Marlow

Marlow Park CC vs Woodpeckers - 7th August 2017

Penned by Cuddles, POB in Italics

The laissez faire spirit was missing from Marlow Park as the Peckers arrived shortly after 12pm for the 1pm start. The otty’s arrived with Emotty and the welcome return of Momotty quickly securing the finest bench in the park. With the puglets and pugletta , Dickie and family, Don, Leo and SP’s folks and lovely debut of peckeortta Laura; the scene was set for what is always our most picnic and spectator friendly game of the season. All in all a fantastic Pecker family gathering. 

While we waited for our opponents to arrive, our new recruits - Graham and Bertie - quickly fitted in, building on the pre-game WhatsApp banter. Graham, an ex-rower and quieter of the two, kept his cards close to his chest. But Bertie, eager to ‘test out his quicks and rattle through the middle order’ was chirping away like he’d played for the Peckers for years. 

Throwing etiquette out the window we decided to test out the wicket. Noticing the outfield was long, eyebrows were raised at the grassy strip in front of us. Speaking with Mo - Marlow’s stalwart of the club for over 30 years - it was explained that Marlow had a series of unfortunate events in that all their field management machinery gave up the ghost a few weeks back. To great expense the club has had to replace their mowers and roller but had meant the square hadn’t been maintained.  We all pretty much agreed we sure as hell didn’t want to bat first. 

So it came as a surprise and welcome relief when the Marlow Skipper Abdul won the toss, and elected to bat. 

With the Marlow team all present and in equally fine spirits - we were out in the field at 1.30pm for a 40 over match. 

POB gave the opening spells to SP and Pug. After two very loose opening overs, PUG immediately found some excellent rhythm - bowing a tight line and using the variable bounce to excellent effect. With SP toiling away up the hill and unlucky to pick up a wicket during his five overs he clearly had the wrong end. But PUG finding an extra yard of pace and reeling with confidence took the successive wickets of their top five batsmen. 

Starting with a simple leading edge caught by Cuddy at gully, a caught behind by Botty, two cleaned bowled (including a lovely middle stump clatter) Pug was at his best. Regularly beating the edge. His fifer came with a brilliantly low and hard catch taken low by Dickie at 3rd slip. Pug’s first five wicket haul and brilliantly deserved.

(Although it’s still unclear how much the Puglet’s and Pugletta’s were watching from the stands). PUGs final figures 6-20-5. 

Proving bowling straight has rewards.

At 40 odd for 5, it was time to mix things up.

Safari Don, the father of our father and son pair took the ball. Don, despite being offered freshly pressed whites before the game, chose to keep his shorts on. Unlike his son Leo - clearly a proper cricketer wearing full cricket attire. At the other end Bertie - who used to open the bowling for his 1st XI at Worth school and hasn’t bowled a ball for 13 years - was still deciding whether to bowl seam up or leg spin. Don finished 3-13-1 and Bertie 3-18-1. 

Don, with a somewhat unorthodox action - showed some nice consistency. And Bertie at the other end, after a positive first over, got spooked and after 2 overs of very mixed medium pace decided it was time for an over of leg spin. Both bowlers picked up a wicket for their efforts - despite a horrible drop by SP at mid-on. 

Dickie then took the reigns up the hill and bowled well for no reward, again no thanks to SP with another drop this time at extra cover. At the other end Leo - showing excellent rhythm and technique bowled well, picking up a great wicket thanks to an excellent diving catch from POB running across from mid off to mid on. 

To finish off the innings it was time for old Hampton School partnership. Motty, coming down the hill was told by match manager Cuddy after 2 overs that 'you’re not a true all-rounder unless you can bat, field, bowl seam up and spin the ball'. Never shy of a challenge Motty bowled one over of leggies leading to another stumping by Botty - who was excellent behind the stumps all day. Cuddy at the other end, who - as explained by Marlow’s 14-year old - was bowling Chinamen was rewarded with a couple of wickets. Cuddy's spinners really are delightfully loopy and offer another string to our excellent treasurer's bow-Shame Runky wasn't there to admire

Twelvegate. 

As the game went on and with Marlow unlikely to put on a competitive total, POB offered Mo Munsha- Marlow’s team manager - the opportunity to bat as a twelfth batsman. Mo, thankful for the opportunity got a somewhat frosty reception from the rest of the Peckers team. Especially Botty who - in particular - wanted to understand at what point did any cricket team have 12 players? But would Mo’s contribution of 12 really make any difference? 

