Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2004 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
16th December - new Somerset tour
Simon Rawson is organising a tour in the second week of July to south east Somerset, based at North Perrot Cricket Club, between Crewkerne and Yeovil. We are hiring the North Perrot ground and playing fixtures against local sides. North Perrot is one of the best grounds in Somerset and regularly hosts Somerset 2nd XI games.
We will play the Somerset Stragglers on Wednesday 13th July. On Thursday 14th July, we have a game against the Clayesmore Cormorants, the old boys side of Clayesmore School near Blandford Forum. On Friday we play SG Sports, an XI drawn from North Perrot CC and other local sides.
We will be staying at the Manor Hotel in Yeovil - £25 per person per night B&B (twin rooms): www.manorhotel-yeovil.com - 01935 423 116. We have blocked booked some rooms but feel free to book separately if you want to bring family or partner.
Wednesday 13th July - Somerset Stragglers (2pm)
Thursday 14th July - Clayesmore Cormorants (11.30)
Friday 15th July - SG Sports (2pm)
Want to come along? Then contact Simon Rawson asap. Simon’s also the one who’ll be able to answer all your questions.
4th December - Nets at Lord’s
Now’s your chance if you want to perfect that doosra or work on your slice over gully. We have ten 1 hour sessions booked at the Lord’s indoor school from early Feb.
The dates are: Feb 2 & 16; March 2, 8, 16, 23 & 30: April 6, 13 & 20. All at 7pm and all Wednesdays, except March 8 which is a Tuesday.
To book places, contact Andrew Short.
20th November - News from the dinner
The dinner was a great success. Glaisters came up trumps with food, service and atmosphere. Many thanks to Patrick Allen and Simon Rawson for organising.
The three end of season awards were presented:
Performance of the season to Simon Cleobury for his 160 not out at Blackheath, which equalled the highest ever individual score by a Jester.
Most Jester-like performance to Fred Price for long distance cycling exploits on the Isle of Wight.
The Michael Meyer trophy for big hitting to Simon Rawson for the second fifty of his hundred against National Physical Laboratory - scored in only 14 balls.
All committee members were re-elected, with Andrew Short taking over as Hon Secretary from Simon Rawson.
Simon Rawson announced he is hoping to organise a tour next July to the Dorset/Somerset borders near Crewkerne.
Simon Cleobury will be organising a pre-season get-together for match managers, probably in March.
1st October - AGM & Dinner
These take place on Friday 19th November at Glaister’s in Chelsea.
12th September - Our season record
With all games now played, the final record for the season is: won 6, drawn 7, lost 6, cancelled 5. A good recovery after a poor May and June.
12th September - Victory at Amersham
A good win by 52 runs at Amersham’s lovely, rural ground rounded off the season in style.
Our 188-9 was a solid performance against a young Amersham side who bowled tightly and fielded with great athleticism. Joe Phelan, Tim Dutton and I. Ragbagliata all made it into the 30s.
We also bowled tightly, and - by our standards - the fielding also bordered on the athletic. Notably Will Drake’s direct-hit run out from mid-wicket. Paul Cassidy and Tony Duckett did early damage, Noddy bowled a long containing spell, and Syed Karrar picked up most wickets (4-11). Skipper Simon Rawson did his bit for team morale with a couple of highly entertaining overs.
And ten minutes after the game finished the rain tipped down. How symbolic.
5th September - Roehampton
Simon Cleobury returned to form with 102 not out as we had the better of a draw against Roehampton. We declared at 212-4 and they finished on 158-7.
29th August - Maidenhead & Bray
We came second on what was a very tricky pitch after August’s rain. Many deliveries kept low, some bounced alarmingly - but none came onto the bat.
We bowled well to dismiss them for 158, putting the ball in the right place and taking our catches. Eddie Fulbrook took four wickets. But with no bowler above medium pace we feared quicker bowling might do more damage in the conditions.
And we were right. Our top order was blown away by an impressive opening attack who skidded the ball through at considerable pace and also found extravagant movement. 8-4 became 20-6 and the record books were consulted for Jesters lowest scores. Fortunately the seventh wicket pair dug in to take us to 80, Paul Durban’s 38 an exceptional innings in the circumstances. We finally crept to 104 all out, not a bad recovery.
