Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2005 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
27th November - Nets at Lord’s
Now’s your chance to perfect that slider or fine tune your reverse sweep. We have nine 1 hour sessions booked at the Lord’s indoor school from early Feb.
The dates are: Feb 1 & 15; March 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29: April 5 & 12. All at 7pm and all Wednesdays.
To book places, contact Andrew Short.
27th November - News from the dinner
The dinner was a great success. 25 Jesters and guests gathered in a private room at Bertorelli’s in Charlotte Street. Many thanks to everyone at the restaurant for making it such an enjoyable evening - we’ll definitely be back.
The three end of season awards were presented:
Performance of the season to Ollie Doward for taking 7-22 at Chobham. Ollie’s peformance just pipped Joe Phelan’s 97 against Somerset Stragglers and Tony Duckett’s 137* at NPL, which both received honourable mentions.
Most Jester-like performance to Joe Phelan for his partying exploits on tour in Yeovil.
The Michael Meyer Trophy for big hitting to Tim Dutton for smashing the much anticipated first over bowled by the current Dorset captain for 24 in the game on tour against Clayesmore Cormorants.
All committee members were re-elected, with the exception of Alan Porter who is standing down as Hon. Treasurer. He is replaced by John Murphy.
Simon Rawson announced the Dorset/Somerset tour will happen again next year. Arrangements are in the early stages but we already have a game organised with Canford Cygnets on the Canford School ground.
The major topic of discussion at the AGM was the high level of unpaid annual subscriptions. The committee has promised to make every effort to collect these. You can help by sending a cheque for £10 to John Murphy (payable to Jesters Cricket Club) if you know your 2005 subscription is still outstanding.
7th October - Annual dinner at Bertorelli’s
The 2005 AGM and annual dinner will take place on Friday 18 November at Bertorelli’s Restaurant, Charlotte Street, London W1. Full details here.
12th September - return of the jug
It’s been missing all season. But at Amersham the Jesters jug made a welcome reappearance. Somehow it had become detached from its handle - history draws a veil over what post-match excess led to this calamity - but thanks to Simon Rawson’s tame welder the two parts are again one. So it’s drinks all round....
12th September - end of season record
2005 was the best Jesters season for some time. We won 13, lost 6 and drew 3, with 2 games cancelled. That’s more than double the number of victories we achieved last year. Thanks and congratulations to everyone who made it possible.
12th September - Victory at Amersham
We ended the season with a convincing 6 wicket victory against Amersham. In dank, overcast conditions we won the toss and bowled them out for 145, Paul Cassidy taking 4-34. Our reply was based on a solid opening partnership of 84 between Simon Cleobury (39) and Paul Woolf (36) which rather knocked the stuffing out of a decent Amersham attack. Nick Brunner then took us home with a quick-fire 45* full of hard hit boundaries. A nice way to finish.
5th September - just like old times
Connoisseurs of Jesters cricket will be interested to learn of the reappearance of an “old favourite” at Roehampton - the Jesters batting collapse. It had all the traditional ingredients: an excellent batting line up, poor shot selection, a daft run out, unplayable deliveries, lbw controversy, several ducks (including a golden) and a match manager despairing that all his hard work had come to this. At one stage we found ourselves 47-7.
It wasn’t the easiest of wickets to bat on - bone dry, slow and with some bounce - but Roehampton had managed 240, thanks to a superb 98 from one of their several Australians. Martyn Holman (35) and Dave Hancock (25) gave us respectability but our final total was only 122.
In truth it was just one of those days. Many thanks to Roehampton for their hospitality - it’s good to see Sunday cricket played to a good standard in such a friendly atmosphere.
24th August - Maidenhead and Hursley games
The games against Maidenhead & Bray on Sunday 28th August and Hursley Park on Saturday 3rd September have both been cancelled.
24th August - Doward the Destroyer
Ollie Doward took 7-22 as we beat Chobham by 80 runs - the best Jesters bowling figures since 1999.
