Jim Conroy Trophy 2011

With the league season completed, the 2nd edition of the Jim Conroy Trophy 40 over competition has been underway, with Southgate pitted against 3 local sides.

Game 1 was away to Edmonton and having lost the toss the Southgate XI were inserted on a slow surface. With the loss of early wickets a good fight back from Phil Dunnett (31) and Oliver Rix (38*) combined with some lusty hitting from first Paddy Robinson and then Omair Ali allowed SCC to post a competitive total of 182/7.

With the new ball Tom Yeomans showed excellent control delivering 8 overs unchanged to collect 4 wickets for 19 runs. Tom was replaced by the impressive Sam Faruqi (3-24) who showed equal control of line, length and spin and in partnership with some crafty off spin from Alvin Durgacharan (2-15). Southgate were eventual winners by a comfortable margin of 77 runs.

This was a good performance in the field with the undoubted highlight a screamer of a catch on the deep square leg boundary from Omair Ali. With a ball travelling at some pace it looked a certain six and as such would have been a pretty steady snaffle with two hands, but Oms instead opted to grab it with just the one paw and in it went with a resounding slap. Well done to all, a very encouraging performance.

After the very positive start in game 1, a slightly weaker Southgate XI eventually took the field on Sunday against Cockfosters. On an uncovered wicket (not in tribute to Jim) Southgate failed to show the necessary application that the situation required and in the face of some good bowling a total of 117 all out in the last over was about 50 runs short.

With the ball Southgate took a couple of wickets but a good partnership meant that Southgate were losers by 8 wickets and deservedly so.

Game 3 was away from home to a very strong Holtwhites Trinity side containing Southgate old boy Ahmed Elech amongst a few other very good cricketers. The Southgate XI contained 7 lads under 20 which meant an uphill task but a good challenge nonetheless.

After a delayed start because of a downpour Southgate won the toss and opted to field. Mir and Ali took the new ball and faced something of an onslaught with the ball disappearing to all parts at 8 an over. There was however something in it for the bowlers and a wicket for Mir brought the dangerous Elech to the crease. Some sumptuous strokeplay followed but the introduction of Faruqi proved his undoing with youngster Marchello DeCrecenzo showing he’s got a good pair of hands in the outfield by taking a good catch on the extra cover fence.

On a fast scoring ground the best way to restrict the scoring was by taking wickets and after a spell of leg spin from both ends it was time for something different with the medium pace of Josh Berman and Greg Bonsor. There followed an excellent period of play for Southgate with the key factor being Phil Dunnett’s excellent wicket keeping.

Standing up to both medium pacers and with plenty to take down the legside from Berman, Phil’s glove work was absolutely top class and allowed for a 10 over period of relative pressure which wrestled back the momentum.

Wickets did fall with 2 to Berman and 3 to Bonsor and despite some fireworks at the death a score of 252 was much better than could have been the case after the first 10 went for 80.

Opening the batting was the exciting partnership of Tom Edrich and Phil Dunnett, both looked in good touch from the beginning with Dunnett in particular timing the ball majestically through the covers and memorably down the ground.

Dunnett was adjudged LBW for a brisk 20 and replaced by Rob Johnson who showed positive intent from ball one.

There followed an excellent partnership of 122 between Johnson (70) and Edrich (49) combining quick singles with some aggressive intent, especially against the Holtwhites spinners. One delivery sailed into the houses as Johnson took the attack to the bowlers however his dismissal was followed by that of Edrich and the momentum of the game had changed again. Cameos from Mir and Ali kept Southgate in the hunt with just over six an over required however their wickets exposed the youthful lower order and a collapse duly followed.

Seeing these sorts of run chases home it one of the toughest parts of cricket and with a strong bowling attack and diminishing light it was an opportunity for someone to make a name for themselves. That however wasn’t to be and Southgate fell 40 short, which on reflection could have been recouped by better bowling at the death, one senior batsman batting for another 3 overs or fewer extras (33!).

