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"

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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Sun shines on the Buccs at Betchworth

An uncharacteristically hot and dry Betchworth greeted the Buccaneers for a fixture against Reigate Pilgrims. As the mercury edged towards thirty degrees and with a mere 10 minutes until the first ball was due to be bowled there was slight concern that only three Buccs and two Pilgrims were at the ground. Luckily, the Red Lion provided a few pre game liquids for the three Buccs and by the time they could see the bottom of their glasses the rest of the team began to arrive.

Buccs shelter in the shade

The Buccs were particularly indebted to Neil Robertson who provided five players spanning both the youthful and more experienced ends of the spectrum. Introductions complete, including a Donald Trump style handshake from newbie Will ‘whites of the eye’ Cooper, the team eagerly awaited the toss. The pressure to call correctly was acutely felt with the morale of a side hinging on batting first on the hottest day of the year. Successfully called, the skipper signaled the news to the boundary edge causing great excitement among the troops.

The opening pair of Ollie Metcalfe and new recruit Matt Davies were greeted with a pitch that was the definition of inconsistent. With some balls rearing from a length and others scurrying along the deck it was clear that graft would be the order of the day. Both openers fell to the opposition’s skiddy opener and the team were soon in trouble as young Hamish Robertson was lbw first ball. This brought together the experienced Leefe and the enthusiastic Cooper, who set about repairing the damage in contrasting styles. Leefe looked to keep out the good balls and score of the loose ones, whilst Cooper was all brute. Both survived until drinks before Cooper, again looking towards Sussex, was bowled first ball after the interval.

Gus in ‘Gower’ mode

Skipper Berry was next in and together with Leefe the pair started to find some rhythm. The Pilgrims opening pair had both bowled mammoth spells given the heat and the change bowlers perhaps showed why their skipper was so keen to hold them back. A mixed bag was sent down in the overs before lunch with both Leefe and Berry starting to find the boundary with regularity.

A hearty lunch of excellent South Indian curry was washed down with yet more drinks from the adjacent Red Lion and the Buccs returned to the field looking to set a big total on a pitch that, whilst fruity, was offering full value once the ball got through the infield. Shortly after lunch Leefe mistimed a pull of their very slow fifth bowler for a well crafted and much needed 39. A short but lively cameo from Robertson senior followed and was ended with a stunning catch in the gully. Rebuilding was the order of the day and Berry, who continued to find the boundary with relative ease, was joined by Charlie Wood for what would become the largest partnership of the day. Wood played with the style and sophistication of a man that spent his formative years in the stockroom of Jack Wills and his elegant flicks to leg had the faithful purring.

With a hundred seemingly in sight, Berry took inspiration from Cooper and tried to put a ball on the surface of the moon and was bowled for a run and ball 77. The Buccs fell away slightly towards the end but Wood’s 30* ensured that the team reached 214 from 42 overs. Discipline was going to be required from the bowlers and during the quick turn around the skipper realised that the team contained no seam bowlers. Wood was nursing an ankle injury and Owen Gibbons was clearly too shy to express his talents, as his four over spell late in the day would show. Luckily Robertson Senior instructed Robertson Junior to put away his off spin and have a trundle from the bottom end. A decision vindicated by miserly spell of seam bowling that saw the ball swing and seam off the still lively pitch. At the other end Leefe, fresh (or perhaps still quite sore) from his 22 overs the previous Sunday was handed the new ball with the skipper hoping for a similarly long spell. The combination of swing and SLAB ensured that going into tea the Buccs had taken three of the required wickets thanks in part to some spectacular catching from young Gibbons.

Hamish Robertson steams in

After the break Berry rotated his bowlers with Leefe holding down his end with aplomb. Jordan Powell was handed the ball after the break and bowled, after a throat high full toss first up, with good discipline, nabbing his first Buccaneers wicket in the process. Powell was, however, in danger of beating his own slow mediums to the batsmen with a follow through that ensured the batsmen could see the details of his Harry Potter earring and his heart-shaped tattoo. With Leefe steadily taking wickets and the other end proving equally fruitful, the Buccs soon had the Pilgrims nine down. Three wickets had fallen to Alistair Sewell, whose bowling probably qualifies for Airmiles, given the flight he imparts on the ball. The Pilgrims fell in turn, as they tried to launch him into the pub garden.

