Archived match reports (including all published match reports since 2012) are stored as pdf files here 

Dear Visitor,

Welcome to the match reports page of the Ridgebears website. And I mean that, I really do, you are very welcome. However, know this before you scroll any further down. 

We write these principally for ourselves (although we are delighted to see that we get several hundred visitors a month to this page from outside the club) and so there is a fair amount of pretty merciless ribbing of our own players. We play against a lot of people we know and sometimes they might get a mention. We will never mock, degrade, deride or deliberately offend anyone, but if you are easily offended, might I suggest that this is where you navigate off this page.

We may also at times report facts (it's not that common but it does happen occaisionally), so if you whack the cover off it, stand your ground and then boast to all your teammates how you conned the umpire, expect that to come up as well.

But if you enjoy laughing at us, and don't mind the odd poke in the ribs yourself, you are always going to be very welcome to read the continuing tales of Rolfedog, Bendog, Birddog, Tags, Chesh, Sniff, Hollywood, Shaky, Dakes, Hilarious, SuperCooperman, Jeeyay, the World's grumpiest Scotsman and all their friends.


If you don't, just click off.

 It's that easy.  


2021, the cricket season that nearly never was. After a pandemic struck summer last year and a resurgence in the winter months, there was once again some doubt about when and whether we would be allowed to play. As March gave way to the coldest April on record however, it seemed that, subject to similar restrictions to last year, we were good to go. It also seemed that everyone had just about had enough of sitting in the house and their third time through binge on Game of Thrones, and was desperate to get out and do something .... anything. And so it was that for the first time in years, the Ridge selectors had to actually start selecting teams, rather than recruiting their distant relatives to make up 11.

Our normal pre season preparation of a quick 20/20 hit and giggle a week before the League season started, gave way to a whopping SEVEN match programme over 3 weeks. Herewith you will find (some of) the details. 


Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Oxenford 1st X1 (Home)


Saturday 31st July 2021




Ridge Batsman in Run-Out Spectacular


Defeat for Ridge Despite Three for Shorty


RolfeDog in Drops-a-Sitter Shock-Horror



W/L/D match


BRCC:  179-8ao (45 overs)

Oxenford: 182-7 (37.5 overs)

Result: Lost by 3 wickets          Scorecard here

Umpire:  Mashby


It’s hard to imagine writing a report about a match in which Raj didn’t play but at least his mum was at the side of the road breaking in a horse, as I passed Raj Castle on the way to the game. Such is the life of everyday folk. Or royalty.  I took evasive action. 

RolfeDog had been destined to be Sniff’s “floater’ in the 2nd team, which is another way of Sniff saying “You are batting 8” without actually having to say it. One dramatic call-up later and he was to open for the 1s.  Why? Mike Winson had badly damaged a small toenail in the Friday night T20 with Chinnor RUFC. Worse than that, most of the nail varnish had come off, so there was no way he could play. 

There were some rain breaks so we ended with a 45-40 over split. 

RolfeDog was hit on the body and entered a mid-pitch debate with Dakes on the distinction between running for a leg bye with no shot and running when ‘taking evasive action’.

Inevitably this was a precursor to a series of runouts and on 19 RolfeDog thought he was still 25 and took on the royal arm of Mark Phillips (any kin to Rob Armstrong-Jones?) and lost. 

At 78 for 1 and Alex (26) in ominous form, we had got off to a good start. More Comedy Gold put paid to this however when a “yes-no-sorry” call had inevitable results as Alex conducted an 180 degree turn in an unsuccessful but dramatic attempt to beat the direct hit from Oxenford skipper Ayyaz . 

Dakes himself threatened to go big until on 48 he found the area over cow (which happens to be where some horses live) too tempting and was bowled, silly old moo. 

Somehow we went from 132-2 to 179-8. A realistic declaration target of 220 became less than 180. Hollywell threatened briefly and Toby anchored the rest of the innings with a watchful 36, including watching Comedy Gold 3. This involved some more horseplay and resulted in Junaid being run out by about a furlong. Only the first four batsmen reached double figures and consequently we were about 40 runs short. 

Opener Div Puri took a liking to Sufi and then to Gilet at the bottom end, but fell to the unlikely combo of ‘caught Dakes, bowled Cooperman’. Dakes then got Vijay Pamu well caught by Toby: there’s a gag about Toby having Hands like Jugs or Toby Jugs but I need help with that one. Please. 

Alex was doing his best as well, including a wonderful legside take standing up to Cooperman at which point RolfeDog asked Umpire Malcolm if he would like our ‘keeper to slow down a little so he could see what was going on. The Grim Reaper admonished Father Time for his cheek and Alex promised to take Umpire Malcolm’s age and infirmity into account when whipping off the bails thereafter. 

After Cooperman’s fine opening spell, it wasn’t till Hollywood came on at the top end that we got back any control. Hollywood got the Oxenford skipper to nick off, and Brooksie took a spectacular one-hander at slip. He was so much at full length that he couldn’t even fling the ball in mid-air and run around in a demented circle as is customary.  Meantime Junaid Aziz was compiling a match winning 88 until with still 30-odd needed RolfeDog shelled a sitter on the Stud Farm boundary, then held his head in his hands until he dropped that too. 

Shorty kept our hopes alive with 3-46 including the wicket of Khalid for 3 to a slow stumping by Alex which he thoughtfully delivered at the other umpire’s end. He finally bowled Aziz, for 88 but we never had enough runs despite Hollywood’s fine figures of 10-2-28-2 including a catch by Junaid. 

The remaining blue gazebo refused to fold and during the clear-up RolfeDog picked up a sweater that turned out later to be Junaid’s. It would be easier if Junaid and his brothers just handed over their kit to him at the end of each match. Someone mentioned a dropped catch and RolfeDog took evasive action and went home. 

No members of a Royal Family were harmed during the writing of this report





Bledlow Ridge  v The Hetairoi


Sunday 25th July 2021




The Gods Look Kindly on The Ridge in Victory over Greek “Friends”


Raj’s Classical Education Ends in Personal Tragedy


Sniff and Jovan Adopt Amusement Arcade Batting Technique




Timed match (aka “proper cricket match”)


The Hetairoi:  214-4 dec  (42 overs)

BRCC:            215-5 (42 overs)

Result: Won by 5 wickets


Is there no limit to his talent? The team was asked if anyone knew what “The Hetairoi” meant -  a question which has never been correctly answered before, outside The Hetairoi’s tight group of travelling intellectuals. 

Raj piped up. 

“It means ‘Friends’. 

And there in a moment, an education at Eton was laid bare in all its glory. After a week in which rocket science has put Branson and Bezos into space, in which medical science has enabled the Covid vaccine to put the brakes on the pandemic and in which sports science has enabled Olympic athletes to reach new heights, Raj proved that nothing can beat the value of a classical education. 

“It’s not rocket science” remarked Raj correctly.   I am beginning to think I could now even trust him with posting a letter. 

Raj was one of eleven stars who had gone out of their way on a mizzly Sunday to play in this fixture. It had rained heavily, there were droplets in the air and the forecast was poor. Some portents from the gods were good however: for the first time this season a home Ridge X1 arrived before the opposition. Gazebos were erected, one resembling a Meccano set (ask me Raj) rather than a proper gazebo and the opposition were roped in to rope the rain from the ground surface. 

The game got underway at 1.50pm and at 1.50 and 50 seconds opener Mike Penington was bowled by Carlton’s second delivery. He returned to the pavilion to send the news of this perfect mathematical symmetry to his wife, who may be one of the brainiest mathematicians in the country but probably knows less about the Classics than Raj.

Raj confided in skipper RolfeDog how nice it was that this was something of a 

οικογενειακό παιχνίδι” which RolfeDog instantly took to mean “family game”. 

Two great classically trained minds. 

Indeed our team included two Dows (probably one too many), two Podmores (just enough) and thanks to Preston’s persistence, two Shards, while The Hetairoi contained two Slades, three Fryers and one Henry Wilman engaged to Mike Penington’s daughter. Luckily for us their side contained only one of three Balls this time, thus depriving RolfeDog of headlines like “The Hetairoi contains a load of Balls”. 

The incoming batsman was none of these and was the aptly named Clive Mackintosh – a shrewd move considering there was still rain in the air. 

As a former contemporary at RolfeDog’s school it’s no surprise that Clive pulled off a few classical strokes (geddit?). At the other end John Ball was making a nonsense of the skipper’s attempts to block his favourite shot through backward point. Charley Farley and Sniff were the (Roman) centurions strategically placed to fortify this area. The words ‘ear bit of a made a pigs it of’ could be rearranged by a classically trained mind to sum up their success or otherwise. 

We had to wait until later in the afternoon for Duncan to demonstrate how to do it. What he called a dive involved something similar to the prone position footballers now adopt behind a ‘wall’ when facing a free kick… as in… they lie there and wait for the ball to hit them. Duncan proved remarkably effective at this and should be brought on by Premier League Football Clubs to defend free kicks. 

While Carlton hurtled in from the top end, Malekei Shard, making his senior debut, was bowling up the hill although RolfeDog told him it was downhill as well, which seemed to help. His good spell was finally rewarded when he bowled a macintosh or rather Clive Mackintosh for 25 and he ended up with 1-29 off 6. Well bowled. 

He was replaced by Charley Farley mostly to get Charley Farley out of backward point where he and Sniff had become comatose and after three more overs from Carlton, James Dow bowled from the top end and his dad started appealing for LBWs from square leg. 

They had the misfortune to spend most of the afternoon bowling to John Ball who – as he has done before – carried his bat through the innings, and to Hari, once-of-this-parish Balikrishnan. In fact I may have missed a ‘Krishnan’ somewhere as I am pretty sure Hari is an abbreviation or an ‘abbr’, an ‘abbrv’ or an ‘abbrev’ as we sometimes call it. 

Hari compiled a steady, if occasionally violent 70, mostly showing the fine judgement he first demonstrated years ago in a match at Long Marston when he declared “Rolfe, you make very funny jokes”. 

For long periods James and Charlie contained him, Charlie by bowling around the wicket at Hari’s long legs and John’s shorter legs though without either a long leg or a short leg, or a fine leg for that matter. Which only goes to show. 

Preston is nothing if not persuasive and had expressed great interest in playing though not selected. Watching our fielders at gully and backward point, he Sniffed an opportunity. “Where’s Preston?” asked Sniff. “Between Manchester and Blackpool” replied someone.  Preston unceremoniously sent Sniff off the field and replaced him. Who would have thought that Sniff is replaceable? 

Hari and Ball (sounding like a 60s TV comedy duo) carried on and Duncan took the opportunity to send Sniff back on so he could nip round the back of the shed and have a fag and a pint. 

It took Stu (who had come on at last to replace Charlie) to remove Hari. Clean bowled. Stu celebrated like a man who hadn’t taken a wicket for 37 years, which turned out to be the case. Hugh was mostly indifferent. At the top end, fresh from a fag and pint Duncan was bowling to Hari’s replacement Henry Wilman. In a clearly pre-planned move, he induced a powerful flick to square leg where Charley Farley, no longer comatose, flew through the air like a swallow, to pouch the catch. (Remind me readers, to tell you my joke about a swallow, a duck and a swift.) 

“Just like we practised” called Dunc who was now in Fantasyland. 

Hugh replaced Stu for three overs and someone said this was the first Ridge rhyming bowling pair since Fez and Bez, or Henry Donnelley and Matt Donnelley (which might be pushing it a bit). Hugh was supported by enthusiastic appeals for LBW from his dad at cover point. 

The Hetairoi declared on 214-4 and we wondered if it was just an over too early. 

All eyes were on Raj who had been cruelly denied a bowl. On being asked to open the batting he cried “Eureka” and warmed up by reading a few chapters of Homer’s Iliad and quoting Thucydides. Well who doesn’t? 

Big things were expected after his innings of 90 in this fixture a year ago when he was only denied becoming a (Roman) Centurion by a huge pie from change bowler Stephen Matthews. He determined not to make the same mistake again. 

And he didn’t.

After negotiating the first delivery from opening bowler Richard Slade, he surveyed the field and identified only one fielder on the leg side between mid-on and the wicket-keeper.  I now quote from last year’s match report:

“Never trust a wandering team. Sometimes they pretend to be slow in the field but if you smash a long hop hard and low it is quite possible that someone called Henry Wilman will dive full length and catch it.” 

Well, it was a leg stump half volley which Raj middled and proved to be his Achilles Heel.  Instead of diving Wilman H juggled the catch tantalisingly. “Zeus” exclaimed Raj who then lapsed momentarily into latin and trudged off muttering “Et tu Henry”.


The youth club in the form of James and Charlie built up the score with shots out of the MCC Coaching Manual and when Charlie was bowled, Sniff replaced him. Both played Stephen Matthew’s pies with suspicion as if they were laced with garlic. James made a senior debut 50 and Jovan joined Sniff when James was out for 53.  They accelerated the scores with shots straight from amusement arcades: Jovan with a vertical bat swinging like a table footballer, Sniff pirouetting horizontally like a table hockey player.


Alas the fates seemed to be against them and they were out within one run of each other. 177-5 with 42 wanted. In came Malekei (sounds Greek to me) to join Carlton and he got off the mark with a straight four. Carlton went into blast mode though for a while there was more effort than result, so that 24 wanted from 24 balls became 18 from 12. Hari returned, the gods looked kindly on the Ridge and Carlton (22no) clicked into gear depositing a six to Bianca’s (café) door which fortunately was closed, followed a by a four. Malekei did the rest finishing with 14no, and a victory with six balls to spare. 

Congrats to the youngsters for setting the platform and for those batsmen who followed who cheated the gods and discovered the Holy Grail. 

For the Hetairoi they will continue their Odyssey next year.


For Raj it was nothing less than a Greek Tragedy.


Asked to comment Boris Johnson said “τι φορτίο παλιά πατσά 




Bledlow Ridge v Westcott  (Away)


Saturday 24th July 2021




Gilet in Takes-Catch-Drama as Rain Thwarts Ridge Bowlers at Westcott


Ridge Put Balls in Good Areas and Feet in Protected Areas


Talented Cheshire Masters Scoreboard, Screens and Singles




100 over W/L/D match


BRCC:  174ao (50 overs)

Tetsworth: 96-5 (26 overs)

Result: Match Drawn (kinda Abandoned)    Scorecard here

Umpire:  Mashby


We had two late arrivers – both travelling from different areas and clearly the worse for wear from Friday night excesses, but one an experienced campaigner, the other …well less so. 

And so it was that Raj confessed to having had a wild night on the tiles (can you imagine it) while Simon Bird, with years of experience under his belt, came up with the old “I’ve got a few family matters to sort out” explanation, one which Raj might think of using next time. 

When he did arrive it was in a state of anaesthesia. probably in a worse state of wear even than his Volvo. On seeing RolfeDog working the scoreboard with our score on 15-1 he said “I presume you’ve already batted Rolfey”. 

Bloody cheek. 

Chesh’s great run of scores had come to a (temporary) halt, bowled for 2, but Chesh soon ousted the incumbent scoreboard operator, removed the initials JR from the scoreboard which was more like a game of noughts and crosses than a conventional scoreboard, and guarded it jealously for the rest of the innings. 

He thought of putting up his own initials but realised it might not be Politically Correct. 

After Dakes (16), Hollywood joined Alex and they briefly discussed what it is like bringing up a young child (no, not Raj). Hollywood has batted this season as though catching up from last year’s absence and made it all look rather easy. Batting that is, not bringing up a young child. 

Hollywood got to 40 in a partnership of 52 when in desperation James Bateman bowled him a slower ball. A much slower ball. So slow in fact that the whole team in the pavilion had time to call out “much slower ball, Hollywood”. But it was also a perfect yorker and so Junaid joined Alex and didn’t even mention childcare. 

Junaid played himself in yet again and this is becoming something of a habit as was the need to change the single sightscreens at either end for the left and right handers.  Chesh found it a challenge combining scoreboard operator to near-sightscreen mover, so luckily Alex was out for 26 meaning we had two left-handers batting as Simon Bird joined Junaid. This briefly started a six-hitting competition until Simon was LBW for 17. 

