Founded in 1930, the Buccaneers is a wandering cricket club with Sunday fixtures, usually all day, throughout the South East of England from Oxford and Henley to Maidstone, Hurstpierpoint and Hurlingham.

"Let us take our stand and play the game, but rather for the cause than for the fame"

Sign up for matches in 2018

To help our Match Managers, please make your availability known to them by completing our Availability Tracker.

Click HERE to access it.

To see our fixtures click HERE.

 

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Annual Dinner 2018 a great success

More than 30 Buccs and their guests enjoyed a convivial evening at the East India Club to celebrate the 2017 season.

With six matches won but also six cancelled, President Simon Woolfries reflected on the twin challenges of the diminished interest in Sunday cricket and global warming before TMS's newest recruit Dan Norcross entertained the audience with his insights from his first Ashes series as a presenter.

Leading batsman with 261 runs was Angus Berry and Simon Leefe recorded an impressive average of more than 41 for the season. Leading bowler was Simon Leefe with 10 wickets while Steve Moules enjoyed the lowest average.

Finally, Dan Norcross presented Angus Berry with the Geoffrey Moore Award for being leading batsman, playing most games played and also stepping up to help get a side together at very short notice for the match against The Mote. 

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2017 Averages published

With 10 matches played and a win rate of 60%, 2017 was another successful season for the club.

Why not find out who was the leading batsman and bowler prior to the Dinner.

Click here to access the full review.

Gus in Gower mode
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Annual Dinner – TMS’s Dan Norcross speaking

The 2018 Annual Dinner takes place at the East India Club on 7 February 2018.

We are lucky to have TMS’s Dan Norcross speaking after dinner this year.

To secure your ticket, please complete our form by clicking here.

 

 

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Buccs beat the weather as Knight Rydons scoop the Mynott Thimble

The usual scrambling around for players resulted in two teams (one of 11 and one of ten) assembling at the annual worm cast arena that is Betchworth Cricket Club (conveniently situated behind the Red Lion pub) for the Buccaneers’ end of season ‘House Match’. Julian kindly got the heavy roller out and we commenced at 11.15am with Simon ‘China’ White and Will ‘Farmer’ Rydon leading out the Kolkata Knight Rydons. Opening with spin for the Sunrisers Hyderhobbs was Angus ‘no sleep’ Berry and with pace Liam Ward (enough of the nicknames).
Good cricket all round, despite the sticky wicket, and all was proceeding smoothly until Will fell to a straight one from Liam. Jeremy Milne took over and calmly bisected the field with what turned out to be the top score of the day, as well as the highest partnership. Will Metcalfe and young Alfie Harris-Jones joined the attack, but it was left to the skipper, Rich Hobbs, to spin one down the hill to account for China. Simon Leefe joined Jeremy to tackle the spin from Rich and Warwick Okines.

Jeremy normally gets fifty and out, but decided to upset the form book by getting out on 49 to a caught and bowled by Rich. Rob Rydon departed similarly but with a lot less runs to his name. Now enter the septuagenarian, Andy Morgan, who started quickly in attacking the bowling with some swiftly taken two’s off another youngster, Arthur Bourke. The KKR’s lunched at 132 for 4 and all and sundry set about attacking the generous offer from the Buccaneers’ finance director of a tab behind the bar. A mixed affair for lunch, with some generously helping themselves to the Coronation chicken, Parma ham and hot scampi, while others were left with some salad.
Sadly the rain started to fall, but this just meant for some a retirement to the bar and more ale on the tab.
However, as the skies became less grey it was decided to restart but amend the game to 35 overs per side.  Invigorated by lunch, Andy and Simon attempted to run a three, but sadly too much ale or too many years meant that Andy failed to make it back for the third. Enter young Charlie Leefe, fresh from auditioning for Trainspotters 3. He showed his dad how to up the tempo with an agricultural six over cow corner (befitting a soon to be student of Cirencester Royal Agricultural College). Not to be outdone, Simon launched a straighter version into the trees. Charlie fell to the wiles of Warwick, neatly stumped by Michael Harms and Tom Rydon enjoyed the short term nature of his innings, adding quick runs, before falling on the last ball to another Harms stumping. 182 for 6 off 35 overs seemed plenty to the KKR skipper.

