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
 

V Lichfield Nomads (23/07/17)

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Walsall Health 188-3 (40 overs) beat Lichfield Nomads 84-9 (40 overs) by 104 runs.

Before we begin…it was a win not a ‘winning draw’. Let’s put a stop to those thoughts once and for all.

The Elf played away this week to Lichfield Nomads who inflicted one of only two losses the Elf have been on the receiving end of so far this season.
Looking to exert revenge captain Hewlitt won the toss and elected to bat first on a ‘damp’ wicket.
Dave Preece and Chuckie opened up, Dave fresh off his ton earlier on in the season slapped a few boundaries on his way to 20 before generously walking off after a caught behind shout. Dave’s average this season is still a record high of 144….

Fitzpatrick, waiting for his call up to the NBA.

 

Gary Fitzpatrick was in at three sporting a rather over sized non cricket top with the NBA logo on it (see the picture to decide if it’s village or not….) but unfortunately for Fitz his new bat wasn’t put to good use when he was trapped in front for a quack.

Rob Hewlitt was in at four and similar to Dave Preece got a start and got out when he was caught at square leg off Cartwright and the Elf went into drinks at 61-3 hoping to set 140 or so on a wicket that was cutting more that a Conservative government.

Rich Fell was in at five and Trig give Dan Dunn the ultimate pad rash (get some Sudocrem on those shins kid) as Trig & Chuck put on a magnificent 127 run partnership for the fourth wicket with a few big sixes along the way.
In amongst the carnage, Chuck surpassed 700 runs for the season. The man from South Africa is beating his own record with every run he scores this season and eventually ended up with a superb 89 not out which given the context on that deck was worth at least 120.
Trig backed up his 47 from a few weeks ago with a boundary laden 49 not out to send his average for the season over 50 despite not reaching the landmark.
There was a landmark that the Elf legend broke this week though; 2,000 runs. Only a select few swordsman have broken through that barrier and Trig has become the latest one. BIG HAND.

The Elf set 189 for victory and dived into the teas (see tea review) and set about defending their large total in the late afternoon sun.
Teenagers Armstrong and Dunn opened the bowling and produced one of the finest opening stints in Elf history; with Dunn finishing with figures only reserved for 18+ magazines 8-6-3-2….WOW. As Andy Gray would say ‘take a bow son….TAKE A BOW’. Dunn’s wickets were the1st and 3rd of the day when Gardiner was out caught by ‘The Hangover’ Greg Phillpott and the third was Heslington who nicked off to Fitz.
In between that the dangerous looking George was ran out by a superb piece of fielding from Dave Preece who made ‘2 become 1’ in a bit of Spice Girls fielding at square leg.

1st change was a familiar affair; C.Hall & T.Davies. Davies backed up Dunn’s stint when he bowled three maidens to begin his spell, two of those with a wicket after both Trig and mid on and Chall at short 3rd man took sublime catches to see Davies get his 20th wicket of the season.

Dan Dunn then showed his fielding prowess when he ran out Terry for 29 and Tom Davies got to his 69th wicket in Elf colours when Rolfe nicked off to Chuck at slip.

With the victory all but sewn up, Chall got a wicket when Dunn again made light work of some fielding

JP, enjoying a bit too much of the ‘puff’

and took a good catch. The ninth wicket was something straight out of Dai’s garden in the early 2000s: Preece to Preece when Hoddy chipped JP to Dave and Nomads were 9 down.

However, a lot like the previous week the Elf could not take the final wicket. Pickering and Cartwright had a final wicket stand of 22 and the Elf were left licking their wounds a little despite the victory which takes them to a record equalling tenth win of the season and it’s not even August!
 

Drinks review

Drinks served in American ‘frat party’ red cups this week was a real treat. 8/10

Tea review

STRONG tea this week, probably the best away tea the lads have had this season. Loads of sandwiches on a variety of breads, mini samosas and mini sausages/rolls. Topped off with some excellent cakes and a fruit salad to energise athletes Fitz & Chall. Only gets a 9 though because there weren’t any olives. 9/10

 

Love Island update

Sad scenes today when the lads found out Love Island comes to its dramatic conclusion this week. Male favourite Camilla is still there but apparently Marcel shouldn’t win? In a side story Nicka Dunn dropped Love Island into a tale to a bouncer on his night out in Worcester on Friday. Nicka had one too many ciders in student frequenter ‘Bushwackers’ when he undid the buttons on his shirt, only to be told to put the hair chest away by the doorman. Nicka’s response will live in Elf history, the man from Rushall told the bouncers he was ‘filming for Love Island’ and had to keep the buttons open, which the doorman believed and walked off. Brilliant.

