|Season to date||Played||Won||Lost||Drawn||Abandoned||Cancelled|
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|Pictures - Chris Sargeant unless otherwise stated|
|April 29th||Bank of England - won||A||July 15th||Red Sq Lions - draw||H|
|May 6th||Chiltern Crusaders - cancelled||H||July 22nd||Gt Gaddesdon - win||H|
|May 13th||The Lee - won||A||July 27th||Petts Wood - win||H|
|May 20th||Pelicans - won||H||August 5th||Cublington - win||A|
|May 27th||Little Marlow - won||A||August 12th||Warwick Gypsies - cancelled|
|June 3rd||Roxbourne - lost||H||August 19th||Ley Hill - lost||H|
|June 10th||Lt Missenden - won||A||August 26th||Bank of England - cancelled - rain|
|June 17th||Southwell Ramblers - draw||H||September 2nd||The Fiddlers - draw||H|
|June 23rd||Presidents X1- draw||H||September 9th||Holmer Green - win||H|
|July 1st||Great Gaddesden - won||H|
|July 8th||Ballinger Waggoners - won||H|
|April 29th - Bank of England - Away Win|
|A new season is upon us, and we kicked
off in some style, sartorially speaking as we all arrived in our new
training kit and played in branded whites. There was some style to our
convincing win too.
We arrived at the Bank of England’s ground in conditions that a Siberian husky would have found a bit nippy. Fortunately we all had three or four new layers of kit to keep us warm.
Our bowlers showed no signs of cobwebs needing to be dusted off and throughout our effort in the field, Luke, Stanley, Ben, Atiq and Imran kept things tight and took wickets at regular intervals. Luke even managed to take two dismissals with one delivery, when Bank’s able looking number three was struck in the pad, adjudged LBW, before the ball trickled back and dislodged a bail. Only one wicket was recorded of course, but a certain moral victory.
Thanks to a nuggety innings by Bank’s stalwart opener, they managed to get their way to 120 before we retired to tea at which we would have all welcomed hot soup. The heavily iced squashed we had received at drinks provided by grinning Bank players had not gone down terribly well (have I mentioned how cold it was?!).
120 seemed some way off when Bank’s opening bowler got the ball leaping about a bit early on, but Dom dropped anchor and Imran counter attacked to lay a foundation. At Imran’s fall Henry King came to the crease, looked in fine touch and then rather amusingly reverse swept a delivery he could have despatched anywhere he liked, straight to the only fielder behind leg.
There was no collapse though and Dom’s 46* got us home with a handful of overs to spare. We ought to mention of Will Cousins here, we thought of him often today as this is a ground we all associate him with, thanks to his swashbuckling half century here two seasons ago, his top score for the club. We toasted Will and that knock in the bar afterwards, before the Brian Hartley cup was presented to Hyde Heath.
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|May 13th - The Lee - Home Win|
|Our first home fixture of 2018 was
played in glorious sunshine against very local friends, The Lee. We lost
the toss and were asked to bat on green topped wicket, peppered damp
patches on and around a good length. With the theory that an unplayable
ankle-shooter, or lid rattler might be on its way, we got off to an
aggressive start, Henry and Dom putting on 80 for the first wicket in good
Almost every one of our batsmen contributed through the innings to get us a little over 200, an excellent score given the wicket. Notable scores were a fifty for Henry and an unbeaten 40-odd by Jez, and the skipper’s first appearance with the bat saw a pair of humungo-sixes over the midwicket region.
Our new ball (well old ball actually) pair, Luke and Stanley started brilliantly and demolished the Lee’s top order in just a few overs, thanks to pace, unerring accuracy and a bit of nip off the wicket - many of the dismissals were absolutely unplayable deliveries and it was a delight to watch them both bowl. With no real chance of victory, the Lee put up a stout defence in search of a draw. Our bowlers, Ben, TJ, Sohail and Spencer, persevered and slowly prized out the barnaculous batters. With only one over remaining we still needed a final wicket for victory and Stanley was brought into the attack. It took him just one deadly accurate delivery, wrapping the batsman’s front pad in front of middle and the Hyde Heath players went cock-a-hoop! Two wins from the first two fixtures, what a start.
