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THE OLD HABERDASHERS' CC. Report for the 2001 Season

President: Alan Phipps
Captain: Paul Eversfield

The 1st XI - Season 2001

Having failed in our promotion bid in 2000, the club returned to Herts Division Four with renewed vigour - and a determination to win the league for the first time. Sadly this proved beyond our grasp, as indeed did promotion. We finished the season in 7th place, well adrift of the last promotion spot. In part this was due to some very strong teams who were making their way through the revised league structure following the 1999 change - Northchurch, Botany Bay and County Hall gained promotion for the second successive year. In terms of league points we improved on the previous year and notched up nine wins out of 16 games actually played. In most seasons this would have been enough. Having said that, our facilities were again awarded below par marks and would have left us in some doubt - although it is notable that Northwood Town who received similar marks to ourselves managed to escape censure and gained the fourth promotion' spot without any adverse consequences!

With league details out of the way, there is time to reflect on the positives that came from the season. Whilst we struggled to make an early impression on the league, the batting of Rick Harris and the bowling of Messrs Eversfield, Filer and Bennett were generally regarded as some of the finest in the league. Notable games were the massacre of Reed C.C. (bowled out for 84), the excellent batting performance to chase Millhillians II total of 174 for the loss of just two wickets, and excellent chases against both Sandridge and Chorleywood.

Most of the chasing revolved around the solid anchor that was Rick Harris at the top of the order. Rick had an outstanding season even by his standards which earned him fourth place in the league averages, the sixth highest run accumulator. Despite his small stature and physique, Rick's mental doggedness and application set him apart from arguably the more talented batsmen' in the team. All of our talented young lions would do well to try and follow his example. Rick managed an aggregate of 534 runs in 13 innings which, having carried his bat on three occasions, left him with a league average of 53.4.

On the bowling front, regular wicket takers Paul Eversfield, Mike Filer and Phil Bennett shared the spoils with 34, 38 and 20 league wickets respectively at an average of just 15 runs a piece. Mike Filer ended the season with the team's best figures of 8-74.These three were ably supported at different times by Bajwa, Geewhola, Ahmad and Ali snr and jnr. Such was the strength of the bowling attack that on 12 out of 16 occasions the opposition were bowled out. With better catching on a couple of occasions this number might have been even higher!

August was an outstanding month for the club with three out of four league wins, two of which were very much last gasp: with three balls to go in the pouring rain against Berkhamsted and with one ball to spare vs Harpenden II. Sandwiched between these two remarkable games was the highly successful tour to Devon. Only rain prevented victory in our first match of the tour against Seaton. A last ball win, now a traditional event, at Kilmington on the Monday was made possible with the final man caught by our President-elect Howard Lancaster. Tuesday and Wednesday saw comfortable wins against Exeter and Exter St. David, whilst Thursday produced another close win over Yarcombe. Unfortunately we suffered a major setback on the Friday with a drubbing against old rivals Sidmouth following an inept batting performance.

The 2nd XI followed up their league championship of 2000 with a consolidating year in the new Division Eight, securing a respectable ninth place. Batting awards went to Deepak Kapadia who scored 360 at an average of 28, but many others chipped in on numerous occasions - in particularly 'Little Ali' Afzaal who continued to show much promise. The side and bowling efforts were very much led again by Simon Gelber who took 38 wickets at a miserly 16 runs a piece.

Finally I would like to finish by recording my thanks to our valiant President, Alan Phipps, who has carried the job for so long, to my vice-captain Sami Ali who was a rock this year to me, if not with the bat. To Simon and Deepak who carried the usual struggles of organising a second team when the first team is populated by a bunch of muppets. To Rick and Mike for all their support over the years and their companionship on the boundary. I will miss everybody next year but expect to catch up with them all in Devon! I wish Haroon, a returning club captain the very best for the new season in his second stint at the job. I hope that finally, we will see O.H.C.C. in division three by 2003.

Paul Eversfield

The 2nd XI - Season 2001

Following promotion to Division` 8 of the Herts. League in 2001, the team were faced with new opposition, new challenges and a new captain. In retrospect it turned out to be a satisfactory season with the 2nd XI ultimately finishing ninth after leading the table in early July.

