V Alrewas CC (A) 23/06/19



Walsall Health CC 139-7 (40 overs) lost to Alrewas CC 141-2 (21.3 overs) by 8 wickets

After a week rained off for monsoon type conditions, the Elf Tsunami made its way up the A38 for a new fixture for the 2019 season at Alrewas on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border, what a lovely place to play cricket it was as well.

Stand in skipper Chuck won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked like a belter of a track. Dan Armstrong opened the batting with Chuck and he was the first to be out for 13 after a couple of solid fours when his off stump was knocked back by Bramall.
Dan Dunn and Chuck put on thirty for the 2nd wicket before Dan was unluckily bowled by Brammall Snr for 20. Rob Hewlitt scored a quick 15 but played all round a straight one and Chuck was batting like Chris Taveré at the non striker’s end, finding fielders rather than gaps.
Nathan ‘the leave’ Reeves entered the fray and was in good touch, HE EVEN LEFT A BALL before he was bowled for 9 off 7 balls. McClay was out cheaply and Dave Stephens got a quack which turned the Elf from 68-2 to 89-6.
Chuck departed for 28 off EIGHTY-EIGHT deliveries which left Chris Hall and Tom Davies the situation of 98-7 with 8.3 overs remaining.
This partnership was probably the partnership of the season so far, even some mystery spin couldn’t dislodge the pair who are usually so good with ball in hand rather than bat. It took Davies 6 balls to get off the mark but he soon upped his run rate by hitting a magnificent four straight over mid-off’s head, Chris Hall was accumulating the runs nicely at the other end just nudging ones and twos to keep the score ticking over. The boys managed to hit their way to a nice 41* partnership of just 51 balls to give themselves something to bowl at with 139-7 posted. Davies reaching his highest score for the Elf of 19* and Chris Hall finished 24*.


The Monkey for the 2nd time this season

Dave Stephens and Nicka Dunn opened the bowling for the Elf, both with hundreds of wickets to their names over the years but even these two wily campaigners couldn’t interrupt Tringham and Scarratt from dispatching the bowling like an Amazon Prime order.

Nicka got Tringham for 17 but Scarratt piled on the runs after being dropped by Davies and Chuck early in his innings. The youngster batted superbly and never looked back until he retired quite abruptly for 52 off just 37 balls.
He was partnered by Broadshead who unluckily made 49 not out in the chase with Pemberton supporting with 7 not out when in the 22nd over, the Elf were brushed aside by this young side who the visitors were no match for.

Teas – Like the finals of Strictly Come Dancing, 10s all round! Superb spread today, sandwiches, sausage rolls, cakes, chips, chicken nuggets, homemade cakes which were sensational. The pick of the lot had to be the Olives. Served in a beautiful glass bowl with Alrewas President and former ‘Elf’ himself Andie Oliver, purring at their selection, making sure they were seen by everyone. Top fodder

Shower Club – decent showers but they were a bit Coronation Street (back to back), lovely and warm though.

AOB – Lots of excellent support once again by faces new and old, it really is appreciated by all those who play to keep the spirits up whilst Chally was getting the monkey treatment from Tringham.










Written by Tom Davies


Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

Astons of Didcot v W.H.C.C. June 2005.


Aston Tirrold is a village and civil parish at the foot of the of the Berkshire Downs, about 3 miles southeast of Didcot.  Not really your standard away fixture, with a journey of just over 100 miles. However, for several years, WHCC travelled to this picturesque place to play a friendly game of cricket. The pitch had its own version of The Travelator. While it was advisable to re-mortgage your house, before buying a round of drinks from the local pub. Former British No1 tennis player, Tim Henman, whose house overlooked the ground, would often be spotted having a stroll around the boundary, hoping to see a close game and trying to get John Nicholls autograph. He certainly got his wish on this memorable day.

June 19th 2005..Richard Fell’s first game as WHCC Captain, and like any good Skipper, he decided to lead from the front, and open the batting with the Reverend John Davis. It wouldn’t be long before a few prayers were being said after a top order collapse. Didcot’s pitch took a bit of knowing, so our opponents local knowledge gave them an early advantage. Opening bowler, Larry Gray (Who was employed as Tim Henman’s chauffeur at the time) cashed in. With Davis (17) Fell (2) Chamberlain (7) J.Preece (0) and Jarrams (2) all back in the hutch, WHCC found themselves in a spot of bother. In tennis terms, we were already two sets to love down and staring at a 1st round exit.

