Archive for the ‘Match Report’ Category

Ovington II vs Askham: Match Report Podcast

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

Ovington II beat Askham Bryan by 3 wickets

Terrible weather, fantastic game and a really close finish in our first match of the season. A big thank you to Ovington for being such great sports. Want to hear more? Listen to the match podcast below.

(MP3 format).

Askham Bryan vs Heworth

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Askham Bryan CC V Heworth CC, 8th August 2015

By David Sladen

In a season of resounding victories (and the occasional resounding defeat), here was yet another for the pinkcaps. Last week’s victory at Stillingfleet was just about sealed the moment Parag ran out his opening partner in the second over hit the 6th ball of the match for six. This one could be sensed even earlier. Heworth, by their own admission, were severely weakened. Rumour has it they had requested, via the club secretary, that they be spared the Full Force of The Grewer. Little did they know that The Grewer was sidelined this week, resting tired eyes after his…..watchful innings last week.

That said, Captain Ali betrayed one of the first rules of successful captaincy – do what the opposition would least want you to do. So despite Heworth’s polite requests to be allowed to bat first to spare an unpleasant afternoon for some of their inexperienced youngsters, Ali did precisely this. Praying he had not been cruelly duped, heaven knows the anguish he must have been going through as he returned to the dressing rooms. Temperatures were up, the pitch looked benign, Askham’s top order sniffed runs and the Clarets had just kicked off. How would he sell this? Answer: as some kind of ‘the people first’ spin. The tabloids would describe this as Corbynist lurching (because that’s the only way apparently) to the left.

Unfortunately what followed was less than 50 overs of rather uneventful cricket. Ali had not been duped by the opposition, and they were indeed significantly under strength. However, as always with Heworth their spirit, determination and attitude could never be questioned. Askham’s bowling was solid, their out cricket (my favourite current cricket buzz word) efficient and catching effortless. Wickets steadily fell from the second over. Lord Seymour did his famous name proud with a typically opportunistic spell of bowling (4-26). Wickets would also fall to Tom, Raj, Prasath and Alistair. Smart catches were taken by Sladen, Speakman, Mohite and Prasath. Dr Dale continued his good form with 2 stumpings. Though his cruel stumping of a pre-pubescent cricketing novice first ball will surely haunt him for years to come. Despite some hard hitting resistance from Rymer (65) were bowled out for 95 in 24 overs. With smarter heads, Heworth could easily have batted round him and set a more competitive target. This was 5 overs longer than an international cricket team managed a few days earlier. A note though on our captain again. Some would argue that the art of good leadership is self-preservation. Clearly, Ali is in full agreement as he brought himself on for two overs up against essentially an U13s tail end. Retuning figures of 2-0, but like Dale, no doubt already suffering nightmares at surrounding an 11 year old number 11 with 9 fielders in pursuit of a hatrick. *

This week’s tea left me in a quandary. The cheese sandwiches were free from foreign objects, but they were (un)accompanied with a disappointing lack of variety and volume. Or maybe, I was spoilt by my experience at Stillingfleet? Surely not.

Parag and Sladen opened up as usual. They began in their usual positive style, stealing plenty of quick runs and the odd boundary. Reports of noise disturbance were apparently made to North Yorks Constabulary on account of the volume of Sladen’s calling between the wickets. No idea why. Despite both looking comfortable and the score racing along at 6 an over, both would perish in their teens trying to play shots like Joe Root – Parag bowled pulling off a length, Sladen playing on trying to pull from outside off stump. Speakman and Ujwal steadied the ship. In all honesty at this point, with a very early finish well on the cards and the opportunity to score some family points (invaluable during the cricket season), I opted to take care of the washing up so as to allow a swift exit upon victory. So I didn’t really see much of the remaining action. Needless to say Speakman and Ujwal safely saw Askham home with 8 wickets and 16 overs to spare in a serene fashion, befitting of today’s action. Speakman ended 40 not out and Askham were home and hosed by 5.15pm. A quick game’s a good game.


*The author in no way endorses the generous soft cricket these comments suggest. Rather, an uneventful game on and off the field, offered up very little noteworthy action!

Stillingfleet vs. Askham Bryan

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Stillingfleet vs. Askham Bryan CC, 1st August 2015

By Peter Wood

(Editor’s note: a couple of historically accurate but possibly risqué references have been replaced with “….”, where the reader is invited to use their own imagination)

The Grewer was awoken by Faron on match day as requested.  Saturdays wakeup call involved Faron gently massage the various areas of TG’s body which are carrying injuries.  As Faron worked his way around The Grewer’s body he would whisper phrases to inspire the great man.  As TG stirred Faron was working on his hamstring “this is one of the most powerful muscles in your whole body, it will not fail you, not today, not ever”.  TG’s achilles was next “this will not be your weakness; it will power you to many victories, both today and your upcoming ironman.”   While Faron worked on TG’s …. (which was not injured but a crucial part of the wakeup call) TG asked Faron to keep the ironman a secret from his cricket team mates.  Faron looked confused but The Grewer reminded him that TG did not like to discuss any ironman in front of people in case they felt intimidated.

The morning weather was perfect for cricket but as The Grewer was cruising to the ground the weather started to change.  The Grewer assessed the wicket from the car and deemed it as bowler friendly.  Upon his arrival TG graciously acknowledged two of the Stillingfleet players.  The Grewer saw the look of fear in their eyes as one made a quick apology to the captain and collected his things and the other made his way to the bathroom.  The Grewer entered the changing room to the normal round of applause. TG then let some of his ‘teammates’ pat him on the back and shake his hand.  After a liberal application of sanitising hand cream TG slipped on the grey slip and waited for the results of the toss.  Stand in captain Chris Copeland returned to the changing room with news of a win and that he had taken the positive move to have a bat on the bowler friendly wicket.  Chris informed the side that Stillingfleet were starting with nine but were hopeful of ten if they could persuade a player to open the bathroom door.