The early weeks of the season saw the grounds of Hertfordshire more resembling paddy fields than cricket wickets and not unsurprisingly Borehamwood was no exception and the first two weeks were a complete right off. The first five matches saw some scratchy performances before victory in the pouring rain against Hatfield Hyde was the start of four straight wins and sent the Old Boys to the top of the League.

Thereafter some more bad luck with the weather during August saw the team slip back. On two occasions against St. Albans and North Enfield we were heading for victory only for heavy rain to start with most inconvenient timing and the resultant drawn matches and frustration. Even more bizarre was the decision of Welwyn G.C to call off the match on Friday lunchtime following some rain on Thursday night and the "more than my job's worth" attitude of the groundsman on the council ground that they used. On Saturday eleven annoyed and irritated O.H. 2nd XI cricketers were left to do the gardening and other domestics on what turned out to be one of the best days of the summer - such are the idiosyncrasies of 2nd XI cricket.

There followed a big win against London Colney, a loss to Shenley Village on a pig of a wet wicket at Borehamwood and a final draw against the ultimate champions Flitwick and the season subsided gently into autumn. The plusses of the year - terrific team spirit exemplified by some late night sojourns at the Club House drinking ale or to those that way inclined - orange juice. Some of the best fielding seen in the seconds for a long time, in the early part of the season hardly a catch went down and was largely responsible for the team's success.

The downside was the inability throughout the whole year to put together a meaningful opening partnership. It meant that we were always having to reconsolidate date from an early stage. Secondly the opening bowling although taking; wickets leaked too many early, cheap runs. 2002 must see an improvement in this area - the new ball must bring pressure and requires the discipline to grind out tight overs and frustrate top order batsman.

Thereafter some more bad luck with the weather during August saw the team slip back. On two occasions against St. Albans and North Enfield we were heading for victory only for heavy rain to start with most inconvenient timing and the resultant drawn matches and frustration. Even more bizarre was the decision of Welwyn G.C to call off the match on Friday lunchtime following some rain on Thursday night and the "more than my job's worth" attitude of the groundsman on the council ground that they used. On Saturday eleven annoyed and irritated O.H. 2nd XI cricketers were left to do the gardening and other domestics on what turned out to be one of the best days of the summer - such are the idiosyncrasies of 2nd XI cricket.

The prospects, however, are healthy, for the Club is blessed with plenty of players of real ability, but to make advances the 2nd XI requires people to be available on a regular basis to put its strongest side out each week. Finally the younger players must start challenging the old "lags" with their performances and by doing so take the Club to a higher level.

Simon Gelber


THE OLD HABERDASHERS' CC. Report for the 2000 Season

President: Alan Phipps
Captain: Paul Eversfield

The 1st XI - Season 2000

Had Viera been playing for O.H.C.C. in 1999, he would have rushed to sign an extension on his contract as several new signings were made for the 2000 season. Most importantly was Ash Syed who pledged himself to full availability for the season after some cameo appearences in 1999. Likewise I, having taken on the club captain mantle, would play every week instead of just half a season and Phil Bennett joined the Club — albeit he was held back in the 2nd XI to be ‘blooded’ by the likes of Newman and Gelber.

Such were the ambitions of the O.H. that having just missed promotion the year before, this was the year that would lead to success in the new Herts. Division Four. With seven league places available for promotion that was the minimum target for both sides but the prestige of Division winners and the Saracens’ chequebook were the target set by an ambitious/naive new captain.

Pre-season training was something of a disappointment - no two week jaunt in La Manga, but rather the occasional Monday night in the School’s indoor nets. If we thought that was bad, worse was to come when we arrived at the ground on the 6th May for our first game to find that our beloved Fortress Croxdale looked more like a council field than the field of dreams we had been expecting. So shocked were we that we fell heavily at the first hurdle to the eventual league champions Bayford and Herford.

The following two matches we dominated, but were held up by first rain and then obdurate batting and we went away with two winning draws but not 60 points. With the fourth and final game of May rained off we ended the first quarter with only 54 points out of a possible 120 and were lying eleventh — not even in one of the promotion slots.