Shower Club update

Only two showers in the Whittington changing room with a wall in between  to the lads’ disappointment. Decent water flow and heat but  get rid of the wall, we’re all friends here! Trig entered legendary status when he had a two stop strategy under the water today showering after his knock and after the game. Superb. 7/10

Tales from the travelator

One end on the park track had a few similarities to the travelator at Rushall, Chall and padwan Dan Armstrong bowled to remarkably close figures, both men going for 23 and 22 runs respectively. Still better than bowling with a bar of Cussons Pearley Chall?

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
 Preece, D  c ? b Hutton  20
 Chuck, I not out 89
 Fitzpatrick, G lbw Fearon 0
Hewlitt, R c ? b Cartwright 19
Fell, R not out 49
Dunn, D dnb
Armstrong, D dnb
Hall, C dnb
Phillpott, G dnb
Davies, T dnb
Preece, J dnb
 Extras  11
Walsall Health  188
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
 Armstrong, D  8 1 23 0
Dunn, D 6 6 3 2
 Hall, C 8 1 22 1
 Davies, T 7 5 6 3
Preece ,J 5 1 12 1
Phillpott, G 4 0 15 0

Batting

Bowling

V Old Moseley Fit Men (16/07/17)

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Walsall Health CC 211-7 (40 overs) beat Old Moseley Fitmen 159-9 (40 overs) by 52 runs

First of all, before we start, the oppo are calling this a losing draw. A LOSING DRAW? This ain’t the Specsavers County Championship mate, this is the equivalent of the Benson and Hedges Cup; you don’t get the runs, you lose! Nearly choked on my Steak & Ale pie when I heard.

ANYWAY…

The Elf were at home for the third fixture in a row but this week it was back at Rushall to face annual July opponents Old Moseley Fitmen.

Rob Hewlitt won the toss and chose to bat first with only 7 fitmen at the ground. Fortunately for the visitors they were soon up to the full 11 with last year’s nemesis ‘Mo’ who scored 134 out of 181 to steer them to a victory, arrived after only 1 over had been bowled.

Gort & Chuck opened for the Elf but Gort was bowled by a bloke playing in black tracksuit bottoms for 8. Alex Nunns was out to bat at three but his innings was short lived when he played on for a solitary run and the Elf were 30-2 after ten overs.
Rob Hewlitt joined Chuck who was going along nicely and the Elf’s skipper elevated the run rate somewhat has he crashed five boundaries on his way to a well made 34 before spooning a catch off Caesar. The damage was done after a 70 run partnership between the skipper and the overseas player Chuck.

The Elf’s middle order was made up of teenage sensations and regular Love Island watchers Dan Dunn & Dan Armstrong.
Dunn unfortunately was ran out by Chuck for 2 after he made 30 last Sunday but Armstrong was certainly racing ahead with his run rate with a few lusty blows to get the score back on track.

Chuck reached his fifty and Dan Armstrong was looking in good touch before he was bowled for a very well made 42, his highest score for the Elf.

Rich Fell was next in but both he and Chuck were out, Chuck out LBW (AGAIN) for the inning’s top score of 73.

With five a bit overs to go Tom Davies and Chris Hall entered the fray at 182-7 and looked to accelerate proceedings. Both men from the Black Country managed to do so, Davies nudged his way to 9 not out by the end but Chally struck a few boundaries including a monster 6 over square leg to bring up the Elf’s 200. Eventually they set a target of 212 for the fitmen to win.

Teas were superb (see tea review).

The second innings began with teenagers Dunn & Armstrong opening up the defence, both of these youths bowled expertly well against ‘Mo’ and their opening spell going for 21 runs off the first eight overs.

It wasn’t until the first change that we saw some wickets. Nicka Dunn replaced Armstrong at the ‘zip line end’ and bowled opener Green for 9. Nicka also picked up the second wicket of Sharif (who didn’t like it) LBW.

A decent partnership between Frost and Mo seemed to be tipped the balance back to the away side until overseas player Ian Chuck was brought on at 2nd change after Chall’s thankless task up the travelator  came to a sudden end.
Chuck got Frost caught and bowled and the Elf seemed to be in good spirits. Nicka picked up his third when he sent Kestin’s bails flying.
Then the key wicket was taken; Mo on 49 looking to get the runs on his own and bring back bad memories of last year’s run chase chipped Chuckie to Chall at mid on who certainly wasn’t going to drop another one after he dropped Mo off his own bowling earlier in the afternoon.
Chuck got Raj next ball and the Fitmen looked down and out at 90odd for six.
Jonny Preece got Houlgate caught in the deep (a tidy catch from Nunns) and then Tom Davies on full janitor duties dismissed Bal & Nutt but the last wicket didn’t come their way, Caesar and Tasker batted nicely and almost put on a last wicket stand of fifty to see the Elf win by 52 runs in the end.