Brooksie’s arrival meant another right/left-handed combination. Dakes volunteered to operate the far screen and created a new record for the slowest half-lap of a cricket ground to get there. Chesh at the near end was in a state of near sighscreen meltdown as Brooksie and Junaid ran a load of singles. 

After Brooksie perished for 9, RolfeDog joined Junaid who then hit a straight six and then perished trying another one. RolfeDog perished not trying to hit a six. There was a lot of perishing going on.  The same bowler got both Brooksie and RolfeDog namely Fitzroy Peterkin, the first time anyone from Bledlow Ridge has been dismissed by a Beatrix Potter character (said Gilet). 

Sufi made 1 and Raj, after hitting shots into some “good areas” while in a state of semi-consciousness, was last out caught for 9. He was not sure if he had hit it but thought that he probably had. Gilet-Statto was 0 not out at the other end which led to his observation a day or two later, that he is 48th on the Cherwell League all-time list for the number of not outs with 30. Absolutely fascinating. No wonder applicants are climbing all over each other to joint the Tesco accounts team. 

With 0 not out behind him Gilet then took a catch off Sufi’s bowling. Apparently this is the first time this has ever happened. 

Or perhaps he has taken a catch before. The CCL is checking. 

At the other end Raj was being unofficially warned by the umpire for not stepping illegally into the ‘protected area’, which was a bit like being warned by a traffic warden, for parking a Volvo in a valid parking space. 

Raj was replaced by Hollywood who has slightly bigger feet but puts them in the right place. He also has a slightly snazzier car. Before Hollywood got Dale Sweetman LBW with the score on 53, Gilet made note of another record: Chesh, standing a full 45 yards away fielded Mark Strong’s powerful off-drive off his first ball and prevented a run. There were almost too many records to make note of, among them: furthest single-saver from the bat, off-drive off first ball, on a Saturday in Bucks fielded by someone in Cheshire. 

Smoke was coming from Gilet’s ears. It then got in Dale Sweetman’s eyes. 

By now Raj’s head was clearing although a little dementia remained, and he kept saying “great areas” especially when Gilet bounced one over both the batsmen and Alex. The first time…..etc etc 

The game turned. Statto broke through and Westcott went from 80-2 to 90-5 with two for Gilet and one for Dakes who was near unplayable on that wicket. 

Then the clouds which had been circling all afternoon decided to dump on Westcottt. “Terrible areas” said Raj. 

Dakes was thwarted, Gilet was thwarted, we were all thwarted. There was a whole lot of thwarting going on 

This left Gilet to announce another “first”: five overs for five runs (and two wickets) without a maiden. This, he helpfully explained, meant he had conceded exactly one run off each of five overs. He also announced that Westcott’s scoring rate was 3.46 RPO. 

No wonder Tesco is in profit. One of these runs was a wide which put paid to Raj’s “good areas” theory. 

We all went home, in Raj’s case to have an early night in preparation for the big Sunday match v The Hetairoi next day. Opening the batting too. (Read about it in the upcoming match report.)  And if you want a good night’s sleep, Raj’s castle in Radnage is as ‘good an area’ as he could hope to find….but…

there was a noisy party somewhere in Radnage that night. It really should be a protected area.


Jeff Bezos is circling the earth


Bledlow Ridge 2nd X1 v Thame 4th X1 (Home)


Saturday 10th July 2021




Ridge pluck Draw from Defeat as Dickers’ Fielding Saves the Day


Midds Silenced, Sniff Decisive and Fats Confused


Jovan Impersonates Junaid and Flukes a Wondercatch



45 over W/L/D match


BRCC:  161 ao (43.2 overs)

Thame: 155-7   (45 overs)

Result: Match Drawn      Scorecard here   

Umpire: The Real Saint


Dickers’ morning was not particularly unusual. Early rise, a cuppa and some toast, a bit of mooching around, thirty press-ups and a couple of handstand, thoughts of wandering down the club at teatime. Little did he know that Ben Hillarious had had a brainfart. 

Nor did we, until after the game had started. 

And what a game! What an evening! 

Who says win/lose/draw is not exciting? Who says a draw is not a result? Who says Taggart can bat at three? Who says Dickers can take Saturdays off? 

All these questions were answered in devastating fashion on Saturday when thanks to two young tyros bowling brilliantly at the death, The Ridge plucked a tense draw from near-certain defeat against the might of Thame IV who were 103-1 at one stage needing only another 60 for victory with more than a dozen overs left. 

The match also put to bed a number of myths about our injured players. Fats said he needed a rest and if selected, couldn’t possibly run or bowl, so he made 60 and bowled 15 consecutive overs; Tags spent the whole of the preceding week slipping in and out of the XI having claimed he was only fit to umpire, but batted three (how did that happen?) and bowled eight overs on the trot – or rather on the hobble; Birdy dropped out of the 1s, injured, batted five and kept wicket (FFS!). In Birdy’s case, fitness is enhanced by the use of an implement which looks like a cross between a microphone and a sexual device, which he occasionally puts to his lips and croons “I’m pickin’ up good vibrations”. 

None of the above explains why Dickers pronounces himself fully fit every week without getting selected, wasn’t chosen for this match, and ended up fielding for the entire Thame innings. 

And the first team won handsomely at Long Marston. 

The day had started a little inauspiciously when Sufi, Shaun, and The Guv’nor arrived at the ground after 11.20am to be given a lift to Long Marston by Sir Raj of Radnage. A more diverse group is hard to imagine. Contrary to expectations Raj did not arrive in a chauffeur-driven Roller but in something resembling a cross between a Volvo and a Challenger tank. 

11.30 was pushing it a little to get to Long Marston with much time to spare for a 12.30 start, moreover five minutes later the vehicle was still stationery within our car park. The occupants realised they needed to work out where Long Marston was and how to get there. A tank driver might have given some advance thought to the route and the terrain, while a Rolls-Royce chauffeur would have consulted a SatNav or telephoned the AA. This group identified a village called Long Marston somewhere near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, but luckily The Guv’nor overruled his fellow passengers and talked them into submission, and they set off for Hertfordshire. 

Meanwhile at the club, the 2nd XI was making a complete pig’s ear of putting up two gazebos and inflicted two injuries to RolfeDog’s arms with sharp broken parts. 

With this going on at The Ridge, the Rajmobile was well behind schedule en route to the away match when Raj decided it was time to go shopping in Tesco in Princes Risborough. 

I ask you!  Few of us would have imagined he had ever heard of Tesco let alone Princes Risborough, but the call of a cheese sandwich and a coke proved irresistible, there being a shortage of caviar. Fortunately, at the away ground, Dakes was making plans to bat first in case anyone was late due to a sandwich break. He had another latecomer to contend with because in an act of sheer quality, Chesh was seen entering Marks & Spencer in Risborough just as Raj and his cohort was passing on their way to Tesco. Form is temporary, class is permanent in the world of sandwiches as in everything else. Gilet was grateful for the increased turnover within his region. 

Back in the real world, the veteran Midds opened the batting with 207 runs to his name in his last two innings and was bowled second ball by veteran Trevor Spindler in a ‘top CCL batsman meets top CCL bowler’ contest. He returned to the pavilion in complete silence except for the sound of Birdy’s vibrator. No one dared mention his dismissal until, as you will discover, it was used against him at 9.30pm in the evening. 

RolfeDog struggled to recognise the figure walking out at 3: was it Fats? was it Birdy? No it was McTaggart, sent out to handle the emergency. This being the first time RolfeDog and McTaggart had batted together there was a high chance of a runout but RolfeDog had learnt not to call “two” when he meant “one” (see Tiddington away report). During their brief partnership, a rumour started that we were a player short – yes it transpired that Hillarious had altered his availability after the teams had been published and we had failed the mind-reading test (FFS!). 

This being merely the seventh tier of a local league one might have expected to use a replacement, but no, the Spirit of Cricket was overlooked and so it was that Thame declined to permit a replacement to bat, unless we could find one whose real name was “Not present” or “Absent”. Not that they were entitled to do so, there being no regulation preventing a late replacement at this level and no requirement to submit teams to umpires… but we chose not to have an argument. Next time it might be different, because at the end of the day we should be trying to play cricket, not win at all costs. 

Back to the game. Trevor Spindler changed his legside field and McTaggart obliged, bringing to the wicket Fats. Fats just carried on where he left off the previous week, that is to say in great form, with a set of dodgy knees and dodgy ankles and willing to take singles nevertheless. Thame only threw to one end during this partnership and RolfeDog had never felt safer running between the wickets. 

After RolfeDog had managed two collectors’ items in the form of straight drives he was out at 98-2 with 70 dot balls against his name before Birdy replaced him. Gilet said 70 dot balls was more than he had ever bowled in a game, against Thame. 

This signalled a decline in our fortunes and although the lower order’s scores did not quite look like last week’s digital I-O reading, no one reached double figures once Birdy was out for 12, well caught behind off a thick edge, for which he waited for confirmation from the umpire. The exception of course was Fats who ended with a fine 60 and is getting his money’s worth from those legs before his pending operation in the Autumn. 

Jov was later asked by Marcus Angell if he had ‘done any better than last week’ and Jov, who had scored 1, was able to reply “marginally”. Jon Murrell had done marginally better still,  with a debut boundary. 

The only two interesting things to happen during the break was that Paula Middleton took pity on RolfeDog’s figure and presented him with a slab of cake which will keep him fed for the next year if Pam doesn’t find it in the freezer, and secondly, Umpire Real Saint asked Birdy “What does it take for you to walk?” In traditional manner Birdy replied: “Running out of petrol”. 

Actually, there was one more interesting thing: Dickers arrived as our substitute fielder, did a few handstands (or was that Jon Murrell’s daughter?)  and declared himself one of the fittest members of the team. 

At 93 for no wicket the game looked done and dusted. Disappointingly the Carter family had arrived wearing a range of dull winter colours but there was hope in the form of The Chairman whose bright red trousers attracted firstly Jon and later Jov to field nearby on the boundary. 

Fats got opener Charlie Anderson for 34 but for as long as Tim Dabbs was batting at the other end the result seemed a foregone conclusion even though Ian “I can’t possibly bowl” McTaggart helped himself to a couple of wickets (or “ripped out the middle order” in his words) and helped create some pressure on the run rate. 

Then, some decisive masterstrokes by Captain Sniff: firstly he admonished some of the other half-dozen or so captains in his team; secondly he replaced McTaggart with Junaid and thirdly he swapped Jon with Jov at deep mid-wicket because Jov wanted a better view of The Chairman’s trousers. 

This was the prelude to two events. The first was a shot which bisected Jon and Jov so that just as the boundary was saved they collided spectacularly, like a mid-air collision. Jon put this down to the worrying presence nearby of the scoreboard which although set several yards back from the rope must have a tendency to wander on to the field of play (to better see the Chairman’s trousers perhaps). 

The second was an appalling piece of showing off by Jovan. Dabbs launched a ball from Fats into orbit only for Jov to set off in Jon’s direction at 100 knots and in a pre-emptive strike, dived and took a brilliant catch one-handed. “Well caught Junaid” cried Fats, who had spent the afternoon unable to distinguish the two. 

And Jov was only there because we had the mighty Dickers saving one. 

Still, despite the dismissal of Dabbs for 73 and then a wicket for Junaid, Thame only needed 13 off 3 overs with five wickets left and Taj and Junaid (or was it Jov) to bowl them. Taj bowled a miserly over under pressure, then Junaid bowled the talkative Robert Tomlin (which means ‘even more talkative than Birdy’) before it was Taj’s turn to bowl the last, with 8 runs wanted and four wickets left. A wicket and another masterly over and we had saved the match with six runs to spare. 

“Well bowled Taj well bowled Jov” called Fats as Taj and Junaid led the team off the pitch. 

Dickers of course was a match-winner too having filled important gaps in the field. 

Sadly, no Thame player stayed for a drink, so we had to make up for their quota which Middsy, who had been silent for about 6 hours managed to do almost single-handedly. 

“Paul “Marks & Sparks” Cheshire and some other members of the first team arrived back from a parallel universe. I enquired of Chesh: “Did Lee Beasley, a big chap who bowls slow left arm, play for Long Marston today?”.  “I have no idea” he answered. I checked it out: Lee had bowled four overs, is still built like a British Lions prop forward, and had been the last batsman out after putting on 51 for the 10th wicket. 

Chesh and Hillarious were occupying the same distant planet. 

We waited in vain for 6-wicket hero Raj Hyphen-Raj to return. It turned out he had gone to a party near the birthplace of another hero, namely McTaggart. Yes, a party at Tesco’s Worcester where he bumped into Gilet. Taggart’s birthplace is marked by a blue plaque in the shortbread section. 

We celebrated a draw which felt like a win. The evening deteriorated to the point that at around 9.30pm Midds finally came into his own when he responded to an extravagant boast by Dickers. Dickers was boasting about his (British Lions prop) figure, and Midds suggested that Dickers’ body is not quite the “temple” he thinks it is. “You can f***off” replied Dickers animatedly “You were bowled second ball by a 73-year old”. 

Dickers then became romantic and after describing the ground as “idyllic” moved onto Fats and asked if he would like his nipple sucked. 

The outcome is as yet unknown, but who would have thought that his day, which had started so inauspiciously with a cup of tea and some toast, could end in so much excitement?


Hillarious is currently away on a rocket to Mars





Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Gt Brickhill 2nd X1 (Home)


Saturday 19th June 2021




Ridge Brick It Against Great Brickhill


Alex in ‘Destroys Middle Stump’ Scandal


Gilet and Umpire Dave Communicate via Interpreter



100 over W/L/D match


BRCC: 124 ao  (37.1 overs)

GBCC:   125-4   (26 overs)

Result: Lost by 6 wickets       Scorecard here


We were defeated again, but there was good news: RolfeDog and Alex put on their largest partnership since Alex’ first team debut in 2019. 

Yes, the score reached 7 before the first wicket fell. There were only four bigger partnerships in our innings and only two of those were more than 12. 

It did mean that Alex was able to tuck into a large picnic once his mum and dad arrived, army rations presumably being a thing of the past. Alex is soon to bequeath his own slip cradle to the club and we learnt that his mum used to work on his wicketkeeping by throwing balls on to it for him to snaffle. On the evidence of the picnic she must have also thrown a lot of burgers too. 

SamDog added four more boundaries to his ten the week before and his dismissal for 22, played on to a low one, was an indication of the pitch’s uneven bounce. That didn’t deter Hollywood however, who despite telling himself to start cautiously, smashed his first ball over mid off for four. Some people just can’t help themselves. In fact he couldn’t help himself on five more occasions, one of these going over extra cover for six. 

Dakes, likes to do that sort of thing (“it’s all about whacking it”), but was lbw for 10, fourth out with the score on 87 and soon afterwards Hollywood was bowled by an awkward one for 36. 

Five down and we only scored 34 more runs after that, of which Shaun made 15 and was last out. Before then even the two “Bs”, Brooks and BirdDog for once couldn’t rescue us, nor Allan or Sufi. Gilet batted for the third time in a row, which – no offence -  is a sign that we are not batting as well as we should and his Strike Rate of 0.00 did allow Shaun to add seven runs at the other end. 

And that was our innings. Not much happened except ten wickets with a few boundaries in the middle. Four players reached double figures, two partnerships exceeded twelve and only Alex devoured four courses before the innings was over. 

Their scorer was unfortunate: our 2s opposition had scratched so Taggart was on hand to score and give Gilet his third day off. “The first time I have had my third day off scoring since the third time I captained our seconds for the first time in about 2014” said Gilet to no one in particular. 

Imagine being a scorer visiting our ground and being faced with the prospect of Gilet or Taggart scoring with you… and then losing the coin-toss and getting Taggart. 

The most interesting aspect of our innings, and probably their’s too, was the officials… not only the scorers but also umpire Dave North, standing for the opposition, who graced us for the second time this season. Sadly, or perhaps not sadly, no member of the royal family had just died on this occasion so we did not line up for one of Dave’s British Bulldog Up-and-at-‘em speeches. He was however, able to administer plenty of bonhomie and an interesting interpretation of the legside wide rule which he shared with our Mark Neal. This enabled each bowler to bowl one per over as far down the legside as they liked and was clearly planned with our bowlers in mind. Sadly George wasn’t playing. 