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|May 20th - Pelicans - Home Win|
| So another local derby playing at home on a lovely
sunny Sunday. Hyde Heath won the toss and put The Pelicans in to bat.
After a slow start, we managed to get the breakthrough with the captain
Nick taking 4 wickets, 2 brilliantly caught by Stanley so the book read
‘bowled Burgham, caught Burgham.’ Stanley also bowled a quick spell and
took 2 wickets. When their time was up The Pelicans somehow had managed to
Another lovely Hyde Heath tea was enjoyed thanks to Caroline and Mary (delicious).
In to bat we went with a new player playing his first game, a friend of Henry and Stanley, Monty Weatherall. Monty and Ben opened the batting and with good some bowling from The Pelicans, they managed to stay there for quite some time. We had 70 runs on the board when we lost our first wicket. Great innings from Monty, a very solid 50 with some lovely shots. We needed to push on now to try and win the game. Unfortunately, we lost three quick wickets but still had lots of batting to come. Out strode Omar to the wicket and decided he was not going to hang around and smashed 54 off 21 deliveries including four 6’s. Jez was at the other end and contributed well with 24 not out. The game was won with three overs to spare. That’s three wins in a row now for Hyde Heath, a great start to the season. Away to Little Marlow next week, can’t wait.
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|May 27th - Little Marlow - Away Win|
|Records were broken this Sunday as the
club marched to our fourth win in four fixtures.
We were asked to bat first on a hot, humid sort of day and got off to a bright start, Henry and Dom getting us to 75 at the ten over mark with no alarms. With opening bowlers seen off, eyes in, foundation laid and the knowledge of a strong batting line up to come, Henry and Dom really started going for it. Sixes and fours rained and both reached quick hundreds and when Henry was eventually dismissed LBW, the partnership was worth 254, scored in 28 overs. Though record books going back further than 20 years are yet to be consulted, surely this is the club’s highest batting partnership for any wicket, and will take some beating.
Shrimpy, returning thanks to his partners distractions on a continental hen-do, had had to wait almost 30 overs for his knock but he took his chance and made a quick, classy and unbeaten 20 before Nick declared with Dom on 119* and the Heath’s score 285.
Little Marlow’s openers looked keen on the chase, both bludgeoning the ball to the cover boundary with worrying regularity early on. Stanley and Ben managed to nip them out without too much damage being done. Then followed a passage of play during which we did our best to lose the match. Spencer, Nick, then Shrimpy all delivered excellent spells, and the rest of us managed to shell seven opportunities - most off Spence who became less and less forgiving and was desperately unlucky not to take lots of wickets.
We needed some luck, some inspiration, some full tosses and long hops that would be chipped to fieldsmen; Jez was our man. In a spell of super slow and super deadly off spin at a key point in the match, Jez bowled five overs for 14 runs, took three wickets and cooly completed a farcical run out (Yes, yes, wait, no, go back). It was a crushing spell and made the chase impossible.
One wicket still stood between us and that glorious combination of a win on sunny bank holiday Sunday. We had very almost run out of overs, just one remained and Stanley took it. Surely Stanley couldn’t pull off two final-wicket-in-final-over victories in three weeks could he? He bloody could, thanks to a delivery that the batsman had to play and a sharp catch by Spencer on the drive. The celebrations on the pitch were wild and they continued long into the bank holiday night.
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|June 3rd - Roxbourne - Home - lost|
|A bad day at the office against
Roxbourne this week. We bowled first and though we started well, our
catching let us down again. We could have bowled out Roxbourne for little
over 120, thanks particularly to an excellent containing spell by Nick
(three wickets) and Luke, during which the oppo were restricted to 20 runs
from the middle 10 overs. However some late order striking got them to
175, around par the three week old wicket.
Our reply with the bat never got going, wickets falling every few overs with little of our usual aggressive stroke play. With 13 overs remaining we still required 130 to win, with three wickets in hand, but Spencer and Nick were still keen to chase, a great illustration of the team’s current confidence and positivity. Soon afterwards we are resigned to gritting out a draw, which though tough looked possible with Burgham senior and junior providing an excellent rear guard defence. A penultimate over wicket was the final blow and we succumbed to our first defeat of 2018; may they be few and far between.