At 121 all out (with us taking 11 wickets), the score was below par. Special recognition goes to Graham who fielded admirably, despite twingeing a hamstring. 


A strong tea supported by Rebellion IPA, brewed locally in Marlow went down a a treat. 


Time to knock these runs off…

Marlow opened with Jazzy - a strong and sharp seamer who puts it on the spot and Alex Head a man who bowls no two balls the same. It was a glorious day and we thought the sun would harden up the wicket. But the variable bounce continued - making it difficult to bat on. 

Opening with Bertie and Botty, there was some bemusement as Bertie still in disbelief that he was opening was quick to remind everyone that he’s never opened before in a similar vein to having not bowled for 13 years. Jazzy, bowling straight and well, bowled Bertie for 3 and shortly after got the in-form Botty with a cracker for 10. 

Never opened before Bertie.

In came the limping Graham, aka Starskey, who with SP as a runner, timed the ball really well, before being bowled for 12 by Head. Cuddy, in next, was doing okay before a rush of blood, resulted in a top edge to gully and back in the pavilion for 10. At 40 odd for 4, were we staring down the barrel of another pecker collapse? 

SP fresh from a stern talking to from his folks and his fianceé  and his future in laws...over tea for an abject fielding performance, was eager to redeem himself. SP was under immense pressure..Seeing the ball well and hitting the middle of the bat he picked up anything short and played some glorious drives and cuts to get the scoreboard motoring. Motty - also in form - looked solid for his 5 before pushing for a two where clearly there was never one, running himself out. His changing room roar of frustration was met by chuckles around the ground. 

With SP still keeping the scoreboard moving, the young Leo took his turn at the crease and it wasn’t long until Marlow deemed Leo  (aged 13) our best batsman. Leo played a cunning innings. Playing straight when it was needed and using his hockey-esque sweep shot to great effect, especially to Marlow’s Ambrose.  

With Dickie, POB, Don and Pug still to come in the odds were still in our favour. But things went awry. We lost SP for 34 - a solid and important innings that kept us in the game. Then Dickie, caught for a duck  was quickly followed back by POB who got an almost unplayable shooter. Within a couple of overs we were 8 down. And unlike Marlow we didn’t have the privilege of 12 players. 

Don still donning his shorts, joined Leo for an exciting father and son partnership. Asking if his dad enjoys batting, Leo responded ‘he likes to hit a couple of sixes and get out’. Which in the context of the game at that point would have been perfect. Don ran himself out for 2 - father and son comms were down also not helped by the fact Don twinned his shjorts with loose fitting boxers...the protector was all over the shop. Leo's mum Allie and sister Munchie -my God Daughter had joined the excited crowd

Still needing 23 runs off 24 balls and 8 down, twelvegate was now back in play. Pete Stephens - Marlow’s 1st team star and opening bat - was in the pavilion and had put his pads on. We had a twelfth player. But Leo - despite some cracking hitting - missed a straight one and finally succumbed to Ambrose. An excellent and important 24. 9 down we were left with the Marlow star and PUG - who clearly after his fifer wanted to be the hero of the day. 

But it wasn’t to be. Pete pushed the ball around, and PUG did to - but the much needed boundaries weren’t forthcoming. With 7 needed to win - it was all over when PUG was bowled for 3 by Hanan. 

A close fought contest. A deserved win by Marlow who bowled and fielded well. Thanks to everyone who came and made it a great day’s cricket. It was the second game in a row that Marlow had won by 7 runs. And no - the result wouldn’t have been any different had we played with 11 players. Played in the right spirit by all.

A fantastic turnout.

Outwood

Penned by Taters -POB in Italics

Outwood is a wonderful little ground not far from Redhill in Surrey.  

It was all smiles at the lovely Bell Inn with some old faces and new, but most importantly a bowling attack of both class and distinction, clearly demonstrated by a round of halves and an eagerness to get the whites on. 14.30 came around in a flash and a 35 overs game was agreed, much to the distaste of a few ‘traditionalists’ among the Peckers. Patrick then went on to lose the toss, but gleefully accepted when the opposition skipper put the Peckers in field. 

