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Winners of the Middlesex and Essex Invitation League 2009 - 2012

June 14, 2010

Lyme Regis Tour Photos

Some pics from the tour are already up on fb from Brad and Kate. No doubt more to follow, along with match reports.

June 01, 2010

Nil Desperandum

Chigwell vs South Loughton, 30th May 2010

Frank Gough writes:
Following the cancellation of the season's first league fixture against HGW due to the poor weather, we approached the encounter with South Loughton in determined fashion, appreciating the importance of claiming an early win against our ubiquitously tough opponents. At the final analysis however, having restricted the visitors to 167, Chigwell subsided to a hugely disappointing defeat, ultimately being dismissed for 141 to finish 26 runs adrift.

It was an exciting cricket match, one in which the initiative ebbed and flowed throughout. Having won the toss, Rob chose to bowl on a green and mossy pitch, the kind of conditions that have frequently produced springy surfaces at Old Chigs with a fair degree of lateral movement.

With Ramesh in the ranks, Rob was keen to see how his additional pace would fare and he opened the bowling from the car park end, with Dave nominated to share the new cherry. It has to be said that neither were at their best; a strong wind blowing across the ground not assisting either and the pitch being a great deal more placid than we had anticipated. Both Ramesh and Dave were perhaps guilty of bowling too short, with the lack of pace in the wicket meaning that they ended up delivering too many boundary balls. After four overs I took over from Dave, with Rob A taking over from Ramesh four overs later, but only succeeded in marginally reducing the run rate as the SL openers raced to 93 without loss from something like 13 overs.

At this point Rob A, recognising that the wind, pitch and indifferent form were rendering our seamers ineffective, brought on the spinners at both ends, Nick replacing me and Rob O coming on at the car park end. Not for the first time, the effect was both immediate and dramatic; Rob claiming the scalps of both openers with his first two deliveries (the first, Farthing, to a good high catch by Ramesh at long off, the second, Baker, to an LBW). I must confess, as one of the four seamers whose bowling had left something to be desired earlier on the piece, I was ever so slightly grateful that Rob did not completely put our inadequacies into perspective by completing a hat trick. As it transpired, this was the start of a supreme spell by Rob, bowling at his best with changes in pace and the ball gripping and turning; predominantly accurate throughout. His final analysis was 12-2-25-6 and he was not flattered by those figures. At the other end, Nick was not quite up to his usual high standards, even sending down two double bounce deliveries in his spell (one of which was nearly hit straight back to the bowler, leaving me chuckling at mid on at what would surely have been one of the most diabolical wickets in recent memory had the catch stuck). Nick was never collared however, his 12 overs going for 32, and he did claim the important wicket of Tredgold for 3, who had the look of a man that would have made us pay had we allowed him to stay in for long . After Rob had run through the majority of the batting order, I came back on in with Brad at the other end and managed to clear up the last three wickets relatively quickly to close the innings at 167.

After another soul destroying tea, Dave and Richard set out to begin what we hoped would be a comfortable march towards a target that we felt was probably below par. South Loughton responded with a strong fielding and bowling performance, hitting the correct length straight away and proving tenacious in the field to prevent easy singles (arguably a sour note at the start of our fielding performance which had also been pretty good on the whole). Dave was struggling a little to get the ball away and watched as Rich, Rob A, Aqeel and Jawed were all dismissed for single figure scores leaving us in all sorts of trouble at 34 for 4 from around 15 overs. It was around this time that the visitor's opening bowler, Oliver, was unfortunately taken out of the game with a dislocated shoulder suffered in the field and, with the bowling perhaps a touch subdued after that event, Dave and Ramesh managed to get us back into the contest with an increasingly determined stand of 53 until Dave was stumped for a fighting 43(87 for 5). Ramesh followed soon after for a strong 35 and our chances were rapidly receding. Dan got a start but was soon on his way for 14 (112 for 8) and Nick was quickly sent back for 3 leaving us at the brink. A defiant partnership between Rob O and Brad got things moving again, but a bad run out claimed Brad for 11 with us still over 30 in arrears and the overs dwindling. There then followed some contentious moments as close appeals were turned down for LBW against me and a caught behind from Rob, accompanied by some posturing by the opposition.

