2016 Match Reports
The Wit and Wisdom of Andy Hallsworth
The Season Opener! Mildenahall AWAY
April 24th 2016
Result - KVCC 113-6 batting first; lost by 4 wickets
Pitch Report: Located in the midst of the glorious Wiltshire countryside, the sharp-eyed would have noticed the tiniest of slopes from top to bottom
A neat, little ground, cars parked at long-on were definitely in range, at least in theory. Plot spoiler - no cars were damaged in the course of the match.
Pitch - green-tinged and slightly pudding-y, but played true.
Weather - cold, grey and miserable, best consigned to the North. Much like Pete Masterman.
Teams - Possibly for the first time in history, both teams were able to field an XI comprising people old enough to drink alcohol.
The oppo - a mixture of wily old sorts and a couple of young guns; and a pair of trousers so loud they needed a licence.
James Goddard (capt)
Pete Masterman (photographer)
Pre-amble At the appointed hour of 1.30pm, the team comprised of 4 people; two of whom were called Jamie, each believing that he was captain for the day and each brandishing a team sheet. It was decided that Jamie 'James' G's sheet of paper was a bit nicer, so became captain on his debut. The other two, Andy and Jeremy donned the pads as openers, whilst the rest of the team made its way from the Who'da, or somewhere near the Who'da, or i thought you were picking me up outside the Who'da, no, i thought you were going to come into the Who'da, and so on. Toss lost and put into bat...
Batting: The openers batted solidly and cautiously against the speedy opening pair, and gamely looked to have seen them off before perishing cheaply, both making the mistake of actually attempting to play scoring shots in anger off relatively loose deliveries.
As the pace and accuracy of the bowling dropped off - in one case significantly, as a procession of triple-bouncers and moon-balls went generously unpunished by the umpire - the run rate picked up, with Mark and Conor knocking the ball around nicely. Conor seemed to have got the measure of the pitch and bowling, hitting 14 off one over, including a sumptuous lofted off-drive for 6, before perishing to what he generously described as a 'brilliant, unplayable delivery' - we've all been there.
Mark, Colin and Jamie kept the scoreboard ticking over just enough in the difficult middle-overs section, though the slowness of the pitch, the lack of pace on the ball and an unforgivingly deep outfield meant that the scoreboard looked a little light. When Colin and Jamie finally departing after cracking efforts [citing a nosebleed from having been up on the heights of the middle for so long], the late charge was on as the big hitters Paddy and Matt stepped up.
Paddy never quite got to grips with the surface, so we didn't see the boom-boom we're used to, storing it up for next time.
Matt - possibly buoyed with a sense of bravado from the new nickname 'Russell' following a Quiz Night Gladiator mishap - swung hard and got some valuable runs. Champagne moment was Matt's perfectly timed reverse sweep [which caused my 9 y-o to say 'wow, did you see that, he's an amazing batsman'. the naivety of youth, he'll learn.]
Perhaps this was the gladiator Matt was thinking about?
So 113 for 6 (?) off our 35 overs, a decent effort by those who batted, but with a couple of good batsman still in the hutch, the total seemed a little under par.
One of the highlights of the day was the arrival of a crack-squad of ladies with full cake and tea-preparing facilities, helped to warm the hands on a cold day. lovely.
Bowling opened with Mark and Andy. Mark charged in like a bull, all aggression, hitting the deck full and hard, quite possibly muttering 'i'm going to break your ####ing legs' in Afrikaans under his breath, and was rewarded with the wicket of the dangerous-looking opener. With Andy's blockhole trundle from the other end, the scoring rate was kept down. Special mention to the ring-of-steel off-side field, with Jeremy, Colin and Huw swooping like, er, coiled cobras on anything that came their way.
Kudos also to Mark, who kept well, very little escaping past him, and always with something encouraging/bantery to say.
12 quid that the club doesn't need to spend.
When Skipper James came on, our expectation/hopes went up. In winter nets, we'd seen james bamboozle us with those beautiful swinging, dipping deliveries. Naturally, after seeing off a batsman first ball, bamboozling him with a swinging dipping delivery to remove leg stump, James settled into a great rhythm, and caused batsman trouble all afternoon. James will form a formidable bowling partnership with swing-twin Pete, subject to the former's musical commitments and the latter's failing body.
