Beds claim bragging rights


Bedouins v Enville at Enville– Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Beds win by 4 runs

Liverpool v Everton, City v United, Barca v Real Madrid, Brentford v QPR – none have the same intense rivalry to match this game. Bedouins turned out to play their landlords on Wednesday in a keenly fought local derby, with both sides desperate to hold on to the bragging rights for another season. Unfortunately for Enville, it was the Bedouins who came out on top.

Bedouins chief whip had showed an incredible ineptitude in being unable to count from one to eleven and so it was that a team of twelve turned up to play. Luckily Enville were in the same boat and so it was agreed to play 12 a side.

The Beds were again ravaged with injury with skipper Branch still lame from the Halifax Tour. Hill A. , Woodhouse and Lock were still plagued with back problems. A recurring theme in this side. Hill J. was kept away with work commitments. Hence McConnell, Faulkner and Moran were all late (but quality) additions to the side.

Who won the toss is still a mystery but Bedouins batted first, opening with Susman and Bywater. These two had a steady opening partnership of 69 in 13 overs, so steady there was unwarranted barracking from the rest of the team. The slow and low wicket made it hard to get the ball away though and this was shown in the batting collapse that followed later.

Susman had been the first to go, cleaned bowled by Burn when on 28. Bywater retired shortly after on 32. The rest of the batting side contributed little – Gregory was caught at mid-on for 3, Faulkner was caught for 7, and Lippitt went for a duck followed by Ferguson for a golden duck. Spratley and McConnell both finished not out with 7 and 5 respectively and the Bedouins had clawed their way to 99 for 5.

Bedouins made early inroads into the Enville batting line-up. Moran, who looked dangerous from the start had J. Smith cleaned bowled with the score on two and finished with 1 for 5 from his 4 overs. Pearson, opening from the other end, was carted for a 6 in his first over and was taken off by stand in skipper George after two overs to be replaced by McConnell (4 overs 1 for 16).

Enville looked to be going well. B. Oakes retired on 31, opener N. Smith had made 20 until falling to a good catch by Lippitt (any catch by a Bedouin is a good one) off the bowling of Bywater. There were however several catches put down as usual, the most memorable being Ferguson at deep square leg, racing in to grab the ball, only for it to fly through his hands during a swallow dive to the turf. Very dramatic, very funny.

The key moment was Enville’s Parfitt being run out when on 22 and looking as though while he was at the crease, Enville would storm home. It was a great shy at the stumps from Lippitt who also later took a good low catch off his own bowling. Thankfully a better performance in the field than with the bat. He also finished with bowling figures of 2 for 1 from his one over. Bywater put in a good stint to finish with 2 for 23 from his 4 overs. Spratley was a tad expensive for him with 1 for 31 from 4.

One highlight was seeing Enville legend Fred Hodges at the crease at the age of 104. Quite remarkable to see him running quick(ish) singles. He couldn’t rescue Enville though.

The light for the final five or six overs could only be described as poor and Enville may cite that as the reason the failed to reach their target of 100. It doesn’t matter, Bedouins won.

So that wraps up another season for the Beds; one that looked like it may never get going. It was probably the worst season ever, weather wise, and in the end only 7 fixtures were fulfilled. However the final tally of won 4, lost 2, tied 1 would indicate that all said and done, it was a pretty good season for the Beds. Let’s hope for some sunshine next year.

Halifax – a step too far


SSP v Bedouins at Blackley CC – Sunday, 12 August 2012

Bedouins lost by 23 runs

Mr Chairman writes:

The Bedouins had their second game within a week at Halifax against SSP.  The annual meeting with “our friends from the north” proved just a step too far, with the Beds going down to a mostly very young and fit side by a mere 23 runs in a high-scoring 40-over game.  Having suffered the late withdrawal of one of its all-rounders, the Beds side also had the misfortune to lose the all-round services of their beloved skipper during the game, as “one step too far” took on a new and sinister meaning for JB.

Happily, quite a number of Beds had decided to make a weekend of it, with the Huddersfield North Premier Inn as the base for a bit of R&R.  A two-night stay there left one or two somewhat bleary eyed on Monday morning, but all agreed that it was worth it.

