The match at L & M was another close game that lasted the full 70 overs and Romany managed another victory by 9 runs.
Sunshine, Pizza (!) and cricketing drama….
Following the theatre of the 2017 fixture when it came down to the last ball with Romany needing 6 to win and President Hockin on strike, could this year’s game possibly be as tense……?
The Romany ‘caravan’ headed over to Yapham a couple of players short despite the daily pleas from the match manager and the assurance of a fine tea and glorious weather awaiting us. President Hockin made his seasonal debut alongside the sprightly John Walford and Richard Reynolds for whom it was a local encounter. Yapham very kindly lent us a player (Andy) so at least we could take the field with 10, well 9.5 really, as Matt Knight seemed to be still on the dance floor at the 21st he had attended the night before….
It was the hottest day of the year and as we rocked up, listening to the England football starting, it was slightly dispiriting to see that the opposition had half a dozen 18 yr olds from Pocklington school warming up! No matter, we took the field and two of their young bucks strode out to open their innings.
George opened the bowling from the top end with a tight 5 overs including the dismissal of one opener, clean bowled. After the scorer had asked the name of our other opening bowler, response: ‘Walford’, his response: ‘what as in EastEnders?’, a slightly bemused John opened up with an equally tight spell removing the other opener with only 20 or so on the board. Number 3 and 4 bats weren’t of the same athletic build as the openers and their run rate quickly slowed. Tight slow bowling from Walford, Hockin and C.Read (with over 150 years’ experience between them – and Charlie is 12, so you do the maths…) meant that their scoreboard progress was thankfully limited. Richard Reynolds also bowled a very economical spell and it was only when we picked up another wicket courtesy of C.Read and a retirement did their score board accelerate with a couple of youngsters at the crease at the end. Fielding was tight with John Surtees and Sam Smith sharing the gloves for a tidy display of keeping.
Tea was as good as promised by the match manager (phew,….!), hummus, carrot sticks, pizza, wedges, ciabatta sandwiches, strawberries and meringues, and soon it was time for us to chase down their posted 148 in 35 overs.
D.Read and Sam opened the batting and got off to a brisk start with Sam hitting the first 6 of the match in to the adjoining corn field. Other boundaries followed but then a top edge from Sam saw him back in hut, quickly followed by Read. Read was slightly unsure how/why he was given out by the overzealous Yapham loan player, however he followed the rule imposed on his children and didn’t question the decision but walked back with dignity – only to then moan a bucketful for the rest of the afternoon!! Knighty was now at the crease, sweating the beer out from the night before and complaining of having to run 2s never mind 3s. Yapham bowled tightly with their Pock lads fast and straight and once George was caught at slip (at the second attempt) we needed to steady the Romany ship. Richard decided the best form was attack and he slapped several boundaries and a huge 6 in a display of power hitting before being unlucky to be out to a great catch at mid-on. Knighty contributed a very important 26 before being bowled off his pads but soon we were heading towards 100 up with still a few wickets in hand. C.Read chipped in a valuable few, as did Andy the loan player, but a couple of wickets fell and things started to look tense…..
What you need in these circumstances is experience – our 8th, 9th, 10th batsman all certainly had that and John Surtees sensibly picked off the singles and kept the fast bowlers at bay. John Walford hit a lovely straight drive for 4 and suddenly the scores were tied. Their opening bowler returned, John got one that jumped on him a bit and now it was down to the President again, our last batsman, to find that winning run. The field came in tight, the Pocklington 18 yr old extended his run and the ground fell silent in anticipation…. Peter showed him the makers name with a text book defensive shot straight out of the first edition of the MCC coaching manual. The fielders came closer, the run up got longer, and the next ball slightly faster. Unfortunately, Peter Hockin is just far too good a batsman to get the streaky edge or a Chinese cut which would have done it for us, and instead he hit it too well and the bowler managed to pluck it out the air to secure a tie!
Who would have believed it – two years in a row tension down to the last ball. It makes you think about that extra run we could have perhaps pinched, the generosity of not giving wides when umpiring, but no matter – this was Romany cricket and whilst the win would certainly have been nice, it was as always, an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday. Who doesn’t like being in the sunshine, playing a close game, with great teas and good company? So why not get your name down for the next few fixtures…….
Romany 198/2 Mutineers 198/9. Sunday 1st July 2018. Match tied.
The match commenced with a minute’s silence for Rupert Wyard, who tragically passed away this week. He will be sorely missed. It goes without saying that if Rupert had played we would have won.
The match itself was probably the most exciting Romany game I’ve ever played in, from the moment Sam Smith was run out before facing a ball, to the final over bowled by Rupert’s son, Ben, who ran out the Mutineers’ number 10 to secure the tie.
