Hampshire Hogs

17TH OF MAY 2015

Last season one of their Hoggets struck a monumental six on the East side of this stunning ground and it landed on the back of the neck of an Aberdeen Angus cow.   The batsman named Watson Briggs apologized and said “Apparently it seems to be unaffected.”  Play was  duly resumed.

Cow corner- the area of the field (roughly) between deep mid-wicket and wide long-on. So called because few 'legitimate' shots are aimed to this part of the field, so fielders are rarely placed there – leading to the concept that cows could happily graze in that area. The phrase is rumoured to have been created on the fields of Dulwich College.[1]

Anthony Gibson, son of that great cricket writer and broadcaster Alan Gibson, wrote in the book “Gentlemen,Gypsies and  Jespers”  “I rather doubt if there is  more sought-after fixture in the whole world of club cricket than a game against the Hogs at their beautiful ground. There is a richness and a relish about Hogs cricket which is rare indeed.” 

This could apply to the Woodies, whose article appears in the same book between pages 193-5.   This season POB has introduced a sound idea to avoid turning up without   a full team – appointing Match Managers for each fixture.  Cousin David recruited his two brothers for Sanderstead and  Olly Mott  made two  excellent signings as well, bot¬¬¬¬h former Brondesbury lst team players Joe Moore of The Stoics and  Toby Sharpe who started his career playing for Bournemouth Junior cricket.   At 11.14, fourteen minutes before the start,  our eleventh player arrived,  driven from Bromley by our Life President – 26 year old investment manager Jamie Poole who lives in Notting Hill and is the owner of a Porsche.  POB has a longtime gambling friend who knows Jamie’s stepfather and that was how Jamie was invited.   

He showed his right palm – a nasty bruise under the first and second fingers.  “I was stopping a hard one,” he said.   On the 105 minute journey he drifted off a few times. Apparently he hadn’t been to bed
Our day started at Clapham Junction at 930, where 8 of us piled into the New Pecker Packer 3, Cousin David’s Family Land Rover. Windy and cuzz worked like Trojans, strapping bags to the roof.

Packer Clapham Junction

Toby Sharpe – turned up wearing his MCC sweater and cap and his fast medium bowling was a revelation.  No Woodie would have ever matched his smooth, long run up and high arm delivery at  considerable pace.  

“Cousin” Dave Holme profited at the other end (from Lps umpiring) after taking two wickets in the opening over and finished with exemplary figures of 9-0-22-4.  His second ball, a yorker, was edged into the off stump of Bill Gunyon and the fifth had Matt Love lbw, both for 0.  He took a third at 19 wicket with Joe holding on to  a rapid snick at first slip and facing a possible low target which might ruined the game, “Çousin” was taken off.  Meanwhile Toby was beating the bat regularly and having  had a lot of loud lbw appeals turned down.   where the ball is really going.”

“Windy,” back from honeymoon,  took over from the “Cousin” and his  exertions in he previous fortnight  may well have been the reason why he was a little short of his best, flinging down most of the 15 wides.      However, he did bowl several inslanters  which troubled the batsmen (6-0-30-0).  Jamie Poole  (13-3-33-2) was more accurate with his darted offspin and he had the hard-hitting Watson Briggs,  for 22, well held by TOB at mid on.  

Toby (Sharpe) carried on bowling for 12 overs before taking his sweater. He’d taken just two wickets, a double take by keeper Matt Coates and bowling Jamie Fox.  After Alex Taylor  (5—0-26-0) and Ed Tate (3-0-22-0) failed to make a breakthrough with their offbreaks “Cousin” Dave  came back at the top end. He bowled a beamer at the durable Matt Love which glanced off his helmet and finished up at third man.    

Our 3 bearded debutantes, L-R –Pooley, Sharpey, Mooresy

Mark Goodeve-Ducker, a London-based estate agent with Foxtons,  came in at 80-4  and put out a glove to shake the hand of our umpire saying “I’m Mark.  Pleased to meet you.”   He’s a very pepped up cricketer, constantly giving himself lectures and he and Jamie Fox both reached 30 as the innings began to  get going again.   Toby returned at the top end and most of his deliveries pitched off and middle and when Fox was bowled,  he followed up by having 65 year old Tim Durston lbw 

The Browne brothers, George and skipper Charlie, are both good batsman in the 10 and 11 spots and they put on valuable 31 runs until Toby, 15.3-4-43-4,  bowled  George for 24.  Toby was enthusiastically applauded by players of both sides.   , Our young lads had the idea of bringing port for the oppo to go with the cheese at lunch and that was very well received.

Joe Moore, 10, Alex Taylor, 30, Ed Tate, 20, all made a start against the frisky bowling of Goodeve-Docker and Çharlie Browne but things changed abruptly when Watson Briggs,  began bowling his unorthodox whirlies. He is from Glasgow and his  boss is Goodeve-Docker.  Not a fan of Nicola Spurgeon, he said would have voted against breaking from England except that he was living in Crystal Palace.  

Tuppy Taylor was timing his drives splendidly when he failed to go forward and was bowled and the turning point came after TOB started thumping the bowling of Briggs and George Brown.  One majestic six cleared long on and narrowly missing Zoe,  Mel and Dicky’s younger daughter   POB’s nephew. A few overs later, Toby hit another towering six , narrowly missing Zoe’s older sister Izzy  . At that point Mel and Dicky decided to flee for their daughter’s safety

Before Mel and family could gather their belongings, TOB tried to go for the longest boundary at the other side of the ground and his 90 yard steepler was brilliantly caught by Jamie Fox, at cow corner.  Twelve runs later, Matt Çoates  seemed paralysed by seeing one of Briggs’s slow turning Chinamen and was out lbw  for 21.  It was good to see him orchestrating plenty of short singles.

Unable to bowl earlier by his long term shoulder injury, Olly Mott was striking out strongly until he found cow corner and was caught for 19.   Then rigor mortis  set in the tailend with POB, 8 balls for 2, “Cousin” Dave 0, in 2 balls and “Windy” 0 in 3 balls, all fell.  

Jamie Poole went in 11 due to his potentially fractured bone but with wickets collapsing, he agreed to help block it out while Toby Sharpe was collaring the bowling.  He forgot his orders and took a swing, missed and was almost bowled.  POB shouted advice and Toby went up to him and told him to restrain himself.  Next ball, he tried to  lash out at the tempting bowling of Briggs, missed and managed to  survive.  More shouts and arm waiving  from the pavilion. He finally got the message and the next 20 minutes were enthralling as Sharpey and Pooley batted excellently putting on 30 of the 40 we needed to reach 200.

With just ten run to win Toby picked up the disease of  suicidal inclination and hoicked  high towards square leg in cow corner country.  Moving fast the veteran Durston dived forward and held a fantastic catch to snatch the victory for his side. 

Toby made 41 and he said “after playing premier league cricket I used to ache all over and now I want to take it easy.”  He need to sign him up pronto.

Watson Briggs’ figures were  12-0-45-6 and should have earned him the Man of the Match award but he left early to return to Crystal Palace.  Instead, POB nominated Tim Durston of whom Charlie Brown said “he’s still a very good cricketer, especially in the field.”

It was a brilliant game of cricket enjoyed by all the players and spectators and played in a great spirit. We had a great sing song in PP3 on the way home and a few pints at the Lash-Mere pub pon our return.. A simply fantastic pecker day

Hampshire Hogs 199,  Woodies 190