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Winners of the Middlesex and Essex Invitation League 2009 - 2012

May 08, 2009

Early season report... Top of the league!

Chigwell's Cricket season has well and truly started... and we're currently top of the league! We've played 2 friendly matches and 2 league matches already with no problems from the weather so far.

Ok, so we started the season off with our first Middlesex & Essex Invitation League match against South Loughton. This lot always seem to be a bit difficult to beat and this time was no exception. We lost the toss and were inserted by SL on an overcast afternoon and began our innings with, for me at least, a sense of early season unpreparedness. Anyways, we perhaps under-achieved as a batting unit as we mostly seem to do on the SL ground and only managed to post 128 by the end of the 45 overs (I felt little chance of gaining a win by batting on over the 45 - and risk losing our 2 batting points in the process). SL duly knocked the runs off and the win was theirs... We managed a couple of bonus points out of it.  Showers were not working!!!

2nd match we were on our way to North Mymms (just north of South Mimms;-)  a charming ground very well appointed and looked after beautifully. Lovely outfield to dive around on if necessary!  Very nice tea also.

I lost the toss and NM decided to bat.  Wrong decision for them I'm pleased to say as some tidy bowling (props to Richard) kept them out of the runs for long enough to make them forget how to score any and the scoring moved extremely slowly. Owen was also brought into the 'attack' later on and notably took 2 wickets (caught by RobO and the sadly missed Imran). NM had to declare on 130 as time was moving on and, after stuffing ourselves on the fulsome spread we had no real problems achieving the win. Dave got a half-century and Chas a breezy 20 odd...   The showers were working well!!

Next up was Pacific - a team I play for regularly so I hoped we would be able to put up a good battle! 
We won the toss and I decided to bowl as I thought the chase would give us the best chance of winning. As a team I would say we didn't bowl our best but Pacific had some very good batsmen out that day so we did well to do as well as we did!  They declared on 248 for 8, squeezing us a little for time.
Tea was a rustic affair served from the galley and eaten outside on the benches. No cup of tea available!!!
We went about the chase with intent and all in all we did pretty well as a unit (I made a punchy ton, ensuring some free beer for my team-mates!) finishing up on 200 for 9.

Now here's the thing....... if we hadn't gone for 56 extras including 39 wides we could very easily have won the match.  39 wides???!!!!!!  Ridiculous. Get a grip Chigs.

Which brings us on to our 2nd League match and season debut on our home ground - the beloved Old Chigs.  We were playing Hadley Wood Green and hoped that this match could provide us with the league win we desperately needed after our loss to SL.  .... It did!

I won the toss and had no hesitation in putting HWG in to bat (as they have been known to stodge the draw on more than one occasion;-) on a decent looking wicket. It all went nicely to plan with all our bowlers doing the business and keeping any runs at bay. In fact, we did so well that HWG decided to bat over the 45 overs as they hadn't reached the 125 required for the first batting points. I've only ever seen that once before in a league match...  RobO took a decent 5-for (ensuring some free beer for this week!).

After another crap Old Chigs tea, myself and Dave bashed out the 133 required without much drama (apart from a bit of a comedy catch attempt apparently?).  It was a shame no one else was required to bat as we had both Harvey and Ross in the side for a nice change, and we still haven't had a chance to really see what Ahsan can do yet.  The showers stayed hot just long enough, and beers at the Chigs were followed by beers at the Nightingale (which were followed by beers at Bipasha ...and a very fine Vindaloo strength Dhansak). 

This match, win, and social was, and is, dedicated to our cricket and football buddy Imran, who's not around anymore..... 



May 04, 2009

A win vs Hadley Wood Green!

The Squad
Originally uploaded by Chigwell Cricket Club
A picture of the winning squad (+ a couple of little extras). There are one or two more new photos by Rob Orange in the Flickr gallery too.

March 22, 2009

New Season - New Players

Well, here we are on the brink of a new season and enjoying some lovely pre-season sunshine! I'm looking forward to taking on the captaincy from the other Rob and hope we can continue to have fun and achieve good results as we have done in previous years...cheers Bob! 

Firstly I'd like to welcome new members Graham and James Sibley to the club and hopefully Ahsan will decide to join us permanently in the next couple of weeks too. 

