v Poppyfields (H) 21/08/22


Poppyfields beat WHCC by 1 wicket

WHCC 116 All out….Rob Hewlitt 23 Mac Perager 20 not out Dan Dunn 14 Jack Lester 12

Poppyfields 117-9….Dan Armstrong 4-24 John Nicholls 2-25 Dave Stephens 2-21 Nicka Dunn 1-19

A tough day for the lads, losing out to Poppyfields by the narrowest of margins, so lets tap into fines committee ( in batting order) for some insights on the days action.

Dan Armstrong (2 and 4-24) A mixed day for Dan. It soon became clear that after his brilliant century against Poppyfields earlier in the season, he was targeted as their prize wicket. A rare low score for Dan, but he more than made amends with the ball, taking a brilliant 4-24, advancing his tally beyond 20 wickets for the season, not an easy thing to achieve these days. Well bowled mate.

Jack Stenson (10 and Did not Bowl) Jack looked in good touch again, scoring 10 runs from the first over, but was unlucky to be bowled around his legs, before adding to his score. A quiet day in the field for Jack. But not so quiet in terms of Bails award contendership (if that’s even a word) Stuffing one of Mac’s samosa’s into his pockets as we were going out to field. Maybe this was why the ball was swinging so much? Don’t worry Jack, its all been noted.

Dan Dunn Capt (14 and 0-9. One catch) Defending a low total is never easy, but the Club Pro proved it was well within the range of his tactical repertoire, making good decisions aplenty. Keeping his cool as wickets fell, taking us to within touching distance of what would have been a well deserved victory. Stepping up to bowl in that key now or never moment of the match, and trapping the Poppyfields last line of defence for what we all thought was a certain match winning lbw. Sadly, it was not to be, as the umpire decided otherwise. We take these moments on the chin, the skipper, and the whole team could have done no more, in what was one of our best bowling and fielding performances of the season.

Rob Hewlitt (23 top score and Did not bowl) Rob played the best innings of the day, batting with the trademark Hewlitt positivity, and bleep test style running between the wickets, his 23 was worthy of a 50 on a less challenging track. Rob also made the shrewd observation at tea that despite being bowled out for a low score, we were still well in this game. A verdict which proved to be spot on as the game remained on a knife edge to the very end.

Mark Reynolds (0 and 0-6) Mark Reynolds picked a good game to make his seasonal debut. Unlucky to be out without scoring, then coming onto bowl at the real business end of the game. Never an easy task, but even more difficult was the challenge given to Mark before a ball had even been bowled. Assigned with the mission of putting Chris Hall’s body back together during the off season. Best of luck with that one Mark. The club’s leading wicket taker has already been prescribed to take a 50mg dose of retirement, once a week, most effective on Sundays.

Jack Lester (12, Did not bowl. One catch) Jack got back on the scoreboard this week, with a promising 12, any score in double figures was a good score on Sunday. Not the usual post innings despondency this time either. Shame really, because we all find the J.Lester trademark “Walk off” quite amusing. Maybe it was because he knew Macs samosa’s were on their way. A vision to lessen the blow of any dismissal.

Mac Perager (20 not out and kept brilliantly, no byes) A seriously good day at the office for Mac. A strong red inker, including a big six, followed by a flawless performance with the gloves. The Samosa’s were a lovely treat too, even though Jack Stenson decided on a novel form of extra seasoning by stuffing one in his pocket for an emergency refuel. Big Hand Mac

Armstrong loving that six!

Will Lauchlan (1 and Did not Bowl) Big hand to Will, sadly a broken one. But Warrior Will still helped us out bigtime, despite breaking his hand mid week, he was still happy to play through the pain. It was a difficult day for rotating the bowlers, so we still eagerly await what will happen when The Warrior bowls the 4th 5th and 6th balls of his WHCC career…..6 in 6 maybe?

David Ronald Stephens (5 and 2-21. One catch) New nickname alert….DS became DRS on Sunday, with Nicka deciding Ronald was the suitable option for the middle initial. There was a more low key impersonation of Jack Lester as Dave walked off the pitch looking a bit grumpy, after being given out lbw. Dave soon perked up after a “Hug your Hero” session with Jack Stenson, then proceeded to bowl another strong opening spell, laying the platform for a spirited fightback, even calling one of his deliveries “The Ball of the Century” Dave also took a rare catch. We had the usual “How many catches is that for me now” question….well its been checked and verified, and we can confirm it was Dave’s 15th catch for WHCC since his debut in 2006. (15 catches in 17 seasons)…..Josh Butler would be proud of that strike rate.

Nicka Dunn….(6 and 1-19) The man who has taken a shine to 50’s this season. Not content with a 50 for Beaumont earlier in the season, Nicka got the job done with the ball, reaching the 50 wicket milestone with a peach of a delivery. Its been an entertaining family rivalry between Nicka and Dan, who have been neck and neck for a few seasons now, as both closed in on victim number 50. There were several rumours floating around all week, plenty of Will he play? Wont he play propaganda. The story of son Dan being locked in Rushall’s toilet broke early on Sunday morning, car keys being hidden in Dan Armstrong’s box, all sorts of skulduggery was on the table. However, when it came to the crunch moment, it was the Senior Club Pro who secured the bragging rights. In a post match interview, Nicka described the moment as “The Greatest of his Cricketing Life” Also confirming he had “Never felt pressure like it” The final joyous postscript to this Clash of the Titans saga, is the news we had all been hoping for…….Drum roll time

Nicka Dunn “Fifty Shades of Play” The Autobiography, will be in the shops for Christmas. Santa might need a few extra helpers here. All book signing dates to be confirmed. (If we can find a biro that works) Enid Blyton fan, Dai Preece, is already planning to abort his trip to Australia, in order to get his tent pitched up outside the local Waterstones, lets hope he isn’t mistaken for a busker in that Goldfish coat.

