V Old Moseley Fitmen (15/07/18)


Walsall Health v Old Moseley Fitmen…Match Tied.

On yet another scorching hot day, WHCC played hosts to opponents of many a year, Old Moseley Fitmen. With no heavy roller to make batting conditions even easier, we got underway on time at 14:30 BST.  Historically, Fitmen always bring a strong XI. Today was no different. Two classy openers, Tom Caesar and Jawad, piled on some early misery and raced to 55 before Dan Dunn took a good caught and bowled to dismiss Jawad. With Dave Stephens toiling away at the other end, our regular nemesis “Mo” ambled out to begin his innings.  Mo would lose his first partner, Caesar thanks to a cool catch by Dan Armstrong off the bowling of Chuck. Chuck then pilfered his second wkt of the day, thanks to a stunning reflex catch by JP. A strong contender for catch of the season. It was so good, Mo immediately paid his homage at the none strikers end with a nod of respect.

Chucky and Chally had applied the brakes with some tight bowling to peg Fitmen back to 111-3. However, Mo (87 off 78 balls) and Harris (46 off 36 balls) then cut loose, to wrestle back the momentum, and pass 200, with 8 more overs left in the bank. Despite several tough passages of play, heads didn’t drop this week, we kept battling away which was good to see. Nathan Reeves, once again setting the standard in the field, attacking the ball like a caged lion. Such good standards paid off, with Dan Dunn returning to pick up two more wkts, Chris Hall and Dan Armstrong snaffled one each at the death, with Fitmen finishing on 246-7.  A tremendous collective effort here, several times Fitmen threatened to post around 280-300, but our application for the full 40 overs, meant we had a chance of chasing this down.

The chase began with an unlucky dismissal for Gort, ball onto boot, onto stumps. Maybe a hint of bat into a tree, the sequel here, the Gort willow was certainly hurled a few yards in disgust anyway. Enter the Chuck brothers, and this partnership was definitely not suitable for Kids TV. Some aggressive batting, with Leo punching the ball through the covers for fun, and Ian bludgeoning the ball to all corners, saw the Elf race to 100-1 off just 14 overs. Great to see Leo bat so well, falling just short of a deserved quickfire fifty. The momentum was all ours at this stage. Dan Armstrong joined Chuck, and continued to dominate the Fitmen bowlers. When Chuck departed for a brilliant 89, we appeared comfortable on 190-3….57 required off 96 balls.

A lot of credit has to be given to Fitmen, from a tough position, they gradually eased their way back into the game, with some tight bowling from Mo (4-17 off 8 overs) and Harris. Scoring became more difficult, as Nath, Rob and Greg went cheaply. With the score at 236-7, Dan Armstrong was still at the crease, after reaching a second consecutive 50. Another excellent knock from Dan, who is really starting to deliver with the bat. Time was running out, so when Dan was caught going for a big shot to ease the pressure, the game remained in the balance. Dave Stephens hit a priceless 4, then was out to another good catch from a Fitmen fielder, they really did catch very well in the key moments. After 79 overs it came down to the final over, with the Elf needing 6 to win. Dan Dunn fell to the first ball, leaving us on the brink. JP joined Chally, and managed to sneak a single, leaving Chris to get 5 off the final two balls. The first of which was despatched to the square leg boundary for 4, to tie the game up after 79.5 overs. With all fielders brought into the ring, Chally couldn’t quite connect to pierce the field, leaving JP valiantly falling inches short of making his ground to complete a dramatic victory. What a game! Nearly 500 runs in a match that came down to the final ball, finishing at 20:55 BST….Match Tied.

All 22 players agreed it had been a superb match, which ebbed and flowed all day.  Everyone contributing, and trying their best, is all any team can ask for. A bit like the John Isner v Kevin Anderson match at Wimbledon last Friday, that would have been a tough game to lose for either team.

Tea update….RIP Victoria Sponge.

Thankyou’s update….Some big efforts yesterday. Rich Fell umpiring for the full 40 overs, allowed a lot of the players to take a rest after a long innings in the field. Nice to see Dan Dunn, Dave Stephens and Leo back in the team, all making excellent contributions. Great support too, from Gail, Fitzy, Nikka, Dai and Roger Moore, with Alex and Rachel sensing a knife edge finish arriving just in time to see the drama unfold.