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|June 10th - Little Missenden - Away Win|
got back to winnings ways this week, at Little Missenden in front of a
packed house. Henry King made his opening debut for the club alongside Dom
on a green top indistinguishable from the rest of the square. However they
rattled along to reach a hundred stand, both making half centuries.
Henry’s knock was particularly assured and patient, respecting good balls
and brutally dismissing anything short, square of the wicket for sixes and
fours. His 80 laid the foundation for Spencer to come in a three and do
His thing was to be watchful early on and explosive thereafter; smashing sixes well over the ropes, cruising to a brilliant 82.
Nick shrewdly declared before tea, leaving Little Missenden with a tricky 15 minutes to see through. The Heath were desperate to nip a wicket before the interval and Stan was the man, fizzing down a slower off cutter, which gripped and came back through the gate to rearrange the opening batsman’s furniture.
Tea was taken then with nine Little Missenden wickets remaining, still 240 behind. Luke and Stan were quick to get back amongst the wickets as soon as we restarted. Given our position and the way our bowlers were hooping it around, the skipper put in four slips, a gully and a leg slip- what a cordon! And it was justified; Henry King took two at second slip, one lodged amidships without him knowing much about it, the second a sharp catch neatly taken and Spence clung onto an over-the-shoulder-running-backwards with great skill.
Stan and Luke were taking wickets at will. Then came a magic moment; Luke took two in two and a hat-trick was possible. Given everyone was already catching, there wasn’t a great change in the field, but Luke decided to take the fielders out of the equation and sent down a quick yorker, spearing in towards middle and leg, which struck the batsman’s heel on the full and the umpire did the rest. Special bowling by Luke.
Moments later Stanley also took two in two...were we about to have TWO hat-tricks in one match? It wasn’t to be, a huge shame, but a reminder of how special and rare hat-tricks are. It was fitting that Luke and Stanley shared the wickets evenly, they both deserved their five wicket hauls on an afternoon that will live long in the memory; SIX jugs due, thanks to three half centuries, two fifers and a hat-trick.
So a terrific win, and the margin of 198 runs May well be a club record. It was great to have three Burghams in the side this week, to have Gus back and fit and Charlie make his debut showing lots of potential in a brief and unbeaten innings. We also received fantastic support from fellow squad members and dozens of travelling Hyde Heath supporters. A great day for the club and its wider village family.
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|June 17th - Southwell Ramblers - Home - Draw|
|A famous finish at the Heath this
week as we played host to old friends, the Southwell Ramblers. We lost the
toss and were asked to bowl on a chilly, grey afternoon, providing an
excellent opportunity for new club jumpers to be debuted.
The Ramblers started brightly but Stanley and Sonley soon found their rhythms and kept scoring to a minimum. This pressure created the odd wicket, Stanley was particular pleased to see the back of Olly Haddock, who looked dangerous before looping one to Jeremy’s safe hands at first slip. Our catching was excellent throughout, including a nonchalant take by Angus to dismiss the Ramblers’ best set batsman.
The Ramblers threw caution to the wind and their bats at the ball in the final ten overs and managed to get themselves up to 189, which felt like 20 or so more than we should have allowed. Ben’s double wicket-taking final over of the innings meant that we went in on a high.
After an excellent tea, Dom and Shrimpy both got starts but couldn’t go on to big scores. As with the previous week, a partnership between Henry King and Spencer was our most significant. Both played sensibly, punishing the relatively infrequent bad balls on their way to a pair of 30s. Jeremy showed his cricketing nous, shepherding the middle order to make sure that though the run rate was challenging, we were always in contention. He was ably supported by Kenny and Gus, Kenny particularly ran him ragged, forcing Jez to complete not one, but TWO all run fours. Spectators weren’t sure whether to applaud or call the emergency services.
Jez kept going, and was joined by a hobbling Nick, who’d injured his foot badly in the field so Kenny ran for him, presumably much to Jez’s ire. Nick’s injury meant he was even more disposed to big hitting than usual, which is lucky as with 15 an over to chase, that’s just what we needed.
