As the blazing sun beats down on the righteous people of Hampton Hill CC, their league teams are burning up their respective divisions, and after this weekend’s results both sit top of the pile after 2 very similar comfortable wins.
The 1st XI took their 100% record to bottom placed Hook and Southborough, and after Fullicks won the toss and stuck the home team in, there was only one outcome. Metcalfe took a wicket in his first over and continued to bowl aggressively and tightly to finish off with 3/25, plus a fine run out, diving to divert a straight drive onto the stumps, to leave unhappy H&S batsman Milton stranded. This summed up the H&S player’s day, with his best shot being the one that sent his gloves soaring to the pavilion as he walked the lonely walk back after his dismissal. With Fullicks continuing his fine form from the other end the home side were quickly in dire straits, as the captain picked up another 4 wkts for 41 runs. There was no let up after a tiring Fullicks was replaced by Tom Hampton, who cleaned up the tail with 2 wickets in 2 overs for 1 run. H&S were all out for 79.
Hampton then opened the batting with James Newton Savage, as regular partner Harry Coates was away. Hampton showed no signs of love sickness for his missing pal, as he set about the attack with relish, putting on 33 until Newton Savage was caught behind for 11. James’ brother Charlie then joined Hampton at the crease to help Hampton reach his half century with a real flourish before scoring the winning boundary. The 1s are now 57 points clear and still aiming for the perfect season, but there are 5 tough games to play and nothing is being taken for granted. Next up is John Fisher.
The 2nd XI, unbeaten for 6 weeks, took on a 10 man Haslemere at Bushy Park hoping to pile the pressure on leaders Putney. Much to the surprise of Carr, the visitors won the toss and elected to bat. Opening the bowling was Taheer Butt, with Alex O’Reilly, fresh from his ton in the 3s the previous week, and it was O’Reilly who showed his all-round capabilities by removing the openers in quick succession, leaving them 30/2. Despite a fine knock of 30 from Hooker, wickets continued to fall to O’Reilly and Stuart Barrs James, and soon Haslemere were teetering on 68/8. O’Reilly was hoping for the last wicket to achieve his first 5 wicket haul, but Vowells had other ideas and smashed him for 3 consecutive fours, but O’Reilly produced a countdown conundrum of his own to spray his stumps to pick up is first “Michelle “ ending with 5/36 ably supported by Barrs James with 3/17. The other wicket was a fine team effort of a run out, with Exworth parrying a shot a gully, diverting to ball to “ Bianca” Thornley at point, whose throw was safe enough for Carr’s ageing eyes and limbs to retrieve to run the player out.
Set a target of 90 to win, Nauman Butt and Barrs James set about the task with differing styles, Butt smacking the first ball for 4, trying to get back for the evening session at Lords, whereas Barrs James was more measured, pushing the singles and caressing the full tosses to the fielders. Butt fell to Hooker for 19, to bring Exworth to the crease. After this pair put on 90 the previous week, Carr was confident that they would be more than capable with the 60 runs required, and so it proved, with both players running masterly for quick singles and then punishing the bad balls with boundaries, to ease the hosts to victory, also by 9 wickets. Exworth finished on 34NO with Barrs James on 31NO. With Putney failing to win, HHCC 2s now stand at the head of the Division 1 by one point. They have the 2 closest rivals Putney and Shepperton in the next few weeks, but the signs are encouraging for another possible promotion. This division will go down to the wire.
Away from the league, the 3rds welcomed back Skipper Jerry Fallows with the pressure on to keep the unbeaten run going against Temple Sheen Eccentrics. Alas the run came to an end, with TSE a little too strong for the home side. HHCC batted first and reached a respectable score of 188, with Henry Newton Savage scoring 42, and chairman Nally Fernando again failing to put his hand in his pocket for a jug for the second time this season, by retiring hurt on 47. But TSE reached their target with the loss of one wicket, from Skipper Fallows (courtesy of an LBW decision given by umpire Ollie Fallows). It would have gone to the DRS in the test, but Jerry was confident the 3rd umpire (his daughter probably) would have upheld the decision.
On Sunday the 2nd XI faced Tuskers at Bushy Park. Day, who was skippering again as usual 2s skipper had been called up to the 1s, lost the toss and HHCC were bowling in the heat again. It was the colts who took all the glory this time – Freddie Bourne taking 3 early wickets, followed by 2 for Jack Fulllicks (finishing on 2-25 plus taking a catch for the aforementioned Mr Bourne). Day and Hughes took on a supporting role until the limitation on bowling overs meant a bowling change and on came the spinners of Ayyuthanai and Taylor. Tuskers took full advantage of a pitch which was offering little in the way of spin, putting on another 80 runs off 8 overs against the increasingly frustrated bowlers. The last over brought back Bourne to bowl his one remaining over. First ball and he dispatched Monir, Tusker’s highest scoring batsman (finishing on 64) after he rather arrogantly stepped down the wicket at Freddie. Tuskers finished on 197
HHCC came out fighting, opener Jonasus putting on 38, Bourne (yes him again) adding 29, Ayyuthanai contributed 20 and even Graham “Muncher” Kendall was swatting the boundaries with a quick 16, but the overs ran out and HHCC fell short at 156. Not the result we wanted but an excellent performance by Bourne and Fullicks ably supported by the rest of the team.