Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2006 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
1st December - News from the AGM & dinner
Forty four Jesters and guests gathered at the Lord’s Tavern for a very enjoyable evening. This was one of the largest turnouts in living memory and a good barometer of the club’s health.
At the AGM all committee member were re-elected while Nick Mumby joined the committee. The club’s finances are in good shape, with new Hon Treasurer John Murphy making excellent progress collecting unpaid subscriptions. We are looking fill several holes in the fixture list for the first half of the season - all suggestions to Simon Cleobury.
The three end of season awards were presented:
Performance of the season to Nick Mumby for scoring 83 and taking 4-17 at Maidenhead & Bray. Nick’s peformance just pipped Ponniah Vijendran’s 98 against Amersham and the combined efforts of Sandy Ross and Allan Dodd in taking the last eight Chobham wickets for no runs in 20 deliveries.
Most Jester-like performance to Simon Cleobury for muddling the dates of fixtures so we turned up to play Broadhalfpenny Brigands on the wrong day.
The Michael Meyer Trophy for big hitting to Ponniah Vijendran for his straight drive at Amersham that clipped the top branch of an enromous oak tree across the road from the ground.
4th October - 2006 annual dinner
The AGM and annual dinner will take place on Friday 17th November at the Lord’s Tavern Bar & Brasserie next to Lord’s cricket ground.
10th September - Amersham ambushed (almost)
Needing six to win off the very last ball isn’t a bad way to end the season. Especially after chasing down the intimidating target of 260 in a 45 over game - and with Ollie Doward ready to face it, wielding the magnificent bat given to him by Marcus Trescothick that had already launched one huge six over extra cover.
Five hours earlier it had all started somewhat differently as our rather thin bowling attack took on Amersham’s New Zealand opener. Or rather he took us on. Sportingly, after 22 overs he decided to give someone else a turn and retired on 102. Sighs of relief all round.
This proved to be a turning point. Galvanised by his absence, our bowling attack began scrapping for every run, perky fielding produced two run-outs, and 260 was somewhat less than it might have been.
But it was still a formidable target. That we mounted any sort of challenge was entirely thanks to Adam Long and Ponniah (“Bob”) Vijendran who put on over a hundred for the third wicket. They began slowly, building a solid platform, and then cut loose. Adam went for 53 but Bob continued with as dashing a display of strokeplay as we’ve seen all season. One towering six that hit the top of a huge tree beyond the long-on boundary will linger long in the memory. He eventually fell on 98, the New Zealander making a tricky boundary catch look easy.
That was 196-4. It became 256-7 with one ball remaining after several exciting overs of bashing and scurrying in fading light. The Trescothick blade was unsheathed and several savage blows followed. The flat six over extra cover to the longest part of the ground was still rocketing as it passed the pavilion.
Sadly, a good piece of bowling denied us the winning (or tieing) boundary and we lost by 3 runs (Ollie Doward 31*). But a great way to finish the game and the season.
3rd September - Mumby’s Maidenhead Magic
Nick Mumby turned in a star performance as we beat Maidenhead & Bray by 31 runs in a 40 over game.
Opening the batting, Nick stroked a dashing 83 from just 78 balls. Our middle order was then checked by tight Maidenhead bowling - before Charlie Wilson and Andrew Short hit 50 off the last six overs to take us to 204.
Maidenhead got off to a flyer, their no.3 racing to a quick fifty. But the introduction of Allan Dodd and John Murphy into the attack turned the match. John dismissed the no.3 on the way to taking 4-35 while Allan was unlucky to suffer from several dropped catches in a miserly spell. That man Mumby then cleaned up the tail with 4-17 from 4.5 overs.
Nick has Paul Durban to thank for one of these wickets. Fielding at backward square leg, he flung himself full-length to his left, clinging on with both hands to a ball going like a tracer bullet. One of the most spectacular catches you are ever likely to see.
It was an exciting game with fortunes fluctuating throughout. Many thanks to Maidenhead & Bray for turning out a good Sunday side.
28th August - Eight wickets for no runs!
