And so to the big match of the season. The banter had been building for weeks. All eyes were on the weather reports and the good news was it was set fine for the actual day.
In fact, earlier in the day I had seen dozens of plastic dolls lining up behind one another - and so it was definitely Barbie queue weather!
There was no toss – the older team insisting on fielding as was our right. Each player would bowl 2 overs and batsmen would “retire” on 25.
Johnny and Joe S opened and it was clear from the off that the “olds” were going to give a better account of themselves compared to last year.
Joe fell to Richard Checkley bringing Jake to the crease. The on field chat
increased as the two started to slowly build a score. Jake went for 11 and two
quick wickets followed. One of these was when Greg fell to a phenomenal catch at first slip by Jerry Butler, taken high under his throat with both feet off the
ground. As Captain Grimmers pointed out – one Jerry will be telling his
grandchildren about in years to come. Not sure how talk of grandchildren went
Johnny had amassed his 25 and in came Zac to join Matty. Runs started to build as they tried to increase the pace. Matty fell for 17 to another catch by “Bucket Hands” Butler.
Zac retired on 25 – having had, at one point, 5 fielders on the leg side boundary in anticipation. He had just batted with his brother Joe who had hit 6 before been stumped by his old man on the last ball of the innings. Sorry son.
I am not sure, newly named, James “Magnet” Stevenson totally enjoyed being chased round the park by the ball.
The youngsters reached a total of 115-8 off their 20.
Richard Checkley 1-14
Andrew Smith 0-9
Richie Bowles 1-5
Ted Behl 1-4
Derek Sprawson 1-13
Nadeem Jan 0-12
Jerry Butler 0-13
Richard Stevenson 0-13
Sam Grimley 1-12
Stuart Grimley 1-12
Wicket keeper Andy Ashworth
I was tired from just getting changed for the match let alone keeping for only the second time ever, so I was “delighted” to be asked to open the batting. Get it over with, I thought, and that cold lager would be tasted sooner rather than later. I did manage to get bat on ball and I was so surprised I spent a minute watching it head to the boundary. However it never made it and so with my
speed between the wickets I managed to turn a 3 into a single.
The good news for the team was that I was out soon after so that others could build our reply. The over 15s had decided to retire on 10 to give everyone a knock.
The bowling was sound and wickets did start falling. One highlight being a fast, low, direct hit by Zac from two thirds out which took care of Nadeem’s wicket.
Andrew Smith was also caught off the bowling of his son Ben. These are the stats that make these games such fun.
Our retired batsmen came back in with Richard Stevenson getting 20 and Richard Checkley 13.
It came down to this. Stuart and Sam Grimley in together at the end. One ball to go with two runs to win. They ran with the ball through to keeper Matty Bowles. He ran Stuart out. Wide was called. Match tied. What a game. Was it a wide? Yes. It was signalled wide. It’s in the book as a wide and now in the report as a wide. Match TIED!
Stuart made 13 while Sam was 25 not out.
Well done all!
Zac Ashworth 1-3
Greg Behl 1-13
Ben Smith 1-13
Alex Jan 0-11
James Stevenson 0-12
Eliot Checkley 1-6
Joe Stutchbury 1-9
Johnny Butler 0-17
Joe Ashworth 0-11
Jake Saleh 1-13
Wicket keeper Matty Bowles
A great game played in perfect conditions with lots of laughter from players and spectators alike.
Plenty of chat in the pavilion afterwards, including an apology from Zac to Andrew Smith for a very smart looking bruise near his knee.
Thanks to all the players.
Thanks to Jane Butler for the BBQ.
Thanks to Mark B and James J for umpiring.
And thanks to all the spectators for their support.
I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.
Driving the other day, I saw a sign saying “Average Speed Cameras”. I decided to take the risk. If they were “Really Excellent Speed Cameras” I would have slowed down.
