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"

Battle of Betchworth ends in stalemate

An uncharacteristically hot and dry Betchworth CC played host to the Buccaneers’ fixture against Reigate Pilgrims as the June/July/August heatwave showed little sign of abating. As the mercury reached 32 degrees skipper Berry sought to arrange a 30 over thrash. Pilgrims’ skipper was, however, having none of it and insisted on a timed game with the last 20 overs from 6.30. Pressure was on to win the toss and Berry duly delivered.

J Marsh and M Harms opened up for the Buccaneers and were greeted by some very tidy bowling from our hosts. With Harms eyeing up a second ton in as many games he snicked off, bringing debutant Sach to the crease. What followed was a masterclass of low risk batting. Marsh and Sach traded boundaries and kept the scoring rate at a healthy 7rpo for much of the innings.

With a hundred in sight Sach was eventually caught by a stunning catch on the boundary 8 shy of what would have been one of the Buccs’ quicker tons. Clark and Valentine both came and went in their attempts to help Marsh to his hundred but he wouldn’t be denied for long. A towering six brought up not only his first (of what surely will be many) Buccaneers hundreds but the declaration too.

A cracking tea followed accompanied by free flowing ale from the nearby Red Lion to readied the bowling unit for the push for victory. Tight bowling from openers Rydon and Metcalfe kept the scoring in check, helped by a couple of wickets from Will’s swingers. The bowling was rotated in the blazing sun and the Pilgrims middle order started to play their shots. Enter J Marsh who followed his batting display with some lovely off spin and was ably assisted by his brother Archie’s leg spin in hollowing out the Pilgrims’ middle order. Still the big shots came and with 6 overs remaining all four results were still on the table.

Skipper Berry brought himself on and got a couple of wickets (one thanks to the umpire’s clear desire to bring a close to proceedings). So the equation for the Buccs was two overs in which to get the one wicket needed for victory . Despite a few close calls, the 10th wicket pair saved the day for the Pilgrims and time was called a draw played out.

A great match played in brilliant spirit, a welcome return to the fixture having been lost for the last few years. The Buccs look forward to returning both to Betchworth and the Red Lion for our House Match later in the year and to play the Pilgrims again in 2023.

Scorecard

Innings of the Buccaneers

J. Marsh          Not      Out      103
M Harms         Caught            4
B Sach            Caught            92
G Clark            Run     Out      2
A Valentine      Caught            12
H Robertson    Not      Out      0

Extras                                      29
Total                                        243 for 4 from 32 overs

Innings of Reigate Pilgrims

Total                                        217 for 9 from 34 overs

Bowler             Overs              Maidens          Runs                Wickets

R Rydon          6                      1                      21                    0
W Metcalfe     7                      1                      36                    2
J Marsh           11                    2                      65                    3
E Wedge-Bull  2                      0                      19                    0
A Marsh          4                      0                      39                    2
H Robertson    1                      0                      4                      0
A Berry            3                      1                      5                      2

Result – Draw           

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Thank goodness the Manns turned up

Scorchio. Nanny state warnings about being too hot to do anything were ignored. A run fest was expected as was a winning toss from the Buccs captain. Oh dear. With a brown outfield, a lot of chasing leather was expected.

Harry and Ollie Mann had other ideas. The first ball of the day was a perfect yorker but somehow kept out by OHJ’s opener. The next ball from Harry cartwheeled the off stump out of the ground.

Enter stage right, Mark Semmence, a true run machine against the Buccs. Some trade mark cover drives didn’t bode well, but then Ollie straightened one up the hill and the LBW appeal was upheld. Some acrobatic diving from Rich Hobbs in the gully snaffled another one. Before we knew it OHJs were floundering at 50 for 5 with the Mann brothers accounting for them all. Hobbs came on to bowl some liquorice all sorts and a full toss was smacked to mid off (safe hands from Harry). Hamish Robertson bowled an excellent spell (his first bowl of the summer) and got a wicket (safe hands from Ollie) Simon Leefe spoiled the effect by bowling their number 8 all by himself. Some resistance was put up, but Hobbs and Leefe snuffled it out and OHJs were all out for 139.

