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WOLLASTON ARE UNDER THIRTEEN CHAMPIONS!

The win against Isham by 77 runs sealed the deal.  WCC 115 for 5 off 18 overs. Bethan 29 not out, Marcus King 50 not out. Isham 36 for 4 off 18 overs. An excellent all round performance with great bowling from Ben, Jack and Loui in particular. Just the K.O Cup still to go..........................!

 WOLLASTON JUNIOR REPRESENTATIVE CRICKET 2015

We have a number of our players playing representative cricket at District and County level and a few things have caught the eye:

 

 Matt Rea's magnificent 123* for Northants u12s against Derbyshire. Remarkable in as much that he only faced 87 balls and included 16 x 4s and 1 x 6. Matt is the 5th highest runs scorer with 201 in all county age groups.
 

 Another top knock from Marcus King for Northants u13s with 79 against South Northants District u14s. Marcus continues to work hard on his game and it is clearly paying off.

 

 Rob Bassin and Lewis North-Row have contributed for Northants u14s as the team have won 4 of their first 5 games. Rob played a vital innings of 44* off 41 v Norfolk u14s and Lewis 3-23 v Cambs u14s and 3-24 v London Schools u14s has been the pick of the bowlers.

 

  Bethan Soloman is scoring runs for fun for Northants u13 Girls with a top score of 51* against Buckinghamshire U13 girls. Bethan is currently 8th leading run scorer across all County age groups with 117 runs so far this season.

 

The future of Wollaston CC is in safe hands.

Nick Broome

 

REX BODDINGTON

 

It is with great sadness we have to report that Rex passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning, June 13th 2015

Making his debut in senior cricket aged fourteen, and going on to skipper the First team in 1981, 82, 84 & 88, May 2015 brought up Rex's fiftieth season with Wollaston. In that time he scored around 15,000 league runs including 6,103 for the First Eleven with a highest score of 102 against Rushton in 1987.

Rex also holds the record for the most First Eleven wicketkeeper dismissals (286) and the most in a season (35 in 1986)

He scored over 7,000 Second Eleven runs with a season's best of 641 in 2002 and went on to add to his total with nearly 2,000 for the Third Team - along with many more for the County Over 50's and 60's.

Rex will be greatly missed, not just in Wollaston but across a wide local area where he also excelled at football, bowls and skittles.

DICK UNDERWOOD

Dick, (Club number 69), who passed away on November 5th, joined Wollaston Cricket Club in the early Seventies and has been the ultimate Clubman ever since. He opened the batting for many years in his own inimitable style whilst at the same time purveying his left arm slow medium bowling which brought him 258 wickets and into "all-rounder" category. He captained the Second Eleven in 1981, 82 and 83 and was vice-captain on several occasions.

As well as playing he was a hard working Committee member for over 40 years and when his playing days were over he took up the smock and was the regular Second Eleven umpire until eventually he decided to watch the game from the other side of the boundary and enjoy a slightly more relaxing Saturday afternoon.

Right up to the end of this season Dick was an invaluable member of the ground staff as well as serving behind the bar every Friday night during the summer and undertaking numerous other tasks for the benefit of other members. The work he did for the Club is immeasurable and the great loss of Dick will be felt by everyone concerned with Wollaston Cricket Club.

 

 

November 2014 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

After more than 22 years at the helm Colin Barber has stepped down from the position of Club President.

Colin has been in office during one of the Club's most successful periods and has been instrumental in the progression and growth that is apparent today.

Nick Shelton, who was unanimously elected to fill the position, paid tribute to Colin for his sterling work over many years.

Captains and Vice captains for 2015

First Eleven Captain: Chris Perry                        Vice captain: Mark Carter

Second Eleven Captain: Charlie Elderton            Vice captain: Andy Luck

Third Eleven Captain Paul Jones                         Vice captain: Josh Steggles

 

 

 

WOLLASTON CLUB KIT

We are pleased to announce that we have a new kit supplier and the club web shop is now open.