Outwood has seen some great moments including Treas's 1st ton, and he was returning to the fray after a 2 year hiatus. Girdle had some bruising memories and Runky had dealt with a lady who came on the pitch 3 years ago opening with 'My Good Woman' . These three lent some experience  to the team and balanced the Young Pecker Tykes nicely/

Cyoungy opened from the top end with some serious pace and great direction, often deceiving and beating the edge of the Outwood openers. Norman was particularly clueless to what turned out to be a two paced pitch and consistently fished at it without any hope of catching anything.  SP started from the bottom end and bowled with great rhythm and accuracy, admittedly assisted by some uneven bounce and the unorthodox batting of the chirpy Crawford. SP went onto torment poor Norman, whose technique seemed to wither with his honour, when he refused to walk after an edge that was confused for last orders back in the Bell. 

Cyoungy eventually did for Norman, who trudged off with the score at 41 -1. A fine spell of bowling that probably deserved more, finishing with figures of 7-22-1.  SP was unlucky not to get a wicket, but managed 6-24-0.0 .Cuddy and Motty then took over, reuniting a bowling partnership from there school days. The effect was devastating, with it eventually accounting for the self-proclaimed ‘streaky’ (if not resilient) Walker and the best part of the Outwood middle order. 

There were some fantastic catches taken in this period, firstly by Cousin David (fresh back from episode 2 of Game of Thrones) who snaffled one at square leg after taking a break from snaffling his lovely lady, Tamsin’s chipolata’s … apparently being heard crying ‘Oh Tamsin, you could have left me the bowl darling!?’ Then what must go down in history as one of the great Peckers’ catches from behind the sticks (not a lot to compete with), Big Merv diving to his right, produced a one hander not to dissimilar to Quinton De Kock’s gem of a catch which dismissed Joe Root on the first day of the third test at the Oval. Big Merv, then let slip his secret technique of calming his nerves before the game, which involved asking a young lady outside the Dogstar (a top establishment in Brixton) for a cigarette and then kindly offering to escort her home! Well played ‘Big’ Merv!

Cuddy finished with excellent figures of 4-18-3 and Motty with an extremely economical 4-2-3-1. With Outwood wilting at 60-5, it was the turn of spin twins Runkel and Taters. Who some have likened to the great West Indian partnership between Ramadhin and Valentine, who took 59 wickets between them when England toured in the 1950’s. Runkel was a little on the expensive side, with the oppo captain often tucking in to some of his looping leg spin –  , what would Father say? However, Runkel had the last laugh finishing with figures of 7-38-3. Taters did his usual Phil Taylor impersonation, offering firing spitting off breaks down the leg side, much to the dismay of Big Merv.   Treas (2-9-0) finished with a couple of overs at the end to keep Outwood to a modest total of 148.

After a lovely tea, with some particularly meaty sausage rolls and a delicious cheeseboard that some of the 'hungrier' Peckers fell upon. Cousin D and Treas strolled out to the wicket. Unfortunately, it wasn’t too long until both walked back scoring a measly one between them – better practice with the bowling machine at 90 mph next time Cousin.

Motty, who seemed to make better use of the bowling machine, then steadied the ship and formed a decent partnership with Taters. Taters came and went in a flash (this is what his ladies say)  but was able to add 31 and a lusty flat six before his departure. Taters played a few nice Mavis Pipers, we called for a King Edward and he duly delivered as it sailed high into the woods. Motty went on to score a fine 50… oh wait no, Cuddy clapped him on 48 and the poor bugger was run out by Cyoungy on 49 – better luck next year Motty. Cyoungy went on to reach 30 before being run out himself and poor old Girdle was out LBW without troubling the scorers.

Cuddy and Patrick saw the Peckers home. On the way Cuddy unleashed a couple of his trade mark lofted cover drives (lovely new piece of willow 😉) and Patrick finished proceeding with a glorious square cut for 4.

An excellent day, and a really great bunch of Peckers -well played Lads, and particularly well fielded.Peckers 150-7 beat Outwood 148 by 3 wickets.

 

Peckers complete with SPs parents, Kiwi Horse and Cappy, Tamsin, and Jim the Umpire

Peckers complete with SPs parents, Kiwi Horse and Cappy, Tamsin, and Jim the Umpire

Shylock after called Motty for a very tight one when he was on 49....

Shylock after called Motty for a very tight one when he was on 49....