Earlier Harwood Williams had retired at the second drinks break on 94 not out enabling me to join Ben Wyard at the crease for the last 12 overs. It was a fitting tribute to Rupert that Ben was able to complete his 50 in the fortieth and final over.
Mutineers reached 107/0 with their opener, who made 70, lucky to survive a caught behind by John Surtees before he reached his half century.
Romany, for once, had a team stacked with bowlers and up stepped Matt Graham with a diving caught and bowled off his first ball He went on to bowl his 8 overs straight through and ended up with 5 wickets. Newcomer Dan Kilby bowled some left arm spin magic at the other end and it looked like we might grasp an unlikely victory. Unfortunately Stoddy, Mutineers’ captain, manager, owner, spokesman and rules arranger, made a defiant 25 not out to thwart us. Still, as Mutineers had won their last 11 matches on the trot, it has to go down as a success for us of sorts.
Other plaudits go to Rob Bielby and Harwood Williams for their tight bowling and to commiserations to Dan Pitt, who was padded up and raring to go, but didn’t manage to get a bat or bowl, and had to leave before the excitement of the final 10 overs.
Final Fun Fact. Romany have tied their last 2 matches. Club Record. Anyone got a Wisden handy?
– Howard Elgot, Match Manager
As usual we were warmly welcomed by Mark Cunliffe-Lister at the magnificent Swinton Park, but as he had lost a couple of players that morning he suggested that Romany had a bat whilst he tried to bolster his side. Whilst we offered substitute fielders, the home team were happy to make do with what they had including Mrs Cunliffe-Lister and a couple of youngsters.
Nick Palmer and Harwood, batting together for the first time since the 1994 Sussex tour, opened our account with both of them striking the ball sweetly and quickly getting the scoreboard moving – Nick was the first to go however when he cleanly struck a half volley in to covers, only to pick out their best fielder, Mrs Cunliffe-Lister who took a blinding catch. When asked if it was the first time he had been caught by a woman in jeans, Palmer was heard to reply ‘well yes, but only on a cricket pitch….’
Keon batting at 3 was unlucky to be out cheaply, and D.Read and Harwood put on a few before the traditional retirement at 25. C.Read kept the middle order together with 18 not out especially when Rob ‘brave’ Smith decided to jump out of the way of the ball rather than use his bat! A flurry of runs from George (batting at 11 for turning up late!) brought us to a total of 126 from our 25 overs, which perhaps looked a bit short.
Tea in the snooker room was as good as ever, with the fruitcake and wensleydale cheese proving a good seller…..
Keon opening the bowling with some fast and straight deliveries, with his dad giving encouragement from behind the stumps. However it was Rob Bielby who got the first breakthrough as the opener aired one to D.Read who closed his eyes and hung on. Mark Cunliffe-Lister retired at 25 along with their big hitting number 4, which allowed us to run through their middle order. The bowling was rotated with a limit of 3 per bowler and Matt was particularly unlucky not to take a wicket during his tight spell, conceding only 4 runs from his 3 overs. Mrs Cunliffe-Lister had elected to weed her vegetable patch rather than bat, and so the imposing B.Read (9yrs old) made his senior debut, for the opposition – he managed a couple of runs, before the big nasty bully George Holden bowled him! Tight fielding and good catching by Rob, Charlie and Keon meant that we soon had our sights on their number 10, a certain M.Knight who had just come up to watch but had also brought his whites and so offered his services to Swinton.
Grinning nervously, he took his guard, before producing the shot of the day, and steering the ball down a rabbit hole under the tree within the boundary. Romany fielders were bemused as to where the ball had gone, and they managed to run four before it was retrieved from thumpers lair! Knighty then had the temerity to clip Keon for a boundary off his legs, and so the next ball came a bit fuller and faster and removed Knighty’s off peg – it was a slow walk back to the ‘pavilion’ for him!
Swinton had always been up with the required rate and now they had their two retired batsman back in, needing 20 from the last 4 overs. A few boundaries later and Romany were looking down the barrel of defeat, until an inspired bit of captaincy that saw Harwood take his pads off and take the ball. We needed 1 wicket, they needed 4 runs. A couple of tight deliveries built pressure and then their batsman lobbed one up to D.Read who managed to pouch it. A great game and a Romany victory by 3 runs.
