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Match Reports

Saturday 14th July 

A Tale of 2 Draws but 1s stay top as Challow slip

Class distinction shock as Ridge field player posher than Keeps

Midds comes Home

Taggart in 2 report sensation despite playing in neither
BRCC 1s          237-5  (53)

Oxford 3s          233-8  (47)

Match drawn      BRCC 16pts    OCC 10pts
BRCC 2s           165-10 (39.1)

Oxford 4s           146-9  (45)

Match drawn      BRCC 17pts    OCC  15pts
Hollywood established himself as the most successful tosser in BRCC history (1 from 1) and bats. 2 leg byes off the first.
What's the alarm code? Who has keys? Does anyone know which pitch we are on? Why don't the stumps fit in the holes? Where is Saeed?
Thank god for leg byes. 7-0 off 6. with regular pinch hitter Rolfie at Lords, the scoring rate is looking a bit soporific. Brooksie gets bored and whacks a couple of 4s to put the 12.30 starting 1s back in front of the 1pm starting 2s
Sniff establishes himself as a useless tosser and is invited to bat. An Angell smokes the 4th ball to EC for 3 and smashes the first ball of the 2nd for 4. Saeed has arrived!
Brooksie and Fats have tiptoed back so as not to wake the sleeping watchers and after a brief visit from skipper Hollywood, normal service is resumed. Keeps is playing with the normal aplomb, and batting with Midds, yes Midds, who looks like he's never been away. Scoring rate is up to almost 4 an over. 65-3 off 17
Jai has crashed a couple and gone to a leading edge. Jov has smashed a couple then played round one. Chesh has expertly threaded one between slip and keeper for 4 then obligingly walked on account of the next one being caught at 2nd slip. 30 mins gone. 3 wickets gone. Might get to watch the England game after all. 37-3 off 8
Keeps has gone for 50, which probably constitutes a failure in the context of this season. Midds is still there on 27 as Birdie limps to the wicket forgetting that he is not injured until after he bats. A low murmur of "Middsy's Coming Home" can be heard as the anticipation builds. 133-4 off 34
Chirpy lot Ox 4s. Much heralding of "Good Areas" as the ball slides a yard down the leg side. Not as daft as it sounds though because anything on the stumps is being battered to the fence by Junaid. "he's playing by numbers" declares the Ox skipper. Yes mate, mostly the numbers 4 and 6. Saeed got a brute of a lifter off a pitch that had played pretty well up to then. Marcus and Vajid have been and gone and captain Sniff is at the wicket. Junaid finally holes out for 46. 95-8 off 21.   . 
Midds completes his 1st 50 for the Ridge in 4 years, and his gazillionth overall. Birdie's hit a couple of 4s and has now embarked on a run of 19 consecutive singles #getmiddsyonstrike. 173-4 off 43
Rizwan and Sniff are still together. Riz playing an uncharacteristically reserved innings, with a few whacks interspersed. They have put on 36 for the 9th so far. Chesh checks WhatsApp and cheers with delight "Midds got 50". Fahan responds "Who's Midds?" Tumbleweed moment. Fahan goes and hides in shame. 131-8 off 31 
One ball left in the innings. Midds on strike on 94. Currie bowls, Midds launches, he misses, bowler hits. The fairytale ending is denied. Innings closed 237-5 off 53.Birdie bolsters the averages with a 33*. It's competitive, but it ain't a done deal. 
Score? 1-0 to Belgium. Oh the cricket? We're halfway through tea mate. Riz was unlucky to find a fielder and David Saint who bats at 11 because he can bat, put on 28 with Sniff (31) for the last wicket, including an over where he hit 14 off a 7 year old who promptly went down to long leg and cried for the remainder of the innings. 165 all out off 38.1. Despite never really looking like it would be, it's competitive, but it ain't a done deal. 
A well kept scorebook and an active Whats App account make retrospective minute by minute reporting reasonably easy, but when everyone is out on the field it gets a bit trickier. Whilst there may be some license in the above timings, they are mostly pretty accurate, however for the second innings, you get all we know in one hit.
In the absence of the mighty Dakes, the opening bowling partnership boasted a combined age of 36. Hamzah's new partner was Robert Armstrong-Jones, of Eton and West Wycombe, prompting Keeps to immediately enquire what the cost would be of adding 3 surnames and 3 hyphens by deed pole. RAJ was debuting after just one net and after a slightly nervy start, settled into a good spell. When asked what he thought of his new opening partner, Hamzah (1-84) opined that Robert (2-39) was good, but possibly not an opener. 

Oxford started well and at a reasonable pace, with opener Parry underpinning the innings with 60 before falling leg before to Al. It was Al (3-29 off 8) and Gilet (1-45 off 12) who put the brakes on and dragged it back so that it looked like Oxford were dropping out of any chance of a win. Captain Hollywood positioned himself such that he took another 2 catches, bringing him back up level with Sam for the season. One of these was off Gilet, making it a round dozen he has taken off his school mate's bowling and this appears to be going some way to mitigating the misfield he made off Mike's bowling in Yr 9 which cost an extra run.

With 4 overs to go, Oxford were still 50 adrift and 7 down and it only looked like 1 team could win it, with the draw a short odds favourite. However the well set Cahir and Dogar had other ideas. With Hamzah back on, there was pace on the ball as it hit the bat, and considerably more immediately after. It went to all corners and with 2 balls left to to be bowled, Cahir launched into one that went into orbit. It was up there long enough for the batsmen to run 1 and then cross for the second before it was taken by Hollywood. Or was it? The batsmen maintained that they didn't cross, meaning that the new batter would NOT be on strike. The Ridge, and in particular Birdie, maintained that they had, meaning the new batsman would be on strike. 

Birdie's application for the role of Child welfare Officer is still under discussion, but may not have been helped by his insistence to the 16 year old in question that he was incorrect. At this point the Oxford captain came onto the field and told Birdie in no uncertain terms that if he had something to say, he should direct it to him as skipper, not to a 16 year old. Showing an admirable consistency, SB duly obliged and gave the skipper both barrels.

In the end, Graham decided that they had not crossed a second time and with one ball left, 5 needed to win and 2 wickets left, there was now only on team that could win and it wasn't us.

Sadly from a dramatic point of view, but happily for the Ridge, the last ball was a non event and Oxford finished 4 short in their 47.

For those of you missing the excitement of the timed commentary, it was about half an hour later that the Challow result came in. Remarkably, they had also made 237, and Banbury of all people, had finished 4 short on 233-9. It meant that we had shipped one point to them, but remained on top of division 6.
We were playing on the same wicket as the 1s had played on last week and bowled Challow out for 130 after making 313. It had been dry ... very dry and looked well suited to the spinners. It was something of a surprise therefore, particularly as it has been 30 degrees all week without a drop of rain, that the pitch was less dry than last week. Jamma (Thames Water's new most wanted) had done a very good job of ensuring that the wicket would hold up.

Nevertheless, Sniff decided that he was opening with Saeed down the hill and Junaid up. Whilst it did not rag square as had been widely predicted, Saeed bowled well and had both the ball and the batsmen turning in both directions. Despite a resilient 21 from De Silva, Oxford found themselves 3 down relatively quickly, but with a partnership developing between Oates and Baldock. 

Runs were not flowing, but the wickets were no longer tumbling either and the prospect that 165 was actually enough to get the better end of the game was looming. Saeed then got one to go absolutely straight and had Oates trapped leg before, a decision (from your correspondent) which was met some disgruntlement, however this was nothing compared to what followed.

The next batter chased a wide one from Saeed (3-46) and nudged it catching practice style into the hands of the safest slip fielder on the pitch (Vajid). He was not a happy boy. The bat was slammed into the pads, the helmet thrown off and kicked all the way back to the pavilion. As he rounded the pavilion, all car owners listened nervously for tinkling or alarm sounds, but thankfully he contained his disappointment.  

Said slip fielder had now replaced Junaid (4-25) at the bottom end and trapped another Baldock, presumably son of the batsman at the other end, leg before.The batsman dutifully walked off, but the non striker was livid, and let the umpire (his own umpire) know exactly what he thought of the decision ... repeatedly. 

It was fast becoming apparent that the remaining Baldock was Oxford's only real chance of winning as there followed a procession of young lads. They were keen and well disciplined, but the experience of Vajid, David Saint and Saeed was making it difficult to progress.With Baldock on 45, back came Junaid. He bowled one down the leg side which the batsman flicked at. There was a clear sound, Jovan caught it, juggled it and caught it again. Up went the umpire's finger. The batsman was too busy arguing with the fielders about why they were appealing to see this and stood his ground. It took an uncharacteristically calm intervention from your correspondent, walking in from the square leg umpire position to get him to leave. He had been livid about his son's dismissal but was now incandescent. 

With still 7 overs to go, they were 9 down and the captain was batting with the number 11. Given some of the shots played earlier, number 11 will be lobbying for at least a 3 place promotion next week as he played straight and risk free. There was one very big shout against him for a leg before, but Oxford's umpire (who, for what it's worth, I thought was very good), declined to give his team any more reasons to lynch him.  

They saw it out for what was probably a fair result, from the best 2s bowling performance of the season.
No Tardis's were damaged in the compiling of these reports

Bledlow Ridge 1s vs Challow & Childrey 2s

7th July 2018

Ridge smash their way to Top of the Table

Gilet 7 for outshone by perfect spell from Brooksie

Dakes 78 outshone by patient 16 from Keeps

“No-ball gate” continues


BRCC                     313-9 dec  (51.3)

C & C                     130 ao  (30)

BRCC won by 183 runs

There was indeed a lot of shining going on as the top 2 in division 6 met at Meadow Styles, not least the glint of the div 6 championship trophy (assuming such a thing exists). It may be early in the season to be talking about league deciders, but given the records of the 2 teams concerned up to this point, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that the winners would have the League to lose.

By a vagary of the British weather and the out of date Cherwell league rain rules (if only we knew someone on the committee who could get something done about that), BRCC went into the match unbeaten, having already played Challow, but in second place, 12 points behind them. The normal response to winning the toss in Challow’s position would be to bat, the pitch having been generally agreed to be looking as flat as **** (to use the technical terminology), so Dakes could barely contain his surprise (and pleasure) when having called correctly, Alex Lynch opted to bowl.

So we all slathered on a litre of Hazmat grade sun cream and headed into the middle.

The hero of our tale was umpiring at square leg (Oi! If you want to be the hero, you write the bloody report) and as opener Luke Cheshire whizzed a couple past a slightly bemused Lloydy, he was starting to think it wasn’t a bad decision to bowl. On ball 5, Lloydy reckoned he had finally managed to get a thin nick on one, however the other umpire disagreed and given that it had thumped into his pads plumb in front, he was on his way. Keeps made a slightly better fist of leaving the last ball and we were 0-1 from 1.

In the second over, Brooksie at least got the runs ahead of the wickets with a lovely cut for 4 to point, followed 2 balls later by a nicely timed 4 to square leg. On neither occasion did he take so much as a step out of his crease, which may have been an expression of his confidence in his timing, combined with the lightening quick outfield, or it could have been a statement of intent to get absolutely nowhere near the end Luke Cheshire was bowling to. Keeps hopped about a bit, hit a few back to the bowler and after 9 consecutive dots decided enough was enough, got a scruffy edge on one and used the powers invested in him as Lord of whatever to command Brooksie through for a single. Two balls later, the pitch showed itself to be slightly duplicitous and as Phil went to clip the ball through mid wicket, it just stopped on him a little and he was caught at mid on off a leading edge.

