dolly against Dulwich' routine continued courtesy of Allan this year. Woodsy continued his 'Fielding like Smithy' form in the fines and Mattocks damaged his shoulder conveniently at the end of his spell. On a positive note, the language skills of the side are developing. We did miss the chirpy Zafar Jnr, his brother a poor replacement in that respect, but there was some serious Afrikaans chuntering from new boys v.d. Walt and Mouzoures, and Couch - well, Couch was there too.

Valley End 94 ao

W&H 3's 98-3 Mouzoures 34*

by Paul Fortescue

The 3rd XI took on bitter colts rivals, Valley End at the park. The game was never is doubt due to weather and the wicket looked good enough for VE to bat first, Fortescue having lost the toss again. It was to be the only time there were ahead in the game as a couple of early wickets for the skipper, followed by a brace for the emerging v. d. Walt left VE reeling. Some excellent catches, by Allan and Worgan kept the pressure on, and when VE decided to run out their best batsman, courtesy of a v. d. Walt direct hit, the game was really up. Zafar and Woods were left to rip through the lower order - well, sort of gently ease really, and a final burst from Turnbull saw another excellent catch from Zafar to close the innings. Tea saw a remarkably restrained display from Cake boy, presumably as Cake senior was in attendance.

The W&H innings saw all of our batsman score more that all of theirs. Mouzoures crashed a couple of boundaries into the woods on either side of the wicket, and Cheetham played a flashing and dynamic innings, as is his wont. Zafar decided that the polite calling off at the end of the match was a cue for him to do cartwheels (50p), and the Chairman (outgoing) paid a visit to alleviate the pain suffered from watching the 1's and listening to the 2's.  Mrs Chairman, as opposed to Mrs Charman expressed her view that the best place for Peter on a Saturday was 'out', which lead inevitably to a fine.

OMW 209 ao, Walsh 3-5

W&H 125 ao, Mattocks 35

by Paul Fortescue

Sunday cricket returned to Brewery Road with an Academy XI taking on half of Old Midwives Saturday 2nd XI. The contest was closely fought until Fortescue lost the toss - an omen of things to come? And OMW decided to have a bat.  WHCC has always been a family club, and that tradition looks to have been passed down to the colts as wuckets fell c Hussain b Hussain, c Woods T b Woods J and c Woods J b Woods T.  OMW looked like they were going to make a massive score at 120+ for 2 after about an hour, but the introduction of the miserly seniors Woods and Dunbar applied the brakes. Some good catches from Mattocks and the devastating final spell of Walsh (3-1-5-3) proved just what a pile of sh*t statistics can be. The customary Walsh beamer sent minds dashing away to the impending league debut for the carnival.......complete
with Couch. Oh dear.

In reply, Walsh continues the cheap wickets theme making 5. Mattocks top scored with 33, almost all of which came from one over of particularly appetizing bowling from a MW youngster who didn't have a 3rd man on the shed boundary. Tut tut. Woods made an impressive return to cricket scoring 19 and reminding all the other bats what 'calling' is about.  Sharaz tested the construction quality of the new changing rooms by landing one his to received balls on the roof - the other went for 4 in a highly entertaining 10* off 2 balls, but the result was never in doubt. Other items. Worgan scored about 6 cakes at tea, impressing that the growth spurt was still ongoing, but was most aggrieved when the skipper relieved him of a cookie for his daughter. The highlight of the day was watching J Woods and Worgan trying to put the ropes back up,  supervised by Charlie.

Need I say more.

Camberley 232-4 dec

WHCC 204-8

by Simon Vicos

8 games left, a trip to the team in 2nd, no Dikko, no Surridge and no bowling from Ross, not exactly good preparation for a  game we had to takesomething from.

On a 250 track (according to the skipper) we asked Camberley to bat. Morlers was surprisingly asked to open the bowling in tandem with Roger. For the first 12 overs the score meandered along at two an over with neither of the Camberley players taking too many chances. Morlers bowled well and kept a tight line resulting in his 7 overs going for only 8. Damo was then brought in to try and tempt a wicket and this he did, clean bowling his man. The fall of this wicket resulted in an increase in the scoring as for a while, their number 3 batsmen just threw his bat at everything, the ball spent a large amount for time in the air but unluckily for us did not find any waiting hands (just Quaggy's cymbals). With the scoring increasing at a worrying rate Damo was forced to switch ends and Quaggy was asked to hold onto the ball long enough so that he could bowl.

It was Quaggy who took the second wicket as finally the number 3 edged one and Giles took a regulation catch. Camberley were using the wide open spaces in the huge outfield to take 2's and 3's as well as smash the occasional boundary when the chance arrived.  Damo nicked out a third and at 110-3 with
25 overs to go we still had a lot to do, but so did Camberley to set a reasonable target. However, it was at this point that Kaminski decided to launch an all out assault, mostly on Damo. He blasted some huge sixes into the clubhouse and aided by some unselfish batting at the other end managed to monopolise the strike while speeding past his fifty. Damo managed to
clean bowl another but with the score rattling on past 200 things were not looking good for us. Finally, on 97 Kaminski played his one poor shot which Regan gobbled up to leave him stranded and to add insult to injury he had a few words from Regan to chew over as he walked back. At this point Camberley declared leaving us to chase 235.

So a solid start was needed as Toby and Regan went out, having batted for quite some time it was surprising to see Kaminski open the bowling but I suppose he was fired up by the sight of Regan at the crease. With only three balls bowled Toby played no shot and was sent packing. In the next over Quaggy got one that he played all round and the unpleasant sound of flying bails gave us a huge headache.

So once more Glenn made his way out at crisis point. No sooner had he got there when Regan survived a huge appeal for a caught behind, the whole Camberley team were going mad and more words were exchanged, it was only good captaining from Udal (the slightly thicker skinned one) that diffused the situation. It proved not to be a costly escape as Regan was removed leg before by the man he had himself removed, yet again a few words were said to accompany him as he walked back.

Ross lasted only a few overs before he served up an easy catch and we were in all kinds of trouble at 22-4, It looked at this stage that we were going to be humiliated if someone didn't dig in.

Adam and Glenn began thefightback and both weathered the storm and saw off the openers before working the ball around the field. They carried the score on to 75 before Adam finally fell for a hard-earned 24.

Morlers was really the last of the recognised batsmen and he spent nearly half an hour simply protecting his wicket before finally cutting loose with consecutive fours to great applause. Glenn was beginning to take the game to the Camberley bowlers as the two of them first dragged us past the hundred mark and then, began to play some superb shots, taking us past 150. From the disaster that was 22-4 we had by now somehow earned a chance of actually winning the game. The tension grew with each ball as we all hoped these two remained at the crease, they even got the run rate down to a run a ball at one stage. In fact the tension was so great that we forgot to applaud Glenn on reaching his fifty so instead we gave him a bit of a clap on reaching the milestone that is 52 !

Just as we were all anticipating a superb victory Morlers was adjudged leg before and departed for 42, bearing in mind his only other game this season had resulted in a duck, this was a real test of character in a difficult situation.

Within minutes of Morlers departure Glenn was clean bowled and our chance of winning the game was gone. His 83 was yet another example of him digging us out of a hole, one day he might actually get the chance to cut loose and help himself to the ton he deserved.

Camberley at this point had a slight sniff of victory and Walshy had one task, bat the game out to ensure we took a point. Roger stuck around for a while before exiting with a few balls to spare. And it was a very relieved W&H camp once Walshy had survived the final ball, although not as relieved as Damo who been pacing around on his own, padded up and shitting himself!!.

Although Camberley controlled ¾ of the game it was good to see us show a bit of backbone and grind a point out when earlier in the season we would have folded. I was impressed with Camberley who looked the best side we have faced. For the first time this season we have gone two games unbeaten, let's make it three this Saturday as we badly need the points.

WHCC 261-5 dec - I Meyer 81, T Green 72, G Morley 56*

Ashtead 119 AO - M Surridge 5-33

by Simon Vicos

With half the season gone and the perilous position we have put ourselves in, this was a game we just had to win. Ashtead arrived having had a reasonable season so far and no doubt looking to make amends for their performance against us last year.

Ashtead won the toss and we were put into bat. Ross and Toby went out and within 15 minutes Ross was back in having been clean bowled with the score on 18. Quaggy joined Toby and the two quickly began to take on the Ashtead bowling. Toby in particular took a liking to what he was receiving and played a combination of blistering drives and uncultured wipes as he very quickly got into the 30’s. Quaggy seemed content to let Toby do the bulk of the scoring while he picked off the bad balls at his leisure. Once both had got into the 30’s I can only presume a conversation had taken place in the middle between the two as to who would get to 50 first. Human Dog was the winner as he clubbed 13 off one over and earned himself some well-deserved applause. Quaggy reached his own half-century a little later and we were firmly in control.

However, the pair did not seem to be content there and carried on making Erica’s pens smoke as they continued their assault on the Ashtead bowling. It was a shame that neither of them could continue into three figures as first Toby served up a piece of catching practise and went for a highly entertaining 72, he was followed soon after by Quaggy who was surprisingly caught considering what had gone on before, for an excellent 81. The pair had added 140 for the second wicket which must surely be the highest for some time. With 150 plus on the board and 18 overs still to bat we were looking at a big score and for once, we delivered.

I can’t remember the last time Glenn had to wait so long to bat but once he got his eye in we were treated to another boundary fest as he helped himself to an unbeaten half century as he smoked the bowling to all parts of Brewery Road. Regan, Dikko and Ross may feel as though they missed the boat but at the end of 55 overs we were sitting pretty on 261-5, the biggest score I have ever seen us post and a total which had surely put the game beyond Ashtead. The only remaining question was, could we bowl them out?.

Their reply got off to a bad start with the first wicket going down with only 6 scored, but just as we had done, the second wicket partnership began to repair things and carried the score into respectability before Mark Surridge was introduced and the scoring rate began to slow. The second wicket fell at 91 and not too long after Mark removed the dangerman leg before but we still had a lot of work to do if we were to win. As soon as the wicket fell we took drinks and you could sense the mood was that we thought we had a great chance if we could keep up  the pressure and continue to bowl well. On returning to the pavilion you could also tell that the Ashtead players were a bit less optimistic than they had been a ball before.

What we hadn’t seen coming though was a batting collapse that even we would be hard-pressed to emulate. Mark and Damo bowled superbly as we cranked up the pressure and surrounded the bat as wickets fell at an increasing rate, for once the catches were held and by the time the last wicket fell, we had shot them out for 119 and deservedly won the game by 142 runs. Damo returned figures of 4-24 and Mark 5-37. It was a happy dressing room that tucked into some well-earned lager and how nice it was to hear “13 points in the bag” once more.

Overall, a thoroughly deserved win and a result that lifts us one place up the table. Glenn completed a fine all round display with some neat Barbecuing skills later on and it was a pleasant change to enjoy some post match beverages without the need for a post mortem.

So, 8 games left, we have some tough sides ahead starting next week at Camberley, no side is far and away superior as Egham showed by taking a winning draw from Horsley and Send.

The difference is consistency and the elimination of stupid shot selection and poor fielding. We have now won 3 out of the last 6 games which considering our awful start is not too bad.

Moari Oxshott - 277-8 dec

WHCC - 219 AO

by Damo Honey

Woking and Horsell’s dismal season continued on Saturday as they lost to Maori Oxshott. Skipper Richard Walsh lost the toss but Woking were surprisingly invited to bowl first on what appeared to be an excellent pitch amidst the picturesque setting of Oxshott Village sports club.

Ross Morley and Roger White took the new ball for the third game in a row, however Woking’s fielders were soon looking for lost balls on tennis courts, bowls pitches and avoiding the arrows of the archers as Oxshott’s opening pair of Aldridge and in particular Hewitson seemed to be under the impression that they were taking part in a 20/20 match. With 50 on the board after only 7 overs, Richardson replaced White but he feared no better as Hewitson in particular rode his luck with some big shots, taking full advantage of the short straight boundaries and lightning outfield but without offering any chances.

In an attempt to put a squeezer on the situation, Walsh brought on left arm spinner Damo Honey in only the 11th over. This brought immediate success as he removed both openers within the space of an over. Aldridge caught on the boundary after a rank full toss, whilst Hewitson was beaten by flight and departed for 60 at far quicker than a run a ball.

This brought about a more sensible period of the game where Honey and the newly introduced Ian Meyer kept the scoring down to below 3 an over. Meyer took wickets in consecutive overs before limping out of the attack with a groin strain to be replaced by Glenn Morley. By now Surrey coach Keith Medlycott had arrived at the crease and he along with Latif raised the run rate scoring 13 boundaries in a partnership of 66 before Honey struck again. Firstly he had Medlycott caught in successive balls by Ross Morley. The first one was without doubt one of the finest catches you will ever see as Morley jumped high off the ground to take a spectacular one handed catch before unfortunately falling over the boundary and being honest enough to admit to acknowledge the ball as having gone for six. The next ball Medlycott hit it straight to the same fielder who took a more straightforward catch.

Honey’s next over saw Latif removed for 29 and some smart work by Giles Green behind the stumps produced a run out and a stumping in the last over as Maori Oxshott declared at 277 for 8 off 51 overs. Honey finished with an excellent 5 for 81 in a marathon 21 overs and Meyer took 2 for 26 off 9 before his injury. The rest will hope for their figures to be erased from the scorebook.

For the first time this season, the Woking innings got off to a useful start with the recalled Toby Green partnering Ross Morley. The score had reached 35 before Green who had shown that he has fully recovered from his broken wrist with some fluent boundaries, fell for 22 to a rash shot.

Regan Smith joined Morley and he too looked in good nick. However, just as Woking looked to be putting a serious challenge together to overcome the Oxshott total both lost their wickets. Morley tamely lobbing a catch to square leg for 30 and Smith (27) being very unfortunate to be adjudged LBW. With vice captain Meyer still struggling with his groin, Richardson was promoted up the order and together with Glenn Morley looked to get the innings going again. Both played some nice shots mixing studious defence with some aggressive shots and took the score to 136 when Morley played one shot too many and was bowled by Latif for 37.

Adam Portlock carried on the good work and Woking were well set to launch an attempt for victory with 100 required off about 20 overs. However, when Richardson (36) fell to a brilliant slip catch from man of the day Hewitson, the innings faltered. Portlock was needlessly run out for 24 by Meyer’s runner Green and once White had been the victim of another poor LBW decision, the tail offered no resistance and despite some boundaries sweetly struck by Meyer the innings concluded at 220 all out.

After the game Walsh commented, “The first 14 overs was destructive batting, rather than bad bowling. After that I thought that we were the better team. Damo and Quag (Ian Meyer) bowled very well.”

“As for the batting, Ross looked good and it is only a matter of time before he comes off. All the batsmen looked in good nick, but they need to convert good starts into big scores.”

“On the whole, there were lots of positives to take from the game apart from the result.”

Once again results went Woking’s way and they remain in 17th place, but there is an increasing danger that the bottom four teams are becoming adrift. This weekend Woking are at home to Streatham and Marlborough who have Tyrone Henderson of Border in top form with the ball.

WHCC 179-9 dec - I Meyer 61

Chessington 182-5

By Simon Vicos

For the first time so far this season we managed to keep the same opening pair!. Unfortunately yet again we failed to get a reasonable start as Gibbers was out leg before and Ross was ridiculously given out caught behind for 12 having hit his pad with his bat, maybe it was the 10 second appeal that swayed the umpire.

So once more Glenn and Quaggy were together at the crease with us having less than 20 on the board. Both seemed in fine form and Glenn breezed into the 40’s again before he was caught. Regan soon got going and played some smart shots before he was out in the 30’s. Adam could not repeat his efforts of last week and offered a simple catch. Quaggy was still going well and soon afterwards passed his fifty, with Dikko accompanying him at the crease with 9 overs left we were very handily placed at 155-4. You felt if Dikko had got himself going we could have passed 200 before the 55 over mark. However it was not to be, a clutch of wickets slowed the scoring and once Quaggy was out for an excellent 62 it became apparent that 175 would be a good score. We were treated to the sight of Damo striding out to the wicket in 20/20 style having been promoted to number 10. However he was soon striding back quite quickly but in the end our 179-9 wasn’t too bad, it was by far and away the best batting performance of the season. The general feeling at tea was that if we bowled well and fielded well then we had a good chance of winning the game.

We made a great start as Ross at last began to earn me some fantasy league points and bowled one of the openers, Roger repeated the trick by removing the other opener, also clean bowled. Glenn soon made it 3 and Chessington were wobbling at 30-3, things were looking good. However, the 4th wicket pairing began to settle in and after an hour where very few runs were scored, they began to start playing a few shots. A few catches went down and there were one or two examples of shoddy fielding as we let Chessington off the hook when we should have cranked the pressure up a couple of notches.

With 130 on the board, Ross was brought back into the attack and picked up another wicket thanks to Gibbers clinging on to one that had been skied. However, a game that had looked like a draw for a long time was slipping away from us with increasing rapidity as the boundaries began to flow. A further wicket fell with Chessington needing another 8 and in the end they cruised past the target for the loss of only 5 wickets.

To be fair to Chessington they had recovered well from a bad start and timed the increase in the scoring rate just right. For our part it was good to see three of the top 6 contribute 140 to our score and actually give us something to have a bowl at. It was a shame that for once our bowling couldn’t do it for us, but so many times this season they have, and will deliver.

Having seen all the results elsewhere we, along with 3 other clubs are in danger of becoming a bit detached from the rest. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, a third of the season has already gone and we have some good sides to play.

Egham 109 AO - R White 5-44

WHCC - 110-6 - G Morley 41

by Simon Vicos

In a glorious afternoon, skipper for the day Quaggy won the toss and asked Egham to bat. Ross and Roger opened the bowling and within a few overs the first Egham wicket fell thanks to a run-out and a decent bit of glove work from the re-installed Magoo.

Ross was probing away and beating the bat with increasing regularity while Roger bowled a tight line and was extracting a fair bit of bounce at the other end. It was Roger who took the second wicket with the score on 10 as the batsman, looking to give himself a bit of room, chopped on.

Roger then took another wicket thanks to a great catch from Glenn in the slips and with the score on 30-3 we were well on top. Glenn then produced a snorter of a ball that the batsman could only glove to Regan, but for some reason the umpire gave him not out which predictably induced a few choice words from Glenn. With Roger and Glenn now finding their rhythm the wickets continued to fall and Egham were reduced to 65-5 thanks to another from Roger and one from Glenn. We continued to pile on the pressure through a combination of good bowling and for once, excellent fielding. Roger produced a spell of superb bowling and by the time the 8th wicket had gone down he had returned figures of 5-44 with Glenn taking two wickets from the other end. Dikko then replaced Roger in an attempt to break a stubborn 9th wicket partnership and he duly delivered, and then went on to bowl the last man to leave Egham all out for 109.

Ross and the returning Gibbers went out to open and became our 5th opening combination in 5 games. Gibbers was soon returning to the pavilion having been cleaned up by a very tidy yorker indeed. Ross was scratching around a bit but didn’t look in too much trouble and was joined by Quaggy who stroked a few smart boundaries before trying his luck one time too many and holing out for 18, decent catch though. 

Ross was the next to go, his frustration having got the better of him as he played a poor shot at a wide one and was caught at gulley. Fortunately for us Glenn was by now beginning to enjoy himself and he played some exquisite shots as he carried the score on at good pace. Regan played one great shot from his first ball, but for some reason went in the head and chased a wide one which gave second slip the chance to pull off a great diving catch.

By now it became clear that as long as Glenn could stay there we had a great chance of winning as long as someone could hold up the other end. Porters took up the challenge and offered good support as these two edged us closer to the victory target. Just as Glenn had got into the 40’s he was bowled by one that did a bit off the pitch, sparking wild celebrations from the Egham team. Dikko went out and played a very sensible innings and rather than attempting to win the game with a series of big shots he worked the ball around for singles and twos and together with Adam finally took the game away from Egham. Adam was out to a poor shot to mid-on but he had done a very good job for us by then and it was left to Minge and Dikko to inch us past the target.

The last 23 runs needed for victory took an age to come, but Minge was never going to let them get him out and was content to leave the bulk of the scoring to Dikko. When Dikko finally sneaked the winning single it didn’t prompt scenes of mass jubilation from us, more like a huge collective sigh of relief that we had ended our losing run and got our season off and running.

Our bowling had been superb all day, Ross will bowl worse and take lots of wickets but for some reason he just keeps beating the bat without reward. Roger produced an excellent sustained period of good line and length bowling and coupled with Glenn’s pace and hostility we never let Egham get going. 

We also displayed what a difference good fielding can make, this time we ran down every ball and created doubt in the batsman’s minds about whether a single or a second run was on. It was a welcome change from the efforts of the previous 4 games.

We still showed some familiar frailties with the bat, Ross, Quaggy, Regan and Adam all falling to shots they would probably have played differently given another chance. Dikko played with more restraint than I can ever remember and Minge just had to stay there and sneak quick singles rather than crash the ball around, which he did very well.

So the awful run has been ended and we have lifted ourselves 2 places up the table. Hopefully the mood in the camp will improve now that we have bagged our first maximum of the season. Contrast the way you felt this week Roger to how you felt last Saturday !. If we can produce the same level of fielding and eliminate the stupid shots we are prone to, then there is no reason why we can’t climb the table. We still have 13 games to play and that’s an awful lot of points up for grabs.

I was pleased for you all on Saturday, it’s been a real test of character, now lets look to win the next game against Chessington.

Purley 241-8

WHCC 124 AO - I Meyer 47

by Simon Vicos

The batting displays so far cost three players a place in the side, in came Adam Portlock, Roger White and veteran loony Charlie Johnson. Walshy duly won the toss, but to be honest that was the days high spot !

I can’t quite remember how the Purley innings went in detail, there were so many boundaries I lost count. However, we still had our chances, but one of the most expensive drops I can remember could have been the pivotal moment in the game. It happens to everyone but by the time the Purley player passed the 100 mark, he really should have been sitting in the sun watching us mop the tail up. To let them get away from 110-4 off 33 overs to the giddy heights of 241-6 of 52 was not good at all. Still, there were runs in the pitch and once it got through the initial ring of fielders the ball was scorching away for four. Damo was the only one who really had any success with his 4 wickets, as usual you couldn’t fault anyone for effort (Charlie providing some good drama) but we looked a fairly demoralised outfit when we trooped off after the declaration.

Our innings didn’t get off to the best of starts, Roger getting one on the elbow that dropped down onto his stumps and Tommo departing soon after. Glenn and Quaggy once more dragged us into a position where it looked as though we could save the game but Glenn was out to a quite brilliant catch in the slips and it gave Purley a massive boost. One of their players said afterwards that Glenn was the one wicket they simply had to get and they were delighted to see the back of him, in his own words “a massive wicket”. Quaggy played some superb shots as he looked comfortable and was given good support by Dikko and Porters. However as he neared his fifty Quaggy fell victim to a freakish run out as the fielder couldn’t take the ball cleanly and it hit him on the leg and rolled onto the stumps before Quaggy made his ground. After that the innings descended into the all too familiar shambles as wicket after wicket fell far too easily. Ross is this weeks king of rashness after slapping a pie into the air as he really should know better but we eventually crumbled to a paltry 114 and were deservedly battered by 127 runs.

May Review

To be honest, May has been bloody awful and the worst series of results I can remember. We’ve been skittled out four times for nothing more than 123. And that’s where all our problems lie. There’s an awful lot of talent in the side but for some reason we seem to have found it incredibly difficult to stay at the crease, to quote a phrase heard on Saturday “They all bat like millionaires”. Maybe someone should take on board the significance of Hartfields innings for Horsley & Send against us (2 off 109 deliveries to help win them the game).

We’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck as well but that will almost certainly even itself out over a season. You could also point out that we have played 4 of the current top 7 sides in the division. However, where we excel right now is in stupid run-outs and piss poor shot selection. 

Another problem area has been our fielding which has been schoolgirl level at best so far. Not including the dropped catches but our ground fielding has been woeful. We keep conceding singles because on we’re on our heels or not walking in. There have been far too many missed runouts, byes, turning 0s into 1s, 1s into 2s, 2s into 3s etc etc!. Every team we have played has been twice as sharp as us in the field. It’s only basic skills we’re talking about here, we need to concentrate and apply them, starting this week.

Last season our fielding was one of the reasons we did so well. Cast your minds back to the Ashtead game where we ran down every single ball, if we had that sort of attitude every week we’d be able to back up our bowlers who are constantly given low targets and expected to deliver.

Rant over, we can’t do anything about it now but we must take on board what has gone on, draw a line under it and look to go forward together as a team. There was bound to be a time when we had a run of results like this but it’s how you emerge from it that is the most important thing of all.

Talent will always come to the fore, as I said earlier, this team is packed with talent, I’m positive the results will come, but that will only happen on the back of some very hard work by us, again, as a team. When confidence is high the results just seem to flow as they did last season but now is the time to dig in and scrap our way away from the position we have put ourselves in.

Roll on June, lets bare our teeth and have a bulldog backlash.

The Mentallist of the month for May is the outstanding Damien Honey, still taking wickets and twice now he has shown the ability to stick around with the bat when all before him have long since departed. The chairman who leads from the front.

WHCC 123 AO

Horsley and Send 124-5 - G Morley 4-26

by Simon Vicos

Another Saturday and another hugely disappointing result. Asked to bat first Tommo and Regan settled down quickly enough, Tommo in particular blunting the new ball and Regan firing a couple of quick boundaries, just as they seemed to be getting comfortable Tommo got his first bad ball, an easy two was turned into a needless run out and something promising became 15-1. Regan continued to chance his arm and moved quickly to 26 before becoming the new Toby Green and wasting all his good work by holing out pointlessly.

Glenn and Quaggy carried the score on, Glenn in particular playing some great shots along the way. However four quick wickets went down, Glenn (27), Quaggy (21),  Dikko (after 4 balls) and Ross (to another peach) all fell in the space of a few overs and we had stumbled from a very healthy 76-2 to 87-6.

The wickets continued to fall with alarming regularity and although Damo treated us to a late cameo by effortlessly helping himself to 11 before Ben was out for two, we had done it again, shot ourselves in the foot massively by being knocked over for 123 when we really needed at least 150, and should really have got 175 plus from the position we were in.

So yet again we were looking to the bowlers to get us out of jail, the key wicket was the dangerous Gasson. Get him we did by way of a brilliant catch from Dean off Glenn’s bowling, but in the context of the match his 45 was every bit as hurtful as his effort last season. Glenn produced his best bowling of the season taking four wickets, the other falling to Dikko and at one point we hauled ourselves back in the game by way of two wickets in two overs to turn 84-3 into 84-5. At that point the game was up for grabs, however, we couldn’t dislodge the next two and they slowly ground out a 50 partnership to win the game and leave us still looking for that first win.

It may not be pleasant, but after 4 games, league tables tend not to lie. We’re down at the bottom looking up at the rest, but we’re there on merit gentlemen. As a team we have been frankly awful with the bat, we’ve bowled well enough but we haven’t given ourselves a chance to put the opposition under any real pressure. So far we have been bowled out three times for 298 runs, the average partnership therefore is less than 10 !!

Losing is fine and will happen to the best teams, but, we need to dig in and grind out some results, as Walshy often says, we are not here to engage with spiders. It’s time to put some wins on the board and get up the table. It’s frustrating as hell to watch a side with so many good players fail to produce so I can only guess how frustrating it is to be out there, but as they say form is temporary, can we live up to the second part of the statement?

Dulwich 148 AO - Meyer 4-36

WHCC 110 AO - G Morley 51

At the second time of asking, Walshy did something for the club and won the toss. Dulwich were duly sent in to bat on what looked like the best strip at W&H for some time, the outfield actually resembled one as well.

Glenn broke through first, inducing an edge and a fine catch from Dean behind the stumps, Ross then pulled off one of the finest caught and bowled you’ll see as he held on to one the screamed at him right out of the meat of the bat, Ross was very pleased with this one, at least that’s what I think he told the departing batsman. The score now was 40-2.

Damo and Quaggy were then introduced into the attack, with Damo strangling the run rate from one end and Quaggy producing a fine display from the other end we began to make inroads Into the Dulwich batting line up. I can’t remember the lads name but the bloke with the ginger hair had batted for ages and seemed to be playing with a fair amount of control as Quaggy kept probing away at him. The comment (ironically from Human Dog) was “we’ll see if he has the mental toughness to grind it out”, two balls later he made room for himself but played a poor shot and got an edge into Dean’s gloves !. Watch and learn Toby.

Two more wickets followed for Quaggy and one for Damo and Dulwich were in tatters at 84-7. We actually looked like a cricket team out there again. Then came the appearance at the crease of Kenlock who is best known for his bowling, he joined the skipper Kelly and between them, through a combination of luck and good shot selection, began to form a useful partnership. A couple of catches went down to add to everyone’s frustration before Ross pulled off another caught and bowled to remove Kenlock, Ross again letting him know where the pavilion was. Dulwich were eventually all out for 148, which I thought was 30 more than they should have got, Quaggy bagging four wickets in what was an excellent spell of line and length bowling.

Yet another opening partnership for us then, this time Morlers and Tommo. Within minutes Morlers got beaten by sheer pace and departed for 0. Tommo followed soon after and yet again we had failed to make a start. Quaggy then began to get to grips and together with Glenn, started to drag the game back in our favour. Quaggy was next to go quickly followed by Ross who was unfortunate to get a peach second ball for his first English duck, we were now 80-4. By now it became apparent that someone would have to stay out there with Glenn if we were to win, however, this didn’t happen and Glenn was eventually out for an excellent 51. Walshy, Toby and Dean didn’t look entirely comfortable and although Ben, Minge and Damo showed that you could actually bat for a while out there without getting yourself out, we had shot ourselves in the foot yet again and were dismissed for 110.  Once more, Glenn had scored almost half our runs.

The constant line-up changes do not help us, but for some reason we keep self destructing when we bat. This week we are without Walshy and Damo, however Dikko and Regan are back, and soon we’ll also have Gibbers fresh from his honeymoon to hopefully give us a few more solid starts. It’s been a bit of a kick in the pants for us, however we are not alone as Egham and Old Midwhitgiftians also have yet to register a point. I felt sorry for Ben on Saturday, however it’s all experience and he can only learn from it. To drop a catch is human, to do it and have half their team immediately in your ear is unfortunate.  The teams reaction didn’t help but as I said earlier, it was a frustrating day. A game that we controlled for large parts ended up being thrown away.

WHCC 65 ao

Addiscombe 66-2

by Simon Vicos

On an overcast day, Addiscombe were the visitors for our first game of the season. They won the toss and asked us to bat. The outfield was fairly heavy after much recent rain and it was clear that it was going to be a fairly low scoring game.

Addiscombe adopted the tactic of bowling very straight and fairly full, and this made us struggle from the start. Tommo was the first to go, out leg before for 7. Dikko followed, clean bowled by one that completely fooled him. Glenn was out cheaply and Quaggy then walked onto a straight one and we were in a huge hole after 12 overs at 25-4. 

Regan was out next, also leg before and it was left to Ross and Richard to try and get us out of trouble, to be fair they stuck around for a while and although relying heavily on singles at least kept the scoreboard moving. However, just as they looked to have got themselves in, Richard was removed by way of a low catch and things were already looking terminal. Ross soon departed closely followed by Toby (out to a wild shot), Minge and Ben tried to grind a few runs out and once Minge was out Damo came in only to be run out after two balls which left us all out for a paltry 65.

Addiscombe’s reply got off to a bad start as Ross produced a beauty to clean bowl his man, was this going to be the start of an inspired fightback?, err no, not really. We used 5 bowlers in an effort to try and mix it up, however, I thought we bowled a little bit too short at times and Addiscombe never really looked in any danger of not getting the runs they needed. We took a second wicket with the score on 62, Richard taking a simple catch, however, the winning shot summed it all up, not even making the boundary as we didn’t bother to chase it and let them run the two they required for victory.

So not a very satisfactory start at all gents. Much has been spoken about our improved batting line up especially the top 6, and certainly on paper it looks formidable, however, the game isn’t played on paper and although I didn’t fully agree with one of their players “ten poor shots” theory, he wasn’t too far wrong was he. It didn’t make for good viewing at all. The better side on the day won and that was that.

Still, we move on, if you’re going to have a collective team nightmare, you might as well have it on the first day of the season. Dulwich next week and the weather forecast is favourable for the next few days so lets hope for some considerable drying out at Brewery Road before then.

WHCC 208-8 - G Morley 49

Chertsey 78 ao - R Morley 5 - 18

By Damo Honey

So we are here again and despite Friday afternoon’s barrage of rain the 1st XI’s season started on Saturday with a Friendly against old acquaintances Chertsey. The 2 teams have always got on well, but Woking were keen to avenge last years defeat, whilst Chertsey were no doubt looking forward to the opportunity to put another one over a team from a higher division.

Many familiar faces arrived at the ground, once Damo had stopped for his breakfast. However, we were without the Green brothers – Dog and Kitten – both injured in freak ten pin bowling accidents, and also Charlie who was back at the club still trying to work out how to get into his “moon buggy”. Other notable absences were the “new Quaggy” who was busy playing petanque with a load of Granddads and the Mentalist who was an emotional wreck watching Woking FC try to maintain their conference status. All this meant a debut for Ross Morley, all round kiwi superstar but lightweight drinker, a chance for Pretty Boy Ben to force his way into the league side, an opportunity for Toby ‘Seamo’ Aldred to clash the cymbals behind the sticks, a last minute debut for Ross’ mate Duncan over here looking for a club to ply his trade with, and last but by no means least a whole lot less bleating on from the sidelines.

Bulldog Walsh lost the toss and Chertsey put us in on a green, juicy pitch. Dikko joined Walshy at the crease and these 2 gave us a confident start with a mixture of Dikko’s 9 irons and Walshy’s paddles the score passed 30 before the father of 2 wafted at a wide half volley and became the first victim of the new season.

The first of the Morley’s joined the skipper and whilst still debatably on nought played a shot which can only be described as pre-season and we mused whether with Morlers’ limited availability this year if we could have seen the beginning to the longest ever set of Olympic Rings?

In came another Morley – Glunn – who started in confident fashion, playing as if the season was a few weeks old. This confidence rubbed off on Walsh who started playing some more extravagant shots before being unlucky to be given out LBW whilst reverse sweeping!!  This brought Ross to the crease to join his brother and caused absolute mayhem for Erika as she struggled to work out who was who. The run rate increased and Ross looked confident in his first innings for the club.

Glenn softed his 50 – falling for 49 – whilst Ross hit a useful 30. Once these 2 had gone Regan and Toby carried on the good work both scoring fluently with some big sixes aswell. Duncan and Curtley also got in on the act and for once the entire innings had been a joy to watch with everyone bar Audi getting a decent knock and looking very much the part. The innings closed at 209 for 7.

Rosco and Pretty boy opened the attack and immediately caused problems to the Chertsey openers. Both picked up an early wicket, but as Ben showed signs of early season blues, Ross hopefully showed signs of things to come by producing a devastating couple of overs, which account for the rest of Chertsey’s top order. The in swinging yorker, which followed a brut of a leg cutter trapping the batsman LBW, was a priceless bit of bowling.

Dikko and Curtley came on as 1st and 2nd change and were both rewarded with early wickets, Curtley in particular was unlucky not to take anymore. Rhino claimed a wicket in his 1st over of the season as per norm and Seamo added a stumping to a fine debut behind the stumps (3 dismissals and minimal clashing of the cymbals).

The final act was left to Ross to pick up his 5th wicket whilst his brother remained wicket less at the other and Chertsey had been dismissed for 80.

All in all it was a great workout with most of the bowlers and batsmen getting a chance to shine. The fielding too was remarkably impressive for a side that had had virtually no practice. No dropped catches, with Regan on fire at short leg and Rhino bounding round the outfield.

No pre-season game would be complete without a few pre-season drinks. A very poor turnout but those that were there made up for it with a selection of strawpedos/vodka red bulls and snaky b’s couple with a lot of banter (most of which directed at the cricket chairman – who is looking forward especially to seeing the return of Quaggy this week to redirect the banter!). For once the aftershock was kept under wraps but no doubt it will make reappearance on Saturday for Glenn’s 30th birthday hopefully with 13 points safely bagged and tagged.

Finally a quick thank you to 2 people – Duncan for playing at the last minute – obviously a class act and I hope you find a club soon, and Kath for being a last minute taxi for a side which despite having lost weight over the winter still couldn’t find enough space in the cars for everyone!!

Next week the return of the Mentalist

SATURDAY 1ST XI PREVIEW OF 2003

by Simon Vicos

Last summer bought us many things, a World Cup, a new drinking game, a higher standard of cricket, the weekly madcap instalments of Couch, a new barbecue, but also sadly a fire, which gutted the clubhouse on the eve of the last day of the season. And if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks later a further fire destroyed the scorebox. As with all other seasons it flew by and as the sun set over Brewery Road after the Brook game we all wondered how the next 33 weeks would be filled.

There may have been inactivity on the field, but many people have spent the winter working furiously behind the scenes to ensure that not only is the coming season a successful one but also an enjoyable one. The changing rooms have been refurbished and a new scorebox has been installed. We have an overseas player for the first time in 2 years as through many peoples hard work we have secured the services of Ross Morley (Glenn’s “little” brother) and Quaggy has returned (although probably not as good as the old Quaggy). Ross was recently introduced to the delights of Woking at night and after playing a few encouraging early shots he seemed to tire a bit (we’ll put it down to jet lag). I would imagine once he picks up the pace he’ll be as useless on a Sunday as the rest of us.

The bar, as always will be healthily stocked with Aftershock and Stella should anybody feel the need to spend Sunday face down on the Sofa before going to collect their car at 4pm. Des is now bar guru having overthrown Minge in a bloody coup. I would imagine Des would have moved swiftly to sort out the collapsing fridge as he was a big fan of the way Windy ran the show. Hopefully Des will bring stability back to a rather turbulent passage in the bar’s life (Minge’s term having been littered with break-ins, fires etc). Obviously now Minge, free from the shackles of responsibility, will be perving more than ever while sporting this years latest selection of finest silk garments.

