Sydenham CC 196 for 9 from 35 overs
Kington St Michael 162 for 10 from 35 overs
Sydenham won the toss and chose to Bat
Our annual tour to Wiltshire is now a highly anticipated highlight to a season with all sorts of highs and lows. The trip down the M4 might be as straight as Nick Barker, or at least his bowling, but for many of the players it is a long and winding road to cricketing greatness and local folk law in years to come. Certainly by the time we actually arrived in the T. Roe ‘tractor’ it seemed as though the route was somewhat less straight forward, but this allowed us the time to create many memories on an otherwise uneventful journey.
Arriving on the Saturday evening allowed the team to meet and discuss the following days match in great detail. A team meeting in the local hostelry certainly seemed a good place for this. After much debate it was decided that we should play the match and that it didn’t matter if we could see 22 yards or not!
Arriving at the village of Seagry the next afternoon (Kington St Michael, like us, do not play in their own village for fear of embarrassment) we went straight to the local pub for our second pre-match meeting; only for it to be disrupted by local farmer/bookmaker Robert, who promptly gave us £20, Evens on us to win! Naturally we took the money assuming with great confidence that we would (in a few hours’ time) keep his money having lost the match.
The ground was stunning, part of the grounds of the village manor house owned privately but cricket has always been played here. We felt quite out of our depth in such regal surroundings, both from a cricketing point of view and for most as individuals. Matt Reading being the only exception did mention that ‘this is what one expects when travelling!’
Toby, our great leader, won the toss and with some confidence chose to bat. He obviously knew what was to follow. Our highest score of the season thanks largely to a great team effort where 5 of our batsmen achieved good double figure scores, with Paul Reynolds scoring 30; James Ward 64 and Nick Barker 36. Ward in particular showed great patience to get himself in and then hit some stunning boundaries, including 3 sixes in the space of 2 overs; whilst Paul Reynolds could count himself unlucky to be out LBW after controversial use of the DRS system by the standing umpire Mark Kermack. In fact the DRS system has ben re-named ‘ask James Ward the rules’ or JWRS (James Ward Review System). The amazing thing was after scoring 30 more than we had done all season we were a little annoyed that we had not passed the 200 mark, Bradley, Brewster and Reading all furious with their rather tame dismissals. Brewster for a Golden Duck that certainly wasn’t in the plan from the previous evening, but may have had something to do with him ‘helping out his captain’ with a rather nasty looking drink from another lost drinking game.
The change of innings saw the Sydenham team tuck into far too much tea and we all rolled out to field well stuffed! A good start was important to ensure we gave KSM not even a sniff of victory and this was provided by the opening pair of Bradley and Barker. From one end you had youthful enthusiasm bursting with energy and at the other a rather sorry looking sportsman from yesteryear, but as a pair they were quite complimentary. KSM could only score 9 from the first 8 overs. The change in bowling kept the pressure up and wickets begun to fall, Roe and Brewster getting the scorers pencil working before Reading put the pencil sharpener into over drive with 3 wickets in one over, followed by two more to give him 5 for 11 from just 4 remarkable overs. KSM were way off the rate; 40 from 17 overs for 5 wickets. They did make a comeback, largely through N Walton who bashed 52 from just 44 balls, he was well supported and they managed to get up to 130 from 29 overs, but with Walton’s dismissal any feint hopes were well and truly extinguished. Sydenham then took the remaining wickets to win the match by 34 runs.
A great ‘mini tour’ completed with a win, the only sacrifice was Roe’s drinking pride and the loss of £40 to Robert the bookie who cashed in on our success!! We look forward to our remaining matches this season, and as ever welcome new faces into the team who have a connection to the village, no matter of age, gender or ability!
Sydenham CC vs Wiltshire Drinking Establishments
Sydenham chose to drink and came off worse – PH’s won by a bottle of Pernod
Man of the Match: Toby ‘Tote’ ‘Cheery Face’ ‘Smiler’’ Roe
So off we travelled from our beautiful Oxfordshire village into Wiltshire, arriving (by the way of the Greyhound PH) to Jct17 and the equally stunning Leigh Delemere services where we rested our bags for the evening. Our rooms had splendid views of the service station wall opposite and as quickly as we had arrived we were gone again.
Arriving at The Jolly Huntsman PH we had our full quota of 10 players, then Paul Reynolds turned up….even better we all thought! After much thought and some furious eating we decided that captain Roe should pay the price for his previous indiscretions as captain and we strung him up good and proper, even his Jeep got the string treatment. (Though this was not apparent until the following morning) A quick jet wash and all was forgotten however!