Kit can be purchased through the website.

Please note that there is a delivery charge of £3.99 per order for orders consisting of 1 or 2 items, and for orders consisting of more than 2 items the delivery charge is £7.00 per order.

  Orders  of £100 and over are free delivered.  

   Go to the Club Shop, choose your kit:  CLUB SHOP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBCA National Coaching Awards - Runner Up 2012/2013     NEAL PERRY

The Club is very proud to announce that having been named East Midlands Coach of the year back in July, Neal Perry recently attended the ECBCA National Coaching Awards Dinner at Warwick University, which was attended by 500 people and sponsored by Sky Sports. The event was hosted by Charles Colville, with Jonathan Trott as the guest of honour.     

Unfortunately Neal didn’t win, but received a Runner-up trophy and bottle of champagne, and he would like to thanks everyone at the club for their support, especially his family, along with Nick Broome, David Ward and Colin Barber who appeared in the film that supported his nomination.

Congratulations to Neal on his award which reflects his commitment and dedication to Youth Cricket.

 

  

NEWS

Article by Andrew Radd                             Saturday September 22 2007

Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph & Northampton Chronicle   

 

Wollaston climb to the top of the tree – at last

 

Times have definitely changed when it comes to communicating tidings of great joy.

In ancient Greece they would have despatched a hapless runner to cover the 20-odd miles, pass on the message and promptly expire from exhaustion.  

Many centuries later; news of great English victories was spread by means of a chain of bonfires.  Not hugely effective in poor weather and very bad for the ozone layer.  

During the Second World War the BBC would place John Snagge, Stuart Hibberd or Alvar Lidell in front of a splendid ‘Type A’ microphone to announce that Hitler was dead, Berlin had fallen or the cheese ration was being increased.  

And so to September 2007 when Matt Jones used his mobile to ring through the details of Wollaston’s title-clinching win over Geddington last weekend – while enthusiastic team-mates attempted to pull his trousers down.  

That success at London Road was enough to earn the club a fifth Division One (or equivalent) title.  But as the first four came in the days before automatic promotion they will be enjoying their debut season in Northamptonshire’s top flight next year.  

“It’s very special,” admits David Ward, who made his Wollaston debut back in 1962 and could justifiably claim – if he wasn’t such a modest chap – to be the ‘soul’ of the club, having bagged more than 1,500 league wickets on its behalf.  

“My father played in 1959, 1960 and 1961 when they won the old County League Division Two but didn’t go up. 

“And I played in the 1973 side, along with (NCL chairman) John Hodges, when dad was president of the club.  So yes, it means a lot.  

“We’ve put no plans in place really.  It has just happened and it’s all very exciting.  We’re just savouring the moment!” 

Ward wasn’t present when history was made – but his excuse is fair enough.  

He was busy playing for the second team – who also won, to kill off the threat of relegation from Division Three – just up the road at Rushden.  

“We kept getting updates on what was happening at our ground,” adds Ward.  

“The first thing was that Harmit (Bahra) had to win the toss this time, and fortunately he did.  

“It’s rather ironic because when our firsts were relegated for the only time in 1990 it was Horton seconds who beat us on the last Saturday of the season to send us down.  

“Now, of course, their first team is coming down and we’re changing places with them!”  

Founded in 1870, Wollaston joined the Northants County League from the Kettering and District in 1957 and a couple of years later won the first of three successive titles under the captaincy of Peter Wyant.  

The Class of ’73 put the club’s name on the same piece of silverware again, winning nine out of 18 games and edging out Great Oakley by a single point.  

But joining the ‘big boys’ involved more than simply winning the division below.  At that time you had to APPLY for promotion (in writing to the Hon. Secretary by September 7) and the existing top division clubs would decide if they wanted you or not.  

“It was a bit of a closed shop.  When we won the second division we did apply.  But we all knew there was no chance of us going up.  