If anybody out there knows of any potential new members please pass our details on.... we can always do with new members and the occasional guest player too.  It would be great for the captaincy team if we can get good availability from our members this year so we're not scratching around still looking for players come Fri/Sat!

It's been a decent turnout at nets and everyone is looking good - it will be excellent to turn that enthusiasm and talent into solid performances and a positive atmosphere on the field:-)  I hope that we'll all enjoy doing our best to achieve the best for the team as a whole and get some early wins under our belt too!!
I believe our first match is a league fixture so we should do our best to hit the ground running - let's get there early to harden those hands up with some catching practice etc.... Catches win matches!!

Ok, enough crap from me. I'll see you all soon and I'm taking availabilities in advance for all matches so let me know asap.

Looking forward to it!


March 21, 2009

New fixture list published

Fixtures for 2009 are now here on the website. More details of the new League to be announced soon.

February 22, 2009

How long is a piece of string?

How long is a piece of string?

Last Sunday, Rob O and Nick went up to Old Chigs to measure up the sightscreen in preparation for a new sheet of wind-permeable material to be fitted before the season. Exciting stuff!

January 26, 2009

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

At the AGM on 16th January Rob Orange stepped down as Captain, with Rob Allum taking his place. Brad Davis and James Laycock make up the the Vice-Captain team. Graham continues to count the beans while Nick moves back on to the Committee as lay member responsible for tour fixtures and the exciting new Sunday League set-up that will be trialled in 2009. Five clubs have signed up for the experiment:

Hadley Wood Green
South Loughton

More on this later. In the meantime, club nets are taking place at Forest School on Wednesday evenings at 9.00pm. All members and potential new members very welcome.

November 26, 2008

Club Clobber

After a rigorous and exhaustive design process, the Committee has finally authorised production of the inaugural club tie - only 20 years late!

Strength And Honour - C.C.C.

Club member Dom Addison has produced these top quality Suffolk silk items at his Sudbury sweatshop. If anyone would like one, please contact him directly, or via the club Secretary.  

October 20, 2008

Paul Flack

One of our club's great characters, Paul Flack, died in his sleep yesterday. We are all shocked and saddened. It was a complete surprise. He was only 47.

Paul hadn't played much over the past few years, but was a legendary figure at the club and very much further afield too. He was a sculptor, painter, stonemason, film-maker, conservationist and all round gentleman of the arts. And his left-arm spin bowling described the tallest parabolas ever seen above a cricket pitch!

In time, we will organise a fitting cricketing tribute to Paul. Please get in touch or watch this space if you'd like to take part.

October 13, 2008

Hadley Wood Green Sports Celebrates 100 Years

(Southgate Masonic Centre 7.30pm on Saturday 11th October)

On Saturday evening, Rob Orange and I attended the Centenary Dinner of our great friends and cricketing rivals Hadley Wood Green Sports. It was a privilege to be invited and a pleasure to be there. We caught up with skipper, run-machine and general Chigwell thorn-in-the-side Dan Blake, 'Big' Mike Davey, off-spinner and thespian Graham Sawtell and a host of other familiar faces including, of course, Jim Wallace.  Jim announced his retirement from active playing service at the end of this season, after finally scoring a century for the club (although that is, apparently, coincidental in the decision). No one seems to believe he'll go through with it, but whatever he decides to do next April, the players, friends and families gathered at the Southgate Masonic Centre paid grateful tribute to Jim's work for the club over the years.

The formal entertainment was provided by Geoff 'Dusty' Miller. His after-dinner speech recalled events from his playing days with Derbyshire, Essex and England to hilarious effect. His impression of Goochie was up there with Mike Yarwood and, er, Dermot Reeve.

Rob and I also had some discussions about a new, informal league with some of the HWGS players and the South Loughton boys who were there as guests.  There was some interest in the idea, which we said we would take forward. 

Summary: a splendid evening had by all.


August 21, 2008

Chigwell Cough & Splutter to a Draw Against Hainault & Clayhall

Blessed by weather which was far better than the forecasts had suggested Chigwell revved up for their final league game with a friendly fixture which we have often won in the past and optimism was high enough for the skipper to consider batting first. The toss was lost however and I could rest easy that batting first, as we were required to do, was not my fault.

