2020 Fixtures published

The Over 50s/60s/70s fixture list for the 2020 season can now be viewed via the Fixture pages.

Two Counties Over 50/60/70s Facebook page gone??

I received communication from Facebook as follows:
Hi Steve, Wendy Jelley has scheduled the Page ” Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Over 50/60/70 Cricket ” for deletion. You have 14 days to restore the page before the page is deleted permanently. You are receiving this message because you are an admin of this page.   View Page Status   Thanks, The Facebook team
I then confirmed restoration of the page, so it could continue without Wendy Jelley.
Steve Isaac has cancelled the deletion of the Page “Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Over 50/60/70 Cricket
However, today I have received another communication from Facebook:
You’re getting this email to confirm that you’re no longer an admin on Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Over 50/60/70 Cricket. You were removed on October 14, 2019 at 11:31am.
So, I am sorry to report that I can no longer add anything to that page, if it even exists. How strange it is that Wendy has chosen to wait only a few days after Geoff’s funeral to finally bring her feud with our late President to an end. Totally heartless, if you ask me.

Over-70s v Hertfordshire O-70s @ Copford CC, Tuesday August 27th

Hertforshire Over 70s 244-5 (Riddle 103 n/o, S. Bulger 45, J. Stonehouse 2-30, G. Webster 1-29)
Two Counties Over 70s 234-4 (G. Penny 90, C. Leftwich 50, J. Hadcock 45, J. Scott 1-32, I Hamilton 1-33)
Hertfordshire Over 70s won by 10 runs.
On a very hot summer day, Herts won the toss and decided to bat. Their batsmen made good progress on an excellent batting wicket to reach a total of 244-5 at the close of the innings, the top scorer being E. Riddle who made 103 n/o. In reply, the Penny and Hadcock put on 125 for the first wicket. Leftwich and Muggleston valiantly continued the chase, failing by only 11 runs to reach the winning post. All in all, an excellent day’s cricket at Copford, where we were looked after supremely well, as always.

Over-50s v Witham XI @ Witham CC, Friday August 23rd

Two Counties O-50s 209 (Ian Doyle 61, Jerry Wedge 48, Nick Meakin 25, John Gallant 20, J Streetley 3-25, B
Tinham 3-46)
Witham XI 210 for 5 (P Bellhewe 53no, O Cooke 47, G Stevens 39no, D Youngman 36, John Morgan
Witham XI won by 5 wickets

A hot Friday at Witham, leading up to the hottest Bank Holiday weekend, (apparently) on record. The Two Counties, fielding only ten men due to a late call-off, batted first, and after a shaky start that reduced them to 34 for 3, Jerry Wedge and debutant Ian Doyle reestablished the innings with a partnership of 113, scoring 48 and 61 respectively. Following Tinham’s breaking of this partnership however, despite 25 from Nick Meakin and 20 from John Gallant the innings sort of drifted to an under-par 209.
Witham replied, with the back-drop of the beer-tent for the Beer Festival gradually filling, progressing to nearly the half century before two wickets for Ken Greenaway and a further one from John Morgan in the following over brought the Two Counties back into the game; however, only two further wickets were to fall, both to Morgan, before the hosts reached their target, when nearly eight of the last twenty overs were still remaining, with P Bellehewe (53) and a belligerent G Stevens (39) at the crease.

Over-50s v Harlow Veterans @ Copford CC, Wednesday August 7th

Harlow Town Veterans 235-7 (Paul Wakefield 87no, Simon Cadavino 51, Ken Greenaway 3-44)
Two Counties Over 50’s 239-4 (Nick Meakin 74no, Jerry Wedge 48, Phil Tomkins 43)
Two Counties win by 6 wickets

This first meeting between the Two Counties and Harlow Town Veterans provided the neutrals and spectators with an afternoon of entertaining cricket. Playing 45 overs per side, Harlow Town won the toss and decided to bat. Chris Matthews (38) and wicket keeper Simon Cadavino got the visitors off to a great start with a 96 run partnership with the runs coming at almost 5 an over.
Essex county player, Paul Wakefield kept the tempo going with both openers having been dismissed within the space of two overs, both falling to the bowling of Martin Southwell. The Two Counties bowlers struggled to keep Wakefield in check, his 50 coming in 54 deliveries faced but at least they were having success at the other end. Ken Greenaway picked up 3 wickets in his second spell to help restrict the Veterans to 235-7 at tea. Wakefield ended the innings with an unbeaten 87 and with a century for the taking had the overs not ran out.
Despite losing skipper, Pat Patel in the 3rd over, the Over 50’s were keeping up with the required run rate thanks to a partnership off 66 for the second wicket between Phil Tomkins (43) and Richard Polley (38). Opening bowler Pete Hanks defied his advancing years to produce the best bowling figures in the match with 2-26 from his allotted ninr overs. The 4th wicket partnership of 112 between Jerry Wedge (48) and Nick Meakin (74no) in under 15 overs proved the crucial for the Over 50’s. Their partnership left the Home X1 needing just 26 runs from the last 9 overs. Meakin’s
runs had come from 65 deliveries faced. A boundary from John Gallant off the first ball of the 41st over bought about a comfortable 6 wicket victory for the Over 50’s.
Many thanks to all at Copford CC for the use of their excellent facilities and for the splendid catering. Harlow Town were very sporting opponents who will surely be welcomed back to Two Counties territory in seasons to come.

Over-50s team v Eight Ash Green XI @ Eight Ash Green CC, Thursday August 1st.

Pat Patel (capt); Chris Leftwich (wkt); John Morgan; Nick Meakin; Ken Greenaway; Chris Hills; Simon Sargeant; Bevin Guthrie; Phil Tomkins; John Stonehouse; Suman Polpaka; Stuart Stobbs. Umpires: Ray Digweed & John Stuck. Scorers: Mel Mildenhall & Lesley Scott.

Over-70s v Billericay Veterans @ Halstead CC, Wednesday July 31st.

Billericay Veterans 122 – 7 (G. Willey 21, W. Morgan 21, M. Southwell 26, B. Guthrie 2 – 20, R. Waters 2 – 24)
Two Counties 123 – 4 (J. Hadcock 27, C. Martin 29, B. Guthrie 26 n/o, D. Muldoon 1 – 32, M. Southwell 1 – 21)
Result: Two Counties over 70s won by 6 wicketsOn a cloudy day at Halstead, Two Counties won the toss and decided to bowl. Tight bowling, especially from Glyn Webster and Bevin Guthrie, kept the Billericay scoring rate in  check. The arrival of Wayne Morgan at the crease saw an increase in the run rate, but once he had been dismissed by Guthrie, it fell to Martin Southwell and Brian Ward to put more runs on the board which showed a total of 122 at the close of the innings. The required run rate was not an issue for the Two Counties batsmen, all of whom contributed to reach the required total in the 33rd over. Out thanks to all concerned at Halstead Cricket Club who looked after us so well, as they always do.

Over-60s team v Chelmer Veterans @ Halstead CC, Wednesday July 31st.

