Match Reports 2012 

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Season to date   Played   Won Lost Drawn Abandoned Cancelled
  17   8 6 3   5

Match reports by Robin Richards, John Capper & Tom Jeffreys

Pictures - Chris Sargeant


Date Fixture   Date Fixture  
May 6th Chartridge - cancelled - rain A      
May 13th The Lee - Drawn A May 20th Gt Missenden Pelicans - Lost H
May 27th Chesham - Drawn H June 3rd The Lee - cancelled - Rain A
June 10th Misfits - Won A June 17th Red Square Lions - Won H
June 23rd (Sat) Presidents XI - won H June 24th The Plough (20/20) - cancelled - Rain H
July 1st Southwell Ramblers - Lost H July 8th Ballinger Waggoners - cancelled - Rain A
July 15th Ivinghoe & Pitstone - won A July 20th (Fri) Petts Wood - cancelled - waterlogged H
July 22nd Full Tossers - Lost H July 29th Cublington - Won H
Aug 5th Bourne End - Lost H Aug 12th Longwick - Won H
Aug 19th Gamecox - won H Aug 26th Bank of England Touring - win H
September 2nd Roxbourne - Drawn H September 9th Abbotts Langley - Lost A
September 16th Ivinghoe & Pitstone - Lost H      


September 16th - Ivinghoe & Pitstone - Home

A disappointing season in terms of personal achievement came to a close in fitting fashion on Sunday: after my fielding was horribly exposed and my bowling sadly overlooked, I was then invited to open the batting. Two balls later I was back in the pavilion having bottom edged a yorker onto my off stump. Screw you, cricket!

My personal travails rather mirrored those of the Heath, as we were winkled out for 105 to cap a season that never quite got going. With no less than five matches cancelled due to the weather, our stats at the end of the season – played 17, won 8, lost 6, drawn 3 – were hardly much to write home about, and certainly a far cry from the glory days of 2008-2011 when the mighty Heath carried all before them.

A distinct end-of-term feel pervaded our performance throughout. After getting off to a late start, we put in one of our worst fielding efforts of the year. My ground fielding was woeful, and we put down a good 5 or 6 catches (Shrimpy two, of which one was very tough, Liam a very sharp one, Ali and Sohail one each). There were misfields, the odd mini-strop, and overthrows galore – 8 runs gifted in two balls by myself and Jez, Chasey the unfortunate bowler.

As it was, we were saved from having to chase anything too large thanks to Ivinghoe and Pitstone’s traditional middle order recklessness and some excellent, crafty off-spin from Richard Austin, who varied his flight well, bowled very few bad balls, and relied mostly on drift and undercut away from the batsman rather than big spin off the surface to record career-best figures of 7-44. Not a single one of those was a ‘gimme’ – the classic spinner’s wicked caught on the boundary – all were genuine dismissals where the batsman was out-thought.

The other highlight was a magical slower ball from Ali to dismiss I&P's hard-hitting opener. After being driven down the ground for a spate of booming boundaries, Ali unfurled a perfectly disguised off-break, which completely deceived the batsman, sneaked under his bat, and bowled him in highly satisying fashion. Shades of Steven Harmison c2005: "Ali Richards! With a slower ball! One of the great balls! Given the moment, given the batsman..." Oh shut up, Mark.

Unfortunately our batting couldn’t quite match Ritchie’s (or Ali's) craft. Nobody ever really got in and it was a pretty sorry innings from start to finish. There were two memorable bright spots on an otherwise grey day, however: firstly, Liam sealed his victory in the Duck Cup in resounding style, crowning the season with a goldie to underline his prowess in this area.

And secondly: the umpiring of a certain Paul Haddock, who, in a perhaps unrelated move, recently added your increasingly humble correspondent to his “professional network” via LinkedIn. (In parentheses: we’re aware of the strangely timed line break above, but, trust us, this little anecdote deserves a paragraph of its own). It’s difficult to explain exactly what went through his once-great legal mind (perhaps it was the rare sight of Charlie’s arrival at the crease?) but suffice it to say that never before has the Heath born witness to an over consisting of no less than ten legitimate deliveries. Umpiring serenely from the Plough End, Paul ignored repeated entreaties from his square-leg colleague (ahem, me) as well as increasingly urgent calls from the scorers. Ball after ball was ushered through, as the over mounted to near-mythical proportions. Eventually, to the bafflement of fielders and onlookers alike, Paul had enough and called it a day. Wisden is being notified as we speak.

Fare thee well, cricket. Till another year.

Ivinghoe and Pitsone 188 all out (Richard Austin 7-44)
HHCC 102 all out
HHCC lost by 86 runs.

Tom Jeffreys



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September 9th - Abbotts Langley - Away

Some of you may be familiar with the ‘Twelfth Man’ recordings by Billy Birmingham which satirise Channel 9’s sports coverage in general and cricket in particular.  If you haven’t listened to the ‘tapes’ then you really should.  One of the best is ‘The Final Dig’ in which there is spoof coverage of a one-day international between Aus and NZ, set against the backdrop of Richie Benaud planning to retire as Commentary Team Captain and the other (flawed) commentators jostling to replace him.  In this match Australia score something over 400 in their 50 overs and the Kiwi’s very nearly chase the total down (at one point Richie starts singing ‘that’s Parore’).  Well the Heath’s trip to Abbots Langley last Sunday wasn’t quite that dramatic, but we did see nearly 500 runs scored off 72 overs!

We’ve had to endure some pretty dreadful weather this ‘summer’, so it made a pleasant change to have some proper cricketing weather at last and to be playing away from home on a high-quality ground boasting such luxuries as sight-screens (wow), a scorebox (gosh) and a bar (wahay)!   If this all felt a bit like being on tour, Charlie reminded us that Abbots Langley (only one ‘t’ btw) would be a tough challenge, especially as we were fielding a much altered line-up (there were something like 12 players not available) and would be playing a dreaded ‘overs game’. 