Electing to bat in a 40 over game we knocked up 236-4 on a beautiful batting wicket - Robbie Hudson 73, Alex Smith 70.
In the field we had the unusual luxury of eight bowlers. All five seamers bowled well but on such a good surface taking wickets wasn’t easy and the bad ball went unerringly for four. Mike Doggart was the pick with 1-19 off six overs. Nevertheless, Chobham fell behind the asking rate. Ollie was reluctant to bowl after picking up a knee injury fielding, but at 106-3 he was finally persuaded. Not much later he had the remarkable analysis of 7.4/4/22/7.
Chobham is a pretty ground with a great square and their hospitality was first class. This was our first game there and we look forward to returning next year.
24th August - defeat at Middleton Stoney
A lucklustre performance in the field was our downfall at Middleton Stoney. On a slow wicket after rain our 188 was a competitive total - Simon Cleobury 60, Fred Allen 44. But we dropped their star batsman more than once and were beaten comfortably.
4th August - Cuckfield
Once again Cuckfield CC’s splendid hospitality and fair-minded approach on the field made for a most enjoyable day. This year - having beaten them for the previous three - we were able to return some of the hospitality by losing a game we might well have won.
A rather thin Jesters bowling attack did well to dismiss Cuckfield for 238. Billy Harris starred with 4-51 from 20 overs, ably supported by Simon Hardy and Brian Pote-Hunt who both took a couple of wickets. Several others were pressed into service with varying results. Matt Hepple’s 1-22 from 8 overs deserves special mention - one of the best spells you’re likely to see from a wicket-keeper batsman.
In response too many batsmen got themselves out on a wicket that - although still a good batting surface - demanded a little care in shot selection after the rain of recent weeks. Several got a start but no one reached 30 and we finished on 164 with more than 12 overs remaining.
1st August - good win at Headley
We beat Headley by 62 runs, the margin of victory disguising how close the match really was until near the end. We made 249-7 (Matthew Ansbro 87, Tauseef Mehdi 58) and dismissed them for 187 (Nabil Bhatti 5-17).
Match manager Will Drake has written an account of the game...
Overcast conditions, a green strip, use of one ball for the entire match and inside knowledge that the opposition’s best batsman would be 90 minutes late led to uncharacteristic unanimity from all XI self-proclaimed experts about the merits of bowling first when Jesters met Headley recently.
Inevitably, it was irrelevant. Jesters lost the toss and were inserted.
Exaggerated lateral movement led to the early loss of Yogesh Patel and Nabil Bhatti, bringing together two more young blades, Matthew Ansbro and Taussif Mehdi. Both batted excellently, with Ansbro’s use of the orbits of rural Surrey neatly complementing Mehdi’s more terrestrial approach. Closing in on three figures, Ansbro was dismissed in bizarre fashion, having launched another towering blow. Using the thigh-high boundary rope like Muhammed Ali in the famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight with George Foreman, the Headley long-on rebounded into play, proudly clutching the ball.
Local rules dictate that catches may be legally claimed by agile, enterprising fielders who mount any of the benches that surround the Headley ground; or who lean on the short section of rope close to the pavilion. Given that the last time this rule was invoked was in the 1800s, no-one was able to debate the point from a position of strength. Ansbro had to vacate the stage and explain the scenario to his wife who had just arrived in time to see her hero move to a hundred in his first Jesters appearance.
A cluster of wickets followed, bringing to the crease another Jesters debutant, William Orr. A cardiologist by day, he passes thread-like wires across the blocked coronary arteries of the high-living residents of Oxfordshire. Here, with similar precision and bearing a resemblance to that other great Kentish strokeplayer Colin Cowdrey, he persuaded the scarlet rambler through unseen gaps in the Headley defence, steering his side to a healthy 249-7 at the declaration.