Novak Update….The great man is back to his brilliant best, Wimbledon Champion 2018.

Stats Update….Ian Chuck’s 89, moves him up to fourth place on the all time run scorers list.

The Verdict….Wonderful contest. Exactly what all sports should be…A contest.  I would happily play in a game like this one every single week. In a game so close, everyone may be thinking of the “If only I’d done this or that moment” which is understandable. But sport is mostly all about split second decisions, all of which a game can be decided on. We should all just focus on being fortunate enough to take part in a memorable game of cricket, on a nice summer afternoon, and celebrate the match for what it was.  We won’t play in many games better than this one.

Written by Chris Hall

Featured image – http://www.susanyounganimation.com/drawings/cricket.html




Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Oak n Ash (08/07/18)


Walsall Health 250-3 (40 overs) beat Oak n Ash 196-8 ( 30.1 overs) by 54 runs

The Elf hosted Oak n Ash today at Aldridge in a game where the sun cream was a must for all those participating.
Rob Hewlitt won the toss and decided to bat first which did not sit well with Ian Chuck who stormed off to put his pads on.
Chuck and Gort opened up on a wonderful deck and the Elf’s solid opening pair piled on the runs and the misery for the Oak n Ask lads by surpassing the 100 mark with relative ease with both of the Elf’s openers securing a half century. However it was Andy Gorton who has been out on 49 twice already this season who was out after scoring exactly 50 with the team total on 151.
Dan Armstrong assumed full all-rounder status by coming in and giving the ball a bit of tap and providing excellent support for Chuck who reached his 100 with a four through midwicket off his legs to raise his bat for the second time of the day.
Chuck was out caught shortly after and Rob Hewlitt who is used to more of a ‘dig in’ after a few captain’s knocks in recent weeks was out caught for two. Hewlitt was replaced by Greg Phillpott who hit three boundaries for his 12 but was run out in the final over pushing for the extra runs.
The final over was dominated by 18 year old Dan Armstrong who hit a couple of massive sixes to reach his maiden fifty for the Elf, somewhat deserved as well after some excellent batting recently.

The Elf began the defence of their mammoth total with Nath Martin and Dan Armstrong fresh from a great knock. Dan picked up the first wicket of Gallen for one and at first change Chris Hall got Bailey and the Elf had the visitors at around 30-2 inside the first 10 overs.
If you know anything about this Oak n Ash side you know they are a great bunch of lads and fight hard to the death and their 3rd wicket partnership was a magnificent one at that. Shepheard and Cochoran hit the Elf bowlers to all parts of the Coliseum in a great display of batting. Shepheard was the first to go bowled by Ian Chuck and Dan Armstrong picked up his 2nd of the day by knocking back Sheldon’s bails.
Cochoran was still their dismissing the ball to all parts but the nervous nineties kicked in and he hit a hard shot back to Chuck and on about the third attempt the man from Durban snaffled the catch and the Elf looked home and dry. The last four batsmen for the opposition hit 23 between them with wickets for Davies, Hall and Armstrong to see the Elf to their seventh victory of the season and also seventh in a row.
A final word for the Oak n Ash boys who played valiantly with nine men in that heat and probably would’ve won with the extra two men, well played boys.

Tea review

No Victoria Sponge. 5/10

Shower club update

The showers in the squash changing rooms are better than the main ones but you can only have two of them on at the same time plus they were boiling. 4/10.

A final mention for Rakesh Mal who turned up after getting asked at 1:30 if he could play, superb effort in the field as well on debut.

Written by Tom Davies




Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Bharat Parivar (01/07/18)


Walsall Health beat Bharat Parivar by 3 wkts.

On a scorching hot day, at Rushall, The Health welcomed back Bharat Parivar for the second time this season. Early village moment of the day…by 2:20 pm BST, only one member of the opposition had arrived. A huge bonus for Gort, as it gave him even more time to continue his blossoming relationship with the heavy roller. So after plenty of faffing about, the game started at 2:55 BST on a pitch that resembled the landscape of the Somerset Levels.