Reduced as we were it says something for The Mighty Heath’s talent pool that we still looked a pretty strong team on paper.  The good news was we had a variety of bowlers and a whole posse of attacking batsmen.  (I say ‘posse’ but I don’t actually know what the collective noun is for middle order batsmen – I plumped for posse as I quite like the cowboy connotations).   Less good were the issues of balance in our team in that we had no recognised wicket keeper and no recognised opening partner for Shrimpy.  Accordingly (and in view of the scorchingly hot weather) Charlie’s plan was to break with long standing HHCC tradition and bat first if we won the toss!  A fine plan it was too, the sun was out, the large outfield was lightning fast and the pitch looked likely to be a belter – bowler’s purgatory, in other words.  Charlie’s plan was soon in tatters as the oppo won the toss and decided to bat, so he asked Jez to roll back the years and don the ‘keeper’s gloves as we all trooped out to field in the baking heat. 

Initially all went very well as ALCC struggled slowly to a mere 23 off the first 10 overs.   At one end Fiddy located a perfect length and went for a mere 11 off 5 overs, whilst at the other Luke was working up some serious ‘wheels’ and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket as flashing edges found the gaps in the field.  The initial slow run-rate was illusory however, as the change bowlers came on it became clear that their skipper was adopting the 1970’s/80’s ODI tactic of building slowly initially with an eye for fireworks later (we were to adopt a more modern approach in our innings but more on that anon).  What’s more, as the change bowlers (Sohail and yours truly) came on, the irritating  tendency for the ball to unerringly land in space continued and as the scoring rate began to increase.  We were reminded that we were playing on a serious large ground. 

After spilling a number of difficult chances we had a brief period of success where we took 2 quick wickets, the second of which was a fine direct-hit run out by Jez who had passed the gloves to Shrimpy and was bowling by now.  This simply meant that their skipper (approaching 50 and beginning to look dangerous) was joined by their Aussie ‘Pro’ who began to dismantle our attack.  Our fielders looked like mere dots in a sea of green.  Ball after ball flew to the boundary like tracer-bullets avoiding the fielders entirely or ricocheting painfully of shins, elbows, chins and other miscellaneous body parts.  It looked likely that we would be faced with a total well past 300.  Our bowlers tried to find areas where the Aussie was less destructive but there weren’t any.  Jez becalmed him for a short while via the innovative tactic of bowling numerous wides but even that was just delaying the punishment.  Fortunately for us, both batsmen sportingly retired at 100 leaving the incoming middle-order with little time to get themselves in and thereby providing us with a little respite.  The run-rate thus abated somewhat and Abbots Langley finished on a mere 274 for 5.  I won’t mention our bowler’s figures as it would be unsporting to do so.

As the rest of us piled into the marvellous tea-time spread provided by our hosts (‘trying to match the Legendary Hyde Heath teas’ in the words of their skipper), Charlie was faced with his second conundrum of the day; who to open with Shrimpy? Again, Jez got the nod, which prompted the suggestion that perhaps Liam should go out to umpire just to keep the Duck Award for 2012 interesting!  Such speculation was soon ended as Jez got-off the mark confidently with a lovely cut that almost went for four; he was looking good in the demanding role of keeper/bowler/fielder/batsman, until that is he got out next ball to a ball that swung in sharply!

At the other end Shrimpy was timing the ball beautifully and looking in great nick, but when he was run-out and Nick (our overseas pro) followed shortly after, we found ourselves in the parlous position of 17 for 3.  If the oppo were tempted to entertain thoughts of an easy win, Luke and Spence suggested that they may have to think again as they re-built the innings with gusto.  Luke looked in imperious form unfurling one glorious cover drive after another and was well supported by Fiddy who was timing the ball sweetly.  At 90 for 3 after 12 overs we were back in the hunt until Luke found himself on the wrong end of a very harsh leg-before decision just two short of 50.  This was a blow, but Sohail and Fidds maintained the tempo of our innings moving the score to 143 for 4 after 19 overs.  We were ahead of the asking rate and it was game-on!  In fact we had been up with the run-rate from the word go, treating the start of our innings as if it were a power-play with 13 in the first over and adopting (like I mentioned earlier) the modern approach to a limited-overs innings of hitting from the outset.

One highlight of their fifty partnership was a colossal six from Sohail that sailed over the sightscreen into the car park.  This brought back memories of his mighty smite against Petts Wood a few years back.  I’ve consulted Google Earth and can confidently measure this hit at a whopping 90m; only 4m shy of the distance he achieved at Petts Wood in 2009:


An attempt at repeating this feat over mid-wicket wasn’t quite so well timed however and the catch was duly snaffled just shy of the boundary.  This brought yours truly to the crease to support Spencer as he approached a maiden (and well-deserved) 50 for the Heath.  Unfortunately Fiddy was removed by an absolute peach of a delivery from their promising off-spinner that dipped and spun and removed his off-bail leaving him, like Luke before, just 2 short of 50.   It seemed the writing was on the wall now as our ‘posse’ was nearly gone. 

A stand between Jake and I got us to 193 for 6 with 12 overs left and perhaps instilled some last hope for us and some doubt in the minds of the opposition until we pressed for one quick ran 2 too many (I was trying to farm the strike) and Jake was run-out. There was a moment of merriment as Angus our other non-english player (a debateable point as it turns out) walked out to bat with left-handed gloves belonging to the oppo’s Aussie.  Perhaps he was hoping that some of the magic would rub-off; it didn’t he was bowled by their spinner in similar fashion to Spence and Liam before him.   With their seamers about to return there was hope that Charlie could hang around, but it wasn’t to be as he also was bowled leaving your correspondent unbeaten on 59 and our innings perforce closed at 219 all out off 32 overs.