The Grewer turned his hand to manual labour as he demanded to change the scoreboard at the end of each over.  The Grewer watched Parag and Dave S open the innings, both were keen the impress The Grewer and ensure he was able to fulfil his work to the highest standard by scoring quickly.  The Grewer would check with scorer Dale at the end of each over but this was a formality as TG had been keeping an immaculate metal scorecard.  DS was the first wicket to fall, TG’s scorecard read ran out but it was widely accepted that Dave’s motivation to be close to The Grewer was higher than his want to bat.  TG rewarded Slayer with brief conversation about his innings and allowing him to listen to TG tell anecdotes of his greatest achievement.  The fall of wicket brought Speakman to the crease, the following over provided some excellent rain broken entertainment.  The Grewer was engaging his ‘teammates’ with riveting conversation and updating the scoreboard with ease.  The Grewer accurately nudged the board round as Parag passed 50 then 100.  TG was also dominant when Adrian passed his 50 by revealing the state of the game with precise scoreboard management.

Parag, clearly motivated by TG watching on, was scoring quickly, passing his previous best score (137).  Parag reached 150 within 27 overs with the team total on 226.  After a few more blows Parag’s motivation to see The Grewer bat outweighed his own want for a double hundred and he fell for 170 off 87 balls.  Stillingfleet were broken, they knew that all that had gone before was inconsequential as The Grewer popped in his XXXL box and marched out to the middle.  TG took guard and had a look at the pitch, on inspection his early suspicions were correct; this track was bowler friendly.  The Grewer, feeling the expectation of his teammates knew this was a pivotal point in the game.  The Grewer had to fight his natural instincts to demolish the opposition attack and outscore Parag because TG knew that a batting collapse now, would hand the game to Stillingfleet.

At the other end Adrian’s inexperience was evident as he started to up the scoring rate, scoring runs freely, around the ground, including a six.  The Grewer stepped in to take control of the situation by taking the majority of the strike and protecting his junior partner.  The Grewer proceeded to play the most important innings of the game, as he consolidated the Askham position with a hard fought 6 off 24 balls.  Skipper Copeland, witnessed the irresponsible Speakman batting and after another Speakman boundary felt it was safer to declare than hand the opposition the advantage.  Askham finished on 302 off 35.4 overs; Speakman ended up on a reckless 100 not out.

The Grewer expertly selected the correct amount of carbohydrates, protein, salts and sugars from the buffet.  The team were upbeat after their first half performance but TG educated his ‘teammates’ on a finer performance at Westow.  This game took place on an unplayable pitch where TG single handily guided the team to 273 scoring a hundred before the opposition was dismissed for 54.  The team agreed that TG was correct and they had probably underperformed in light of The Grewer performance at Westow.

The Grewer led the fielding practice before the Stillingfleet response.  TG felt good in his new whites. TG asked Faron to take them in a little around the crouch area to emphasis TG’s massive …..   This was evident by the first ball as Woody mistook The Grewer’s package for a set of stumps and bowled directly at them…wide ball.  Motivated by the testosterone seeping from TG, Askham started well.  TG was positioned at slip, although this is a catching position the main aim was to intimidate the non-striking batsman.  The risky plan produced instant results with TJ striking early.  The flip side resulted in ‘wides a plenty’ by the innocent open bowler, who was indirectly in the firing line of The Grewer intimidating, …. heavy frame.  The opening bowling pair battled successfully against the presence of TG at slip and Stillingfleet were 5 down for 48.  TJ with three, Wood with two.  Captain Copeland smelt victory and turned to Rob S and Ian H (from the field end) to see the team home.  Rob delivered an accurate line and length beating the bat often.  Hall countered this by offering up a variety of flight and length.  The Grewer was a constant physical display to the opposition as he sprinted to his fielding positon between overs.

The pressure applied by TG proved too much for all as Stillingfleet attempted to dispatch Hall to Cawood.  The plan laid down by Hall did require some boundaries to be scored but this was ‘a means to an end’.  Four Stillingfleet batsman felt to this mode of dismissal and Hall revelled in his own mastery.  Rob mopped up at the ‘other field end’ and returned figures of 5-1-6-1.  Motivator Copeland led the handshakes and headed the team to the changing rooms.  Silence fell as CCC summarised the game “the most clinical performance in Askham Bryan history”.  TG disagreed and referred to the Westow game.  The team agreed with TG.  Thanked The Grewer for his great performance and awarded him the man of the match award.  TG accepted the award, noted the performances of Parag and Adrian but agreed his 6 off 24 balls was the turning point in the game.

Askham Bryan vs South Cave

Monday, July 13th, 2015

ABCC vs South Cave and Brantingham (11/07/2015)
By Alistair Hogben

As the sun shone on another game of cricket for Askham Bryan, optimism was high as ABCC continue to march ruthlessly towards the league summit and promotion. Would this game be any different than the succession of dominant victories that had followed previously?

Skipper Hogben was in fine form, having decided to field a full eleven players for this fixture, just to be safe, he successfully fooled the opposition captain into calling incorrectly and promptly chose to bat on a good wicket. With the time at 1.20pm and numbers 2,4 and 6 in the batting order yet to arrive at the ground due to traffic this appeared to be an inspired choice.

With a minute to go and Hogben all ready to open up with Slayer, Parag Mohite arrived and was promptly told to pad up quickly so he could open. Exhausted from having to don his pads so quickly, he offered Slayer the chance of first ball, which he accepted. Everything was coming together and it now looked like the skippers choice to bat first would pay dividends.

This feeling lasted precisely one ball.

Slayer, in top form with bat and returning after a short lay off decided that he wasn’t quite ready to take part in the game and was promptly bowled by the first delivery of the match. At least he would go on to play a significant part in the game, but more on that later…

Hogben joined Parag and struck a majestic and fluent 15 before finding mid off with the score on 21 and the overs on… 3. Ujwal, playing his first home game in some time then supported Parag before himself and Sideshow both departed to leave Askham teetering on the brink at 60-4 in the tenth over. Sideshow was particularly livid, though no one was entirely sure why.

Scoring quickly but seemingly bemused by the seemingly large number of overs that we clearly didn’t need, the Askham batting order had decided to simply score quickly and save some time. But nobody had told this to Mr Wood.

He very capably watched from the other end as Parag amassed all the runs, scoring 137 with apparent ease. Content to give the strike to Parag and watch the fireworks, Mr Wood stylishly propped himself up with his bat at the non-strikers end as Parag destroyed everything that came his way.