“If the opportunity had presented itself, we would have taken it.  But to be honest we just played in those days and winning the league was a bonus.” 

Wollaston have needed to be patient in recent years, too.  

Since the NCL came into being in 2003 they have finished no lower than fourth in Division One and were runners-up in both 2005 and 2006 – missing out to Irthlingborough and Burton Latimer by just 14 and four points respectively.  

“We didn’t always feel we had the rub of the green with the toss in some of those seasons – although I know anybody can say that.  

“It just seemed as though a good team would come down, or another team would get a useful overseas player and suddenly perk up, and they’d take it beyond us.” 

There wasn’t, of course, a Northamptonshire League in the 1920s and 30s.  But it’s fair to say that Wollaston could have been a powerful force in that particular era.  

Between 1913 and 1948 a quartet of men from the village – Ben Bellamy, Vernon Murdin, Reg Partridge and Cyril Perkins – played more than 850 first-class matches for Northamptonshire between them.  

Which made it hugely appropriate that Bellamy’s great-grandson, left-arm spinner Chris Perry, should play a key role in last Saturday’s victory by capturing five Geddington wickets.  

And the aforementioned Matt Jones – who top-scored with 52 – is the son of Paul, who notched 353 runs at 32.09 in the successful 1973 side.  

10 Chris Perry           Matt Jones

“I know people think we’re a village club and a bit insular.  But sometimes it does work in our favour when the generations come through.  

“That was a nice touch with Chris and Matt.  It just rounded the whole thing off.”  

As with Burton Latimer a year ago, the existing Premier Division skippers will be quizzing all-and-sundry in the coming months to find out “what’s Wollaston like” before the 2008 campaign gets underway next April.  

They could do worse than check out the club’s excellent website which contains, amongst other delights, a full list of first-teamers' for the last 50 years, from Arthur Ward to David Clarkson.  

Proud of what’s gone before and hopeful for the future, even Wollaston’s opponents (and Isham’s record against them has been pretty dire in recent years) will concede they deserve a chance to enjoy the view from the top of the tree.

REPRODUCED BY KIND PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR, ANDREW RADD,  THE EVENING TELEGRAPH AND THE NORTHAMPTON CHRONICLE & ECHO

2005

THE ERNIE BRYAN MEMORIAL TROPHY FOR BEST JUNIOR PLAYER

David Clarkson became the first recipient of this Trophy when it was presented by

 President Colin Barber at the Club Dinner at the end of the season.

David, who lives in Northampton, had an outstanding seasonat Under Thirteen level and is a worthy winner. He is presently representing Northamptonshire in his age group

and we are hoping he will progress to representing Wollaston

at senior level in the future.

 

2004

Following on with our SHOWBIZ- Split Loyalty interviews, this time, we put Brett Hanson, legend of stage, pitch and dressing room under the spotlight. As most of us know, Brett’s has played cricket for Wollaston for many years and has scored over 3,000 league runs, but not everyone in the cricket world knows that he has appeared in over sixty shows and his stage credits include Captain Von Trapp (Sound of Music) and Queen Tulip (Puss in Boots). His baritone singing voice has also been heard in places as far apart as Luton and Uppingham.

Between rehearsals and net practice our SHOWBIZ editor tracked down this modest, un-assuming thespian and number three batsman to find out what makes him tick, and at the same time find out just where his loyalties lie.

Brett Hanson - Actor or Cricketer?

Q: When and how did you get interested in dramatics?

BH: It was 1982 and I turned the pages for my mum, playing piano at  rehearsals and caught the bug!

Q : When and how cricket?

BH: About the same time. Watching Dave Ward bowling at the slip  catching net one summer’s evening.

Q : What was your first dramatic role?

BH: A tree in the Christmas play. Miss Blores class, aged six!.

Q : What was your first singing role?

BH: Charlie Cricket, Pinocchio. Wollaston Theatricals 1985.