Two away fixtures in two weeks for the Elf as they travel to Lichfield Nomads to hopefully exert revenge from their loss in June.
Drinks review

Chilled squash kept in the fridge. George on full 12th man duties handing out cups at the first drinks break. 8/10

Tea review

Gail delivered again. A wonderful spread, ham & mustard sandwiches, cheese & pickle sandwiches on both white and brown bread, superb.

OLIVES….need I say more? Samosas, superb cakes, sausage rolls. It was all there, nothing more you could have asked for on that buffet. The opposition even brought their own pies and served a few up during the Elf’s innings. 10/10.

Love Island update

The teenage contingent provided the update this week. Something about a ‘re-coupling’ on Friday and also some lads who were kicked out are now back in? Theo is a snake and on Monday the lads shaved each other’s genitalia. Village.

Shower Club

Always decent showers at Rushall, right temprature to sooth the aching bodies. Tom Davies devastated to find out he’d left his ‘Lemon & Oak’ shower gel at Aldridge last week which will mean a trip out this week to get some new stuff. 7/10

Tales from the travelator

Dan Dunn bowled exceptionally well running up the hill but Chally took a bit of tap, his seven overs going for 39 runs not quite monkey territory but not far off. Chuck picked up a three-for and JP got one too so the wickets evenly shared out. Chall was especially annoyed as he’d been training all week on the treadmill set at the highest incline to no avail. Altitude training it is next week.

Written by Tom Davies 

Batting Runs
Gorton, A b Tasker

8

Chuck, I lwb Caesar

73

Nunns, A b Raj 1
Hewlitt, R c ? b Caesar 34
Dunn, D run out (by Chuck “surprise surprise”) 2
Armstrong, D b Caesar  42
Fell, R b Caesar 7
Hall, C not out 19
Davies, T not out 9
Dunn, A dnb
Preece, J dnb
Extras

16

Walsall Health

195

Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Armstrong, D

4

0

10

0

Dunn, D

4

0

11

0

Dunn, A

8

3

22

3

Hall, C

7

1

39

0

Chuck, I  3 0 9  3
Davies, T  8 2 25 2
Preece, J 5 0 25 2
Fell, R 1 0 9 0

 

Batting

Bowling

V Oak n Ash (09/07/17)

Standard

Walsall Health 150 All Out (39.3 overs) lost to Oak N Ash 154-6 (35.1 overs) by 3 wickets

The Elf were back at home this week on the ‘coliseum’ at Aldridge for the first time this season against Oak N Ask who they defeated back in April by the narrowest of margins; 5 runs.

Rob Hewlitt won the toss and decided to bat first on a glorious day. Chuck and Gort got things going with a solid base being formed and seeing off the opening bowlers until Gort got a bit of a taste of his own medicine when he was stumped for 18.

Dan Dunn was in at 3. It should have been 4 but Greg Phillpott decided to go to the shop for an ice cream and Dan took his place.
The younger Dunn, usually known for his prowess with the ball, showed some maturity at the crease by playing some excellent shots in a good partnership with Chuck until the man from Durban was out for 39.
Greg Phillpott joined Dan and the two men put on a solid partnership to see the Elf past 100. Unfortunately, Greg was out for 24 which was a shame as he was looking in good touch.
Nathan Reeves was in at five, played the shot to pick up a boundary but was caught at slip for four and then Rob Hewlitt was duly dismissed for a quack when Chucky triggered him.
JP got the second quack of the innings and the wheels appeared to be coming off for the Elf when Chorley was out for a single (like Greg’s Saturday night) but Nathan Martin steadied the ship with 15 valuable runs lower down the order before Tom Davies finally got off the mark for the season with an inside edge down to fine leg and the lads posted 150.

After the teas were demolished, the Elf set about defending their below par score with Nathan Martin and Nicka Dunn on season debut bowled some tight lines, their 13 overs going for less than 3 an over but neither man picked up a wicket.
Tom Davies came on at 1st change but was unable to break through, unfortunately went for a bit of tap off the Oak N Ash opener ‘Luke’ who was making batting look easy out in the middle.
It wasn’t until The Legend Chris Hall came on and picked up two wickets that the Elf started to get themselves back in the game. Dan Dunn replaced Chall and picked up two wickets from 3 overs to solidify his place as an all rounder in the Elf line up.
Chucky bowled some spin but got pinged for 18 off one over which tipped the game back to Oak N

 

Ash once he had finished his spell, picking up a wicket in the process.
With 14 needed Tom Davies steamed in and picked up the Elf’s 6 dismissal not before losing his mind over an LBW decision given not out and having his shirt half off in protest. VILLAGE.