Finally, apparently due to finally being bored, both Mr Wood and Parag departed to provide the opportunity for late batting cameos, with special mention to Fraser Strachan who performed admirably despite Parag trying to steal the strike off him as much as possible. Some would say it was a little greedy, but in fairness Parag had only scored 110 by this point…

Finishing on 227-7, tea was an all-round merry affair, with the usual provisions of banter and humour supported by a fair spread and an amusing anecdote regarding Mr Stipetic’s latest mishap. The lack of milk failed to dampen the affair and was not in any way anyone’s fault…

Having set a challenging target, Askham were determined to finish off the job, optimised by none other than our very own Slayer insisting he now would play his part in the game… And my word would he do that…

Opening up with Tom Jaros and Mr Wood, Askham were quickly amongst the wickets, with Tom and Woody both picking up an early strike. Hogben, keeping wicket in the absence of post grads and philosophers in the XI, inspired the troops by letting them know there were only 8 more to go.

What was to follow was nothing short of spectacular.

Slayer, freshly inspired, got himself in the game and immediately let a catch fly over his head at mid off. Determined to make an impact, he proceeded to receive the ball and return it to the bowler with remarkable accuracy every time he was called upon. Further to this, he was everywhere, making a single important stop to a drive that may have made it just off the square had he not been there.

Meanwhile, in the shadows of this fine, match winning performance, Woody also took a hat-trick including Sideshow taking a catch at slip that he was more surprised and terrified about that the rest of the team combined… at least judging by his facial expression.

Furthermore, clearly inspired by Slayer’s performance, Rob Seymour inexplicably decided to run someone out with a direct hit. Forget about South Cave, Askham themselves were stunned by the ruthlessness of this performance.

What remained was a formality. Slayer rounded off his performance admirably, receiving praise from all as he remained the focal point and fulcrum of Askham’s performance, inspiring all around him to higher and greater things.

Jamie Holliday and Rob Seymour mopped up the tail, clearly looking to emulate the same contribution made by Slayer, and ensured that the Askham win was concluded in double quick time, with the opposition all out for 65 inside 17 overs.

With a century, a hat-trick and five-for, as well as a number of excellent catches and fielding performances, it was clear to all however that the Man of the Match award could only go to one Askham stalwart who had inspired the team to new heights.

Despite his failure to attend the post match gathering in the pub, all raised a glass to Askham’s inspirational performer, The Slayer, delivering the type of performance that some can only dream of.

ABCC march on, and the question is, “can anyone stop them?”
Not if Slayer has anything to say about it.

Askham Bryan vs. Ovington

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Askham Bryan vs Ovington II 

Match Report by Ali “The Hog” Hogben
As the sun shone down on Cricketers Christmas, the cricketing part of the festivities threatened to be spoiled by the colossal hangover the skipper brought to the ground with him. Having spent the previous day playing with ex England international Chris Lewis in a charity game in London and with the combination of an early start, a three and a half hour, 200 mile, drive throughout the morning and the absence of the Grewer meant not only was the Skipper grumpy, he was not sure if he would see the same quality as the previous day.
How wrong he was and Bah Humbug this was not…
Despite it being a hot day and a crucial toss, the Skipper’s hangover meant he failed to throw the coin properly and promptly lost the toss. Askham were in the field.
No matter, an array of quality bowling options… or in most cricketing terms “bowling options” was laid out before him. With the opportunity to rotate bowlers on a hot day, a dry, hard wicket in the offing and the knowledge he could hide himself in the slips by being aggressive with his field placing, the day was looking up.
Woody opened from the top end, remembering the etiquette of recent times that we want to give the opposition a chance, he promptly helped them to start the game on 2 as his first deliveries were so far down the leg side that Adrian Speakman (in for the missing and presumed insane Kafka) actually had to MOVE to prevent further punishment to the fielder at fine leg.
Still no matter, eventually Woody worked out that the wickets were somewhere else and proceeded to bowl hostile, quick and sweatily. 3 wickets fell, including a real one as Parag took a sharp catch at second slip and as Tom Jaros ably supported from the far end without success despite clearly being Askham’s premier fast bowler. The Skipper regularly had a leg slip, 2 gullies, a catching point and a short cover, but still Jaros saw no reward for an excellent opening spell. Fearing that Askham would make mincemeat of the opposition in an unsporting way, the skipper then removed Woody from the attack as, despite all his sweat soaked efforts, he had still only taken three wickets, including one with the last ball of his spell. Not good enough to be the premier I am afraid!
In search of something completely different, Hogben decided in a heat induced moment of mad genius that this was the perfect opportunity to give “Press Performance” Hallis his opening spin of the season. What followed was nothing short of inspirational.
Flight, Guile, Spin, Variation were all things that the batsmen expected as Hallis proceeded to bowl slowly and at the same part of the pitch, ball after ball, for what seemed an eternity. As Hogben continued to bake in the sun and was seemingly hypnotised by the ever rising deliveries of Hall, his mind slowly went to jelly. After taking a catch at slip, the Skipper confounded everyone by removing himself from this relatively safe and sensible position and placing himself at silly point and short leg for a succession of deliveries.
After Hall then bowled successive deliveries with which the batsmen tried to kill the captain, Hogben snapped out of his hypnotic state and promptly moved himself back to safety and took Hall off. He had taken two wickets and almost given Hogben a medical emergency.
Whilst this was happening, Holliday was quietly steaming in from the top end and, no doubt spurred on by a succession of excellent Christmas related puns based on his name from Herr Copeland, took two wickets including an unprecedented third slip catch of the innings, a second for the skipper.
Again Hogben looked for inspiration, missed the presence of the Grewer, and then, searching for a replacement for his would-be assassin, Rob Seymour came on. Immediately, the power of his run up was so great that his boots dissolved under his mighty stride. Despite the use of magic tape supplied by Wood, alternative footwear was required.
After one over, Seymour was asking to come out of the attack so that he could mourn the loss of his footwear.
After some encouraging words from the keeper (“It was a good over”) and then the captain (“No you can’t come off”) it was decided he would have one more over. Seemingly intimidated by the new footwear and the possibility this could make him even quicker, the batsman on strike immediately hit the ball straight to mid off and Seymour had a wicket.
Now tired, grumpy, dehydrated and with a headache, Hogben brought on Parag who bowled many, many bouncers to tailenders who were not good enough to hit any if them. Hogben had a word and gestured angrily. From this, Parag worked out that he needed to hit the stick things and promptly ended the innings, much to the relief of all.
Tea was a merry affair, including much cake and the usual assortment of titbits that could be dipped in humous. Herr Copeland promptly took charge of the platter and ate them all himself. 
The time also included the greeting of the collection of many family members of a number of club players and the return of the mysterious spotted Wheeler, who greeted the team with much enthusiasm. As the seasonal frivolity continued, Secret Santa gifts were exchanged and the Skipper regaled all with the story of playing with an ex England international the day before…
Once the Skipper had woken the team, it was time to chase down the modest total set before them. The further visits of Slayer and Scooby to celebrate the holidays boosted the team as they set about this task.
Opening the innings were “Chalk and Cheese” in Speakman and Mohite. Despite hitting his first ball for four, Parag then forgot to be aware that fielders are capable of catching things when you hit a ball near them and was caught out by a blinder at short cover that the fielder knew absolutely nothing about but held on when it hit his hand.
What then follows is a hazy, sleepy dream which is roughly remembered as an afternoon of Adrian’s scoring runs whilst everyone watched, which was awfully familiar. The Skipper fought off a hangover-induced nap as Adrian Stipetic set about scoring runs and Adrian Speakman set about watching Adrian Stipetic score all the runs. After many lovely shots and many, many forward defensives, Hogben eventually strode to the crease when Stipetic was dismissed for 68, out due to the exhaustion of carrying the run rate.
Hogben was in a hurry and in 4 balls survived an LBW appeal, hit two boundaries and then was bowled, feeling that it would be much more natural for Herr Copeland to hit the winning runs and was not wanting to stand up for too long as the ground had started spinning. In the end, an effective if somewhat “paced” innings from Speakman (25*) concluded the game and it was fitting that he hit the winning runs in a very sedate and understated victory.
Askham proceeded to celebrate with all the strength and vigour of a number of men who had just woken from an afternoon nap and discovered that one of them still retained their hangover.
As we were finished by 6:00pm, a beer run and the customary Cricketers Christmas team photo and game of flags concluded an excellent day for the club, full of festive happiness, hangover induced madness and most importantly, another win!