Minge “Just having a look”

On the cricketing side of things, having finished a very creditable 6th last time round, this season we must be looking for promotion. With the quality we have on offer we must surely be in with a very good chance, however, this year we won’t be the surprise package and the other sides will know more about us.  There are some good sides in this division and we’ll need to up our performance levels to do well again.

Last season was littered with painful to watch batting collapses so hopefully having strengthened the batting line up a bit we should be able to post a few 200 plus scores to attack. The bowling last season was superb, Without a fit Morlers and being Couchless all year, the burden was mostly put upon Glenn, Dikko and Damo. They responded magnificently and bagged 99 wickets between them out of a total of 141. Hopefully Ross and Quaggy will lighten the load for them this season. The fielding was good last year, whoever said “catches win matches” was right, they do and so it proved on many occasions, more of the same please lads.

So, who are the main movers and shakers going to be this year?

The W&HCC Pavilion Mentallists, proudly present to you:

Richard Walsh (First 11 Skipper)

Motivational Captain with suicidal drinking habits. What else can I say?, well how about score some runs this season, and can we have a bit less of the aimless waft that you are so fond of!. That apart, his teamtalks are something to behold (especially if you have decided to decorate rather than play the previous week) and his record as skipper speaks for itself, although he does like to remind you of it sometimes. Richard now has the players he wanted, can he deliver some silverware to the adoring legions of fans?

Glenn Morley (Last Years Player of the year)

600 runs and 40 wickets wasn’t too shabby a return for Glenn. No-one else ever got near his level of performance and more of the same would do very nicely indeed. With more back-up Glenn will hopefully be able to cut loose a bit more rather than drop anchor as he had to do a few too many times last summer. Off the field Glenn’s major talent is binge drinking, ringing people at 3am and offering pearls of wisdom before spending Sunday crashed out in your spare room.

Glenn playing yet another attacking shot

James Morley

Morlers used to play cricket to a reasonable standard (although we are awaiting documentary evidence), and as such is a big fish (bug fush) in the pond of W&H. It remains to be seen whether he is an even bugger fush this year, but much of this will depend on the intensive fitness campaign he has been pushing himself through in the winter. Morlers contributes to the team in many ways, sometimes bowling as many as 3 overs and occasionally getting a bat (only to be distracted by the honking of car horns). His slip fielding is exceptional in that it is unlike any one else's that we have seen. An excellent all round performer on and off the park.

Toby Aldred

This is a big year for Toby, last season he was thrown in at the deep end many times and more often than not he produced the goods. Not a spectacular crash bang wallop merchant but plays in a patient controlled way and is the least likely of all the side to go in the head and get himself out. A player of undoubted ability and temperament, I hope Toby will be keen to prove me right this season. In the field, he is another with very safe hands and never lets us down. However, it’s not all good, as Toby’s after match boozing is quite frankly pathetic and he would struggle in a head to head with Erica.

Regan Smith

“Neo” would be the first to admit he had a poor season last year. Often guilty of giving opposition batsmen some of the biggest whittle in the field and even more guilty than most of getting himself out after a good start. Has been telling me for some time now that he’s going to score some runs this season, Regan is probably one of the keenest blokes I’ve ever met, It wouldn’t surprise me if he went to bed each night fully padded up, with lid and gloves on “just in case”.

“Hmmmm, would Kath mind if I buy another 5 bats this weekend”

Giles Green

Wicketkeeper Giles Green is an integral part of the W&H wicket taking machine - no batsman can concentrate with the constant clashing of cymbals and the off putting friendly chat in between balls. While he will take some incredible catches this year, they are unlikely to be given out unless the rest of the team appeals on his behalf as he's a bit shy. When we play poorly this year, Giles will have to bat. This is not good.

Off the field and in the showers, Giles is a really big member of the squad. He also likes drinking and dressing like his brother and Worzel Gummidge. I blame the parents, I really do!

Ian Meyer

“Quaggy” returns to the fold fresh from his stint in the local parks spent bashing a tennis ball about and shouting  “IN” at the end of each run. A lot of expected of him this year, the old Quaggy would certainly have delivered !. The old Quaggy was always seen ordering "sux bucks" will the new Quaggy be seen after dark?

Ross Morley

Ross makes up the Kiwi trio, according to his brother, Ross is a very talented batsmen and also bowls left arm quick. His hobbies would seem to be drinking and bowling short ones at pretty boy batsmen! (stay away from nets Ben)  Welcome aboard Ross, we hope you enjoy the W&H experience. We’ll send you home two stone heavier if nothing else.


David Gibney

“Gibbers” has the ability to grind runs out. Often heard shouting “no” before he plays the shot, he managed to bore the pants off us last year with some of his innings but made up for it on the last day of the season with a tremendous knock against Brook, straight in the middle of his forehead!, Occasional off spin merchant and even more occasional shambling midnight wreck.

Damien Honey

Damo takes on additional responsibilty this year”. Our new Cricket Chairman has been working very hard all winter to ensure the rest of us enjoy the summer. There is simply no end to this mans efforts for the club and quite recently he was seen wandering the streets of Hamburg looking for new “talent”. Eats, sleeps and breathes cricket , well eats, sleeps and breathes to be exact. Damo started well last season and was leading the wicket taking charts for two months, his 31 wickets at 16 apiece were a fitting reward to his application. All he needs to do this year is add another 10 wickets to last years return and learn to avoid the sniper in the trees who regularly pins him when he is required to act in the field.

Damo “refuelling after another hard day in the field”

Toby Green

Affectionately known as the Human Dog, unaffectionately known as Soft c*ck, pea heart and tramp. With his elegant style he has the potential to be Woking's answer to Michael Vaughan, unfortunately his Friday nights out make him more like Woking's answer to Michael Slater. One day he will score half of the 1000 runs that he drunkenly promises Walshy he is going to get at the start of every season but needs to apply himself more. Oh and get rid of that horrible shot that gets him out every week. Toby is also a big fan of “the £8 shower”

Andrew Murphy

“Minge” as he is known throughout Surrey has been unlucky over the last two seasons, he has been known to suffer from a multitude of injuries such as broken fingers, hurt feelings, collapsed fridge and scorched clubhouse. Single handedly responsible for an eighties fashion revival in the Woking Area. One of the best fielders in the club, Minge has safe hands as Wearney will testify.

Peter Richardson

It is no coincidence that when Dikko went off to play golf, the first teams results went to pot. Belies his status as the elder statesman and also his nickname of "Belly" to bowl superbly and consistently at albeit a slightly more medium pace than in the past.

Boy can this boy hit a ball as well and not just off a tee. Has won games almost single-handedly in the past - hopefully wont have to this year. But dont be surprised if he gives the Morley twins a run for their money at the top of both averages.

Go easy on "Dad" at fines this year - he's had a tough six months.

Finally look forward to his mid-season party although be warned best to book early if you dont want to miss out

If only Callaway made Cricket Bats, you can just imagine Dikko blasting the ball into Knaphill with his “Big Belly” !

Yes I know he looks like someone’s dad, but this man wins games….honest !

The Pavillion Mentallists

Not quite Barmy or an Army, but a vital ingredient to any matchday. Most likely to be found lounging in the sun with a cold beer admiring the efforts of WHCC’s 1st 11. This season shall be no different, unless it rains, then we shall be inside, not too far from the Aftershock. 

“This man’s Fridge is shit”

So there you have it, we’ve had a bit of banter, had a few drinks and whittled a whole lot over the last 33 weeks. Now it’s the turn of the players of Woking & Horsell to step up and do what they do. The rest of us can only watch, encourage and hopefully applaud.

Enjoy the summer, and as usual the bar will be open all day at every first team home game. Look forward to seeing as many of you down there as possible.

Now lets “Get amongst it”

Mentallist

Brook 106 AO - G Morley 4-21

WHCC 103 AO

by Simon Vicos

It may have been the last day and our changing rooms may have been charred beyond repair but these two things cannot excuse a very poor showing indeed. 

A change of captain and a change of luck as Morlers won the toss. Wickets fell early as Mark Surridge and Morlers made early breakthroughs. Toby Green eventually made it to the ground half an hour after the start and then at 1.45 Dikko arrived. A very piss poor show indeed. Des then proceeded to show everyone his hands were made of wood by dropping an absolute dolly, and then a sniper in the trees shot Damo as he went for a catch. Adding to this carnival like occasion was the Brook batting display, they have won three games all season for a reason chaps, because they are not very good!. Wickets were by now falling at regular intervals and Glenn was making inroads while everyone else chipped in. Brook were eventually bowled out for 106, Glenn taking another four wickets. The wicket may have been a difficult one to bat on but surely we could chase this?.

The Green Brothers opened the batting and Toby went first ball, having looked towards Horsell High Street where he was intending to plant the ball, he forgot to look at the ball, £8 please Toby, was it worth you coming ?. Giles soon followed him also for a duck. Gibbers went out and came back within a couple of minutes after taking a nasty blow to the head necessitating a trip to the hospital (so it was worth you coming dog !) Dikko hardly troubled the scorer nor did Glenn or Morlers and at 59-6 we were struggling.  Enter Toby Aldred and Haleem, both batting with a responsibility that no one before them had shown. Toby in particular after a nervy start soon began to carry the score forward albeit at a slow rate. Both were playing some good shots and got us up to 89 before Toby was adjudged lbw for a very hard-earned 36. Haleem and Des then ground out a further 14 runs and victory looked certain before Haleem was needlessly run out. The way the Brook players celebrated the wicket was a bit over the top but when you have won three games all season I suppose you take anything you can. Damo went out with us needing 4 to win, two balls later it was all over, not courtesy of a boundary but by way of an lbw decision and our season was over. Brook had won by three runs and yet again celebrated to ram home the fact the day had meant more to them than it did us. Credit to them, they worked hard for their win but were surely there for the taking had we possessed the right attitude.

With no karaoke at the club it was left to us to make our own entertainment and I think we did a decent job. The tug or war victory over the two’s was very amusing as was the raising of £80 by Ben Storey’s arm wrestling challenge. Highlight for me was the under 15s manager being taken home by his irate wife due to the fact he was in pieces. By 1.30 we drifted off into the night and another season had come to a close.

WHCC 197-3 dec - Glenn 101*, Dog 47

Old Hamptonians 198-4

by Munge

Well, thats it for another year then.  The dream is over.  The fact is we were well beaten by a team we would expect to beat and probably would have done had it not been for the 7 regulars we had missing.

As seems to be the norm lately we lost the toss and were put in on a lively track.  The Dog looked nervous as his football team were all on the sidelines barracking him, presumably to make up for the missing turncoat Mentalists stream of abuse.  Thommo was out early but this brought Glunn to the wicket who presumably knew that with the weakened team he would have to perform (and with the thought of his two previous innings as captain in the back of his mind).  They both started setting about the bowling, Dog particularly enjoying the short straight boundary which meant that his usual chips straight down long ons throat were sailing over for 6.  He was bowled for 47 which meant that the "Every dog has its day" headlines will have to wait.  Toby Aldred joined Glunn and after getting off the mark first ball - very rare for Pinsent - he seemed to relax and started carving the ball to all parts for a quick 30 before he was out.  By this time Mutch had made it to 98, and a quickly taken two had brought him his first league ton at W&H.

The lightest 1st team of the season (missing four of its larger members) made its way onto the field and with the large total on the board, how could things go wrong??  But go wrong they did.  We didn't bowl very well as a team and we were soon doing all lot of ball chasing.  Glunn got their Aussie out as he seems to do at will which brought in the youngest looking first eleven player I have ever seen.  Dog took an extremely sharp chance at slip which would have needed a look from the third umpire to confirm or deny and although the feeling was that it was out, the umpires gave the benefit of the doubt, either that or the dog just didn't bark loud enough or the umpires felt sorry for the kid.  Maybe we weren't playing LBWs either!!  To be honest the wheels really came off for the last 30 or 40 runs, ragged bowling and some uninspired fielding all added up to a deserved second place, but to be honest at least we made it a contest for most of the game.

Attention turned to the bar and the H-R ratings.  Thommo obviously deciding that with so many people away he was going to drink himself up about ten places.  In scenes reminiscent of the infamous, "Oh, I'd rather be a *********  than a Blue evening", he downed a double port and aftershock and is probably checking into the Priory now.  Thommo - Thanks very much for writing, "Munge is a Tosser" on the whiteboard having rubbed off all the days scores.  He was rightly fined £5 for living in Hampshire.

Thanks go to the fans that did turn up to watch, so at least people couldn't sing S*it team, no fans at us and thanks in particular to Couch who went to fetch the ball when it was smashed out of the ground, when Hamps couldn't be bothered..

And probably the largest thanks to Willy for playing when we were short, giving us his insight and perception as well as his sheer enthusiasm!!

Also, a quick congratulations to the twos and make sure you do the job next week.  Nice to see Steve Wilmshurst in the runs.  What do you think Couch??

W & H 217 for 7 off 40 overs

Richmond 37 all out off 22 overs

Bulldogs won by 180 runs
By Damo “Rhino” Honey

As it seems that the Pavilion Mentalist has become the “Turncoat Mentalist” and transferred his allegiances to the Arsenal look-alikes in GU22, it is up to me to give you the latest update on the Bulldogs in white from GU21.

All due respect to Richmond but nothing less than 13 points was expected from this game against a side who had managed only 2 losing draws all season. Once Richmond turned up with only 9 players the result looked even more of a formality but it still had to be attained.

The fact that 13 big ones were bagged and tagged was satisfying but the way in which it was achieved was all the more pleasing. It was a thoroughly better and more professional performance than last week’s game and it was good to see the old Bulldog spirit back in evidence.

Humandog and Smithers started at a rate of knots before the first boat sailed past and for the 16th time this season the opening pair had failed to make it past 50. The second boat followed quickly and with both the openers back in the hutch it was left to Dikko and Reegs to up the scoring rate even further to around about 7 or 8 over before disaster struck. Another ball sailed out of “The Home of Crucket” struck sweetly by Dikko’s 7 iron and we had now run out of spares. The search team was despatched and Magoo was lifted into the hedge, balls were found and the disaster had been averted.

Neo succumbed to the spun and in an effort to avoid any more ball losses Woking cunningly decided to send in Walshy under the guise of Geoff Boycott to lower the run rate, which had become ridiculously high. However, despite Geoff’s best attempts a score of 200 was looming. In an attempt to lighten the situation Walshy instructed the rest of the team to pad up and at one stage there were six players waiting to come in.

Dikko was out for a superb run a ball 80, followed quickly by Boycott, before James “Redgrave” Morley and Toby “Pinsent” Aldred both narrowly avoided adding to the increasing collection of zero’s. At 191 for 6 surely we were going to make 200, although it was pointed out by “Statto” Munge that if we had lost a wicket at that stage then all 3 remaining batsmen would have to make their highest Saturday scores of the season to make it! Another wicket did fall and the stage was set for Rhino – despite suffering a nose bleed from the thought of coming in at single figures – and sure enough he cracked his first boundary for over 2 years taking us above 200 for the first (only??) time this season celebrating like he had scored a century at Lords. There was just enough time for “Stuart” Surridge to crack 3 fours in the last over and the innings was declared at 217 for 7 off a mere 40 overs.

This left us acres of time to bowl out 9-man Richmond. Morlers started it off with a deuce of wickets and a celebration a la Chris Silverwood at Guildford. Dikko joined in the fun at the other end before leaving Cat Flap and Beautiful Ben to finish off the tail with only 37 on the board. Ben showed that he has the potential to become a regular 1st teamer next year and Rhino showing that the Cat Flap is not always open taking his second caught and bowled in a row. A note should go to Gubbers as well for a wonderful one handed showboating catch in the gully.

The best thing was that we bowled and fielded well in circumstance where we could easily let our standards slip. It was a shame that the game was not more of a contest, a number of us have been waiting 3 years to get our revenge on Richmond and to be honest it just wasn’t the same. It’s a shame to see any club go downhill like they have this season and I hope that their obviously talented youngsters come through and make them a better unit again.

Now the game was over soon after 5 and there were now some serious points to be gained – however, the aftershock bottles were ignored until late perhaps due to the serious dent in peoples pockets by fines – and no one achieved double figures. Despite this Munge slipped at the top by having a little cough the next morning, although surely he will sow up the title this weekend as his nearest rivals are away. In the meantime Couch was trying to claw his way back into peoples good books following his shocking performance the week before and was busy cooking away on the splendid new bbq which he had bought and assembled the previous day. Much respect has to go to his kebabs and his marinating skills.

Anyway good luck to those playing this weekend and looking forward immensely to the End of Season Karaoke – sorry Munge Karoake isn’t it??   Ahaha…

Final thought has to go to the topsy-turvy world that we live in – I wonder what odds you could have got in Ladbrokes of Damo hitting a his 1st boundary in 2 years to take us above 200 for the 1st time this season in the same week that both him and Giles got jobs and that Couch behaved himself.

WHCC 157 AO (G Morley 57)

Maori-Oxshott 117 AO

by Damo Honey

I am still at a loss to describe Saturday’s game – not taking away from one or two good individual performances it was quite frankly the worst game of 1st XI League cricket that I have been involved in for some years. This makes the fact that we came away with 13 points all the more amazing.

Walshy lost the toss – yet again – its getting boring writing this – and amazingly Maori chose to field in the searing heat despite having only 9 men.

Perhaps the reason for this decision was that they had seen the state of Toby Green – opening the batting still blatantly drunk from the night before and unaware of what had happened to him between 9pm and 4am. However, he belied his state to hit one or two nice shots (probably hitting the middle one of the 3 balls he was seeing) before the familiar Woking and Horsell 1st XI collapse followed. All of a sudden we were in all sorts of trouble at 55 for 6 and Toby A had joined Morlers on 5 ducks.

Quite how this had happened I don’t know – both sides seemed to be treating it as nothing more than a stroll in the park although Maori now had 10 players.

Finally we saw some application from the skipper who joined Glunn to put together a match-saving partnership and give our bowlers something to bowl out. When they were both out – Mutch for an excellent 57 and Bulldog for a crucial 18 – Curtley then gave us a further boost – showing us what we all know he can do in belting 25 off 27 balls. Magoo stuck around as well to his credit and the innings was declared at 157 for 9 (either that or Rhino went in and got a duck and we were all out – I cant remember which one).

Following a splendid tea from Mrs Walsh, the Bulldogs took the field and saw Maori-Oxshott’s openers smash the ball everywhere before Curtley – as he so often does – took the crucial wicket of their best batsman Hewitson.

Glenn and Dikko then got to work and despite some dropped catches and bad luck took the game from Maori’s reach. Dikko finished the game by taking his 5th wicket that of Tony Murphy caught well by the showboating Neo! By this time Damo had totally lost the plot - making the cardinal error of listening to his vice-captain and sending his deliveries into orbit, which were then sent back there with considerable interest.

 So the game was over – thank god. Now it was time for fines, by now the Pavilion Mentalist had returned from football and Couch was approaching double figures of Woo-woo’s – a productive session ended as ever with Magoo’s words of “can I pay you next week”. Bets are still being taken with regard to whether Munge or Damo will have to pay a certain fine first before Morlers gets round to paying for his World Cup sweepstake team.

Many points were then accumulated, Mentalist and Couch leading the way – whilst Gibbers achieved a personal best (losing 3 points in the process) and more people were vowing never to drink aftershock again.

Only 2 questions remain –

1)      Where is Trolley Man?

2)      How did Couch manage to leave without being hit?

WHCC 158-7

Horsley and Send 158-4

by Simon Vicos

A must win game and a change behind the stumps, Dean coming in as Magoo, having worked for three weeks felt the need to go on holiday to recharge.

Put into bat we sent Gibbers and Toby out to make a start, and they made a reasonably solid start of 30 before Toby once again succumbed to his natural instincts, picked his man and duly deposited the ball into his waiting hands. This was followed by a nice piece for the Video Camera where Toby attempted to explain his dismissal by blaming, his bat, his mum and the rules of the game. Having looked quite comfortable Gibbers then went in the head and as usual got out to the one loose shot of his innings and it was 40 for 2. Regan and Glenn smacked a few lusty blows about before Regan also lost the plot and got himself out for 27. Dikko only contributed 11 before blasting one down the throat of a very grateful opponent and moments later Glenn was bowled for 24 and our innings seemed to be in trouble at 100 for 5. Fresh from his cameo against Honor Oak, Morlers showed us all that he does remember which end of the bat to hold and after an hour had scored 33 before he got out to a shot that he would describe as “poostick”. Do you notice a trend developing here?,

The Skipper, looking to steady the ship played a couple of smart shots before conjuring up an ugly effort best described as a “wipe” to a wide one and yet another simple catch was taken. Toby and Curtley managed to drag us up to 158 for 7 before the heavens opened and the thunder caused everyone to scurry into the bar.

The temptation to bat for another 5 overs after an hours break was resisted and we declared. After losing an hour to the weather we went back out at 5.30. Horsley’s opening pair proceeded to club their way to an opening stand of 124, not without giving up chances though, we just couldn’t take them when they came, add to that some poor fielding in places and the game looked as though it was slipping away. However with them needing less than a run a ball and with ten wickets in hand Gasson (who had just despatched Walshy for three sixes in one over) danced down the track one time too many and Deano whipped the bails away leaving him 5 short of his century. Still , it looked as though Horsley would cruise to victory however Damo was now bowling well and snared another victim with the score on 129. Dikko then got a wicket thanks to a fine catch taken high above his head by Glenn. 141 for 3 now and we were in with a chance of saving the game. With the score inching it’s way towards the target only 3 was needed off the last 5 balls. A dot ball, followed by another and then a smart stumping left the score on 156 for 4 with two balls to go. The penultimate ball was another dot, the last ball was sent out towards the boundary but caught and returned during which time the batsmen had run three. The victory celebrations were short lived though as the umpire signalled one was a short run and that the ball was now dead.  

So we claimed a point and Damo emerged with figures of 3 for 13 which considering the carnage reaked by Gasson was great performance. 

With abandonment’s affecting some of the teams above us, 13 points would have been very handy indeed, however credit must go to Horsley and Send for their run chase in the 24 overs they were bowled back. A game would could well have petered out to nothing was turned into an exciting contest.

Back to the club then to watch fully grown women all dressed up as Schoolgirls…………Marvellous !!. Funny how the effect on the ladies is not quite the same when we dress up as Schoolboys !. Still my head told me all day Sunday that we’d had a great night, I wonder if my Taxi Driver would say the same ?

WHCC 173-5 (G Morley 53*)

Honor Oak 133 AO (G Morley 6-46)

Players View

by Damo Honey

Well the signs were not good. We had been well and truly rolled over in 2 of the last 3 weeks, we had dropped to 7th in the table, we were playing against one of the in form sides in the league and to cap it all off come half 1 and start time – it was absolutely leathering it down. The only signs of cricket being played were a few of our team playing a mini game with a stump, where someone would bowl and Toby would practice his skied slog to long off or long on.

However, the rain stopped, the covers were removed and both teams were keen to play in an effort to make up some ground on the leaders. We lost our 3rd toss in 4 and were invited as ever to bat. What followed was as good an all round batting display as we have seen at Brewery Road or anywhere else for a while. Toby and Dikko started off fairly cautiously but were still dispatching the bad balls, once Dikko was out Regan set about increasing the run rate, pulling his first ball for 4 and scoring a run a ball 20. Toby was still going well and continued to pile on the runs with Mutch before playing his trademark rash shot when on 43, muttering the words "sorry Glenn" as soon as he hit it.

This brought to the crease James Morley, not only was he well and truly aware that he had not scored a run in 70 days, but he was also up against his old team and bowling to him were 2 of his old team mates. After 6 or so balls a wide long hop appeared, would he leave it, would he spoon it in the air, would he edge it to the keeper, NO he crashed it for 4, producing the biggest and longest ovation I have ever heard at Brewery Road. Everyone had been willing that run and with the weight removed from his shoulders – the “old Morlers” returned – crashing 2 consecutive suxes before heading back to the pavilion for 25 with the words “I am going to get ******* hammered tonight”. Toby Aldred played a couple of nice shots aswell and Glunn reached his 50 (in almost effortless style) before Walshy declared  with the score on 173 for 5 scored at over 5 an over.

This left 38 overs to bowl Honor Oak out. Both sides started positively as both needed to win. Dikko made an early breakthrough, but this brought the much talked about Jaffer to the crease. He showed his style and all bowlers received some punishment although Slim Shady was especially unlucky as 2 catches went down in 2 balls off his bowling. When Glunn had the same player dropped with his next ball, things looked bad. Honor Oak had reached 100 for the loss of only 1 wicket and now only needed 5 an over to win. The game was there for the taking.

What followed was sheer class, 2 tight overs from Glunn and Damo coupled with some superb ground fielding from everyone and the pressure rose. Jaffer played one late cut too many and was caught behind. Glunn then proceeded to rip through the middle order with a little help from Rhino and some great work in the field by the whole team, including a fine catch by Giles (unnecessary bail removal if ever I’ve seen it).

To Honor Oak’s credit they kept going for the win until the last pair came together, when the order to block out arrived. However, I don’t think their number 9 knew the meaning of the words as he sent one of Rhino’s buffet balls into the air just out of reach of Mark at backward point and Mutch at gully or so we thought…….. however Mark stuck out a hand the ball landed in it and we were celebrating a fine victory, finished off by a great catch.

Somewhat shellshocked we supped our way through Castles, held court (more 13 badges next week please, especially given the theme of the party) and ran the bbq. Then later it sunk in and the singing started, the aftershock bottles were emptied and various states of coma were reached.

We are still 7th but now right back in touch with the other sides as results went our way and who knows how important this result and that catch could be come September 7th.

WHCC 65 AO

Old Emanuel 66-2

by Simon Vicos

Old Emanuel (Report one and Report two are equally an accurate reflection)

Report 1

Against the only unbeaten team in the league we were without Walshy, Morlers and Dikko, this prompted first 11 debuts for Roger and Haleem but in all honestly it will go down as a day they, and everyone else will want to forget.

We lost the toss and were put into bat, opening with Toby Green and Regan. Within a few minutes, Regan’s off stump went for a walk with us having only scored 4. Gibbers and Toby then dug in and took the score on before Toby was bowled for 16. This bought Glenn to the wicket but within a few balls he was triggered to a ball which was clearly going down leg side. Next in was Toby Aldred who was also sent packing to a ball that looked to going down leg side and we were 35-4. Roger and Gibbers then tried to get things going before Gibbers served up a simple catch and was out for 16. Roger and Haleem stuck around for a bit but without really scoring until Roger chopped one onto his stumps, quickly to be followed by Haleem who was out leg before Mark Surridge offered catching practice, Giles was bowled and Damo also missed a straight one as we were routed for 65.

Old Emanuel went out and Glenn broke through immediately courtesy of another lbw decision, a catch went down the very next ball and this let off proved crucial as Old Emanuel bludgeoned their way towards victory. Damo got some hammer and Glenn also took a bit more punishment than he is used to. To be honest our fielding was poor, which didn’t help, and although Toby Aldred took a late catch off Mark Surridge, the ease at which Old Emanuel breezed past the target was quite frankly embarrassing. At 4pm we should have been nearing the end of our innings, not packing up to go home having been stuffed and had time for tea!.

Like Ashtead before them, Old Emanuel went out for a net session as we were leaving, but this time the boot was on the other foot and we now know how Ashtead must have felt.

Report 2

Gibbers “We were Shoed”

Damo “The Teas were Nice”

 
July Review

July was always going to be a crucial month that would go a long way in deciding where we would eventually finish. The Ashtead game proved to be the most one-sided affair I’ve ever witnessed, they were crushed with a superb display of bowling and fielding, followed by some exhibition batting. Next up Beddington, and our batting let us down as the visitors wrapped up an easy 8 wicket win having knocked us over for 67, to be honest, it had been coming, the question was would we learn from it?. More importantly was their an air of complacency slipping into our preparations?.

Well, we answered a few questions with a battling effort against Old Midwhitgiftians, they were the best side I’ve seen this season and the Woking teams of old would have surely lost this game. After a great start getting the first 5 wickets for 65 we were pegged back and asked to chase 225-7. Having lost three early wickets, a bit of composure was called for, and we duly got it from Glenn (no real surprise) and a gritty 39 not out from Toby Aldred, proving that he can bat for 90 minutes under pressure and show he has the temperament to go with his talent, no-one wants to be known as a specialist fielder and I know he was well pleased with that showing.

Against Old Emanuel, we were bowled out in an hour and a half by a team who simply bowled straight. As the game only lasted two and a half hours there really isn’t very much to add.

It had to happen, but our inconsistent batting displays have finally caught up with us and will undoubtedly cost us dearly come the end of the season, against Beddington and Old Emanuel we simply capitulated, without sufficient runs on the board we can’t really expect to win unless teams collapse “a la Streatham”. Not wanting to cause offence to anyone, but we have been relying on four players all season to score the bulk of our runs, I know some have been batting lower down than they are used to and some have simply been in a poor run of form which happens to everyone, but we need to put a higher price on our wickets if we are to succeed at this level.  Some of the shots we’ve played to get ourselves out have been needless and at crucial times we’ve succumbed to a rush of blood to the head and sacrificed ourselves. This is something we can only learn from. What we got away with in Division 3, we cannot in Division 2.

Enough of the bad stuff though, on the plus side, the bowling has been consistent for the third month running, Glenn, Damo and Dikko have performed to the standards they set in May and June and now Mark Surridge and the Real Slim Shady have joined in with some vital wickets and more sustained periods of accurate bowling. In the field we have been (on the whole) neat and tidy so although we haven’t gained as many points as we wanted, you can’t complain too much bearing in mind the unavailability’s we have had. However we aren’t the only side to suffer in this way and we have to keep going at all times whoever is in the side.

Us along with Ashtead have been July’s casualties in the title race, we have survived the pace slightly better than them but we have both fallen away after promising so much, this surely proves that the gap between the bottom of two and the top of three may be small but the better sides in Division two are miles ahead of some of the sides played over the last few years.

As a team, we’ve come a long way in a short time and although our chances of promotion may have gone this season we have performed admirably so far. How we fare in the remaining 6 games is not down to any one person, as we have seen with other sides one man cannot carry a team in this division. We’re up there because we deserve to be and all the players who have taken part so far have done their bit to get us up there. With a third of the season to go there are still many points to play for and perhaps now the pressure is off we can enjoy what’s left of the season and push ourselves up a few places. 

Mentallist of the Month

Last but not least, the July mentallists player of the month picked himself in a month where he was head and shoulders above anyone else, that man is Glenn Morley, to be honest he nearly won May and June also. His 69 not out against Old Midwhitgiftians whilst containing his attacking instincts was a superb innings. His bowling seems to be getting more hostile and he continues to take top order wickets in every game we play (including my mate King) and his fielding is always of a very high standard. A fine effort indeed, well done. 

Hasselhoff-Rhino

In a bid to give our post match relaxation “an edge”, Glenn and Damo have managed to devise a competition that makes the Vodka Challenge look like an 8-year old girl’s tea party.

The Puss Ratings were born and this has developed into an area where many of us have excelled. Since it’s inception, people have been putting their “Stupid Heads” on and scaling new heights never before imagined. After an initial rush of Pints of lager, House Doubles and Bottles of Castle, the tactics have changed, and now Aftershock is very much the point scorer of choice and at £2.20 a shot the club bar is doing very nicely thank you. 

We started on the day of the Purley game and to be honest we scratched around like Morlers out in the middle looking for a run. Our first efforts were somewhat tentative and only six points was the highest score,

The following week Mike Whittle Munge upped the stakes and went out of the blocks like Ben Johnson on even more drugs than usual, however rumours of persistent Whittle have dogged his campaign so far, but in the absence of any proof he has set the early standard. All good races need a pacemaker, Munge has gone off fast, can the rest stay with him?. Meanwhile, wily campaigner Richard Walsh has kept up a consistent challenge at the top although seemingly drinking well within his capabilities, we’re all waiting for him to make the big push for honours sometime soon. Damo, Morlers, Toby Green and Glenn are all in the chasing pack and have also been posting respectable scores every week without ever threatening to really “go for it” and have a near death experience, all four remain well placed to challenge the leaders. For my part, I have missed a week but remain in the hunt, although doubts are beginning to surface about my ability to last the course after some erratic performances bordering on the insane !. Couch surprisingly is also hovering around in the top half and is basing his whole campaign around the consumption of Becks and Aftershock, solid tactics indeed.

On the other side of the coin there have been some poor performances from the Green Brothers, Toby’s inability to keep the contents of his stomach off the bar will cost him dearly, (“Bleeeeeeeuurgghhhhhh………………….Sorry Munge”), Regan and Kath Smith have both tailed off after a promising start and Toby Aldred  is the only one so far to actually post a minus score for a day!. Curtley and Loopy Lucy have the ability to threaten but have yet to show at the serious end. Dikko, Surridge and Gibbers should hang their heads in shame for so far collectively putting away less puss than Erica would be expected to glug on a normal weekday bridge session.

No one wants to come bottom lads so best you get your act together and avoid the embarrassment of being labelled a total blouse!

Although admirable, I would expect the brave challenge of Munge to tail off as the campaign reaches it’s thrilling climax (and we keep a closer eye on his antics). Morlers, Glenn, Charlie and Myself will be fighting for top six slots but as is the case in all competitions, the cream will eventually rise to the top. I predict a head to head battle between the seasoned veteran (Richard) and young pretender to the throne (Damo). When the chips are down these two will come out fighting / drinking and put everyone else to shame as they slug it out for the inaugural (and hopefully only) Hasselhoff-Rhino Title followed by a lengthy spell in rehab!   

WHCC v OMWs

by Simon Vicos

The run of big games continued and after last weeks loss to Beddington it was vital we didn’t lose this one and let Midwives get further away at the top.

We won the toss and Richard decided to open the bowling with Glenn and the Real Slim Shady. Shady got through first clean bowling his man with 12 scored. Only a couple of overs later Glenn let his slower ball go, the batsmen was through the shot before the ball even got there and the sound of flying bails made it 19 for 2 and we were in control. Couch then announced his arrival with Andy Williams “can’t take my eyes off of you” at a million decibels just in time to see it become 25-3 courtesy of a catch in the slips after some circus juggling from Walshy.

This brought James to the wicket who we were told was the mainstay of their batting, if we could get him, we would get them out cheaply. He showed his intent from ball one and quickly got into the groove scoring particularly well on the leg side. It looked as though he was going to run out of partners though as we kept the pressure on and with the score at 66 for 5 things were going really well. However, Midwives aren’t top for no reason and they fought back well,  the 6th wicket pairing put on 99  and began to take the game away from us. We had chances but they weren’t taken. Damo produced a moment of high comedy with the chance of a run out but he blundered into the stumps, sending them crashing instead before attempting to gather the ball !!!. He did redeem himself a little and managed to break the stand having tempted his man to hole out Toby Green style, ironically straight to Toby Green !!!. Mark Surridge induced the seventh wicket by way of a tidy catch from Walshy but we could not dislodge James who went on to make a deserved 110 (with only a couple of chances) and Midwives declared on 224-7 after 45 overs.  We had bowled our overs very slowly (presumably time taken fetching the ball) and at 4.45 went out to post a response.

 Gibbers and the Human Dog started sensibly enough before Gibbers departed, quickly to be followed by Regan who never got going. Glenn went out to repair the damage but soon lost Toby who had looked comfortable enough but nicked one to the keeper. 22-3 and we were in big trouble, Toby Aldred joined Glenn and set about a salvage mission. Glenn played a few exquisite shots off his toes to relieve the pressure and Toby was content to pick up the odd single as we decided to hold what we had and not give the game away. To be fair if they had taken their opening bowlers off earlier and bought the spinners on to toss a few up then maybe we would have gone for it a bit more, but maybe they also had the thought in the back of their minds that they must not lose. By the time the spinners were introduced Glenn and Toby had settled themselves in, they proceeded to bat out for the remaining hour and a half to much chat from the ever enclosing field around them. To be fair they did cut loose a bit at the end and both hit huge straight sixes much to the frustration of the Midwives side. Glenn passed the 50 mark yet again on his way to 69 not out, an innings when he played well within himself, Toby finished unbeaten on 39, nice to see him apply himself and reap the rewards. Both of them batted with application and no lack of judgement and never looked in any danger. This also kept Morlers away from the crease who spent an hour and a half with his pads on having babies at the thought of having to go out and avoid another duck !. So 123-3 at the close and a solitary point taken.

We always play every game to win and to be fair we controlled two thirds of this one, however their 6th and 7th wicket pairings left us with too much to do, and we had no option but to take the losing draw. Old Midwhitgiftians showed what a good side they are, but we also gave them plenty to think about and had we got Mr James early on out then we would probably have been on the way home at 6pm, 13 points better off.

Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the discovery of a Barbecue so immense that in Morlers words “You could cook a whole Yak on that”, you could indeed. Maybe now we have got a scorebox we can move onto Phase 2 of the development plan and employ a bricklayer to construct a Barbecue so large that we need to make the fire brigade aware just before we light it !!.

Woking & Horsell 66 ao

Beddington 67-2

by the Couch

The view from the boundary was not pleasant on Saturday as W&H were crushed by Beddington, it must be years since we have suffered as heavy a defeat as this and it does not feel good at all (the deputy assistant muntallist writes).  After consecutive victories by 8 and 10 wickets, this was no way to christen our new scorebox or to mark the passing of Ian Meyer's bachelor status.  Walshy tells me he left to get married already feeling that the honeymoon was over.

W&H have batted poorly before, often on our own wicket, and yet still managed to conjure victory.  But you cannot hope to defend a score which was at least 100 runs short of a decent target without working some magic.  Although our bowling and fielding efforts were competitive and competent, Beddington played with confidence and kept their wheels on. They are a good side.  To win the league you have to play and beat some good sides.

It is difficult to explain our abject batting performance.  5 ducks I believe.  Considering we have (on their day) 3 of the best batsmen in the league, it is extra-ordinary to think that the cutting-room floor of the local newspaper cameraman must be knee-deep in rubbish while he desperately looks for an image worth printing.  Beddington bowled well. Not brilliantly, but with accuracy, swing and the assistance of a fair pitch.   Umpires gave out what they thought was out.  Some may consider themselves unlucky.  With the exception perhaps of 4th teamer Munge and the logistically-challenged Aldred few should consider that they applied themselves properly.  Come on, we are so much better than that.  On Saturday we just didn't believe it, or didn't care.

