The weather was not the only hot item this weekend, as both the HHCC league teams continued their winning ways, our 3rd X1 added another scalp to their growing list with their 3rd win in four games ( No pressure on returning captain Jerry then! ) and the Sunday 2s having a run fest at Sanford.
As unbeaten Div 2 league leaders, the 1s welcomed Wandgas to Bushy Park, with League chairman and master blogger Graham Howgate and top division run scorer Paul Howgate ( no relation) in their ranks. Despite only having 10 players and a deep fascination with the deer in attendance, they were ready for a game. Rob Fullicks won the toss and put the visitors into bat, and quickly chairman Graeme and his partner were under pressure from good accurate quick bowling from Metcalfe and the skipper. A couple of fours through the slip cordon put them into double figures before Howgate fell to the extra pace of Fullicks, with the catch being caught by one of the Tom’s (Evans), which will be a recurring theme. Captain Paul Howgate strode to the crease with over 400 runs to his name, but one ball later he was returning to the pavilion, nicking one to another Tom (Hampton). The hat trick was averted, but only by a ball as the next batsman was caught behind by Paul Ricketts. Metcalfe was then in the wickets when removing 2 more Wandgas players one bowled, one a sharp catch by Alan Coleman (middle name Tom ?) . At 19/5 ( 6 with the missing player), Wandgas were in trouble, but managed to calm the ship with Chaudry and Bandara staying together and pushing the score up to 33, before another Tom (Rose) took a catch to give him his fourth wicket. The next wicket fell to Metcalfe, his pace too much for Marsh, and with 2 wickets remaining, Wandgas had not reached 40. But Bandara and Harrigan managed to keep the bowling at bay, enough for Fullicks to remove himself from the attack and bring in Rose ( or was that to save his wallet from another Jug purchase). The score reached 67 before Metcalfe removed Harrigan and the last player (another catch by Ton Hampton) in consecutive balls, to grab a Michelle ( ‘5 for’ ) ending with 5/34 to Fullicks 4/29.
The score was no target for HHCC opening pair, who yet again made short shrift of the task to complete the win inside 11 overs. Hampton making sure he outscored his partner Coates by finishing off the innings with a brace of fours. As with every team in this league, Wandgas were gracious in defeat and stayed and enjoyed our new clubhouse (and the deer) for a couple of hours. Hopefully when Chairman Graeme Howgate returns to HHCC as part of the President’s team on Jul 28th, he will have more success.
Other results in the division, Horley ‘s game with John Fisher was a tie, meaning that HHCC are 57 points clear with 6 games remaining. The league title is tantalising close, but they have to remain focussed in the last games to ensure complacency does not set in. Hook and Southborough entertain the “HHCC Juggernaut ( from Graeme’s blog) next week.
The 2s travelled to Battersea Ironsides, in Div 1 of the 2nd X1 league, knowing a win could push them right up the table. Carr won the toss and chose to bowl, with the returning Barrs James opening with U15 colt Freddie Bourne earning a well-deserved call up. Barrs James managed to remove both openers LBW, before Freddie took his maiden league wicket, bowling Palmer for 11. Ironsides were struggling at 38/3, a perfect time for skipper Carr to bring himself on and pick up some wickets . Alas, it was not an inspired move ( according to Vice Thornley) as Hodds and Nasser took delight in spraying him to all parts of the ground. Discretion being the better part of valour meant that he removed himself from the attack and then used T Butt , Mitchell and Ian Exworth in short bursts to eke out the middle order, thanks to yet another fine catch from Robottom, plus a run out from the same player ( that still seems weird writing about James’ fielding prowess). Carr returned to the fray to pick up a couple of tailenders to leave the club chasing 189 for victory.
N Butt was quickly in his stride before being LBW for 13, with HHCC 13/1 . Exworth joined Barrs James at the crease and then provided memories of yesteryear as they put on 95 for the second wicket, before BJ’s shot was swallowed up by Dilley to remove him for 25. Paul “ Mr Bianca “ Thornley joined Exworth but their partnership was short-lived as Exworth walked after a slight nick for a fine 77 ( will Stuart Broad read this ?). Jake Wood then produced some big hits to reach a quick-fire 26, with 3 fours and 2 sixes , before being caught, leaving HHCC 25 to win with 6 wickets in hand. Robottom joined Thornley and they edged the score closer, with less fireworks, until Thornley perished with 14 required. Next batsman Mitchell was obviously in a hurry, and he quickly scored the remaining 14 runs with three scoring shots to give HHCC a fine win. The win pushed the 2s up to second, 12 points behind perennial rivals Putney, but with 9 teams all within 30 points of the leaders this league will take a few twists and turns yet before the end of the season . Next up for them is Haslemere at Bushy Park on Sat, 1pm start
Away from the league , the Saturday 3s tried to continue their fine run against Turnham Green. Capt Thomas elected to bat, and despite losing 3 early wickets, Harry Farnsworth, with 66 and Alex O’Reilly with a tremendous 112 pushed the score along to help HHCC reach 236/4 after 40 overs. The not out batsman were Niall Carr (27*) and Jack Fullicks (4*) , now why do those names look familiar?
The target was too much for Turnham Green who, thanks to some tight bowling especially from Brian Marshall (6 overs 5 maidens , 3 runs 1 wkt), were finally bowled out for 172, with 9 balls remaining. 4 out of 5 and Temple Sheen next at Carlisle Park for them .
The Sunday 1s had a week off due to the Colts Fun Day but the Sunday 2s made an earlier than normal trip to their old foes at Sanford CC.
On top of a hill with no shade and with the opening acts of the nearby Magic Summer Festival providing a backing track, the 2s were forced to field after losing the toss. It soon became apparent that this would be a run fest, unless you hit a fielder you were scoring boundaries, the outfield was hard and dry and seeing a fielder disappearing over the hill chasing a ball was a common sight.
HHCC started well, two wickets to Freddie Bourne took out the openers for 33 runs between them, however the Sanford no 3 – Cooke – then took control putting on a rapid 50 including 24 off one over (bowled by the flagging 2s skipper Mike Day), eventually finishing on 84 after being dismissed by Joe Smith. The rest of the Sanford team combined to put on a final total of 237 all out after 38 overs. Bowling honours were shared between Bourne 2-19, Smith 2-34, Ayyathurai 2-53 and David Coates 1-38 but it was latecomer Tom Hughes with 2-1 all in the last over that topped the bill.
After a fine tea, which got the thumbs up from Graham “Muncher” Kendall, the 2s embarked on what was considered to be a relatively futile quest to chase 237. Things did not start well when openers Roger Coates and Vignesh Ayyathurai ended up at the same end in the second over with the ball at the other end, resulting in an unfortunate walk for Roger. The rest of the line up set about keeping the run rate healthy including Ayyathurai (22) & Smith (34) and the runs began to build up.
With 4 overs to go the 2s topped 200 – just 37 required off 4 overs with boundaries flying all over the place, could they actually do it?
Tom Hughes was joined by Kendall, then Fastnedge and finally the skipper Day. In the final few overs both batsmen were swiping at everything and running like loons. 13 off the final over and still it felt achievable… until Hughes’ middle stump was taken out by HHCCs old foe Mr Cooke. The Sunday 2s ended up on 228 all out, with Hughes on a probable personal best of 68 (he wasn’t 100% sure…) to go with his bowling figures. Games against Sanford are always close and always played in a great spirit. This was one of the best.
HHCC senior cricket is certainly blooming in the hot summer sun….