Edgar Dunkley (capt); Neil Brinded (wkt); Jerry Wedge; Stuart Carpenter; Andy Mills; Stuart Stobbs; Dave Hinchcliffe; Ian Robinson; Kirin Patel; Jon Wiseman; John Gallant. Umpires: Bob Barnes & Kevin Walker. Scorer: Alan Rogers.

Over-50s v Presidents XI @ Elmstead CC, Wednesday July 24th.

Two Counties O-50 171-8 (Tim Porter 64*, Jerry Wedge 36, Willie Mugleston 23, Glyn Webster 2-17)
Presidents XI 146-7 (Phil Tomkins 52, John Gallant 35, Chris Hills 3-36)

A dreadfully hot day at Elmstead Market on Wednesday, as the Two Counties Seniors Presidents XI and the Two Counties Over 50’s drew their match. The Over 50’s batted first, on winning the toss, and quickly lost their first two wickets to catches. Tim Porter and Jerry Wedge brought some steadiness to proceedings, before the former retired on reaching 50, which prompted another mini collapse. Mark Paget, with 16 before retiring hurt, and Willie Mugleston, 23 not out at the declaration, provided further impetus to the innings, and with the help of Porter, returning following the loss of all other batsmen, pushed the score to 171 at the declaration.

Once again, after the well-supplied interval, it was the batsman at the top of the order who made the major contribution, Phil Tomkins reaching 52. John Gallant, was also in good form, with 35 before becoming one of Chris Hills three wickets, but time ran out before the President’s team could reach the their target, as Ricky Ratford and Stuart Carpenter safely negotiated the closing balls, before the players and officials were able to seek the comparative cool of the pavilion, and liquid refreshments.

John Cloake

It is with regret that we must today, Sunday July 21st 2019, report the passing this morning of John Cloake, formerly of Maldon CC, and one of the players that played for the Over-50s in the early years after its formation.
We extend our condolences to Maureen, his wife, and his family at this sad time.

Over-70s v Hockerill Veterans @ Halstead CC, Wednesday July 17th.

Two Counties 213-4 (M. Thew 79, C, Leftwich 44 n.o, Francis 2-20, Wahid 2-39)
Hockerill Veterans 214-2 (R. Conner 101 n.o, P. Elby 60 n.o)
Hockerill Veterans won by 8 wickets

Two Counties elected to bat on a very good Halstead wicket. Tight bowling by Francis and Locke controlled the batting side’s progress until the loss of the first wicket, which brought M. Thew to the crease. His attacking innings, together with that of C. Leftwich in similar vein, accelerated the rate of scoring and with a run-a-ball flourish from B. Guthrie a score of 213 was posted. In reply Hockerill Veterans got off to slow but steady start, thanks particularly to excellent bowling from Webster and Guthrie. Once the openers had been dismissed, however, the youth element took over and a fine innings of 101 n.o from Conner, ably supported by Elby (60 n.o) saw the Hockerill Veterans home in the 37th over. All in all, a good day’s cricket hosted by Halstead C C, who looked after us so well, as always.

Sprowston Seniots v Over-50s @ Sprowston CC, Thursday July 11th.

Sprowston Seniors 190/9 (P Prime 65, Glyn Webster 3-22, Tony Oram 2-47)
Two Counties O-50s 192/2(P Tomkins 104*, P Patel 46)
Over-50s won by 8 wickets

A new trip to Sprowston , to the North-east of Norwich, and an emphatic win, as chasing 191 to win, the Two Counties, with a lighter than usual batting line-up, passed their victory target with eight wickets and twenty-three balls to spare. Phil Tompkins made 104, not out, with his hundred coming from 128 balls, featuring in an opening partnership of 84 with Pat Patel who made 46, before being caught from the first ball after the drinks interval, and 86 with Chris Martin , who was run out for 20. Bevin Guthrie, and delighted with New Zealand’s World Cup semi-final win over India, was not out on 6 when the winning runs came.

On an attractive ground, Sprowston took the first innings, and with 13 coming from the first over, it looked as if it could be a long day in the field for the visitors, but when both opening bowlers, Ken Greenaway and Martin Southwell had finished their nine over spells, only 44 runs were on the board, although only 1 wicket had fallen. As the innings progressed, although two or three batsmen got a start, only opener P.Prime, eventually run out by a direct hit, passed 30, reaching 65. Tony Oram and Glyn Webster were the most successful of the bowlers, with two and three wickets respectively.

Skipton CC Veterans v Touring XI @ Skipton CC, Thursday July 4th.

Skipton Veterans 177-9 (R.Wynne 50; J.Sharpe 36; B.Hollis 20; J.Gallant 3-36; D.Hinchcliffe 2-32)
Touring XI 180-5 (N.Meakin 50no; S.Stobbs 49; M.Thew 29; B.Guthrie 23no; G.Windle 3-28)
Touring XI won by 5 wickets

An historic victory in all the years of the Over-50s Tours, as a fourth victory, this time against Skipton Veterans, ensured a clean sweep of victories in all four matches. The sun through the early jousting, but throughout a keen wind blew up the ground from the Rugby League end. The sun did later disappear behind a thin veil of cloud, but the temperature sure did plummet.
As for the match itself, Skipton batted first, and as you can read, they closed their 40 overs with 177-9 on the board, Bob Wynne top scoring with 50 before he retired out. Sharpe and Hollis added decent runs too, especially those from Hollis boosting the total quite a lot in the closing five overs. John Gallant’s bowling figures could be described as mildly misleading, 3-36, is good, but from only four overs, is expensive. Highlight of the fielding was the caught and bowled snaffled up by Dave Hinchcliffe, for which he was suitably rewarded in the after tour presentations.
Our reply started with Pat Patel hitting a four first ball, and nicking off to the third ball. Mike Thew then batted in the ususal Mike Thew style. However on this occasion it proved more fruitful, as he added 29. Stars of the show though were, first, Stuart Stobbs, but he disgraced himself by getting out on 49, and then Nick Meakin and Bevin Guthrie who guided us from 116-5 through to 180-5, and victory. It did look as is Guthrie was going to deprive Meakin of a half-century, but he did give him the strike back in the for him to hit the winning runs with another boundary which took his score to 50 not out.
Thus the tour came to end, and the party spent it’s last evening in The Elm Tree in Embsay, before departing back to home territory on Friday morning.

Web reporters Log, Day 4 – 8.30am bulletin

Another glorious untypical Yorkshire morning, which gives promise to a fine afternoon’s play at Skipton CC.

Sutton-in-Craven CC Veterans v Touring XI @ Sutton-in-Craven CC, Wednesday July 3rd.

