V Lapworth CC (10/09/17)

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Walsall Health CC 218-3 (38 overs) v.s. Lapworth CC 24-0 (6 overs) MATCH ABANDONED

On  a day that records could have been set and landmarks achieved with both willow and leather in an already record breaking season, it was down to two things: the toss of the coin and skies above.
Fortunately skipper Rob Hewlitt won the toss and Chuck opened up with Al. Chuck was 55 runs short of reaching 1,000 runs in a season, a feat that has never been seen before in 30 years of the Elf.

Al and Chuck were going along nicely but both men gave chances early with the Lapworth fielders looking like they couldn’t have caught a bus, let alone a cricket ball in the opening exchanges.
The wind chill factor was certainly affecting the players and spectators but the opening partnership went nicely past fifty and Nath Martin (who had ‘done a lap’ with Chorley and Dan ‘two plates’ Armstrong) called Tom Davies from the other side of the field who was scoring to ask what Chuck was on, 27 was the reply and the Elf lads watched on nervously for a few more overs.

At drinks break the Elf were 80odd for no wicket, Chuck chugging along nicely on 39 and Al surpassing him slowly to hit another well made fifty just as the Elf went past 100.
Chuck seemed to take an age to get into the forties but when he did, there were muted celebrations when Chuck hit a single to reach fifty, the whole squad knowing he was five away from greatness.
With the very next ball he faced he slapped a four through the covers and it took him two more deliveries to get that elusive single where Chuck ran through, arms aloft screaming ‘yes’. Quite village really, think Kevin Pietersen vs. Australia in that 5th Oval test in 2005.

What an achievement by Chuck, surely going down in Elf folklore for an astonishing achievement. At this point, Chorley eventually could sit down as he’d spent the first half of the game pacing around the boundary in anticipation of the record.

Chuck and Al put the Lapworth boys to the sword in the overs that followed, boundaries galore in a 173 run stand putting that partnership 3rd on the Elf all time list. Good biffing lads. Chuck eventually out for 78, 23 runs over what was required in what’s been a top season with the wood in his hands.

Sam Stephens entered the fray with only required 9 to reach 2,000 runs for the club and Sam brought it up in typical Sam fashion –  a boundary. Unfortunately it didn’t last long and he was out for 11 but again what did he care? A landmark was achieved.

Andy Carrick hit a couple of boundaries on his way to 12 not out but the one thing the Elf wanted to see was Alex Nunns reach his ton but it was not to be, eventually bowled for 94 but still another record set, this was Al’s highest score for the Elf.

As the rain set in, the Elf finished on 218-3 after 38 overs and the two skippers decided on a 38 over game after tea.

With the ‘bowling award’ in sight, Rob Hewlitt asked Nath Martin and Tom Davies to open up in a shoot out for the award.
Nath started in great fashion with a maiden and Tom bowled typically crap when he was biffed for two fours in first over just as the rain set in.
In Nath’s third over the batsmen went for a quick single and Andy Carrick produced some excellent fielding at cover and a precise throw to Trig behind the stumps to put the Elf ahead on Duckworth/Lewis.

It was not to be as at the end of Davies’ third over the rain set in again and after 20 minutes or so of heavy rain both skippers shook hands and the game was abandoned.

What a season it’s been for the Elf, a record setting fourteen wins and records set with the bat with Chuck and then Chris Hall and Tom Davies becoming the first bowling pair since 1993 to both reach over 25 wickets for the season. More of the same next year please.

A final shout out to those at the club who might not play but certainly have a massive impact, Both Rach and Gail for organising and preparing EPIC teas when the fixtures are at Rushall. Dai for his continued support throughout the season and Chorley for keeping all stats up to date. Also to Rob for excellent captaincy and even organising as the season goes on and also to everyone else who turns up and makes Sundays such a joy with the loom of work the next day. Let’s make 2018 better and 2017!

Tea review

That Victoria Sponge is certainly something to look forward to after a long 40 overs in the field. Top cake. 6/10

Shower club update

The showers at Aldridge have gone down recently, low pressure and a spray of water. The bright spot being Elf heartthrob Greg Phillpott having three showers just to find the correct pressure after some PPP the night before.
As it was the last game the lads enjoyed a beer in the showers in plastic cups, which was a nice touch to end the season. 6/10

Tales from the travelator

No travelator on the top pitch but Martin & Davies had to deal with bowling into rain and bowling with a ball that resembled a bar of Cussons’ Pearl soap and having to run in through what could have resembled the field in Passchendaele in 1942 to bowl their overs, muddy to say the least. The lads were glad it was over when the skippers called it off.

Well done lads once again, great season and I’m glad these reports are received so greatly by all those who read them. Many thanks and see you in 2018.