Anyway, after receiving instructions from Rob to remain a positive I did what I do best and allowed my stumps to be sent somewhere in the direction of Abridge, so that was that. After the game, it was good to drink Rob O's jugged beer and proceed on for more beer and a decent curry at the Bipasha. A painful defeat given how winnable it was, but in the fielding, bowling of Rob and batting of Dave and Ramesh there were positives to be had.We still have the return match against South Loughton; there will be both points to gain and to prove in that one.


May 26, 2010

Salute the Magician - Nick shines again against STM

Vice Captain Rob Orange writes:

Ramesh, the debutant, keen to impress, was at the ground a full 75 minutes before the scheduled start, having phoned me for directions, so I trundled down to Chigs a little early myself arriving a minute or two ahead of our skipper.  The rest of our somewhat unusual team had assembled by one thirty.  Two other debuts were to be made:  Sarah, and Jonathan.  Three others including Sarah’s charming straw hat.  Or four including the much awaited long-sleeved tops and jumpers, which had abused the privilege of irony by arriving in 28 degree heat, following two games played in thermals. So lots of arrivals, but not that of the opposition – STM – who finally rolled up at somewhere considerably nearer three than two o’clock .

Rob negotiated a 40 over a side match, the best we could manage against a definite preference for a 30 or 35 over game by the STM skipper. STM won the toss and would bat first, so after a few more minutes delay whilst umpire coats and the Chigwell scorebook were unearthed Ramesh and Richard opened the attack.

Richard returned to the bowling form he had shown in the first two matches of the season and while Ramesh was suffering from edges that never went to hand, Rich was able to claim the first wicket; a juggled but well pouched effort from Nick in the gully.  Notwithstanding Richard’s strike the score was rattling on, and there was a seemingly ominous period where no wickets fell.  Please excuse any vagueness in the detailing of events in this innings as STM may not have an experienced scorer to hand and the book was in a bit of a state in terms of readable data by the time we got it back at the tea interval. 

Rob asked Richard to take a blow, replacing him with Nick – very much our ace up the sleeve this season.  After a couple of overs of bedding in he proceeded through the STM upper order, aided by good catching from Rob A, Adam and himself – another juggled effort.  During this spell I replaced the unlucky Ramesh at the “Bell” end and soon had his help in taking a wicket; a good catch at cow corner.  Rob A took a catch at slip for me too, but then I dropped a straight-forward return chance offered by the opposition skipper (who went on to score 50) and this drop seemed to infect the team to the extent that I soon after saw three consecutive chances go begging, a fate customarily reserved for Brad’s bowling.  Speaking of which Brad replaced Nick at the “plum” end but struggled to bowl the line dictated by his skipper.  At least he took a wicket with a stumping that was so obvious nobody appealed – until it suddenly dawned on us that the batsman might not actually go without this formality.

Ramesh came back for another luckless over, but Nick’s return brought about the end of the innings with two timely wickets, one bowled the other LBW.  Fine figures of 7.3 overs 5 wickets for 39 tell their own story, as indeed do Nick’s figures for the season; something like fifteen wickets at about eight runs apiece.  STM were all out for 207 (9 wickets as they only had 10 men – a problem with which we are well familiar)  a crucial 3.3 overs ahead of the 40 over mark.

The Old Chigs tea showed no signs of improvement and moves are now afoot to arrange something better.