Okay so we lost.  But it was a manly effort and had we not lost those early wickets we could very easily have won.  In any case the result didn’t matter that much as it was a thoroughly entertaining game of cricket.

Richard Austin

Tom Jeffreys writes:

A global first for Cricket Tragics - yes, it's Google Earth Analysis! Plus, a 1,500-word dossier report from the ever-thorough Richard Austin. Rather putting the Tragics editorial team to shame here - perhaps it'll inspire them to raise their game a notch for the last match of the season? Or perhaps not...

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September 2nd - Roxbourne - Home

Tom Jeffreys writes :

A brand new opposition – replacing Old Salops at the last minute – brought out an impressive display from a Hyde Heath side missing a few key players. We lost the toss and – shock! horror! – were put into bat on a grey and muggy day offering plenty of swing. Dom and Henry did an excellent job of negotiating the early movement, before Dom was given out LBW by Matty.

Out strode at number 3 a man wielding the very bat apparently once used by a certain Chris Gale (it's a long story). But alas, it was not the former West Indian captain taking a break from Twenty20 duties to try out something more meaningful, but none other than yours truly, not exactly the kind of big-hitting run machine that has opposition bowling attacks quaking in their boots. But with a bit of luck – I played and missed quite a bit and had a vague-looking drive put down at gulley – I managed to scratch away and keep Henry company to set a platform for the lower order to attack/collapse. We were helped by their bowling, which, whilst accurate and frustrating, needed to be a smidge fuller and quite a bit straighter in order to take full advantage of the overhead conditions.

After I departed – stumped having an aimless waft – Capper continued on to a really excellent unbeaten century, the backbone of an ultimately very creditable total of 211. As ever he was particularly strong between mid-on and mid-wicket but there were some back-foot drives through the offside too and a sumptuous clip off his toes that sped to the boundary with little more than a flick.

From there, a combination of Ali – predictably excelling in the conditions – and Spencer – less predictably sticking to a much better length than usual – kept the opposition top order frustrated and pegged back with regular enough wickets. Perhaps they bowled too long though, and by the time the spinners came on, the draw was the only real likelihood. Although the cause wasn't really helped by the fact that Atif and I bowled utter dross once the rain started to fall. Charlie (Capper's cousin) was more incisive and we fielded well too to have them 9 down by the close, but with the ball soggy, fat and hard to grip, we never quite looked like bowling them out.

Special mention ought to be made this week of the teas – an array of splendid cakes from my dearest Mother, and sandwiches by, um, me. Pat yourself on the back. Why, thank you.

HHCC 211-4 (Henry Capper 121 not out)
Roxbourne 130-8
Match drawn.


Tom Jeffreys

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Aug 26th - Bank of England Touring - Home

Bank of England 192 all out
Richards 4-17
Austin 3-55
HHCC 196-3
Shrimpton 89
Chase 60
Hyde Heath won by 7 wickets.


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Aug 19th - Gamecox - Home

In glorious summer weather, the Heath got off to a rather inglorious start to proceedings against Gamecox. With a number of regulars missing (including your usual reporter) and two overnight cry-offs, we took to the field with ten men. The first three deliveries then went for one bye (it was a bloody wide!) and back to back wides. Oh dear. However, Jeremy then seemed to sober up and he and Spencer shared a really tight opening spell (only 30 odd runs conceded from the first 15 overs). Spencer ‘Fiddy’ North, bowled in particularly good areas, was unfortunate not to take a wicket but came away with very impressive figures of 6-2-9-0, just 1.5 runs per over. During this period we witnessed the power the eponymous skipper Mr Cox has over his men. When a delivery struck him on the pad and no shot was offered, he came scampering down the wicket for a single. His umpire signalled dead ball and remarked that no shot had been offered. However, when Mr Cox informed his umpire that he was mistaken and a shot had indeed been offered, the decision was overturned and an apology offered. Your reporter will remember tactic this next time his is given out LBW… 

Then came surely one of the most bizarre off-field incidents ever witnessed at the Heath. A pretty young woman was sunbathing in a bikini, just over the boundary edge at deep mid off (a sight that had not gone unnoticed by some of the red blooded HHCC fielders it has to be said). A deeply unpleasant ‘non-local’ woman and her family wandered past and words were exchange to the effect of ‘would you mind awfully covering up and not exposing your lady parts for old men to see’, but the language was rather more blue and not suitable for this report. The sunbather took exception to this request and jumped to her feet to defend her rights (here here!). There followed a proper, actual, hair-pulling, scratching and punches thrown catfight! Play all but stopped in cricket, as we gawped at the contenders for Olympic women’s boxing in 2016 go at it. Incredible. 

And so back to the match. Gamecox needed to get on with things if they were to set a decent total in their allotted time. Knowing this, Charlie decided it was time to take the pace off the ball. On came Richard Austin, who bowling straight, on a good length, with some drift and some turn, ripped through their middle order, taking 6 wickets in 10 overs and conceding just 14 runs. He was ably supported by Nico, who also ‘turned to spin’ (…thank you) and took two wickets himself, leaving Gamecox dreadfully short on 88 all out. 

Tea was excellent as per, thank you tea team, with the old favourites, chicken tikka sarnis going down very well.  

In reply, Haddock and Shrimpton got off to a brisk start, Shrimpton hitting the ball as crisply, as correctly and with as much power as ever and Haddock giving it a bit a biff when it was pitched up and straight. However Haddock went for one biff too many (as per) and Shrimpton was bowled soon after, leaving the majority of the work still to be done. This brought ‘the finishers’, Nico and Fiddy, together and they did what they do best… respect the good balls, knock the decent-ish balls around for 1 and send the bad balls into the trees on either side of the ground. Some controlled smiting meant both finished in the mid twenties and brought us home in the 19th over.  