June brought sunshine, happiness and good fortune to the O.H. with victory off the penultimate ball against Sandridge; a thorough thrashing of Millhillians (bowled out for 49); victory over Hatfield Hyde and a draw against Sawbridgeworth. By taking 98 points out of 120 in the second quarter we moved up to 4th. Harris and Syed were unstoppable run machines having scored 3 and 4 fifties respectively at an average of 40 and 70 and Filer (18) and Eversfield (20) were notching up opposition victims like there was no tomorrow.

July was less successful, but for differing reasons. A rain-off against Ampthill enabled both teams to watch Cork’s heroics in defeating the West Indies at Lords’; dropped catches cost us victory against Reed; there was a comprehensive 10 wicket victory over Berkhampstead (57 all out); defeat against the bottom side Wheathampstead and a battling draw against Dunstable. Despite taking only 68 points from 150, we only dropped one place and remained in contention.

Travelling to Bushey in August is never pleasant, but the sight of Ash Syed smacking the ball to the four quarters of the district, let alone the ground, and in so doing scoring his maiden 100 for the Club made it well worth the visit. We posted our biggest total of the year, 226-7, and pressed hard for victory. However, sometimes in order to gain a win you run the risk of losing. On a belter of a track, we could easily have closed it up but chose not to to give us the chance of taking all 10 wickets. Two crucial dropped chances went against us and we ended up losing in the penultimate over.

Bennett finally made the breakthrough into the 1st XI, despite Newman’s valiant attempts, and having been so unlucky against Bushey was fantastic at Boxmoor aided by an outstanding display of glovework by Haffner who had three excellent dismisals. This win was followed by our best performance of the season against the then league leaders U.C.A. — Phipps and Syed helped to post a total of 200. Four wickets apiece from Eversfield and Filer plus two run-outs gave us victory by twenty runs. Our match at the end of August was rained off to leave us with 87 points out of 120 and in 6th place at the end of the month.

Our matches at the end of August sandwiched one of the most successful Devon Tours in memory. Three wins (Exeter St. James, Yarcombe and Stockland, and Sidmouth) plus strong winning draws against Seaton and Exeter (rain preventing the inevitable against Seaton, and Exeter ended with 9 wickets down) were fully deserved and left the Club in bouyant mood for the final league fixtures. A comprehensive win against Northampton Exiles (eventual runners-up) was made possible by Syed’s best bowling display of the year as he wiped out the top and middle-order in a spell of 7 overs 6 for 25! This left us third in the table, but a dismal draw in the final game against North Mymms meant we slipped to fifth.

Our non-promotion has already been well documented and so will be left here! Final mention should go to our player of the year Ash Syed — who scored over 700 runs at an average of 65 as well as taking 24 wickets at an average of only 10. A tremendous effort by a tremendous player who was very much the Club’s talisman last season.

A number of thanks are due - to my vice-captain Rick Harris; to Sami Ali and Mike Filer who played every game last year, and to Alan Newman for doing an excellent job with the 2nd XI (league-winners), with availability and with finding new players.

Paul Eversfield

The 2nd XI - Season 2000

It is not normal to devote too much space to the 2nd XI, but since the year 2000 proved to be the most successful to date, it seems appropriate to dwell on this cosmopolitan band for a few moments. The team found themselves in a restructured Division 9 of the Saracens Herts. League and with a new captain, Alan Newman - not the rugby one!

The first aims were to ensure eleven took the field every week and then see what happens. As the season progressed, wins started to accumulate matched by the odd defeat or draw. Steve Cronbach had resumed his solid anchor role at the top of the order and the bowlers were performing admirably well led by Simon Gelber. Highlights were the dismissal of a weakened Braughing side for 27 and a draw snatched from defeat against Hatfield Crusaders. By the time the skipper left for a two week break in Scotland, we were occupying second place in the table and when he returned we were one point off top place, and who were we playing that week, namely Flitwick the leaders. There followed the low point of the season, a massive defeat by a strong team whom we felt would win the league. The following week also saw a desperate last ditch victory against Old Owens II when we only won thanks to a resolute and determined last wicket stand by Simon Gelber and Atif Yusuf.