Q: When did you find out you had a half decent singing voice?

BH: The Gondoliers 1990. Uncle Bob said I had the best voice in the show.

Q: Would you now consider singing without acting?

BH: Yes

Q: Were you in the School choir?

BH: Yes! I wore a music tie and had the p*** taken terribly!

Q: Did you have a hero in the entertainment field?

BH: My Uncle Bob

Q: What attracted you to both disciplines?

BH: I have always been attracted to discipline!!

Q: Would you like to pursue a profession in either?

BH Yes, both!

Q: Would you turn professional today in entertainment if asked?

BH: Yes! 

Q: Would you turn professional in cricket if asked?

BH: Yes!

Q: What would be the ultimate role and venue in entertainment?

BH: Playing the part of Chris in “Miss Saigon” in the West End

Q: Who do you admire?

BH: No one person in particular

Q: Do you prefer pop, classical or musicals?

BH: As long as it has a tune and the performers can sing, I like all three.

Q: Is cricket practice more interesting than rehearsals?

BH: It depends what I’m rehearsing and who is bowling at me.

Q: If you were selected for Lord’s and the Palladium on the same day – which would it be?

BH: Lord’s! Every time! No contest!

Q: If you could meet one person from either cricket or entertainment,   who would it be?

BH: Kylie

Q: Are you more nervous batting or acting?

BH: Batting.

Q: Do you ever feel like bursting into song when you are fielding?

BH: All the time! I always have a tune in my head and if you watch me  closely you will often see me singing away to myself. I        often change         the words though. To something like:-           “Pitch the f****** thing up Jonah!

Q: Which do you think will go on the longest – your   acting/singing or   cricket? 

BH: I’ll keep going at both until the stitching can no longer be repaired!

Q: Would your dream role be acting the part of a cricketing  icon in a cricket themed musical?

BH: I would love to play the lead in a cricket musical – as long as I got some runs! I would like to play Ian Botham – plenty to get your teeth   into.

Q: Who is the more demanding: the director or captain?

BH: I usually find Carole more demanding than most skippers!.

Q: A standing ovation or being clapped in with a Century?

BH: I’ve never had a standing ovation but I think that would feel better.

Q: Do you have any admissions or funny stories?

BH: Both in one really. We were playing Finedon in a Sunday game

and before we went out to bat I noticed that their umpire was an

old chap called Frank, and some weeks before I had fitted a new

immersion heater in his council house in Wellingborough. “Hello

Frank” I said “I’m Brett, how is your new immersion heater that I

fitted for you?”.  “Fantastic” said Frank. “That was the first time

I have had hot water in weeks”. Anyway, we went out to bat and

were soon in trouble. Their opening  bowlers’ were bowling quick

and aggressively on a lifting pitch and the ball was flying

everywhere – including around our heads! We were about 20

for three when I eventually gloved a catch to the keeper and he

snapped it up with audible glee. The bowler was even noisier. He

came right down the pitch whooping like an apache at Little Big

Horn and waving his arms in all directions. I knew Frank had got

his finger up but I kept looking down at the ground and because

I thought their whooping and remonstrating did not constitute

a proper  appeal,  I stayed  my ground. “You’re out!” said the

bowler. “Am I?” I said. “Am I out Frank?” I said  looking up.

Frank stared down the wicket, by now his finger was back

in his smock, “NOT OUT” he shouted  in a firm determined voice.

From this point the game changed dramatically. The bowlers

went ragged and got took off and we scored  over 200 and

won  the game! Which just proves, that all the gamesmanship

in the world doesn’t come close to a tank  of hot water

where umpires are concerned.

Q: OK, Brett, the crunch question: Which do you enjoy more: cricket

        Or singing/acting – and remember – your director, captain and

        the Selection committee are listening!

BH: Both equally!