With the score at 39-5, there were two more breaks of serve, as WHCC slumped to 67-7. A 200 mile round trip to be bowled out for under 100 wasn’t in the R.Fell masterplan. This was a time game, so the instruction from the Captain was for two people to dig in, and get us a total that would give us half a chance of defending. The unlikely combination of Frank Jacob and Chris Hall managed to do just that. Both men had their own ideas about batting. Frank with his customary late cuts, plenty of Yes/No/Wait style calling, and Chally, patiently playing out 21 consecutive dot balls, before opening up to score a few important boundaries. From 67-7, this priceless 54 partnership was finally broken. Chally going for one big hit too many, caught on the square leg boundary for 40. It was left to the Nicholls Mafia, Jonty, Paul and Mark to help Frank add a few more runs to the total. Three members of the same family playing in the same game, is a rare occurrence at the club, but the extra runs Team Nicholls provided would prove vital later on in the contest. When Frank departed for a brave 31, the innings concluded…..135 all out. A decent score, on a tricky pitch, the Captain believed we were still in the game.

After a quality tea, The Didcot innings began. With Ralph Smith and Nick Clark opening up. The intent was clear, score quick, and wrap the game up before Songs of Praise started. Chasing 136, the score moved serenely to 65-0. Plenty of time and overs to score the remaining runs. Rich Fell had 71 runs to play with, and 10 wkts to take. The Rev John Davis sank to his knees at mid on to say a few more prayers. However, the divine intervention came, courtesy of John Nicholls, trapping Ralph, plumb in front for 23. Didcot didn’t panic, with Barnard helping to move the score on to 85-1, despite Fell moving the field around, and encouraging his bowlers to keep going. Didcot were serving for the match.

Fell decided to turn to the canny bowling of Andie Oliver, a shrewd move which paid dividends. Andie getting the prize wicket of opener Clark for 36, Shea for 0 and Barlow for 6. With Chris Hall getting the dangerous Barnard, for 27. Caught at slip by the safe hands of Rick Jarrams. (One of a record 109 career catches for the club) Didcot, cruising at 85-1, were suddenly involved in a battle at 102-5. John Nicholls showed high levels of composure to trap Dew for 1 to take the score to 103-6. With the match now hanging in the balance, Bonwell and Gibson steadied the ship. Taking Didcot to 124-6…..12 runs to win, 4 wkts in hand. The new Captain had another tactical mountain to climb.

It was at this point that Richard Fell introduced a puzzling new ploy, never seen before at WHCC…Bringing a bowler back for a second spell. The mercurial Frank Jacob was told to warm up. The same Frank Jacob who NEVER bowled a second spell. Andie Oliver, with figures of 3-22 was taken off, a brave move indeed. What happened next has gone into club folklore. Frank bowled Gibson for 16, then trapped Gray lbw for 1. Frank also caught Bonwell off the bowling of Hall for 10. A bit like the Stanley Matthews Cup Final, Frank was everywhere. So with 1 over remaining in the match, all three results were still possible. Didcot, who had been 85-1 were now on the brink at 131-9, chasing 136. Still thinking clearly amidst all the tension, Captain Fell decided to give Chris Hall the responsibility of a final set tie break.

The two nervous Didcot tailenders failed to score any runs from the first 4 balls of the final over. A great contest looked destined to end in a draw, until Fell calmly walked up to his bowler with some advice…”Just bowl him”….The inspired plan to fire his bowler up for one final effort worked, as Chally hit the middle stump of Didcot’s No11 batsman for victory, with just one ball remaining in the match…. A match we never really looked like winning. Its fair to say that a few people were quite pumped up in the moments that followed.  A superb game to be a part of for everyone who was there that day.


The Epilogue.

The Didcot fixture continued until 2012, and was a trip we always looked forward to despite the distance. Who could ever forget in 2010, Nathan Reeves 64 off 35 balls, losing 3 cricket balls in the process. John Nicholls top scoring with 36 not out, batting at No 10 in 2006, and Chris Hall being hit for six, straight back over his head into Tim Henman’s  garden. With Sam Stephens ringing the Henman doorbell to ask for our ball back.  The matches were always quite close and hard fought. But the 2005 edition was just one of those games that still gets talked about to this day.

Man of the Match…Frank Jacob, 2 catches. 2 Wickets and a priceless 31 runs, all at a time when we needed them the most.

Walsall Health beat The Astons of Didcot by 4 runs…Game Set and Match WHCC.



V Lichfield Nomads (H) 09/06/19



Walsall Health 80-9 (36.2 overs) defeated Lichfield Nomads (37.4 overs) 79 all out by 1 Wicket

A.Gorton congratulating T.Davies on bringing up the 100.

Well. Just by looking at the result above you will be able to see that it was either some shambolic batting by both sides or some excellent bowling for both sides, however, there were some great bits of both in what turned out to be an entertaining game for all concerned.

