Nervous Nineties- Southwick Wanderers CC Reaches Another Landmark

For some reason I thought it was Engelbert Humperdinck who sung ‘Happy Anniversary’ but it was Slim Whitman who sung the 1974 classic so engrained in my mind as it was repeatedly played on Radio Brighton when I was a kid. I wonder if DJ Dave has this in his collection of reminiscent numbers.
There has been no ‘last waltz’ for Wanderers though- despite the ruthless decline of Sunday cricket. At times the club, like others, has suffered for playing personnel. It should, perhaps, have suffered more given the lack of a league structure and a colts section. The secret of the teams endurance could be pontificated over many an evening pint but with so many references to the ‘Wanderers spirit’ one would be inclined to believe that such an oft used colloquial to describe a team with guts and determination is not miss-placed here.
This week sees a few matches of celebration to mark the clubs 90th year. The original plan was to run a cricket week in a tournament format although unnecessary delay from the masters of Wanderers home of the last 21 years, Plumpton College, put the plan into turmoil. As a result of this and other frustrations we have now wandered to Berrylands Farm, the home of another former club that has met sad demise, and have de-camped there at this current time. It seems the destiny of Southwick Wanderers to be forever rural in its station but that is part of the fun. The term ‘village cricket’ could hardly be applied to an urban recreation ground with a power staion for backdrop. You cant beat a warm summer Sunday in the sticks.
Our friends from Brittany our joining us as opponents. Wanderers have enjoyed splendid tours in the area and our looking forward to their company. A number of guests and friends from other clubs will feature in the matches during this week.
The agenda for this week is below:
Wednesday 9th August- 40 over match, to be played at Berrylands Farm BN6 9XH. 1pm start.
Thursday 10th August T20 to be played at Berrylands Farm 4pm start.
Friday 11th August Lunch at Days in Brighton (all you can eat Chinese buffet, with other food available.) 7pm @ Sussex County Ground -Sharks v Gloucester. Tickets £28
Saturday 12th August – 40 over match to be played at Berrylands Farm 1200 start. Slow cooker curry and beers at the ground, with end of tour presentation.
Join us if you can. We are looking for more numbers for the Saturday fixture.

No Cameras Allowed…..

Fixture v Chailey
Date 11/09/2016
Venue Chailey
Type Friendly
Toss Southwick Wanderers
Result Match Drawn

It is often written into the terms and conditions of a ticket to many an event that photography, or moving pictures of any kind, are strictly prohibited. Sometimes this seems a little harsh. But this is naturally to prevent the breaching of copyright rules- although with the advent of modern technology it is hard to implement. No such legislation is currently in force for Southwick Wanderers matches, although given the unfortunate timing of some of these features the AGM may need to reconsider. The Big Bear was caught on film being bowled out for 98 recently, as was Will Barber being dismissed for 49 last week. Despite suggestions that our Raunak should not in any way have history record his next run, the one that would bring up a swashbuckling century on a glorious September afternoon at Chailey, one Wanderers player failed to heed the warning. You now how many he was dismissed for….

The delusion of summer, as lamented in last weeks despatches, amplified its mocking mirth this Sunday. At one stage the heat became a little intense for a scorers focus on the sideline- or was that too many tins of Scrumpy Jack. Given that Lukey had opted out, Wanderers had the choice of whether to bat or bowl. It was decided to take first hit- and fruitful it proved.

Baker Joe was promoted to open the batting with the Big Bear. Robin to his Batman, or was it an unusual collaboration between the hare and the tortoise ? Either way, the decision was proved just. Anchoring the Big Bear’s heaving blade, Joe hung around for the entire afternoon’s display of blade swinging prowess from the other end-Raunak playing the Big Daddy to Gywillim’s Giant Haystacks. It was as if we were watching the first swing on the longest hole at times, both players opting to use the wood…

As Chailey’s opening bowlers were mercilessly plundered to all parts of the park the 50 found its way into the scorecard by the seventh over, the hundred, by which time the scoring rate had slowed to a more palatable rate with the steady Will B joining Baker Joe at the crease, the seventeenth. Gywillim had fallen for 61 of an opening 88 stand. Not quite the calculative output of percentages that Master Wilson has had in stands before, but nonetheless a mutual understanding of partnership. Joe would give consistent and quick-footed support to Gywillim’s array of sword work. After the mighty Bear fell, Mr Barber then made 15, falling at 112, and Joe had Raunak join him at the crease. Gwyllim, it seemed, had then been upgraded into an IPL colossus, for as Raunak took guard the swallows flew off to enjoy summer elsewhere. What followed was carnage. No tree top was safe.