That said it’s hugely encouraging to see some of Southgate’s youngsters playing competitive 1st team level cricket with some of the senior players and I hope lessons were learned by all on the day, that alone would be a fitting legacy for this competition.

The final will be played at the Walker Ground on Saturday 24th September, wickets pitched at 12:30.

Shock news – match report floods in

Friendly fixture, 10 September

Southgate 2nd XI 191-6 dec (43.2 overs)

North Weald 82-9 (39 overs)

match drawn

The 2nd XI entertained North Weald on Saturday – and a nicer bunch of blokes you couldn’t wish to meet. I am now beginning to understand why, when we have been beaten hollow in a Sunday friendly, the oppo have never socially exploited our deficiencies but inexplicably looked forward to wanting to play us again. North Weald didn’t in fact lose, although they would be the first to admit that they were the further of the two from winning and were not a strong side on the day. However, their enthusiasm and commitment were 100+%.

We were only expecting to field ten but Alfie Packer’s no-show brought us to nine. Happily, Delmore had brought a friend who turned out to be quite an asset so the status quo was resumed. A commanding innings from Partha Dave, some accurate bowling from our newcomer Peter David, two electric slip catches (plus one in the folds of a sweater) and a mesmerising spell from Delmore were the highlights of this late-arranged home fixture.

Southgate batted first on a damp pitch, the same one as the previous evening’s charity match and no doubt for the Church Times Final on Thursday. George Thorpe, tall and hairy, found his deliveries either bouncing startlingly or shooting past the batsman and felt quite at home on this village wicket. The openers, Middlesex Seniors maestro Gunn and his young apprentice Mark Hughes, found scoring difficult, and with both used to better conditions, managed to attract leading edges into catchable zones. The stage was set for Partha to unfold an innings of tempered aggression and with Anton Devkamalth (41) added 74 for the 3rd wicket. Anton was adjudged not out from a very good LBW shout but was sporting enough to get bowled two balls later – which at least kept the umpire on good terms with bowler Monk. Anton shortly found himself hurtled back on to the field in the role of umpire and without a thought to his previous good fortune confidently adjudged the Hon Sec LBW. The fact that this was without bowing to the customary protocol of waiting for an appeal was something that Doug Gordon took stoically, without question, recrimination, or … well, not really. In fact a disturbingly searching interrogation of the budding Shakoor Rana was conducted in the run-up to tea. Moving quickly back to the action, it being intimated to Partha that (a) he was on 96 and (b) the declaration over was about to start, he attempted a four that was only going to be two except that Mike Lurie, after a bright 15, was run out in the process. Still needing three off five balls, poor Partha was lured into a rash heave to a widish delivery from which he was peremptorily stumped.

The tea interval provided Partha with some valuable minutes to recompose himself from the disappointment of just missing a well-deserved ton. Friday’s pavilion electrical fire brought the added novelty of sandwiches back to the tea table and, together with some pasta and paella Sue had managed to concoct, the tea was varied and plentiful (including a salver of sliced cake, Sage).

We opened our bowling with Ford Roy and Peter David. Ford bowled better than your reporter can remember seeing him and was rewarded with an athletic slip catch by Doug Gordon diving high to his left. Peter’s prodigious in-swing posed a real threat to the oppo, as clearly manifested in his figures of 3-18 in 12 overs, one of which was a rapid low catch to Alan Rolt at slip. Rolty also featured in Delmore’s grand plan with a slip catch which seemed to get swallowed up in a sweater that has become inexorably more voluminous with the passing years. Del then induced an edge to the ‘keeper and followed up by removing an off-stump to complete his haul of 3-21 in 6 overs. Doug, too, elicited a catch behind and it was refreshing to see, after a season of unsatisfactory low-grade league cricket, both batsmen walking without a moment’s hesitation. We missed what could only be regarded as a simple catch in the latter overs that would, in the end, have ensured victory. Mr Thorpe, however, tall and powerful looking as he was, nevertheless declined to be tempted into anything more ambitious than a forward defensive prod for the closing overs, thus playing a major part in Rolty’s figures of 1-2 in 4. George lost two partners but we couldn’t dislodge the third so on a final score of 82 for 9 we retired to darkened changing rooms and the prospect of cold showers. These in fact started warm but the luxury was short-lived; when you’re dealing with the match fees and complaining that the book hasn’t been copied up properly you tend to be last in the shower – except for skipper Rolt, of course, who customarily emerged about an hour later, refreshed and very clean. Ricky Gunn

Champions!

