2009 Season

The match reports, batting averages, bowling averages and fantasy league scores from the 2009 season are available below:

Dorchester Cricket Team 2009

Back row (l - r): J Lees, J Smith, M Stewardson, D Blake, R Brown, I Cross
Front row (l - r): A Cooper (w/c), P Taylor (c), J Flight, B Taylor, D Brennan
Also played but not pictured: A Gaunt, S Bennett, D Spencer, R Hicklin, K Brown

Averages - Batting

M Inns NO Runs Ave HS 50s 100s 4s 6s B'dary % Ct St
I Cross 8 8 2 312 52.00 105 2 1 34 10 62.82% 2 0
J Lees 6 6 2 206 51.50 79 2 0 25 5 63.11% 1 0
A Cooper 8 8 3 232 46.40 64 1 0 24 1 43.97% 9 5
D Blake 5 5 0 193 38.60 128 0 1 25 2 61.35% 1 0
P Taylor 8 6 1 144 28.80 56 2 0 16 1 48.61% 7 0
J Flight 9 9 0 163 18.11 51 1 0 25 0 61.35% 0 0
Also batted
J Smith 9 6 3 40 13.33 20 0 0 5 0 50.00% 3 0
R Hicklin 2 2 1 12 12.00 9 0 0 0 0 0.00% 2 0
B Taylor 5 3 2 8 8.00 5 0 0 0 0 0.00% 1 0
K Brown 4 1 0 7 7.00 7 0 0 1 0 57.14% 1 0
A Gaunt 5 1 0 4 4.00 4 0 0 0 0 0.00% 0 0
D Brennan 6 5 1 12 3.00 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% 1 0
S Bennett 6 1 0 0 0.00 0 0 0 0 0   1 0
M Stewardson 6 1 1 7   7 0 0 0 0 0.00% 1 0
R Brown 5 1 1 7   7 0 0 1 0 57.14% 2 0
D Spencer 5 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0   1 0
L McClusker 1 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0   0 0

Averages - Bowling

O M R W Ave B-B R/o S/r
J Smith 58.5 13 153 7 21.86 2 for 15 2.60 50.43
S Bennett 42 3 175 5 35.00 2 for 31 4.17 50.4
M Stewardson 41 11 130 3 43.33 1 for 19 3.17 82
Also bowled
D Blake 18.4 2 63 4 15.75 3 for 9 3.38 28
D Brennan 19 0 95 6 15.83 3 for 7 5.00 19
R Hicklin 12 0 34 2 17.00 1 for 11 2.83 36.00
L McClusker 5 0 35 2 17.50 2 for 35 7.00 15.00
J Lees 10 0 53 3 17.67 2 for 21 5.30 20
D Spencer 28.4 0 147 7 21.00 3 for 14 5.13 24.57
K Brown 16 3 72 3 24.00 2 for 19 4.50 32
P Taylor 10 1 74 3 24.67 2 for 22 7.40 20.00
J Flight 22.3 0 124 5 24.80 3 for 20 5.51 27
R Brown 30.1 3 132 5 26.40 2 for 22 4.38 36.2
A Gaunt 33 3 209 3 69.67 1 for 40 6.33 66
B Taylor 1 0 7 0   0 for 7 7.00  
I Cross 1 0 4 0   0 for 4 4.00  

Fantasy League

Manager Eastwood Total
Ady - Cooper's Clowns 618 2619
Colin - Stroke Select 341 2425
Mick - The Vicar's Mob 748 2336
Beryl - Legs 11 462 2228
Kev - Retired but Willing 612 2179
Jeremy 442 2121
Steve - Hang up your Boots 324 2095
Max - Max-imum Five 428 2052
Alex 304 2048
Dave - BenEllie V 208 1972
Paul - Gaunty's Pants 478 1949
Amy - Amy's Angels 418 1900
Rob - Sabina Park and Riders 174 1824
Terry 268 1785
Jon - Ady's Assassin 268 1785
Colin - T for 2 234 1735
Andy - They are not Pink and Fluffy 244 1698
Sarah 124 1664
Jamie - A Kiwi, Three Poms and a Plod 234 1646
Megan - Megan's Mermaids 364 1564
Ian - Not Again 120 1448

Fixtures & Results

Date Opposition Result Match Report
Sunday 3rd May 2009 LONG WHATTON Lost by 37 runs match report
Sunday 10th May 2009 LOUGHBOROUGH CARRILLON Lost by 128 runs match report
Sunday 24th May 2009 ERNHALE CC Cancelled  
Sunday 31st May 2009 BELPER MEADOWS Won by 77 runs match report
Sunday 14th June 2009 ROLLESTON CC Won by 76 runs match report
Sunday 28th June 2009 BREADSALL CC Won by six wickets match report
Sunday 26th July 2009 BREASTON CC Won by 7 wickets match report
Sunday 9th August 2009 LOUGHBOROUGH OUTWOODS (NANPANTAN) Match Cancelled  
Sunday 23rd August 2009 BROOMLEYS CC Lost by 6-wickets match report
Sunday 6th September 2009 CLARENDON VICTORIA Won by eight wickets match report
Sunday 13th September 2009 EASTWOOD TOWN Won by 5 runs match report

LONG WHATTON - Sunday 3rd May 2009

Match report by Paul Taylor

Paul writes

Whilst walking my dog on the morning of the first match of the new season I considered my match strategy for Long Whatton. In 32 prior seasons for the club and over 20 as captain, the standard and thoroughly reliable game plan of tails never fails, bat, get 200 plus in  40 overs and then have a bowl and take it from there has generally served us well.

It took a few miles with Watson and some reconciliation before I came to the conclusion that we should field first if tails did indeed not fail. No nets through the winter or indeed pre season, their destructive Captain and our increasing age profile - it all made sense. They get 200....we knock them off...

Spirits were high in the changing room, pleased it wasn't raining or 9 degrees centigrade, musing over their fantasy league teams for the new season and a small concensus of agreement when I shared my battle plan for the day.

Walking out to the wicket with Alex, their captain I fronted up the option (to save time) of them having a bat. He said he would prefer to toss as that was also his first choice. Anyway tails didn't fail and I questioned his thought process bearing in mind their team was significantly younger than us and had already got 2 games in. He said it was so their boys could have a bigger tea if they got the fielding out the way!!