All seemed lost when eventually we needed eleven from the final two deliveries, but then Nick stuck a huge six and a win off the final ball was still possible. Alas, with every fielder riding the boundary, even captain fantastic couldn’t see us home, his final lusty blow being cut off by deep midwicket. Jez continues his run of red on 31* and Nick contributed a quick fire 27*. Honours even then, which felt about right in the end.
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|June 23rd - Presidents X1 - Draw|
Crowds flock to cricket for diverse reasons: for the weather, the company, the spectacle, for the big-name players, the scintillating strokeplay, the thrilling fast bowling, for a socially acceptable reason to start drinking at 11am, and, in the case of the Hyde Heath President’s Weekend, for a slap-up lunch and the coruscating wit of the President’s speech. And also hopefully some good cricket. As a player, it’s quite a feeling to walk out to bat before a packed house. But I’m pleased to report that, by the time I returned to the pavilion at the end of the game, my unbeaten 50 having secured the draw for the Heath against the President’s XI, hardly a soul remained. My dour defence had driven them all away. “Are you not entertained?” I imagined myself yelling, before hurling my bat into an empty marquee, just like Russell Crowe. “Is this not why you are here?” Err, no, Tom. No, it isn’t.
The morning after an excellent beer festival (kudos to Ben and Angus for all their hard work), Nick won the toss and invited the President’s XI to bat first on a wicket that looked like a road but frequently kept disconcertingly low. The outfield was very fast though and we looked set for a high-scoring day. Ben opened with a tidy spell, but Stanley’s early wicked only ushered Shrimpie to the crease to join Henry Capper. Much rested on the partnership. Break it early and the Heath would have a chance of victory. Fail to do so and we could be staring down the barrel of a mighty total. Needless to say, we failed to do so.
We more or less kept a lid on the scoring (until an especially rank over of full tosses by me) but we were never able to exert any sustained pressure on either batsman. Everyone bowled ok, and the fielding was mostly fine until the later overs, but both Capper and Shrimpie cruised to half-centuries in their contrasting styles: Shrimpie timing the pants off it through the cover; Capper strong straight down the ground. As they both looked to accelerate towards the end of the innings, Shrimpie was bowled by Spencer and Capper began to lose his shape on his shots a little, dragging towards mid-wicket. Spencer bowled extremely well, using his height to exploit the uneven bounce to finish with four wickets (all bowled as far as I remember). But we couldn’t capitalise and Capper went on to yet another excellent hundred. At the other end, a new chap, whose name I’m afraid I’ve forgotten, unfurled some crunching drives (sign him up, Nick!) and the President’s XI closed on around 240.
The tea break was the occasion for a keenly contested raffle (the highlight of the day for many) as well as excellent speeches from both Chairman Mat Simms and President Johnny Capper. In their different ways, both paid tribute to absent friends, of whom there seem to be far too many. At the forefront of many of our minds of course was the shocking loss of Richard and Will Cousins at the start of the year, while Richard Austin is never far from anyone’s thoughts.
At the time of the tragedy many of the newspaper reports spoke of Richard as a great captain of industry, which of course he was. But mostly I remember a cantankerous first slip being relentlessly rude (not unjustifiably) about my bowling. Likewise, the Twitter eulogies spoke of Will as a hard-working colleague and tireless campaigner against Brexit. But it was Matt comparing Will to a blacksmith cricketer of yore that rang truer in my ears. Far from a thrusting young man of business, I remember an easy-going guy who loved an ale, a quiet natter, and a leg-side hoick. But then people are complex, I guess, and show different sides of themselves in different contexts. Village cricket is only one such context, but, for many, a mighty important one.
Anyway, to the batting. Henry King looked in excellent form before getting out somehow (I’m afraid I was getting stuck into the sauvignon at this stage), which meant I went out at number 3 to join Dom Haddock. After unfurling an exquisite cover drive early on, Dom was largely subdued by the President’s XI’s tall opening bowler, who insisted on a league line and length that made scoring tough but never really threatened the stumps. Dom proceeded to leave ball after ball in a battle of patience, that was absorbing to watch in its own dull way.