Oak N Ask saw themselves home with 4 byes and handed the Elf only their 2nd defeat of the season. The boys are back at Rushall next week to fact Old Moseley Fitmen. Chorley is already in training to take on the travelator.

Drinks review

Three drinks breaks today, George was on hand again to dish out the squash. Hard to refrigerate at the Coliseum, no electricity in Roman Britain you see. 6/10

Tea Review

No chef Bradley today as she was still hungover from U2 the night before and G Brad was there to enjoy the ‘Beautiful Day’ but the lads still ate tea ‘With or Without You’ (I’ll stop). Lovely sponge cakes which certainly got Chorley and T Davies excited. 8/10.

Shower Club

As many as seven for showers this week but the lads had to retreat to the ‘back showers’ at Aldridge due to the ‘top pitch’ being used. Decent showers but relatively cosy so the showering Elves had to go in like Noah’s Ark, 2 by 2. No way are you getting 4 underneath each shower head. Decent heat and water flow but never any more than a seven at home. 7/10

Love Island update

Without Fitz, Dan Armstrong or Andy Carrick to tell tales from the island of Love, Tom Davies took one for the team and watched half an hour or so on Wednesday to his utter displeasure. Someone called Theo is a bit of a player and Camilla is certainly the only attractive girl in there being well read and travelled, the rest are oxygen thieves. Toilet telly.

Great British Menu update

No GMB this week but the lads are looking forward to Gail’s great British menu at Rushall next week. * dreams of Olives *

Tales from the Travelator

The flat surface at the Coliseum provides no travelator to run up this week but there was an abundance of sweets and ice lollies expertly provided by Nicka. Even a white chocolate magnum for Chorley who said if it wasn’t for that he wouldn’t have got those two wickets. Superb.

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
Chuck, I b I Cochran  39
Gorton, A stumped T Cochran 18
Dunn, D b J Cotton 30
Phillpott, G b Bailey 24
Reeves, N c ? b Bailey 4
Hewlitt, R lbw J Cotton  0
Preece, J c ? b Finn  0
Hall, C ct ? b A Cotton 1
Martin, N b A Cotton  15
Davies, T not out  1
Dunn, A b Finn  1
 Extras  17
Walsall Health  150
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N  5 2 10 0
Dunn, A 8 2 26 0
Davies, T 7 0 36 1
Hall, C 6 1 20 2
 Phillpott, G 6 0 18 1
 Chuck, I 6 0 39 1
Dunn, D 3.1 1 9 2

Batting

Bowling

V Sportsman (02/07/17)

Standard

Walsall Health CC 237-7 (40 overs) beat Sportsman CC 103 all out (37.2 overs) by 134 runs

The Elf were at home this week (well, their spiritual home of Rushall…like what Wembley is to Spurs) against the always great bunch of lads from Sportsman CC.

Skipper Hewlitt won the toss and elected to bat first on a track that had already been played on earlier in the day in a lads vs. dad friendly between Aldridge and Rushall youth (Nicka Dunn definitely got out to a 15 year old).

More than one crack on the wicket.

After the lads had swept the wicket and Chuckie had painted the lines, Dave Preece on season debut and Chuck himself strode out to open up for the hosts.
It wasn’t long before Chuck was out, he knicked off and instantly walked of\f eager to not replicate ‘glovegate’ from a few years ago.
Andy Carrick joined Dave out in the middle and the two men put on a solid second wicket stand, seeing off some of the better bowling the away side had to offer. Unfortunately, Andy received a delivery that bounced as much as a bag of cement and was out for 11 hard fought runs.
Sam Stephens joined Dave, who hit ‘Zhish’ for 17 runs in one over to bring up his fifty, to put on another decent partnership for the Elf to see them comfortable at 85-2 at drinks.
After this, the lads dug in and ground out a few runs but unluckily Sam was out for 27 and shortly followed by Gary Fitzpatrick who ‘did not bat’ in the hutch and the Elf started to wobble at 140odd for four.
Up stepped Elf heartthrob Greg Phillpott who in a good partnership with Dave saw the hosts pass 200 and Dave reach his ton with a boundary. A word must be said here for the ex Elf skipper who made batting look easy, when it seriously was not. It was also Dave’s first knock of the season and to reach treble figures was a feat only legends could amass, and amass he did. A final point on this was his highest score for the Elf and in doing so, passed 2000 runs for the club.
Phillpott was out going  for runs, Jonny Preece or ‘Breeze’ managed to nurdle a single on the ‘good batting deck’ before being bowled and then the innings was summed up by Chris Hall who came out with three balls to go and biffed two straight fours down the ground to finish with a strike rate of over 300.