Chuckie lost the toss and was asked to bowl by Nomads’ skipper Hutton. Dave Stephens (who didn’t concede a run until his third over) and Tom Davies took the new ball for the Elf. The latter was clearly struggling with ominously being on 99 wickets and the thought of crossing the three figure mark affected his early deliveries. Greg Phillpott dropped a chance off Dave’s bowling but clung on to a very similar catch at the other end to give Davies the prized 100th with The Elf.

Soon after Chris Hall came on and turned the screw by bowling Collins for 1 in what turned out to be one of the most economical spells over bowling ever witnessed. Dave picked up a wicket with his penultimate delivery, caught by Chuck and Nomads were on the ropes at 20odd for 3.
With scoreboard pressure applied, Chally bowled Terry who was putting up vial resistance for Nomads but middle order batsmen Moss released some pressure by hitting Greg Phillpott for two sixes and a four in one over. (Where is that pesky monkey?)

Soon after, Phillpott proved he is never out of the game by running out Dave Rolfe with a superb direct hit from about 40 yards away and half the Nomads were back in the hutch.
Dan Dunn added to the dismay when Ashton nicked off and Fitzy back behind the stumps, held on to the catch.
The seventh wicket fell with another run out but some more counter attacking batting from Moss pushed his side over the 50 run mark as the Elf’s main bowlers ran out of overs.
Captain chuck picked up Moss for 44 with a sharp caught and bowled chance, Davies then mopped up the tail by getting numbers 9 and 10 caught by Trig and bowled respectively and the Elf had the rather modest 80 runs to chase for victory.


After some wise words from Dave Stephens about being careful chasing this score down, The Elf were looking in trouble when Hutton got Dan Armstrong and Greg Phillpott plumb in front with the score just over double figures.
Chuck was out after gloving one down leg side and Nathan Reeves departed after a few flashes of the blade with the score on 24-4. This score soon became 37-6 after Fitzy was bowled and Rob Hewlitt’s brave resistance on the awkward track ended after being caught for 10. Trig was bowled without scoring and the Elf were still 43 runs from victory at this point.
Chris Hall and Dan Dunn steadied the ship somewhat with a 13 run partnership before Chally went with 30 runs still the get.
The partnership of the match then ensued between Dan Dunn and Dave Stephens who has previous chasing down totals in the lower order for the Elf.
Dan and Dave batted extremely well amassing 28 runs on a crazy day before Dan Dunn spooned a catch to the covers and the Elf needed two runs with one wicket remaining. Dunn was out for 20 but it was his excellent tenacity in the face of the defeat that really stood out today, did not shirk responsibility and kept fighting until the very end.
With all fingernails gone in the home dressing room Tom Davies scampered a single and the very next ball edged it somewhat fortuitously between the wicket keeper and 1st slip to score the run the Elf needed for victory.
What a game! Well done boys, we proved our mettle out their today and didn’t bottle it in any way!

Tea – 10. Olives provided so we’ve got to go into double figures but the pork baps had some stuffing on them so certainly may have scored highly without the greenery.

Shower club – lovely and warm showers this week as they always are in Rushall, albeit a bit of a squeeze to get in!

AOB – five catches dropped this week but we battled through. Excellent fielding from Nathan Reeves and some personal milestones reached along the way. Well done boys we are 3-2 on the season and hoping to get the 4th win next week again Beaumont.









Written by Tom Davies


Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Rushall (A) 02/06/19


Walsall Health 127-7 (40 overs) lost to Rushall CC 129-6 (36.2 overs) by 4 wickets

On a day where a legend of both clubs Tim Oliver is annually remembered, the rain dispersed and the sun shone for the final runs to be hit in what is always a tightly fought affair.
Instead of Gort and Nicka tossing the coin, Chuck and Chuck went head to head with Ian playing for the Elf and Leo skippering the hosts.
The Elf batted first in what was almost scuba conditions, Chuck and Alex Nunns opened the batting and even these two fine batsmen struggled to get anything away early on.
Ex-Rushall player Tom Wall produced a top new ball spell down the travelator trapping Chuck in front of all three stumps for 11 and Gareth Preece back from the land down under spouting a typically Australian moustache for 9 on his return.
Alex Nunns was the third man out for 12 to Wall’s opening spell which sent Elf chairman Rick Jarrams out for a knock in which Chris Hall got very excited about because Rick got off the mark and Chall said “I’ve got to update his stats!”. Rob followed shortly after for 14 and it was then tough going in the afternoon gale where Gort and Trig managed to squirt 19 runs from 10 overs before Gort was caught trying to up the run rate.
Chris Hall needed to update his own stats for his swashbuckling 26 to get the Elf over the 120 mark with excellent support from Trig who fell for 23 in the final over and the Elf posted 128 for victory.

