17 March 2008
Hambledon Cricket Club is continuing to flourish. The 1st XI (Division 1) and 2nd XI (Division 2) both
compete in the local "Village Cricket League". The club also fields a non-league side most weekends.
Hambledon CC has also for the last 14 years organised training and coaching sessions for junior's
(colt's) aged 7 to 15 every Friday evening/Saturday morning/Sunday morning during the summer (end
of April to mid July). Last year we attracted up to 90 boys (and a few girls).
The Hambledon Cricket Club Colts had a great result last Thursday by beating Elstead Under 11s by 31 runs.
It was an away match on a typical frenetic weekday evening, and we soon kept up the pace as Hambledon elected to bat and Callan MacIntyre and Oscar Parker opened the batting in fiery fashion and put on 29 runs without loss in their allotted 4 overs. Good performances at the crease then ensued from Alex Gook, George Page and Owain Joseph (7 not out at No 11), although, in the end, the top scorer was Mr Extra (40 not out!) We ended our innings on 99 precisely and felt nervously confident. Elstead then came into bat, looking relaxed and confident. We soon had them 2 for 2 as some spectacular bowling set them scurrying for cover! 9 of their wickets were bowled out, which at this age is a tremendous feat of straight and tidy bowling! The wicket-takers were Calum Burdett (3), Matthew Eisenhower (2), Oscar Parker (2), Callan MacIntyre (2), and Owain Joseph (final wicket on his 3rd ball!). Oliver Maslen, as wicket keeper, made a diving catch to seal the only non-bowled wicket.
As our first victory of the season we're feeling a little more cheerful! Our next match is home against Grayshott this Thursday (26th June, 6pm); then Frensham (A) on the 3rd July and Headley (H) on 10th July. And, of course the Fathers and Sons match on Friday 4th July (and BBQ etc)...
IF (Published June 2008)
You could hear the sharp intake of breath as the 2008 fixtures were announced. The first game of the Hambledon U9’s, a side without a victory for 5 years, was against the mighty Guildford.
The venue was to be none other than the County Ground: The Theatre of Dreams, the Stuff of Legends; Hobbs, Laker, Edrich, Stewart, Hollyoake, Mr Ho and many more.
How would our boys do? Guildford, with a squad of 70 vs Hambledon, with a squad of 9 (for a 10 a side game!)…..
Well, as Juan Samaranch said, it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts.
The Friday night arrived. The clock ticked agonisingly towards 6 o’clock. It wasn’t Fathers’ Time, but the boys.
To the north of the ground stood the tallest of cranes; spring wasn’t in the air, but demolition. Guildford were practicing their bowling; they thought they would get plenty of batting practice later.
Zach’s Dad led some pre-match catching practice. Mr Ho was trying to curry favour with the scorer. Hindey was returning from lunch. Would alcohol dull the impending pain?
It was time for the toss. The setting sun shone brightly. Was there to be a glimmer of hope? Would Guildford be asked to bat with the sun in their eyes?
Edward made the wrong call and Guildford sent Hambledon in to face the sun, the music and history: Hambledon had never beaten Guildford.
Johnny Hinde went into face the first ball. The opening bowler’s run up was longer than the faces of the Hambledon Dads’. Would Johnny face the music or dance?
He slammed the bat down like a Scottish banker closing a safe, proudly sending the ball back homeward tae think again.
Guildford - was that the best you could do? Game on.
Johnny and Sammy batted with wood in their hands and steel in their spines. The County Ground had seen nothing like it since Boycott and Close. With every ball they grew in stature. Sammy, like his mother, was in a hurry and scored quickly. Johnny, like his father, couldn’t resist going for a fine knock and slipped a couple of balls under the covers for four runs a piece. It was a statement: talent was not hereditary and Guildford were no piers.
In came the middle order. With Hughie Campbell, Dylan Joseph and Josh Powell, would it be Celtic savagery or a traditional English middle order collapse? Well, Hambledon met with disaster and treated that all too familiar impostor just the same.
Cookey came to the crease and scored some runs.
He then made one heap of all his running
And risked them on one turn of pitch-and-toss
He started again with a new beginning
And never breathed a word about his loss.
The crane swung round with a haunting look of demolition or even the hallows?
A limousine, full of screaming young maidens on a night out drove past;
The boys heads swung round and looked at the amazing car and thought, one day, one day.
Hindey and Ho looked for longer at the girls and thought, mmm, maybe later today.
Hindey said: “ look boys, if you win today, then next year you are coming here in a limo”.
Another wrong call?
Callum and George took to the crease. They batted like their Dad’s on a promise. George cracked the biggest four of the day. Hambledon were down, but not out.
Edward came into bat. We needed a captain’s innings. We got one.
Zach came in carrying a bat out of hell. A four, then he hit one towards the crane. The umpire pointed to the heavens. 163 final score. Maybe, just maybe……..
It was time for Guildford’s batting practice. Cookey and Johnny looking half the size of the batsmen, stood tall. 4 fantastic overs of varying flight and guile. So Guildford, still think you don’t need that practice?
After Dylan bowling one over which tried to dispel the myth about Welsh generosity, Callum and Owain bowled their hearts out.
But Guildford were tracking at 141, 21 above the run rate. 163 seemed like the portions in The Swan. Somehow it was never going to be enough.
Then, Sammy Andre Brown, took the ball and ran in with an action and a style that could only have been taught by the great coach in the sky.
A wicket and a maiden over. Well that was as close as Hindey and Ho were going to get to bowling a maiden over that evening…..
Supported by two steady overs from George, Sammy had begun to turn the screw. Guildford were only 9 above the run rate.
Against Churt last year, Hambledon U9’s had come of age. But were they men?
Captain Tristram took the ball with a “come on take us on if you think you are hard enough” look of his.
The fielders looked at the batsman with a look which said “come on try a single if you think you’re fast enough”
What price leadership?
Guildford did, and lived to regret it. With Josh at the other end, wickets were falling as fast as the runs were coming.
Incredibly, Hambledon had their noses in front.
But the sun, history and Andy’s prayers about the cost of the limo, said it surely could not be?
Zach took off the gloves and grabbed the ball. Everyone was surprised. It had looked as if he had been born with them on.
Hughie was at the other end; our death bowler. Was he going to be like his Dad and dish out some serious medicine or would he be signing our death certificate?
A good over, but then a Zach had a wobble. So near, but now so far….
The final over:
It was deathly quiet. Guildford needing 14 off the last over:
They scored a run, then another one.
Incredibly, the crane swung round as if to turn its back on the County Ground. The limo passed by again. Hindey and Ho were distracted, but not Hughie…..
Guildford finished on 153. They had been demolished. Our boys stood taller than the crane.
One day, one day?
As for Juan Samaranch? Well, I prefer the Brian Moore version:
“It’s not the winning, it’s the taking apart that counts”.
Guildford were in pieces.
Hambledon had given them a good shoeing.
If you can fill the unforgiving 20 overs with 163 skilful runs
Yours is the urn and everything in it
And what is more, you will be men, my sons.
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