A few wins later and some surprising results from Flitwick meant that 45 points were required from the last two matches. 15 were gained from a dull rain-affected match against County Hall II meaning a victory was required in the last game against Shenley Village at Croxdale Road. Put in on a damp wicket we managed 146-6 off 53 overs thanks to a late flourish. With the telephone ringing constantly during the last 20 overs signifying a Flitwick victory, we gradually weedled out the opposition with the last wicket being taken in the last over fittingly bowled by Simon Gelber.

The season had therefore resulted in the Club's first ever league title by any side, based on good availability, winning the toss in the early part of the season and strong performances from many individuals when required. Six batsmen averaged over 30 and whilst Simon Gelber smashed the 2nd XI wicket-taking record by twelve taking it to 51, he was well supported by other bowlers in the squad. Several went to play for the 1st XI and acquitted themselves well.

All in all it was a very enjoyable season rounded off with some excellent celebrating and it was a pleasure to captain the side, if at times a little stressful. Thanks go to the perennial vice-captain Deepak Kapadia, Paul for not pinching players too late in the week, Mel and Pauline for the excellent teas, Campbell for remembering where the ground was once a week, the older team members for not arguing and captaining too much and the occasional players without whom we would not have enjoyed such on-field success. My successor will hopefully enjoy the same contributing factors to team success.

Alan Newman



Report for the 1999 Season

President: Alan Phipps
Captain: Haroon Ahmad

First Team

At the end of a long season the first team finished a very creditable fifth in Division 2 of the Herts. League, winning 10, drawing 4 and losing 3 of the 17 matches completed. Sadly, only the top four sides get promoted.

At times we looked like the best eleven O.H.C.C. has ever produced. The way in which we dismissed - in both senses of the word - good sides such as Ampthill Town and Kings Langley and poor sides such as Datchworth and Kings Langley was extremely impressive. Unfortunately the side suffered some Tim Henman-like lapses and failure to defeat lowly sides such as Baldock, Exiles and Bushey cost us promotion

In a successful year there are always plenty of high points to recall - with none better than the last ball of the last game of the season against Hatfield Hyde. A single was needed for victory and the fielder had one stump to throw at for a run out and a draw - he missed. "Get out of jail" cards were also played against Ampthill Town, where we scored too few, and Boxmoor, where our opponents subsided from 129-2 to 154 all out.

The key to many of the successes was our attitude. Only against Northampton Exiles did we start off with the wrong approach and we paid for that with a defeat. For all the other games we were competitive throughout.

There were a number of great bowling performances and we undoubtedly had the best fast bowling attack in the league when Messrs. Syed, Filer and Eversfield were all on the field. Seven sides were bowled out for less than 110.

Ash Syed bowled very quickly again this year and few batsmen looked comfortable against him. He did not bowl as well as last year - more pace, less accuracy - but he still took a lot of wickets. Not as many as Mike Filer though. Mike's back held up to a full season's bowling this year and his consistency brought him a bucketload of wickets. Paul Eversfield continues to develop. He is bowling faster and is introducing more variety in pace and swing.

Concerns remain about the batting and our ability to perform in higher leagues. With one notable exception the bating remained too inconsistent throughout the season. The exception was Rick Harris. His batting at the top of the order was extremely solid and helped to give us many good starts. His batting certainly helped in the winning of games against North Enfield, Boxmoor and Kings Langley. He also had a great Devon tour (241 runs in 4 innings at an average of 120.5)

The rest of the top order all had their moments. The innings of the year was the 139 not out by Paul Filer against a Bushey side with a decent bowling attack. He still finished on the losing side - BusheyÕs opener was given not out off a clear caught behind and then went on to score 150 while we toiled with a ball that was like a bar of soap in the wet conditions.

Ash was too keen to hit the ball out of the ground to make many big scores but his 83 against Datchworth and 69 against the School were important.

The low point was the key match against Preston where Haroon made the serious mistake of losing the toss on what would clearly be a difficult wicket. Our batting crumbled against some high quality bowling and it took 27 overs for our score to exceed the overs. Our total never looked likely to be enough as the wicket dried and became easier. But no-one could have faulted O.H.C.C. for effort and with Filer and Eversfleld bowling in tandem we got very close. Eight wickets fell before the target was reached - a remarkable effort considering some of the decisions made by their umpire. A win would certainly have seen us promoted.

