1st XI beat Byfleet by 112 runs
The cricketers of southeast England were once again greeted with a Saturday forecast greyer than a Euro 96 England kit. For some, it would mean another late night on the town. For others a restless night fearing the worst for the day to come. As the Hill made their respective ways to the edge of London, speculation reigned supreme, with both hope and gloom available to those who sought it - depending on their weather app of choice.
It was fitting that, as the more upwardly mobile of the team arrived in a newly purchased Tesla, they were greeted by a Byfleet ground flanked by high voltage electricity pylons and a major orbital motorway adjacent. A unique ground in many ways, but one that was unfortunately looking very damp.
As the season flows rapidly to its conclusion, there was all to play for, and with the high-flying Hill visiting the bottom ranked side in the division it was imperative that neither the weather, nor this final game of the out-dated timed format deny the boys in black and white the full 24-point boobs. Even more vital, with rain in the air and the match reduced to 74 overs, was to win the toss and bowl first…
As the Hampton Hill openers strode to the crease – one couldn’t help feeling for the poor skipper who had once again face planted the first hurdle of another race to cricketing glory. As the Hill slipped at the second hurdle to 28-2 in pursuit of a competitive and speedily achieved total, you would be forgiven for thinking that this race may be all but lost. But as has been proven time and time again, the Hill do not know when to lie down. Superb knocks of 85 off 110 balls for Jamie “Elon” Sones and an unbeaten 50th club half century (55* off 52) for Tom Hampton “Hill” allowed the Deer-men to race to 169-3 declared off a miserly 31 overs. The mighty Hill were back up and running.
With dark clouds still threatening however, and key fixtures elsewhere in the division, the job fell to the bowlers to try to prise a win from the jaws of draw-feat. Early signs were slightly concerning as the HHCC opening bowlers failed to strike, but like successive Israeli governments, the solution can always be found with a massive missile system. Despite an earlier warning shot across the bow, the Hills own Iron Dome “Duffle” Coates doesn’t need a second invitation. With laser guided accuracy over a long distance the Byfleet openers never stood a chance as they were left ruing the day they ever challenged the mighty “Duffle” Dome for a third run.
With only another 8 wickets required due to a Byfleet player M.I.A, and egged on by a skipper baying for blood, James Robottom ruthlessly set about bowling short balls at batsmen who were either slightly too young or slightly too old to ensure Byfleet stood no chance of dead-batting their way to the end. Regular wickets fell as Robottom, Fullicks and Sheikh showed the under-30s how to do it and despite a wicketless first spell, James “the Raincard” Boulton returned to pick up the one wicket he required for 30 league wickets this season and potentially sign off his season in style. A final bouncer/yorker combo from the Dutch bully finished off the day as the Hill eventually cruised to the finish line with the sun on their backs - winners by 112 runs.
Player of the Match: Jamie Sones 85 off 110 deliveries
2nd XI beat Stoke D’Abernon by 3 wickets
Another week another grim reading on whatever weather app you looked at as rain continue to fell the thought of playing was becoming less and less likely.
However, the rain stopped, and we managed to get out playing just before the 2 o’clock deadline.
On a day with rain in the air winning the toss can often decide the match, Skipper Porter did win the toss and the visiting team were put into bat.
Although “we weren’t up for it” a fantastic opening spell of Mike Murton had Stoke D’Abernon 16-4, would’ve been interesting to know what it would’ve been if we were up for it.
Special mention to Murts with superb figures of 6-41 off 8 overs to really put the Hill on the front foot from ball one.
Despite this start Stoke D’Abernon continued to counterattack despite losing wickets their run rate was healthy throughout although the wickets column still looked healthier for the Hill.
A 78-run 7th wicket stand brought the away side back into the game at 142-6 before some clinical death bowling from Ian Exworth and Olly Fallows made sure that the last 4 wickets would fall for only 12 runs.
Meaning that the Hill were going to have to chase 152 within 37 overs to clinch promotion and take a massive step to becoming champions.
The Hill went with power at the opening pair with Massimo and Sam getting the Hill off to the start they needed in an important chase.