Outwood were upset about the loss and Captain Matt about being called a p&^&(k by Runky, but gained compensation in the pool ( the runky didn't help us there either)

Outwood were upset about the loss and Captain Matt about being called a p&^&(k by Runky, but gained compensation in the pool ( the runky didn't help us there either)

Malden Wanderers

 Malden Wanderers v Woodpeckers 2nd July 2017 –Penned by Alan Wood –POB in Green

When Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post exposed POTUS Nixon, not only did Watergate become part of 20th Century history and literature, but any subsequent noun with the suffix –gateheralded impending calamity. One of the earliest uses of such a term was golfgate, a term used to describePOTUS Ford who succeeded Nixon at the White House. Apparently Ford, a keen golfer, played Palm Springs where there were a number of courses and the story goes that he never knew which  he was playing until he’d hit his first tee shot. I digress. Welcome to Catchgate.

When the Woodies took the field after a resplendent tea defending 193 in a 35 limited over match it was almost as if they’d come to some unwritten agreement that they would try to win without using the traditional dismissal method of catching

Earlier in the day the captains tried to negotiate the toss each trying to ascertain the strength of the other. It was decided that the teams were well matched – so it proved – and the toss ensued with the Woodies batting. Malden fielded 9 players under 18 and their decent pace attack made early inroads.It was great to have our long-time statistician Alan Wood playing for us, he has scored over 11,000 runs for the Peckers, easily our highest and is the most amiable man you could hope to meet. We also welcomed the Patron of the Singapore Peckers and over for their tour of Menorca, the Dupa. Scoring was difficult and it was left to Botty and Dupa to start to mend the damage with a well-constructed 5th wicket partnership of 68. (There was a very unusual scoring pattern in the Woodies innings. Runs accrued through boundaries across a very fast outfield or extras and it was not until the 16th over, with the score in the fifties, that the first non-boundary run was scored off the bat!)  Botty’s 40, some beautiful on –drives the sure sign of a class batsman, Greg P with a gorgeous 48 and Dupa with a muscular 32 were the main contributors along with 40 extras in ensuring the Woodies had a competitive total. Keeping to Woody’s boundary theory, it is a statistical anomaly that all of the batsman fell to a multiple of 4…Wood 12, Greasy 8, Tid, Cudd and Sp all for 4, our two intrepid openers Girdle and Cannon…0x4 =…. It was excellent to see the new expanded Palmer family there –Greggles and Chlobo with Bubsy, Ploppies and Napalm on debut. Tiddles and Glenda with Emile and Mushy Mushy on debut. Gimli even came along with the Gimletta and a large bag of ales and cider –thanks Gimli

A leisurely tea was taken with POB stating it was the best tea on the circuit a compliment passed on to a happy Liz. Her daughter Jo scored for both sides by the way and made an excellent job of it.

Now came the tricky part. How to defend 193 without taking catches.

. Woody started it, missing an absolute sitter, and, as if to make the old boy feel better, others steadily joined him… You had to feel sorry for the bowlers toiling away on a decent track in hot conditions; none more so than SP who had 4 dropped in in 11 deliveries. A slip catch to Cannon which seemed to bounce of everything before hitting the ground, Sharp edges to Botty and Girdle, a tough caught and bowled to SP, Cuddy at Mid-Wicket…

Gregglesarrived with his usual announcement that he wasn’t goingto bowl, but with Malden 140-3 and up with the rate, he knew we needed him. His 1st ball was miscued just between him and brother Tid and he exclaimed at the ball as it lobbed over him a Homer-sque…’Why you’...^^&^’ The next ball he put down a caught and bowled chance –even Greggles had caught the terrible pandemic. Captain Botty chipped in with a couple of overs but the last ball of his spell was put down at long on by Cannon.

If we had been told before the game that we would be 0-2, 38-4 and drop 10 catches (this is a conservative estimate) we’d have thought our chances of victory were slight but cricket surprises.

Fortunately the ground fielding was always enthusiastic, the bowling good and the captaincy excellent.Botty finally showed that we could hold a catch, diving forward to remove Gerrard off Greggles for 71.  Still with 2 overs to go, New Malden were 182-4 and only needing 11 runs, hot favourites. Greggles dug deep and bowled one of his finest overs ever. It only went for 1 run, and induced a run out.