After the sensational tea was scoffed down the Elf began the defence of the modest 127 for victory.
Tom Davies and Elf icon Jonty Nicholls took up the reins for the visiting side, both bowling tight lines but it was Tom who struck first when Dan Armstrong got tied down by the bowling and chipped Davies to Chuck at mid on. Davies continued his decent spell by getting Leo Chuck rather fortunately after the ball struck Chuck on the thigh and somehow trickled on to the bails.

The Monkey is back out for JP.

Chris Hall and left-arm spin king Jonny Preece came on at first change, however Rushall opening bat


Wakelin took a liking to Preece and smashed him for 3 sixes which tipped the balance in Rushall’s favour. M Wakelin at the other end kept things steady until he was out caught off iron-man Chally’s bowling, it was Rob Hewlitt’s 48th catch for the Elf.
Dan Dunn entered the fray and was caught and bowled by Chuck who lunged forward to snaffle a grab on the hard deck.
With the game in the balance Chris Hall got Wakelin after he went to 50 for 55 and the Elf were half way there with not many runs to play with.
The final wicket fell to Gareth Preece who bowled Foster with a ball that bounced about as high as a ladybird however, that was all she wrote and Wall and Hinks saw Rushall home inside the final five overs.

Tea review – 9 sensational spread today, Samosas too! Only ever going to get a 10 with olives or English mustard.

Shower club n/a – had to shoot off today so nothing to report.

Nicka and his ‘guest’

AOB – Well, Nicka and Leo must’ve collectively beat the £11 collected by Greg and I a few years back for inviting someone they met the night before in Wetherspoons. Even ‘Cleve’ the Rushall regular was gone in 60 seconds like Nicholas Cage without a drop of alcohol consumed. We got a nice drawing to commemorate the occasion too.

Lastly, thanks to EVERYONE who made it down on Sunday to show the respects for Tim and both sides who played a hard contests out fair and square in his honour. See you next week for the visit of Lichfield Nomads.

Written by Tom Davies



Elf Bowling

Elf Batting

Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Lapworth (A)(19/05/19)


Walsall Health 83-2 (16.1 overs) beat Lapworth 87 all out (31.4 overs) by 55 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method


The Elf played their first away fixture of the 2019 season away at Lapworth which has become a regular springtime fixture in their calendar.
Fuhrer Gort (because he does everything, not that he has any Nazi tendancies…this isn’t the Daily Mail) won the toss and like Eoin Morgan, stuck the opposition in.

Dave Stephens and Tom Davies opened up the bowling and kept things tight early doors before Dave, who hadn’t bowled since September, got the first breakthrough. Agnew was caught behind by Gort and Davies in his next over clean bowled Buckle for his fourth scalp of the season.
Before the score had reached double figures Stephens struck again but not before Dan Dunn was on key juggling duties to snaffle the grab at the second attempt.
The top four of Lapworth were all back in the hutch before the opening bowlers had finished their spells; another fine grab off a little edge gave Davies his 97th wicket for the Elf and sent Griffin packing.
The sensationally quick over rate continued with Dan Dunn and JP taking over bowling duties with the latter coming off a fine spell of three-for last week. It was the other first change bowler who got three this week with Dan getting Smith with a swinging delivery (well, we’re in a leafy, middle class area….where else is it going to swing?) and Lons found himself very unlucky to be bowled by a ball that just didn’t bounce at all.

With 6 wickets down, Faber joined the unconventional Payne who added some quick runs between them to boost the hosts’ run rate. Faber played a couple of great shots before he was caught and bowled by Dunn.
Payne’s resistance was finally broken for a well-made 31 when Calla cleaned up his stumps and celebrated in his usual village style.
The final two wickets were taken by Chuck and Rich Fell in the 31st and 32nd overs which left Choudhry not out for a busy 17 and the hosts posted 88 for victory.

Demo Dan’s warm up.

After the superb tea was scoffed down, Chuck and (tea) Demolition Dan sort to chase the modest total before the rain set in.
Chuck who was fresh from painting plates saw his stumps shatter (LOL…GET IT?!) by Fell for 4 runs.
Dan was going well at the other end, dealing in boundaries and not many 3s being ran on the big Lapworth ground.
Rich Fell provided excellent support for the revitalised batsman nudging and nurdling his way to an unbeaten 17 before Dan was caught going for the runs as the storm clouds gathered around rural Warwickshire for 41.
With the Elf seemingly only a few shots from victory the rain clouds delivered a downpour and the sides were off. Both skippers shook hands half an hour later and shower club was on.