As the clock struck six and with the end (the pub) in sight, the Buccs were made to wait for their victory by a stubborn last wicket stand. With nearly everyone having a bowl, the final wicket finally fell to Wood’s off spin, courtesy of another good catch from Gibbons. A fine victory with everyone contributing ensured that the Red Lion saw plenty of business post match. A generous jug provided by the opposition skipper was sunk before heading home with the Hurlingham Club, and the King’s Road, calling.


Innings of Buccaneers

Matt Davies c & b Vijayan 6
Ollie Metcalfe c Nicholls b Vijayan 4
Simon Leefe c Nicholls b Furber 39
Hamish Robertson lbw Vijayan 0
Will Cooper b Vijayan 19
Angus Berry b Janardanan 77
Neil Robertson c Bushe b Wood 9
Charlie Wood not out 30
Owen Gibbons b Vijayan 0
Jordan Powell b Vijayan 3
Alastair Sewell lbw Janardanan

Total 214 all out


Vijayan 15-4-47-6
Wood 12-0-63-1
George 1-0-5-0
Janardanan 9.3-0-58-2
Kuttikkara 3-0-11-0
Furber 2-0-16-1

Innings of Reigate Pilgrims

Burgess lbw Leefe 15
Janardanan c Gibbons b H Robertson 5
Nicholls c Metcalfe b Leefe 19
Kanagarajah c Leefe b Powell 11
Furber c Davies b Sewell 17
Wood c Berry b Leefe 4
Isaac b Leefe 2
Vijayan c Metcalfe b Sewell 18
George c Gibbons b Wood 32
Kuttikkara c N Robertson b Sewell 4
Bushe not out 7

Total 147 all out


H Robertson 8-4-15-1
Leefe 16-3-48-4
Powell 5-1-22-1
Sewell 4-0-31-3
Gibbons 4-0-12-0
Cooper 2-0-9-0
Wood 1.2-0-6-1

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Buccaneers v Nomads, Kempton Park CC, 11 June 2017

Buccaneers v Nomads, Kempton Park CC, 11 June 2017 (Buccs lose by 26 runs)

Innings of Nomads

J Massey ct [ ] b W Metcalfe 12
A Dylan b W Metcalfe 105
T Brockton ct L Milne b J Milne 50
J Lane lbw J Milne 0
R Ormiston not out 33
J Lascelles not out 20

Total 223 – 4 dec


W Metcalfe 10-1-39-2
S Leefe 22-3-67-0
D Halkon 9-0-30-0
L Milne 4-0-24-0
J Milne 6-1-41-2
S Perry 1-0-15-0
C Vollers 1-0-3-0

Innings of Buccaneers

O Metcalfe c Brockton b Shawl 0
L Milne c Wake  b Robbins 11
S Moules b Dillon 64
C Vollers b Shawl 0
D Halken ct Wahl b Page 78
J Milne lbw Page 0
G Giliver ct Wahl b Page 1
W Meltcalfe ct Wahl b Dillon 4
S Leefe Not out 16
S Perry b Dillon 1
S Pearce ct Wahl b Dillon 0

Total 197 all out


Shawl 10-0-46-2
Robbins 8-3-25-1
Moeser 3-0-29-0
Page 9-1-39-3
Massey 2-0-18-0
Dillon 6-1-16-4

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‘Country House’ cricket at its best

Turning up to Sheffield Park in glorious sunshine was enough to raise everyone’s spirits. The makeshift captain added to the Buccs’ general bonhomie by winning the toss and electing to bat. There was some grumbling from the openers about the wicket being a ‘sticky dog’ and this seemed justified at 29 for 3. Scoring was difficult, especially off Harry Mann who started with 9 overs, seven maidens, 1 for 2 and it wasn’t until the twentieth over that we scored our first boundary. However, Ludo Milne and Angus Berry steadied the ship and we lunched at 99 for 3. Further runs flowed after lunch until Angus went for a risky second and was run out by a direct hit. Ludo racked up another half century (his third on the trot) before late cutting to first slip. Steve Moules played well and scampered a number of twos and threes with his captain as the declaration approached. Rob Rydon was able to hit Harry Mann for six and hastily declare, before any retribution, on 225 for 8.