RRP £19:50. (There’s even a 50 in the price)… but the smart call is to hang fire with your purchase, its one of those books that is bound to be in The Works by February for 2 quid.

Wait for February lads.

John Nicholls (0 a rare quack and 2-25) No DNB for Jonty, a rare duck though. Based on pro rata rules, this places John right in the frame for the duck trophy….2 innings 1 duck. John pleaded in fines….”Don’t forget I got a 9 not out this season” Somehow, we don’t think this line of defence will stand up under the fierce cross examination and ridicule of a duck trophy speech. On the flip side, it was another quality 8 over stint from the Club Legend, taking 3 key wickets, and 3 maidens, just what the skipper needed. Brilliant bowling yet again….another big hand.

AOB….Nicka quite rightly was in fine form after the game, and decided to set Dan Armstrong a challenge. Something like….hit a hundred next week, or work on your slower ball you might think? Nowhere near…the quote goes something like this…..”Dan….I want you, just for 10 mins each day to stop eating”

It was the same Dan A who completed a fine stint of umpiring, but before he strolled back out to the middle for a spot of officiating, two bottles of lager had disappeared in double quick time. An interesting approach to rehydration techniques, or in this case….dehydration technique.

Coaches Corner…..With Chris Hall the newly appointed first team Head Coach, here is just one pearl of wisdom from the day…Unless you are partial to some treatment of the hairdryer kind, please please don’t ever play a sweep shot on a pitch of such variable bounce.

Nicka Dunn….The Tale of the Tape

Appearances 33 Wkts 50 Average 13.88 Economy 2.68 Strike Rate 30.96 Best 6-29.

And the current Club record holder for eating a full size tube of Pringles in the quickest time…. (9 mins 08 secs) For details on this astonishing feat see our website 2021 match reports v Lichfield Nomads 06/06/21……or wait for the Autobiography to hit the shelves, its all in Chapter 50.

Nicka going for top bins.

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.

v Sportsman CC (H) 31/07/22


Sportsman CC beat WHCC by 105 runs

Sportsman 256-9….Ben Lester 3-22 Nicka Dunn 3-21 D.Stephens 1-38 M.Smith 1-61

WHCC 151 All out….D.Armstrong 39 D.Dunn (Capt) 26 J.Stenson 18 B.Lester 15

A tough day at the office for the Elf lads against Sportsman, who are always a difficult opposition….here are a few random reflections of the days action.

Nicka Dunn, what a spell from our Senior Club Pro, stepping in to play at the last minute, Nicka’s first 24 balls were all dots. Jonty’s club record of 44 consecutive dots looked in serious danger, until a lucky slog by the desperate batsman evaded the field and went for four. A top opening spell of 8 overs 4 maidens 3-21, taking Nicka to 48 wickets (3 in front of son Dan in the race to 50 contest) The Beaumont legend also has the best current Elf bowling average amongst our active players of 13.95….take a bow.

With the cost of living crisis in full swing, even Dan Armstong’s bowling figures have suddenly become much more expensive. 60 runs conceded from 8 overs…ouch! It was mentioned in fines that Dan’s new nickname (the 276th one this season) should be JP Armstrong. It was certainly a good impersonation of our No1 spinner, a true Bertie Bassett spell that had all allsorts, just less the liquorice. Dan had better fortune with the bat, looking in seriously good touch, timing the ball beautifully, until one stuck in the pitch for a caught and bowled. Dan’s score of 39 was our top score of the day, well batted.

Ben Lester top performance

Matt Smith took two stunning catches, both running backwards. Difficulty level 10/10. Both would not look out of place in our new Catch of the Season shortlist. A big hand must go to both Matt and Dave Smith for helping us out yesterday, along with Elliot Stenson (Jack’s brother) All our new players this season, have had a really positive impact on the club. Ben Lester deservedly got the Man of the Match vote, a seasons best performance with both bat (which included a huge six) and ball (3-22) Big Hand Ben. We’ve now had eleven players make their debuts this season, all eleven have been a pleasure to welcome to the club.

Duck Trophy update….Two more ducks yesterday, taking us up to a phenomenal 18 for the season (just 6 short of the club record) A fuming Jack Lester (he calmed down afterwards) and Nicka, made useful contributions to the quack tally. Nicka’s being a Golden Duck, which according to current Duck Trophy Rules (Golden’s count as double) The rules to this award are quite simple….there aren’t any.

Milestone Men….Both Dan Armstrong and Dan Dunn are closing in on significant personal milestones.

Perfect for a DNB

Dan A….Or rather JP Armstrong is now only 51 runs short of becoming the youngest player to score 2,000 runs. Meanwhile, Dan Dunn, is only 34 runs away from his 1,000th. Double D might just be the youngest player to achieve this, beating Dan Armstrong’s record…its getting complicated now, but date of births will need to be checked before adjudication is completed. Lets throw in another one for good measure….John La La Nicholls only needs 3 more inactive games with the bat, to complete a ridiculous 150 DNB’s

Fines…..Fines Committee was done during Extra Time of the Euro’s Women’s Final. And the best stitch up of the season so far, came in the guise of Dai Preece (who is in Australia at the moment) deliberately ringing Dave Stephens phone whilst fines was in full swing. Heavy penalty time…. Now who had told Dai to do this, remains a mystery, but the plan worked a treat. DS, who had an eventful day, took it all in good spirit, (he still doesn’t know Dai reversed the charges yet) and produced a masterful display of staff training on the new Rushall Card Reader. Dan Dunn decided it was the perfect day to bolster the PU fund, and with swearing aplenty, took his mate Armstrong to the cleaners for a nice round tenner. Ouch again!! A moment of brutality that even left one of the Lionesses shellshocked (see title photo)

DS check your phone bill

This Sunday, we visit Penn CC for the first time, the skipper is back, so if anyone can find a double headed coin, it would be much appreciated.