Which meant a nice early start in the Plough to enjoy the leftovers from tea and Richard Austin’s jug.


Dom Haddock

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Aug 12th - Longwick - Home

No such dangers with the weather this weekend as the sun shone throughout making it possibly one of the best days for cricket that we have seen this summer. The visitors for the day, Longwick, won the toss and invited HHCC to bat first. Henry and Ali (in the absence of Dom who was pedalling his way around France) opened the batting and put on 84 in fairly quick time to set the home team on their way. Henry was in particularly devastating form with the bat hitting 6 successive balls from the unfortunate Potter for 4 all round the wicket. It was shaping up to be an impressve display of assertive batting. Runs were flowing relatively easily until Ali, suddenly overcome with confidence, hit one to backward point, called for a run and then found himself run out by a direct hit. 84 for 1 then became 121 for 7 and then 136 for 9 as the rest of the batting line up literally went to pieces. Henry eventually fell for an excellent 84 attempting to move the scoring rate along and farming the strike but it's fair to say that the home team had definitely lost its way. All was not lost as Spencer North at no.7 decided that the only way to salvation was to keep the strike and hit the ball as far as he could, which he did to the tune of 32 not out lifting the home to team to 160 all out 20 minutes before tea. Feeling was that the home team were about 40 runs short and that 160 was very gettable on a track which you could score freely on once you were in.

Tea..... goes without saying...... superb.

So the Heath needed early wickets, and early wickets they got through the opening attack of Ali (definitely earning his match fee) and Luke. Luke was in outstanding form with the ball causing all of the batsmen problems and with Ali keeping it relatively tight from the other end wickets fell at regular intervals leaving Longwick at 57 for 8 after 16 overs. Richard Austin came on to replace Ali and chipped in with 2 extremely inexpensive wickets (i.e. nothing) to see the visitors off for 61. Luke finished with the outstanding figures of 6 for 30 from 8 overs and Ali 2 for 28 from his 8. It was worth noting that the Heath had 7 bowlers available to use during the match and it was a shame they didn't all get to turn their arms over. Jez in particular would have been disappointed not to get in an over or two, but having already got himself in the scorebook with a nice catch at first slip, Henry had to give up the gloves with a dislocated finger which intercepting a return throw from Luke, so Jez got involved in the action behind the stumps, not only keeping a clean sheet in terms of byes but also taking another catch off Luke in the process.

So after last week's near miss it was an extremely comprehensive win for HHCC.

HHCC 160 all out    Capper 84     North 32 not out        Richards 22

Longwick 61 all out     Brennan 6-30      Austin 2-0         Richards 2-28      

HHCC won by 99 runs



Alistair Richards

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Aug 5th - Bourne End -  Home

A promising day weather-wise turned suddenly sour at 2pm causing the match at home against Bourne End to be delayed by half an hour in somewhat similar circumstances to the previous week against Cublington. With all the players assembled and the sun finally making an appearance the captains decided on a 30 over a side match with a limit of 6 overs per bowler. Whilst much has been written in the past of the merits and perils of timed games versus limited overs it was still an admirable effort on the part of both teams and of the tireless work of Mike Thompson that the pitch played very well throughout (as the figures of the match will testify).

Charlie, in typical form, won the toss and elected to bowl first and the visitors got off to a somewhat quiet start that gave little clue to the fireworks that would arrive later on in the innings. Indeed Bourne End were 58 for 5 around the 13 over mark and number 5 batsman Rizwan swung merrily for an entertaining 56 still leaving the visitors 136 for 6 with plenty to do in the closing overs. And plenty they did. A 7th wicket partnership of 87 in rapid time between Hussain and Quawess lifted Bourne End to a somewhat imposing total of 222 for 6 from their 30 overs. It would be fair to say that with the exception of the impressive Luke Brennan (more of him later) returning 3 for 23 from 6 overs the rest of the HHCC bowling attack pretty much went round the park. It was just that kind of day.

Tea, as always, was outstanding. Many thanks as always ladies.

So looking at a chase of 223 in 30 overs at a rate of 7.43 from the outset was going to be a big ask of the Heath batsmen. Dom, Harry and Nick all departed relatively cheapily leaving the chase finely balanced at 71 for 3 when Luke arrived at the crease to join the ever productive Henry. An up tempo partnership of 55 moved things in the right direction before Henry departed for a well crafted 68. 126 for 4. Tim Barnsley joined Luke, who was now beginning to find his range, adding 54 between them before Tim missed a straight one. 180 for 5 now with overs running out. Luke however by this time had decided that it was pretty much a firesale of an innings - everything must go. Some pretty meaty shots and intelligent running with Tom Jeffreys meant that going into the final over of the match HHCC required 27 to win. A dot from the first ball didn't help matters but the second ball, a no-ball, was despatched for many a mile over the square leg boundary to give the home side hope but despite their very best efforts HHCC closed out on 210 for 5 with Luke left 81 not out. We couldn't help but feel that despite a fantastic effort in the chase that the game was there for the taking had the home side not given away so many runs in the field.

Ah well.

Despite the initial scare with the weather the final analysis of the afternoon meant that in 60 overs bowled, 432 runs were scored between both teams. Pretty impressive and further illustrates how well the HHCC wickets play these days.

(30 overs a side, 6 overs per bowler)

Bourne End 222-6

Brennan 3-23


Hyde Heath 210-5

Capper 68

Brennan 81 not out

Bourne End won by 12 runs


Alistair Richards

Not only ...but also Tom Jeffreys writes ...

Phew, what a match! They say you learn more in defeat than in victory, and certainly Hyde Heath's excruciatingly narrow defeat at the hands of old foes Bourne End this Sunday was instructive in many ways. That we got so close was down to some inspired batting from Luke Brennan whose brilliant, occasionally brutal, valiant but ultimately futile unbeaten innings of 81 took us much closer to the opposition's total than we probably deserved to. Coming on the back of Capper's sensibly aggressive 60-odd, it was nearly enough to see us home. But not quite.