Brad stepped up to the plate when asked to open the batting with the skipper and helped see the shine off a new ball in a sturdy partnership of 60 for the first wicket.  He left on 14, walking like a man when thinly edging behind.  Adam joined Rob and took this partnership took the score beyond 100 before Rob rather wastefully ran himself out for the second time in three games. Enter Jonathan Stephenson, friend of Sarah and all round good egg, for his first bat in about three years.   After a few early nerves he calmly accumulated runs, eventually falling on 31.  Adam had departed in the meantime for 45, having popped one back to the bowler.  The victory had looked secure at 174 for 3, but two wickets fell in rapid succession to give us a few jitters.  Nigel (who had replaced Sarah towards the end of the STM innings) had been one of those to go, but had at least registered his first runs of the season (6).  Sadly Ramesh holed out for a duck, but we know enough of him to be confident of many runs (and wickets) in the very near future.

Eventually Dan and Richard saw us home with 2 overs to spare in a short but commanding partnership.  A special mention should go to the redoubtable “extras”, who contributed 57 runs but as usual declined to buy a jug.  Nick however got to the bar in quick time (just as well as it was closed seconds later), but not quite quickly enough to see any of the opposition, who left with far more urgency than they had shown in arriving... ;-)

Captain Rob Allum adds; It was great to have Tim Hall playing and hopefully he'll make it for a few more this season too..  What with Ross and Tim both being available already this season could this mean we might get to see Graham out on the field soon?  R.x

May 17, 2010

No to Willingale ('s lack of ambition...but a good tea as usual;-)

Captain Rob Allum writes:

A potentially rainy afternoon was in prospect as we rocked up to Willingale's ground on 'The Street' yesterday. I had a plan to win the toss and bowl first, getting everyone on to bowl and then chase down whatever they managed to post. Reality struck as I lost the toss and Willingale skipper was very quick to say they would have a bowl.... hmmmm.

Plan B didn't start quite so well as Adam and Myself failed with the bat this week - both playing bad shots and we lost a succession of wickets for not many until Ross and Robbie O steadied the ship with a nice partnership, laying the foundation we needed to get up to some kind of competitive total.  Everyone else chipped in (including Roebyn who batted well and I think eventually was the not out batsman!) to get us up to 150 in the alloted 2.5hrs village rules format.  An excellent tea was enjoyed including a disc of 'cheese straw' - these would have gone well with a beer if there had been any left over after the match but hey ho!

Onwards to the next innings. Robbie O opened the bowling at the top end with Rich at the other. Rich having been literally walking sideways the night before was not in the best form and felt that he could contribute better in the field (which he duly did with full commitment and success.  Rob O adds: I’d like to add a mention of the catch that Richard took off Dan’s bowling, fielding at short mid off.  The ball was blasted directly at him by one of the few aggressive shots played all innings.  He managed a half turn before the ball was crashing into his abdomen, eliciting a strange noise somewhere between a grunt, a gasp and a squeal from our hero.  This was followed a split second later by the cry of “Yes!!!”  as he completed the turn and thrust the ball aloft in triumph.  The bruise already showing below his ribs had become a badge of honour.... ) and I took over at the bottom end to try to stem the flow of seamer based runs.  Rob bowled very tightly and I picked up wickets from my end but the Willingale boys were never particularly behind the rate or very far away from what was only a modest total to chase. However, after a rain break (just at the 20 overs to go mark) and with about 42 on the board with only 3 wickets down they just pulled down the shutters and shut up shop. At this point everyone had a go at bowing as we tried to tempt them to play shots and go for it with the field in etc...they lost a couple more wickets and the guys coming in at least wanted to try to hit the ball around a bit but it was too little too late for Willingale and for us  - so the game dwindled into a bit of a nothing draw..

Shame that it didn't get closer but at least we got a full game in amongst the rain (and I finally got Nige on to bowl for the first time in ages and he took 2 wickets!!).... see you for the next thrilling installment of CCC's cricketing adventures soon folks.

Beam me up Scotty!

Adam Peters Writes:

A long 'trek' was had by all the Chigwell faithful as we descended down the A23 towards to coast to yet again defend our honour!

Upon arrival, which was very premature for most as the journey was smooth... the Brad-Mobil head straight for the sea and some fish and chips! Returning to the ground the rest of the team had arrived and were 'warming up' used very loosely; although ironically a proper warm up would have been greatly approved by most as the warm journey in the car had not acclimatised us to the chilly south coast wind.