So with all fed and well watered (largely by 6X and Rioja) we thought our best bet was to drink even more at a new establishment, unsurprisingly we did not get the warmest welcome when eleven drunken fools (+ Briggs) who?? exactly!! tumbled through the door of the Elmed Huntsman PH at about 10:30pm. The landlord had (it turned out from our return the next morning to return stolen mementos and him telling us his life story) had a particularly long day of idiots turning up in his pub causing much noise and frivolity. Much to the annoyance of his wife, apparently!
After the first quiet drink the drinking games started and it was quickly apparent that only one person (fool) from the group was going to suffer more than the rest, poor captain Roe was just incapable of getting his head down and staying sober, and so it was he fell through his parents door at 1am* when the rest of the team were safely tucked up in bed on the slow lane of the M4 westbound (though only after some KrispyCreme Doughnut’s were kindly gifted our way)
On rising the next morning we realised that much of the above would have to be made up to fit the profile of such an elite sports team in order to avoid the ICC statutory 2 match ban for professionals conduct. Luckily David Boon was too busy brushing his moustache to make a ruling prior to our game the next day. And so it was we all went off to our match in high spirits.
*Earlier in the day, unfortunately for Toby and his parents, Will and Sue, Toby’s dog Monty had urinated all over the hall way (apparently this is quite normal behaviour in Wiltshire!?) and on entering the house without proper use of the door handle at 1am Roe slipped and banged his head on the hallway floor. This clearly effected the clarity of his memories of the previous evening as his version of events were rather different to the above report, we all know what really happened!
Sydenham vs Haddenham on 26th July
Haddenham won the toss and batted first 173 all out from 35 overs
Sydenham 163 for 8 from 35 overs
EXTRA! EXTRA! Come and get your Extras!
On a very warm day and an extremely dry pitch Haddenham CC made good use of winning the toss by batting first. A steady start to the game followed; with Nic Barker producing some very tight accurate fast bowling whilst at the other end Matt Reading produced more of a mixed bag! Both bowlers took wickets and Haddenham were reduced to 33 for 2 from 8 overs. Unfortunately several of the 33 runs Haddenham had accumulated were gifted to them by too many wide balls and some more than charitable fielding from the home team. Haddenham’s middle order progressed nicely with a good left/right hand combination making it difficult for the home sides’ bowlers to bowl as accurately as needed to set a good field. The runs continued to build with the odd wicket falling, Dan Bradley trapped one LBW whilst Phil Archer game close to the edge of the bat on several occasions with no luck. The score progressed onto 75 for 4 from 17 overs at drinks, where many of the Sydenham fielders looked less than fully motivated to return to the heat of the field. There was a definite lack of cheerful motivation with the absence of full-time captain Toby ‘happy face’ Roe taking a mid-season break in Cornwall in search of his best batting form. Lets hope he returns next week fully refreshed and raring to go!
After drinks the introduction of Chris ‘Chalky’ White on debut was an excellent fit into the Sydenham team in so many ways. His name just seems to fit on the team sheet so comfortably. Unfortunately he was rather less comfortable due to a strong dose of sciatica preventing his normally free flowing bowling action, nevertheless he produced 7 good overs taking two wickets at just over 3 runs per over. Meanwhile at the other end saw Johnny ‘the youth’ Archer have his first ever bowl in a match, captain for the day Bradley putting some blind trust in this never seen before bowler. After the first 3 balls totalled 12 runs there was doubt creeping into the decision making process! Johnny came up trumps though completing the remainder of the over with 5 dot balls, beating the bat on three occasions and earning himself a second over that was equally as good.
All through the match the Sydenham side contributed to the scoring with wide deliveries, overthrows and byes. The score creeping up to 142 for 6 from 28 overs . Bradley and Barker returned for the remaining overs but despite taking the last four wickets the score finished on 173 (54 being the top score by nearly 20 – EXTRAS!!)
It must be mentioned the outstanding contribution of Nigel Brewster, in the field he was dynamic, positive and a joy to play with. A quick rest for the last 10 over thanks to our 12th man rotation system only added to his general excellence.