15th August - Middleton Stoney
There will be a rush to play this fixture next year so book your place early! It’s a pretty spot in the grounds of an Oxfordshire country house; the opposition are a pleasant bunch playing only Sunday, friendly cricket; and the catering is first class, with an excellent tea and post-match BBQ.
The cricket was also highly competitive. Robbie Hudson and Tony Withers put us in a strong position with an excellent half-century each, only for wickets to tumble as we tried to accelerate on what was a slow pitch after rain earlier in the week. Scampering by the tail took us to 185-8 at tea. A good but not formidable total.
Tight opening spells by Adnan Mohammed and John Murphy allowed spin twins Nick Mumby and Andrew Short to capitalise - with the aid of some spectacular boundary catching. But big hitting by all the Middleton Stoney batsman kept them in the hunt. With ten to win off the last over, Adnan was recalled in the gloom and the match saved.
For those interested in Jesters history, the conversation in the bar afterwards was as fascinating as the game itself. We discovered that the Middleton Stoney club president was an Old Pauline, late 1930s vintage, who knew many of those involved in the early history of the Jesters. In particular he was able to tell us stories about Pat Cotter, the demon wicket-taker of that era (and England croquet captain), who was his house master at St. Paul’s.
8th August - Ashtead
Last wicket pair Dave Hancock and John Gale held out for a dozen overs to secure a draw. Ashtead’s 250-odd (including a century from their New Zealand pro) was probably too many. Our reply ended at 160-9.
5th August - Cuckfield
As ever this was a highly enjoyable day for all concerned. All the more so as a massive thunderstorm after lunch flooded the ground, threatening to ruin the game. However a magnificent effort by the Cuckfield groundsman meant play resumed at 5pm.
Resuming at their lunch score of 70-4, Cuckfield quickly knocked up 200 against Jesters spinners flighting the wet ball. The bowlers run ups remained treacherous for the rest of the game, so spinners dominated our innings as well. We eventually made it home by 3 wickets in the penultimate over, everyone contributing.
One notable incident was umpire Robin Atkins’ full length dive as he slipped in the tricky conditions. It will be one the season’s larger dry cleaning bills.
With the news that we beat Horsham convincingly, that makes three wins in row.
2nd August - Epic match at Headley
We beat Headley by 2 runs in a classic Jesters match with a great finish and the usual collection of bizarre incidents. At tea our 254-3 (Will Drake 93) seemed more than enough. But an awesome hundred from their opener soon put us in our place. Once he was dismissed we worked steadily through their side although they always had plenty of time to score the runs. The ninth wicket fell with them two short. Two nerve-shredding maiden overs followed before the number 11’s stumps were well and truly demolished.
Many thanks to Will Drake who took over as match manager for this game. And also many thanks to the several medics he recruited to play - all distinguished themselves and we hope to see them again. You can read Will’s account of the game below...
"Those Jesters who have played with Tony Withers this season will know that he is the owner of a device, no larger than a deck of cards, that allows him to keep pace with minute-to-minute fluctuations in world share prices and to deal with high-level e-mails from the cricketing boundary.
However, his many modes of communication do not extend to the casual verbal enquiry of his wife ‘When are we going on holiday, darling’.
Hence, faced with the stark choice of Jesters vs Headley followed by the divorce court or a family holiday in the sun with subcontraction of match mangagership, the Jesters were sacrificed.
Having exhausted most of the Jesters book and been rewarded with the (high quality) services of Greenslade and the club historian, Withers’ willing replacement manager, Will Drake, was forced to rethink his strategy.
A new European working time directive has just come into force in the NHS, which forbids any junior doctor from working more than 60 hours in a single week. Fortunately, this absurd piece of legislation does not extend to weekend cricket and, furthermore, hospital consultants continue to exert no little control over the career paths of their underlings.
Hence, when a collection of unsuspecting medical students and junior hospital staff received their instructions to report to Headley cricket ground at 1.30pm on Sunday 1st August, they were not in a position to object. Indeed, possibly for the first time in Jesters history, the match manager received a call from a player the night before the game, not to announce his sudden unavailability, but to enquire whether he was required to sport a jacket and tie.
Traditionally, the Jesters have been a chasing side. But the judgement was made that to have won the toss and elected to field in the heat would have resulted in a riot on Headley Heath. Jesters batted. Half centuries from the first three batsmen allowed Jesters to declare on 254-3 at 4.45, a shade under half time.