One of the many other good things about Dave umpiring is that it is impossible for the umpires to administer penalty points for a slow over rate, it being unnecessary to apportion responsibility beyond the umpires. On one occasion, in a moment of – surely deliberate – irony, Dave mentioned something about “not wanting to waste time”. He also tells the batsman when there is one ball left in the over which is a great advantage to those of us who like to take a single off the last ball. 

Gt Brickhill wasted no time going after our total, even though Hollywood bowled Rhys Nicholas with a short low one on the last ball of an otherwise perfect first over; he soon extracted an LBW against Jilesh Pattni with the score at 24 (on the doors). His “I am not fit enough to bowl” claims have been rumbled this year and this was another mean spell; six overs went for 22, most of which went off the edge to Third Man. Listen to what it’s like to field at Third Man (or Turd Man) here

It was soon time for Gilet (8-3-20-2) to replace Sufi (5-0-21-0) and immediately he brought Umpire Dave into the game, using RolfeDog as interpreter at mid-off. For example, Dave wandered over to RolfeDog and asked ‘why did the bowler not ask me to move?’ prompting Gilet to walk over to RolfeDog and ask ‘what did the umpire say?’ RolfeDog almost went so far as to suggest they talk to each other directly. 

Gilet did manage to make the ball talk and presumably he had caused Umpire Dave no offence as he was granted an LBW against Greg MacDonald… either that or Dave had been asked to stand so far from the wicket that he could not see the batsman. This may not have been a good move however as it brought to the wicket Anton de Beer which, following the bowling of Erasmus du Toit for Horspath a fortnight earlier, smacked of a South African conspiracy and De Beer stared smacking it about. 

That large picnic was beginning to tell on Alex, who on attempting a run out from SamDog’s throw, managed to send the middle stump into orbit, instead of neatly whipping off a bail. This, when added to an increasing incidence of Alex’ low voltage sledging (“one for the gardening” after a batman tapped the wicket) and SamDog’s new silent helmet-wearing persona (see Bletchley report last week) is growing evidence that Alex is morphing into SamDog and SamDog is morphing into Alex. 

Gilet won another LBW with the score at 80 and 45 wanted. By this time a gaggle of Carters had arrived and surrounded the unfortunate Sniff who was spectating on the bench at midwicket. Unlike the Traffic Light Convention two weeks earlier they were dressed in colours so drab that I cannot think of anything amusing to say about them, although Molly bridled a bit when I suggested that she had been responsible for leaving the hoses on the covers running up the slope after Thursday night’s rained off junior’s match. 

To be fair (about the dull attire) it was a dull day and the ground had not fully dried out. As if to test this, on one occasion Gilet went to collect the ball after it had gone over the boundary, gave it two or three careful rubs on his whites and threw it back underarm along the ground. SamDog was clearly impressed by this because soon afterwards he also had to retrieve the ball and then also rolled it back along the damp ground. On being interrogated he said this was “to dry it”. 

Lord help us all. 

As Great Brickhill (will they ever combine with Little Brickhill, in the way The Tews became Great and Little Tew?) pottered along, Umpire Dave retreated further and further back at square leg so that he was only just our side of the boundary and only a few yards from the Carters. “Couldn’t you find anything more colourful to wear?” he asked the Carters and “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before” he enquired of Sniff, against whom he had played every season for about 20 years. 

The oppo knocked off the runs in no time at all and Dakes wondered aloud why we had to play win-lose-draw cricket and why we couldn’t just play win-lose instead because it’s “much better”. Anyone not still scratching their heads over SamDog rolling the ball in, was left … well … scratching their heads over this one. 

The afternoon had started with a record, of sorts. It ended with Sufi staying around for longer than our first four batsmen had spent at the crease and that really was a record. 

No umpires were damaged in the making of this report.

Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Bletchley 1st X1 (Away)


Saturday 12th June 2021




Bletchley are Shepherded to Victory Over The Ridge


Hamsah Struggles with 6-Times Table - George in No Early Wides Shock


Mystery of Silent Helmetted Ridge Keeper



100 over W/L/D match


BRCC: 236ao  (50.2 overs)

OCC:   239-3   (45.2 overs)

Result: Lost by 7 wickets       Scorecard here


Following the CCLs merger with the OCA, the CCL Secretary who may be Scottish by descent though Worcester by birth, devised a cunning plan. Teams below the third tier would be regionalised in order to minimise travel. 

Thus it is that we no longer find ourselves journeying to beautiful country locations like Minster Lovell or old friends like Kingston Bagpuize, but to somewhere north of Milton Keynes and just south of the Arctic Circle, with a warning from Secretary Taggart not to underestimate travel time and to set off early the day before. 

This really was a noisy game. Bletchley is quite picturesque if you make sure the concrete car park, steel containers and functional changing areas are behind you, rather like the old Didcot ground with the power station on one side.  At times when batting you wished there was a motorway nearby like at Banbury XX’s venue (soon to be sold) to blot out the chatter. 

One way or another this was an unbelievably noisy game. To give Bletchley credit they did not go quiet even when we were at 78-0 which soon became 89-4 and they kept it up while the fifth wicket put on almost 100 more and we fell away again. Perhaps and regrettably, it proves the value of ‘chat’. 

Talking of which … what a transformation! A couple of years in Barcelona is all it took for Bledlow Ridge’s loudest (probably the CCL’s loudest) to lose his voice. Or maybe it was just that SamDog realised for the first time that in Bletchley’s keeper Matt Shepherd he had met his match. With 127 later in the day Shepherd was on the pitch for most of the game and had something to say after almost every ball … except that is, after the one which lifted sharply down the legside off Cooperman when he had only a few runs, and our team went up for the catch. There was no comment or eye contact after that one. 

RolfeDog had to deal with another misplaced comment in an opening partnership with Mike Nonickname. “The Old Man is looking for singles and the Other Guy is trying to score boundaries” came the comment from somewhere behind the wicket. This was a case of mistaken identity of course and after Mike was caught, RolfeDog hit another boundary as if to prove the point but was then out caught next ball trying to hit another. 

Si Bird and GGG didn’t last long as they had an appointment with Mike to play cricket-ball-bowls around the boundary. This left Hamsah and SamDog in the middle where Hamsah went into BiG-SiX blast mode, hitting several of them over long on or long off and occasionally calling to the boundary for an update on his own total. If he had gone to Crown House School in the sixties, he would been made to master his six-times table and that would have made these simple calculations easier. 

Somewhat surprisingly, our newly mute wicketkeeper batsman outscored Hamsah with ten boundaries in his 49, but in customary fashion had not brought his wallet so flashed at a wide one. Hamsah was caught on the boundary two overs later for 58 trying to hit one to the moon. 

For the second match in a row Gilet’s talents as scorer were not required. That he is still undergoing withdrawal was evidenced by him regularly lifting his hand to acknowledge an umpire’s signal in a kind of Pavlov’s Dogs response. Other things we learnt were that Steve is not the only S Bird with a catalogue of most interesting bodily injuries. 

Talking of bodily injuries it was so hot that Brooksie (14) did not bat with more than three sweaters. Allan found himself nursing the tail, which comprised Shaun (3), Cooperman (4) and finally Gilet (0). Allan’s amber-coloured gloves are even brighter than Dickers’ T-shirt (see last week’s report on traffic lights) and caused havoc with local air traffic which had only just recovered from Hamsah’s aerial assault. 

Gilet announced to Allan that he (Gilet) would be blocking out while Allan smashed it, and then proceeded to try and hit every ball he faced, further than Hamsah, until he finally missed a straight one. 235 all out after 50.2 overs was what we chewed on over tea although of course under the current bring-your-own-tea system, most members of the batting team have scoffed their tea and possibly other people’s by the time it starts so most of the thirty minute break is spent milling around asking how the 2s are getting on. 

Apparently Midds had made 150 while Chesh tried to get off the mark and we had declared on 3zillion for a few with Midds putting his success down to a rare abstemious night-before. 

It’s not much fun describing being on the wrong end of 239-3 but much of the drama happened at the start as we nervously awaited George’s first over, wondering whether he could improve on last week’s six opening wides, whatever “improve” means. He let us down by not bowling a single wide in his first and ended with 0-18 off 8 overs which was all a bit of an anti-climax. 

You may have spotted in this, that captain-for-the-day SamDog, who is currently averaging 90.5 as skipper, extracted an extra two overs from George’s usual quota by taking the subtle “can you manage just one more” approach, until George rumbled him. As a nostalgic Dad, I realised this was the first game SamDog had captained in which George had played since the Sunday X1 about 15 years ago, when SamDog was in fact “SamPup” and George was about 1’7” rather than 7’1”. 

Man-buns were unknown at The Ridge in those days, but they have become de rigeur now. Cooperman’s was in full flow as he steamed in, in contrast to George’s short-back-n-sides. Not long after bowling that lifter to Shepherd, he pitched one well up to Patrick Scholte who shouldered arms to a big inswinger which he shouldn’t have left alone and was castled. 

Yasir hit one of Gilet’s balls for a huge six – at least that’s what Gilet said it felt like – before Gilet got his revenge when he had Yasir stimped – or even stumped – by SamDog. Talking of which… what a transformation! A couple of years in Barcelona is all it took for SamDog to decide to wear a helmet when standing up to the wicket… something that had never been seen before. Perhaps Alex will return as a noisy, brash, helmetless, keeper and about 5’7” tall. 

Teymour Omar joined Shepherd and soon afterwards Gilet had Shepherd dropped at mid-off and missed through a vacant first slip. That was the last sniff we got for an hour and a half as SamDog rotated the bowlers in an attempt to make the breakthrough. Allan bowled very tightly and even Simon Bird forgot his injuries and got a bowl. Ironically, each week the captains have worked hard to ensure a minimum of five bowlers are selected for win/lose matches, and as soon as we play win/lose/draw where we need only three, we bowl seven. RolfeDog and WinsonDog were warming up vigorously, Brooksie shed three sweaters. 

Eventually with Shepherd on 127 Hamsah bowled him the super-slow low one and Shepherd could hardly believe he had missed it. Not long afterwards Bletchley passed our score and we drank our sorrows in the evening sun. 

It’s not always a bundle of jokes when you lose. This is something SamDog reflected on during   his journey back to the club to find out if Chesh had got off the mark in his opening partnership of 218 with Middsy. Unusually quiet, SamDog travelled back in his unusually quiet car and averaged just over 90.  He was probably wearing a helmet too.


Boris Johnson is away selling sausages to Australians

Match Report

Bledlow Ridge 2s vs Chalgrove

Saturday 12th June


Return of the Midds overshadowed by the return of the Guv’ner


Chesh continues ‘expert skill and judgement’ to lead Fantasy League


BRCC 2                295-3

Chalgrove            83 ao

Ridge win by 212 runs          Scorecard here


At midday on Saturday, this was a top of the table clash, with Chalgrove being our nearest challengers and just 18 points behind us, meaning a low scoring loss could potentially topple us as league leaders. With skipper Sniff on sabbatical, it was Chesh who went out to toss and on winning had little hesitation in opting for first use of the wicket.

The last time Bledlow Ridge and Chalgrove were in the same league structure, Martin Middleton would have been in his pomp, scoring runs for fun and galloping his way up the CCL all time run scorers list. Things have been a little quieter for him in the intervening 12 or so years, but as the first ball of the innings came down as a bit of a loopy full toss and disappeared to the boundary, time seemed to roll back. There were 8 more boundaries and 4 singles before he ran a 2, at which point he was on 42, (Chesh at the other end was on …. (hang on while I count these up) … 5), and he offered up a catch to mid-off. Not a dolly, but definitely catchable, but it went through the fielders’ hands and raced off to the boundary. Chesh made a note.

The day kind of went downhill for Chalgrove from there. 

At the first drinks break (15 overs), the pair had put on 87. By the second one (30 overs) Midds had offered up another (admittedly, more difficult, but also noted by Chesh) chance, but the pair were still together and had added another 97. 

The faint ripple of applause in the 23rd over had been to mark Chesh’s score exceeding the overs total and from there he started to open up a bit as well, but this was all about the Midds. 

The full tosses were bludgeoned to the fence, anything on leg stump was whipped viciously through mid-wicket à la Middleton of old and despite the very warm conditions, as the innings progressed, there were quick singles, 1s turned into 2s and the run rate seldom dropped below 5.

Another one flies to the fence

During the second drinks break, Taggart had approached the skipper and suggested we look at a pinch hitter at the fall of the wicket, if it ever came. His proposal was Junaid.

“Hmm, Junaid, yes he’s in my team”

“Well of course he’s in your team, he wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t”

"Ohhh, this team? Yes, I see what you mean. Yes, definitely Junaid"

Fats, who had originally been slated at number 3 and had been sitting with his pads on for 30 overs salivating about the prospect of a second successive 50, harrumphed a little bit and went to make his mum a cup of tea.

When the stand had got to a record breaking 218, Chesh final nicked off for 61, an innings that was the perfect foil to Midds and in went Junaid …. who promptly ran himself out. Well I say promptly, it certainly wasn’t very long after he went in, but in the interim he smashed 4 6s, 3 fours and a couple of actual runs to take the total up to 291.

One ball prior to the run out, Chesh had decided that he didn’t need 300 and was going to declare after the next over (with Midds currently 146 having given his final (noted by Chesh) chance). He didn’t want to advertise this fact to the opposition, so devised a cunning plan and grabbed a bottle of water. He walked on to the pitch waving the bottle and shouting to Midds that he had a drink for him. There followed a conversation conducted from 40 yards distant at a volume that made it audible at Bledlow Village.

“Don’t bother, don’t need it”

“Yes you do”

“It’s not a problem, don’t worry about it”

“You definitely need this”

“Why? I thought we were declaring after this over”

Oh well, best laid plans.

Jovan went in at the non-strikers end and watched Midds crash his 21st 4 to rack up 150 exactly. This was met with enthusiastic applause from the BRCC gazebo and generous applause and several personal fist bumps from a weary, but very sporting fielding side. Jovan then watched him take a leading edge off the next ball and get caught at mid on and walked off saying something about the productivity of his innings. Fats was less than sympathetic, “Least you got a bat” and got a clip round the ear from his mum.

Watching a team flay you around the park for just shy of 300 is never an ideal preparation for batting, but Chalgrove came out looking determined to make something of the match rather than try to block out. Taggart had suggested to the skipper that as there was little need for a strangle on runs, perhaps we should open with the shock kids, Hillary and Hickey.

“No Tags, I definitely want you to open. You’re in my team”

“Well of course I’m in your team. I wouldn’t be here otherwise”

“What? “Ohhh, this team? Yes I see what you mean. Nope, definitely you to open”

The implacable Guv'ner watches on as Taggart whips another one out
And so it was that on the second ball of the second over that Taggart brought about the most significant comeback at the Ridge in decades. 

The Guv’ner had a decision to make. 

Yes, he was back, after the best part of 10 years away, Malcolm Ashby was back in whites and standing on the pitch at the Ridge. 

It was a huge appeal for leg before, supported by debutante wicket keeper, Toby and the whole slip cordon. 

A grin spread across The Guv’ner’s face, one that has struck fear into the hearts of war veterans and he looked Taggart in the eye and said…………….

Not out

Two balls later, a repeat. This time much fuller, bang in front. Surely.

Same grin, but just as he caught Taggart’s eye, the head moved Chucky doll style towards the batsman. The poor chap went white as a sheet and was almost relieved to hear,

Oh yes. That’s out.

The Guv’ner was back and had one!

In the fifth over Jovan took off from second slip and sprinted to short third man taking a fantastic over the shoulder catch to give Hilarious his first wicket, and at the end of the sixth, Taggart started an 8 ball sequence that cost 2 runs and took 3 more and at 21-5 that was just about that.

Shorty came on for a few, knocked over the resilient Sam Saunders who top scored with 24, and then took a sharp return catch to pick up a second. Around this time Chesh approached the now slightly hobbling Taggart.