As Peter Moore's might have said, it all came down to the one percenters: over the course of the match we made several small errors which, when totted up, were sufficient to entail defeat as opposed to victory. Despite conceding a fairly colossal 222 off just 30 overs in a rain-affected match we actually weren't that bad in the field. We dropped a couple of tough chances and some mistakes were made on the boundary. I bowled a few too many full tosses, Spence was possibly given too long a spell against some seriously hard-hitting batsman and Jez's closing overs were sent unceremoniously to the cleaners. (So much so that he actually finished with a worse economy rate than me! Not that I mentioned it repeatedly or anything...)

But we actually didn't do that much wrong; we simply came up against a couple of very clean hitters having a good day. Anything they timed went for six and anything they top-edged found the gap. It was immensely frustrating at times, especially as a bowler. The figures at the halfway stage did not make for good reading...

Chasing that kind of total we needed a quick start (which we got) and we needed to maintain it. We couldn't afford the required rate to steeple, but nor were we ever likely to get well ahead and coast. The top order all scored quickly but apart from Henry we lost wickets too frequently. With quick scorers Dom, Nick and Harry all perishing in slightly anti-climactic ways, it always looked an uphill task. That said, with 90 needed off the final ten anything was possible. Unfortunately Henry's dismissal brought Tim Barnsley to the crease, who struggled to give the strike to Luke. Two quiet overs (including the first maiden of the match) meant that, realistically, our hopes were dashed.

Luke was not to be beaten however, and as Tim and then myself struggled to do much more than push singles, he reeled off a flurry of sixes that took us, in the end, within to ten runs off Bourne End's intimidating total. It could have been even closer, had we not done a South Africa and misread the opposition's score...

So what did we learn? Well two things. Not lessons as such – I'm unlikely to actually change my behaviour on the back of this newfound knowledge – but interesting things nonetheless:

1. When things are going badly, people (by which I mean me) will seek to place the blame anywhere they can. Example: after my second and third deliveries – both rank full tosses sent dismissively to the boundary – I turned to Charlie and asked him to change the field (the implication being somehow that a lack of 1st slip had caused these two shockers). Quite rightly, he told me to shut up and bowl. Then, after the umpire had turned down a plum LBW shout (with the sheepish reply of “bowl another one of those and I'll give it next time”) I bowled another rank delivery that was pummelled into the leg side. Ali's tired-looking effort in the deep led to another smattering of grouchiness from yours truly.

2. Conversely, you can tell a side feels they're well on top when they start making generously sporting gestures. For evidence, think of Australia's self-righteous sermonising in the 1990s: it's easy to preach about the Spirit of Cricket when you know you're going to thrash the opposition by an innings. Sunday saw a more entertaining example, when Bourne End recalled Tim after it emerged he'd been caught behind on the first ball of the bowler's seventh over (the 30 over innings reducing each bowler's allocation to just six). Given that the next man in was your notoriously fast-scoring correspondent, perhaps it was a strategic move. In the end though, it didn't make much difference.

Tom Jeffreys


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July 29th - Cublington - Home


After an extremely long weather- and marriage-induced break, Cricket Tragics were back with a bang this Sunday. In truth, we did play a couple of weeks ago (away against Ivinghoe and Pitstone) but have now completely forgotten what happened. We apologise yet again to our long-suffering readership.

Yesterday saw Fortress Heath subjected to some extremely bizarre weather, with patches of bright summer sun interspersed with deluges on an apocalyptic scale. There was even a moment of hail, I think. Fortunately the Heath's state-of-the-art weather-countering systems (three big plastic sheets) prevented the pitch from being ruined, and there were sufficient periods of non-rain for 35 overs per side (although we didn't end up finishing until about 8pm).

After we won the toss and elected to field, Cublington's openers compiled a steady stand that laid a platform for a big innings – careful at first against Jez and Luke before opening up as Spence struggled a little with his line. Charlie – not our erstwhile skipper but a relative newcomer to the Heath – broke the stand with his probing left-arm seam and bowled with accuracy, a bit of movement and some good bounce to take 4 wickets in total.

Of primary interest though of course is the bowling of Hyde Heath's première leg-spinner. How he's been missed in all those rained-off matches! Well it didn't start well, as their captain hit some brutal shots in taking my first over for 12 (or maybe it was more – I forget). But I had my revenge. A massive LBW shout first ball of my second over was followed up with a defensive stroke betraying new-found respect. Then the third ball, he was done in the flight and clean bowled. It was unsurprisingly satisfying.

After keeping it so tight for so long we let things slip quite badly in the last ten overs of the Cublington innings and allowed the oppo up to a potentially challenging 172 from their 35 overs.

Potentially challenging of course were it not for my staggeringly dull innings of 37, batting at number 2. After Dom and Alex departed early, my role was pretty much to see off their captain – who bowled with decent pace and moved it cleverly both ways. This I just about managed whilst at the other end Nicko was looking increasingly classy. The customary timing and power were now allied to some good thinking – when he drilled a four through the covers, and then followed it up with a calmly pushed single to take advantage of the change in the field, he looked set for a big one. Alas, he was sawn off by a simply staggering catch at square leg – a flat six somehow plucked cleanly from the sky.

Harry kept the run rate up so I didn't have to, before I perished trying to actually score a run. Despite a few later wickets, Luke showed his class to see us home by three wickets with two overs left. A hard-fought, close match with some quality cricket and a victory for the Heath. What more could you want ??