A brisk 50 partnership off of 10 overs set the foundations for the batsmen following to continue this momentum.
Massimo was the first man to go, LBW against a high-class spinner for 23.
Sam then held out playing a pull shot to fine leg with a clever catch from the fielder. Adam and CNS then steadied the ship knowing that if we had wickets in hand for the last 10 overs any result was still possible.
However, both were out shortly after drinks, this saw Captain Porter and Jordan Gomez enter the crease.
Jordan continued where he’s left off over the last few weeks batting superbly not only to keep the Hill in with a chance to get a winning draw but to win the game as well.
An over where Gomez hit 2 maximums really changed the momentum of the game putting the Hill back on top.
Jack was the next man in a scored an important 8 runs however the running between the wickets with Gomez was worth a lot more than what he scored.
A crucial 3 from James Everett including an overthrow was crucial as it also got Gomez back on strike. And on the last ball of the game, he tucked one round the corner for a single.
AND THE 2S WIN!!! And clinch promotion with two games to spare.
Player of the match: A superb match winning innings of 53 off 50 deliveries from Jordan Gomez
3rd XI lost to Kingstonians by 95 runs
A heated match where we came out second against a strong Kingstonian 4XI.
Having won the toss & decided to field we were soon on the back foot despite an early breakthrough by Tahir. The rain meant a late start with reduced overs, and we were never really in the game. The top three of Kingstonian could easily have played second or even first XI cricket striking the ball long & hard over a surprisingly quick outfield.
A change of bowling brought a wicket first ball for Joe who also took two outstanding catches late on but could not control the runs as yet again we had no luck in the field. Matters did not get better when Warren had their No4 caught behind who was walking then saw that the umpire wasn’t going to give him and returned to the crease. This was red rag time as the incensed team, as not only was the decision not given the umpire had an Airpod in! We are all for playing the game hard but fairly, but this was not part of the “gentleman’s” game as the one of the oppo tried to justify it. At our level honesty is required. We can understand LBW’s not being given but when a batsman has edged it & been caught cleanly you need to walk regardless of if the umpire hasn’t given it. Okay our reaction may have been classed as dissent, but it wouldn’t have happened if the batsman had continued to walk off.
Things calmed down a little after I offered to concede the game to show how strongly we felt about the matter. The batsman did eventually agree that he was dismissed & the game carried out, but things were still simmering with the umpire, having relinquished duties in the middle, cheering any mishap in the field. We did continue to take wickets to gain maximum bowling points, with Tahir breaking a bail but Kingstonian swung the bat & got away with it.
Chasing 243 was always going to be hard and Kingstonian’s first four bowlers gave nothing away, keeping very tight lines & full lengths. There were some delightful shots & cameos by all players & we got to with a hundred until Tahir was bowled round his legs.
Yes, Kingstonian were the better side on the day, but the shenanigans left a bitter taste.
We are still with a chance to get promoted as league rules state that teams from same club cannot play at the same level. It comes down to Esher v Kingstonian 3XI this weekend to see who takes top spot in West 2 & what the executive committee decide on promotion & relegation.
Player of the Match: Tahir Butt 3-21
4th XI beat Camberley by 6 wickets
The 4s arrived at the excellent Army Sports Ground to face bottom of the table Camberley. With the light rain relenting just on start time, skipper Jerry won his second successive toss. With excess cloud cover Hill took the ball and Dan Mackinney and Ryan Exworth set about ripping into Camberley. Ryan was twice on a hat trick and bowled outstandingly well, as did Dmac. Figures of 4/4 and 2/11 off their respective 6 over spell. It must be said the Hill fielding was exemplary and all catches were held, with Puri, Owens and Gavin taking beauties. A brilliant run out by Lewis added to the Camberley toll. Change bowlers Weekes and Knight wasted no time in finishing Camberley off, with some excellent deliveries. Camberley were skittled out for 32.