Our game at Chobham produced the most extraordinary and scarcely believable statistic. We took the last eight Chobham wickets for no runs in 20 deliveries. They were 99-2 and then, less than four overs later, 99 all out. We won by 62 runs.
Heroes of the hour were Sandy Ross (5-32, including a hat-trick in a four wicket over) and Allan Dodd (5-33, and on a hat-trick himself at one point).
Sandy’s miraculous over began with a single - their last as it turned out - followed by a smart Robbie Hudson stumping and a dot ball played by the Australian pro. Then Fred Allen took a catch at cover to dismiss the pro. Sandy had the next man plumb lbw first ball and then, with everyone round the bat, had the satisfaction of demolishing the stumps to complete his hat-trick.
Allan wound up the innings by taking the last four wickets, clean bowling two, Fred Allen taking a good catch out of the sun, and finally luring the no.11 into a return catch. We were stunned. They were stunned.
It has to be said that until that point we hadn’t played well. Our batsmen had found curious ways to get out against a succession of slow spinners. And 161 was a disappointing total. In the field we had been lacklustre. But then, in a moment, everything changed.
Our commiserations to Chobham. We have suffered so many collapses over the years that we know these things happen. Their hospitality was excellent and we look forward to returning next year.
15th August - Courageous chase at Cuckfield
We were dismissed just 15 runs short of Cuckfield’s 275.
In the usual fast scoring conditions we managed to bowl the home side out. Alistair Evans starred with the figures of 9.3/5/23/5. But the “champagne moment” was definitely Mark Hepple’s catch at long-on, plucking nonchalantly out of the air the missile launched in that direction by Chris Mole, Cuckfield star batsman and Devon player.
In reply we had to face Cuckfield’s Pakistani off-spinning pro - complete with doosra - who sent down a challenging 20 over spell. Our openers rose to the occasion magnificently, putting on over a hundred. Farouk Mirza eventually fell for 56 followed by Matt Hepple for a very good 80. At 172/2 we were well placed. But wickets tumbled as we tried to maintain the scoring rate and were eventually all out for 260 in the penultimate over.
9th August - New match manager for Maidenhead & Bray game
John Murphy has taken over as match manager for this game on Sunday 3rd September (2pm). You really should play - it’s a pretty ground and Maidenhead always turn out a decent side.
8th August - Headley
Match drawn. Jesters 264-7 declared (Ansbro 128, Drake 41*, Mehdi 26, Murphy 22*) Headley 188-8 (Ross 3-38, Murphy 2-34, Orr 2-38)
One of our side sent in this match report:
“A combination of short boundaries and a wicket giving plenty of assistance to the bowlers, meant that it was extremely difficult to know how many to set the opposition. 264 proved to be about right. Guest-player Matthew Ansbro batted extremely well, before he holed out for 128. Captain Will Drake scored an unbeaten 41 and held the innings together after a mini-collapse.
“The Jesters bowled well early on and were unlucky not to take more than one early wicket. All the seam bowlers managed to extract variable bounce and sideways movement from the pitch. Sandy Ross bowled an accurate 13 over spell, taking 3 for 38. William Orr bowled well to take 2-38. The Headley captain batted well for an unbeaten fifty, although good line-and-length Jesters' bowling meant that the opposition required over 160 to win in the last 20 overs.”
Match manager Will Drake has written a longer account...
An arid fast scoring outfield, difficult to defend. A straw coloured pitch, rewarding length rather than velocity, patience rather than testosterone; one on which even high class spinners find it difficult to prosper. A sizeable, knowledgable crowd, appreciative of good cricket and the mini-contests within it. The Sky Sports cameras were at Headingley on Sunday 6th August, but they could just as easily have truncated the venue and been at Headley; the viewing public would have lost little.