A win for Hyde Heath by three wickets .....  Cublington 172           Hyde Heath 173 - 7


Tom Jeffreys

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July 22nd - Full Tossers - Home

Cricket was a bit disappointing last weekend with the Friday match at home to Petts Wood cancelled due to the very wet state of the ground. Then on Sunday on the Common we lost by three wickets to the yellow-capped Full Tossers. We were at nothing like full strength and struggled to make 158 all out in forty overs by teatime. (the ball had spent a quite inordinate amount of time in the undergrowth on the other side of the road). After tea the visitors chipped away at the total and eventually lost seven wickets in achieving the target. It had all been a bit slow-going, but was better than having another game cancelled.

Next Sunday (29th.) the match will be at home to Cublington with a two o’clock start 

Robin Richards

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July 20th - Petts Wood - Home

Cancelled following heavy overnight rain - pitch waterlogged

Robin Richards

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July 15th - Ivinghoe & Pitstone - Away

The weather wasn’t too bad last Sunday afternoon (cool to start but warmer later) when the Cricket Club paid its annual visit to Ivinghoe and Pitstone C.C.  Having been put in the home opening batsmen scored fairly rapidly, reaching 77 for no wicket in the twelfth over, but then the visitors applied the brakes, and a further 23 overs saw the score advance to 140 all out. Alistair Richards, Jeremy Stevens and Tom Jeffreys took two wickets each, but the best haul fell to Spencer North with three wickets for 27 runs. The fielding had been of high quality, especially Jeremy’s bullet-like throw to run out their opener, Paul Culley.

After tea all appeared to be going well until a moment of madness saw Henry Capper surrender his wicket run out for 38. The other party to this incident, James Shrimpton, then saw us to the target, through a nicely compiled 60 not out, with 8 wickets and 11 overs to spare. 

This weekend we have two matches, on Friday (20th.) against Petts Wood where we used to conclude our tour of Kent and the second on Sunday (22nd.) against the Full Tossers. Both games are at home and start at 2.00pm. 

Ivinghoe & Pitstone 140 all out in 35 overs
Spencer North 3-27, Alistair Richards 2-19, Jeremy Stevens 2-34, Tom Jefferies 2-44

HHCC 142 for 2 in 33 overs
James Shrimpton 60 not out
Henry Capper 35

HHCC won by 8 wickets

Cheers !

Robin Richards

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July 8th - Ballinger Waggoners - Away


Once more ... the winner was the weather ....

July 1st - Southwell Ramblers - Home

A weakened (at the eleventh hour Charlie had to persuade David Brennan to exchange his lawn-mowing duties for wearing his whites duties) Hyde Heath C.C. lost their match to Southwell Ramblers by some sixty-odd runs on Sunday. The visitors batted first and amassed a total of 192 for 9, with the bowlers sharing the spoils. Hyde Heath replied with a very  much  below par 126 all out. Next  Sunday’s match is at Ballinger Waggoners (2.00pm. start).  


Robin Richards

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June 24th - 20/20 vs The Plough - Home


....  the winner ?   the weather  - match cancelled following heavy rain


June 23rd - Presidents XI - Home 

The President’s XI played their match with the Cricket Club, and, much to the old man’s great disappointment, were bowled out for a measly 52. (We shall need to stop the practice of giving these visiting teams such a good lunch!). Destroyer-in-chief was Jeremy Stevens with five wickets for 14 runs. Needless to say, the Club lost just one wicket in reaching the required target. Agreed, the wet weather had made the pitch difficult, but we lost too many wickets with injudicious shots. I would thank all those who attended the President’s Day festivities, and promise them that we will do better next year. I would also like to thank the ladies who prepared the splendid lunches and teas.

Next Sunday’s match (1st.July) is at home to Southwell Ramblers (2.00pm.start). 

Presidents XI : Left to Right: Alistair Richards (Captain), Hugh Connor, Paul Kaye, Rob Culley, Roger Cook, Chris Simpson (Umpire),
The President, Tim Nutman, Les Hemmings, Mark Mandeville, James Aird, Olly Haddock, Alastair Turner
Club XI - Left to Right: Back : Henry Capper, Nick Burgham, Jeremy Stevens, Matt Sims, Richard Austin, Spencer North Dom Haddock,
Liam Harrison, Harry McPugh.

Charlie Samuels (Captain), The President, , James Shrimpton,

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June 17th - Red Square Lions - Home

The Club enjoyed its second win of the season last Sunday with a six-wicket defeat of Red Square Lions, and then two major batting partnerships saw us home. The first was 90 between James Shrimpton and Dominic Haddock (37) and the second was 77 between James and Spencer North (29 not out). Between these two stands the Club lost four wickets for the addition of just nine runs, including a hat-trick, to the visitors’ second-change bowler. James stood firm, however, and he finished on 97 not out, unluckily missing out on what would have been a richly deserved century. 

Robin Richards

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June 10th - Lt Missenden Misfits - Away

It would seem that monsoon season had arrived in Buckinghamshire as the majority of last week saw endless torrents of water falling from grey leaden skies. Somewhat surprisingly, against this run of misfortune, Hyde Heath were still able to make the short hop over the A413 to close neighbours Little Missenden thanks to the sterling efforts of the home team to prepare a pitch to ensure the match could go ahead.

Skipper Charlie Samuels won the toss and sticking to his tried and tested method invited the home team to make first use of the wicket. Jez and Ali opened the bowling and kept things very tight for the first hour restricting Misfits to only 25 runs for the loss of 1 wicket. Run scoring wasn't easy as was highlighted by the ball leaving marks in the pitch after virtually every delivery. A change in the bowling saw Simon Chase replace Ali and immediately cause no end of problems with an excellent display of in-swing bowling, always a potent weapon at this level of cricket. With very little in the way of batting substance from the home team, despite some excellent technique shown by two of the youngest members of their batting line up, the home team subsided to 66 all out in 2 hours. Jez bowled an excellent spell of controlled outswing bowling to finish with 3-20 from 13 overs, Ali a steady supporting role of 2-12 from 8 overs and Simon the stand out with 5-19 (all bowled) from 8 overs.