Instead, by the time the opener had finished his spell and Dom had hacked a spinner to mid-off, so much time had been eaten up that the draw was the only available option for Hyde Heath. So Spencer and I set about the task with gusto. Blocking the living daylights out of the bowling for an hour or so is basically my ideal batting scenario, but Spencer can actually play great shots. It says much about his maturity as a cricketer that he was able to block out the taunts (from opposition fielders and home “fans” alike) and simply play the game that needed to be played. He has become an excellent cricketer.
And so, with the final over bowled by Capper himself, the teams shook hands and that was that: a splendid day, if not exactly a riveting game of cricket.
Sunday vs The Plough .....
If the crowds had sought a nail-biter they could have done worse than pitch up at Hyde Heath again on the Sunday for the annual spectacle of the match against a Plough XI. In the aftermath of England’s 6-1 victory over Panama in some sport apparently referred to as “football” (during which I think most people had matched every goal with at least one pint), this ended up being a fairly, ahem, messy game of cricket. Fortunately, Ben’s avant-garde approach to scoring kept the game competitive after Nick, Henry and Spencer had all racked up runs for Hyde Heath. A chap called Darren batted very well for the Plough, but the real highlights were a screamer of a diving catch at point by Chairman Matt Simms, a wicket and some excellent batting by Groundsman Mike, who looked a little like Denis Compton in his pomp (the gentlemanly attire rather than the timeless cover drives), a hugely surprising one-handed catch in the gulley (good work, me!) and several other amusing goings-on that I can’t remember. All in all, an excellent weekend: exactly, more or less, what the crowds came to see.
|The Presidents X1|
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|July 1st - Great Gaddesden - Away Win|
Another enjoyable visit to the picturesque Great
Gaddesden this week. The sun shone, the sky was blue and the village pub
was invitingly close to the extra cover boundary. We lost the toss, bowled
first and made early inroads thanks to Ben’s usual accuracy and as fine a
spell by Sohail as anyone can remember. He bowled with great seam
position, found late swing and vicious bounce, that was the undoing of one
or two particularly useful batsmen, borrowed from Gaddesden’s Saturday
At 50 for five, a pretty significant partnership was required to make much of a match, and that’s just what the batsmen managed. There were many notable bowling cameos; our youth policy looked strong, Walter, Charlie Line and Kenny were all disciplined. But the old guard showed their considerable experience; Nick and Jez dispensed with run ups in the 29 degree heat, and twirled down tempting but deadly off spin that kept Hyde Heath very much on top. It was at this ground last year that Heath shelled half a dozen of the simplest catches imaginable (YouTube “Gatting dropped catch” for an illustration) following a local music festival that was much enjoyed by all. There was no danger of repeating that this year, all chances that went to hand were snaffled, including a lightning quick reaction catch by Gus, who decided in a flash not to move a single muscle.
We took tea requiring 171 to win, which felt slightly under par. Dom and Mo started brightly, until Dom managed to toe end the worst delivery bowled all day to a grateful cover fielder, which brought Henry King to the crease. It was Henry’s wicket, given his perchance for the backfoot and as the sun shined he made metaphorical hay. He and Mo made run scoring look easy; they picked their gaps and played their shots.
Both made fifties and brought us home with plenty of overs in hand. The mirage of The Crown became a reality soon after and we celebrated with headstands and backflips from benches, well Walter did and we all applauded whilst we rehydrated.
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|July 8th - Ballinger Waggoners - won|
We hosted Ballinger this Sunday, a fixture which has often become slightly gnarly, but this year both sides were on best behaviour and a friendly match in all senses of the word ended in victory for the Heath. We bowled first and Ali Richards, back for the weekend, took the new ball for his first spell in two years. You wouldn’t have known it, the old zip, nip and carry were still there and his first wicket felt like the first of many to come. It wasn’t to be though as he pulled up with hamstring pain soon after and as the second oldest man in the side, was appropriately retired to the slips.