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
 Chuck, I  c Williams b Long  78
Nunns, A b Fell 94
Stephens, S b Williams 11
Carrick, A not out 12
Hewlitt, R not out 9
Fell, R dnb
Phillpott, G dnb
Martin, N dnb
Stephens, D dnb
Hall, C dnb
 Davies, T  dnb
 Extras  14
Walsall Health 218
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N  3 1 9 0
Davies, T 3 0 15 0

Bowling

Batting

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V Sportsman CC (03/09/17)

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Walsall Health 106 all out (32.5 overs) lost to Sportsman CC 350-5 (40 overs) by 244 runs

The report should really just say this:

On a day where one team turned up with a batsman who is far superior for this level and biffed bowlers who will never be good enough to get him out all around Aldridge, there was only going to be one winner. Fair play to K Ali from Sportsman for scoring the runs, however he really should be trying his hand against much better bowlers and winning games singlehandedly.

Anyway, moan out the way. The Elf succumbed to their heaviest ever defeat this week at the hands of Sportsman who the Elf have beat on the two other occasions the sides have met this campaign.

On a dreary autumn afternoon the opposition won the toss and elected to bat first, the Elf down to ten men after a seriously late drop out took the field with a depleted side and with only ten fielders.
Nathan Martin and Dave Stephens opened up for the Elf but batsmen Jawakoski and Williams put the openers to the sword and Sportsman were 56-0 after 10 overs by the time Elf made a bowling change. Tom Davies came on and got a wicket in his second over, getting Williams caught at mid off by Chris Hall for 32.
Unfortunately, enter Ali. Ali scored a fast 80 against the Elf last year and looked in good nick, hitting his second ball to the boundary but it was his third ball where the game changed. Davies got a genuine edge but part time keeper Ian Chuck couldn’t gather the catch, only agonisingly chipping the ball over Jonty’s head at first slip and the game was over.

Ali went into Ali mode and smashed the Elf lads all over Aldridge. Davies, Hall & Armstrong all had a go but to no avail.
Sportsman were well over 200 when JP came on and got Jawakoski to nick off to Chuck in the 27th over but by this time the game was surely over.
One bright note was the introduction of the ICON that is Jonty Nicholls. Still bowling that incredible line and length at 63 years of age is a joy to behold. Jonty managed to dislodge Ali when he hit a ball to Hall and long off and was out for 153 in a Sunday game. Well played.

Jonty managed to get another wicket, a sharp caught and bowled to get rid of Hussain and in the final over Chris Hall got Khan for 11 but the damage was almost done with Sportsman scoring at nearly nine an over and setting a whopping 351 for victory.

The Elf started their innings knowing they did not have anywhere near the firepower to chase down such a huge total and were banking on Ian Chuck to get the 75 he needs to get past 1,000 runs for the season.
Dan Armstrong his opening partner was out first for 4 and then it was all over for the Elf lads, Chuck was bowled after a contentious LBW shout the ball before to ‘Nasser’ for 28 runs. Looks like the Elf lads have got to pray for decent weather against Lapworth next week and hope Chuck makes a half century to go where no man has ever gone before. (Not Star Trek)

Hopley and Hewlitt made fifteen between them but Tom Davies triggered the skipper on nine and Hopley walked after nicking behind and the already short Elf batting line up was terribly exposed.
The one bright spot was Nathan Martin batting well and hitting some good shots to top score his way to 29 well made runs on a day of cold and wind, it was looking hot off Martin’s bat.

Hall, Davies and Preece were all out for single figure scores and Jonty added his name to the duck trophy list when it was ‘all over red Rover’ in the 33rd over.

The Elf have their last fixture next week against Lapworth, get your prayer mats out and pray for sun and pray for Chuck to cash in for a big score.

Tea Review

The Victoria sponge always the highlight at Aldridge, real top cake. Chocolate fingers and Galaxy Cake Bars made a welcoming first appearance of the season. 6/10

Shower Club

Aldridge showers have gone downhill since the new mood lighting. Flow is low and spray is also a bit erratic, always warm though which was much needed after the chilliness of the September cloud and wind had pinned the Elf lads back all afternoon. 6/10

Tales from the travelator

No travelator at Aldridge but I reckon some of the lads would rather have taken on the ‘Gladiators’ course rather than bowl at a batsman who is far too good for Sunday friendly cricket. Where is John Anderson when you need him?

Demerit points

  1. Martin – 1 (swearing after bowling a rank long hop).

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
 Chuck, I  b Nasser  28
Armstrong, D b Nasser 4
Hopley, D c Malik b Wiseman 6
Hewlitt, R lbw Sohail 9
Martin,N c Vijay b Wiseman 29
Hall, C b Wiseman 1
Preece, J b Sohail 1
Davies, T b Reid 7
Nicholls, J b Gam 0
Stephens, D not out 7
 Extras  14
Walsall Health 92
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N  5 0 30 0
Stephens, D 8 1 48 0
Davies, T 5 0 43 1
Hall, C 8 0 69 1
Armstrong, D 5 0 52 0
Preece, J 4 0 45 1
Nicholls, J 5 0 45 2

Batting

Bowling

V Rushall (27/08/17) (Tim Oliver Memorial Game)

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Rushall 207-7 off 38.3 overs beat  Walsall Health 206-6 off 40 overs….. by 3wkts

 

Since its inauguration in 2014, the 2017 edition between Rushall and Walsall Health, that is simply known as “Tim’s Game” was arguably the best and most entertaining match so far between the two sides, with some really good, hard fought cricket played throughout the day. For all our more recent players, both Rushall and The Elf, played a big part in Tim’s sporting weekends for many years. A quiet, unassuming, private man, was undoubtedly the backbone of both sides. Not so quiet, once he walked onto the field, especially if he got a bad decision, or got hit for a couple of fours. Then, that fierce competitive streak took charge, seldom did Tim lose a battle…he relished them. 20 over spells, unchanged on a Saturday, warming him up nicely to Captain The Elf on a Sunday. He is still missed by all his team-mates, family and friends who took part in a great game of cricket on Sunday.