Angus and Michael opened against the pace of Tom and Ed Howes. A strong start. Some fours and a six got the scoreboard ticking along, but a lofted drive to long off was safely pouched by Will off Ed’s bowling. Liam joined Angus and the Sunrisers looked in command and ahead of the run rate until an excellent and entertaining run out took place. A direct hit at the non-strikers end was given not out (dubious) and as the batsmen attempted a run off the ricochet, Angus was run out at the other end. Simon L came on for some SLAB and accounted for the dangerous Liam, via a back stretching catch from China. Rob Bourke looked technically correct at the crease, while Rich looked less so. The Leefe combo accounted for them both before El Presidente came on for some ‘spin’ down the slope. Philip Harris-Jones was taken in the covers by China and Simon L cruelly caught young Arthur for a golden duck.
In came the Hack, blowing like a steam train, and received the worst hat-trick ball in recorded history. Hack gratefully accepted the offer of a runner and enjoyed a partnership with Will M, his son-in-law. Will smote it to most parts of the ground and surrounding forestry while partnering Hack, then Alfie and finally Warwick. Declining singles, Will dealt in sixes before a fateful heave missed the ball and Andy deftly removed the bails off Will R’s bowling. 129 all out and Warwick left stranded, only a hundred short of his hundred.
The Sunrisers’ skipper gamely opened his bottle of port in the pavilion to try and dull the pain of defeat and offered the least generous of speeches to Rob as he handed over the Mynott Thimble (think European Cup Winners cup, but on a smaller scale) in the Red Lion. Thanks to Marshetti and Chunky for gamely umpiring the affair and for James Stringer for arranging a modest lunch. Foolishly James departed to Wembley to watch a nil-nil draw between Spurs and Swansea when he could have been watching the Galacticos behind a pub in Surrey.

Innings of Kolkata Knight Rydons

S White b Hobbs 28
W Rydon b Ward 16
J Milne ct & b Hobbs 49
S Leefe not out 27
R Rydon ct & b Hobbs 4
A Morgan run out 21
C Leefe st Harms b Okines 8
T Rydon st Harms b Okines 15
Extras 13

FOW 1-25(2), 2-99(1), 3-102(3), 4-114(5),5-145(6),6-154(7),7-179(5)

Total 182-7 for 7 (35 overs)

A Berry 4-0-18-0
L Ward 6-0-14-0
W Metcalfe 8-0-32-0
A Harris-Jones 4-0-34-0
R Hobbs 5-1-23-3
W Okines 6-0-34-2
A Bourke 2-0-19-0

Innings of Sunrisers Hyderhobbs

A Berry run out 17
M Harms ct W Rydon b Howes 19
L Ward ct S White b S Leefe 29
R Bourke b S Leefe 8
R Hobbs B C Leefe 18
R Harris-Jones ct S White b S Woolfries 2
W Metcalfe st Morgan b W Rydon 28
A Bourke b S Woolfries 0
R Gwynn b C Leefe 2
A Harris-Jones ct b C Leefe 3
W Okines not out 0

Extras 3

Total 129 all out (29.4 overs)

E Howes 3-0-16-1
T Rydon 4-0-23-0
R Rydon 5-0-17-0
S Leefe 5-0-21-2
C Leefe 7-0-18-3
S Woolfries 5-0-20-2
W Rydon 1.4-0-10-1

Kolkata Knight Rydons beat Sunrisers Hyderhobbs by 53 runs

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A tale of missing managers, faux fifties, and (alleged) criminal cricketers

The sight of 11 Buccaneers taking the field against Mote CC represented one of the most hastily arranged side in our illustrious history. Such haste was required as a mere six days before the fixture was due to take place assigned manager, Laughing Vic, contacted our Central Committee to say he was no longer running the game. Queue frantic emails, the majority from a beach in Portugal and thankfully the Buccaneers’ spirit was found in spades. 11 confirmed with your writer taking on the duties as Manager and Captain, despite much more able Buccs in the ranks!

So we arrived at the Mote, or at least some of us did. With the first ball due to be bowled just six of the side had managed to assemble at the ground. It must have been the horribly early 2pm start… As the skipper headed out for the ‘toss’ he was somewhat relieved to asked what he wanted to do. With the Milnes in transit and with the opposition skipper deeply concerned by our, or should I say Blackheath’s strength, we were invited to bat first.

Following their wonderful bowling display at the Hurlingham Club, skipper Berry asked the Leefe brothers to see how they went with bats in hand and so we were off. As the rest of the Buccs filtered in and the bar was (finally) opened, we settled in for what we hoped would be run-filled 40 overs.

Mote’s opening pair were contrast personified; one bowling with little pace or accuracy and the other producing some truly unplayable stuff. With some skill and a little luck the Brothers got us off to a solid start until the younger of the Leefes was nipped out by the aforementioned better opener.

By this time the Milne wagon had rolled in carrying three players and three Etonians following young Caspar’s birthday party the evening prior. I for one am a little nervous about the future of British politics, as the three reluctant supporters could be seen drinking lukewarm Guinness from a can in 28 degree heat… How one Mr Rees-Mogg would react had he seen such a scene is barely worth thinking about.

Back to the cricket and skipper Berry joined S.Leefe at the crease and they both continued to be troubled from the one end and picking up boundaries at the other. What followed was a real battle between bat and ball. Every time the Buccs seemed to be dominating the bowling a wicket would fall. Berry and Hobson both contributed score in the 30s, Milne Senior too played a good hand. The best knock of our innings however, went to Richard Hobbs. Following a hat trick on the Friday night, Hobbs displayed his all round talents with an excellent knock. He was, unfortunately, deceived into thinking that he had hit his first fifty since a 15 year old Hobbs struck 53* against Sandy CC in the North Bedfordshire Under 16 league. A scoring error led the team to applaud Hobbs as he reached 43. With just a few overs left and with the red faced Buccs unwilling to own up to our mistake we just hoped that Hobbs would manage to find the remaining seven runs. Alas, a clearly hungover Caspar Milne stumbled to the wicket and proceeded to play down the line of the second or third ball he was seeing, leaving Hobbs stranded on 47.

Hobbs’ hitting and an overall team effort ensured that the Buccs would put down a decent total; 206. The outfield was, however, very quick and the oppo had included their overseas player to ensure balance this year, cheers Vic! Tea was taken, washed down with more than a few beers and then we took to the field to defend our total.

The Buccs set about their task with what we hoped was a strong bowling attack. Casper Milne and Richard Elston opened up and did so with gusto. The pitch was, however, playing very true and the ball was racing to the fence once past the outfield. With Paul Hobson brought into the attack the Buccs soon made some breakthroughs and we were thinking about how we would be celebrating another fine victory.

As our bowling tired somewhat and their pro was joined by the blacksmith’s son we soon began to worry a little that our total may be a little shy of par. Berry turned to Georgie Leefe to try her hand at their illustrious pair. La Leefe bowled with a control not seen in any other bowler throughout the day and the skipper was once again looking towards the bar. With drinks taken and Mote behind the eight ball a rather loud phone call would change the complexion of the game.

The blacksmith’s son took great pride in announcing that he would need a taxi to arrive within the next 30 minutes for he had to be home by 7pm. A quick glance towards the ankle of said batsmen didn’t quite show whether or not an electronic tag was the reason behind his rigid departure time. Something was up and the batsmen turned to his mongoose for his final minutes. He was able to plundered a few sixes off the unfortunate Georgie, who bowled much better than her figures suggested.

Our jumpsuit batsman turned the tide with his hitting before he ‘retired curfew’ and the overseas, together with the late middle order, saw the Mote home with four overs to spare. Berry was able to rotate his bowlers with the majority getting an over or two. A few more runs might have the made the difference but the Buccs just didn’t have enough in the bowling department to take us to victory. A special mention must go to our President Simon Woolfries who bowled 4 overs of delightful off spin but without the rewards he deserved!

The skipper’s last action was leave in hurry to catch a train, failing to get a snap of the scorebook in the process, and ensuring that this match report has been filed very late. Thanks to all of the Buccs who turned out to play at such short notice, in particular the Leefe triplets who provide a great variety for any skipper. A loss, but not the thumping it could have when with a week to go we had a grand total of zero players! Hopefully next year we will be little more prepared for what is surely one the prettiest grounds in the South of England.     

Scorecard
Leefe 11
S.Leefe
Berry 35
Hobson 3
Milne 0
Milne 35
Hobbs 47*
Elston 13
Milne 0*
Leefe DNB
Woolfries DNB

Buccaneers total – 206 for 8

Bowling

C.Milne 5-1-28-1
Elston 5-0-31-0
P Hobson 7-1-31-1
Leefe 4-0-28-1
Leefe 3-0-29-0
Leefe 4-1-19-2
Woolfries 4-0-22-0
Berry 1-0-7-0
Hobbs 3-0-19-0

Mote CC total 210 for 6  

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Rain can’t stop die hard cricketers at Warborough & Shillingford

Warborough & Shillingford 152 all out. Buccs, 152 for 9. Draw

A team of committee members, core players and guests turned up at the picturesque ground of Warborough and Shillingford in anticipation of good cricket and bad rain. Both were on show. Will Metcalfe, stand in captain, lost the toss and we took the field with eight players. This was shortly boosted to the full eleven after a couple of overs.Rob Rydon and Will Noble settled into a long and steady opening spell utilising the variable bounce of the pitch. A couple of wickets fell as the W&S batsmen found it difficult to penetrate the field and even when they did, it got held up in the wet grass.
Warwick Okines came on to bowl his leggies (having last turned his arm over in the corresponding fixture last September) and soon settled into a steady rhythm and enticed a catch, cleanly pouched by young Ollie Robertson. Lunch was taken but not as cleanly. A slight delay with the chicken curry from the pub, meant that a very fine Merlot was heartily sampled. This was later topped off with cheese and port, all sitting under the oak tree.

The buffet was continued as Archie Walker bowled an over of pies, snaffling their top gun with a full toss down the leg side safely taken by Rob at backward square leg. Neil Robertson claimed some credit as he had been plying the batsman with red wine during lunch. Warwick continued his guile and was joined by Chris Leech with some fine part time left arm spin. The shock of the day was Neil taking a catch off his toes at long on. Normal service was resumed later as he shelled a regulation catch at mid on. Alan Tilley, the 74 year old stalwart of W&S, belied his years as he started to dispatch balls to the boundary and run some twos (a lot quicker than some twenty years younger than him). Alex Rydon came on to bowl some tweakers to good effect and ended up with more wickets than his dad, but it was left to the captain to make another good decision to bring back Will Noble and himself to polish off the tail. 152 all out and while we got gently damp, only one break for rain.

It was going to be tricky chasing that down with probably thirty overs to be bowled. Chris and Ollie set off but soon decided they would rather be in the pavilion where it was drier. Archie and Jim Harcourt employed the same tactics and Neil, after hitting a few lusty boundaries fell on the stroke of tea. 32 for five was not particularly enticing, but the tea was. Generous fillings in a selection of sandwiches, clotted cream on the scones, millionaire’s shortbread. Plus the fact that it was hosing it down outside all put us in an end of term mood. While some started to change out of their whites, the rain abated and so we went back out there. Alex chipped one to extra cover and Rob joined Will Noble, resplendent in his MCC sweater and dark blue scarf. A few lusty blows and things started to look a bit more encouraging for the Buccaneers. Good running and a bit of panic in the field all helped. Sadly Will fell for 26 and Rob was joined by Will Metcalfe, who carried on with the scampering. As Will died by the sword and David Close entered the fray, 29 were needed off the last three overs, with eight wickets down. The skipper, God bless him, told the old lags to go for it or die trying. Spirits were lifted as Rob flew a few sixes over fine leg and took 17 off the over. Some leg byes, edges and general mayhem ended up with Rob needing two off the last ball. A hit to extra cover was going to test his speed and he was found wanting as the throw to the keeper beat him back. A draw, but the most exciting kind and all was sweetness and light in the Six Bells as we toasted cricket being the winner*.

*Buccs also secured a draw with scores level against W&S in 2006. Both sides scored 235-8. Note J Harcourt (18) and D Close (61) played in both games.

Innings of Warborough & Shillingford

P Zagoritis ct Harcourt b Noble 7
J Schubach lbw Rydon 13
R Tilley ct O Robertson b Okines 28
J Bradshaw ct R Rydon b Leach 20
S Gilderson ct N Robertson b Leach 28
E Tilley ct W Metcalfe b Okines  0
P Tilley ct Robertson b Metcalfe 32
M Searle b A Rydon 1
S Treacher b A Rydon 0
D Tiebeman b Noble 0
J Tilley not out 0

Extras 23

Total 152 all out

R Rydon 9-4-21-1
W Metcalfe 1-0-6-0
W Noble 14-1-29-2
Okines 11-1-34-2
A Walker 1-0-5-1
C Leech 9-3-18-1
A Rydon 5-0-18-2
Innings of Buccaneers

C Leech ct R Tilley b E Tilley 9
O Robertson ct Bradshaw b Tiebeman 1
A Walker lbw Tiebeman 1
J Harcourt lbw Tilley 6
N Robertson ct Treacher b A Tilley 10
A Rydon ct A Tilley b R Tilley 5
W Noble b Schubach 26
R Rydon run out 73
W Metcalfe ct Bradshaw b R Tilley 10
D Close not out 1

Extras 8

Total 152-9

Tebeman 5-0-13-2
E Tilley 5-1-11-1
A Tilley 6-1-27-2
R Tilley 11-0-39-2
Schubach 6-0-44-1

 

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MMR vaccine too painful for OHJ’s

Mann’s, Milne’s and Rydon’s (the MMRs) made up the Buccaneers team for the final day of the OHJ’s cricket week.

The Buccs were inserted on a true pitch under a sunny sky and the Milne father and son partnership set to work. Oh dear! Another run out after only seven runs (but it was the highest father and son partnership of the day).

Jim Mann came and went and it was left to Will Rydon and Jeremy to steady the ship, which they did well with an 82 run partnership. Jeremy got 50 and got out, before Henry had a one run partnership with his dad and departed.

After hitting a glorious cover drive, Will then spooned one to mid off. So Alex and Rob Rydon lunched at 117 for 5. A fantastic lunch topped off with strawberries and clotted cream was Rob’s downfall as he fell in the first over after lunch.

So to the youth policy… Harry Mann and Alex struck it well before Alex tried to loft the off spinner (Stuart Hall) over the top, only to be caught by finger tips at mid off. Ollie joined his brother and not for the last time during the day, the Mann brothers got the Buccs out of a hole. Good running and powerful hitting got us nearer to respectability. But Stuart Hall kept on plugging away and picked up both Mann’s and young Caspar Milne (with a strike rate of 114) to bag a ‘five-fer’. Tom Rydon remained unbeaten in his first outing since last September.

183 seemed woefully short for an OHJ team packed full of batsmen. But then, the Buccaneers had a team packed full of bowlers. First off the rank were Harry and Ollie. The Buccs hadn’t opened with such a pair of quality quicks for quite a few years. The quality of bowling was backed up by the quality of catching, first by Jeremy one handed in the gulley off the full face of the bat, then a lightening reaction by Henry above his head at second slip and finally Tom, one handed at short extra.

At 42 for 3 at tea, the game hung in the balance. It swung the OHJ’s way as Mark Semmence (who usually scores a hundred against the Buccaneers) was dropped in the slips, then back to the Buccs as Caspar removed the nuggetty opener. The clincher (or was it?) was a running catch on the boundary by Ollie off Henry’s cleverly flighted off spin to dismiss the dangerous Mike Harrison. Semmance followed quickly after and at 109 for 8 it seemed just a question of when would we be in the pub.

Did I mention they were full of batting? A genuine opener at No. 9 and a decent middle order bat at No.10 and only three an over off the last twenty. Runs were picked up and we seemed in a pickle until Ollie came back to remove the No. 10 with 149 on the board. Then it was a game of cat and mouse as singles were offered and declined until we could have a go at the genuine No.11.

We did have a go at him but he was up to the task. Simon Warrender collected a well deserved 50 and with one over left was on strike with the score on 178. Simon took a single off the second ball and the No.11 then played and missed. So 5 needed off 3 balls with one wicket left. The ageing captain summoned up his last reserves of strength (did I tell you we were in the 55th over?) and set off down the slope. Just short of a length, a play and a snick and Alex did the rest to pouch it behind the stumps for a thrilling last over victory.

Innings of Buccaneers

Jeremy Milne 50
Ludo Milne 5
Jim Mann 0
Will Rydon 32
Henry Rydon 1
Alex Rydon 20
Rob Rydon 1
Harry Mann 15
Ollie Mann 29
Caspar Milne 8
Tom Rydon 4*

183 all out

M Harrison 10-0-45-0
J McGahan 11-1-45-1
S.Hall 16.5-5-42-5
M Semmence 12-0-43.3

Innings of OHJ

J.Pilgrim Ct Ollie Bowled Caspar 25
Welch Ct Jeremy Bowled Ollie 4
Wilkes-Green Ct Henry Bowled Ollie 6
D Pilgrim Ct Tom Bowled Harry 1
Semmence Ct Alex Bowled Rob 24
M Harrison Ct Olllie Bowled Henry 15
Moulton LBW Henry 11
T Harrison Ct Ludo Bowled Tom 14
Warrender not out 51*
Hall LBW Ollie 15
McGahan Ct Alex Bowled Rob 3

179 all out

Harry Mann 12-4-36-1
Ollie Mann 14-1-47-3
Rob Rydon 8.4-4-11-2
Caspar Milne 3-0-21-1
Henry Rydon 14-3-45-2
Tom Rydon 3-0-11-1

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Buccs snatch victory from the jaws of victory

This was our second game against Frensham, again under a sunny blue sky.  Having beaten them by six wickets last year and being assured by their captain that they had only three batsmen this year, we (or at least the captain) felt reasonably confident of victory.  As last year this was to be a declaration match.  In the circumstances we forwent a toss and agreed that the Buccaneers should bat first.

All went to plan as Angus Berry and Jamie Marsh put on 77 impressive runs for the first wicket, Jamie making 27 (including 5 fours) and Angus 58.  In came Rob Rydon at no. 3 (having nobly volunteered at the last minute to make a detour on his way home from Dorset) to join Angus and with restrained brutality (4 fours and 4 sixes) continued our putatively triumphant progress to make 57.  Archie Marsh added 15.  A friend of his, Jason Fisher, who was included in the side as a bowler, was joined by David Close and they maintained the momentum, Jason scoring 50 not out and David 17 not out until the captain full of over-weening confidence decided to declare after 44 overs in two and a quarter hours at 242 for 4.

As last year, a splendid tea was taken.  (If you can’t play cricket, at least eat at Frensham.)   The Buccs then took the field.  Rob (the pick of the bowlers) and Jason opened the bowling and, after many years’ absence from his rightful position, David Close kept wicket.  Many thanks go to him for doing so.  Without him the Buccs would have had no-one to keep and so no game to play.

Our initial good humour soured as we began to leak runs.   The ground has short straight boundaries and Frensham’s opener, Tindall, has clearly realised a batsman needs to play any ball with only one type of shot, namely, a slap to long on.  Out of his first 41 runs, ten were fours (although a forensic examination of the scorebook suggests that the scorer may have mistaken the figure 1 for the figure 4 at least once).  In short, if Frensham had only three batsmen, each of them did more than his duty.  They seemed to have no trouble keeping up with the required run-rate.  Steve Brandes cunningly had Tindall caught behind but the middle order proved difficult to remove and at 143 for 4 after the 22nd over a shadow of doubt was cast over the fielding side.   Archie Marsh had bamboozled a batsman into a caught and bowled but Champneys the eventual top scorer with 84 was still there.  Angus then took a couple and the Hack, the evergreen lithe athlete that he is, also took two.  Nevertheless at 217 for seven with overs to spare, the shadow of doubt was darkening into gloom.   Philip Harris-Jones, a debutant, had a go but it took Rob to spare us.  He trapped Champneys and, despite some admirable resistance from two talented youngsters (one a girl – Founder’s shade stop spinning, please), we managed to squeeze a victory by eight runs.

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A tale of two games (both equally miserable)

As the minute waltz fades away, it’s time to welcome our many readers, not only from the UK, but around the world! The 24th June started out with a crushing lions defeat to the All Blacks, watched by a core group of Buccs in the King’s Arms on Fulham High Street surrounded by bloody marys and an interesting take on the traditional full English breakfast, now featuring rocket salad…

Once that crushing defeat was out of the way we meandered through the well-heeled streets of Putney and descended on the Ranelagh Gardens entrance of one of the most prestigious private members clubs in London, The Hurlingham Club. A rural enclave stuck in the middle of SW6 to provide the local elites with a safe haven away from the horrors of the Chelsea coffee shops and bakeries.

Skipper Hobbs won the toss and elected to bat first, not least because W. Metcalfe arrived hideously late for the second time this season. Little did we know that winning the toss would be our first and only victory of the day…

The agreed format was as previous at the Hurlingham club 11:30 start declaration match with 20 overs from 17:30. The skipper duly sent out A. Berry and debutant N. Moules to open up on the veritable shirt front of a wicket kindly tended by the army of grounds staff at the Hurlingham Club. The outfield cut to a knee grazing 2mm, usually reserved for croquet. Berry and N. Moules negotiated the opening overs well indeed. Angus in particular taking is time, waiting for eight deliveries before deciding to crush a fours through the covers. The captain was taking great delight in seeing the two openers despatching fours (10 in total) to all corners of the closely shaved outfield. This start promised to provide a 600 run day…. Or did it.