Chris Hall

Andy Gorton’s 250th Game


Walsall Health beat Lichfield Nomads by 5 wickets

Summary…..Our 32nd meeting with old friends and rivals Lichfield Nomads proved to be a very enjoyable day, in front of the packed galleries. Gorway is a quality venue, and there was certainly some quality performances out there in the middle. Just how many more miraculous catches is JP going to take? Another brilliant reflex caught and bowled was added to the Preece portfolio, but as ever, the hard taskmaster, Father Dai, (First team head coach) demanded a thorough explanation for the one JP dropped a few overs later.

Some good bowling from the two Dan’s, Jonty, JP, Greg and Jack Lester restricted the Nomads to 158 on a tricky wicket. A mid range total, that could have been a difficult target. However, the quality of Armstrong and Dunn was the deciding factor in the match. Both lads hitting half centuries to help break our all time club record for 50’s in one season. Setting a new mark of 17. The Gorway Guru, Dan Dunn, was particularly impressive at a ground he adores. The Club Pro now averages 95.5 at this venue, and its fair to say that Dan was the only batsman who looked totally at ease, compiling an impressive, match winning 58.

Jay Edmunds became our 7th debutante of the season, producing an accomplished fielding display. Jay also impressed our Head Coach Dai, with a useful batting display against the dangerous Nomads paceman, Marcus Hutton. But the game concluded with a scriptwriters dream, as Andy Gorton, making his 250th appearance for WHCC, hitting the runs that gave us victory, Club legend Gort, becomes only the 4th player in our history to pass this milestone (Click History/Long Service, on our website for full list) As one of the few remaining active players, to have played in our first season in 1987, this was a well deserved moment for Gort, and a testament to his longevity, loyalty, and numerous contributions to WHCC, both on and off the pitch.

A big thanks must go to all the supporters who came to watch, the whole day had a nice family atmosphere. Another big hand must go to the Nomads, who provided a cracking tea for everyone to enjoy. They are always excellent, welcoming hosts, and we look forward to our next meeting in 2023.

C Hall

v Birmingham Unicorns (A) 22/05/22


Walsall Health beat Birmingham Unicorns by 150 runs…..(At Lapworth)

For a change, lets do this review of our 4th win of the season in Player by Player order…(In batting order)

No1 Dan Armstrong…..They usually say save the best until last, but not this time. Dan Armstrong, now affectionately known as Dan “The Body” Armstrong, enjoyed another exceptional day at the office. If anyone is feeling generous, and wants to buy Dan a Christmas present, can we suggest asking Santa to gift wrap the Lapworth square? After turning up late, because he’d been fixing his girlfriends bed, Dan powered his way to another 50 with the bat, then became only the second bowler in Elf history to record back to back 5-wicket hauls. (John Nicholls achieved this feat back in 1998) Dan’s combined figures over the past two weeks read an eye watering 11 overs 4 maidens 10-20. A completely unique achievement, at the same away ground, but against different opposition. Really well done Dan….his face when the skipper said the words any good bowler dreads…”Have a blow” will live long in everyone’s memory.

No2 Ian Chuck…..How bizzare that by the 22nd May, Ian Chuck had yet to score a run this season. Since the first week in September 2021, the Chuck willow had been in a state of redundancy, still yearning for the 3 runs needed to become only the 4th player in the club’s history to score 4000 runs. It was a case of job done (finally) for Chucky. Although our opponents did think we had all gone slightly barmy for giving a standing ovation to a score of 3 not out. Well done Chuck, 4,000 runs at an average in excess of 50 is a tremendous achievement.

No3 Dan Dunn (Club Pro)….Dan Dunn was the unanimous winner of the inaugural “Nathan Martin, Bad day at the Office Award” There are many acute examples of personal misery during a game of cricket. Getting run out for a duck has got to be near the top of the tree. So lets discuss…. “The run”

Dan Dunn…he ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

The Club Pro walked with purpose to the crease, not entirely happy with Armstrong’s lethargic running between the wickets. “I’ll make him run” was Dan’s prediction. Always a man of his word, Double D hit a nice shot to the fielder at mid off, and set off like a scalded cat. However, there was a slight problem. Dan Armstrong at the non strikers end, was busy doing a good impersonation of a still-life model, with his bat super-glued to the crease. Strong Arm assured us all he called “No” which umpire Chris Hall can confirm. The only issue was, you would have only heard the call had you been in a library, or a participant in a sponsored silence. A shellshocked Dan Dunn was left high and dry. So the dreaded trudge off the pitch began, accompanied by the customary “What were you playing at?” backward glances to his former partner, followed by the traditional solitary lap of the boundary to work out the meaning of life, and a check on who was leading the Grand Prix. If Dan needed anything else rubbing into the wound, there was still plenty more salt kicking around. No catches for Dan this week, his first blank week of the season. Did not bowl. Even his high score at Pac Man (see photo) got toppled by Nathan Reeves just before the close of play…..Just three words spring to mind here….Thanks for coming.

No4 Nathan Reeves…..A quiet day for Nath which included a healthy discussion about what crisps are his current favourite. The first ball he faced got dispatched for four, before being bowled by Buckle for 7. Mini Doc didn’t see much of the ball in the field either, but was rock solid in keeping everyone up to date with the football scores. Nath also completed the perilous mission of hanging up the “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” sign, on our changing room door, just in case Dan Dunn was practicing a javelin technique with his bat.

No5 Alex Nunns (Captain)….Does this bloke Alex Nunns eat a cucumber for his breakfast every morning, because he’s certainly as cool as one. A composed third half century of the season, on a tricky pitch, was a real ship steadier. Another impressive Captain’s performance, and the catch of the day at third slip….think Gilchrist/Strauss Ashes 2005, it really was that good. Talking about the slips, it was a busy day for this area of the field. The Elf’s had some legendary slip cordons over the years, generally occupied by blokes who can’t move, see, or catch. But yesterday, our traditional weekly gathering of human sieves were replaced by the combination of Chuck, Hall and Nunns who took all three chances that flew off the edges of the Unicorns bats, which proved to be the pivotal stage of the game…..superb stuff.