Tea review 9 – Sensational spread as always at Lapworth, strawberries and fruit are going to make it an easy decision to make. It can’t be a 10 as there’s no olives or mustard for the pork pie but it’s up there with one of the best we’ve had in a while.

Shower Club – A bit ‘Noah’s Ark’ this week as there were only two showers so the elves had to go in two by two. Still no Dan Armstrong though….

Calla with his pre-innings pint


AOB – Lots of support from the travelling wives, girlfriends, dads, sons, daughters etc….which we are very grateful of as always! Greg fell over, JP appealed for a ball that smacked the middle of the bat and Calla warmed up for his innings by having a pint. A man after my own heart!

The boys are hopeful for a fixture next week but if not we will see you on June 2nd for the annual Tim Oliver memorial game at Rushall.


Written by Tom Davies





Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Oak n Ash (H)(12/05/19)


Walsall Health 129 all out (38.3 overs) lost to Oak n Ash 130-8 (38.4 overs) by two wickets.

The 2019 season finally got underway on a sunny afternoon at Rushall. The Elf had 9 all week but club ICON Jonty Nicholls and club mascot Steve Philpott filled in at the last minute to get the Elf’s season up and running 🏏


Write the theme tune/sing the theme tune skipper Gort lost the toss and was put into bat by Oak N Ash.

Rushall regular Andy Callaghan and bowler turned batsman Dan Armstrong opened up for the Elf and put on a strong partnership before Noble’s grenade launchers saw the end for Calla after a nice 52 opening stand. Danny A had biffed a few boundaries early on and was moving the score along nicely 👍.

Expectant dad Alex Nunns added some needed runs at 3 but also lost his wicket to a stray grenade from Noble. From 92-1, the Elf became 100-5 in an all too familiar collapse.

Dan Armstrong looped a catch to mid wicket, Rob Hewlitt was triggered by Jonty and Elf Debutant Andy McClay was caught looking to boost the run rate.

Gort and Greg managed to add ten runs between them until they both fell and exposed the Elf’s tail.

JP added 6 valuable runs and Icon Jonty jogged a few singles before Tom Davies finished 3 not out and Steve Philpott was out for a duck (after finally getting his helmet on the right way). The Elf were probably 20 runs short on a slow deck in the spring sunshine.


Tom Davies and Deadly Dan opened up for the Elf and Davies’ first over pies were too much for Cocoran to resist, smashing him to the boundary on 3 occasions whilst Armstrong held steady up the travelator.

Davies had the last laugh after Hewlitt took a great catch on the boundary.

On at first change in the 11th over was the Welsh spin wizard, JP. JP bamboozled Cottan and another Oak N Ask batsmen with two plumb LBWs before bowling a third and the away side were on the ropes at 70odd for 4.

Calla gave 8 overs of pure line and length and his left arm round ‘darts’ were too much for ‘Brough’ who was bowled by Calla who even did a village celebration to match.

Greg Phillpott gave a few decent overs of spin, giving Gort his first stumping of the season. With the score on 90-6, the Elf turned to the Icon…John Nicholls.

You’d have got about 1/3 for Jonty’s first ball to be anything but bang on the money, it still wasn’t value as that’s right where it landed. Never in doubt.

Tom Davies came back on and it was 3 overs of pure death bowling, nothing in ‘the slot’ this time as he picked up Cottan and then Sean who had hit a massive 6 down the ground, nicked off to Gort.

With 10 runs to get and three overs to get them, Cocoran and Parker steered the away side home with 8 balls to spare in what was a great game of cricket. Finished off when Alex Nunns refused to run Cocoran out when he fell over going for a quick single. #propercricket

Usual May opponents Lapworth next week, let’s see if we can get a W under our belts 👍

Tea review 6.5 – decent sarnies but no fruit or olives👎

Shower club – nothing to report this week as I forgot my towel ❌ it smelt good as I walked past though

AOB – Dai moaned it was cold on a day where I got sunburn. Trig was good value fines and madamès R Nunns and G Brad provided the usual much appreciated support all day 👍


See you next week boys x

Written by Tom Davies





Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Lapworth CC (09/09/18)


Walsall Health beat Lapworth by 28 runs.

On a mildish September afternoon, Walsall Health welcomed Lapworth to Aldridge top pitch for the penultimate game of the 2018 season. After playing on this ground two weeks ago, batting first felt like the best option after a successful coin toss. Ian Chuck, looking refreshed after a good holiday in South Africa, opened the batting with Dan Dunn. Dan should get a bigger round of applause than Alastair Cook got from The Oval crowd. He stuck his hand up to open the batting at 1pm. Then go and play football for Walsall Phoenix FC at 2:30pm. Only to return to bowl and field for us at 4pm….Attitude 10/10. Thanks Dan.