Will Metcalfe, who had turned up at 2.15pm after searching for a lost wallet in Worthing, delivered the first over with the random generator on full power. Filth down the leg side was followed by sharp movement past the stumps and finally an unplayable one that clipped the top of middle. Will was later replaced by Steve, whose warm up first ball full toss was safely pouched at short mid wicket. Meanwhile, Freddie Bjorn bowled a spell of consistent inswingers of model length but with no reward. The Armadillos came and went (but mostly went) with Steve picking up more wickets. We enjoyed a sumptuous tea in total control, followed by more wickets on resumption from Richard Hobbs and thoughts of an early show. However, the tenth wicket partnership started to biff the ball about and fears of an embarrassing defeat entered some minds. The skipper brought back Steve and he duly wrapped up proceedings with his first ‘five-fer’ for the Buccaneers. We slipped down a few cold ones in the sumptuous surroundings of the National Park and wended our ways home in a happy state of mind.

Buccaneers CC

J Milne 3
O Metcalfe 4
L Milne 76
M Sutton 3
A Berry 31
T Fletcher 5
S Moules 41 not out
R Hobbs 2
W Metcalfe 2
R Rydon 24 not out
F Bjorn   DNB

Total 225 for 8 dec

Armadillos CC

MANN 23 not out

159 all out

Metcalfe 5-5-10-1
Bjorn 9-4-14-0
Moules 7-0-20-5
Rydon 5-0-12-1
Hobbs 12-2-40-2
Berry 7-0-39-0
Sutton 3-0-12-0

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Curry tastier than Roast and Beer as Buccs win at Newdigate

The Skipper and ‘new Bucc’ Greg Bull, aka Raging, arrived early at Newdigate’s sumptuous new pavilion and the sun in splendour, only to be told that the bar was locked. Not to be discouraged, they wandered over to the Six Bells to enjoy a refreshing Symonds and lunch provided in the form of a bowl of cheddar cheese cubes and a bowl of mini cheddar biscuits.

We returned to a pavilion brimming with full Buccaneers raring to play. The toss was conducted and won by the Buccaneers who deciding to bat first in a 40 over match.

Whilst the father and son combination of Jeremy and Ludo Milne were walking to the crease, Rydon exclaimed “I’ll do the first stint but where is our umpire?”. “He’s sitting in that car over there” was the reply.

The Skipper jogged over to the only car parked facing a hedge in a buttercup field and politely knocked on the window. “Are you alright to join us?” he asked. “Ooh have you started? I got here at 12:30” came the reply. “You can park behind the big pavilion over there in the car park”. “Oh I thought this was the only parking space in the ground..”

The Milnes started briskly with a solid opening partnership, scoring 81 in 10 overs with 8 fours and 3 sixes before Irvine, changing to round the wicket, skittled Jeremy for 21 and he cut a frustrated figure cursing the fact he hadn’t moved the sight screen.

Ludo progressed effortlessly to 95 scoring 10 fours and 6 sixes but it was almost as if he knew he was in the nervous nineties and started scratching around for singles. He probably wasn’t aided by the Skipper shouting out “he’s two away” and the opposition giving him a bit of “chat” and unfortunately this led him to plant a foot and uncharacteristically miss a straight ball to be LBW for 98. The Umpire remarked afterwards “bugger I should have blinked!”

Meanwhile, in the pavilion we negotiated an ‘honesty bar’ by pulling our own pints and enjoying the scene unfolding before us.

The Metcalfes joined the fray – Ollie abstemious and Will well lubricated – quickly hitting the ball hard to all parts of the ground until Ollie was undone by Beer who bowled him for 17 and he then wished he’d had one!

It looked like Steve Moules had had too many as after a quick single he was running his bat into the crease and it stuck in the ground and caused him to fall over and just manage to run his hand in instead.

He and Angus Berry were both caught after some quick runs and Will weighed in heavily with a 69, much to the delight of his wife, hitting 5 fours and 4 sixes.