Touring XI 226-3 (N.Meakin 84no; J.Gallant 68, G.Penny 42)
Sutton-on-Craven Veterans 196-6 (A.Wallace 49no, C.Thornton 36, J.Holdsworth 31no, P.Williams 27, D.Hinchcliffe 3-2; P.Cox 2-24)
Touring XI won by 30 runs

The unthinkable has been achieved, three wins in a row on Yorkshire soil, a the first three-timer in the history over Two Counties tours. Need I really say any more than that, no need to spoil a good headline, but I shall.
We were inserted by the opposition, on the premise (we think) that the rather green, and uneven looking track may favour their bowling attack. Little did they know just how adept our batsmen are at grinding out runs on any surface, road or cart-track, makes no difference to their undoubted skills. Certainly not to Mike Thew, he will play the same shots on any pitch and to any bowler, sometimes with success, but not so far on this tour, bowled for 9. The second wicket partnership was crucial for us with John Gallant and Nick Meakin picking their shots with an expertise rarely seen on tour. I did not actually know when their partnership was, but it was ended when John decided to hit the ball on to his own wicket. He probably needed a rest. This brought to the middle, and in Two Counties colours for the first time in two years, of the maestro that is Graham Penny. Graceful, elegant, stylish, everything Mike Thew is not. He eased himself to 42 before he was bowled in the 38th over. Oh, how he has been missed. Nick Meakin carried on to the end to be on 84 when the 40 overs came to an end, and we, on this wicket, had posted a score of 226-3 for the home team to chase.
Chase they did, and we looked to be ending up on the receiving end of a good hiding as the openers, Williams and Thornton took the total to 73 in just twelve overs. Then the home team were distracted by the tones of the ice-cream van that pulled into the car park. In no time at all they had collapsed to 87-4. The tide had irrevocably turned, Dave Hinchcliffe may have done the damage with three wickets, but I prefer the thought that the ice-cream vendor was the real reason. Phil Cox then struck twice more to make the score 137-6 with ten overs to go. Wallace and Holdsworth kept the home crowd buzzing for a while, but their efforts dried up as tiredness, and another visit from the ice-cream van, saw their final score of 196-6 not preventing this historic tour victory.

Web reporters Log, Day 3 – 10.30am bulletin

Worse for wear from the previous evening’s celebrations, this bulletin has been delayed, but it is a wonderful morning. Warmest day so far, and the sun beaming down all over the Dales. Prospects of play: 100%.

Steeton CC Veterans v Touring XI @ Steeton CC, Tuesday July 2nd.

Steeton Veterans 219-7 (B.Freemans 76, M.Chapman 56. A.Howarth 47, B.Guthrie 3-27; S.Carpenter 2-43)
Touring XI 223-6 (S.Stobbs 61, S.Trivedi 57no, S.Bulger 29no)
Touring XI won by 4 wickets

Enthralling, momentous, unbelievable, just three words that could be used to describe this victory at Steeton. However, I shall use just two, and one of those shall remain silent, but it was ******* historic. Never before in the long history of touring Yorkshire had we ever came back to the hotel with a victory to celebrate. Years of pain and anguish were swept away with this dramatic victory, which had the vast crowd on their feet cheering. The waving of four and six signs had visibly rocked the home team. Never had they expected this outcome, least not when batting first they were well into three figures before a wicket was taken. Even the introduction of one the “plumbers” could not prevent the run flow. Bertie Burt Burt going for more runs in his second over alone than he had given away in his entire spell at Embsay.  Freemans and Chapman were putting the bowlers to whatever swords were close at hand, though the only one I saw was a wooden one belonging to a two year old Steeton fan. Then we unleashed our secret weapon!! Not factually correct, but Steeton unleashed it for us. The aforementioned opening batsmen, Chapman, was forced to retire out, in order to collect a child from school. This signaled an about turn in their fortunes, and from the comfort of 141-1 they slumped, and closed their 45 overs with only 219-7 on the board. Bevin Guthrie, our star overseas import, taking three wickets on Steeton soil for the second season in a row. Of course, all this pain could have been averted had our keeper, who had paid me to remain nameless, not spilled the easiest chance offered up since the one offered up by Mike Thew twenty-four hours previous. A quick word about the batting of A.Howarth, “dangerous”, as he made a valiant attempt to puncture a hole in the clubhouse roof. Thankfully, for those seated around the area, the smashed tile never actually touched ground. Some spectators did ask for helmets to wear,
Tea (need I say anymore). Those that have been to Steeton know that this is the only reason we return year after year just to get beaten.
Victory, is a former warship based in Portsmouth, not a word use in relation to our cricket on this lovely ground, and the use of the word looked to remain a distant prospect as we appeared to wade through mud. Some completely insane calls saw two of our number barely make it eleven yards down the track, or should I say, up the track, as both of the unfortunate players were running up the sloping ground. Salvation came in the form first of Stuart Stobbs. He peppered the boundary frequently on his way to 61, an innings which included just seven singles, and only one of those being scored in reaching his half-century. Just eight overs remained when Bevin Guthrie was bowled, which left us on 152-7. Who could we call upon to be our heroes? Who could whip the crowd up into a frenzy? We had just the men, prepared for death or glory, Sudy Trivedi and Steve Bulger. Steeton’s failure to remember that off-side fielders are not required when Bully Bulger has strike, and added to the fact that they had never seen Sudy bat before, saw the day’s efforts fall apart at the seams. Boundaries flowed to all quarters of the ground, the ladies screamed and hollered, signs were waved, not sure how we scored a 9 though. The runs required/balls left ratio was evening out at a rapid rate, so that when twelve balls remained, less runs were required. The final over started with five needed, and Sudy on 49, not that anyone knew it. Not wishing to bat any longer he smote two more exquisite fours, and history had been made, 223-6.
Sudy was made to pay for his 57 not out, as cramp took over in the post match celebrations in the local Indian. Stevie B ending with a career defining 29 not out. After starting his innings with five dot balls, only one more was recorded from his balls faced.
Sue Cooke’s fine deliverance of the fines, amused one and all, but it always does, and singing was kept to an absolute minimum. Now the pressure in on the team at Sutton-in-Craven as we seek to achieve another tour first. Never have we won three consecutive matches on Yorkshire soil.

Embsay CC Veterans v Touring XI @ Embsay CC, Monday July 1st.

Embsay CC Veterans 147-6 (J.Roughton 57 no; R.Bateman 39; J.Gallant 3-22; B.Tompkins 2-31)
Touring XI 149-4 (P.Patel 50, B.Guthrie 38, S.Trivedi 25no; D.Dagget 3-20)
Touring XI won by 6 wickets, 40 over match.