Well, that’s the evidence – are we any nearer? Perhaps we should

leave it to one of our vice presidents, Phil Jones, to sum it up. After

watching Brett perform at the Parochial room he happened to meet

him going out. “Well, you sing better than you bat, boy!” said our

venerable V.P. Case closed. 

Next time: We interview Neal Perry -  Cricketer or Elvis impersonator?  

An Interview with…………Darren Laughton

Darren Laughton took over the unenviable and difficult task of captaining the Second Eleven after four years of triumph – finishing Champions each time. Two promotions pushed the team to within one division of our First Eleven and with the exception of Old Northamptonians (who were subsequently promoted), we were the only second string side in Division Two - the highest level that Wollaston Seconds has ever played.

2004 was a different story! With only two wins all season we finished bottom and were relegated back to Division 3. It was hard going for the new captain and perhaps not what he had in mind when he took over. Has it put him off? Does he regret doing the job? After several moths reflecting, what does he think now? Will he do it again?

Was this your first experience as captain? The first time at senior level although I captained several youth sides at Irchester and Wellingborough Town.

Did you think we would struggle? I knew it would be hard but never thought we would come bottom.

Did you enjoy the season? The majority of it. Obviously there were high and low points over the season.

Was there any time when you wanted to pack it in? No, obviously a lot of thoughts went through my mind from time to time but I never once considered it. As we really didn’t play to our potential I was always hopeful that the next win was only a week away.

What were the “highs” and “lows”? The highs included the two wins (O.Gs and Saints) and the team spirit and support within the team. The lowest point was at teatime at Towcester following the pathetic and lack lustre performance in the field. Everyone seemed to have lost interest and then we were facing 234 to win! It was our body language that sent out the wrong message. 

Which element of the captaincy is the most enjoyable? The all-round responsibility all day on Saturdays’.

And the least enjoyable? Ringing players up to tell them they are dropped.

Why do you think we struggled and subsequently relegated?: I think is was a combination of things. Our pre-season games were cancelled, nets were poorly attended and we got walloped in our first game. We didn’t recover from the bad start. We also came very close to several wins in the latter part of the season but things didn’t just go our way.

What do we need to do then? Pre-season practice is very important but we need to take early wickets and get at their middle order. When batting first we need to post bigger totals so we can put the game virtually beyond reach of the opposition, which puts more pressure on their batters. We need to control the game more.

Can the Club do anything different off the pitch to make your job easier? I think we need to agree our selection policy and make it clear at the AGM, also we could possibly increase the number of selectors from three, to bring in an extra voice or two.  Other than that I think the Club runs very well.

Where do you think we will finish next season? Given the run of the ball, in the top five.

Would you do it again? Yes!

2002

CHRIS PERRY, FOLLOWING IN GRANDDAD'S FOOTSTEPS 

  When Chris Perry reached the age of sixteen last September it was approximately 90 years since his great grandfather, Ben Bellamy, joined the professional staff at the County Ground. In the same year Mr Bellamy also played for Wollaston in the Kettering & District League cup final against Great Oakley. When he made his Northamptonshire debut in 1920 in a truly remarkable match against Surrey, he was able to view - at very close quarters - history in the making, as Percy Fender flayed a century in 35 minutes.

By this time Ben had already claimed the first of his 645 Northamptonshire victims, holding a catch to dismiss the immortal Jack Hobbs off the bowling of another Wollaston product, Vernon Murdin.  He also went on to notch more than 9,000 runs before his retirement in 1937.

Thus, Chris, who bowls slow left-arm, ensures that the family cricketing links with the village and the county are perpetuated. He captained the County’s under 15s during 2002 and also played for the Under 16s including the Jersey Festival.

Although Chris finished the season with 23 Premier wickets under his belt he admits it wasn’t all plain sailing. “I found it difficult at the start of the year, and all credit to Andy Luck our skipper – he didn’t over bowl me and risk me getting hit around and possibly having my confidence ruined. But as the season went on, he gave me more overs”. 