With everyone delighting in a short boundary, two mighty ‘well seasoned’ (who wrote this?, ed) Buccs joined the party with Rydon hitting 3 sixes for a nice cameo of 25 and Leefe with two mighty ones over the trees for 27 not out, to finish the 40 overs on 315 for 9 – a Buccs limited over record.

The Newdigate innings commenced with Hobson immediately taking a wicket with the last ball of his first over and Rydon would have had the overseas Aussie bowled by a fabulous yorker, only to be denied by overstepping the mark. Hobson continued the good work recording two maidens in a row by beating the outside edge on 8 occasions. He then ousted the overseas caught Leefe for 18 and set up Beer with the slow, fast, slow, even slower diddly dobbler combo to record 8-2-30-3.

He was ably aided and abetted by Moules who struck in his fourth over cartwheeling the leg stump of Moon having only just missed it several times beforehand.

Unfortunately Hobson had to leave the field with a broken finger and a snapped tendon after almost pulling off a magnificent catch at third man.

Will Metcalfe had instance success taking two wickets in 3 balls in his second over.

After Leefe found his radar after two balls and a first over maiden he polished off Newdigate’s innings with three wickets in six balls and figures of 5-1-21-3

So we wrapped them up for 90 and a victory by 225 runs.

A good time was had by all in the bar enjoying their new pavilion afterwards and a delightful curry in the British Raj before the long drive home.

Innings of Buccaneers

J Milne b Irvine 21
L Milne lbw Devirj 98
O Metcalfe b Beer 17
W Metcalfe ct x b Roast 69
S Moules ct x b Wood 11
A Berry b Flower 18
G Bull ct x b Beer 3
R Rydon ct b Beer 25
S Leefe not out 27
T Fletcher ct x b Devirj 0
P Hobson not out 1
Total 315-9 (40 overs)

Flower 5-0-37-1
Moon 4-0-44-0
Irvine 6-1-27-1
Clarke 6-0-40-0
Moon J 2-0-18-0
Devirj 4-0-41-3
Beer 5-0-40-2
Roast 4-0-24-1
Moon A 2-0-18-1
Wood 2-0-19-1

Innings of Newdigate

K Irvine ct and b Hobson 18
R Flower b Hobson 3
S Clarke b Leefe 26
C Beer ct Hobson 10
A Moon b Moules 9
G Wood b Moules 0
S Roast ct and b W Metcalfe 16
J Moon b Leefe 0
J Butler ct x b Metcalfe 0
M Devrij not out 2
C Moon b Leefe 4
Total 92 all out (27 overs)

R Rydon 5-0-18-0
P Hobson 8-2-30-3
S Moules 7-0-17-2
S Leefe 5-1-21-2
W Metcalfe 2-0-6-2


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New talent ensures Buccs make a strong start to 2017 season

John Stern, former Editor of The Cricketer writes:

Three youthful and talented club debutants contributed to a comfortable eight-wicket victory in leafy Forest Row to kick off the Buccaneers’ season.

The pitch was not quite on the edge of the square, as in previous years, but its colour still matched the leaves of the trees that surround the ground and the boundary was still short enough to make the policing of it tougher than a Millwall home match.

Liam Ward, Charlie Wood and Michael Harms were all recruited by Angus Berry and all had substantially more successful days than him. After a moderate spell of three overs for 22, Berry then suffered a glancing blow on his unprotected head while at the non-striker’s end. He retired hurt (on 2) but thankfully was able to recover later in the warm embrace of the nursing staff St George’s Hospital, Tooting, following a chance nightclub encounter the evening before.

After losing the toss, the Buccs showed fire and fight in the field, reducing Forest Row to 51 for 5 and ultimately restricting them to 152 for 7 from 35 overs.

Wood showed plenty with the new ball alongside a miserly Will Metcalfe, whose seven overs went for only 11 runs. Ward picked up two wickets with his lively swing and the off spin of John Bryant QC (the Quiet Container) proved impossible to get away (7-0-10-1).

Skipper James Stringer showed an untypical display of sportsmanship by recalling a Forest Row batsman, who had been given out stumped despite there being no appeal and precious little evidence that the batsman had left his crease.