An otherwise superb day.  Excellent tanning sunshine, the company of the delightful Cath and her gins-and-tonic, lashings of Woo Woo, thrashing Dave (the not so talented) Hall at boundary bowls, and both Erica and Mr Vicos out of earshot. Apparently there were some exceptional performances in the bar late-on, kebabs by taxi, and I would not be surprised if Morlers' neighbours were complaining of the sound of hoovering at 4am.

Beddington were more like the class of team we had been expecting in Div 2, rightly deserved their victory, and are now hard on our heels in the league.  Slumping from first to fourth at this crucial stage of the season should be our wake up call.  Now is not the time to retreat on waves of after shock to mid-table mediocrity.  Let it sting our bulldog nose like a dose of smelling salts.  And next week we had better come out snarling, biting and believing in ourselves.

Ashtead 40 AO

W&H 44-0

by Simon Vicos

The big games are coming thick and fast now as we play all the top sides starting with Ashtead who pipped us for the Division 3 Title last season and were fourth in the table going into this game.

Another toss won and Ashtead batted first. The returning Dikko and Glenn opened the bowling. With only 1 on the board Ashtead lost their first wicket as Glenn broke through, trapping their opener leg before. This brought to the wicket the much publicised Carl Anderson who after a truckload of runs and wickets so far would seem to be doing more to keep Ashtead in the title race than most. Having barely faced a dozen balls Dikko bowled him a peach that nipped back and clean bowled  Anderson for a duck. Next up was Ashtead skipper Andy King, he had scratched a single before Glenn found the edge of his bat with one that lifted, the ball found the bucket hands of Morlers at slip, cue wild celebrations and a bit of Gay Spiderman at the crease, Ashtead were in big trouble  on 7 for 3.

You would have thought we may have relaxed thinking the hard work had been done but we tore into them and simply blew their top order away. Dikko grabbed two more wickets and Ashtead were 17 for 5.

In a bid to break their biggest partnership of the day (12) Walshy then made an inspired double change and bought Curtley and Mark Surridge into the attack. Curtley soon struck, clean bowling another victim. Mark joined in and took his first wicket of the day, also clean bowled. There was no resistance from the tail and Mark and Curtley tidied it all up to leave Ashtead on a rather embarrassing 40 all out, with Mr Extras top scoring with 15. Three for Dikko and Mark, two for Glenn and Curtley and the clubs leading wicket taker was not required to bowl a single ball. Ashtead will rightly look at their batting display but we did our job with clinical efficiency.

A superb effort in the field, the attitude was spot on and to bowl Ashtead out so cheaply was testimony to the quality of bowling we possess.  Not only that but we ran down every ball to keep the pressure on.

So, no time for tea then !, a quick change round and Toby Green and Dikko went out to see if there were any demons in the pitch. Ashtead opened up with Anderson and King , the way their bowling was smoked to all parts of the ground soon showed the track was fine and we romped home in double quick time to win by 10 wickets to complete the most comprehensive win you’ll ever see.

So, 4pm and we went back to the club to open the bar and make some headway into the Hasselhoff-Rhino Puss Ratings. We soon got stuck in (Especially Toby and Dikko) and the celebratory mood in the camp was no doubt aided by many House Doubles. Walshy even invented a new drink, all three Aftershocks one after the other, shall we call it “A Traffic light” ??, £6.60 worth of drinking insanity !!.

We’ve not drunk or sung so much for ages, my arm hurts from ringing the bell, and I left the club in more pieces than a jigsaw.

Just remember that, “Win Draw or Lose, we’ll be pissed up on booze, we’re the famous bulldogs and you know”

Purley 140 AO

WHCC 144-2 - R Smith 82*, G Morley 46*

by Simon Vicos

Purley hammered the leaders the previous week (skittling them out for 93 in the process) so add the absence of Dikko, Curtley and Gibbers, and it was clear that we were in for a very tough game. So in their places Mark Surridge, Tommo and Horse were promoted from the Scooby’s for a chance to show what they could do. 

Walshy invited Purley to bat and Mark and Glenn opened the bowling. Purley made a good start and eased their way to 42 without loss, although both bowlers toiled manfully, few chances were presented. But, as we have seen so many times this season, the breakthrough came by way of a run out, it looked tight but the umpire had no hesitation. The next hour saw us take control and another 5 wickets fell and Purley were in disarray at 61-6. Their seventh wicket pairing staged a rescue job and put on 55, Rhino as usual broke this stand, but we let them off the hook a little and their tail got them up to 140 all out (Including three run outs)

Deller’s awards go to Mark for bowling 13 overs on the trot and getting the wicket he deserved. The skipper got back on the scorers wickets column with a couple, two more for Damo and Glenn and yet again the wickets were shared around. 

Our reply got off to a bad start, the Human Dog obviously only fancied playing half a game and soon nicked one to slip and departed for a most expensive shower !. Tommo saw one go past his nose and soon followed Toby back to the bar with only a single to his name.

With all due respect to the other batsmen in the side, either Glenn or Regan had to make a major contribution if we were to win the game. The fact that both of them did made it look perhaps an easier win that it was. Regan played some superb shots in his  82 and Glenn for once found himself outscored on his way to 46. I was a bit concerned about the way Glenn slammed the brakes on in an obvious bout of “Jug Avoidance” but we stormed past the target for the season’s biggest win.

This was a superb all round team effort, without three bowlers (Plus Couch and Morlers) we were always going to work very hard  to keep Purley’s total down. There were a few examples of poor fielding (Tommo and Regan) and some Toys (Damo as usual) but a great display. Regan and Glenn then showed what good players they are to see us home.

Afterwards, we managed to get the Barbecue lit in advance for the first time this season and Morlers served up his usual buffet of fodder (what can I mean ?) to provide a good feed for everyone, good work James. Couch and myself set about playing an expansive range of shots from 1pm to test the Hasselhoff-Rhino Puss ratings. I surprised myself by managing to keep up with him, although the strain was clearly telling as more and more people got served Chiswick instead of Heineken and more glasses got dropped and I couldn’t stop winging the bell. 

With Trolley-Man yet again unavailable for selection, Couch filled in and he treated us to a late masterclass during fines. His antics including the flying cutlery and Barbecue hugging are now fuelling speculation that his forthcoming hospital appointment may have more to do with the contents of his head than the contents of his right kneecap. 

Then off to Guildford for some more booze and the rather pathetic sight of most of the first team in various tatters hanging off the bar, I would imagine Sunday was a very quiet one for some.

June Review

Halfway through the season already, 5 wins out of nine, no defeats, 75 points on the board and second place in the league. Although the time for applauding our efforts whatever our final league placing will be in September, I’m sure everyone is well pleased with the season so far.

June started with a win at Chessington, then we had abandonment, a losing draw and a winning draw but we finished on a high against Purley.

Undoubted player of the month has to be Dikko for his 150 runs scored and six wickets taken in the three games that he played. I forgot to do a May player but it was Damo for 14 wickets in four games, sorry Rhino

Rhino is still the leading wicket taker but is now being steadily caught by Glenn and Dikko.

The batting is showing signs of improvement and Regan has joined Dikko and Glenn in the “runs expected” category. It’s not too late for everyone else to join in though as those averages need improving gents. Damo however, has sacrificed the chance to improve his batting average by dropping anchor with us nine down on a couple of occasions (Talk about team man ! to help us gain 5 points we could not have had.

After a blinding start, I’m sure other teams were expecting us to fall away, but we’re still there and looking a better side now that the workload is being shared around. The rest of the season starts here and hopefully we can keep it up and not waste an excellent first half.

The boozing took a dramatic upturn on Saturday night, we’ve now set the standard, can we match it after our game at Ashtead next week ?

Mitcham 210-4

W&H 198-9 (G Morley 73* T Green 57)

by Damo Honey

Well no Mentalist again this week - he was allegedly at home with a sore eyebrow after an incident with a cheesegrater, so its the Woking megastar himself fresh from setting up a date with Holly Valance after his autograph signing in Woking town centre the day before.

The skipper called for an improved performance after last week and lets be honest the signs werent good as one by one people nursing hangovers from watching David Seaman collect his coat the day before gradually turned up. Rhino looked tired after a day out with his girlfriend whilst the Humandog was still wearing last nights clothes and still stinking of last nights booze. Dikko however was rather spritely sparking rumours that he had spent the night out with his mates.

Walshy won the toss and despite the absence of regular keeper Giles "Gatwick" Green (who was still travelling back from Oxford having sat one of his "multiple guess" exams that morning) decided to field. Bulldog donned the gloves himself and kept immaculately for 10 overs unfortunately during that time the Mutcham openers had found the gaps left by being 1 short with regular ease and were pushing 4 an over.

Eventually Rhino made the breakthough although unfortunately the score still ticked along to 136 for 1 off 33 overs as Smithers produced a selection of jaffas and liquorice all sorts at the other end. There then followed an outstanding effort in the field as Mutcham were kept to 3 an over when they were looking to score at 8. Key to this was a 3 wicket spell from Belly Richardson, although it has to be said that him and Rhino ruined some of the good work by bowling a buffet selection in the last 2 overs. At one stage Glunn had to pop across the road and knock at the door to ask for the ball back.

So Mitcham generously declared with 5 overs left at 210 for 4, their opener having hit a chanceless 135.

Crossing the road was negotiated and a lovely tea was consumed, meanwhile Lucy was tucking into her 2nd bottle of wine and Kath was engrossed counting the number of police cars, fire engines and lunatics that went past.

Our innings started well and all of the top five got into double figures, somethings which hasnt happened in a long while. During this time we also saw witness to the funniest moment off the field as the "Neandarthal Man" walked across half the pitch to ask Couch if he wanted a fight "cos its not about muscles its about power", however Couch declined and the bloke had to satisfy himself by stripping to his boxer shorts and fighting the dog, before last being seen heading down the middle of the road confronting the oncoming traffic.

Unfortunately things then fell apart, those batsmen that were set got them out with rash shots and the last six could only manage 2 scoring shots between them a truly pathetic effort. This left 32 needed off the last 3 overs with only Glunn and Rhino left at the crease. Most people would have played for a losing draw but that is simply not Glunn. However the win could not be forced with 8 or 9 men posted on the boundary in the boring field set by Mitchams captain. However the winning draw was achieved off the last ball of the game.

Final thoughts go to Morlers the Audi, who after collecting his fourth nought of the season attempted to throw his bat into 2 bins which were next to each other by the side of the ground and somehow missed them both. Also to Helen for refusing to drink aftershock until Bulldog and Rhino were back at the club and then leading an onslaught during which 3 bottles of the stuff were sunk the 3 of them plus Badminton Munge, Couch and Smithy. Just a shame that Pratty had already done it twice the night before.

Camberley 181-9

WHCC 140-9

The Mentalist wasn't at the game this week, but he had this report - "We got a point"

by Damo Honey

In the absence of the Mentalist this week (away on a Health Farm i believe ........ WHITTLE!!!!) i thought that i'd give you a players view of this weeks game. Unfortunately it proved to be the worst game of the season to comment on.

Things started well and interestingly enough on time despite the sideshow of the world cup, Dikko managed to pitch more than one ball in his first over and Curtley bowled arguably his best spell of the season. Unfortunately just 1 wicket was the reward for Curtley, although his useful spell undoubtedly contributed to Rhino picking up a wicket with his 2nd ball. Only 1 wicket fell in the next 20 or so overs and during this time saw witness to a fielding display that can only really be described as abject - the less said about it the better - with the exception of James "only 1 drop in 3 years" Morley dropped dolly catch which will no doubt liven up any evening when discussed. Camberleys final score of 180-8 was kept down only by good bowling by Dikko and Glunn at the death.

By this time Couch was surprisingly sober due mainly to the fact that he spent most of the first innings filming his version of Discovering or should that be "Destroying Hedgerows" whilst searching for balls struck with great power by Camberleys talented South African all-rounder. And despite or perhaps because of the absence of Mr Vicos the crowd was there in numbers and in great spirits thanks to the superb England world cup performance led by the mercurial Emile Heskey.

Our innings got off to a great start as Regan set about reaching the target single handedly and batted superbly for 30 before playing 1 shot too many. Smithers ensured his statutory "boring" fine despite playing the "shot of the day" with an effortless cover drive. Morlers completed his £8 shower and before you knew it we were in real trouble at 40 for 4. Dikko then carried on where he left off at Chessington and along with support from "THE" Toby Green and the skipper put us in with a chance of a winning draw which to be quite honest we didnt deserve.

It wasnt to be and in a throwback to years gone past it was left to Magoo and Rhino to play out the last couple of overs to ensure one point was bagged. All in all it was the right result and appreciated by the masses at Brewery Road. On a serious note i'd like to thank all those who regularly make the effort to watch us play - its much more fun to play in front of a few people - and i cant think of any better place to start the evenings drinking than at a sunny Brewery Road drinking from Munge's bar.


All that was left was to attend another hefty fines session (Magoo i wouldnt miss another one if i was you) ,devour the contents of another bottle of aftershock and carry out the post mortem on a poor all round performance. However we are still unbeaten and in second place and the sign of a good team is how they bounce back from a poor performance, it will also be interesting to see whether the Mentalist bounces back from his visit to the "health farm".

WHCC 120 AO  (P Richardson 66)

Chessington 77 (G Morley 6-22)

by Simon Vicos

Glorious day, nice ground, cold beer in the cooler and our vast away support settled in for the day. Myself (with football), Lucy (Sun Oil, Stereo and Stella), Kath Smith (Thermos flask full of Gin and tonic) and Couch (Insane). More like a day at the beach ! 

Chessington will be asking themselves, how can we control two-thirds of a game yet still lose?. We will ask ourselves, how can we play so poorly for so long yet win?.

The home skipper gave his side a frank team talk to try and rally his troops before the game. Picking through where they went wrong the previous week. I was a bit surprised to hear the words “assume you are going to win” but then I could almost imagine Mr Walsh during his team talk saying “assume you are going to be batting first as I’ve lost another toss” or “assume you’ll make things very hard for yourselves today”

So not surprisingly, another toss lost and we were asked to bat. Now I could simply have cut and pasted the batting summary from three of our four games played so far, but that wouldn’t do justice to the sheer imagination we showed to surrender our wickets and select so many rash shots (Toby Green, you are this weeks king of rashness, I always thought you had to look at the ball, not which field you were going to put it in) led me to assume that you all fancied Damo’s idea of being on the Bumper Boats next door by 4pm.

An alarming loss of early wickets left us at 22-4 and things were looking dire. However with Dikko at the wicket anything can happen and luckily for us this was one of those days when he really fancied it. Four or five men were posted on the boundary (presumably so they didn’t have too far to run to get the ball) as Mr Richardson clubbed his way in typical fashion to 66 as he steadily ran out of partners.  If someone could have stayed with him Hoggard-style who knows what could have happened. He was last man out and somehow we’d limped our way to 120.

Having done half the job, Chessington quickly got a move on with the bat and looked to be cruising towards a win at 44-1. Glenn came onto bowl and quickly took another, courtesy of a fine catch by Toby Aldred. Then Walshy turned to the clubs leading wicket taker and he soon began to strangle the scoring from one end as he does these days. Meanwhile Glenn was working up a head of steam at the other end and between them they made sure the runs dried up. Another wicket fell at 60 and then we had half an hour of stalemate as both batsmen seemed unable to get bat on ball much to everyone’s frustration. Finally Glenn made the breakthrough and took two wickets in an over and for the first time in the game we were in the driving seat. It seemed that the confidence just drained out of Chessington and sensing 13 points were there for the taking we upped our game another notch. When Glenn trapped the Chessington Skipper leg before it prompted a comedy moment from the school playground as he kicked his stumps down in frustration. Not content with that, a few parting shots from the Morley’s had him striding towards the team, bat at the ready before changing his mind and departing red faced. The tailenders soon followed and ease at which Giles executed what would be a difficult stumping for most wicketkeepers was a most emphatic way to win a match. Glenn returned superb figures of 6-22 and all the other bowlers took wickets to leave Chessington all out for 77.

So there you have it, what looked a likely defeat at one stage was converted into another win, we’ve now taken 49 wickets in five games.  You can’t fault the bowling and fielding or indeed the attitude of the team. Note the word team, wickets get shared around rather than relying on one star player as so many other sides do. And as a team you pulled this one out from nowhere.

Top darts awards for Glenn for some great bowling, Dikko for playing despite being unwell and Curtley for managing to play a match without crashing his car. Next week I’m going to sit there with a pile of boxes as no doubt you’ll all want one at some stage !

Now top of the league on our own, can we keep it going ?, more importantly with 56 points on the board, are we safe from relegation yet ?

Who’s turn is it to get a mugshot in the paper ?, it’s got to be Magoo, with a caption  saying “Student”

Shepperton 103 AO (D Honey 4-24)

WHCC 104-3  (G Morley 46*)

By Simon Vicos

A full strength team for the first time, a partisan crowd, up against a team yet to win a game, Couch hitting the Becks early, me and Wearney on the Aftershock at 4pm all the ingredients were there. What else could we possibly need?.

Well what we didn’t need was a display of comedy fielding so bad it was a nasty reminder of how things used to be. Catches dropped (at least 6, but probably more), shoddy fielding all round, girlie throws aplenty and loads of escort work from various parties. You’ve set higher standards than this chaps over the last year so let’s hope this was a blip. I gather you got a tongue lashing, let’s be honest you deserved it.

Enough of the bad stuff though, with 1 run scored their openers took on the arm of Toby Aldred, his girlie throw took an age to get to Giles who had to take it halfway up the wicket but who still somehow had time to get back and send one very embarrassed batsmen back to throw his bat at his kit in the time honoured tradition. However he wasn’t alone and not long after they chanced a third against the returning Human Dog, he pinged in his throw from the boundary, the batsmen gave up as he saw it coming in, and another Taxi was called !. With Shepperton crawling at less than two an over and with wickets falling regularly, their only hope was a hefty partnership but it never came .At 60-6 we should have got them out for less than the 103 they scored but when you consider the fielding farce we put in you couldn’t really complain. Another 4 wickets for Rhino (I’m getting bored saying this) at 6 a piece did the bulk (apt word !) of the damage and as usual he was backed up with everyone else chipping in.

Regan and Gibbers opened the batting, and reasonably quickly got back inside for a shower leaving the Morley’s at the wicket.  For some reason James has now lost the ability to hit more than 1 ball in 12 off the square and apparently they let him know it!. James eventually departed after giving Glenn solid support and inducing some comical toy throwing from one of their bowlers. Dikko and Glenn then set about tidying things up and having got to 70-3 they decided enough was enough and we were treated to a late boundary fest. Glenn’s final shot to win the match was sublime “I’m not running, but you can go and fetch it” sums it up. He was back in the pavillion before they found the ball !. 46 not out and a suvun wuckut wun !!!.

So, a convincing victory, no car crashes, yet another good turnout to watch the lads and another 13 bagged and tagged. A couple more wins and we should be safe from relegation !

Oh I forgot to mention, We’re top of the League.

WHCC 171 AO (J Morley 64, D Gibney 42)

Egham 123-9 (D Honey 4-36, G Morley 4-12)

by Simon Vicos

Two unbeaten sides but W&H sending for more re-enforcement’s than Custer at Little Big Horn. However, what a refreshing change to see three figures on the board for only one wicket down. A good start at long last and with 150 up with 14 overs to go we should have got 220 at least (in my opinion). But I think Egham bowled well to keep us down to 171. “First Drop in 3 years” became “First 50 in two years” after a well earned 64, ably assisted by Smithers who stuck in there for two hours for 42 (Yawn…….only joking, Mr Burn’s was on the phone saying “Excellent !”) A Partnership of 103 put us well and truly in control. It was a shame Smithers didn’t make 50 but we don’t have lights at Brewery Road !. The remaining batsmen I think will look back on it as an opportunity missed to have a bit of fun but what do I know, I only serve beer and only eat pies rather than bowl them.

Egham started well, but just as things seemed to be getting away from us we fought back and claimed vital wickets at vital times to ensure they never really got going again. Yet another 4 wicket haul for the Rhino (now the leading wicket taker) and also 4 for Glenn (bionic knee working well) took the game away from them. They shut up shop a bit and although we got them 9 down, I thought they deserved to hold out for a losing draw while we didn’t do quite enough to claim another 13.

We used to struggle to bowl teams out, but now we have the bowlers and the catches are (by and Large) sticking more often. 29 Wickets claimed in the first three games in a higher standard of cricket shows we have nothing to fear. We’re still not firing with the bat but I’m sure that will come. With Couch prowling the outfield wanting to bowl, Toby Green snarling and straining at the leash and Giles and Regan back in contention, this weeks selection should prove to be a tough one.

All in all a pretty satisfying 4 points, 2nd in the league and the bar quite busy, made it another good saturday. “Trolley Man” was unavailable for selection so I had to ring around and get Sean Lacey to fill the position. A few others turned up and we almost had a crowd. The language may have been fresh and fruity but they buy beer by the truckload !.

Damo and Tommo, how many times are you two going to have your race to the ball entitled “I’m slower than you, no you’re not I am !” an awful sight indeed the first time round, by your third go the Egham batsmen were laughing at you.. However the highpoint for me was Walshy’s rather ungainly “Human Bridge” kindly built to enable the ball to speed through you. Lead by example young man! And not just in the bar.

Q : How can you crash your Car when you are batting ?

Answers on a postcard, the best one wins a night out with Damo. Second Prize, two nights out with Damo.

WHCC 77 AO

Streatham 59 (P Richardson 5-12)

by Simon Vicos

A festival of good bowling?, a batting tragedy?, some dubious umpiring? Well a bit of all three really.

Once we had posted our rather paltry 77 (only one duck, how does that work?) you could have been forgiven for thinking we’d be back at Brewery Road by 4.30.  Because of our poor batting show Wearney was subjected to some the oppo’s thoughts of who we’d be getting relegated with and their scorer said it was one of the worst batting displays he’d seen.

Only one way to counter that then, early wickets and lots of them !. I didn’t hear too much chirp when they 1 for 3 and then soon after it became 9 for 4. By now the massed ranks of passionate Bulldog support (come on who else takes 11 away?) were thinking a most unlikely of victories could be on. As always there are on or two partnerships in an innings that develop and need to be broken and Morlers duly obliged with a stunning caught and bowled without breaking stride followed by his trademark showboat celebration. I can’t remember who got their dangerman out on 27 but he walked past us muttering something like “clammy fronts” or something similar.  By now it was 49 for 7 and I was desperately trying to find a local company with an 11 seater taxi for them!. It was good to see us go in for the kill and knock them over for 58 to complete an amazing turnaround and duly secure another 13 to keep last week’s maximum company. It also enabled Couch to do his best David Pleat impression in the outfield.

Dikko’s bowling figures of 5 for 12 probably won’t be bettered this season, Damo managed to bore a couple of them out by bowling 11 maidens in 18 overs. Glenn with two wuckets and Morlers with a vital one considering his first over (of assorted pies) meant that all the bowlers played a part. We may have let ourselves down with the bat but our display with the ball certainly made up for it.

Obviously it was back to W&H to find out that all four of the clubs teams had won and the Stella began to flow freely ("It was certainly flowing freely for the Mentalist who decided that he was off home as soon as the time came for him to buy a round!!" - Ed) . I had a call at 1am from the Bulldog to tell me they were walking to Al Pasha and that Damo was kicking him, in the background I could hear Mrs Bulldog ringing a bell shouting “bring out your dead”. What more proof could anyone need that 13 points dramatically improves everyone’s weekend.

COME ON !!!!!!!

WHCC 144 AO (G Morley 60)

Dorking 112 (D Honey 4-21)

by Simon Vicos

Five ducks, including the most boring 30 ball knock of all time, two bowlers short and yet we still pull out a win !. Glenn’s solid 60 gave us something to build on but only Dikko and Walshy weighed in with anything else and although some of you thought 144 was ok, I never really feel comfortable with less than 300 on the board.

It was crucial we took early wickets and aided by some good catches, (Step forward Toby and Regan) and some inspired bowling from the White Rhino we got ourselves in a good position to win the game although I was sure they were going to block out for the draw. All credit to them for going for the win but was 30 in three overs ever really on ?. Still, the catching practise was welcome (wasn’t it James) and 13 points have been duly bagged and tagged. It’s only one game but we must get a result at Streatham to keep the points board clicking over.

It was refreshing to spend a day in the company of Couch who proved that even in your early 50’s you can still drink Becks at a rate of one every 20 minutes for 7 hours. He went to sit on the bench with the Original Pavilion Mentallist who pushes the red trolley. I’m sure as couch walked off the bloke went “he’s f***ing mental !”. Thanks to Wearney, we now know the trigger word to set this chap off. Who’s going to the one to use it ?. More importantly, what’s in the Trolley ?

 What sort of winter fitness camp have we been on ? (Wunter Futness Cump ?). I know I’m hardly one to talk but there are some quality belly’s to be seen at the moment amongst our “elite”.

Fines, good solid start to the new campaign, how we didn’t’ fine Toby for wearing an Arsenal shirt to the fines session escapes me or Minge for his “73” badge. Giles, get your hair cut or it’s another fine next week and who’s going to be the first to leave their mobile on ?.

“Good darts” awards go to Morlers for the BBQ and for remembering the ketchup which all went down very well. Katherine Smith for nailing a healthy amount of Bud Ice. Couch obviously for his all day bender and Regan for getting himself reported after his sponsored walk down the track (how much did you raise Neo ?).

I can’t comment on the foam party however I got a text from Damo telling me his left nipple hurt !. Anyone care to enlighten me on this ?  Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, but you obviously didn’t do anything worthwhile did you?.

Til next week

“O”

WHCC 127 AO

Chertsey 128 - 7

by Andrew Murphy

Well it was the first game of the season.  We got off to a slow start and kept losing wickets right the way through the innings, with Regan first to go, getting the kind of delivery that we knew so well from last season.  The pitch though in general behaved itself.  Glenn and Giles both got going and they both looked in good nick, but once they were both out in the mid twenties the innings folded a bit especially when quick runs were needed. Unfortunately quick running is not one of Damos specialities and he was involved in a comical run out, but at least he wasn't injured.  The bowling and the fielding was lacklustre as well and will need to be a bit better next week.  Damo took the honours with four for thirty nine but we never really looked like getting back into the game and Chertsey ended up wining by three wickets.  Even the bar performance was below par, hopefully things will be better next week when the bar chairman finds the aftershock.  Would the person who nicked it please bring it back.  Roll on next week.

1ST XI REVIEW OF THE 2003 SEASON

by Damo Honey

The 2003 season started with due cause for optimism for Woking and Horsell 1st XI. Last years side, which had come so close to promotion remained intact and was bolstered by the return of 1998’s leading run scorer Ian Meyer and the arrival of Ross Morley (brother of leading player Glenn) to spearhead the bowling attack. A friendly against old mates from Chertsey couldn’t have gone any better, with all the batsmen spending some time at the crease and all the bowlers blowing out any cobwebs from the winter. However, by 3pm on the first day of the league season this optimism had been blown away as Addiscombe’s seamers ripped through our batting order on a damp pitch for a paltry score of 65! The first of far too many spineless batting performances in 2003.

The eagerly awaited clash with Dulwich (and especially their wicket keeper) didn’t offer many crumbs of comfort either. Quaggy and Damo reduced them to 91 for 8, but the inability to finish off the tail (something which was to prove costly more than once) took the game beyond our reach, as only Glenn (50) came to grips with a rampant Dulwich attack led by the ageless Kenlock.

Send inflicted our third defeat of the season with Hartfield showing for them the sort of application that we needed from our batsmen scoring a painful 2* in 50 balls but not giving his wicket away. Purley crashed 240 against us, although how this happened no one quite knows. Damo’s 4 wickets had restricted them to 140 for 6 with one batsman crashing 101 out of these runs. However, the 7th wicket partnership produced absolute carnage; at one stage Couch was hit for 5 consecutive fours on his first team return. The batting performance was embarrassing; the sight of Walshy sat under his towel for 2 hours in the changing room after the game said it all.

Eventually the first win arrived at the expense of Egham. Roger White taking 5 wickets on his long overdue bowling debut. This was the catalyst for a 4 wicket victory, which was achieved despite our by now customary middle order collapse and inability to finish off an innings. However, the tide had not turned two more defeats followed against Chessington and Maori-Oxshott. Both were sides on paper that we should have beaten, but both showed far more courage and determination than our shell struck side. Even the usually reliable bowling attack was showing signs of failure. Niggling injuries to Quaggy, Glenn and Ross threatened to decimate our bowling ranks. Only Damo was able to be consistent picking up a 5-wicket haul against Oxshott, after they had raced to 100 in just 10 overs. The batting was starting to look up though, Quag struck his first 50 of the season against Chessington following up his 47 against Purley and the middle order put together some useful 20’s and 30’s but failed to build on good starts.

The 2nd win came against Streatham-Marlborough, Mark Surridge taking 7 wickets and Regan Smith scoring 60 as Ben Storey crashed the winning runs off Streatham’s “superstar” overseas player in a nerve wracking last wicket victory. However, it was back to the same old story the following week against Old Midwhitgiftians. Glenn and Quaggy laid the foundations that the middle order failed to build on and 7 dropped catches scuppered any hope of victory, when things looked so promising when Ross removed Gary Butcher 1st ball.

By far the best performance of the season was against bitter rivals Ashtead. Toby (72) and Quaggy (81) put on 150 in a score of 261 for 5, Glenn added a quick fire 50 and Mark and Damo did the damage with the ball to complete a thrashing which had the Mentalist bleating away in delirium about how he was going to drink his own body weight in Stella and Ashtead wondering just how a side that had won only one game all year can play like that. Any chance of building on this win was wiped out by Camberley’s star player Kaminski, whose destructive 98 and opening burst left the Woking in tatters at 20 for 4 in reply to 240. Glenn (81) and James Morley (42) rescued the innings and enabled Woking to pick up their first draw in over a year and pass 200 for the 3rd time in 4 innings.

Amidst absolute mayhem and controversy at Brook a winning draw was the result with the scores level. 7 dodgy decisions, broken bats, lost caps and a disciplinary warning were the initial outcomes but more importantly fears began to creep in that these lost 9 points may return to haunt at the end of the season. Once again the inability to finish off an innings or chase anything over 130 proved crucial against Dorking as their 8th wicket pair survived 28 overs to set up a 30 run win. Our innings only being notable for Walshy’s “shot for 7”!!

Things were looking desperate – a win was required and the whole team stepped up to the plate against Old Wimbledonians. Ross (narrowly missing his virgin 50 for the club) and Glenn led the way with the bat before Roger banged some useful runs at the end. After Rosco took a wicket in the first over the team were on fire, the fielding and especially the catching was outstanding. Tobes and Regan held on to bullets and all the bowlers played their part.

Having reduced Mitcham to 150 from 140 for 5 there was renewed hope that perhaps relegation could be avoided 2 weeks early, but once again the total proved too big. Porters battled valiantly and fell just short of his debut 1st 50 (and re writing the lyrics to his famous song). Damo joined him a spirited 30 run partnership in 4 overs, which took them to the verge of victory before he inevitably injured his hamstring and had his stumps castled next ball.

The performance against Old Hamps was as disappointing from a Woking side as I can remember. On a damp pitch Roger and Glenn had reduced the Old Hamps batsmen to below 2 an over. However, as they tired and were replaced everything fell apart – 70 runs were scored off the last 10 overs and the batting was an absolute sham. Walshy stood firm above this and with only the company of Damo and Giles took the game to the last ball, only to see Giles’ off stump pushed back and Old Hamps had prolonged their div 2 status by 1 week and put our future in jeopardy.

However, results went our way and we went into the last game knowing that things were in our own hands. Win and we stay up. Our innings had everything – solid start, rain, return of an old player, a batting collapse, a spirited fight back, shocking umpiring decisions. Roger and Rupert took us to 153 from 91 for 7 and this proved to be enough – just. Damo and Glenn taking three wickets apiece – the latter flying through the air to hold on to a caught and bowled chance with only a handful of overs left. Results again went our way but it was nice to stay up with a win.

So relegation was avoided, but this has truly been a wake up call for many players who have enjoyed so much success over the last 5 or 6 seasons. The averages tell the story of underachievement; only Glenn (505 @ 29) and Quag (362 @ 24) averaged over 20 with the bat, though both will also be disappointed with their returns. The main players with the ball were Damo (32 @ 15) and a heroic effort from Glenn (25 @ 14) bowling every other week with a serious knee problem took over 15 wickets.

There were signs of promise elsewhere, the re-emergence of Porters as a 1st team player, Rosco showing that he has got the ability and given an injury free season, a bit of luck and a few early nights on a Friday – he will be the player we know he is capable of being, skipper Walsh returned to being his immovable self with the bat towards the end of the season and surely must back himself to back up the order – if he can score runs at a reasonable rate. And what would we give to have Rupert Kitzinger back playing regularly at the club, an opening bat who has still got that ability but added the asset of bowling with genuine pace to his armour since he left a few years ago.

The truth was that the cracks of 2002 had been exposed as craters in 2003. Winning is a habit and so is losing. I have never seen the heads go down like they did this year and what was once a side which had great banter and piss taking amongst themselves, almost started bickering at one point. However, games like Ashtead and Old Wimbledonians showed just what we can still do, the old spirit is still there it had just been hidden for a bit. However, we need more people fighting for places in the 1’s from the 2nd team and below like Porters and Roger did this year. Everyone should want to play 1st team cricket and we cannot afford to have comfort zones for those players who currently occupy a spot in the top team.

Even the bar was not the same place as it has been the last 2 years, fines fell apart after the game cos no one could be bothered to do them (hardly surprising as its difficult to get excited about doing them week in, week out after a heavy defeat). However, there were signs of repeats of the 2001/2002 bar scenes despite the total absence of Hasselhof-Rhino Ratings and the temporary (?) absence of Aftershock, the excellent Summer Party and Karaoke socials organised by Porters, gave Damo the chance to test his cocktail and shooter skills again with great success. Roger joined the returning Pringers in a feast of botty sliding and Phil “Mini the Mooch” Barnes showed us all what karaoke singing is all about! And the 25 of us that were still drinking at 4.30am on that night showed that you don’t have to win to have a good time!!

So to next year. Well who knows what will happen in the winter player wise, but it seems likely that we will take on the 2004 season without Dikko, who will be taking the summer off to teach Sam golf! Whoever starts the first game, the key is getting a winning start, gaining that extra bit of confidence, which helps so much. We need to get on a winning roll as opposed to a losing one. We also need to stop losing so many games, ok so a losing draw only gets you one point (which isn’t much help) but in your mind you know that you haven’t lost and that is where the difference is.

So here’s to next year and a chance to put the strife’s of 2003 to rest.

All that remains is to thank Erica, everyone who has come to support us this year, and congratulate Dulwich and Camberley on deservedly gaining promotion, and commiserate with Old Hamptonians and Chessington who were relegated despite taking maximum points off us.

WHCC 220 for 5

Twickenham 128 AO

by David Fowles

Following the rain cancellation of the previous week’s match this was to be the Sunday XI’s first outing on the field of screams that is WHCC.  The team line up contained the usual suspects with a few additions due to late injuries (Roger White an early candidate for least convincing limp of the year), last minute unannounced drop outs (John Booth staying in the warm most likely) and new players (Jayson Bird).

Fingers won the toss and elected to bat so we could all keep warm and avoid frostbite for as long as possible but to keep us entertained he announced a new opening partnership of Halim and Uzman. What followed was a show of controlled aggression by Uzi, which eventually ended up with 62 runs against his name including a few lusty fours. Special note must be taken of the bowlers ‘novel’ attempt to reduce Uzi’s scoring by holding him down to keep him to a single while he was lapped by Dave Gianotti. Dave himself chipped in with 33 mainly from his trademark late cut over the slips before running himself out but by then we were heading for a useful total. The middle order contributed a few useful runs but wickets fell far to regularly and the score keeping abilities of Dave Fowles were interrupted to get padded up, which as everyone knows is a sign for everyone else below in the order to also get padded up. As the fifth wicket fell the crowd sensed something special was about to happen as Fowles took to the crease to accompany the skipper (Note to crowd: thanks for the Bacardi Breezer fueled wild banging and screaming on the club house window as I went out). What followed was some entertaining shots (attempted and intended) from both players that produced a partnership of 55 (yes 55 runs) before the declaration of 220 for 5.

On paper our bowling line up looked good but we knew the opposition had a useful line up including some overseas talent but Nick Challen and Mandar assured us they could handle them. Cue a driven four off the first ball and a few nervous looks in the field at the early high run rate. Nick and Mandar however replied with a succession of wickets to put the opposition in trouble to the extent that they were both taken off to be replaced by the intimidating bowling partnership of John Green and Awas Khan. Twickenham managed to keep the game going long enough for them to reach a respectable total but never really recovered from the loss of the early important wickets and Awas and John finished off the game without the need for further bowling changes. The bowling all round was good for so early in the season but was outshone by some excellent fielding and outstanding catches.

In summary (and after several Castle Lagers) Fingers was quietly smug that the Sunday team had managed a sizeable total on the same pitch where not many runs had been scored on the previous weeks Saturday game but was bought down a peg or to by the news that John Greens availability was sketchy for the next few weeks !!!

WHCC v Sunbury Village

by David Fowles

Last weeks large score and subsequent victory meant we were all confident of a repeat offence but we were without the team talisman John Green. Determined not to anger the Gods of cricket to much Fingers decided to invite a substitute Green into the side (Toby) but was disappointed by his lack of girth.

Early batting was not helped by tight bowling and a few unplayable deliveries or by Dave Gianotti’s self-inflicted injuries (white feather anyone?). The middle order chipped in with a dogged display by Albert (35) and Toby (29 and caught going for one lusty six too many) and a short attacking cameo by Jayson Bird (17 including a large one over the boundary that the scorer particularly enjoyed). In the end we managed a respectable 161 for 8 declared.

