HHCC 1st XI vs Woking & Horsell CC Match Report

HHCC 1st XI vs Woking & Horsell CC Match Report

21 May 2024

Hampton Hill welcomed Woking & Horsell to fortress Hill as the second game of the league season. The game came a day after a scintillating Friday night T20 victory which sparked a few members of the team musing as to whether there is still time to turn themselves into franchise cricketers. 

The teams were presented with humid and overcast conditions, with 2 changes from the defeat at Purley as the stalwart James Robottom was attending a (non-energy) event which presented a debut for promising young Archie Pope (no relation to the “Clapham Cliques” person friend Ollie). 
In the other change Dave Merchant’s extensive social life meant Adam Mackinney returned, overcoming another ankle related injury scare to take his place in the XI. 

Captain Boulton won the toss and elected to bowl with a dark rouge red ball which resembled a test match dukes special. 

The Ollie Robinson / Bumrah hyrbid James Boulton and Adam Mac opened up the bowling for the home side. The visitors got off to a flying start however the Hill were once again architects of their own downfall with several dropped catches from their usual very reliable fielders. 

However Adam Mac - the overseas slayer - lived up to his reputation with a superb delivery that started with a bit of width, which was greeting with a respectful but ill judged leave by a player who had returned a shade under 600 runs in the previous season. The ball came in late and cannoned straight into the top of off stump leading to jubilant celebrations led by the “slayer”. 

There are many adjectives one could use to describe James Boulton. Sticking to cricket performances, his bowling is as good as it gets, once again producing some superb deliveries, building pressure and knocking off the top of opposition batting orders, finishing with 4/30. Surely he has his eyes firmly set on getting his name inscribed on the newly installed honours board in the home changing room, whilst talking through each and every victim for fortunate listeners. 

The pressure applied, the visitors struggled and offered up 3 run outs in a chaotic period. In and amongst the chaos, Paul “Widget” Hennessy executed a sharp run out whilst Sam Fullicks held onto a good catch and Jack “The Cat” Baverstock once again put no foot wrong behind the sticks. 

Harry Coates continued his impressive early season form with the ball, reminiscent of days around NG1, proving why he’s one of the clubs most coveted assets. The inns finished with an edge and a smart catch from an excitable James Newton-Savage which saw Woking all out for 74. 

In response Robbie “Suds McDuff” Coates and Richard “Benoit” strode out to bat knowing full well that stranger things have happened in cricket than underestimating a low scoring chase. 

However there was no complacency from the two as Robbie continued his superb form, playing beautifully square of the wicket on both the on and off side as well as exploiting the vacant gap in the 3rd man region in what proved to be another authoritative innings. Robbie raced to 51* vindicating his move up the order. 

At the other end Richard absorbed the pressure from the opening bowlers as he sort to take any remaining sting out of the game and extinguish any hopes of a late rally from the visitors. 

There was speculation on the sidelines about whether Richard would get into double figures before the target was reached. However some nice shots through the covers left the skeptical teammates scrambling to erase evidence of prospective fines. 

The Hill completed an Impressive victory by 10 wickets to see a first league victory under the new regime and a first home win in the league since 27 May 2023. 

The Hill welcome Kempton next week looking to follow up two strong early season performances. 

Written by Richard Bennett