Second Team

It was difficult to predict the type of summer the seconds would enjoy/endure. Having been demoted to Division 3 of the League last season, there was uncertainty about the probable quality of the opposition - expected to be poor -and the quality and availability of the second team squad.

Last season, batting had been a problem with no-one showing a lot of confidence and the bowling, although steady, lacked the penetration to bowl sides out - especially when bowling second.

In the event our league position of 7th out of 20 was about right, although a little disappointing. Six matches were won, six were drawn and four lost. But there were many individual performances by Howard Lancaster's men to be proud of.

Highlight of the season has to be the game against Braughing where we were chasing a total of 242 to win. Ahad Afzal and Steve Cronbach opened the innings and in the next 44 overs put on 226 for the first wicket, breaking the second eleven record. Steve scored 132 and Ahad was run out for 82. A superb 6 wicket win.

Although the highlight for Steve, this was among many good innings that included three other fifties and he proved to be back to the form of the year before last. Not far behind came Ahad, who had several good knocks. Against Elstree, O.H.C.C. were 110-6 after 48 overs on a very slow Borehamwood wicket. In the last five overs Ahad took the bowling apart to add a further 50 runs, leaving him 91 not out.

Jez Davis also enjoyed some good batting form and his stand of 121 with Ahad won the match against Northchurch. Unfortunately he was not available enough to make a difference. Neither was Alan Newman, weighed down by work commitments, a new home and the little matter of a marriage in June.

Sterling work was performed by the bowlers, often without a great deal of luck - catching has never been a strong point for the seconds. Oz Ali bowled a lot of quick overs, while Tony Wise and Simon Gelber proved very difficult to score against throughout the season. The bionic knee of Deepak Kapadia stood up well to bowling too many overs - shame about the rest of the body! Better availability from John Griffiths would also have been welcome - he is a wicket taker as was proved by his 6-30 against the School.

All of the above has meant a great deal of reliance has been placed on the youngsters and they have developed quickly as a result. They can only get better next year. Well done to Howard for getting sides out each week and here's hoping for a very successful season in 2000.

Alan Phipps/Simon Gelber


THE OLD HABERDASHERS' CC. Report for the 1996 Season

President 1997: Simon Gelber

Captain 1997: Keith Davies

Old Haberdashers' Cricket Club had a mixed season in 1996, with the 1st XI again failing to register the consistency league success requires, but the 2nd XI at long last gained the much-deserved promotion to Division 2 of the Herts. League. It remains to be seen whether the higher standard of 2nd XI cricket will be sufficient to ensure further success for the Club in its 50th anniversary season.

In many ways 1996 summed up the nature of Old Habs. sport in recent seasons, with several outstanding wins and individual performances being wasted as inconsistency and poor availability resulted in an equal number of losses at the hands of weak opposition. The situation is most poignantly demonstrated by the events of two weeks in August - when O.H. firstly scored 262 to tie with league champions Rickmansworth, and then were dismissed for 75 by relegation candidates Baldock. Such inconsistency and the lack of a spinner capable of finishing sides off, suggests that the Club's immediate ambitions may well be limited to a position in the top half of Division 2. This target was not quite achieved in 1996 where a playing record of 6 wins and 5 losses meant that the Club finished 10th in the table. Although a second successive win against the School and some good tour results meant that the overall 1st XI record was much more healthy.

Two batsmen stood out in 1996; Steve Larder and Simon Friend. Larder, a former Somerset player topped the averages with 259 league runs at 43.16, including an outstanding 76 in the amazing run-chase against Rickmansworth. Friend, however, was leading run scorer - with a 100 against Old Camdenians helping produce a seasons total of 445 runs - as well as another excellent season behind the stumps. Elsewhere Wellard made runs (as usual) before departing to the more exotic climes (as usual) and all the other batsmen had their moments - with Charles' destruction of Bayford's clock living in the memory. However, innings of the season was undoubtedly Amer Aslam's 79 off 41 balls against Northampton Exiles which turned a typical O.H. batting collapse into a match--winning situation.

Aslam also produced some fiery spells with the ball during the season, but once again Mike Filer, back from injury, proved to be the Club's key bowler - picking up 40 wickets at 18.8. He received solid support from Paul Tredgett, as well as Wellard and Phipps, but with Eversfield not available for much of the season and with little variety, the attack lacked bite on many occasions. However, the Club should take great heart from the emergence of some young blood in the 2nd XI and also from the return of Wood, Bate, Griffiths (x2) and Charles - which marked the end of the "cold- war" with the rugby club.