The Elf got off to a solid start, with Dan and Chuck sharing a partnership of 32 before Dan was out for 13. Leo Chuck joined his brother, but was unlucky to face a bowler he openly admitted to hate facing… slow and steady. Sadly, Leo perished, bowled by Faber for 2. Captain Rob Hewlitt joined Chuck to steady the ship, but after hitting 2 nice boundaries was lbw to Faber for 11. Greg Philpott was then bowled by Croston for 2, to leave us in a spot of bother at 70-4.

Gort walked out to join Chuck, who was in his usual accumulate mode, fully aware a good partnership was required. Exactly what the two men delivered, with a very important stand of 60. Gort was out for 25, caught and bowled by Butler, followed by JP, who was caught at cover for 0. Nathan Martin has enjoyed some good partnerships with Chuck, but on this occasion, it was not to be, bowled by Payne for 1. In the blink of an eye, 130-4 had become 131-7 with 8 overs still remaining. Chris Hall joined Chucky, who had already posted the 21st half century of his WHCC career, passing 500 runs for the season. They shared a valuable stand of 23 before Chally was bowled for 13….154-8.

Enter The Boston Strangler, Josh Butler, who decided to play like Jos Buttler. Attempting an audacious reverse sweep, great bottle for attempting this, but Josh hit fresh air, trapped plumb in front for 3. Unlucky. So after carrying his bat for the whole innings, Chuck was finally dismissed for 75, including 11 boundaries, in the 39th over, leaving Tom Davies to fulfill the red inker role. Welcome back I.J.Chuck. Elf’s final total of 166 All out was a competitive one.

After tea, Lapworth started with a positive intent, reaching 24-0 in no time. But it was Leo Chuck, who got a vital breakthrough. Yorking the dangerous looking Hadden for 11. This was a big moment so early on, as this batsman looked capable of taking the game away from us in double quick time. Well bowled Leo. The Friar Park Express, Nathan Martin, had decided to become Thomas the Tank Engine for the day. But joking aside, this was a clever ploy, to reduce his pace on a slow pitch. Nathan bowled really well again, for no reward, in a probing 5 over spell. Another frustrating day for a top bowler. Keep your head up Nath.

With Lapworth moving the score along to 67-1 and the deficit under 100, it was Tom Davies who got another big wicket of Turner, caught behind by Gort for 26. It was here that Captain Hewlitt turned to the mystery spin of Josh Butler. A smart move, as Josh made an immediate impact taking 2 wickets with bowling that Agatha Christie would have trouble figuring out. The second one, courtesy of a sharp catch by Rob at mid wicket. We were right back in the match.

As the score advanced to 127-4, Tom Davies returned to produce the over of the match. This was a high quality spell of swing bowling from Tom, trapping Williams and Payne to leave him on a hat trick for the third time this season. Somehow, a full and straight hat trick ball was kept out by Faber, who perished in the next over, bowled by Hall for 1. These two overs flipped the game back in our favour, with Lapworth on the brink at 130-7. With the pressure cranked up, Josh Butler ran out Long for a duck. As mysterious as ever, the run out was executed using no hands. Kicking the ball onto the stumps like a Harry Kane penalty. Never in doubt. Captain Hewlitt now turned to Dan Dunn, who looked ready to help clinch us a victory. The plan worked. With opener, Buckle still well set on 63, the game was still alive. However, Buckle was no match for a Dunn outswinger, losing his balance, Gort whipped off the bails for a stumping. The finisher role was left to JP, who bowled a tight first over to maintain the pressure, followed by the winning wicket with the first ball of his second over. Croston misjudging the JP flight, Rob Hewlitt made no mistake, taking his second catch of the game. Lapworth 138 all out….A cracking game of cricket, played in a good spirit, between two closely matched teams.

Tea update…Mixed comments this week. Plus the scones and jam have disappeared after a cameo appearance two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the Lapworth boys were spotted munching on a King size Domino’s pizza at the drinks break, so maybe they weren’t convinced over the tea quantity either?…7/10

New barmaid update…Some interesting developments at tea. Some of the players seemed more interested in the new girl behind the bar, than the swiss roll and garlic bread. Greg Philpott’s roving eye zoomed in on his target with its customary precision, while a player who shall remain nameless, suddenly had no interest in orange squash or a cup of tea. Instead, preferring to order a pint of ale for his mid match rehydration, whilst assessing the customer service standards at Aldridge CC. I got the feeling, that moving to Rushall next season has suddenly gone from 5/2 to 25/1.