Ballinger batted as they looked; hugely talented, supremely confident, but very young. Sure, they smashed a good many balls to the boundary, but the inexperience youth often means one doesn’t know who to rein things in and knock it around for a few overs. The bowlers stuck to their task and we dismissed Ballinger for a well below par 157. Spencer was the pick of the bowlers, taking a fine five wicket haul, and Dominic continued to keep wicket assuredly, taking three dismissals including a leg side stumping which he’ll happily talk you through three of four times.
The most notable batting performance was Henry King. After a slowing start to the season, he’s recently found real form and his 65 today was another excellent example of a well-made innings. Henry Capper had earlier reached a typically untroubled 40, before having to retire to nurse a ill son, we wish George a speedy recovery. Spencer arrived at the innings to finish things off coolly, scoring 18* to knock off the runs with plenty of overs and wickets to spare, ending an excellent day for him and Hyde Heath.
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|July 15th - Red Sq Lions - Draw|
When it became clear this week that football wasn’t actually coming home, our only silver lining was that this meant that Sunday’s fixture against old friends Red Square Lions was back on. Thanks to our glorious summer heatwave, the outfields was scorched, but Mikey had redoubled recent efforts and the pitch was green and fair to both sides. We were asked to bat first and got off to a stumbling start, to leave us 40 for three and requiring some graft. Captain Nick gave us just that, joining Henry King who looked in good touch.
They added 80 odd to our score thanks to good running and hard hitting. Henry selflessly continued to attack, forgoing the possibility perhaps of a hundred and Nick was desperately unlucky to fall two short of a 50. It turned out to be a vital partnership as we added precious few more runs before being bowled out for 157. We went down in a blaze of glory though, Angus nonchalantly clipping the penultimate ball of the innings for a beautifully timed six over midwicket, flamingo style.
It was going to take some bowling effort to contain Red Square Lions, but we had the right personnel for it; Stanley, Adam Swede, Ben and Sohail. Early inroads pinned Red Square back to 40-4, then came a passage in which we contained them well, thanks to good bowling and some stunning efforts on the field, notably from Charlie “Sea lion” Line, but we failed to make another breakthrough.
The target was being chipped away at and with five overs to go they needed just 30 runs and the Heath five wickets. Then came an astonishing ten deliveries. Walter took an outstanding catch, sprinting across fifteen yards in the covers, which added to his catches last week is giving him a late surge on Fielder of the Year. Immediately afterwards Stanley made a low tricky catch on the boundary look easy, then Ben clipped the top of number 8’s middle stump. In our final over we need two wickets to win. Swedey cleaned up number nine, but their number 11 managed to survive to claim a draw.
Another fantastic finish to a match that probably neither side deserved to lose. After handshakes all round we repaired to Plough for the World Cup final.
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July 22nd - Gt Gaddesdon - win
Despite a good start by Ben and Stanley, we couldn’t make an early breakthrough against Great Gaddesden. Spencer and Nick took over to chip in with two and one wicket respectively and Olly Hall finished off our bowling effort with six tight overs, taking three for 26 as Gaddesden were pushing for declaration, which they did on 204.
A score of over 200 always takes some chasing. We made things trickier still by losing both openers, Henry and Dom, whilst still in single figures. We needed an impressive innings from the promoted Spencer and debutant Max Free to get anywhere near Gaddesden’s total. Fortunately that’s exactly what we got, both of them smiting the ball to all parts, going hit for hit with each other. Max was dismissed on 50, but Spencer went on and on, past his previous top score and surely on his way to a maiden hundred. It wasn’t to be; on 98 he caught brilliantly on the boundary, and sank to his knees in dismay. Though two short of a century, his innings had steered us to certain victory and Captain Nick took us home with a watchful 19 not out.
A match that will be remembered for a very
fine innings with bat and ball by Spencer, who’ll be able to look back
on getting out on 98 and laugh one day. Not this season perhaps.
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|July 27th (Friday) Petts Wood touring - win|
So on Friday we had our annual fixture against
the touring side Pettswood. We decided to play a 30 over game as the rain
was forecast for later in the day.