After 80 minutes batting, with the Headley score at 140-1, things looked unpromising for the Jesters, but the game turned on a moment of fielding brilliance. Nabil Bhatti, last year’s hero with the ball, executed a modern day slide-and-pick-up after a nudge to third man. For most of the Jesters playing membership, such a manoevre would have been a painful exercise and resulted in a humiliating visit to the orthopaedic surgeon. Here, it was followed by an exocet-like throw and removal of the bails by the consistently elegant and excellent Hancock.
The lock to the Headley safe had been picked.
Attempts to maintain momentum were strangled by a parsimonious spell of bowling from Patrick Orr, brother of William. Counting runs conceded with the same attention to detail as his firm counts minutes of dispensed legal advice, his Flintoffian heavy balls amputated the supply of boundaries. This suffocating pressure led to injudicious shot selection at the other end; rich pickings were the result for Bhatti who pocketed 5 wickets like an Artful Dodger operating in an atmosphere of unease created by his Bill Sykes counterpart.
The final Headley ember faded when their captain, a powerful hitter, skied a ball to deep mid-wicket where Mehdi took the catch with the aplomb of a Bow Street Runner copping robbers. The innings folded but the final margin (70 runs) did not adequately represent that it was closely fought for 90% of the afternoon’s endeavour.
Beer, sausages and hospitality were up to their usual, peerless, standard.
27th July - Horsham
We lost a good game against a strong Horsham side by 57 runs. Horsham 224 for 7 - Simon Hardy 3-44, Chris Garcia 2-53. Jesters 167 all out - Tony Duckett 33, Brian Pote-Hunt 26
18th July - CYPOS
We beat the Can You Play On Sunday XI by 8 wickets. This is what captain Alex Smith had to say about the game:
“It was a convincing win I'm pleased to say, despite having 3 drop-outs in the 12 hours before the game. We eventually turned up with 10.
”We agreed to a 40 over game, and immediately regretted it when they won the toss and opted to make us bowl in the heat. But they only managed 192 for 8 thanks to tight bowling from Hugh Oeppen (3 for 19) and Tim Harty (3 for 30).
“In reply, Robbie Hudson (54) and Dave Hancock (62 not out) got us off to a flyer, with the skipper (who he?) finishing things off with a rapid 53 not out.”
17th July - Somerset tour
The tour was a huge success. So a thousand thanks to Simon Rawson for organising the hire of North Perrot cricket ground, our three games, the hotel in Yeovil, and a touring party of some 16 or 17 players. That Simon has super-human powers is confirmed beyond doubt by the three days of blistering sunshine he also arranged.
On Wednesday we beat a strong Somerset Stragglers side by 8 wickets. We bowled them out for 193 on a decent batting wicket, Tim Dutton taking 3-19 with his off-breaks. We won with some ten overs to spare, thanks to Joe Phelan’s cavalier 97 excellently supported by Andy Newton (51).
On Thursday we had a nailbiting draw with a strong Clayesmore Cormorants side. They needed three to win off the last ball with the number 10 at the crease - who was promptly cleaned bowled by Chris Garcia.
This was all-day cricket at its best: lots of runs on a good wicket against good bowling, a decent declaration, and an opposition willing to go for the runs right down the order. Our 234-4 was mainly the product of a huge opening stand (196) between Chris Garcia (110*) and Tim Dutton (95), who batted well against an attack that included the current Dorset captain. The Clayesmore innings was a real battle between strong batting and disciplined Jesters bowling - with Tony Duckett, Paul Cassidy, Chris Garcia and “Noddy” Blackman all posing problems. We managed to conjure a wicket whenever they looked on top, and the last few overs were a tense countdown with the number four batsman marshalling the lower order as we tried to deny him the strike.
For a change, we can also report outstanding Jesters fielding - full length diving, frantic scurrying across the vast outfield and excellent catching. It’s hardly fair to single out individuals, but Paul Cassidy’s one handed catch at mid-wicket as the ball appeared to be past him was quite breathtaking.