Once again Mandar lead the way with some inspired tight bowling (at the start and the end of the innings) backed up by Chris Guest at the other end. The comedy section (Fowles, Awas and Fingers) then chipped in with the odd wicket but wasn’t helped by the odd misfield or dropped catch although Dave Gianotti’s catch at slip was met with gasps from the assembled masses (1. Because it was Dave, 2. Because he was a virtual cripple and 3. Because Fowles had bowled straight enough to get an edge). The real success of the day was partly due to strategy and the bending of minds in the bar before the game (the best place for all things strategic) where it was suggested that Jayson Bird would be quite useful with the ball in his hands. Once the comedy section had worn out the fielders in came Jayson (in two stints) and finished with figures of 10 overs, 5 maidens, 4 wickets for just 11 runs but unfortunately it wasn’t enough as we failed to get enough wickets to win and the match ended in a draw.

Next week Dave Gianotti faces an early fitness test with the threat of getting the two barrelled horse cure for lameness if he fails.

WHCC v Old Sinjuns

Fingers lost the toss and we were put into the field by the opposition but with both our South African’s opening the bowling we were hoping for early in-roads. Jayson Bird bowled tight and Roger looked tired and after a long bowling stint we hadn’t made much of a dent in the wickets column. The run rate though was low but with plenty of wickets in hand the opposition soon started to attack the remaining bowling and compile a hefty total to chase. During a couple of overs we were running out of balls due to some big sixes: one clean over Brewery Road, one cannoned into someone’s porch (fortunately double glazed), one into a passing car and one into a cyclist via the Oak trees by Ashley Cook’s !!!

In reply we lost Awas early on and despite good knocks from Arvind and Albert (39) further down the order we fell far short of the 200+ required and lost with about 10 overs remaining.

The fielding was of a high standard again with an excellent catch by Roger and loads of running and sliding by David Fowles (where is that Persil sponsorship ?). The Sunday team now has a boxed set of results: Abandoned, Won, Drawn and lost all at home the next game is away at Rowan where we hope to get back to our winning ways.

WHCC Vs Shepperton – Sunday 23rd June 2002.

by David Fowles

Fingers won the toss and elected to bat, which early on looked a great decision as Abid and Kamesh attacked the opening bowlers. The partnership was broken to soon and left Abid to put on a quick 42 runs before being caught going for another big shot. Dave Gianotti and Albert stayed in for an age but runs were hard to come by and as wickets fell regularly we were struggling at 98 for 7. Ben Storey though had other ideas and scored his first ever 50 partly helped by 5 sixes around various parts of Horsell and some good defensive technique. A late cameo by Peter Smith saw us reach 183 all out, a total that Fingers was very happy with especially as it somewhat silenced their continually vocal wicket keeper.

A healthy quantity of tea was consumed and this seemed to have an adverse effect on our bowling as first Nick Challen and then Andy Turnbull were carted round the park by the previously mentioned wicket keeper (and boy did he like puffing his chest out and admiring his handiwork !!). Abid was positioned on the Brewery Road boundary and soon caught him out off Nick’s bowling for 50, a mighty innings off so few overs but he had scored 50 of 54 runs and it was now game on. Ben Storey was now coming in at full tilt and giving the batsmen real problems and in partnership with Nick we were now on top of the game as wickets fell. Fingers then started to rotate the bowling with Rajeev, Fowles and Smith getting opportunities to pick up wickets but despite bringing Ben back for a second spell the opposition held out for a draw (130 for 6 or 7 ?).

WHCC Vs Frimley Green – Sunday 30th June 2002.

by David Fowles

This week saw quite a different team line up to the usual Sunday bunch with the inclusion of Saturday stars such as Ben Storey, Mike Walsh and Paul Fortescue (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly ?). The opposition was short of numbers even though we leant them Sean Ireland for the day but at least it meant we could get in some much needed sledging practice.

Frimley Green put us into bat and although we had a healthy run rate we lost regular wickets (Mike Walsh had an entertaining 28 form opening and Uzman scored a quick 20) until Paul Fortescue to took the crease batting at 4. We still lost wickets until Fowles came in at number 9 to partner Paul and saw the only 50 partnership of the innings created. Paul lost his wicket trying to accelerate in the last few overs but he had scored 61 runs with Fowles following shortly after for 24 as we declared on 184 for 9 in 43 Overs.

Rajeev and Mandar opened the bowling much to the delight of the film crew on the boundary (Rajeev’s sister) but it wasn’t long before Rajeev’s shoes gave way and the film crew had to multi-task and become the kit man and retrieve him some trainers. This enforced change meant that Andy Turnbull got to bowl and although a bit ragged he calmed down sufficiently to bowl tighter and claim a wicket before Rajeev was bought back. Mandar kept plugging away with his nagging swing but couldn’t capture a wicket however much he glared at Paddy batting at 3. Rajeev’s plan to bowl in black trainers (so that the film crew could tell it was him bowling as the zoom lens wasn’t particularly large) started to pay dividends as he took regular wickets. Chris Guest came on to bowl at the other end and as predicted following Mandars wicketless tight bowling Guesty got a wicket early on bowling pooh! This triggered excitement from the Saturday players who started the Guest name game although after several overs we were struggling for material. Rajeev’s bowling was occasionally a bit ragged which gave Walshy and Paul an opportunity to give the rest of us a master class in how league and Saturday cricketers field. Walshy chased one to the boundary and tried to run into the changing room escape road but unfortunately the door was closed and Paul proved that the pavilion glass was indeed unbreakable as advertised. As the game wore on and Paul started to stiffen up following his two hour batting effort he managed to be a part of the finest fielding moment of this or any season I have witnessed at WHCC. Rajeev bowled a short on which was cut towards the pavilion, Paul made a token stretch and got within a foot of the ground as the ball rolled under him, Walshy (in disgust) ran full tilt after it and stopped it before the boundary Ronaldo style before chucking it in and whinging. Next ball the same thing happens again except this time as the ball rolls past Paul, Walshy ‘kindly’ offers to field it for him but his lightning pace means he ends up rolling onto the pavilion fence, teetering on the edge before falling on the concrete (all while the batsman runs 4). Unfortunately the film crew had run out of tape or battery power so the plan of having this moment on the website was short lived. Ben Storey polished up the last resistance but Rajeev was the bowling king on the day with figures of: 11 Overs, 4 maidens, 5 Wickets for 33 runs. Frimley and Paddy were 144 all out but the game was played in good humour especially with Walshy on the field, can you play every week mate !!

In conclusion we put in a good effort with the bat and ball and the fielding was good except for one or two exceptions and we all got to see Walshy throw himself at Rajeev’s sister during a game (that would have cost him a pound in a Saturday game) although Ben Storey later accused Rajeev of incest as he thought she was his ‘bird’.

WHCC Vs WHCC Academy – Sunday 7th July 2002.

This week the usual Sunday team was assembled to take on a team picked from the younger members of the club and a few of their Dad’s so it was youth and experience in one team.

The day started well with Dave Gianotti assuming the role of Lawnmower Man (just as thick) but he was a bit choosy and emptied the shed of three mowers before he got one to start properly. The reason for these shenanigans was the amount of grass that had grown on the supposedly prepared wicket but Dave did a Stirling job of making the wicket playable and cutting a path through the outfield back to the shed!

The academy decided that we should bat first and we set off well with Penly and Uzman forming a useful partnership until Uzi got bowled going for a big moo. In went Dave Gianotti to please the crowd with his range of shots (both of them) but to everyone’s surprise he top scored with 64 with Penly close behind with 42. Albert chipped in with 21 before Kamesh (23 n.o.) and Fowles (12 n.o.) finished off the scoring before the declaration of 190 for 4 was made.

Fingers was so pleased with the total he decided to open with Peter ‘I got loads of wickets last week’ Smith to give the Academy a chance. Rajeev opened at the other end, which at least gave us a rest after chasing round after Smithy’s bowling! Rajeev didn’t manage to emulate last weeks performance but did bowl tight and with Smithy bowling better as time wore on we looked in control. Gribbler batting for the Academy achieved his aim of not getting out to Smithy’s bowling and he joint top scored with 23 runs. Mandar and Guest continued the good bowling with Mandar eventually finishing with figures of 9.2 Overs, 4 maidens, 5 wickets for 15 runs, which meant a two-jug game for WHCC. Towards the end Fowles came on and showed no mercy in claiming two of the younger players wickets in just 3 overs for 6 runs (with no wides !!!!!!!) and both of them were stumped by the quick reactions of Kamesh.

Another win for the Sunday team meant we kept the clubs winning streak (5 out of 5) going for the weekend and we are all looking forward to playing Old Woking next week at home (again!!).

WHCC Vs Old Woking – Sunday 14th July.

Nigel won the toss and decided (much to the delight of the team) to bat first and make the opposition sweat in the field on the hottest match day of the year so far. The fact that half of our team hadn’t turned up had nothing to do with it of course but it did give Nigel the opportunity to open with Mike Walsh and Peter Smith (much to the delight of Helen). Smithy failed to hit the six that Helen had promised would happen but he did stay in and see off the openers before sacrificing his wicket to avoid buying a jug (don’t panic the jug mark for Peter was set at 10 not the usual 50). The early run rate was poor as tight bowling restricted our usual ability to score freely and frustration at this cost us a few wickets. Mike Walsh hung in there for a long time but with the game wearing on he got out trying too hard to increase the run rate. Fortunately Kamesh Nara came in to bolster the middle order and showed us a great variety of shots as he made 63 not out when we declared on 167 for 9 off 49.5 Overs.

ajeev and Fowles were selected as the opening bowlers (stop sniggering it was that or Smithy!!) and both took two wickets for 27 runs off 8 Overs each. Rajeev’s were both bowled, my first was a rank wide long hop that was slashed into Albert’s waiting hands of my second ball and my second was a stumping by Kamesh (the third off my bowling in 2 games!). Mandar and Guest came on as replacements but for a change neither really shone and it was down to the bowling Colossus’ of Walsh and Smith to rescue the game for us. Mike bowled some quality deliveries and not once did we see the head high beamer make an appearance, the delivery we have all come to know and love from Mike. Smithy at the other end was showing his usual Warnesque range of deliveries (that would be Gavin Warne who delivers Pizza’s not that Australian bloke) and was taking crucial wickets at the right time. The game was only a friendly but obviously the sight of Helen sunning herself in the outfield had got Smithy’s blood pressure up (either that or the Viagra makes you aggressive) as his celebrations were loader with every wicket. With the Overs running out it looked like Old Woking might hold on for a draw but Smithy managed to out think them, got the final wicket as the opposition finished on 150 all out and finished with figures of 7.1 Overs, 4 Wickets for 32 runs.

The fielding was very good again especially from Kamesh who had two stumpings for the second week in a row and Gianotti who seemed like a man possessed although special mention goes to Uzman for being Mr Casual and dropping a sitter off Peter Simth.

Dorking Vs WHCC – Sunday 21st July 2002.

The assembled team was short of some of it’s regular talent especially as several people had dropped out and Uzman had decided not to turn up at all. Peter Smith managed to press gang one colt (Shasad) into the team so that we at least had 10 players for the game.

We were all looking forward to playing on Dorking’s picturesque home ground but on arrival were informed we would be playing on their third eleven ground a.k.a. the field with the shack off the A24. Des and Peter lead the grumbling for a change but we were reliably informed the facilities had been upgraded. Christ only knows what they were like before because the current facilities were two sheds (not even B&Q deluxe models), a chemical bog (in smaller shed round the back) and a Japanese war surplus punishment box (as a score hut/store).

We batted first and courtesy of Uzman once again we allowed Peter Smith to open this time with Fingers to accompany him. We had great difficulty in scoring runs and lost wickets cheaply and far too often including Smithy who got out trying to push the run rate but his 17 runs and one and a quarter hours at the crease were welcomed. Des Cooke hit the only four of our innings and then got out playing a shocking shot that so disgusted him he had to chuck his kit around, sulk in the long grass, wonder round most of Dorking before calming down and umpiring for the rest of the game. In the meantime Chris Guest had started to show his abilities with the bat and compiled a useful 23 runs which was only bettered by Matt Allan’s 24 not out at the death leaving us a total of 116 all out off 49 overs to defend.

Fowles and Rajeev opened the bowling but struggled to get any help out of the pitch or get the batsmen to play any risky shots but the bowling was at least tight. The bowling was regularly rotated with Shasad and S Zafar unlucky not to take wickets but Smithy did managed to get both openers out and Chris Guest took the other wicket as Dorking won after 36 overs for the loss of just three wickets.

Hopefully we will have some stronger batting for next week’s game at Pyrford.

WHCC Vs WHCC Academy – Sunday 28th July

My first game as a Sunday captain was supposed to be against Pyrford but they cancelled at the last moment so it is thanks to Trevor Woods and the rest of the colts set up that we managed to have a game at all.

In the previous encounter the Sunday team beat the academy team convincingly so this time revenge was on their mind and with the weather getting hotter all the time whoever won the toss was going to bat first. Fortunately I won the toss and opened with Fortescue and Tom ‘the blonde’ Reynolds who generated a 66 run partnership before Paul was dismissed for 25. Tom went on to score 33 runs with Albert Hall scoring a nippy 26 before sacrificing his wicket to accelerate the run rate. In the meantime Dave Gianotti was compiling a chanceless innings but with the declaration looming and wickets beginning to tumble at the other end it looked like he might miss out on his fifty. I didn’t intend to bat but went out to let Dave know he was running out of time and to give him the strike so he could compile his second half century of the season, which he duly did and allowed me to declare on 185-7 after 43.4 Overs.

The opening bowling partnership of Challen and Rajeev failed to take any wickets and a short spell by myself, and S Zafar only managed to yield one wicket each and Greville’s pies only generated one chance (dropped by Kamesh) so I took the decision to bring on Fortescue and Hall. Albert bitched that he hadn’t bowled this year and wasn’t promising anything but his years on the field paid off when he chose the somewhat bizarre and novel approach of bowling straight and with a good length. In the end Albert finished with 4 wickets and Fortescue with 3 to bowl the Academy all out for 167.

WHCC Vs Surrey Gymkhana 11th August 2002.

Once again Fingers won the toss and elected to bat first with the comedy Sunday duo of Paul Fortescue and Peter Smith. Due to all the rain of recent weeks Dave Gianotti had been called in to roll the pitch prior to the game (having graduated from lawn mowers) and this had at least made the game possible although his clutch control needs a lot to be desired as he managed to spin the rollers a few times ! The pitch was slow and difficult to score on initially and the early loss of Paul’s wickets bought Dave to the crease so the assembled masses didn’t hold much hope of the run rate accelerating. Smithy gradually started to look comfortable after edging a few early on and posted a Sunday best of 30 before leaving Dave to take on the Wanchor role. Hasan came in and hit a few impressive shots before being run out trying to run three which bought back the regular Sunday partnership of Hall and Gianotti. Prior to Albert coming in we were scoring at less than three an over but he soon settled and started to chase quick singles and put pressure on the fielding side. Dave Gianotti’s one hour ten minute head start was quickly overhauled by Albert’s attacking play which also delivered two sixes in consecutive deliveries the third attempted one leading to him being caught on the boundary for an impressive 72. In the end we finished with a score of 196 for 4 after the 45 overs allocated for each teams innings.

As usual Mandar opened the bowling and once again he caused problems with his swinging deliveries and took an early wicket but failed to dislodge anyone else as they fended him off. Des opened at the other end but soon damaged his calf muscle although it looked like a deliberate choke from our end of the pitch but at least it meant Nick Challen would get an early bowl. The early pressure was soon relieved by some big hits from their top order and aided by the Utterly Butterly sponsored hands of Paul Fortescue who dropped a couple of sitters. This at least gave us a comedy moment as post drop Paul ‘tantrum mode on’ then luzzed the ball in anger at the stumps (not even close) which sent Des sprawling to stop it. Seeing the batsmen going for another run Des then proceeded to throw the ball Exocet fashion 20 feet straight over the slip cordon and into the pavilion flower bed for overthrows!! Once I had picked up a wicket bowling tight I reverted to usual filth bowling and was soon replaced by the mighty Smith (Sports Bra required) who was soon partnered by Albert at the other end. The opposition kept up with the run rate but did steadily lost wickets and once their big hitter had been caught by Mandar we knew there would only be one team winning. While Nick was moaning about not getting his full allocation of bowling he failed to notice Fingers asking him to take over from Albert next over but his chunterring was proved correct as he finished off the tail and delivered us a victory by 44 runs.

Bank of England Vs WHCC – Sunday 18th August 2002.

Courtesy of two previous cancellations this was to be the Sunday teams first away game of the season and at a ground I had personally never played on. I had heard all the tales of a flat wicket that is a dream to bat on, a big total would be needed, bowling would need to be tight and the opposition being hard to beat but on arrival at WHCC we were informed the opposition only had 8 players and of what quality?

By the time we arrived at the ground we had 12 players and it was decided that we would draw lots to see who played for the opposition but somehow we all knew it was going to be Smithy who was joined by Hasan although Helen was squarely in support of the WHCC boys and not Judas Smith. The pre-match team talk concentrated on the need for focus and concentration, not on the batting itself but the need to ensure no one lost their wicket to Smith (jug fine to anyone who did). Fingers won the ‘toss’ again and we choose to bat on a dry flat pitch with Nick Day making a welcome return to the team and opening the batting with Chris Murphy. The steel band played in the background but unfortunately the tune wasn’t quite the old BBC test coverage theme or Chris’ request of ‘Smack my bitch up’. The electronic score hut was primed for action and we got off to a promising start with Chris and Nick playing themselves in well and gradually accelerating the run rate before Nick pulled his thigh muscle and had to leave the field for treatment. Personally I think it was just an excuse to drop his trousers in front of Helen and ask for a massage (declined) but a quick trip to the bar for a money bag full of ice (was there any cash in it before?) seemed to do the trick instead. Dave Gianotti had been waxing lyrical about the fabled track and how everyone could fill their boots with runs on the day and with Dave being the teams form batsman we looked forward to another handy total. Dave returned five minutes later disappointed at giving his wicket away on such a quality batting track and was now relying on the quality of the tea to cheer him up. Albert went out and blazed away as he has done on many occasions this year and he and Chris seemed to be particularly interested in finding Smithy and making him work hard for his tea. A sizeable partnership was developing but was cut short by a poor umpiring decision (neutral umpire) as Albert was dismissed lbw by Hasan !! During this time Chris was showing his lack of fitness but had amassed a career best score (previously 35) and soon passed the fifty mark without puking.  Nick went back in but his intention was always going to be to try and hit the ball out of the park before Smith came on to bowl, sadly Nick only added a couple to his total before being bowled. On the boundary we enjoyed heckling Smithy’s fielding and bowling exploits and had all enjoyed tasting Helen’s melons  but no-one seemed tempted by Peter’s plums. Chris was wilting fast and having played a disciplined innings he was now hell bent on having some fun and seeing how many runs he could score before getting out. A few big hits ensued and a few cheeky reverse sweeps made, including one off Smith which didn’t impress him much until Chris was finally dismissed on a Sunday 2002 top score of 79. Chris Guest and Ben Storey finished off the innings as we declared on 191 for 5 from 41 overs.

The tea was greatly enjoyed (except by Charlie who tried his best to upset the tea ladies) although it was apparently not as good as it was years ago. Nick’s injury had left us without a wicket keeper and so I was called upon to take on the role (praying Ben Storey wouldn’t be needed to bowl). Nick Challen opened the bowling and we were all shocked not to hear him bitch about it but the captain’s intention was to bowl him 12 or 15 overs or until he puked, whichever came first. John Green was on at the other end to offer some contrast and to invite the batsmen to ‘have a go’. Despite the flat wicket Nick was having one of his good days and moving the ball around much to my enjoyment and he regularly claimed wickets including one handy batsman who had hit him for 10 in four balls before being caught by Ben. Ben had earlier dropped a high one off John’s bowling and thrown his Teddy’s out of the pram almost as hard as he threw the ball at Nick Day’s ankles. John Green’s lack of matches this year began to show but despite being a bit expensive he did give me my first catch for the club at keeper and managed to find the edge again which was expertly caught by Nick Day’s mighty wrists and forearms. Nick Challen finished his spell bowling against Smithy (and failing to get him out) with figures of 14 Overs, 5 maidens, 5 wickets for 31 runs. Smith came in for some quality sledging as the field was bought in to deliver as many cutting remarks as possible with the tired but still imaginative Murphy winning the prize for ‘hoping you poke at Helen with more force than that one’. Chris Guest came onto replace John at the end and despite bowling only 8 balls managed a seasons best two wicket haul, one a second catch of the day for Fowles behind the stumps and the other an lbw to win the match as we dismissed the opposition for 88 all out. Sadly Smith had not been dismissed but no runs, no wickets and no catches meant plenty ammunition for the rest of us although he got his revenge in the bar with a quality moan about only getting a short bowl and batting down the order.

With the presidents day coming up over the bank holiday we will all have to remember that Nick Challen managed to avoid his five wicket jug and barrack him accordingly on his return.

East Horsley Vs King and Whores (AKA WHCC Sunday XI) 1st September 2002.

A change of scenery was in order for the Sunday bunch as we went ‘on tour’ for an away game to the millionaires playground of East Horsley. Most of the team had decided to have a quick recce of the area for future burglary opportunities but fortunately despite Gribbler’s best efforts to look shifty, drugged up and like bench dwelling material we weren’t barred entry.

The weather was a mix of a slight chill (clouds on) and bloody hot (clouds off) but the track was dry and slightly cracked in places with an undulating run up and outfield and Fingers elected to bat first following his usual toss win (surely Fingers is the best (and biggest) tosser in the club)? (Nah, its probably you Dave - Ed)

Once again Boycott Smith opened the batting (it doesn’t even raise an abusive heckle anymore) with the skipper scoring some early boundaries before losing his wicket.

It wasn’t long before Gribbler and Beautiful were discussing the opportunities of the job market and the affordability of housing in the current market for first time buyers, I was personally stunned at the maturity of the conversation (and Gribbler talking about employment). Having returned from a brief stint scoring in the shade (not sex under a tree) I was re-assured to see that normality had returned to the group for several reasons: 1) Our team name on the scoreboard was obviously incorrect and Gribbler had taken it upon himself to suitably rectify the situation and adjust our name to ‘King and Whores’. 2) The discussion had progressed to the likely cost of the housing around the venue and what personal sacrifices would need to be made to afford such a property or as Gribbler would put it: ‘ If you had to take it up the Gary Glitter how much would you do it for?’ For information purposes Beautiful would do it for £1 million, Fowles for £5 million, Gribbler said he would hold out for ten (we assumed a tenner but even then no-one was offering).

Dave Gianotti once again showed his class and limpet like qualities at the crease as he stabilised the innings until his regular partner Albert started to accelerate the run rate.

Generally the oppositions bowling was lively with several balls bouncing up round the ears and Dave and Albert played well not to give any chances. Once the two amigos had settled Albert started to attack and his offensive style was matched by Dave who continued in this vein even after Albert had been replaced in the middle by Hasan (usual talking a good game smacking the ball around and getting out) and then Alan Taylor (slightly miffed as the Chelsea / Arsenal game was about to kick off). Dave Gianotti’s earlier partnership of 58 with Albert was soon surpassed (65) before Alan was dismissed on 25 so he could listen to the football. An extremely knackered Dave joined him shortly afterwards having compiled his 4th Sunday half century of the season with a personal season best of 73.

Ben and Gribbler then plundered some runs late on before the skipper declared on 194 for 6 off 43 overs.

Alan reminded everyone that the last time he played with Ben he was about 16 (not kiddy fiddling) and less tanned and that he was looking forward to keeping to him. That feeling lasted about an over in which Alan was made to dive all over the place as Ben sprayed it around. Mike Walsh at the other end made good use of the sloping pitch and regularly swung the ball and the opening bowlers managed to dislodge the top two batsmen. Fowles and Smith also chipped in with some wickets but expensive overs meant the opposition were in with a chance of winning. Chris Guest and Ben came in to try and bowl East Horsley out as they went for the win. For a change Dave Gianotti had bought his fielding head with him and took a blinding instinctive left handed diving catch at point and ran out one of their players but he managed a mis-field in there that cost us a few important runs. Despite 2 wickets from Chris, 20 runs that suddenly appeared on the score board (looking at my figures I am claiming they added them in there) and two definite run outs that weren’t given East Horsley managed to win in the last few balls with a score of 196 for 7.

Special note needs to be made of Ben’s competitive attempts to not bowl out children but kick the ball around in tantrums, Smithy’s and Gribbler’s references to the umpires concerning run outs and Mike Walsh for abusive comments about his own bowling while the ball is in mid-flight !

And Finally, Congratulations to Helen (official team spy and crowd) and Peter for finally getting engaged, we can now get our thinking caps on and work out what we can do for a stag do !!!

WHCC Vs Chadwick – Sunday 8th September 2002

Everyone arrived to the sad sight of the fire damage and the even sadder prospect of having to change in the bar with no showering opportunities. To compound the bad luck of the weekend Fingers lost the toss and for the first time in ages we were put into the field and I was the one selected to go behind the sticks !

The opening bowling partnership of Challen and Hussain was lively with Shazad giving the batsmen real problems with the bounce and pace of his bowling and eventually he dismissed their opening bowler caught and bowled. Hasan came onto replace Sahazad and he consistently bowled on a tight line but a yard short to cause major headaches to the batmen. In the meantime Nick was beginning to make in roads and once he changed into ‘Wiley Old Bugger’ mode he caused the batsmen problems with his range of deliveries. John Green and Graham Mattocks (bowling off breaks and swing in his spell) came in and despite some lusty blows against them they took two wickets a piece before Nick came back to finish with figures of 17 overs, 4 maidens, 4 wickets for 47 runs (including a superb dive for a caught and bowled) as Chadwick declared on 154 for 9 off 45 overs. Special note must be made of the three catches on the boundary from big hits – two for Peter Grafton and one for Chris Guest as well as Albert berating himself for not taking a Salmonesque diving catch.

Once Tea had been duly demolished Peter Grafton and Chris Guest opened the batting but Peter was soon given out caught behind off his pads and it wasn’t long before he was joined by Chris who was bowled by a full bunger. Gianotti set about the bowling ably supported by Graham Mattocks and they put on a much needed partnership of 60 before Graham was stumped giving the bowler the charge on 33. Dave soon followed on 37 which left Albert and Fowles with 44 runs to score off 15 or so overs. The plan was for me to support Albert as he went for the total but sadly within in an over he had departed caught and bowled leaving me to try and win the game (always a bad situation). With not much support down the order after I had run out Fingers (whoops) I tried to hard at the end but was caught having scored a quick 27 (seasons best). Nick and John Green tried to save the game but in the end we fell short at 152 all out.

It was a good entertaining game but you would expect that seeing we were playing a bunch of actors, musicians, producers and theatre types although John misheard and thought we were playing a bunch of Lesbians and I expect we shall be playing them again in the coming years, maybe they could do a gig in aid of our changing rooms ?

WHCC 3rd XI Vs Spencer – Saturday 13th July.

Ian Meyers wedding cost the first eleven several players and that combined with the holiday season robbed us of the core of the team (Des, Graham and Matt). This did however mean a welcome return to Saturday cricket for Nigel Guy (and his family fan club) and a few of the fours players (Andy Walker and his Noddy car).

Fielding first Paul lined up Andy to bowl, the first four balls were looseners and the fifth one only succeeded in loosening his shoulder from it’s socket. Cue paramedics and a trip to A&E for Andy while Nigel desperately called up a replacement in the shape of another member of his family. Uzman took over bowling from the pavillion end while Fortescue bowled a short spell at the other anticipating lots of changes in the bowling during the hot and humid day. We wondered if we were going to have to play with 10 for the rest of the game but fortunately Nigel had packed Harry in his kit bag by mistake and once he had found the zip he joined us on the field to replace the crippled Walker. Prior to the game the team talk had discussed the bowling and failed to mention Jayson at all which obviously fired him up as he was the pick of the bowling and finished with 12 Overs, 4 Maidens , 5 Wickets for 35. Unfortunately the rest of the bowling wasn’t as tight (J Dunbar aka the Squirrel Butcher being hit up a tree for 6 twice in one over) and in the end Spencer finished on 206 all out. Once again we were penalised for dropped catches and a few mistakes in the field but everyone in the team tried their best but we all felt we had given them 50 runs to many.

The batting doesn’t really deserve much of a mention as only Uzman (26), Oliver Guy (16) and James Woods (12) bothered the scorers with four players all getting ducks for one reason or another and we lost by 100 runs. Special mention though has to be made of the contribution of Tom Reynolds as he had one of the finest debuts and spectacular range of fines I have ever had the pleasure to comment on:

1)      Turning up with no pads, lid or cricket shoes.

2)      Turning up with peroxide blonde hair (and thus taking Jayson’s title as blondest player).

3)      Dropping a regulation catch.

4)      Having kit picked up from Weybridge and delivered by family but not staying in long enough to really need it and getting a duck.

5)      Leaving early before he or his Dad could find a cheque book / Gold Card to pay for his match fee and fines.

SATURDAY 3RD XI REVIEW OF 2001

Given that promotion for the 3rd XI was at least a technical possibility at the start of the last game, fifth place in the final table was somewhat disappointing.  However, given that after three games, new skipper Paul Fortescue was contemplating relegation, fifth was an excellent return. The last three seasons have seen the team promoted to division 2, survive at the higher level and now flourish, losing the 'social cricket' mantle without compromising their positive approach, with an accent on enjoyment.

Much of the credit for the team’s development must go to the 4th XI, without whom the regular selection problems would have been impossible to overcome.  In no two consecutive weeks did the same XI take the field and at no point during the year was the team that started the match the same as was originally picked. In all, over 30 players featured and only 1 played in every match. Having said this, many of the 3rd XI regulars were pushing all season for greater recognition, and two went on to make appearances for the first XI.

The batting was very strong.  Four players averaged over 30 - David Penly who also stepped up to keep wicket, Richard Thompson, who batted at 3 and was either unfortunate or careless enough to step on his stumps in consecutive innings, Toby Aldred who led the averages with 43.7 and Matt Allan, who scored two crucial half centuries when the side was in trouble. Penly and Allan scored over 300 runs during the season, with Penly completing his first league century.

In the field, some tremendous performances in mid-season saw opponents dismissed for 40 and 24 respectively. Excellent catching performances by the whole team at Malden Wanderers and Aldred in particular against Camberley made an enourmous contribution. Graeme Mattocks finished top of the averages, with 19 wickets at 8.1, Fortescue finished with 30 at a touch over 11, but most pleasing was the continuing emergence of Halim Mohammed, who came second in the bowling averages with a strike rate of less than 22 and an average of less than 10.

SATURDAY 4TH XI REVIEW OF 2001

With the 4XI being in existence for only three years the 2001 season proved more difficult off the field than on it.  Twelve games were played, consisting of 6 wins, 4 losses and 2 draws.  The biggest problem however was the availability of players and late pull outs throughout the club meant that 39 players were used.  Although the team fielded eleven players during each match it was often the case that the captain Mike Walsh's Friday nights drinking habits were seriously disturbed looking for new recruits from anywhere within the country!

With a good blend of youth, experience and madness an excellent team spirit was formed within the 4XI which will hopefully benefit the team in years to come.  Notable contributions with the bat  were made by James Dowdeswell, Robin Millar (What!!), Chris Dunbar, Mike Walsh, Alan Taylor, Sean Ireland, and Nick Moon who all scored fifties.  There were also five wicket hauls from Srikant (AKA Mandars mate!), Uzman Zafar and Peter Smith.  These performances go to show that the 4XI is very much a team effort and not just reliant on a few individuals.

The loss of Robin Millar (vice captain) will be a major loss to the team as he was a great contributor both on and off the field and will be sorely missed both by the team and the club as a whole.  Having said that, with the introduction of Clive Moons mad brand of enthusiasm, the 4th team have a capable replacement as vice captain.

Looking forward to the 2002 season, hopefully availability within the club will be more stable to achieve success and the possibility of league cricket for the 4s in years to come?

Kingstonian 199-7 (M Walsh 4-20)

WHCC 179-8 (A Murphy 51*)

by Andrew Murphy

The  Carnivals latest game got off to a shambolic start when Woking Council came up with “Whittle” of the Year, telling us that we had not in fact booked the Wheatsheaf and that is why they had not cut or marked the pitch.  Thanks Council.  Step forward Clive Moon and Andy Richardson who cut the extremely green pitch just 10 minutes before the scheduled start time.  There was a distict lack of help from Des and Sean who decided that as the game wouldn’t start on time they would be better off in the pub across the road.  How right they were.

Kingstonian and Chris Dunbar were obviously in liason with the Council and decided that turning up 15 minutes after the 1.30 start would be fine after all.  This left skipper Mike Walsh having kittens, with no ground, ten men and no team to play against.  His mood was slightly improved as he won the toss and due to the (supposedly) sporting looking nature of the wicket decided that we’d have a bowl.  He was back to bad mood mode when after 45 minutes Kingston were 60 for no wicket and not a single ball had mis-behaved, and following an outrageously poor piece of fielding from the skipper  (missing a ball totally which went for four) he threw his hat down on the floor while jumping up and down, in true spoilt kid fashion!!  Cue much laughter.  A couple of overs later saw the best piece of fielding of the game.  Des was hit out towards deep square leg and as the ball sped towards the boundary it was stopped dead in its tracks by a plastic bottle saving W&H two runs!!

Things did get much better as Mike came on to bowl with Kingston having scored at 5 an over for 25 overs.  Des who had bowled without luck and wickets was the next person to look p*ssed off as Mikes first ball ,a leg stump full bunger, was well judged by Chris Dunbar at long leg. Our luck had changed.  That was the last poor ball that Mike bowled as he got through an excellent spell of 9 overs taking four wickets and with good support from Chris Dunbar and Andrew Walker pegged Kingstonian back to 199-7.

Our reply began in true W&H style.  We were 15-3 to a mixture of decent bowling and poor batting,  but were soon back on track when Alan Taylor, playing for the first time in a year, and Mike Walsh, put on 70 for the fourth wicket.  Walsh was out for 35 but Andrew Murphy joined Alan to take up the challenge.  Another partnership gathered momentum but wickets started to regularly fall in the last ten overs as Alan, Chris and Will and Clive were out in fairly quick succession to aforementioned decent bowling and poor batting, but the game petered out into a fairly tame draw with Des and Munge there at the end with 20 and 51 not out each, 20 runs short and a couple of wickets safe.

Camberley 107 AO

Woking and Horsell 108 - 5

 by Des Cooke

After a balmy week of sunshine expectations for the weekends cricket was high, as Saturday dawned however, the traditional first day of the season weather returned, i.e. rain, wind, cold, generally bloody miserable. As the first players assembled at the club it became clear that the two new South Africans seemed a little over keen having turned up already changed into their whites. Surely it’s only a matter of time before this enthusiasm wanes. To Jason’s credit though his wife also turned up with talk of volunteering to score. Things improved even further with the arrival of Woods senior and junior and another offer, this time to umpire. Even the 2nd’s don’t have their own umpire and scorer in tow. With the arrival of Mike Walsh the proceedings took a turn towards the carnival he is renowned for. Having just driven from his home in St Johns, our illustrious skipper, Paul Fortescue, asked him to pick up Amrender from a chip shop less than ½ a mile from his house. Having arrived at the chip shop, Walsh senior then hung around for a bit wondering where this new star wicket keeper was, only to discover he was at another chip shop at the other end of town.

Before too long the team eventually assembled at the impressive facilities at Camberley C.C..  Much was made of the two storrey pavilion with extensive changing rooms where a cat could be swung with ease and the bowling green surface was examined with no small amount of envy. Unfortunately this was all in vain as we were in fact playing a mile down the road at a local comprehensive school. So we reluctantly got back into our five cars and followed their captain to the venue, whereupon Paul was heard to cry “I’m not driving my BMW across that”. Unfortunately only three cars turned up at the school, two cars had apparently been drawn into the well-known Camberley Triangle. After some phone calls the missing cars were located and successfully guided to the ground. At this point it was necessary to avoid a large number of pre-pubescent school children in order to reach the pitch, as they appeared to be holding a sports day on the same field.

A pre-match inspection of the wicket and outfield drew a number of comparisons to a ploughed field and the bowlers in the side were seen vigorously warming up in an attempt to influence Paul at the toss. W&H did indeed bowl first, opening up with the tall right-handed Andrew Walker. Unfortunately he appeared to be suffering from having to drive around in a toy car and found it difficult to pitch the ball in the batsman’s half of the wicket. He thought his luck was changing though when he forced a false stroke from the batsman who spooned the ball to Paul, who later claimed he couldn’t decide whether to catch the ball one or two handed was a valid excuse for dropping the catch. At the other end another debutante, the blond haired South African Jason Bird, bowled with plenty of skill and pace, and with absolutely no luck at all. The bowling was soon changed and the second string attack was brought on. At the road end yet another debutante, the left arm Andrew Turnbull, impressed with his pace and accuracy and deservedly claimed a couple of victims. By now it was clear that the W&H side were far superior and some high jinx in the slips involving Sean Ireland and Matt Allen’s twin brother was firmly quashed as Paul exerted his considerable authority over the team. At the other end Des Cooke was serving up the usual Liquorice Allsorts that is synonymous with his bowling, and having one of the batsmen dropped behind did little to lighten his demeanor. However, a smile was briefly in evidence when Camberley’s most threatening batsmen attempted to place the ball in the pond over his head, only to see Andy Walker holding on to the catch to take a most undeserved wicket. Halim was the next bowler to be given the ball but inexplicably seemed to be trying bowl off 21 yards rather than the standard 22. However, once his run-up was sorted out he bowled with his usual accuracy and accounted for another two wickets. The same could not be said for Paul at the other end however and the skipper was in fact the only bowler not to take a wicket in this game. At this point James Woods was brought into the attack, despite being selected for his batting, and immediately suggested that Smithy’s role as right arm spinner could be in doubt. Five overs of accurate spin bowling produced two wickets, both from miscued drives to mid-off. The Camberley innings was wrapped up for 107 runs and the mood amongst the team was confident.

