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June 2004

June 28, 2004

Ritch Pickings as Charlton Strikes Maiden Half-Century (North Park 27/6/04)

On the occasion of Fredly Westvis's fortieth birthday Chigwell revisited the scene of last years record scoring defeat, the postage stamp at Woodford Wells, with good humoured vengeance in their minds. Notwithstanding last year's events the consensus was to bat first, and with the skipper correctly nominating tails that's what we did. As if having tiny boundaries isn't enough The postage stamp now boasts a shirt-front like square, and it was soon obvious that wickets would be hard to come by. The first wicket put on 68 before Harvey went onto the back foot, missed the ball and was shown the finger by the birthday boy. No complaints from Brown. Enter the cobbler. Ritchie played a superb innings, sensibly notching singles to give first Ross (88) and then Rob Allum (62) the strike. This saw him off strike for the larger part of his knock, although he still blasted 7 fours when the ball was there for it. A great knock, crowned by the rapturous acclaim he received after completing his first 50 in cricket - ever! He finished on 55 not out, Chigwell on 288, Dom having hit the last 3 balls for 14.

Sadly, while we were enjoying the magnificently iced birthday cake presented to Brad by Steve and Sue the rain clouds began leaking. Chigwell took to the field in the hope that they would benefit from the damp conditions, but sadly the rain persisted, and North Park cashed in with a sturdy opening partnership which was still unbroken on 190 when the rain gods finally saved Chigwell from what the experienced players recognised as inevitable defeat.

Plan for next year - lose the toss!!

June 21, 2004

Chigwell Bat Like Drips After the Rain (South Woodford 20/6/04)

Not for the first time Chigwell competed well in the field against a strong batting side, but were unable to bat to the same standard. It must be said that the conditions turned against us when a cloudburst turned the normally even Old Chigs wicket into a evil beast full of "tennis ball bounce".

After an arranged toss the opening batsmen for South Woodford's Sunday A team padded up and strode purposefully to the crease. Dom had the ball swinging early on particularly troubling the left hander who eventually had to be given out LBW, seemingly a cumulative decision based on four very good appeals. Tim M bowled well and beat the bat on occasion, but all the bowlers suffered from a generally aggressive approach from South Woodford. The fielders stayed focused and after a period under the cosh rallied to restrict the score to 220, par on an Old Chigs wicket. The problem, as it turned out was a period of fifteen minutes or so when the players were forced to leave the field due to a very intense rain shower. This soaked the pitch and made batting an altogether more onerous task.

After tea the home side collapsed like a house of cards in a wind tunnel. Dom showed his all round credentials with a score of 25 not out, but in fairness to most of the rest of the batting the pitch had become unplayable and their wickets fell as much to the conditions as to the excited C. Brown, who finished with 8 for 39, Chigwell finishing 69 all out with a mere 20 overs to go.

Rob Allum struck a positive note with his e-mail sent the day after the game. I quote

"Oh My!
Golly gosh! Not the lowest total ever.....................but frikkin' close!
Damn those weather gods, but take heart Chigwellians, we'll be back soon enough with a little luck and a freshly picked bunch of application.
We were good in the field with commitment and courage and some lovely tidy bowling too. I think we've got good raw talent in our crazy band of merry men and if we can show the same strengths in our application to batting we could have got a lot further down the road to at least securing a difficult draw in what were (for the Old Chigs) very challenging conditions.
Here's to keeping our heads high and learning from every setback in a positive way!"

Of course he is right, we are getting stronger both individually and as a team, and we are having a bloody good time too, which is a large proportion of the point of turning up!

June 17, 2004

Return of Prodigal Sees Chigwell Take a Stroll in the Park, by carbohydrate correspondent Harvey Brown(Ditchling Strollers 29/5/04)

Chigwell welcomed back 'Prodigal Son' Paul Newman from a six-year sabbatical along with daughter Hannah, who was making her debut for the 'Daisies', as the first game of the tour got under way. After winning the toss (I think) Chigwell openers Brown and McTaggart, fuelled on potato wedges and chips, got the touring side off to a good start with a stand of 97 for the first wicket. The Ditchling openers served up an array of full tosses, beamers and wides before being replaced by Hinge and Bracket who were given the treatment before McTaggart was bowled as he dozed off waiting for the ball to arrive for 43. Brown was then joined at the bizarre 'double crease' by Rob Allum who made sure Brown had burnt off every chip calorie before departing for 67. Nigel then kept the momentum going by dispatching one of his first few balls for four, before hearing the call of 'Wild Swing' in his ears and succumbing. Enter Paul Newman, who after a shaky start started to find the middle of the bat with some flowing cover drives. The pair started to build a solid partnership as Allum set his sights on a half century. As time was running out, Allum's eyes lit up with the introduction of the youngest member of Hanson to the bowling attack, who he promptly dispatched down the ground for a series of fours to bring up his 50. The innings closed on 246 with Allum unbeaten on 57 and Newman also undefeated on 29. After a tea of homemade cakes and Radish, Chigwell set about trying to bowl the opposition out. Captain Davis paired his strike bowler Addison with very occasional bowler Newman, a move that raised a few eyebrows. However, Davis had it spot on as Newman struck the first blow. Not to be outdone Addison then ripped out the next three batsman, removing the heart of the Ditchling batting with a hostile spell, before Newman added another scalp to go top of the bowling averages! Ditchling now realised that a draw was their only hope of a result and set about frustrating the Chigwell bowlers with a rendition of the 'Lolly Stick Challenge'. Their attempt to save the game was getting closer before Hannah had the batsman chip one to short midwicket, where Dad Paul pouched the catch to round off a memorable day for the Newmans. Nick took time to find his rhythm but responded to some gentle berating from younger brother Rob as he winkled out the last three wickets, aided by a brace of excellent catches from Rob O. The touring party then set off on a 150-mile journey to find hot showers and cold beer before assembling at the now legendary Golden Grill. Result: Chigwell win by 150 runs Man of Match: Paul Newman Hotel Barman: Professor Yaffel (Woodpecker from Bagpuss) H J Brown

