Southgate v North Middlesex
North Middlesex won by 97 runs, Southgate 0 points
North Middlesex 202-9 (50 overs)
Southgate 105 all out (36.2 overs)
Kenton v Southgate
Kenton won by 121 runs, Southgate 0 points
Kenton 216 all out (51.1 overs)
Southgate 95 all out (32.5 overs)
The week leading up to the 2nd XI game Vs Kenton was my least enjoyable as captain. Amid terrible availability and dealings with disgruntled players, we were still working to get 11 players together late on Friday night. The team we fielded included 6 changes from the previous week, 3 of which were different to the team published on Thursday and 3 were playing their first 2nd XI game of the season. Despite this I believed we were still capable of achieving a win in the same fashion as we had done in the home fixture – winning the toss before bowling first and restricting the opposition to a chaseable total.
The first half of the plan went well. As the coin came down tails Kenton were instructed to bat. In the absence of anyone who had opened the bowling for us thus far, O Bellwood took the new ball. His 5 overs removed one of the openers but were understandably a little expensive as this was his first league bowl of the season. T Yeomans (15.1-4-41-3) bowled with excellent control at the other end, and at drinks the score was around 105-1. Given the miniscule nature of the Kenton ground restricting to a little more than 4-an-over was a good effort. After drinks our persistence was rewarded and excellent spells from A Carr (12-4-41-1), R Bynoe (10-2-24-1) and S Faruqi (9-0-51-4) saw us bowl out Kenton for 216 in 51.1 overs. On a wicket that had shown little demons and small boundaries with quick outfield on all sides, this was a total equivalent to 170 at the Walker Ground. Given that in the home fixture we had chased 180 for the loss of 2 wickets in 40 overs, we were confident.
Tea was a solid and respectable effort with nothing really standing out as remarkable, but a wide enough spread to cater for everyone’s tastes and suitable volume of each item.
Unfortunately what followed the interlude was an insipid display from the visitors. We were bowled out for under 100 with only 2 players making it to double figures. Kenton have a decent slow bowler in D Sweeney – he has a good quicker straight one that accounted for O Bellwood and D Ashley – but he can be nullified, and he was able to prosper because too many the top order had given their wickets away before he came on. T Yeomans was unlucky to get a ball that shot along the ground, but the most the dismissals were due to poor shots. This does not necessarily mean poor shot selection – there full tosses and short and wide deliveries hit to fielders and Kenton, to their credit, caught well.
For a team chasing promotion this is clearly is not good enough. While it is true that Ickenham and Highgate failed to win, I fear that is a missed opportunity rather than a reprieve. We have now slipped to 5th position in the league, and as are still to play 3 of the 4 teams above us, promotion is still within reach. But greater commitment and application is absolutely essential. Max Joseph
Southgate v Old Actonians
draw, Southgate 4 points
Southgate 213 -7 (48 overs)
S Sharma 54
A Jouning 48
Old Actonians 156-9 (44 overs)
R Desai 5-23
On an unusually overcast afternoon, Mike lost the toss and we were duly inserted. An interesting week, culminating in a frantic Friday, meant the 3rd XI’s batting order was rather changed, but did however remain strong. At 12.45, all eleven of the Old Actonians took to a team huddle on the far side of the pitch to discuss tactics. Meanwhile, the four present Southgate players set about moving sightscreens and putting the stumps in. Paul Lassman was requested to run back and get the bails. (Quite right, as does nothing else at the club) Meanwhile the remainder of the team ambled over at 12.53 and pre-match preparations were complete and we were raring to go.
Captain Mike and young Shiv opened up on a wicket that amazingly was tinged green. ( Thought we were in the middle of a heatwave) However, it was a good wicket and the outfield typically fast. The score moved steadily along and we made the much needed start, so often missing in previous games. However, I nearly stopped the game at one point, as someone had clearly nailed Shivs boots to the wicket, as he just couldn’t move when playing when his shots. I was about to run on and complain when someone reminded me that’s how he plays. Well in spite of this, Shiv proceeded to hit the ball hard and to all parts, as he and Mike took the first wicket total to over 70, with Shiv securing a quickfire 50 Mike was then the first wicket to fall, but a good foundation had been built, as A Jouning joined Shiv.
I promptly advised Shiv to think of himself back on nought and to build another score. Next over he tried to launch the spinner into space and was bowled. It was however a good 50 and I’m sure with a little work on his foot movement and decision making, he will go on to make a good number of runs at Southgate.
Marcello and Jouning A then continued the run accumulation, before Marcello went much the same way as Shiv. Once again just after wise words from me. (Er, there seems to be a pattern here). But not before making a useful 16, including some good shots. ( My advice Marchy: “Value your won wicket more”)
Lassman and Jouning then continued to build a reasonable total, before Jouning managed to drill a full toss directly to a cleverly positioned mid off. ( Yes, he was in no man’s land). The fielder somehow managed to hold on to it and he went for 48. But this was turning into a real team effort, as Lassman scored a useful 27, before unluckily being run out in an attempt to move the score along. Cameos from Ricky Gun 15 and Ali Lynch 13, helped us reach a respectable 213 for 7 off 48.
