1st XI beat Thames Ditton by 169 runs
The 1st XI completed the double over Thames Ditton in a comprehensive 169 run victory on a hot and humid day on Giggs Hill Green. A rejigged Hampton Hill side arrived on the green in high spirits after a nerve-jangling win against fellow promotion hopeful Cobham Avorians.
The team (shared responsibility) boasts an impressive record with the coin this year (1 won, 1 claimed, 1 abandoned, 9 conceded). True to form the toss was awarded to TD and the Hill were inserted on a track that looked fraught with danger.
Due to the absence of opener Jamie Sones, JNS joined Rich Bennett to open the innings. Against a determined attack, supported by plenty of chat from the fielders, the openers batted resolutely. The opening partnership reached 111, with Bennett bringing up his maiden half century for the Hill. JNS fell on 47, foolishly taking on their part time off spinner with the score stuck on Nelson. At this stage the platform had been set nicely, the score 111-1 from 32 overs.
With Bennett continuing to operate from one end, the Hill batsmen started to take the attack to the opposition. Tom Hampton looked imperious in a knock of 27 from as many balls. Harry Coates launched his first ball into the side panel of a parked car (narrowly missing a 70 plate Porsche that had stopped to inspect the match). HC made 28 at quicker than a run a ball. Bennett finally fell on a well-made 68 after attempting to push the score on himself. It was a beautifully paced innings which included some hard graft at the beginning allowing for fluency later in the innings, interspersed with some glorious shots along the deck. What a free transfer he is turning out to be.
The Hill used their full allocation of overs to grind TD into the dirt. Jack Fullicks cameo at the end certainly added to that affect. In the penultimate over he launched their off spinner over the sightscreen for an enormous six. A quick calculation from satellite images confirms it was 90m+ in length.
At the interval the XI refuelled with a range of cuisines from underbaked chocolate and buckwheat cookies to a sliced wholemeal seeded loaf.
In a display of intent Thames Ditton sent out their overseas Ryan Hoodand talisman Mike Dixon to open the innings. This was their first mistake. With a new ball in hand, James Robottom and Rob Fullicks are masters of extracting movement from even the most placid of pitches. This pitch was about as placid as a den of hungry vipers. 2nd ball of the innings Robo fired a ball into the surface, it cut back, kept low and thwacked into the top of off stump sending Dicko packing for a duck. The very next over, Bobby F nipped one away from Hood which took a feather edge through to Jack Baverstock. Thames Ditton were 4-2 and the Hill were ticking.
From this moment on the Hill ran rampant through the TD batting order. Wickets were shared between James Robottom (4-26 off 9.5 incl. 2 maidens), Robert Fullicks (3-18 off 8 incl. 4 maidens) and Jack Fullicks and JNS both taking one a piece.
The visiting HHCC fans, outnumbering the digits on both my hands, were treated to a tireless display of fast bowling from Jack. He hit the bat hard and was unlucky to only take the one wicket. It was crazy the number of times the ball narrowly missed the pegs especially via the inside edge of the opposing skipper’s bat. As wickets continued to fall the Hill fielders encircled the batters like vultures. Fittingly the last wicket was taken by Robo who unleashed a rising ball towards the ribs of the batter. In fending it away he succeeded only in finding an expectant Harry Coates, under the lid at short leg. The catch was snaffled, and the Hill claimed the victory. Thames Ditton all out for 65, Hampton Hill won by 169 runs (Rich Bennett won by 3 runs).
With six games to go Hampton Hill sit top of the league. Knowing that the destiny of the season sits in our hands.