Fulfordgate vs. Askham Bryan (cup)

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Askham’s mystery man

Some say the cup has lost its magic. I don’t think they anticipated a game that involved one of the vale league’s most entertaining teams. Askham Bryan had the pleasure of playing that team. The question on everybody’s lips was would we witness a giant killing. Askham have had a strong start to the season, so the fans were expectant.

On the morning of the game the weather was rather inclement. Some were afraid the game would not go ahead. I put a call into resident Askham Bryan meteorological expert, mainshow. After a quick glance at some weather charts and checking of the barometer he assured me the game would go ahead with the weather improving slowly throughout and the sun making an appearance towards the second half of the game.

This reporter turned up early to the Fulfordgate ground. I was greeted by the endeavouring Mr. Hall. We quickly consulted the opposition and their captain confirmed that the game would be going ahead after the rain stopped. Dr. Dale turned up shortly after our atmospheric discussion. We made our way to the away team dressing room where the doctor gave Albert some gripping tips on batting. The rest of the team turned up within the next few minutes. Some pre game changing room cricket ensued twinned with the comparison of the ages of the Askham players. As this continued I looked round the room and only counted ten hearty warriors. Where was our eleventh? The Grewer was scheduled to make an appearance and none were surprised that he was late. Some of the fans however grew restless as this was later than normal even for the Grewer.

Our skipper, “tosser supreme”, walked out to the damp pitch for the toss with the opposing captain. He returned and informed us that he had lost the toss and that we were batting. Still no Grewer. Ian and Adrian Speakman wandered out to the middle. Adrian opened the batting. The start was slow and scratchy but let that be no comment on the pair’s skill. The wicket was moist and the outfield slow.

At this point our eleventh turned up but who was this man masquerading as The Grewer. No one could tell due to the feathery camp pink mask covering his face. He certainly looked like The Grewer but without the view of the wicket taking glint in his eye and the shimmering silver of his hair no one could be sure. We needed eleven so we didn’t question his validity. he made his way into our changing room and then came to join me on the boundary. I, with my quick wit, tried to discover his identity with bamboozling double talk. He was relentless and debonair, which certainly sounds like the FFTG but he would not allow us to learn his identity. So we gave up  and continued to watch the game. Mr. Hall soon departed after a run out. Who knew batting the ball back to the bowler was a run. Adrian thought so running from the strikers end. CC had no choice but to give Ian run out at the non striking end. The second teammate run out in two weeks by Speakman. CC later commented that we need to be firmer and shout him down and turn him around.

In wandered Parag. He wasn’t in for one of his longer innings. after some classic Parag swashbuckles and some quick darts between the wickets he also departed. Then Adrian went to join Adrian. Stipetic looked in good form with some elegant shotmaking. He started finding the boundary where the clammy pitch had denied others. Speakman carried on as he had started in his own style. They batted through to drinks. Our skipper advised the Adrians to speed up a bit namely Speakman. After drinks the Adrians batted very nicely, both playing a wide array of nice shots. They put together a nice partnership of over 100. First to fall was Stipetic for a brilliant half century (55). No not 27 you heard it right folks. Askham were looking good at this point on 120 odd for 3 after about 27 overs and a strong middle order to come. A score of 200 was definitely on the cards.

So in wandered our skipper fresh from 70 odd in his last outing. Soon after Speakman was caught and walked to join his namesake for a annoying but good 46. He was replaced by our mystery man All were excited to see what he could do. Surprise surprise he batted like the Grewer too. He faced a few balls got a lucky couple of singles and got cheaply bowled. I followed him and was looking forward to batting with our captain. Unfortunately he wasn’t with me for long after being caught and only scoring a single. Not quite the heroics of a fortnight previous. In came CC to join me at the wicket. The predicted 200 score was looking much less likely now after a couple of quick wickets. Myself and CC put together a handy partnership to put the scoring back on track. I hit several beautiful boundaries, probably some of the best shots of the day. CC supported me well. After 6 or so overs I perished for a good 23. CC soon followed after me for 9. Rob and Tom batted out the remaining overs. They both played some nice shots and ran well. They pushed our total to a respectable 188 for 8. This was thought to be a good score on the wet wicket and outfield we had batted on.