As they were waiting for the incoming batsman, Keeps cheerfully commented to our hero that we were 12-3 when he had to rescue us the last time, so actually 13-2 for was a step in the right direction.

Actually it should have been Enter Gorgeous George, but for a “wholly acceptable reason” GGG had arrived at the ground late, which was reason enough to be grateful that Taggart and Rolfie were 15 miles apart as they would have then spent the next week discussing whether Penalty Time was applicable. But if Gorgeous isn’t available, there’s only one man you can send in without disillusioning the opposition to the notion that you are the best-looking cricket team in the CCL. Enter Hollywood!

Hollywood is a big lad and 32 degrees is a hot day, even for someone who looks like he spends his entire life on a sun bed, so he decided that running was definitely not a sensible option. His first scoring stroke was a 4, as were his next 3. In fact, by the time he had got to 41, he had run just 3, and collected the rest in a series of brutal boundaries. He bullied the other opener out of the attack and traumatised the first change bowler, while Keeps held down the other end. Ever the giver, this prompted Keeps to comment once again to our hero that “It must be brilliant for Hollywood to be able to play freely, knowing that there is no chance of a wicket going down at the other end.” 6 balls later, gone for 16!

They had however put on an invaluable 70 partnership by this point and the moment all the ladies were waiting for had arrived. The handsome twins were batting together! It was all too fleeting but not without incident. In particular, GGG may have been lucky to survive a run out appeal, having smacked the ball extremely hard, directly at Taggart’s head. The bowler, much to the disappointment of all Ridge regulars, actually got a hand on it to deflect it away, however our hero had already headed boundary ward and downward in search of sanctuary. GGG had set off on a very dicey run and the ball was thrown at the stumps, but by the time Taggart had surfaced from his trench with a severe case of PTSD and a tin hat on, all he saw was a broken wicket and a batsman in his ground. He explained that he was too busy watching his entire life flash before his eyes to notice the point of impact and to be fair to C & C they accepted the decision with good grace.

Perhaps blinded by all this shining handsomeness, C & C took off all their seamers and introduced a variety of spinners. Hollywood felt the beginnings of a bead of sweat and as sweating puts him in breach of his image rights contract he was forced to hole out for a savage 55 (11 4s, 1 6). George wasn’t much more sympathetic to the bowling and made 52 in a partnership of 86 with Dakes, and then Samdog got the biggest cheer of the innings when he hit a boundary and didn’t get out next ball. His partnership of 94 with Dakes meant that when he finally went just 5 short of a 50, we were at 273-6 off 46, and C & C were really really fed up.

Dakes was struggling to believe what was being offered up and was hitting the ball to all corners. He got particularly riled when Taggart sent him back for a leg bye on the basis that wafting the bat in vaguely the same hemisphere as the ball did not constitute playing a shot. The batsman declared the decision ridiculous while the bowler congratulated the umpire on the decision, declaring that batsman get away with far too much. He wasn’t quite so sure however when Dakes, in a fit of pique, smoked the next 3 balls to the mid wicket boundary for 4 to bring up his 50. The bowler shuffled off mumbling something about it being the umpire’s fault.

Hamz was pushed up the order for quick runs, but this theory proved flawed as it took him 13 balls to get his 29. There was a hint of collusion when Dakes and Hamz met in the middle of the pitch to discuss who they were going to let C & C run out (Dakes (78) went on the basis that he was knackered) and when Hamz finally holed out 3 balls into the 52nd, we were forced to declare on the basis that Gilet wasn’t prepared to change his shirt for 3 balls. 313-9 however looked pretty decent on a pitch that was starting to pop a bit.

It was suggested at tea by someone from Challow that perhaps we had spoiled the game by not declaring at 260. He forecast at that point that it was going to be a really dull draw but it’s funny what 300+ does to your mindset.

A typically superb Roz Moran tea was accompanied by several attempts to delay the resumption on the basis that there was footie on the telly, however it was decided it was easier to ignore Keeps continued insistence that his 16 was actually the backbone of the innings, on the pitch than in the changing room so out we went.

We’re running into a third page now, so I’ll make this bit quick.

Dakes was knackered and bowled 6 overs off half a run. 2-16 with no wides. Just saying!

Hamzah took 3 wickets, but Taggart nicked 2 of them back on the basis that you need to bowl off 22 yards, not 21.

Al bowled better than his figures suggested, but sent down the obligatory 2 full tosses so had to be replaced by Keeps (what were you thinking?!?) who did the same in the next over and had to be replaced by Brooksie, who returned the near perfect figures of 0.1-0-0-0.

Gilet bowled well, but couldn’t match Phil’s economy rate, going for 35 off his 10.3 overs.

He did however take 7 wickets, and thus won us the match (if you don’t count Keeps’ quite brilliant 16).

So having smashed Challow twice, and beaten everyone else in the League (barring rain and one wicket against Minster Lovell), we are top by 7 (we really need to find someone to talk to about that). Football is coming home but England aren’t and you can get a very decent curry in Chinnor at 11pm on a Saturday night.

We’ve had worse days. 


BRCC 2s v Kimble 2s


Away – Saturday 7th July 2018 


Eleven Ridgemen fall to the Nine of Kimble


Cool diplomacy as Captain Chesh and Umpire Graham quell moments of dissent


ShaunTrap absconds with proceeds of Summit Meeting tickets (pursued by a Bear)




Kimble 240 all out (40 overs)

BRCC     53 all out (27 overs)


Lost by 187 runs



An empty Kimble ground on a sunny day half an hour before the start of a cricket match is rather an attractive if lonely place.


As RolfeDog and the Kimble captain surveyed the scene, the arrival of David Saint was much like the first sight of another human being by survivors on a desert island.


Players trickled in but very few of them belonged to Kimble whose captain said he had lost four to the firsts that week or that day or even that hour.


The sound level increased with the arrival of Hillarious and the non-arrival of most of his kit which, he revealed, was in the boot of his dad’s car which was in a garage for repair. One assumes the car rather than the kit was in for repair.


Mysteriously Ben could only relate this to one item of kit at a time so firstly he texted all and sundry at about 11.45 that he would need a shirt and then, an hour later while changing, announced that he did not have any trousers.


RolfeDog obliged with the shirt and Jovan with the whites and Ben decided he would audition for a remake of Madness’ Baggy Trousers.


HairBear had once played at this ground wearing Dickers’ whites – or “tent” as we liked to call it - but today he spent the pre-match deliberations complaining about the ongoing heat and that he was already “40 degrees”. Being a Ginger he may indeed have been hotter than anyone else.


We assembled, ten of us ready to field, for another of Captain Cheshire’s rousing Churchillian motivational speeches.


In the event this was more like a Parliamentary Brief with every potential aspect of the game covered except for the fact that the opposition might blast 240 with a team of only nine men. Suddenly an eleventh Ridge man appeared at the door in the form of Malik whose promptness with two minutes to spare would put Saeed to shame.


Had we opened the match with a hat-trick the game would have been over there and then but for the one run required for victory. As it was, during the second over a trail of opposition cricketers, ready-changed walked across the car park at approximately 10-yard distances to bring the Kimble contingent to nine.


We had already managed quite a few wides by the time in the fourth over the ShaunTrap bowled one of the openers. “Great reward for pressure” enthused the irrepressible Chesh.  This prompted a brief debate after which the team concluded that with the score at 24-0 off three overs and with a chest high full toss having been despatched for four the previous ball, the wicket was more a reward for complacency than for pressure.


This brought in the diminutive Kimble No 3 Ateeq Ahmed whose shirt design, rather unusually, sported a large dark rim under and around each armpit as if someone had swapped his can of Brut with a spray can of dark creosote.

Either way his arms were well oiled and after a sighter or two he smacked a decent ball from Hillarious into the field and shortly another, against the sightscreen.


RolfeDog was in best ball-searching form chiding anyone who was looking for the ball somewhere other than where RolfeDog was standing. The field had been planted with peas which – I had never seen this – grow on stalks meaning that you can see the ground below, rather unlike the wildflower garden which is developing on the ‘Keeping’ side of Meadow Styles.


Chesh made a poor joke about being ‘peed’ off and then repeated it when nobody reacted. Everyone was peed off with RolfeDog however when the youngest member of the opposition, aged 13, found the ball nowhere near where RolfeDog was looking and made his discovery with the now traditional remark “I’ve found a nice shiny looking Cherwell League ball, just a few overs old, in the place where I thought it went in, but I don’t know if it is the match ball.”


With recent match reports in mind RolfeDog was keen to quash at birth, the possibility that aliens were randomly dropping nearly-new match balls into fields surrounding the Kimble ground just as they have been at The Ridge and confirmed that the probability of it being the match ball exceeded 100% so we carried on with the game.


Unfortunately, although he quietened down a bit Mr Ahmed had rather a good game. Chesh rotated his other bowlers, Vajid, Junaid (3-60) and Farhan and the wickets gradually game, one held by Junaid who is a Good Catcher, another by Chesh who is also a Good Catcher. The wickets which fell, fell at the other end however, until Ahmed eventually ‘walked’ for a nick behind caught by Jovan off the Real Saint (appreciated by the fielders) for 88 making way for Raza Shah and Nisar Ahmed to have bit of a blast at the end until we bowled them out needing only to take eight wickets to do so (Kimble having just nine men).


The only other incident of note had been an unrequited appeal for LBW by The Real Saint which ended with him lying on his back doing a “dead ants” turn, for which he was awarded 8/10 for style + 1/10 for needlessly drawing attention.



We found that England were 1-0 up in the WC Quarter-Final v Sweden and the absence of any loud cheer from the pavilion at this goal was explained by the shortage of Kimble players together with the need to provide an umpire to support Graham and a scorer. There had therefore been only three people watching the game at the time Harry Maguire rose above all the Swedish defenders and scored, bringing to mind McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher” (Mamas and Papas, Creek Alley, 1967)


It was agreed that if the openers padded up in advance we would watch the end of the match and RolfeDog was rewarded by someone walking in front of the telly just at the moment Deli Alli scored England’s second goal.


Buoyed by England’s 2-0 success we found ourselves 16-7 off about 15 overs,then Farhan scored our second boundary off the last ball of the 19th over and it was at this point that the top scorer exceeded 5.


HairBear, a Gilet-Statto trainee, because obsessed with low-scoring records in the Cherwell League (CCL) and was delighted that Farhan’s boundary took us out of the lowest ten scores in CCL history, the lowest ever being exactly 10.


The brevity of our innings up to the point that Hillarious, batting No 10, joined Farhan at the crease is impossible to match with sufficient brevity in words, so I say no more about the first eight wickets, except for a strange discussion that took place after the loss of our 7th.


By this time, Captain Designate S.Niff was on the field kindly doing some voluntary square-leg umpiring and Captain Extraordinary, Chesh, was scoring. Chesh was forced to do so while answering rapid-fire questions of a critical nature from Malik, starting with the batting order.