An hour into the Headley reply this appeared to be an act of some charity as their opening bat unerringly dispatched any loose deliveries (of which there was a plentiful supply) into the woods on either side of the ground. Despite the haemorrhage of runs, it was apparent that two, possibly three, critical wickets would win the game.
The match turned in one over, with the assistance of a courteous, but perhaps over-zealous, umpire. One of the recruits, Yasser Hussain, a dash rusty after several years of cricketing inactivity, bowled two high beamers which, despite their modest pace and physical threat, were judged to be worthy of two (very clearly stated) warnings. In truth, the first of these did indeed pose a substantial threat - but to innocent spectators, as it soared high over batsman and keeper bouncing only once before crossing the boundary.
One delivery was then despatched brutally by the opener. But in attempting to repeat this mighty blow, the ball flew to the heavens and was snared by the reliable Greenslade. The Collossus was out. Then promptly followed a third, purportedly threatening, beamer and Yasser was immediately banned from all further bowling - articulated by the umpire with precision and, dare one say it, relish at the prospect of being able to recount the tale in future. All this in one eventual over; indeed in only three legitimate deliveries, a team mate being forced to complete the over.
With 50 runs to go and time not an issue, runs oozed rather than haemorrhaged, courtesy of two Headley yeomen - but wickets now fell steadily. With two runs to get a helmet came to the wicket, supported by the slender frame of a Headley Colt, clearly mindful of the fact that he was being bowled to by a maxillo-facial surgeon hungry for clinical experience in skull trauma. He was duly castled and the Jesters had shaded the latest in a long line of epic Headley struggles."
20th July - Epsom
Our new fixture at Epsom ended in defeat by 20 runs in a 40 overs a side game. Tony Withers’ half century was the Jesters’ highlight.
15th July - Mud, mud, glorious mud
Thanks to an artificial strip and near-certifiable optimism we managed to play at Highgate when the rest of London was under water. And we won - so congratulations to all those who braved the elements. One Jester confessed he was muddier than ever on a rugby pitch.
10th July - Cleobury equals scoring record
Simon Cleobury’s 160 not out at Blackheath equalled the club record for an individual innings. He joins John Bertin in the record books, John’s 160 scored against London University in 1960. Congratulations Simon!
Sadly we still lost. Our 240-4 was made to look totally inadequate by an aggressive Australian who made the most of gaps in the field created by last minute drop outs that had reduced us to nine men. Still, those few of us who saw Simon’s marvellous innings will remember it long after the result has faded into the mists of time.
17th June - Rawson runs riot
Simon Rawson starred in an exciting one wicket defeat against the National Physical Laboratory. We totalled 229-7, Simon scoring 102 (the second 50 of which came in only 14 - yes fourteen - balls) and Andrew Short 86. Once we dismissed a classy opener for 124 we worked steadily through their side, only for the 70 year old (at least) no. 11 to reach the crease with the scores level and score the winning run. Oh yes... Simon also took 5 wickets (including the classy opener). A good day at the office Mr Rawson.
13th June - Twenty20 first
The Jesters played their first ever match under Twenty/20 rules this afternoon, losing narrowly by 9 runs at Merrow (144 chasing 153). Unfortunately this game was only possible because a glamorous Jesters batting line up had amassed only 61 earlier in the day and lost the main match by nine wickets. Still, the match manager reports we did valiant service in the bar afterwards.
29th May - Jesters v. Cricket Society
This game, originally scheduled for Sunday 4th July, has been cancelled.
26th May - Isle of Wight weekend
Thanks to Simon Cleobury for organising this enjoyable tour. We beat Brighstone by 9 wickets and narrowly lost a 40 overs game to a strong Ventnor side. Read Simon's report below...
"Local village side Brighstone were our first opposition on the IOW tour. The outfield was a little long but the setting was lovely and the weather sunny. The hosts batted first and made an assured start against some good bowling from John Murphy. But it was the introduction of Fred Price into the attack that made the first breakthrough. There were then wickets for Murphy, Alex Smith and Martyn Holman. Antigua tourist Colin Lammie was then on a hat trick with some loopy off spin after a smart stumping by Simon Cleobury. Brighstone ended on 148 for 6.
Price and Lammie set about knocking off the runs. Price was in particularly good form and ended on 79 not out. He was joined by Holman who smashed an entertaining 38 not out. So with only 8 men we managed to win by 9 wickets!