The game began, with The Elf batting first on a scorching afternoon. With only 8 batsmen to start the game, we needed some strong partnerships. Like so many times before, our innings was built around Ian Chuck, who hit another 83 priceless runs to take him past the 900 milestone. Outstanding. Early on, the Rushall opening bowlers made life difficult, but unsung hero, Dan Armstrong helped Chuck see off the new ball with a gritty 12, which meant others could cash in, later on. After Andy Carrick got a peach, from Matt Jones, everyone rose to their feet to applaud the return of Dave Stephens. Dave wasted no time in getting back into the groove, smashing 3 fours from the first over he faced.

After Dave departed for a handy 21, we were getting close to the 100 run mark. Enter Dan Hopley, who joined Chuck and played a calm and controlled innings of 26 before being bowled by Foster. Captain Rob Hewlitt knowing we needed 200 runs to bowl at, joined Chuck. But losing our South African Pro for 83 was a setback with the score on 160. However, the Captain has been returning to form in recent weeks, and played a positive 42 not out, backed up by Jonty and CHall, to take us to a good total of 206-6. A big mention here, for Elf and Rushall legend Gary Reeves. Knee surgery, over a year out of the game, but guess what… just one bye conceded, and a sharp catch, showing the fast hands and expert glovework that remain the trademark of Doc’s game…..superb.

After tea was devoured by everyone, (more on that later) Rushall set about the chase. Clayton and Calla, started solidly, punishing any bad balls, a couple of big sixes off Chuck, set the tone. The Elf needed wickets fast. Dave Stephens and Chris Hall took on the Anderson and Broad role for the day. If there are any doubts, let me just confirm….DS IS BACK!! Bowling in tandem with Hall, Rushall, from a position of serenity at 40-0, were suddenly 58-4. DS picking up 2, using subtle changes of pace, while Hall bowled King Junior, and Clayton, spearing one in from wide of the crease to take out leg stump, a moment particularly enjoyed by umpire Andy Oliver….Game on.

Del King is a class player, and arguably the prize wicket. When in the 20’s, Del smashed one high to Chris Hall at long on, but not quite set right to take the crucial grab, the ball didn’t stick. A big moment, it really isn’t advisable to give Del a second chance. Quite rightly, he set about punishing the error, sharing a good partnership with Matt Jones. John Nicholls taking the brunt of some belligerent batting. Hall came back on, eager to make up for his error, and got Jones for 28. However, Rushall had more batting in the hutch, after Warren Foster departed with a Jaffa from Dan Armstrong, that thorn in many a side, G.Reeves came in to hit 21 effortless runs off not many balls, to all but win the game for Rushall. Known to his team mates as The Doc, Reevesy examined the Elf patient, and declared them to be on life support.

It was left to match winner Del King (75 not out) and Jake Edwards to hit the winning runs for Rushall, with 9 balls to spare, to edge a tight game, but deserving winners. It was lovely to see a lot of Tims old team mates out there today, G.Reeves, The Clayton’s, Calla, Nicholls, Fell, Gorton, Hall, Stephens, Hartshorne, King and many more. With Andy Oliver stepping up to officiate proceedings. Some good values were on show from both sides, Rushall helping us out with fielders, Calla getting called back after being wrongly given out lbw, Gort umpiring, despite a broken arm. Hewlitt junior netting for 2 hours in case the youngster was needed to bat. Both sides playing hard but fair, and  playing to win. The perfect tribute to Tim.

Tea update…..

Astonishing. Truly astonishing banquet from Gail. The lads all agreed to christen this tea “Mourinho” because it really was “The Special One.” Carb to cake ratio, spot on. Pork pie (with jelly) Wow!  Hewlitt, Hall, and Carrick almost coming to blows over who ate the last cheese and piccalilli sandwich. Dan 2 plates Armstrong, became 22 plates, declaring this was the best tea of the month, the year, the decade, the century, the millennium, even since the Ice Age. Olives aplenty, so a message for Tom Davies, who was in Barcelonaaaaaaa….such a beautiful horizon was right here on the tables of Rushall’s clubhouse mate. You missed out big time. Swiss Roll of the lemon flavoured variety had the Do Not Disturb signs up around C.Hall as he savoured 5 sumptuous slices. The only criticism came from food critique, John Nicholls, claiming the cherry tomatoes were too round, and kept rolling off his plate. So harsh. Gail fired back with the quote of the day… “You will all get the plum shaped variety next time.”  Rating…A Masterpiece 10/10

Tales from The Travelator…..

Its official, CHall has conquered the unconquerable. Steaming in for 8 overs, fueled by the samosa/swiss role combo, picking up 3-for, to join Sherpa Tenzing and Sir Edmund Hillary as one of the most formidable mountaineering specialists of all time. History is made.