After a short drive back to their clubhouse for tea, we returned to the pitch for the W&H innings. Mike Walsh and Amrender Singh strode confidently out to the wicket to face the best of Camberley 3rd XI’s bowling. A short time later Mike Walsh slunk back after succeeding in hitting the ball off the square twice and then being bowled round his legs. Making his first appearance was Roger White, Matt Allen’s South African twin brother, whose pre-season nets suggested runs would soon be flowing. Unfortunately, an attempted slog, which appeared to be aimed at a passing aircraft, brought his innings to a premature halt. This brought the last debutante to the wicket, the always perplexing Sean Ireland. Which Sean had turned up today? Would it be the careful innings building Sean, or the free hitting extravagant Sean? We never had the opportunity to find out as a mix up resulted in him being run out after hitting only one ball. Oh well, there’s always next week. Having already impressed with the ball, Woods junior now had the opportunity to impress with the bat, and he took the opportunity very well. Not having Woods senior’s height or build meant there was little power behind the shots, but most of the other batsmen could certainly learn something from his technique. Through all this, Amrender at the other end continued to bat with a mixture of power and luck. Bad balls were dispatched to the boundary at a high rate of knots, while good balls were flirted with outside the off stump. Amrender eventually fell shortly after reaching his half-century on his first appearance for the club and it was left to Paul and Halim to stroke the winning runs.

All in all this was a very good performance from a side that boasted five debutantes, two of whom were colts. Amrender Singh was deservedly voted man of the match by his teammates and did the right thing and bought a jug in the bar later. Reports that suggest Roger, Sean, Des, Jason and his wife were seen in a state of intoxication in the Rat and Parrot later that evening are merely unsubstantiated rumours. Paul Fortescue would also like to speak to anyone who may be able to give him any tips on how to catch a cricket ball.

This match report is factually true, and any resemblance of the characters within it to real people is entirely deliberate. The author can accept no responsibility for the lack of ability of the players in the report.

Report by Paul Fortescue:

The first 3rd XI team of the season set off to face Camberley, league opposition later in the year on a windy, threateningly damp Saturday AM. Vice Captain for the day, Mike Walsh incurred the first fines of the season by trying to pick up the WK at the wrong chip shop in St Johns. Six players made their debuts, including three new to the club and two colts.

Winning the toss and electing to bowl, W&H made heavy weather of the first few overs, with 5/6 balls dug in short - just what's needed in April. Good performances from all the bowlers left Camberly on 112 ( ish) a/o at tea. Fielding points went to Walker and Cooke.

In reply debutant Singh set about the Camberly attack, scoring 54 before being dismissed by a bowler very much of the John Green style. Singh went on to collect the Man of the Match award.

Other performances worthy of note - Woods batted and bowled very well for a young man making his debut - although strangely uncertain of his age(?). Turnbull, also on debut bowled quickly and seems a very good prospect.

WHCC 3rd XI 159 AO

WHCC 4th XI 142 AO

by Des Cooke

The first match at the park this season promised to be a real clash of the titans as Paul Fortescue’s mighty 3rd XI took on the plucky underdogs of the Carnival. It proved to be an even bigger clash due to the selection of 24 players in total, so both captains agreed to play with 12 men on the field. Unfortunately getting on to the field was going to be a problem as Thommo still hadn’t arrived at the ground with the keys to the pavilion 15 minutes before the game was due to start. The carnival was back and things were looking good for the season ahead.

The 3rd XI batted first, no doubt confident that their powerful batting line up would post an unassailable score. Amrender Singh, who scored 50 the previous week opened with the seasoned campaigner, Peter Murphy. Opening the bowling for the Carnival was one Chris Murphy, the prodigal son of Peter, returning to playing after a lengthy absence. The lay-off was showing however as the early balls tested the wicket keepers reactions on the leg-side. At the other end the young Ginger haired Mark Worgan was also finding the going tough as he constantly feed Singh’s favored shot of the cut over gully. C. Murphy however soon found revenge by bowling P. Murphy off an inside edge much to the bowler’s obvious delight. Indeed some of the bowlers departing comments to the batsman seemed to hint at a “history” between the two. This brought Richard Thompson to the wicket, who had brought the considerable support of his brother Andy with him. Thommo showed some of the class that had seen him as a regular 2nd XI player not too long ago. However, it was too no avail as he also chopped the ball onto his own stumps to bring his innings to an end. By now the Carnival were sensing that a couple more wickets could see the match swing in their favour, but Matt Allen was determined to score some runs to make a game of it. Unfortunately he was bowled for a duck in his first game of the season. With this the skippers went about rewriting the rules of cricket by declaring that those batsmen who were dismissed for a duck could bat again, much to Matt’s delight. By now the bowling had been changed and Roger White was bowling from the pavilion end. The dismissal of Matt brought his South African compatriot Jason Bird to the crease. Roger was already the sharpest of the bowlers so far, but this added incentive inspired him to really bend his back. So much so that stand in keeper Des Cooke was beginning to resemble a man with saucepans for hands behind the stumps, as the ball ricochet off all parts of his body in his attempts to catch it. A big inswinger eventually removed Jason’s off stump and the wicket keeper breathed an audible sigh of relief. Graham Mattocks at the other end was bowling his steady outswingers. Neil Cheetham, who by now had been batting for what seemed like three days, continually played and missed bringing a comment of “would you like a bell in it?” from the field. Clive Moon now came out to the crease having arrived late at the game, his excuse being that he was playing golf in Portugal that morning. The return of Peter Smith to the bowling attack after a season’s absence immediately brought about the departure of the ball and fielders to all parts of the boundary. After having the 3rd XI side at 58 for 6 the Carnival relaxed slightly and the free hitting Andrew Walker scored with impunity. Next in was Paul Fortescue, but only after he had moved his car out of cow corner, and he continued in the same vein. He should have been caught early but Sean Ireland seemed to take his eye off the ball, or was he trying to protect his cigarette, and dropped the catch. The departure of Walker brought Matt Allen back to the crease for his second opportunity to avoid a duck. Fortunately, Paul was dismissed at the other end so Matt avoided that particular humiliation. The 3rd XI innings finished on 159 all out, a respectable total.

The Carnival Opened with Chris Murphy and the ever reliable Mike Walsh, and reliable as ever Mike was out early in the first over. Chris fared little better as he was out first ball edging on to his forehead and being caught, causing panic in the changing room. At the crease now was Graham Mattocks and Sean Ireland, who was determined to score some runs this week after being run out for a duck the previous week. This week he was bowled out for a duck, which, owing to the altered rules, meant he could have another go at the end of the innings. This brought Des Cooke to the wicket who proceeded to bat in a style that would have had Boycott reaching for a pillow. Through all this Fortescue and Walker bowled reasonably well but were helped by some poor shots. Mattocks and Cooke put together a reasonable partnership that was cut short by the removal of Mattocks. Will Stevens and Cooke then put together another small partnership, of which, Stevens was by far the higher scorer. Indeed, when Stevens was dismissed he was the highest scoring batsman in the hutch. Cooke was eventually removed to be replaced by Jerry Allen, who proceeded to bat out of his skin and produce his best performance for the club with the bat, including his first six of Jason Bird. Young Mark Worgan was in next in and he showed that he’s not just handy with the ball, as he became the highest scorer for the Carnival. By now the innings was collapsing and it was left to Chris Dunbar and Sean Ireland, both batting for the second time to bat out the last few overs to avoid defeat. They looked to have achieved this until the very last ball of the match when Sean played down the wrong line and was bowled off Matt Allen, who at least managed to contribute something with the ball, handing the game to the victorious 3rd XI.

This game suggested that some of the players in the 3rd XI should be looking over their shoulders, as a number of Carnival players look to be knocking on the door. Either team could have won this and the return fixture in a couple of weeks will be played with just as much competitiveness.

Woking and Horsell 166 AO

Leatherhead  122 AO

Report by Des Cooke

Spirits were high amongst the team for the first league game of the season away to Leatherhead. As the team assembled at their ground, it was clear that the state of the wicket and out-field was by far and away the worst we had played on so far this season. The only way of determining the wicket from the outfield was from the length of the weeds growing on it. This was Matt Allen’s first game in charge this season and he started well by losing the toss, and W&H were put into bat.

Nick Moon and Amrender Singh opened the batting. Singh batted with his usual aggression but the slow pitch was making it hard for him, as a result he was lucky not to be stumped and dropped twice in the first few overs. Moon at the other end also found the conditions hard and eventually missed a straight one, bringing John Dunbar to the crease. Dunbar and Singh amassed a partnership of 62 runs albeit with wildly differing styles. Some indecisive calling eventually resulted in Dunbar being run-out. Des Cooke came out at four, but may well find a higher number next to his name next week after blocking out 10 balls and then being given out lbw for 0. Matt Allen came to the crease determined to improve on his pair of ducks from the previous week, and immediately looked the part by smearing the ball into the car park narrowly missing his teammates cars. Singh’s luck eventually ran out and one of the home team managed to keep their hands together long enough to hold onto the ball. He was finally out for 70 runs, his second 50 already this season. Jayson Bird was next out proudly holding his brand new Kookaburra bat, unfortunately his attempt to put the ball into orbit brought his short innings to an ignominious end. Graham Mattocks came to the crease with apparently the same disregard for style and common sense and was also bowled playing a shot that at best can be described as cavalier. Allen at the other end was still hanging around and playing some fine shots, including another six into the balcony of the pavilion. He eventually fell to a stumping after apparently going for a single before hitting the ball. The well-known W&H 3rd XI batting collapse was now well in evidence having gone from 96-1 to 139-7 in just 15 overs. Some late and highly unorthodox resistance from David Fowles and Chris Murphy brought the score to 166 all out.

The bowling attack was opened by the formidable duo of Chris Murphy and Graham Mattocks. Graham was amongst the wickets first having the Leatherhead opener caught at point by a diving Des Cooke. This partnership was to prove to be extremely profitable in the long run. Gribbler weighed in with a wicket of his own when the no.3 middled the ball straight to David Fowles who took a sharp catch. By now Allen had replaced Gribbler at the field end, and after some indifferent bowling bowled their other opener. Mattocks meanwhile was continuing to toil away up the hill at the bowling green end, and his deceptively slow pace and swing was causing the batsmen some problems, causing another batsman to spoon the ball to covers. Cooke eventually replaced Mattocks, and immediately joined the party by taking a wicket with his second ball. Allen at the other end however was beginning to “receive the treatment” and wisely brought himself off to be replaced with the vastly experienced John Dunbar, who proceeded to bowl 6 overs for only 5 runs, including 4 maidens. Smithy also bowled very boringly tidily with 0 for 4 off 4 overs. By now it was clear that W&H needed to claim the final 3 wickets to claim the match and Gribbler and Mattocks returned to the attack. Both claimed another wicket each. Mattocks finishing a marathon 15 overs taking 3 wickets for 25 runs. Cooke was brought back with 6 overs remaining and eventually claimed the last wicket with a slow full toss to finish with figures of 4 for 34 off 8.2 overs. The team were delighted to claim 13 points from their first league game of the season, and join the other W&H sides in celebrating victory.

Addiscombe 155-8

WHCC 68-6

by Paul Fortescue

The 3rd XI once again took on the mantle of the carnival. Having arrived with both stumps and bails this week, the missing ingredient was the opposition. Citing that Woking was further away than they expected, Addiscombe rocked up at varying times from 1.30 to 2.00, proceeded to win the toss and elected to bat.

In the field Roger White, making his league debut bowled well, with litle success. Wearne, destined to be a flash in the pan this year saw two patched put down - one by the skipper and one by the vice, before Addiscombe's opener finally picked out Dunbar to begin the trek back to the pavillion.

Addiscome have some interesting selection issues of their own. The opener had played for their 1's the previous week and had clealy pressed the wrong button in the selection meetings!

At 80 odd for 7, Addiscome looked in a bit of bother.8 & 9 however were late arriving and should have beenopening for the 2nds! How bizzare. They took the visitors to 140 for 8 and the innings closed at 155.Mattocks bowled well for his 3-19 and there was an unlucky debut spell for Junior Woods.

Woking batted like they were looking for spots in the1st XI. Cheets did well to reach the first ball andspoon it up into the off side. Penners missed about the first straight ball they bowled and Roger Whitecontinued the trend of South African club members demonstrating tremendous patience and quality of shotselection and Matt Allan got one that stopped on him for an easy C&B. Bit of strife at 40-5.

Then it all changed. First slip called Peter Allan something unrepeatable.

20 Overs were up. Peter Allans hackles were up.Mattocks had an irresponsible moo at a wide one andDunbar came to the crease bringing his customary light and carefree attitude with him.

40-5 became 68 for 6 at the end of one of the least remarkable 20 overs ever. Allan and Dunbar offered very little hope to Addiscombe who took the 4 points clearer expectations with regard to the journey home.

Showers were still cold though. Bring on Finchley and everybody bring an Oar.

Malden 151-7

Woking and Horsell 150-7

Report by Des Cooke

The day started well with Paul winning the toss and electing to bowl, no real surprise as he had ten potential bowlers available to him. Ben Storey opened the bowling, much to the delight of the assembled players wives and girlfriends. Some good tight bowling early on restricted the visitors to a 3 an over for the first twenty but wickets were hard to come by. The ball seemed to be finding the gap or Smithy every time. A change of bowling saw the introduction of JD & Roger. Unfortunately, the arrival of Roger’s wife from South Africa the previous week seems to have affected his fitness, as two overs in he pulled up with a groin strain and was forced to leave the field to “receive some attention”. JD at the other end continued to plug away and wickets were starting to fall at regular intervals. Some more bowler rotation and some excellent glove work from P. Allen eventually saw the visitors to 151-7 off 50 overs, at which point their skipper made a positive declaration, inviting us to go for the win and 13 points.

The W&H innings started badly with the dismissal of P. Allen for 0. Of the first 8 overs, 5 were maidens; perhaps this wasn’t going to be so easy after all. Mattocks batted competently for a time before losing concentration completely and dancing down the wicket and getting out. At this point the famous W&H middle order resilience took a temporary leave of absence and we found ourselves at 80-5 with twenty overs or so remaining. The batsmen’s discussion revolved around pushing the singles and not conceding any more wickets at this stage. However, when we found ourselves at 90-7 with JD & Cooke at the crease, and only Smithy and Paul still to come, things looked bleak. Some patient and controlled batting from myself and JD found us needing 18 runs to win off the last 3 overs, game on. 5 runs off the first and we were still on course. Only 1 run off the penultimate over however meant 12 runs were now needed off the last 6 balls to win. A quick check in the skippers direction to confirm whether to go for it and 8 runs are taken off the first 5 balls. 4 runs to win off the last ball, all the fielders on the boundary, deep breath from the batsman. The bowler runs up, bowls, and it’s a top edge towards third man, only two runs managed and 4 points for a winning draw. JD puts in another good performance with 4-40 and 30 not out and the team remains unbeaten this season.

Woking and Horsell 199 -6 (Cheetham 100*, P Allan 34)

Chessington 183 -7  (J Dunbar 3-28)

The second league game of the season started off in complete shambles. While preparing the pitch for the game it became apparent that we had turned up the park minus some essential equipment, namely stumps, bails and a scoreboard. Matt Allan was dispatched forthwith on a mission to retrieve said gear. Once everything was in place Paul Fortescue set about losing the toss and as a result W&H were invited to bat on what looked to be a damp wicket.

Mike Walsh opened the batting, which came as some surprise, as only an hour earlier he was meant to be skippering the 4th XI. Partnering him was the ever-reliable Neil Cheetham. This pair was then treated to what can only be described as “inconsistent” bowling as the opening bowlers proceeded to spray the ball around in a most alarming manner. Unfortunately for Walshy the bowler managed to put one ball on the stumps, which he missed, bringing Graham Mattocks to the crease. Graham batted remarkably well, restraining himself from attempting the smear shot in the face of some overwhelming temptation. Cheeters at the other end continued to do a convincing impression of Boycott in his prime, nudging the ball around for the odd single. Graham was eventually dismissed in controversial in a controversial lbw decision (Walshy), but not before posting a personal best score of 26 for W&H. Des Cooke was next in, and shortly after, the next out with only 7 runs to his name. Matt Allan came out next but again failed to make an impression, playing a weak shot to be caught at mid-wicket. That wicket brought a welcome return of Peter Allan, who now has the knees of a twenty-year-old apparently. Peter then showed his teammates that form is temporary, but class is permanent as he and Cheeters amassed 60-odd runs between them. Peter was eventually out with a score of 34 runs. By now Cheeters was in the nineties and he eventually scored the runs he needed to reach his century, bringing the W&H innings to close on 197 for 7.

Gribbler and Fortescue spearheaded the bowling attack in an attempt to get amongst the wickets early. Unfortunately the wicket was deader than my chances of pulling Claudia Schiffer in Bostons. As a result the visitors scored at a steady pace and looked to be cruising, so Mattocks was introduced to the bowling attack in order to try and tie the batsmen down. This ploy would have succeeded had Cooke not been serving up his usual buffet bowling at the other end. By now Gribbler and Mattocks had a wicket apiece but the visitors opening bat looked to be in good form and was dispatching the bowling to all parts of the boundary. Dunbar was thrown the ball and he proceeded to bowl tightly and apply some pressure. Jayson Bird was brought on at the other end and he dismissed the Chessington opening bat. With new batsmen at the crease the Chessington innings slowed dramatically and some frantic arithmetic from the scorer revealed that their target for a winning draw was 14 runs off the final two overs, to be bowled by Mattocks and Gribbler. Both held their nerve and W&H came away with 4 points for the winning draw. Gribbler however came away with rather more though as one of the visiting players had left behind their copy of Penthouse. He was last seen heading for the toilets.

SATURDAY 1ST XI REVIEW OF 2001

Promotion was at last achieved by the 1st X1, and skipper Richard Walsh after four full years of captaincy resulting in positions of 6th, 3rd, 7th and 3rd respectively was able to savour the delights of a top-two finish. For tenacity, determination, commitment and leadership, nobody on the circuit had deserved it more.  Even now finishing runners up was something of a disappointment for the team as the contest with Ashstead and Nazir - looked forward to more by Woking than (it would seem) most of the rest of the League -was washed out. 

The season started off brilliantly with 4 consecutive wins, the highlight being James Morley’s 6-6 against local rivals Chertsey. The first of only two losses then came against Oxted.  4 wins and 2 winning draws in the next 6 completed games, culminating in a brilliant chase against fellow-contenders Dulwich, restored the team to top place by the end of July.  The first weekend of August then witnessed an abject defeat against Southern Railway, which was followed by a somewhat shaky run chase which ended two short against old Ruts.  

Even more frustration ensued when rain brought a premature conclusion at Cobham with the home team on the ropes.  In this period, Ashstead slipped back into a top spot they were never to lose, while Dulwich had also clawed their way back into range. Three matches now remained, and morale seemed fully restored by a crushing win over Warlingham, but with a point needed for promotion the trip to Alleyn old Boys on the penultimate weekend had to be undertaken with a team seriously weakened by injury and other absence.  Toby Aldred, who had spent much of the season plying his trade in the 3rd XI, contributed 35 of Woking’s paltry-looking total of 89, but in truth it was never going to be an easy target to chase down.  A spell of 23-14-18-4 by Glen Morley was mainly responsible for a nail-biting 23 run victory, coming at about the time Michael Owen put away his first successful strike in Munich. The prize of champion status remained tantalisingly in view if only Ashstead would slip up on the final day. Inevitably they didn’t but Walsh was able to mark what he hopes will be a final match in charge in Division 3  by sending Old Tiffs to an 8 wicket defeat and chalking up an eleventh victory for the team.

Apart from the wobble in early August, the team played positive cricket all season reflected by a zero in the losing draw column.  On the batting front, the expected bonus from the return to the fold of Peter Richardson was fully realised (540 runs at 68) while Glen Morley (405 at 29) Toby Green (310 at 22) and new boy Regan Smith 250@35 in only 9 innings also contributed significantly.  On the bowling front Charlie Johnson yet again led the way with 41 at 10, with Richardson and Glen Morley claiming 28 victims at 15 and 12 respectively.  James Morley used the new ball wisely (most of the time) and bagged 25 at 15, while Damo Honey despite enduring an injury-ravaged season chipped in with 16 at 10 in the games for which he got (or stayed) on the field. 

The fielding was usually excellent, and the team spirit exceptional in a team who enjoyed each others company off the field as well as on. Many thanks to Erica for her scoring and John for his umpiring, as well as various others who helped out when called upon. Roll on 2002.

 League - Division 2 Surrey Championship                                                                                                

Captain - Steve Hankins                                      

Vice Captain - Adam Portlock

Last season - 4th - Division 2


Review of 2001

The 2nd XI had a thoroughly enjoyable summer, playing positive cricket throughout to register eight victories and a deserved, if disappointing fourth place finish.

This was undeniably an all-round team effort, with no one individual running the show.

A combination of testing batting conditions and some over extravagant stroke play meant that no player scored more than one fifty, although nine players scored in excess of 150 runs, as the batting order was frequently shuffled around.

Skipper Steve Hankins led the way (370 runs), despite batting half the season at number ten. His magnificent, rapid fire 145 at Warlingham, out of a total of 306-4 in 45 overs, emphasised that he must bat in the top four next season. The talented stroke playing middle order of Adam Portlock (305), Roger Greenway (206) and Jon Ambrose (232) all looked good but regularly gave it away, and could learn from the concentration of senior pros Ed Smith (209) and Neil Cheetham (223).

Newcomer Jamie Hunt (170) hit a match winning 60 in the wet gloom against Worcester Park, whilst Mark Surridge (187) and Jon Seward (157) played elegantly and productively on their limited trips to the middle.

The wickets were shared equally between seam and spin. The young, aggressive Chris Wearne (20 @ 20.85), continued his development from 2000, and was deservedly rewarded with a call up to the 1st XI on a number of occasions. When unavailable, the new ball went to the unerringly accurate Surridge (21 @ 13.71) and the fiery Ambrose (17 @ 16.65), who concluded the season with figures of 4-4 against Cranleigh.

David Gibney (19 @ 10.37) reinforced his reputation as a top off-spinner at this level, before consecutive five wicket hauls against Worcester Park and Old Emmanuel saw him depart to the 1st XI for the remainder of the season. The Old Tauntonian duo of Hunt (17 @ 17.53) and Hankins (18 @ 22.44)), provided the balance of the slow bowling, and despite lacking Gibney’s deep penetration, they helped win games, most notably Hunt’s 6-22 against Dorking.

In the field, W&H were dedicated and regularly excelled, with Portlock leading the way with twenty outfield catches. It was particularly good to welcome back long standing keeper Dean Faulkner in mid-season, who performed excellently despite a serious winter operation.

The team were happy to congratulate Old Midwhitgiftians and Epsom on their promotion, and took great pleasure in the deserved elevation of their own 1st XI colleagues to Div 2.  Sincere thanks go to Bob Hollands, Martin Raybould, Chris Murphy and Jamie Pinder for their umpiring and scoring services.

League - Division 2 Surrey Championship

Captain - Richard Walsh

Vice Captain - Glenn Morley

Last season - 2nd - Div 3 - Promoted

 

Munge Says

Munge would like to say on behalf of the club, the first team, but mainly himself, a a very big thank you to the Mentalist for the absolutely huge amount of help he has given to everyone off the field this season.  Your contribution has been absolutely immense.  The help that you've given me behind the bar and with the website has been very greatly appreciated by not just by the first team but everyone involved with the club.

While I'm dishing out thanks, I would like to echo the Mentalists thanks to Couch, Damo and Morlers for running the BBQs and also to Damo and Glunn for coming up with the idea of the H-R ratings which has raised a fair few quid.  Not to forget the match reports from Damo and Couch while Simon has been elsewhere - Thanks for those to.

Heres to next year and a championship victory.

The Mentalist Says

Story of a Season

 What began as a journey into the unknown quickly became a promotion challenge. Dorking, Streatham, Shepperton and Chessington were all despatched before May was over and a winning draw taken from Egham. Star of the show early on was Damo who took 14 wickets.

 For some reason, despite having some very good players, our batting was letting us down far too often, luckily the bowlers were getting us out of trouble and we took 56 points from 65 and we were flying at the top of the league. You couldn’t help thinking that many of the sides in Division two were actually worse than those at the top end of Division 3, they certainly looked as though losing didn’t bother them too much. Obviously them losing meant us winning which certainly boosted morale and also the bar takings.

 The next three games saw only 6 points arrive at the Bulldog Bank, an abandonment at Cranleigh (which proved costly), a losing draw against Camberley and a winning draw at Mitcham, where Glenn and Damo nearly pulled off a win despite what the Mitcham skipper had to say afterwards. Glenn was by now in the groove and was averaging 47 and along with Dikko (average of 33), were proving to be the mainstay of our batting. Damo led the wicket taking chart with 19, Glenn 17 and Dikko 16.

 We easily disposed of Purley by 8 wickets with Regan reeking havoc on his way to 82 not out and by now a clear breakaway group had emerged at the top with 7 teams all very close on points and well clear of the rest. The crucial period in our season would be 5 games on the trot against sides at the top, with a few people away (weddings, illness, golf etc) now was the time to see if we could sustain the challenge.

 The first of these five games took place in a Village near Epsom, the home side, last seasons freak Division 3 champions, were blown away by a display of bowling (sorry Damo) they just couldn’t handle. Their two star players contributed 1 between them and having shot them out for just 40, The Human Dog and Dikko smacked the aforementioned star players bowling all over the place to send us home with a ten wicket win and 8 hours of drinking to look forward to. All they had to look forward to was a net to try and work out how they had been so comprehensively dicked.

Beddington arrived at Brewery Road and tore into our soft underbelly and we stumbled to 67 all out. They wrapped it up for the loss of only two wickets as we lost our first game for nearly a year.

 Then to Old Midwhitgiftians who were clear at the top, a game we could not lose. Had we picked up the wicket of their star man when he gave us the chances we may have won, he went on to make a hundred and we were batted out of the game. It was then left to Toby Aldred and Glenn to save the game and we left with a point.

 Yet more unavailability’s against Old Emanuel gave the side a very youthful look. Our innings lasted an hour and a half and we mustered a season’s low score of 65. Old Emanuel knocked it off in double quick time and our second defeat saw us troop off by 4pm.

 By now Old Emanuel had opened up a clear lead, Old Midwhitgiftians were showing signs of fading and we were 5th. Egham had surprisingly leapt into 2nd place, Honor Oak and Camberley completed the chasing pack. Ashtead dropped out of the race completely as had Beddington who had slumped to two defeats in a row. Had we shot our bolt?, would the return of Dikko fresh out of plus fours make any difference?

Honor Oak provided the next opposition and having sat in the bar watching it rain until 3pm we batted and shot out of the blocks. Human Dog made 43, Glenn made his 4th 50 of the season so far, Morlers, Dikko and Regan clubbed quickfire 20’s and we declared on 173-5. Thanks to 6-46 from Glenn, the team Morlers took down, collapsed from 97-1 to 133 all out, another 13 points and we were back in the hunt.

 Out of these five games we had managed two wins, a losing draw and two defeats. We were in 7th and looking out of the race. Old Emanuel had by now won 8 and had 6 winning draws in their 14 games and were looking certain champions. We really needed to win games while hope that the other leading sides took points off each other. Another defeat for Old Midwhitgiftians meant it would be a straight fight between ourselves, Honor Oak, Camberley and Egham for the other first division place.

 Against Horsley and Send we batted like Chimps, as everyone got a start and then got themselves out, Morlers topscored with 33 as we declared on 158-6. The game went to the last ball and had they not run one short we would have lost but a solitary point was all we took.

 Four games to go and all against sides in the bottom half, Maori Oxshott turned up with ten men as we failed with the bat once more, making only 157. Yet again we had to rely on our bowlers get us out of trouble, once more they duly delivered 13 points thanks to a six wickets from Dikko as Oxshott were bowled out for 118.

Then onto Richmond Town, I know there’s a bit of history there, but you have to feel sorry for them, 3 points all season (1 from an abandonment) and seemingly doomed from day one. That said, everyone else has had the opportunity to take 13 points off them so now it was our turn and we had to take advantage. To make our job a bit more pleasant they only had 9 players, thanks lads !. Not wanting to look a gift-horse in the mouth we plundered the wide open spaces in the field and racked up 217-7 with Dikko getting 80. Such was the piss take that we passed 200 for the first time in a year courtesy of a boundary from Damo !. The 8 wickets we required were snapped up in double quick time as we won by 180 runs. Results elsewhere went our way and suddenly we had sneaked in the back door and were still in with a shout.

At Old Hamps, Glenn at long last converted one of his half centuries into the real thing, 102 not out as we declared on 197-3, Human dog made 47 and Toby Aldred got all excited and scored 30. Obviously needing time to have a chance of bowling them out we had to leave them a score they thought they had a chance of getting……….which they did, losing only four wickets along the way. The door that had opened a just week earlier had been slammed shut in our faces, our challenge was over.

So a few short months after starting our season against Dorking in the sun at Brewery Road turned out for the season’s final game against Brook to be greeted by the sight of our changing rooms burnt out and having to cancel the karaoke. A more shoddy display you’ll never see as our batting failed yet again as we failed to chase 106. Our season limping to a rather unsatisfactory end.

Much has been said and written about our batting displays this season. Without doubt we have not scored the runs we needed on many occasions, the most notable being Old Emanuel and Beddington. Many times we have posted a low score and still won, but there have also been times where we have chased totals and cruised past them with ease. Next season must see more apply themselves and put a price on their wickets. All this will mean more points in the bag and hopefully more jugs purchased in the bar.. It’s not all doom and gloom though, one of the few positives has been the emergence of Toby Aldred who having taken time to settle down, has shown in the final few weeks that he has what it takes to succeed at this level, not by way of smashing the ball around but by playing with a maturity beyond his years. Haleem showed flashes against Brook that he will also flourish given enough opportunities so with a couple of good young players coming through, the emphasis is on Morlers, Regan, Toby, etc to produce on a regular basis and ensure the responsibility for propping up our innings will no longer rest on Glenn and Dikko. Glenn has been superb all season and finished with an average of over 50, he along with Dikko have often been called on in a crisis to bail us out and I hope next season these two can play with more freedom, safe in the knowledge the other end is being well looked after.

Where we have excelled (in my opinion) is on the bowling front, considering we have been without Charlie all season and that Morlers has only bowled 19 overs, we have managed to bowl half the sides out we have played. Damo, Dikko and Glenn have taken the bulk of the wickets and have been backed up by Mark and Curtley for most of the season. With Couch back and Morlers fit again we’ll certainly have more options than we’ve had this year.

Old Emanuel were worthy Champions, having won 11 games and six winning draws (no defeats) they were head and shoulders above anything else, Honor Oak sneaked in through the back door on the last day of the season leaving Camberley and Egham disappointed at having missed out. Shepperton and Richmond Town were doomed from very early on leaving a huge comfort zone for everyone else. To be fair we did the job required against nearly all of the bottom half of the table (80 points taken) but against the top half we faltered slightly taking only 49 points from 9 games. We can say hello again to our friends from Dulwich next season (hopefully still with the same wicketkeeper) and Old Wimbledonians who came up from Division 3.

Had someone said we’d finish 6th this season I think everyone of you would have said “yes please” so although we’re obviously disappointed we didn’t gain back to back promotions, we should be pleased to have lifted the club to it’s highest ever placing. Look at how badly Ashtead fared and the fact we finished higher than many established clubs who were expected to challenge. To quote Damo “its been a far better and to a big extent, easier than expected season. All in all we have been beaten or outplayed by some good teams without ever really playing to out full potential as a team”  

Having seen that this is nothing to fear from anyone in Division 2 we should be going all out for the Championship next season. We’ve been something of a surprise package in there this season and next year, teams will know all about us. Enjoy the break because next year is going to be far tougher.

The Roving Mentallist

Hasselhoff Rhino

After months of heavy drinking, vomiting and painful hangovers, we all had battled our way through to the last day of the campaign. With many of the expected big hitters away at various times the chance had always been there for someone to take the title as long as they kept their head and kept scoring consistently. Minge was the unexpected challenger, always posting 8 or more and more importantly, not missing a week. Damo, sometimes getting double figures had steadily worked his way up the league and Walshy just did his normal thing.

 August 3rd proved to be a night of a thousand aftershocks as many remained at the club to see if Minge was, A) Insane, B) an alcoholic or C) a Lying bastard, to his credit he managed 14 points only to ruin it all by incurring a chunder deduction. On the same night Damo’s lack of a girlfriend or a job got the better of him, 18 points later a very shattered Rhino stumbled out of the bar and maybe it was only his chunder that saved his life, even so it remains the benchmark for everyone else and still unequalled. Predictably Walsh bagged 16 and Morlers decided if he couldn’t prove to the Honor Oak lads he could still play, he would show them he could still drink, 15 for him. Giles got 10 and Glenn 12.

 With the wedding season in full flow Couch took advantage and lodged a series of high scores and from nowhere leapt into the frame to finish a rather excellent 4th, although some of the behaviour that accompanied his efforts he would do well to avoid repeating. Myself, Glenn and Morlers came 5th, 6th and 7th. There was then a 10 point gap to the Green brothers and below that were very disappointing scores from some who would have expected to do a lot better. Gibbers finally got in on the act with a near relationship-ending display but he did just enough over the season to see off Mark Surridge who was propping everyone else up at the foot of the table while looking resplendent in his frilly blouse having been outdrunk by two girls and Dikko. Along the way there have been isolated incidents of definite Whittle, Couch exposing the most serious when finding half drunk bottles of castle tucked away in various places. Non castle drinkers can still hold their heads up high.

 At the serious end Richard was unavailable for the last and deciding day therefore costing him his chance to take the title that so many had expected, so barring a drinking miracle from Couch only Damo or Minge could win it. Minge turned up hungover as did Damo (predictably). Minge was able to start earlier due to not playing but the rigours of the long hard slog had clearly taken it’s toll on him and he was only able to post 7 despite having had 12 hours to score in. This left the way clear for Damo to make up the two point gap and leap from third to first with the clincher being four blue aftershocks in a glass. How appropriate that the drink everyone loves to hate ended up being the one to take the title.

End of Season Awards (In games seen by the Mentallist)

Best Innings of the Season

Toby Aldred 39 not out v Old Midwhitgiftians

I know it’s not the biggest score by far by a Bulldog but at a time when we were struggling and needed someone to stay there (Morlers too busy shitting his pants), Toby showed a lot of character and gritted it out for 90 minutes at a time when he had been struggling for runs all season. He may have only scored 39, but it denied Old Mids a win.

 2nd, Glenn 69 not out v Old Midwhitgiftians. Kept Toby company and batted for the team rather than for himself. Didn’t go for the ton and go in the head.

3rd, Regan 82 not out v Purley, could have stayed there all day, had we been set a bigger target who knows what he could have scored

 Worth a mention,

 Morlers 64 v Egham

Dikko 66 v Chessington

Glenn 60 v Dorking

Gibbers 42 v Egham

Damo 3 v Streatham

Best Fielder

Toby Green (Also The Clubs hardest man)

 Toby may have softcocked it with the bat this year, but his fielding certainly saves runs every week, although that’s probably through guilt.

2nd, Toby Aldred, makes difficult catches look very easy indeed and his all round fielding puts many others to shame. Needs to drink more though.

3rd, Glenn Morley, can always be heard chuntering away in the slips, Glenn usually does the simple things very well and uses his height to take the catches others couldn’t.

Worth a mention

Giles Green, a class above any other wicketkeeper, it’s a shame he looks like a tramp

Minge, if only he could bat or bowl

Tommo

Best Catch

 Morlers v Streatham

 A terrific catch as it screamed towards him, one handed without breaking stride was superb, to follow it up with some showboating really took the piss……………Dellers !!

 2nd Toby Aldred v Dorking, If a cricket ball was blasted towards my ankles I’d Shit myself. Toby just bent down and scooped it up as though he was picking a daisy and looked embarrassed when everyone ran over to him to congratulate him.

3rd, Morlers v Ashtead to dismiss Andy King. The big bucket hands for once didn’t turn to jelly. Cue lots of air punching and “come on” shouts from everyone to the delirious away support.

Worth a mention

Glenn v Horsley, so high inspector gudgut would have struggled

Toby Green v Horsley, how ironic that Toby took a catch courtesy of someone holing out !

Toby Green v Chessington, one handed taken on the run and very low down

Best Bowling Performance

Glenn Morley 6 for 22 at Chessington

An hour of hostile bowling, that got quicker with each ball. Glenn blasted out Chessington’s middle order when we didn’t have too many runs to play with.

2nd, Peter Richardson 5 for 12 v Streatham, a dodgy pitch maybe, but the ball needs to be put on the spot consistently and Dikko did just that with a superb demonstration of line and length which won us the game.

3rd, Damien Honey 3 for 39 v Horsley & Send, when everyone else was getting whacked about, Rhino bought some control back to our attack and as well as slowing the scoring down which earned us a point.

Worth a mention

Dikko 6-16 v Maori Oxshott

Damo 4-21 v Dorking

Damo 4-23 v Shepperton

Mark Surridge 3-9 v Ashtead

Biggest Toys

Chessington Captain

The stump kicking was funny enough, the amateurish bite on the send-off by going back with his bat at the ready had me, Couch and everyone else pissing ourselves.

 2nd, Damo v Ashtead, sometimes you just aren’t required. We came to see a left arm spinner but it wasn’t you. Your bottom lip was dragging on the floor.

3rd, Charlie after the Oxshott game, when it was suggested he go home due to the fact he couldn’t stand, speak or know his name. Not only were toys thrown but his Becks bottle also (predictably missing the bin). Showering Kate with beer and earning himself a roundhouse kick to the throat from her next time she sees him.

Worth a mention

Shepperton’s overseas player unable to get Morlers out (understandable)

Walshy whenever someone is late for meet time

Charlie for pelting us with cutlery after being told to shut up during fines

Paddy for breaking the window

Erica at Old Emanuel when everyone went off for tea and forgot to tell her

Boring Bastard of the Season

Morlers v Shepperton

 A clear winner, for occupying the crease for what seemed like hours while scoring 18 and boring the arse off everyone. You hit the ball with all the power of someone using a bat made of candyfloss.  