A magnificent all-round performance from Chathuranga Kumara guided Southgate 1st XI to a 2 wicket win against Enfield, confirming top spot in Middlesex Div 2.

This final league fixture was played in glorious conditions and on the best facilities in Middlesex Div 2 this summer had considerable implications with Enfield requiring a win to stave off relegation and Southgate in search of 4 points to take the Div 2 Championship.

Having won the toss Southgate Skipper Rob Johnson elected to field, a decision he may have regretted after Enfield posted a highly competitive 249-4 in 50 overs with Jack Plumb posting a gutsy unbeaten hundred.

The Southgate bowlers had worked hard with the consistent Matt Creese keeping it tight from one end for the majority of the innings. The fielding was excellent, especially from Kumara, Creese and wicket keeper Phil Dunnett.

In reply Southgate got off to a good start with Jamie Jouning playing positively to put on a 50 partnership for the first wicket with Alvin Durgacharan. As was the case in the 1st innings, spin was introduced early and Nick Jackson’s off spin accounted for Jouning caught at point. Tom Allan back in the side at number three was out for a 2nd ball duck but a well constructed Matt Creese innings kept Southgate in the hunt.

Alvin Durgacharan was out with 20 overs to go and replaced by Faisal Mir who provided good impetus and support to Creese, with the equation of 100 to win from 15 overs it was a tall order but not out of reach. Creese along with first Mir and then Chathuranga Kumara played exceptionally well against some very canny bowling but fell stumped to the impressive Jackson.

The stage was now set for 19 year old Kumara to show what a talented and intelligent batsman he is with a quite stunning display of batsmanship.

With valuable support from Johnson, Yeomans and latterly Phil Dunnett, Kumara expertly guided his team within striking distance of a remarkable chase. With twenty runs required off the final 2 overs seamer Kumara hit Blair’s first ball for a boundary with an audacious ‘Dilscoop’ putting the pressure firmly on the Enfield bowlers and fielders. Dunnett was not to be left out and coming in at number 9 looked every inch an accomplished batsman with some sweetly timed shots finding the gaps in this most pressurised of situations.

With half a dozen needed in the final over Dunnett showed no sign of fear and a well struck sweep for 4 brought the travelling Southgate support to their feet. A single allowed Kumara to take strike and finish the chase and so he did finishing 56 not out amid emotional scenes and generous applause from both sides and all in attendance.

Captain Rob Johnson said: “I’m incredibly proud, it was a fitting finale to a memorable summer, Chathuranga Kumara played magnificently well and I was delighted to see two talented young cricketers see us home to a great win. Commiserations to Enfield who played their part in making this a tremendous game of cricket”.

There is still some cricket to be played with the Jim Conroy Trophy to be contested in the next couple of weeks, the 1st XI with the challenge of Premier Division Cricket in prospect next summer can reflect on a successful summer in which they maintained 1st place in the table throughout.

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For the record, the score

Enfield 249-4 dec (43.1 overs)

Southgate 253-7 (49.4)

Kumara 56*

Creese 52

Southgate won by 3 wickets

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Meanwhile…

Defeat by Kenton sees the second XI relegated

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Southgate v Kenton

Kenton won by 1 wicket

Southgate 214-6 dec (50 overs)

Joseph 92*

Kenton 215-9 (47 overs)

Ali 5-60

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3s end the season with a draw

Southgate v Edmonton

Match drawn

Southgate 245 all out (52 overs)

Devkamalth 52

Edmonton 179-9 (42 overs)

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On a glorious early September Saturday afternoon, Southgate and Edmonton locked horns in this greatly anticipated clash of the mid-table titans. Despite the fact that both outfits were merely playing for pride and local bragging rights, skipper Lassman was determined to put one over on the local rivals.