A good fun day, with plenty of families spectating and even a confused bunch of Japanese tourists from the hotel taking a moment to shake their heads at the finer points of the game! Perhaps this wasn’t one that entirely stuck to the MCC rules……but a fixture that always produces a great game and plenty of enjoyment nonetheless
– Duncan Read, Match Manager
Match Summary:Romany WIN
Romany CC 183-7
Leeds Super Kings CC 68ao
We were very grateful to Alistair Maiden for arranging this short notice replacement game, on a lovely day. The Indian side Leeds Super Kings were our opponents. For a lot of the early part of our innings they had 9 players- we lent them 2 fielders – eventually a 10th player for them arrived. They wanted a 25-overs a side game with everyone bowling and batsmen retiring on 25, so George agreed this.
When we bowled, none on the opposition got going at all – wickets shared around with most bowlers getting one but the stand-out was Keith Egerton with 3 for 4, including two in successive balls. Vee bowled quickly. Highlights were Adam Bowen’s diving caught-and-bowled, and John Surtees’ great catch at the wicket off George to get the last man out – (George’s “Hollywood” dive after a ball had already passed him for 4, was also memorable…). LSK were 68 all out – A pleasant celebratory drink at the New Inn afterwards – a good time had by all… (sadly hearing the closing stages of England losing to Scotland at Edinburgh…)- NH
Romany WIN (by 8 wickets)
Burnt Yates CC 155ao
Smith S 3-13
Romany CC 156-2
Smith S 71
Read D 61*
This was a famous Romany victory! Burnt Yates bowled out for 155, Romany 156-2 (with one also retired). After the disappointment of the defeat to Druids at Goldsborough, Romany, (England-like…) bounced back.
When Burnt Yates batted, our opening bowlers, Sam Smith and George Holden bowled very well, against good BY batsmen, who never “got away”. Andrew Moore held a good head-high catch off Sam. who took 3 for 13 in a full 8 overs, the miserly runs off him accurately reflecting how well (Jimmy-Anderson-like) he bowled.
George had no luck – a catch went down off him. After George’s 5 overs, new and very valuable Romany player Matt Graham came on – like Sam, he bowled a full 8 overs, very well, took his first two Romany wickets, (hopefully the first of many) and finished with 2-43.
At the top end, Andrew Moore was off form (no doubt due to a 27-mile charity walk the previous day…) but Rob Smith came on, bowled well and quickly without luck. After Matt Graham, Nick Hawkins came on – and it turned out to be “his day”, for the second successive year against these opponents. A hit-wicket, two clean bowled, a spectacular diving catch at mid-wicket by the brilliant Freddie Read, and a skyer nonchalantly caught in the deep by Freddie’s father Duncan, meant that your scribe ended up with 5-24, the match ball, and BY were gone.
When Romany batted, skipper Matt Knight opened with Sam Smith. Matt very unluckily played on against the opposition captain Martin Yeoman’s bowling, very early on, but that only let in Duncan Read. Duncan and Sam were untroubled. Duncan hit 3 very big sixes, one straight six being one of the biggest your scribe has seen from any Romany player, out of the ground into a neighbouring field. He retired, on 61, to let son Freddie have a bat.
Sam Smith went on to a splendid 71, was only out towards the very end, and Freddie Read was there on 21 not out with George Holden (who lasted about two overs without facing a single ball…) to finish off the win.
A good time had by all, and afterwards, most of us went back to Burnt Yates’ own ground with them for burgers and beer and raffle…
Druids CC 214ao
Smith R 3-37
Romany CC 146ao
Smith S 57
The first game of the Romany season was against Druids played at Goldsborough. We were asked to bowl, and we accepted….. as our prime batting lineup needed a good run around in the field to loosen up after the long cold winter.
George opened the bowling and thoroughly “Loosened up” , bowling 8 overs straight through, taking 2for 39. (His message the next day simply read “I can’t move today”, which may well be a normal Monday.) Rob Smith opened from the other end with a varied selection of deliveries, showing great unpredictability and total control to take 3for 37. A memorable spell.
Druids kept the scoreboard moving and from 94 for 6 the middle order scored well to give them a total of 214. Of the other bowlers Harwood bowled well taking 3 for 7 in 3 overs.
Knight and debutante Sam Smith opened the Romany batting and at 36 for 1 we had a fair start. We kept on the run rate up to drinks at 20 overs, and we were117 for 4, with Sam and George both batting well. Rob Smith also contributed with the bat scoring 15 at No6, which was a good effort after his energetic and hostile bowling performance.
Even though Sam batted superbly for 57 we were bowled out for 146 in 31 overs, but it was an enjoyable game played in the right spirit in the May sunshine , at a very pleasant ground. MK
You can find the full fixture list for 2018 here: http://www.romanycricketclub.com/fixtures/
If you are interested in playing in any of this year’s matches, please notify the match manager using the email link
The Romany CC AGM will take place at Headingley 6.30pm Tues 13th March 2018- please save the date.