The match enjoyed a new venue.  Blackley CC has a ground situated just alongside junction 24 of the M62.  Facilities are excellent, the pitch well prepared, the outfield fast and true, and the scorebox well situated with electronic facilities to hand for those who know how to use them.  Plus, the Blackley club members running the bar and doing the catering proved to be good at their job and extremely welcoming.  All together, therefore, a terrific new location.

SSP won the toss and opted to bat.  Opening the bowling downwind and downhill, Lee Bywater showed definite signs of steam coming out of his ears in a six-over burst that yielded only 14 runs.  At the other end the skipper of vice, Mike George, was taking just the occasional hit until posted to the nether reaches of the boundary to nurse a damaged fetlock.

Bostin’ Austin took over uphill and bamboozled a few batsmen with his variations of pace.  He finished an excellent 8-over spell with 1 for 25.  Spratters took over downhill and had 8 tidy overs to take 1 for 30, and Dave Pearson kept things tight towards the end with 4 overs costing just19.  Meantime, Mr Mackay Bywater had returned to complete his 8 overs with 2 for 22.

By now John Branch’s knee had packed up, so we couldn’t have his valued “death” bowling.  Our late substitute, Sean Emmett, an old school friend of Adrian Susman’s (let’s face it, all his school friends are now going to be “old”), was volunteered to take the final overs and, untrained as he was, took a bit of a mauling from SSP’s young and hard-hitting batsmen.  But he stuck to the task with a grin.

The end result was a 40-over score of 228 for 4, with Tom Mawer and Steve Waddington both reaching the retirement 50, Ian Clayton 36 and Tony Dobson 25.

In reply, openers Paul Lippitt and Lee Bywater (with Branchy unable to take further part) found themselves up against a quick and hostile opener, who was fortunately whipped off by SSP skipper John Dobson after 4 overs, 1 for 4, before he could do any more physical damage.  But not before Lee had been dismissed for 6.

After Lippo was out for 24, Adrian Susman and Austin Gregory came together to add 78 for the third wicket, but both fell just short of the 50 mark, for 48 and 47 respectively.  Adrian had shown an inclination not to over-exert himself, with his first seven scoring shots going for boundaries.

Andy Hill and Tony Hancock both made a valuable 22 and Spratters 17, but the Beds innings ended on 205 for 9, just 23 runs short of the target.

So SSP regained the Rasche Trophy, and one and all retreated to the pavilion to enjoy a superb buffet supper and watch the rain sheeting down as the gloom descended over Blackley; in no time, the lashing rain meant that the wicket couldn’t even be seen from the pavilion.  A few thanks were expressed, in particular to SSP for their hospitality and to Blackley Cricket Club for providing such a warm welcome, and then it was back to the pub alongside the Premier Inn for a few quick snifters before a retreat to the bedroom to watch the closing ceremony – of the Olympics, that is, not the Beds v SSP game!

Another most enjoyable Beds “tour”, and another opportunity to underline the enjoyment that Beds get from just being in each other’s company.

Photos available in the archive here. With thanks to Mike George for snapping the match shots.

An Open and shut case


Open GI v Bedouins at Ombersley – Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Beds win by 14 runs

Mr Chairman writes:

The picturesque Ombersley cricket ground on a perfect summer evening; the church clock chiming the hours in the background; the click of bowls on the adjacent bowling green; doves cooing in the long grass; ………. Whoops, sorry, got carried away a bit there.

It must be the experience of actually getting a Beds match played this soggy season in something resembling appropriate weather.

After the previous week’s experience of a farcical final few overs in stygian gloom at Enville, it was important this time to get things under way as early as possible.  Some kind of record was established by starting the game before 6 p.m. – even though it was an “away” match.  So it can be done.

Beds had first use of the invitingly hard Ombersley wicket but suffered an immediate setback, with Andy Hill bowled in the first over.  That brought Paul Lippitt to the wicket to join the skipper, John Branch, making a welcome return after his trip to the valleys with the Enville boys the previous week.