Hurlingham Club opener, R. Hall (38-4), a useful left arm over the wicket swinging it into the right hander, bowled Nick Moules through the gate leaving the Buccaneers 42-1. Still an admirable start to the day. However the collapse that followed will go down in the annals of Buccaneers history as one of our least fine outings. We went from 42-1 to 85 all out with Mr E.Xtras being the third top scorer.

With no one bar the opening partners recording a score of double figures, what we thought was a strong batting line up suddenly collapsed leaving us starting the second innings before we had even retired for lunch. A Berry wilfully threw away his wicket wafting a floater to backward point to fall for 23 (Top Scorer). Stephen Moules looked comfortable and tried to build a real innings batting for 20 minutes before falling for 3 runs. Halkon and S.Leefe were quacking back to the pavilion and Paul Hobson tried in vain to keep the Bucc’s heads above water, scoring a 27 ball, 9 runs. A special mention for latecomer Will Metcalfe, who scored the longest duck of the day at 10 minutes and 14 balls; very unusal for the blacksmith’s son who just two years prior was smashing the ball to all corners of the Hurlingham club before being triggered by the umpire, on his way to a ‘bloody good five-for’. The tail were quickly mopped up and we quickly turned around to try and finish the match before lunch!

The empty stomached Buccaneers took to the field at 12:50 to start to defend our 85 runs on the flattest wicket and quickest outfield we had played on all season. Stephen Moules and Dan Halkon had the unenviable task of opening the attack. Both bowled admirably in the circumstances and Paul Hobson and Will Metcalfe provided excellent help in finishing of the innings after 19 overs. The Hurlingham Club opening bat H Kennedy provided the crowd (among them young Charlie Leefe’s squeeze from a holiday in Corfu; the holiday romanced rekindled in the backdrop of the Hurlingham Club) with a 64 ball 50.

So there it was. A declaration game on a shirt front of a pitch all over before 14:00. Richard ‘Hack’ Gwynn tried to console the team with other stories of Buccaneers failures. The skippers agreed to take lunch and play a T20 in the afternoon to make sure the crowd made the most of their £4000 p.a. gate price.

Following a vast array of different lunch options ranging from a butter chicken curry to roast beef and even a traditional ploughman’s with game terrine; we were ready to take to the stage once more.

The captains agreed that Hurlingham could bat first in order to make a game of it. The Buccaneers tactically opened up with the Leefe Brothers, Simon and Charlie (touring the clubs of the north this winter, singing Motown covers). With a maximum of four overs per bowler the Leefes bowled their full allocation and very tightly and expertly indeed. Charlie in particular giving a masterclass of leg spin with varied flight and spin bamboozling N. Defty, taking his scalp for 2 runs in the second over.

The Buccaneers then ensured everyone had a bowl with particular mention for Nick Moules who managed the difficult task of his first delivery actually pitching behind him. Paul Hobson provided great entertainment with his 5 slower balls per over amassing great figures with three wickets in his final over, posting 29-4 from his spell.

Hurlingham finished their 20 overs with 160 runs. The batting order was randomly selected by an app downloaded by S Moules, and then we were off. With Paul Hobson and Will Metcalfe opening for the Buccs. For the second time that day the Buccaneers opening partnership delivered and posted 61 before Hobbo’s stumped were clattered by J Kennedy. Will followed not long after bowled for 37 and then the famous collapse began once more. Berry, Powell and Hobbs all despatched by the left arm over, Hall. A delightful cameo from Charlie Leefe left the team staring long and hard at Skipper Hobbs for batting him so far down the order in match one. Charlie dutifully impressed his girlfriend on the boundary ropes by peppering the V. Ultimately we were never going to reach the target and ended up on 115-6 in response. So there we were, doubly humiliated but not dispirited, as the Hurlingham Club bar, Hack’s stories, an impromptu golf tournament and a night of debauchery up the King’s Road awaited us.

Timed match scorecard can be found here.

T20 scorecard can be found here.

 

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