v Birmingham Unicorns (H) 14/08/22


W.H.C.C’s 300th Win

Walsall Health CC beat Birmingham Unicorns by 4 wkts

B’ham Unicorns 102 All out D.Stephens 1-17 A.Dunn 1-2 D.Dunn 2-17 S.Stephens 2-7 W.Lauchlan 3-0 (Hat-Trick!!)

WHCC 103-6 A.Gorton 30 J.Stenson 24 D.Dunn 14 A.Nunns 13*

Where do you start with a game like this?

It was a fairly comfortable win against the Unicorns, who have been a really good addition to our fixture list this season, a very friendly bunch, who play the game in the same way as we’ve always done. Possibly the hottest conditions we have played in? Drinks and Calippo Minis (kindly supplied by the Skipper) every 10 overs would suggest it was….so here are the highlights of a memorable day.

Dunn v Dunn…The race to 50 wkts…. Dan took the the penultimate round of this contest 2-1. Reducing the deficit to just two behind his Dad….. Nicka 49 v Dan 47. With Dan skippering this Sunday, there were strong rumours floating around about playing a time game, where the law states, a bowler can bowl unlimited overs, allowing Dan to bowl 20 from the end of his choice. Nobody has been brave enough to tell Dave Stephens yet, but at least it means he might not have to open the bowling for the first time in 21 seasons. The case continues.

A.Gorton – Setting the bar

6,000 runs for Gort…..The bar has been set. No player since our formation in 1987, has ever reached the 6,000 runs milestone. Gort has always been a man who knows how to get over the line, as rock solid as ever, Andy scored the 25 runs he needed, to make more club history. As the moment approached, Chris Hall decided to apply maximum pressure, prowling around the boundary, waiting to film the history making shot. On a sweltering hot day, not a bead of sweat could be seen on Gorts brow, cooly dispatching the historic boundary, with a customary “tickle around the corner” Job Done, bat raised to the appreciative galleries. A just reward for Gort, who played in our inaugural season (1987) and has since been an ever present member of the club. Six thousand runs are just one aspect of many contributions Andy has given to WHCC, both on and off the pitch. The word “Legend” springs to mind……the Biggest Hand you can find applies here.

Will Lauchlan Hat-Trick….What did John McEnroe used to say? “You cannot be serious?”

Since 1987, we have only ever seen 2 hat-tricks on Sundays. John Nicholls in 2007 and Nathan Martin in 2019. On a scale of rarity, they compare to JP bowling a maiden or Josh Butler taking a catch….they really are that rare!! But on Sunday, Will Lauchlan joined that select group of rare species. (Or as Nicka put it….”Lucky So and So’s”….that’s the edited version.

Lets point one thing out here though…..Jonty and Nath had plenty of bowling experience behind them when they took their own 3 in 3. For Will, this was the first time he had ever…ever, bowled a cricket ball in match conditions. With the Unicorns score on 102-7, skipper Alex made the ingenious decision to throw Will the ball. What followed, was a moment that will almost certainly never happen again. Three balls and three wickets later…cue bedlam. In the moments that followed, Will Lauchlan hat trick was trending fiercely on twitter, while Midlands Today tried to call Dave Stephens for a quote, sadly he didn’t pick up because he thought it was another Dai Preece stitch up. This was 100% a JFK moment. Everyone present on this day, will remember where they were, when Will Lauchlan took his hat trick…..(a feat almost as impossible as trying to spell his surname correctly)

Our 300th win…….

10/05/87. A.Oliver, S.Fewtrehill, S.Fell, A.Hobster, V.Singh, R.Jarrams, F.Jacob, C.Florkowski, R.Colley, M.Langford, A.Kirby…..the 11 players who posted our first victory all those years ago against a Streetly 3rd XI…. Which included our Club President, Rick Jarrams.

14/08/22. A.Nunns, D.Dunn, A.Dunn, A.Gorton, J.Stenson, J.Butler, W.Lauchlan, D.Stephens, S.Stephens, R.Hewlitt, G.Philpott….The current 2022 version

Over 36 years, 585 games, and 236 players later, we reached our 300th win, with a game that showed all the hallmarks of WHCC. A friendly game, played in the right spirit, expertly handled once again, by Alex and Dan. Will’s hat-trick epitomized the spirit of the club, he got it because he was given the opportunity. There were two Father/Son combinations on the pitch, Dave and Sam Stephens, Nicka and Dan Dunn. And how fitting it was, that our President, Rick Jarrams, was in attendance to enjoy the day, and watch this team flourish. The lifeblood of the club for so many years, and one of only two people to have made over 300 appearances, throw in all the hours of work off the pitch, making sure we always got the game on, Fixtures, PU’s, Tours, Trophies, Teas, its all on the Jarrams CV. So we hope you enjoyed this one Rick.