Thoughts of the monsoon style downpour were washed away as the Touring XI recorded an historic second consecutive victory on the sloping greensward of Embsay CC. In an unexpected turn of events, an official coin toss did take place, and the home team won it and elected to bat. Audible gasps of incredulity could be heard from the assembled entourage. After last seasons’ four “stand-in” skippers, Pat Patel had returned to the travelling party to lead the team. Under increased pressure following the two victories recorded by the “stand-ins” last summer.
The rain ceased at around 1pm, and after an hours drying and mopping up time had passed by, a 40 over match began. Skipper Patel needed some inspiration from his bowling attack, and it came in the first over as Bruce Tompkins claimed the first wicket of the tour. He only needed another eight deliveries to add a second wicket, and the spot of leading wickettaker for the day, looked a nailed-on cert. 19-2 became 28-3 as an almost airborne Mike Thew remarkably took a catch off the bowling of “Biggles” Carpenter. This catch was made even more outstanding when compared to the absolute gift he took ten minutes to drop shortly after.
Pat began to see his bowlers take some tap, so he brought on some plumbers to stop the leaks. Shock and horror ensued as he overlooked a more established firm, but instead called upon the services of the cowboy company of Burt and Gallant, not noted for delivering at any pace. What ensued will log become legend in Tour Folklore, but to brief it was Burt, eight overs for just nine runs, and Gallant, with a wicket in his first over, going on to overtake Bruce Tompkins at the top of the wicket table, with 3-22 from his eight overs. 57 not out from Roughton did help Embsay close on 147-6.
The Touring squad then feasted well, but a famine of runs soon followed, with only five runs coming off the first five overs, with in this period Mike Thew throwing his wicket, and it appears his bat too, away. There were not too many alarms thereafter as Pat Patel and Bevin Guthrie soon had us in total control. Pat reached his 50, then went for a casual stroll towards to mid-off, not even bothering to play a shot, 96-2. Guthrie got stuck in front of his stumps soon after, and after desperately signalling for a review, he had to be on his way for 38, 100-3. Panic set in, but only amongst the not padded up batsmen down the order. Sudy Trevedi then became the captain to steer the ship home, with 25 not out, as the tour began with yet another victory on Yorkshire soil. 149-4 being achieved with about five overs to spare.
Festivities followed in The Cavendish Arms, with the honorary presentation of a Two Counties cap to the opposition Umpire. (Ray Digweed can buy his own, if he wishes), and a dubious new musical (sic) double act of Corinne and Phil Cox performing. Much rehearsal required there, as their own lyrics got lost in their memories. A fine effort nonetheless. Tomorrow night, we expect to see Sue and Alan Cooke perform “Hey, Mr. Porter”. (a joke some may miss the point of, but hey ho.)

Over 50s v Gents of Essex CID CC @ Abberton CC, Wednesday June 26th, 11.30am

Two Counties 279-6 (Eric Davy 118*, Jerry Wedge 54, Stuart Stobbs 34, P Cockrell 2-58, J Couchman 2-33, D Griffiths 2-82)
Essex Police Veterans 121/7 (J Couchman 48, J Morgan 26*, Martin Southwell 3-26, Bevin Guthrie 2-45) Match Drawn

Proper cricket, morning start, dry day. Pat Patel won the toss for the Two Counties, and chose to bat first. Both openers were back to watching by the eleventh over after falling to catches, but Jerry Wedge and Stuart Stobbs took the score to 89 before the latter was bowled, immediately after striking the first six of the match, Wedge then proceeded to add 94 with Eric Davy before being stumped by Dunster for 54. The next partnership added 59, of which Ricky Ratford scored just 8, and an aggressive Davy brought up his hundred, from just 71 balls, still retaining his wicket at the declaration, at 279, after 55 overs.

Essex Police Veterans started slowly, C Martin taking 34 balls, including the tea interval, to register his first run, largely because of his ability to find the fielders with his shots. J Couchman produced some nice shots before hitting a return catch to Martin Southwell on 48, and as the last hour (minimum 20 overs) started, the Police side needed 181 further runs to win. Sensing, perhaps, that this was probably asking too much, given the relative slowness of the outfield and accuracy of the Two Counties bowlers, they set out to bat out the remaining overs, successfully as it subsequently transpired, this final session bringing just 22 runs, for the loss of 3 further wickets, all in the first 8 overs, with J Morgan (26 from 119 balls, of which he scored from just 13) and P Cockrell,( just 1 run in 40 deliveries) seeing them to safety. Southwell was the most successful of the bowlers, with three wickets, and including 7 consecutive maidens in the final stretch; perhaps the pitch was the winner.

Maybe a little chilly towards the close, and windy throughout, but with good company and excellent catering, an enjoyable day.

Over 60s v Chelmer Veterans @ Copford CC, Thursday June 20th, 1pm

match cancelled.

Over 50s v Nomads CC @ Kelvedon & F. CC, Wednesday June 19th, 1pm

Match cancelled.

Over 50s v Halstead Seniors @ Halstead CC, Wednesday June 12th, 1pm

Match cancelled, due to waterlogged pitch.

Over 60s v Hockerill Veterans @ Halstead CC, Wednesday June 12th, 1pm

Match cancelled, due to waterlogged pitch.

Over 50s v Kelvedon & Feering Seniors @ Kelvedon CC, Thursday June 6th, 1pm

Two Counties Over 50’s 209-8 (Tim Porter 85 Nick Meakin 57 Alex Parsons 3-28)
Kelvedon & Feering X1 210-5 (Phil Tomkins 65 Stuart Stobbs 40 not out Simon sergeant 2-44)
Kelvedon & Feering X1 win by 5 wickets

The last 10 overs of the second innings turned this match from quite a sedate, comfortable Two Counties victory to a thrilling last ball win for Kelvedon & Feering. The Kelvedon reply got off to a decent start thanks to a patient 65 from Phil Tomkins. The first two partnerships had added 102 runs before Tomkins fell to the bowling of Simon Sargeant with the score on 132 in the 33rd over. With the required run rate now over 6 runs per over, Kelvedon’s cause looked lost. However, Stuart Stobbs and Alex Parsons made the Two Counties pay for over indulging at the tea table. In less than six overs these two set about running the fielders ragged as they plundered 48 runs. Despite the loss of Parsons, 26 off 21 balls, Stobbs, 40 not out off 40 balls, guided the hosts to victory with a leg bye off the final delivery.
Earlier, The Two Counties had put 209 runs on the scoreboard from their allotted 45 overs. This total relied much on a second wicket partnership of 116 between Tim Porter and Nick Meakin. Meakin’s hard hitting 57 came to a close in the 28th over with the score on 136 whilst a rather more patient Porter saw the score up to 174 before he became the fourth wicket to fall. Porter’s dismissal brought about a flurry of wickets before John Gallant’s cameo at number 9, 17 not out off 7 balls helped to push the Two Counties total above 200. Alex Parsons 3-28 and Phil Tomkins 2-44 had done well to restrict the visitor’s score.