Some would argue that Malik’s dismissal bowled, while pirouetting 180 degrees on one leg trying to hit a regulation delivery to Glamorgan, had done little to advance his case for promotion up the order. Malik however saw it differently, then moved on to captaincy, bowling and field placing, before moving on again to Brexit, climate change and the Meaning of Life.


Captain Chesh dealt with this with the cool of an experienced diplomat, promising that he would attend to the matter when not having to acknowledge signals from the umpires and generally watch the game. A Summit Meeting was offered at which he was prepared to ‘drill down’, ‘take it to the next level’, ‘run it up the flagpole’ and ‘peel back the layers of onion’, an event for which Shaun began to sell tickets.


By now RolfeDog had taken over at square-leg and Hillarious and Farhan, batting with exemplary defence, were showing some resistance and hitting the odd boundary giving us hope of survival, although we were only 23 or so overs into the innings.


Umpire Graham chided both batsmen for chatting for an unnecessarily long time between overs and keeping the fielding side waiting: “But there’s plenty to talk about” responded Ben. One couldn’t help thinking that of the two batsmen involved Ben was probably doing rather more of the talking and Farhan, more of the listening. There’s also not a lot to talk about when your score is 40-8 with twenty overs more to play out and most of your kit is in the boot of your dad’s car in the local garage.


It was against this backdrop that a minor umpiring incident emerged as the – until now – quiet and thoughtful -  Arun Singh, fielding at mid-off, demanded of Farhan that he be ready to bat.


This might have been a reasonable request a) had he been an umpire and b) had Graham not been dealing with a recalcitrant stump at the bowlers end where he was trying with only partial success, and no help from mid-off, to secure the stump and replace a rebellious bail.


This cut no ice with the fielder who chose Graham as his next target then took his reprimand with poor grace, continuing to do so after the next wicket when Farhan fell to a very fine diving catch for a plucky 17.


Order was restored just about, though one sensed that if might have been easier for the Kimble skipper if he had been more familiar with all his players.

As far as I can remember, Kimble had not supplied a match umpire – a point which eluded some of the opposing team - whereas Graham umpired the entire match at the bowler’s end on behalf of both teams, in searing heat.


We had also provided another non-playing official at square leg for a number of overs during the second innings.


With Farhan’s dismissal we had the exciting prospect of ShaunTrap batting with a runner on account of a recurrence of a hip injury. We were spared the fun however when Ben was bowled and in scoring 53 we had lost by 187 runs, Nisar Ahmed taking 6-25.


HairBear announced with great excitement that our score was not in the lowest 200 totals in CCL history and for that we were grateful and we could not wait to inform Gilet who had probably made a wirelsss connection to Kimble anyway.


Malik was no longer around when Chesh convened for the Summit Meeting and an angry mob gathered demanding their ticket money back from ShaunTrap who was nowhere to be seen either. Goodband gave chase.


A discussion followed about the 1s victory by an almost identical margin (183 runs) v former league leaders Challow and the absence of some of our bowlers in the coming weeks. “Gilet is bowling very well but not taking many wickets” someone remarked as the news came through that he had bowled Challow out almost single-handedly with 7-35.


RolfeDog was the last RidgeBear to leave and could see no other signs of life. He reflected that an empty Kimble ground on a sunny day half an hour after the end of a cricket match is rather an attractive if lonely place.




BRCC 1s v Banbury 4s Away 

Saturday 30th June 2018 


Cpt Birdseye leads The Ridge to Victory Again


Lord Keeping of Toad Hall now scoring more runs than his bowling concedes


Ridge early batsmen culled by Badgers




Banbury 4:              189-9     (53 overs)

BRCC:                     190-3      (41.4 overs)


Result: BRCC Won by 7 wickets


“Last time we played here I hit one onto the roof of the DHL building” said Hamsah on the journey up. “One of their older players said he’s only seen it done three times”. 

That player was Steve Partington who was rolling the wicket he had prepared when we arrived, was organising teas, had got the bar rota sorted and then opened the batting. 

Unfortunately Mike Stevens was not available to umpire so could not give him LBW second ball as he had three years ago, as a reward for a week’s hard match preparation. 

Instead, Steve cut an impressive figure in helmet, thick glasses and mouthguard as he faced up to Captain Birdseye’s first ball. Either he was planning to do a bit of spot-welding while at the crease or had heard about the vagaries of Dakes’ first-ball-of-the-match each week. 

“See if you can avoid bowling a wide first ball” said RolfeDog to Captain Birdseye who had once opened a new season with four wides. Amazingly the first ball was straight and true which fooled Umpire Graham who was already in the process of signalling a wide out of habit and was forced to retract, or redact which is a word I learnt recently, or ‘learned’ even. 

Birdseye bowled straight and true for much of the afternoon getting Edward Phillips and Seb Finch early. Partington proved harder to remove as he had by now dug a trench, welded a bit of corrugated to the roof and was resisting all-comers. 

Well all except Gilet-Statto, who, fresh from giving the inexperienced 63-year-old RolfeDog a lesson in shining the ball, breached his defences and got him LBW with a bouncing bomb. 

Partington de-partington-ed and if SamDog had caught Adnam Ahmed early doors the innings might have finished early doors, but he didn’t so it didn’t. 

As it was, there was time for Dakes to experiment widely with his bowling options allowing Ben Hillarious and Shaun “Shauntrap” Dryden plenty of practice for when Dakes would be away in a couple of weeks’ time. 

Shaun was pleased to accept this opportunity only breaking the news to Captain Birdseye that his holiday would coincide with the Captains’ once his spell was complete, so the experiment was all a waste of time. 

Hamsah bowled in two spells with great accuracy and as usual was the unlucky bowler in respect of the dropped catch. He eventually returned to get Sophie Mitchelmore caught by SamDog (reason for celebration in itself) but not before Ahmed had built an innings which threatened to take Banbury well past 200. 

In the event he was well caught by Brooksie off Hillarious for 72 whose final figures were 8.4-1-26-1. Interesting figures those, since the innings went the full 53 overs exactly. 

This is explained by the Keeping Phenomenon: in fact it is more like a Keeping Ritual wherein Keeps sees how many balls he can bowl before getting banned for bowling two no balls above waist height. 

This time he managed 14, ie 2.2 overs. This ECB rule is nonsense in the context of young bowlers plying their trade in, say, Division 6. A young talented leg spinner for example – who needs to learn his art and keep bowing - might have two high deliveries go for two sixes and yet be removed from bowling for ‘endangering the batsman’ … absolute nuts! 

Ben Keeps however fits none of the categories ‘young’, ‘talented’ or ‘spinner’ so it is always with great relief that his teammates watch the umpire terminate his spell for the greater good of the team in particular and of cricket in general. There was almost an argument however as Umpire Graham insisted he had to come off and the batsman implored Graham to keep him on. At least on the day the rule worked to our advantage as that brought Hillarious back and later Dakes who ended with 5-34 off 10 making him the highest wicket-taker to date in the division. 

Gilet poached another wicket somewhere too, caught by SamDog which all seems too much of a coincidence really. 

In the end Banbury set just 190 to win which could have been a whole lot more had Adnan lasted longer and had McTaggart been fit to bowl 

Tea was par: those of us with longish memories remember the day when Banbury produced a truly magnificent spread. It had been ordered in by a catering company who had got rather confused with other orders and sent a wedding banquet to Banbury CC by mistake leaving us to ponder how the young couple and their guests were getting on somewhere else with a few sarnies, pork pies and Wagon Wheels, on the greatest day of their lives. 

RolfeDog went out with Brooksie for the usual ritual sacrifice and was bowled by a badger. A Badger in fact, first name Alex. 

The scene began to resemble the Wind in the Willows as A Badger had nailed a Rabbit and after a fine aggressive innings by Brooksie, A N Other Badger, this one by the name Ollie, bowled him a long-hop. The book says Brooksie was caught by a Finch but there is no mention of a Finch in the famous book written by the then Secretary of the Bank of England, so I rather suspect that Brooksie was in fact caught Owl bowled Badger for 37. 

Anyway, he left the field looking rather Ratty, paving the way for a second ritual Rolfe-Sacrifice whereby SamDog chipped another long-hop back to the bowler and suffered the ignominy of being both caught by a Badger and bowled by a Badger - or to be pedantic (and who isn’t?) of being caught by O Badger and bowled by O Badger. This, as everyone knows is something Stoatally different and is occasionally referred to as completing the Set (geddit?). 

During all this time, Lord Keeping of Toad Hall had been batting sublimely as he has been all season. He progressed past 50 while Captain Birdseye was still scratching around in the Wild Wood.  The Great Lord may never make it to be Secretary of the Bank of England but he is one hell of a Banker to his teammates. 

Try as they might, the Eight Bowlers of Banbury could not Weasel either of them out and just when Lord Toad was beginning to near a century and with it, a definite absence of any match report, Birdseye opened his shoulders and showed his class as someone nearly said of a large Cuban athlete (Dakes only qualifies in respect of the word “large”). 

He hit two sixes and won the match though neither threatened Hamsah’s rare feat. With the match over the DHL warehouse ceased to be at risk from any stray deliveries (geddit?). 

Lord Toad (86 no) marched off to great applause and comments like “Oh Bliss, Oh My”. He was able to quote his batting average to three decimal points as he crossed the boundary, arousing suspicion that he is now receiving Gilet-Statto updates wirelessly while batting. 

We then watched some exciting World Cup football on telly and when Gilet-Statto jogged the telly by mistake a couple of Uruguay players and Ronaldo of Portugal fell over. 

Steve Partington said it was only the third time he’d ever seen that happen. 

Ian Duncan-Smith was unavailable for comment

BRCC 1s v Sandford St Martin 2s Home


Saturday 23rd June 2018


Gilet goes wicketless but finds his trouser cord


RidgeBears lose intellectual battle but win cricket match


Birdy wears Shaun’s clothes in battle of Time & Space



S St M:              193 ao (52.3 overs)

BRCC:               196 -6  (45.5overs) 

Result: BRCC Won by 4 wickets


Sandford St Martin arrived with car loads of students. Clearly The Ridge was not going to be able to match their level of intellect and intelligent discussion. One player, watching Gilet warm up in the nets commented that it is remarkable how bowlers have so many different methods with which to propel the ball to the other end of the wicket. 

He might just has well have said: “Look at that chap’s strange bowling action”, but being polite he didn’t and just chatted about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity instead and in particular that ‘’massive objects cause a distortion in space-time” as anyone who has ever shared a changing room with Dickers would know. 

Sandford batted. Their batsmen were like Russian dolls in reverse: each time we got one out a bigger one came in. 

In a nutshell they raced to 29-0 off 6 but although they batted for all but three balls of the permitted 53 overs only Greg Pearson made over 16. 

Captain Dakin Birdseye greedily took 4-47 while Hamzah was a little more expensive, but still effective with 3-67. Ben Hillarious managed 1-13 off seven overs upstaging Gilet-Statto who also conceded only 13 off 7 overs. Gilet decided not to concentrate on taking wickets, but more on containment, in the sense that his new trouser elastic kept his shirt contained within his trousers for most of the afternoon. This alone justified the comment about the strange action referred to in the second paragraph of this piece. 

While all this was going on we had the incident of Shaun and the Mobile Net. 