We were hosting Mansfield & Pleasley (M&P) so once again were battling two teams at once. These were the team that beat us heavily in the cup two weeks
The lead up to the match was entertaining. At the start of the day we had just 7 players. Zac became ill so down to 6. Mr Grimley spent most of his day (on holiday as well) trying to raise a team. At 4 o’clock it was still looking ominous but massive thanks to Stuart for his persistence and to Stone, Max, Harriet and Ben for stepping in at such late notice.
M&P won the toss and elected to bat. At this stage we had just 8 players on the field but it mattered not! Ruth and Joe S opened with a tremendous spell each. Ben and Harriet soon joined the party and we managed to keep them to 14 for 2 after 8 overs. Only two of their players contributed (Skinner retired on 35 and Machin hit 23) but we restricted them to 87 for 7 after 20 overs. This was 50 runs better than the cup game.
Our bowling was tight and fielding fearless. Ben, Joe A and Harriet all throwing their bodies on the line for the cause.
Eliot finished the innings off excellently by taking 3 wickets in one over.
This was a very good performance, especially under the difficult circumstances in which we had put the team together.
Ruth 4 overs 3 maidens 4 runs 0 wickets (“Bowled like a demon”)
The target was gettable. They opened as tidily as we had done and we were 20-2 after 8. Each of the team got a few but did not quite get going. We were in with a chance throughout and just needed someone to hit one big over. Eliot (15) looked like he would but holed out going for another boundary. Joe A hit one four but was caught hitting for another next ball, as did Max. Stone (10 not out) also looked like giving us hope. We eventually fell just short at the end reaching 78 for 7.
We had missed Zac’s hitting but not the runs that kept him out of the team this evening.
Thanks to Stuart for umpiring.
Friday 29th sees the BIG MATCH. Under 15s against NOT under 15s. Bring it on!
I was, once again, searching for my car key the other morning when it dawned on me - anything that sounds like camouflage is bound to be difficult to find.
Farnsfield are always a good side and this match would prove no different.
Johnny won the toss and elected to field. With the words of Coach Grimmers ringing in their ears the team took to the field with extra determination. Right from the off, the improvement on last week's performance was very evident. Ruth quickly showed how to attack the ball in the field, something we can all learn from. She later showed how to attack the wicket keeper in the field but more of that later.
We opened with Ruth and Zac who both showed good control, beating the outside edge on several occasions but without any luck. Both their openers retired having batted well. Greg took two quick wickets, bowling nicely. Ollie held his own taking the other wicket and Eliott had a good couple of overs at the end. Emily was, as usual, very self critical when fielding at third man down near us in the pavilion.
I felt their total of 107-3 was a bit harsh on what was a pretty good bowling and fielding performance.
One stand out moment was a tremendous low catch in the deep from
Johnny. Nice one!
I was also pleased to see Matty’s glove work back to good
During the last few overs a there was a skier which both Ruth and Matty felt was theirs for the catching. Unfortunately neither called (until it was too late) and a nasty looking collision left Ruth a bit dazed but thankfully not injured. Calling clearly something we need to work on as it wasn't the only example this evening.
Our batting started and continued just off the pace due to some good bowling as well as us missing a few tricks. Shot selection and run selection is something I think we can work on for next year. We finished on 77 for 8 off the 20, so congratulations to Farnsfield for a good all round performance to earn the victory.
Southwell can reflect on a much improved performance which is, in turn,
reflected in the “Grim Factor” scores
Fielding better 7/10, bowling much better 8/10 , batting could
do better 6/10!!
Jilly suggested the other day that we should get our dog, Lexi, spayed. I quickly agreed and suggested as a treat and, given the impending holiday, we could get her a little plastic bucket too.
Thanks to Stuart for umpiring and Derek for scoring
We came, we saw, but unfortunately it was not the conquer season!
We had got to this stage via a bye and then a walkover when Calverton could not raise a team. So to say we did well to get here is an exaggeration but, in fact, to get here we did do well as finding "The Quarry" is no mean task.