Parivar adopted the same tactics as a few weeks ago, aggressive.  Dan Armstrong got an early breakthrough, thanks to a brilliant reflex catch, by skipper for the day Ian Chuck. However, a couple of dropped catches saw Parivar accelerate even more. The new ball, kindly donated by Nikka, disappeared into oblivion after 4 overs, never to be seen again. Ian Chuck, opening the bowling, (Yes, this isn’t a mis-print) got an iffy decision, and that is being polite. A big snick, louder than a Tom Davies appeal, was snaffled by Gort. The batsman appeared to be trudging off back to the pavillion, only to decide he fancied batting a bit longer. I must brush up on the laws of the game this week. The game continued.

With Parivar passing the 50 mark in quick time, wickets were needed to slow things down. Prabhar was the first to chance his arm one too many times, trying to heave Ian Chuck for another six, he perished to a brilliant running catch from Greg. This was a big wicket, as Prabhar looked a very dangerous batsman. Josh Butler joined the party, thanks to a solid catch from Nikka. Then returning legend, Sam Stephens, trapped Pandiylan plumb in front. We were back on top, at 70-4 off 15 overs. The opposition consolidated in their own style, by continuing to attack with a good partnership between Tewaji and Nais, taking them to 140-4. In the humid weather, and with plenty of overs remaining, it looked like this was going to be a tough afternoon.

After a second drinks break was taken, Chris Hall, still seething from some rough decisions a few weeks ago, came into the attack. Immediately yelling at Captain Chuck to get the field right (Apologies Chuck) then standing at his mark, offered Chuck some advice, in a stern and measured tone…”Do not take me off until they are all back in the pavillion” The aggression worked, as Hall broke the partnership, thanks to another great catch from Chuck, then skittled three more Parivar batsman. Their momentum had been checked, with Chuck picking up the remainder, 140-4 became 185 all out. A very good fightback, with the highlight in the field being a spectacular diving stop by JP, to save a certain boundary. We fancied chasing this down on a rapid out-field.

After a sumptuous tea, more about that later. We began the chase. Extras started really well, scoring 15 of the first 22 runs. Chuck was first to go, on a pitch starting to show some demons, getting a low shooter for 2. Very unlucky. Enter Sam Stephens, who looked to be positive, hitting four 4’s and looking well set, only to fall to another unplayable one. Where is that heavy roller when you need it? The score was 57-2. Alex Nunns was next to go for 21, which again include five 4’s. Dan Armstrong came in to join the 4’s club, getting off the mark with a beautiful on drive, only to perish for 9. But with Gort at the other end, steadily accumulating runs, the match was in the balance at 108-4. With a pumped up Nathan Reeves hitting 10, followed by 8 from Greg Philpott, the score moved on to 145-6. Then the loss of Gort, who departed for 49 left the Elf wobbling on 150-7 on a deteriorating pitch.

The equation was simple when Josh Butler joined Chris Hall at the crease. 35 to win off 9 overs. Loads of time, it was all about temperament. Parivar produced some excellent death bowling, but after Chally hit three 4’s to ease the tension a bit, the rate was now 12 to win off 9 balls. To be fair, it looked like Parivar had used up their two best bowlers. So after a penultimate mid over chat, super cool Josh Butler and Chall agreed that we could win this game right now. JB calmly walked back to his crease to plunder three successive 4’s to the despair of the Parivar fielders. A real pleasure to see this, as Josh had dug in against the better bowlers, to get his reward. A partnership of 37 for the 8th wkt to take us over the line. Amongst the celebrations, Nathan Reeves did a great impression of Jose Mourinho, (youtube him running down the touchline when Porto knocked out Man Utd in the Champions League 2004) Parivar were gracious in defeat, in a good close game of cricket, that was well supported on the day.

Tales from the Travelator.

Sam and Chucky experienced the delights of this cursed end this week. Chuck getting a big snick, and another Pelsall Common stumping, only to be told not out both times. Sam joined in, with what appeared to be a hitting all three lbw appeal, again to no avail.

Tea Update. Rating 10/10

Tremendous. Especially as it was prepared at such short notice. Big thankyou to Alex and Rachel. Plum tomato’s, not a single one rolled off anybody’s plate, smart purchase. Loads of oranges for Vitamin C…Clever choice. Good sandwich variety, to carb load…Much needed. And a variey of Samosa’s, Sausage Rolls, Cheese and Onion Rolls, Pizza and salads. Plenty of leftovers too, which were devoured after the game. Aldridge, take note.