In humid conditions, Jesters won the toss, batted and were soon licking their collective lips at the prospect of watching the batsmanship of Taussif Mehdi, now a regular at this fixture. A newly qualified doctor, his recently acquired powers of prescription appeared to extend to the clinical administration of severe punishment to anything short or overpitched. It was as though, like swallowing cough mixture, retrieving a dispatched long hop from the boundary was a necessary, unpalatable exercise en route to salvation. Just as he threatened to cut loose he was caught from a ball that stopped and the germinating partnership with Matthew Ansbro that promised to define the game was extinguished.
Ansbro had a score to settle, having been caught out last year, nearing a hundred, by a fielder reclining languidly (legally, it transpired) like Noel Coward on the boundary rope. Such was his determination to put matters straight that he declared his availability for the 2006 fixture 364 days and 16 hours in advance and at approximately twice weekly intervals thereafter. Not even the gestation and safe birth of his first child could settle his troubled mind as he was to be found roaming Headley Heath, in a state of Lear-like madness, throughout the winter and spring.
Once at the crease, though, Lear became Errol Flynn, scything the bowling apart with a swashbuckling ferocity of which Zorro would have been proud. A splendid hundred was inevitable, but marked by a sleeping daughter and a conversation between wife and mother-in-law that led to a later enquiry as to whether had completed his round in par or over. He has some work to do at home.
For much of this display of fireworks, he was accompanied by William Orr, a cardiologist from Reading, whose annual appearance in flannels commands much attention. From Milan, Anglesey and St David’s his supporters journeyed, with a fanaticism that has not been witnessed, for a physician, since the whiskered one from Gloucester over a century ago. Initially, he did not disappoint, with a series of sumptuous drives leading to a migration of bodies towards the cricket and away from an increasingly agitated ice-cream seller in the Heath car park, concerned about his livelihood.
Sadly for the crowds, Dr Orr was undone by the pitch, but departed with a dignity that, according to legend, did not always attach itself to WG. The hordes returned, muttering, to the ice-cream man, whose mortgage was saved. In modern times, such adulation for a cricketer accompanies only the likes of Flintoff and Pieterson. The good doctor from Reading may need to invest in some tattoos and expensive auricular jewellery if he is to maintain such celebrity status. A clatter of wickets followed and the Jesters declared at 264/7 after 38 overs.
The opening attack took an over or two to find its range; a process facilitated by the fearless, immaculate wicket keeping of David Hancock, standing up to everyone on a pitch with inconsistent bounce. Any one of a series of stumping appeals would have necessitated a third umpire, but the benefit of the doubt was appropriately granted. Murphy made the breakthrough and a run-out followed, allowing the evergreen Sandy Ross and Patrick Orr, brother of William, to pose searching questions of the Headley middle order.
Using Newtonian physics to great effect, much of the substantial F=mv momentum acquired during Orr’s run-up was transduced into a heavy ball, frequently accompanied by inswing. Given that the ball had had a number of visits to the surrounding woods and, on more than one occasion, been retrieved and modified by a variety of dogs, this is unlikely to have been conventional swing. One must therefore conclude that this was the first, and almost certainly the last, exhibition of reverse swing in Jesters colours. He, Ross and a late burst from Murphy nibbled at the Headley batting, but the last two scalps remained elusive. In the end, a swarm of biting flies focused the collective mind of the cricketing protagonists that beer and sausages were long overdue.
30th July - Nail biting finish at Roehampton
We beat Roehampton by 1 wicket off the penultimate ball of the game, calmly stroked to the boundary by no.11 Nick Mumby. Match manager Robbie Hudson describes the hysteria:
“Roehampton prepared a very perky wicket. Adnan Mohammed and new boy Ruchit Patel got all kinds of lift and movements, and were unlucky not to find edges on a number of occasions. Mumbers (Nick Mumby) took wickets with full tosses and long hops, we had them 111-6 after 30-something overs, which was good on such a lightning outfield with one very short boundary. We missed a few chances and got sloppy as they pushed on to 170 at 5.10, leaving us, I think, 29 overs.