The wicket would have meant two in two for John Stern’s flighted filth and the frank, post-match, bar-room discussions revealed that any simmering resentment should have dissipated by late 2018.

The Buccaneers’ chase was set up elegantly and skilfully by Ward and Ludo Milne, who put on 94 for the first wicket. The teenage Milne, fuelled by the prospect of a day away from his Economics AS Level revision, raced to his fifty before Ward plundered three sixes after reaching his. Milne went for 54 and Ward finished unbeaten on 74. The Buccs completed the victory with 9.2 overs to spare.


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Howard Spencer

President, Simon Woolfries writes:

Howard Spencer, one of the Club’s longest serving Vice Presidents, has died.

He was a regular player and match manager from the late ‘60s to the late ‘80s and for those who played at that time he embodied the spirit of the Buccaneers. With Howard’s (or ‘H’ as he was usually known) name on the team sheet, it meant that the day would be that much more enjoyable for everyone else.

Howard on a sunny afternoon

He was a big man with a big smile and there was no more loyal Buccaneer.

Howard was the author of “Moore Cricket”, which covers the history of the Club from its founding in 1930 by Geoffrey Moore up to 2003 when it was published. It remains as a testimony to the commitment ‘H’ showed to the Buccaneers.

He also re-formed the Buccaneers Golfing Society in the early 1990s when his cricketing days were over and it still exists to this day. His excellent organisation of trips to France and Ireland gave great pleasure to those taking part and they will also fondly recall an annual autumn meet at Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club where former Buccaneer President and retired Bishop, Frank Cocks, was Club Captain and friend to Howard.

Howard showed remarkable resilience over many years when facing the fiercest bowling which poor health could send down and he never lost his sense of humour, even when playing and missing! He was the first to acknowledge that this was in no small measure due to the wonderful partner he had at the non-strikers end, his devoted wife Heather.


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Buccaneers host Annual Dinner as 2016 averages are revealed

Lawrence Booth and Simon Woolfries

Thursday 9th February saw the 2016 holding of the Annual Dinner at the East India Club.

Over 40 members and guests enjoyed the traditional Buccs’ dinner hosted by President Simon Woolfries, famously finished off with treacle pudding and custard.

Responding on behalf of the guests was Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack Editor Lawrence Booth.

Lawrence entertained the room with tales of Wisden’s history, confided how he had broken the scoop of KP’s textgate indiscretions and gave his predictions on the future of the game.

Simon Leefe receives his award

As well as reviewing the 2016 season and averages (found here), Simon announced the winner of the Geoffrey Moore Award for the year – Simon Leefe.

Simon also made a special Lifetime Achievement presentation to Richard Gwynn.

The Hack received a framed photograph of him in full flow (on the field) at Albury in 2001 (4-28 that day) with his Buccaneers career statistics.

Hack shows off his lifetime award

Buccaneers remained for quite a while in the American Bar after the Dinner.


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Did lucky Leefe buy those Lottery tickets?

IMG_1471The annoying phenomenon of sunny weekdays and overcast weekends curtailed the start of the 2016 House Match at Betchworth, but no one seemed to mind too much as they tucked into the Harvey’s and fine selection of meats, pies and salads in the Red Lion. A 30 over match was agreed upon and the Rydon Royals decided to bat (so that more of their players could digest lunch).

A feisty pitch with a slow outfield was always going to be a challenge, but with the score on 6 for 2 after 2 overs, things looked bleak. But lady luck decided to shine on the Royals and Simon Leefe in particular.  While Will Rydon played circumspectly, Simon chanced his arm and hit some impressive boundaries. He took the aerial route occasionally and on every occasion the Stringer Superkings obliged by dropping him.  Unfortunately for Will, his first mistimed shot was caught, bringing Jim Mann striding to the wicket. Jim had only played once this season (for a second rate City stockbroker) so the captain was delighted to see him caress and bludgeon the ball to all parts of the ground. Meanwhile, Simon was continuing to be shelled by fielders in all parts of the ground. As the innings drew to close, fours and sixes reigned, as the full nine bowlers were employed, enabling the Royals to rest at 157 for 3.