Shaun had bowled his first spell of the season. This had included a number of deliveries to a Ben Taylor who had played a wide range of impressive and aggressive strokes very few of which had made contact with the ball. RolfeDog was just musing that Ben Hillarious was wasted on the deep square leg boundary when next ball, Mr Taylor made contact (law of averages) straight into the hands of said fielder who did not have to move an inch. Ben did however perform a neat little ballet manoeuvre on catching the ball to give us the impression that staying inside the rope had not been easy. 

Being only about 3 years old, Shaun was taken off after six successful overs but soon found himself haring after a shot which he stopped with his foot inches from the boundary while still running full tilt. He only came to a stop on hitting the horizontal bar lying across the open end of a mobile net situated a few feet beyond the boundary – which from now on shall be called a ShaunTrap. 

In brief, Shaun’s body stopped instantly except that his little legs didn’t, which shed doubt on Einstein’s view on the relationship between Space and Time. These little legs only stopped running when they realised Shaun was by now on the floor having struck the metal bar with his manly chest causing it to bend appreciably  - the bar that is. – bringing into play Shaun’s Theory of Elasticity. 

Drama Queen that he is, he lay there until his father – one ShakEy Dryden - arrived with the news that had Shaun bothered diving as the ball went passed he would not have run into the ShaunTrap. Luckily Shaun was more ShakEn than Stirred and in the event it only hurt when he laughed, RolfeDog telling him lots of jokes to cheer him up, and that. 

The outcome was Shaun, Sharon and ShakEy looking very twee as they sat on a bench, while BirdDog who had been sitting out this week due to injury, forgot that he was injured, offered to field as a substitute for our newly broken man and squeezed his way into Shaun’s kit. He took the pitch as some sort of muscle-bound-looking Buzz Lightyear and proved just as ineffective as Shaun at stopping the ball without histrionics. 

SStM set us 194 to win and after Roz did her best to reduce our lifespans with another gourmet tea, The Ridge made a ritual sacrifice of two RolfeDog’s in the first over in order to give the opposition encouragement. 

Both fell to Ben Ackland Snow – he who had commented on Gilet’s bowling before the match. He has three names as he is as tall as at least three people and is at least as intelligent as all of our team combined. 

He bowled an outstanding spell and the RolfeDogs lived in hope for a full 12 overs that Brooksie would join them with a 0 to his name, a hope that was dashed only in the 13th over when he got off the mark. He had 8 after 20 overs but the RolfeDogs grudgingly had to admit that his patient innings with Hollywood who was going silly at the other end, set up our hard-won victory 

There was still a lot to do when Brooksie was caught for 35 by those Three Wise Men, Ben Ackland & Snow, but Dakes kept up the momentum while watching Hollywood pepper the field. 

One of these shots brought about a return of this year’s new phenomenon whereby a fielder hops over a boundary fence to retrieve a ball, picks up a bright match ball from precisely the point where the shot has landed only to declare “It’s not the match ball’ as if by some astronomic phenomena nearly-new replica cricket balls have been scattered over the place to confuse match-ball-hunters. 

That last paragraph contained only one sentence. 

Anyway HairBear made 7 after Captain Birdseye’s dismissal for 22 and Hollywood’s for a very lucky 73, mostly in fours and sixes. This brought in Allan to join Hamsah who had stunned us all by not trying to hit his first ball into the stratosphere where Einstein might catch it and bung it into a black hole. 

He was also wary of the  bowling prowess of top scorer Greg Pearson who had accounted for Brooksie, Birdseye and HairBear and was making a decent bid for Man of the Match (in the end Albert Einstein shaded it, so to speak). 

Indeed another strange thing was happening… another new phenomenon: Hamzah was batting sensibly and was playing defensive shots. Whatever next?: a RidgeBear running full speed into a ShaunTrap perhaps?  Lord Lucan riding past on Shergar? 

SStM decided against recalling any of Ben, Ackland or Snow (2-19 off 13 overs), gambling instead on the slow bowling of Ian Reynolds to the surprise of all those RidgeBears with a lower IQ than B.A.S., ie all of us. 

it was Allan who hit the big six that added to Hamzah’s good work and got us very close, before in a bizarre moment with just four wanted for victory and 8 balls left, Hamzah drilled a shot with great power only for its journey to the boundary to be interrupted by Allan who took its full force much in the way the bar of the ShaunTrap had taken the full force of Shaun and his little legs a few hours earlier. 

Instead, next ball, Hamsah went for subtlety and finished the game with a delicate leg glance to the square leg boundary and left the field to applause and to the sight of Statto looking at his mobile phone before declaring ‘That’s only the third time since the age of 13 that Hamzah has made a score of over 15 without hitting a six, in a year which is not a leap year and when there’s a World Cup”. 

At this news, we all stared into a vacuum. 

It remained for us to share a beer or two with the opposition who later sent a message by email to say what a nice ground we have (probably true) and what a good bunch we are (definitely true) all of which just confirmed what an intelligent bunch they were, even  though they have no idea the Earth is flat and the Moon is made of cheese.


Rob Brydon is away.


Bledlow Ridge 2s v Bletchley 2s

 Home – Saturday 16th June 2018

               Ridge defeated despite strong performances by Young Guns


Chesh auditions for remake of DARKEST HOUR


“Shock” appearance of debrillator 



BRCC- 211-7 (45 overs)

Bletchley – 212-5 (38.2) overs 

Lost by 5 wickets


Despite posting our best total of the season by a considerable amount the 2s lost to league leaders Bletchley by 5 wickets on a barmy afternoon at The Ridge.


RotlfeDog was surprised that all the team arrived well in advance of the start of a home match, he not being used to this sort of thing in the firsts. Taggart and RolfeDog learned to their great pride that they were appointed to Chesh’s Senior Management Team for this match and shared responsibility for the running of Captain Chesh’s Barmy Army or Young Guns (YG). 

Chesh won the toss – Lucky Tosser – elected to bat and gave a Churchillian speech about commitment, pride and the fact that if you were batting down the order it didn’t mean you weren’t valued. He could have saved time simply by saying “David, I know you can bat but you’re No 11 today all the same”. 

At the moment that RolfeDog was dissolving into tears of emotion there was a knock on the door and his friend Graham Keens from Bledlow Village and Bucks O60s appeared at the door with a gift, announcing “I have a defibrillator here for you John”.  RolfeDog fainted with embarrassment and was resuscitated with the help of the defibrillator and a bicycle pump. 

Chesh and Jovan opened and Chesh hit his second ball for four which was some kind of a record. He and Jovan put on over 60 before Chesh was out for 14 to be replaced by Efan. Meanwhile Jovan was slapping the ball through the covers off the back foot with the face of the bat and to fine leg off the front with the inside edge. He was bowled for 41 at which point RolfeDog, the No 5 enquired of the whereabouts of HairBear (YG). 

The Bear had chosen to wait until he was the next in to bat, to make an extended visit to the Little Room from where he explained through the locked door thathe would not be available to bat at No 4, if the rule about going out within two minutes of the previous wicket, was still in force as he still had much to do. 

RolfeDog bored the spectators for a while but witnessed the shot of the day from Efan  (YG).at the other end. Efan made 31 and RolfeDog 13 before HairBear who felt all the better for his commercial break, slapped 32 and while doing so, gave Kelvin some valuable sprint training during his first outing of the season. Farhan (YG).and Junaid  (YG).maintained the pace and took us to 211 with 29 and 16 not out respectively. 

The Bletchley innings commenced. Chesh had advised RolfeDog that Junaid likes to bowl with his cap back to front. It had not been anticipated that David Saint would bowl an entire spell wearing a cap, albeit it the right way around. The cap acts as a kind of rudder apparently and is particularly effective for bowlers running down the hill. 

In essence we took a marvellous catch (Junaid) and a sharp catch (The Real Saint) but our failure to hang on to some other chances cost us the opportunity to put Bletchley’s batsmen under enough pressure even though we took wickets at intervals. 

Farhan was the pick of the bowlers bowling with a fluent action and good pace and accuracy. 

Junaid took a wicket without wearing a cap either way around. Taggart who replaced Farhan was suffering from the effects of not bowling for six weeks and found it hard to find his length. Well he found his length but not Farhan’s and as a consequence we had some ball-searching to do in the Stud Farm. 

After one of these visits Taggart bowled a yorker which was successfully defended. “Try hitting that for six” said Taggart invitingly to batsman Rubel Miah but instead of replying “I needn’t bother because I know there’ll be another juicy delivery along soon” the batsman started following Taggart back to his mark and a brief verbal exchange followed at which point the umpire, an inscrutable individual called Martin (formerly known as Sniff), stepped in and threatened to smash both their faces in. Well that’s what he was thinking, anyway. 

Taggart did bowl Rubel out shortly afterwards and shook him gently by the throat as he walked off before mentioning to the rest of the team that that was his 200th wicket for the club, not that records mean anything to him and all that. RolfeDog said it was a happy coincidence that taking his 200th wicket followed shortly after conceding his 200th six. 

As a proud member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) RolfeDog made one suggestion all afternoon which concerned the positioning in the field of Captain Chesh off the bowling of Mark Neal. Unaided by a defibrillator this suggestion was the Kiss of Death as the next two balls went into the position just vacated by Captain “Churchill” Cheshire and RolfeDog resigned as a member of said SMT. 

Chesh entered Wonderland and bowled three overs. The second was bowled with cap AND sunglasses which normally Trumps bowling with only a cap. 

Chesh appears to smile at the batsman as he bowls but no one knows why. Indeed there was a lot of inscrutability about as The Umpire Formerly Known As Sniff met The Cheshire Cat – The Cat With The Inscrutable Smile. 

Ken Hollis then took a liking to Chesh – who doesn’t and how can a batsman resist that smile - and gave us some more ball -searching practice before they won the game off our 28th wide in the 39th over. Well actually it was the 28th wide of the innings not the 28th wide in one particular over although it might have felt like that at times. 

The day’s cricket concluded with another rousing speech from Captain Chesh. In it he recognised that if the freedom of the West depended on our team’s blood and sweat, then democracy was assured for another 100 years, even if Mr Trump became Dictator of Europe in which case Brexit would have been a Good Thing. 

At this, RolfeDog collapsed and was revived by a defibrillator which just happened to be lying around, fortunately moments before Captain Chesh prepared to administer the Kiss of Life.


David DImbleby is currently on vacation in North Korea.

BRCC  v Eynsham  Away 

Saturday 2nd June 2018 

Gilet goes wicketless but finds his trouser cord

Brooks takes five wickets – conspiracy suspected


Hammy strains his Hammy



BRCC:        223-8 (50 overs)

Eynsham: 106 all out (37.2 overs) 

Result: BRCC Won by 117 runs


The weekend started when the 2nd Team Payer of the Year Trophy for 2015, which had sat on RplfeDog’s office table for three years, was handed over to Taggart to give to the newly returned Hari who was playing at home for the 2s..Hari responded by taking four wickets. 

This bright news contrasted strongly with the appalling events that followed at Eynsham where Phil Brooks had his best bowling analysis in a league match as he scuttled five Eynsham batsmen and with it, their reputations and our sense of justice. 