It was a thrilling low scoring game that everyone contributed to. Great food, beer and sherry was on offer and it is difficult to beat as cricketing day out.

Well this was going to be a piece of p*** to chase down. The captain, Rob Rydon, top loaded the order with Rydons (son Alex and brother Will) and was slightly chastened to find that he was the top scoring Rydon with 12. No matter, we had plenty of batting and Jim Mann and Jeremy Milne were steadying the ship until Jeremy was run out. Then Tom Fletcher and Simon succumbed to the offspin of Stuart Hall ( who in the end bowled a monster spell of 20 overs and took five wickets) and panic had well and truly settled in to Buccaneers. At 82 for 6 the match could have gone in all four directions, but Harry joined his father and proceeded to calmly chase down the runs. Sadly Harry was snaffled to another LBW decision and Hamish was needed to take us closer to the total  It was fitting that Jim hit the winning runs and brought up his half century.

A crowd gathered to hear the closing speeches and listen to the Last Post as the flag was lowered on the OHJ’s  cricket week.

Innings of OHJs

R Lunn b H Mann 0
R Willesdon ct Hobbs b O Mann 21
M Semmence lbw O Mann 19
B Moulton b H Mann 4
B Willesdon ct Fletcher b O Mann 0
S Hall ct unsure b H Hobbs 9
H Rose ct unsure b H Robertson 17
R Burgh b S Leefe 16
S Warrender lbw R Hobbs 35
O Welch b S Leefe 4
O Willesdon not out 0
Extras 14
Total 139 all out

Bowling
H Mann 12-2-33-2
O Mann 6-1-23-3
H Robertson 6-2-12-1
R Rydon 2-0-9-0
R Hobbs 8-2-28-2
S Leefe 10-4-23-2

Innings of Buccaneers

A Rydon ct and b S Hall 10
R Rydon ct B Moulton b S Hall 12
W Rydon ct B Moulton b S Hall 4
J Mann Not out 51
J Milne Run out 5
T Fletcher lbw S Hall 3
S Leefe Lbw S Hall 12
H Mann Lbw B Willesdon 21
H Robertson not out 11
Extras 12
Total 140 for 7

Bowling
S Hall 20-8-31-5
O Welch 4-1-2-0
B Willesdon 17.3-3-55-1
O Willesdon 6-2-13-0
R Burgh 5-1-12-0



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Buccs put West Chilts to the sword

The subcontinental conditions continued, as we returned to West Chiltington for what is often a competitive fixture – although this year would prove an exception. Falling at the first hurdle, Skipper Eswar lost the toss and West Chiltington, unsurprisingly, elected to bat. With the sun beating down and the conditions ideal for batting, the opposition, perhaps understandably, thought that a good chunk of their work had already been accomplished. However, little did they know what was to come.

Rob Rydon made the most of the new ball, demonstrating the danger of McGrath-esque plugging away in the corridor of uncertainty. He soon dismissed one of the opening batsman with a delivery that reared up and took the outside edge, almost taking T. Fletcher’s head off with it. This sparked a top-order collapse for West Chiltington, with Rydon picking up four of the top six and Wedge-Bull helping himself to the other two. With an unfortunate series of ducks in the middle order, West Chiltington steadied the ship with a couple of good partnerships. But some lethal pace from debutant J. Prinsloo and G. Smith,  and A. Marsh’s beautiful, guileful leg-spin prevented the batsmen from putting together a meaningful recovery. West Chiltington were eventually all out for 113, batting 30 of their 35 overs.

After a splendid tea with ample clotted cream on offer, the Buccaneers set about knocking off the total. Openers Berry and Acton (debutant) started off the innings in style, dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground. However, they fell quicker than they would have liked with West Chiltington quickly bringing their overseas professional, Louwe, into the attack, no doubt recognising that the quality of the batting line up required it. J. Marsh batted with characteristic finesse but fell, unfortunately, to Louwe, who by this stage must have sniffed half a chance of victory having picked up two wickets and with the Buccaneers three down. But this confidence seemed to evaporate when Kalidasan opened his account by hitting Louwe back over his head for a maximum, prompting the immediate spread of five fielders from ring to boundary. He and Prinsloo knocked off the remaining runs calmly, with the Buccaneers gliding to victory in little over 21 overs and with seven wickets to spare.

West Chiltington Batting

C Wyatt ct Fletcher b Rydon 4
J MacDonald ct Berry b Wedge-Bull 17
Z.A. Jones ct Fletchr B Rydon 4
S. Collyer b Rydon 0
M. Louw c Smith b Wedge-Bull 0
A. Stclair b Rydon 0
N. North b Prinsloo 34
J. Hodgson c&b Marsh 12
C. Allcot 35*
T. Beeks c Wedge-Bull b Prinsloo 0
C. Clark c Fletcher b Prinsloo 0

Total: 113 all out (30 overs)

Buccanners Bowling
R. Rydon 5-1-9-4
E. Wedge-Bull 4-0-22-2
S. Moules 7-2-24-0
A. Marsh 7-1-32-1
J. Prinsloo 4-1-13-3
G. Smith 3-1-9-0

Buccanners Batting

A. Berry caught c Louw 17
R. Acton ct Wyatt b Allcot 21
J. Marsh lbw b Louw 19
E. Kalidasan 34*
J Prinsloo 1*

Total: 114-3 (21.3 overs)

West Chiltington Bowling
A Allcott 4-1-16-1
T Beeks 2-0-19-0
J Hodgson 5-0-20-0
M Louw 5-0-23-2
C Clark 2.3-0-9-0
S Collyer 1-0-6-0

Buccaneers win by 7 wickets

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Buccs lose to Lindfield

Scorecard can be found here.

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Marsh brothers make hay while sun shines

Another visit to the pretty postage stamp of Frensham.  Unlike last year when the match was played in pouring rain, the weather was fair.  Frensham seem to prefer limited overs cricket but we agreed to play a declaration game.  In keeping with the customary friendliness of this fixture, after a discussion between the captains about the respective strength of the teams, there was an agreement to forgo the toss.  The Buccs would bat first.

Ludo Milne and James Marsh opened and put on 32 runs before Ludo was out for 12.  James, having scored 75 not out last year, continued to delight with excellent shots.  Brother Archie contributed 8, which brought Jeremy Milne to the wicket. 

James Marsh in full flow

He supported James seemingly with effortless ease until James was out for a splendid 80 with the score on 181.  In came Eric Wedge-Bull (16), followed by Caspar Milne, who clearly decided not to exert his father by running too much.  Out of his score of 24 not out, 22 came in boundaries with only 2 singles.  The Buccs then declared on 204 for 4 after 33 overs.

Evergreen Jeremy Milne also in full flow

Frensham must still be riddled with Covid, because fear of it prevented them from providing what in the past has been a splendid tea.  So, having had a break to graze on whatever we had brought, we resumed, allowing Frensham 45 minutes plus 20 overs to bat.

Michael Starkey and Charlie Pexton took the new ball and restrained the opening pair, Charlie taking the first wicket in his third over and going on to claim two more a couple of overs later.  Caspar and Eric followed.  Frensham’s 3, 4 and 5 were out for low scores and it was clear that they were unlikely to overtake our total, their number 6, J. Powell, being top scorer.  Once Archie had him caught for 34 it became a question of whether or not we could prise out the lower order. 

Archie Marsh spins to win (almost)

Archie, Richard Hobbs and James all had a go.  Richard was unlucky.  The aged John Bryant at slip shelled two catches in quick succession off his bowling and the game petered out in a draw with Frensham on 132 for 8 after 32 overs.

Buccs 204-4 dec. Frensham 132-8. Draw

Innings of Buccaneers

LMilne                                                     12
J. Marsh                                                       80
A. Marsh                                                      8
J. Milne                        not out                 32
E. Wedge-Bull                                            16
C. Milne                       not out                 24

Extras                                                             38

Total                                                              204-4 dec

Frensham Bowling (Overs, maidens, wickets, runs)

J. Powell                              3-0-1-19
J. Frost                                  6-2-0-24
S. Platt                                  4-0-0-12
A. Warren                           6-0-0-32
D. Coleman                         6-0-1-34
North                                    4-0-2-31
Mohammed                       4-0-0-30

Innings of Frensham

James Frost                                                        7
A. Warren                                                           18
Jordan Frost                                                       10
A. Warren                                                           0
M. Hashir                                                             4
J. Powell                                                              34
C. North                                                               9
S. Platt                                  not out                 6
D. Coleman                                                         1
J. Wallis                                not out                 13

Extras                                                                    22
Total                                                                      132-8

Buccs Bowling

M. Starkey                  5-0-0-22
C. Pexton                    6-2-3-14
C. Milne                       3-0-1-15
C. Wedge-Bull           4-0-0-34
A. Marsh                      6-2-2-18
R. Hobbs                      4-1-1-8
J. Marsh                       2-0-0-8

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Super Harms beats Hurls

As so often in recent years, the warming London sun welcomed us to the historic Hurlingham Club. This year battle was to be played over a 40 over format due to some fuzzy Hurlingham heads from the party the night before.

Bucc’s skipper Hobbs duly won the toss and elected to field, knowing that Buccaneers have always been a chasing side. Moules and Krunic took the new ball, bowling some fairly economical overs with Krunic taking two nice wickets in his allocation of eight overs. There were two notable injuries in the opening set, Hurlingham suffered a shock boot to eye, having to retire hurt. And Bucc’s own Ollie Metcalfe tearing a calf due to a distinct lack of warm up. Twelfth man Michael Harms stepped onto the field in the second over, who you’ll hear more of later. Wardy and Leefey took the reins at first change and kept the new batters (surely batsmen? ed.)  pinned back as well as two wickets a piece in their spells. Will Metcalfe came on and immediately hit is marks swinging the ball with ease and clearing up the Hurlingham tail. Worth noting that the Buccaneers probably had their best day of catching in the field for some years, with even usually butter fingered Hobbs holding two. Buccaneers bowled out their opposition (9 wickets and one retiree) in the 36th over as the side retired for tea.

A traditional tea of finger sandwiches and various cakes was served. Accompanied by endless jugs of Pimm’s wonderfully prepared by the Hurlingham hospitality team.

Chris Leech and Michael Harms, two of our last remaining ‘proper’ Saturday cricketers opened up the Bucc’s line up. Leech’s eyes lit up again at the prospect of being able to crunch a couple of fours across the croquet lawn outfield without having to run a single for his 8 from 10 balls. Crighton came in at three scratching around for 13 from 20 (comprising 3 fours) and Berry’s stint at four saw some free-flowing arms before falling for 20 runs. Throughout these falling wickets the Harms constant remained. He stood at the other end harbouring strike and striking boundaries at an enviable rate. His final partner in crime was Moules who complimented him well on his way to a sixty ball century and guiding the Bucc’s to a seven wicket win in 23 overs.

Thanks go to both sets of players, officials and scorers. As well as the great support received from the sidelines. The game was played in good spirit and we thoroughly enjoyed and overstayed our welcome to the wonderful Hurlingham Club once again.

Innings of Hurlingham Club

Peterson ct Ward b Krunic 20
Logan ct Fletcher b Krunic 15
Tidwell ct Leefe b Ward 47
Dickins ct Moules b Leefe 1
Robyns ct Hobbs b Leefe 11
Vail lbw Ward 2
Chapman not out 26
Cripps ct Hobbs b W Metcalfe 11
Salt b W Metcalfe 8
Nunerley ct and b W Metcalfe 0

163-9 (35 overs)

Bowling

S Moules 6-0-36-0
Krunic 8-2-38-2
Ward 8-024-2
S Leefe 8-1-29-2
W Metcalfe 4-1-14-3
R Hobbs 1-0-9-0

Innings of Buccaneers

C Leech b Robyns 8
M Harms not out 108
J Crichton ct Tidwell b Robyns 13
A Berry b Logan 20
S Moules not out 12
Extras 5
166-3 (23 overs)

Bowling

Peterson 4-0-26-0
Robyns 5-1-20-2
Cripps 3-0-30-0
Salt 3-1-4-0
Logan 4-1-25-1
Chapman 3-0-42-0
Nunnerley 1-0-8-0

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Unseasonal May rain leads to unfinished business as Buccs and Dills bale out

Buccaneers v Armadillos 15th May 2022 Sheffield Park

Dills 232-4 dec. Buccs 81-3. Match abandoned: rain

After the driest spring on record, it was inevitable that the rain would start falling as the captains went out to inspect the wicket at 11.30. The ‘dreich’ (for any Scots out there) did not stop until half an hour after play was concluded.

Despite the adverse conditions, a lot of cricket was played. The Armadillos were put in to bat on a green pitch that looked like it would do plenty. Ludo Milne and Jack Greenhearth enjoyed a few balls that popped off a length and Ludo in particular got some to jag sharply. The Dills openers chanced their arms and scored boundaries when they went aerial. Almost anything along the ground failed to get to the rope. At 57-0 Sammy Maclay finally holed out to the skipper at mid off for a well deserved first wicket for Ludo. Rob Rydon and Buccs newcomer, Tom Whitmore, tightened things up and slowed the scoring rate before the skipper came on and was launched for a number of maximums into the Sheffield Park shrubbery. Rich Hobbs fared much better and got the two Dills who had passed fifty (Morten Tilley and Hector Maclean) out with the aid of some smart catching from Tom Fletcher (who will be spending time nursing his aching limbs back to health after an acrobatic display behind the stumps). Jack picked up the last wicket as the Dills declared on 232-4, a good but gettable score.

Mention must go to the catering as the Buccs gorged on a world class lunch and tea, the latter proving too much even for the Buccs’ considerable appetites.

Having rained constantly throughout the Dills’ innings, conditions were not easy as Ludo and Angus Berry stepped out for a tricky half hour session before tea. With an increasingly wet pitch the ball was lifting nastily off a length and both batsmen did well to get to tea unscathed. After Victoria sponge cake, scones, sandwiches and a lager or two the Buccs openers continued strongly after tea, Ludo driving tidily through the onside and picking up fours when he lifted the ball clear of the wet tundra. Ludo eventually fell for a handy 37 after failing to clear the infield. Angus departed shortly thereafter when he walked, Gilchrist-like, after a thin edge went through to the keeper (unheard by the umpire). The Buccs ‘ reputation for honesty and fair play reinforced once again. Rob and Tom took up the run chase with enthusiasm, running quick singles and smashing the bad balls. Rob was finally caught and, with Rob Mason having faced his first ball as a Bucc, the two captains called it a day with the rain beginning to fall hard on what was now a bedraggled-looking Dills side.

The Buccs finished on 81-3, a commendable effort in tricky conditions and, with the 20 overs about to commence, it was probably honours even in the match as a whole. Both sides retired to the bar for some well earned refreshment.

Scorecard can be found here

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Allstars triumph over Legends in first Buccacup for 10 years

16 Buccaners past and present, plus a guest or two met at Woldingham GC today to play a team competition for the Buccacup. Last played for in 2011, this year’s competition was won by the Allstars – the younger players (plus the very useful Mssrs Thompson and Phillips).

The highest individual point scorer was Chris Leech with 44 points. Longest Driver and winner of the Howard Spencer medal was Richard Hobbs. Nearest the Green winner was Paul Thompson.

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Buccs behave themselves at the Annual Dinner under the watchful eye of leading Silk

Under the watchful gaze of leading sports QC Mark Milliken-Smith, a selection of Buccaneer players past and present met on the evening of Thursday 28 October at the East India Club Pall Mall, to reflect on the past season in convivial company.

With the President Simon Woolfries sidelined by you know what, Hon Sec (and future President) Rob Rydon brought the assembly to order and talked attendees through the season. The results for the season and the averages for the year can be found here.

Winners on the night included leading aggregrate wicket taker Angus Berry, bowler with the lowest average Tom Rydon (FBP*) and leading batter Steve ‘the Axeman’ Moules. The recipient of the Geoffrey Moore Award for the season was Ludo Milne for his outstanding efforts of 144 runs at 72.0 and 7 wickets at 11.4. Ludo is pictured receiving an original Geoffrey Moore Mk1 club tie from Rob Rydon (as last year’s winner was away and was unable to return the magnificent trophy in time).

Mark Milliken-Smith responded to the traditional toast to the club’s guests. In a wide ranging discussion based on on his many years defending rugby players and cricketers who stray from the path in their professional lives and acting for sports authorities, he entertained the Buccaneers and made a strong pitch for who club members should turn to in case of any nightclub or recreational drug-related incidents in the future. Chatham House rules prevent any more comment on what was discussed!

Thanks as ever to David Close for organising another excellent evening.

*Future Buccaneers’ President

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Moules hands the Gents their chips

This year the Gentlemen and the Players returned to Betchworth for the Annual House Match. With overcast conditions and a characteristically spongy wicket prevailing, the Gentlemen won the toss and inserted the Players.

The opening partnership of S. Moules and E. Wedge-Bull quickly made the Gentleman regret their decision, putting on 153 for the first wicket. Despite the best, and very commendable, efforts of I. Krunic, W. Noble and A. Berry (newly-styled as an opening bowler) Moules was imperious, racing to a quick (and what would prove to be match-defining) century before magnanimously retiring at the lunch interval. 

The Gentleman were not dispirited; after hydrating appropriately and filling themselves with the Red Lion’s finest offering of meat and (“premium”) vegan mayonnaise, they returned to the field to take a quick flurry of wickets, courtesy of B. Hudson.  W. Okines and S. Leefe bowled with their usual elegance and guile, Leefe even treating spectators to the rarely-seen long run-up for one tantalising over.  However, the Gentlemen’s success was short-lived as W. Metcalfe brought impetus back into his side’s innings with an explosive half-century, taking the Players to 255 (declared). 

The Gentlemen were stifled early on in their chase by the loss of a number of quick wickets, courtesy of J. Greenhalfe and T. Rydon: E. Kalidasan fell to a delivery that spat off the Betchworth wicket, Noble was strangled down the leg side, and Berry swung to clear the boundary, making it only as far as first slip (alas). At 29-5, and with over 200 runs still to chase, the prospect of victory looked slim for the Gentleman. Hudson, Krunic and both Markos (making their Buccaneers debut) put up a valiant fight but couldn’t prevent the Gentlemen’s inevitable defeat.

2021 House Match – The Players XI beat The Gentlemens XI by 161 runs

Innings of Players (W Metcalfe’s XI)

S Moules retired 102
E Wedge-Ball b B Hudson 48
R Hobbs ct W Noble b B Hudson 7
O Paruin ct E Kalidasan b B Hudson 3
I Moroz b W Okines 3
J Harcourt run out 1
T Rydon ct E Kalidasan b B Hudson 1
E Howes not out 16
W Metcalfe not out 52
Extras 11

Total 255-6 dec

Bowling

A Berry 6-1-31-0
I Krunic 3-1-15-0
W Noble 5-0-47-0
S Leefe 6-1-25-0
B Hudson 8-0-69-4
W Okines 5-0-21-1
M Gasic 1-0-16-0
[ ] 1-0-26-0

Innings of the Gentlemen (E Kalidasan’s XI)

W Noble ct Harcourt b Greenhalfe 1
E Kalidasan ct Harcourt b T Rydon 9
S Leefe run out 4
A Berry ct Harcourt b T Rydon 8
J Milne ct Hobbs c Greenhalfe 0
I Krunic lbw Howes 22
B Hudson ct Moules b I Moroz 7
W Okines b Parvin 10
M Krunic not out 6
M Gasic run out 2
Extras 15

Total 83 all out

Bowling

J Greenhalfe 5-0-15-2
T Rydon 5-2-11-2
I Moroz 5-0-28-1
E Howes 6-0-7-2
R Hobbs 2-1-4-0
O Parvin 2-0-4-1
S Moules 1.5-1-0-0

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