Sunday gave us the entirely different prospect of Ventnor, on their beautiful seaside bowl ground and £1.2m pavilion and cricket academy. The game was a 40 over contest with each bowler allowed a maximum of 8 overs. Ventnor batted first and made an assured start against Aussie left armer Chris Garcia and Martyn Holman. Both openers played very well and at the half way point the hosts were over 100 for no wicket. However, the introduction of left arm spinner Syed Karrar produced the first wicket through a good piece of work by keeper Simon Cleobury. Then John Murphy chipped in with a wicket during a tight spell and Alex Smith took two wickets with some funny variations. Simon Rawson came on to end the innings from one end and got a wicket when Cleobury took a smart catch standing up. Garcia came back and took 3 wickets at the death and Ventnor were restricted to 209 for 9.
In reply Cleobury and Fred Price opened up, but Price fell early after some accurate bowling had kept the scoring down. Then Paul Vedamuttu and Cleobury put on a good partnership until Vedamuttu was bowled by the spinner. Whilst Cleobury was riding his luck and reaching 50 at one end no-one could stay with him and wickets fell too regularly and the Jesters were behind the rate. Cleobury was finally out for 80 when the score was 118. Some lusty hitting by Rawson and Garcia got us close and for a while looked like pulling off a remarkable victory. Sadly it was not to be and the Jesters were bowled out for 187. But a good performance against strong opposition."
25th May - Recent games
The games against Broadhalfpenny Brigands and The Honourable Artillery Company were both drawn - with Jesters last wicket pairs holding out gallantly in both games. You can read an account of the heroics below...
BB won the toss and elected to bat. They scored 154 on a very slow wicket, Sandy Ross bowling 12 overs for just 15 runs and taking a wicket. He also took the catch of the season at slip off Huw Oeppen, who picked up two wickets. James Evans was unlucky to end wicketless. Abeed Janmohamed did the main damage, taking 5 wickets with his off spin.
In reply the Jesters couldn’t quite manage three figures, although at 70/2 with Simon Cleobury and Oeppen together things looked good. A classic Jesters collapse followed, leaving the distinguished last wicket pair (Messrs Ross and Evans) to bat out the last few overs for a draw. We then retired to the Bat and Ball, which was very pleasant.
HAC got off to a flyer but after Alex Smith picked up the first wicket and Adnan Mohammed found his line the Jesters exerted some control. It was the introduction of John Murphy that started the wickets tumbling as he took 6 wickets in 8 overs. 5 of the 8 wickets to fall were LBWs (come to your own conclusions). HAC rallied to end on 204 for 8, which was a good score but gettable with a long Jesters batting line up. We lost two early wickets, but Fred Price and Brian Pote-Hunt looked very comfortable and were setting things up well. Sadly they both went too soon and not even a few lusty blows form Adnan Mohammed could get us close. Gerrit ten Hove and John Murphy batted out the last few overs for a draw.
2nd May - Murphy’s Magdalene magic!
Inspired bowling saw John Murphy rip through the Magdalene College Cambridge lower order. Five wickets in three overs included a hat-trick and the dismissal of the opposition’s top scorer. A “plasticine” pitch after heavy rain prevented a positive result, despite Adnan Mohammed’s 14 ball 37.
28th April - cliff-hanger at Hurlingham
The season began with an exciting finish at Hurlingham. We scored 265-8 against a strong attack, Fred Price (69) and Paul Durban (60) both batting beautifully. With three balls remaining they required 11 to win with the facing batsman having smote several sixes. A brilliant stumping by Robbie Hudson off Adnan Mohammed then saved the day and the game was drawn.
2nd April - Good Luck in Antigua!
Brian Pote-Hunt’s Jesters tourists leave for Antigua on Good Friday. They will play four games - including a day/nighter - and catch a couple of days of the 4th Test. We wish them all the best!
2nd April - Isle of Wight weekend
We’ve arranged two fixtures on the Isle of Wight over the weekend of 22/23 May: village side Brighstone on the Saturday and leading club side Ventnor on the Sunday. Accomodation has been arranged for those who’d like to make a weekend of it. You’ll play at one of the country’s most extraordinary cricket grounds: the Ventnor ground is in a huge bowl with the boundary around the top of the bowl.
1st January - nets at Lord’s
Nets start on January 21st and run through to mid-April. This year they take place on Wednesday evenings at 7pm.
Dates are: Jan 21st; Feb 4th & 18th; March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st; April 7th & 14th.
To book places, please contact Andrew Short.