June 15, 2004

Chigwell Let Game Slip Through Their Fingers (South Loughton 13/6/04)

South Loughton once again gave Chigwell a thumping, aided and abetted by a generally poor display in the field from Chigwell, and a deteriorating pitch, which frankly was poor, even for our level of cricket.

As skipper I have mastered the art of toss-losing, and South Loughton duly
obliged and batted first. Their Afrikaans connection was still in evidence,
but fortunately not the Boer who clubbed 170 odd runs last year. Dom put his heart and soul into another hostile spell, but had no luck whatsoever,
and saw two chances spilled. Tim M got the ball swinging early, and trapped
two South Loughtonians in front LBW. The scoring rate was kept under
control; Rob replaced Dom and took a wicket in his first over, this a catch
behind by substitute wicket-keeper yours truly, the only catch held by
Chigwell all day. Two other reasonable chances went down off Brad's bowling
and Chigwell sagged as the opposition reached 210 before declaring. I don't
know what Chigwell had on their hands when in the field, but I can't believe
that it wasn't "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter". Ritchie had started
behind the stumps, but his mind and body went on a strange "jet-lag" induced
journey to the land where the bong tree grows, his gloves became table
tennis bats, and the ball transmogrified into a soapy sphere encased in
banana-skin oil. On the positive side Olly played for the first time for
the club, turning the ball nicely in his bowling spell and instantly
becoming the best arm in the club. Tom Wiskin bowled only 7 balls, but put
each one on the spot, his improvement over the last year, and his potential
for the future clear to everyone.

In the absence of any recognised openers Phil and myself elected to start
things off. Phil fell to his first ball, chipping it gently back to the
bowler, which could have happened to anyone on that wicket. I cashed in on some
delightfully slow bowling to score 37 before edging poorly to slip. After
that the main hope was for Graham and our all-rounders to score well, but
the pitch did for Wiskin Snr, with undue haste and some tight South African
bowling accounting for the rest of the middle order. Dom scored an
attractive 37, but in the end Chigwell limped their way to 133 all out.

We sped off early, little suspecting the horror that was awaiting us in the
England vs. France match at Euro 2004. AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

June 08, 2004

Ingatestone Survive Thrilling Chigwell Fightback (Ingatestone 6/6/04)

The Chigwell skipper skillfully lost the toss, thus avoiding having to justify fielding first on a warm summer's day. Ingatestone looked the part, and the top order played shots with gay abandon, some stylish stroke play mixed with the occasional loose shot. Tim and Dom bowled well, as we have come to expect, but Ingatestone still prospered with only a solitary loss to the Mitzman. Chigwell's own Bros entered the fray, and despite suffering a few choice hits slowly dragged Chigwell back into the game. From the boundary proud father and president Doug saw Rob Allum taking three wickets, with Nick removing the stubborn opener. The lower echelons of the Ingatestone batting were not of the same high pedigree as the top three and the scoring rate tailed off somewhat. Owen had a couple of overs, but was hit for a few lusty blows. Orange replaced him, and showed the perverse nature of cricket by finishing with 2 for 0 off two overs; 2 weeks ago it was he who went for 26 in 2 overs! The innings closed on 244 for 7, a pretty good performance by Chigwell given the rapid start Ingatestone had to their innings. Now, or after tea at any rate, Chigwell faced the task of scoring 245 in 45 overs or so, an asking rate of 5.44. Hall and Orange opened, but both were out in their teens, Nigel flashed the blade but holed out in single figures, and Paul had a look but was caught trying to move things on. Sir Loin of Tonkington Village (aka Graham) was in prime form and steadied the ship before girding his loins and making an assault on the distant winning score. The last twenty was entered with Chigwell needing 8.4 per over, but in this never say die club no task is too daunting. Graham scored a fine 58, Rob and Dom had entertaining cameos, before Tim Mitzman and Nick put together a mouthwatering 72 run partnership for the eighth wicket. Towards the end of this partnership disaster struck when Nick felt something go ping, and was made lame by a calf muscle pull. He batted on bravely but the momentum was lost. Eventually he fell to the sort of run out that so often happens with a runner. Owen did all he could to keep us on target but it ended with Hannah facing 3 balls to secure a draw. She followed the skippers instructions to get into line, but was unfortunate to glove the last ball of the match to the keeper. A great match decided on the last ball - how bad is that? There is a great spirit about the side this year, more confidence and a calmness under pressure. In the immortal words of old Mr. Grace, you've all done very well!!!