Over 60s v Surrey O-60s @ Ipswich CC, Wednesday June 5th, 1pm

Surrey Over 60’s 170-4 (Colin Ives 82 not out Peter Furner 35 Chris Hills 2-19)
Two Counties Over 60’s 171-5 (Richard Polley 78 not out Jerry Wedge 38 Neil Sunderland 2-20)
Two Counties Over 60’s win by 5 wickets

Surrey won the toss and chose to bat on Hackers Field with an agreed 45 overs per team. Whilst registering a reasonable total of 170-4 at tea, this was most certainly an innings of 3 halves. The O-60s were comprehensive winners of the first half with Chris Hills (2-19) and Dave Hinchcliffe (0-16) restricting the visitors to 38-2 after the openers had completed their allotted 9 overs. With number one bat, Peter Furner blunting the attack and number four, Colin Ives starting to open up, the next 18 overs yielded 64 runs for the loss of 2 further wickets, one each for Stuart Carpenter and Ian Robinson.
After a score draw in the middle half, the final half definitely belonged to Surrey, as Ives and Roger Maynard (25 not out from 25 balls faced) plundered 68 runs from the final 9 overs. Ives completed his half century from 79 balls faced and went into tea a happy man having finished unbeaten on 82.
The Two Counties started their innings after a splendid tea but with the threat of rain coming latter in the evening. Richard Polley and Jerry Wedge set the Two Counties on course with an opening partnership of 73 having fended off the accurate bowling of Neil Sunderland (2-20). Polley was steadfast in his anchorman role and deservedly reached his 50 off 83 balls faced. Having lost John Gallant and Edgar Dunkley rather cheaply, Steve Bulger (26 off 26 balls faced) gave the Two Counties reply a big boost. Victory for the Two Counties was achieved in the 41st over for the loss of 5 wickets but more importantly, Richard Polley remained unbeaten on 78.

Over 70s v Ipswich Seniors @ Ipswich CC, Wednesday June 5th, 1pm

Ipswich Seniors, 162-7 (D. Adams 53 no, A. Keeble 45, R. Black 42, J. Stonehouse 3-35, B. Tompkins 3-21)
Two Counties O-70s, 139-8 (G. Artindale 32, C. Leftwich 27, D. Messent 6-42)
Ipswich Seniors won by 23 runs

Ipswich Seniors elected to bat and made steady progress on a good wicket. Scoring quickened after the drinks interval and the last 10 overs added 70 runs to reach an innings total of 162 runs. Best bowling honours fell to J. Stonehouse, who removed three of the top four Ipswich Batsmen. After an excellent tea, progress of the Tow Counties innings was restricted by the tight bowling of P. Brown and S. O’Sullivan. Superb bowling by D. Messent (6-42) destroyed any hope of a come-back by the Two Counties, who finished 24 runs short of victory.

Over 60s v Hockerill Veterans @ Chadacre Park, Wednesday May 29th, 1pm

Match cancelled, waterlogged pitch.

Over 70s v Billericay O-70s @ Billericay CC, Tuesday May 28th, 1pm

Two Counties 177-1 (J. Hadcock 66, W. Mugleston 88 no, R. Ratford 17 no, M. Smith 1-19)
Billericay Veterans 151-8 (A. Wallace 47, M. Smith 32, G. Webster 3-29)
Result: Two Counties over-70s won by 26 runs

Two Counties were put in to bat and on a good wicket openers J.Hadcock and W.Mugleston made steady progress to post 116 for the first wicket. Mugleston and Ratford continued the good work to reach a total of 177 at the close of the innings. After  an excellent tea, in reply Billericay started slowly, but then middle-order batsmen A. Wallace and M. Smith accelerated the pace, making the total required seem distinctly achievable. Once they were dismissed, however, the scoring rate slowed and Billericay ran out of overs with 27 still required to win. Pick of the bowlers was G.Webster, who returned figures of 3-29.

Over 50s v Frinton XI @ Frinton CC, Monday May 27th, 1pm

Two Counties 249-7 dec (Sudy Trivedi 68, John Gallant 52, Jerry Wedge 27, Eric Davy 20, C Newland 3-35, Tony Oram 2-23)

Frinton 211 (D Loveless 61, T Sinclair 47*, R Harrington 33, A Wells 21, Terry Charrington 3-24, D.Mendis 3-33, Chris Hills 2-50)

Public Holiday Monday, at the seaside, and apart from a small rain interruption, a thoroughly entertaining day in this short arrangement fixture. This was your correspondent’s first visit to Ashlyns Road since the new changing facilities, and he thought them quite impressive. Despite the heading, there was a little bit of mixing of the sides, and ages, but what was still basically a Two Counties Over 50 eleven took the first innings. Sudy Trevidi and John Gallant set off steadily and confidently, making 130 before the first wicket fell, in the 24th over, Gallant lbw to Tony Oram for 52. Trevidi eventually fell, also to Oram, his final ball, for 68, and Jerry Wedge and Eric Davy made useful contributions, before guest player M.Mickado struck two sixes to finish the innings on 249.
This correspondent feels that he cannot always mention the superb quality of the teas that these games are always blessed with, so pleases excuse him if he refrains now and in the future. After the interval, the home eleven also started brightly, but had only a mere 77 on the board when Chris Hills beat the bat of A Wells, and shortly after sent the other opener D Loveless back to the pavilion. The next four wickets fell at regular intervals, three to Terry Charrington before R Harrington, firstly with J Newland and then a belligerent T Sinclair applied a steadying influence, but despite the latter’s undefeated 47, the innings ended nine balls early when Mendis bowled Oram,
leaving the Two Counties as 38 run winners.

Over 50s v Essex O-60s @ Elmstead CC, Thursday May 23rd, 1pm

match cancelled, opponents unable to field a team.

Over 60s v Richard Kemp’s XI @ Long Melford CC, Wednesday May 22nd, 1pm

R Kemp’s XI 224-7 (John Gallant 93*, R Mumford 53, Steve Bulger 32, Andy Mills 4-77)
Two Counties O60 210-8 (Stuart Stobbs 87, Jerry Wedge 24, Chris Martin 22, Jerry Hadcock 20)
Match drawn

Unusually for these days, this was a proper, old-fashioned cricket match, a ‘declaration’ game, on a day that was very warm when the sun was not hiding behind the clouds, less so when it chose so to do. The Two Counties won the toss, and asked the hosts to bat first, and had to wait until the eighth over to make a breakthrough, when D Bigg was unlucky to be run out backing-up. Two balls later, Andy Mills secured the first of five lbw decisions in the match, shortly followed by his second. Following this flurry of wickets, things settled down, and R Mumford and John Gallant added 89 for the fourth wicket. Steve Bulger made 32 from a sixth wicket partnership of 41, and when the declaration came, at the end of the 49th over, Gallant was on 93, a mid-innings introspective period having probably cost him a century. With a weak bowling attack, Mills had bowled 20 of these overs, and Bruce Tompkins seventeen.
After the usual Long Melford tea, the declaration proved to be just about right, as the Two Counties eleven coincidentally were also to face 49 overs. Chris Martin and Jerry Wedge compiled an opening partnership of 42 before the former joined the day’s list of lbw victims. Stuart Stobbs , in his usual aggressive fashion, struck 87 runs, from 73 balls, before deflecting the ball on to his wicket. After this, the required rate crept slowly up, and
eventually the overs ran out, leaving them 15 runs short, and thus resulting in honours being shared.