At this point, though, swaggered to the wicket the oppo's main man, a man with the air of someone who had fallen in love with himself at a young age and had never yet been unfaithful. We knew he was the key; he knew he was the key; we knew that we'd have to get his wicket; we knew we could spurn any chances he gave us. well, anyway, you see where this is going...
Conor's pace kept the batsmen honest, and after finding his range, paddy's tweakers threatened, but as the run rate increased, it was clear that we need to bowl them out to win.
To the surprise of all, Andy and Matt avoided the 153 things that could've gone wrong and combined for a neat run-out, 32 stone of athletic precision in perfect harmony.
But then the defining moment of the match, as the key batsman spooned Matt towards Conor. The ball hit the hands and, shortly afterwards, the turf. Behind the stumps, Mark immediately called out 'Bad luck, son, these things happen. love you' or words to the opposite effect. We perhaps knew the game had passed at that moment, but most of all we felt for the inevitable grilling Conor will face from dad for, at a conservative estimate, the next 15 years.
Proud sponsors of Conor's fingers
From that moment on, the key batsman continued to hit out and fail to get out and Minal reached the target with 4 wickets and a good few overs to spare.
The aftermath Not a bad effort all-in-all. Great game that we could've won; encouraging signs with bat and ball. and we had a full team and all.
An Inspired Victory. All Cannings HOME
May 8th 2016
Result - KVCC 235 batting first; won by 135 runs. No, really.
Special Match report for Jack
Obvs da kidz no time 4 full mtch rprt, lolz, so jst 4 u, innit. lolz #KVCC #winnerz
No need to read on, Jack (or anyone, really).
Great to see Jack turn up to cheer us on (and score), taking time out from GCSE revision. Good luck, son! And really, don't worry about them, they won't define your life - my GCSEs went really well and I completely amounted to nothing. Back to the books, see you on the other side.
This detailed Google Earth view of the KVCC pitch suggest that both the wicket and the outfield were on the lush side of things. Pitch itself played just fine, a little slow off the surface, a tendency to 'pop up' bowling up the hill, but basically a good wicket - good work, KVCC pitch-folk.
Weather - the polar opposite (somewhat ironically] of the previous game, scorchio from start to finish. the perfect English May-day for cricket.
'Glorious', said Matt trudging back to the pavilion
The oppo - a really nice-natured bunch of proper Wiltshire lads. They turned up to play cricket, but you feel in their hearts-of-hearts, they wanted to be on a beach in Cornwall with some cider and specialist cigarettes.
A couple of players short, All Cannings were supplemented with Mark and youngster Charlie Hallsworth - there was some initial hesitation in them taking someone so obviously lightweight and prone to infantile hissy-fits, but in the end they did reluctantly accept Mark, *honk honk*. As it turned out, Mark and Charlie were two of the All Cannings star performers...
Andy 'People's Champion' Hallsworth
1. 'History will be kind to me, since I intend to write it' - W Churchill and A Hallsworth.
If you were ever in any doubt, the primary reason for these match reports is self-promotion; if I had my way, none of you would get any mention other than as fall-guys to my inevitable brilliance.
2. Families. As well as two sets of father-and-son on show, the KVCC team was home to the Goddard brothers, a rare sporting get-together for the three of them. Which was nice. In some parts of Wiltshire, entire teams can be made up of relatives, where those extra fingers become a positive benefit in the field.
Your Guide to the Goddards
Left - Richie, one for the ladies here. Handsome, tanned, tattooed international playboy and generous of spirit. Shone the ball enthusiastically and generally geed everyone up in the field.
Middle - Mark. Kind, thoughtful, artistic, talented, all-round lovely fella and a pleasure to play alongside.
Right - The other one. I forget his name. Classic middle child.
Two great pieces of captaincy. One, UberSkipper Jason dropping himself for the match; two, James winning the toss and opting to bat first, thus ensuring the All Cannings lads had to endure the scorching heat in the middle.