Ron lost the toss on a very green wicket but to our amazement was forced in to the field, much to the delight of the Chigwell Team. Confidence rippled through the team as after a low scoring encounter the previous year, the chance to bowl first on a slow, damp, green track had us licking our lips. Richard started us off from the Petrol Station End with some inconsistent and stiff bowling. No swing surprised us all and the pitch seemed to be okay. The latter thought was soon dismissed as Richie got one to literally crawl along the floor from a bowl pitched half way down and trapped the opener, Bailey, plumb in front (6-1). Rob A opened from the Sea End and although bowling well again failed to swing the ball and again the pitch seemed to have less demons in it than we all thought with some straight blows over the top proving to be main retaliation of the Beamers Batsmen. After some 'dodgy fielding' and a couple of chances going down Chigwell heads seemed to drop and as Rich continued to struggle, returning figures of 3-0-22-0 from his opening spell, Rob A turned to spin early trying to regain control of the game. Rob O struck early in his spell dismissing Smith for a lusty 19 (44-2) but the game was still moving at a great pace.

Rob A toiled away for a couple more overs but runs continued to flow from both ends and Chigwell were forced to deploy Nick 'Granddad' Allum, fully equipment with thermals from head to toe under his whites. Nick bowled well slowing the game down both in runs and pace but failed to take a wicket. Rob O was struggling for line and length at the other end and the Brighton Pitch looked better and better with every over. Rob O eventually struck for the second time forcing Beamers No.4, Hewitte, to drag on with the bowl again coming slow and low off the pitch (117-3). Beamers continued to accelerate despite losing wickets through the middle overs. Nick got in to the wickets with a Allum one two after Rigby skied one (143-4) and then a brilliant one handed, diving forward, caught and bowled from Nick dismissed Nicholls, firmly cementing the theory that Nick only fields well off his own bowling (162-5). Beamers again rallied though dispatching Rob to the fence again and Nick, losing his length also felt the pain of the continuing onslaught of Brighton's Opener who blasted his way to a fantastic century. It was only when Bradley Davis entered the fray that the Beamers centurion lost his cool. After chasing a couple of wide balls outside the off stump and eyeing up cow corner again and again, Brad got one spot on and a little outswinger was B Rigby's undoing as he ran passed the ball trying to use his feet and was stumped by Adam (186-6). Another partnership soon emerged as again Chigwell were unable to turn one wicket in to two, Brad was able to sneak another cheeky wicket towards the end as Chaffey went for one shot too many and again ran past the ball and was bowled off stump (242-7). When Rich and Rob both returned for the last overs of the innings, the extra pace on the ball only seemed to helped the bowl find the boundary and Beamers ended on an impressive 251-7 (43 overs).

Tea was not a joyfull occasion for our boys but discussions on our batting line up and strategy lifted the mood when we realised that anything they can do we can do better. Plus a draw would again leave the 'Mini Ashes' trophy in limbo between the city and the coast.