Six bowlers were used, judicious fields set and aided by 3 run outs a slender victory was achieved with two balls to spare. Special mention for the bowlers today; under pressure against a good batting side they all bowled well and gave little away. SP 7-1-29-1, Cuddy 7-0-39-2, C.Palmer 6-0-17-0, Woody7-1-31-1, Greg 6-0-33-2 and the Skip 2 overs for 16

This was a fine game played in excellent spirit between 2 good teams. The youngsters of MW will have learnt much. Beer was taken on the outfield of an attractive ground on a lovely summer’s evening. Good to see young families present and thanks to Jim B and POB for umpiring.

That’s all for now, can’t stop, just going for catching practice.

Blackheath

 WOODPECKERS V BLACKHEATHSunday 16thJuly 2017

And so to Blackheath, the scene of last year’s successful chase of 242 largely thanks to AJ’s unbeaten 139. Even without the now-deported AJ, on paper our 11 looked good. I had informed Blackheath we had a fairly strong line-up, which POB immediately castigated me for. Many years of captaining the Peckers has taught POB that things never tend to work out quite as intended.

Our fantastic band of supporters, comprising Pughs(x8), Palmers (x5), Millers (plural, if you include the bump) and Gowars(7) made it a lovely family affair. LP and Jim also very kindly came along to umpire (LP even keeping the trigger safely tucked away). However, would the contest be more even than that playing out on Centre Court 30 miles away or that up at Trent Bridge?

Early on Saturday, our fairly-strong 11 was upgraded to a more athletic 10 with the withdrawal of Cannon, who claimed, to much mirth, that a sore ankle was limiting his mobility even further. And overnight on Saturday Taters also had to sadly withdraw, leaving us with a now weaker 9. A call to arms went out, Twitter, Instawhatsit and everything else went into overdrive for an extra player or two. At the end of which, a simple call out to the oppofor an extra player turned up trumps(more of which below), the Horse was roused from his stable with his foals in tow for a knock, and young Charlie Pugh was primed for his debut in the field at the grand age of 8.

Nick Harrison, Chairman of the club and captain of the Sunday XI, claimed that he didn’t have a particularly strong batting line-up and suggested we bat first to ensure a good game. What he didn’t know is that ourform batsman of the season, Botty, had had barely any sleep and whose eyes weren’t quite working as normal.

The same applied to his brother, playing as a batsman, who had been whatsapping complete nonsense at 4am. Cuddy, sensible as ever (other than his laughable choice of car which is going to cost him a fortune in time) could at least see straight when he and Botty strode out.

The Sunday XIs we face don’t usually include many Saturday 1st teamers, but Blackheath like to include 4 or 5 each time we play them to ensure an even game (which, to be fair, has always worked well in the past, as this beautiful ground tends to attract our better players). And so Botty and Cuddy found themselves facing 19 year-old Taylor, their 1st XI new ball bowler, who bowled with decent pace and control. Both initially found gaps through the rapid outfield, but thereafter fell in identical fashion to Taylor nipping one back. O Mott at 3 also played some lovely shots for 18 before nicking off to the first change bowler (a 14 year-old with shoulders like Chris Gayle) with SP falling quickly for 5. At this point our recruit from the oppo was called upon. Danny Harrison, son of Nick, is a 1st team regular and well-regarded coach at the club. However, Danny is a kindred spirit of brothers Mott, and had had even less sleep than them (Nick had got up to let the dog out on Sunday morning to see his son walking up the path). Hence their seemingly kind gesture of lending us a 1stteam player was anything but, as Danny was out for a third ball duck to one of the 14 year-olds that he coaches.

At this point we were 63 for 5 and in trouble. Runkyhad by now arrived (no explanation provided, just an amiable “Hi man” as he wandered off to find adders in the heathland). Big Merv, keeping up the tennis theme with his Borg-esque headband, was doing well to keep one end up. The only problem was that he was also failing to score, wafting hopefully outside off but hitting more of the prevalent flying ants that any cricket balls. When he did fall, the scorebook showed 1 run off 10 overs, much to Merv’s discontent (“I definitely scored 2”).

POB and the Horse steadied the ship admirably and took us past 100 with excellent running (although this cost Horse one of his hamstrings) whilst Botty, fortified by the now open bar, went to task on trying to persuade Greggles that he should abandon his young family in favour of a knock in the lower order. Greggles, understandably not wanting to be associated with this sh1tshow, stuck to his guns and left the tail to fend for themselves. POB went for a hard-earned 26 and a now-lame Horse was caught on the boundary for an excellent top score 30.