2nd, Gibbers v Horsley & Send, a shocker of an innings where despite more contact with the ball than usual “The Limpet” shouted “NO” after every shot……and sometimes before one!.

 3rd, Regan for his unwillingness to get involved in long e-mail threads or send a message of more than 6 words.

Worth a mention  

Juff for deciding to decorate rather than play cricket

Hankins for constantly insisting the 2nd 11 would give the Bulldogs a run for their money

 

Seasons Biggest Disappointment

“The” Toby Green

This may be harsh considering his average but Toby knows he can do far better than this. 10 times in 14 innings he has made good starts but has gone past 50 just once. His biggest talent is offering catching practice while still managing to look “Stylish” for the Woking News and Mail.

 2nd. Continuing the family thread, the batting of Giles Green. 9 innings only 17 runs and one boundary. Also, as a wicketkeeper, why has he been stumped 3 times ?

3rd, Ashtead, getting in one exceptional player to win a league is ok but you also need another ten decent ones if said player doesn’t perform. If you insist on talking yourselves up in the Surrey Advertiser every week then be prepared to accept all the flak you are due when you are proved to be out of your depth and fucking crap as a team.

Worth a mention,

 Heineken out Carlsberg in

The 2nd 11 for their attitude to opening the bar and having barbecues.

The infrequent appearances of Trolley Man punching himself in the back of the head.

My idea of turning the clubhouse into a “Hooters Bar” being rebuffed by Peter Murphy

Softcocking it against Old Emanuel and Beddington

Always leaving my phone on during fines

Dikko not getting the huge score he often threatens

The fire ruining our planned Karaoke

The new scorebox when I was expecting something like the “Media Pod” from Lords

Best Celebrations

Glenn Morley v Ashtead

 Having got Andy King out Glenn was the only one who remembered to do some “Gay Spiderman” and didn’t he do it well, a bit too much practice in front of the mirror?

2nd, Curtley at Chessington after finding out Lucy had driven his car and hadn’t crashed it.

3rd, Minge when he found out Wearney and Lisa had split up.

Worth a mention,

Everyone when Lucy walked in wearing school uniform

Me while taking the piss out of Minge for getting dumped, I found out it would have been Minge and Holty’s two year anniversary.

Minge when he found out Gibbers would drink all the Cinzano

Whenever the fridge collapses and the look on Minge’s face when it does

 Seasons Golden Moments

Carl Anderson and A******

Who can forget the Golden boy clean bowled by Dikko? and the realisation of both teams that Ashtead were in fact, Quite Shit

 2nd, James Morley v Honor Oak, the run of ducks ended by a streaky four, and then greeted by a standing ovation from the entire pavilion.

 3rd, Toby Green all pissed up poking Blairo in the chest while insisting that he could “fucking have him”.

 

Worth a mention

 Damo careering into the stumps instead of running someone out

Toby Green carrying his belongings in a dustbin bag in a bid to gain Hampshire Status

The realisation that Aftershock is actually fun

Toby Green at the bar. “Bleeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuurggggghhhhhhh, Sorry Minge”

Damo’s belly flop while attempting to take a caught and bowled

Letting the rope go in the tug or war and watching the 2nd 11 eat dirt

 

Bulldog of the Season Award (Couldn’t split the two)

 Richard Walsh & Glenn Morley

Richard arranges his private life around WHCC. His phone never stops ringing with new problems to sort out with players, ground, travel etc. For 7 years now he has organised a bunch of full grown men who become incapable 8 year olds on a Saturday morning and still comes back for more every week. Usually follows every game with a bout of drinking excellence. True Bulldog Spirit !

Glenn has been top run scorer and top wicket taker, he likes his puss and has given us a whole new language. Glenn has been the clubs outstanding player by a mile this season.

2nd, Andrew Murphy,Des Cooke and Damo, when the first two replaced Windy, they wisely recruited Damo (who put his job plans off for the summer for the club’s sake) and these three have done an awful lot of work behind the scenes getting the bar up and running, going to the wholesalers, cleaning, getting headbutted and a whole lot more, all three have carried out there jobs almost unnoticed and without them the social side would be very poor indeed. Next time you buy a drink there, think for a minute about all the work that goes into providing what you consume. All they need now is a new fridge, a helmet for Des, a new wardrobe for Minge and a Girlfriend for Damo.

3rd, Morlers, Couch and Damo for their barbecue skills. No-one else ever thinks to do the barbecue and these three have put in some sterling work this season. No doubt we’ve raised quite a few quid due to their efforts. Now they’ve added ketchup, Cheese and relish to the table, which all goes down a David Pleat. Top Work Fellas !.

I’d like to pay tribute to Kath, Lucy and anyone else who has bought a drink during playing hours, sorry Curtley you’re a player!) and all the others who come to watch, sunbathe, drink, boost club funds and make watching our batting bearable. Away games used to mean sitting there on your own while we fielded but now you have a crowd to play to. Also a mention to you guys for putting up with my constant bleating via e-mail and in person.

 A very special mention to Charlie Johnson who during his year off from playing has channelled his obvious frustration into a series of fascinating insights into the life of a madman. He’s given us his David Pleat run on the pitch at Streatham, Barbecue hugging after the Purley game, weekly bush spotting, talking with Trolley Man, various bouts of cutlery / ice / bottle throwing and litter picking. Now he has added cooking on the new improved barbecue to his vast array of talents. On Saturday after the fire, he spent all day cleaning the place up before going food shopping and doing the barbecue. A true club man if ever there was one and he leaves a huge gap to fill when he returns to the field next year.

 The sheer number of people who have been to home games this season has contributed to a fantastic laugh and no doubt some very healthy bar takings. Some of the things we’ve seen and done will remain for a long time. My own personal favourite over the season has to be the Ashtead game and the drunken carnage that followed it. I think we may have brought “socialising” up to new heights this year, I only wish the clubs other sides had the same attitude.

 So that’s it for another 33 short weeks. I would hope we will all be back at Brewery Road (new changing rooms hopefully) next season for hopefully more of the same.

The third eleven had a second successive season of disappointment. But whereas in 1997 they had a record which would have sent them up in many years, they quite failed this time to build on an excellent start (3 wins and a winning draw in the first 4 games) and could look only to themselves for an explanation of a failure to fulfil potential.

The batting records look pretty impressive overall, but disguise two total capitulations -against Ashstead and Purley - which led to defeats in two key matches. Mostly, however, runs were reasonably plentiful, with Jeremy Day contributing 326 at nearly a run a ball and inclusive of a century against Old Rutlishians. Younger brother Peter Day scored 260 before promotion to the seconds, including a brutal 86 ball innings of 122 against Leatherhead, which was nullified by torrential rain. A third century was contributed by Adam Portlock, in a rare appearance against Epsom. Neil Cheetham was stability itself when not required by the 2nd XI and scored 267 runs at an average of 45. Nigel Pakulski was another reliable middle-order performer.

The bowling was the real problem, with a complete lack of cutting edge as last year's fast bowlers were promoted to the second eleven. Skipper Peter Smith accounted for 18 wickets with his leg breaks, but to push for a high placing next year his team will need to discover more penetration. The team retained excellent team spirit despite its disappointing results in the second half of the season, so another crack at promotion is very much on the agenda for 1999.

The seconds made a nightmarish start to the campaign, unable to secure even as much as a draw until the visit to Cobham on 6 June. The first win, against Purley, followed on 20 June, and another was secured a fortnight later against Worcester Park, but going into August survival still looked a far from certain prospect. However, to the credit of the team and its captain, Andy Richardson, it had retained enough underlying confidence in its undoubted collective ability to dominate its remaining matches, and to pick up sufficient points through two further wins and several winning draws to move to 12th in the final table.

The team's greatest problem was the unreliability of the batting, which until late on regularly posted undefendable scores or (on the rather rare occasions when the skipper won the toss) were unconvincing in the chase. It was as well that Steve Jones quickly gained promotion after some initial outings in the third eleven to win an opener's berth and post 440 runs from 10 innings. His demonstration of what solid technique and quiet determination could achieve sadly failed to provide a lead to most of the other batsmen, although useful contributions were made by several players who for various reasons played only a few games for the side.

In view of the batting frailties, the fact that Woking could always harbour hopes of staying in contention and nicking the odd win was largely due to the bowling attack, and especially the seam department. It was no surprise that Keith Goodwin was again at the forefront of the team's efforts with the ball, and Richardson was only the latest of a line of skippers to bemoan the fact that his leading bowler was constrained to work regular Saturday shifts. Goodwin did at least manage 10 games this season, and this was enough for him to be top wicket-taker with 25 at 14 apiece.

The identity of the next most effective bowler was not predictable, since Ben Storey, 18 during the season, had not previously managed to make himself regularly enough available to be more than a third eleven occasional. This time, having impressed at winter nets, he was given a starting place in the seconds which his stamina, hostility and persistence ensured he never lost and which brought him 23 wickets at 17. Chris Murphy, managing a full season after injuries had held up his progress in the two previous years, was the third member of a three-pronged spearhead and could be pretty pleased with 16 wickets at 23 after a period in May and June when scalps were hard to come by. The skipper's little seamers earned him 11 wickets at a lower average than anyone's, including a spell of 4-27 which did much to ensure victory against Worcester Park.

The fielding was marked by many dropped catches, but the team could be grateful to Chris Sheppard for bringing regular availability and consistent form to the wicket-keeping position.

At one point or another in the season, all three Woking Saturday league sides had cause to envisage playing at a different level in 1999, with the first and third elevens in the running for promotion and the seconds at some risk of slipping back to the third division for the first time since 1992. In the end, the third eleven avoided promotion almost as comfortably as the second eleven avoided going down. The firsts, however, were forced to give up hope of their first ever promotion only on the penultimate Saturday.

This was a bitter disappointment for Richard Walsh and his team, who had always been strongly in contention after 3 straight wins at the start of the campaign. In the end they had to concede that Dorking had shown more consistency at the death, and Sanderstead too were able to notch a couple of wins and secure second place during a run in that saw Woking forced to settle for three draws and an abandonment over the last four Saturdays.

Woking's first venture into the overseas market was a resounding success as Kiwi Ian Meyer, undaunted by unrelenting rain throughout his first three weeks in the country, quickly emerged as one of the top players in the division. Starting with five for 12 at Albury on the first day, and achieving his first century at Old Paulines a fortnight later, he continued to impose himself on most matches, finishing with 769 runs at an average of all but 70, and 23 wickets. Batting was clearly his strong suit, but his wicket tally would certainly have been higher had not the regular opening attack of James Dodd and Charles Johnson managed between them a little matter of 433 overs and 68 wickets, often leaving the remaining bowlers to pick up no more than the crumbs from the table. Johnson - regularly a leading league wicket taker through the 90s - surpassed any of his previous efforts with 47 wickets in 274 overs of stamina-sapping effort.

It is harsh to speak of weaknesses in a side which achieved so much, but in matches where the three main seamers failed to finish the opposition off, the follow-up bowling was not always able to deliver the coup de grace, although Steve Hankins' flighty spinners did secure 14 wickets in only 45 overs, and Damien Honey's truncated season included a match-winning 5 for 29 off 21 overs against Woodmansterne. Similarly on the batting front Meyer's efforts were well supported by Wayne Hazell (409 runs at 29) and Nick Williamson (284 at 26), but on odd occasions when the side were set a stiff target, the middle and later order sometimes lacked the panache and confidence to deliver what might have been priceless victories. The skipper, however, played a valuable role in seeing things through in difficult situations and secured an average over 30 for his 215 runs batting at or around number six.

The emergence of a Saturday 4th X1 this season did much to bridge the yawning and problematic gap which has been apparent between the colts section and graduation to senior cricket, and on the way some very enjoyable cricket was played. With the lethal combination of rested 3rd X1 players and quality young talent, nine games were won, including a triangular carnival of cricket at Send, and only lost two of the thirteen games played.

The strength of the team was it's bowling and most often the captains major dilema was who would open the attack? There were five wicket hauls for Mahran Salim, John Ambrose, Ashley Holman and Simon Hockley. Chris Wearne and Robin Millar should also get a mention and often did not pick up as many wickets as they deserved. However, the pick of the bowlers was Simon Hockley who achieved 21 wickets at 10.76 a piece, with a best performance of 7-63 against LalehamVillage, ironically in one of only two defeats during the season.

On the batting front Andy Murphy, Uzman Zafar and Peter Grafton all scored fifties. However, the most successful batting performance came from David Penly who amassed 389 runs at an average of 43 and achieved his maiden century against Englefield Green.

There was a great team spirit throughout the season and the potential shown by players such as Chris Wearne, Ashley Holman, Uzman Zafar , and Mahran Salim should encourage the club to put Saturday fourth X1 cricket on a more formal footing.

As for the 3rd X1 well last year's handbook records that “another crack at promotion is very much on the agenda for '99” and so it proved to be as they won their league. The standard of the cricket was quite outstanding for much of the season. The emphasis was on positive cricket and only one of the matches was drawn and that after the loss of two hours to the weather. In all 10 of the 13 matches were won and the defeats at Old Rutlishans and Richmond Town only strengthened the resolve of the team to win all of their remaining matches.

A mere 25 players represented the team all season and several played all, or virtually every, match. For the first time in the club's history a 4th XI was raised on a weekly basis and as a result when the 3rd XI were short of players or players were out of form there was always someone from the 4th XI in form and ready to step in. Competition for places was intense.

Several players had outstanding seasons. Neil Cheetham opened the batting in every match and finished with 368 runs at an average of 41. He also scored his maiden century in the run chase at Woodmansterne and chipped in with important wickets and catches. Matt Allan continued to show just what a consistent cricketer he is, taking an impressive 30 wickets as an opening bowler at just over 11 apiece. He also scored almost 150 runs and his fifty at Woodmansterne went a long way to ensuring victory. John Dunbar bowled his slow left arm to great effect and his 19 wickets came at just 8 apiece with two five-wicket hauls. Captain Peter Smith gave steady support taking 15 wickets with his leg breaks. When not required by the 2nd XI Jeremy Day hit the ball with tremendous power and his 242 runs were scored at an average of 48.

Other players had some fine moments. Chris Wearne took 7-37 against Old Emanuel, Ben Storey took 5-22 against Chipstead & Coulsdon, Simon Church scored 83 against Leatherhead, Richard Franklin scored 56 against Ashtead to go with several other useful knocks and a number of great catches. But the innings of the season came from Andrew Murphy in the final game of the season when, having only been called into the team on the eve of the match, he proceeded to bat for two hours for an unbeaten 56 against Sanderstead which secured victory and with it the title for which the team had worked so hard. Peter Day and Nigel Pakulski may not have scored as many runs as in other years but their commitment and enthusiasm was never in doubt. One other player who deserves special mention is Peter Allan who at the age of 60 kept wicket quite beautifully and regularly held the middle order together when the need arose.

The team go forward into the 2nd Division with great optimism and a feeling that they are finally where they belong.

The 2nd X1 season also had a familiar look as the season commenced with the side struggling to perform with both bat and ball. The weather didn't help with three of the first four games being severely affected by rain.

However, the arrival of dry weather heralded an excellent victory over Sanderstead, courtesy of the spin bowling of Dave Gibney (6-37), and saw the commencement of the best sustained performance and final league position achieved since promotion in 1992. It comprised a run of six successive victories against Egham, Camberley, Maori, Hamptonians, Chipstead and Coulsdon and Chessington and left them challenging for the single promotion place by the end of July. Here the challenge faltered with poor batting performances against close challengers Normandy and Midwives. But good results returned with victories against Cobham, Warlingham and Cranleigh enabling the side to finish in fourth place, within one more win of League Champions Purley, and just three points adrift of second place.

The most pleasing thing about the season was that it was a real team effort. No single player really stood out although with the bat Adam Portlock was the most consistent scoring 328 runs at an average of 27. John Ambrose re-joined the club some way into the season after a four-year absence from cricket but soon re-established himself hitting 210 runs from his seven innings at an average of 30. Ed Smith came into the side after an extended spell in the 1st X1 and made an impact with 171 runs at 34 from five innings, including a match winning 75 against Chipstead and Coulsdon. Regular openers Peter Murphy (294 at 20) and Steve Jones (224 at 22) also made consistent contributions.

On the bowling front Keith Goodwin topped the averages with 19 wickets at 14 apiece, and from only nine games. If only he could play more!! But the best bowling performances of the season were undoubtedly produced by spinner David Gibney taking 34 wickets also at an average of 14, including four hauls of four wickets or more from his 157 overs. Good support came from Chris Murphy (19 wickets at 21) and Ben Storey (20 wickets at 24), who continues to gain pace and accuracy and remains an excellent prospect for the future. At the other end of the career path, skipper Andy Richardson struck numerous blows for the more mature with 20 wickets at an average of 18.

In all a most satisfying end to a competitive and productive season and one which will give a great deal of encouragement for the coming season.

Having narrowly missed out in 1998 the 1st X1 had high hopes of promotion as the season opened but having gained only 2 points from the first three games those pre-season expectations were soon called into question. However, as the season progressed, performances improved and with two thirds of the season behind them they stood in third position with a real chance of promotion. But here, in a repeat performance of the 50m season, the challenge faltered as they failed to win any of the last six games and finished the season in a very disappointing seventh position.

Ian Meyer endured an English winter to play another season but after taking the league by storm in 1998, would feel that he under-achieved, finishing with 585 runs at an average of 39. Pleasing then that his fellow countryman, Glen Morley , although a late starter, soon made an impact with bat and ball. His 317 runs at an average of 32, and 24 wickets at 14, did much to provide the impetus for mid-season successes.

In previous seasons Charlie Johnson has enjoyed considerable success opening the bowling with the new ball, old ball, in fact any old ball. But with the presence of University returnee Tom Grafton , and in the early season, James Dodd and later Glen Morley , to add pace to the opening attack, Charlie's role reverted to first change. But you can't keep a good man down and with his 27 wickets at 19 he remained the teams leading wicket taker. Late arrival Damien Honey also chipped in with 23 wickets at 14, as did James Dodd , 13 wickets at 11 before he left for New Zealand. We all wish him well.

So a season that promised much and delivered nothing. Hopefully the new millennium will herald an era of settled availability, consistent performance and good fortune from a talented side that has yet to realise its true potential.


    Sunday XI H/A Start  
Sunday 26 April Shalford H 1.00  
Sunday 3 May Crondall A 2.00 Map
Sunday 10 May West Reading H 2.00  
Sunday 17 May West London H 2.00  
Sunday 24 May Old Woking H 2.00  
Sunday 31 May Lyne H 2.00  
Sunday 7 June Old Wimbledonians H 2.00  
Sunday 14 June Valley End A 2.00 Map
Sunday 21 June Surrey Gymkhana H 2.00  
Sunday 28 June Twickenham H 2.00  
Sunday 5 July Ottershaw & Hamm Moor A 2.00 Map
Sunday 12 July Worcester Park H 2.00  
Sunday 19 July Brookwood H 2.00  
Sunday 26 July Shepperton H 2.00  
Sunday 2 August Old Ashfordians H 2.00  
Sunday 9 August Bank of England A 2.30 Map
Sunday 16 August Deando Ruxley H 2.00  
Sunday 23 August Ashford A 1:30 Map
Sunday 30 August Liphook & Ripsley A 2.00 Map
Sunday 6 September Chobham H 1.00  
Sunday 13 September Ripley A 1.00 Map
Sunday 20 September East Horsley A 1.00 Map

 

altClick here to downlad 2009 4th XI fixtures

    4th XI H/A Start  
Saturday 25 April Club 3rd/4th XI Game H tbc  
Saturday 9 May Ashtead A 1.00 Map
Saturday 16 May Reigate Priory H 1.00  
Saturday 23 May Dulwich H 1.00  
Saturday 30 May tbc - 1.00 Map
Saturday 6 June Sunbury H 1.00  
Saturday 13 June Wimbledon H 1.00  
Saturday 20 June Spencer A 1.00 Map
Saturday 27 June Ashtead H 1.00  
Saturday 4 July Ashford A 1.00 Map
Saturday 11 July Sinjun Grammarians A 1.00 Map
Saturday 18 July Dulwich A 1.00 Map
Saturday 25 July tbc - 1.00  
Saturday 1 August Reigate Priory A 1.00 Map
Saturday 8 August Spencer H 1.00  
Saturday 15 August Wimbledon A 1.00 Map
Saturday 22 August Sunbury A 1.00 Map
Saturday 29 August Ashford H 1.00  
Saturday 5 September Sinjun Grammarians H 1.00  

 

altClick here to download 2009 3rd XI fixtures

    3rd XI H/A Start  
Saturday 25 April Club 3rd/4th XI Game H tbc  
Saturday 9 May Weybridge Vandals H 1.30  
Saturday 16 May Wallington A 1.30 Map
Saturday 23 May Merstham A 1.30 Map
Saturday 30 May Battersea Ironsides H 1.30  
Saturday 6 June Ripley A 1.30 Map
Saturday 13 June Camberley A 1.30 Map
Saturday 20 June Staines & Laleham H 1.30  
Saturday 27 June Chobham A 1.30 Map
Saturday 4 July Woodmansterne H 1.30  
Saturday 11 July Southern Railway & Kenley H 1.30  
Saturday 18 July TBC H tbc  
Saturday 25 July Old Paulines A 1.30 Map
Saturday 1 August Old Tiffinians H 1.30  
Saturday 8 August TBC A tbc Map
Saturday 15 August Frimley H 1.30  
Saturday 22 August West End Esher H 1.00  
Saturday 29 August Guildford City A 1.00 Map

 

altClick here to download 2009 2nd XI fixtures

    2nd XI H/A Start  
Saturday 25 April Club Game H tbc  
Saturday 2 May Chertsey A 1.00 Map
Saturday 9 May Thames Ditton A 1.00 Map
Saturday 16 May Ashford A 1.00 Map
Saturday 23 May Valley End H 1.00  
Saturday 30 May Mitcham A 1.00 Map
Saturday 6 June Alleyn & Honor Oak H 1.00  
Saturday 13 June Southern Railway Kenley H 1.00  
Saturday 20 June Streatham & Marlborough A 1.00 Map
Saturday 27 June Thames Ditton H 1.00  
Saturday 4 July Sinjun Grammarians A 1.00 Map
Saturday 11 July Maori Oxshott A 1.00 Map
Saturday 18 July Valley End A 1.00 Map
Saturday 25 July Mitcham H 1.00  
Saturday 1 August Ashford H 1.00  
Saturday 8 August Streatham & Marlborough H 1.00  
Saturday 15 August Southern Railway & Kenley A 12.00 Map
Saturday 22 August Alleyn & Honor Oak A 12.00 Map
Saturday 29 August Sinjun Grammarians H 12.00  
Saturday 5 September Maori Oxshott H 12.00  

 

altClick here to download 2009 1st XI fixtures

    1st XI H/A Start  
Saturday 25 April Club Game H tbc  
Saturday 2 May Chertsey H 1.00  
Saturday 9 May Churt H 1.00  
Saturday 16 May Farncombe H 1.00  
Saturday 23 May Valley End A 1.00 Map
Saturday 30 May Old Hamptonians H 1.00  
Saturday 6 June Alleyn & Honor Oak A 1.00 Map
Saturday 13 June Southern Railway & Kenley A 1.00 Map
Saturday 20 June Cranleigh H 1.00  
Saturday 27 June Churt A 1.00 Map
Saturday 4 July Sinjun Grammarians H 1.00  
Saturday 11 July Maori Oxshott H 1.00  
Saturday 18 July Valley End H 1.00  
Saturday 25 July Old Hamptonians A 1.00 Map
Saturday 1 August Farncombe A 1.00 Map
Saturday 8 August Cranleigh A 1.00 Map
Saturday 15 August Southern Railway Kenley H 12.00  
Saturday 22 August Alleyn & Honor Oak H 12.00  
Saturday 29 August Sinjun Grammarians A 12.00 Map
Saturday 5 September Maori Oxshott A 12.00 Map

 


3-May Godalming A WSCYL
8-May Valley End H 2 Counties
12-May Finchampstead A 2 Counties
14-May Weybridge (U16 cup) A WSCYL
17-May Old Woking H WSCYL
19-May Chobham A 2 Counties
16-Jun Merrow H 2 Counties
18-Jun Wood St A WSCYL
23-Jun Herald Cup 2nd Rd H 2 Counties
25-Jun Merrow A WSCYL
28-Jun Guildford City H WSCYL
30-Jun Chobham A 2 Counties
5-Jul Farncombe H WSCYL
7-Jul H Cup Semis   2 Counties
9-Jul Chobham H WSCYL
14-Jul Guildford H 2 Counties
21-Jul H Cup Final A 2 Counties
28-Jul Runwick Shield A 2 Counties

Under 16 fixtures


17-May Camberley A
24-May Guildford H
31-May Elstead A
14-Jun Finchampstead H
16-Jun Chobham A
12-Jul Farnham H

26-Apr Guildford H 2 Counties        
3-May Godalming H WSYCL        
10-May Finchampstead A 2 Counties        
17-May Guildford City A WSYCL & Old Woking A Gladys Chitty
24-May Camberley H 2 Counties        
31-May Wood St H WSYCL & Valley End H Gladys Chitty
5-Jun Valley End H 2 Counties        
7-Jun Cranleigh H WSYCL & Spelthorne H Gladys Chitty
14-Jun Guildford H WSYCL & Camberley A Gladys Chitty
19-Jun Normandy H WSYCL        
21-Jun Albury A WSYCL & Pyrford H Gladys Chitty
28-Jun Farncombe H WSYCL        
5-Jul Guildford A 2 Counties        
12-Jul Godalming H 2 Counties & Staines and Laleham A Gladys Chitty
19-Jul Finchampstead H 2 Counties        

5-May Normandy A Friendly
17-May Valley End H WSYCL
24-May Chobham H WSYCL
1-Jun Royal Ascot A WSYCL
6-Jun Walton H Friendly
21-Jun Windsor A WSYCL
28-Jun Blackheath A Friendly
1-Jul Camberley A WSYCL
12-Jul Bagshot H WSYCL

3-May Blackheath A
10-May Cranleigh H
31-May Guildford H
5-Jun Guildford City A
7-Jun Farnham A
14-Jun Horsley and Send H
28-Jun Windsor A
5-Jul Wood St H
12-Jul Albury H

 

10-May Teddington H
15-May Ashead A
20-May Horsley and Send A
7-Jun Weybridge Vandals H
14-Jun Whitely Village A
21-Jun Albury H
26-Jun Leatherhead & Cobham A
28-Jun Merrow H
12-Jul Normandy A

 


2-May Windsor A 2 Counties
9-May Alton A WSYCL
12-May Valley End A WSYCL
14-May Chobham H 2 Counties
16-May Guildford City H WSYCL
23-May Bagshot H WSYCL
1-Jun Chobham A WSYCL
5-Jun Normandy A WSYCL
11-Jun Elstead A 2 Counties
13-Jun Camberley H WSYCL
18-Jun Valley End H 2 Counties
27-Jun Farnham H 2 Counties
28-Jun Royal Ascot H WSYCL
3-Jul Guidlford H 2 Counties
9-Jul Alton H 2 Counties
12-Jul Bourne A 2 Counties
13-Jul Chobham A 2 Counties

Goodnight and sleep tight!

 

Agree 40 over game and two balls. Pitch is green and rolled mud and looks damp. Happy to win the toss and bat first. Scott starts as only he can and we are already looking for the ball after one over. However one hit too many and he's out, followed by Billy who is unlucky to fall to a sharp catch. At 60-2 off 10 overs we are going well until their skipper (a Saturday 1st XI bat who bowls on a Sunday) unleashes a beamer which hits Ferrari on the back of the head. Long stoppage as he is helped from the ground, blood dripping from wound and not really sure where he is. Distinctly unfunny. Not surprisingly that takes the wind out of our sails and we struggle to get going again. Paul Bennett came and went at which point Albert and Matt put on a good stand. Albert carries on as he left off last week and it's cruel fate that the season finishes just as he has got going. However in keeping with his season he is triggered LBW by young Angus Hargan for 37, the latter who is promptly replaced by his father and has the laws of cricket explained to him by both incoming father and watching Chairman who is by now acting as scorer. Numbers 7 through 10 all manage one apiece leaving Matt with only me to come. I explain to Matt that with seven overs to bat we should hang in there as Ferrari has now put his pads back on and wants to come back again. Matt promptly despatches two balls out of the ground, shattering a greenhouse in the process! I am run out for two getting Matt back on strike but not before skipper has returned to the attack and bowled another beamer, this time at me (I am wearing a helmet and got a bat on it). Billy promptly orders him out of the attack which nearly causes a riot until his teammates make him see sense. Matt is out to a wonder catch in the final over for a spirited 47 and we finish 169 all out. Probably 20 runs short but with fading light and lots of bowling hopes were high.

A Very Fond Farewell 

The last official game of the season, away at East Horsley, was a beauty for the Woking and Horsell Sunday side. The team, with some last minute adjustments to the batting order, reached a very respectable 219 for 8 declared. The team then bowled out the home side for 180 for a long overdue victory.

Ripley away

W&H started their penultimate game of the season away to Ripley, a venue with one of the most historic and impressive club houses and one of the most historic and least impressive wickets. This may be sour grapes but who cares. W&H were beaten by 1 wicket in a very tight game.

Last few episodes of the soap opera

Last home game of the season for the Sunday side saw our second most ‘establishment’ opposition, Surrey Cryptics, beat W&H by 7 wickets. Batting first the home team put on 194 in 43 overs which the Cryptics reached with some ease. One  opener getting a century and the other unbeaten on 58 at the end. Incidentally for those who care I believe the most establishment side we play is Bank of England -although it was a close thing this year, with the BoE tone being lessened substantially by the presence of two of the family Hargan – buts that’s another match report.

Local Derby

 The Sunday side beat West Byfleet this weekend. The side bowled first (another toss won by new, again, captain Cochrane) and used a full range of established W+H talents as well as a couple of debut bowlers. They restricted West Byfleet to 168 all out and in truth could have kept the score even lower but for a variety of dropped catches through the side. W&H started the chase well, stuttered in the middle of the innings and came home aggressively to win by 3 wickets.

Home and Away

Those of you with little better to do than read these match reports will recall that the start of the season saw a competition to decide which of Saturday or Sunday was the best cricketing day. That game saw the Sunday side proving what a number of religions have already acknowledged, that Sunday is the most important day of the week. This week the W&H Sunday team proved, again, that Sunday remains the best day.

A Day out with the Hargans

W&H Sunday side enjoyed an exciting victory over Bank of England, bowling the Bankers out in the penultimate over some 13 short of the 179 total that the W&H boys set.

Close but no cigar               

The Sunday side started their proper summer cricket this Sunday with a game against Old Ashfordians. They lost by 3 wickets in a close fought game.

For Peter Allan’s top lip

An eventful Sunday game this weekend saw the side post the only win in the club over good standard local rivals Valley End. The victory was hard earned with our only pensioner, Peter ‘Tough Guy’ Allan putting his youthful good looks at risk and gaining 6 stitches and some plastic surgery into the bargain. So there are the headlines for those of you too busy, or simple, to process more than three sentances of information, for those of you with too much time on your hands, read on for the glorious details.

Surfs Up for the Sunday Boys

The game this week continued the emerging tradition of an early groundsman / Sunday side bickering session, though this week's offering was a distinct improvement on last week. In truth a few people thought last week's flare up a little one sided – essentially a man who got out of bed the wrong side confronted with a set of chaps full of the joys and ready for a Sunday afternoon in the sunshine, this week was a more balanced affair.

Sunday's Minority Report v Lyne 

Apparently they make up 10% of the worlds population, include Hitler, Moussilini and Timmy Mallet and have had a hand in many of the worlds most momentous events, this Sunday at W&H the left hand minority had another fine day. Unfortunately for the home team the triumphant left hander was not the now infamous Asbo but the Lyne opening left hander, with an early 5 wicket haul that ripped the heart out of the side like a blitzkreig.

Clowns turn out for Sunday pie throwing

 The Horsell ground was treated this Sunday to a cricket match of high comedy value and old fashioned good natured play. Skipper Asbo, actually sporting a T-shirt from his own range of ‘Asbo-wear’, should have been wearing large floppy shoes and a big red nose such was his contribution to the frivolity. In the end cricket, fair play and old fashioned farce were the winners as W&H yet again dominated a team but without reward (Thameside Wicketeers were 9 down and hanging on for grim life at the end).

Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow – W&H return positive from the haunted hills of Hampshire

 A remarkably trouble free away fixture for the W+H Sunday chaps, few people getting lost, Amanda Mandarhar taking an innovative route to Farnham via West Byfleet was as bad as it got. All made it to the ground with time to spare and the game started on time. This either bodes well for the rest of the season or is the navigational and timekeeping peak of the year.

Epic Battle as Sunday defeats Saturday to maintain ‘best day’ status

 Saturday vs. Sunday – which is best? Wars have been fought over less important questions, but this weekend saw a good natured but hard fought cricket match to decide once and for all which day was the daddy. Sunday won.

Hotting Up

 

On a swelteringly hot afternoon in Horsell, the returning Captain Matt did the crucial thing and called correctly giving W&H the opportunity to bat first against Shepperton. With the pressure of the wicket taking competition really starting to tell on Jerry he dropped out at the last minute to be replaced by Henry, our overseas star.

This was the day many of us had been waiting for

This was the day many of us had been waiting for – only one of the contenders for leading wicket taker was present and surely this would be the day when Jerry took the opportunity to leave his rivals behind. The early promise of much beer for the stand-in skipper meant that the Brookwood batsmen would be seeing quite a lot of him.

Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

 Julius Caesar, if you are to believe Shakespeare, once said:  “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads to wherever Gribbler is playing cricket.  Having missed more games through inclement weather last season than your average Bangladeshi village side in rainy season, I had been hoping last week’s beautiful blue skies had heralded a new dawn.  Fat chance.    Turning up at Brewery Road, plenty of chuntering was going on about our prospects. Only Dave fancied our chances of getting a game in, and he was pretty reluctant to put his money where his mouth was when offered the chance of a wager with the skipper.

WHCC 197-6 dec - C Murphy 43, S Zafar 35

Surrey Gymkhana 151 AO - M Allan 5-37 

Sunday morning dawned warm and bright as Brewery Road prepared to host Surrey Gymkhana.  Upon their somewhat late arrival the skipper duly won the toss and decided to bat, much to the relief of one or two of our number, who were feeling decidedly unwell following the previous night’s festivities.  Smithy declared that Mrs Smith had spent the morning urging him to pull out, at which point we wondered when he’d become a Catholic.

Woking & Horsell 203 for 5

Merrow 122 for 7

 

We arrived on a warm, sunny and windy afternoon to find CJ on the heavy roller (no, sadly Scotty wasn’t back in the squad), wheel in one hand and a bottle on Becks in the other, no change there then, preparing a belter of a cricket wicket for the Sunday all stars.

Valley End 187 for 7

W & H 188 For 6

  

After last weeks Tie at Old Wimbledonians W&H set of to Valley End in their continuing search for that elusive away Win.

 After much discussion over directions to the ground this proved to be rather more difficult for Captain Matt and the rest of the Allen family who proceeded to scour Chobham and the surrounding countryside, eventually arriving at their destination thanks to Smithy guiding them in with mobile phone.

Old Wimbledonians 137 ao

W&H 137 for 9 

Captain Matt’s goal of not losing away from home was successfully achieved as W&H claimed a dramatic tie against Old Wimbledonians on a gloriously sunny day in Wimbledon.

W&H 184 for 7 (Ferrari 43; J Hargan 34; R Hall 33; M Hodgkiss 29no; M Allan 26)

Lyne 155 ao (P Smith 3 for 16; J Hargan 3 for 17)

 

After an absence of one week – a  Sunday 11 match report!  The Sunday team took to the field against Lyne. It is pleasant to play a team like Lyne as they have some players who make our own Sunday veterans look young (well if not young, at least not too old).

W&H 194 - 7 Dec - M Hodgkiss 35, M Allan 48

 Thameside Wicketeers 119 AO  - J Hargan 3 -23, P Smith 3-21

 

Today’s game was bizarre from the outset. Where was the panic? All the players were…well, present, even Salaam. There was a pitch. At 1.30 there was even evidence that the oppo believed the fixtures was at our place too. Surely this couldn’t last.

The captain won the toss. Chose to bat. The high pitched shriek of ipod based teeny bopper pop music reassured all that tea preparation was underway. The sun came out. Smithy debated fetching his shades, so the sun went in.

Salaam and Dave Bennett opened up. Interestingly, there’s only one Salaam and one David in the side but I still felt the need to provide clarification about which Dave opened, whilst everyone reading this knows full well who Salaam is. The other Dave has long since lost the right to be called Dave, and is universally referred to as Ferrari, in deference to his …….well, not Ferrari.

Jerry just about managed to make sure you had to read this drivel by passing on the match report duties as the opening bowler marked out his run.  Dave and Salaam made a predictable start, Salaam chipping one through the air through fine leg, and another.  The teeny bop sounded like Oasis on speed.

W&H scored 180 or so for …five or so? Most people got a few – Hodgkiss with some classy strokes in the mid thirties predictable cameo, and Matt one particularly majestic straight six, which he considerately made sure bounced the right way off the oak tree between the sight screen and the nets. Lloyd chipped in late on with a pavilion thudding slap for four off his legs, and Billy took good advantage of  some looser stuff in notching  a few. Everyone contributed; the good news being that 10 and 11 didn’t even need to change.

Tea featured a Ferrari campaign to remove WHCC from the table near the toilet to the table near the window. There  was a variety of offspring present, ensuring that their parents didn’t over indulge, and Erika made a significant impact on the egg sandwiches and lemon cake. She didn’t trouble herself so far as the pizza was concerned.  Bennett and Hargan Jnr (previously known as Sideshow) continued with the Cake Boy Worgan strategy for maximum calorific intake and Hodgekiss announced that he’d never encountered a jaffa cake before attending WHCC. WHCC has been responsible for many firsts in young men’s lives, but surely none of this significance. Hodgekiss was informed that he wouldn’t be bowling: the issues may or may not have been related.