After a brief tea, hill set about the small chase. However, as so common to Hill batting, we made it difficult. Lewis, Puri, Owens and Gavin all went back to the Pavilion before some sound blows from Weekes ended the nervousness. Back-to-back wins for the 4s and the end of the season for the skip who is off to sunnier climes from next Saturday. Thanks, and good luck to all teams in the final games.
Player of the Match: Ryan Exworth 4-4
5th XI beat Chessington by 3 wickets
The Hill lost the toss and were put in to bowl which on a damp day sounded like a good toss to lose for the Hill. Strong bowling performances from the 8 bowlers which captain Keith selected to bowl, two wickets for both Ben Porter and Ben Blackshire who both bowled superbly. Will and Mae Bush also both picked up wickets. Adam Fahey also picked up his 100th total victim with a sharp stumping off the bowling of Ben Porter.
Chasing 118 on a drying wicket the Hill got off to a solid start despite losing Sudipta early on a superb partnership from Captain Keith and Will Smith with a 2nd wicket partnership of 71.
Chand Emmanuel and Ben Blackshire saw the Hillhome with an impressive performance from a young 5th XI side.
Player of the Match: Adam Fahey reaching his 100th total victims with 83 catches and 17 stumpings
6th XI lost to Ashford by 2 wickets
On a day where rain was promised the 6ths headed to St James’ School to take on Ashford. Having lost the toss, the hill were put into bat. This was soon proved to be a good call from the Ashford captain as what can only be described as a lacklustre performance. The only real standout with the bat was Sandeepan who made 46, Pete Zonneveld making 13 and Archie Jones 10 were the highest runs off the bat.
After tea the Hill took to the field with a real purpose, defending 104. The opening bowlers of Blair and Ellie McCartney bowled superbly to peg back the openers with Blair picking up 3 wickets in his first three overs and with them being maidens. Ellie followed in suit with very neat and tight bowling not allowing the Ashford batsmen a real chance. The opening bowlers were backed up by Louis McCartney and Jamie Hillier once again making it unplayable for the Ashford batters and Louis was pushing through some real quickies that they just had no chance of seeing. Hillier and McCartney both picked up wickets and hillier got a run out. The fielding was a lot better than what the batting was that’s for sure. After 17 overs Ashford were 24-6. The hill felt comfortable that the game was in their hands at this stage. However, dropped catches and the fielding was poor allowed Ashford right back into the game and they won it by 2 wickets.
Player of the Match: Sandeepan Senapati with a fine 46
Sunday Home XI lost to Sanford by 8 runs
Taz (2/14) made early inroads then Chris Cooke (90) supported by Alex Forbes (41) and John Young (32) went on to secure a good total for the visitors. All the Hill’s eight bowlers made a positive contribution, Nigel Harman took two good catches and Lewis Cole kept well.
After a steady start, the Hill pressed on in the second half of its innings and nearly got over the line. Robbie led the way with a well struck hundred; Nigel (46) gave good support and there was an excellent late flourish by Tom Hughes (17*).
Player of the Match: Robbie Coates with a fine century
Sunday Away XI beat Teddington Town by 9 wickets
Sunday 22nd of August saw the return of the Nelson Stanley fixture vs Teddington Town CC. Having already watched a demolition job by the HHCC U13’s in the Mayer Moxen cup (youth equivalent of Nelson Stanley), the selected XI felt confident of winning back more trophy wear for the HHCC cabinet.
Having lost the toss, the Hill went out to field, with some heads still feeling a little heavy after the 2’s secured promotion the day before. Jack Fullicks started the innings with metronomical line and length. This earnt him a couple of wickets before deciding that he could only go for 1 more over. In this final over he picked up two wickets with his last two balls and therefore had to come back for another. However, the hat-trick was not to be as the batsmen provided a solid forward defence. Big Mac had opened at the other end but was unfortunate to not pick up any wickets.
Second change bowlers of Little Mac and Jamie Hillier tightened things up even further with steady line and length bowling that frustrated the Town batsmen. Jamie Hillier picked up 1 in his opening spell which was taken smoothly by Jack Fullicks.