Both teams went for tea. The tea was a hearty one with lots of chunky sandwiches and a huge choice of sides and dessert. There was even a bag of golden wonder crisps for everyone (other crisps are available). We all refuelled apart from one. Stipetic was deemed to be being abstemious by Mr. Hall. Adrian took to this with attitude. He started grabbing food items left, right and centre off foil trays. While this took place others were still pondering our mystery man. CC had even taken to trying to spot the famous Grewer grey slip. I discussed the quality of the tea with Mr. Hall. we deemed it a 6 out of 10 with good variety and portion size but not enough quality and no special curve ball item. South Cave still leads the Tea of the Season standings.

After tea we took to the field with the sun starting to shine. This would undoubtedly make conditions and the going easier for the Fulfordgate batting line up. The skipper ordered us into our positions. I was holding out for seventh slip but unfortunately I ended up at cover. Parag and Tom opened the bowling. Parag was bowling with his usual pepper. VC did request some more heat or “mo hite”. Tom was bowling with some lovely bounce which was surprising considering he was bowling on a sponge of a pitch. Both bowled well but for no reward. Their opening partnership started well especially their number one. He was hitting boundaries, because of a drying pitch, where Askham had struggled to before. It looked like Askham might have their work cut out for them, but this was a team with which adversity was twinned.

After sound opening spells and some sharp feline wicketkeeping from Dr. Dale, Rob and mystery man took over the bowling. The question on everybody’s lips was would the masked man bowl like the Grewer. Those questions were immediately answered. A ball that was christened “magnificently shite” caused the opener to hit a catch to mid on. In wandered their wicket keeper and he garnered the Dr. Dale “this lad can bat” award. At the other end Rob was looking for his 3rd wicket of the season with some classic sey-less deceptive bowling. At one point we even got a Mohite like grunt of effort. We didn’t have to wait long for our next wicket as the masked avenger struck a second and third time. The next pair batted well with some not so elegant shot play. They rattled the scoreboard along. They were well ahead of the required rate. After a few boundaries were hit off his bowling the skipper replaced Rob. He went for a couple of heavy scoring overs. At this point we really looked like we were out of this game. After one of the slogs went to the boundary side copse, Speakman, CC and myself went to search for it. We discussed the possibility of hiding there for the remainder of the game.

However we had not accounted for the return of the Mohite. Never have I seen such a sorry looking team injected with such ferocity. He came bearing down upon the remaining vulnerable batting line up. He got two lovely bowled wickets. At the other end the masked one took two more wickets. After it looked certain that this was in fact the Grewer we were now sure of the opposite after he had taken 5 wickets. After a waterfall of wickets Askham were back in this. However due to cup over bowling limitations the masked one and Parag were replaced by CC and Tom. CC took two wickets in his first over with some great strike bowling. The stage looked set for Mr. Jaros. His first over back deserved a wicket but unfortunately no reward yet again. The last wicket fell to CC with an awesome catch from Parag. Fulfordgate were all out with a few overs and about 20 runs to spare. The game was Askham’s with a brilliant team performance. Everyone chipped in.

As a jubilant team arrived back in the changing room the mystery man changed quickly. He threw us some quick line about some glamorous social gathering and was on his way out the door when we all pleaded to know who he was. His hand moved to remove his mask but at the last second he changed his mind and strode off into the sunset.

Who said the cup had lost its magic? Intrigue, fiery bowling, blistering batting and electric fielding. Put me down for York Vale league cup cricket any Saturday of the year. That is of course only if Askham Bryan are competing. See you all next time when tis the season to be jolly.

Wheldrake vs. Askham Bryan

Monday, June 15th, 2015

After leading from the front last week with an authoritative innings of 77, which paved the way for the most improbable run chase in the history of Askham Bryan, our Seigneur Ali Hogben was incapacitated this week by the scenario at the top left of page one in the book of Askham Bryan Captain’s Excuses: he had to see a man about a cat. Unfortunately, Vice Captain Stipetisch had heard that rain was forecast, and was otherwise engaged helping his son to build a big boat.

Who would step into the huge clodhoppers vacated by these two most inimitable of men? Step forward “Ebullient” Stand-In Captain Copeland. A man whose prime philosophy is to make sure that everyone is having a good time, and to make sure that everyone has a go. This morning he ruminated on how this could be best achieved with the resources at his disposal. His first and best move was to furnish everyone with a postcode that was only vaguely in the vicinity of Wheldrake, proclaim that we would meet at 1300hrs sharp, and then proceed to amble into the changing room at 1325hrs; dead last of the entire team. Everyone had already had a go before we even got on to the pitch. At the captain. His plan was coming together nicely!

The opposing captains strode to the middle and riffed on the weather, like Fish and McCaskill in their prime. Of course rain was due to sweep through this inclement corner of the Vale later on, it was a cast iron certainty. The two meteorologists agreed to shorten the game to 30 overs per side; at 1900hrs precisely the heavens would open… so we needed to finish before then. The toss was won by Askham Bryan; our skipper somehow felt duty-bound to do what all Askham Bryan captains do when winning the toss, despite criticising the same decision every single time it had been made in his name before… bowl first.

Wheldrake innings

Tom Jaros opened the bowling from the field end. Relieved not to be staggering into a 70mph headwind, Tom immediately found a nice line, combined with inswing and good lift from the pitch, beating the bat on numerous occasions and inducing edges. His partner at the pavilion end was Raj, who also held a steady line outside off stump with some inswing and variable bounce. The early pressure from these tight lines brought the first wicket in only the third over; Tom inducing an ill-advised slash which flew straight to Adrian Speakman at gully, who made a difficult head-high catch look easy: 7-1 and Askham Bryan are looking quite the tidy outfit… fielding tight; Dr Dale athletic and alert behind the stumps; bowling parsimonious; captaincy is easy!

But wait… Dr Dale has seen this number 3 before. Like the Stormcrow of legend, he brings bad news: “This lad can bat,” he says ominously. Yes, and our lads can bowl… Tom and Raj are improving with each passing over, and despite a few well-struck boundaries from the Wheldrake captain, the score only creeps on to 20 in the 9th over. Tom gets another ball to lift wickedly from the surface, which is feathered through to Professor Dale; who teases us with a brief juggle but the lauded number 3 is gone for 0!

The fielding is easy and Askham hearts are high. But it sure doesn’t look like Summertime.