John Hargan opened up, bowling rapidly from the Johnson end. Salaam let it though and Fortescue fetched it from the hedge.  Fortescue started from the other end and there was copious collecting from hedges. Hargan made inroads, inviting the bat to slap a long hop to Hodgekiss, who took this as an opportunity to suggest that he might like to bowl, so Hargan changed tack, getting a full toss juggled by Dave Bennet. Since I will absolutely get the sequence wrong, Hodgekiss took 4 catches, 3 of which were very good, even drawing silence from the prowling Johnson.  One batsman can consider himself very unlucky to be c Hargan Snr, b Smith in another episode of excellent cricket. Jerry was his usual unplayable self, featuring searing pace. Hodgekiss continued to warm up, keen, eager and ultimately frustrated.  Thameside were dismissed for about 120, with Roy the last to go, oddly enough bowled Smith caught Hodgekiss.  A good cricketing performance which can surely only be improved upon with the return of stalwart Hall and emerging youngster Hamster next week, provided he’s picked ahead of Johnson.

In the meantime a series of krypton factor events had been arranged. The chairman failed conspicuously in the ‘removing the tap’ from the gas event, having excelled in the previous ‘cleaning the barbecue’ round. The academics in the side, Bennett, Hagen Jnr  and Hodgekiss set about the challenge of opening the shed – the starter for 10, and then their bonus round of putting the ropes round the square. Their efforts were limited by Bennets insistence that he juggled his catch deliberately, and Hodgekiss’s insistence that (a) he should’ve bowled and (b) the ropes round the square were to keep the foxes out. These efforts provided humorous viewing for those in the bar until Billy took pity on his son and played the ‘essay in tomorrow’ joker and  dispatched him off with mum. Hodgekiss was undoubtedly explaining which end he might have preferred as he fell over trying to put a post into a hole.

In summary – bit chilly, won with plenty to spare. Game played in excellent spirits and teenagers making idiots of themselves. Good Sunday stuff – seriously though, can anyone see a team with Johnson, Salaam, Tanzeel and Hamster fielding for 50 overs without a fight?

WHCC 189-8 (40 Overs)

 Weybridge 190-7 (28.1 Overs) 

 

Like true professionals (in spirit) the Sunday XI arrived early at the welcoming ground of Weybridge for a prompt 1.30pm start. The relaxed atmosphere emphasized by the appearance from the bar of Peter Allan holding a hot-dog in one hand and a beer in the other, along with the glorious sunshine promised a day of pleasurable cricket for the players and the growing crowd.

Sunday Muddy Sunday 

 

 

WHCC 181-8 -  S Stevens 91*

Shalford 106 AO

The smell of the newly painted changing rooms was masked by the scent of Deep Heat and Wurthers Originals as the 2008 Antiquities XI assembled for their first game of the season. Some relief to the stench of decay was provided through teen spirit in the form of Sam Way and debutant Mark Hodgkiss. I wont, and neither should you, go into Peter Allan’s jockstrap.

Staines and Laleham 135 AO
WHCC 136-4 - B Hargan 39, J Anderson 35*

We put Staines & Laleham into bat and got them all out for 135. Strong performance from all 3 of the colts who bowled. Imran Tehal taking 2-29 off 10 overs, Saqib Waraich taking 2-33 from 10 overa and Andy Crawley taking 3-19 off 8 overs. Jason Anderson also bowled well, taking 2-23 off 7.


W&H scored 136 for 4. Another good batting performance from 14 year old Tim Ming (29), helped out by the old guys - Jason Anderson (35no) and Billy Hargan (39).

WHCC 244-2
Staines and Laleham 245-5


WHCC batted first and scored 244-2 in 42 overs. Highlight was an unbeaten 120 from one of our colts, Tim Ming. Staines & Laleham reached the target with one over to spare. Good performance, especially by some of the colts. Obviously, Tim's century and two wickets, Joe Dickson taking one wicket and scoring 17 runs and Conor Dean taking two catches. I have to mention the 11 year old Angus Hargan taking 1-25 with his leg spin!! Good spell also from Dave Bayliss, conceding 32 runs from 9 overs. Both Hamza and Aamir bowled very well initially and if we had held on to the catches we would have won.

Woking and Maybury - 223 for 5
WHCC 174 AO - N Cheetham 74


Little luck for W&H early on when a number of balls flew in the aire but did  not go to hand. An excellent knock of 106no by one of the Woking & Maybury openers overshadowed some good bowling by W&H..  Good solid 74 by Neil and he was assisted by a few who got going, but did not hang on. Running between the wickets was not the W&H strength as we had 3 batsmen run out! Good performance in the field - especially Vin-Sing Ming, playing his first game for a long time.

CRICKET CRUNCH

Southern Railway & Kenley 91ao

Shiraz Hussain 4-12

Gagan Kumar 3-22

Woking & Horsell 95-3
 
Won by 7 wickets

Man of the match Shiraz Hussain
 

With Alistair Darling looking to move the goalposts it is likely that public sector debt is going to exceed 40% of the national income. A Gordon Brown golden rule will be broken.  Is it a master stroke or a cunning plan Darling?

 The economy is in a state of stagflation, is the base rate to go up or down? The price of doughnuts is a major impact on the BR, even though Ben Revell is a great contributor to the supply and demand of tea time doughnuts we are in fact talking about the Base Rate.  However, custard creams show the elasticity of the supply and demand graph quite nicely in the eyes of the market, the 3rd team fielder.

 
This is a load of rubbish and I'm struggling to write anything stupid. I am no Adam Smith let alone Peter Smith, a man who does know his current liabilities from his fixed assets.

 The treasury officials are rewriting the government’s fiscal rules and quite frankly wish they could rewrite this.  Where are the Npower girls when you need them?  The cost of electricity is going up and I want to see some value for my money, if not a few sparks will do.  Show me a socket and I will give you a plug.  I can’t stand around all day with a coat hanger in my hand hoping my telly will work if a starling lands on it flapping its wings like a wind turbine.

 Do we charge extra for cricket teas? Yes it will encourage growth but will it spark inflation or deflation.  I just don’t want to be around after those egg sandwiches.  The crisps do crunch but not as much as the scale and the scum of the the pavilion kettle.

 Does the club look at a gilt-edged funding, sell some of it assets, however the teddies and the pictures in the tea room are not technically the theres, economists’ speculate that this could amount to corporate fraud.

 Apologies for this piece of complete utter recessional garbage, blame Mr Darling not me. I’m off to find some cheap fish fingers.

 WHO FLIPPIN KNOWS?

Staines & Laleham 186ao

 Charlie Johnson 4-29

 Woking & Horsell 191-2

 Saf Nawaz 54no

Kaqhan Zafar 50 no

Dave Bennett 45

 Won by 8 wickets

Man of the match Charlie Johnson


 The rich ripple of the shallow proof of summer’s mellowness upon the under turf of extreme challenge they call sport.  Day of grace and merriment destroyed by more tension than a bungee cord.  Are the black crows on the gladiatorial zone a sign that doom lies ahead, the seed not sown or are they playing at Wokfeast? Who knows?

 The blanket above graduates slowly by the zephyr conspiracy or are we paper players in life’s cluedo?  Screaming hallow, anguish or too much trifle are the astonishment of broken glass.  Is Faisel’s brother a mirage or a convenient passer by to change the scoreboard?  Challenge the moment, be dealt fairly, but how can it when we alas do not understand if the sky is one or made up from millions of different pieces.  Who Knows?

 The embracement of cheese sandwiches are no illusion but if the squirrel can scuba dive through the coral reef of desire why can’t parachuting lamas play snooker with blinkers on?  Economic with the truth, wood pigeons are not made of wood. Give me a smile and I show you a monkfish that can whistle the theme tune to Eastenders.  Everyone knows that not all balloons are red.  Why is there only one monopoly commission?  Who knows?

 Debate as much as you like, were Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI and Edward V murdered, was Richard III a murderer. Lady Jane Grey and Charles I were publicly torn apart. If it wasn’t for the Russians would a famous south London train station been called Agincourt or Crecy?  Who Knows?

 Crystal solutions for a broken scenario.  Colour Orange or the fruit, which came first.  Engulfment of excitement as dawn closes, acceleration of gaping columns, impact of the tournament. Where are the volunteers of the hunt, not there, I can see them, but they are not there.  Indicative of naked pressure, there’s no visible flames but torture of kindred spirits, pull the line, fight the fight, trial the humming bird of love and summers will burn eternally.  What’s the point of having the word dictionary in a dictionary? Who Flippin knows?

W&H 192-9

Mike Walsh 37

Saf Nawaz 35


Woodmansterne 163-9

Mandar Khedekar  4-42

Imran Tehel   3-32
 

Winning Draw

Man of the match Mandar Khedekar ?


 

This week you the public have the opportunity to vote for your man of the match.  The players this week have voted for Mandar, but this will only contribute to 50% of the votes, you have the remaining say.

 

So get on those phones and text your player nomination, see below player code (and their match desciption) and text ‘WH  MOM and player code, eg if you think Amir should be man of the match text ‘WH MOM 9’ to 07801 240516.

 

Also, the player that receives the least votes may be playing for the fours the following week (this is subject to player and club availability!).  Therefore, this is important you take this seriously and vote sensibly.  Lines are open until 9pm Friday 4 July.  Any votes received after that time will not be counted and you will be still be charged by your phone provider.  All profits will go to the telecomm industry.

 

Player Code    Player                         MOM Contribution

 

1                      Mike Walsh      Captain extraordinaire, led from the front, shining

                                                example to the team, top scored, well respected.

                                                Spent most of week on phone to get team together.

                        Has strong influence on selection (please consider before making your vote!) Batted on through extreme injury, the mans a hero, he’s a legend; he’s a W&Han!

 

2                      Sam Way         The teams party kid.  Although he did disappear early to

                                                tuck into some sausages on sticks and jelly & ice cream

                                                he did put on a 79 opening partnership with the skipper  (another vote for player code 1 then?)

 

3                      Jamie                Arguably the best Aussie in the team. Commits playing

                        McMahon        2 weeks before getting married. Took the best catch of

                                                match. Brought out a glass of water to his skipper

                                                through his heroic innings.

 

 4                      Saf Nawaz       Has Samad as a brother (no sympathy votes please). Hit  two cracking big sixes, 2nd top scored.

                                                Originally robbed of 2 runs as leg byes by Samad (no sympathy votes please). However,

                                                apparently at fault for Samad’s dismissal!

 

5                      Steve                Arguably the best South African in the team. Had the

                        Wernberg         best supporters club for any W&H player in recent

                                                history.

 

6                      Sam Nawaz      Knocked back more pizza pieces than any other player. Great effort in picking up kit bag and scoreboard (albeit

                                                arriving extremely late after meet time with Saf!)

                                                Everyone’s’ favourite Nawaz brother called Samad.

 

7                      Mandar            Front runner to the MOM receiving players vote,

                        Khedekar         however please do not be swayed by this (see player

                                                code 1 if you are undecided and looking for a good

classy alternative). Almost got W&H over the finishing line with 2 wickets in last over.

More importantly made the tea (the drink not the food!)

 

8                      Ben Revell        The best keeper in the team, just ask Charlie. Took a

                                                stunning catch from Imran’s bowling, just ask Charlie.

                                                Instrumental in bringing out the mid innings drinks,

albeit water, just ask Charlie. (hold on first text vote just coming in for player code 8 from Charlie)

 

9                      Amir Hamid      Best  2007 4 team player of the year in the squad. In a

                                                moving ceremony in the pavilion’s kitchen he was

presented with his overdue and not engraved trophy, albeit half of the players were not there as they turned up late.

 

10                    Charlie             The best groundsman in the team. Holds club record for

                        Johnson            the number of Becks consumed in ones lifetime, added

                                                to tally after match. Was on Becks wicket commission,

only earnt one but could have had a nice little 6 pack (cor!) with a bit more luck!  Had his own flask of tea (assume tea?). Nice flask, worth a vote for that alone?

 

11                    Imran Tehel      All padded up and nowhere to go, declaration before we

could see his best. Therefore, with exception of player code 10 didn’t get out to a stupid shot.  Young enough to be any of the other 4 bowlers’ nightmare tearaway son.  Came back for a 2nd spell whilst still in his 1st spell!

 

 It will be interesting to find out who you will vote for? So vote now for your favourite and don’t for the person you want to send to Piers!

W&H 184 ao

Dave Bennett 32

Gaghan Kumar 31

Wallington 171-6

Losing Draw

Man of the match Samad Nawaz


 
We meet for selection on the edge of Horsell town

We view the players and see who’s dropping down

Half my team is picked for the twos

I have the W&H outpour selection Blues

 

We can’t pick him this Tuesday night

He’s home only the parasite!

Tony, Damo, Jerry and Piers just can’t choose

We all have the W&H selection Blues

 

Next night is the Twenty/20 feast

It will be nice to get out half a team at least

Due to zombie dropouts we do lose

I have the midweek W&H twenty/20 Blues

 

My phone flashes up with Jerry’s name

Another dropout who’s to blame

More calls the profiits are all O2s

I have the W&H phone bill Blues

 

When at work the e-mails fly

The ones this week have lost Cy

Another batsman Jerry will choose

I have the W&H no batsman Blues

 

As the weekend nears Croydon appears

Is it happiness or is that tears

This place is like converted loos

I have the W&H Croydon travel Blues

 

Played six but only one at home

I long for the park the pleasure dome

Playing at home is way overdue

We have the lonesome W&H Park Blues

 

Saturday it finally comes

The excitement, the drama, the runs

We must do anything rather than lose

We have the W&H league Blues

 

Back to the club on the edge of Horsell town

To find out the scores that are going around

Win, draw or lose we hit the booze

We have the W&H Barstool Blues

 

Wake up Sunday morning not feeling much

I must overdosed on Munster munch

Can’t believe it was the Stella brews

I have the W&H outpour hangover Blues

W&H 187-6

Kaqan Zafar 76no

Jason Anderson 51

Chobham 188-9

Maneeb Kaleem 6-38

Lost by 1 wicket

Man of the match Maneeb Kaleem



Monday

First thing in the morning my mobile phone rings and flashes up with my boss’s name.  Gulp, I’m in the smelly stuff as I was watching the test match down the pub on Friday afternoon when I should have been in a meeting.  No, to the contrary, my boss states that I should take the rest of the week off so I can concentrate on the big carnival match for the weekend, cricket is far more important.  Sod the credit crunch, go and get some league points.

Spend the rest of the day, albeit almost arrested as I survey some of the W&H colt lads by watching them play British Bulldog in their school playground.

Tuesday

Meet Damo, Jerry, Piers and Chairman of Selectors Tony at Lords to pick our relevant teams.  Piers gets the hump as I pick Des instead of Stuart Broad, he wanted him just in case it kicked off at the park.  However, he gets to keep Ramprakash even though all the hype suggests he should be playing 3rd team cricket at W&H.  Frankly, I’m getting extremely fed up with should he or shouldn’t he play in the 3s, he had a good run for us a few years ago and just couldn’t cut the monster munch.

At the press conference, live on Sky, is fronted by Tony with myself, Damo, Jerry and Piers either side of him as he announces the 4 teams for Saturday.  Matt will announce the Sunday team separately on Setanta Sports; the club sold the Sunday games on a separate TV package.

Damo deflects a difficult question from the Daily Mail about picking Doug instead of the in form Jimmy Anderson, whereas Jerry gets flak from the Sun about him and his next door neighbour’s cat.  A bigger concern to the Telegraph was the sanity of his new keeper Salam, frankly a middle order nutcase.  The Woking review asks Piers if he could open the Horsell parish summer fete in July.

Wednesday

In the morning go to the Loughborough centre for some additional training.  Unfortunately, Woodsy and his chip fat uni mates appear all stellad up and start bowling chips at my middle order of Kaqan Zafar, Jason Anderson and Kevin Peterson.

Rodney Marsh flies into the country to give Ben Revell specific keeper coaching.  He explains the rudimentary of drinking XXXXs during test matches and the benefits of slamming down the VBs and Fosters to enable good glove work.  For some reason Munge and Damo turn up wanting to learn the basics of keeping.

I release myself, Samad and Jason for the 20twenty match later that evening for the W&H Red Lions.  Unfortunately, Mark Worgan fails to turn up for the match. It took him 6 pints of Stella before he realised the rest of the team won’t with him and that he was playing for the Red Lions and not meeting there.  Again, another insight into the club’s serious ginge drinking problems.

Thursday

Me and the team do several interviews and photo shoots. My favourite one is with FHM. Several centrefold pictures taken with me fully dressed in my W&H kit with the Npower girls scantly clothed getting a good grip of my bat.

Jason Anderson does an interview for Channel 9 in Australia; he’s now the new Oz pin boy now Jamie has decided to join Jerry’s ranks (boo!). Dave Bennett is interviewed by Basil Brush on CBeebies (Boom, Boom!).  Whereas, Mandar appears on a celebrity version of Deal or No Deal and comes away 10p richer.

The team and members of the club meet in the evening to record a song ‘One Lion on the Shirt’ we’re going home, we’re going home, One Lion on the Shirt, Carnival Trophy still gleaming, we’re going home, we’re going home.

The song is a fusion of metal, emo, classical baroque, Latin American incantation and the theme from the archers. Paul Weller guests on the single as a tribute to Woking’s new big band.  Melody Maker, Classic Rock and NME predict it to be biggest song of all time.

Friday

Damo rings me up stating that Lords is double booked and the 1s are playing there and not the 3s.  Gutted, buts its ok as its just another Damo wind up and in fact they are playing at the Oval as its easier for his team to get there and the 3s will be gracing the home of cricket.

Mysteriously all the Npower girls’ photo shoots have gone missing (that’s unfortunate, wonder how that could have happened!) and FHM insist they are redone.  Never mind, the things I do for the team!

After a light net with Maneeb and Monty meet up with the team at the Savoy hotel for a quiet stay over before the big match

Saturday


Finalise our future tour programme and appearance fees; negotiate £1million per match, which £900k goes to the skipper.  Rumour has it the WPL, Woking Premier League is desperate to get the W&H 3s into their league and have offered in excess of £5 million per match.

Paul Weller, Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters perform pre match concert.

1.30 ‘One Lion on the Shirt’ plays as the players walk out.  W&H win by a convincing 500 runs, the skipper weighing in with his maiden triple century!

What a week, who said being a W&H skipper was unglamorous and hard week!!!

SPRING WATCH

W&H 208 ao

Jamie McMahon 67

Carshalton & Croygas 162-3

Winning Draw

Man of the match Jamie McMahon
 

It’s the time of the year when the lovely spring lambs abound through the crisp green grass, the bouncy beautiful baby bunnies merrily dance and leap to the gorgeous song of the nightingale and the tits of W&H fly unaided towards to another carnival match.

The tits are lead by the W&H lion Crested tit Mike (Latin: Titus leaderus). There are some fledglings tits such as Bil (coltus Titus) and Ben (right Titus) the flowerpot birds, blub, blub, little weed with juicy scrumptious insects on we going to eat you. Easily confused with Dave (getting on our Titus) Coal tit, one of Europe’s smallest coltus titus, contrary to the recent brood at W&H. 

The Bearded tits of Samad (taxis Titus) and Muneeb (relatus taxis Titus) are rarer on the field but were recently spotted at Carshalton by Bill Oddie.  More common, but too much annoyance is the big, colourful (language), bold and the most aggressive tit, the Salam Great tit (greatus nutecasus that annoys all Titus).  This tit has often an extremely varied and often confusing call,  which include the ear ringing #@*%!, it is a repeated four letter call, sharp, strident, some say musical (hey) but generally grating with varying emphasis depending on whether it is mating with the taxis Titus or sending a distress call to the oppos umpireus.

A box cam is wired up to this great Titus, not pleasant pictures I'm afraid but it is in the name of research.  Man has been to the moon but not here before and it is now apparent why no one has previously taken this leap of faith.  Why wood lice are there, who knows, but this is one for the scientists.

Technology, through the aid of bat cam we can see the Aruna (nocakeus Titus) Willow tit.  He often lives in rotten tree stumps and contrary to rumours eats only berries, seeds and cheese sarnies but not angel cake which RSPB thought was the reason for its slow flight.  The nocakeus Titus is much alike to the Mandar Marsh tit (new ballus Titus) and identification between both is often a challenge for the experienced twitcher.  It is through their call they are frequently told apart, the nocakeus Titus has more of an out of breath call whereas the new ballus Titus has the noise of ‘come on’ when lbw (large big woodcocks) are not given.

Intriguely, not known at Carshalton before is the hornet eating Aussie Jamie Blue Tit (no worrius matus Titus). The no worrius matus Titus often lurks around wooden bars and has a tendency to chew and regurgitate its nuts when chasing its mate (whereis mi sheilus Titus).  The RSPB encourage homeowners to feed him the amber nectar during the summer months.

This last tit, often spotted around Woking park by Kate Humble in the bushes, lucky tit, is the Amir (spinus parkus Titus) Long Tailed Tit.  But unusually the ornithologists have been getting their large lenses out to spot this breed of spinus parkus Titus in the outer regions of Croydon.

Tweet, tweet, watch the birdies!!!!!

TEST MATCH UNSPECIAL
 
W&H 215 -8 dec

Jamie McMahon 57

Salam Zafar 52


Thames Ditton 216-7

Samad Nawaz 3-40

Man of the match Jamie McMahon

 

Hello, I am Jonathan Agnew and welcome to the edited highlights of the TMU pod cast for Woking & Horsell versus Thames Ditton.

 Jonathan Agnew (JA);  Morning Geoffrey, good morning everyone.  We are here at the W&H Park CG for their third test of the season against the much fancied Thames Ditton.  How do you see this going Geoffrey?

 Geoffrey Boycott (GB): Morning Aggers, morning everyone. Aye, don’t fancy W&H chances, picked a load of blokes I’ve never heard of, wouldn’t happen in my day. The only ones I fancy are the W&H power girls.

 

JA:                               : Yes, Geoffrey, they haven’t got a test run or wicket between them, interesting selection.

 

GB                               : Aye, don’t understand it, I know Flintoff is injured but I don’t get the modern selector, bonkers, wouldn’t happen in Barnsley.

 

JA                                : Geoffrey, toss has been made and the W&H captain, Mike Walsh has won the toss and has decided to bat, lets see if we can get a quick word with him before he straps his pads on.

 

                                    Morning Mike

 

Mike Walsh (MW)       ; Morning Aggers, Morning Boycs, morning everyone

 

JA                                : Interesting team selection. I know you have a depleted team from your previous game against Camberley?

 

MW                             ; Yeah, Aggers, it was a difficult decision; we lost players due to circumstances beyond our control, unfortunately all bowlers. Alex Marples injured himself opening a can of beer, Hussian Malik had to take his best mates cousins cat to the vets and just this morning Paul Fortescue was told by his wife that he had to put up some shelves. Fortunately, 12th Man Ben Revell was fit and ready otherwise the oppo captains 8 year old kid would have subbed fielded for us. So we’ve gone for a combination of youth and tea eaters.

 

JA                                : Thanks Mike, good luck over to CMJ & Geoffrey in the commentary box.

 

Chis Martin-Jenkins(CMJ) : Morning Aggers, Morning Geoffrey, morning everyone. Jerusalem has just finished playing. Play starts. The Thames Ditton opening bowler runs into the W&H captain and bowls the first bowl of the match. Mike shoulders & arms as it passes just outside the off stump.

 

GB                               : Lovely, really, really good cricket, nice leave down the corridor of uncertainty.

 

CMJ                            : For those without digital radio or internet access we are now off to the shipping forecast.

 

                                    …………………………………………….

 

A N Nouncer               : Fitzroy, Gale force cyclonic, Biscay showers, Dogger ruff ruff poodle…………….

 

                                    ………………………………………………………..

 

Simon Mann (SM)        : Afternoon Victor, afternoon Aggers, afternoon Geoffrey, afternoon CMJ, afternoon everyone, intriguing passage of play now with Jamie McMahon and Salam Zafar in.

 

Victor Marks (VM)      : Afternoon Simon, afternoon Aggers, afternoon Geoffrey, afternoon CMJ, afternoon everyone. Absolutely, Mike Walsh & Dave Bennett got W&H off to a solid but unexciting start, lets see what these two can get up to?

 

Bill Frindall (BF)           : That run has bought up the record for a W&H 3rd wicket partnership in the Fullers carnival when an Aussie beamer bowler and a nutcase keeper have batted together

 

                                    ………………………………………..

 

Henry Blofeld (HB)      : Oh I say old thing, this extraordinary cricket, afternoon Gus, afternoon Simon, afternoon Aggers, afternoon Geoffrey, afternoon CMJ, afternoon Victor, afternoon everyone. A wood pigeon has just flown over the Robin Miller tennis court stands, I say, how exciting.

 

Angus Fraser(AF)        : Yes, Blowers, yes, what about the cricket Uzman Zafar and Samad Nawaz are whacking it everyway.

 

HB                               : I say dear old thing, I know, how wonderful an Abco taxi has driven past, wonderful stuff.

 

AF                               : Careful Blowers, Samad playing, oh, hold on Mike has declared the innings at 215-8 from 48.5 overs, its now tea.

 

BF                               : Just to let you know, Andy Crawley will become the youngest W&H player to eat cocktail sausages, pizza pieces, followed by Angel cake for 3 games on a trot.  However, the Storey brothers still hold the record the most doughnuts at anyone sitting.

 

                                    …………………………………………..

 

JA                                : Fascinating 2nd innings expected, Geoffrey, W&H do not have a spinner and have picked an all seam attack; they obviously think the match will not go into the 5th hour. Rumour, has it Geoffrey that Salam may bowl spin if necessary.

 

GB                               : Aye, Aggers, just don’t get it, it wouldn’t happen in my day going into a match without a spinner. As this for this lad Salam bowling, he wouldn’t get a bowl in a Chinese restaurant.

 

JA                                : Mandar, comes into bowl from the Smithy & Moon road end, its hurried the batsman, its out, W&H are going crazy.

 

GB                               : Aye, look at them, prancing around like a ladies netball team on space hoppers, bloody Nancy boys. You wouldn’t see the Yorkshire team do that, when fiery Fred Trueman took a wicket, he would turn straight round and get ready to knock over the next man. Too excited these youngsters.

 

                                    …………………………………………………..

 

CMJ                            : The W&H Barmy army are in good form and are trumpeting Great Escape, can they? Imran Tehal has bowled a beauty of ball which has a taken a thick edge and is fielded by Aruna.

 

BF                               : That touch of the ball was Aruna 50th ball he’s stopped in the field as a W&H player.

 

                                    …………………………………………………………

 

SM                              : Samad is bowling well from the Charlie Johnson Becks Pavilion end, has done all season, he needs his fielders to support him.

 

VM                              : The other advantage W&H have when Samad is bowling is that he isn’t fielding.

                                    ……………………………………………………….

 

 HB                               : Dear old things this is exciting stuff, a song thrush has landed at deep third man, oh, and there’s a glorious red kite being flown over by the Munge swimming pool stand. Gus, old thing is there any chocolate fingers left?

 

AF                               : Thames Ditton have just won with just under 2 overs to spare and you’ve just missed it!

 

                                    …………………………………………

 

JA                                : The TMU team have voted the Champagne moment to Dave Bennett chase of the ball past deep gully. When he went to pick the ball up he kicked it and had to do some further chasing!

W&H 181 -5 dec

Richard Thompson 70

Salam Zafar 38

Camberley 123-4

Winning draw

Man of the match Richard Thompson

 

This week’s article gives an insight to the players behind the team. The players kindly gave up some of their free time during the match tea break to answer a few questions about themselves.

 
Player :                                               Mike Walsh

Role:                                                   Captain & Opening Bat

Nickname:                                          Walshie or Bradman

Favourite Player(s);                           Graham Gooch & Michael Vaughan

What do you Love about W&H:       The Bar

Interesting Fact:                                Hold club batting record partnership for any wicket in any team with Clive Moon

 

Player :                                               Salam Zafar

Role:                                                   Vice Captain, Wicket Keeper & Middle order  Nutcase

Nickname:                                          Not printable

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh & The Hamster

Who is the best Zafar?:                     #@~%!, Hamster #@~%!, Uzzy #@#%!

Interesting Fact:                                Declined test cricket for Pakistan to make himself eligible for the carnival

 

Player :                                               Richard Thompson

Role:                                                   Opening Vampire Bat

Nickname:                                          Tommo

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh & Kevin Phillips

Wolves, Blues or WBA:                    Not a printable response given            

Interesting Fact:                                Often gets confused with Jeff Thomson or a directory

 

Player :                                               Jamie McMahon

Role:                                                   Cheese

Nickname:                                          Bruce

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh & Shane Warne

What made you join W&H:               Mike Walsh

Interesting Fact:                                Everybody needs good neighbours

 

Player :                                               Aruna   Sellawaha

Role:                                                   of Honour

Nickname:                                          Need to find one

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh

Can you disclose your IPL fee :        No but got more than Salam

Interesting Fact:                                Got a higher IPL fee than Salam

 

Player :                                               Ben Revell

Role:                                                   Forward

Nickname:                                          Craig Revell-Horwood

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh

Who is your fav friend at W&H:       Mike Walsh

Interesting Fact:                                Favourite to win the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing

 

Player :                                               Hussain Malik

Role:                                                   With it, you gotta take your time

Nickname:                                          Whose stolen it?

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh

How do relax away from W&H:        Read the new Mike Walsh autobiography now available at all major retailers

Interesting Fact:                                W&H first Bosman signing

 

Player :                                               Alex Marples

Role:                                                   Sausage

Nickname:                                          The Murder at the Vicarage

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh

If not employed at W&H, what else: Mike Walsh kit manager 

Interesting Fact:                                In 1523 the Swedes expelled Danish overlords and elected Gustavus Vasa King

 

Player :                                               Samad Nawaz

Role:                                                   Model

Nickname:                                          Sam had                                 

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh & Myself

Favourite sledge:                               The one pulled by Huskies                              

Interesting Fact:                                Some say he’s the best driver at W&H but isn’t in his family

 

Player :                                               Paul Fortescue

Role:                                                   Detective in a thriller

Nickname:                                          Forte, Forte coming if your ready or not

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh & Ryan Sidebottom

How do you feel at the moment:       With my hands

Interesting Fact:                                His Pro40 & 20/20 intro song is Waterloo

 

Player :                                               Andy Crawley

Role:                                                   Mop

Nickname:                                          Creepy or a town in W Sussex

Favourite Player(s);                           Mike Walsh

Change one thing at W&H, what:     Overnight stays at Hotels prior to away matches allowing for greater preparation

Interesting Fact:                                1 nautical mile = 6080 ft or 1853.18m

Ripley 81 -10

Samad Nawaz 3-12

Andy Crawley 3-27

W&H 82-4

Jamie McMahon 37 no

Man of the match Jamie McMahon


This is my first communication since my appointment last November due to my poor command of the English language, as I'm sure you’ll find out!!  I have now come public as many of my statements or press conferences have been misconstrued through my interpreter Salam Zafar.  I will learn by mistakes!

It is a privilege and honour to undertake one of the highest roles in English cricket, if not world cricket.  Many legends such as Peter Smith and Paul Fortescue have served tea as W&H 3rd team captain in the clubs illustrious history. That will probably give you some scope of the icons at the club, if not they can. I must admit I was choked (or was that choking) when I was voted in to take the clubs new generation onto its next adventure.

However, what I wasn’t aware of at that time was the challenge that stood before me and the problems that ensued.  Firstly, there was the media hype, especially from boisterous local rags as to whether I should award the long standing servant John Dunbar his 100th cap for the club.  My major concern with JD was his continuing commitment as he had joined the ICPL (Ivory Coast Premier League).  I’ll be honest it is a concern of mine that JD was chasing the big bucks of the new overseas league and he would be missing important matches through our forthcoming campaign.

I was certainly not aware of the sobriety running rife in the club; it wasn’t like that in my day.  At my first training session Mark Worgan was causing me anguish, it didn’t seem right, I could see it in his eyes, he hadn’t touched a drop for days, I thought to myself this lad is going to hurt himself.  I immediately took him aside and shoved some after shocks down him, sent him packing until the next training session and told him I never want to see him in that condition again.  This was a serious ginge drinking problem.

If that wasn’t bad enough I caught the Bennett Boys, Sam Way, John Hargan and Imran Tehal binging on cans of Tizer and Coke.  I was furious when I found out they were diet.  Frankly, I was disgusted, there was a serious drinking problem in the club and sooner we got James Woods back from our training centre in Loughborough and showed the power of the Stella the better.  These youngsters could learn a lot from the old guard like Matt Allan where a proper warm session constituted a can of the finest super strength lager and a packet fags.  This was true professionalism unlike the modern myth of stretching; you could pull muscle if you’re not careful. I’ve not heard anyone pull up lame by opening a bottle of Cardinal Gold? Never did Charlie Johnson any harm (maybe he did to others, but not himself!).

Talking about the old guard, another issue was the batsman/keeper scenario.  Do we pick the best keeper, a batsman that can run quickly after the ball after he’s missed it behind the stumps or stack of jumpers or caps?  Don’t think club has replaced Peter Allan yet!!

I couldn’t believe shortly after my appointment the review of my position as the club decided they wanted to put a new coach in place.  What was wrong with Clive Moon’s 4x4 he could fit quite few colts into that car?  Also, the club wasn’t showing me any faith, who in the clubs history has won the Carnival trophy (1999) and taken the boys in 2006 to the semis of the Frank Spencer league, that’s gratitude for you!

Central contracts loomed high on my agenda.  Did I really want to put Neil Cheetham or Gihan Thabrew on such a contract, probably not, with possible sporadic availability this year?  Could the club really afford to pull them out of playing cricket in their back garden with their kids when they won’t playing enough anyway?  What’s wrong with the modern cricketer, I used to go back to 3rd team cricket between tests, load of nancys these days.

I look forward to the challenge ahead and wish to recreate the open top mini scenes through Horsell and the tic a tape reception at Horsell Parish Hall, when we won the Carnival Trophy. Some say its Horsell proudest day in its history.  Rumour has it, that was the day Des Cooke decided to join the fuzz when saw the boys in blue holding back the thousand of well wishers in the town.  Fine memories, bring some more on and lets have it gentlemen for 2008.

WHCC 159
Epsom 162-1


Last game of the season and still a chance to avoid relegation. This would be a tough game against the team 4th in the league with a chance for promotion. Unfortunately it was not the week for great availabilty as the 3s were again a mixed side with no senior seam attack available and pinching a couple who played regularly in the 4ths to save the side. The return of the Smithy meant some reliance on our spin duo, so bowling second would not be too much of a worry.

Tight bowling by Epsom's opening seam attack kept the run rate down to below 2 an over and 3 quick wickets had the home side struggling to reach 100. However steady batting from Padmore supported by the middle order took the score to a respectable 159 before being all out in the 55th over. It was clear Epsom had brought a couple of their 2nd team to help out but theres not a lot you can do about that. Unfortunately with the WHCC 2nds in an equally bad predicament, there was never a chance to get players from them to help out.

So we started with the old ball but Epsom had two attacking openers who took the game away with some great attacking play. Poor bowling to give plenty of balls to hit at plus disappointing fielding yet again, including the statutory dropped catches, meant Epsom reached the target without breaking sweat.

The 3s lacked good commitment this season and it showed. With 44 names to have batted for the side, there was never likely to be any consistency either. The one positive to have come out has been the performances of all the colts who played for the side and will soon hopefully be the regulars in the side.

WHCC 116 AO
Kempton 117-8 - C Johnson 3-28, A Crawley 3-19


Come 12.59 there were only 2 of the oppo. turned up. Was it a case of forfeit the toss and then what? Put them in the field with one bowler and one wickey or make them bat with 1 wicket to get out? Given the nature of 3rd XI cricket, we held a toss at 13:10 and the usual loss meant we were put in to bat. The drizzly conditions meant it would be interesting and the toss yet again was a deciding factor.

This week followed the usual script for WHCC 3rds, an early wicket followed by some consolidation took the score into the 90s for the loss of 3 wickets (the highlight of which was a 57 run partnership for the 3rd wicket) and then the usual collapse to 116 all out. This may not change until we can get a settled side out, given the bulk of the team were in the 2s this weekend. Their young colt opening bowler starred with a superb spell of bowling using the conditions and wicket to pick up 6 wickets for 10 runs in 8.5 overs.

Still WHCC did their best to try. A steady opening combination moved the score to 19 before a miscued pull and good catch by our colt broke the effort. Good bowling and fielding all round saw wickets tumble regularly and Kempton were down 8 wickets with the score only on 92. One notable incident was their no. 6 ducking right to the ground and being bowled by a full toss only for a no ball to be called. He duly obliged to get out the very next ball! WHCC were in with a shout but their colt who did the damage with the ball was determined not to lose after getting 6 wickets and shepherded the tail home to win by 2 wickets.

Credit to A.Crawley picking up 3 wickets in a good 7 over spell and the tight spell from C.Johnson taking 3 for 28 off 13.4 overs.

Another opportunity gone begging. 20 more runs could have made the game ours or tightening up and not giving away 27 extras. Lets try and do both next time!

W&HCC 167 AO - J Day 44, C Padmore 35
Purley 171-9


Ah, the great British summer, long sunny days, cricket on the village green and late night BBQs.  Well, last Saturday was all and none of those things.  The constant drizzle and the dark made it feel like a November day on  Blackpool seafront.  I’m not sure the sun ever came up.  The kind of day where you wish you hadn’t bothered getting out of bed, some doubted whether Cy had bothered as he was still not at the ground at 1.30, extreme confidence from a W&H number six.  He redeemed himself however.

Despite the weather, where else would we be on a cold, wet Saturday afternoon in May than on the outskirts of Croydon for our first away trip of the season and what a place to go.  Purley is a nice ground with excellent facilities, including a gym, not something we would consider at Brewery Road, not simply because of the finances involved but because of the extra injuries it would cause.  Anyway, our strike bowlers were far more interested in the waft of chips that engulfed you as entered the pavilion.  Off they went for a portion of lasagne and chips – excellent pre-match preparation.  Thankfully we didn’t have to bowl first as their captain won the toss and stuck us in.  Good news for Jerry as he couldn’t see the wicket under the rather large tarpaulin covering it.