The Eynsham pitch had been underwater only 36 hours before the match so their wicketkeeper James Merrill was taking no chances. As the Ridge openers walked out to bat, Merrell’s headgear, goggles and snorkel showed he was  ready for deep-sea diving should it be required at any moment. Jacques Cousteau turned in his watery grave. 

His first dive resulted in his first appeal and this trend continued most times he caught the ball. On the first occasion RolfeDog enquired whether we might be awarded a wide, not realising this would prompt an unceasing babble of what might loosely be described as sledging or more accurately described as verbal water-skiing without the right equipment, for the next hour. 

Although a lot of work had been undertaken to get the game on, the wicket behaved much as might be expected in the circumstances and batting was hard against the bowling of Ben Weller and Thomas Gerken. 

RolfeDog was particularly careful not to be bowled by a Gerkin but Brooksie did get bowled by Weller because he was laughing at a sledge that described RolfeDog as his father. Were this the case, the good-looking genes had been withheld, obviously. 

SamDog, possibly Brooksie’s half-brother, joined RolfeDog. SamDog tends to play away games as there are not so many red kites about looking for carcasses. He hit two blistering drives before being undone with a half tracker that hit a mine and looped with the trajectory of a softball in space before landing splash on the base of his off stump on the second bounce. 

Up to this point RolfeDog had convinced onlookers how hard batting was but then Gorgeous George came out for the first time in two or three years, did a little assessment, decided batting was easy, and dispensed with RolfeDog’s services, RolfeDog not being in the picture frame when the throw to Cousteau Jnr came in, owing to his difficulty running in wellies. 

Out walked the second best-looking man in the team, Hollywood, to join the first. Hollywood deferred to Gorgeous’ ascendant looks by kindly allowing him to score all but 8 of their valuable partnership of 42 before he was replaced by Dakes after chipping one to mid-off. 

Dakes showed patience as a batsman. That’s worth repeating: Dakes showed patience as a batsman. It was needed, as batting was mostly harder than George made it look before he too was out. There was a lot to do when Birdy flew to the wicket even though the chirping from the fielders had long stopped. 

Nothing much exciting, interesting or funny happened for a long while unless you include the over from Captain and Head Sledger Sam Jones in which Dakes was beaten four times but survived. What he and Birdy did do was build the score up so that when Dakes sunk for a hard-earned 41, the stage was set for Hamsah. 

He obliged and created quite a splash. “I want go get 50” said Hamsah. “Just bat” said Birdy. Hamsah soon hit a six. “Don’t try it again said Birdy” so Hamsah hit the next ball for six. These two put on 59 in 7 overs. While batting Hamz told Birdy he wanted to know how many runs he had got. Birdy forbade such action so it was nicely synchronised that that both of them ended with 39, their runs eventually coming in waves. 

This allowed Ben Hillarious a few balls to face without running himself out and then Allan too, who hit his first one exceptionally hard only to see it trapped by the bowler with a first touch that we are unlikely to witness from any England players at the forthcoming World Cup. 

SamDog had been scoring for a lot of the innings and needed a bit of help adding up at the end and with the help of differential calculus we ended up with 223-8 – a fine total on this wicket. 

Dakes and Hamsah did not get a wicket in their first spells and they were probably put off by some very shallow sledging from Brooksie who was told to “Shut up you tart” by RolfeDog who wanted to get that in before the opposition. 

Allan swooped at midwicket and opened our account by running out Ben Smitten who looked even older than RolfeDog. Then came a strange period when, with a ripple effect everyone decided they were too injured to bowl.  Dakes started it, then Hamsah decided he had a bad hammy (Hammy’s hammy?). 

Luckily Hillarious did not feel this way until he had splashed out with a couple of wickets. Gilet came on at the other end, declared his knee unfit for bowling after his first over (water on the knee?) but on hearing that his replacement would be Hollywood who is always too unfit to bowl, Gilet’s knee injury miraculously disappeared. 

Gilet was very boring but Allan was this week’s unlucky victim of the ruling that if you bowl two chest high full tosses you can no longer bowl in the match even if they were not dangerous and were hit for four by a youngster. Captain Jones seemed particularly keen to have him taken off. The ECB need to look at this one again (this is Division 6 after all). Twenty miles for nine balls: it’s almost like being a batsman. 

We had run out of bowlers. Dakes looked around but everyone looked away except Brooksie so he got the ball. And with it a cricketing miracle or Tsunami depending on your point of view. He must have signed some kind of suicide pact with the batsmen who found various ways of hitting the ball in the air into the hands of Buckets Hollywood (seven catches this year) Bucket sBird (3 catches in the match) and Buckets Georgeous who managed to make an easy catch look difficult. 

By the time Gilet had ended his spell wicketless, Brooksie had four. At least he could count, as on being asked innocently of course, how many wickets he had taken, Gilet lifted one finger, rather menacingly I thought, even though the answer was zero. For those of you with statistical inclinations like Gilet,his figures were 5-5-10-0 of which the 10 included one Narrow, so it was a reasonable spell. And he had proper cord keeping up his trousers. 

He was replaced by Hollywood and although Eynsham had lost wickets for as long as Jones was at the crease they were in with a chance but he was Brooksie’s fourth victim. 

And then, a difficult moment: with Brooksie having four already Mark Weller hit the ball in the air roughly in RolfeDog’s direction.  In a flash RolfeDog imagined the terrible scene: Brooksie with his fifth wicket and worse, the prospect of the bowler running to embrace him in much the way Fez had done so years before, although hopefully this time, without tongues. 

The only smart thing to do was to drop the catch but sadly instinct took over and Brooksie had five and chased RolfeDog all over the field, arms outstretched. 

At number 10, wicketkeeper Merrill came out to bat: scuba diver’s helmet, goggles and shirt down to his knees. He did not face however and watched No 11 Tom Gerken who had injured his ankle while bowling, limp to the wicket and be surprised that the only ball he faced kept low and bowled him lie a dambuster bomb. 

There then followed the unusual scenario of Merrill giving Gerken a rollocking for wasting Merrill’s chance of winning the game singlehanded despite wanting 118 runs to win and being only armed with a snorkel. 

We returned to the Ridge some of us, happy to celebrate some more. RolfeDog cleared up and found the 2015 2nd Team Player of the Year Trophy in the home team dressing room. 

It now sits once again, on RolfeDog’s table in his office. Brooksie might win it next year.



Captain: Martin Harris             Team: BRCC 2      Opposition: Nondies 3                  02/06/18  

Result: Nondies 40 all out     BRCC 43-0      Won by 10 wickets

Area of Activity



Pre-match communication


Martin has adapted himself well to adopting modern communication techniques like WhatsApp and it is good to see him joining in with the banter at times with gentle witticisms.  Well done Martin, keep it up, but just the one message as to who has the keys will do!

Arranging teas


I feel this is an area where Martin could perhaps be a little more forceful. If he looks at the team sheet and doesn’t see any obvious candidates, he will end up doing tea himself every week. Come on Martin, don’t be afraid to tell the players they have a job to do. Stick a pin in the team sheet and get them told. Nice job on the tea though, however watch out for the overuse of pork based products in this league.

The toss


Good job on calling Martin. Well done and of course normally in div 9 bowling first is the right call. One small note of caution. Count how many players are actually at the ground before opting to bowl. Sometimes having 6 fielders plus the bowler and wicket keeper for the first over can play into the opposition’s hands a little

Use of bowlers


Great to see young Charlie Carter getting first use of the new ball (0-9 from 5) and I was impressed with how Martin kept the foot on the throat by bowling Hari Bala right through (10-2-16-4). An inspired decision to give Junaid a spell on debut (4.1-1-11-5 incl hat trick). Perhaps at 30-8, some might have been tempted to share a little of the bowling around, but good to see Martin not just knock the opposition down but kick them repeatedly in the head!!! 

Killer instinct


In contrast to his highly professional deployment of his bowlers, Martin needs to work on suppressing his compassion for individual players in the opposition. Just because the kid at the other end is 13, has more protection than Theresa May, doesn’t seem to know which end of the bat to hold and is sobbing gently as he approaches the crease, does NOT mean we go easy on him. Fortunate to have ‘club royalty’ (in joke) on hand on this occasion for consultation and the right result next ball. Keep working on this Martin and remember that mercy is for wimps 😊

Field Placement


Admittedly it is a lot easier to set the field when you are bowling a side out for 40, but Martin showed some excellent initiative and authority in this area. Noticing that Lloydy was not looking at his most svelte, he placed him at 2nd slip where he took 2 very sharp catches (a rarity indeed in div 9) and when Hari asked for a mid-wicket, he was told in no uncertain terms that he needed to bowl at the off stump. Great work Martin, well done!!! Remember, when batsman hit the ball into gaps, it’s not because the field is wrong, it’s because the bowler bowled in the wrong place.

Batting order and participation generally


Tricky situation chasing down 40 as we have to hope not too many people will get a bat, so nice decision to open with Jovan (16*) and Fahan (12*). Shame we couldn’t get debutante Rohit into the game, but he was down to bat at 3 and Jov tried his hardest to get him in, but Nondies refused to actually catch any of the dollies he put up.

Post match


Nice piece of delegation to get Chesh to do the money and availabilities (as he had done sod all else all day), and nice bit of tidying up and general administration. Martin needs to better familiarize himself with the match reporting system (or find someone under 25 who knows how to work a smartphone). Sloping off early is OK when you lose, but when the result goes the right way, it is good to see the captain sit around for hours, get steaming drunk and enlighten the rest of the club as to the wisdom and cunning of their captaincy strategy.

Overall Grade


Martin is a likeable and popular member of the team, and whilst these are nice attributes in normal people, I would like to see Martin work a little more on being a nasty b@$&@%(). I’m sure that as the season wears on, the unending chore of selection, the ever absence of sufficient keys to get into the clubhouse without setting off a nuclear alert, the seemingly infinite number of reasons why players are late, the Friday night call offs, the inability of bowlers to understand the excellent field he has set them, the inability of batsmen to understand that they are meant to score runs before they get out and the incessant and interminable flood of advice from every other club member as to what he is doing wrong will soon grind him down to the empty lifeless husk that is most ex captains.

In the meantime, great work Martin, keep it up!


BRCC 1s v Horley 2s



Saturday 26th May 2018 


Brooksie and Keeps forget their wallets in runfest


Shagger puts up a fight (!) for Horley


Pavilion Clock Keeps Mexico Time 



BRCC:  344-8 (50 overs)

Horley: 199 ao (54.3 overs) 

Result Won by 145 runs 


At 10pm on Friday night, Taggart called to tell me that the club clock was saying 3.30pm and I needed to bring a new battery the next day. I went to The Village Store on the way to the match, paid nearly a fiver for a pack of four only to find the clock was working perfectly.


Which was more than my eyes were doing, as a first over duck in a score of 344-8 proved. A fall from grace after last week’s 92.


There’s nothing much wrong with being bitter and twisted so a couple of hours later, when Brooksie hit the ground, his head, his arm, his elbow and who knows the ball too and was adjudged out for wait for it… 91 there was cause for much celebration particularly from RolfeDog.


That served him right for putting all the rubbish he could find in RolfeDog’s rucksack at Lords the previous day and blaming it on Lloydy.