No6 Mac Perager….Like so many others during the past two weeks, Mac perished to the slow and low pitch. The highlight of Mac’s game, an explosive burst of speed chasing a ball down to the third man boundary. This particular chase involved a fierce contest with a fellow team mate….Dan Armstrong. However, it was Mac who showed the superior pace, no photo finish required, it was a comfortable victory. Later in fines, Dan Dunn was quick to point out, that Mac was the second bloke aged over 60 this season, to have beaten Armstrong in a running race. We think the Club Pro might just have enjoyed pointing out this astonishing statistic.

No7 Andy Gorton….The club’s all time leading run scorer took charge of the gloves, taking two very sharp chances standing up to Dan Armstrong and JP, confirming the guillotine remains as sharp as Chuck’s razor. During a lively fines committee, Dai Preece observed that “It was great to have Andy back after not playing for ages” Clearly, Dai must live in a different time zone to the rest of us, seeing as Gort played against Peopleton just 3 weeks ago. But we concur with his sentiments wholeheartedly.

No8 Jack Lester…..One of the highlights of the day was Jack’s 40 not out, sharing in a match winning partnership of 89 with the skipper. Early nerves and a hangover were soon swept away, with Jack growing in confidence as the scoreboard ticked over. With a bit more time, a maiden 50 looked on the cards, but this was exactly what the club wants to see, new players getting involved and doing really well. Jack was even given a new nickname by Chucky…. “The Jester from Lester” even though he lives nowhere near the place. Well batted Jack.

No9 Dave Stephens….A tough old day for Dave, who bowled one of his best ever spells, conceding just 7 runs from his 8 overs. (One of the most economical returns since the 40 over format began) On the spot from his first ball to the last. You would have to consult Miss Marple to explain how DS didn’t take at least 3 or 4 wickets. Dave constantly bowled at the Unicorns left hander, who seemed intent on dropping anchor… (9 not out off 28 overs) It may be wise to avoid sending Dave a Youtube montage of Gower, Gilchrist and Ganguly’s best bits. Lets hope Alrewas have a few right handed batsmen on Sunday.

No 10 Chris Hall….The man who just plays for DNB’s these days. Chally chilled out on the bench with Dan Armstrong instead of getting padded up to bat, then steadily turned his arm over for 4 overs, picking up another wicket. There were early detections of steam coming out of ears, when Dan A dropped a catch off the metronomes bowling, but all was forgiven as Dan made no mistake when the next chance came along. Has anyone ever seen Chally bowl a wide deliberately? Well he did yesterday. Round the wicket, over the wicket, quicker balls, slower balls, a Shane Warne style amble up to the crease, anything to tempt the Unicorns left hander into playing a shot, but to no avail. What a party pooper aswell, taking the wicket JP needed to complete a 5 wicket haul. Were there any signs of regret or remorse after the match? Absolutely none…..still as single minded as ever.

No11 JP…..Its hard to recall a player who has ever been more prepared than JP. Historically, JP usually bats somewhere south of No 10. Maybe he just thinks our batting is rubbish, its the only explanation we can offer as the pads, gloves, thigh pad, box and helmet all went on, just before Dan and Chuck were taking their guards with our score on 0-0. Maybe we’re exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture.

Bowling wise, JP had a good game, picking up another four wickets, although Father Dai, assured everyone in fines, “From side on, it looked bloody awful” JP’s spell resembled a bag of Woolworths Pick n Mix….good balls, bad balls, moon balls, wide balls, even Ed Balls nearly qualified for the list. However all that counts is what goes in the book, just ask Dave Stephens what he would give for figures of 4-13 at the moment.

Dai Preece….said no to the Top Job.

Earlier in the day, after an emergency AGM, it was agreed that Dai should be appointed our new First Team Head Coach. The wage structure was simple….a lifelong free membership into the Dan Armstrong fan club. The news was greeted with delight, but sadly, our very own Brendon McCullum resigned from the position with immediate effect, after being told about his first three duties……

  1. Coach the Two Dan’s the art of the quick single.
  2. Teach Rick Jarrams how to play a forward defensive shot
  3. Tutor Dave Clive how to land the first ball of a spell on the pitch…..some jobs are just too difficult.

Another good win for the Elf, against new opponents, Birmingham Unicorns. It was great to see Nicka, Rick and Jonty pop along to support. It was El Presidente himself who originally sourced us the Lapworth venue. Over ten years later we are still playing at this lovely ground. It was also the first time Rick had ever seen the place he found for us all those years ago.

Jonty to Rick….I’ve bowled a few La La’s from that end.

The margin of victory doesn’t really reflect how the game went. Two passages of play were the defining moments of the match. The brilliant partnership of 89 between Alex and Jack after we had been in trouble at 107-6, followed by two quality opening spells from Dan Armstrong and Dave Stephens, backed up by an electrifying burst of slip catches we so rarely see at this level of the game. A great match, played in the right spirit. We look forward to hosting the Unicorns at Rushall later in the season

v Springhill (A) 12/09/21


Springhill beat WHCC by 79 runs.

I don’t recall an innings of a match report done by somebody who wasn’t even there to observe it, although it has been a season full of new records. But after arriving at the picturesque Springhill venue, it didn’t take too long to get a grasp of the match situation.

The last time Alex Nunns won a toss, colour television hadn’t been invented. To be precise, it was the first game of the season against Sportsman, way back on the 18th April. I think if the skipper ever decides to appear on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, our advice would be….don’t even bother taking your 50/50 lifeline. However, it has to be said, Alex has had a superb season as Captain. Settling into the role easily, leading us to plenty of memorable victories. But more importantly, keeping the atmosphere fun and light hearted, often sacrificing himself, in order to get everyone into the game. An extremely selfless Captain…..Thanks Alex, from everyone at WHCC.