Dessert update. Rating 10/10

Star Baker for this week….Lizzie. Delivering a plethora of sponge delights. Already producing a masterful Key Lime Pie at Peopleton, Lizzie produced a high class display of Perfect Pattiserie. A lovely Victorious Sponge, backed up by Banana Loaf, and Dan Armstrong’s personal favourite the Chocolate Brownie. Really nice. Once again, all made at short notice which was very much appreciated.

One More Thankyou update…

A big thankyou to Nikka, who stepped up to play at short notice. Having the extra man in such hot conditions made all the difference yesterday. Thanks again mate.

The Verdict…

This was our 6th consecutive victory of the season. Certainly a new club record since the 40 over format began. A fantastic achievement, with different players stepping up every week to make match winning contributions. Lets keep it going against Oak n Ash this week.

Written by Chris Hall




Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Beaumont CC (17/06/18)


Walsall Health CC 189-4 (40 overs) beat Beaumont CC 150 all out (37.4 overs) by 39 runs

The Elf won their fifth consecutive game of the season today against Beaumont, a fixture that has been ever present since the club started in the late 1980s.

A minute applause in remembrance of Rupert.

The game began on a sad note when the boys heard from the visitors that long serving Beaumont player Rupert Lisle sadly passed away over the Christmas period 2017. Tributes were led by Elf legend Andy Gorton who said some kind words and coordinated a minute applause in remembrance of Rupert.

Beaumont won the toss and put the Elf in. Gort and Chuck started the innings but the two elves were bogged down in the opening overs of the game by Johnson and Grainger who bowled with discipline and were unlucky to not get a wickets. The first wicket game when H.Jandhu came on and Dan Armstrong triggered Chuck for 25. It wasn’t long until Krish (who looked to be throwing it) came on and JP did what he does best and triggered Gort to a ball that looked to be too high from the boundary.

Alex Nunns and in form skipper Rob Hewlitt dug in for a few overs but the second change bowlers from Beaumont could not keep the runs down. The ‘Ginger Lara’ and the ‘Horsham Kohli’ put on an excellent partnership of 91 at a very quick run rate to give the Elf a great chance of winning the fixture.
The game was evenly poised on 92-2 at the end of the 28th over but by the time Al nicked off for 39 in the 35th, the score was 151-3 and the hosts were in a commanding position.
Skipper Hewlitt applied the pressure and went to another 50 this season, finally finishing 63 not out after Rich Fell hit a quick 12 and Leo Chuck finally got his first runs for the club in the last over.

As the evening begun, the Elf defended their total in the Coliseum with dangerous Beaumont stalwarts Hodgson and Johnson striding out to face Armstrong and pacey Leo Chuck with the new ball.
After a few nice boundaries, Johnson was triggered LBW for 16 off Armstrong and Tom Davies got the number three Khrisna for one after Alex Nunns took a great catch at point.
Beaumont’s captain Rands entered the fray and neither Chally or Tom could break the partnership so it was left to Kolpak spinner Ian Chuck who came on to try and break the deadlock.
A great contest over six balls ensued between Chuck and Hodgson who Chuck sledged before he’d even bowled a ball by saying “if he cuts me he’s doing very well”…Hodgson went to cut him 3 balls out of 5 including a nice four through point but Chuck won the battle with a quicker ball yorker to get his side’s third wicket with his final ball of the over.

Chris Hall tirelessly went through the mill for 8 overs on the bounce and finally picked up a wicket when he get Rands caught behind by Gort and Beaumont were 110-4 needing more than six an over to win with their four main batsman back in the hutch back in the squash changing rooms all 22 men were expected to change in* #village

A nice match threatening partnership between Johnson and Jandhu came together before Tom Davies got Johnson caught behind by Chuck.
Elf Heartthrob Greg Phillpott came on and was on full janitor duties picking up the next three wickets for virtually no runs. First Hall  got Esp and Alex Nunns got Parks. Both catches were skied pretty high so some excellent fielding on display. Gort got his second caught behind of the day and Leo Chuck hustled in for the last two wickets in two balls meaning the next time he bowls, he’s on a hat-trick.