In return Sydenham knew they had a big ask, 174 to win would be something special. It got off to a steady start, if a little slow. Bradley and Brewster seeing the team to 38 for 0 from 13 overs. Brewster playing some elegant cover drives for his 12 and Bradley playing some bullish lofted straight drives for his 36. Both fell to catches trying to force the ball over the top and in the meantime Paul Reynolds chopped one onto his own stumps. James Ward was looking good for his 9 before Haddenham’s ‘mystery spinner’ eventually turned one down the hill to bowl him. With the score on 72 for 4 from 18 overs Matt Reading and Chalky were at the crease and they put together a fantastic partnership. Reading rotating the strike regularly and Chalky hitting boundary after boundary. Reading progressed into the 20s with Chalky moving past 50 in just 34 balls. Suddenly the score was 124, 50 more required from 6.4 overs – GAME ON! The opening bowlers returned and the boundaries were harder to come by but the strike was continually rotated and the score progressed. Reading then got caught on 25 followed by Chalky on 57. With 30 needed from the last 3 overs Phil Archer and Nic Barker gave it a great shot, Nic hitting two boundaries to set up a close finish, 15 needed from the last four balls of the match. It was not to be and we finished 10 short of the target.
A good competitive game played in excellent spirits by both teams, but it left the home side rueing their sloppiness in the field with all those extras, 54 vs (12 for Haddenham) was just too much to make up. Next week is the annual tour to Wiltshire, Roe back at the helm – Thank God for that!!
We couldn’t beileve it when our opening bowler of the day (James Ward in the White Shirt!) stood for a hug with the oppositions opening batsmen!! Classic!!
Great Milton vs Sydenham 13th July
Sydenham 134 for 9 from 35 overs – Great Milton 137 for 3 from 33.2overs
Having won last week the team met with great optimism of another victory, especially as Mark Kermack was not playing but running the score board. Our average age was also lowered considerably by this non-selection as well as the introduction of the Archer family, Phil and his 2 sons along with their friend Alex Church, all had a splendid game! (The future for Sydenham CC!!) Phil led by example with some committed fielding and the boys showed us all how to throw the ball in hard, Frank’s gloves were smoldering on occassion.
Our optimism was soon dampened as we realised captain Roe was on his way out for the toss, really a lose lose situation. On a damp green pitch we were asked to bat by the opposition, though there is much debate as to whether the Sydenham captain actually won the toss and decided to bat. The Sydenham opening batsmen Paul Reynolds strolled out into the middle, along with Captain Roe. A fine start on a tough batting track until Reynolds was trapped LBW for 8 in the 7th over. Enter vice-captain Bradley, surely the combination of skipper and vice skipper at the wicket was a dangerous one? It was all Roe could do on a tricky pitch to stay in against some accurate bowling, whilst it was all Bradley could do to contain his mutterings about the technique on show at the other end. Roe eventually fell to a fine delivery that would have got even Devon Malcom out. Bradley managed to play diligently whilst at the other end two more wickets fell (Howeth and Barker, [the now lesser bearded one] both out for not many). Lloyd McKay then provided some good support as the team moved onto 90 from 22 overs, Bradley passing 50. Runs continued to come until Bradley was caught for 72. Sydenham still had 7 overs to bat and needed to use all the balls to get up to their final total of 134, McKay and Phil Archer hitting some good boundaries.
The target was not too daunting a prospect from 35 overs, especially with the pitch drying every over and offering more opportunities to play scoring shots. Nick Barker charged in with good pace and direction but the batsmen saw him off, but few runs were conceded. Whilst at the other end the slow spin from Reynolds produced the first wicket. Bradley and McKay continued to add pressure by bowling tightly, but wickets were hard to come by. Great Milton were 55 for 2 from 18 overs. Slow but steady. Milton’s middle order batsmen were well settled and waiting for the bad balls which they played well and moved onto 80 for 2, needing another 55 to win at just 3 an over. Sydenham needed wickets, but even with the added pace of Barker bowling again none were found. Captain Roe moved between his bowlers with Phil Archer bowling a good spell but the score continued to go up. Great Milton needed just 10 from the last 4 overs to win when McKay took his second wicket of the day, but too late to affect the game. Great Miilton had won!
Ewleme 87 all out from 33.2 overs – Sydenham 89 for 5 from 32.4 overs
Since our nail bitting victory (match report below) against Old Berkely the gentlemen members of the cricket club obviously wished to be rembered for that last performance, and duely had a couple of weeks off to bask in the glory of that last ball victory – oh so sweet the taste!
