September 16th -
Ivinghoe & Pitstone - Home
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
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.
Top of Page
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
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
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.
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...
Top of Page
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
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)
Aug 26th - Bank of England
Touring - Home
|Bank of England 192 all out
|Hyde Heath won by 7 wickets.
Top of Page
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.
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.
Top of Page
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
Top of Page
Aug 5th -
Bourne End - Home
July 29th - Cublington - Home
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
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
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
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July 22nd - Full Tossers - Home
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
Top of Page
20th - Petts Wood - Home
following heavy overnight rain - pitch waterlogged
Top of Page
July 15th - Ivinghoe
& Pitstone - Away
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.
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
HHCC 142 for 2 in 33 overs
James Shrimpton 60 not out
Henry Capper 35
HHCC won by 8 wickets
Top of Page
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).
June 24th - 20/20 vs The Plough
the winner ? the weather - match cancelled following
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
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
Liam Harrison, Harry McPugh.
Front: Charlie Samuels (Captain), The President, , James
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June 17th - Red Square Lions - Home
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.
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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
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,
HHCC 70-4 (McPugh 25, Capper 21 not out)
HHCC Won by 6 wickets
- 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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- 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
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
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
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
|Gone !! ..
Capper superbly caught by the bowler (great photo too!)
|The catch of the afternoon !
|Me bowling (note the Stop HS2 sign in the
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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
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.
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
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.
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May 13th - The Lee - Away
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….
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
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.
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”.
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!
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
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.
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
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