Once again we were playing two sides at the same time in Mansfield and Pleasley. We had a good mix of experience and youth so I was looking forward to how we would fare.
Just for a while that is. We won the toss (Johnny rather than Emily) and elected to field. I use the word "field" generously as we were, quite frankly, appalling.
Catching, ground work, backing up and throwing were all well below normal standards and I know the team are disappointed with this.
To be fair to M&P they played well, earning some luck with aerial shots just clearing fielders or landing just short. Our bowling was too inconsistent in both length and width.
We let them score 40 or 50 too many runs as they amassed a challenging total of 149-3 off their 20 overs.
To keep Matty as a bowling option we tried Joe Ashworth behind the stumps and he showed some good signs although plenty to learn if he wants to
carry on trying this. The opposition acknowledged the fact that to keep on that
track is no easy task.
Selected bowling figures
Zac 4 overs 1 for 22
Matty 2 overs 0 for 10
Ruth 4 overs 1 for 25
Johnny 2 overs 1 for 13
Our batting seemed to be affected by the daunting target and we were soon losing quick wickets. Their opener took an impressive 4 for 6 off his four overs and we never looked to be in with a chance as we slumped to 72 all out from just 17 overs.
Joe Stutchbury played a lovely knock of 23. Alex Jan showed he can cope at this level with some stylish strokes getting 5 before being run out. Greg Behl (12) and Johnny Butler (11) were the other contributors.
All in all, it was a very disappointing performance. We can now concentrate on the league, as they say. In two weeks we have M&P at Top Ground so some amends can be made there I hope. In the mean time Farnsfield away on Monday 18th -always an interesting contest.
Driving home the other night I pulled over when I saw another sign for eggs. I asked the proprietor "Two dozen Range eggs please". "£6.50 please" he said. "Your sign says they're free! So no thanks" and I left, eggless! Or maybe some on my face?
Thanks to Stuart for umpiring
Driving to work the other day I saw a sign outside a pub saying 1/3 off food. Just watch out because if you go with a couple of mates one of you is likely to get salmonella or something.
We were playing Notts and Arnold. I was worried as I thought, not only playing Notts but this Arnold must be something special to be called out specifically. Luckily on arrival I discovered Arnold was not in their team that evening.
Sadly for us, Minster Geography department field trip couldn’t find their way back home so we were two players down. This was going to be
Captain Emily kept up her run of losing the toss and we were asked to bat.
After the previous week’s success Zac and Greg opened and once again did us proud. Both retired on 36 and set a solid foundation for others to build a good score.
Jake (27) and Joe S (13) were other notable contributors to a challenging 128 for 4 off our 20 overs.
Granted, it was a small boundary on one side but the team struck some very sweet shots.
Was the nine player factor going to be crucial? Well yes it was to be honest. Their opener (Finney) reached 36 to retire in just the third over, hitting 7 fours in a dominant innings. Although there were some decent run restricting overs, the match was theirs to lose rather than ours to win.
Our fielding, particularly backing up was good but they reached their target fairly comfortably in the end with 10 balls to spare.
One fine moment for me was when Emily shouted to ask new player Callum, to walk in when fielding. He did so immediately, and kept on walking from third man almost to slip, Forest Gump style. Walk Callum walk! Amidst the laughter Emily explained the walking should be done only when the bowler starts their run up.
Wickets for Ruth (2-17) Jake (1-21) and Joe (1-13) and a good spell from Matty
(0-15 off 4 overs) were the bowling highlights.
James also showed some good work as keeper.
Another loss, but one in which we contributed some good moments in a well fought match played in good spirit. Two players short was just too much to overcome.
Special thanks to Emily for staying on to the end when she should have been attending dance class.
Thanks to Richie for umpiring and to Ted and Derek for doing the scoring.
On my way home from work I noticed another sign saying “Duck Eggs”. Luckily I didn’t see any so evasive action not required this
A few weeks ago a friend called and asked "When are you coming over?" I replied "About four o'clock, over!".