For those who wish to analyse an extraordinary innings for future annals, the statistics of Raunak’s are not fully recorded in TMS details. He was in, however, for a period of 14 overs, probably around an hour. His innings of 99 contained seven sixes and nine fours. The 29th over went for 29 runs (doubtless one of the most ever recorded by a Wanderers batsman in a main match). Raunak scored 99 of the 127 partnership. But lets face it, Joe didn’t get a look in. When Ronnie was caught at deep square on 99 Wanderers declared. Joe had performed the task he was set finishing on 35 not out. The offending Wanderer with the moving pictures of Ronnie’s demise wont be named….

Southwick Wanderers
1 Jones (G) b Coppard 61
2 Baker (J) Not Out 35
3 Barber (W) b Demberry (P) 15
4 Naidu (R) c b Harding (M) 99
5 Kamal (K) DNB
6 Butcher (M) DNB
7 Butcher (A) DNB
8 Johnson (M) DNB
9 Slaymaker (P) DNB
10 Manvell (G) DNB
11 Field (D) DNB
Extras 29
Total 3 Wickets 36.5 Overs 239
Fall Of Wickets 88, 112, 239

 

O M R W
1 Hurkett (T) 4 0 26 0
2 Arnold (J) 4 0 34 0
3 Coppard (J) 9 0 26 1
4 Demberry (P) 7 0 21 1
5 Stevens (S) 5 0 37 0
6 Hacker (L) 3 0 34 0
7 Demberry (D) 2 0 16 0
8 Harding (M) 2.5 0 23 1
9
10

At Plumpton last year Wanderers had been defeated in a 35 over match. Young batsman Demberry (P) had made 37 whilst opening. This year, in line with the rapid years of youthful development, he presented an even stronger and more open-faced bat. The outfield at Chailey is even and fast, although it could be said that is a mere footnote to Wanderers who take the aerial route. Some Wanderers may have been of the impression that the ten men opposition may not offer that much resistance beyond a couple of batsman we knew well. This was a poor analysis.

The Chailey response was a calm and measured affair that always gave the impression that, despite faltering briefly at 60-3, could always threaten with a few wayward overs. Thankfully the bowlers were rotated with this in mind. The Wanderers declaration had been well timed (Chailey had been offered four more overs by the close) for any more leverage and the match could have been lost. Demberry being the catalyst for any such defeat.

DJ Dave had opened up from the Pavilion End, Butcher snr the Downs End (interestingly titled as such by The Author for Plumpton matches as also by Chailey for their home affairs). No self-respecting cricketer can fail to acknowledge this glorious sites that adorns the distant scenery of many of our matches. Adrian have proved a little wayward but landed a couple of halting wickets in his five overs. DJ Dave found a fairly consistent line but was wicketless. The general feeling is that the Old Swinger is the unluckiest man in town also, another chance being spilled today.

Chailey were 54-2 after ten overs. Wanderers in the ascendancy. But somehow it never felt as though there would be time enough, the Demberry family seeing to that. The third wicket fell on 60, and that was to be the last till more flashing blades in the closing stages tried to push things along. Kamal, a friendly and affable Wanderers debutant bowled steadily and with pace from the Pavilion End. The Slaymaker, despite hitting the pitch, which had proved quite bouncy at times, failed to work his magic. Raunak came in for some stick from the Downs End. Demberry snr, much like Baker Joe, anchored the innings of the younger. When Demberry jnr fell to Raunak for 118, with the score on 183, the draw was almost a certainty.

And so it was. The overs dried up and, despite a couple of late wickets to Baker Joe, hands were meaningfully shook on a beautiful Sussex evening. Most Wanderers stayed for a while after being treated to pizza and tinnies by the most splendid hosts. As the night gathered in we pondered on the remaining matches and how quickly the seasons pass. Doubtless the AGM will be staged on a beautiful autumn afternoon most worthy of bat’n’ ball. There is a famous cricket match played at Preston Park each year on Christmas Day. One might wonder whether such novelty will wear off as it forms part of the main season in decades to come…

Chailey
1 Coppard (J) b Butcher (A) 18
2 Demberry (P) b Naidu (R) 118
3 Packham (R) b Butcher (A) 4
4 Arnold (J) c Butcher (A) b Kamal (K) 0
5 Demberry (D) c Barber (W) b Baker (J) 35
6 Stevens (S) Not Out 14
7 Crouch (S) lbw b Baker (J) 0
8 Harding (M) Not Out 0
9 Hurkett (T) DNB
10 Hacker (L) DNB
11
Extras 20
Total 6 Wickets 40 Overs 206
Fall Of Wickets 48,54,60,183,194,198
O M R W
1 Field (D) 6 1 21 1
2 Butcher (A) 5 0 33 2
3 Butcher (M) 7 0 43 0
4 Kamal (K) 7 2 20 1
5 Slaymaker (P) 7 0 27 0
6 Naidu (R) 5 0 45 1
7 Baker (J) 2 0 6 2
8 Barber (W) 1 0 5 0
9
10

Old Crocks Day……

September, that month of beautiful delusion, when a warm and sunny afternoon feels like summer, whatever that is, has taken up a full tenancy. Alternatively, for some, it can feel like summer is merely teasing us to show its potential. Such teasing is often true of some Wanderers when it comes to such potential but all too often we return to type. A Dave Field first ball dab, for a scampered single, may spark thoughts of a quick fifty from the bench. The Author, eagerly bowling to mid air in the outfield, may bring memories of a quick and destructive bowling spell to roll back the years. As sure as winter comes neither is likely, but it could happen one day. It did reach twenty degrees in February 1998…

The sun wasn’t playing fools with us yesterday at the delightful settlement of Jevington, just west of Eastbourne. Cool and cloudy for most of the affair, the rain stayed off for a full afternoon of bat’n’ball. Luke was back as captain, so I need not report on which direction the toss went, and Wanderers found themselves inserted on a sweating and slow strip after the overnight rain. The well-tended Jevington pitch, in the chalky downland of South Sussex, is perhaps slow at the best of times. Even the dry summer of 1976 would have allowed a batsman to take an early swing and miss, have a cup of tea, and then return for another attempt.

The batting reflected the conditions. Unlike the recent fluid affairs, the first 50 runs took 16 overs with two wickets going down in the process. The Big Bear had played late on to a straight delivery, and The Noodle had also had his stumps disturbed when looking comfortable at the crease-as if he would ever look nothing but placid in anything bar a nuclear holocaust. Even then one suspects that nothing but a mild discomfort would be displayed upon his measured countenance.

Once again, whilst other Wanderers seemed to struggle to bed in, Will Barber stood firm at the crease even if he rode his luck a little early on. Mr Barber, despite some decent scores, has much of this in the bank. His elegance and correctness of hand makes admirable watching on many a Sunday. This is a man who could make an industrious heave to cow corner look nothing but textbook. With Mr Noakes and Butcher Snr having returned to the hutch before three figures arrived Wanderers were in the unusual position, certainly of late, of having needed nearly 33 overs to cross the century mark. If the summer weather of 1976 had chosen not to run a CTRL and ‘C’ this year then certainly a fleeting visit by its scoring rates had found its way through four decades of changing cricket.

The final twelve overs proved no more fruitful. Page (S) had been the pick of the Jevington bowlers. Delivering with dangerous late swing from the top end, he had bowled nine overs for just twelve runs for what seemed like more than the one wicket. Fielder (S) had taken the extra wicket for similar figures from the lower end with a quicker but more erratic delivery style. In fact, even with a bit of occasionally poor pie chucking, none of the Jevington bowlers had been embarrassed. Any embarrassment was to be felt by Lukey though, who like The Author a few weeks earlier, had taken to recording moving pictures of Will Baker’s pending 50. You know what happens next- and if you are naive enough not to the first innings scorecard is below…..

Southwick Wanderers
1 Higgs (A) b Fielder (R) 10
2 Jones (G) b Page (L) 5
3 Barber (W) c Swansborough (A) b Scott (I) 49
4 Noakes (D) c Page (S) b Page (L) 9
5 Butcher (A) b Page (S) 5
6 Baker (J) b Scott (I) 10
7 Johnson (M) c Scott ® b Fielder (R) 9
8 Fennell (I) b Fielder (S) 0
9 Slaymaker (P) c Fielder ® b Fielder (S) 0
10 Smith (L) b Fielder (R) 11
11 Field (D) Not Out 0
Extras 26
Total 10 Wickets 43.5 Overs 134
Fall Of Wickets 10,26,50,67,105,107,121,123,127,134
O M R W
1 Fielder (R) 9.5 0 35 3
2 Page (L) 9 1 32 2
3 Fielder (S) 9 2 12 2
4 Page (S) 9 4 16 1
5 Scott (I) 7 1 30 2

2016-09-04 15.13.36.jpg

Now, do I need to mention the tea ? Possibly not because you know all about it. And there was no let up in the quality or quantity this year. A splendid array of culinary delight awaited us. It dawned all too soon why Jevington had asked us to bat first. As the Wanderers gathered to stall any attempt at formidable reply full stomachs ached with expansion. But we took to the field imploring the push to victory.

2016-09-04 16.44.37.jpg

Lukey opened the bowling from the top end, The Oldest Swinger In Town, the other. (Note another deliberate reference to DJ Dave for the Google spiders). Apart from the odd loose delivery both bowled well. It was clear that Jevington were going to have to work for the runs as much as Wanderers did. The first wicket fell to Lukey with, who else, Baker Joe, the single representative of the brotherly duo, taking the catch. The run rate at this stage was calm but wickets were the issue. Once Lukey had succumbed in his usual mid over to the crooked back The Slaymaker took over. Opportunities were soon to knock.

It was clear that Jevington had some heavy hitters in the mid order with the steadying influence of one of the Scott brothers at the top. But the carves and crashes all seemed a little out of sorts and the scoring rate struggled to run above four an over. The usual deck hitting and reliable donkey Slaymaker always looked a threat. A run out from cover and a return catch to Peter had Jevington at 68-3. When the spin of Baker Joe deceived young Scott at number 5, Jevington found themselves at 79-4 in the 27th over. Only twelve remained on this pedestrian of afternoons. All results were possible.

Now, a little mention, before the gripping finale, for Wanderers old crocks. The Author, despite contributing nothing more than a stuck out boot to the afternoon, had wondered if all this cricket thing had now become too much. The Big Bear had also trodden on a boundary-celebrating ball and injured his thigh in the process. Mr Slaymaker, once again, had ordered his finger tips to give his hands a rest when taking a catch and Lukey, despite sending himself delirious with a pain killing concoction prior to the innings, had once again gone crook in the middle of an over. Mr Lincoln, umpiring the day with much appreciation from all, had suggested that any return in another capacity was past its welcome. All these ageing and weary limbs are a testament to the lengthening years that village cricket affords one in sport- even if the 100th anniversary will be met with zimmer frames to assist in an outfield sprint and golf carts to drive us all between the wickets.

Returning to the fray, Wanderers were soon on top. As the middle order would start their innings so Mr Slaymaker would finish them. Numbers six and seven fell to this one of our splendid crocks. Opening batsman Scott was a reluctant LBW victim among them. Wanderers chased in the field and the light drew in. With six overs remaining Jevington were 95-6. It all became rather close, and seemingly correct in their assessment, the spoils divided themselves in appreciation.

With a silly run out to follow and the late order struggling to penetrate the outfield, whilst trying to hold their wickets, the game finished at its natural end in a draw. Jevington had fallen six runs short of victory and Wanderers shy of two wickets. As the team limped its way off in the gathering night one was left to ponder how a season takes it toll. Three matches remain and delightful they shall be. Weary limbs will once more reach the breach and folk will make there last effort towards respectable average. To assist in this, cameras shall be banned and the St John’s Ambulance will be placed on call. But, despite this, in his 47th season, The Oldest Swinger In Town will bowl with little complaint so as to prove mine and others protestations redundant.

This is village cricket. There is no such thing as retirement.

Jevington
1 Scott ® lbw b Slaymaker (P) 24
2 Page (S) c Baker (J) b Smith (L) 19
3 Swanborough (A) Run Out 18
4 Fielder (R) c Slaymaker (P) b Slaymaker (P) 14
5 Scott (I) b Baker (J) 5
6 Fielder (S) b Slaymaker (P) 3
7 Ritchie (M) b Slaymaker (P) 7
8 Page (L) Run Out 11
9 Scott (M) Not Out 10
10 Martindale (P) Not Out 2
11 Fielder (A)
Extras 16
Total 8 Wickets 39.4 Overs 129
Fall Of Wickets 28,61,68,79,89,95,107,119
O M R W
1 Smith (L) 6.4 3 10 1
2 Field (D) 9 1 26 0
3 Baker (J) 10 2 49 1
4 Slaymaker (P) 14 2 43 4
Fixture v Jevington
Date 05/09/2016
Venue Jevington
Type Friendly
Toss Jevington
Result Match Drawn
MOM Points
1 Barber (W) 5
2 Slaymaker (P) 3
3 Baker (J) 1

 

 

Wanderers Sunday Sussex Tour….

Most of us will have seen the movie ‘Grease’ at some stage in our lives, whether willingly or not. It’s a far-fetched tale of high-school love where a boy meets a girl on vacation who suddenly turns up at his school, having moved into the area after her parents decide at the last minute not to return to Australia. Today teenage romance was substituted by the slavish love of village cricket, and Warninglid Cricket Ground became Rydell High…

Turning up at Findon sharpish for a one ‘o’ clock start, Wanderers hung around somewhat confused by the emptiness of the area. No cars, a cone at the entrance, and a forlorn and empty pavilion that look resigned to its lot. The weather looked as though it couldn’t make up its mind too. As the clock drew close to the designated moment of starting it became apparent that there was to be no opposition to play, and due to confusion in the scheduling of fixtures another Sunday would go by without the hallowed yardage being stepped upon. Doubtless the sun would now come out to really piss us all off.

Is anybody home ?
Is anybody home ?

.

So that’s it then. Is there to be a final twist ? Do the opposition suddenly turn up in belated convoy ? No, the match had already been cancelled. We just weren’t informed. End of match report. Well not quite…………

But firstly, for those who are pedantic enough to demand scores in their usual form, here is the match summary.

Southwick Wanderers- 0-0

Findon- Erm…  

Where shall we go now then ? Let’s write our own day out. I’ll get Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey to write the script of this one too. Boy meets girl (Lloyd Crathern & Gemma Manvell)- both fall madly in love with the idea of playing Cricket. Lloyd goes away and comes back as a last minute guest in a Cricket match. In a role reversal it is the boy who was meant to be elsewhere, although the plans weren’t changed at the last minute, he just forgot about them (he had organised for his team to play at Warninglid). On Gemma’s recommendation he turns up to play with the desperately disappointed Wanderers crew at Findon. Boy receives phone call as team prepare to leave with their sadness at the loss of another Sunday’s play. “Where are you and your team ?” says the frosty Warninglid organiser. “You are supposed to be here, we have a home venue and no opposition to play….” What follows is a classic case of Blue Peter convenience and ‘Here’s one I made earlier…’ Of-course, Lloyd has a team prepared for Warninglid, it just wasn’t the one that he had told them was coming…. Both Lloyd and Gemma get to play Cricket again, but only through the fortune of their reunion.

A bit far-fetched, I know. But this one’s true.

And so, half an hour odd later, today’s second match report begins 18.5 miles and 25 minutes driving from its original venue…….