So Chris, who was at the County Ground in 1999 when David Ripley went past Ben’s total of dismissals for Northamptonshire, can be proud of his heritage and of the handsome tribute in Wisden paid by Ben’s old captain, ‘Beau Brown:  “ A dedicated professional cricketer, his impeccable conduct on and off the field earned him the respect of all who knew him”. 

1999: Centenary of a Six

When Darren King struck his straight six during his record breaking second wicket stand at Overstone, little did he know the significance of the date – July 31st 1999.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, one hundred years to the day since Albert Trott hit perhaps the most famous six of all time!

Batting at the nursery end at Lord’s July 31st 1899, Albert Edwin Trott hit a ball over the pavilion at Lord’s. Nobody else has ever done this and the ball eventually came to rest in a garden behind the pavilion after striking a chimney on the back downward slope of the roof. Trott had just lobbed a sighter into the seats on the top deck, and in the past once smashed a ball from Fred Tate into the cast-iron emblem on the left tower. Had there been no tower, the missile must surely have carried to Grove End Road which runs beyond the houses and gardens at the rear of the Pavilion.

From  the Nursery End stumps to the Pavilion boundary is 90 metres and the roof is 15.3 mts from the turf. The tower adds another 4 metres on top and when you stand on the ground and imagine the ball sailing over the great Victorian building the enormity of the hit is mind boggling. 

Apparently Albert, an Australian, was in the Dennis Lillee and Merv Hughes mould of boisterous larger than life characters but at the same time a handy bloke to have in the team. In his maiden Test match, against  England  at the Adelaide Oval, batting at No 10, he whacked 110 without being dismissed and took eight for 43 in the second innings. Later in his career he qualified for Middlesex and in 1899 became the first to do the double of 1000 runs and 200 wickets, repeating it the following season. Later on however, life turned sour for Albert. He had an unsuccessful benefit in match in 1907, gambled and drank most of his money and  retired from playing  to take up umpiring. He spent his last few years in poor health lodging in Willesden, where gradually he suffered from depression. Then, fifteen years all but a day since  his mighty hit, he pointed a Browning revolver to his head and squeezed the trigger. He was just 41.

The periodical, Cricket Lore is offering £ 10,000 to any batsman who emulates Trott, so all we  need , Brett, is a fixture at the Headquarters of cricket.     Farooki ,Darren and co will do the rest!  

1998

1998 PARTRIDGE TROPHY Young Player of the Year: Simon Driver 

A top score of 37 not out against an in-law inspired Isham and an excellent 32 in difficult conditions at Rothwell helped Simon to a total of 210  First  Xl runs at an average of 16.15.

15 wickets complemented a similar average in the Millman at 23.6 each and hopefully his aggressive bowling will reap the same rewards in the County League before long. 

Again it is pleasing to see another erstwhile member of our youth squad make an impact at senior level.   

_________________________________________________________________________

1998 Under 11’s At The Double ! 

The Under 11’s had another great season, following on from last year’s shared Higham League title and County Runners Up spot.

The 1998 season started with rain and our first game against Finedon ‘A’ being cancelled with no prospect of it being re-arranged, I wonder why?

The rest of the league games were all played and won, so we reached our last game against Oundle knowing that the winner of the match would win the league.  The team played very well and we won the game comfortably by 50 runs and without losing a wicket.

We used ten boys throughout the season and they all made vital contributions to the league title win.

The team reached the KO Cup finals day which was held at Finedon and were drawn against Isham in the second semi final, with the victors playing the winners of the other semi between Finedon ‘A’ and ‘B’

In a close semi final it was our bowling and fielding that saw us through as we took ten Isham wickets to restrict them to 204.  We made a tentative reply with some tight bowling from Isham, however despite our last pair losing a wicket in the 15th over we were still able to win by 8 runs.

With only a twenty minute break the final against Finedon ‘B’ started and after losing the toss we were asked to bat.  We batted very positively and lost three wickets in reaching 250.