Not many could eat the fine selection of cakes (still being full from lunch), but the ten Royals took the field in eager anticipation of their youth pace attack – Harry Mann and Tom Rydon. Anticipation was justified as the Superkings slipped to 6 for 2 after 4 overs. Fiery spells on the unpredictable wicket (two consecutive balls from Tom on the same length varied in bounce by six feet) meant plenty of helmet application. James Smith was struck on said helmet while applying himself manfully. Then some light relief as Simon Woolfries and Rob Rydon plied their trade to little effect. Archie Marsh whirled through some leg spin, suffering dropped catches and plumb LBW decisions being turned down by his father. And so to the reluctant Leefe, who didn’t want to bowl but ended up with 4 for 4 off his three overs. He ripped the heart out of the Superkings and enabled the captain to bring on the full repertoire of nine different bowlers. James Stinger remained not out as the wickets tumbled around him and his side limped to 115 for 9. Later in the evening, as the ale started to flow, James tearfully handed over the Mynott Thimble to Rob and politely asked lucky Leefe what Lottery numbers he was going to pick that night.

Innings of Rydon Royals


Total 157-3

R.GWYNN 2.0.013
S.BRANDES 2.0.017

Innings of Stringer Superkings


Total 115-9

Bowling of Rydon Royals

J.MILNE (completed by J.MANN)

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Fathers, sons, brothers and cousins

It was a bit of a family affair with four Rydons and two Leefes on the scoresheet, but the family combinations were all thrown out of the window as Henry Rydon declined to open the batting with his cousin Alex (as Henry had enjoyed too much gin at the previous night’s Olympic party). Simon Leefe manfully stepped in and battle was commenced in bright sunshine. Alex saw the shine off the new ball and then gracefully made way for debutant Buccaneer, James Goodman. The young graduate trainee from Cazenove (and previously Kent CCC) dispatched the ball to most parts of the ground and even managed to run a four (an impressive feat on such a fast outfield). Simon was less impressed, as they were not his runs, and gave way, after and a good thirty odd, to Will Rydon. Will proceeded to mistime most of his shots and try and shepherd James to his hundred. His animal husbandry skills were lacking as James lunched on 95 not out and the Buccaneers in a healthy position of 157 for 2.

An excellent lunch and new bat transformed Will’s stroke play and shepherding. James made his hundred and politely was caught on the boundary soon after. This enabled the first father/son combo as Henry staggered to the crease. Will smashed it out of the ground while Henry didn’t trouble the scorers. Richard Hobbs entered briefly and scored as many as Henry and when Will holed out there was a danger of the momentum being lost. The captain need not have worried, as first Paul Hobson and Steve Moules steadied the ship and then upped the stroke to enable the captain to declare on 251 at 3.20pm.

Rob Rydon opened the bowling down the hill with his son keeping, brother at first slip and nephew at second. Fortunately, there were no histrionics as Will dropped a regulation catch (was he standing too close for such pace?). Meanwhile, Freddie Bjorn had the dream ticket of up hill into the wind, and was using it to good effect with a sustained spell of inswing bowling and the reward of the first wicket. Rob bagged a couple of wickets and tea was taken in good spirits. Charlie Leefe raised them even further when he produced some quality leg spin and a fine catch from Will at first slip. His second wicket was less classical as a rank long hop was spooned to Henry at mid off. Hobbo tried some variety from the top end but was replaced by Simon to create another father/son combo. Simon clean bowled the number four bat, who foolishly was playing for the turn. The Leefes wheeled away for a while and then Henry came on to bowl some great off spin deliveries from the bottom end, but as is so often the way, it was the full tosses that got two wickets. Some of the youngsters started complaining about the declaration as they worked out we would be bowling sixty overs if the match went the distance, but Rob was happy to have enough overs to show the full repertoire of bowlers. Richard Hobbs bowled an over of wide filth, but then surprised the batsman with a straight one to claim the only LBW of the day. Just as Will was warming up to bowl in tandem with his son, Richard enticed the number ten into an errant shot and deny the use of our ninth bowler.

The victorious Buccaneers gathered in front of the pavilion with beer in hand to listen to ‘Last Post’ as the Old Hurstjohnians’ flag was lowered for the last time in their cricket week of 2016.

F. BJORN dnb

251 FOR 7 DEC







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