But we had to get back onto the pitch versus Ewelme to see if any of that magic was still present……and bugger me it was! In a low scoring match on a dodgy pitch where accurate bowling gave much reward to the bowler, James Ward and the ever steady Nigel Brewster chased down a score of just 87 with 2 overs to spare. There were some significant wobbles on the way with four cheap wickets falling early on, Reynolds, Bradley and Barker (the hairy junior version) the most significant losses (losers?)
Earlier in the day our bowlers had reduced Ewelme to a low score with some accurate bolwing from all involved. Some overconfidence at tea nearly jumped up to bite back when wickets were tumbling but we just struggled past the winning post.
Of particular note was the quality of match tea – An overwhealming amount of quality sweets, far outnumbering the savouries had the Sydenham batsmen in some discompfort prior to taking their guards – a fine ploy from the home team!
Sydenham CC won the toss and scored 154 all out from 34.2 overs
Old Berkeley scored 150 for 7 from 35 overs
Sydenham’s season is up and running after a fabulous last ball victory against Old Berkley and skipper Toby ‘Monty-come-here’ Roe was beaming from ear to ear after Sydenham secured victory with the final ball of the match. The Sydenham XI for the day turned out to be to be ten after Dan Bradley’s technology inspired recruitment drive fell flat. Our eleventh player promised to us via the means of twitter never materialised which left some puzzled looks in the dressing room as the team counted the players again and again, unsure who was missing. The team did however have rather an international feel about it. We drafted in Damian Hill from Australia as our overseas player coupled with a late call up (about 1 am Sunday) for Howard ‘Digger’ Innocent who travelled over from Essex.
Captain Roe won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat. The pitch looked good – firm and true. The day was beautiful and the grounds stunning. The fact that we batted first was in fact on this occasion a good thing as some of the players had headed off to the Prince of Wales before the start in order to get some refreshments. Clearly it worked for some, but not for others. Damian was one of these and unaccustomed to Sydenham’s version of a couple of looseners, set about the oppositions bowling with glee. With Paul Reynolds at his side it was the best opening partnership for some years. With score on 87, Reynolds was eventually caught for 17. Damian went soon after departing with a super 65 to his name on debut. Dan Bradley and Nick Barker were at the crease and back in the dressing room the skipper commented (fatefully) about how good things were looking. Bradley slapped a wide long hop to cover for 16. James Ward played all round a straight one and was LBW for 4, debutant Digger was back in the hutch after his first ball and Frank the Bush, Paul Stevenson, Mark Kermack and Toby Roe were all bowled for next to nothing. Fortunately at the other end Nick Barker stood firm and finished 32 not out with some lusty blows to the boundary. All out for 154. A remarkably good collapse.
Spruced up by a good tea Sydenham set about defending the total. Barker and Hill bowled a superb opening spell with Barker taking two quick wickets to peg back the opposition. Captain Roe then cleverly brought the two Pauls for a spell of spin whilst Old Berkley rebuilt. They rebuilt steadily but were behind the rate until the 15th over when their skipper went into overdrive and begun crunching the ball all over the place. Bradley and Roe came on to bowl – spin and fearsome pace respectively. Eventually the onslaught was stopped by a brilliant caught and bowled by Bradley; it will take something special to stop it being catch of the season. The game was then cat and mouse till the close. Sydenham chipping away with regular wickets followed by some big shots from the Old Berkley team that got them closer to the target. Roe bowled a super spell taking a deserved wicket from his last over. The last five overs were tense as ‘Jumbo’, Old Berkley’s star player, began emulating Gordon Greenwich. With a runner on for his a torn hamstring he took the game to the last over with some of the biggest whacks of the day. However, debutant Hill kept his nerve and bowled a faultless last over. With 10 to win from 6 Old Berkley could only manage 5 of the required runs, albeit the two spectators were on the edge of their seats as it did go the last ball.
The victory is probably Sydenham’s closest for some time. It was played on the whole in good spirit and Sydenham naturally celebrated with a few ales afterwards back at the nearby Prince of Wales.
- Frank is a super outfielder with a great deal of energy.
- It is not advisable to kick the ball over the boundary after dropping it. Preferably try catching it first.
- 5 dropped catches. Whoops.
- Depending on who you are either do or don’t have too much to drink before a game.
- When dismissed it is not the done thing to swear at the top of your voice. Especially if your voice is Mark Kermack’s.
- Nets might help.