Francois and Rob A opened the Chigwell account playing some nice shots and both batsmen looked comfortable on a wicket that had looked to promise so much for the bowlers. Francois got a good delivery and was caught on the crease, bowled for just 1 leaving Chigwell 18-1 with just 3 overs gone. Adam came in at 3 and looked to rebuild with Rob. Again some clean stroke play and big hits got Chigwell moving again until Rob A took a quick single to extra cover and was run out by the fielding move of the year so far with a one handed pick up and throw, crunching the one visible stump leaving Rob in no mans land. A run 9 times out of ten but Rob's number was up leaving Chigwell to rebuild again from 29-2. Adam escaped a good LBW shout the next bowl as he received one that shot along the ground from short of a length. Aqeel came in at 4 and played some nice shots. Some talks of playing straight and in the V were had and seemed to work as Chigwell passed 50 and hit one of the Beamers openers out of the attack. Some sweetly timed shots from Aqeel were moving us along nicely but unfortunately a nothing shot left his stumps in pieces as Lowe claimed his 2nd wicket of the innings (58-3). Enter BOOM BOOM Richie. We all new that Richie had it in him and this pitch seemed to suit him perfectly as the pace allowed him to pick and choose were to send the ball flying with great ease. Dispatching his first ball for 4 of mid wicket, Richie even left the ball outside the off stump, showing great control and raced along to 54 in just 33 balls. Some helpful bowling on an already slow pitch allowed Adam to sneak a boundary and rotate the strike back to Rich who in turn blasted it all round the park until Rich got some of his own medicine and was bowled by the rolling ball (151-5). Adam passed 50 and looked good, striking the ball cleanly through the covers and down the ground with relative ease. Dan came and went for a run a ball 12 (165-6) and all hopes of Chigwell chasing the huge total were lessening as the 10 an over target began to grow. Owen came in and was told to swing for the tree line with Excalibur (Richie's Bat) but was unable to connect with the tree trunk wrapped in gaffer tape. The last couple of overs descended in to nothing as the field was brought in to force something to happen, perhaps 5-8 overs too late. Owen was eventually bowled by a good yorker from the returning Lowe and Adam swatted away a couple more deliveries to end on 82 not out off 94.

A draw perhaps... but a fighting display from the Chigwell faithful.

A special note to Owen for his excellent fielding and to Richie for his maiden Chigwell half century!


A brief discussion in the pub ended with a promise that the Beamers would enter in to the valleys of Chigwell in 2011 for a final battle for the urn. With some changes to the game format favouring a result instead of the bore draw which has consumed 4 of the 5 fixtures.

Willingale next boys.... To Victory!

May 09, 2010

Beamers post 251-6. Chigwell 49-2 after 45 minutes in reply

Beamers post 251-6. Chigwell 49-2 after 45 minutes in reply

May 02, 2010

Pub / Dinner

Btw-Richard will be in the Nightingale pub, Nightingale lane Wanstead from 2:30 today... A few more of us will join him and perhaps take a curry later too.. Stay in touch. Sorry about the rain!! R.x

Match vs Hadley Wood rained off

Soaking. Hadley Wood laughing all the way to the bank with their six points.


April 27, 2010

Eclectic tea the highlight

Chigwell vs Pacific at Wray Crescent, 25th April

In a game that had seen a relatively even contest during the home side's innings, Chigwell were, ultimately, well beaten by Pacific CC (see their match report) in what was still an enjoyable early season fixture against Rob Allum's `other lot' –
writes Frank Gough.

The day began with the unfortunate news that Charlie had joined Ahsan on the unavailable list for the match, which had the double impact of considerably weakening our batting and leaving us a man short for the match itself; Owen having managed to draft in the much appreciated services of his friend Clive in the absence of Ahsan, but Charlie's withdrawal coming too late for a replacement to be found. A touch of drizzle for the first time in several days lent these developments a portentous feel as we began our journey over to Hornsey.

Upon arrival, Rob Orange, skipper again in the absence of Rob Allum, lost the toss, but, having explained the brittle nature of our batting line up, requested that we be allowed to field first, a request to which the Pacific captain kindly agreed. We also shook hands on this being a timed match rather than fixed overs, although in this case I think that acquiescence rather than agreement on the part of the opposition might be a more appropriate way of putting it.

I opened the bowling at one end with Richard at the other. The combination of a lovely new cherry, a bit of moisture in the air and some decent bowling meant that life was tricky for the Pacific openers, with some prodigious swing and slightly variable bounce from the artificial pitch in evidence, eliciting a fair amount of playing and missing and the occasional edge that would not go to hand. After a couple of overs, the Pacific no.2 was beaten by some late in-swing and could only succeed in cannoning the ball into his stumps via an edge and his pad. I wore a large smile in the realisation that I had just equalled 50% of my 2009 haul of wickets in a somewhat shorter timescale. The no.3 was also dismissed quickly; chopping onto his stumps whilst attempting to cut a ball that was a shade too close to him for the shot.