“Need to get Fats on. He didn’t bat and he’s the captain”

“What are you talking about, you’re the captain”

“What? “Ohhh, this team? Yes I see what you mean. Yes, but let’s give Fats a bowl anyway”

A wicket and a maiden seemed to do the job and with Hickey threatening an email from his dad about a double DNB, he got on for 1, bowled some slop but got the last man and a resounding victory was complete.

Some of the Chalgrove boys hung around for a beer (some of them started at the drinks break) and there were more congratulations offered to Midds. Chesh was having a chat with the three lads that had dropped Middsy and giving them what I presume were commiseration cards in some hastily rummaged up brown envelopes. Nice touch skip.

As I approached to congratulate him on his own innings and a game well skippered, I interrupted a phone call. Some bloke called Viktor and apparently it would definitely look like it happened on Wednesday. Not sure what that was about.

And so the sense of time slip was back. We sat in the sun, Middsy had made a big ton and the Guv’ner was regaling us with tales of air shows and bonfires. For a moment there it was 2001, but the present rattled back as talk turned to the now inevitable fantasy league. We chuckled about how Chesh was probably not going to be top now without Midds in his team.

“Midds is in my team. Transferred him in on Wednesday. All the logs will show that I transferred him in on Wednesday and NO-ONE will be able to prove otherwise.”

Good Call Skip

Match Report

BRCC 2s vs BTCC 2s

June 5th  2021


Fats piles on the agony (some of it to Bletchley)

BRCC under investigation in Nurofen stock piling/insider trading scandal

Vice-captain under investigation in Fantasy League match fixing probe


Ridge                     210-8 (45 overs)

Bletchley                205 ao (44.2 overs)

Ridge win by 5 runs     Scorecard here     Shorty's photo gallery here


Despite the fact that the 2s remained top of the league, had a strong batting line up and were playing one of the highest ranked (based on 2019 finishing positions) teams in Tier 7, all the pre-match talk was concerned with the start of the BRCC fantasy league (big love for Shorty for setting this up). Chesh (195 runs at 65 so far this season) looked an absolute steal at £5.8M and Wellsy’s 53 in his last outing made him look good value at the same price and these were the two Sniff sent out to open on what looked like a ‘sporting’ wicket having won the toss.

Chesh took the first ball as Suthan Balendren came tearing in from the top end and quickly realised that he wasn’t in Dinton anymore as the first ball flew past his nose, overtaking a low flying Typhoon as it did so. Drawing on his experience against Tetsworth, he managed to get a bit of pad on the next one and scurried down the other end to put Wellsy on strike. Wellsy’s first ball was quick and full and was firmly driven to mid-on in a “Don’t be thinking your pace bothers me” kinda way. The second one was a lot shorter and was met with a “.. and neither does your bouncer” kinda pull shot, which unfortunately took an edge and flew straight into Wellsy’s unhelmeted head.

There was a bit of claret, a bit of a headache and much concern and swift fetching of the first aid kit by the Bletchley boys. Dave decided to temporarily retire and as he crossed with Fats, promoted to number 3, Fats advised, “have a couple of nurofen mate, there’s some on the top of my bag”.

Chesh is the fantasy league’s most picked batter, which is no surprise given his form this year, so what was a surprise was that shortly after the change of batter, he departed having added just 2.05% to his season’s total. Curiously, he is not in his own team! Modest I guess.

The pitch was playing pretty quick, albeit also pretty true, and whilst not quite as full on charge as Wellsy, Fats was enjoying the extra pace and stroking the ball around well. Wellsy had come back in after Chesh’s departure but had not really settled and Fats now had debutante John Gardiner with him. The pace of the bowling had dropped a little and both batters set about their task. Just before the first drinks break, John pulled up limping at the end of a run and seemed to have pulled a hamstring. As they walked in for the break, Fats helpfully suggested “have a couple of nurofen mate, there’s some on the top of my bag. Actually, give me a couple as well”.

The pair put on 81 for the third wicket before both falling to a catch at mid-wicket to Izzy Gurney, who was bowling a good line to a well set field. Fats came back and declared it hard work and popped a couple of nurofen as he could feel things starting to stiffen up already. He had fallen just short of his 50 (according to our book). Chesh later went to check with their scorer and when asked what he had given her in the brown envelope, said it was just his contact details in case there were any queries on the score card. Good bit of club diplomacy that. On the final card, Fats was up to 50 and with it 30 bonus fantasy points. That was lucky for anyone who had him in their team.

Birdie had gone in at number 5 and looked like he meant business. There were 4s all round the wicket and even a 6. Partners came and went, but Shorty hung around long enough for the pair to add 54 and when Taj went in for the last 9 balls, he didn’t face a single ball in the last over but ran so well that they added 14 to take Birdie to 64 not out and the final total to 210-8.

Over the tea break, John iced his hamstring and took a couple of nurofen. Fats figured he would be bowling a spell so also popped a couple, just to be on the safe side. Taggart, whose involvement thus far had been limited to scoring, took a bath in deep heat and dug into his own supply of Ibuprofen. Chesh was busy on the phone speaking what sounded like Russian. I didn’t know he was multi-lingual.

Bletchley’s openers made it clear that they were not going to die wondering and there was a fair bit of flailing wood. Taj’s pace worked slightly against him and he got tapped around a bit but at the other end Taggart’s pace off (that’s not a tactic, that how ever it always was), was giving the batsmen a bit more to think about. Ifthikar finally tried to smash one into the rugby pitch but completely missed Taggart’s (even) slower ball which did just enough to disturb the furniture. The other opener, Hendry, had benefitted from a 4 and a 2 off the inside edge down to fine leg, but at the third go crashed it into his stumps.

By now Fats and Taggart were bowling in tandem and the squeeze was well and truly on with the pair only conceding 48 runs for 3 wickets between them in their 18 overs. Shorty took over from Taggart and bowled a decent spell taking 2 important wickets for what he later described as “I dunno, about 28” (it was 41). When Fats, who had virtually needed to be pushed to the crease for his last couple, came off, the missing piece of this year’s jigsaw was revealed. Junaid was back bowling and doing it well. He went through the lower middle order taking 4 and when Bletchley were 9 down for 169, their number 11 came in and asked if he could have a runner, having pulled a hamstring in the first innings. Fats, ever the sportsman called over, “You should have said mate. I’ve got some furonem ofenrom painkillers in my bag. I think there’s still a couple of boxes there. Ooh, look at the colour of my bag. Isn’t it vivid?”

We of course obliged, but with only 5 overs left and a runner in, it looked all but done. Phil Rusling, Bletchley’s captain, had other ideas however. Going into the last over, with our least experienced bowler, they needed 8 to win. They got a 2, and then tried another, but Phil’s opposite number, Sniffer the Great, hurled the ball in from the boundary and hit the stumps direct as all three batsmen debated who should be where in the middle of the pitch.

It was a hard earned victory in a game played in excellent spirit by both sides. Having batted half the innings and bowled a full spell, Fats was now in bits, so took a couple of nurofen.

Post match, Chesh went off to the bar and as he returned, Tags told him he had a phone call. Some bloke called Viktor from Moscow Hacking Inc. Strange message, just said “It is done. No-one will ever know it was any different” Probably a spam call.

Talk inevitably led to the fantasy league and who had done well and who had bombed. The 45% who had selected Chesh were going to be a bit disappointed. Lucky he didn’t select himself. Captains of course score double points and everyone said who their skipper was apart from Chesh. Come on Chesh” urged Shorty, “who’s your skipper?” “Err … Fats. Always was. Always my favourite for the job. Right from the start. Yep no doubt whatsoever that he has always been my captain”

Good call.

“What about you Fats? Who did you have?”

“Isn’t it lovely when the unicorns play under the rainbow like that”


The Gaming and Licensing Authority have confirmed that an investigation has been launched into possible breaches of protocol in the BRCC Fantasy League. Paul Cheshire was unavailable for comment.

WADA (the World Anti-Doping Authority for sport) have confirmed that an investigation has been launched into the suspicious use of pain killers in community cricket. Simon Martin commented “I love it when the poppies are in bloom. They’re soooooo beautiful”

Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Horspath 3rd X1 (Home)


Saturday 5th June 2021




The Ridge are Dazzled by Traffic Lights and Defeated by Horspath


George Counts the Cost of Record-Breaking Over


Brooksie in Multiple Match-Report-Mention Shock



50 over W/L match


BRCC: 196ao  (48 overs)

OCC:   198-6   (45.1 overs)

Result: Lost by 4 wickets        Scorecard here


It was a costly day for George. He was still at the club well into the evening, paying subs, buying drinks, even offering to paint people’s houses in an attempt to distract from The Longest Over in History…but there’s no hiding place when there is a Match Report to be written.


There was no hint of George’s exploits to come later in the day’s second innings, when Hollywood chose to bat first. Before this, came a special ceremony in which we put up two gazebos in The Ridge’s version of The Crystal Maze.  As I write, I have just heard a curator at Bristol Zoo mention on the radio that he has the “largest collection of invertebrates” in Europe; well he has clearly not watched members of the Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 assemble a gazebo. Makes me wonder how we then managed to put up an umbrella for their scorer. Perhaps we got an army of ants to do it.


Their scorer was laptop-savvy and maybe Gilet immediately recognised that he had met his match because Gilet took a day off just when we thought that he and a laptop are inseparable. The suspicion remains however that it was Gilet who submitted the score to the league website in the evening because Hollywood was entered in the Man of the Match column. well as captain Hollywood bowled in a losing cause, Gilet was probably trying to get promoted in the batting order for next week having played a lengthy innings in this game (see later).


RolfeDog and Mike W (we must create a nickname- ideas anyone?) started slowly against some accurate seam bowling from Andy Cummings (no relation, if you are planning a trip north) and Erasmus du Toit. I note not without a little bitterness that on the CCL website the wicket was described as “hard” and can only assume this was entered by someone who did not bat on it at the start.


If you wanted to intimidate the opposition you’d open up with someone called Erasmus du Toit, or at least pretend to, and in any case it’s a good thing Gilet was not scoring as he’d never have spelt it correctly.


Mike NoNickName – or Mike van der NoNickName - was slightly hampered by a groin strain and said rather publicly that he and RolfeDog would have to run at RolfeDog’s pace and RolfeDog replied that he would be pleased to slow down a little.


Both were out just as they got going (Mike for 22, RolfeDog for 13) and this brought George in a red helmet in to bat with Alex who was sporting a green helmet, a combination rather like the traffic lights they have in the USA, without the amber.


After a bit of a stop-go start, they both stopped jay-walking and hit the road, George with a geo-inormous six to the furthest part of the ground, which would have been a ‘nine’ if there was any justice in this world, and Alex with some fine ‘drives’ (geddit?). The score accelerated to 121 when George took a wrong turning and was caught behind for 33. After SamDog had hit the first bad ball he faced straight into the hands of square leg, Hollywood joined Alex and all was going swimmingly until Hollywood decided to hit one to their best fielder Dan Todd, and run, with inevitable consequences. There was no chance of a speeding fine, before he parked up under a gazebo on his tod.


It was Brooksie’s turn to bat. He had been regaling the others about Mr and Mrs RolfeDog’s new bathrooms and was particularly taken with the rimless loos and the low-level bath. Unfortunately, he soon received a low-level delivery and before he could wallow in it, played on and returned to move the discussion on to tapless baths.  While this was going on Allan (12) lost the battle of South Africans to Erasmus, Shaun hung around for a bit, Sufi didn’t and Gilet scored a run off four balls, an unusually long innings, giving him a Strike Rate of 25 which is slightly interesting but not as interesting as a tapless bath.


We set Horspath 197 to win. Was this enough? Little did we know what was to come as we munched tea.


Georgeous George was in record-breaking form. Luckily Alex had been on a life-saving course. The first delivery of the Horspath innings, delivered by George threatened to wipe out Mike at second slip until Alex intervened at full length. George took up the challenge, bowled another couple of wides which Alex took, then decided enough was enough and sent one so far down the legside that the shortcomings in Alex’ diving ability were badly exposed. You’d have thought that George would have been happy with that, but he had his eyes on Dakes’ consecutive-wides record (four) and managed to exceed this by two.


At this point the score was 11-0 and strictly speaking, no ball had yet been bowled. We threatened George with taking a tapless bath and he pulled things back so that only 21 was conceded off the first over, an over which involved George running in and going “wham” no less than 14 times.


Openers Todd and Batten (sounds like a DIY store) took the score to 80. Brooksie has been complaining about lack of mentions in Match Reports so decided to get in the game. Brooksie-No-Mentions took a terrific, outstanding, low, sharp, agile, one-handed, catch off Chris Batten, which was full of hyperbole. As this was a terrific, outstanding, low, sharp, agile, one-handed, catch with the emphasis on “low”, he ended up prone on the ground which made his trademark reflex to fling the ball into the air towards the Village Store, impossible to enact. Instead, he got up as if clambering out of a low-slung bath to be embraced by team mates who felt certain he would now get a mention in the Match Report.


Todd (too many mentions) was soon well caught by Shaun off Gilet (1-29) and Shaun (2-45) bowled Reyaan Dogar who must surely be a film star in real life. Our very own Hollywood brought himself on to bowl and Brooksie did not get any more catches because none came his way. He did however enter a discussion with a batsman who was rightly given not out stumped as Alex was too quick (not for the first time). Brooksie advised said batsman, that he would have been out if he had lifted his foot at the right time, which he hadn’t, and eventually we all got on with our lives.


Alex for his part started mistreating stumps instead of removing a single bail each time as he usually does and the stumps had to be secured with cement.


We had still only taken three wickets, however Hollywood brought us right back into the game with wickets at 140-4 and 141-5. More interesting events were taking place off the pitch however.


The traffic light contest started by George and Alex had been taken up by Birds and Carters who had arrived to spectate dressed as Blackpool illuminations. None were brighter than Dickers – and you can’t often say that about Dickers – who was in a fetching bright amber number, sitting beside, but on the wrong side of Molly in pillar box red and a few Carters who were sporting various shades of green and ultramarine. No wonder you can’t trust the traffic on Chorley Road.


While we were trying to judge the winner, Hollywood induced an edge from new batsman Adey Manger. Regrettably some of the cement which had been used to repair Alex’ damage to the stumps, had ended up in his gloves and the catch catapulted almost back to the bowler. Somehow this became a matter for dispute in the week’s subsequent Fantasy League assessment and Dakes, from his position on a golf course somewhere, decreed that Alex either had not – or could not possibly have – dropped a catch.


Perhaps this was because Manger generously decided to repeat the shot next ball, probably dazzled by the Blackpool illuminations, and this time the ball melted into the cement in Alex’ gloves giving Hollywood (3-35) his third wicket inside five runs: 145-6.


We were now in with a chance, but captain James Stead was joined by Erasmus. Cricket is hard enough without being confronted by one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. Just as Brooksie was pondering this and indeed whether there were rimless loos during the Renaissance era, there was a theft.


ShakEy later blamed this theft on the Rolfe’s dog, not RolfeDog. Yes, Pam had arrived to explain all the bathroom options available and while not concentrating on the dog-in-hand, and unseen by ShakEy, Pepper the dog helped herself to a sandwich which ShakEy had brought for Shaun and had put on the ground near a gazebo, as a dog-tempter. Pepper tried one and left two. The Hickey brothers witnessed the event and were seriously tempted to put the rest of the sandwiches back in the pack for Shaun’s delectation but in a rare moment of maturity, thought better of it and threw them away out of Gilet’s reach.


Back on the pitch our best chance went, when George did not quite cling on to what ShakEy, from his seated position, later described as a “sitter”. This was captured on film and published by Charlie and it probably exonerated George who was at full stretch, which in George’s case is a long way.


But just to be sure of being selected again, and after we went to a four wicket defeat, George decided to buy the team the same number of drinks as balls he had bowled in his four overs. Gilet said this was the first time that 38 cans of Fosters had been bought by a bowler who had also been photographed dropping a sitter. George told us about his (successful) job interview for the position of Head of Rugby and a Bit of Teaching, at Rokeby Boys Prep School in Kingston-upon-Thames, (which is a lot of capital letters).


