Bugle week 11 – 16 July

Pete the Southgate CC platypus checks the front pitch on Saturday to see if play is possible. It wasn't

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Saturday’s matches all wiped out by the weather, but for the record here are the fixtures

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1s

Hornsey v Southgate

match abandoned

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2s

Southgate v Ickenham

match abandoned

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3s

Southgate v Winchmore Hill

match abandoned

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4s

Winchmore Hill v Southgate

match abandoned

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Bugle week 10 – 9 July

Victory for the first team; defeats for everyone else. Here’s how (some) of it happened

1s

Southgate v Highgate

Southgate won by 2 wickets

Highgate 189 all out (52.1 overs)

Southgate 191-8 (46.4)

Faisal 57

Crease 47

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2s

Highgate v Southgate

Highgate won by 36 runs

Highgate 210-9 (55)

Ali 5-65

Southgate 176 all out (43)

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the 3s batting collapsed like a big collapsing thing - not just once but twice

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3s

Ickenham v Southgate

Ickenham won by 130 runs

Ickenham 254-5 dec (49)

Southgate 124 all out (44.2)

A half of two halves is the best way to describe the first half of the 3rd XI’s season. Discounting a fluke loss against seemingly poor Ickenham in the league opener, the first five games were positively played, yielded encouraging results and catapulted the side to second place. The next four represented a complete turn of fortunes and only two points – due, on two occasions, to the team’s inability to score runs, and the other two times because of a failure to dodge the rain.

There were three factors that made a reversal of such fortunes unlikely in the return leg at Ickenham. One: in the two months since our first encounter, “seemingly poor” Ickenham had managed to progress undefeated to a 23-point lead at the top of the table. Two: we had only ten players, thanks to three last minute cry-offs and a failure to locate Delmore’s house “somewhere in Bounds Green” en route to the game. And three: of the ten that did eventually arrive, only six had previously played a 3rd XI fixture.

Ickenham started well, reaching 70-0 fairly quickly. The extra gap in the field was very noticeable and it took a controlled spell from Julius Thomson to peg back the run rate and take the first wicket. At the other end, Syed Hussain bowled ten good overs, but it was the introduction of Nadeem just before drinks that helped us regain some control. The score progressed to about 140-4, but – despite offering a couple of chances – Ickenham’s opening biffer was still at the crease and scoring with ease. Striking a partnership with the confident number six, the opener brought his individual score to triple figures, and the team’s past two hundred, slightly before the 40th over. Ickenham eventually declared at the end of the forty-ninth on 254-5. Nadeem had bowled the opener for 114 – his third scalp – whilst Roy Marett, Hussain and Thompson were all unlucky not to take more wickets.

Our innings began and ended with dismal batting collapses. We should, of course, receive some credit for the display; constructing a collapse once in a match is a challenge, yet to successfully pull it off twice and with the level of severity that we achieved… Really, it’s no small task, and we have all worked very hard over the past few games to perfect such a talent.

After seven overs we were 25-4 with Gordon, Thompson, Sharma and Bishop-Laggett all out. Doug was unlucky to be adjudged lbw in the opening over when the only appeal, a half-hearted one at that, came from backward point. The other three were tame dismissals, all caught. Roy joined me – yet to face a ball – in the middle, and we decided to take it one over at a time and reassess at drinks. This we did, reaching the 25th over on 70-4 – 26 more to go. A short while later, both Roy (19) and I (25) departed fairly quickly, leaving the remaining four batsmen about 15 overs to survive. Enter stunning collapse number two. Syed Hussain smashed a couple of big hits to the boundary, before smashing another big hit straight back to the bowler, whilst Rohan and Ford both fell cheaply as well. Nadeem, in the dizzying position of number ten, was able to claim another not out, and bounced off the pitch with a gleeful smile, posing for his Facebook profile picture and requesting a promotion up the order for Winchmore Hill next week. Ickenham had won by 132 runs, with eight overs to spare.

Overall, a committed effort in the field and a dismal display with the bat resulted in another loss for the struggling 3rd XI. Can we win next week, please? Paul Lassman

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Lack of cake sees 4s plunge to defeat

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4s

Highgate v Southgate

Highgate won by 9 wickets

Southgate 120 all out

Highgate 121 for 1

Win toss, stuff oppo in, bowl ‘em out, knock off the runs, 10 points, get home early. The perfect outcome for a Saturday afternoon league match – especially if you happen to be the Highgate IV’s skipper.

However, that achievement was brought about by a lot of background work, beginning with having to hire a ground as the Fours were unable to play at Southgate because of the intervention of the Middlesex T/20 with Somerset the next day. The day had started with a cry-off at 8.30, replaced by 10.30, losing a player by 11.30 due to a 2nd XI cry-off, and reliance on Delmore arriving at the club in time for the meet. No sign of the Jamaican star, so we fielded ten, which included Alfie Packer’s dad Myles who also transported most of the team and kit to Barnet Football Club in his London cab. Charging him and his son match fees has been on my conscience ever since.

We endeavoured to bat on a very grassy pitch that surprised batsmen with its inconsistent and unexpected bounce. Ricky and Josh negotiated the early overs without undue hassle before Josh played early to a straight one for 20 and his partner touched one behind that had bounced, for 25. Marcello De Crescenzo entertained both sides with a breezy 13 and Alfie Packer showed tenacity but was left adrift with an unbeaten 23 as the short tail sadly subsided very quickly and we could only muster 120.

Although the sandwiches were at least fresh they were very few in number and there were no cakes. This cost £110 of which we could legally reclaim only £40 from the oppo. However, Barnet Football club have some reasonable facilities – the changing rooms are roomy enough, there is a marvellous set of long nets at the bottom of the field – and the bar was open from teatime onwards.

Highgate only required 22.2 overs to knock off the required target, largely thanks to Prasanth (probably one of the three people in his side the Highgate captain confessed he hadn’t seen before) who scored 58 out of 73 before being casually caught by Syed Sultani above his head at long-off. The fielding was at least competitive, with Mark Hughes again outstanding, and Josh, Arvind, Marcello and Alfie all bowled with enthusiasm, but there were too many “4 balls” and it was difficult to stem the flow of runs.  Better availability further up the club will push a few batsmen and bowlers our way – and maybe an eleventh fielder. Ricky Gunn

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T20 raffle report

The day by numbers

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£3,000 – the total raised

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£1,500 – SCC and Breakthrough Breast Cancer each receive £1,500

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£1,000 worth of tickets sold in advance; £2,000 on the day

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4,579 – the number of folding plastic chairs placed around the ground by the following highly-paid experts: Ricky Gunn, Partha Dave, Paul Lassman, Tom Yeomans, Adrian Carr, Ron Hewit and Doug Gordon (although the order in no way reflects the number of chairs wrangled by each person) with assistance from Chris Sexton.

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1 – Project Manager in the style of The Apprentice. Doug Gordon put his reputation on the line to lead the sales team on a push to sell all the raffle tickets.

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Pink – the colour of T-shirts worn by the sales team of Adrian Carr, Paul Lassman, Partha Dave, Vikas Katyal, Tom Yeomans plus two of Tom’s friends who I’m reliably informed brought a touch of glamour to proceedings, so I’m guessing they were women rather than members of SCC players squad. Masterminded by PM Gordon they did a magnificent job of badgering people to put their hands in their pockets and buy tickets.

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The game – by all accounts the T20 game rather spoiled the sales effort as spectators were more keen on watching the game than buying raffle tickets. Then Rob Johnson arrived at the ground (fresh from masterminding England’s ODI win at Old Trafford) bearing the prizes which he then led on a ceremonial circuit of the ground like holy relics and, lo, the punters had their gaze torn from the sight of Banger Trescothik making about 8 runs and instead bought mighty amounts of raffle tickets.

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The climax – with minutes to go before the draw, the sales team were in a frenzy, screaming for more tickets from PM Gordon and eventually selling the last remaining tickets just before the deadline.

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The Pinky Challenge – only Paul Lassman was man enough to take on the Middlesex mascot in a fun but demanding relay race cum cricket skills contest. Pinky won. Hard luck Paul.

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Scent of a man – one of the prizes was Eoin Morgan’s one-day shirt, which he wore in the England v Sri Lanka match at Old Trafford the previous day, signed by Morgan and, crucially, unwashed. The winner of the prize was happy to confirm that the shirt would remain unwashed, which will make for an interesting edition of Antiques Roadshow in 50 years time…

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The game – it was a tie. And the Criconfo correspondent provoked a storm of protest by branding the pitch as “sluggish”. He or she obviously needs a new guide dog.

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Millions and millions – of thanks to everyone who made the day such a success, even if all you did was to sit on your arse drinking lager.

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T20 Raffle Successful

Southgate CC organised a raffle to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and SCC at the recent Middlesex v Somerset Twenty20. It was very successful, as all the tickets were sold. The winners were:

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1st prize – 1350 – Framed bat signed by the England Test team v Bangladesh

2nd prize – 1752 – Kevin Pietersen signed Test shirt

3rd prize – 1565 – Eoin Morgan signed ODI shirt

4th prize – 0584 – John Lewis vouchers

5th prize – 1909 – Gin & Tonic

6th prize – 1355 – A bottle of champagne

7th prize – 0084 – A scooter

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All the prizes have been claimed. Thanks to everyone who supported this fund raising event.

Bugle week 9 – 2 July

A bad day at the office for the Trees with three defeats and a draw

Here’s how some of it happened.

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1s

Enfield v Southgate

Enfield won by 20 runs

Enfield 189 for 7

Southgate 169 all out

report to come.

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Good, bad and ugly ruins the second XI's day

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2s

Kenton v Southgate

Kenton won by 10 runs

Kenton 152 all out (35 overs)

Southgate 142 all out (38)

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It has been a season of frustration so far for the second XI, and no game provides a more precise summary of our summer than Saturday’s visit to Kenton.  Our many strengths and our telling frailties were both on show and we find ourselves in a gunfight to avoid relegation for a second successive season.

Let’s start with the good, much as the game did on Saturday.  On a pitch with a distinctly greenish top and the sun threatening to break through, it was decided that we should make the best of the conditions and bowl.  The decision was vindicated immediately, and with both openers looking threatening, we reduced the top of a Kenton batting order of “mixed” ability to rubble.  At that stage it looked as though we’d be chasing something around 60 or 70 before returning to Southgate to watch the second half of the first team game.

Next; the bad.  Despite disciplined bowling, a succession of dropped catches (some difficult chances, some less so) allowed Kenton’s middle and late order to hit their way to 152.  The score still looked well below par, but we had allowed KCC to grab crucial momentum.  What followed was ugly.

Chasing low totals can be a tricky business, but with 63 overs in the bank, we had the luxury of being able to bat at our own pace.  Having reached 40 for the loss of just two wickets, this evenly-balanced match was tipped (just slightly) in our favour.  But, despite a fairly toothless Kenton attack, we found ways to lose wickets at regular intervals.

It was a dramatic finish.  With just 10 runs needed, and two wickets in hand, Matt Thornton was run out by a direct hit virtually from the boundary.  The final wicket followed a ball later and it was done.  A tense dressing room was the scene of a brief discussion on the underlying reasons for our failure to close out a game we all knew we should have won.  There is one thing we all agree on.  We must turn promising performances into wins, and sooner rather than later. Vikas Katya

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The Edmonton pitch (probably)

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3s

Edmonton v Southgate

Edmonton won by five wickets

Southgate 118 all out

Edmonton 119 for 5

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After last week’s debacle at home with a soggy pitch, the third-placed third XI were eager to get a show down the road to hosts and local rivals Edmonton. Partha and Nadeem arrived early to have a net, along with Sage to inspect the green but hard pitch.

A couple of dropouts in the second team meant that two batsmen went up and were replaced by two youngsters from the fourth XI. With 10 minutes to go before the start we were missing five players, who told us they were lost (come on, chaps it’s only down the road!). Much of the pre-match preparation involved talking about a rather rotund chap, who Sage mentioned must surely be playing against us (we have a chance!) Alas, it later transpired that he was a first XI player, of which an explanation will come later.

Eventually the rest of the players arrived with no thanks to Paul’s dodgy sat-nav on his Blackberry. As usual, Sage lost the toss. The game plan – you guessed it – bat first and we will knock them out, which has been our game plan with some degree of success this year. Due to the miniscule size of the ground a score of 250 would have been half, and then our bowling attack will do the rest!

Mike and Partha duly opened, and the first ball was dispatched for 4 by Mike. Dear lord, you might mutter. (For those who have been following our recent batting exploits, we usually score that many in about 10 overs.) With runs off the first ball, Dan muttered, this is going to be an easy game. Mike got bowled out in the following over, followed by Partha. A mini collapse followed with the score on 34-5. Paul Lassman (15) and Dan Pyzer-Knapp steadied the ship to get the score on 73 before the latter got bowled out. The Excellent Bangladeshi left-armer for Edmonton accounted for Paul and the rest of the team with an amazing masterclass in left-arm seam. Roy and RBL (25) got the score to 100. RBL later said that the left-armer had bowled two of the best balls he had ever seen. Some late-order hitting from Roy and Nadeem got the score to 118 before Roy fell to an amazing diving catch by a really old guy in the slips.

Nadeem (11 not out) hit his first ever six with an extraordinary shot similar to a Rafa Nadal serve. Andy Murray take note. An opposition player said it was the best six he had ever seen!

Bowling wise, defending a small score was always going to be difficult, and our plan was to have them at around 25 for 3. Early breakthrough from Sage and Roy meant that our plan was going well. However, one of their players, who got dropped from their second team, hit a few boundaries. At around 80 for 5 it looked like Southgate was still in with a chance. Sage again the pick of the bowlers with 4-60

The Edmonton equivalent of Delmore (along with the great man himself) turned up and instead of saying ‘Push im for two’ shouted to a batsmen who played and missed ‘Don’t come back here again if you play that shot again’ in a thick West Indian accent.

Some swift hitting from the left arm bowler (how he ever plays for the fourth team is beyond a mystery) meant that the game was over, however young Julias should be praised for control for such a young age. The Edmonton skipper tried to poach him after the game, however Sage counteracted with ‘we offer cheaper subs’. Clearly Apprentice material there – Alan Sugar would have been proud!

As for the mystery of the fat bloke who plays for the ones, after the game, an Edmonton member told me that he can’t bat, bowl or field, but he has the mind of a tactician who can suss anyone out. We watched the game afterwards and his team lost from a winning position.

On a serious note, we cannot rock up to games and score under 200 when the rest of the league can score in excess of that. We are more than capable of taking all ten wickets under that score as we have a strong bowling attack. We have batsmen who are talented and more than capable, and more application is needed. The defeat puts us sixth with the promotion race wide open! Rock on the second half of the season and promotion! Nadem Mazhar

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The Walker School fete was a great success, the barbecue in particular providing a steady supply of beautifully cooked meats

4s

Southagte v Edmonton

match drawn

Southgate 234 for 7 (46 overs)

Shiv-Raj 97

Dowsett 62

Hewit 2*

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Edmonton 232 for 7 (46 overs)

Habberley 3 for 56

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Saturday mid-morning. The back ground is rocking to the hits of Elvis, Madonna and James Brown; the air resonates with the shouts and laughter of happy children (plus the occasional hacking cough as the cloying smoke from various charred meat products catches on the back of a tender young throat). It can mean only one thing: it’s the day of the Walker School annual fair.

Now, as students of the game will know, in previous seasons that heady combination of music and incinerated mechanically recovered meat does something to Ricky Gunn and he usually gets a few runs – 108 last year and 150 the year before, if memory serves. So with the omens good, hopes were high that the ailing 4s could notch a second successive win.

That optimism didn’t last long. At 12.30pm we had just nine players; then Lord Straightbreak phoned in sick and we were down to eight. That the game went the distance and we got four points at the end of it was down to a great team effort by all. But particular thanks must go to Brian Ellis, recruited in the bar by stand-in skipper Gunn, and to Vernon Dias, who agreed to play at short notice, and to his loins, which contributed two sons, Matt and Will, to give us 11 players.

We lost the toss and were inserted, and by the end of the second over we were one down. With Hewit elevated to number 8 in the batting line-up, things were already looking shaky. The ship was then steadied by Gunn and Mel Dowsett, before the latter had to retire hurt after losing a contact lens (insert own jokes here please). That brought 15-year-old Shiv-Raj Sharma to the crease and he simply bludgeoned the Edmonton bowling all over the park to the tune of 97 runs (hitting 15 4s and a 6) before losing his off stump with his second ton of the season there for the taking. It was a fantastic innings and, with Dowsett (who opted to return to the fray with one contact lens in place and one in his pocket and scored 62 – again, insert your own jokes right here), he compiled a stand of 93 in 15 overs that turned the game. Vernon Dias clumped a few boundaries off the final couple of overs, and Hewit was poised ominously on 2 not out and ready to tear the bowling to shreds. However Gunn clearly thought their bowlers had suffered enough and pulled the plug, declaring our innings closed at 234 for seven.

Luncheon was delicious: chicken kebabs, chips, salad, a selection of fruit plus assorted biscuits and, I think, a chocolate Swiss roll. An eyebrow or two was raised when one of the Edmonton team helped himself to a second kebab, but we didn’t make too much of it at the time. In hindsight, it was a taste of things to come…

We opened up with the poor man’s Lillee and Thomson – Habberley operating with the meaty breeze at his back from the Elvis end, with Hewit from the Shiny New Sightscreen end. The kebab rustler provided some amusement/bemusement by spending more time walking towards the square leg umpire and “focusing” than he did at the crease, but as he didn’t actually hit it off the square that often, it didn’t seem to be doing much good. Then a bit of banter went astray, he got stroppy and gobby and a war of words broke out. Alex got his wicket in the end, but that wasn’t to be the last we saw or heard of him. He was even worse at umpiring than he was at batting…

We should have won at a canter but dropped catches cost us in the end. All lbw appeals were turned down, a stumping wasn’t given and a run-out was declined; wides were called for balls that had shaved the stumps and the kebab man also no-balled Alex for throwing. Truly this game had everything.

With 10 overs to go it was still anyone’s game, so Gunn called for the Hewit and Habberley axis to keep the runs down and, if possible, win the game by rearranging the stumps and bails enough to convince the umpires that a wicket had been taken. With one over to go the first part of the plan was working – they needed 18 from it to win, but then Hewit helped to keep things interesting by bowling like a girl and offering up a couple of slow full tosses. Six needed off the last ball to tie the match. The batsman swung, the ball soared towards midwicket and landed an inch inside the boundary. The match was drawn, we had four points, and crucially the moral victory was ours.

Both teams then skipped off to the bar and laughed and joked for, oh, about a second.

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Can somebody please volunteer to take on Pinky the Middlesex mascot in a nice little race during Sunday’s game. This is getting embarrassing.

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