“This was a good declaration; we lost wickets regularly, but a dashing 42 from Fred Price (one six over the bowler's head) in a strong partnership with Brian Pote-Hunt laid the bedrock. There was a flurry of wickets, but the Jesters bat to eleven, and for once this fact wasn't one we shook our heads about in disbelief after contemplating a catastrophic collapse. After some great hitting from Adnan, he was facing the first ball of the last over with scores level. He missed with three huge swipes and was bowled off the fourth. Enter Mumby, number eleven, to nonchalantly sweep the ball to the fine leg boundary.
“Exciting Roehampton news: the horrible barn-like pub of yesterday has been transformed into the very whizzo The Telegraph, and it was a great place to sit and relax.
“Ned (our scorer) is worth solid gold.”
28th July - Horsham
We had a good win at Horsham beating them by 6 wickets. Match Manager Brian Pote-Hunt writes:
“Having been ‘turffed off’ the main ground at Horsham by the little matter of Middlesex 2nd v. Sussex 2nds we played a great game on the John Dew Ground. The surface, inferior to the main ground, gave our bowlers and edge and Horsham were restricted to 17 off the first 10 overs. This put them behind for the rest of the game and wickets for David Upton, Simeon Douse, Billy Harris and Simon Hardy restricted them to 212 for 8 when the home side declared.
“Jesters opened with new man Furrakh Mirza and Matt Hepple. An opening partnership of 60 odd established Matt to bat throughout the innings being out on 96 with just 5 to win. He was supported by Furrakh (28), Dave Upton (37) and Billy Harris (27) and we won with 7 overs to spare a with a score of 214- 4.”
23rd July - Gemini give us a thumping
It’s not often you lose by 10 wickets and reckon you didn’t play badly (and had a great day out into the bargain). But those were precisely our thoughts after our inaugural fixture with Gemini at Sunningdale School.
Gemini are the old boys of the school (plus friends) and their approach could best be described as “competitive but gracious” - a welcoming atmosphere and hospitality that is beyond first class combined with serious cricket. What’s more the setting is beautiful. While the bouncy wicket and shortish boundaries make for interesting cricket.
Our 190-9 (Robbie Hudson 45, Dave Hancock 37) in a rain shortened innings probably wasn’t going to be enough. But we thought early wickets might generate sufficient pressure to conjure a result. Unfortunately not one wicket fell as the dazzling hitting of their opening pair completely took us apart. And we really didn’t bowl badly! Although dropping the chap who scored 115* early on was rather a painful mistake.
20th July - Dorset tour
Many thanks to Simon Rawson for once again organising a fantastic week.
It rained heavily on the Monday but we managed an indoor game against Bryanston Butterflies in the school sports hall.
Tuesday saw us at Canford, possibly the prettiest ground in the country. We bowled out the Cygnets for 259 in the 64th over and after a gallant run chase our last pair blocked out the last six overs some thirty runs adrift.
It was even more exciting next day at North Perrot where we lost a 45 overs game with Somerset Stragglers by just one run. Chasing 250 we needed four to win off the last ball and Chris Garcia was only denied by a diving stop on the boundary.
Finally, on Thursday, we concluded with another high scoring draw, this time with Clayesmore Cormorants. We declared on 260-8 after 50 overs, Jake Sharland scoring a century. At one point they looked like getting them but Tony Duckett struck with four quick wickets and the finally played out time at 230-8 after 51 overs.
Thanks to all these side for their hospitality, which was first class. The wickets were superb, the cricket high quality and we’ll definitely be back next year for more!
2nd July - Merrow
Our match manager writes:
“Result - Merrow 244 all out; Jesters 133 all out - lost by 111 runs. Notable performances from Luke Carby who bowled superb line and length, 3-41; Eddie Fulbrook 2-28, Simeon Douse 2-55, Jon Ward 2-42. We had them 105-4 at lunch, but things got away from us in the hour afterwards. Good and most un-Jesters-like fielding performance - great catch from Simeon Douse at long off. On the batting side, there was plenty of poor shot selection on a deteriorating wicket - several batsmen got out skying the ball - although Merrow bowled well - Andy Windus taking 5-25. Simeon Douse was the pick of the batsmen, making a solid 39. Thanks to Merrow for lending us two good young players at short notice, one as result of Ali Evans dislocating his ankle playing on Saturday. The game was also a first for several new Jesters - Adam Hall, Simeon Douse, Luke Carby and Jon Ward, all of whom I'd heartily recommend for future fixtures. Great tea this year too, with wine added to the traditional lunchtime bottle of port. Certainly livened Mr Fulbrook up anyway!”