Now after hearing the 1st innings analysis from various self appointed pundits…..”We were going really well until….” the “until” part being the key word here…… In other words, the Springhill No5 batsman, Safdar Matloob came in and hit a blistering 128, off 48 balls, including 13 sixes. This pretty much tells its own story. The sheep in the neighbouring field would have found an air raid shelter quite useful, as the ball was launched in their direction aplenty. After a good start from Father/Son duo, Sam (2-25) and Dave Stephens (1-24) who opened the bowling together for the first time in a while, and a luckless spell from Dan Armstrong, it was the innings of Safdar which turned the game in Springhill’s favour.

John Nicholls and Dave Clive picked up a wicket each, but it was JP, who must have arrived at the venue feeling very charitable …..delivering a spell of 3 overs 0-69…. Ouch!! The only thing missing here was a Just Giving page. On a small ground with a batsman well set, and seeing the ball so well, it wasn’t easy to contain the situation. Nathan Reeves produced yet another whole hearted effort in the field, which has been the story of his season, high energy and total commitment to saving runs from start to finish. The Chairman, Rick Jarrams, making his 306th appearance for WHCC, almost grabbed a great catch, taking a real stinger to the finger, which soon turned a shade of black and blue. Another big hand must go up for Rick here, stepping in at short notice to ensure we had 11 players for our final game of the season. Springhill concluded their innings at 275-5 off 35 overs.

Nathan Reeves….one of the 3 shots???

After tea was taken, Dan Armstrong and Gort began our response. Earlier in the day, Dan had predicted….”I’m going to hit a ton today” He definitely looked in the mood to deliver his promise, getting off the mark with a big 6. The opening partnership reached 54 until Gort was bowled by Arnold for 6, followed by Sam Stephens for 1 to the same bowler. At 56-2, and facing such a big total, Alex started really well, hitting some quality shots, with Dan continuing to plunder runs from the other end. But the key moment came, when Alex was caught at mid off for 24. The skippers dismissal brought Nathan Reeves to the crease, who had earlier told Sam Stephens that he now has three shots. I’d be a bit concerned if this comment got back to those people who formulate the Trade Descriptions Act. Nonetheless, Nath hit a lovely boundary, before being caught for 4.

With the score on 114-4, the run rate climbing, and the clouds looking blacker than Rick’s finger, the Springhill Specialist, Andy Mcklay joined Dan Armstrong for his first knock of the season. Andy, who had already taken a good catch earlier in the day, batted really well, sharing in an entertaining partnership of 75 with Dan. This proved to be exactly the support Dan needed, as he closed in on making good his century prediction. As he reached 95, a nice leg glance for 4 inched Dan to within one run of three figures. But by now, the light meters were coming out, and the rain was falling quite heavily. But to everyone’s relief, a misfield at cover led to a quick single, giving Dan a very well deserved 3rd century of the season, which included 5 sixes and 14 fours. This was a historic moment. The first time anyone has ever hit three hundreds in one season for the club. A brilliant effort again. After finally being bowled for 113, Dan walked off the pitch smiling more than Emma Raducanu. I think he might just have enjoyed his day.

Dan Armstrong….100 X 3. Big hand

Our innings concluded on 196-5. Well short of the required target, but with Andy Mcklay staying deservedly unbeaten on 11 not out, and Dave Clive, who picked up a nice red inker, to finish off a really good first season for DC. Well batted lads.

The final fines committee of the season was a strange one. Most people took a shine to throwing 20 quid into the pot. Now I know the pandemic has caused most prices to go up, but this was ridiculous. John Nicholls was all smiles, after being told he had picked up his 141st DNB. After a quick calculation, Jonty made everyone aware….”So that is 10 seasons where I haven’t had a bat” We all said farewell to the 2021 season, leaving Gort with the real head scratcher of finding 18 quid change for 90% of yesterdays XI. Best of luck Andy…..HSBC opens at 9am mate.

v Lapworth (H) 05/09/21


WHCC beat Lapworth by 4 wkts

The final home game of the 2021 season took place in lovely sunny conditions, and it proved to be another great contest with our friends from Lapworth CC. Before we start, a big hand must go to Nicka, and everyone at Rushall for helping us enjoy another great season at Carter Park. Thanks lads, its very much appreciated.

The first landmark moment occured before a ball had even been bowled, as our youngest ever Captain, Dan Dunn, led his team out to field for the first time in his WHCC career. Lapworth started briskly, but the new skipper kept a cool head, making a few early field changes, which proved the catalyst for the first important wicket of the day. Ellis Rose, who was already looking dangerous on 21, hit a skier to Richard Fell who was fielding out in the deep. With everyone aware that if this chance was taken, Fell would join Rick Jarrams in becoming only the second player in the club’s history to take 100 catches. There was plenty of thinking time, but to be honest, like so many of his other 99 catches, it never really looked in doubt. Despite admitting to a few morning nerves, and not wanting “Catch 100” to descend from the sky with snow on the ball, it was still taken with clinical ease for the historic century.

Rich Fell. Mission Accomplished.

Now as a WHCC bowler, when that red ball goes up in the air, there are certain fielders where you may aswell just trudge back to your mark for the next ball, cursing your luck and muttering a few after the 9 0 clock watershed remarks, unless they ever change the laws of cricket to allow…..caught Green Grass bowled Nicholls/Oliver/Stephens etc as a legal dismissal. But then there have been other fielders like Rich Fell who you just automatically think, yeah he’s got that. And pretty much every single time, you would be proved right. Big hand for all the years of consistency in the most under-rated part of the game.

This memorable first poach proved to be the start of The Elf taking control of the game. The next few wickets fell at regular intervals, with Dave Stephens taking 4-29, including a great yorker to bowl Dickson for 22. Dave said afterwards “He just loves playing Lapworth at Rushall” Not surprising really, when you consider his figures for the last 2 games against them stand at….16 overs 6 mdns 49-10. Well bowled Dave.