Indeed, the outlook for the Club's jubilee season looks relatively optimistic given the excellent performance of the 2nd XI in 1996. After three near misses, Robert Wheal finally guided the side to promotion with 12 wins in 17 games ensuring second place behind Preston and some well-deserved celebrations. Will Russell was again the mainstay of the batting whilst Gelber, Wise, Crawford and Lewis proved too good for most opposing batsmen. Behind the stumps the effervescent Haffner had a good year and other newcomers Chirag Patel and Shoaib Ali had promising performances. Robert should howevertake great credit for the year of effort he has put into the side.

Whilst the 1st XI disappointed, the 2nd team's promotion can be seen as further evidence of the progress being made by the Club in recent years - although the demography of the playing members suggests some new blood will be needed (as well as a spinner!) if further progress is to be made in the coming years.

Such success would be fitting reward for the unsung heroes who put in so much time and efort for the Club and I can only thank for following for their support last year. Rick Harris - an outstanding vice-captain and a good alcohol decathlete - Robert Wheal and Jocky Crawford for the smooth and successful running of the second team. Simon Levy for putting out a competitive and improving 3rd team, and Alan Newman and the other members of the committee for their time and effort. Again where would we be witout our scorer, W.R. Tanner, or our four excellent umpires Messrs. Whittenbury, Harris, Wheal and Lidington. Finally, thanks to the new Pres. Gelbs; I hope that people give him the support he deserves in making 1997 a special year for the Club.

Keith Davies

1990 / 1991


Report for the 1990/91 Season

1990 CAPTAIN: M L Filer 1990 PRESIDENT: C J Robinson
1991 CAPTAIN: J C Ridgley 1991 PRESIDENT: S L Cronbach

1990 was another curate's egg as far as the OHCC was concerned. During a summer noteworthy for its superb weather, the OH finished 12th and 8th in the 1st and 2nd XI leagues respectively. Both sides had some convincing victories, but there were performances that still suggested that the finer points of league cricket had not yet been addressed.

For the Ist XI, Rick Harris was a prodigious run scorer, with a new club record of 1,294 runs, but he was not always supported. Rod Smith made a maiden century and Alan Phipps made useful contributions, but a lack of regular availability was the crucial factor mitigating against the club as a whole.

For the 2nd XI, the arrival of Tony Wise proved a valuable addition. His regular bowling feats were supplemented by useful contributions with the bat. The management team of Clive Hyman and Robert Wheal, Captain and Vice Captain respectively, settled down well during the year and continues for this season.

Tour was a success again with 31 present at the Tour Dinner, many celebrating Ian Simpson's rich vein of seaside and country runs! The present format, including two sides, is the envy of many clubs.

Thanks are due to Nobbly for his invaluable contribution in the scorebox; John Whittenbury for organising the umpiring rota; Chris Wilkinson for his work on the ground; Pat and Denis for what turns out to be their final summer, and Chris Robinson, the retiring president.

It is to be hoped that 1991 will see the Club prove that it has the ability to turn its undoubted potential into some recognisable achievement in the league and to be able to establish a regular playing caucus with which to do so.

Season Record 1990

1st 45 13 18 14
2nd 21 7 4 10
3rd 4 1 3 0



Report for the 1988 Season


By the time the report is read, Michael Filer will have adopted my mantle as Club Captain and I would wish him the same success and support that I received in my five years in the job.

The 1988 season was the last under the “non-league” regime and the first eleven again enjoyed a successful season. The highlight, though not for the weather, was the Devon Tour during which we won 6 and drew 2 out of 8 first eleven games - and those we should have won! We also were able to put out second elevens on tour on two occasions. As usual the tour was masterminded successfully by the tour committee and my thanks for their sterling efforts.

The standard of play improved over the season but, as we were are rarely able to put out the same team two weeks running, we must be developing strength in depth. We shall need a higher level of commitment to regular availability if we are succeed in the league and achieve our ambition of promotion from the lower divisions. It is however good to see new players, such as Jerry Wellard, and developing players, such as lan Hall, make such an impact on the first eleven in one season. It is to be hoped that both of them will continue to score as heavily for many seasons to come.