Tom and Raj were replaced after 12 overs by Parag at one end, with new recruit Rob Seymour at the other… the theory was that the pace differential would cause difficulties for the batsmen. In steamed the Shock and Awe Castleford Express from the pavilion end. His first ball was through the batsman before he knew it, just catching the edge of his frightened bat… and heading straight to first slip, where the Captain was standing far too close for comfort or even survival! The ball just kept coming and kept rising… catching the ball was never an option; safety first, boys. Amazingly he got a thumb to it which probably took some of the sting out of it as the ball crashed inexorably into his chin. For subsequent deliveries Gregor Samsa was keeping wicket maybe 12 yards back; the captain was seen trembling about 22 yards back at “first slip”…

Rob bowled beautifully from the field end with great control and lovely inswing. He captured his first Askham Bryan wicket by clean-bowling the captain for a well-made 24; Rob and the team celebrated effervescently, it was 43-3 in the 17th over. Parag continued with genuinely chilling menace, eventually earning his reward by beating the number 5 for pace and bowling him. 54-4! I’m pretty sure that the batsmen without helmets were regretting their foolhardiness… On the very last ball of his delightful spell, Rob hit the top of off stump with a perfect delivery to reduce Wheldrake to 60-5. By this time, the number 6 had come in and started batting in quite a bizarre manner, clearing his front leg and trying to scythe every delivery through point. Unfortunately it was quite effective and he ended up collecting a number of boundaries from Parag and Luke, another new recruit in his first game for 2 years. Copeland took over from Parag at the pavilion end for the last 3 overs, and produced one of the more amusing overs of the day which consisted of bowling a line outside off stump whilst watching the Wheldrake number 6 trying to hit each ball harder than the last, missing all of them and probably getting quite dizzy. Whilst putting himself in traction. In Chris’ second over he played on, which virtually brought an end to the scoring as a succession of tailenders trotted on to flail at the ball and run themselves out. Evergreen Les Fearn smacked a couple of boundaries and Wheldrake closed on 114-8 from their 30 overs.


Da wir uns mittlerweile gegenseitig mit unseren Spielberichten zu toppen versuchen, hab ich mal gedacht, dass ich als sogenannter Herr Copeland die Teepause mal auf Deutsch beschreibe. Warum nicht? Alle Fehler sind natürlich meine, und nicht die Verantwortlichkeit von Herrn Halle. Die Käse Sandwiches waren leider nicht zum Geschmack von Sladen, der dafür berühmt ist, Pickle nicht ausstehen zu kõnnen. Wie immer war die Auswahl / Menge / Qualität nicht vom feinsten, aber für die Veteranen müsste das keine Überraschung sein. In Wheldrake muss man froh sein, wenn es nicht regnet… mehr kann man nicht erwarten. Mindestens hatten sie ein bisschen wat frisches… einen netten Salat hat mir eine Freude gemacht! Ich hab meinen geliebten Houmous fast nicht verpasst.

Askham Bryan innings

Sladen, trying to recover from the renewed disappointment of no “just cheese” sandwiches, and Hall, tortured with worry due to the illness of his fiancée, strode out to open the batting for Askham. The Fearns opened the bowling for Wheldrake as they always do; David distracting the batsmen with his luscious long-flowing locks, and Les distracting the scorers by waving in front of them. Even after they moved the scoring table.

Askham started cautiously, aware they had time on their side. After the first 5 overs brought just 5 runs from the bat, Sladen began to find some rhythm and Timing; ticking the scoreboard along nicely with a succession of 2s. Ian unfortunately didn’t quite find form today and was bowled in the 12th over, with the score on 33. Happily for fans of 2s being turned into 3s, well-timed shots which by definition come out of the middle of the bat, and excellent running and hustling, this brought Parag to the crease. Even Sideshow Jim didn’t mind, although he is still adamant that a well-timed stroke is something completely different to one hit out of the middle. At least we still have Jim, even though we’ve lost Brad!

Parag and Sladen put on 48 runs in 9 overs; a crucial partnership. Parag was near to his best; and as usual, the presence of Parag galvanised Dave into his finest form. They saw off the Fearn and Son show and moved into the change bowlers… unlike Askham’s embarrassment of riches though, there was no shock and awe to come. It looked like they would win the game on their own until Dave holed out on the boundary to the spinner, having timed the ball too well!

Next to the crease was Speakman, who after a very brief period of reconnaissance proceeded to rotate the strike nicely with Parag, who was still playing imperiously. Sadly a decidely iffy LBW decision saw Parag sawn off in his prime for 27. I wonder whether we could get Lottery Funding to introduce DRS in the Vale League? 87-3; 28 runs to win with 7 overs to go. The required run-rate was precisely 4 an over. Out strode James McCullough. History failed to record whether his intention was to time the ball well or hit it out of the middle.

No matter, he bludgeoned consecutive majestic boundaries to take a huge bite out of the remaining target. Maybe he was still pondering the timing / middle conundrum when he was caught daydreaming later on, sauntering through for a Wait / Yes / Yes / No / Sorry single which had gone directly to short square leg. A sad and pointless end to a great cameo, which brought your eager correspondent strutting to the crease, up out of his chair before Sideshow had even realised what had happened. Only 12 runs were required for victory, and without any alarms or fireworks Speakman and Copeland brought the run chase to an efficient end with 2 overs to go, Chris ballooning the winning runs through wide midwicket for the second week in a row!

This was a clinical performance by a vibrant, confident Askham Bryan team. Only in the meteorological department was the captain found wanting, the match finishing in glorious sunshine… the first time I have ever seen the sun in Wheldrake! At 1900hrs, the time the deluge was definitely coming, we were all in the Wenlock beer garden soaking up some rays and feeling triumphant. It was at this juncture that Luke Allen revealed that he normally bowls spin, despite having decided to bowl seam up for some reason unknown even to himself! I look forward to seeing him slotting into our Bangladesh-esque phalanx of spinners: Allen, Stipetisch, Hallis, Hogben… maybe one day we will reach Ian’s promised land, the sticky dog… my dream is that one day Ian and Adrian will open the bowling with Comeon Ali and Luke at 1st and 2nd change. At this moment, you mean everything.

Next week, the cup! See you at Fulfordgate.

Editors note: I removed some of the raunchier details of this report. You can ask Chris what they were!