Dave Stephens update……

DS IS BACK!!

Barbecue update…..

The final devastating performance of the day. The Man. The Myth. The Legend. Rich Fell, after keeping for 40 overs, was straight on the money to provide recovery food for the cricketing masses. Still in his whites at 10pm, sacrificing the delights of Shower Club, to selflessly create that pleasing aroma of onions, burgers, and sausages for everyone to enjoy. Dan Armstrong cleaning up the final Fell-Burger at 00:35 am BST, to sum up a great day, with the two clubs joining forces to pay tribute to our friend and team mate…..Tim Oliver.

Written by Chris Hall

Batting Runs
Armstrong, D  lbw b Jones  12
Chuck, I c Reeves b D.King 83
Carrick, A b Jones 0
Stephens, D c Foster b Callaghan 21
Hopley, D b Foster 27
Hewlitt, R not out  42
Hall, C c Sawari b Foster  8
Nicholls, J not out  5
Hewlitt, Jnr dnb
 Extras  8
Walsall Health  206
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  8 0 36 1
Chuck, I 6 1 30 1
 Hall, C 8 1 31 3
Stephens, D 8 3 25 2
Nicholls, J 5 0 42 0
Carrick, A 3.3 0 21 0

v Highwood Park 20/08/17

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Walsall Health 155-5 off 40 overs v Highwood Park 58-1 off 15 overs.

Game abandoned due to rain.

Before we start the analysis, a big thankyou to Mike Sayers and Neil Van Limbeek for stepping in this week, to help us field a full side. It was really good to see these two back on the field after a spell on the sidelines.

The final game of 2017 between Highwood and The Elf, was a game dominated by an excellent fielding and bowling performance from a well disciplined Highwood side. Eager to get the game started because of a poor forecast later in the day, Captain, Ian Chuck won the toss, and elected to bat. Opening bowler, Nai Duncan was more than happy to accept Chuck’s decison, bowling a brilliant opening spell. Its fair to say, that for the first time this season, The Master Accumulator looked in trouble, against the Highwood openers, repeatedly playing and missing against an opening attack sponsored by McVities.

After Chuck perished with a Jaffa from Turner, the score was a very pedestrian 33-1 off 15 overs. Higwood had taken charge of the game. Turner continued with the tight line tactics, with Stamps assisting with the asphyxiation process from the other end. Neither first change bowlers were in the mood to give out donations, as the run rate continued to plod along at 2.5 an over. At times, our batting resembled a side who were holding out for a draw, so with the score on 81-3 off 30 overs, a well overdue burst of positive intent began to help us post a respectable target. After Gort departed for 28, Mike Sayers at least set the tone, with a classic Sayers biff, that didn’t quite clear the fielder at long on, unlucky.

It was at this point that Captain Chuck made easily one of the most bizzare requests of the season whilst doing a spot of umpiring….requesting the shipping forecast!! So for all our Radio 4 Long wave listeners this match report will continue shortly.

Here is the general synopsis issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguards Agency at 19:45 BST…Dogger, Westerly, becoming cyclonic, rain at times…good. Lundy, Fastnet…West/North West becoming variable later….fair…good. Elf…run rate…Southerly falling slowly…moderate or poor…. becoming bad.

Lets get back to the game. The man in form Alex Nunns was the first member of our top order prepared to take a few chances, and played a nice knock of 59 not out, his 5th 50 for the club, plenty of aerial shots, well supported by Dan Armstrong, Greg and Nathan Martin who all embraced the late cameo role. It was Alex who held the innings together, to help us get to 155-5. A good effort after such a slow start, but still 30 to 40 below par. Still, with a very slow outfield, we hoped we could defend that score.

With the rain moving in, we decided to take tea at the end of the game, to try and get a result. The Highwood openers started briskly, with opener Sam Pitt attacking from ball one. Chancing his arm a few times payed dividends, and put The Elf on the back foot. Chris Hall, got an early breakthrough, getting Perks for a blob, thanks to a fine poach from Chuck, while Academy Graduate, Dan Armstrong was unlucky not to pick up a scalp.  With the rain getting heavier, Hall slipped a couple of times when landing his front foot on the crease, and started to lose his rhythm. So enter The Legend. The Icon. The Messiah. The Boss. The Man…..John Nicholls to unleash the dot machine. The eagerly anticipated spell only lasted 6 balls, before conditions became unplayable. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jonty’s spell was cut short, all i can say is, God must have been jealous of the heir to his throne.

We all trudged off the pitch, with Highwood well in control of the game, Sam Pitt already on 53 not out and the score on 58-1 off 15 overs. Which was well in front of the required run rate. We still had yet to unleash Jonty, Nathan Martin and Dan Hopley, but at the time we stopped, the Highwood boys had been by far the better side from the first ball of the match, batting more positively, and would feel unlucky to be stopped in their tracks by the weather, with the game at their mercy. A shame to end the series this way. Well played to Highwood, and good luck for the rest of the season.