Let’s hope that Head of Rugby and a Bit of Teaching means a salary hike for George. More four-over spells and dolly catches, could become very costly.


Boris Johnson is away at Fantasy World in Cornwall








Match Report

BRCC 2 vs Dinton 3

Sat 29th May


Sniff nobly steps aside in the interests of youth development

Birdie’s umpiring class gets him a stumping

Loxton in new tactical approach to hat-trick ball


BRCC                  258-8 (45 overs)

Dinton                  174-10 (44.4 overs)

BRCC win by 84 runs                       Scorecard here


After the car crash that was the availability roster last week, we were back to just enough as the 1s headed to somewhere that wasn’t where it said it was and the 2s were set to entertain Dinton 3. The absence of thus far ever-present opener Ginge, provided an opportunity to blood some new potential talent at the top of the order and so a player with few runs to his name this season who had struggled to make the team in week 1 was given the chance to go and learn a bit about opening. He was of course going out with the batting maestro that is the Chesh, current League average as of 1.00pm 144.

As daunting as it was to have the glow of greatness radiating from the Chesh in his eyes, Midds seemed to take it all in his stride and set about righting a few wrongs. The ever reliable Pete Baker bowled a solid spell from the bottom end but the wide fest from the other, combined with Midds gradual emergence from the DTs, pushed the score along to 55-0 after 10. PB was withdrawn and replaced by Kish Jeyanathan who bowled a very impressive 9 overs for just 19 runs, but even this did not help much from Dinton’s point of view as the fledgling opening partnership took it up to 118-0 at the 20 over mark.

It was the drink that finally did for Midds, well the drinks break to be more precise as he departed for an excellent 70 in the over following resumption. Fats played some lovely shots for nothing, and then some less lovely ones to move onto 22 before Dinton turned to bowler number 7, Jesse Horgan, who accounted for Chesh for a well made 45, Junaid, who tried to smash him over mid-wicket, and would have succeeded if the fielder had manged to get his hands out of the way quick enough, and then Fats for 22. With jovan not troubling the scorer after a bit of a grubber and Birdie falling leg before after a couple of nice shots, our 130-0 was now a rather crestfallen 203-6.

This however brought together Shaun, playing his first game of the season and Big Al, back after a wife-imposed week off, with just 7 overs to go. Al bullied the bowlers and Shaun brutalised them with the pair adding 55 off just 40 balls before Shaun popped one up for 36 off the penultimate ball. Having ceded his no. 8 slot to Al, Sniff then decided that in the interests of youth development, he should further cede and let Taj go in ….. for one ball. Taj dutifully tried to spank it out of the ground but sadly missed it and was castled for a golden. Way to encourage the kids skip!

258 however was a pretty imposing total. So imposing in fact that Shaun felt it was too much so opened up with 4 wides to reduce it somewhat. Taj at the other end tried to match it but could only manage 2 in his first over. Shaun then completely foxed the batsman by bowling a straight one in his second over and bowled him, bringing Amit Singh to the crease. The new batsman made his intentions clear from the outset with the bat flying through the line and several players were seen to be shuffling after the ball mumbling “You don’t know. You weren’t there man” as their PTSD from the Tetsworth match resurfaced. It was about this time that Dinton sent a youngster out to do the square leg umpiring duties (they didn’t have an umpire and DS was doing both ends).

On taking up his position, Birdie, making a welcome return behind the stumps, stopped the bowler and politely pointed out to the young lad that he was stood in the wrong place.

“You need to be standing where you can look down the line of the popping crease, that’s this one here. You need to watch the batsman’s back foot and if it is over the crease when I take the bails off, you give him out”

A couple of balls later, Taggart threw one a bit wider of the off stump that brought the batsman down the wicket. It popped, Birdie gathered and over went the timbers accompanied by a top quality appeal to the new SqL ump. A look of panic appeared on the young lad’s face until Birdie helpfully added, “Like I told you” and somewhat hesitantly, the finger went up. In fairness, the batsman knew he was done and was halfway to the pavilion before he was actually given.

The other opener, Paul Reynolds, had been playing more conventionally and was gradually accumulating a few that included a couple of arial shots around the mid-wicket/mid-on area that Taggart had now packed with 4 fielders. PR obligingly plinked another one into this area and it floated gently into Chesh’s hands, and then equally gently out of them again and onto the turf. Our normally cheerful and happy Scotsman was even less amused to hear the words, “Good spell, take a blow there” and wandered off to fine leg mumbling a Celtic curse on all the houses of the English.

Fats and Al were now in bowling partnership and predictably runs were no easier to get. Fats returned the compliment to Jesse Horgan by disturbing the furniture and then induced another arial shot from Reynolds, offering a much more difficult catch to Taj, who held it with comparative ease. The second innings was now 28 overs young and with the score on 108-5, the match was over as a contest, but there was still work to be done. Cue Al Loxton. A straight one to Baker definitely hit pad and bat, but the order in which it did depended on which side you were on. The umpire went with the bowler. Jeyanathan, who had bowled so responsibly, flayed at his first ball which went skyward, and while it was up there, swirled …. a lot. Taj, who was underneath it, swirled with it and all the smart money was being loaded on the catch not being taken, and it was all lost as Taj held a brilliant grab. Al was now on a hat-trick, and the skipper obligingly put everyone around the bat. Al calculated that with 147 required to win, 3 wickets remaining and 15 overs to go, the 4’6” 14 year old batsman would undoubtedly give him the charge and so threw it a yard outside the off stump.

To no-one else’s surprise, he stayed absolutely still and the umpire duly signalled the wide. Next ball Al went to Plan B, knocked over the stumps and asked if it still counted as a hat-trick given that the 3rd ball was not a legitimate one. Nice try.

After a bit of entertainment from Jovan at the top end (2-18 (2 overs that is)), Taj came back and raised Shaun’s 4 wides in an over with a 5, before having their no.10 adjudged in front. Dinton were now 131-9 and the only thing that should be said about the remaining 11 overs is how determinedly the two youngsters Biyani and Gallagher batted to take the final total up to 174. Shaun returned and couldn’t quite re-raise Taj on the wides, and in fact got the penultimate ball of the innings so wrong, that it hit the stumps and we did in fact finish having bowled them out. The recurrence of the “straight ball hits stumps” phenomenon gave him pause to wonder as he walked off the pitch if there might be something in this bowling straight idea.

We had looked the likely winners of this game from perhaps as early as the 1st innings drinks break, but the match was played in excellent spirit and it was particularly nice to have a few of the Dinton boys hang around for a beer and a chat after the game.

Four weeks gone, still top of the League. Maybe there’s something in this ‘winning games’ idea.  



Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Oxenford 1st X1 (Away)


Saturday 29th May 2021




Ridge Lose by the Smallest of Margins and Tightest of Hamstrings


Oxenford in Nowhere-Near-Oxenford Mystery


George Almost Becomes The Ridge’s Best Looking Player (but doesn’t)




50 over W/L match


BRCC: 176-7  (50 overs)

OCC:  178-9  (46.4 overs)

Result: Lost by 1 wicket                      Scorecard here

 Not many people know where Oxenford is which is lucky as Oxenford don’t play in Oxenford and never have: they play in Oxford which sounds similar, a bit like “Bledlow Ridge” sounds similar to “Bledlow Village”. Come to think of it, on the basis a cricket club can just adopt a town we could call ourselves Rio de Janeiro or Queenstown (let’s not go there, even if we could find it) and that way no one could ever accuse us of being “village”.


But I digress. Back to the point. Oxford and Oxenford are separated by an “en” which as luck would have it, is the width of a typesetting character, like ‘s’ for example, or ‘Q’ or even ‘&’.

But you knew that.


Helpful Secretary Tom Hamp had sent us mighty clear directions to the ground at Jesus College.  It was oddly fitting for a club that was once a merger of St Johns College and the Civil Service, and then changed its name to become “Aristotle CC” before picking on “Oxenford”, that they play in the City of Dreaming Spires.


We had a Dreaming Spire too. Yes, our very own intellectual Cooperman, who was once upon a time in his living room reading Brecht when a BRCC Young Cricketer of the Year trophy was delivered. He was the only RidgeBear to turn up at an adjacent road as far from the entrance as it was possible to be. Brecht would probably have had something to say about that, Aristotle certainly would because it appears he had something to say about everything.


In fact he famously (?) said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” which does make me wonder whether he had the entire playing staff of Bledlow Ridge CC in mind at the time.


We were just refusing to entertain the idea that our opening bat Mike Winson, the only other person we were waiting for, would be late, when he arrived in a hurry, in the words of Geoff Chaucer in 1386 (just before RolfeDog was born) “better late than never”.


Sadly we would have done better with G Chaucer opening the batting as Mike had a particularly long time in which to eat his tea. George played one georgeous shot through the off side. He then considered hitting one as far as Oxenford but realised he didn’t know where it was and was caught at mid off for 7. RolfeDog was adjudged for 15. Dakes also made 7 and commented (to George) that all the best players made 7.


At 68-4 we were struggling a bit, albeit that the wicket was slow after a month’s rain. This day was sunny however and a fitting backcloth to the arrival of the larger species of Bird who had replaced the lesser variety for this match. What would Aristotle have said? Well it was he who said “one swallow does not make a summer” this being the furthest he ventured into ornithology. He made an aggressive 32 (Bird the Larger that is, not Aristotle)  and it might have been 35 if a fielder’s foot over the boundary rope had been spotted by an umpire with twitcher’s binoculars 70 yards away, rather than by all those near the scene. He took the score up to 101 with Hollywood, whose 13 was made at a strike rate of 100… what was Hollywood thinking?!


Brooksie’s score of 9 was made at a far more respectable strike rate of 21.95 only a little behind RolfeDog’s 28.85. I mean statistics don’t lie, do they? Dakes took the biscuit (possibly one of Mike’s) with 18.92 and couldn’t even outscore George.


Even Shorty did that. In fact he rebuilt the score from 115-6 rather well, nursing Brooksie first of all, then Sufi in a partnership with Sufi (9no, SR 39.13) of 42 which only ended on the last ball as Shorty was run out for 29 attempting an impossible journey to… you’ve guessed it… Oxenford. 176-8 represented a good recovery and a competitive score on a slow track. If it had been a road we might all have turned up at …??!!


By now Mike had eaten his own tea and nearly everyone else’s except Dakes’ of course which usually goes down in one gulp. Cooperman tucked in too having been deprived of the opportunity to bat and having chosen to read some philosophers instead.


“Quality is not an act, it’s a habit” wrote the said philosopher (Aristotle not Cooperman) and yet Cooperman defied this, having not played for three weeks, and produced an outstanding spell, bowling right through, 10-4-12-1, with Mallick caught behind by Brooksie in his final over.  This was the most economical spell since Gilet’s 10 overs for 11 at Eynsham which went wicketless and therefore yielded an average of infinity which is a little more than Cooperman’s 12. Moreover, Cooperman’s spell was the most economical spell by a RidgeBear wearing a man-bun, a category which Gilet has never entered.


At the other end, George, in the words of that famous Australian philosopher Jeff Thompson, just “ran up and went wham”. He accounted for Shackleton (caught at slip by Mike), Pura (bowled) and Gedara and almost accounted for RolfeDog at gully who opted to take the catch offered by Gedara rather than have his face rearranged. Unluckily for George therefore, George remained only the second best looking player in the team and was able to jealously watch RolfeDog perform a neat little pirouette and take the catch at the second attempt.


We were well in the game. “Keep plogging away” exhorted Shorty. By now we were being serenaded by a band practising a mellow fusion of jazz and blues on the boundary edge and just as we were calling the tune, Dakes pulled up sharply with a torn hamstring having spotted what he thought was a spare sandwich on the wicket. This was a turning point as it turned out, though we could argue we should not have lost our way (geddit?).


Gilet bowled a typically mean spell of 1-22 off 10 which as he might tell you, is a strike rate of 60 and an average of 22 figures for batting, which I can only aspire to.


Sufi (2-54) took a while to find his radar. His first wicket was a quite stunning catch by George at very short mid off, left-handed at full length off a full-blooded drive. He even managed a more spectacular dive than RolfeDog and caught it at the first attempt, while juggling a pack of playing cards. Don’t you just hate that? When Ramaweera departed to Sufi for 32, Oxenford still wanted about 70 with just three wickets left and Hollywood’s mean 2-29 off 8.5 to contend with.


We were however, badly hamstrung (geddit?) by Dakes’ injury. Tom Partridge who had taken 3-48 in our innings, drove and pulled powerfully and farmed the bowling cleverly. This was his PearTree day. Some lusty blows from Oliver Carr brought Oxenford close but when Hollywood bowled him and then got Mir LBW for 0 there were still a dozen to get and just one wicket left.


No 11 Awan tantalisingly lobbed one up between Sufi, Gilet and Rolfedog but out of reach of all of them and Oxenford crept home with Tom Partridge on 56no.


Talking of creeping home. Where did we lose our way? Well several of the side, left the ground saying “see you back at the club” but hardly anyone got there. Shorty turned up in Leicester and the last we heard, the rest of the side was looking for a clubhouse in Oxenford as if to prove that it is better to travel than to arrive.


Cooperman could see a clubhouse, was oh-so-close, but couldn’t quite find the entrance.


“And that…”, as Aristotle once said, “…summed up our frigging day”!


Carrie Johnson is away purchasing wallpaper




Bledlow Ridge 1st X1 v Tiddington 2nd X1 (Away)


Saturday 15th May 2021




Dakes in Bowling Drama As Game Abandoned Due to Too Much Sawdust


Gilet in ‘Fails to Bowl a Maiden’ Shock


RolfeDog in New Career-Low




38 over W/L match (rain affected)


Tiddington: 107-6 (26 overs)

Result: Match abandoned                  Scorecard here


At 12.05pm, having waited until RolfeDog had finished working on the home ground, Taggart received news of a dropout in the 1s and sent him on his way to Tiddington with an off-hand remark about not knowing how to work a SatNav and with a slight smirk about being able to replace him with Lloydy. Thus was RolfeDog’s role in the 2s neatly summarised.


The 1s were not in a hurry as it happened and due to rain the game did not commence for a while. Ultimately, due to a heavenly downpour which ended the game after 26 overs, for a while this match was less a contest between two local sides as a contest to see which bowler could be the most precious.


Dakes probably won it with three Refusals down the hill when he was totally phased by the presence of sawdust on his run up -  in the way sensitive horses can be terrified by nothing in particular - and pulled up three times.  Gilet replaced him, trundling safely enough

down the hill, but in the dressage event, lunged balletically at a return shot, foot first, and carved a neat trench with his heel across an adjacent wicket which the Tiddington groundsman had gone to great pains to protect.


This natural athleticism was matched by the youthful offside field of SamDog, Hamsah and RolfeDog although at times Hamsah’s tyres span in the mud when he was required to turn and give chase. Dakes suggested he put down sawdust where he was fielding, which was both hilarious and also Dakes’ first venture into irony since he once turned up an hour early for a match.


Tiddington 1s game had been called off so there were spectators to watch a rather stronger Tiddington X1 than we had played last year in a game which was, funnily enough, abandoned due to heavy rain.


Opener Matthew Weeks took on our opening pair of Precious Dakes and Sufi, while his partner Matthew Maule took on Umpire Graham when Graham called wide to a ball that had hit Weeks, before overruling it on Dakes’ say-so, Dakes being a trustworthy kind of guy.


While Dakes was still slaloming in from the top end, Sufi was bowling his heart out from the bottom (if you’ll excuse the unfortunate turn of phrase). We may be able to see even more of Sufi’s heart, or at least his body next week as his whites are shrinking week-by-week: his trousers now barely cover his shins and his shirt is barely (geddit?) long enough to tuck in. He either needs new kit or a wash cycle at lower temperature.


Aided by a more consistent run-up than in the past, lack of fear of sawdust, and Alex’ tidiness behind the stumps Sufi bowled far better than his figures would suggest. He induced the odd edge and then in a great act of irony, ShortHand took up a perfect long-barrier position at mid-off and remained in this balletic pose as the ball made its way through or past him to the boundary, reminding us of a piece of fielding by Sufi off ShortHand’s bowling in a preceding match. In an attack of preciousness Sufi mentioned something about building up pressure on the batsman and huffed off to long leg to field.