Askham Bryan vs. Ben Johnson

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

In a recent period of archival research to an Eastern European archive I uncovered this curious document, which bears striking similarity to an Askham Bryan match report, but also bears striking similarities to the writing of Franz Kafka.

One morning, when Robert Dale Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.  He lay on his back not divested of his sporting armour, and lifted his head a little.  His body felt stiff as if slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections.  His legs, pitifully chubby compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.

“What’s happened to me?” he thought.  It wasn’t a dream.  His room a proper human room although a little too small, lay peacefully between its four familiar walls.  A collection of wicket keeping equipment lay spread out on the table – Dale Samsa was a travelling wicket keeper plying his trade in T20 tournaments throughout the world…  What had happened to Samsa why did he feel that his insides were desiccated and that he was turning into a giant insect, could it have been the five pints of Bernard Dark the night before, could it have been the forty overs keeping to Askham Bryan’s premier fast bowlers and mystery spinners?  Was he hallucinating when he recalled an Ian Hall 49 (yes this is surely another plot line), and some late order hitting from Bala that his old mucker Lance Klusner and Chris Cairns would have been proud of, or was he indeed turning into a cricket?  After some time laying on his abdomen desperately trying to right himself, the metamorphosis in Askham Bryan’s cricketing performance began to dawn on him.  Der Process The process by which these men now found themselves prosecuted by a remote and inaccessible authority (no not the Vale League), and forced to play cricket in order to secure some strange trophy known as the HPH Cup, was not clear.  The crimes that they had committed and required them to play cricket amid this unrelenting wind had not been revealed to them, and would not have been clear to the reader of the scorebook.

Samsa lay there and through the haze several things became clearer, Jamie had indeed found the wind a trial.  Parag had bowled with pace and aggression exhibiting the sense of alienation that come from the modern bureaucratic state, but succeeded in castling several of the opposition batsmen.  Prasath had toiled manfully into the wind, never fully reaping the rewards his nagging line and length deserved.  Ali found himself ruing the unrelenting and final decision wrought by the impassive umpire.  Many perished in the pursuit of their final goal, but only Grewer and Hall (albeit temporarily) held the unrelenting forces of modernity at bay.

Editor’s Note:

Like much Kafka this work remains complete.  Kafka appears to have died before completing this manuscript.  But it is certainly one that scholars will debate and analyse in future years seasons.  How fitting that this match report should have been discovered 100 years on from the publication of Kafka’s Metamorphosis.

It tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader.

The day before Askham had been subjected to a nightmare cricketing trial but had equipped themselves admirably. 

Askham vs. Clifton Alliance

Monday, June 8th, 2015

ABCC v Clifton Alliance CC 6th June 2015 Match Report

I saw you toss the kites on high
And blow the birds about the sky;
And all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

Yes the wind blew on the new hallowed turf of ABCC, but my what a storm the game threw up.

Inevitably our top tosser Captain won again (despite throwing the coin in the middle and it landing on the boundary edge) and then inexplicably put the oppo in to bat. A popular decision amongst the Askham crew.

We welcomed a new multi million pound signing in the name of Rob Seymour, about whom we will see more later (sorry!).

Wood demanded the wind end leaving his young apprentice, Tom Jaros, to bowl uphill into the gale force 9 wind. Pistol Pete powered in a plethora of punishing projectiles. With the wind aiding his ever slowing run up and adding support to lifting his ample moobs, he was unlucky not to strike an initial blow. Tom toiled – enough said. So over to Seymour who relished the challenge of the wind, 2 openers well settled and the weight of expectation of the other 10 crew mates. However after a difficult start he found a rhythm as he danced his way to the crease and started to pressurise the Clifton batsmen.

As my mind wandered at slip as it usually does, I mused as to whether Rob is related to the tailors in York C E Seymour – as I really could do with a new suit? I never had the balls to ask him?

Anyway back to it – despite his best efforts, no breakthrough. Indeed by this time our skipper thought it time to bring his best bowler on – no not The Grewer – but himself!! All was going well until a wide was called – well I dare not say what happened. It was like the elastic band holding him back had snapped as he snapped at the umpire verbally abusing him to the point of tears.

“Shame woven into me, to escape the things I’ve done. In shadow it reminds me, it’s a battle that can’t be won.” Take heed Mr Hogben. He also failed to break the Clifton attack. Justice?
So over to HerrLess and Cliff Richard (Were all having a summer Holliday). Jamie’s first 2 balls went for 10 – good start in The Grewers eyes!!

HerrLess moaned and moaned a bucket full. Bowled fair but moaned more than my ex in our divorce meetings and trust me that is a lot. At least you got to bowl (I’m not bitter and twisted?). Still no breakthrough so Wood returned and at last he clean bowled their opener who had smashed a very good 100. Next the kids came in and Woody licked his lips – more bedpost carving to be done he thought. Alas it wasn’t to be as HerrLess, still ranting about a 2mph wind ruffling his flowing locks, took the young one himself with a fine catch by Adrian S at gully (Speakman not Stipetic!).

That was that 222 for 2 at tea. Tea was delicious – let’s move on.

The line up was set Speakman and captains choice opened. Adrian was trapped early on having moved in front of the stumps and wafting across the line – at least he walked!!
The inspirational captain had inspired himself though (if not anyone else!) and went about smashing the Clifton attack to all parts. In came Hallis – fresh from a 49 – well is 2 weeks still fresh? Confidence was at a high and the chase was on. Unfortunately Ian hadn’t read the script this time and holed out.

In came The Grewer. Scratchy and no Jim I am not referring to my manhood – my timing (as ever good as I made the start). However a partnership was building. Ali surpassed 50 brilliantly as TG toiled. Then he decided to waddle down the wicket and Speakmanesque waft across the line and Hogben had been roasted for a fine 77. That left scratchy, now joined by Itchy (Wood was dying to get in) to bludgeon the Clifton attack – and they did.

Sideshow tried to spoil TG’s ever dominant innings by sitting on a chair in front of the sightscreen – buffoon. However TG had the last laugh as he tried to hit Sideshow on the head from 80 yards away only to have overclubbed and hit it over his head and into the ditch behind – next time sonny Jim next time! Itchy was imperious. TG eventually perished on 56 with still 36 required off 6 overs.