Hyde Heath lost the toss And we were made to bowl first. Stanley and Adam opened the bowling, both bowling quick and tight just too good for the batsmen, so didn’t quite get the start we wanted. First change was the ever reliable Ben Sonley. He bowled a great spell and took two important wickets.
I’m pretty sure Kenny had his first bowl of the season and took a wicket or two as well. It is tough fielding on the common when it is this dry, but we were pretty poor in the field, and Pettswood off there 30 overs managed to score 180. Thank goodness it was time for tea great spread put on by Matt and Nick.
Out to bat we went. Matt and Nick decided to open. Nick got the runs flowing quickly but was giving out LBW. Matt tried to steady the ship but losing too quick wickets Sent Luke to the crease and what an innings he played.
Matt supported him for as long as he could and Luke chipped away with some great batting managing to get his first century for the club. W
With one over to go and eight runs to win the game, Stanley Joined Luke in the middle and every shot Luke played Stanley sprinted up and down the wicket to turn singles in twos.
They did it with two balls to spare !
What a really memorable Friday afternoon. Our first win against Pettswood in quite a few years
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|August 5th - Cublington - Away Win|
We arrived at Cublington choc-full of batting, ready to chase down anything that we were set. And lo, it came to pass. Swedey and Sonley made a fine new ball pair.
Swedey was desperately unlucky that the number of edges he found didn’t go to hand (or certainly weren’t taken), he could have had a hat full, but his only dismissal was their opener, who was struck plumb in front of middle, duly given out by his teenage son, before hurrying back out of the pavilion before another ball had been bowled, publically admonishing said teenager and substituting him – it was all very odd.
Ben was tying up the other end beautifully, taking two wickets and going for just 16 off his seven overs, a really impressive stint. Nick bowled with accuracy and guile in probably his best spell for the club, going at just three runs per over and could have taken more than his single wicket if the keeper took his stumpings (mea culpa).
All this economy was all well and good, but who was going to take all the wickets? Kenny Holt! A fine display by Kenny saw him take four wickets, including two excellent over-the-shoulder catches by Adam Swede, a sharp caught-and-bowled, and a cunning delivery which the batsman managed to play and miss three times before it rearranged his furniture.
Restricting the good Cublington side to 183 was an impressive first half, now it was up to our batters to get us home; which they did inside 30 overs. The bulk of the runs came from Henry Capper’s bat, until it broke, he replaced I, then carried on his merry way to another fine century. As with so many of Henry’s recent knocks, this hundred was chanceless, well-paced (84 balls) and the rock around which the innings was built.
Henry King added a dashing and confident 32, Swedey a measured 16 in an important partnership and Kenny was there at the end, enjoying some time in the middle and some red ink.
The match was concluded in level-headed style, as with one required, fielders all around called for sixes and glory. Henry bunted the ball to midwicket and strolled to glory instead, a judicious end to a wonderful and match winning innings. To the beer garden then, for warm evening sun and cold refreshments.
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|August 19th - Ley Hill|
holidays still in full swing, we arrived at Ley Hill with eight players.
Fortunately, in order to get a game the very accommodating Ley Hill
skipped had arranged two of his regulars to play for us all day and
rotated one of their players in the field to give us 11.
Our new ball pair was a formidable one, Adam Swede and Luke. They started with good pace and accuracy, but Ley Hill had an experienced nurdler at one end and star of their Saturday XI at the other.
Our change bowlers all took a bit of a pasting as small boundary, quick outfield and the odd fielding error counted against us. We finished strongly to contain Ley Hill to 244. Particular mention to Adam for another sterling effort with the ball; after a loosening first over he went for just 20 runs in his next 7, which given the rate was outstanding. Also to Liam who kept wicket impeccably, Kenny who made a steepling skyer look very easy and Gus who continued to field despite blinding himself on a thorn in the undergrowth.
Dom and Luke got us off to a good start, putting on 170 for the first wicket. Luke was in excellent form, crashing three of his first few deliveries for boundaries through the covers, and carrying on in that vein to a second hundred in successive innings. A real highlight was the three sixes in consecutive deliveries, smashing Ley Hill’s skipper on to a golf course well over the legside boundary.