Mike played for the club from the mid 1980s until 2016. He died after a short illness on 29 September 2017. This is the tribute given by Tim Halstead at the celebration of Mike’s life held at Heart in Headingley on Tuesday 11 October 2017.
Mike the Cricketer
I met Mike in the early 1980s when we both played for the Cambridge Methodist Cricket Club. In case you’re wondering, the club had nothing to do with Cambridge, and very little to do with Methodism for that matter. We played on the fields up Stonegate Road in Meanwood.
When I joined the club I didn’t expect to start a 30+ year friendship with a left-leaning polytechnic economics lecturer – a bearded one at that. My sheltered upbringing hadn’t brought me into contact with anyone like that before. But I didn’t realise at the time that there wasn’t really anyone else like Mike, anywhere.
I was the wicketkeeper. Mike was usually at first slip – and that may surprise those who would have expected such a natural athlete to patrol the outfield at cover point. For over thirty years, most of our conversations were conducted over my right shoulder (and in his case, rather unfortunately, towards my rear).
In cricketing terms, Mike was an all-rounder – an elegant and effective batsman, with a highest score of 85, against Ledsham (a little while ago).
He was also a slow bowler. He might have said that he was a spin bowler. In his dreams at least he would turn the ball prodigiously. All I can say is that, as a wicketkeeper, you get a very good view of the ball and can see it turn – or not. After more than 30 years of close observation, I’ll stick with the description of “slow bowler”.
After a few years he and I went on to join the Romany Cricket Club, for whom Mike played his final game in the summer of last year, in the beautiful setting of Singleton, on the South Downs, on our biennial tour of West Sussex. We made a bit of a fuss of him that day and presented him with a photo of the occasion at our AGM last year. I have to say that, enthusiastic though we both were, neither of us would have laid claim to being great cricketers. It was fitting therefore that I managed to miss a stumping off the very last ball he bowled – which was a wide.
Mike never lost his enthusiasm for cricket, which seemed to me like that of a giddy 12-year-old boy let out of school for the summer. His passion wasn’t just for the game itself. It was for everything that surrounded it – the delightful village ground of Crakehall, the historic setting of Swinton Park or the rural charm of Yapham.
But it was the camaraderie that mattered too to Mike. The Romany Cricket Club has a diverse membership – it’s probably fair to say that many of its members lean politically in a different direction to Mike. He was never judgemental – he would listen patiently and accept that there was another point of view. He was always interesting and interested.
He and I had a little road trip in the mid 1980s, watching cricket. (It’s an acquired taste.) We took in Worcester, Taunton, Maidstone and Trent Bridge. We didn’t run out of things to talk about over four or five full days and evenings – or for the next 30 years, for that matter.
I would sometimes enjoy a little game with new players – look around the dressing room and tell me which member of our team you think is a professor who was awarded the OBE for his services to economic development. It was often a little difficult to convince others that it was the one who had spent the afternoon making juvenile jokes at first slip.
I suppose that’s just one way of saying that Mike wore his erudition lightly, humbly and modestly – and always with good humour.
On a couple of occasions in the last three years, Mike and Janie also kindly hosted out-of-season parties for club members at their home in Headingley. As you might imagine, they were warm and generous hosts.
Perhaps Mike’s favourite ground was the quintessentially rustic home of Lofthouse & Middlesmoor Cricket Club, up the valley, past the reservoirs, beyond Pateley Bridge, an area that Mike knew well. It’s a small ground, on the side of the hill. It was there that we would often get the biggest crowds of the season, though they were almost all sheep.
As a friendly, nomadic cricket team, we would sometimes struggle to get a full side of eleven players. To bring our own scorer would have been an unusual luxury. More often it was left to the batting team to score for both sides.
That would lead to the request that accompanied any change of bowling, “Bowler’s name?” shouted out from beyond the boundary. It was on one afternoon at Lofthouse & Middlesmoor a few years ago that Mike came on to bowl at the top end. There came the inevitable call from the scorers, “Bowler’s name?”.
“Campbell” came the reply from the fielders.
The wind was blowing up the valley, however, so we could hear the question on the field, but the scorers couldn’t hear the reply.
The question came again – “Bowler’s name?”
The same answer, “Campbell”, but only the sheep could hear it.
“What was that – Bramble?”
It took a little clarification from one of the fielders before the scorers got it right. And in so doing they neatly summed up Mike the Cricketer, with a passing nod to Mike the man.
“No, Campbell – as in Alastair, but without the spin”.
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