In both batting and bowling, however, it is the stalwarts who continue to turn in good performances. Mike Filer was the leading wicket taker and Alan Phipps again shone with the bat. Rod Smith had a very encouraging season with both. In the seconds, Jon Harradine was able to call on Chris Bellis and Colin Harris to guide the newer younger recruits.

I should like to thank all the players for their good humour and tolerance, for Nobbly for scoring, Pat for the teas and Chris for preparing the ground. Without all or any of them the job is impossible. I should also particularly like to thank Simon Gelber for sharing the Sunday skippering and to Jon Harradine for his good humour even in the face of my stealing another player on Friday night.



Report for the 1987 Season


1987 turned out to be a very successful season for the club with a number of notable firsts. It was the first time that:

  • the 1st XI had achieved 15 wins in a season for a very long time.
  • three 1st XI bowlers topped 50 wickets in the same season, these being Messrs Filer (79), Gelber (52) and Ridgley (52).
  • we have run a regular 2nd XI on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • we had three second XI fixtures on tour and all have been played.
  • In addition Mike Filer set a new record aggregate of wickets in a season beating the previous best by one.

The Club record speaks for itself. The results are a reflection of a lot of hard work by players and the groundsman alike. The ground is, without doubt, looking and playing better than it has in any of my 20 years associated with the Club.

RESULTS Played Won Drawn Lost Aband. Scratched
1st XI 35 15 2 16 2 6
2nd XI 19 5 7 6 1 7
Sunday XI 7 2 1 4 - -

As can be seen from these results, there is a far greater concentration of 1st XI cricket, with fixtures on both Saturdays and Sundays. The Club has experimented with a Sunday captain, who captains the 1st XI on Sunday and the Club Captain captaining on Saturdays. The two captains, Simon Gelber (Sundays) and myself on Saturdays, work in tandem. It has brought out some friendly rivalry, but has certainly made the organisation a lot easier.

Looking at the individuals, the batting was strengthened by the presence of Paul Humm (260 runs) and Alan Phipps (446). Paul finished with an average of 86.6, whilst Alan averaged 37.42. They were backed up by Paul Filer (577 runs), Simon Friend (447), Ian Hall (342) and Stephen Cronbach (334). There were two centuries during 1987, Alan Phipps (106) and Andy Charles (105 not out). In bowling special mention must be made of Mike Filer's effort, 35 matches 493 overs and 79 wickets taken.

51 people played for Jon Harradine's 2nd XI. He spent hours putting out teams on both Saturdays and Sundays. He even found the energy to score 439 runs during the season. There are far too many people for me to thank by name. All I know is that without the groundsman, scorer, steward, fellow captains and the Committee, my job would have been absolutely impossible.

Tour was a great social success, I'm not too sure about the results! In fact one or two venerable players were looking decidedly jaded after playing seven games in seven days. Mike Filer and his sub-committee are to be thanked for all their work at putting the tour together.

I hope that the Club can build on its success during 1988. The base is certainly there. All in all 1987 was somewhat of a vintage year for the reason already mentioned.




Report for the 1986 Season


1986 will be remembered as a successful season both on and off the field. The Club continued its run of good results and enjoyable games in all XIs and was encouraged by the number of recent leavers playing regularly. The event of the season was the Charity Match played at Boreham Wood against a Terry Downes celebrity XI at which £2400 was raised for the Variety Club of Great Britain. All of this was achieved only by the strenuous efforts of all concerned, and the Club thanks particularly Ian Smart, Ian Hall, "Fran", Mike Filer, Jon Harradine , Simon Gelber and Terry Downes Snr for all their time and efforts in arranging such a successful day.

1986 started late - rain preventing the annual Hertford Brewery fixture, and we were not underway until May. We had a successful May, beating both Hampstead and Marlow, and settling into a winning routine prior to the School and President's weekend. Unfortunately the weather prevented a second successive win at the School, but overall the 1st XI won 12, lost 2 and drew the rest of the games.