Tea update….No doubting about the quality of the produce. But a bit top heavy in terms of cake to sandwich ratio. If the lads ate here every week we would all need an injection of insulin to stay alive. Greg Philpott was salivating over the mini cheddars selection, and took part in a fierce contest with Chris Hall to see who could eat the most packets in 5 mins, CHall just inching over the line 7-6 on a tie break. While we are still trying to figure out if the Victorious Sponge is home made or not. Rachel Gorton spent 10 mins looking at her Mary Berry app, trying to convince the lads that it was the real deal, due to the light shade of the sponge. After demolishing 7 slices, Dan Armstrong declared he still could not make up his mind. The debate rages on…..Rating 7/10

Neil Van Limbeek update….There were concerned faces aplenty, when NVL kindly took on scoring duties for the day.  Would he break a finger? Strain an eyelash, or even suffer a seizure through lead poisoning.  We had nothing to fear, The Iron Tulip completed the task without breaking sweat, and even had the audacity to produce a Cruyff Turn to stop a ball drilled at him by Sam Pitt early in the innings.

Keeping the ball off the ground for the bowlers update…..Village. Village, and more Village. Another abysmal display, considering the turf was wet. Alex Nunns chief culprit this week, but being lenient with him, because he bought Hall the sawdust. At least 4 times the ball came back to me feeling more slippery than Phelan off Coronation Street. The early finish saved our attack from Gort starting his practice session for his Wednesday evenings bowls match. This usually starts by the 25th over. If we started fining people for this, we could afford to rent out Buckingham Palace for the P.U.  Rating 1/10

Tales from the Travelator….Chris Hall’s hiking boots were left redundant today. But with the rain making the pitch slippy, it was more like an edition of Ski Sunday than Sunday friendly. Being called a Prima Donna for asking for sawdust. Very harsh. Alex Nunns stepped in again, carrying a tonne of the stuff single handedly to help out the stricken bowler. A bit of sawdust wouldn’t have gone amiss on Friday. After listening to Nathan Martin’s Tales from the Test, The Friar Park Express admitted to being sick on the train, sick in the street, and sick in his bed, in some truly appalling scenes, worse than any of the antics ever seen on the Ibiza Weekender. The last time i heard of such heaving was when Nath Reeves hit 64 at Didcot.

Shipping Forecast update….ask Chuck.

Onto Rushall next week, for the Tim Oliver Memorial Game, and our 500th game. See you all there.

Written by Chris Hall

Batting Runs
Gorton, A  c Duncan b Stamps  28
Chuck, I c ? b Baz 15
 Nunns, A not out 59
Sayers, M c Holliday b Turner 0
Armstrong, D run out 17
Phillpott, G c ? b Naulmon  11
Martin, N run out 13
Hopley, D dnb
Hall, C dnb
Nicholls, J dnb
Van Limbeek, N dnb
 Extras  12
Walsall Health  143
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  7 0 39 0
Hall, C 7 0 19 1
Nicholls, J 1 0 6 0

 

Batting

V Highwood Park (13/08/17)

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Walsall Health CC 223-4 (40 overs) defeated Highwood Park 111 all out (29.1 overs) by 112 runs

One of the most convincing victories was completed on Sunday afternoon by probably one of the strongest Elf sides in recent memory. It took the Elf to a 13th win of the season and the first for Kolpak player Ian Chuck skippering in the absence of Rob Hewlitt.

The Elf were asked to bat first and Chuck himself strode out to the middle along with Rushall 2nds Captain Andy Callaghan on debut for the Elf.
Chuck and ‘Calla’ put on a very impressive opening stand seeing off both ‘Barratt’ and Duncan from the home side until Chuck lobbed one up to mid off and he was gone for 25. In doing so, the man from Natal went past 800 runs for the season, WOW.

Calla was joined Alex Nunns sporting a new sticker on his bat (see pic…proper #village) and the left handers put the hosts to the sword in an impressive partnership of over 60 but Al fell on Nelson despite Chuckie telling everyone to put one leg in the air on the sideline, Nunns’ leg stump was sent flying and he trudged off after making 41 in good time.

On Elf debut for the season, left handed maestro Andy Ince or the ‘Walsall Lara’ as he is affectionately known took guard and made batting looking all too easy on a deck that was just not.
Shortly after notching a 50 on debut, Calla was out caught and bowled to the impressive leg spinner Highwood had on offer.
Sam Stephens was in at five and he played second fiddle to Ince who was smashing the ball to all parts, Stephens quite happy to rotate the strike and allow Ince to pick up runs including a pull off one leg, reminiscent of the great BC Lara to get him past 50. Ince got a bit of a sledge at this point but the score was  198-3 at this point so, more fool them.

Stephens departed just before the culmination of the innings and Gary Fitzpatrick got a red inker along with the man who holds the second best ever score for the Elf, Andy Ince finished on 63* and the Elf set an intimidating 224 for victory.

Dan Armstrong (sporting a huge lump on his right leg after he ‘tried his luck’ with Sam Stephens before match) picked up ‘Yogi’ without scoring in the first over.

Stephens from the other end bowled at decent pace but could not pick up wicket but kept things relatively tight until Armstrong got the other opener caught at gully by Alex Nunns before the score had reached 10.
Sam then trapped Holiday in front of all three and the Elf were thinking ‘when’ not ‘if’ the victory would come their way.
A good partnership by Barratt and Lewis saw Highwood Park put an element of respectability to their team total, some good shots on offer from the Highwood batsmen before Lewis nicked off to Armstrong and Andy Ince took a sharp catch at slip.
Armstrong in his final over also got the impressive Barratt caught and bowled but could not get his fifth wicket with his final two deliveries.

Nathan Martin was on at first change, having been away for four weeks the left arm paceman looked as though he’d never been away when he dispatched Ralph for a single.
Martin also had Stamps caught at short mid wicket by Captain Chuck for a well made 20 and the Elf were on their way to a 13th win.
Davies managed to pick up Bennett with one of the only good deliveries he bowled to pick up his 24th wicket of the season, surpassing last season’s total of 23.
The final wicket partnership between Norton and Duncan lasted a lot longer than the Elf expected, Davies nor Martin could break them down so it was left to Elf legend Chris Hall who despite being on the receiving end of some inevitable sledging from the boundary came on and did what he does best, take wickets. His first delivery nipped back at took Norton’s off peg to the delight of his team mates.
The reverse fixture will be played next week at Aldridge and the Elf will be looking to win the three match series after drawing the earlier fixture in May this year.

Tea Review

Big spread at Himley this week. A variety of sandwiches, different types of pasta and even an expertly prepared chilli via a slow cooker for the Elf lads to dig in to. Pick of the lot had to be the chicken nuggets. Great spread, no olives though so 9/10.

Shower Club update

Only two showers at Himley but they are quite spacious and enough room for the Elf lads to soothe their aching bodies. As many as eight in for a ‘David Gower’ post game with a few lads scrambling around for shower gel, Chuckie and Tom were more than obliging to ‘pass the soap’ around. One slight grumble would be the minor electric shocks the boys were getting from the frames once they placed their hands on the shower head or holster. Not good when there’s water about. 4/10 on potential death basis.

Tales from the travelator

No real hills at Himley’s second pitch to speak of in this edition. The bowling side of things saw Travelator extraordinaire Chris Hall get a wicket with his first ball in the midst of some fairly village sledging from the side. Dan Armstrong bowled well but it will be extremely interesting to see how the lump on his leg shapes up in coming days as it was quite a hit from Sam.

All the best to the boys in the next two fixtures, two weeks off for me now and I won’t be back until the autumn months as I’m on holiday. I’m sure whoever takes the reins will do a much better job than I in the next couple of reports. All the best to both sides for the rest of the season and as always…come on the Elf!

 

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
Chuck, I  c Duncan b Barratt  25
Callaghan, A c ? b Lewis 52
 Nunns, A b ‘Al’ 41
Ince, A not out 63
Stevens, S b Naughton 12
Fitspatrick, G not out  4
Gorton, A dnb
Hall, C dnb
Martin, N dnb
Armstong, D dnb
Davies, T dnb
 Extras  26
Walsall Health  223
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  8 3 15 4
Stevens, S 6 0 36 1
Davies, T 6 0 33 1
 Martin, N 6 1 18 2
Hall, C 0.1 0 0 1

Bowling

Batting

V Village CC (06/08/17)

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Walsall Health CC 237-6 (40 overs) beat ‘Village CC’ 175-6 (40 overs) by 62 runs

 

Well, well, well. Village by name and village by nature. Not only did the opposition turn up at five to two for a 2pm start this week, one of their lads got clean bowled by Elf Legend Chris Hall and REFUSED TO WALK OFF THE PITCH. Just let that sink in………
It spoiled the game quite frankly but on the other side of the coin I’d rather talk about how the Elf continued their record breaking season with their TWELFTH win of the campaign and how Ian Chuck and Alex Nunns dispatched some very regular bowling to the boundary in a club record 164 partnership for the 2nd wicket. BIG HANDS/DANGLES EVERYWHERE.

Skipper Hewlitt did the first village thing of the day when he won the toss and asked the opposition skipper what he’d like to do LOL. Obviously Rob chose to bat and on an overcast day in Rushall, the Elf boys cashed in.

Gort was out first for three with the score on 13, unfortunately for the ‘Village’ lads another wicket would not come until the score was on 177, how unfortunate. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of lads and all that jazz.
Alex Nunns hit his top score for the Elf with a sublime 81 in good time too, the man from Wednesbury dispatched the bowling to all parts of the ground including a couple of BIG sixes which sent the Elf lads scrambling around for spare balls. The ton was on but it was not to be on this occasion. It’s only a matter of time before ‘Nunnsy’ gets a ton in Elf colours.
Chuck. What can we say? He scored a bit slower than Al (but not as slow as Dan Armstrong’s over rate) to a well made 78 before he was bowled by the young spinner who was the bright spark in the ‘Village’ side. Chuck is only 16 runs away from notching EIGHT HUNDRED runs for the season…is the 1,000 on? We shall wait and see but the Kolpak player certainly is staking his claim for greatest ever batsman in Elf colours smashing records left, right and centre (along with a few kennels) over the back of Rushall.

Anyway, after the carnage a mini collapse ensued which saw the Elf go from 177-1 for 237-6 in the final 10 overs.
Fitzy was out next after finally using his new bat to make his way to 10 before he wasn’t ran out by Chuckie.
Rob Hewlitt was in at five and steadied the ship by reaching 19 not out by the end of the innings whilst other batsman fell around him, quite literally when Rich went for 3 and Dan Dunn was in and out for 6.
Dan Armstrong came in at 8 and must’ve recently signed up to popular dating app ‘Tinder’ as he was ‘swiping at everything’ on his way to 13 not out to see the Elf equal their highest total of the season.

After the lads had smashed a monster Rach tea (big hand by the way) they began the defence of their total.

It wasn’t long until the first wicket fell when Dan Armstrong bowled Hyatt and the batsman surprisingly walked off after his bails had been removed.
No such luck for Dan Dunn who toiled up the travelator this week and saw his eight over go for 35 runs. The ‘monkey’ was definitely swinging between the trees but couldn’t quite show his head this time around.
Tom Davies got a wicket with his second ball when Nawaz spooned a catch to Armstrong who caught it downhill. Davies also picked up the very good ‘Khan’ who played nicely before he got one that bounced about as much as pot of compost and fair play, he accepted that he had been bowled and walked off.

With the run rate climbing, it called for only one man: Chris Hall. Chall has been in the gym all week training hard due to getting a few ‘non-fers’ recently and in his second over Ferwaz left a straight one and obviously wasn’t out when it clattered into his off stump. How foolish the boys were to start celebrating and think they’d picked up their fourth of the day?
Longfield didn’t last long when Dan Dunn kept his head and caught him for pittance for Chall’s 20th of the season.
Fortunately, Ferwaz tickled his way in singles to about another five off about thirty balls before Chall got him for the second and he walked off, probably out of shame.

The number 6 batsman ‘Baker’ hit a few lusty blows to the boundary in very well made score of over fifty not out to see his side post a respectable score although nothing they did could be called ‘respectable’ after the out/not out incident.
Dan Armstrong then cleaned up Shahid who instead of arguing when the ball hit his stumps, walked off. Fair play.

In the end the Elf ran out much deserved winners in a game spoilt by a selfish incident in a game of Sunday cricket, move on, get over it and if there’s anything to learned it’s to play the game the right way.

Also, don’t ever call Gort a cheat. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever. Ever! (end of discussion).

The boys travel to Himley to face Highwood Park next week for the second in the three match series after the first finished in a tie in May.

Drinks review

Great drinks this week, the lads were kept suitably refreshed with the help of 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th players this week. Rach, Wrighty, Phoebe and Molly (who also did a grand job with the scoreboard by the way). 8/10

Tea review

Another wonderful R.Gorton spread. Lots of sandwiches on both white and brown bread. FOUR different types of pizzas, SAMOSAS and even a cheeky bit of chicken pakora. Brilliant. Gort even managed a special cake which Trig loved. No Olives though which means 9.99/10.

Shower club update

You know what you’re going to get at Rushall, warm showers. Slightly cosy but warm nevertheless. 7/10.

Tales from the travelator

I think when Chally writes his cricket memoirs, this episode today will certainly fill a full chapter. Not walking after being cleaned up is the most SCANDALOUS thing I’ve ever seen in 17 years of playing cricket. Anyway, we won so…HA.

  1. Don’t call Gort a cheat. Thanks.

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
Gorton, A  c ? b Longford  3
Chuck, I c ? B Khan 78
Nunns, A c ? Akmal 81
Fitzpatrick, G run out 19
Hewlitt, R not out 19
Fell, R b Fell 3
Dunn, D b Akmal 6
Armstrong, D not out 13
Phillpott, G dnb
Hall, C dnb
Davies, T dnb
 Extras  11
Walsall Health  188
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  8 1 32 2
Dunn, D 8 1 35 0
 Davies, T 6 0 17 2
Hall, C 8 2 28 2
Hopley, D 6 1 18 0
Fell, R 4 0 23 0

Batting

Bowling

V Breadsall (30/07/17) (T20)

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Walsall Health CC 116-8 (20 overs) beat Breadsall CC 90 all out (18.4 overs) by 26 runs

In a season that has seen numerous records broken, another one was put to bed today; the win record. In thirty years of this wonderful club no one side has won more than 10 games but on July 30th 2017 the record was beaten, albeit in a T20 game because of the impending downpour post 5pm.

The lads arrived to a bit of pudding of a pitch, with dessert menus at the ready Rob Hewlitt won the toss and elected to bat first. Andy Gorton and Ian Chuck opened up for the Elf and with strike rates being kept Chuck was eager to please and slapped a six early doors but nicked off to a good catch from the opposing keeper low down to go for 11 off 10 balls.
Sam Stephens came out and scored three off three before he was bowled, shortly followed by Gort who was the first man to see his strike rate go sub one hundred when he was sent back for four.

The best partnership of the match then took place between Alex Nunns who scored 29 off 19 balls, majoring in boundaries including a big six over square leg. Rob Hewlitt nudged and nurdled his way to 12 off 18 in a disappointing 66.66 strike rate.