Sydenham won the toss and decided to bowl, on a rather soft slow wicket. The winning of the toss allowed captain Roe to redeem himself from last season’s poor decisions at the toss to bat first on many occasions under similarly moist conditions. Things were looking positive! Then James Ward was handed the ball to open the seasons bowling. To be fair to captain Roe we were rather short in this department so it seemed a straight forward decision to give the ball to our shortest player.
The opposition got off to a bit of a flyer with their opening pair throwing caution to the wind and showing little respect to the bowlers. Boundaries, dropped catches and some questionable movement in the field by the now, Vice-captain Dan Bradley allowed Ewelme to move swiftly on to 50 for 0 from 8 overs. It did seem during this period that wherever the field was set the ball dropped from where fielders had just moved and when it did finally go to them for a catch the lack of practice certainly showed in some pitiful attempts at getting the batsmen out, more runs!
With no fear and only great optimism shown by captain Roe he changed the bowling to spin, despite there being no obvious change in the pace of the bowling Paul Reynolds broke the opening partnership with a ball that turned down the hill and pushed middle stump backwards just enough to dislodge the bails. In the very next over Dan Bradley achieved a similar delivery and the score was now 54 for 2 from 10 overs. The game had changed, many tight overs from Reynolds, Eaton and Bradley followed and wickets tumbled with Ewelme reduced to 120 for 8 from 24 overs, Reynolds the pick of the bowlers with 5 wickets to his name, with Nigel Brewster taking 3 fine catches. The last two partnerships saw the momentum swing back in Ewelme’s favour and some excellent hitting from their last pair in particular saw them reach 174 all out from 33 overs. A rather above par score and one that sent shivers through the Sydenham dressing room at tea. Which was excellent by the way! Thank you Mr and Mrs Ashfield for a delightful spread.
With the players all looking rather heavier and slower after a huge tea we trudged out to bat. Nigel Brewster and Paul Reynolds were handed responsibility to get the run chase going and they were doing rather nicely until an LBW appeal went up, followed quickly by the umpires finger, Reynolds was not such a happy boy! Sydenham with Brewster and Eaton at the crease re-built however and were 37 for 1 from 12 overs, with Brewster hitting some fine boundaries in addition to the very occasional quick single. The partnership was broken when Brewster hit a wide one straight into covers hands and he managed to cling on. For the next 10 overs or so scoring was rather laboured, thanks in part to some accurate bowling by Ewleme and in a larger way to the slowness of the pitch. Eaton fell to a slower ball that bounced twice to york him, bowled! Bradley was slowly chipping away to move onto 20 odd. With the run rate slipping some way behind where we needed it to be, Kermack and Bradley had discussions to push the rate forwards and some sharp running between the wickets helped. With the score at 72 for 4 from 21 overs Bradley started to find his timing and over the next few overs the score started to advance, but Ewelme hit back with a couple of wickets, largely helped by last season’s batmen extraordinaire James Ward forgetting to play a shot to a straight one! Another one bowled out!
With the score sat on 97 for 6 from 26 overs, Sydenham required 10 runs an over for the remaining 9 overs to win the match, but with only 4 wickets remaining it looked unlikely. Bradley moved onto 50 by hitting a fine 6 over square leg, but was bowled out by the very next delivery. From there the game slipped away and we were bowled out for 124.
No matter though!, as for the first time in several years The Crown in Sydenham opened its doors on a Sunday night and both teams drank and compared notes on a very fine game of cricket. We look forward to our return fixture to Ewelme on July 6th and to our fixture next Sunday against Old Berkley.
Each year the cricket club is supported financially from the Fayre. It is a great afternoon out and the cricket team takes centre stage in the Tug of War.
Please help support the village by attending and also offering to man the gate and sell raffle tickets (just 30mins each will cover it)
Let John Ashfield or Toby Roe know if you can help
Welcome to groundskeeper Willie
We are pleased to announce that we have secured on a long term contract a highly experienced and passionate groundsman. Willie has been flown over from the three valleys ski resort by the club and he is being housed locally for the duration of the summer. Willie is also combining his groundskeeping duties with baby sitting duties (Annabelle Ward). With the roller now fully functional along with the mower surely there is no stopping us from having a track that will be faultless. Unfortunately for our batsmen this does take out the old excuses of ‘it kept low’ or ‘it moved a mile’. With the first game fast approaching the ground is looking great thanks to hard work by members of the village and we look forward to seeing our ‘ barmy army’ supporting us throughout the season.
First game is at home on May 11th at 2pm. Please follow us on twitter @sydenhamcricket and our website www.sydenhamcricketclub.com