Well played lads against always top bunch Beaumont. There’s a reason why both sides have consistently played over the years, games played fair and square and always toasted with a beer after.

Tea review

Aldridge Victoria sponge is back 7/10

Shower Club update

Still no Dan Armstrong and the lads had to leave the chaotic changing room and head to the normal Aldridge changing rooms for the shower they craved but once again piss poor water flow means they may as well have showered under a tap. 1/10

Love Island update

Is anyone even watching this year?


Written by Tom Davies






Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Lichfield Nomads (10/06/18)


Walsall Health 235-2 (40 overs) beat Lichfield Nomads 164-5 (40 overs) by 71 runs

The Elf played their second consecutive game at Rushall this week in a game where an icon was born. Andy Gorton, one of the very few original 1987 Elves left today surpassed Tim Oliver’s all time run record on a glorious day in the English summer sun.

Skipper Hewlitt won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a road and Hewlitt was not disappointed. Andy Gorton and Ian Chuck absolutely piled on the runs and made the Nomads’ bowlers really work for their wickets. Some revenge for the Elf as they were drubbed by Nomads last June was revenge was certainly a dish better served cold today.

Gort only needed 55 to break the record and there was some muted celebrations when he reached his 50 as the spectators knew the icon was only five away from greatness. Gort did so with a rare two on Rushall’s pitch to a rapturous applause from all watching. Thoroughly deserved to a legend of The Elf who now has his name etched in glory.

Slightly village circumstances before and Ian Chuck who looked about as likely to get out as I am to marry Kelly Brook, retired once he reached his superb sixth ton for the Elf leaving Rich Fell to leave in disgust.
On loan from Rushall Andy Callaghan came in and scored with good time to get some more runs for his second club. Just after Chuck retired he went to umpire and obviously triggered Gort on 64 but who cares?
Calla was shortly out with the score on 222 after Nath Martin refused to put one leg in the air and obviously there was a wicket on Nelson. Dave Preece nudged his way to 16 not out and Rob Hewlitt got a single as the Elf finished on 235-2.

After tea was devoured the Elf began their defence of the score with Dan Armstrong who couldn’t quite get the line right and Nath Martin who both bowled well in the opening stages but it wasn’t until the Iceman Chris Hall entered the fray in the 10th over got a wicket with his first ball and the Elf were on their way.
It wasn’t until the part timers Andy Callaghan and Greg Phillpott came on to bowl did the Elf start to turn the screw. Phillpott picked up Stanley and Calla ran out Westwood after some superb fielding from Dan Armstrong.
Spin King Jonathan Preece came on after drinks and bowled Turnbull and the Elf knew they were almost home and dry with the overs rapidly decreasing.
Nomad Paul Fearon who bowled well earlier came in and gave the ball a bit of a whack to finish on 46 not out with Tom Davies getting the last wicket for the Elf when he got Hutton caught and bowled with a great reactionary catch.

As the sun began the set the Elf were led off the pitch by now iconic Andy Gorton and they have now got their 4th win of the season going into next week against usual opponents Beaumont at Aldridge.

Tea review

Strong tea as usual at Rushall. Sandwiches, pizzas, chicken legs, an array of crisps.  No olives, strawberries or mustard so a standard 7/10.

Shower club

Still no Dan Armstrong in the showers despite turning 18 in May but always a good shower at Rushall and definitely better than Aldridge. 8/10.

Tales from the travelator

Chally and Nath Martin trudged up the travelator for 16 overs and only one wicket between them this week. Chall also been on the track at Tipton Sports Academy this week trying to burn a few extra calories when he reaches the summit at the end of his run.

Love Island update

Every claimed to have not watched a minute apart from Andy Carrick who turned up to support the boys who said it was ‘class’. Dan Armstrong apparently ‘watched 10 minutes and turned it off’. Greg Phillpott only watched because of the ‘high calibre’ of ladies on there. More updates next week.

Written by Tom Davies



Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Bharat Parivar (03/06/18)


Walsall Health beat Bharat Parivar by 6 wkts.