Whilst warming up the day before TC had been showing the 1st team skipper his offbreaks and his future career in the spin game. This had caught the eye of captain Robert Fullicks, who asked TC if he fancied having a go as 1st choice spinner. TC showed good signs of consistent line bowling, but was unable to pick up any wickets, which was mainly his own fault for dropping a caught and bowled opportunity. As is always the case in club level cricket, the 1st choice player tolls away and gets no reward and then the second-choice spinner comes along and burgles all the wickets. This was the same yesterday when Sam Fullicks came on and proceeded to nab 3 wickets. Sam was the second Fullicks that day to have a chance at a hat-trick but was unable to make it over the line.
Rob bowled a steady 4 overs picking up 1 wicket and was robbed of a second by a momentary lapse of concentration from the otherwise faultless Woody. Woody already had 2 to his name including a regulation snick off Jack and sharp catch up close off Sam.
Jamie Hillier came back on at the end and picked up the final wicket to round off a strong bowling performance from the Hill to limit them to 134 off 38.4 overs.
The Hill sent out Omar Saleemi and TC to get things going off to a good start. Both rotated the strike nicely early on and got the Hill to 34 before Omar fell for an LBW. He had already had a couple of lifelines thanks to the town fielders but had looked good for his innings. This brough Will Smith to the crease looking hungry for some runs. Will Smith revealed a talent unknown to his partner at the other end, the ability to count the number of balls in an over but even more surprisingly to steal a single off each 6th ball he faced. This enabled Smithy to work his way up to 33 not out (54), 1 shy of equalling his previous best Hill score. No more wickets fell as TC and Smithy saw the Hill over the line in 22.5 overs.
TC continued his fine form this season by finishing the innings on 85 not out (64), including seven 4’s and four 6’s. His performance earnt him the POTM award, once again adding to his big game player reputation.
A resounding victory with contributions by everyone on the team. The Nelson Stanley has returned to its rightful place in the HHCC Trophy Cabinet.
Player of the Match: Tom Coates 85*
Sunday Away 2XI beat Ickenham by 8 runs
The Hill away XI travelled to Ickenham for a game that promised to be a good one. Upon arrival the Ickenham skipper suggested we batted first as they didn’t have much batting and thought we could make more of a game if we did bat first. With that in mind Darren Jonusas and Pete Zonneveld took to the middle. After near enough seeing off the opening bowlers DJ got a beautiful ball the crashed into middle stump which sent Fergus Walsh to the middle. Pete and Fergus both started to rebuild nicely both passing 50s with 4s and 6s starting to flow. Ickenham were keen to stop this happening so bought on bowlers to try and stem the run rate and the boundaries started drying up. Pete made 55 before not quite finding the middle of the bat and finding the fielder.
Fergus stayed a little while longer before being bowled. Sury entered at 7 and with a beautiful cover drive 4 to get him off the mark the Hill started to up the run rate again. Chris was the next victim to fall bringing Blair to the crease. The instruction from the skipper was to push as many runs as we could and get the hill to past 175. With that in mind plenty of quick singles started to be ran with the Ickenham players not being on their toes. Blair then started to find some rhythm with the bat and as much as a surprise as it was to his teammates as it was to himself, he managed to hit two straight drive 4s. A quick fire cameo of 26 from Sury and 16 from Blair left the hill 181 to defend.
The Hill took to the field in good voice. Blair and Ryan Exworth opened the bowling and the later putting through some serious wheels that the batsmen just could not handle. That being said he finally made a breakthrough and got a thoroughly deserved wicket. Will Aust and Will Exworth were the first changes and the Ickenham batsmen struggled once again to get them away, with Will Exworth picking up a wicket in his last over which much like his brother was thoroughly deserved. After knocking a half century earlier in the day Pete came on to bowl and was as accurate as ever with batsmen swinging and missing. Dave Castor and Fergus got a bowl too with Fergus picking up a crucial wicket. With 8 overs remaining the run rate was creeping up on Ickenham and with the opening duo of Blair and Exworth back on closed out the game for an 8-run victory.
Player of the Match: Pete Zonneveld with a fine 55