HHCC 1st XI vs Chertsey

HHCC 1st XI vs Chertsey

23 Jun 2024

HHCC Match Report - Away Vs Chertsey CC 1/06/2024

The Hill arrived at recently relegated Chertsey CC with a spring in their step following the resounding success of Bennett-ball against local rivals Kempton 7 days prior. If victory could be achieved, three wins on the spin would cement Hampton Hill’s promotion credentials for the 2024 season. 

Overcast skies and rainfall during the week meant that conditions appeared to be extremely bowler-friendly. After a 4th toss win in a row (yes 4th, JNS), HHCC asked Chertsey to bat in what looked to be challenging conditions. 

A wicketless opening spell from Boulton and Robottom, a dropped catch, and an 89 run opening partnership later, may rightly lead some to question the Captain’s decision to field first. Only a complete head loss from the Chertsey opener Hanger, providing the first breakthrough to Hampton Hill’s pocket-sized irritant, Paul Hennessy. 

The second wicket wouldn’t fall until 10 overs later - Rob “Diglet” Fullicks finally finding the breakthrough. With the score at around 150 from 30 overs, things were looking bleak. Exceptional workrate in the field, and some tight bowling from the (many) Hill Bowlers, ensured that Chertsey were not able to score freely. Significantly restricting what could have been a much larger score in the middle overs. If not for the efforts of the opener Osman (89), dismissed lbw without any hint of controversy by JNS, things may have looked very different at this point. 

A simply thunderous spell from the experienced Merchant served as a timely reminder of what the man is capable of. Bearing many similarities to various women in south-west London, batter after batter fell prey to Merchant’s charm. There was no escape.  In just 5.1 overs, and for just 28 runs,  Merchant completed his 5-fer. Supported by an extremely effective spell of bowling from the other end from Sam Fullicks, the Chertsey innings was ended for 237 ao. Far below what they might have expected an hour earlier. 

In complete contrast to the Chertsey innings, Hampton Hill found themselves 13-2. Openers Bennett and Coates both falling early. 

A rebuild led by the man-in-form James Newton-Savage, allowed the Hill to partially recover to 50-2. Looking fluid at the crease, and armed with maybe the greatest stick of all time, he made it look easy. Deliberate shot selection and confident batting troubled the Chertsey bowlers, with them becoming particularly irate as the ball appeared to be caught behind off the middle of the bat. Though the umpire disagreed with that assessment, James eventually fell for 60, to a questionable lbw decision. Swings and roundabouts some might say. 

A steady succession of wickets slowly diminished any hopes of victory. Sam Fullicks batted nicely for 18, and strong contributions from Widget (22) and Woody (24) ensured that the score remained respectable, but ultimately it was well short of what was required. The Hill were eventually all out for 167 runs. Lessons to be learned. 

Next up is London Gymkhana at home, where the Hill look to bounce back to winning ways in front of a raucous crowd.  

James Boulton