A top three of Rob A, Adam & Charlie is unlikely to get the pulses racing and we settled in for a bit of a grind. Adam, fresh from the David Lloyd Jacuzzi smacked his second ball for four, then called a sharp single and looked as if he was in uncharacteristically aggressive form. This proved to be short lived when he was run out when Rob called a very tight run which resulted in a surprising run out, the perpetrator in baggy grey tracksuit bottoms hitting one stump from 20 yards despite looking like someone who had been recruited from the gym half an hour before the game.

Charlie joined Rob and the expected slow pace was now realised. After an hour and a quarter's play the score was on about 60 for 1 and as I left my umpiring position for a well earned rest on the boundary I mentioned to Charlie that it was time to kick on. Chas flicked a mental switch and went ballistic. In one over he smacked four fours, his best shot a sublime off drive along the ground for four. Unfortunately he fell one short of a deserved half-century, leaving the field cursing the decision, his dignity and sportsmanship not yet the equal of his batting.

James had been promoted to number four, and hit some good (and some not so good) shots in his 35. He eventually top-edged one to point and had to go. Rob A was dismissed for 39, caught by Master Trackie Bottoms off a full-blooded pull to the square-leg boundary. The ball initially bounced out of his hands, but was coolly pouched on the rebound. Tahir and Nigel went cheaply, as did I, bowled through an enormous gate. Angela, not sure if I was bowled or stumped, said "What was that?" as I neared the boundary, a question echoed by Rob A for different reasons.

We were well short of a competitive total with 3 wickets remaining. It was looking as if we would have to bat for at least 3 hours, but one amazing over brought us back towards a reasonable rate. Nick had already begun to look in the mood when suddenly he launched a straight ball over the head of the man at mid-off for a maximum! It was the first six I can remember him hitting since his golden period in the early 90's and the Chigwell faithful roared their approval. He ran a single and then it was Brad's turn to wallop the ball, his rather more agricultural shot clearing the fielder at "cow" and registering his second ever six! The first was at Low Hall Farm in 1989. This feat was greeted by a strange mixture of cheers and stunned silence. Brad perished trying to repeat the feat - caught by the lad in trackie bottoms - and after a few more added by Nick and Owen the time was right to declare, the score a barely passable 193.

After the interval Chigwell did not perform well in the field. Frank and I opened the bowling but although we were not being taken for many runs by the cautious batsmen we never looked particularly threatening and after 5 overs apiece we turned to Nick and Charlie. After six more overs nothing much had changed, so I turned to the relationship breaker. Brad is cursed this year as the bowler who has had most catches dropped off his bowling; this day was no exception as Chigwell contrived to drop at least four chances. By now things were beginning to look grim, so I tried the pace option of Adam and Rob. Adam had an immediate effect, but not the one we really wanted, the H&C skipper top edging one into his cheek. Dr. T led him from the field, recommending ice and a dressing as Mr. Shinn took his place. A wicket finally fell in the27th over, Adam hitting the pad of the surviving opener in front. It took another 7 overs for the next wicket to come, that to a run out well executed by Tahir. By now the pace of Rob and Adam had pushed the asking rate up, and wickets began to fall – Adam bowled Mr. Hoskins and Rob ran out Mr. Sharif. Glory be, we even took a catch when Mr. Shinn, forced to up the scoring rate, flayed one to extra-cover where I was patrolling.

We arrived at the last over with a draw seemingly secured. Adam bowled the last over knowing that they needed 20 to win, while we needed 4 wickets. It was not Adam’s best over. First ball was a wide no ball which scooted to the boundary. After a dot the third ball was a wide. Then he accidentally let slip a horrible beamer (called no ball) which Mr. Trackie Bottoms pulled off his face for 6. With one ball to go 3 were required. The ball was hit to Frank at deep mid off who to his credit returned the ball well enough to prevent a third run and the game ended as a scores level draw – phew!

It was quite dark by the end and in retrospect it would have been sensible and sportsman-like for me not to have fast bowlers on, especially from the end with no sight screen. A black mark to the skipper there – I hope the opposition won’t hold it against me.

Man of the match: Unusually it goes to one of the opposition, M. Bullman. 2 superb catches, a dazzling run out and a spirited last over that nearly won his team the game – all done in tracksuit bottoms.