With time available before tea Henry and Dom ventured out to launch the HHCC reply and found conditions to be somewhat "scratchy" to say the least. Dom got underway with a boundary behind square leg before a couple of "fresh air exploratory shots" outside off stump prompted the opposition to enquire of the width of his bat could match some of his earlier fielding banter ("It's a shame his bat isn't as big as his mouth" - or words to that effect). Alas for Dom another shot behind square picked out the backward square leg fielder, who took a surprisingly good catch, bringing Harry McPugh to the wicket. Harry eased into his task with several eye catching flicks and lofted drives and when tea finally arrived HHCC were already 52 for 1. There was perhaps an argument for the players to stay out and finish the job but the waiting tea looked far more inviting to all concerned and was duly taken.

The weather then seemed to worsen a fraction and with tea proving to be a hit for all the players restarting the game only seemed to be a concern for Henry and Harry rather than the opposition. Once play did recommence a rash shot proved Harry's undoing to be bowled for a well made 25 and despite losing Nick Burgham and Angus Robertson cheaply HHCC scratched their way across the finishing line on 70 for 4 with Henry Capper unbeaten on a gritty 21 not out.

Whilst it might not have been the most aesthetically pleasing game of cricket and there were certainly plenty of dropped catches on both sides to suggest that conditions were not the easiest, it still marked HHCC's first win of the season, and a win is always a win !

Misfits 66 all out (Chase 5-19, Stevens 3-20, Richards 2-12)

HHCC 70-4 (McPugh 25, Capper 21 not out)

HHCC Won by 6 wickets

Alistair Richards

deputising for the absences of Tom Jeffreys, Robin Richards and John Capper (the latter materialising after an enjoyable and somewhat boozy golf luncheon)


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June 3rd - The Lee - Away - Cancelled - Rain

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May 27th - Chesham - Home

Groundsman  Mike Thompson prepared a great track for last Sunday’s match against Chesham Sunday  Seconds. Unusually Hyde Heath batted first and totalled a massive 259 for 3 wickets in 45 overs. Henry Capper made a splendid 98, unluckily falling two short of a century. He was well supported by Dominic Haddock who made 72 of their opening partnership of 145. A target after tea of 260  was doubtless somewhat daunting, and the outlook did not improve as the visitors folded to 17 for 4 wickets in seven overs. Thus the game was finished as a contest and time was played out to 144 for 7 wickets – another draw. Tom Jeffery kept them guessing with some crafty spin and finished with 4 wickets for 36.  It was nice to see Irma Dolphin, who came over to the Common on her electric scooter to watch the game. It was also good to see young Stanley Burgham on as an enthusiastic substitute fielder.

Robin Richards

Tome Jeffreys writes ...

After last week's grim procession, a very different match to follow. But victory still eludes the Heath. The news that I was to captain the team was greeted, perhaps unsurprisingly, with glorious sunshine, and after Capper lost the toss (he was delegated Chief Leadership Vision Strategist whilst I retained the role of On-Field Executive Decision-Maker and Management Facilitator) we were invited to bat first.

With the sun beating down, the outfield fast, and the pitch playing flat and true (Mikey explained something technical about mid-week watering and sunshine) Haddock and Capper got us off to an absolute flier. The Chesham attack was not a bad one at all, but the one iffy ball an over was punished mercilessly as the pair motored along at just shy of 7 an over. Capper timed some glorious strokes that raced between mid-on and mid-wicket, whilst Dom was severe on the short ball and played several hugely impressive lofted drives either side of mid-on. The introduction of legspin from both ends slowed things down a notch, before, the very ball after the drinks break, Dom was caught and bowled for 73 (triple juggled) by the leggie from the Plough End.

Shrimpie, Nicko and Harry continued the controlled carnage, while Capper was dismissed two runs short of what would have been a fine hundred – the other leggie clinging onto a stinging return catch low down. It was still an excellent innings and the bedrock of an impressive total of 259.

After tea (and some first class chicken tikka sandwiches from Nicko) it was time to see what the Heath could do with the ball. Before we even made it to the field though, problems struck. Suffering from dizziness, Atif was driven home by his mate Shaz, who promised to return with another of his mates. That neither of them reappeared left us very light on bowling, but hopefully Atif is ok!

Fronting up to adversity like all great captains (or something like that) I decided to bowl the second over, from the Plough End, and was instantly rewarded with a double wicket maiden. Jez struck in his second over and I again in the fourth to leave Chesham in tatters at 7 for 4. From there Chesham had no option but to shut up shop. With the pitch flat and increasingly slow, no turn, seam or swing to speak of, and faced with a Chesham middle order prepared to graft hard, the match petered out into a dull draw. Everybody barring Capper turned their arm over, and I set some increasingly ludicrous fields (three short mid-wickets anyone?) but it was all to no avail, as Chesham finished 7 down, and the Heath's season remains winless.

Special thanks for their stints as substitute fielders must go to Ritchie Austin and the supremely energetic Stanley Burgham, who put many of his seniors to shame despite having already played a match for his own club that morning. Much more sensibly, I was in the pub at the time, watching a glorious Ian Bell cover drive...

Textbook stuff from Shrimpie Capper Drives
Going ........
Going ........
Gone   !!   .. Capper superbly caught by the bowler (great photo too!)
The catch of the afternoon !
Me bowling (note the Stop HS2 sign in the background)  

Tom Jeffreys


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May 20th - Gt Missenden Pelicans - Home

The Cricket Club played its second match of the season last Sunday, when the forecast rain stayed away, but the ambient temperature had the scorer wishing that he had taken the precaution of wearing thermal under-garments. Hyde Heath lost by twenty runs to a Great Missenden Pelicans side which seemed very keen to avenge their defeat of 2011. Alistair Richards, who had not played since July last year, reduced his run-up and was rewarded with six wickets, the fielding was an improvement on the previous Sunday’s performance and Henry Capper scored an impressive half-century, but a win was not to be – we needed a few more runs from the middle order… This Sunday’s (27th.) game is again at home, this time to Chesham Sunday XI, with a 2.00 start. 