Our other fielding error was when Gilet shelled a chance at mid-on and, the Tiddington umpire asked RolfeDog at short leg if that player was just ‘filling in” for the team. Well it can be an easy mistake to make, but after Dakes’ aforementioned hissy-fit about running through sawdust, Gilet came on, and is the case every week, surprised the batsmen with both his accuracy and the fluency of his approach to the wicket: The Ridge’s answer to Michael Holding - for those whose memories go back that far – except without the grace, athleticism and speed.


Michael Holding however, never took wickets against Tiddington 2s whereas Gilet accounted for Maule (9) and Weeks (26) with LBWs and later bowled Taylor for 12. In between times Alex’ hands proved too quick off Gilet’s bowling, when he whipped off a bail only for the batsman to lift his foot a moment later. Alex will be recalibrated this week.


Alex was however, involved in another chance when the luckless, and almost shirtless Sufi, induced an edge only to see Alex flying through the air, Schmeichel-like (this being the day that Leicester City won the FA Cup) and tip it around the post. The post in this instance was Mike Winson, who may have been called worse things, but on this occasion was spared the opportunity of demonstrating the benefit of Wednesday night catching practice.


This prompted an outbreak of bovine noises both from the adjacent field and from BirdDog fielding close to the wicket or possibly at cow-corner (geddit?).


Dakes now replaced Sufi at the bottom end with another pile of sawdust although don’t take that too literally. He bowled Chris Goodman (12) when this batsman shouldered arms to one that he should have left alone. He then bowled skipper Nathan Brooks, the Tiddington skipper for 2, which is the sort of thing that happens to an unfortunate captain who has spent the afternoon lugging a heavy bag of sawdust on and off so that his opposite number can bowl at all. Perhaps this was yet another venture into irony by Captain DakesEye.


At the top end Hamsah was now on for Gilet who had ended his spell in a blaze of statistics 8-0-29-3, av 9.67, SR 16.00, ec 3.63. Something was missing. What was it? Oh! It was a maiden over. The first time Gilet had not bowled one since the time RolfeDog last hit a six.


Attempting a run out off a quick single, SamDog hurled the ball at the bowlers end to see Sufi who was backing up, do a handbrake turn and carve a neat trench in another of the strips the groundsman had spent a great deal of effort protecting.


Hamsah bowled two overs mostly to Gareth Weir who had been watching Gilet, Dakes and Sufi’s ballet competition and decided to enter by performing a neat pirouette to a ball pitching outside leg stump, which performed much the same manoeuvre and bowled him. Like Gilet and Sufi he ended up in a horizontal position and with any luck … wait for it… carved a neat trench along the pitch.


The groundsman, Archie Davis, had come in to bat at 7, presumably to survey the damage inflicted by the mud-skating teams and half a ton of sawdust. The impending rain held off long enough for the only RidgeBear not mentioned in this report, to get on to bowl to him. Hollywood generously tested the bounce on various parts of the wicket and Groundsman Davis responded by trying to smash every ball in Hollywood’s only over for four, succeeding just twice for which Hollywood was most grateful. His prayers for rain were answered with a deluge which, according to Gilet, was the heaviest rainfall at Tiddington on Cup Final day since Gilet last failed to bowl a maiden.


We all pretended that we were going to resume, by taking tea in our cars until the covers gradually floated off towards Wiltshire and the umpires and captains decreed otherwise.


With the news that back at The Ridge the 2s were off for rain but about to resume, RolfeDog reflected on his earlier efforts to get the 2s game on only to be called up for an away game which was ultimately abandoned, and not getting a bat, while the home game was proceeding to a conclusion with Taggart bowling a full 9 over spell.


This was a drown-your-sorrows situation, so RolfeDog went to the bar; worse was to come. Former Tiddington 1s captain Nick Pykett recognised him but couldn’t quite place him. “Ah! Aren’t you Taggart’s sidekick?” he asked, and with that, RolfeDog’s career and reputation plumbed a new low. 


No careers were intentionally harmed in the writing of this report

Match Report

Bledlow Ridge 2s vs Tetsworth 2s

May 22nd 2021


Stair Rods Rainbows and Fireworks at the Ridge


Cheshire proves there’s more than one way to skin a cat


Lloydy in “No-one offended by late night WhatsApp rant” shock


Bledlow Ridge                     161-6 in 41 overs (by D/L calculation, but not really)

Tetsworth                             147-10 in 31 overs

Ridge win by 14 runs    Scorecard here


The forecast said it was going to rain all day, but in a 14 second hiatus around 10.30, Birdie popped his head out of the shed and announced to the WA group that the 2s was 100% on. On arrival at the ground about an hour later, it was the lightest of light drizzles that was trying to fall on a ground that looked better prepped than some county grounds. The pitch was covered, the bowlers’ run ups were covered, the adjoining pitches with damaged ends were covered.

Rolfedog was driving the roller out to the wicket with a look of trepidation, presumably on the basis that the roller’s default speed is considerably quicker than the average speed he propels his Mondeo along at, and despite the gloomy forecast, it was starting to look like a game of cricket might at least start.

All going well until the phone rings at 12.10. It’s Dakes. That’s nice, the 1st team captain is ringing us to wish us well. But no. Late call off, unavoidable, means he only has 10. The consequences of the 1s playing with 10 and the 2s with 11 are somewhat akin to a time traveller bumping into himself in the past. No-one actually knows exactly what will happen, but it’s almost certainly really, really bad!

No time for tactical discussions, evaluations of form or balance, just get a player moving towards Tiddington NOW.  Who’s nearest? Rolfedog of course.

“No time to explain, you’re needed to play against Tiddington.”


“No …….. time ……. to ……… explain!”

“Where is it?”


“How do I get there?”

“You plug it into your Satnav and do what it tells you”

“I’m not sure I know how ….”

At this point he was bundled into his car and pushed towards the gate like a Daytona 500 pit stop. As he went wheelspinning onto Chinnor Road while trying to programme a hitherto untouched Satnav and remove his road construction uniform, a message came in from Hollywood.

“No panic, it’s hosing down here.”

Oh well.


This left the 2s with a problem of their own to solve. Lloydy had generously offered to umpire the match and on arrival was immediately turned round and sent home for his kit. An appeal was sent out on the WA group for someone to step up and be the hero that got us the extra point for having an umpire. Ideally someone local who could get there quick and so it was that Jovan set off from somewhere just west of Warsaw and said he’d be there in half an hour. He arrived around the same time Rolfedog was asking a bloke dressed in all white stood next to a short cut field in Tiddington if he knew where the cricket club was.

In the meantime, Sniff was trying to assess the possible impacts of playing under Duckworth Lewis. Various pieces of advice were offered. “Definitely better to bat first … or second” “Whatever you do, make sure we bowl second … or first”. He took the only sensible option left to him and opted to lose the toss. This however proved less decisive than might have been expected. With their captain not yet at the ground, Tetsworth had sent their vice-captain out to toss. On receiving the news of his glorious victory in calling correctly, he then announced that as he wasn’t the captain, he wasn’t sure what they wanted to do. A summit meeting was convened at the top of the nets and in slightly longer than it takes to elect a new pope, the decision to put us in was conveyed.

Tetsworth were our first opponents from what was formerly the OCA and they came into the CCL with a big reputation. Tales were circulated of an unbeaten season in the curtailed 2020, and possibly the same in the previous season. The sight of Ryan Mosely charging in from the top end for the first over, which put several in mind of Collis King, only a bit sharper, did little to dissuade anyone of these rumours.  Chesh opted for a quick leg bye off the third ball of the over. Let’s say that was in the interests of strike rotation and nothing to do with a desperate desire to get away from the bowling and leave it to his 15 year old partner. When Clifford Jacob came in for the second over and gave absolute confirmation that Taggart’s assertion that no-one could bowl fast up the hill at the Ridge was complete bollocks, Chesh opted for a similar response to the third ball of that over.

Ginge the Hinge however was staying in line well and got the scoring off the bat underway. When this correspondent commented to him afterwards how impressed he was with this stillness at the crease, a slightly less technical than expected response was forthcoming, “ I was bricking it mate. Frozen to the spot.” When he played back to a ball that was either a bit short and stayed low, or a bit further up than he thought, he lost his off stump and Brooksie strolled out to the crease. After a less than auspicious 2nd team outing at Stokey, Brooksie looked much more like himself and started to take it back to the bowlers with a couple of crisp pulls to the boundary and some confident drives. By the 10th over we were up to 29-1, with Chesh’s 1 the anchor, but in fairness, this was the best opening attack the 2s have seen since the day we turned up at Long Marston to play their 2s only to find their 1s had been called off and were all at the ground.

Brooksie was going well until an excellent throw combined with a bit of a jog and a bowler in the way (never the bowler’s problem unless he moves there deliberately) saw him run himself out for a well made 36. Lloydy was just getting into his work when a pulled calf muscle and the oppo’s refusal to let him have a runner left him in a bit of trouble. Junaid got a first baller (LBW) and Midds got a few before going the same way to the same bowler (Aaron Huish). Tetsworth’s change bowling was not as intimidating as their openers, but was tight and runs were at a premium, so when Fats went, swinging at a lifting ball, we were in a bit of trouble. Throughout all this however, Chesh had been going about his work and despite the ripple of applause in the 26th over when his total finally exceeded the number of overs bowled, this innings was keeping us in the match. Fats had gone at the end of the 37th with the total on 132-6, but the cricket gods were clearly angered by the loss of their favourite son and rained down their displeasure. Literally. It was suddenly throwing down stair rods, the covers were put on and we all rushed back to our cosy gazebos.

The umpires decided this was a good time for tea and once that interval was up, we started eating into the spare time, and then finally the actual playing time. By the time we got back on, it was decreed that 8 overs had been lost in the match, so it was now 41 a piece. Ben Hillary went in to join Chesh and started to flick the returned Mosely about the outfield convincingly. He saw Chesh through to 50 and added 20 invaluable runs of his own to take us to 161 off our reduced overs.

Duckworth Lewis didn’t do us any favours in giving a revised target figure to Tetsworth of 170 (off 41) and it looked way too small when the opening bowler (Jacob) came in as the opening bat and despatched Hills for 10 off the first two balls of the innings and 16 in total off the first over. He had also however clothed one to mid off before the second 6 and could have easily been back in the hutch for 10, but unfortunately the lack of a Dave Wells fiver for holding a catch saw it go down.

Taggart came up the hill as ever it was and opened with a very tight line around middle and leg and was not going for much of any. Hills kept plugging away, and while his extra pace beat the bat frequently, it also meant that when the bat beat the ball, it went a long way. Nevertheless, chances were coming and Taggart finally threw one up outside Phillimore Miller’s off stump and unable to resist, he sliced it off the face of the bat straight into Alan’s safe hands. Crook lasted just 3 balls before being adjudged in front to the same bowler, and when in the same over, Taggart’s ‘even-slower’ ball induced a top edge skier off the big hitting Jacob (37 off 25 balls) Ginge pouched it safely.

The hitherto very vocal Tetsworth tent, was now noticeably quieter, however the big hitting Jacob had been replaced by the equally aggressive Mosely. With Hills off to the outfield to have a quiet nervous breakdown, Fats came on at the top, took the pace off and runs became a whole lot more difficult to get. Both batsmen were having plenty of swings, plenty of misses and the odd very clean, very big hit, but we felt we were still well in this game.

Taggart bowled on unchanged from the bottom end and in his final over had two big appeals against Ryan Mosely who had progressed on to 38. One was stone dead and one maybe not so much, but the detail is less important than that justice was done and the batsman trudged off, noticeably unimpressed. The cricket gods however were clearly angered by the loss of their second favourite son and rained down their displeasure again and so as the batsman departed, so did the rest of us.

We lost another 4 overs and the highly sophisticated Duckworth Lewis app decreed that Tetsworth now needed 162 off a maximum of 37 overs. Or to put it another way, one more than we got.

Once the game passed the 20 over mark, there was much toing and froing about what the par score was, what a par score is and why are we talking about golf anyway, but the cricket gods got bored, went off to bother someone else and left the sun to look after the remaining overs.

Al took over from Taggart at the bottom end (it saves moving the sight screens) and Fats bowled out his now reduced maximum of 7, with a match critical return of 1-22. Tetsworth stayed close to the par score for a while, but once Al got a bit of rust out of the joints, he bowled some lovely stuff for nowt, followed by a filthy half-tracker that Williams, the last effective resistance, slapped obligingly into the bucket hands of Midds. He bowled a couple more out, Hickey had a rumble at the top end and picked up one and with 9 down, the game looked like it was only finishing one way.

Tetsworth had smashed their way to miles ahead of the rate but had little left to affect the victory. Chesh’s 51 not out from 41 overs had not had many IPL clubs rushing to the phone but had been the anchor around which a match winning innings was forged.

There is as they say, more than one way to skin a cat. Especially a Cheshire cat.

Hilarious had finished his course of counselling and came back on, but not before proof that it never rains but it pours, both physically and metaphorically. Last week at Thame, a batsman put up a skier, which Shorty steadied himself under and got ready to catch. Its descent however was accompanied by calls from the batsman of “Miss, miss, miss”. Catch held, no drama, but on checking with the umpire, he confirmed that he would have upheld the appeal even if the catch had been dropped and with little else to do during the week, your correspondent engaged himself with Law 37.1.1.

     Either batsman is out Obstructing the field if… he/she wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the  

      fielding side by word or action.

With 9 down, one of the remaining batsmen (not for the first time) called loudly for a run while a fielder was retrieving the ball but made no attempt to run. He had commented to the umpire and wicket keeper earlier in his innings that “you wouldn’t believe how many overthrows I’ve had doing this.” On the penultimate ball of the match, he did it again and Brooksie, the retrieving fielder, turned to throw at the stumps, but fortunately realised what had happened and held on to the ball.

This prompted Taggart to come into the batsman’s earshot and announce, “If you do that again, I will appeal to the umpire and have you dismissed by way of Obstructing the Field”. To have done so would have probably sparked an intercounty incident, but Hills bowled him next ball, just as the end of a rainbow parked itself in the field formerly known as Lord Keeping’s.

There is as they say, more than one way to skin a cat.  Any kind of cat.   

No pictures or videos were harmed in the compliation of this report   

John Rolfe is currently in a refuge just outside Tiddington


Bledlow Ridge II v Thame IV (Away)


Saturday 8th May


Gates Closed as Large Crowd Watches Ridge defeat Thame



Hinge the Ginge Confused by Kenny and Penny


Simon “Fats” Martin Literally on a Roll





BRCC: 211-5 (45 overs)

Thame: 179 ao (43.5 overs)


Result: BRCC won by 32 runs.  Full scorecard here  Photo gallery here


Directions to the Thame 4s ground at Lord William School, Thame, should be amended from “drive into the school grounds (yeh, how daft am I?) before wandering about the school buildings until you reach tennis courts and other car parks then a huge field with rugby posts some way beyond, and realise you are lost”,  to “don’t drive into the school but park in the Leisure Centre and traipse across a large field until you come to another one without rugby posts”.


This nearly defeated Wellsy altogether as he contacted us several times to say he was just a short distance away, but he made it just before Superman Ginge went out to bat with Chesh just after a lunar eclipse. There was a large shed for our kit and while a one or two of us were briefly inside it, Lloydy arrived and stood in the doorway and it all went dark like one of those stories in the bible.


This match had two umpires and a (full-time) scorer, as well as volunteer scorers. Special mention should be also made of Thame’s opening bowlers Kenny and Penny. Rhyming opening bowling partnerships are rare: we have managed a few over the years, notably Kingy and Swingy (which is a slight exaggeration) and Matt Donnelly and Henry Donnelly (which is a bit of a cheat) but Penny and Kenny were definitely the first since Fez and Brez bowled together for us many years ago, in a rare combination of swerve and verve.


Faced with this poetic attack, 3-year-old Hinge the Ginge, who is a rhyming couplet in himself, and who has been scoring runs at will, - or ‘runs for funs’ - was bowled in the third over by an Iambic Pentameter from Kenny, thus ending a run of high scores on the doors. RolfeDog joined Chesh. Someone called Cheshire playing in Oxfordshire, is about as rare as a lunar eclipse or as someone called Sam Northeast playing for Hampshire. Which he does.