Jeremy and Matt opened up, facing some surprisingly gentle stuff from the towering opening bowlers. In complete contrast to the previous game, the scoreboard whirred round from the off, Matt biffing a couple of trademark 4s and 6s in a quickfire 21. Jeremy was unlucky for the second game running to be well-caught - juggled at mid-on - attempting to push the score, and Matt was caught at the 3rd attempt, at first slip off a good delivery, in what looked dangerously like proper cricket.
All Cannings' fielding drills paid off
Gladiator Matt then ordered no3 and no4 to unleash hell and they duly did, Richie G and Connor setting about the bowling with relish. The ball flew to/over the boundary regularly, largely over the forbidding hedge from where balls don't return - Jeremy, the man deemed the most likely to least offend the owner, was duly sent to ask for our balls back, mister, which were deposited back over the hedge to us, shortly before being deposited back over the hedge, shortly before being deposited back over the hedge, if you get me. [Aside: I once saw Mattie Elliott - the Aussie opener - drunk in Oxford, falling into a bush and shouting 'what are y'doin' to me, ya hedge-y thing?!'. Aside to that aside, I once also saw Pommie Mbangwa urinating behind a kebab van. Fact. Happy days.].
Boom! Crash! Bang! Not just the name of Norway's latest Eurovision entry, but a fair onomatopoeic [Jack - chuck that in your GCSE english and you're quids-in] description of the continuing mayhem, some really brutal hitting, especially to the leg side.
All Cannings perhaps thought that getting their 11 year-old to have a twirl, might slow things down, if only because a full-grown adult might go easy on a lad taking his formative steps in the game. hahahahahaha. Boom! Crash! Bang! [Jack - anaphora, repetition for effect. we're talking A* territory here] went Richie G, clearly venting the frustration of being the youngest brother of three and suffering the associated bullying/torture/chinese burns for so many years. Character-building stuff for the bowler.
Mark Richardson was introduced to the attack and gave some level of control. the balcony erupted [Jack - hyperbole] as Connor smashed dad for 4, tho raising his bat (mistakenly thinking he'd reached 50) was a little excessive.
When the 11 y-o trick didn't work, All Cannings played the final card and threw the ball to 9 y-o Charlie. Richie G licked his lips [Jack - metaphor. 'I went on a blind date once with a girl called Simile - I don't know what i metaphor.' classic.] at the prospect of ruining another young boy's dreams, but was almost shocked first ball to receive something that swung, dipped, kept low and almost sneaked under the bat. For the first time in the innings, Charlie kept the bowling tight [and low] and was rewarded when Richie holed out going big [and a lovely shake of the hand to the bowler on his way back - nice touch :-)]. A rapid 79 for Richie, off just 16 scoring shots - tasty.
Skipper James strolled out, then strolled back in shortly after - in horror that he'd been given lbw to Mark's bowling, the horror exacerbated only by the length of time between the appeal and the raising of the finger [the umpire's, not Mark's. different finger].
Andy's personal pride in Charlie's efforts was tempered by the worry that if one more wicket fell, he was going to have to face his own son's bowling. The stuff of nightmares. Adam duly went cheaply, mistiming off Charlie and caught close to the wicket. [Jack - you notice here how I'm writing in the 3rd person, the voice of the narrator. Fine in books, but as I've found out over the years, if you actually refer to yourself in the 3rd person, it's not such a good look.]
Hallsworth Sr strolled in and played his son's bowling with nonchalent ease, dismissive of his offspring's woeful efforts was bloody relieved to see Charlie off [whose 2-13 off 4 overs were well-deserved].
Connor's mammoth effort came to an end as he mowed across the line for another biggie, a great knock - the scorer totted things up to find that he had fallen for 97, so something of a gutter, but a great innings nonetheless.
Connor here, searching the internet for a Red Indian, a construction worker and a gay biker to complete his tribute band
Andy finished the innings off with some lusty blows, ending 31* and the total a whopping 235! 235, like, in the one innings, by us.
Sadly, no knock this week for Huw and no opportunity to appreciate quite how applicable the phrase 'out of the screws of the bat' can be. [Interlude from previous game. With Huw padded up, his wife and greatest supporter turned up and enquired how things were going - 'I'm next into bat, darling'; 'Oh dear', came the reply. There's nothing like support from your nearest-and-dearest; and that was nothing like support.]