With us still requiring 120 from ten overs it was rather amusing that the oppo keeper (to whom it’s fair to say we hadn’t warmed through our innings) suggested that Luke retire to “make a game of it”. Clearly the oppo has heard about Luke’s match winning heroics against Petts Wood! The invitation was politely, but firmly, declined and Luke kept finding the boundary until he swung so hard that his bat flew to backward square leg and he wasn’t able to make his ground for a scampered single. A fine innings that kept us competitive for much of the match.
Dom meanwhile had been inside edging fours, bunting singles and exaggeratedly leaving in support of Luke’s heroics. With Luke gone he upped the tempo, clearing the ropes a few times but wasn’t able to keep the rate above 10 and was caught on 65, with three overs remaining and forty needed for victory.
Ever the optimist, Kenny kept going, slogging hard and running harder. Perhaps it was the pressure of the chase that made him forget that his batting partner Jez had a broken foot so that when he called him through for a two that Usain Bolt wouldn’t have fancied much, Jez was left yards short. Perhaps instead Kenny had one eye on the batting cup and was dismissing a fellow red-ink enthusiast?
Jez went, Kenny finished not out on 12 and we ended 25 short. We lost, but against an excellent Ley Hill side and we were all very grateful to get a match and postpone those chores until the bank holiday weekend.
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|September 2nd - The Fiddlers - Home - Draw|
|The Fiddlers made their debut at the
Heath this week, thanks to a pairing via the fixtures conference. The
Fiddlers turned out to be an extremely likeable bunch, and talented
We started brightly; Stanley and Ben’s excellent opening spell and some inspired fields by Nick gave us us two early breakthroughs and restricted scoring for the first 20 overs. After drinks the batsmen threw caution to the wind and their hands at the ball, to great effect. Though Nick and Omar both bowled well and our fielders stuck at the task, two of Fiddlers batsmen scored hundreds and posted 250.
We need to get off to a flyer to chase these down. Dom went too big too soon, but both Henrys presses on before King was bowled for another good 30-odd. This brought Omar to the crease under strict instructions to get himself in from the skipper. It worked! He cautiously saw off four or five overs and then was his destructive best, crashing boundaries to all parts.
While Henry was with him we were still just about on the match. But having to chase runs Capper was stumped for a well made 65. Omar carried on dispatching bad balls but quiet rightly reined in his natural attacking mindset to shepherd us home to a safe draw. Omar top scored with 67 and looked like he’d sleep well that night.
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|September 9th - Holmer Green - Home win to end the season|
see Our final match of 2018, the end of the hottest English summer on
record, and we were desperate to go out with a win. We were at home Holmer
Green, who boast two Saturday league sides and were overheard joshing that
they had managed to put together their strongest ever Sunday XI. Reader,
it was no match for Hyde Heath Village X(!), our ten men steam rolled
Holmer Green to be in the Plough at little after 5pm.
We began the match with a little trepidation, on recognising their opening batsmen as the rather short tempered, professional cage fighter we came across at Bourne End a couple of years ago, so we kept on best behaviour. I’d always understood the point of cage fighting was that you couldn’t get out, well this chap made getting out look easy. As indeed did most of his colleagues. True, all four of our seam attack (Stan, Ben, Adam and Luke) bowled brilliantly, but for a league side their batsmen had an odd knack of playing round straight ones.
Nick took a nasty knock on the knee and had to retire leaving us with ten men and in the hands of the “Vice-squad” for much of the innings, who were helped out by our bowlers bowling impeccably and the whole side fielding strongly. Swedey was the pick of the attack, pitching up and moving the ball at pace so that every ball looked like it might take a wicket and five of them did! Luke got some nasty bounce with his extra pace and had the batsmen hopping around at the other end. Holmer Green were eventually dismissed for just 94.
We should have made light work of the chase, but Holmer Green bowled wit great discipline and the odd excellent delivery to see off Capper, King, Brennan, Masood and Holt for low scores. Dom showed gritty determination and patiently compiled a 32 not out that got us over the line with plenty of time remaining, if not that many more wickets.
And so we brought the 2018 season to a fitting close, victory under sunny skies - it’s been that sort of a season. See you at the Bank of England in April.
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