The tail failed to wag, with Pug and Windy falling quickly to the returning opening bowlers to set a total of 145 and the Baron again protecting his average.Windy a tad early as Pug and LP look on

Tea was a pleasant medley of hot and cold offerings, much of which was hoovered by the Puglets, Palmerinos and Foals, washed down by tea or, in some cases TEA (Hog’s Back, 4.2 ABV). During the break a timely shower set in, which wasn’t going to help keep the new ball dry. The big screen was showing South Africa’s dogged resilience up at Trent Bridge, but which example would Blackheath follow –Amla and du Plessis’s doggedeness, or Bairstow’s hot-headed attacking nonsense?

So that Horse would rest his injured pin and teach his boys the art of forward defence in the nets, we brought on Charlie Pugh aka Chuggyfor his debut (having fielded for a couple of overs last year). We agreed with Nick (his club coach) to keep him behind the bat, so he ran fine leg to fine leg for 35 overs. Windy, clocking this, suggested he wear his fitbit to improve his stats, but to no avail. Chuggy fielded with great enthusiasm and one sliding stop in particular drew applause all round.

SP opened downhill and Windy uphill. Both bowled with good wheels but, without much of a total to defend, the experienced Blackheath openers were able to use the pace of the ball to find gaps through the drying outfield for boundaries we could barely afford. SP castled one opener with a good yorker but the left-handed Hardcastle weathered the early storm. Windy, charging in like a bull and filling his shirt like one, bowled very well but for no reward.

POB brought on Cuddles downhill for 6 tight overs (1-15) and he took the much-needed wicket of the other Harrison 1st team brother, Ronny. After a couple of loose Pug overs, the Baron was brought on to bowl up the slope. Other than a couple of early ugly half-trackers (one of which drew a barely-deserved wicket with a close catch from Pug that the Baron refused to celebrate)This was a brilliant catch by Pug diving forward, clearly turning it on for his son and local crowd), the Beearon (3-30) cemented his place as our go-to bowler when wickets are needed and he was too much for a succession of Blackheath youngsters to handle. When Botty ran out their keeper with a superb direct hit from the deep, Blackheath were 114-6 and it was very much game on.

However, at the other end Hardcastlewas playing the paternal role, keeping things very steady whilst his young charges threw the bat. Botty was brought on to flight his twirlers downwind but was unable to find the breakthrough. Pug came on downhill and Cuddy took a great catch on the drive to expose the tail further. A mention for Mervwho kept excellently, with one superb juggling catch ultimately not given as POB kindly reprieved the batsman who pointed to his hip.

However a few boundaries later Blackheath were nearing the required total. At which point POB threw the ball to Chuggy for his first ever couple of overs with a hard ball and on a 22-yard strip. Hardcastle managed to see out the first six to give Chuggy a maiden, with a few off the second. The boy was absolutely stoked, the oppo enjoyed it too (he being of their stable usually) and it was a nice way to see out the game. The winning runs came with 3 overs to spare with Hardcastledeservedly 60 n.o., and Charlie and the Baron led us off the field to handshakes all round with the oppogivingthe match ball to Chuggy.

Another fantastic day, no quibbles about losing to this great bunch of lads.

Blackheath won by 3 wickets.

MAN OF THE MATCH -CHUGGY

PROUD DAD AND MATCH MANAGER

Chuggy Charges in

Chuggy Charges in

Delicious Defence Darling

Delicious Defence Darling

Cudd Missile

Cudd Missile

Horse tucks into Blackheath Oats

Horse tucks into Blackheath Oats

Ranger's Vigil ended

Ranger's Vigil ended

Pug on Home Turf

Pug on Home Turf

Blackheath Team

Blackheath Team

Mott game of Oranges and Lemons

Mott game of Oranges and Lemons

Windy a bit early

Windy a bit early

Tilford

Tilford

...Hoards of coffee drinking, lager swilling oiks kept most of the team a good 4 meters away from the ale selection before the game, meaning that despite the rather slow traffic ridden drive  for the Peckers in the Hearse (my delicious long & black Ford Mondeo Estate...) the team were both parched and sober before the game...

Headley

Headley

Sunday morning proved to be more emotional than the average Woodpecker outing: details of the horrific terrorist attack in London Bridge the previous evening were still filtering through, and I was preparing to unveil a bench dedicated to my dear parents at Headley. My dad loved playing cricket at Headley...