Dan Dunn did a good job in rotating his bowlers to keep Lapworth on their toes. Richard Fell, still on a high from his milestone moment, bowled well to despatch Williams for 17. Greg Philpott and Dave Clive picked up one wicket each. We had the annual caught D.Preece bowled J.Preece moment. While John Nicholls had one of those “How did that miss” days. Although Jonty came so close to taking a diving caught and bowled effort, from just the second ball of his spell. Prompting Dave Stephens to go all X-Factor on us, breaking out into a rendition of “There’s a Hole in my Buckets” As all the hilarity died down, we all retired to tea, contemplating a Lapworth total of 174-8.

The Club Pro decided to unleash experienced campaigners, Ian Chuck and David Preece to get us off to a good start. But thanks to a spectacular catch at slip by Tanveer, DP departed for 4. Skipper Dan Dunn, decided to place himself in that key position of No3, and worked hard to get himself in against some decent Lapworth bowling, but was given out lbw for 7. With our score at 53-2, and both Preece and Dunn back in the hutch, the contest was evenly poised.

Andy Carrick. Brilliant comeback.

Andy Carrick walked out to the middle to join Chucky. Now on one of the last occasion’s we saw Andy, it was over at Aldridge’s top pitch against Sportsman. That game was more like an episode of Holby City than a Sunday Friendly. Ambulances and paramedics on the pitch, after a nasty dislocation to the Carrick shoulder. So there was a collective wish amongst the team for Andy to do well. His partnership with Chuck began promisingly. Chuck registered his 24th fifty for WHCC, to move to outright 2nd on the all time list of half century makers, but perished a few balls later for 52. Just 3 runs short of reaching 4,000 runs for the club with just one game remaining in 2021. I think Chucky might just be “available” next Sunday.

Suddenly, from a commanding position of 95-2, Nathan Reeves and Greg Philpott joined Chucky in the pavillion, leaving us wobbling on 108-5. Dave Clive looked in good form, until being caught on the boundary….131-6. This match was fluctuating as much as the current Test series. However, losing a few partners didn’t seem to affect Andy Carrick’s concentration. Andy looked rock solid from the first ball of his innings. Rotating the strike well, and hitting some really nice boundaries, which included a lovely late cut for 4, to take us past 150. Meanwhile, David Preece, decided to show off his multi tasking skills, taking charge of scoring duty, whilst applying for the role of WHCC poet laureate….

“If Andy Carrick stays in. The Elf will win”…..was David’s opinion of the match situation

Tim Fell gearing up for Fell v Fell.

We now had a storm brewing….it was time for T.Fell (bowler) v R.Fell (batsman). And it proved to be the decisive moment in the game. R.Fell went after T.Fell, hitting four boundaries, there were overthrows too, it all got a bit ragged in the field, as we closed in on the victory target of 175. With Andy Carrick on 48 not out, just 2 more runs were needed to wrap up victory. But sadly, the winning runs were conceded with four byes, robbing Andy of a well deserved maiden 50 for the club. A great comeback game for AC, calm, composed, chanceless. Well batted mate. The unbeaten partnership of 45 with Fell just what the Doctor (or paramedic) ordered, when the game was still in the balance.

Fines Committee was chaired by the man with a 100% win record Dan Dunn, and there were some interesting observations.

Dai Preece expressed his concern about the whereabouts of our Director of Matchday Photography, Lizzie. It seems Lizzie has gone all Eastenders on us, last seen disappearing in the back of a black cab 3 months ago, or in her case, a black Renault Clio. But like most characters, the door has been left open for a comeback. Lizzie’s Key Lime Pie tastes far too nice to be completely written out of the Elf Soap Opera

Now poor old Alex Nunns said to me a while ago, he was disappointed he didn’t win the bails award last season. Well he might just get a second shot at the title. There seemed to be confusion about the selection of a player, who didn’t know he’d been selected, and isn’t even on the Elf Whatsapp group. Now last time i checked, Rushall talisman… Andy Clayton or AC, didn’t look much like Andy Carrick. There were several comments throughout our innings….”Andy Clayton is batting really well today” It confused Dan Armstrong so much, he had to go for another lie down. And if you check Lapworth’s scorebook, Andy Carrick is Andy Caddick according to them. Even I’m puzzled now.

Dave Stephens, happy with a return to the wickets column had a puzzled look on his face, before posing the question. How do we ever lose when we have Josh Butler and Andy Caddick at the club?

Dan Dunn endured that really awkward moment. How much shall i fine my Dad? Sadly, the Club Pro took the standard 2 quid option, after Nicka gave him the stare, then announcing….”Remember who is taking you, and picking you up from the airport next week” Talking about Nicka, our Pringles Champion had a busy afternoon, cutting the football pitch over the far side of the ground. Nicka was still toiling away as the game was about to finish, enabling David Preece to join the contenders for quote of the season…..

“I didn’t realise they made motability scooters that big” (All in good spirit)

Well played everyone.

C. Hall

v Poppy Fields (H) 01/08/21


Poppy Fields beat Walsall Health CC by 4 wkts

Another new fixture for the 2021 season, saw Poppy Fields arrive at Rushall for the first time. A very well supported club, with plenty of friends, family and pets in attendance, including a very fleet of foot black labrador who saved a well timed Ian Chuck drive from reaching the long off boundary, much to the amusement of our Matchday photographer Lizzie.

Captain for the day Chuck, won the toss and elected to bat, throwing debutant, Tom Bentley straight into the spotlight, with last weeks Centurion, the Club Pro, Dan Dunn. From ball one, Poppy Fields kept things very tight, bowling a good line and length, making it difficult for our batsmen to establish any momentum. After Dan Dunn departed for 10, Dan Armstrong and Tom Bentley steadily took our score past 50, in the 17th over.