Over 70s v Hertfordshire O-70s @ Copford CC, Tuesday May 21st, 1pm

Two Counties O-70s 196-5 (D. Curtis 85, J. Hadcock 47, Rasheed 2-32, Croucher 2-19)
Herts O-70s 198-3 (Wilson 62, Bulger 78 n.o, Stonehouse 2-51, Webster 1-39)
Herts won by 7 wickets

Having been put in to bat, Two Counties got off to a quick-scoring start on the excellent Copford track, with openers Curtis and Hadcock putting on 126 for the first wicket. Rasheed and Croucher then slowed proceedings with two wickets apiece, with only Cooke providing any further meaningful resistance.
In reply, following a splendid tea, the Herts Over 70s batsmen took control from the start and a fine 78 n.o. from Bulger saw Herts home with 7 overs to spare.

Over 60s v Surrey O-60s @ Halstead CC, Thursday May 16th, 1pm

Marshall Hatchick O-60 199, (John Gallant 65, Jon Wiseman 45, B Early 3-21)
Surrey O-60 202-4, J Thornton 79, D Ross 64, Stuart Carpenter 2-41)
Surrey O-60s won by 6 wickets

A disappointing display by the Over 60s resulted in a heavy defeat at the hands of Surrey, on Morton’s Field at Halstead. On winning the toss, Skipper John Gallant chose to bat, but the team quickly suffered a misfortune, when Alan Elsbury was forced to retire hurt early on. Andrew Gallant soon followed him back to the pavilion, before Jon Wiseman and Stuart Stobbs added 63 for, effectively, the second wicket. Thereafter, however, wickets fell steadily. Wiseman eventually fell for 45, and only John Gallant made serious inroads into the bowling, eventually reaching 65, and it was only a last wicket partnership between him and Stuart Carpenter, of 43 runs, that enabled them to set a target of one run shy of 200.

After the usual highly enjoyable Halstead tea, Surrey suffered an early set-back, when when D Sowe, to his apparent surprise, but nobody else’s (including his opening partner) was adjudged lbw to Stuart Carpenter, but there after Thornton and Ross made hay whilst the sun (mostly) shone, with 79 and 64 respectively, before both retiring at the request of their captain. Carpenter captured a second wicket, before the visitor’s captain, Hougate, finished the match with eleven overs remaining.

Over 50s v Essex Police Veterans @ Halstead CC, Thursday May 16th, 1pm

Two Counties Over 50’s 253-6 (Phil Tomkins 50 retired, Sudi Trevedi 50 retired, Eric Davy 46,
Tim Porter 41 Paul Keaney 3-34
Essex Police Verterans 156 all out (Paul Keaney 51 Dave Griffiths 24 Brian Wilderspin-Webb 2-14)
Two Counties Over 50’s win by 97 runs

As ever, Halstead CC were splendid hosts for this 45 overs per side match. The Two Counties won
the toss and chose to bat. Porter and Tomkins gave the Home X1 a great start with a 71 run
partnership before Porter fell victim to an LBW shout, the first of two wickets for Griffiths. The Police
hoped that the wicket would arrest the flow of runs with that wicket but Tomkins and Trevedi piled
on the pressure, both scoring 50’s before retiring. Trevedi’s 50 being some 23 balls quicker than
Tomkins. Wicket keeper Davy scored at an even greater rate, 46 off 30 balls before falling caught &
bowled by Paul Keaney. At 186-2 from 30 overs the Two Counties had stamped their authority on
the match. With Keaney and Griffiths collecting 5 wickets between them, they did at least managed
to squeeze the run rate down over the last 15 overs. By tea interval, the Two Counties had finished
their innings on 253-6.
The Police’s hopes of a swift response were dashed by miserly opening spells from Chris Hills and
Ken Greenaway with just 29 runs for the loss of Peter French coming from the first 12 overs. Keaney
& Nigel Cockrell got the score moving along quite nicely before Cockrell was run out by a neat throw
from Tomkins. Having added 39 with Cockrell, Keaney then enjoyed a 51 run partnership with
Griffiths. A double blow occurred with the score on 125 with Tony Oram having a hand in the
dismissals of both batsmen within the space of 8 balls. Firstly bowling Keaney and then catching
Griffiths off the bowling of Hills. Skipper Patel kept up the seam attack despite the required run rate
heading north of 9 runs per over. The introduction of Wilderspin-Webb’s gentle spinners in the 35th
over did little to improve the outlook for the Police as he claimed a wicket in each of his 3rd and 4th
overs. With another couple of runs, the Police were in dire straights. The match came to a conclusion
in the 44th over with skipper Patel inducing a caught & bowled from the no. 10 bat leaving the Police
some 97 runs short of their target

Over 70s v East Anglian Ladies @ Mistley CC, Tuesday May 14th, 1pm

East Anglian Ladies 160 all out. S. Martin 44, C. Cornelius 48 no, R. Waters 4-26
Two Counties 162 -2, W. Muggleston 58 no, A. Cooke 45 no, K. Golding 2-22
Two Counties won by 8 wickets

East Anglian Ladies batted first and their innings got off to a brisk start, built around a steady innings of 44 by Susannah Martin. Tight bowling by Barrell and Turley slowed progress until an aggressive innings of 48 not out by Candy Cornelius brought the side’s total to a very respectable 160. Stand-out performances for the Two Counties were 2 wickets and 2 outstanding diving catches by Chris Martin and returns of 4-26 by Rick Waters.

In reply, Two Counties lost two early wickets, both to K Golding, but then Muggleston (58 n/o) and Cooke (45 n/o) took full control to secure victory with 5 overs to spare.

Over 50s team v Chippenham Park CC @ Kelvedon & F. CC, Thursday May 9th, 1pm

Match cancelled.

Over 60s team v Billericay Veterans, Billericay CC, Thursday May 9th, 1pm

Match cancelled.

Over 50s team v Norfolk Over-50s @ Copford CC, Thursday May 2nd, 1pm

Match cancelled.

Over 50s v Suffolk Over-60s @ Mistley CC, Wednesday April 24th, 1pm

Marshall Hatchick O-50 219 for 9 (N Meakin 75, P Tompkins 35, S Henderson 29, T Locke 3-38, K Ross 2-39)

Suffolk O-50 225 for 4 (S Titcombe 103*, R Collett 46, T Butcher 36, T Money 2-29)

The Marshall Hatchick Seniors started their 2019 season with a defeat at Mistley, to the Suffolk O50 side, on a day when the recent warm, virtually cloudless weather started to fade; indeed there was a two minute shower during the first innings. The Two counties eleven batted first, on winning the toss, and Stephen Henderson and Phil Tompkins made a useful start, with 64 on the board before losing their first wicket in the sixteenth over, but the only other major partnership was for the fourth wicket between Nick Meakin who made an aggressive 73, from 55 balls, and including five sixes, and Andrew Gallant, who contributed 25 to a partnership of 67. Three wickets fell to Tony Locke, at a personal cost of 38.
After the usual excellent Mistley tea, the Two Counties took an early Suffolk wicket, but the second wicket added exactly 100, before John Morgan removed Toby Butcher for 36. Rob Collett provided the better part of a third-wicket partnership of 72, before providing Trevor Money with one of his two wickets. Although the match was moving further towards Suffolk, the Two Counties were never out of the game until the final couple of overs, and Steve Titcombe finished the game with a six, to bring up his personal century, from 124 balls.