We weren't on walkie talkies but it just felt like the right thing to say.
We were hosting Kirkby Portland on a lovely evening at Top Ground. On evenings like that it really lives up to it's name - Top Ground was looking a picture.
Captain Emily lost the toss and we were asked to bat first. Coach Grimmers gathered the team round and asked "What is our run target this evening?" to which there were various sensible suggestions. He posed the following challenge - "get to 10 overs with only a couple of wickets down then you can get 8 runs an over." More later.
The opposition kept on shouting “Come on KP!” so I anxiously looked around to see if Mr Pietersen was making a guest appearance. Silly me!
Zac and Greg were asked to open, with Zac making a brisk 15. Greg built a good foundation, before finally getting run out for 29. In the mean time, other good contributions were seen from Eliot, 26 not out, and Rob 23. We finished on 121 for 7 from our 20 overs. A really good effort.
Back to Stuart's team talk. After 10 overs we were about 40 for 2. His target of 8 an over from there did indeed take us to 121. I have asked him to predict this Friday's Euro Millions lottery numbers for me.
We had a good bowling line up and started with Josh and Emily. Both bowled with good control in the main and restricted the runs well. Ruth and Eliot came on and continued the good work which was finished off by Zac and Greg. KP had two good contributions from Driscoll (30) and Jennings (36 retired) but never looked likely to get that close to the target as they finished on 103-7.
Emily 3 overs 2 for 10
Josh 4 overs 0 for 14
Ruth 4 overs 1 for 21
Eliot 4 overs 0 for 23
Zac 3 overs 3 for 19
Greg 2 overs 0 for 13
This was a good win, albeit against another young side. We did a number of things very well but still showed we have some areas where we can improve. Stuart marked the team in certain areas.
· Batting:- Good run rate acceleration but running between the wickets - making 2s into 3s etc needs more consistency. (Grim factor score - 8 out of 10)
· Fielding:- Good attacking of the ball and backing up but we dropped at least 4 catches which was out of character. Need to check positioning and work better with left and right hand combinations. Throwing was pretty good but we need to work on getting the ball away quicker (Grim factor score - 6 out of 10)
· Bowling:- Very few bad balls giving limited scoring opportunities but 20 wides meant we bowled 3 extra overs at them which under different circumstances may have made the difference. Bowlers need to check their fields too (Grim factor score- 6 out of 10)
No Ollie + No Burgers = Definitely no John this week.
Emily was dancing in the streets of Southwell, well nearly, as she left a little early for dance classes. I am sure she was pleased with her team.
Joe Ashworth (Thanks for stepping in at 16:45)
Thanks also to Stuart for umpiring.
Well what can I say?
Well I can
"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Did Peter Piper pick a peck of pickled peppers?
If Peter Piper Picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
but it's not really relevant to this report so I won't
First of all, a big thank you to James for massive hard work in getting us in a position to play. There had been a 10 minute downpour earlier which put the game at serious risk but James cut another wicket and worked hard to give the game a chance. Even so it looked gloomy at the start and we agreed to reduce the game to 16 overs.
We were playing Profit and Loss today? Nope! Papplewick and Linby is their name.
Debut captain Zac lost the toss, but they elected to bat which is what we wanted so no problem there.
The gloomy weather and uncertainty over whether we would play definitely seemed to have an effect on the team. Fielding was not as sharp as usual, giving away unnecessary singles and looking generally untidy in, for example, returning the ball to the bowler. Things did pick up as their innings went along but we need to be sharp from the start for the rest of the season.
Zac opened along with Ruth with playing conditions that made bowling more tricky than normal. Delivery strides were impacted by wet landing areas and the ball was getting stuck in the pitch sitting up nicely for those batsmen who read it well. Others contributed well but I sensed that none felt comfortable with the condition of either the pitch or the ball.