Lippitt effortlessly hit the game’s only six over mid-wicket before being bowled for 14.  Meanwhile JB was proceeding in his usual accomplished fashion, hitting the odd boundary among a host of singles.  At the other end Adrian Susman was likewise in “singles” mode until a couple of consecutive boundaries preceded his departure for 15.

Austin Gregory was next in and, with the occasional meaty blow, made his way to the 30 retirement point, with the skipper once again doing the same.

Welcome guest Rhodri Parfitt looked the regular cricketer that he is in hitting 23, which just left enough time for Lee Bywater and Tony Hancock to get to the wicket before the 20 overs were up, with the Beds on 126 for 4.

Open GI made a terrific start to their reply, getting somewhat stuck in to the bowling of David Pearson and Mike George.  At one stage it was disconcerting to hear a shout of “Well bowled, George” coming from the pavilion area.  Unfortunately from the point of view of our skipper of vice, it was from the bowling green, praising the efforts of a “George” with a wooden ball (don’t be rude!).

Open GI’s openers made good progress, putting 45 on the board in six overs before a double bowling change brought the wickets that the Beds needed.  Lee Bywater twice managed somehow to avoid the expense of completing a hat-trick, returning the astonishing figures of 4 for 7 in 4 overs, including two double-wicket maidens.  At the other end Spratters was weighing in with 3 for19, to the delight of hid dad, who had turned up to support (he seems to be remarkably jolly in spite of having to bear the cross of being Spratters’ dad!).

One of his victims was Open GI skipper and sometime Bedouin Des Johnston.  From the vantage point of the scorebox, he appeared unlucky to be given out LBW – a view with which he seemed to concur as he left the field muttering something that included the words “umpire” and “Specsavers”.

With a ninth wicket stand of 34, Open GI were just 14 runs short of their target at the end of their overs, as John Branch came on to take the pace out of the bowling and to record 2 for 16 in three overs.

So another win for the Beds.  It should be noted that a couple of good catches were taken – by Susman and Hancock.  And somewhere along the way somebody, possibly wearing keepers’ gloves, had the unlikely distinction of dropping catches off successive balls.  Dropping two balls sounds like a nasty case of you-know-what.  Nice to have you back, Andy, and thanks for coming!


DaffyDuckBedouins v Pedmore House – Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Beds lost by 36 runs

Spratters writes: The start was delayed due to a heavy storm just before six, so it was after 6.30 when the players squelched their way onto the square.

Pedmore house batted first, Spratters and Pearson opening the bowling for the Beds. Both finished with figures of 4-0-16-0 and 4-0-18-0 respectively. There was, however, a chance of a catch to Des at Mid on, but he chose to evade the ball while emitting a high pitched squealing noise.

At 8 overs P.H. were on 55 and wickets were needed. On with Lippo and secret weapon/special guest Len Oakes. Four runs each from their first two overs, six from Lippo’s second and then……..oh dear…24 from the next from Oakes. The tactic of not pitching the ball didn’t work. Maybe he was just trying to save wear on the wicket. Lippo did, however take the only wicket in the innings in his 4th over, an excellent over the shoulder catch by Bywater.

With Oakes ‘taking a blow’, Bywater takes over from the pavilion end, and Tom Oakes bowling the last 2 from ‘tuther end, neither picking up a wicket leaving P.H. on 120 after 20 overs. Lippo top wicket taker with 4-0-29-1

Beds innings was opened by Lippo and Hill Snr. Unfortunately both back in the hutch after 3 overs, Lippo for a solid looking zero and Hill Snr. For a very stylish 2. Tom Oakes in at no 3 also unfortunately caught for an attacking nought.

Des and Ade in at 4 and 5, Des the pick of the batsmen staying to the close making 30 and Ade 18. Bywater made 14 and it seemed we might just have a chance, but unfortunately Hill Jr. was bowled for a spirited zilch, probably due to the light situation. (I wouldn’t say it was dark but the umpire had to send up a flare to guide the incoming batsman to the crease). Ferguson was bowled for 6 and Spratters in at 10 for 3 balls, 1 not out, the Beds finished on 94 for 9.

Then it was in the pavilion for scrumptious fish and chips. Des and Spratters had 2 portions. Des deserved his for being top scorer……