Fantastic - 2 match plans both built around non cricket thoughts whatsoever....us without a game since August 08 and cobweb ridden, our opponents focussing on the amount of tea they could consume.............classic club cricket strategies.

Back in the changing room donning boots and clean kit (Crossy for the only time all season) the subject hit average age of the team and there were various attempts to work out the figure - all of which failed, but it was noted that even with Danny at 13, the mean, median and mode probably all started with a 4. I was shocked to find out the Vicar was 57 - how many parishioners has he bamboozled over those years with his dibbly dobblies? And how come his body has held up so well but his eyes appear to have not, even with the assistance of those powerful glasses? .

Anyway walking out to the track, I awarded the new ball to the aforementioned Vicar to ply his trade alongside Richard ....they shook hands - a nice touch, in the spirit of great opening bowling partnerships and looked forward to prizing the openers with the new cherry. The sun was shining the ground looked picture postcard and we were good to go....Richard left arm over down the hill, two slips and a gulley.


Now you can read all the humorous cricket books you like - Rain Men, Zimmer something or other,Blowers and Johnners but you just can't make this stuff up.

Over the years I recall some amazing first balls......Blakey steaming in with a new ball at Loughborough off his long run and sending a beamer straight over the batter and keeper's head into the hedge at the far end and never to be seen again. Or maybe going out to bat with Jamie at Hucknall and he moosed the first ball over long on for 6 without flinching. 

But in came Richard......bowled a full bunger outside off stump, which was deposited to the boundary and simultaneously Brown Dog junior collapsed on the floor and  then he was up and about and trotting around attracting the attention of fielders, their non striking batter and the umpire. By the time I got there from square leg Crossy was bracing Richard and trying to pull the dislocated finger  back into play.....and boy was it dislocated.....great for a decent nose pick, but frankly rubbish for seam bowling. There were a few goes and fair play to Richard he was remarkably cool and tolerant of the deformed digit, but it was clear he needed medical assistance rather than Crossy's gung ho tugging which made my eyes water and my bum cheeks clench. So he trudged off.....met by Brown Dog senior and off they went to find a suitable hospital with the professional pulling techniques sadly not employed just a few moments earlier.

Ok well that's not a great start....after one ball.

I invited Smudger to continue the over and the next two balls were also deposited though the offside for 4

So now we have bowled 3 balls, they are 12-0 and we have lost a man. The next ball they just got a two then praise the lord two dot balls and sanity.

The Vicar delivered two maidens in a row and calmed proceedings and in the seventh over we got a break through with Rob, employed as one of the two gulleys (thanks Ian for suggesting) taking a sharp chance just inches over his head, leaving them on 28-1 and us amused with Rob's surprised snapshot look as he caught it. If he had not been so quick of hands there was danger the ball would have furrowed a parting on his head, ah, erm well it would have made it even wider. Rob sports a hair do not dissimilar to my own nowadays at a time when sadly for us it appears long hair is coming back in fashion - double not fair.

The next 20 overs saw a 2nd wicket partnership put together a competent 100, if not always pleasing on the eye. Our fielding was ordinary and our likelihood of taking a wicket looked slim. However we were heartened by the fact that they were not running away with it and their Captain wasn't carting us to all corners of  Long whatton and district.

PC Gaunt had a short 4 over stint (without a wide)  and now Rob was dibbling and dobbling and luckily for us 'dotting' at a good rate (ultimately a very credible 7-0-23-1) and Benno customarily tight also a 4 over stint for just 10.

I took Benno off as it was a good time to give Danny a go. Trust me Dan can spin the ball and turn it a good way. His first 3 overs went for 20 and a few nerves meant one too many long hops but in his 4th over he got one of his leggies to bite and a faint snick went straight into the middle of Adeys gloves and he broke the 100 partnership, followed up 3 balls later with a thicker leading edge which I managed to cling on to at an encroaching short extra and deliver two rolls to add to the theatre - well done Danny, finishing with 5-0-34-2, a touch expensive but he was in amongst them.

Downside - in came their captain - 129-3 in the 27th.

The safest pair of hands in the club (Jeremy) was positioned just in front of square on the rope and Benno was immediately brought back into the attack - this was the combination and indeed the exact fielding position where Jez had taken a monumental catch last year to effectively win us the game. Could history repeat itself I asked myself as the ball was clipped off his legs on the charge and flew at chest height straight to Jez on the boundary................no.

The second attempt gave me renewed hope and it went into slow motion but ultimately it was a 'frassin, rassin, Dick Dastardly' moment as it was spilt. Benno was remarkably calm, the remaining nine of us knew that may actually be quite costly. Especially when he was joined at the wicket by his brother after Andy (7-0-67-1 ouch!) had bowled their number six. In the 30th 143-5......

Ten overs later, no further wickets their innings ended at 257-5

Just 114 off the last 10........I think it was fair to say the lack of netting was exposed a touch.

It was messy - no dropped catches, good clean hitting and great value for your shots on the small ground. Nevertheless 74 off the last 5 sent our heads down a bit.

That was until we got stuck into a very enjoyable tea, noted on their sky Sports who had made the play offs and got relegated from the Championship and formulated how we were going to knock off 257 in 40...... yeah right..

Anyway at the  20 over drinks break we were 104-0 and well set. They had bowled their best bowlers who had grunted and groaned as Jez and I both worked our way to fifties. High hopes and hey with a bit of bad luck we could have embarrassed ourselves and lost by loads. We were in it alright.

Jeremy had batted beautifully with some lovely strokes, particularly through the covers and me, well a lot of huff and puff, but always better at nurdling than smacking. One or two out the screws - and boy does that feel good. Crossy must have thought I was going to hit my annual six in the very first game.

Anyway Jez perished on 51 on the charge leaving us 112-1 in the 22nd.and I was LBW for 56 in the 27th. At this point the comparable scores were level. 130 off 13 required was looking poor when Ian went for 15.

However we were treated to some vintage Adrian Cooper, well supported by Rob as he late cut, cut and pulled a terrific 64 not out. Only tarnished by the run out (without scoring) of Smudger. Then further support from Danny (5 no).

It was super knock and just as they did we had three fities in the ranks but fell 37 short ending at 220-5 in our allotted 40 overs.