We needed wickets but their openers kept the scoreboard moving. It didn’t feel like they were running away but they reached 98 for 1 off 16 which was a real target.
Bowling:- Zac 3 overs for 12, Ruth 3 overs for 20, Emily 3 overs for 18, Josh 3 overs for 24, Eliot 2 overs 1 for 12 (Nice catch from Richard) and Greg 2 overs for 10.
It was a good target, but with the conditions you couldn’t tell.
Jake and Joe opened. Unfortunately Jake went early but Eliot joined Joe and a good partnership followed. Joe (15) and Eliot (30) kept us in some sort of touch but as wickets fell the run rate required increased and we ended on 70 for 6 off the 16 overs.
The 30 run gap between the sides did not feel like it reflected their respective quality but P&L did everything that bit better than we did so victory was well deserved.
Special mention must be made of Robbie’s excellent debut as keeper. I hope he enjoyed it. I’d also like to call out Ollie’s fielding which was faultless.
I’m not sure what Peter Piper would have made of it but, to be honest, pickled peppers sound naff so I don’t care!
I am also monitoring the John Stanley attendance to burgers availability ratio.
Thanks to Stuart for umpiring, Ted and Richard for scoring and James, once again for giving us the chance to play.
9 Players, Mansfield Woodhouse on a dreary Tuesday night, 4th choice umpire (me) and no scorer. A dream prospect surely? Well Scilly Isles is still our holiday destination – sorry Mansfield Woodhouse Tourist Board (if there is one).
We won the toss and chose to bat. It was a strange innings. Jake and Johnny opened and looked comfortable for an over, then a shot to mid on from Jake – two called and two ran, but not quite as Johnny was run out from a good direct throw. Look, listen and don’t run maybe?
Zac joined Jake and they built a useful partnership before Zac played “the worst shot in my life” to be out for 16. Good description son! Nice moment with three consecutive boundaries though.
From then it was down to Jake. Having made his first 50 at adult level at the weekend, it was clear he was in form. Obviously over the “in Cider trading scandal” from last year. (Sorry Jake and sorry Carin J)
Jake retired on the obligatory 35 but the rest kept going, using the overs, to allow him back in to reach an unbeaten 53. Possibly the best innings I have seen at this level.
We ended on a creditable 116 for 7 and even though we were two fielders down it felt a good score.
Last year their opener, Connor Hall, had batted well for them and he was once again their stand out player. He played well for his 21 but lacked support as our bowlers were able to offer more control than theirs. It’s fair to say they had a very young side and our team spirit and experience from last year was very evident.
Both teams showed elements of poor sportsmanship that we need to look at but we should not let that spoil the fact that restricting them to 68 for 8 gave us a very convincing victory.
Bowling summary - all of whom made a contribution
Zac 4 overs 0 for 10, Josh 4 overs 2 for 21, Greg 4 overs 1 for 16, Joe 4 overs 1 for 14, Jake 2 overs 1 for 0 and Rive 2 overs 1 for 0.
plus two to never be confirmed
We don’t like cricket, We love it!. To paraphrase the (musically) most successful Cricket Club ever – 10. Maybe one for us older folk?
But would cricket love us back?
Clumber Park is easy to find, let’s face it – it’s a big place - the cricket club less so easy. I had picked up Captain Butler from High School where he had been doing CCF. I interpreted that to mean Cricket Comes First and we set off in plenty of time only to be delayed by traffic and poor navigation by myself. We got there just in time to find Emily had won the toss and we were batting.
The setting was fantastic, although toilet facilities were not up to much (see later). The weather, always getting a mention in these reports, was grey and threatening. As a result the match was agreed to be 18 overs a side.
We set off at a reasonable rate with several making a contribution. Bowlers were struggling with their line so 21 extras did help us reach a decent total of 87 for 5. No one could really develop from good starts and I guess it did feel a little light given the conditions. Nevertheless we had a total to defend.
Johnny 17, Jake 10, Eliot 14, Zac 9 and Josh 13 not out all contributed.
