V Sportsman (24/04/16)


24th of April 2016

Walsall Health V Sportsman @ Aldridge

Sportsman CC (126-2) def. Walsall Health CC (123 all out) by 8 wickets



Rich Fell on his 200th appearance for the club.

The Elf kicked off their 2016 campaign a week later than planned after last week’s opener was called off due to a rather moist outfield. New skipper Rob ‘Hewlitt the dogs out?’ did a great job flipping the coin at the toss but the opposing captain decided to stick the Elf in on what was definitely a ‘bowl first’ morning.


Rich Fell (who had flown in every member of his family) strode out to the middle for his 200th game for the Elf, in what is seen by all as a fantastic achievement.


He was joined by Sportsman CC’s arch nemesis Ian Chuck, after last year’s ‘glove gate’ scandal he may want to trade in his ‘iChuck’ t-shirt for a newer ‘iGlove’ model.

The Elf openers battled through the first few overs with Rich Fell using everything but his bat but he was removed for a single digit after missing a straight one. Chuck was joined at the crease by Greg Philpott on debut who gallantly charged down the track to Walder who was bowling decent pace but the Elf debutant failed to trouble the scorers. Everyone’s favourite Blues fan Lyndon Billingham was the next in and after a few meaty blows to the boundary he was also dismissed for 9. None of this seemed to phase Chuck at the other end who was plodding along nicely into the twenties. Hewlitt joined Chuck but was clean bowled for one after ‘playing all round a straight one’ to his own admission for the same score as Fell. Stuart Slater, The Elf’s very own playboy was next in (modelling a rather swarve pair of slick white Calvins in the changing room after) he managed two before he was back in the hut. Dave Stephens became the first golden duck of the day (but not the last) the very next ball. Nathan Martin joined Chuck and the pair put on a handy 38 run partnership for the seventh wicket. Martin’s runs down the order have become extremely valuable to the Elf in recent years and this year was no different. He was bowled for fifteen. Blink and you’ll miss it, Tom Davies was next in but was bowled for the second golden duck of the day. JP Jonathan Preece was next in and he became only the third batsman to reach double figures with ten handy runs down the order. The next man to go was the valiant Chuck who has battled his way through more than thirty overs to score fifty-eight on what was a difficult day for runs.

The Elf set the Sportsman 124 for victory and the lads piled in for tea. On return from a brisk shower over the tea period Nathan Martin and Dan Armstrong bowled the first ten overs for a little over 30 between them. It really was a top effort from both men for no reward. Martin topped the bowling figures with five overs, one maiden, none for eleven. The only two wickers for The Elf came from the first change bowlers. Dave Stephens came on and bowled Patel for a well made 18. The second wicket of the day was a moment most of the Elf contingent have been waiting a long time for.

In the middle of his fourth over Tom Davies (post mini meltdown after bowling a few no balls and full tosses) produced the ball of the day. It pitched on a good length just on off stump and nipped back the right-handed opener who missed the ball and it cannoned into his back pad just on the knee-roll. The whole of the Elf team including Davies could see that it was an absolutely stone dead LBW and for the first time in his Elf career, the umpire did not turn Davies down. As he turned around to look at the umpire the finger was already being raised and Davies had finally got an LBW at long last.

At drinks, the game was evenly poised at every cricketer’s favourite score, 69-2. But a few hefty blows from the Sportsman CC to both Phillpott and Preece saw them reach their total by the 25th over and the game was done. A big hand to the visitors who would have impressed many a fisherman with their tight lines in their bowling display but a lot of their batting shots were aerial and if the Elf would have had men in the right places, it could have had a different story to their bowling.

All in all, it’s good to get the season off to a start but just a few unfortunate factors led to The Elf not being able to pull off the victory, hats off to the visitors who played well.



Batting Runs
Fell, R b Sangha


Chuck, I run out


Phillpott, G b Walden  0
Billingham, L b Sayad  9
Hewlitt, R b Zohib  1
Slater, S b Nasser 2
Stephens, D lbw b Nasser 0
Martin, N b Walden 15
Davies, T b Sayad  0
Preece, J b Nasser  10
Armstrong, D not out  2


Walsall Health


Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Martin, N





Armstrong, D





Stephens, D





Davies, T





Phillpott, G





Preece, J





Man of the Match – I.Chuck for an excellent innings with a few real class shots to post the first of many half centuries of the season.

Rach’s pop scene – Rach was only in attendance for the first innings of which she spent the majority of it indoors due to the Baltic like conditions. She was also quick to dismiss any kind of romantic relationship with Davies after being questioned by one of the locals.

Dai watch – This week, Dai braved the weather to score in what mustn’t have been the friendliest conditions. Big hand for Dai.

AOB – There are new showers in the home changing rooms at Aldridge which give the boys’ ‘shower club’ a new meaning with mood lighting and everything.

Report by Tom Davies.







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