Impersonations update…  It was a day where some of our players aspired to be someone else. Rob Hewlitt/Mike Brearley….Dan Dunn/Daley Thompson….Andy Gorton/Barry Chuckle. (Don’t ask)… Leo Chuck/Dickie Bird.  But the winner has to be Josh Butler who performed a medley of Jos Buttler/Harry Kane/Agatha Christie. A remarkable performance.

The Verdict…A really good game of cricket. Where the result was in the balance all day. Maybe a WHCC first with 9 bowlers being rotated in one innings? A superb team effort again, with good support from Dai, Gail, Andy Carrick and Richard Fell. Thanks to Ian Chuck who brought two new match balls to the game, brother Leo for an extended spell of umpiring, and Dan Dunn for stepping in at the last minute, which in a tight game, made all the difference between victory and defeat.  See you all at Rushall this Sunday.

Written by Chris Hall.






Batting Runs
Walsall Health
Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

V Sportsman (19/08/18)


Sportsman CC beat Walsall Health by 84 runs.

Sportsman returned for the second time this season to Aldridge, in muggy, humid, overcast conditions. Surely a day for the bowlers we all thought. So after Captain Rob lost the toss, and was asked to bowl, an orderly queue was formed to take the new cherry.  But after a few overs, the sun emerged from behind the clouds, and the ball only swung in one direction… straight. We suddenly realised it might just be a tough afternoon against a side who always bring some talented attacking batsmen.

Nathan Martin opened up, and soon picked up the wicket of the dangerous Waqas Ahmed who shouldered arms to a ball that cut back to hit off stump. Arguably the ball of the day, on a track that wasn’t offering much assistance to the bowlers. Sportsman legend, Calvin Williams then joined Amar Sodha, and immediately played with a positive intent, rifling anything short of a length to the boundary with some proper Calypso style batting. Dave Stephens produced a fine spell with the new ball to check Sportsman’s early momentum (5 overs 2 maidens 0-8) and was unlucky not to earn a reward for some accurate bowling. Leo Chuck then had a go at breaking the partnership of Sodha and Williams, but to no avail.

With the score on 114-1 it was time for some more line and length bowling from Nikka and Chris Hall. Bowling as a partnership, the two metronomes pegged Sportsman back, with Chally’s 8 overs going for just 20 runs. Nikka attacked from the other end, trapping Sodha lbw for 45 and clean bowling Calvin for 56, reducing the opposition to 121-3. A useful effort from the big man, who became the 6/4 favourite with Paddy Power for the Bails Award, after turning up to the game, with his face painted as a cat. Nikka claimed that even 3 bars of Cussons Pearl wouldn’t wash it off. Now us wily bowlers have plenty of tricks up our sleeves, but this was taking gamesmanship to another level.

With 30 overs gone, and the run rate slowed down, we hoped we had Sportsman on the ropes. But they always bat deep, so thanks to Vijay Chandramani 45 not out off 50 balls, and Samjay Patel 31 off 26 balls, they wrestled back the momentum to take them over the 200 mark in the 40th over. Tom Davies picking up a couple of wickets at the death 2-48, and oh so close to a hat-trick, supported by Dan Armstrong 0-37, who bowled well against some aggressive batting. A superb effort, with some excellent ground fielding. Particularly Leo Chuck, and Nathan Reeves, who both sprinted round the field all afternoon, attacking the ball to save plenty of runs for the team.

After the tea interval where Nikka devoured a Sachet of Sheba, followed by some IAMS Biscuits for refueling purposes, we set about chasing down the target of 203. We started well, with Alex Nunns and Gort taking our score to 30-0. But from here, things started to go wrong. Gort drilled one straight to cover, followed by the in form Dan Armstrong who perished, lbw for the first duck of his Elf career. Captain, Rob Hewlitt was bowled by the accurate Calvin Williams for 12, followed by Nathan Reeves who was bowled for 4. Suddenly 30-0 had become 58-4. Alex Nunns and Leo Chuck held things together for a while, until Alex chipped one to Sodha off the bowling of Greaves for our top score of 36. Dave Stephens was bowled by Bardha for 1 to leave us wilting at 85-6. Leo Chuck (19) and Nathan Martin (10) stayed positive with some good running between the wkts, but were both caught trying to increase the run rate, followed by Chris Hall (4) going for a big shot over mid on. With the score on 111-9, Nikka joined Tom Davies to take us to 119, but was caught off the bowling of Mangat for 4, leaving Tom with a nice red inker, leaving Sportsman with a deserving victory. Well played.