The side was strengthened by the return of Alan Phipps, who scored 575 in 11 innings batting at number 3, and the addition of Andy Charles, David Griffiths and Richard Downes. Richard took 45 wickets in his first full season at an average of 10.6. The more established players continued to perform steadily: Paul Filer scoring 517 runs, whilst Mike took 56 wickets and Simon Friend had excellent season both behind the stumps and with the bat, scoring 385 entertaining runs!

As the season closed, John Ridgley had passed 250 games for the Club and needed only 12 wickets to beat Ian Smart's record, and Steve Cronbach had become the third highest aggregate run scorer in the Club's history. Other players had passed milestones in appearances and performances. Records may be broken again in 19871

The Devon Tour at the end of August was again a success, and a large party toured and played the most extensive fixture list ever attempted. Despite rain on the first two days, the party was kept happy by a lot of cricket against good opponents. The highlight of the week was the win against Sidmouth, which was sealed by Mike Filer hitting successively a four and a huge six, when he had orders to take his timer I There was a second XI on tour for the second season.

The home 2nd XI enjoyed itself and its cricket. Chris Bellis gathered a nucleus of experienced regulars and played attacking cricket. Colin Harris, Don Wildey and Rod Smith had some excellent performances and the standard continues to rise. The Club wishes Jon Harradine success as the new 2nd XI captain for 1987.

To close the usual hopes and thank you’s. The Club look set for an enjoyable 1987 season. The Club must thank Pat for all her catering efforts and help on the Charity event, Nobbly for his scoring and endless list of names, Chris Wilkinson for his work on the wicket, Chris Robinson and John Whittenbury for umpiring, and the committee for all their work, especially those who have held office and now retired.




Report for the 1980 Season

Hon. Secretary:I. C. Smart

President: J. R. Whittenbury

Captain: S. H. Gelber

The 1980 season was another successful one for the Club, with the first eleven winning 12, losing 8 and drawing 4. Bearing in mind the strengthened fixture list, these results are very pleasing.

Individually, John Ridgley must be singled out for his major contribution to the success of the Club. He set the record for the number of wickets in 1969, taking 55, and last season set a new record with no less than 75 wickets. This included six occasions of 5 wickets or more.

On a career record, John Maynard has now crept into 3rd place for runs scored behind Doug Gainsborough and Derek Kenward and on the bowling side Ian Smart is now only 3 short of 600 wickets, almost 150 ahead of anyone else and 221 ahead of anyone still playing for the first eleven (John Ridgley).

Cricket week was unsuccessful; we had three fixtures arranged and two of our opponents cried off at exceedingly short notice. Although we have not finally decided the outcome for this year I believe that we will keep the Cricket week going but that we will raise opposition from invitation sides where the organiser will have rather more awareness of his responsibilities.

We again went on tour to Devon at the end of August 1980 and once again stayed at the Bystock Hotel in Exeter. A large party of players, wives and children went on tour and a splendid time was had by all. However, we must report that the service at the hotel was not as wonderful as it had been in the previous year, and we are currently looking for a new venue. It may well be that we shall be staying at a hostelry run by our previous Captain if all goes well.

Congratulations to Jerry Hardy for another good year for the second eleven, winning 5, losing 3 and drawing 2. The overall result for Jerry's three years are won 13 and lost 12. Last year especially Jerry worked extremely hard trying to ensure full sides taking the pitch.

The Annual Dinner was held at the Union Jack Club with approximately 60 members and friends attending. The venue again has been booked for October 1st 1981.

During the close season we said farewell to the incumbent captain, Keith Smart. He found the twin lures of marriage and running an inn in South Devon quite irresistible, and we look forward to his services on Tour at the end of August. Since he is in partnership with Roger Wilkinson we will have two players on tap immediately.

We thank Keith for the immense amount of hard work, effort and enthusiasm he has given to the Club and the Association over the years and wish him and Roger (and their wives)
success in their new venture.

At the AGM in March, Simon Gelber was elected to succeed Keith and since then we have spent most Saturdays looking at the rain. Maybe things will improve by November.

Mr McLaughlin, our groundsman, has retired after nearly 20 years service; he has improved the standard of the playing areas considerably and we wish him well in retirement. He has been succeeded by Bob Packer, formerly Head Groundsman at the School, who has come partially out of retirement to help us out.