Player of the Match: Rich Bennett with a fine 68
2nd XI beat Maori Oxshott by 4 wickets
It was first versus third at the Hampton Hill Coliseum Dome on Saturday. The visitors Maori Oxshott having the opportunity to gain some vital points to try and close the gap on the top two. Maori lost the toss and were stuck in on a hard surface despite all the rain. As a side note, has anyone noticed that there are a lot of Fullicks around these days. Taking wickets, scoring runs, drinking pints, delivering babies, umpiring! Unfortunately, I did my very best to take one of them out in about the 3rd over of the game. A tickle to legside the non-striker pegging it down to the other end and Evs throwing to the bowler’s end. Then Wallop! 30 stone and over 100 years of collision. Head-to-head. Unfortunately for John it was the side of my head against the corner of his eye and blood immediately began streaming down his face. He was led off the pitch and to hospital where they glued him back together in time for him to return for a pint down the club. Hard as nails! Throughout this whole episode John was the calmest cookie on the pitch.
From this point on the game seemed very dream like to me. As far as I could see we were battering them with Murts and Sam Fu initially taking wickets and Fallows bowling with his customary hostility. Then their number four came in and looked different class plundering 60 + runs in quick time. When there is something wrong in the neighbourhood. Who you going to Call? I this case I returned to one of my generals. Ian Exworth. Every successful team need players you can rely on especially in a crisis. To be fair to Ian we have been rolling teams and he has not been bowling while hovering around the number 7/8 spot with the bat. I have not had one word of complaint from him, and I knew he was waiting for his opportunity. It took him a couple of overs to warm up but then produced a beauty that there top batsmen slashed at and Ed Cinderey did the rest. A very good catch from a very reliable keeper who up until that point had looked a bit shaky. Big moment, big ball, big catch. Who cares?
We then had a minor rain break where they were about 120 – 6. At the moment a number of people are being furloughed they subsequently got Fallowed as the mercurial pace man bowled fast and straight taking poles and reducing them to 140 odd. It should be mentioned that his fast ball of the match also resulted in a wicket as the opener tried to pull him and was undone by pace spooning to Ed behind the stumps. Again, a team bowling effort with Ian back in the wicks. Too many rank bad balls for my liking and we can definitely tighten up on this as a team.
So we approached our target with confidence. JC had a little prod to the offside, probably a one if he calls early but he is one of our seniors and needs a bit of time to get going. In contrast Sam came speeding down towards him calling the run and was face to face with JC as the bails were removed at the non-strikers end. One of those things. This bought Gomez to the crease. I question how many 7’s tournaments there are actually in the whole of the South of England and why Gomez needs to play everyone. His availability has been sporadic and was late to the game due to playing rugby. In fact, a number of the clubs’ big hitters have been sporadic with availability. Mitch, who was inexcusably at a hen party in Newcastle. Yes, a hen party. And TC who was missing after batting well for the ones.
Anyway, Gomez once again proved what talent he has scoring a match winning 50 to put us in range. One memorable six resulting in a fifteen-minute look for the ball. He was ably assisted by Massimo who looked in great form before falling for 30 odd. One on drive off the spinner sticking in the memory. The great thing about this team is we can get better and once again we wobbled with Ed and Ben both falling for ducks. General Evs and Ports closed the game out 6 down. We keep rolling on.
A special mention to Maori and their umpire. He gave two LBW’s to us that would have been easy not to give and umpired very well throughout. It must also be said that it felt very old school at the end of the game with their team sharing jugs and both teams mixing. I am really pleased to have found a team that I like!
Player of the Match: Jordan Gomez 50
3rd XI beat Whiteley Village by 106 runs
On a day which proved once again that anyone working in The Met Office is simply not to be trusted, The Hill were inserted on a good deck, albeit one which for the first ten overs was plagued by persistent drizzle. Going was hard, with the ball beating the bat on multiple occasions before James Johnson was eventually castled. This brought Ajmal (13:02 arrival) together with Oisin, and a workman like partnership of 52 in difficult conditions set the platform for The Hill’s innings, with Oisin being dismissed six short of what would have been a fine half century. Ajmal fell for a well-made 41, and whilst The Hill’s middle order scored quickly to up the scoring rate (Adam Oliver 23, Liam Weeks 15, Warren Carr 10), nobody capitalised on their start. The tail did wag however, with George Barrett scoring an expansive 15 off 9 in the dying embers of the innings to take The Hill to 182, an impressive total given the hard early going.