W&H were their usual disorganised selves, two of the top six had failed to bring their boxes with them and one of them wasn’t even on the ground but thankfully this didn’t transfer to the middle as Roger White and John Dunbar, pressed in to service as Tommo’s replacement due to a plan cunningly hatched on the M23, set about the Purley bowling with much panache.  The pitch played exceptionally well considering the amount of rain falling on it with bounce that we will be unlikely to see anywhere else this season,  Mention must also go to Deano who umpired the first ten overs at square leg in gear that would have seen him banned from the Bluewater Shopping Centre.  The end of Deanos stint  saw the end of Dunbar with the score on 45.  Purley's change of bowling brought its reward with 4 wickets falling for 10 runs and a flurry of panic with batsmen charging back to the pavilion to get ready.  Thankfully, Woking’s Transport Manager Padmore had made it to the ground by then and with the skippers help, restored some respectability to the score with a very neat 35 before falling LBW with the score on 120.  Jerry and new recruit Mahendra Singh Tony hit some lusty blows in to the tennis courts taking the score to 155 before both fell in quick succession and the second collapse of the innings saw us add only 12 runs for the last 5 wickets.

So, 168 to get but with our pace quartet raring to go we had a good chance of winning the game.  A couple of early wickets, from Doug n Dom (to be honest they’d be more entertaining on Radio One on a Sunday morning than Dick n Dom or Spoony for that matter) put us in with a real fighting chance.  That is when things started to go a little bit wrong.  To be fair to Purley they batted well and took the score to 121 aided by some dubious catching even given the dark skies and wet ball.  However, when two wickets fell for two runs with 45 still needed the game swung back towards us.  The score moved on to 140-6 when their number eight strode confidently to the wicket and within the first few balls of his innings had hit two balls to the tennis court fence, one four, one six, off Storey who had previously been bowling to an 8-1 field (also known as the Manchester City due to their defensive failings the week before).  Game, set and match Purley?  Not quite. Wickets were still falling, 153-7, 164-8 and even 167-9 as their number eight skied one and Jerry took a good catch.  One to win, leg side full toss, flicked to the boundary for four.  Game over.  So, why did we lose? Not enough runs, possibly, didn't take enough wickets in the first twenty overs, possibly, didn't catch well enough, probably.  Poor weather - disappointing, no points - disappointing, great game - excellent.  It was a happy camp that set off back to Woking despite the defeat.  Back to Brewery Road to sample the delights of Morlers BBQ cooked by candelight.  A great effort from him given the weather.  Ah, the great British summer.

WHCC 256-4 - R Thompson 94, S Stevens 64, J Day 55*
Bank of England 153 AO

 
Great excitement and anticipation abounds with the thought of journeying to the BoE for a game of cricket. In W&H language this is our Home of Cricket, great facilities and a wicket to excite any batsman with an interest in surpassing 400 runs in a season. Unfortunately for Cy it took some finding as he circled Richmond in search of some cricket. Rumour had it that Thomo (94) was talking about this game long before the season start and he gladly obliged. Scott (62)thought he had arrived in paradise following his cricket exploitations in the “outbacks” of Australia and Jerry (55*) thought it his vice captaincy role to oblige with half century of his own and thereby continuing his 50+ for two seasons at BoE. Unfortunately our very own “Prince Henry” Harry(9) tucked more into the teas than he did the bowling. However, I would venture to say that it was the bowling of Ben and Saf, introduced to wicket -taking by the skipper, that really turned the game on its head and led us to victory.
 
It is not very often that I lose a toss and get my wish. “We will have a bowl” sounded like sweet music to my ears as I admired a near perfect wicket with the added knowledge that their main strike bowler was injured. The message was sent back to the team and there were two batsman quickly padded up long before the start of the game. Thommo and Harry soon exploited the lightening quick outfield and wayward bowling as our score ran along at 5 to the over. Harry, or is Henry, looking every bit the talent unfortunately spooned a drive to covers and our very own olympic sprinter in Scott was at the crease in a blur. Thommo continued scoring with his square drives being his most productive stroke. Scott was soon to join him thrashing an on drive to the boundary and our score continued to keep pace at 5 runs an over. Thomo and Scott used good patience and shot selection to bolster the score along and both were soon to near the 50s, Thommo going to his 50 1 run ahead of Scott who followed. Scott was next to depart edging a cut shot to the keeper. Players appealed, Scott forgot his Australian upbringing and started to walk only to hear the umpire say not out, half hesitated, turned to see the keeper now at the stumps and then proceeded walking, supported with a handshake from the opposition. The skipper moved Jerry up the order and he soon pulled out the trademark on-drive to get himself off to a good start. After enjoying a useful and quick 114 run partnership the innings began to falter slightly as a bowling change, switch of ends and an increasing softer ball made run scoring a little harder. Jerry and Thomo still consolidated the innings with a useful 76 run partnership, seeing in the 200 with some overs to play with. Thomo was bowled chasing the score on a fine 94. Qais was also elevated up the batting order following his 45 not out the week before and was unfortunate to be given out after striking one boundary. The skipper(17*) was next in with the score on 220 and 4 overs to go to 50 overs. A quick acceleration saw the score move to 256, Jerry claim his 50 and the skipper declare on 50.5 overs. A good competitive total but we would have to b
owl well.
 Following a tea discussion it was decided to open with the old ball, knowing we had no spinners to rely on. Saf, listening to everything his skipper says, suggested he turn to spin, skipper supported and that is where it should end. Qais, who also listened to everything his skipper says, took the other end and impressed with some good length bowling, being unlucky not to enjoy some reward. The run chase looked well on as BoE enjoyed early runs. Saf returned to his pace bowling and it became more difficult to score although BoE were able to maintain the run rate. A bowling change saw the skipper come into the game and at 15 overs and 75 on the board the skipper gave the new ball to Saf. A few overs into the new ball the skipper removed the opening bat bowled and then the no.3 LBW soon after to put us back into the game. A bowling change introduced Ben “ Harmison” Storey – his first delivery going for 5 wides as it almost landed on the adjacent pitch and completely missed the sight-screens. Following a drinks break, 126 for 2 on the board and a quick chat Ben was not to disappoint as he brought his bowling back on line and removed the number 4 bat LBW. He then took to removing there rather useful opening bat caught behind and victory looked like ours for the taking. Saf was brought back to bowl and the wickets began to tumble at regular intervals. Saf and Ben in combination cleaned up the tail-enders and a good win on a batting track was our rich reward. Ben in particular being most unfortunate to not pick up a 5 wicket haul as the skipper dropped a relatively simple catch.
 
In summary it was a good day for W&h 2s cricket. Thomo, Scott and Jerry did not disappoint with the bat and entertained to give us a competitive score. Ben and Saf bowled well in tandem and reaped the benefits of good wicket to wicket bowling. Our only blemish was in the field but the strong believe in our bowling and the good fighting spirit saw us claim a rather challenging victory on a good track. The much needed 13 points is a good start to the second half of the season. Next week we play the table leaders and it will be great to be competitive and show them our full and true potential. It’s Sunday and I am already looking forward to it.

 

WHCC 138 AO

 

Farnham 139-6 - R Shah 3-54


A new season starts and an introduction in how not to play cricket. Our match preparation was much flaunted by a late arrival and a visit to the optometrist for a contact lens problem, resulting in 7 players being available at start of play.  Having lost the toss W&H were put into bat on a rather damp and not so well prepared track. It was hard to believe this was a premier league ground when good length balls tended to rise through chest height to the keeper. It was therefore a day to dig in and work the bowling to enjoy the right batting result.  Unfortunately, other than Scott and Qais, we failed to do this and some of our batting resembled a 20/20 version of the game rather than the fill 50 over. Most batsmen contrived to get out and it was only through the diligent application of Scott and Qais that we got to an almost defendable target of 138. Scott showed his ability to adapt to the conditions by playing a sensible role in mixing patience with aggression and Qais took note by also showing good application and the ability we all know he has. I look forward to watching these two players go from strength to strength and give our batting line up more solidity.  Our fielding probably was the difference as we missed far too many chances – I gave up at 9 – but our bowling showed good promise. It was never easy for Farnham, taking 46 overs to reach the score, and the game was continually in the balance. I was further encouraged by the enthusiasm and appetite to win in the field. It would have been easy for heads to drop with the missed chances but the team stood strong and made Farnham fight for every run. Good signs for a season only just begun.

Our innings began with much promise. Afaque took advantage of some early wayward bowling to get us off to a good start, the first 25 runs coming off 5 overs. However, Afaque (19) was soon to fall trying to hit one over the top and was caught at mid on. Jerry soon followed after being caught behind. Peter Day started off very promisingly hitting the bowler over the top, whilst not off the middle it had enough to reach the boundary. He soon followed this with another four and beginning to look the part when he had his stumps rattled by a good Yorker length ball. Scott all the time was applying himself manfully and digging in. Riz and Roger did not add much to the score before getting themselves out rather than the opposition, and Qais strode to the wicket. At 52 for 5 we were not looking likely to post a competitive score but Scott and Qais had other ideas. Both batting equally well built a patient innings and took the score up to 121, enjoying a 69 run partnership. Scott delighted with a number of pull and cut shots whilst Qais neatly clipped a ball for 6, with little ease. Scott on 44 unfortunately fell to another of his pull shots to be caught at deep mid-wicket and the game took another turn. Unfortunately our tail could only muster another 17 to be all out for 138.

 After tea a rather pleasingly enthusiastic W&H side took the field. Opening with Saf and Riz it was not long before both bowlers were troubling the bat. A missed chance in Saf’s 2nd over and some good intimidating bowling by Riz played on the minds of the batsmen and Saf was soon to get an LBW decision with the batsman stuck in the crease. A few sharp missed chances went by before Scott palmed a sharp chance only for Qais to pounce and run out the potential danger in there batting line-up. W&H were nicely beginning to apply the pressure. Riz joined Saf in the book, trapping another batsman in front and we were well on the way to creating a good fight. Riz then struck again with another lbw and shortly after the drinks break to further encourage the team. The tables however began to turn as we missed a run out opportunity and Farnham began to gain some momentum. Whilst we tried hard we could not gain the upper hand through a number of bowling changes. The re-introduction of Riz claimed another wicket and with 48 runs still to get the game was nicely poised. Again we contrived to not take chances as Farnham moved closer to our total. Roger in his second spell picked up a wicket but with 8 runs to get we needed a miracle hattrick to pull this one back. Farnham ran out eventual winners.

 Whilst it was not the best start to a season the positives far outweighed the negatives. Scott and Qais displayed good form, mental application and good fight in the batting whilst our bowlers gave it all. The fielding was lacking but never faulted on enthusiasm and the team fought hard together. Riz showed he had a big engine having bowled 21 overs on the day. Next week will need more application at the crease and greater concentration in the field and that simply will deliver the 13 point result ... oh yes, and no mishaps or late arrivals.

 

Old Rutlishians 206 all out off 51.5 overs

Woking and Horsell 189 for 9 off 49 overs

 

Winning draw to Old Ruts

An under prepared Woking and Horsell side fought valiantly but were unable to force a victory in their 1st game of the season. Having put newly Old Rutlishians into bat they allowed them to amass too many runs to making chasing comfortable for a batting line up which had had so little practise. In the end it was left to last pair Giles Green and Dough Duckworth to play out the last 3 overs to achieve a draw.

 Earlier on the Old Ruts innings had been held together by captain Salman Mohammed after good spells by debutant Qais Nawaz and the evergreen James Morley (3 for 28) who picked up 3 quick wickets following drinks to leave them struggling at 63 for 3.

 Mohammed who had chanced his luck early on with 2 dropped catches, took the attack to the bowlers although Ryan Pogson impressed with 2 wickets and David Gibney picked up the wicket of Read in his first over. At 133 for 6 Woking looked to tie up the innings, but Mohammed stood firm and had good help from the lower order.

 Ross Morley (3 for 28) returned to blast out the tail and Mohammed for 73,  but then number 9 Cooper blasted a quickfire 31 to push the Old Ruts score above 200.

 Woking’s innings had the worst possible start as skipper Toby Green fell for a duck as Ruts opted to start with an all spin attack. Ross Morley and Pogson stabilised the innings before Morley was bowled for 21 as the new ball was taken. Tom Dunbar looked tentative at the start having only just picked up a bat for the first time since last season, but once he entered his stride, Woking began to build some momentum.

 Pogson fell for 28, but Adam Portlock hit the ground running, batting very positively from the off. As the target reached double figures the run rate required was still around 5 and importantly 7 wickets were still left. However, this was always going to be a tough ask at this stage of the season.

 Once Portlock fell for 27 and James Morley went for 14, a middle order collapse followed and all of a sudden Woking’s thoughts turned to saving the game. However, whilst Dunbar was there victory was always a possibility and he and Honey forged a run a ball partnership of 25, Dunbar moving past his 50.

 However, once Dunbar fell for 66 and Honey went for 10 in the next over it was left to Green and Duckworth to bat out the final overs. A task which they achieved quite comfortably apart from a few interesting moments running between the wickets. Woking finished up 18 short of victory and 10 short of the winning draw target.

 “A bit of a stop start performance today,” was the verdict of team manager Damien Honey. “There were many good points though. A lot of our established players started off well, both the Morleys looked in good touch with the ball, Rosco in particular bowled pretty quickly. It was good to see Adam bat so positively and Tom looked in great nick once he got going.”

 “It was also really encouraging to see Ryan and Qais come in and perform so well on debut. There were definitely more positives than negatives, we just gave ourselves 30 runs too many to chase and we will also look to bolster our batting line up in the next few weeks.”

 This weekend Woking are at home to Southern Railway.

 

W&HCC 235-6 - J Hubble 103*, R Morley 59 

Old Ruts - 222-7

Now middle order collapses we are used to, a few years ago we were used to fridge collapses as well, but a tree collapse is new to most of us. Therefore at 12.30 whilst the window was being repaired from Friday nights break-in attempt, when the massive tree outside the club collapsed onto the road no one knew quite what to do, except check that their car was not beneath it!

A rather curtailed warm up didn’t upset anyone given the stifling heat and all were happy as Dog kept up his incredible run at winning the toss, electing to bat as has become our norm this season. Tom Dunbar was very anxious to chat to members of his family arriving early so decided that the only fair way of doing this was to place the 1st ball of the innings (a rather friendly legside full toss) into short leg’s hands. Whilst the oppo were understandably delighted by this early gift, the rest of us were not fooled by Tom’s restrained outburst at getting out to the first ball of the game as he reached for the sun cream and headed for the other side of the ground.

What then followed was our highest partnership of the season as Rosco and Jarrad eased us into ascendancy, both passing 50 as the score hit three figures. Eventually after 33 overs of batting Rosco decided that he had had enough of Jarrad giving him stick about the rugby score and hit the ball straight back to the bowler (Day) who had his first bit of good luck since arriving at Woking as it was his car which was buried beneath the tree. The partnership ended at a superb 131 and for a moment all attention turned to the Mascot Derby on the TV which to be honest was somewhat of a disappointment as Kenny Kennington the dog/lion/brown cap led from the start.

Henry rushed to the crease looking to continue the good form he had showed scoring 47 in the ‘hit and giggle’ 20/20 final in midweek, but sadly didn’t last long as the Old Ruts spinners looked to turn the key. Day picked up his 3rd wicket that of the skipper Green and Ganguly picked up a deserved wicket just after Cy had been run out.

Meanwhile at the other end Hubble was holding firm and looking immovable as he approached his ton. With the score on 180 for 6 and Qais heading to the crease – anything was possible – a continued collapse and 200 all out, scrambling to 220 off 55 overs or as per last week – Qais takes over and smashes it around. Another superb knock from a guy who has been a revelation this year given that its his first season in the 1s took the score up to 235 – Qais scoring 35 off just 15 balls smashing three sixes. The only worry was would he give enough of the strike to a now exhausted Jarrad to allow him to complete his ton. Fortunately Jarrad scrambled 4 singles to make his way to 3 figures and his timing was perfect as Jane and James had just turned up to witness this.

The innings was closed and the usual battle for the superb onion bhaji’s and pizza commenced. This week’s winners were the seamers again so the spinners were thrown the old ball to start things off in the 2nd innings. With the absence of Ryan and Gibbers and the retirement from bowling of Jarrad, Henry was asked to show us his previously unseen leg spin and produced some great deliveries early on which had Haffeez particularly confused early on. At the other end the Honey badger was having a great battle with Molloy, beating the bat on occasions before Molloy smashed him for 10 off one over.

Dog decided to take the new ball and Rosco looked very dangerous and completed another 6 over spell without getting injured – has anyone else noticed how he only seems to injure himself bowling away from home. Morlers recovered after a blistering attack and eventually straight after drinks removed both the Old Ruts openers who had put on a more than useful 90 runs. Tempers became rather frayed as Woking players became rather wound up by a few things that went on but it would be fair to say that we rather over-reacted and were quick to apologise after the game, after all it was a very good competitive game on a belting wicket. I blame the heat.

Old Ruts had a good foundation to press for victory and the middle order scored at a quick enough rate to keep it just about possible. The other interesting factor was that Woking had bowled their overs so quickly that there was a definite chance of getting more back than the 48 assigned. Sadly for the many spectators who had amassed by this point the chase was called off when the 6th wicket fell and an exciting finish did not occur. In the end Woking bowled the same number of overs back as they received and Old Ruts were 14 runs short of target – a decent game of cricket some might say. Ganguly passed 50 in the last exchanges before falling to a smart catch by Roger off Henry.

The heat had taken its toll on many and there was only one solution – time to Drink the Fridge, via a brief stop off at the bbq. There was an early assault on the fridge by the A3 service crew who had popped in for the day and then one or two people were seen to be drinking pints and quickly corrected. By half 8 the left hand side was drunk and the bell promptly rang. Back up was called and it was good to see so many new faces down the club enjoying a social occasion in the superb evening weather. As it became clear that the fridge wasn’t putting up much of an effort, the strawpedo’s came out and so did the aftershock in varying flavours. Tom Dunbar was finally making a strong contribution to the day and Gribbler was struggling to show his support for Kent in the 20/20 final without swearing…..

By 10.30 the fridge was defeated and starting to fill up again as no one was in the mood to go home. A great time was had by all – shame it was only the 3’s who could celebrate a win but when have we ever let the loss of 13 points get in the way of having a good time.

All that remains to be said – is well batted Jarrad, thanks to Couch for preparing a belter, thanks to Piers for picking Couch in his side so the Becks were not raided early, thanks to Morlers for the bbq, thanks to Mentalist for setting up the fridge and serving throughout the day/night, thanks to John for getting the booze in and to M for being sober enough to clear up when most of us weren’t.

I think its time to make this a yearly event.

 

WHCC 244 all out off 49.3 overs
Churt 183 all out off 44.3 overs

 
Woking and Horsell had the best possible end to their season on Saturday as a resounding victory over 5th placed Churt allowed them to finished in 3rd place, 17 points behind promoted Chessington. The fitting finale couldn’t have been scripted better as Ian Meyer picked up the last wicket with his final delivery for the club!
 
Earlier on Woking’s opening batsmen had put on a display of awesome batting as they powered Woking passed the 100 mark in only the 14th over. Jason Barber bludgeoned his way to 73 off 66 balls, smashing the Churt opening bowlers including their overseas player Van Schwalkwyk out of the attack after only 7 overs. This took him to 645 runs for the season, the second most in the league and the most by a Woking and Horsell player since Meyer’s record breaking 769 in 1998.
 
Skipper Toby Green continued in this vain as he received more of the strike once Barber was out and attained his 4th fifty of the season. He was eventually out for 72 from 76 balls. This brought Meyer to the crease in his last innings and despite looking in no trouble during his run a ball 21 he fell to a long hop from spinner Askew. Maybe he was suffering from scampering an all run five the previous over!
 
Askew (6 for 82) was by now applying some sort of control on the Woking innings and wickets fell regularly as Woking chased quick runs. Run a ball cameo’s from Giles Green and John Hargan allowed Woking to reach 244 all out and give themselves plenty of overs to bowl Churt out.
 
Meyer opened the bowling for the first time in many years and he picked up the early wicket of Lyon-Taylor caught by debutant Cy Padmore. At the other end 14 year old Hargan was exerting great control and showing experience beyond his years. He was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket himself as the first of an incredible 14 missed chances during the innings went down.
 
Green brought Damien Honey during the attack and the spinner quickly added to his wicket haul for the season with 3 wickets in 11 balls with some delightful variations as Churt wobbled to 44 for 4. Van Schwalkwyk (68) looked to make amends for his bowling with some huge boundaries before a comical run out and then good running catches by Padmore and Hubble off Honey and Green respectively saw any slim chance of a Churt victory disappear.
 
Hargan returned to pick up a deserved first wicket for the 1st XI and the scene was set for Meyer to return to the attack to pick up the last wicket. He didnt disappoint having Cowles LBW 2nd ball.
 
“We played some excellent and some very ordinary cricket today. It pretty much summed up our season, a great start, a collapse in the middle, a lack of quick bowling penetration, but we came through in the end and the finish was just ideal,” said Honey.
 
“We seem to be losing one of our most important players every season at the moment, having lost Morley, Johnson (retired), Walsh and now Meyer in the last few years, but we saw a bit of the future with young John Hargan looking very promising with the new ball. We all wish Ian, Corrie and Brooke well in New Zealand and they will be sorely missed. Ian was our first dip into the overseas market and we discovered a real gem. No one has got within 100 runs of his great first season and he has been a great servant to the club in his years here.”
 
Ian will be leaving his successful (3000+ runs @ 41 and 80 wickets @ 20 for W+H) cricket career behind as he attempts to raise his World Bowls ranking from 36 back in his home town of Palmerston North.

Southern Railway and Kenley 222 for 7 off 51.5 overs
Woking and Horsell 75 all out off off 32 overs

 
A weakened Woking and Horsell side produced an abject batting performance to slide to a dismal defeat against lowly Southern Railway. Earlier on the home side had raced to a very challenging score of 222 for 7 despite Woking winning the toss and impressive opening spells from James Morley and Ben Storey.
 
However, Railway rode these spells and the dangers brought by the pitch for the loss of only 1 wicket and then took advantage of having wickets in hand in the latter stages. Burge and Rowntree both played and missed in the early stages before taking advantage of some loose deliveries to lift the score over 100.
 
Skipper Toby Green introduced left arm spinners Damien Honey and James Woods (playing his first 1st xi game for 2 years) into the attack and the latter was particularly impressive as Railway looked to up the run rate. Woods bowled Rowntree for 30 and then Honey snared Burge for 54 after the opener had survived a perilous time in the 40’s.
 
However, as Woking looked to turn the tide they found themselves up against the home side’s in form and experienced middle order. A fascinating battle followed between the spinners and the batsmen who ended out coming out of top. Payton struck 52 before falling to the returning Morley and Ray Tudor fell for 48 as Honey picked up 2 deserved wickets in an over. Morley struck again as any chance of the home side reaching the heights of 250 slipped away and he finished with the impressive figures of 3 for 26. Honey ended up with 3 for 63.
 
With a very inexperienced batting line Woking needed their top 3 to fire on all cylinders. Sadly this was not to be the case as the Dunbar brothers and Green all fell within the first 10 overs. Adam Portlock and Morley steadied the ship for a while but a steady stream of wickets followed as Woking produced a rather insipid batting performance. Giles Green showed glimpses of a return to his batting prowess as a teenager, but he fell to the returning Burger for 12 and Woking were all out for 75. Railways impressive attack of Burger, Brown and Latty sharing the wickets around between them.
 
“It was a bad day at the office today for us,” said spokesman Honey. “We always knew we would struggle with so many players out but after a bright start we just needed a couple more early wickets to be competitive and then I think we saw the target total and just thought that was always going to be too many to chase. It was a pretty gutless batting effort to be honest.”
 
“There were a couple of bright spots out there, the opening bowlers bowled well and Woodsy was very impressive. His bowling has clearly come on a lot this season. Also good to see young Dominic Hewitt make his debut, we had 8 products of our youth system out there today.”
 
Amazingly Woking, without a win in 4 weeks still remain in 3rd place and have a chance of gaining promotion still. Next week they take on already promoted Leatherhead, but once again will be without several key players.

WHCC 199 all out off 54.5 overs
Chertsey 181 for 8 off 48 overs
Winning draw to Chertsey

 
Woking missed out on a chance to keep in touch with the top 2 on Saturday as they let victory chances slip and only picked up 1 point against local rivals Chertsey. With four weeks left of the season Woking will want to ensure that they don’t look back at this game with regret as they will certainly see it as 12 points lost.
 
Chertsey won the toss and elected to bowl on a slow pitch which offered some help to the bowlers and made scoring quickly very difficult. Without the league’s top scorer Barber, the returning home skipper Toby Green elected to open with Pete Dunbar and himself.
 
Dunbar made the most of his chance and registered a fine maiden fifty for the club received solid support from the inform Jarrad Hubble, once Green had departed for 10. The Chertsey bowling was very accurate and there ground fielding immaculate, but Hubble judged his running between the wickets well, despite the opposition hitting the stumps with several throws.
 
However, the scoring rate never raised above 3 runs per over, so with 15 overs left Dave French and Hubble decided the time had come to improvise and smashed 40 runs off 5 overs. This gave the Woking side hope of posting 200 inside of their 55 overs but such hopes disappeared as Hubble fell for 49 and then the inevitable middle order collapse followed. French made 24 and Dave Gibney’s run a ball 22 enable the score to reach 199 before the innings closed.
 
Woking were still confident that this was enough to allow them to push for victory with their all out spin attack, whilst setting attacking enough fields to encourage the Chertsey batsmen to look for runs. Gibney struck an early blow removing former Woking player Peeroo for 1, but at the other end Damien Honey was hit out of the attack by Dodd who smashed 3 sixes in his 40.
 
French came onto replace Honey and produced an excellent spell of tight bowling where ironically he picked up all of his wickets from loose deliveries. Excellent catches being held by Hubble and Ben Storey in the outfield. Meanwhile Green had introduced leg spinner Hubble at the other who picked up the wicket of Burton. At 81 for 5 with half of the overs left Woking sniffed a chance of victory and when the evergreen James Morley and Green combined to run out Boast going for an improbable 4th run the game looked there for the taking.
 
However, Houghton and Redmond dug deep, before Redmond started to cut loose and despatch some poor bowling to the boundary. Hubble came back to remove Houghton and Shepherd in quick succession, but Woking were unable to force the last 2 wickets and in setting attacking fields had allowed Chertsey to canter past the winning draw target. Redmond finishing on 61 not out and Hubble with 3 for 79.
 
“We have undoubtedly missed out on victory today and we cannot blame bad luck this time. Yes we miss Ross and his ability to take wickets with the new ball, but we got ourselves into a winning position and let them get out of jail. Redmond batted very well but we should not have let it happen,” said Honey. “We have to come back next week and be more clinical.”
 
Woking are now 13 points behind 2nd place Chessington and are away at bottom of the table Dorking on Saturday.

Woking 188 AO
Kingstonian  189-2  
  
 
The first ‘summers’ day of the cricket season produced an abject display from Woking’s 1st XI at Kingstonian
 
Having lost the toss and being put into bat Woking were soon in trouble as makeshift opener Portlock was bowled for 0. Barber and Dunbar steadied the ship until Dunbar fell victim to the worst ball of the day. Some accurate spin bowling kept the scoring down until Barber decided that attack was the best way.
 
At 97-2 off 24 overs the scene was set for Woking to push on and score in excess of 200 but when Barber tried one too many big hits, and fell for 78, the innings fell apart. A steady stream of wickets against some useful bowling left Woking all out for 188.
 
Jarrad Hubble batted superbly to be left not out on 64, but the middle and lower order did not provide the support he required.
 
With a 2nd XI bowling attack, stand in skipper Meyer knew that early wickets were Woking’s only chance of a victory.
 
Saf Nawaz was the man to step up as he claimed 2 early wickets to have Kingstonian in trouble at 10-2. A dropped catch and a blatant caught behind given not out seemed to knock the stuffing out of Woking’s attack.
 
The Kingstonian then bludgeoned the ball to all areas against some very average bowling, and were easy victors by 8 wickets.
 
Spokesman Meyer said: ‘At tea we knew we were about 30 runs short and early wickets were vital. A dropped catch and then a piece of complete unsportsmanlike behaviour from the hosts ruined any chance of victory’ 
We bowled poorly and did not bat in partnerships, just a bad day at the office. Luckily for us results seemed to have gone our way so promotion is still very much in our own hands.
 
We are home to local rivals Chertsey this week and need to get back on track immediately.

WHCC 155 for 9
Ashford 125 all out

 
Two outstanding individual performances by Jason Barber and Damien Honey, backed up by an irresistable team fielding performance led Woking and Horsell to a vitally important victory which allowed them to leapfrog 2nd placed Ashford on Saturday.
 
At one stage Ashford had reached 81 for 2 chasing down Woking’s total of 155 which would have been far more meagre if it hadn’t have been for Barber’s brilliant 94 not out, however they then succumbed to pressure exerted on them by Honey to fall 30 runs short of victory.
 At the start of the day stand in skipper Ian Meyer had won the toss and made the tricky decision to bat first on a pitch which was always going to be lively after so much recent heavy rain. Dave French fell early to a great catch from opposition captain Gaines and Dunbar didn’t get a start as overseas speedster Riaz Khan exploited the conditions. Meyer looked to continue his good form but he too fell with the score on 32 for 3.
 
Jarrad Hubble dug in and proved to be an excellent counterfoil for Barber who tried to counterattack. However, with the ball moving about the place and medium pacer Smith continually putting the ball in the right areas the run rate was far more restrained than it usually is with him at the crease.
 
Barber managed to hit the odd boundary including some trademark huge sixes off the spinners and medium pacers although young left armer Couzens bowled very well keeping the runs down to a minimum. Hubble continued to place the ball expertly and the running between the wickets was vital as the ball slowed on a wet outfield.
 
However, once Hubble fell controversially with the score on 97, new batsmen struggled to accelerate the run rate in very testing conditions leaving Barber much to his own devices. Amongst a flurry of wickets came a sickening blow with opening bowler and leading wicket taker Ross Morley carried off with a torn calf muscle leaving skipper Meyer with the headache of having only one fit seam bowler.
 
Dave Gibney struck a couple of late boundaries to give Barber some much needed support and boost the score over the 150 mark. However, as Barber closed in on his well deserved century, Riaz Khan returned to the attack to blast out the tail and leave him stranded on 94 not out out of a total of 155 all out. A remarkable effort given the conditions.
 
Meyer was left with little option but to open the bowling with left arm spinner Damien Honey alongside 2nd XI captain and experience seamer Roger White. The pair started well, White went past the bat on occasions and Honey produced turn and great variation on a pitch which still gave the bowlers much encouragement. Honey struck first with a smart catch from Giles Green behind the stumps and then removed dangerman Paul Frost with the score on 28 to a brilliant tumbling catch from Hubble.
 
The evergreen Chris Evans was looking solid as ever and received solid support from Knill at the other end. With Ashford reaching the halfway point and spinners Honey and Gibney giving the batsmen too many bad balls to hit, Meyer looked to turn to French and Hubble to make the breakthrough, but Honey removed Evans in his last over and then struck a crucial double blow in his next over leaving Ashford 91 for 5.
 
French by now was exerting pressure on the scoring rate at the other end, but it was Honey who struck again with his and Woking’s sixth wicket in the next over. French then picked up his first wicket in the next over and 81 for 2 had become 99 for 7 in the space of only a few overs.
 
However, Ashford tried to regroup and importantly they still had captain Gaines batting down the order at 9 and overseas alrounder Khan batting at 10. They still rightly believed that they had a chance of winning the game. Meyer expertly played around with his field to make the batsmen think and the fielders backed him up with Hubble taking another excellent diving catch to take claim wicket number 8 again off the bowling of French.
 
Meyer’s safe pair of hands accounted for Khan’s wild drive at French and it was left to Honey to get his 7th and final scalp with 15 minutes left on the clock to bowl Gaines through the gate and send the Woking team into wild celebrations. A game of such importance was always going to be tense but the way the Woking side held their nerve was very impressive. Ashford all out for 125 with Honey taking 7 for 65 off 23 overs and French 3 for 13.
 
“Today was a very important win for us and the weekend results have really opened up the promotion race. Jason batted superbly today as he has done for most of the season and gave us a decent score to bowl at. The performance in the field was excellent as well bearing in mind that we were one man down for most of the game. Every half chance was held and the intensity of the ground fielding allowed me to build up pressure all the time,” said spokesman Honey.
 
“We have put ourselves in a strong position in terms of the league, but its going to be very tough. Every week we pick up a couple of new injuries and the one to Ross today is a massive blow as he will possibly miss the rest of the season.”
 
On Saturday, Woking travel to 8th placed Kingstonian who beat leaders Leatherhead at the weekend and whilst there are only 9 points between the top 4 it appears that anyone can beat anyone else in this league.

WHCC 218 for 6 declared off 42.5 overs
Chessington 169 for 7 off 44 overs

 
Woking and Horsell were just unable to take full advantage of being the only game to beat the bad weather in their league on Saturday. For the second week in a row they produced a superb all round team performance, this time against a strong Chessington side, but they were not able to force a victory.
 
For the first time this season Toby Green won the toss, but went against the grain and chose to bat such has been the Woking side’s dominance when batting first this year. With the rain falling heavily bowling and fielding was not easy at the start, however, Chessington started very brightly and picked up the early wickets of the in-form Green (5) and Tom Dunbar (4). This brought Ian Meyer (playing only his 3rd game of the season) to the crease with leading run scorer Jason Barber. Although this pair saw out a couple of overs the rain by now had become too hard and play was held up for an hour.
 
When the showers eventually eased Woking started well. Early boundaries set the tone and Australian overseas opening bowler Healy was hit out of the attack by Barber. Despite the sluggish outfield the boundaries continued to flow easily as Chessington skipper Willis shuffled his bowlers around. Meyer by now was in full flow as well with plenty of trademark square cuts, whilst Barber was quick to despatch anything short. Barber eventually fell for 47 with the score on 86 bringing Jarrad Hubble to the crease.
 
Hubble and Meyer continued to play well and also importantly in this reduced over game, kept the scoring rate very healthy. Meyer passed 50 and then looked to accelerate further and he had found an able partner in Hubble who was also closing in on a second 1st XI fifty.
 
A further rain break halted proceedings again but on the resumption Woking continued to dominate. Hubble passed fifty and only in the closing overs did Chessington take another wicket as both batsmen fell hitting out. However, the partnership of 120 had put Woking on top, with Meyer finishing on 82 and Hubble 57 in the teams 218 for 6 declared.
 
It was a bold declaration by Green as it gave Chessington more overs than Woking had received to reach the total. This looked particularly interesting given the start Chessington got scoring at 6 an over, hitting star bowler Ross Morley out of the attack in the process. With other opener Doug Duckworth limping off injured and all rounders Meyer and Dave French unable to bowl things were not looking good for Woking side.
 
Green turned to spinner Damien Honey who immediately slowed the scoring rate down and brought himself on at the other end, which proved inspired as he had the prolific Norton held well by Dave Gibney at mid off. This brought one of the divisions leading run scorers Nick Bailey to the crease and Green decided now was the time to bring one of the divisions leading wicket takers Morley back into the attack.
It proved an inspired decision as Morley produced a superb spell of bowling to give Woking a sniff of victory. With the score on 90 and Chessington above the required rate he bowled Bailey and 3 overs later removed overseas player Healy and captain Willis within three deliveries. Honey was still exerting the pressure at the other end but not having much luck either as a couple of catches went down off his bowling and meanwhile opening bat White had passed 50.
 
Morley had one last throw of the dice left in him as removed Benjamin’s middle stump and Honey finally got into the act having White caught well by Green for 67 and then seemingly having Burge caught behind off the back of the bat, but the decision did not go his way. By this stage Woking needed 4 wickets in the last 10 overs and although the introduction of Hubble’s leg spin produced one, the rest proved elusive.
 
Chessington finished on 169 for 7 giving Woking a winning draw courtesy of a superior run rate and Honey was pleased with the performance again, “we put on a good show today again in difficult conditions, the batting was superb once again and the bowlers fought back after a poor start with Ross showing that he is one of the leagues best quick bowlers again. Chessington are a good side and taking 17 points off them this season is a very good effort.”
 
“It would have been nice to get a win, but we still picked up 3 points more than anyone else in the league so it sets us up nicely for Saturdays big game.”
 
And what a big game it is 2nd placed Ashford visit Brewery Road only 9 points ahead of 3rd placed Woking, who will be missing skipper Green (wedding) and will give late fitness tests to French, Meyer and Duckworth. A decent crowd is expected later on as the club says goodbye to former long standing captain Richard Walsh who is moving to Australia next week. “A win and thirteen points would be the perfect send off,” said Honey, “If only to ease the hangovers on Sunday!”

Woking and Horsell 238 for 8 declared
Wallington 106 all out

 
Woking and Horsell had a very welcome return to form at just the right time to put them back in the promotion race on Saturday. They produced the kind of excellent team performance that brought back memories of their early season victories.
 
Once again skipper Toby Green lost the toss and after much deliberation from the Wallington captain as to whether the rest of his side would be able to make the start time, he eventually opened the innings with the clubs top run scorer Jason Barber (it is no coincidence that all of Woking’s best performances have come when being asked to bat first).

The pair got off to a customary flying start with plenty of boundaries all around the wicket. If Barber is at the crease you can usually guarantee that the scoring rate will be up around 5 an over and sure enough the 50 came up inside the 10th over.

The quick scoring rate assured an early entry into proceedings for Wallington’s dangerous spin attack Faisal Jamaluddin and Rehman Qadir (son of former Pakistani leg spin legend Abdul). However, Barber was in no mood to slow things down, smashing 3 sixes out of the ground to bring up his 50 and sending spectators running in all directions to find lost balls or spares. Despite plea’s from his skipper at the other end, who was concerned that we would run out of balls, Barber continued to try to launch deliveries out of the ground but eventually skied to mid on and