The young leg spinner, Brotherton, bowled extremely well. Tying Dan Armstrong up in more knots than a cub scouts tea party, finally getting his man, caught and bowled for 33. From this point onwards, wickets fell steadily. Tom Bentley (14) Nathan Reeves (4) and the second debutant of the day Abz Hayat (8) were all back in the pavillion with our score on 88-5. But that cunning Saffa, Ian Chuck, had cleverly put himself and Gort down the order, for a counter attack, with the thought of giving everyone a game also in his thoughts. Gorts 23 off 25 balls, moved our team score into three figures, before perishing to a caught and bowled effort from Parks.

With one half of the “Steady the Ship” duo gone, the responsibility rested on Chucks shoulders to carry his bat and marshall the tail through to 40 overs. Dave Stephens hit a handy 21. Josh Butler looked rock solid until being well caught at short cover. But it was the returning Chris Hall, who caused some hilarity amongst the galleries, particularly DS and Gort. Batting at number 11, and confronted with facing the final ball of the 38th over. Chally, not really in any position to be running quick singles, insisted before walking out to bat….”I’ll just block it and Chuck can do the rest” It was a rather curious attempt at a block, with the ball fizzing off Rick Jarrams bat for four. Predictably, it was mentioned in fines. The skipper finished on a well made 37 not out, closing our innings on 172-9. The general consensus being, if Poppy Fields batted as well as they bowled, it was going to be a tight contest.

Well the WHCC brains trust got it spot on. Poppy Fields started their innings strongly, and its fair to say we were always on the back foot. Dave Stephens bowled his usual tidy spell, picking up a 2-for. Chucky had a luckless 4 over opening salvo (which included a first ball that went for 7) as did first change, Dan Armstrong, who cut Hayhurst in half with a jaffa. One of those “how did that miss moments” Back in travelator territory, Chris Hall, not really looking much like Chris Hall, bowled 8 very slow, steady and controlled overs picking up a wicket to move just one behind Tim Oliver’s all time club record, thanks to the ultra safe hands of Dan Dunn.

Dai Preece…interesting post match analysis.

But to be honest, the “Main Event of the Day” was developing at the other end of the pitch. JP, who began proceedings on 97 wickets for WHCC, moved onto 98, courtesy of Gorts nifty glovework. Although later on in fines comittee, Dai Preece, a man who never minces his words, described the ball as “absolute rubbish” (that’s the parental guidance version) Number 99 soon followed, thanks to Chucky, who really was in no mood to be dropping important catches. So after years of toil and 110% effort, the door was now wide open for a historic moment. As Poppy Fields No6 batsman, Hadley misjudged the JP flight, the ball was in the air. Once again, it was Captain Chuck who sprinted in from the boundary like a man possessed to take a very good catch, giving a true club legend the moment he deserved. He has been called all sorts of names in the scorebook over the years…J.Breeze, J.Priest are the two that spring to mind, but lets be in no doubt, it was J.Preece who became only the 11th member of the 100 wkts club on Sunday 1st August 2021.

The King of Spain #100wkts

After all the on pitch celebrations ended, Poppy Fields closed the game out for a well deserved 4 wicket win. A great bunch of lads, who bowled, batted and fielded just that little bit better than us. But the result was immaterial. After the customary handshakes, a well deserved Guard of Honour was given to JP as he walked off the pitch. The career figures say it all…..

JP….355 Overs 15 maidens 2052 runs 100 wkts 20.52 ave 6-35 career best.

Big Hand JP.

Chris Hall

v Yoxall CC 25/04/21


Walsall Health beat Yoxall by 9 wkts.

It was nice to visit Yoxall again, for the first time since the 2012 season. Always a lovely welcoming ground….so lovely in fact, it encouraged Rob Hewlitt to be punctual for the first time in 100 appearances as suggested in a lively fines committee. Making his debut on 19th August 2012 against Highwood Park, Rob joins a list of 18 players to complete 100 games for WHCC. Well done Rob.

Rob Hewlitt #100 games

Skipper Alex Nunns lost the toss, so Yoxall elected to have a bat. Not a bad toss to lose, as it soon became apparent that the deck wasn’t exactly a batsman’s paradise. Nathan Martin and Dan Armstrong opened the bowling, both men producing high quality spells. It feels like Dan Armstrong’s favourite Sunday pastime is breaking records (more on that later) After last weeks 104, Dan steamed in to wreak havoc amongst the Yoxall top order. Clean bowling Tom Reynolds with an absolute peach for 3, with the first ball of his spell. Dan then removed Gale and Turner for ducks to leave Yoxall struggling on 4-3. With the shine on the new ball, Dan was pretty much unplayable at times, so the left handed opener Gareth Lewis did really well to survive, whilst others perished around him. Nathan Martin had one of those days, bowling really well for no reward, and i think its only fair we hold a minutes silence for his water bottle, which had absolutely no chance of surviving the violent beating dished out to it on the fine leg boundary.

JP. Tonight he’s gonna party like its…..

Its fair to say Yoxall never recovered from their bad start. Chris Hall came on at first change, to team up with Dan for combined figures of 16 overs 9 maidens 7-15. The pitch didn’t get much easier to bat on, with bad balls in very short supply. JP, who had already displayed tremendous courage, turning up dressed as the pink panther, entered into the action. Two more wkts were deposited into the bank on his road to 100, clean bowling Asghar 0, then dismissing Maczkowski 7, courtesy of the safe hands of Nathan Martin. Josh Butler, who had fielded really well, then came on to wrap the Yoxall innings up. Taking his 10th wkt for the club, with Rob Hewlitt poaching another dolly land snaffle to mark his 100th appearance. Gort deservedly gets the final mention, keeping on that pitch wasn’t easy. Taking a sharp blow on the grill, plus 2 excellent catches summed up a solid all round effort…..Yoxall 87 all out.

The WHCC Guv’nors, Rick Jarrams and John Nicholls had strolled around the boundary enjoying the game. It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that Jonty made full use of the nets over the far side of the pitch, in preparation for his return at Lapworth on the 16th May.