The Skipper…..Alex Nunns has had a textbook season. Great Captain, plenty of runs and catches, a really nice guy. He’s so nice, he even lets the opposition win the toss every single week. But seriously, its been a flawless season for Alex…..until now (did you honestly think this wouldn’t get mentioned?) Recently, there have been a few comments about Alex’s likeness to Jonny Bairstow. So we were all baffled, as he decided to sprint out to the crease with positivity and purpose. Very much in the style of Joe Root. After the returning Rob Hewlitt was given out, it was time for Alex to reveal his brand new “Walk On” His perfect season was about to implode in the most dramatic of circumstances.

Nice try Jonny.

Compare this to a Wimbledon Final…Nunns leads 6-0 6-0 5-0…40-0…..and lost. Not one sound of ROOOOOOOOOOT could be heard, just an explosion of hysterical laughter, as our Skipper broke into the Root sprint, then tripped, taking the mother of all falls as he attempted to reach the middle. A banana skin moment? Maybe that’s what he slipped on? It was more Jeremy Beadle than Joe Root. Just how badly does this guy want to win the Bails Award we all enquired? So for the second time in the space of a few weeks, Alex was back on the deck, sprawled face down, chewing some grass. Thankfully, no nose was potentially broken this time, just a large chunk of pride. Maybe this was just one of those days, where things we had never seen or done before kept happening. Has anyone ever fallen over whilst walking out to bat? Answers on a postcard please. Credit to Alex though, he soon recovered his composure, to finish on 13 not out, which carried us over the line. Did anyone give him any credit for a minor steadying of the ship? Nope, just a barrage of mockery as he walked off the pitch.

AOB….Its hard to say who enjoyed the day the most. Josh Butler must be near to the top of the list. After giving the Unicorns batsman several headaches with his dazzling repertoire of mystery spin, Josh travelled home with one big smirk on his face. Red hot favourite for the Bails Award since walking out to the middle without his bat, earlier in the season (triple lol)… Josh may have been given a lifeline. If anyone has backed Josh ante post, it may be wise to throw your voucher in the nearest bin, and send Alex Nunns the bill for a refund.

“If you want any tips Josh, let me know”

The Club Pro was in a relaxed mood after the game, revealing his new favourite beverage to be a Pina Colada. Can somebody let Andy Ince know?

We asked the question earlier…just how much does Alex want to win the Bails Award? If there was any doubting the skippers steely determination to get this coveted prize on his mantlepiece, well listen to this…. Just as the sun was setting over the Rushall horizon…he only goes and admits he loves watching Love Island…..enough said. You can only admire a man on a such mission.

Hat-Trick History…..just so Will realises what he achieved on Sunday, here is the very short list of bowlers to have taken a hat-trick (on Sundays) for WHCC since 1987.

John Nicholls 2007 v Blackwood (Aldridge bottom pitch) with the 25th 26th and 27th balls of his spell

Nathan Martin 2019 v Bharat Parivar (Rushall) with the 38th 39th and 40th balls of his spell

Will Lauchlan 2022 v Birmingham Unicorns with the 1st 2nd and 3rd balls of his WHCC career!!!!!

Now if anyone asks (and its guaranteed somebody will)…. Has anyone ever took a quicker hat-trick than Will Lauchlan? Maybe enquire about taking a refresher course in GCSE Maths.

I think we can all safely say, that was a decent day at the office for the Elf. Our very own version of a London 2012 Super Saturday, with the only difference being it all took place on a Sunday. So we roll on back to Rushall this week to play Poppyfields for the second time this season. Dan Dunn is already there…. busy marking his run up…..all it would take is 3 in 3 to reach wicket number 50 Dan, if you need any tips, Will’s your man.


One thought on “v Birmingham Unicorns (H) 14/08/22

  1. Anonymous

    Thanks for publishing the ‘87 team. We had been going a couple of years by then and getting even a draw had been hard.
    Interesting to note that at least seven of the team had direct (or in the case of Frank and Mark, indirect through family) ties to the health community in Walsall.

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