Compared to recent weeks, this was a threes team which held most of its cards in the bowling department, and this quickly began to prove itself. Taz bowled his classical metronomic line and length, and was duly rewarded with two wickets, putting Whiteley Village into some difficulty with the score at 11-2. The home side did regroup however, with some thanks to The Hill losing their intensity in the field, including one instance of skipper Sykes grassing a tough skier, his movement under the high ball reminiscent of a Morris dancer who had just been brought out of cold storage. Who do you rely on in a bit of a crisis? Cue Adam Oliver taking a fine catch in the deep to not only break the partnership, but also to send a message to Lucy and Co. that the family should be watching him and not James.
Not long after, Weeks took a fine catch stood up to Carr to dismiss the dangerous Matthew Rowley, and the wheels really began to come off for the home side, two wickets for Johnson (including Sykes redeeming himself in the field) and another for Carr bought the score to 56-7. Dave Coates was bought on to finish proceedings, and duly took three barrels home with him at an economy rate of less than 1. A fine win for The Hill which keeps the threes in the hunt for promotion.
Player of the Match: Oisin Shrivastava for a fine 44 off 91 in very challenging conditions.
4th XI beat Hampton Wick by 31 runs
On a cloudy Saturday, the 4s lost the toss and were asked to bat. With a good line up, the skipper gave a no-nonsense pep talk before the match talking about expectations from batsmen. What prevailed seemed to prove it worked. Although Owens and Bavs fell cheaply, a short rain break did not stop some excellent batting from Thornley (88), Michaels (29) and Harman (32) which built the foundation. Some quick fire runs from Sam (27), Jamie (13) and Archie (13), got Hill to an excellent 225/9 at the close.
After the interval, Archie and Ryan pegged back the Wick batsmen who stumbled to 37 off 10 before the breakthrough. 3 quick wickets and Hampton Wick were 39/3. Some super bowling from Archie. Ryan sadly succumbed to back injury. The Wick then added some runs getting to 73 before further wickets came to Sam, Jerry and Jamie. With the winning line in sight the skip allowed some additional bowling and we saw Fergus, James, Paul and Harman turn their arm, in all 9 bowlers were used. Wick battled hard but only made it to 194 and a triumphant 4s made it back-to-back wins.
Player of the Match: Paul Thornley a fine knock of 88
5th XI beat Ashford by 8 wickets
On a day where rain was promised the 5th XI headed to St James’ School to take on Ashford. Having won the toss Ashford were sent into bat. This was soon to be proved to be the right decision with the opening bowling duo of Andrew Blair and Harry Tonge and before long Blair had his first wicket of the afternoon. Blair then got his second not long after removing the other opener. One more wicket fell before the rain set in and once again Blair was involved getting a direct hit run out. The rain came in and the Ashford batsmen didn’t fancy hanging around and made a straight dash to cover. The game was reduced to a 35 over game once we got going again with Farooq and Ben Blackshire continued the bowling and they both followed up beautifully with both getting wickets. Ashford then had a partnership at one stage that seemed unbreakable with both batsmen nudging the ball for ones and twos before really starting to cut loose. This called for the return of the opening duo of Tonge and Blair, with the latter getting his 3rd wicket of the afternoon and finishing with figures of 7 overs 3-20 with 3 maidens. Farooq and Ben Blackshire again working in tandem to finish the innings.
Off the back of an impressive bowling performance from Farooq he set about getting the hill off to a good start alongside Puri with both batsmen getting 50s. When asked for instructions and if they should retire at 50, they were told to put them to the sword and carry on in the way they were going. After taking on the water and instructions the opening partnership continued and put on an outstanding partnership of 130. Puri was the first to fall after making 61. This then bought Omar to the crease with Farooq getting us to 157. Farooq was dismissed for 66 by an interesting ball. With 4 to win and Niall Carr wanted to hit a six he was sent in to do just that. With no one else padded up pressure was all on Carr. After three attempts he finally found the middle of the bat and it sailed back over the bowler’s head and fielders and the Hill had won.
Player of the Match: Farooq Bosan 3-25 and 66