The hottest day of the year so far, saw the first visit of Bharat Parivar CC to Rushall.  After heavy rolling duties were carried out, ( to the advantage of the batsmen as usual) and Dan Armstrong and Ian Chuck had finished their 3 hour net, the game began. Tom Davies opened up with the new cherry, only to realise that our opposition had decided to play T20 style, the 2nd ball of the match, crashing into the offside fence for six. It was Dan Armstrong on travelator duty this week, who got the breakthrough, with a low shooter. Tom Davies joined the party from the other end, courtesy of a sharp catch by Rob Hewlitt.

With two quick wkts falling, Parivar continued with their high risk tactics. Captain Hewlitt moved Chris Hall to the long off boundary, sensing a big shot was on the way. Next ball, the No4 batsman payed no attention to the field adjustment, smacking a Nathan Martin fizzer straight down Chally’s throat, to the relief of the crowd, who at one point, feared the ball was coming their way. It was good to see Nath back for his 1st game of the season, bowling at a good pace, and unlucky not to pick up a couple more.

With Parivar losing their top order, the runs started to dry up, but it was Chris Hall, who suffered more rotten luck from his all time favourite end, the Travelator. A quiet word from Gort, mid over…get one to nip away, and we are in business. This proved wise counsel, as next ball, Chally carried out the plan to perfection. Parivar’s batsman had a wild swing, missed it by miles, and was halfway to Pelsall common, when Gort whipped off the bails. Sadly, the square leg umpire was either grabbing forty winks, watching Shakoor Rana’s best bits on youtube, or simply thought a batsmans crease was the length of Hadrian’s Wall. Needless to say, the bowler was not amused.

Despite all this controversy, the Elf continued to turn the screw. With wkts from the ever reliable Ian Chuck, and JP. Followed by Dan Armstrong, fresh from a still irate Chally, yelling at him, (Sorry Dan)  who came back on, to wrap up the tail, including a batsman who had his potty training interrupted, to be the Jack, of 9,10 Jack.  Serious village. Parivar, who early on, looked set for a big score, were reduced to 156 all out. A good effort in the field to peg them back.

After tea, the Elf fancied chasing this total down. Things were looking good after a swift start from Ian Chuck. However, on 20, Chuck had a Haley’s Comet moment. Missing a straight one. Following a 10 minute rant to his girlfriend about getting out, he swiftly went out to umpire and trigger Gort, who had been busy ship steadying. With Alex Nunns getting out to a ball that trickled back onto his stumps (unlucky) followed by a bout of batting glove kicking, the result was in the balance at 70-3. However, this side is made of strong stuff, and doesn’t roll over easily. So it was Captain Rob Hewlitt and experienced campaigner Richard Fell, who calmly put together the match winning stand. Steady, no panic, the best partnership of the match, which caused Parivar’s Junior player to run off the pitch and do a fine impersonation of Gazza at Italia 90. Or maybe he just needed his nappy changing again.

The final Chapter of the match, saw Nathan Reeves enter the game, after the departure of Richard Fell for 25. Nath doesn’t believe in having a look at the first couple, and simply blasted a quickfire 10 off 5 balls, to the delight of the supporters. Rob Hewlitt, rock solid at the other end, with a Captain’s knock of 57 not out, knew the job was done. A good win in the end, against a side that were potentially dangerous opponents had they been allowed to get into the game…..PS…Three wins on the bounce.


Final analysis…this report was written a week late, it turns out that Bharat Parivar hit 275 to tie a high scoring game the following week against a strong Sportsman CC side, which included the destructive Kris Ali and Vijay Chandramani. So maybe this was a pretty decent performance from the Elf lads.

Samaritans update….Chris Hall, Ian Chuck and Alex Nunns could all be seen glued to their phones in a darkened corner of the changing room after the game. Too close to call who spat their dummy out the furthest today, but it was roughly the same distance that Alex Nunns kicked his glove after getting out.

Tea update….Victoria Sponge from Aldridge is sorely missed. A good supply of Farleys Rusks for the Pharivar Number 11 though.

Village moment of the day….Dan Dunn, seen strolling round the boundary, with his 3rd bottle of Becks, despite his History exam being less than 24 hours away. Too which Greg Philpott commented, lets hope question B is all about Prohibition…..Brilliant.