After tea, we set about the chase of a tricky low total. But it didn’t take Dan Armstrong long to remove any doubt about the result with a quickfire 29 off 20 balls. As mentioned earlier, it was another day of milestones for D.Arm, taking his 50th wkt, and scoring his 1,000th run in the same game. At the age of just 20 years and 343 days, by far the youngest WHCC player to achieve this feat.

Meanwhile, Ian Chuck who announced his only priority for the day was a red inker, stood firm to finish on 31 not out. Quietly negotiating a path past his 3,500th run for WHCC, still at average in excess of 50. A superb effort from Chuck, who also raised a few eyebrows at tea, with a masterful display of carb loading to rival Sam Stephens’s 27 sandwiches at Didcot in 2009. Talking of red inkers. Skipper, Alex Nunns 11* joined Chuck to take us over the line, to maintain his 100% record. Another strong all round team effort, played in a positive spirit against our friendly Yoxall hosts. So friendly in fact, that Greg Philpott and Dan Armstrong kindly offered to help out with a spot of early evening ground maintenance. Greg, who earlier in the day, had shrewdly offered to wear all the bowlers jumpers to combat the chilly wind, suggested a solid hour of heavy rolling. #spiritofcricket. I get the feeling the Yoxall square will play nice and flat next weekend.

Greg and Dan. Selfless gesture.

See you at Much Wenlock.


Batting Scorecard
Bowling Scorecard

v Sportsman 18/04/21


Walsall Health beat Sportsman by 8 wkts.

Welcome back everyone to the WHCC 2021 season…..

On arrival at the RCG, and after a quick assessment of players and spectators, its fair to say that if Rushall ever fancied an upgrade on their heavy roller, a few people at yesterday’s game would comfortably fit the job criteria. One man who had no chance of making the first interview stage was new skipper Alex Nunns, who won the toss and elected to bowl. Rushall’s pitch and outfield looked in excellent shape. A lot of time and effort has gone into this over the last few weeks/months, so a big hand to all the lads at Rushall and the Elf who have put the hard yards in.

The Sportsman innings was a tale of two halves. The first club record of the season was broken after just nine deliveries, with the new ball that Dave Stephens had kindly brought over for us, disappearing into another stratosphere. A Nathan Martin full toss was smashed halfway to Pelsall by Waqas Ahmed. Talking of Pelsall, that was exactly where debutant Ashley Clifford (Player Number 220) found himself, just an hour before the game. Turning up at the wrong ground, has happened before, and will no doubt happen again. But maybe our newcomer knew something we didn’t. Because he could have taken a half decent catch if he had stayed at his initial destination.

Nathan Martin (3-38) was the pick of our bowlers, settling down into a nice spell, just as his grandparents were arriving. The Friar Park Express showed all the right signs to suggest he could be in for a very good season. Nath began the perfect comeback, clean bowling the dangerous Waqas and Calvin cheaply. Then finding the edge of Vishual’s bat, well taken by Gort…. Well bowled. Club Pro Dan Dunn, who left work early to open the bowling, strived hard at the other end without reward. On a fast scoring outfield, the Elf were in a good position after 25 overs. Until John Helmsley 89 and Lee 53, started to accelerate the scoring.

For any rookie cricketer who is keen to learn the finer arts of bowling at the death, I would advise watching the last 10 overs of the Sportsman innings very closely….then do the exact opposite. Ian Chuck had more steam coming out of his ears than a scene from the Severn Valley Railway. Chuck was tonked over cow corner a few times, then had to endure the nightmare scenario of John Helmsley switch hitting him for yet another boundary. JP picked up a couple of wkts at the other end to take him two steps closer to his 100th wkt milestone, as Sportsman’s innings closed on a challenging 230-7.

Pick of the fielders had to be Rob Hewlitt, busy as ever, and the instigator of the run out of Abdul, with Nathan Reeves matching Rob’s energy, stopping every ball that came his way in a typical whole hearted display.

After tea was taken we set about the chase of 230. A seriously pumped up Ian Chuck, immediately set the tone. Batting in the style of AB de Villiers, Chucky smashed anything short to the boundary, with a scoring sequence of 4,4,4,4,1,4,1,4,4. It was looking ominous for Sportsman until our Saffa copped a Jaffa for 39. However, this 53 run opening partnership from the first 6 overs with Dan Armstrong was just what the Doctor ordered.

As Chuck trudged off, pondering whether he has a weakness against left arm seamers, Dan Armstrong took centre stage. What an innings this was, 104….including fifteen 4’s and two 6’s. Dan deservedly joins a select group of multiple WHCC centurions. It was the classic Armstrong innings. A blend of power ball striking, and some lovely timing. One shot in particular that stands out, taking a couple of steps forward, clipping the ball off his legs to the square leg boundary. All timing and skill. Dan’s innings was a historic one for the club too, being the 30th Century since the reformation in 1987, and only the second occasion where we have witnessed a ton during the first game of a season. It also takes him to within just 2 runs of his first 1,000 runs for the club. So after a cool down lap of the pitch and debrief with the Club Pro, Dan simply said “Tell DS to get my cap ready for next Sunday”….well batted mate.

D.Armstrong 104.

The partnership of 143 for the second wicket (no its not a record) with skipper Alex Nunns, effectively took the game away from Sportsman. Despite facing a barrage of vociferous lbw appeals, Alex batted really well, finishing unbeaten on 65. His 8th fifty for the club, which included ten 4’s. A composed Captain’s knock, providing the perfect support to Dan.

It was left to Rob Hewlitt to close out the game, with a cameo 17 not out, but again, another top order batsman who looks in very good touch. This was a really good win to start our season, and the highest successful run chase since we hunted down 236 at Swynnerton back in 2011.

See you at Yoxall.

Batting Scorecard
Bowling Scorecard