On Friday we beat SG Sports by 118 runs in a 40 overs match. Our 276-6 (Andy Newton 86, Tony Duckett 75, Brian Pote-Hunt 37) was all the more creditable for coming after a very slow start. SG Sports made just 158 in response. After a quick start they were completely sawn off by Simon Rawson who finished with the remarkable analysis of 2/1/4/1 - which included a hat trick!
27th June - back on form at Blackheath
After recent defeats we hit form again with a 4 wicket victory at Blackheath. Highlights were 5-29 from Alistair Evans and 71 from Billy Harris. You can read a brief account from the captain here.
A VERY BIG thank you to Brian Pote-Hunt who took over this game from the original match manager. Several players dropped out in the week before the game and Brian’s efforts to get a full side were truly heroic.
23rd June - runs galore at Epsom
We contrived to lose at Epsom despite batting first and scoring 270 in a 40 overs game. Richard Sawney top-scored with a rapid 90. Apparantly it was a wicket where seamers of any description could be hit with ease - and we had no spinners. We weren’t helped by dropping a vital catch - their batter who made 150 when he was only 70.
18th June - close finish at NPL
We lost an exciting game against the National Physical Laboratory by two wickets in the final over. We kept the game open and they kept going for the runs - their opening bowler batting at number nine striking a brisk 42 not out, including a huge six to win the game.
Tony Duckett was our star with the bat, amassing 137 not out (and looking set for 300 if the captain hadn’t had to declare). Our total of 224-4 consisted almost exclusively of a partnership between Tony and Andrew Short (62) after we were 8-2.
When we bowled Syed Karrar and their Australian opener had a fascinating battle. Nearly every ball seemed to go for runs or beat the bat. Sadly we dropped a number of crucial catches - including the Australian twice on his way to 103 - and this was really what denied us victory. Syed finished with 3-63, including the Australian.
12th June - Merrow
We battled to a gritty draw in this all day game. On a lightening fast outfield Merrow totalled 261-6. We chased well and had victory in sight before the loss of two crucial wickets slowed our momentum. Dave Hancock starred with 82.
You can read the match manager’s account of the day here.
29th May - Ashtead
Our winning streak came to end at Ashtead where we lost by 6 wickets to a very strong side. They fielded five of their Saturday first XI league side and looked fearsome opponents dressed in a green and white “pyjama” strip. We, in contrast, were simply delighted to have found eleven players on a bank holiday weekend. And for some odd reason we played with orange stumps!
The match itself was a lesson in the precision needed when playing against strong opposition. None of our batsmen looked outclassed but it seemed that every mistake led to a wicket and we were all out for just 134. Against other sides we would have got away with many of the shots involved. But Ashtead caught everything. Alex Smith top scored with 44 before falling to a breathtaking boundary catch. As the Ashtead website put it, “Jesters' Batsman Don't Find Bucks Attack Too Amusing”
We didn’t bowl badly but our total was always too small to defend.
23rd May - and Ventnor makes six
Were there record books we would now be consulting them. It’s now six successive victories. We dismissed Ventnor for 115 and won by 8 wickets, Simon Cleobury scoring a half-century.
Thanks to all those who played in this fixture - the Isle of Wight is a long way to travel for an afternoon’s cricket. Especial thanks to Simon Cleobury who laboured long and hard to get the side together.
15th May - an honourable victory
Our winning run continued (now five games in row) with an excellent victory over the HAC (Honourable Artillery Company). We bowled them out for 115, Alistair Maiden taking 5-27, and won by 7 wickets, Alex Smith stroking an impressive 59*.
12th May - two more wins
In one weekend we beat both Jesus College, Cambridge and Broadhalfpenny Brigands.
In a limited overs game against Jesus we amassed 250-3 in 35 overs (Simon Cleobury 94*, Will Greswell 91), and stormed to victory by restricting the college to 165-8. Shot of the match was the beamer Will hooked off his nose for six - over the wall into Chapel Court.