For a brief while, the innings became less of a contest between bowlers and batsmen, than a contest between bowler Trevor Spindler and Umpire David “The Real” Saint to see which one could keep his nerve the longest. Once it was established that a batsman could not be bowled via a wicketkeeper’s pads, things calmed down as Umpire Saint leaned on the side of caution. The appeals rained down (in biblical proportions) and a confident appeal against RolfeDog was declined. 

By this time, a large crowd of first teamers had gathered following the cancellation at the Ridge, with Mike Winson winning the prize for most garish orange puffer-jacket. Hearing that two big-hitters were at the crease they had rushed over to watch BRCC 2s equivalents of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. They wandered twice around the boundary during the time RolfeDog took to go from 30 to 35 and also had to recover from a direct hit to his Private Member’s Enclosure.

Chesh, was adjudged LBW for a fine 63 which brought LLoydy to the crease, and with him temporary darkness across East Oxfordshire. He had just begun to see the light when Zahoor Khan bowled him his worst delivery of the day, which Lloydy kindly returned to him but, regrettably in the air.

Wellsy replaced him and RolfeDog who had just made 50 was then bowled offering a bit of a slog. This meant we had gone from 123-1 to 124-3, however Junaid livened things up with a rapid 35, so quickly that the large crowd only managed another half-lap around the boundary. Once Junaid had been bowled, trying to hit the ball into West Berkshire, or was it Cheshire (?) Fats (15no) and Wellsy (24no) took the score to 211-5 off the allotted 45 overs.

RolfeDog had disappeared briefly during this partnership to avail of the ‘facilities’ in the leisure centre only to discover that the existence of Covid means that a nice clean toilet is denied you, unless you pay for a swim or a gym session, ie with the handing over of money to the local authority you become Covid-safe again. RolfeDog managed to find a very hygienic large bush instead – though with no washbasin -  where he considered whether paying for a swim could be as effective as two vaccinations.


Hillarious, with a short back-and-sides, opened up down the hill and McTaggart, with a short back-and-sides-and-top, bowled up the hill (where else?). They put Thame behind the clock. Left-handed Taggart made a diving right-handed stop off his own bowling just as Dominic Cummings announced he had never been to Barnard Castle and Birdy found a gold Sovereign in his pocket. Rarer still are the occasions when Taggart makes one-handed diving stops off anyone else’s bowling.


It was a while before Anderson and Phippen were separated but by the time The Gingerbread Man got one to fly at Phippen (11), Thame were well behind the clock (there probably was a clock in the Leisure Centre but I never got that far) and Hinge was ahead of his time.


ShortBread (2-35) bowled Anderson for 29 with a straight one which was quickly redefined as a Zooter or a Flipper by the bowler. Then, encouraged by Wellsy behind the stumps, Thame Captain Tim Dabbs (27) had a go at Shorty (who wouldn’t?) and missed. Shortcake had bowled out two batsmen in the same innings, both of whom were over 13 and he was now in Dreamland. The crowd was now in Birdland as Dickers had arrived to join his brother on the boundary.


Khan and Gray set about rebuilding the run rate and were doing so successfully until Hillarious returned from the top end and got one to lift and catch the top of Gray’s bat. Over Fats’ head at Gully. Or so we thought.


Sometimes extraordinary things happen and, just as Lord Lucan rode by on a horse which looked suspiciously like Shergar and as Boris confessed that Brexit was all a mistake, Fats took off. ‘Took off’ as in ‘leapt in the air’. 

You heard it here first.

Drawing on the Spirit of Loxton he not only plucked the ball out of the air but managed a backward roll without losing his grip of it. As per Allan’s catch at West Wycombe, Neville Cardus could not have bettered Taggart’s description of “another ground with the Fats’ (or substitute with the name of whoever has pulled off the unlikely catch) arseprint on it”.


All eleven players and one umpire were wearing the new blue Ridge cap and almost all were wearing the new club sweater. Our fine appearance on the pitch was only disrupted by RolfeDog who had likened himself to Jonty Rhodes but who managed to field one rather more in the style of Cecil Rhodes, or possibly Buster Keaton and conceded our only misfield of the day, much to the amusement of ShortWire whose day was about to get better.


He brought off a fine catch at short midwicket (geddit?) to dismiss Khan (24) off that dour and lucky left-armer McTaggart. This combo struck again when ShortFuse snaffled a small skier to dismiss Sean Bellenie for 6 (despite Bellenie urging Shorty to “miss” it while the ball was in the air), in the much-vaunted ShakEy-crocodile-catching fashion of which Ben Cooperman is also a dedicated disciple. 

At this point it seemed we had the match under control which was more than could be said of the crowd which was getting rather restless and was starting to conduct impromptu video interviews with players on the boundary.  

Batsman Rob Kenny it seemed, could not hit the ball more than five yards. At least he had a willing and rapid running partner in 4-year-old Zachary “Zach” Harris (why couldn’t any of us have an exciting name like that? the best we can offer is Martin Harris or Dave Wells) which kept things going until Kenny revealed his hand.

It turned out he can only hit the ball less than five yards or more than 70. Fats was now bowling from the bottom end while wearing Hillarious’ former mop of hair and emitting a variety of grunts, roars and steam train noises. Kenny deposited Fats (Fat deposits?) over long on for six. That was rather serious. Then he put McTaggart over long on at the other end, which was rather amusing.


He managed to do this twice more and put Thame right back in the match, but he had reckoned without one fielder.


Yes, smarting from his failure to make it four fifties in a row, Lloydy had spent the whole innings lurking at short third man. He is at his lurking best when accompanied by a bottle of wine, but despite being banned from such substances and also from social media following a recent disciplinary hearing, he was primed for a fine piece of fielding. He had spent the whole afternoon saving his throwing arm, so when it really mattered, he was sharp enough to move the required five yards to the ball and then throw it ten yards to the stumps in the time it took Kenny (33) to run 43 yards, 2 feet and 11 inches which simply wasn’t far enough.


The Ginger Wonder came back with another good spell at the top end. After Wellsy had made a sharp leg side stumping to dismiss Zach off Fats, just at the moment when Donald Trump was admitting that the US Presidential election was true and fair, we knew it was our day. It was just left for Fats to mop up (as he often does after hours at the Racquets Fitness Centre in Thame, following emergency visits by desperate sexagenarian* cricketers) by bowling Chris Penny and then trapping Trevor Spindler in front. “Plumb” said Fats. “Agreed” said Trevor, who trooped off unaccompanied by the fielding side as the scoreboard was a little behind. It took some time for us to realise that this was the last wicket to fall and that Trevor for once had not been promoted in the batting order. The opposition were wondering why we were hanging about at the wicket with no batsmen there.


Two umpires and a scorer made this an enjoyable day and the wicket behaved even better than Birdy who was on his best because Penny^ was there – except that is, for a wonderful photo he captured of Sniff taking a commercial break in a hedge. 

Sniff? Played 3, Captained 2, Won 2. Sniff the Captain is back, supported by no less than five vice-captains. Fats came in as a replacement, got a red-inker, took a worldie and then took 3-30 off 7 overs. Shorty took two wickets, held two catches and if he had only made two runs, would have completed the set. Hillarious took 1-34 and on one occasion beat RolfeDog to the ball in the field. We had a grumpy left-arm seamer to match their grumpy left-arm seamer though worryingly, McTaggart reckoned he was having one of his cheerful days. Chesh was top scorer. Wellsy shelled out some cash for catches taken and Hinge the Ginge took 1-23 off 8 overs which is an economy rate of 2.88, better than anyone except Scrooge McTaggart. 

We celebrated in Covid-muted fashion, but worryingly, hugs will be allowed next week. The mind boggles. Let’s hope for the sake of all of us that Fats doesn’t take a five-for or that Lloydy doesn’t take a worldie (what chance?), unless of course Lloydy takes a worldie off Fats in which case we could be treated to quite a spectacle as they grapple. For now we must make do with Fats’ emotional post-match interview. 

On the way back I realised I had not thanked David Umpire Saint so I called him: “Very grateful to have a decent umpire, David” I said. “If I’d been a decent umpire, you’d have been given out” he replied.  What a put down. I made a mental note not to give him a hug when we meet next week. 

Boris Johnson is on holiday in Scotland 


I rather like this word as it gives Over 60s males a sense of hope


No! Penny Winter not Chris Penny of Thame, unless we have been missing something all these years.


Bledlow Ridge v West Wycombe (Home)


Sunday 2nd May 2021



Captain Sniff Guides Ridge to Victory in Timed Game Shock


James “Jonesy” Dow in Seven-For Heaven


Another Boring Fifty for Lloydy of Lloyd Swines Wine Co



Timed game:


BRCC: 225-6 dec

WWCC: 193 all out


Result: BRCC won by 32 runs.        Find full scoresheets here.


The second in a summer-long test series featuring The Ridge and West Wycombe started Gingerly and ended in a Dow-Fest. 

Sadly, the name “Dow” does not easily lend itself to wordplay but after 4 year-old Hinge the Ginge had again announced his arrival as the new Gingerbread man of 2021 with a jug-avoiding innings of 49, the day unDowtedley ended up belonging to the family that may have originated in New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland and who knows where else, but has settled in Spleen, or Speen as it Is sometimes known.


After The RIdgeBears set a total of 225-6 dec, the Dow Twins, Duncan and James took nine wickets between them to snatch victory from defeat, courtesy of a last wicket front foot LBW decision from Umpire McTaggart.


Shock Horror: this was a Timed Cricket Match, now known by most as “win/lose/draw”. Secretive Sniff revealed this news to his team threequarters of the way through The Ridge innings when he switched his own innings from block to blast, and got out for a whirlwind 26.


James’ Dow had made 10 after Hinge’s opening partnership with Chesh had been broken. By the time James was second out with the score at 90, Chesh was about 1 not out at the other end, but accelerated to 44 and was in long enough to see Midds sacrificed to the ready umpire’s finger of Sufi who knows a good LBW shout for a sweep shot, when he sees one.


A potential non-compliance at a sanitising break nearly brought about sanctions as Umpire Taggart threatened to involve the ECB, the EU and probably Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP for enforcement. The ECB’s Chris Rowley, playing for WW, washed his hands of the whole thing, the crisis blew over and Taggart sent a Royal Navy Destroyer to West Wycombe.


Chesh then hit the ball hard to the best fielder, David Jones and decided to run and then run back, but not quickly enough in either direction really.


There was a bowling change, and the call from the boundary of “bowler’s name please” prompted from Taggart a very loud response like that of a man clearing his throat with a megaphone:  “McLoccchhhhhlin”. For good effect he repeated it quite unnecessarily: “The bowler’s name is McLocccccchhhhhhhlinn”.


It is with some disappointment therefore that I must record that according to the scorebook the bowler’s name is spelled (or spelt?) McCloglin with neither a “c” or an “h” in sight (actually there is an ”h” in sight, but that’s not the point). Umpire McTaggart had assumed Nick McCloglin was a kindred spirit and had slipped into another dialect accordingly.


Anyway, next, Simon Bird, flown in specially for this match (geddit?), proved that you can be an S Bird and not annoy everyone all the time and feasted on a few pies for his 27. It was then RolfeDog’s turn to bat: “Fasten your seatbelts everyone” said another S Bird, “we’re in for a ride”. And so RolfeDog walked to the safety of the wicket where he met Lloydy who was either playing for WW or was confused.


“I’m going to have a ‘go’ “, said Sniff before he accelerated his innings, “as I want to get Carlton in” and when Sniff was caught by Lloydy (who was fairly certain by this time, that he was playing for WW) in walked someone looking rather like Duncan Dow, so RolfeDog decided to book a visit to SpecSavers.


Duncan’s innings of 18no contained as many defensive shots as Jovan’s had the previous week and with the score on 225-6 and RolfeDog on 29no at the other end, Captain Sniff declared the innings closed, a concept largely lost on cricketers nowadays…. 


…As it is late and I started this report four days ago, here is a brief synopsis of the WW innings:


Duncan appealed a lot from first slip; it is suspected he might be quite competitive. Chesh was a mirage of blue behind the stumps. Taj, who had been driven half a mile to the ground at 200mph by his brother, bowled very accurately from the top end without luck for his 7 overs 0-21 which only goes to show, and he later cycled home.


Andrew Biffa played circumspectly until he played on to Sufi for 13. What a waste. If we play WW too often I will have to start recycling jokes about his dismissal… or skip writing about his batting altogether.


This brought in Simon Boring Lloyd to join Ryan Parrett who batted promisingly in Parrett-fashion but whose stay was curtailed when 5 year-old James Dow bowled him for 34.


At 162-2 WW were odds on winners with David Jones, once of our parish, on 27. This being a timed match The Ridge needed another eight wickets to win. ‘Throw the ball up … take a risk … keep the leggie on … make the batting side think they can win’. 

Yes indeedy! James won an LBW decision against David Jones (27) and after a while Chris Rowley hit one in the air off his dad (James’ dad that is, not Chris’) to Schniff.


Sniphh made a sound like a drowning man, opened his mouth wide and swallowed the catch, if not the ball. Duncan was now in the act. James, bowling from the top end, struck back with the wicket of Farooq but Duncan made it 3-2 when one of his appeals was finally answered (Lord help us) and Ramzan made the long walk back.


Was this going to be a win, a lose or an exciting draw? It all depended on Boring Lloyd who for the third time this season passed 50. James became the first bowler to get him out this year with one that turned, or didn’t turn. Anyway, LLoydy missed it and was bowled and went off to open the first of a few bottles of wine that night.


The Mighty Schnifff caught a diving catch from Michael Hoyle off James with no time to make drowning man noises. West Wycombe crumbled with a few ducks until all that was left between The Ridge and victory was the wicket of No11 Nick McLoglin.  180-3 had become 190-9. Nick was facing a double act of James the Leggie and Umpire McTaggart and became the first No11 to be dismissed to a front foot LBW decision since Pete Hollingsworth of Beaconsfield was similarly adjudged when playing against High Wycombe on a Sunday in 1975, off a hat-trick ball from the late, great Alan Huntley*.


One suspects that Taggart had looked at the scorebook at tea, decided that as McCloglin was not a McLochlin, but a McCloglin, he had to go, guilty as charged of being some kind of imposter.


James had seven wickets and later, almost an entire jug of beer. He had never taken seven wickets before, or nearly drunk a jug of beer for that matter. He celebrated wildly while his dad quietly complained and reflected – despite his own miserly 5-1-15-2 - on how briefly you stay at the top before the next generation comes along.


Leggies need to bowl and bowl when they have good rhythm, moreover we had had to bowl a team out to win a cricket match. James’ 9 overs (9-1^-39-7) could never have happened in a win/lose match where bowling is rationed. Sniff, the master-captain of Sunday cricket is back. Glory be!


Boris Johnson is currently aboard a frigate off the coast of Guernsey and therefore unavailable for comment


*Alan Huntley was a fine allrounder and occasionally bowled in tandem with Jim Palmer. Older readers will understand that this could really take the biscuit 

^ There was no mass celebration when a leggie bowled a maiden on Sunday, in the way there had been the day before when a similar event took place at Princes Risborough


BRCC v West Wycombe CC – Away


Sunday 25th April 2021




Charley Farley and Hinge-the-Ginge Set Up Ridge Victory


Sniff’s Electric Fielding Takes the Sting out of West Wycombe


Jov Almost Arrives Naked, Sniff is Sartorial and Lloydy Wears a Silly Hat




BRCC:     211-2 (40 overs)

WWCC:  151-6 (40 overs)


Result: Won by 60 runs


It’s 12.40 and I am just about to set off for the match when the phone rings. It’s Allan.


“I’m lost” says Allan.

“Aren’t we all?” I reply.

“I’ve no idea where I am” says Allan.

“Welcome to my world” say I.


Allan explained that he was sitting in his car outside a cricket ground but that it was all locked up.


He had made a schoolboy error.


