What a weekend for HHCC! Brilliant performances by both our 1st and 2nd XI who both clinched their respective league championships despite the weather. Read on for more details…
The first team secured the league championship with a performance that was an accurate reflection of the season. The long but picturesque journey south to Newdigate was made by the first team knowing that a win would keep them ahead of Long Ditton and secure the championship.
Newdigate skipper Allan Cooper won the toss and elected to bat and one of their more senior players flashed really hard and picked up a quick 37 mixing rapier like drives with hacks to fly slip. No team has managed to master the HHCC varied and dominant bowling attack and it was Robottom who made the initial breakthrough trapping their opener LBW. This brought their Aussie batsmen to the crease who began to dominate taking particular toll on the enigmatic Oliver Fallows who struggled with his length and was smashed consistently to the square leg boundary. He moved swiftly on to 23 before smashing another long hop to a startled Ollie Hampton on the boundary who took a superb catch avoiding decapitation in the process. This was the signal for Fallows to up his game and produce an excellent spell dispatching the dangerous Wickremasinghe who edged to the diving Baverstock behind the stumps and producing a lifter to see off their other opener.
Newdigate collapsed from 60-2 to 127 all out in just under 30 overs due to a superb second spell from Robo having adjusted to the slope, finishing with 5-19 off 8.2 overs.
Robottom then showed off his maths skills by producing a sheet showing how many runs were required each over to stay ahead of the run rate, should rain intervene.
Once again HHCC struggled to chase against some probing bowling from Newdigate whose skipper Allan Cooper finished with 4-31 off 9 overs. Jamie Sones (24), Ollie Hampton (28) and Jack Baverstock (19) all contributed but HHCC were left on 118 – 9. With 10 runs still needed, HHCC were 9 wickets down.
Last man Paddy Sullivan made his way to the wicket when the heavens opened. Our 118-9 from 34.1 overs was enough to win under the leagues version of the Duckworth-Lewis method based on a faster run rate
Newdigate showed great hospitality and sportsmanship throughout buying jugs of beer for the newly crowned champions. As HHCC left the ground news filtered through that the 2nds had miraculously won their league signalling a long night of celebration.
The day started off with all involved checking their weather apps. HHCC had to win and hope for other results to go the right way for us to give them promotion to the Surrey Championship.
It looked like rain anytime between 16:00 and 17:00 so the decision was made to win the toss and bowl, roll the opposition as quickly as possible and knock the runs off before the rain.
Everything went to plan with Warren winning the toss and HHCC bowled Byfleet out for 89, Rosey, Ev and Harding keeping it really tight with Warren finishing them off. The best performance was Rob Fullicks with figures of 7-21 off his 9 overs.
It was the quickest tea ever taken and HHCC were back out on the field by 15:20 chasing the low total.
Jack Fullicks went early and Shadab got a quick fire 29 to put HHCC in with a chance of beating Byfleet and the rain.
With Shadab out Warren made the decision to send in Rob Fullicks who, with Stuart B-J got to the total within 18 overs, BJ 19 not out Rob 40 not out….
Within 20 minutes of the finish the heavens opened and that would have been the end of HHCC’s chances if they were still playing..
Then came the wait, everyone watching Twitter and Warren making phone calls.
At around 18:30 Twitter updates, texts and calls confirmed that Merton and leaders Merrow had their matches abandoned and due to HHCC’s 7th win from the 7 games HHCC were champions by 2 points
Then (as Ian Exworth so eloquently put it) “it all went off……!!!!”