Wanderers second fixture of the day was always going to prove more taxing than the first. Namely because we had to take to the pitch. The rolling hills north of Worthing had been substituted for a typical North Sussex village setting. Warninglid Cricket Ground is set behind the Half Moon pub, just off the main road that runs through the area. The wicket has all the appearance of the usual clay based tracks of the region, although it had some late season unreliability about it today. The outfield was heavily mowed with collections of earthy tufts laying just off the square. The setting had a feel of the autumnal months to come.

Lord Sponge won the toss and put the Wanderers straight to the field. A 30 over match had been decided upon (or 30/30 as the scorer put it) with a six over limitation upon each bowler.

Dave Field opened the bowling from the west side of the green. It was recently discovered that ‘Dave’ appears to be the most common name in the Wanderers player list of the last thirty years, the only one from which a whole team could be formed. Every team seems to have at least one. Although the oldest swinger in town was the only Wanderer to carry the tag today. From the east side we had young Wadey running in with much enthusiasm and hope.

The innings rolled along, basing itself upon the lynchpin of an opener with the surname of ‘Nastys’. The term is perhaps appropriate for some of the vagaries of the pitch. The odd ball suddenly kept low, accounting for Dan’s first wicket in the fourth over of the game, and the odd ball rose sharply off a length. It’s late summer mind, and this is to be expected. Some of the tracks further south in the county are guilty of far worse than any of the excesses we saw today. Plumpton being one.

In a throwback to the old days of steady accumulation, Warninglid were 89-5 come the 22nd over. Nathan Smith, yes Nathan Smith, no, really, Nathan Smith was turning his arm over for the first time in a couple of years. His searching leggies brought about the most respectable economy rate of the innings, the years not eroding his accuracy- if increasing his midriff.

The last eight overs, however, produced a run flush through a stand of 71 between Nastys and Nesbitt. 27 runs came off Lloyd’s last two overs, and even steady Dave took a punishment. By tea a respectable score had unfolded.

Tea: Warninglid 160-5 (Nasty’s 87* Nesbitt 31*, Smith (N) 2-21)

Jordan seemed a little subdued at tea, the evidence being that some sandwiches were left over. Perhaps he was in contemplation of the innings ahead. If he was, his plans came to fruition. He and Lloyd made there way to the crease in the gathering gloom of late summer, and we all wondered what to expect.

Master Wilson chanced his arm, and could have been caught first ball on another day. A lofted drive just missing the clutches of wide-cover. Lloyd Crathern, on the other hand, played with a repertoire of stroke play that befitted a higher level. Despite this, the bowling of Warninglid was not wanting. The match had just elevated itself to an impressive level of competitive Cricket.

When Lloyd fell LBW, pulling across the line to a ball that kept low for an anchoring 24, Wanderers were already in victory’s reach- the openings stand having yielded 114.   However, Jordan fell 11 runs later for 88, and as usual the wheels began to buckle. Well, you weren’t expecting to have it easy were you ?

The out of form Gwyllim failed to trouble the scorers, scooping a leg side catch. Normally an influential presence at the crease, one senses time is running out for the Big Bear to turn it round this season, but he will doubtless be back and firing next. The issue for Wanderers was an increasing run rate with 29 required off six, a tentative Wil Barber at the crease, and the big hitters safely tucked back in the hutch. We needn’t have worried.

Wil went on the attack, and was successful with it. His 39 not out steering Wanderers home. 30 of these runs coming in boundaries. As September’s watery evening sun began to bathe the pitch, Mr Barber saw us through with six wickets and nearly three overs to spare. Luke, accompanying the dashing tyke to the end, finally had a win as captain. Even if we did have to arrange a second game on the same day to facilitate it.

Close: Wanderers 163-4 (Wilson 88, Barber 39*, Nesbitt 3-19) win by 6 wickets.

So an afternoon that began with little hope and gathering gloom in the south of county ended in a pleasant affair further north. A match report as swift as our competent reply. But when one has to fit two of them in one day, it can be a bit tiring….

They call us the Wanderers….