Greg Phillpott scored 12 which included another monster six to the short boundary but Nicka Dunn was out for two and the Elf were struggling a bit looking to post over 100 for victory.

Dan Dunn and Chris Hall added a tidy 26 between them, Chall finishing with 19 off 15 (not out) balls in good partnership with Moto GP’s own Dan Hopley who finished 8 not out to ensure the Elf were not bowled out.

The quick change around in between innings was proper T20 style and the wickets came thick and fast. Sam Stephens got Howard in the final ball of the first over after he nicked off to Gort who took a smart one handed grab.
Dan Dun then got going, he got the other opener stumped after Gort’s Guillotine was open for business once again.
Tom Davies came down the hill and picked up Gilliam after a calm grab by Alex Nunns. The home side were scoring runs but were got stemming the flow of wickets.
Dan Dunn got two wickets in a over after Rob Hewlitt took a catch in Dollyland and the very next ball Dunn bowled Wilkinson with a jaffa to finish with unreal figures of 4-3-3-3 to go along with last week’s outstanding figures, Dunn junior is proving his worth to side, still only 15 years old.
Davies dismissed ‘Basher’, again a smart grab from Nunns and Breadsall were 6 down for about 40. Davies gave the Breadsall man a bit of a send off after being slapped for 6 first ball, quite village really and had this been an ICC game the man from West Bromwich may have received some points there.

A good partnership moved Breadsall towards their target but Chuck picked up Kelly for 12 before Johnson top scored for the side from Derbyshire and then, it happened….the greatest catch you will EVER see on a cricket field. I mean, seriously, you could watch every cricket game from now until the day you die and you’ll never anything like that ever again.

Batsman Johnson hit a firm drive in the air towards mid on, the ball was hit quite flat and was in the air for a while but lurking was Greg Phillpott. Now, Greg doesn’t drop a lot of things, especially cricket balls but this ball was by no means straight at him. Greg had to run  probably about 10 yards to his right and nonchalantly caught the ball ONE HANDED around waist height. I know I haven’t done the catch anywhere near as much justice as it deserved but anyone who has played the game will know what difficulty level it requires. Absurd!

The next wicket was rubbish in comparison, Burn hit Chuck in the air looking for the runs and Rob Hewlitt ran around and took a steepler to secure the record breaking victory for the Elf.

Village scenes then happened when the skipper popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the record breaking victory. Fortunately the weather forecast was correct so the change in format to a T20 to at least get the game in was the correct thing to do.
Tea review

Well, well, well. Best AWAY tea of the season so far by a long way. A variety of sandwhiches, Pringles, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets for the first time this season. An abundance of fruit, as many as four different pizzas and the dessert options were more than what most sides offer in general for tea rather than for pudding. The only reason it doesn’t score a 10 is because there were no Olives. 9.9/10.

Love Island update

Sad times this week, the Love Island is closed for the summer as it came to its climax on Monday evening with apparently Kem and Amber winning? What are the lads going to talk about now? Hopefully there will be a new show to keep them busy during the week but Nicka has said his audition for next year was unsuccessful.

Breakfast review

Due to the longevity of the fixture in travel terms, about half the side went over early to ‘Sal’s diner’ (one of Chuckie’s finds) to demolish a breakfast to quash all rumours of PPP. Slightly disappointingly though there was no black pudding on the breakfast. What kind of establishment is this? No black pudding = no breakfast. The sausages were apparently a little on the small side (unlike shower club) and Dan Dunn failed to eat his tomatoes.
In other news Chuck seemed to be ‘in there like swimwear’ with the owner, his plate had more food and she apparently was calling him things such a ‘big boy’. More updates to follow in the upcoming weeks on this developing story.

Shower club news

Pitiful showers this week, with one shower head having no wall attachment making it a bit DIY. There was a ping pong ball flying around which could have caused damage but the lads were not middling it (like their batting) so there were no tears in the shower. Although Chuck was heard saying “you can’t get your hand around it” when he was showering from behind the curtain, hopefully the man from South Africa was discussing the showering equipment rather than anything else.

Tales from the travelator

BIG HILL at Breadsall to get up before you even reach the ground, Ninja Warrior contenders Tom Davies and Chris Hall completed the challenge with cricket bags in tow in record time.
As well as this, there was a bit of a slope at one end of the ground but Dan Dunn completed his four overs for almost no runs and three wickets to secure a great time and move to the live semi final.
The lads have secured a fixture next week at Rushall so travelator will be back one more time, rumour has it Chall will be driving back and forth to Derby just to take on the Breadsall hill ten times a night in preparation for Rushall.

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
 Gorton, A b Wilko  4
 Chuck, I c ? b Buck 11
Stevens, S b Buck 3
Nunns, A b Wilko 29
Hewlitt, R c ? b ? 12
Phillpott, G c ? b Keeley  12
Dunn, N c ? b Howard 2
Dunn, D b Keeley 7
Hall, C not out 19
Hopley, D not out 8
Davies, T dnb
 Extras  9
Walsall Health  116
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Stevens, S 4 0 24 1
Dunn, D 4 3 3 3
Davies, T 4 0 23 2
Hall, C 3 0 16 0
Chuck, I 3.4 0 24 3