Roy and Niroosh opened up well, but the wicket was reasonable and the outfield fast and so batsmen were rewarded for their shots. Niroosh tried to steal Roy’s injury limelight by complaining of a sore calf, but the 16-year-old soldiered on and with his economical action as well as reasonable control, I’m sure he can develop in to a good seamer. Roy continued to bowl deliveries that are too good to take wickets at this level and their score ticked along quite well. It became apparent quite early on that their burly Aussie was a potential match winner, as he hit the ball hard and cleanly. Fortunately it appeared he had been to the Marcello/Shiv school of batting, as he then tried to unnecessarily launch one off Parinda Kuleratne and was held by the safe pair of hands of Roy.
However, wickets weren’t tumbling and even 4 points seemed a distant hope. Captain Mike turned his arm and took a wicket and then Jouning A came on to bowl and cleverly decided not to use the tinge of green on the wicket. Sadly his spell of full bungers didn’t quite work. But cometh the hour, cometh the man. Enter “Revolution Ravi” Our sharp-turning off spinner proceeded to cause havoc, including two wickets in two balls. Putting it in modern speak, Ravi does put a lot of revolutions on the ball and when he gets his line right, ( off stump, Ravi), he can be almost unplayable.
The game awoke and suddenly the likelihood of four points for the opposition disappeared and Southgate looked past a possible 4 points and focused in on 10. A good run out from Ravi, an excellent catch from Paul Lassman in the deep, a good stumping from Shiv and a catch from Parinda and the wickets continued to tumble We had four overs to get the remaining wicket, but Old Actonians were now digging in. Ravi turned one “big”, the pad was struck, but the batsmen’s umpiring colleague gave it not out and with fielders around the bat, that was the closest we came to claiming the win. While it was disappointing not to get over the line, we really didn’t look like winning for most of the game and so it was a very good effort to claim the 4 points. Ravi bowled another great spell, 5-23 , with Roy 1-19 from 10, Parinda Kuleratne 1-24 from 5, Mike Carter 1-34 from 10, Niroosh Sugumaran (16 year old opener) 0-32. Adam Jouning
Old Actonians v Southgate
Old Actonians win by 5 wickets
Southgate 165-9 dec (45 overs)
Old Actonians 166-5 (35 overs)
The Southgate innings was based on a second-wicket partnership of 65 between Doug Gordon (46 runs, 53 years) and Liam Babwah (25 runs, 15 years) against quick and aggressive bowling. Will Dias made an excellent 34 guiding the rest of the team to a decent total, boosted by some strong hitting by Callum Silva.
In reply Old Actonians batted aggressively and we struggled to get control. Seven people bowled but with OA’s prepared to take chances with small boundaries and a fast outfield the outcome was inevitable, despite some excellent fielding from the younger members of the team. Doug Gordon
The Hertgate Trophy
Geoff Blackmore reporting
Hertford 195 all out (Raymond Bynoe 3-41, Ashley Sivarajah 3-59, Tony Young 2-26) off 50.1 overs
Southgate 196 for 8 (Tom Edrich 72, Raymond Bynoe 31, Paddy Robinson 30) off 64.1 overs
Southgate CC won by two wickets and regained the Hertgate Trophy
Move over Chris Froome, Here Comes Tony Young…………
In 2012 the fixture moved to the Wednesday of the Hertford CC Cricket Week – to accommodate a three-day Hertfordshire CCC fixture – and Southgate lost the Hertgate Trophy for the first time since 2007. Back to it’s usual Monday ‘slot’ in 2013, on the day after Chris Froome triumphed at the Tour de France, the regular Match Manager assembled an excellent team in an attempt to regain the Trophy, which was originally presented by Robert Urquhart Cole to celebrate the one hundredth meeting between the two sides in 1995.
Even though there were a couple of changes over the Lords Ashes Test weekend, the afore mentioned Match Manager didn’t realise that a migraine suffered on a Saturday afternoon would stop someone playing on the Monday, and therefore at 11.15am the ‘brains trust’ set about establishing who might be able to get to Hertford at a ‘moments notice’ to make up the full eleven.
Worse was to come, as we lost the toss, and Steve Gale – the Hertford skipper, who scored 132 in the 2012 game – had no hesitation in deciding to bat, especially as the forecast was for it to be the hottest day of the year so far. With Danno having to work in the morning – and therefore not expecting to arrive until 12.30pm at the earliest – we took the field with nine of our own, and one sub fielder kindly loaned to us by Hertford.
After seven overs, in which Hertford had accumulated 35 runs and their opening bat had asked Raymond at first slip “…why we hadn’t brought a better team…”, Tony Young and his wife Sue, appeared at the boundary’s edge having cycled from Welwyn Garden City to watch the game. As the Match Manager was ‘otherwise occupied’, our scorer, Geoff Burton asked Tony whether he was prepared to play, and despite having fallen off of his bike, when trying to negotiate the boundary rope, he (rather surprisingly) agreed.