Most of the batsmen enjoyed themselves. This time, Brooksie was rapier to BenDog’s banker (see Challow report). With scores of 98, 64 and now 46, BenDog is clearly accumulating runs and hemorrhaging beer money. It had been a tough week on international markets.


We then had The Curious Incident of the Lost Ball Which Was Not Lost when a shot bounced over the fence on the Stud Farm side. The nearest Horley fielder went to look for it and immediately found a bright, hard, newish ball in exactly the spot the ball had gone and pronounced that this was not the match ball. There being no other ball in the area at all this was a strange conclusion to make, but Horley’s umpire bought the idea and the game was stopped while the box of spares was brought out before everyone concluded that none were as good as the ball that had been lost then immediately found a minute or two earlier.


“That…”, said BenDog, trying to sound intelligent “… is not even village, it’s hamlet” which RolfeDog pointed out is the title of a Shakespeare play. “Who is Shakespeare?” asked HairBear who looked like death… like Hamlet in fact.


Still embittered, RolfeDog implored his mates not to applaud Brooksie’s 50. Brooksie counts every run just like BenDog counts every penny so that when the 50th run came he ran down the wicket waving his bat around like a demented cossack with a sabre. It is rare to gratefully acknowledge applause that you haven’t received but Brooksie managed it, whereupon RolfeDog’s teammates weakened and acknowledged his acknowledgement of his fifty, much to RolfeDog’s annoyance.


On BenDog’s dismissal someone looking a bit like Mark Brightwell came to the wicket. This particular person had spent two weeks in a sun lounge in Slough which the operators called Mexico.


Our groundsman puts a lot of work into mowing the outfield and surrounds but Hollywood wastes it by blasting sixes straight into the field. Luckily, although playing similar shots with all his might, Brooskie’s trickle to boundary and occasionally though the fence which is this week being covered with chicken wire to prevent such an eventuality. It will also prevent chickens getting through if anyone brings any.


Hollywood made 53 mostly with boring sixes and more ball-hunting by Horley. Dakes took over from Hollywood and made 50 (that’s how you do it BenDog) and by this time RolfeDog had the satisfaction of seeing Brooksie out for 91, even though he (RolfeDog) had brought Roz out of the kitchen to witness the 100. This was a particular shame as there are few things Roz is allowed to come out of the kitchen for. It would have made a good plot for a Shakespearean tragedy or alternatively a story by someone HairBear has heard of.


BirdDog did what BirdDog does and made 37 while the much-awaited season’s debut from Hamsah was a score which equalled RolfeDog’s and for which RolfeDog was most grateful.


This brought a highly-dishevelled HairBear to the wicket. He made an aggressive 18 not out in his sleep, while the highlight of the afternoon was the run out of Ben Hillarious, adjudged so by his dad much to the merriment of his mum and sister, watching from the pavilion.


Allan made 0 not out without facing a ball and we were all relieved that Gilet did not bat.


Tea was the usual Five Star Spread from Roz after which we informed her that she has the job for life.


The question for the Horley innings was whether The Ridge could bowl them out before a) bowling so many wides we lost the game, b) being docked penalty runs for slow over rate, and before c) Dakes had to go to a party. It was a race against the clock which was showing the right time, for Mexico at least.


To cut a long story short, and this is already a long story, Buckets Hollywood took his fourth and fifth catches of the season then got a run out, only going to prove how effective two-week sun lounges in Slough can be. As further proof of this Hollywood won a race to the ball against Hamzah in a kind of “When Hollywood Beats Bollywood” turn of speed.  RolfeDog caught Henry Moon (known as Half Moon). while his father Perran Moon (a Perran being a very rare alignment of planets apparently) was LBW to Allan.


Gilet is very mean with wides so got through his overs quickly. In Dakes’ case the only runs he concedes are wides. Hamzah does not bowl many, Allan bowls a few but BenDog put the victory in doubt.


BenDog came on to bowl Left Arm Slow Tripe as opposed to Left Arm Medium Tripe.


The result was the same ratio of wides but with much less effort and somehow with more wickets, four in fact which only goes to show.  Taggart has proved for years that all you have to do is trot up and bowl slow left-arm and batsmen commit Hari-Kari. Allan is working on reducing his speed in order to achieve the same mystifying results. Talking of Hari Kari, he is back next week to play and to collect his 2s Player of the Year trophy for 2015


Andrew “Shagger” Parker had come in at three and remained to the end being encouraged by teammates calling out his name which he told us he had acquired as a result of the activity he had been involved in when he received the call to play in this match.


He claimed to have ignored the call but we knew this was not true because for all cricketers, the opportunity to make a century is better than sex, although that can depend what age you are.


Anyway with Horley nine down he was in sight of a hundred but first had to pass Brooksie’s 91. Brooksie the ‘keeper baited him to go down the track to some rubbish from BenDog and was duly stumped which at least potentially gave Shagger more time for other evening activities and enabled Dakes to get to his party. (Who would invite Dakes to a party?)


It also, extraordinarily, put BenDog at the top of the run-scoring and wicket-taking lists. Now that is a tragedy.


Our third victory in three completed matches was crowned by the presence of the King, Martin Middleton, having a beer with the second best batsman in the club, BIrdDog.


Celebrations went on into the evening. When RolfeDog finally got home at 10pm he was greeted with the enquiry: “What time do you call this?” and was able to clear customs by answering, “About 3.30 in the afternoon”.



Bledlow Ridge 1s v Twyford 2s (Away)


Saturday 19th May 2018


Ridge Victorious in Twyford Wide-Fest

Umpire McTaggart Swallows Rule Book

BenDog Contemplates Marital Good Fortune



BRCC:      288-6 (50 overs)

Twyford  171 ao (33 overs)


Won by 117 runs



“No Scott and no Birdy -what a relief” said RolfeDog on the journey to the ground.


After the – as yet unreported - chaos of last week’s abandoned match v Oxford I suppose it was good to have Taggart back.


Last week without him no one knew where the balls were (in the cupboard) or where the scorebook was (well erm, in Taggart’s house) or where my trackie bottoms were (in his kitbag). This week we hit the jackpot: he was there but umpiring not playing. It’s like true love: can’t live with him, can’t live without him.


And when your umpire is on the League Management Committee, is the only person on the ground who knows the Playing Rules and his name is McTaggart, well you’re going to hear about it. Made us wish Scott and Birdy were playing.


The Inaugural ‘See Who Can Arrive Later Than Saeed’ competition, was won by Captain Birdseye who went to Wolverton who are not in our Division, thus giving RolfeDog ammunition for the rest of the afternoon.


SamDog won the toss and decided to sit in the sun while the rest of us batted and watch the Inaugural Most Wides Bowled In An Over competition which enabled us to reach 45 off the first five overs for the loss of Brooksie, caught one-hand-one-bounce.


They had a few young hurtlers one of whom pinned RolfeDog on the belly-button with a full pitch and caused the first of a number of interventions by Twyford captain Mohammed Shafaqat who had an interesting day.


His comment that this should not have been called no-ball as he claimed RolfeDog had been hit on the leg elicited an invitation from ’RolfeDog to inspect the bruise and a subsequent …. erm ‘discussion’ with a fielder all of which came to a halt when from 90 yards away, SamDog, that most lippy of wicketkeepers, yelled out “just get on with the game”. This was rather like being told by John Bercow to respect women, so in a state of shock we did so and played on.


Umpire McTaggart (shoulder injury caused by bowling too much left-arm-slow-crap) was by now in his element. It was just unfortunate for Twyford that they came across him in top form having swallowed the 50/50 Cherwell Rule Book whole.


He next took delight in refusing a number of leg byes when our batsmen had pretended to try and hit the ball, by calling “I’m Not Having THAT” in an authoritative manner before undergoing Aashort cross-legged dance routine.


No Balls of any description are now followed by a free hit and in this match were also followed by enquiries from Mr Shafaqat such as “What Rules are we playing today then?” to which Umpire McTaggart always had a ready answer.


BenDog, fresh from 98 v Challow was by now batting like a million dollars which you might expect for someone who works for an American investment bank even if it is just loose change.


Eventually BenDog was rather well caught, for a fine 64 of a partnership of 136 at 146 for 2. SamDog arrived and hit one blistering cover drive before smearing a long hop only to see one of the young opening hurtlers dive full length and catch him. Captain Birdseye arrived, smashed the leather off a half volley only to see Hurtler No 3 grab a caught and bowled with both hands.


So having watched the seam bowlers spray it around, three fine catches had been taken and we were a bit shakey (or ShakEy) at 160-odd for 4.


Lloydy came in to bat wearing a Gerrards Cross shirt with “The Ceramic Tile Co” emblazoned on the front which was proof that he has not paid a sub for about nine years or obtained any of the goodies that go with it. He may however have had his bathroom fitted for free.


He was cautious to start with as if sampling a new wine. He also developed a new batting technique which involved using the bat more than the pad.


RolfeDog – who had by now been batting so long and so slowly that everyone on the boundary was asleep – agreed with Lloydy that they would play out the overs of accurate non-spinning off-spin form Shafaqat and another decent bowler whose identity remains unclear at the time of writing. It might have been Majid Aslam however he has only been credited with bowling four overs on the Cherwell League report card.


No doubting who Umpire McTaggart was however and the innings continued well until he signalled a wide off a delivery that hit Lloydy’s ample figure, almost dislodging a few ceramic tiles in the process, at which point both RolfeDog and Lloydy did the decent thing and told Umpire McTaggart to pull himself together and withdraw the wide call.


Lloydy had wandered slowly down the wicket to make himself understood and Twyford took the opportunity to return the ball and take the bails off in a kind of Gentlemanly-Act-Meets-Ungentlemanly-Act. Mr Shafaqat again got in a bit of a kerfuffle. I do understand that it is not always clear from Lloydy’s running speed whether he is attempting a run or not but this was not in the Spirit of Cricket so McTaggart intervened with “I’m Not Having THAT, I’ve Called Dead Ball” and so we resumed.


Lloyds bashed it about. RolfeDog’s innings expired for 92. HairBear had a quick thrash, all in his own kit. We finished at 288-6, with Lloydy  a fine 51 not out, a score from which we had lost at Twyford three years earlier. The bowling figures ranged from 3 overs 0-36 to  9 overs 0-20.


The WhatsApp gang excitedly WhatsApped everyone they know and got a photo from Birdy in reply. This being the Royal Wedding Day (Megan and Harry for those of you reading this in 2065) it rather looked as though Birdy was getting married to Larty, somewhere sunny.


The tea ladies were thanked for their tea so many times that they fainted with embarrassment and Dakes and Gilet set to, bowling eight of their ten allotted overs in succession with Dakes getting four and Gilet … zero.


Dakes’ wickets included an LBW drawn from Umpire McTaggart in the painful fashion that befits a bowler-umpire trying for better season’s figures than the bowler.


In order to do this the umpires had changed ends at half time much to RolfeDog’s delight as he was then able to state that this contradicts the Laws of Cricket, the Customs Union and the Laws of Nature. Quick-thinking Umpire McTaggart countered that the Laws have changed (of Cricket presumably) and MCC Member Brooksie sniffily replied that his club were the guardians of the laws and he hadn’t heard anything.