Golf Day 2019

A blustery day was expected, but although it was still a little chilly, the players were able to enjoy some sunshine. It was a chilly day, but the rain stayed away as twelve players (fewer than normal) took to the first tee. There were debut appearances for Matt Bibby and David Balfour, guests of Ian Robinson (how many golfing friends has he got?) and Andrew Gallant. Tex Rogers, once again, chose to follow the first group, the Halstead Cricket club contingent and myself and once again proved to be a very much needed ball spotter and he was also kept very busy raking the bunkers (Stuart Berger seemed to be intent on testing out most of them!). A notable absentee from the Halstead group was Lloyd Rayner, who sadly has been diagnosed with cancer which has spread to his liver.
Last year’s runner-up Ian Robinson had an excellent round and was the only player to play to his handicap, scoring 37 points. Yours truly finished in second place, on count back from Matt Bibby with 34 points, who thus finished in third place. Clacton golfer Ray Fage filled in at the last minute for Jason Nuttall (guest of Rupert Haxell), who was
side-lined through injury. Ray had 33 points to finish fourth, a creditable performance off his ten handicap. At one point I thought that Steve Bulger’s record of just six points would be broken, as Gary Smith (guest of Stuart Berger) had only accumulated three points on the front nine holes, but he managed seven points on the back nine holes.
His ten points were comfortably good enough to win the booby prize. The nearest the pin competition on the 17
th hole was won Rupert Haxell. Vikki Khan (26 points) was again the only lady in the field, which included this year’s Clacton Golf Club captain John Kemp (31 points) a shooting colleague of Rupert’s. The Over 50s captain Pat Patel, accompanied by Ian Johnson, joined us for dinner, and Pat presented the prizes.

John Stuck
Organiser & Host

Over-50s v Suffolk O-50s T20 Tournament, Sunday 23rd September

Tournament cancelled – waterlogged ground

Over-50s v Forty Club, Mistley CC, Wednesday 12th September

Two Counties Over 50’s 201-9 (Stephen Henderson 44, Pat Patel 38 Andrew Short 3-25)
Forty Club XI 181 all out (Chris Hunt 32 not out Robert Smith 30 Ken Greenaway 3-19 Kaushic Trevedi 3-20)
Two Counties win by 20 runs

The players of both teams and ever genial hosts, Mistley CC, were grateful that much of the rain that had hit north east Essex overnight had mostly stayed clear of Mistley. Although, it was decided to delay the start by half an hour to let the outfield dry somewhat. Play got underway with the Two Counties being asked to bat first. Pat Patel and Phil Tomkins made a steady start before Tomkins (24) fell to a catch by wicket keeper Parr from the bowling of Chris Hunt. 33-1 in the ninth. The Frinton pair of Patel and Stephen Henderson (44) began to up the run rate, particularly benefiting from the seamers. Andrew Short’s introduction to the attack changed the outlook of the innings with his slow bowling picking up the wickets of Patel, Henderson, and Kevin Ross, all falling to catches. There was also some very impressive fielding as three run outs prevented the Over 50’s from amassing a big score. 143-3 to 187-9 in the space of nine overs. Kaushic Trevedi and Suman Polepaka scampered some quick runs at the death to enable the Over 50’s to reach 201-9 after their allotted 45 overs. Short’s 3-25 being the pick of the bowlers.
In reply, Dave Rai (17) and Kevin Grant (25) kept the bowlers at bay for the first 11 overs but the introduction to the attack for Ken Greenaway in the 12th over brought an instant reward with the wicket of Grant. Robert Milne had his stay at the wicket cut short by Polepaka, a deserved wicket for a lively opening spell of 1-24. In tandem with Greenaway, Trevedi. The Forty Club had the heart ripped out of the innings going from 36-1 to 129-9. During that time, only a gritty 30 from captain, Robert Smith prevented a total collapse. With just 5.5 overs remaining, the match looked dead and buried. No. 11 Chris Hunt had other ideas as he started to smash the ball to and over the boundary. His partner, Rob Nelson gaining in confidence also started to attack, Tony Oram suffering most as his 7th over cost 20 runs. 20 runs needed of the final over. John Gallant saved the day by bowling Nelson with the first ball while attempting one big hit too many. Nelson (20 off 22) and Hunt (32 not out off 17) had put on a very rapid 52 to enliven the game. Of the bowlers, Greenaway 3-19 and Trevedi 3-20 deserved much credit.

Over-60s v Hertfordshire O-60s, Copford CC, Tuesday 11th September

Hertfordshire Over 60’s 296-6 (Mike Christelow 53, Bernard Murphy 51, David Baker 50, Dave Hinchcliffe 2-27)
Two Counties Over 60’s 163-5 (Simon Rippingale 48 Gerry Artindale 32 Bernard Murphy 3-35)
Hertfordshire Over 60’s win by 133 runs

The two captains agreed to play a 45 over a side match at the picturesque Copford ground. On winning the toss, the visitors decided to bat first. Runs began to flow at such a rate that suggested to the Two Counties that they would be chasing a big total. Openers, Kris Perera (45) and Colin Warne (33) paved the way for that big total. Dave Hinchcliffe did his best to restrict the scoring with an excellent opening spell of 2-27 from his nine overs. Even more impressive as Herts were scoring in excess of  six runs per over. With David Baker (50) and Mike Christelow (53) joining in the fun, Herts had accumulated 200 runs by the 32nd over. Two wickets for Stuart Carpenter and one for Alan Burt bought some respite before Bernard Murphy lashed a quick fire 51 in the final few overs to send the scoreboard racing towards 300. Even with the assistance of the tree as an extra fielder, the Herts total stood at 296-6 at tea.
Despite defending such a large total, the Herts bowlers were in no mood to let the Two Counties have any easy runs. Alan Sims and Gerry Artindale to be comfortable at the crease but were only scoring at around three runs per over. Coming on as first change, Murphy clean bowled Sims on the final ball of the 12th over. Four overs late and the Two Counties were in trouble at 52-3. Murphy managed to cling on to a fiercely struck drive from Don Curtis and four balls later had Artindale (32) bowled. Simon Rippingale and captain, Edgar Dunkley put together a composed partnership of 54 but all the while, the required run rate steadily increased. Rippingale (48) lost his wicket to a catch by visiting captain, Duncan Elder, just when he looked set to record a half century. It was left to John Stuck (22 not out) and Hinchcliffe (12 not out) to ensure that the Two Counties at least achieved half of the visitors score. Following the final ball of the day, the scoreboard read 163-5.

Over-50s v Halstead Seniors, Halstead CC, Sunday 9th September

Halstead Seniors 227 (M Johnson 64, J Clinch 37, N Dakin 25, G Dicker 24)
O-50s 160 (Kevin Ross 48*, Ian Vine 36, Stephen Henderson 22, J Rose 3-27, C Roper 3-60)
Halstead Seniors won by 67 runs.