Tea Update….Decent. Nice addition of scones smothered in jam, to replace the Victoria Sponge. Rating 7/10

Injuries update….An eventful day. Firstly, Dave Stephens got his finger stung by a wasp whilst re-hydrating with a glass of orange squash.  Nikka injured a paw towards the end of the Sportsman’s innings. Nathan Reeves, as brave as ever, took a blow to the ankle. This was all followed by a freak accident later in the game. As Gort was umpiring, Sportsman’s mid on fielder, threw the ball back to the bowler who had started to walk back to his mark, only for the throw to drop down from a great height to land flush on the crown of Gorts head, poleaxing our stricken keeper. Both men live to fight another day. Maybe borrowing a couple of Nikka’s nine lives in the process.

Love Island Update….The 2018 series is long gone, but that didn’t stop an enthusiastic spectator falling head over heels for Dan Armstrong. Mid-way through a jovial fines committee, a boisterous young brown and white gun dog, bounded towards Dan for a hug and a kiss. After taking some tap with the ball, and posting a first Elf duck, it was time for Nikka to get the Rushall Karaoke machine out again to sing a stirring rendition of…”He found love in a hopeless place” It was one of those days.

The Verdict….A good game, played in a good spirit. Sportsman batted well to post a challenging target of 203. Which proved too much for us to chase down on the day, but all in all, some good cricket was played by both teams.

Written by Chris Hall


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V Lichfield Nomads (22/07/18)


Walsall Health CC 166-6 (40 overs) beat Lichfield Nomads 135-7 (40 overs) by 31 runs

The Elf made the 20 mile or so journey across the Midlands to Kings Bromley this week to play Lichfield Nomads on a baked pitch and in sweltering conditions.
Fortunately for Elf gingers Tom Davies and Alex Nunns skipper Hewlitt won the toss and batted first. Ian Chuck was heard miles away being appalled at the decision in such favourable batting conditions #chuckbowlsfirst

The Elf started extremely steadily on what looked a glorious deck but the Nomads bowlers Fearon, Taylor and Moss showed how it was done and at the first drinks break the elf were steady at 54-0.
It wasn’t until veteran John Hoddy came on to break the opening partnership of Andy Gorton and Dave Preece by trapping Gort in front of all three for 35.
Alex Nunns came and went for 6 (something about forgetting his sun cream) and then Dave Preece was bowled playing across the line for 31 and the Elf were wobbling at 99-3.
Rob Hewlitt and new found all rounder Dan Armstrong hit some quick runs but Rob went for 18 after looking in good nick.

Dan Dun entered the fray (fortunately not in his socks and sliders which are the most #village thing I’ve seen all year..) but was out for 7, as was Dave Stephens pushing for runs at the end. ‘Two Plates’/’No Shower’ Armstrong finished with a handy 41 not out giving his side a target to bowl at.

After tea was demolished, the Elf set about defending their total (finally, once the openers decided to show up).
Dave Stephens and Dan Dun took the old ball for the Elf and bowled very well first up. Dan Dunn got the first wicket after a suspect stumping was not given. What was the reason you ask? Oh well, apparently the umpire ‘couldn’t see the line’….what? Move to the OTHER SIDE THEN. So he did, and surprise surprise the next one was given.
Dave Stephens got Fearon clean bowled and the Elf were in good shape.
The next two batsmen of Nick and Moss played well and didn’t score many runs off Davies and Hall but also didn’t get their side above the run rate. The next suspect moment came when Nick ‘nicked off’ the ball lodged between Gort’s legs, Nick walked and then the batsman at the other end decided the ECB rules had changed and that wasn’t out. WHAT?

Karma struck soon after and Moss was out trying hit Dan Armstrong’s off spin into Fradley. Dave Preece got the next wicket when his fielding got Nick run out going for runs and the Elf looked in prime position to get the win.
Dave Stephens came back on and picked up Hutton and Tom Davies got a wicket after a smart catch from Rob Hewlitt. Chris Hall got the last laugh by bowling the 40th over as maiden.

Well done boys, the bowling unit performed superbly today and won us the game. That’s now nine undefeated! #Spiritoftheelf

Tea review

Nomads have clearly been reading our reviews as they pulled out all the stops today but putting OLIVES and Strawberries on the menu no less. Unfortunately there was no English mustard or Pork Pie but a solid 9/10.

Shower club update

Decent showers this week but the smallish changing room resembled a Turkish Spa with all those bodies and warm water vapour in the air. 6/10 on a purely moisture basis.


Written by Tom Davies





Batting Runs
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Bowling Overs Maidens Runs Wickets

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




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