Dakes put Henry Wilkinson to the sword (geddit?) before making changes and we revived the Wide-Bowling competition as BenDog got very confused about which were right-handers and which left-handers. David Saint was using BenDog’s radar too but Freddie Wilkinson tried to hit a straight one to Kingdom Come and SamDog, with a lot of yelping while the ball was orbiting the sun, finally located the orb and caught it. Surprisingly, not in his mouth.


Chesh celebrated his day of not batting and not bowling by tearing about and confused us all when a batsman hit one to him and took a single, by calling out “There are no singles to me in the field”.  He later explained this Fake News by explaining it was not a description of what had just happened, but a prediction, which proved correct as thereafter, confused, Twyford, did not run any more singles to him.


This brought Mr Shafaqat to the crease and after a while he was able to just reach a wide delivery from BenDog and nick it behind but not so clearly as to make him feel like walking ,so he stayed there and we noted that for once he had no complaints about the umpiring. Neither did we either for the record and BenDog put things right shortly afterwards with a catch by Lloydy.


Strangely although six wickets down, Twyford remained with a chance for as long as Joss Goff (22 at scrabble) batted aggressively and we had difficulty completing our overs due to a glut of wides.


McTaggart was almost beside himself with the news that we would be deducted 6 runs, yes runs, for every over not completed by 7pm and we faced the prospect of losing the game at 7pm with Twyford something like 200-9, 88 runs behind.  At least this day quashed the myth that McTaggart and RolfeDog’s captaincy has been responsible for slow over rates, a burden they have had to bear for a few years.


Fortunately Saeed’s radar was set properly and he took two wickets, one a slow motion return catch, before Captain Birdseye decided enough was enough and returned to claim his fifth wicket. Gilet came back and dismissed the dangerous Goff to complete an equally fine spell and one which did not require him to buy a jug of beer in the pub afterwards.


So another win, a beautiful evening at Twyford’s local pub where BenDog wondered out loud why on earth Hermione had married him. We tried very hard to think of a reason but failed completely although someone did suggest it was because of his smooth hair and dark-rimmed glasses.


The next day McTaggart expressed disappointment that Dakes had awarded his umpiring as only 16/20. This was explained as deductions for: knowing too many Cherwell Rules, too much loudness, changing ends at tea, being Scottish, not waiting for a run to be completed before exclaiming “I’m not having THAT, you never played a shot”, acting Scottish and setting off back to The Ridge in the wrong direction.


For the rest of us, the prospect of listening to Birdy again next week was partly alleviated by the good news that Aston Villa will be in the championship play-offs on Saturday so we will all be spared Scott’s burgeoning Brummie accent. Sometimes listening to Taggart can be a joy in comparison.

Bledlow Ridge 1s v Challow and Childrey 2s (Away)


Saturday 5th May 2018 


Ridge end fallow run at Challow


Birdseye and Gilet in WhatsApp Wars

C&CCC: 226-6 (50 overs)

BRCC:    230-7 (45.2 overs)


Won by 3 wickets


“That’s a Lockheed Lightning Rolfey…” exclaimed Brooksie as he spotted a WWII war plane suspended above the road on the Wantage By-Pass. 

That was our fourth by-pass having already by-passed Wallingford, Wallington and Didcot as part of Brooksie’s master plan to avoid any unknown delays in the City of Oxford area. 

“…Though it might be a Lockheed Martin, or perhaps it’s a Vought Corsair or even a Brewster Buffalo – don’t you know your warplanes Rolfey?”. I had passed his parakeet test at Stoke Green the week before but now I stood accused of warplane ignorance and, faced with four choices, remained silent. 

Ben Keeping called half an hour into our journey to announce he was just setting off having had to take a child, or a wife, or a nanny or even a horse or a horse’s nanny to the doctor. He weighed up the odds, took the Oxford route after all and arrived just after we did. 

As beautiful grounds go, Challow’s is up there with Long Marston and Aston Rowant. We lost the toss and fielded in extreme heat, reflecting – as it were – on the President’s prediction in April that the first round of the league season would be put back to 8th September on account of waterlogged pitches. 

After Dakes and Ben Hillarious had opened with a side-splitting spell conceding just 22 runs off 10 overs, Dakes replaced himself with The World’s Greatest Banker (WGB) who brushed back time and his hair and bowled his first competitive overs for five years since his Fake Shoulder Injury. An over later and Dakes tried some Left Arm Slow Taggart and was surprised how slowly it was possible for a human to bowl. 

WGB attempted a tight fiscal policy to begin with but did offer the batsmen some cheap credit under the strict interpretation of wides within the 50/50 format we were playing. Unfortunately for him he got one of the openers out and No3 and Captain Alex Lynch began to take advantage of some loose quantitative easing so WGB was replaced by Allan who showed what left arm bowling is all about. 

Allan bowled one, then once again showed his trust in Hollywood who caught his third catch off Allan in three matches. 

C&CCC (I rather like that abbreviation or “abbrv”) began to build up a good score with a partnership of over 100 between Lynch and C Robson whose main contribution was to provide a lot of other Robsons to the C&CCC team. 

Allan bowled in partnership with Fats (aka Simon Martin) who went through his range of vintage steam engine noises, occasionally letting off steam by telling the batsmen both how lucky they were and how well they were playing, at the same time. 

The batsmen did test HairBear with a couple of up-and-unders and we learnt that more research is necessary, then Mr Lynch offered a humorous chance to Ben Hillarious who dropped a giggler as they say. 

Allan took 2-33 off his 10 in a fine spell. Fats eventually dismissed both batsmen in qujck succession: a kind of domino effect (Fats Domino?) and Lynch was particularly unlucky to be caught Dakin bowled Fats. “What are the chances of that?” 

Captain Birdseye is taking to this captaincy stuff very well and showed great experience in bringing himself back on once the dangermen had disappeared. He and Hillarious, now on for Fats whose boiler had finally run out of water, pegged C&CCC to 226-6 off their allotted 50 overs with Dakes 1-24 off 10 and Ben 0-40. Taggart bowled 0-23 off a mean, stingy 8 overs as you’d expect. 

Taggart who seemed to be enjoying himself in as much as that is possible, remarked how much friendlier opposing teams seem to be now that he is no longer captain. He also mentioned that he had never been able to decide which came first: the chicken or the egg. 

We were quickly 12-3. A traditional start saw RolfeDog, HairBear and Hollywood back in the pavilion. Dakes with 20 began to restore order to the markets then The Rapier Keeping (WGB) was joined by the Cudgel Brooks, like Robin joining Batman to save the world. 

Ben started with some phishing outside the off stump but soon settled into some fine smoothing both straight, through mid-off and mid-wicket as boundaries became mere commodities. 

Brooksie was a little more agricultural as suits a country boy and certainly showed austerity early on but progressed and extended his account by clearing (clearing – geddit?) the boundary with two big sixes.   

As the target came closer Brooksie then made a bid for a single without factoring in the speed of the fielder and this call was shorted by The World’s Greatest Banker at the other end so that Brooksie’s innings was foreclosed for 43. 

One of the features of 50/50 cricket is that a minimum of five bowlers is required and C&CCC gave lengthy spells to their youngsters including a left-arm seamer with a huge engine and two leg-spinners. The WGB had reached 98, only two short of an annuity, and was facing a leggie whereupon Fats on the boundary exclaimed “OMG if you were on 98 this is the sort of bowler you’d want to be facing”. The WGB gave it the ‘charge’ (geddit) but extended his overdraft with the result that the leggie comfortably cleared the batsman’s debts.  “LOL” is all I can say to that. 

We were six down with Birdy and Fats at the crease - bags of experience for this situation though Birdy, to our surprise was beaten in flight (unusual for a Bird), which allowed Fats and Hillarious to tickle us home much as Pooh and Piglet might have done if this was a children’s story. 

We learnt that someone from Cheshire had batted rather well for 56no for the 2s and there were rumours of PlonkerGate in which Captain Birdseye and Gilet the Filet each called the other a Plonker via WhatsApp: Birdseye for reminding Gilet the Filet a draw was not possible in 50/50, and Gilet the Filet for telling BIrdseye they weren’t playing 50/50 so the 2s could draw if they wanted to, thank you very much.  Something fishy was going on. 

And so to the prospect of a boring trip back with Brooksie. I suggested going through Wantage town centre this time so we could see the statue of King Alfred the Great. “What the one who got an arrow in his eye?” Brooksie replied. 

OMG! Gawd help us. 

I lost the will and so we drove past that warplane on the Wantage by-pass once again and I realised this could have been a Messerschmitt for all Brooksie knew




Angela Merkel is not available for comment


Stoke Green CC v Bledlow Ridge CC


Village Knockout

Sunday 29th April 2018 


Ridge Routed in Stoke Green (not Routs Green)


Was Taggart missed at all? Captain Dakes makes defining comment


HairBear in remake of ‘The Wrong Trousers”



BRCC: 124-8 (45 overs)

SGCC: 127-3 (15.1 overs) 

Lost by 7 wickets 




For those of you with a poor attention span (Birdy), illiterate (Brooksie) or time-poor (Marcus) who have asked for shorter match reports, here it is:


We lost.


For the rest of you: 

The match started the previous evening with a fifteen-message WhatsApp sequence concerning the whereabouts of HairBear’s black kitbag at the club in which I finally ascertained that ‘on the right inside the clubhouse’ did not mean ‘in the ladies’ loo’ but meant ‘on the right inside the home dressing room’. 

So it was that on Sunday morning I collected from this position, a black bag which was surprisingly large for a Bear who rarely has his own trousers, has lost his bat and usually cannot find the rest of his kit. 

I lugged it to Stoke Green CC which was the only interesting feature of travelling with Brooksie, to discover that I had collected a large black Kookaburra bag whereas HairBear owns (presumably more predictably) a small black Slazenger bag. 

At Kimble two years ago, HairBear wore Dave Bird’s cricket whites in the first remake of The Wrong Trousers. This was something of an indictment of HairBear’s eating habits. Two years later and he can fit into my spares which either reflects well on HairBear or badly on me. 

A kind of Kit Jumble Sale ensued  in the World’s Small and Most Chaotic Dressing Room and Our Favourite Bear ended up with a medley of clothes which almost fitted perfectly. 

On a very cold afternoon, the captains tossed up, we elected to bat and watched Birdy drive into the ground for a 2pm start. At 1pm RolfeDog and Hairbear walked out to bat. 

Had we been playing a Zoo we’d have been well prepared, boasting in our top seven: Dog, Bear, SamDog, The Sloth and Birdy. Sadly we were not. 

We played two matches. 

In the first, the ball hooped all over the place, moved in the air and off the wicket; the batting team had to contend with tight bowling, difficult conditions and a slow outfield. 

In the second match which was played after tea, the ball seemed to do nothing at all, batting was mostly a breeze, the outfield seemed a lot faster and the boundaries a lot shorter. 

That we reached 124-8 off our 45 overs was largely due to SamDog and Birdy who work together like Tom and Jerry. RolfeDog had succumbed for nothing, HairBear for just 3, and Hollywood also for zero before The Sloth at least managed a six to the short boundary in his innings of 8 (third highest of the innings). Brooksie then managed 2 before being caught at slip off the 7th ball of an over. 

How we all laughed. 