The Brigands totalled 194-5 and we won by 4 wickets with 9 balls to spare, Fred Price featuring with both bat (41) and, curiously, ball (3-47). Andy Sutton and Chris Choyce saw us home with an aggressive unbroken fifty partnership.
2nd May - an urgent call for players
John Murphy’s injury (see below) has disrupted the side to play Broadhalfpenny Brigands on Sun 8th May (he was match manager). We still need players. Simon Cleobury has taken over from John - please contact him if you can play. It is a lovely ground, one of the great “homes” of cricket, so please help out if you can.
2nd May - Cambridge weekend
We won both games, beating an under-strength St. John’s side by 122 runs and Magdalene by just 7 runs.
St. John’s had two good spinners who made us work hard for our runs after a brisk opening partnership of 80 between Simon Cleobury(44) and Robbie Hudson (32). We declared at 193-3 soon after Tony Crockert’s dismissal for 47. The college’s batting was thin with several players rested before an an important inter-college game. They collapsed to 71 all out, five batsman contriving to lose their wickets to Andrew Short.
Sadly John Murphy ruptured an Achilles tendon while opening the bowling - a serious injury. He was helped from the field and his ankle encased in plaster at Addenbrookes Hospital. Only after the ankle is examined later this week will John know the scale of the problem. We wish him well and send our hopes for a speedy recovery.
The Magdalene game was limited overs - 35 each. Our 156 all out was about thirty runs short of what it should have been. We were indebted to an exceptional knock of 47 from Ollie Doward who calmly held the innings together while wickets tumbled around him. Magdalene never quite broke free of tight Jesters bowling and fielding. Alan Dodd (4/45) was the pick of bowlers, dismissing their two quality batsmen. A late flurry of runs had us worried but we hung on for a narrow win.
April 25th - Hurlingham and the season begins
Fred Price takes a quick single from the first ball of the game and the new Jesters season is underway.
Seven and and half hours later we secured a draw, the Hurlingham tail playing out the last 18 overs on a good batting wicket. Our 261-4 was built on Simon Cleobury’s 78 and Fred Price’s 46, before the flashing blades of Brian Pote-Hunt (47) and Robbie Hudson (50*) added the final 75 in just 40 minutes against testing bowling from former county player Jason de la Pena.
In response, Hurlingham began well and reached 118-1 before we began taking wickets in earnest. At 191-8 we had hopes of forcing victory, but sound defence took Hurlingham to 216-8 by the close. Spin triplets Dodd, Short and Tauseef Mehdi took seven of the eight wickets to fall.
March 20th - new fixture with Chobham
There will be a new game this season against Chobham on Sunday 21st August. Chobham is in Surrey, near Woking, and the cricket club play in the same division as Roehampton. You can find out more on their website which has excellent photos of the ground. Andrew Short is our match manager.
March 8th - a definition of cricketing enthusiasm?
John Twigg leaving Lord’s on a bicycle after nets - massive kit bag strapped to his back - in darkness - in a blizzard.
February 27th - don’t forget nets at Lord’s
From now until April 20th we have nets every week at Lord’s. Dates are here. Some sessions are booking up fast so contact Andrew Short to secure your place.
February 26 - latest news on the tour
We have arranged an all day game with Clayesmore Cormorants on Thurs 14th July. The Cormorants are the old boys team of Clayesmore School near Blandford Forum.
The Somerset Stragglers game has moved from Friday 15th to Wednesday 13th.
Feb 14th - 2005 fixture list published
We have new games with Hursley Park -a top Hampshire league side who play on a beautiful ground outside Winchester - and CYPOS - a sunday side who play in Chiswick, very convenient for our many London members.
We have several free weekends in July and early August as some of regular opponents have moved into sunday leagues. If you have any suggestions for filling these gaps please contact Simon Cleobury