Well you cannot grumble with the best part of 500 runs in 80 overs in the first match.

Richard came back with his arm in a sling having travelled to Loughborough (who couldn't do it!) and then onto the QMC - who managed to re-insert the now pretty painful pointer back into its former housing. 

A day for Dorchester folk lore I feel.......a first ball to remember!


Match report by Smudger

I was about to say that the Dorchester juggernaut rolled into Loughborough for the second game of the season but I'm not sure juggernaut is quite the word I'm after if the rest of the team felt anything like I did for the majority of last week after the season's opener at Long Whatton. The day after the game was of course a Bank Holiday and I have to say that I can't remember doing so little on such a day ever. I think it was about Thursday before I was able to walk freely so two games in as short a space of time as eight days was surely going to be a real test. I can see why top cricketers are spared the day to day grind of county cricket through central contracts. Bloody good idea if you ask me.

So, as I was about to say, the Dorchester jalopy spluttered into Loughborough on a reasonably pleasant spring afternoon. I was running a bit late, a matter confirmed as I followed Crossy into the car park. However, I was about the third player into the dressing room and the game didn't quite start on time as the rest of the team slowly made their way to the ground.

As the rest of us arrived, the dressing room became quite lively, mainly due to Paul asking for assistance on the names of the players on the early Twelfth Man tapes. He could only remember Iza Hazbeen and Eneva Waz but Benno and myself needed no second invitation to remind Paul about the likes of Rubbish Binny, Ibroke Miandad, Beegrade Aktar, Neva Bin Behindbarz, Idraz Fastcaz, Cutiz Armanarth, Sunil Havascar, Macarzabit Rustey, Halfheez Handmisin, Harfaduzen Marzbarz, Madonna Kahnt Singh and the rest. Much laughter and we eventually took to the field in good spirits, despite Paul having managed to get us first use of the ball for the second game going.

Also for the second game running (if you discount the first ball of last week's game), we only had ten players which was actually only nine for the first over with PC Gaunt being last to arrive. I was entrusted with the new ball and took a wicket fifth ball with a delivery which gave the illusion of nipping back up the hill. Either that, or the batsman missed it. The vicar had been given the nod for over number two but Paul changed his mind with Andy making a quick change into his whites.

Thereafter, Andy and I continued and bowled reasonably well, Andy in particular beating the bat numerous times for one of the more unlucky none-fers in his career. I too was unable to add to my early wicket and the vicar was wicketless having replaced Andy, although his searing pace did cause Bradley a few problems behind the stumps with the magic spray being administered during the drinks break.

The next breakthrough didn't come until the 19th over with Benno taking the wicket with the score on 68. Benno was soon off though to be replaced by young Danny who, after an expensive first over, found his range and finally removed their opener, Paul taking a skier of a catch.

As was the case last week though, the last ten to fifteen overs or so were a bit of a nightmare for us with Loughborough hitting the ball to all parts and our fielding quite frankly not up to scratch. They finished on 209 for 4 off their 40 overs, Jeremy claiming the only other wicket.

Tea was taken, a bit of a cheesy affair for my liking with various flans, pizzas, cheesy pasta and cheesy cobs on offer. Thankfully, there was no cheesecake for desserts.

After their century opening stand last week, Paul and Jeremy opened the batting again and with the tail looking rather long, a similar start was required. Sadly, Jeremy departed for 13 in the 9th over and it wasn't long before Paul and Ian joined him. I joined Danny in the middle but Danny was soon bowled and Benno went first ball. I then proceeded to run myself out (second run out of the season) and limited further resistance saw us all out for 81 in the 29th over.

Our whole innings described in one short paragraph just about sums it up. Certainly not the best start to the season with age seemingly beginning to catch up on us all of a sudden. Either that or we're just feeling a bit rusty at the start of the season. Let's hope it's the latter and we can bounce back with a win next time out.

BELPER MEADOWS - Sunday 31st May 2009

Match report by Spenno

On a bright warm afternoon the Dorchester faithful found themselves at Belper Meadows. Skip won the toss even after the opposition skip had checked his coin and we batted. Dean and Jeremy to open Ady to go in at three Crossy should he arrive at four. Paul offered Jamie 5 or 6...Jamie politely invited Paul to have a Biff at 5...

I've seen Paul bat for the best part of twenty years and I can't honestly remember a Biff in there...

Given the conditions it was not an easy start and in the 5th over Jeremy perished to one that seemed to crawl through his guard 13 -1. Dean and Ady then put together a nice partnership to take the score to 60 in the 14th over when Ady got a thin nick to the keeper for a useful 21. Ian came to the wicket and together with Dean compiled a partnership that was decisive in terms of the match. 118 runs were added in the next 15 overs with Dean compiling as fine a hundred as you could wish to see. He was full value for his shots and although one could argue that he had some luck (being dropped 4 times) he fully deserved the generous applause for his ton. Ian was out for 38 including a couple of sixes in the midwicket area and so we stood at 178-3 in 29.

Paul strode to the crease with purposeful intent and after some splendid shots from Dean, Paul perished only having tried to biff one. 204-4 in 34. Two overs later Dean was finally out for a splendid 128 and in the last four overs Jamie and Jonny added 45 runs to post a respectable score of 262-5.

A few facts and figures Dean's innings contained 16 x 4s and 1 x 6 and is his second highest score for Dorchester, well batted that man.

After a rather simple tea Dorchester took to the field in good heart. The brothers in law were to open the bowling, Jonny from the tennis courts and Andy from the Thorntons end . After two overs 17-0 with Andy suffering from legsideitis, after 3 overs 25-0....mm are they going for it? At the end of the 4th over 33-0....quite possibly. A good over from Jonny and in the 6th Andy bowled one on the off stump and the nick was taken by Ady, next over Jonny bowled the number 3 and 42-2 in 7 the balance was restored. Progress was maintained and after 10 overs Belper were 61-2. A double bowling change brought the well known variety act of Benno and Spinno into action. The next 16 overs yielded just 56 runs as Belper could find no real answer to the guiles and wiles of the old masters. Benno picked up two wickets thanks to a fine catch by Jonny and a stumping from Ady. Jeremy came on and bowled with great determination and Kev Brown bowled with his usual tenacity. Jamie came on and found a little lift to claim the fifth wicket courtesy of another catch from Ady. Late one over shifts from Crossy and Skip caused little alarm as Belper closed on 185 -5 which was a creditable performance given that the average age of their side was about a third of the Dorchester team.

So a first win of the season by 77 runs, enough to raise everyone's spirits after the game.

A few talking points...will Dean get his hamstring fixed, why would viagra improve our performance...on the field and will my knee hold out for another game...but more importantly will the weather stay fine and help the oldish bones in the team win a few more matches?

ROLLESTON CC - Sunday 14th June 2009

Match report by Jez

Typical stinking hot day at Rolleston as DCC dribbled into the ground in their ones and twos. By five to two, we had 7 players and no captain, Paul having forewarned us of his expected late arrival. As self-elected substitute tosser, I nipped out with their skip, controversially broke with tradition by calling "heads" and declared our intention to bat first, much to their skip's annoyance.

Some of the Dorchester boys had watched the T20 World Cup at Trent Bridge earlier in the week so our batters were no doubt in the mood for some crash, bang, wallop, as well as some creative reverse dinks past slip and the infamous over-the-keeper scoop shot. I particularly look forward to the day when a DCC batsman attempts the latter, sure as he is to be wearing the ball in his gob with his front teeth up either nostril.

The bowlers, on the other hand, would have the opportunity to demonstrate an assortment of dibblers, dobblers, full bungers and slower balls. It's interesting to see that the slow bouncer / long hop has become de rigueur in international T20; for DCC bowlers, this has been stock in trade for many years.

Despite the T20 mood, Ady and I opened up steadily and only had 16 on the board in the 5th over. A feeble attempt to accelerate the scoring sees me lazily lob the ball to mid off and we're one down.

Ady and Crossy batted fluently enough for the 2nd wicket and put on 105, even though Ady's now sweating more profusely than a very small nun at a penguin shoot and Crossy's bemoaning the fact that "me legs have gone". Ady departed for 26, having found Rolleston fielders a little too often for is liking. His dismissal was particularly unusual, given that it happened without anyone realising. A play and a miss and the ball delicately flicks the off bail. Their keeper, unaware of this, returns the ball to the bowler, who prepares to bowl the next delivery until someone spots that the stumps are one bail short of a set. A protracted but good-natured discussion with the batsmen and Ady's trudging off, somewhat bemused.

Crossy continued with Paul for a few overs before the latter completely out does Ady for the Bizarre Dismissal of the Day Award by square cutting a ball behind point while collecting his stumps with the toe end of his bat in the process. 124 for 3 in the 28th.

Meanwhile, Crossy's happily swiping away over square leg and long off with gay abandon and James joins him in an excellent stand of 93 in 10 overs, which sees him get to 53 before he forgets the age-old mantra "always run the first one hard", is somewhat surprised by Crossy's suggestion of a 2nd run to their boundary fielder and finds himself several yards short of his ground when the stumps are broken.

Ian, in the meantime, has completed what looked like a very easy century (if there is such a thing) which, despite the benefit of a few dropped catches along the way, included 11 fours and 3 sixes. It was excellent entertainment for a pleasant Sunday afternoon and puts him in a strong position for this year's Batting Award.

We closed on 231 for 5 off our 40, Rob and Smudge both not out at the end with a sprinkling of runs between them.

Rolleston put on a strong showing at tea although seasoned salad-dodgers such as myself had a hard time finding something that wasn't garnished with tomato, the Devil's food.

PC Gaunt of the Yard clearly tea'd as well as any of us as he collared their opener first ball, caught behind by Ady. The Vicar then followed up with a maiden and DCC were off to a strong start in the field. Shame the next 2 overs were near total dross and went for 17 but we were back on it soon after and Mick picked up the second wicket in his 6th over - their number three, who'd carved his way handsomely to 38 before edging into Ady 's gloves.

It could have been even better for Mick but... Rob points out to me early in proceedings the increasingly obvious distraction on the boundary nearest to us. One of their players is lying prostrate across the rope, enjoying the company of a young Rolleston maiden of the opposite sex, who is entwined around him in a somewhat Twister-like arrangement. Every few minutes, I hear giggling and tittering from behind me and instinctively look up to see what sort of contortion they've twisted themselves into this time.

Suddenly, there's barking! By jove, I think! But no, it's their dog, now embroiled in a rather too public ménage � trois. She tickles his tummy and pats his backside. The dog looks on enviously. He wants some fuss too so she throws a well-chewed net ball for him to chase. He runs off excitedly, returns it to her feet and licks her face and pants.

Several deliveries later and I drop a regulation catch off Mick's bowling. Well, come on - hardly surprising, given the shenanigans going on behind. It occurred to me that the other, more reserved spectators would have in front of them the Rolleston equivalent of satellite television: live sporting action (or comedy, depending on your viewpoint) on one side, adult entertainment for the discerning gentlemen on the other.

Back to the cricket and Rolleston are now amongst their younger batters (which bodes well for them in years to come) so Spencer and Smith come on turn the screw. I've noticed this season that Smudger's run up is even more economical than his bowling, being as it is a lolloping, ambling, three stride affair involving no discernible effort but resulting, far more often than not, in nob on line and length. From a run up point of view, he makes Chris Gayle look like Michael Holding. One can only assume that the crippling injury suffered by Breece Rude, beanpole Australian left armer of yesteryear, has left Smudge fearful of snapping in half should he over-exert himself in his delivery stride.

Spinno picked up 3 wickets in all, including their other opener (who'd taken a bloody lifetime over his 29) stumped by Ady immediately after the drinks break. Dave's 6 overs, 3 for 32 were the best bowling figures of the day and with Rob picking up one of the other two wickets to fall, Rolleston ended on 155 for 7, giving us victory by 76-runs.

It's off to Breadsall in a couple of weeks' time and we go there with two centuries and two decent victories in the last two matches.

BREADSALL CC - Sunday 28th June 2009

Match report by Smudger


A short and fairly recent history lesson before we start. At Belper Meadows a few weeks ago, there were the usual discussions in the changing room before the start of play regarding the batting order. In order to resolve who went in five and six, Jamie invited Paul to go in at five and have a bit of a biff. As Spinno said in his match report: "I've seen Paul bat for the best part of twenty years and I can't honestly remember a biff in there". Never a truer word spoken (or typed in this instance) if you ask me, but what's history for if it's not for rewriting....

Anyway, back to business and the weather at Breadsall was positively Bombayesque and of course it doesn't help when you have to drag a great big cricket bag up a huge great hill in order to reach base camp, I mean the changing rooms. Clearly, the proposed location of Breadsall's ground was chosen when all cricketers used to bring to a game was a pair of white flannels and a white work shirt. Further proof of this can be found upon eventually reaching the changing rooms which can accommodate about four or five modern day cricket bags. This resulted in half the team having to change in what Jamie described as the 'executive suite' although I never clapped eyes on it myself so the palatial nature or otherwise of the alternative changing area cannot be verified by myself. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd definately go for compact and, based on what Jamie said, possibly bijou.

By this time, Paul had already lost the toss and they had decided to bat and who could blame them. It was scorching hot and apparently over 500 runs had been scored there the day before so off we trugged with the old slip slap slop in evidence aplenty.

I managed to grab the top end first up with the returning Brown Dawg Minor starting from the bottom end. This was Rich's first game back after that 'first ball of the season' shocker which resulted in a badly dislocated finger. Even now, it's easy to work out which finger is damaged as it seems to permanently look like the index finger of Billy 'hey look at me' Bowden when he gives a batsman out.

So first over for me and a combination of coming in down the hill along with my added height and my one effort ball for the season (and nothing at all to do with a bit of uneven bounce in the wicket as everyone else suggested) resulted in me finding the edge of their opener's bat with Bradley taking a smart catch behind the stumps. At the other end, Rich took a little time adjusting to his new Billy Bowden grip and sent down more than his fair share of full bungers but finally got a wicket with, would you believe it, a caught and bowled, off a low full toss. Paul had decided on four over spells only in light of the weather so it was 42 for 2 after 8.

Next up were Jamie and Brown Dawg Major and they both got amongst the wickets, Jamie with two in the last of his four, while Kev got his wicket with a low full toss caught by Paul. Clearly the Brown family preferred wicket ball. So after 16 overs, they were 73 for 5 and the spin twins were yet to enter the fray.

But enter the fray they did and the Breadsall innings began to decelerate to tedius proportions, although it had hardly been essential viewing beforehand. Benno and Spinno both tossed the ball miles into the air but struggled to tempt the batsment into any adventurous shots. However, the wickets continued to fall with Spinno picking up a three-fer, Benno one (and denied a dead set second caught behind) and Danny, turning the spin twins into triplets, also grabbing one.

So, in the 32nd over, they were all out for a disappointing 114 and, as a result of the brevity of their innings, it was decided that we would go in for ten overs before tea.

Flight and Cross opened up for us and Breadsall, to their credit, were somewhat transformed as a bowling unit with the opener from the top end being particularly impressive. Unfortunately, this improved performance was accompanied by quite a barrage of adolesent chirp, in particular from their keeper who from now on shall be referred to as Kermit, for he was indeed a muppet.

Things had kicked off when Ian, who had hit a six in the previous over, strayed out of his ground and was run out by the aforementioned Kermit. Being none too impressed with the manner of his dismissal, Ian swung his bat in disgust and hit the ball halfway to the boundary. A word from one of their players followed by a few more from Benno sat on the boundary and the tone was set for the next few overs. Danny joined Jeremy but after four fours, the latter was out for 17. Cue Kermit once again. This brought Paul to the middle and he was quick to make his thoughts known to Kermit and the rest of the self-proclaimed world beaters from Breadsall and took it out on their first change bowler with an impressive biff (no, seriously) over square leg for six. So tea was taken with the score on 37 for 2 and the atmosphere somewhat unsavoury.

Fortunately, there was nothing unsavoury about the tea with a smorgasbord of sausages, sausage rolls, scotch eggs, bhajis and samosas along with loads of homemade cakes to go along with the usual butties. Their tea ladies claimed it had been cobbled together last minute so lord knows what they put on when given a bit of notice. It really was top stuff.

When the game got back underway, the chirp seemed to have subsided somewhat but Biff Taylor carried on where he had left off and proceeded to biff the ball to all parts with a Robin Smith-esque 'down on one knee' biff through extra cover worthy of special mention. At the other end, Danny gave other batsmen of his age a lesson in crease occupation, No, he might not have scored a load of runs but he stuck around for 17 overs in all and provided Biff with some solid support.

When Danny was finally out, he and Biff had put on 49 and the finishing line was in sight. Jamie came in next and, not surprisingly, biffed a few himself, so much so that he was in danger of getting us over the line before Biff could get his fifty. A few signals from the boundary suggested that Jamie might want to block a few deliveries and he duly obliged allowing Biff to reach a well deserved half century. Finally unleashed from the shackles of the forward defensive stroke, Jamie duly holed out to deep mid wicket allowing Brad to join his old man out in the middle and hit the winning runs with a substantial biff of his own.

So it was a job well done with the target reached with eight overs to spare. Beers were had in the balmy evening and thoughts turned to getting an extra fixture sorted out for a couple of weeks time. Those two early season defeats seemed a long way off.

BREASTON CC - Sunday 26th July 2009

Match report by Paul

Do you remember a childrens programme from the seventies called 'Time Tunnel'?

Guys falling forward, swirling head over heels and ending up back in time....

This is what it felt like at a very wet Breaston ground. I felt like I had been thrust into the seventies. Maybe I had had the misfortune to get shot in the head and sent back in time - like 'Life on Mars' or 'Ashes to Ashes'?.

It is absolutely not fair on Breaston CC to be unkind or indeed ungrateful for their hospitality. But it was just like a 70's fixture, no investment in the pavilion, a wooden teaspoon plain sandwich tea, cricketers in non cricket trainers and a decidedly plain environment.

The rain didn't help - drizzly mizzle a lot of the day.

I had a hangover, tails failed and the inevitable happened.......

There wasn't anything else around to suggest it was the 70s. Well ok, possibly the clothes hanging up on Benno's peg or maybe Kev's undercrackers.

What was decidedly un-70's was Dean's method of finding the ground. He went onto Google Earth and locked onto the area where he thought the ground was, but was mystified as he couldn't see the square from the aerial view......?  mmmmm...

Anyway we trudged out to field, Bradley having the first twenty and Adey the second behind the timbers. Ten willing and reasonably able DCC boys with Crossy arriving about 15 minutes after the start.

Smudger was unplayable and an outstanding return of 7-4-11-1 followed with four consecutive maidens in the middle of that and with a four ball in his last over to spoil the figures just slightly.

New(ish) ball opener partner Rich bowled really well at the other end, with a 7-1-31-1, not really reflecting his efforts.

The batting was agricultural at times with number three only having two scoring shots, a 4 and a 6. Thank goodness for their Captain who chanced his arm and rode his luck and bashed his way to a creditable 75.

First change bowler Spinno struggled to find his Mojo and turned in 6-0-49-1. Ever reliable Benno 7-1-17-0. He would have bagged a wicket had Bradley not, quite comically fell on his backside running in from Long On for a straight forward skier. Fair play he tried to catch it on his back in a completely horizontal position, which was even more amusing. Well to every one except Benno.

Kev found the conditions and the batters much to his liking, nipping in with 5-1-19-2 and the final 8 overs were shared between Jez (0-16) me (1-13) and Deano (3-9). Dean had bowled 13 overs the day before so he just rocked up with some off spin - which coming down from about 81/2 foot did a bit.

But even against Smudgers top spell, Kev's wily foxiness and Dean's offies, there was a better performance with FOUR dismissals from Adey behind the stumps. Now bearing in mind he only kept for the second 20 overs, it really was a super effort. A catch and three quality stumpings - with the first one of those coming right out of the top drawer.

Adey -Take a bow son!

167-9 in 40 overs. Drizzle worsening.

69 of those were knocked off in the first 13 overs by the opening pair of Flight and Blake. Jeremy departed at this point bowled for 23, leaving Dean on 40 (his first 4 scoring shots were all boundaries), before he added a further 9 to fall one short of a well deserved fifty.

So it was Crossys turn and he didn't hold back with 42 runs of his subsequent 53 not out, coming in boundaries. It was a very nice partnership between Ian and Adey of 76, before Adey was stumped (ironically) for 27.

This left Bradley (3no) to support Ian to the finishing line, in now driving drizzle and approaching heavy rain. Job done in 32 overs.

Not one for sun lovers or at times cricket lovers, but a win and a good run out for the whole team with everyone doing a bit of something.

But there were two great quotes

  1. Bradley - after Smudge had bowled yet another trimmer to beat the bat yet again.......'that was a great delivery, it would have been unplayable if it was quick!'
  2. Kev - working on the same basis as me on the 70's vibe, when we were collecting subs......'do you want it in shillings?'

Only Fantasy managers with Dean and Adey got any real value from the day - and I didn't even bother with a drink in the pub (first time for many a year)

BROOMLEYS CC - Sunday 23rd August 2009

Match report by Jez

On a pleasant Sunday afternoon, a fleet of Dorchester vehicles carefully navigated the pot-holed track that leads to the Broomleys pavilion / car park and a selection of chiselled, sinewy athletic types emerged to make their way to the Visitor's dressing room.

The annual Dorchester / Broomleys food festival had arrived on the fixture list once more, although the day's protagonists might be forgiven for not giving 100% attention to local proceedings, given that Australia were 2-down overnight at the Oval and England just 8-wickets away from winning back the Ashes.

In Biff Taylor's absence, I nipped out with their skip and promptly made a total Horlicks of the toss.   But no matter, as their chap declared a preference for us to bat first, and so we did.

Much to his delight, I handed Terry our batting order, neatly written out on a post-it note.  It was as though such pre-match preparation had never happened before.   He disappeared off into the scorer's outhouse to carefully transcribe the eleven names into the sacred black book and Ady and Blakey were instructed to pad up.  It was then that I realised that Blakey wasn't there.  So James Lees was placed on emergency standby and ended up opening with Ady instead, much to Terry's annoyance as he'd just finished inking in our batting line up.  It turned out Blakey had been momentarily distracted by some excitement on 198 Long Wave and had missed his motorway turn off. 

So Ady and James opened up, against a new ball attack comprised of a trainee vicar from the graveyard end - dobbling persistently on or abouts the corridor of bewilderment - and their first team quick, who immediately settled in to a good length, 3-feet wide of off stump, steadfastly refusing to allow the ball any nearer the stumps. Unlikely to take a wicket with such tactics, but unlikely to concede many runs either.

And so it proved, with our prolific run-getters managing off the first 8-overs a grand total of nine, six of which came in wides.  All of their quick's stingy overs had been maidens.  Kiwi decided he'd had enough of this turgid progress and promptly cracked him for a 2 during his fifth over, after which their skip hauled him out of the attack so he could staunch the run flow with someone more economical. 

Not a great move, it seemed, as their 1st change bowler went for 13 off his first over, which just about doubled our total: 29 - 0 after 12.  But then he made up for it in his next, taking two wickets.  Kiwi was bowled by a full, straight one and Blakey, now arrived from the M1 and currently averaging 88.5, chipped his 3rd ball straight to cover and departed for two.  As Bill Lawry might say: "That's mucked his average up, Tony!".  Or words to that affect, at least.

While this was happening, news filtered through from the Oval that the Aussie middle order seemed embroiled in an unlikely suicide pact: Ponting had been run out when he and Katich looked to have everything under control, Clarke was then also run out moments later for a duck and Marcus North had missed a bovine swipe at one of Swanny's super spinners by several feet and was out stumped.  That's the way to save a game, chaps!  England now need just 5-wickets for the Ashes.

Amid this sudden rash of wickets, both at Broomleys and at the Oval, Ady had nearly nurdled the ball off the square often enough to get to double figures and now that Crossy had joined him at the crease, things were bound to move on at a healthier pace.  And indeed they did.  Coops and Crossy put on 123 for the 3rd wicket before Ady was bowled for 44. The pitch was partly responsible for the slow scoring rate and, despite batting well, Crossy wasn't able to be as brutal as he might have liked, only hitting two 6's and eight 4's in his 80 not out.

We closed on 161 - 4 after our 40-overs.

Cricket remains the only sport I know where it is entirely possible to gain weight while playing and, having noticed Gaunty attack the buffet tea set out in the pavilion like some old dear looting a jumble sale, I thought it only right that he should have the chance to work off any excess by opening the bowling.  Up the hill.  And into a slight wind.

A few balls later and he's puffing like a steam engine.  And things aren't helped by our early fielding, which resembles eleven blokes suffering from a contagious leather allergy.  But Smudge, ever dependable, keeps a tighter reign on things from the top end and, slowly but surely, the rest of us begin to resemble a cricket team once again.

Then Jonny gets their opener in the 5th over and they're 19 - 1.  A few balls later, I swoop / bend down from mid on and fling a sharp return somewhere in the vicinity of Ady, who collects it well to run out their other opener (who must be part Australian).  James takes a good diving catch in Smudge's next over and suddenly they're 21 - 3 and in deepest do-do. 

James' catch deserves special mention as there was immediate conjecture between bowler and captain as to whether it was a Champagne Moment and, as such, warranting additional Champagne points in the Fantasy league.  My view was partially obscured by the umpire but, from what I could see, it looked like an excellent, two-handed diving catch.  Smudge had a clearer sighting and seemed less convinced.  Perhaps he'd just fallen over after catching it?  I guess if there was a Babysham-that's-gone-a-bit-flat-and-has-a-dog-end-or-two-floating-in-it Award, it would have been well deserved.  But Champagne?  Still sparkling, with no dog ends?  Not this time.

Their incoming batsman informs his partner that Australia are now 330 - 7, needing an improbable 200+ to win the match but with only 3 rabbits left in the hutch.

The Vicar replaces Gaunty and Mick gives a vintage display of dibbling, allowing the frustrated batters no more than 3 off any of his eight overs, which included a convincing shout for caught behind that went unrewarded.

Smudge finished his set of 8, which yielded excellent figures of 2 for 15, and so Brown Dawg Minor continued in the beanpole-left-armer-from-the-top-end role.  Lots of dot balls but a penchant for the leg stump long hop, much to the delight of their number 5, allowed Broomleys to move their score along at a more respectable pace.  After 25-overs, they were 85 - 3, needing a further 77 off 15 at 5 an over.

Time for Benno and Spinno.

Steve started well and bagged their young number 4, caught behind by Ady off a thin edge.  94 - 4.  But in the next few overs, boundaries come a little too easily off both bowlers and Broomleys happily keep up with, if not beyond, the required rate.  With 5-overs to go, they only need 19 with 6-wickets in hand.

Steve finished with figures of 6-overs, 1 for 37 but it wasn't enough to restrict the Broomleys total and they reached their target without over-exerting themselves in the 38th over.

We'd had the occasional half-chance but, in truth, the Broomleys batsmen showed that they knew better than us how to score on their wicket, which definitely seemed more conducive to medium pace dobblers than anything else.  Perhaps if we'd had the Curate (Kev Brown) to complement the Vicar, things might have turned out differently.  Who knows?

The day's disappointment was further compounded by the discovery of Monkey Showers in the dressing room - showers so cold that one cannot enter without exclaiming "Ooh aah ahh!" in a loud, frightened squeal.

But, all in all, another decent match at Broomleys.

And any disappointment was short-lived.  Confirmation came from various DCC spectators that England had indeed won the Ashes, skittling the Aussies' last 5-wickets for 20-odd runs, and those of us man enough to brave the icy water just about made it out in time to catch Channel 5's highlights, which were playing to a happy bunch of blokes in the bar.

CLARENDON VICTORIA - Sunday 6th September 2009

Match report by Smudger

It was off to pastures new for the penultimate game of the season as we headed to one of the leafier parts of rural Leicestershire and the village of Cropston. First impressions were certainly favourable with a very large ground looking in top condition and complemented by an old and welcoming clubhouse and unseasonably nice weather.

The opposition were also welcoming but none matched the age of the clubhouse with their mixture of youngsters and more experienced players matching the make-up of our team with regular young 'uns Brad and Danny joined by fellow Kimberley junior and Dorchester debutant Liam.

Paul had failed on the coin tossing and negotiating front and so we went out for a bowl and a field. I nabbed the top end and started with a maiden so the pressure was on the vicar as he started from the bottom end. No problems though as his first ball dibbled its way past their young opener's defence and bowled him. Mick was quite sympathetic to the young lad's plight as he trudged off back to the pavilion which possibly explains why he chose not to take any further wickets in his seven over spell. Despite this, his one wicket was one more than I managed on what I can only describe as an unresponsive pitch but by the time we had finished, the score was only 28 for 1 after 13.

Brown Dawg Minor continued from the top end and also took a wicket in his first over whilst Jeremy, on for the vicar, struggled for any sort of line and length and was soon off after three expensive overs. This saw Dean into the attack, albeit bowling his tweakers rather than his customary hostile pace. At around this time, our fielding, and catching in particular, became cause for concern with a number of chances being dropped which on other days would have been taken.

Despite the absence of Benno and Spinno, a total of 18 overs of spin were bowled by five different bowlers with young Liam getting over a nervy start to pick up a two-fer, matched by Paul who sent their half centurion opener back with a sharp caught and bowled and took his other wicket with the most understated LBW appeal I have ever witnessed, or not witnessed as the case was. A short moment of confusion ensued as the batsman stood his ground not actually realising that Paul had indeed appealed, nor noticing that the umpire had given him out. I was listening to TMS the other day and the commentators were bemoaning the number of times Ryan Sidebottom appeals for LBW, saying 'he has more appeals than Dr Barnardos'. That's certainly not an accusation you could level at Paul.

Anyway, their 40 overs passed and they had crept their way up to 169 for 6 which looked gettable on that pitch. Tea was taken and a fine tea it was too, looking as though it could have fed several dozen instead of only 22 cricketers.

Jamie and Jeremy were given the nod to open the batting with Dean and Ady to follow. With the three young guns deciding to hone their talents with additional net practice, the options available for umpiring duties were a bit thin on the ground with Paul and the vicar taking the coats. However, after only one over, Mick took a call from a mate who had just arrived at the ground so I had to take over from him.

Our openers rarely looked in any great danger and accumulated runs at a steady pace. One or two of Jamie's early swats to leg were a little agricultural but he soon found his range and benefited from hitting the ball straighter, resulting in one ball disappearing into a neighbouring garden.

It was something of a surprise when Jeremy was finally out for 44 with the score on 138 as it had looked like we might get a ten wicket win. Dean came and went in a short space of time and it was left to Ady to accompany Jamie to the finishing line which was crossed in the 29th over. Jamie finished on 79 not out which included ten fours and a six and which was a super knock.

EASTWOOD TOWN - Sunday 13th September 2009

Match report by Paul

Aaaaah Eastwood........there's something quite re-assuring about our traditional last fixture of so many seasons, something comforting, re-assuring and well, September-y. Slightly damp towards the second half of the match, leaves laying in the outfield and low hanging conkers. Talking of which, Benno was unavailable for the second week in a row.

It was a 1.30pm start, but play eventually got under way at 1.45. I had managed to get us a bat after losing the toss the prior week & fuming for the rest of the match. I went out with 5 key features and benefits of why they should field, including a new ball that I took with me. I managed to close the deal, without a coin going up, which Blakey said was highly unusual for their captain. The ground was very dry and I was confident that point number one on my sales pitch was that we had a cracking batting line up and would be able to post a good score.

I switched the order a little to reflect the relative Batting Averages positions, therefore if a Not Out was to win it, it would have to be on the back of a big score and consequently a deserved trophy. Therefore Blake, Lees & Cross - the three possible batting award recipients were 1,2 & 3.

Eastwood looked more youthful in the field than normal, but our nemesis Neil Gregory was in the side.

We didn't get the normal flying start you expect from DCC, and when I tell you it was Blakey and Kiwi and in the fifth over we had 7 runs you will understand it was hard yards. Good bowling, tight fielding and maybe some caution. In any event, Dean was bowled for 5 in that 5th over, thus bringing Crossy to the wicket - one of these guys was going to win the Batting.

Therefore it was to everyone's amusement when Ian pushed his first ball straight to a fielder at mid wicket and started off for a quick single. Jamie was of course having none of it and Ian fled back to original end, just making it home.

To be honest the wheels came off pretty quickly with Jamie falling in the 12th over for 7, defaulting the Batting Gong to Ian, who then inexplicably got stumped again (not dissimilar to Breadsall) for 10, in between Jez, going in at a lowly 4 bagged a duck. So at 46-4 in the 19th it was a pretty sorry state of affairs. The ball was staying low and the bowling was wicket to wicket and therefore hard to score runs.

Adey had gone in at 5 and me at 6 and we put on a spirited 36 valuable runs, which would have been significantly more had Neil G not been in the covers and stopping everything we could smack at him. Whilst those 36 runs had steadied the ship and sent us towards something to defend, they had come along in 13 overs so at 82-5 in the 32nd, it still wasn't that flash. But Smudger (10) hooked up with Adey and with a 27 partnership we fought our way into triple figures.

We than saw Danny and Bradley both tumble for noughts in a penultimate over where we were now desperate for every run and their positive unselfish intent was a credit to them. Luckily, Richard batting for the first time this year cracked 7 in the last 3 balls after averting a hat trick although he didn't realise it was hat trick ball until tea time.

Well batted Adey, with a workmanlike 36 no, without which we would have been shamefully short of any type of score. But even so our 125-8 looked 20-30 short of the mark.

Completely unfazed by this below par effort, we got stuck into the tea. Sandwiches, crisps, salad, garlic bread, curly fries and a belated showing from vegetable rice.

I've got to say my favourite line of the year (of course from Jeremy) ...cricket is the only sport that you can put weight on during the match....love it!

Andy had popped to the ground during our innings in his 'business attire' but he had now popped back off duty and was ready to umpire, having assisted in a 143 conker haul with the DCC kids club.

Now in previous years my tactic has been to keep the openers restricted as much as possible, often using Benno as an opening bowler and when the scoring rate had increased somewhat we had seen the following batters fold under the strain - hey presto!

Sadly with no Benno this year, it was somewhat different with Eastwood moving pretty comfortably into the fifties with the loss of just one wicket. The vicar pleased the congregation with some tight wicket to wicket overs (8-4-16-1) but we just couldn't keep the overall lid on it. Smudger did a decent job but we struggled. Not helped with Mick and Myself dropping two straightforward catches (for me it was one of those I need to retire moments). Their balcony loved it and their cheers added to the frustrations.

Our one wicket was a stunning over the shoulder at a stretch catch from Jamie running backwards at Mid On - quality catch.

However our hopes were raised with a double bowling change which saw Brown pup and Blakey in tandem where they started to make inroads. Richard was very accurate (8-0-22-2) and Dean (8-1-25-1) the same with a few more wheels ( I spent a bit of time at slip and it wasn't much fun with the dark tree line at eye level) so I invited Jez to give it go!

From 57-1, we tightened up and got them at 78-4 in the 29th. So they needed 47 in eleven with Neil Gregory walking to the wicket and me looking round for some poor soul to have a bowl. Smudger had one left so we got that one in (8-3-27-0), but then it was head scratching time. Funny how all the bit part bowlers don't fancy it too much when Neil is batting!

I turned to Jez, who removed the bludgeoning number five in a costly first over.

At the other end I employed Dany who dropped onto a nice length and conceded jst a couple in his first over. But Jez's next one went for 9 and at 113 for 5 at the end of the 35th, Neil had his sites on the final 13 runs off 30 available balls.

Quite what happened next still beggars belief.....

Danny bowling the 36th over.....dot, one wicket, one, wicket, wicket.....!!!!!

In the middle of those three wickets was a huge swish from their star batter straight down Richard's throat at Long Off, to go with a bowled and an lbw....what an over.

Hang on a minute ..we're in with a shout here......I was going to sign the innings of myself but I decided that Jez should stay on and try and keep the building batting panic and our momentum going.

Wicket, dot, dot,dot,dot, two.

It was hysteria now...that wicket was a catch by Mick, yes the vicar, with his 'hungry chick in a nest' catching technique plucked one out at mid on.....super stuff.

Ok so now it's fever pitch, with their last man in, the balcony very quiet, the gathering gloom, the encroaching field and another great over from Danny (what an amazing spell of 3-0-7-3) So we went into the 39th over with them 120-9, with just 6 required and Jez up for the challenge........




Jez (3.3-0-20-3) did a part Brett Lee part Alan Shearer celebration straight through to Adey behind the stumps and we had won it.

5 wickets for 7 runs in 3.3 overs was a great effort and overall a good team effort.

So back to back victories to finish the season and a cheery dressing room enjoyed the unlikely victory.