26th June - We beat Blackheath
A comfortable win at Blackheath in a game reduced to 30 overs a side, and with an early start, to accommodate World Cup watchers. Our match manager writes:
“10 v 10 on the day England (football) play their 2nd round knockout match. Jesters won the toss and decided to bat, scoring 235 for 4 off their allotted 30 overs. We should really have scored more with 250 a reality after the first 5 overs.Solid runs from Chris Garcia (88) Matt Hepple (41) and Adnam Mohammed (42) saw our side to a competitive total on a pitch which played well, albeit rather bouncy and with a lightening fast outfield.
“Blackheath came out to bat with the thoughts of Beckham, Cole and Ferdinand cheering in their heads. In the second over Adnam bounced out their opener for 0 and the rot set in from there. Adnan was a formidable proposition, despite only bowling at three-quarter pace, getting bounce from just short of a length. We took him off after four fiery overs. Huw Oeppen bowled well for his 9 overs, 3-20 and the tail was mopped up by Chris Garcia 3-8 and Billy Harris 4-2. We finished them off at 4.15 and tea was taken when the score in Germany was 0-0 and we were bored rigid till ‘Golden balls’ scored England’s only goal mid way through the second half. Suggest we had our own fair share of golden balls and the lads done well!”
24th June - Simon Cleobury
Simon has extended his stay in the US until well into August so will probably not return before the end of the season. In his absence plaease refer all fixtures matters to Andrew Short.
22nd June - NPL game cancelled
Sadly NPL couldn’t raise a side - despite it being their cricket week - so our mid-week game was cancelled.
18th June - Lording it over the Gnomes
Our inaugeral game against Lord Gnome’s XI was very enjoyable. Many thanks to LG’s XI for organising the Great Missenden ground so our two wandering sides could meet. One of our team reports:
“I am writing to report on a fine victory for the Jesters. Despite only having one seam bowler we bowled well and held all our chances. Nick Mumby bowled a good fifteen over opening spell. In reply we lost seven wickets, although we batted better than the scores suggest, as three/four of the wickets lost were guest players who hadn't played very often. Will Drake and Robbie Hudson shared a critical partnership of 70.”
The scores: Lord Gnome's XI 153 all out (Dodd 4-27, Doward 3-21, Murphy 2-58, Mumby 1-42). Jesters 155 for 7 (Drake 53, Hudson 41, Gallico 26, Hancock 24*). Jesters won by 3 wickets
11th June - Fantastic day at Shenley
Our rearranged game with HAC at the Shenley Cricket Centre was a marvellous occasion. On a beautiful sunny day the ground looked a picture and the wicket was the best some of us had ever played on.
Skipper Nick Mumby’s controversial decision to field in the heat reaped handsome rewards as we bowled them out for 196 on what was a 250 pitch. Chris Garcia filleted the top order with a hat trick in a spell of 4-51. He was backed up by a cunning, economic spell from Simon Rawson who kept their most dangerous batsman at bay. In reply a big partnership between Andy “Nudger” Newton (66) and Robert Gordon Clark (58*) saw us most of the way home. Simon Rawson provided the end of innings entertainment - 34* off 14 balls (including two lost balls!). We won by 7 wickets with 12 over to spare.
10th June - Jesus students teach us a lesson
Robbie Hudson has always said that almost no total is defendable on the Jesus pitch if two good batsmen get set. How right he is! The wisdom of his words was revealed as we were walloped after posting a perfectly respectable 190-6 in what was a 30 over game. Stylish 50s from Robbie Hudson and Anush Newman were supported by late order violence from Adnan Mohammed (34*).