Even though we conceded nine runs in the over when we had just nine on the pitch – with the Match Manager off the field to assemble some kit to loan to Tony – when they came on the field we were at ‘full strength’, numerically, for the first time in the game. Soon after, with Tom Edrich, and others, winding up our one ‘medium pacer’, Josh Berman, he bowled an excellent head high bouncer, which Ash Abeywickrama hooked to deep backward square where Matt Dias made a difficult catch look very easy. As the batsman departed, we refrained from asking him about the strength of our side.
Four overs later, Raymond Bynoe, who had replaced Josh, trapped Hesh Abeywickrama lbw, and 74 for 2 off fifteen overs looked an awful lot better from our perspective. With Danno now on the pitch, Raymond and Ashley bowled well in tandem together, as we got a grip on the scoring rate, and the pressure of just seven runs in four overs saw Nathan Mead caught behind by Ricky Gunn off Ashley.
Another catch for Ricky, this time off Raymond, slowed the scoring rate further, although, it brought Hertford’s centurion last year, Steve Gale, to the wicket. He played watchfully, whilst punishing the very few odd balls, offered by either Raymond or Ashley, and when Ashley bowled opener, Pat Stokes, for 73, Hertford were left at 136 for 5.
In attempt to get Tony Young into the game, he was brought on just before lunch, and a stumping off his third ball, meant that he had taken his first Hertgate Trophy wicket, one ball quicker than his only ever First XI League wicket, which was taken on his fourth (and last) ball in the First XI League against Shepherds Bush, over thirty years ago.
After lunch, Raymond and Ashley continued to exert control and this led to the ‘pivotal’ moment in the game – Ricky’s brilliant catch off the inside edge to dismiss Steve Gale for 25 – for Ashley’s third wicket, which meant Hertford were now 156 for 7.
With Steve Gale departed, Tony was given a second spell, and despite a dropped catch first ball, he repeated his third ball of the over ‘trick’, to take another wicket with a comfortable caught and bowled. Even though Hertford added thirty-one runs for the ninth wicket, we were still ‘in control’ and eventually wickets for Matt Dias and Raymond – courtesy of catches by Ashley and Tom Edrich – meant we bowled Hertford out for 195.
With plenty of overs in which to chase the target, Tom Edrich and Paddy Robinson settled any nerves, as they took the score past 50 before Paddy was dismissed for 30, caught at square leg. Even though Tom Allan was caught and bowled by Steve Gale for 12, Tom and Josh took us to within fifty runs of victory, when Josh was dismissed for 17 – caught by James Mead at point.
Ten balls later Tom’s excellent innings ended, when he was caught down the leg-side for 72. Dan Ashley, Matt and Ashley all came and went – caught playing ‘expansive’ shots – and whilst we were still thirty runs short of victory at 166 for 7, with Raymond and the tail to bat, there were still seventeen overs of our innings remaining.
After Tony Young went to the wicket with an assortment of borrowed equipment, we were still ‘favourites’, although the Hertford match reporter thought that “…even though Raymond Bynoe marshalled the tail well, and farmed the bowling, taking just a single off some overs seemed to condemn the game to a most unlikely draw…”.
This was never going to happen, or be allowed to happen – as there has never been a Hertgate Trophy fixture drawn. However, with a target of just over two an over, singles and the occasional well struck four, kept the score board ticking along at the required rate, and this needed no further ‘intervention’ from the Match Manager.
When the partnership had reached 29 off fourteen overs, and with the scores level, Raymond decided to win the game with one final flourish, but was caught for an excellent 31. However, three balls later, Tony (9*) played a ‘late cut’ to third man, a shot which had already had brought him runs, and we had won by two wickets, with seventeen balls to spare.
Bob Cole presented ‘his’ Hertgate Trophy to the winning captain, and means that we have won the Trophy twelve times in nineteen years, having lost six games, with a ‘no contest’ in 2004. More recently, we have won five of the six Trophy games played in the Hertford Cricket Week.
Whilst in relative terms, this was a low scoring game – compared to those recently – this was down to some excellent bowling on both sides, with Raymond and Ashley exerting control whenever I needed it.
The Hertford Match reporter, nominated the leg-side catch, by their fifteen-year-old keeper, to dismiss Tom Edrich, as their ‘champagne moment’. However, ours was, without a doubt, at the other end of the age spectrum, when our sixty-four-year-old keeper, Ricky Gunn caught Steve Gale – whose First XI League average in 2013 is 68, including three centuries – via an inside edge. Even though Raymond, Ashley and Tom could all lay claim to our ‘Man of the Match’ Award, the recipient is Tony Young, who arrived to watch the game, but was persuaded out of retirement to take two wickets and see us home to victory.
With five teenagers in the side – Tom, Ashley, Matthew, Josh and Raymond – this contributed to an excellent performance in the field, led by Ricky Gunn behind the stumps. Can I say a big ‘thank you’ to all of the side for playing in the fixture, and of course to Bob Cole and Geoff Burton, for umpiring and scoring, respectively. Finally, of course, we must yet again, thank the players, officials and supporters of Hertford Cricket Club for their fantastic hospitality.