It will never be too hot for an Englishman to enjoy a nice cup of tea. Lovely cuppa and a cracking spread. A disappointing effort on the cake front by James' other half, Harriet - so poor a cake that i had to have three pieces so that i could truly appreciate quite how awful it was. seriously good cake.
Up close, James' other half was older than I expected
Skipper James and Andy took the new ball, with Mark opening the batting for All Cannings.
Bowling up the hill, doing all the hard work into the teeth of a howling gale Andy settled into a good line and length, a little swing and some helpful bounce/seam helping to stifle the scoring. James, as befitting a man of musical talents, settled into a great rhythm and made the ball sing [Jack - this is known as 'weak journalism', taking an unrelated element and working in a number of weak puns. See the back catalogue of all Derek Pringle cricket writing for more on this topic].
With the scoring barely moving, Andy clean bowled one of the openers and pinned Mark down with a number of jaffas, one of which looped off the top of the bat invitingly to Matt at first slip - Matt's soft-shoe-shuffle and single-handed pat-down combo conspired to give Mark a life, of which he took good advantage. Andy's 1-3 off 5 and James', then James Q's quicks kept the score down to 10-1 off 11 overs. Mark's wily nous saw him engage the tactic of moving up/down/across the wickets to disrupt the bowlers and to be fair it worked. Mark settled into a good scoring groove and played some lovely expansive shots as he went on.
As a match, it was kinda tricky for AC to get into it, losing wickets at regular intervals. Mark G found a lovely length to keep the batsmen unsure whether to come backwards or forwards, with one wicket a smart stumping by Connor (who was very solid all game behind the stumps, given or take the odd tear-inducing blow to the swingers. ouch. snigger.); if anything it was wasted on a batsman who was nearer the non-striker's end than his own. Alex, who had been keen to denigrate his own abilities all day, was bang on the money straight away, and seemed to surprise himself (and certainly the batsmen) with the pace and accuracy of his bowling, picking up a couple (?) of well -deserved wickets. Adam too chipped in down the hill, a good bowling/fielding effort all round.
Fielding was tight again, again a special mention to Jeremy who was lightning onto anything and held a very droppable chance. James Q and Richie G were lively in the outfield and both kept the spirits up, aided by the incessant (in a good way) banter with Mark in the middle. The middle was a quieter place with Mark's dismissal, sadly out 2 shy of his 50. Great knocks by father and son. The game petered out, with Charlie's 14* bringing up the team's 100 off the final ball.
The aftermath All good, family-friendly fun on a proper glorious day. A couple of pints in the Who'da with the AC lads, look forward to a return fixture and perhaps a closer game next time. Onwards and upwards.
A Rarity Indeed. Wilton HOME
June 26th 2016
Result - Wilton 74 ao batting first; KVCC won by 9 wickets.
The first thing you've read all week that doesn't mention Brexit or Iceland...
Green, with various patches of brown lumpy bits, specially produced for the occasion by the bunnies of Lockeridge. After a quick sweep of faecal matter from the wicket, it played just fine.
Weather - grey and miserable, but not wet.
The oppo - good bunch of relative youngsters, but only 8 of them. Each of them phoned 3 people, who in turn phoned 3 people. So they could've had a team of 104, but as it was, it stayed at 8.
Wilton has a proud history of producing first-class cricketers, well, one. And what a career it was. Thanks, Wilton.
Stu Williamson (debut)
Chopper Harris (debut)
John Hancock (debut)
Matt Floyd V
ivian Chamier (debut)
A few new faces in the KVCC line up - a couple of proper ringers, and a couple of local fellas who finally succumbed to the email pleading and naively admitted to having held a cricket bat within the past 30 years. Good work by Skipper Jason and Skipper Pete to get the numbers needed - and welcome to the new boys...
'Chopper' Harris. A man whose persona gave the impression that his spare time does not necessarily consist of stamp-collecting, reading romantic poetry and drinking herbal tea. Rumours that he had recently bowled Hamish Marshall suggested that he might know what he was doing.
Viv Chamier. A former regimental sergeant major and something of a cricketer, as the personalised South African top attested to. A man with boundless energy, Viv dispensed constant encouragement at high volume, sometimes in a language none of us could understand - In many respects, much like Mark Richardson.
'Get your 'air cut, you 'orrible little man'. Seemed a bit harsh on Jason.