After the scrumptious tea was demolished by all concerned (please see ‘tea review’) the Elf came out to bowl in the late afternoon heat.
The only men not to bat, Nathan Martin and Tom Davies opened up of the Elf and it wasn’t long before Martin got the Sportsman opener to knick off to Fitz for his first of the day.
Martin also picked up his 2nd and the Elf’s second when the other opening bat under edged one to Fitz who was making wicket keeping look easy in the sunshine.
Tom Davies bowled his eight overs off the bat and was finally rewarded for some tidy bowling when Khan was bowled in his final over to get a wicket from his penultimate delivery.

If you think N.Larkin and T.Davies are a formidable opening pair, what about a 1st change pair of C.Hall and S.Stephens? An absolute joy to watch these two bowl today, Chall coming up the travelator in the heat only went for seven runs off his five overs and Sam bowled tight and really fast to skittle through the Sportsman middle over, his five overs going for ten runs and three wickets. The third of these saw potentially the best catch in Elf history by Dave Preece at slip. The batsman drove at one, got an edge and Dave outstretched his right paw and the ball stuck….think A Strauss at Trent Bridge  in the 2005 Ashes to dismiss Gilchrist, it was that good.
With Sportsman six down and not looking likely to chase down the high score of 237, Hewlitt turned to spin in Jonny Preece/Breeze and Chuck who managed to pick up a wicket each and Sportsman were 8 down for 75 runs. With a 150 run victory in sight the Elf wanted to bowl out the opposition for less than 87 but a few lusty sixes from the lower order propelled them over 100, Jonny Preece picking up the ninth wicket after a tough chance was taken by Chuck on the boundary and Greg Phillpott got the final wicket caught by Sam Stephens at mid off.

The Elf marched on to their eighth victory of the season and are back at Aldridge next week to face Oak n Ash, a strong side who they managed to get a victory over earlier in the season.

Drinks review

Drinks this week for the perfect blend of squash and water kept refrigerated in the July sun to keep the lads cool during the break. Cups were also expertly washed by George Fell who definitely earned his keep  with drinks but also becoming the resident sous-chef to G.Brad for the teas. 9/10

Tea review

Wow.

What a spread. Olives, I mean OLIVES at a cricket tea. Absolutely sensational. Ham & Mustard sandwiches, Cheese & Pickle sandwiches, sausage rolls, pizzas, SAMOASAS…you name it, it was there. The cakes as well are something dreams are made of. Superb spread produced by Gail who slaved away all afternoon BIG HAND/QUADRUPLE DANGLE/……STILL DANGLING. Brilliant. 10/10

Love Island Update

Massive development on the island of love this week. Fitzy admitted his doesn’t like ‘Dom’ ? We discovered Andy Carrick  is hooked and watches every night, Chall discussing someone called Camilla? It’s all kicking off and apparently all members of the island are going back into a house or something? Sounds ‘thrilling’.

Great British update

Chall & Rob both chatted about GBM this week with Andy Carrick mentioning he went to school with Tommy Banks who has made it to the dessert final once or twice? No idea. He used to run a ‘posh pub’ up north and charged an outrageous twelve quid for fish and chips. We never want him to do the tea by the way, we’ve got Gail.

Tails from the travelator

Nath and Chall both fancied the task of running up the travelator (the far end at Rushall is similar to the final task on 90s TV sensation ‘Gladiators’ as it’s that steep) no Kris Ali for the Sportsman to get the monkey out of hibernation, 11 overs from the fellas going for 40 with two wickets falling. They would definitely be going on the ‘first whistle’ if this were the live show.

 

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
Chuck, I ct Mally b Gam  4
Preece, D not out 124
Carrick, A b Saqib 11
Stephens, S c Amar b Saqid 27
Fitzpatrick, G c Mally b Farhad 0
 Phillpott, G b Gam 16
 Hewlitt, R lbw b Gam  0
Preece, J b Gam  1
Hall, C not out 8
Martin, N dnb
Davies, T dnb
 Extras  31
Walsall Health  237
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N 6 1 33 2
Davies, T 8 3 14 1
 Hall, C 5 2 7 0
Stephens, S 5 1 10 3
Chuck, I 5 0 13 1
Breeze, J 2 1 5 1
Phillpott, G 1.2 0 9 1

Batting