We came out firing, but the pace generated backfired somewhat with Clumber Park getting 25 off the first two overs. Johnny made a quick change to bring Emily on to take the pace off. Toilets? The “uncomfortable” comfort break she was forced to have seemed to have made her even more determined than ever. She and Greg bowled very well and did give some hope but they were always ahead of the game and reached the target with 3 wickets down and more than 2 overs to spare.
Emily 4-2-14-1, Greg 4-0-20-1 and Johnny 3-0-11-1 the wicket takers.
Each of the team will have learned from this, as concentration and some decision making could have been better. Concentrate on the league I say! Although we do have another cup match on 2nd June.
As good citizens we followed Grimmers to make sure the gate was locked on the South side of the park. It was, so we drove all the way round the park to the exit and made our way home.
Cricket? Yes we love it still and I do think it loves us back!
Thanks to Stuart for Umpiring and Ted for scoring
Mansfield Hosiery Mills (MHM) is a difficult place to go. Particularly if you get lost on the way. How to impress 4 of your team (travelling with me) in one easy lesson. We got there, though, just in time and, as usual the setting was fantastic.
MHM had beaten us three times last season and so I was hoping we could get some revenge. Unfortunately some ill conceived football and rugby commitments meant I could only raise 10 players. We had a pretty strong team never the less.
Johnny lost the toss and we were asked to field.
Zac and Ruth opened the bowling. Zac went for a few runs, good batting and streaky edges meant he was quite expensive. Ruth bowled beautifully again taking two crucial wickets for next to nothing. Our fielding was equally impressive, chasing down big shots to turn threes in to twos, backing up and overall looking a really slick outfit.
Joe A and Emily then took over. Joe neat in places went for a few against a good left hander whilst Emily kept up the ladies' excellent contribution with two wickets herself.
Greg and Josh finished the bowling very tidily so that we kept them to a total of 90 for 5.
Bowling highlights :
Ruth 4 overs 2 for 8, Emily 4 overs 2 for 18 and Greg 3 overs 1 for 7.
It was a good target but I felt it was “gettable”.
Our innings was full of highs and lows. Johnny fell to a ball that seemed to stick in the surface forcing him to scoop a catch and there were three or four others who fell in the same way. Zac was unlucky again with one that kept low – your time will come!. Jake played nicely as did Matty, both hitting timely boundaries to keep the scoreboard in our favour. Ollie Stanley played a nice innings at number 5. I hope you enjoyed it!
Emily had the dismissal of the century. Appealing for a stumping it was given not out so the appeal somehow turned to being bowled which was given. “Bumped” maybe? Emily was not happy, “so cross she threw her helmet to the floor”.
We were losing wickets too quickly and it looked like a lost cause when Greg joined Josh as our last pair with plenty to do. We did have the overs in hand if we could use them.
The opposition were, I am sure, trying to use BBQ smoke/smell tactics to put us off. Very nice they were, John Stanley had to have two burgers just to confirm that they were that good. Sadly Jane has confirmed that BBQs at Top Ground are ONLY on Fridays.
I was texting updates to Grimmers who was in Germany on business. “Herr Grimley” - not two words he would have heard in the same sentence too often in recent years I imagine?
In the mean time, Josh and Greg built a partnership of immense maturity. Given their reputation for speed (or lack of it) between the wickets the supporters were, at times, taking a big intake of breath!. However they carefully built on the score to eventually allow Josh to hit the winning 4 with an over to spare.
Jake 16, Matty 18, Josh 14 Not Out, Greg 11 Not Out - HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!
Nerve racking for the travelling support, it was a really fantastic result and, more importantly, a wonderful team performance.
Their coach was magnanimous in defeat, acknowledging that we were the better team in every department on the night.
Stuart texted back after the result, “Great result well done V. Proud” ! As was I!
Thanks to Jerry for umpiring and Ted for Scoring. Much appreciated.