From ball one the banter was flowing from left, right and centre. Completely unfazed by all the gas coming from the Edmontonians, Hughesy ploughed his way to a neat 26, playing some delicate leg glances against a somewhat lacklustre Edmonton bowling attack. Batting for tomorrow, Temple was not so fluent in his stroke play, however shortly found his touch playing some exquisite cuts; taking the word late to whole new levels on his way to a defiant 15. Karim and Anton came to the crease with the whole weight of Southgate CC on their shoulders.

Building on the platform that the openers had provided, Karim played aggressively, making no mistakes in despatching some quite frankly wild bowling before departing for 16. Meanwhile at the other end, Anton showed no evidence of the copious amounts of red wine he had allegedly consumed the previous evening, caressing anything in the hitting zone to all corners of the ground. Unfortunately, Anton’s classy knock of 60 was short lived after a minor hamstring tweak. In a similar fashion Mike demonstrated some fine aggressive stroke play on his way to 30.

Despite the Southgate onslaught, the chirpy Edmonton fielders showed no signs of abstaining from the verbal abuse, in this highly coveted North London derby. However when big hitting Greg came to the crease to rub salt into the already sincerely painful Edmonton wounds, the extreme banter began to die down. Rattling our way up the much desired 200 mark, pinch hitting Berman came to the crease. Before being utterly bamboozled by a well disguised slower ball, Berman departed for a belligerent 20. Greg continued to dominate the limp Edmonton bowling attack carting all pies to the rope effortlessly. Fortunately for the Edmonton bowlers and Greg’s cholesterol the pie shop closed when skipper Lassman made a bold declaration at the 51 over mark with a very healthy score on the board.

Fuelled on Skippy’s mushroom risotto and the scent of victory the 10 men of Southgate (thanks Julius) took to the field. With cheers and jeers coming from the 4th xi players who had had time to  return to the ground, Berman steamed in from the Walker school end. The raw pace proved to be too much to handle for batsman no 1 as Hughes snaffled a fine catch in the slips. From the other end Greg bowled very tidily and proved hard to get away. The pressure mounted as the run rate began to escalate. The first major point of controversy occurred as Habbs began his spell. Under the pressure from the restless 4th xi Edmonton players who had gathered round, the umpire melted into no balling everyone one of Alex’s deliveries. After some persuasive bull-shit from the Edmonton faithful, Habbs had to finish his spell picking up the solitary wicket.

This infuriated the mouthy Edmonton 3rd xi rejects. Wickets continued to tumble at frequent intervals with a fine display of line and length bowling from Karim. Furthermore, Nadeem also bowled accurately examining the techniques of the Edmonton lower middle order.  As darkness began descending on us, the 3rd xi outcasts showed no signs of shutting up, as the abuse continued, particularly towards Greg; but what can u expect wearing fluorescent pink glasses, ey??

Answering his critics, Greg took a superb catch coming out of the dark night sky. Some controversial umpiring, which involved the batsman covering up all their stumps knowing that an LBW decision was next to impossible, with the umpires under strict instruction from their gobby captain on the sidelines. Unfortunately, due to some childish time wasting at the end complaining about the light, an excruciatingly painful over-rate from the Edmontonians, some unbelievably biased umpiring and sportsmanship that left a lot to be desired, Lassman’s army felt harshly deprived off a much deserved victory with the Edmonton tail wagging, 9 wickets down.

Hopefully Delroy and the gangsters returned home safely in difficult driving conditions. Josh Berman

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And the 4s? They were away to Edmonton and if the game was as much fun as the reverse fixture then I’m certain everyone had a lot of, er, fun.