Stu Williamson. A taller, lither more handsome version of Jason. Hailing from the icy North East [Sunderland, right :-)], Stu seems something of a sportsman and if we can tempt him onto the pitch again, will be a good addition.
John Hancock. Good westcountry lad, playing his first game of cricket in over 20 years. Shaking off a little rust with the bowling arm and putting aside an initial aversion to catching small red objects falling out of the sky, John is the perfect KVCC player
A virtual toss - Wilton batted first, whilst they waited for their reinforcements to arrive. Or not, as the case turned out to be.
Actual cricketers Chopper and Viv opened the bowling: Chopper charged threateningly down the hill, his momentum taking him roughly to first slip. Viv shuffled unthreateningly up the hill, unthreatening until the ball rifled out of his hand, then swung, fizzed, dipped, seamed and bounced.
Chopper removed the opening bat first ball, clipping the top of off-stump and continued to press the batsmen back. Viv constantly caused trouble and was rewarded with a surprisingly sharp catch at first slip by Pete, albeit in the manner of someone who had been shot by a sniper.
[Aside. Worthy of comment was Pete's choice of cap - one part village idiot, two parts Fred Dibnah - the kind of headgear that makes you want to shout 'HAT!', then turn away and pretend it wasn't you]
Pete stepped up to bowl for the first time this season, his legs now sporting the appropriate number of working knees, and promptly hit the stumps, reducing the visitors to 20-odd for 4. Given the match situation, the bowling was spread then round the team.
Credit to John, who persevered through his first over of 20-year looseners [or what they call 'variation' in the modern game], then bowled a really good line and length, one that will definitely get him wickets in future games, hint hint. Stu, also claiming rustiness, was bang on the money from the off and may well have taken some excellent wickets - or may not have done, the details of these things kinda pass me by a little.
Thereafter, the task was handed to the team's little 'uns, 10y-o Cameron and 9y-o Charlie. If the idea was to prolong the game and give the oppo the chance to rack up some runs, it didn't quite work that way as the lads picked up three wickets in their six overs.
Cameron's lovely leggies induced a nick off Wilton's best batsman which Matt clung on to via glove, stomach, chin and glove again before lodging in the pad. Charlie trudged up the hill into the wind - character-building stuff - and delivered a good line and length, rewarded with a neat caught-and-bowled off a suitably disappointed grown-up.
In hindsight, Matt's choice of trousers was perfectly sensible.
All that was left was for Skipper Jason to apply the coup-de-grace to the by-now recycled Wilton batsmen. Jason tells me that all five of his deliveries were unplayable, each one a mystery wrapped in a puzzle wrapped in an enigma, the batsmen mere pawns in a game in which he was the all-powerful master. If anything, Jason felt that figures of 2 wickets for 0 runs massively underplayed the brilliance of the bowling. Jason tells me that he always bowls this brilliantly.
A good performance, all in all. Some quality bowling up front, a couple of sharp catches, more edges than
Frankly the ladyfolk of this world nowadays are letting the side down by forcing their hapless menfolk to buy party nibbles from waitrose. Teabreak kudos to Chopper for his delightful scones and sarnies, and possibly Stu for a particularly tasty chocolate brownie. But let's face it, any table heaving with pasties, sausage rolls, cake and cups of tea works for me. Cricket is definitely the best sport.
It's fair to say at this level, that 74 is not necessarily a losing score. However...
Adam and Andy started things up, Adam strolling back to the pavilion after a trademark wipe missed the mark and was cleaned up for a duck: 0 for 1 not the perfect start. At that point, people who had backed Leicester to win the league didn't fancy putting any money on Matt and Andy leading the team home to a comfortable 9 wicket victory.
As it was, Andy played the chris tavare to Matt's chris gayle: the latter playing some lovely cricket shots (and the odd yahoo) to dispatch the ball to the boundary regularly; the former playing French-cricket style defence to straight ones and dabbing the odd single. Andy was given one life by his son, grassing a tough one at mid-on (but getting an extra 10p pocket money in the process), but otherwise the two cruised happily towards the target in a manner that didn't really allow for any comedy in the match report, Andy hitting three consecutive 4s to clinch the game before the rain came.