When Finedon began their reply it was our superior bowling and fielding that put us in charge and by the end of the 12th over the game was effectively won as we took eleven wickets in those dozen overs, which gave their last pair an impossible task.  However this did not prevent every run this pair scored being loudly cheered, which made the Wollaston boys nervous and a number of over throws were given away which made the crowd cheer even louder.  The skipper than got the fielding back on track and having a comfortable cushion of runs, moved the field back to give the batsmen a single and ensured a comfortable return throw to the bowler or wicket keeper.  The game finished with a comfortable win by 40 runs for Wollaston and the double achieved.

After the game the team were presented with the league Shield and KO Cup by Mr. Carvell and Mr. Coleman on behalf of the Higham League.                                      Neal Perry – Under 11 Manager

 

1965

The Local Derby 

Back in 1965, when our President was but a slim callow youth, bowling fast off a long run and skippering the Stiffs in his own inimitable way, he had the bright idea of fixing us up with a “friendly” match to fill a blank Saturday.

“Who is available to play in a friendly next week?” said Colin, and we all put our hands up.  “Right, it’s Bozeat away, leave the Nag at 2 o’clock and we are gonna beat the B…….s!” (Bozeat people!)

Bozeat, away – friendly? There is no such thing. The three words were incompatible. Anyone who had ever played football over there would tell you it was similar to England playing at Ibrox, or in cricketing parlance, fielding in front of the old Hill at the S.C.G !

Because Wollaston had opted out of the Kettering and District League some years earlier, the two clubs had not crossed swords for a long time so we really did not know what to expect. All we had to go on was our recollection of the school team and reports from our “spy” Maurice Stanford who had played for both teams, and lived in Bozeat.

“They are one hell of a side” said Maurice, “and they have got some good youngsters, - you’ll do well to win”.

We all met outside the Nag’s Head the following Saturday after enduring a week of tales of strapping fast bowlers, hard hitting batsmen and a baying mob looking for blood.

The skipper led the motley procession in his Austin A35, along the A509 to the village that took no prisoners –it was like Richard the Lionheart going on a crusade. But not to the Holy land!  

We learnt that skippering the home side would be one Alan Brealey, a few years later  to become a Wollaston player ; a name that I had heard of vaguely, but of whom I had not had the pleasure of playing with or against.

We had taken a youthful side including young lions, such as John Hodges, Max Bayes and Ted Patrick (who played occasionally for the County Colts), and experienced campaigners in the form of Maurice the spy, who would feed us with useful information as and when the game developed. We parked the few  cars we had on  Easton Lane and made our way down by the side of the cemetery, across the field and over the wooden bridge into the small cricket field, picking up some mild taunts on the way from school acquaintances, and others who thought the Wollaston “pansies” would wilt in the May sun.

But they under estimated the resolve of Barber’s Army and their call to arms which you will have heard sung many a time when England have been playing!  It goes …”Barber’s Army…. Barber’s Army…. Barber’s Army  - we are the Army, the Barbers Army. Barber’s Army…. Barber’s Army etc etc)

Anyway, Colin had decided that, should we win the toss we would bat first, “grind ‘em in” and then “bowl them out for near to nothing”.

Our “spy” Maurice, had done his homework but still insisted that he mingle with the home supporters to try to gauge the sort of total we should be looking at “to give ourselves a chance.”

Although at that time limited over games were not the fashion, teams were expected to declare at teatime or, if tea was to be taken between innings, around five o’clock. This was to allow the side batting second nearly an equal share of the playing time. Colin had said that if we hadn’t got enough at the half waypoint we would bat on. “We are doing them no favours!” he barked.

 At  2.45p.m, after a final pep talk from the skipper, our openers Steve Hillier and Ted Patrick bravely strode out to the wicket to face the onslaught, led by the highly charged A.B. The plan was to not take any early risks, keep Alan out and then build a decent total of around 120, which Colin thought would be enough on a far from lightening outfield.

Things went to plan.  In spite of the home skipper charging in off a long run from one end and Rich Green’s accurate medium pace from the other, our openers put on 32 for the first wicket before Ted was eventually caught off Alan for 13. This brought the normally hard-hitting Max Bayes to the crease who years later went on to win a Division Two (now the Premier) League winners’ medal   with Wollaston and then Overstone.

Max reached 34 (including a six) before falling victim to Roger Barker’s right arm over, which made way for Pete Luck (uncle to Andy) to join the resolute Steve Hillier who was playing to type and sealing up one end. Unfortunately Uncle Pete only lasted three balls and our skipper who could only manage one, quickly followed him.

On his return to the pavilion Colin said that he thought we had got enough. We were standing at 112 for 5 – not quite the total we had agreed we needed, but Colin was obviously keen to get at them and bowl them out. “Their heads have gone” he said, ”They have had it”. “No!” said Spy, “they have got a lot of batting, we need to carry on- we haven’t got enough yet”. What Maurice really meant was –“don’t declare yet, I haven’t had a bat and it could be my fifteen minutes of fame!”

 But the “inside” information” was took on board and we did carry on. Past five o’clock and right through to five to six! For the last 55 minutes of our innings the home side fielders kept looking towards the pavilion, looking for a sign from our skipper which would end their misery. But the more they chuntered the more our  man enjoyed it. Our number 6, Glenn Frost added 20, Maurice a careful six, and number eight David. Ward, 13 not out. John Hodges was LBW  Brealey for 2 and John Partridge a duck.

So at 5.55 pm we declared with 154 for 9 off 46 overs with only Ken Bailey not visiting the crease. Alan finished with 4 for 32 off his 14 overs and no one could have tried harder.     “ They don’t like it “ said Colin munching his egg and cress at tea “and I think I will open the bowling”. We all knew he was going to anyway. He was itching to get at them

So at sometime after six o’clock Colin came charging in off his run that would make Michael Holding look like Wayne Sleep. Whispering Death he was not!  

Dave Old took a single off our skipper’s fifth ball and a bye doubled the score.

John Hodges paced out his considerable run up at the other end

and opened  the bowling fast down the slight slope. His last ball of the over was to Rich Green, possibly Bozeat’s best bat and former Wollaston player, it hit him on the pad resulting in an appeal from John and a massive shout/growl from mid-off where our skipper was patrolling like a caged lion.

A Bozeat resident, who was deemed to be the most impartial of the visiting group, was the official at the bowlers end, and after a furtive glance over towards the pavilion to try to gauge what the reaction might be, he raised his finger. We had made the break through.

Colin then bowled a maiden and took three quick wickets, John added three more scalps, including Alan’s for just four singles, and just half an hour and nine overs after they started their innings the hosts’ were 9 for seven and looking decidedly groggy. One hundred and fifty five must have looked a long way off! . Our skipper then decided to ring the changes, purely to keep the game going and see Bozeat   struggle for  a little longer.

He took himself and John off, and brought Max Bayes and David Ward on, but the wickets still fell and  although another ten were added, the hosts innings  lasted just 11.3 overs! 19 all out!   Just forty  minutes!

Most of the home supporters had filed through the cemetery and were on their way home by this time, but we didn’t care, we had one of those days when everything had gone to plan and we were making the most of it ( although we refrained from visiting The Red Lion and really rubbing it in - we weren’t that brave!)

At last, Bozeat held no fears for us and we talked of a return match, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately!) it never materialised. They took defeat well. Alan was magnanimous as always. Maurice thought we had the best of the wicket (!) but Colin was in no doubt we were a in a different class and “we showed them what County League cricket is all about.” 

Unfortunately as Bozeat Cricket Club is no more, an overdue return match is not possible. We will just have to rest on our laurels!     

 

 

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