At this stage, we were feeling in the ascendancy, although the sight of a purposeful looking 6'4" antipodean batsman striding to the crease did cause a certain degree of trepidation, quite rightly as it transpired. I was the first to suffer, one over disappearing for 17 with four consecutive boundaries being crashed to a variety of points on the field, with Rich then being clumped mercilessly for a four and a six. We then had a slice of luck; the six was so monstrous as to lose the ball, which had ceased to swing having absorbed the moisture from the outfield. The replacement, however, did swing; a fact that Rich exploited by bending one in to make an almighty mess of the brute's stumps to the relief of all concerned. A successful spell was rewarded with another wicket, lbw, as Rich profited from largely maintaining a full length; his final figures reading 9-0-47-2.

Enter Nick. Picking up from the previous week, he quickly settled into a rhythm; realising that the wicket was not offering much turn, Nick instead used flight and clever changes of pace to deceive the batsmen, with three of his eventual five victims either being bowled or stumped to full deliveries that caught them at the crease. The one exception was an excellent off-break that climbed and turned on its way through to Russell, who took a very good catch behind the stumps off the edge to claim the scalp of Pacific's no.6. Rob settled on keeping Nick on for a marathon spell, eventually returning the impressive figures of 16.2-1-46-5. At the other end, Rob took over from Rich, bowling tidily and picking up one wicket (8-1-21-1) before deferring to Dan and Brad for short spell prior to Nick closing the innings with a lower order heave finding the hands of Rich at mid off. In truth, Pacific had scored more than we would have liked, with 222 their final score as the game entered a slightly subdued phase, but c'est la vie.

After an eclectic tea – I cannot think of another way of describing a mix of frozen sandwiches, pimento stuffed olives, guacamole, onion rings, Milky Way bars and Jaffa cakes – we set out to chase down the total, with Dan and a psyched up (and, even by his standards, spectacularly hairy) Owen entering the fray. It was at this point that events went on the slide as Pacific turned the screw with an extremely disciplined bowling performance from their seamers. After a couple of pleasing leg side shots, Dan was the first to perish, lbw for 11. Rich then sauntered out for one his more outrageous displays, mixing attack with… well, attack. Nicks, edges, you name it; it was all happening, just not for very long, as everyone's favourite Lancastrian had his stumps splattered for 21. Nigel was the next to go, the victim of a full length inswinger that caught him on the crease for 0, with giving him out lbw or cheating horribly being the only options available to yours truly. Owen had, up till this point, being batting sensibly and began to free his arms with a 2 and a boundary being scored through backward point as he began to exert some authority. Sadly, he then tried to be a little too expansive and joined his long haired brethren back in the hutch for 13, his stumps cartwheeling merrily. Russell went quickly after, leaving the scoreboard showing a distinctly unhealthy 46 for 5.

Rob and Nick then joined forces, first stopping the rot and then suggesting the start of a rebuilding operation before Rob, trying to be positive, edged behind for 6. Clive did not last long against a spirited attack, which then brought Brad to the crease, striding out from the pavilion with belligerence and with his hair bouncing under his cap, neatly positioned on top. He was clearly in the mood to save the game as we entered the final twenty overs and, as darkness closed in, the number of overs dwindled and he and Nick looked increasingly confident, it began to look a real possibility. Sadly Nick, not wanting to stodge a drawer in a game that had been played in a good spirit up until that point, then missed a straight one and was comprehensively castled for a fighting 33. I came out as last man and could only last two balls before bowing to inevitability and an offcutter that was simply too good for me.

So, a loss, but a good workout before HWG come to Chigwell in the league next Sunday where we will be looking to start that season in positive fashion. It was just good to get back out there.

Full scorecard 

Allum of the Match: Nick, by default.

April 25, 2010

Tense atmosphere...

Tense atmosphere...