Our mistake was then to take several Jesus wickets, for their two best batsman had dropped down the order in anticipation of attacking our change bowlers. Before they arrived at the crease we were comfortably in control. When they did 'carnage' just about describes it.
A unique feature of this game were the playing hours. We began at 11.30, played the first innings, took a two hour “tea” to watch England v. Paraguay in the World Cup, and finally started the second innings at 4pm. As it turned out, a much more satisfactory arrangement than traditionalists thought.
4th June - Victory at Ventnor
Disappointingly the Ventnor 1st XI were otherwise engaged playing a cup game. We beat the side they turned out convincingly, scoring about 190 and dismissing them for 99. Many thanks to everyone who played on what was a very long day, and especially to Simon Rawson who organised.
21st May - Match manager for HAC game
Nick Mumby is the new match manager for this rearranged game (Sun 11 June at Shenley, 1pm start). If you fancy playing you can find Nick’s details on the club contacts page.
20th May - Broadhalfpenny Brigands
Unfortunately this game didn’t take place. We turned up to find the Brigands were playing another side and were expecting us the following Sunday. They very kindly made their game 12-a-side allowing two Jesters to take part.
The mix-up was entirely our fault so many apologies to the Brigands for the inconvenience caused - we look forward to playing them next year.
1st May - the 2006 season begins
Our opening game at Hurlingham was rained-off, persistent drizzle from early morning preventing even a start to the game. A huge disappointment.
Fortunately the St.John’s College Cambridge game the following weekend was a great way to start the season. We lost by 5 wickets with just two balls remaining. Declaring on 212-5 (Andrew Short 55, Alex Smith 52*, John Murphy 40) we kept the spinners on and the game open after having the college in trouble. Several dropped catches later - none of them easy - we lost in a tense finish.
Thanks to all those who battled up to Cambridge through bank holiday travel chaos (one car took almost four hours from London). And special thanks to Gerrit ten Hove who stood in as keeper at no notice - only the third time he had ever kept. What’s more he took a catch standing up.
10th April - New date/venue for HAC game
The HAC game has moved to Sunday 11th June. It will be a 1pm start at the Shenley Cricket Centre, a beautiful, purpose-built site near Radlett and Borehamwood in south Herts.
We’re really lucky to have the opportunity to play here so please support the fixture by volunteering to play. Please apply to Andrew Short.
24th March - Annual subscriptions
Annual subscriptions fall due in April. If you don’t pay by standing please make every effort to send a cheque to new Treasurer John Murphy as soon as possible (for £10 payable to “Jesters Cricket Club”).
In recent years it has become a real pain having to chase non-payers, so your assistance would be much appreciated.
15th March - Can you suggest a ground?
The Honourable Artillery Club ground in the City is still in use by the authorities following the 7/7 bombings so we are looking for a ground for our match with the HAC on Sat 13th May. Please send any suggestions to Andrew Short
14th March - Changes to fixtures
There have been amendments to two fixtures since the list went up on the site last month. The NPL game moves exactly a week later to Thursday 22nd June. Magdalene College, Cambridge are unable to play us after all so this game has been cancelled.
1st March - Overseas departures
Two committee members are disappearing overseas for a while. Matt Williamson is taking up a post with BP in Vietnam for the next couple of years. Simon Cleobury is in Chicago from mid-March to mid-June.
1st February - 2006 tour
The 2006 tour will be to the same part of the country as last year, the Dorset/Somerset borders. This year we’re playing four games from Monday to Thursday with a mixture of old and new opponents:
Mon 10 July v. Bryanston Butterflies @ Bryanston School
Tues 11 July v. Canford Cygnets @ Canford School
Wed 12 July v. Somerset Stragglers @ North Perrot
Thur 13 July v. Clayesmore Cormorants @ Clayesmore School
Arrangements are once again in the capable hands of Simon Rawson
20th January - New fixtures for 2006
We have arranged a couple of new fixtures for next season, against Lord Gnome’s XI, to be played at Great Missendon on 18 June, and against Gemini to be played at Sunningdale School in late July.