Robin Richards

Tom Jeffreys writes ...

Skies of cold pewter and a rancid batting collapse marked the start of my 2012 cricket season. After two cancellations due to conditions underfoot, Hyde Heath had kicked things off with an away draw against the Lee the week before, but then came this horrible loss at home, at the once proud and noble Heath. Fortress no more, perhaps?

I have to confess that my slowness in getting round to writing about the match means that it has rather faded into the dank grey that birthed it. Which, to be honest, is probably a good thing.

We won the toss and bowled first, as is customary. Ali bowled splendidly on a slow pitch to take six wickets and limit the Pelicans to an eminently chase-able 170ish. Operating as second spinner again (harrumph) I took two wickets to mark a reasonable start to the season – although I did drop short too often, and with the wicket the furthest over by the road, was donked for several sixes.

The batting progressed rather serenely until the departure of Capper for a tidy half-century. From 100-odd for 3, we collapsed in a horrible heap. Our entire middle and lower order contrived to get themselves out in stupid ways (I ran myself out second ball) and despite Richard Austin's pyrotechnic 30-odd, we went down by twenty runs. Not good.

Tom Jeffreys


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May 13th - The Lee - Away 

It’s begun. The season is under way and the Mighty Heath are off but not running. The first two matches were called off for water-logged pitches and at last the weather relented long enough for a whole game – actually slightly more than a whole game as the Lee decided to add an extra half hour to a long afternoon. Anyway, Sunday afternoon, 2.05pm and Jeremy ran (well, shuffled) in to bowl the first ball of the season. I will be honest here as “her indoors” and I assumed a more leisurely start, particularly as this game, any game, had been so long awaited and so missed the “toss” Since we were bowling, one assumes Charlie won. However to add insult to injury, after arriving late, we mistakenly drove behind the bowler’s arm and then parked slowly, holding up the game and were too embarrassed to ask about this vital ritual. So, back to the Game…. 

Two of the early bunnies fell quickly but a prickly partnership between a man with a Welsh name and a Saffa accent and a mere child developed, aided and abetted by some (appallingly) generous fielding. 8 (eight) catches fell to earth, some easy, some not so…8! The “very young one” scored 75 runs, 5 times his age (where was our usual scribe who majors in bowling minors?). The “other” scored 60,followed by odds and ends to let them total 209 for 7. 

Now, a few words about our efforts. Firstly, the catching was appalling even though our Leader was blameless. Secondly, our ground fielding wasn’t a lot better (how can you let someone run six singles from balls hit directly to cover). Thirdly, Angus Robertson ran after the ball as if he was in no hurry to catch a tortoise. (Actually, he claimed he had pulled a muscle which since he is the mainstay of my “fantasy 6” team, is a bit worrying, see batting highlights later). He did however start their collapse with the successful 9th catch! Other highlights were Jeremy’s bowling – steady as ever, Shrimpy’s fielding (more later) and, most particularly, Nick Burgham’s bowling, taking 4-33, the beginnings of a dream day for him. 

Now, it wouldn’t be right not to have a bit of a rant. Timed games usually (always) last 2 ½ hours before tea and 1 hour plus 20 overs after tea. For some reason we played 2 ¾ hours plus 1 ¼ hours plus 20 and, what’s worse, bowled 53 overs in our time before tea, tough for any time of the season but a killer in the first game. Would it have been better with limited overs? The other point involves the not unusual beef about pulling out of the game. Atif, bless him, pulled out citing work but did at least provide two of his friends as substitutes and another who came along “just in case” He must have read previous reports!! Brad pulled out because “he was having lunch with his family” but Barnsley took the prize as he couldn’t play having “chipped a tooth”. 

By the way, the Lee’s tea was very good and lots of it. I particularly enjoyed the scones with strawberries. However, I do prefer the ritual of sitting formally at tables as practiced chez nous. Lots of small sausage rolls (cold!) and scotch eggs were provided but shop-bought cake and very weak tea – we do notice! 

So to the reply! Could we knock up the runs? Well, Dom and Henry started really well and were really belligerent. Unfortunately, Dom tried to be a bit too ambitious and was given out LBW. A small word here, as umpire, that it is so much nicer after apologising to the batsmen you gave out at the end of play when bar his pads getting in the way, all three stumps would have been hit, to hear a pleasant word and acceptance rather than a torrent of abuse! Well done, Dom – however it just might make it easier to give you out again!!! 

Nick and Henry then put on 90 runs and really looked classy. You know the oppo are worried when they stop chirruping. Both batsmen played beautifully with Nick, particularly effective, matching defence and aggression, scoring thirteen 4’s and one six in his 75 until, first Henry (31) and then Nick gave the Lee catching practice which they failed to drop. Actually, they only dropped a very hard caught and bowled all match, annoyingly.  

Two of our batsmen lasted 3 balls between them until Shrimpy came to the wicket much later than usual (was it something he ate or ….drank?). Actually, keeping his head down was a bonus and he looked in good order. We needed 90 odd runs with 20 overs to go but wickets were falling and with Angus (remember his “pulled” muscle) plus Charlie (distraught about Man U) left in the hutch, Shrimpy and Jeremy played out time, 182 for 7, and a draw. I am still left with a nagging doubt that neither trusted my pick for the “fantasy 6” to last – perhaps I may have to enter the transfer market!! 

It was a slightly disappointing day as after an hour of our innings we were well set to win. The catching was abysmal but with 400 runs scored and the cobwebs blown away, let’s hope we’re on course for another really enjoyable season. Next week we play the Missenden Pellicans, always a tough fixture.

John Capper

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