Yes, Allan had arrived early for a Bledlow Ridge away match. No less that 50 minutes early. Had it been Dakes he would have had a nosebleed. Somewhere, Jovan was probably checking into a sandwich bar before driving in the wrong direction (see Stokey 2s report last year). But Allan was early. Surely he had been a RidgeBear long enough to know better?


By the time I arrived, the WW skipper was mowing the wicket, putting out the boundary ropes and setting out the flags just like Dakes on any ordinary matchday.


Captain Hollywell was contemplating whether to bat or bowl and soon realised it could only be one or the other – there was no third option. This in turn depended on him winning the toss, another 50-50 chance.


Win it he did and sent out 7 year-old Charlie Farley with 6 year-old Ginger Whinger to face the might of West Wycombe.  And what a decision!  90 runs for the first wicket, quick singles everywhere and boundaries in abundance. Even Bethan (“Bedlam”) Hickey came to watch a cricket match and beamed from ear to ear.


Hinge the Ginge made an early claim for the Champagne Moment. He asked Umpire Gilet (thanks Gilet) how many balls there were left in an over to which the answer was “five”.  I mean how many did it feel like, for him to ask that question?! Anyway, he made 44 whole, excellent runs before being caught.


Those genteel West Wycombe players are not quite what they seem: they gave the incoming batsman Lloydy (who had arrived at the ground wearing a hat of almost indescribable eccentricity) some polite verbals along the lines of “let’s see whether this jolly nice big chap fancies any quick singles”, then when RolfeDog (umpiring at square leg) expressed relief that the music wafting over from the WW estate was classical (almost Wagnerian) and not heavy metal, WW’s aptly named Alex Wagner revealed a headband with “Guns ‘n Roses” printed across it. Moreover, with a name like that, he must run Rings round batsmen (geddit? all you classical music non-Philistines).


Not today though, although Charley soon hit the ball to a fielder and, mistaking Lloydy for Hinge the Ginge, (an easy mistake to make), called for a quick, panic-stricken single. They survived.


Gilet, from his viewpoint as umpire, was able to watch Charley stroke his way to a stylish 50 and on to 71 before finally Charley was finally caught behind, which brought in Jovan.


It is always a thing of wonder when Jov arrives at a ground much before teatime. He went one further on this occasion and arrived with a severe shortage of kit. RolfeDog provided him with a smart new Ridge cricket sweater at which point Jov realised he needed to buy a shirt as well and that he didn’t have any batting gloves.


Jovan made it to the crease fully kitted out and proceeded to not play himself in with a series of aggressive strokes which lifted Lloydy out of his stupor at the other end and past his 50 while Jov thrashed all-comers and ended 27 not out, the team on 211-2 after 40 overs and not a defensive stroke from Jov in sight.


We had tea after an innings during which two old visitors, Birdy and Fats had hobbled around the ground discussing their alacrity of the day before. Arthur Daly Rolfe had done a job on almost all of the Ridge team, who took the field resplendently dressed in new club cable-knit sweaters (with blue V’s and club badge) and new upmarket club caps (with club logo). Well, except for Jovan who, having only just received his own new club sweater went out to keep wicket dressed like Woody from Toy Story. It turned out he was wearing a top from Valley End CC.    FFS!


Sniff by contrast was sartorial. Sartorial Sniff. Until recently he has worn shirts and sweaters that probably originated in the sixties. No longer Sixties Sniff, from now, Sartorial Sniff.


And he fielded like Super Sniff, at least until he had to hop over the fence to retrieve a ball and with a little squeal (Squealing Sniff), revealed that the line of wire was electrified. Great Balls of Fire. How we laughed.  To rub it in (almost literally), he did this in front of our three spectators: a LoveBite and two LoveBirds (well one is a Winter actually).


By this time, Carlton and Hollymead had bowled so well that after 20 overs at about 33-0, the game was as good as over. OK, so Ryan is capable of scoring at eight or nine an over as is David Jones, but David wasn’t playing and it’s a big ask anyway. So, now the serious bit in this report: Sunday matches in glorious surroundings against friendly opposition should – In My Humble Opinion – be timed games. “Oh, but you get boring draws” some people say. “Not if both captains know how to play it” is the reply. In timed games, the fielding captain in the second innings makes bowling and fielding changes to keep the game alive, encouraging the opposition batsmen to think they can win the game when all the time the skipper knows this is impossible and instead he wins the game by two runs with one ball to spare. OK! or he loses it on the last ball by one wicket. Either way it’s good cricket.


Under win/lose rules, Brightmead did it perfectly: put WW out of the game, helped by Taggart’s miserly (no surprise there) spell as first change. The only disappointment of his spell was that Umpire Gilet did not have the opportunity to deny Taggart a plumb LBW.


Allan had no truck with Andrew Biffa (7), (geddit?), caught by Jov who was wearing a VECC sweater (or did I already mention that?). Ben Woolams (12) was bowled by Taggart which is about as bad as it can get for a batsman. Charley took two wickets with his offbreaks and then induced a skier from Ryan Parrett (46) whereupon Allan, resting at near-long-stop, set off and took another worldie at full length. This induced from Taggart the congratulatory response: “Another ground with the Loxton arseprint”. Eat your heart out Neville Cardus.


A ball went into the field, pursued by Chesh and we watched nervously after Sniff’s electrifying experience. Chesh arrived at the fence, opened a gate that wasn’t there last year and walked right through. On returning he simply closed the gate and, just like Platform 9¾, the gate disappeared again. Pure class from Chesh.


Hinge the Ginge Hickey (ask me sometime) bowled four overs, then it was time for some Comedy Gold. HollyBright brought on Chesh – who else? He approaches the wicket in the way a Sidewinder Snake idles up to a rodent before unleashing its venom. I’m getting carried away now because the ball travels from Chesh to the other end without venom but in a gentle, innocent arc. Gavin Evans (14) lost the will to live while waiting for one to arrive and Chesh celebrated his wicket like someone who has discovered oil in his back garden, or, as Hollywood put it, someone who has never taken a wicket before. Well, I have to confess he once induced an LBW decision against MyGoodSelf with a plea to the umpire which would have broken the heart of the most resolute of men and which reflected his former employment with John Lewis: ‘never knowingly undersold’.


It remained for Razman and Alex Head to see time out with a few thrashes at Chesh (not literally) and a few play-and-misses at Carlton. West Wycombe made it to 151-6 and The Ridge won by 60 runs. Sniff and RolfeDog had the distinction of neither batting nor bowling, but only one of these had put his balls on the line for the team, so to speak, so RolfeDog went into the scorebook as “No 11 – Did Not Bat”.  

One or two of us repaired to The Swan where Christine took names and phone numbers (for Covid purposes only I assume) and with a withering stare asked me if I was “the John Rolfe who looks after Vikki’s garden?”


Well, what a question to ask! And in front of all those people. Was this the time to finally admit that yes, it had been me, all these years? Either way I was incriminated. In the end I thought of Boris Johnson and denied it. I also denied wallpapering her living room too, for good measure.


A drink, then back home, and a deep sleep. Was it a dream or did Jov really call to say he was lost, sitting in his car outside some locked-up cricket ground called Valley End CC?


Dominic Raab has been taken away for questioning.





BRCC 1st XI v Stokenchurch 1st XI


Saturday 17th April 2021 (Friendly)


Ridge Lose Despite Dakes’ Shock First Straight Ball


RAJ narrowly misses Man of the Match Award


Hugo and Charlie in Run Out Spectacular




BRCC: 186-9 (45 overs)

Stokenchurch CC: 190-7 (28 overs)


Result: Lost by 3 wickets (for photo gallery, click here)


“We’ve got to bring on the youngsters next season, even if it means opening with them” said Birdy in September, October, November, December (short break over Christmas), January, February and March.


On 17th April, 98 year-old RolfeDog walked out to bat at home v Stokenchurch 1s with 49 year-old Mike Winson, at about the time 50-year-old Birdy walked out to bat at Stokey with 3 year-old James Dow. Clearly there had been a last-minute change of emphasis in favour of a mentoring policy and so it was that RolfeDog was there to nurture Mike through difficult moments in the same way that Birdy was going to do for James.


Dave North was Master of Ceremonies (as umpire) for the day. Dave has made a spectacular recovery from recent illness and is clearly not going to waste a moment of the summer. He extravagantly signalled a wide first ball of the match from Joe Sears, a privilege usually afforded to Dakes on his first delivery of the season. Well his first four actually.


Mike hit three flashing back foot boundaries through square cover off the same type of delivery outside the off stump that RolfeDog was leaving, not wanting to use them all up and deprive the younger player. At Stokenchurch, James was generously giving Birdy the strike while the rest of his team was giving him the bird (geddit?) and Birdy was dragging everything to the midwicket boundary.


At home, we had bought two expensive gazebos but decided not to use them, sending Stokey off to make camp under the trees or what’s left of them. RAJ settled down to a quiet afternoon: “Isn’t it nice without Birdy?” he said, and we all agreed that it was. The ground looked magnificent and the boundary had been extended in the top corner so that when the time comes for Dakes to captain from fine leg in the middle of a long spell he will both have further to go and be less easy to hear – a win-win for the rest of us.


That the square was in such good condition was very much down to Birdy and his roller but especially to our groundsman. The latter is sometimes known as Robin Baker but his real name is Slices. With names like Slices and Baker you’d think this has something to do with bread but mysteriously, Baker is a butcher by trade. (Much the same was being said of Birdy as he butchered another short ball through midwicket at Stokey.)


So Baker is a Butcher and “Slices” has something to do with bacon. RolfeDog tinkered outside the off stump and sliced one to third man for four.


It was all going very well until Mike was well caught for 21 at 36-0, RolfeDog departed for 11 without further score and in came SamDog at 4. After two years out and with memories of a big one in his last innings in 2018 and now a ‘leave’ first ball, he was adjudged to have been caught off the second down the leg side, which is the first time this has ever happened to a player who has just spent two years in Barcelona: 36-3. He demanded a Spanish Inquisition which is something that nobody expects (geddit?).


The North family is indigenous to Stokenchurch and the scorebook does not make it clear exactly how many there were at our ground on the day. It looks like we got away with no more than three. One of them sent Alex southwards for 6 so that Hugo was joined by debutant Charlie Farley and the whole thing soon went west.


It was the day’s first comedy moment as Hugo overestimated the length of Charlie’s legs and was then subjected to a good bit of friendly stick from the oppo for the next half hour every time he called for a run and sometimes when he didn’t. Hollywood became the only player to hit a six to the long boundary, then tried to do the same off Lewis Springett’s loosener and gently obliged to mid-on for 10. Springett turned out to be Dave North’s grandson so is a North by proxy and had done well to place mid-on at Magnetic North.


59-6 wasn’t buttering any parsnips and 77-7 wasn’t a great deal better when Dakes departed stumped for 15. Thus it was that Hugo the Farrier was joined by Former Eton Student and Future Male Model Robert Something Somethingelse Armstrong-Jones who took the score to 116 without so much as a quarrel or a rude WhatsApp photo.


We needed a lift after the bad news that Birdy had made 100. Worse still, Birdy had kept going and had to be forcibly removed from the pitch so that Slimline Lloyd could take his place.


Back on dry land, Hugo tried unsuccessfully to clear the newly cut ash tree on the long boundary but fell (tree feller?) for his best Ridge score of 34.


In amongst this all we lined up to stand for a minute in memory of Prince Philip. Umpire Dave gave a patriotic speech in which among other things he “wished him well”. RolfeDog mumbled “it’s a bit late for that” so that Gilet standing next to him, spent the first part of the minute suppressing a giggle. We imagined the Prince not minding, and then Umpire Dave bookended the silence with a patriotic thank-you speech.


Shortbread and RAJ at the crease is a comedy moment waiting to happen and after Shortbread had played his first ball, RAJ advanced menacingly towards him. “I don’t need any advice I’ve only faced one ball” riposted Shorty and RAJ returned to his end suitably chastened.


They did a rather good job. RAJ was feeling so confident that after running a single followed by four buzzers he prepared to face the next delivery. Umpire Dave was having none of it. Shorty should have been facing the next ball and so RAJ returned to his end (probably, ‘suitably chastened’). 

As he progressed to 44 not out Raj was making an early claim for MoM. Umpire Dave sensed this however and took the opportunity to give Shortly out LBW. But he had met his match – Shortwire pronounced himself not out as he had hit the ball, Dave deferred and SamDog started padding up again (just kidding).


Shortcake eventually gave himself out stumped and RAJ was joined by Sufi and only part of his kit because Hamsah had the rest of it in the boot of his car in Reading. Well on the way back from Reading, because Hamsah appeared and handed him a batting helmet and the innings ended on 186-9 which was a good recovery from not many for a lot.


We were playing a 40 over game. In Stokey the 2s were playing 45 overs and had reached 288-7, with Junaid and Lloydy helping themselves to 50s while Birdy convalesced under a warm blanket.


Stokey set off at a pace against RAJ and Sufi until Sufi jagged one to take Hunt’s middle stump, a dismissal beautifully captured on a microchip by Shorty who had transformed from Umpire to Photographer.


You may wonder how this could happen. Well we were playing 12 players into 11 fielders so Statto Gilet had scored not batted and now we were rotating a fielder off. Shorty was scoring with one hand, taking photos with the other, while sweeping up loose grass with an implement attached to his posterior and singing God Save the Queen.


Stokey were scoring at pace until Gilet came on to bowl to restore some sanity and a lot of statistics. There were two more comedy gold moments when the 2018 vice-captain and captain shelled simple catching chances. Umpire Dave was coming into his own and he gave that nice man Gilet two LBW and there was nothing more RAJ could do to prevent Dave’s growing claim for MoM.


Captain DakesEye stunned everyone including the batsman with a good first ball of the season (see comments above about the expected wides) and started with a wicket maiden and maiden before declaring himself tired and conceding a few boundaries.


RolfeDog at square leg, suggested going back into the slips for Gilet: “Yes” said Dakes. RolfeDog waited for confirmation from Umpire Dave: “Yes” said Umpire Dave who was now assuming the captaincy role,and RolfeDog moved to the slips. Somewhere in all this Alex took a stumping off Gilet which was faster than the human eye and Shorty’s best shutter speed.


Gilet finished his spell in a barrage of statistics including 4 overs 3-14 plus a dropped catch and was replaced by Charlie Farley’s off-breaks at the bottom end. Luckily the clubs’ neighbour Steve, had cut the grass in the adjacent field so DakesEye could bring Shorty on to bowl at the top. Chris North helped himself to a few pies including a rather high one which seemed to follow him and which Umpire Dave pronounced “dangerous”. Shorty was flattered by this but RAJ, watching MoM slip away, put his head in his head in his hands.  


Eventually Northy (2 or 3?) hit one off Charlie in the air straight to Hugo. For a moment Hugo considered the potential effect that shelling this chance would have on his relationship with Charlie and snaffled it, to everyone’s relief. At Stokey, Captain Sniff briefly posted himself on the boundary (as the team’s most agile outfielder) and captained from there. At The Ridge, Dakes rotated himself off and was on the other side of the boundary rope, scorebook in hand. Sniff had not thought of that. Interestingly this did not stop Dakes from changing the field as he saw fit, giving the lie to those that think you can only captain from the infield, or the inner field. Look out for Dakes skippering while having horse riding lessons from Stud Farm.


As for the cricket, Charlie bowled someone, but we went from a winning position with Stokey on 142-7 to defeat (190-7) only five overs later as some of our bowlers continued to brush off the rust.


There remained one more opportunity for Umpire Dave to grab the MoM award. In a late attempt to disrupt proceedings and save The Ridgebears from defeat, Joe Holmes on the boundary started a game which involved whacking a plastic ball 40 yards towards the sightscreens at the lower end so that two dogs – with considerable catching and fielding abilities - chased after and retrieved it.  Naturally the players brought this to Dave’s attention and he intervened in the appropriate manner and also mentioned that had these two dogs been fielding earlier Bledlow Ridge might have won the match.


At Stokey the 2s won comfortably and with Taggart among the wickets and even Chesh getting a bowl, our youth policy was well and truly under way.




 Matt “Mad” Hancock was unavailable for comment