Written by Chris Hall






Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Lapworth CC (20/05/18)


Lapworth CC 123-9 (40 overs) lost to Walsall Health CC 124-7 (31.2 overs) by 3 wickets

The Elf made their second consecutive away trip this week down to always good hosts at Lapworth in rural Solihull.

The sun was well and truly out and in the absence of Rob Hewlitt, Ian Chuck hastily went out to the middle and became Nasser Hussain reincarnated when he WON the toss and decided to BOWL first on a glorious day. Tom Davies and Chris Hall’s faces were of sheer disbelief (the result will tell you that Chuckie was right but hey-ho).

Dan Armstrong and Dave Stephens opened the bowling for the Elf and looked to be toiling away to no avail until Dave trapped  Marsden lbw for 1 in his third over. Some real tight bowling from the Elf pair saw Armstrong dismiss the other Lapworth opener Lewis for four runs.

The scoreboard didn’t get any better for the hosts as Stephens bowled Agnew for five and the side from Warwickshire’s backs were to the ropes.
Tom Davies replaced Armstrong in the 11th over and with his first ball served up a pie that monsuiers Blumenthal and Ramsey would have been proud of. The Lapworth batsman couldn’t believe his eyes when such a beef & merlot pie was headed his way  but he hit the shot straight to Greg Phillpott in the covers and the Elf were coasting.
In his seventh over, Stephens picked up Williams and Lapworth were in disarray at 30-5.
The home side then had a massive dig in from Carr and Buckle who put on an excellent 50 run partnership to steady the ship but ever reliable Ian Chuck got Buckle for a well played 16 and the Elf were looking to wrap things up. However, Gallacher had different ideas and hit a quick time 17 including a big six over cow corner into a tree.
Dan Armstrong finally picked up the 7th wicket of the innings and should have had the eighth when Carr who was on 45 at the time nicked off to Gort but the umpire said not out.
The incident clearly played on Carr’s mind as he couldn’t get the ball off the square and in JP’s first over hit a sweep straight to Tom Davies on the 45 degree and he was out.
JP got Faber for two caught by Rich Fell who was sporting a suspected dislocated thumb but the Elf could not get the final wicket and Lapworth posted 124 for victory.

In the late afternoon sunshine, Gort and Chuck got the Elf’s innings going. In tricky batting conditions the usual opening pair looked undeterred until Chuck nicked off to Smith and the Elf were 39-1.
Alex Nunns on the back of his superb 30 not out last week did the same as Chuck and the Elf were 51-2 approaching drinks.
Captain Rob Hewlitt decided to take matters into his own hands and smashed a boundary laden 24 to give the visitor’s innings the impetus it needed. Rob departed on 86-3 when he was bowled by Buckle.
Greg Phillpott joined Gort and the two men saw the Elf past 100 and almost into cruise control territory you’d think? However, despite Rach and Tom balling at JP to lift his leg in the air with the score on 111 he did not and Gort spooned a catch to mid wicket, the away side still 13 runs from home.
Greg Phillpott looking comfortable on 14 then got caught off the impressive looking Choudry and Lapworth smelt blood. Dan Armstrong had a brain meltdown (probably still pissed from turning 18 on Thursday) was caught behind and two balls later Chris Hall notched his second quack of the season and the Elf looked to be snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Step up Ben Stokes wannabe Tom Davies, with wickets tumbling around him the Elf bowler smashed ‘Carr’ for four through square leg with his first shot and then with his third played the most exquisite cover drive you will ever see. The Lapworth fielders just watched as the ball raced to the boundary and all of a sudden the scores were level and with the second ball of the next over Dave Stephens scampered a single and the Elf were home for their second victory of the season.

Tea review

Exceptional tea as ever at Lapworth. Variety of sandwiches, pizzas, pork pie, cakes, tea and even some fruit at the end to give it a solid 8.5/10 (no olives, no 10).

Shower club

7 for a shower this evening and the showers at Lapworth even came with their own curtain so the Elves aching bodies were not on display. Decent spray and temprature 6/10.

Tokyo update

No rowing feats this week however with Chally coming off ‘non fer’ I feel for the concept twos in Tipton Sports Academy Monday evening….

Written by Tom Davies

Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets