Drama, Downpours and Days of Yore at HHCC

Another fantastic weekend of cricket at Bushy Park for HHCC was further embellished by a wonderful President’s Day where over 200 people enjoyed the cricket, food and beverages on offer.

Saturday, 27th July, 2013

The League 1’s were still unbeaten as they departed for the long Journey to John Fisher CC, mindful that their target of being the “invincibles” and winning all 16 league games was under a two-pronged attack from the John Fisher team and the threat of thunderstorms. Could either or both jack-knife the Juggernaut?

 

The omens weren’t good as HHCC struggled on a difficult pitch, losing early wickets as the big guns at the top failed to fire, leaving them 16-4. Vice-captain Joe Lee-Rice then steadied the ship in partnership with Tom Evans to push the visitors towards the half century, before Rice fell to Stanislaus. Skipper Fullicks then joined Evans and they safely negotiated some difficult moments to get the total over 100, Evans reaching a fine half century. Fullicks fell for 34, after putting on 98 for the 6th wicket leaving them 141-6.  Another mini-collapse had the unbeaten leaders reeling at 150-9 before Ricketts and Williams managed to avoid the raindrops and push the total to 171.

Was this enough for the bowlers?   Fullicks took his customary early wicket, but the home side, obviously relishing the challenge looked in control at 47-1, before Metcalfe picked up his first wicket, quickly followed by 2, 3 and 4 as John Fisher produced an Australian style collapse to be 50-5.  Anderson halted the slide and pushed the score up to 77 before his partner became Metcalfe’s 5th victim. Fullicks (2)  and Metcalfe (7) reduced the home side to 86-9  and with storms brewing around the ground,  the runaway leaders were now confident of wrapping the game up before the inevitable downpour. But Marvin Beckford had other ideas and with the help of Thompson kept HHCC at bay until the “closer”, Tom Hampton was brought into the attack. With the rain starting to get heavier, his 14th ball finally removed the No 11 to leave John Fisher CC stranded on 127 all out. Metcalfe, obviously smarting from the fact that Fullicks had more wickets than him, ended with 7-67, pushing him  back to the top of the league wickets chart. Played 12, won 12 now and only four more games to achieve the perfect season. But they are still just focussing on the next game. With a lead of 69 points, 2 more wins should seal the title. Next up is Chobham at Bushy Park on Sat 3 Aug at 1pm.

The 2’s were also top of their division at the start of the day and entertained Old Tiffinians at a sunny, windy, rainy Bushy Park. Again, captain “Steptoe” Carr lost the toss and was surprised that the opposition elected to bat. In just the second over a fine piece of fielding and a great direct throw from the boundary by “Jonty” Robottom had sent one of the openers back to the pavilion. No3 Prabhu quickly followed after lobbing a catch back to Tahir Butt to make it 20-2. Charith and Praveen then started to set about the attack, with last week’s hero Alex O’Reilly taking a bit of punishment. Exworth and “Albert” Carr then came on to slow things down and Exworth finally broke the partnership by removing Charith for 41. 71-3 quickly became 109-6 as Exworth picked up two more wickets plus one from “Rag and Bone” Carr.  Prabhu then joined Praveen and the score crept up to 150, until Shadab Ahmed was introduced and picked up Prabhu for 22 and the Praveen, caught and bowled for 49. Carr picked up the last two wickets, one with a “Herculean” caught and bowled. Not the Greek god, rather the horse in Steptoe and Son. The home side started like a train with Nauman Butt and Ahmed quickly getting the score up to 30 without loss at tea, which coincided with a short, sharp downpour.  The rain subsided after tea, but the break helped Old Tiffs as they picked up the wicket of Butt for 12. Wood, promoted to push the score along with the threat of more rain, failed to trouble the fine scorer (almost as good as the umpire – (Ed.) This brought the in-form Exworth to the crease to join Ahmed.  They added 50 runs, with Ahmed reaching his 50 with a six, before falling a few balls later for 55. Robbie Coates was next and he edged the club side over the century before falling victim to Praveen.   Exworth quickly followed to leave HHCC stuttering on 120-5, which was soon 134-7 with Praveen deservedly getting the rewards for some fine bowling. Robottom then undid all his fine fielding work by getting himself run out  and leaving his captain in a state of apoplexy, which  got worse when Tahir Butt was out leaving his side 145-9  with O’Reilly and captain Carr at the crease . Nineteen to win  with plenty of overs. Gasps were heard as Carr edged to the keeper only to be dropped.  Would he take advantage?  Slowly the batsmen began nurdling singles, edging closer to the target, aware that one false shot would mean defeat. Ninenow needed as Carr dispatched a leg side half volley to the midwicket boundary and then scampered (really?)  a single to keep the strike. Praveen , with 5 wickets to his name , was the bowler  and Carr stretched out his front foot , reminding the supporters from far and wide (well Isleworth and France) of his glory days of yesteryear as he stroked the winning boundary through extra cover . The win increased their lead at the top of the table to 13 points from Shepperton, their next opponents, with 3rd placed Putney due to visit Bushy Park in 2 week’s time, a further 2 points behind, with Wallington.  These four are edging away from the pack, but it is still too close to call

With the 3’s game being postponed by Shepperton, the 4ths entertained Old Rutlishians at Carlisle Park.  Bowling first, Brian Marshall produced some fine deliveries to pick up the openers, and the visitors were struggling until new player Card started to show his wide range of skills, enjoying the bowling on offer to reach 136 not out of a total 247-8, with Marshall picking up 3-36 and new boy Ed Bevan 2-48. Jerry Fallows and Jack Fullicks picked up one  apiece. The target was always going to be difficult but Darren Jonasus, escaping from the Sun 2’s for a week, relished his freedom by reaching 43 before being dismissed. Powell and Marshall then  got starts but fell in the teens  before Jack Fullicks showed them how to do it by scoring a fine personal best of 30. But it was not enough as the home side were vanquished for 155.

Sunday, 28th July, 2013

Within minutes of the 2nd XI’s tense, single wicket victory on Saturday evening, the heavens opened and heavy, thundery rain fell until the early hours of Sunday morning. Fortunately, by daybreak, warm sunshine and a drying wind had returned, enabling the President’s Day match to get off to a prompt, midday start.

Warren Carr, captaining the President’s XI, won the toss and elected to bat, whilst the President, Dave Mackinney elected not to play in order to entertain his guests (successful) and minimise his bar tab (unsuccessful).

The pre-lunch session was dominated by Fullers Surrey League chairman, Graham Howgate, whose 86 runs included four sixes. He shared an opening stand of 84 with Robbie Coates (28) and another of 57 with Ian Exworth (27) before departing after lunch with the total past 200. His dismissal could be classed as unfortunate, Emerson Barrs-James taking the catch, having been unable to get either of his feet to the ball.

The lunch interval – slightly longer than the standard 40 minutes – saw players and spectators enjoying a spectacular buffet, all provided by the members. Dave Mackinney thanked all those attending the day and commented on the enormous success – on and off the field – that the club is currently enjoying. Nigel Coates spoke on behalf of the Pavilion Rebuild Committee about the project and invited the President to unveil the Foundation Stone.

The President’s team had come from far and wide and ex-HHCC players John Blackmore (Devon), Phil Ayres (France) and Duncan Robinson (Singapore) all played cameo roles to push the score along to 219-9 from the allotted 45 overs. Scott Mitchell was the pick of the bowlers for the club side, taking 4-23 with father and son, Rob and Jack Fullicks picking up three wickets between them.

By mid-afternoon a large crowd had gathered to watch the club side’s reply. Unfortunately the total proved a little too competitive as only Harry Coates (40), brother Tom (23) and Rob and Jack Fullicks made significant contributions. Gareth Parry, Duncan Robinson, Warren Carr and Teddington Town’s Ralph Meyer took two wickets each as the club subsided to 137 all out.

The margin of victory could do nothing to dampen the spirit which is pulsing through the club at the moment and a superb day was rounded off by umpires Roger Gould and Dave Bridges awarding the Man-of-the-Match prize to Graham Howgate.

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