In came gobby. Out went gobby. In came HerrLess and with Itchy still powering on they took ABCC to within 2 runs with 8 balls left. Wood on 49 had strike – and bottled it as he defended 2 balls that should have gone to the moon. So it was down to CC who didn’t disappoint and the ABCC ship sailed on with Copeland aloft and Woody left to trudge off knowing a fine was coming his way.

Great chase, great knocks by Ali, Pete and dare I say TG. In the end it was a breeze.


Heworth vs Askham Bryan

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Heworth CC v Askham Bryan CC – 30th May 2015

Ali Hogben and his Nomadic Cricketers continued their tour of York with a trip to Heworth. This week supported admirably by various other local outfits, the pink hats recorded a comfortable victory to surge up the league table.

After last week’s disappointing cup defeat, front man Hogben had no choice but to ring the changes. Quite literally he rang every York cricket aficionado in a desperate scramble for players, league rule dispensations and selection jiggery-pokery. Thankfully, your reporter was spared an afternoon at the Vangarde, as his efforts proved fruitful. 5 players became 6, then surged to 11, then back down to 9, then 10, then 11 again. We turned up unaware of who are 11th man was. On first impressions, it appeared that Ali had somehow pulled of the ultimate ringer. Fresh from his recent Ashes horror shows, it looked like left-arm paceman Doug ‘The Rug’ Bollinger would be making his Askham debut. Imagine our delight then, when it turned out instead to be Askham Bryan legend Simon Walton making his long awaited return. All of which meant, Askham had a full complement – including ‘The Return of the 3 Pedagogues’ – with Tim, Simon, Connor and Romel on loan from Dringhouses and Copmanthorpe respectively.

Last week, ABCC had been guilty of not making a pressing enough start to their innings, and then not quite being able to force quite enough wickets to put enough pressure on drugs cheat Ben Johnson. This time out, they would not falter again. Progress…the three pedagogues were salivating. In recent times, Heworth have become something of a bogey side. Defeat has often been claimed magnificently from the jaws of certain victory on stodgy uncovered pitches, against a bowling attack made up of the unpredictable exuberance of youth and avaricious dobbers.
The toss was won and Heworth were inserted. Parag and Herr Copeland opened up the bowling. Parag straight into the swing of things, finding plenty of bite in the pitch and giving the Heworth top order an intense examination. Despite this, the home side were showing little interest in defending their wicket. Parag would claim 3 early and well deserved breakthroughs. This was excellent bowling. Copeland, now bowling over the wicket, should have kindly presented the batsmen with a protractor to deal with some beautifully crafted angles. Always aiming to keep things social and in good spirits though, Copeland happily chucked in the odd half-half tracker for the batsmen. Unbeknown to his teammates though, this appeared to be a deliberate tactic and he soon had himself a resultant wicket, and would be harshly denied a second scalp with a shin high full toss deemed too dangerous to be legitimate. Heworth found themselves 4 down for 43 and the Nomads well on top.

Romel – every inch of his clothing seemingly emblazoned with the Indian flag – was introduced and his wicked spin had the entire playing cast initially bemused. In an unprecedented move Dr Dale called for his helmet. Dale’s life would once again have his life in danger from the throwing of our Senior League loanees. Junior Dale mocked from the sidelines accordingly. These guys however can only dream of hitting the same standards as The Slayer in this regard. Dringhouses’s 2nd Team skipper would be denied a wicket through a front foot violation. The spin of Romel and testing yorkers of Tim put the pressure on Heworth’s middle order, but they would go on to put together a stoic recovery to pass 100.

As the innings seemed to be drifting away from Askham, skipper Ali needed inspiration. He needed a change, a spark. He surveyed his troops in search of a talismanic leader to wrestle back the game. Unhappy with what he saw, he opted for himself. Whether a moment of masterful captaincy or Mourinho style arrogance, we will never know as his devious leg breaks would pick up 5 wickets for 16 runs, including a classic stumping and bowled round legs. Young Connor proved just why he tops Dringhouses’ (is that apostrophe correct?) catching league table with a marvellous high catch at extra cover. Parag meanwhile returned to mop up the tail, ending with figures of 4-24 and well on the way to his MoM award. Heworth 152 all out.

During the tea interval, as Slayer picked out the cucumber from his cheese sandwiches and Junior Dale tucked into his scones enthusiastically, Adrian was on a frantic search for a missing/stolen shoe/phone/keys/ring/wallet. The permutations of what actually happened seemed to change by the minute. But seemingly, rather than keep his valuables safe in his pocket, he instead chose to leave them in a trainer…on the outfield. The trainer was found. Somebody with infinitely more brain power than Adrian saw this rather ridiculous outdoor safe, and locked it away, most likely to keep it out of harm from its owner. Stipetic, perplexed by the sense in this, and no doubt panicking about just how we would explain this to Mrs Stipetic, traced down the shoe. But, the phone was missing! Or was it? Was it even in the shoe in the first place? Had it been thieved? Was the phone actually in the car? By this time, the entire 44 players enjoying their teas had given up on the helpless actions of Stipetic. It would later transpire that the phone had been in the car all along. Junior Dale mocked accordingly.

Askham’s reply would last only 23 overs. But with no demons in the pitch and Parag and Slayer in an attacking mindset, there would be no repeat of some of our recent horror shows at this ground. Heworth’s opener ‘Dave’ – so often the unlikely nemesis of Askham’s batters – was hustled from the attack not long after his introduction. The boundaries flowed from both batsmen. Drives, pulls, glances, cuts. Bad balls disappeared to and over the boundary. With singles and 2s being stolen in all areas, Askham were racing along at 6 an over (approx. 5runs p/o above average!). Parag would soon pass 50 before departing, leaving Askham 4 short of a 100 opening partnership in barely more than 15 overs. Slayer soon also passed 50, and would finish undefeated on 62. Adrian, at this stage still fretting about the location of his phone (even though it was a matter of yards away), would unfortunately play on. And there was still time for captain Ali to be run out as he dragged the Queen Mother’s hip down the wicket with him. Leaving the rather fitting end of our loanee Simon to hit the winning runs with 7 wickets and 17 overs in the bag.
As usual this season, a good afternoon’s cricket played in good spirit by all. Special thanks must go to our 4 loanees who enabled 22 of us to get a game of cricket in the sunshine, and were great lads to have on board and all contributed in some way to our victory. It was also great to have Simon back, and we all hope to see him turning out again soon.