SamDog was watching much of this with bemusement at the other end, wondering if it would be possible to better partnerships of 3, 4, 1, 20 & 4 all in the first sixteen overs. 

Well he and Birdy managed 55 in the next 17 after Birdy was dropped first ball and despite Zulfi Butt opening his spell with four maidens.  SamDog went for a complete half hour scoring just one run before hitting one into the road which bounced into a well-fortified garden. This was guarded by a small Pekingese big enough to frighten off Brooksie, so they found another ball. 

SamDog’s six narrowly missed a bus going to Heathrow and thereby the opportunity to hit the biggest six ever, landing – or perhaps disembarking – somewhere like Bahrain. 

Birdy was both watchful and aggressive and was only troubled when after a close runout, the part of Sam’s brain that does running and calling, packed up for a while, resulting in a few midwicket encounters with his partner, somehow none of which ended up in a dismissal. 

Birdy was LBW for 28, a number he clearly has a problem with (see last week’s report) then there followed a brief but valuable contribution from Cheshire (well from Haw Lane actually), then a briefer one from Allan and 1 not out from Hudson while SamDog opened his mighty shoulders at the other with another six, ending 57 not out. Raja Khan took 3-22 off his 8 overs and Saud Ahmed 1-16 off his 8 which was both mean and uncalled for. 

We enjoyed a very fine tea, of which the best moment was when Captain Sloth said “Isn’t it nice without Taggart”- and we all agreed that it was. 

I subsequently learned that Dakes’ remark was made at almost exactly the moment that a 17-year-old rugby player in another part of Bucks, was telling Referee McTaggart to F*** Off you [extreme expletive deleted}”. Well they can’t all be wrong can they? 

We then played the second match and this report should be a lot shorter. About a third of the first half in fact as they won in 15.1 overs, the ‘point one’ belonging to HairBear of which more later. 

We went out with high hopes but Stoke Green had obviously changed the wicket at half time and Dan Simpson greeted Dakes by peppering the boundary and road with fours and sixes. As the last six of this first over was being retrieved and the over had cost 20 already, I dared to suggest to Dakes that he bowl round the wicket. “I can’t bowl round the wicket” he replied. I have never been keen on receiving a firm biff on the nose, nevertheless I am extremely proud of the self-restraint showed in not making the blatantly obvious reply. 

Gilet fared slightly better and only went for one six and it was a relief at the end of the fourth over – one in which Gilet beat the bat a couple of times, to realise this was the first over of their innings in which they had not hit a six. We had managed three in 45 overs. 

In fact, after four overs they had reached over 60. In the fifth, Dakes induced Simpson to drag-on to his stumps, for 40 at an estimated strike rate of 250. At least we had managed as many drag-ons as you usually see in an episode of Game of Thrones. 

Then, shock horror, new Batsman Singh, clearly out of Tungh, hit his second ball from Gilet hard to HairBear at cover who quickly took his hands out of RolfeDog’s pockets and held the catch. 

Kashif Abassi and Palmar, whose first name I cannot find so I’ll call him Arnold, were clearly in a hurry and the score continued to rocket until a good over from Allan, at the end of which he remembered the trick he played on a batsman the previous week and bowled a high full toss with the same end result that Hollywood took a good running catch. 

Dakes decided it was time for Brooksie to have a bowl and for us to have a laugh which we did. There was less laughter however from Hudson-Drama-Queen who had spent an hour at home taping up a knee-scrape from five-a-side footy only to remove the whole lot with one diving stop. He left the field temporarily for a good cry (See Simon Lloyd at Horspath, 2016). 

It can only be out of sympathy that Dakes deferred the over he had promised HairBear and brought Hudson on with 9 runs wanted, 9-per-over being the going rate. (Chesh has blown his chances last week by taking a wicket). Would James get on to bowl or not? Hudson managed to concede just seven in an over in which Dakes felt this was not the right time for Hudson to take his first ever wicket and shelled a catch. 

Hairbear did not let us down, his only delivery being hit to the 90 yard boundary for four and we all trouped off. 

Except for Gilet, who is fast becoming the club’s Statto and almost ran to the scorebook to confirm he had only gone for 31 off four overs, 7.75 being slightly below the going rate. 

With new covers, new sightscreens a scoreboard under construction and also electronic scoring, Stoke Green are a friendly group clearly on the up and the Caribbean disco afterwards got Birdy’s feet itching. 

The day ended up back at our clubhouse where a tiny black Slazenger kitbag was found hiding out of sight at the back under a bench in the home dressing room. It contained Hairbear’s kit and Dickers’ trousers.



William Rees-Mogg is away but will return next week after holidaying in the 18th Century 


A Bledlow Ridge X1 v an Aston Rowant X1

Home – Saturday 21st April 2018


Ridge Squeeze Home in Fluid First Outing


Taggart Rules the Waves


Robbie Carter in Irony Shock


Aston Rowant X1:    165-7 (40 overs)

BRCC X1                : 169-8 (39.2 overs)


BRCC won by 2 wickets


Within only 10 days of the announcement that all cricket at Bledlow Ridge would be cancelled until 2023 due to heavy rain, The Ridge sneaked home in the last over of a 40 over match in which at least fifteen players were treated for sunstroke. 

Fortunately Ian “King Canute” McTaggart had bid the rain cease earlier in the week and by dint of private communication with Rowant via underwater megaphone had kept the fixture afloat, so to speak. 

RolfeDog had drowned in a storm of emails about the sodden pitch which had come in waves but just when we thought the fixture would be sunk, Groundman Jamma was joined by the Head of Rolling, Mr Steve BIrdDog for a tidal wave of hard work and preparation. 

Captain “Birdseye” Dakin, formerly known as “The Sloth” could not be bothered to walk to the wicket to toss up and told Rowant they could bat if they wanted to, which they did. 

Dakes put Chesh where we could not hear him and from there he ran out a batsman who assumed Chesh was not only incapable of fielding, but incapable of throwing. Appearances can be deceptive. 

Although not captain, McTaggart took himself off as soon as Rowant’s new overseas-professional-with-a British-passport got going, leaving the lucky Alan Loxton the pleasure of bowling to him and testing our fielders’ ability to identify lost balls in “Keeping’s field”.

Alan fooled the other batsman into giving Matt “Hollywood” Brightwell a fine running catch off a steepler and was later rewarded by being replaced with Chesh, probably the low point of his career so far. 

Ben Hilarious had opened up well at the top end before being replaced by Captain Birdseye who, now captain, was more animated than ever previously known. When not bowling Dakes found himself fielding at Extra Cover without knowing who had put him there. His parents never showed up to watch, a smart move as Dakes would have been lured to the boundary like Jason and the Argonauts to the Sirens, and certain oblivion. 

Now that I’ve completely lost both Birdie and Brooksie and anyone else ending in “ie” with that sentence … back to the cricket. Chesh not only bowled but took a wicket, the return catch thudding satisfyingly into his chest where he grappled with it before sending it into orbit from where is almost landed on Taggart’s head, but didn’t. 

Luckily the British-Overseas-Pro had had to retire at 50 and when he did so the game had returned to normal and normal also meant three wickets for Ben Hilarious in a fine second spell, all the more so as he had mentioned at one point that he could not run. One of these wickets was a catch-behind by Brooksie who hurled the ball even higher than Chesh had done, again in Taggart’s direction, but with equal bad luck. Another wicket was a catch by BirdDog and the third a catch by the opposition’s substitute fielder James, who reminded us that he had spent much of his week in the employ of Simon Tremlin cutting our outfield so that BirdDog could roll it. 

In between time, David Saint had a good bowl and we had the Curious Incident of Rain Stopping Play During a Heatwave. 

Forgetting temporarily the flood of discussion, emails and emotion that had gone into getting the game played despite April’s mostly monsoon-like weather, Taggart ran us off the pitch at the first drop of rain, as he did not want the possibility of any damage to a pitch which would be used for another friendly next week – a game which would only be played if we could raise a team and if it wasn’t called off for more rain. 

As soon as the rain (what rain?) stopped and we realised that McTaggart is neither captain or groundman, we resumed. Luckily we only lost 17.5 minutes which is the equivalent of five cigarettes or seventy-three vapes and after a brief conference it was decided that under Duckworth-Lewis no overs would be lost and no runs added or deducted, only that Cricket Can Damage Your Health. 

Chesh did not get another wicket thereby proving that lighning does not strike twice but Ben had his aforementioned  fine spell and Alan got another go when the prospect of Chesh taking a second wicket proved too much for all of us. 

Rowant ended with 165-7 off 40 overs, and we wondered if Dakes had ever been described as a ‘cat’ before – a word used at one point to describe his fielding by a player desperate to remain in the team. 

We were treated to a fine tea by The Real Saint with the appropriate volume of biscuits and cakes so that not even Birdy complained. 

With brilliant timing Robbie Carter showed up at tea with Charlie and complained there was no cricket. Many of the world’s ills were put right during the next fifteen minutes during which Charlie considered saying something but thought better of it. Robbie commented that his daughter Molly could be really grumpy (takes after his mum) and this is the first known instance of irony by a Carter since Vera told Tex his bowling was useless. 

RolfeDog opened up with Chesh who was proving hard to shake off in this game and did so to a chorus of jokes about being back-in-a-minute and other gems he had never heard before in a fifty-five year career. 

In a sort of “up yours” approach to batting RolfeDog almost hit the first ball of the season for four but didn’t and after Chesh had hit a few powerful shots into the offside field (adding to the suspicion that he now bats on steroids) RolfeDog hit the first six of the season well into the Stud Farm, so that back in the pavilion BirdDog had to be treated for shock. 

Chesh eventually nicked one behind and proved his Australiasation by ‘waiting for a decision’. His replacement Matt Hollywood started smashing the ball around but, clearly unnerved by RolfeDog’s big hitting, played on for 14, trying to emulate his partner. This brought in Brooksie whereupon RolfeDog lost the will to live being LBW for 23. 

Dakes succeeded in hitting a bigger six than RolfeDog just to prove that he can and belted the ball around for 25 until he tried to hit one out of South Bucks but only got the ball as far as the wicketkeeper. Brooksie (13) and Hilarious (unknown) followed soon after and we were in a bit of Schtuck. 

The run rate had slipped as we tried to rebuild the score, that is until Alan started hitting out only emphasising how slowly BirdDog was batting at the other end. Alan’s innings of 27 turned out to be match winning but not before he and The Real Saint had made way for Taggart who gave us a few scares in the traditional manner before BirdDog was shocked into action and hit over the top for four just so that he could creep into pole position with 28 not out. We won by the slimmest of margins with four balls to spare. 

This was a welcome victory in a friendly warm-up match which gave Brooksie his first winning game for two years. Does that tell you something Brooksie? 

Reflecting on our victory over the weather we stayed and soaked up the atmosphere and hoped that our win would have a ripple effect and turn into a deluge rather than prove to be a drop in the ocean. Our thoughts then turned to next week’s weather, use of the same pitch for next week and whether we should put the covers on. 

It was decided not to, on the basis that a drop of overnight rain would be good for the pitch the following week. I woke up a few hours later in the middle of the night not to the sound of a light drizzle but to thunder, lightning and the heaviest rain of the year so far, all of which was somehow the most satisfying moment of the whole week.



No plains were flooded in the writing of this report