As we move toward the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and the storing for the off-season (for the vast majority of us) of the clothing and implements of cricket, the Two Counties Over 50s gathered at Star Stile for an 11.30 start to this match with Halstead Seniors. Winning the toss, Two Counties captain Pat Patel asked the hosts to bat first, and eventually Halstead Seniors were bowled out for 227, to which total the biggest contributor was M Johnson, with 64 before becoming the second of two run outs in consecutive overs, a small session of play which caused the tenor of then innings to change. Both openers (N Dakin 25 and G Dicker 24) had made useful starts, and the innings seemed to be progressing to a more than useful total, but of the subsequent batsmen only J Clinch (37) established himself. Bowling success was spread around, Tan Shahid , Stuart Carpenter  and Trevor Money each claiming two victims.
At the first drinks interval of the Two Counties reply, taken a few overs earlier than might perhaps be expected, to accommodate the official dedication of Halstead’s new score-box, named after former long-time member and subsequently respected local umpire Mitch Smith, and for which a significant number were present. Back to the game, and wickets fell too frequently for Two Counties comfort, the only significant partnership, of exactly 50 for the fifth wicket between Ian Vine eventually out for 36, and Kevin Ross left stranded at the end on 48. Both J Rose and C
Roper claimed three wickets, as The Two Counties succumbed for 160, with more than half of the final twenty overs unbowled, and the players and officials could demolish a post-match Halstead tea (having already lunched well earlier in the game).

Over-60s v Billericay Veterans, Elmstead CC, Thursday 6th September

Match cancelled.

Over-50s v Middlesex O-50s, Abberton CC, Wednesday 5th September

O-50s 251/5 (Stephen Henderson 103*, Eric Davy 86, Nick Meakin 35)
Middlesex O50 182/6 (A Dar 76*, D Wilson 33, Kaushic Trevedi 2-22)
O-50 won by 69 runs

A damp morning, more drizzle than rain, delayed the start of this match by an hour, causing a 35-overs-per-side match being agreed upon. Two Counties were asked to bat first by Middlesex, and saw captain Pat Patel cut the first ball to point. This, though, merely paved the way for a second wicket partnership of 133 between Stephen Henderson and Eric Davy, in which the latter played the more forceful role, being eventually caught for 86, from 63 balls. Nick
Meakin took on Davy’s mantle, contributing 35 from 26 balls. Following batsmen perished cheaply in the chase for quick runs, but Henderson reached three figures in the final over of the innings, having scored at a run a ball.
After the tea interval, splendid as ever, Middlesex were unable, to the bowling of John Morgan and Ken Greenaway, to match their hosts brisk start, and the required run-rate increased steadily; despite A Dar’s 53ball undefeated 76, they were not able to overcome this start, and when the overs ran out, were still almost 70 runs adrift. Wickets were spread between the bowlers, Kaushic Trevedi being the most successful with two.

Over-50s v Norfolk O-50s, Halstead CC, Wednesday 29th August

Two Counties O-50 157 (Eric Davy 31, P Dewing 4-28)
Norfolk O-50 158-3 (R Yates 44, N Irons 43*)
Norfolk O-50 won by 7 wickets

A Halstead double-header, and after a damp morning, both games started late, reduced to 35 overs each side. On the main pitch, Two Counties O50 batted first, losing two early wickets, and were never able to impose themselves on the Norfolk bowlers. Eric Davy was the most successful of the batsmen, with 31; Sudy Trevedi and Kevin Ross each passed 20, but with Dewing taking 4 wickets, they were all out, with a ball unused, for 157.
After Halstead’s usual satisfying tea, the Two Counties’ bowlers faired little better than the batting. Two wickets fell in the mid-seventies, but only Young went cheaply, as Norfolk proceeded to a comfortable victory, albeit being forced to the final over. Yates had made 44 opening, and Irons was not out on 43 at the end, whilst Ken Greenaway conceded just 21 runs in his 7 overs, with one wicket.

Over-60s  v Norfolk O-60s, Halstead CC, Wednesday 29th August

Norfolk O 60s 221 for 1 (G Roper 147no M Willgress 41 A Mills 1-41)
Two Counties O 60s 120 for 6 (I Robinson 24.   Le Moir 2-7)
Norfolk won by  101 runs, 35 over match

Norfolk completely dominated this game from start to finish and  won by an overwhelming 101 runs in this 35 over match. They scored 221 for I in their innings with G. Roper notching up an undefeated 147 backed up well M Willgress 41 and J Perry 26no. Andy Mills was the solitary  Two Counties wicket taker.
With the Two Counties chasing this large target they made little effort to get the required runs  in the early stages and Ian Robinson 24 and Don Curtis 23 tried to up the run rate but all to no avail. The Norfolk bowlers were well in control with  Le Moir returning the best figures  with 2-7. All in all a game that the Two Counties will want to forget with Norfolk in complete control.

Over-70s v Hertfordshire O-70s, Copford CC, Tuesday 28th August

Hertfordshire O-70 213-6 (C Wilson 57, S Bulger 50, C Garside 40, M Lurie 36)
Two Counties O-70 200-5 (John Stuck 111, A Cooke 34)
Hertfordshire O-70 won by 13 runs.

This particular correspondent normally writes his reports from the point of view of scoring the match, but on this occasion, at Copford, he was in the middle, in a white coat. The match was not a great day for bowlers, and batting first, both Hertfordshire openers, S Bulger (brother of ours) and C Wilson, retired with fifties to their names, having added over 100 for the first wicket. C Garside then took up the gauntlet, with 40, including the game’s only six, the ball before being bowled by John Stonehouse. M Lurie was run out, and Sylvester McKnight and Brian Turley each picked-up a wicket, the later when Hertfordshire captain P Cramer hit his own wicket first ball, the innings finished at the end of forty overs on 213.
After the usual Copford tea, or as it was described lunch, the Two Counties began their chase with an all-left-handed partnership of John Stuck and Mike Thew, making steady progress until the latter was bowled. Stuck and Alan Cooke took the total to the brink of three figures, but thereafter the scoring slowed, and although Stuck reached a century
before being run out in the last over, the chase fell 13 runs short.

Over-50s v Witham XI (Ernie Nicholls Memorial Match), Witham CC, Friday 24th August.

Over 50’s 236-8 (Stuart Stobbs 76 no Pat Patel 43)
Witham XI 237-7 (Michael Glynn 77no Ben Tinham 56)
Witham XI win by 3 wickets

A popular match to attend to play in or to watch since it coincides with the Witham Beer Festival. Sudi Trevedi and skipper, Pat Patel opened the batting for the O50’s after another successful winning toss. They had to deal with a mixed bag of deliveries from the seam of Sarah Bendall and the spin of Sam Upsher. Despite giving away a number of extras, the opening bowlers had the better of the exchanges as they were restricting the visitors to around 3 runs per over. The change bowlers brought good fortune for both teams. Runs for Patel (43) and Stephen Henderson (31) in a 59 run partnership for the 2nd wicket and wickets for the Witham skipper, Paul Bellehewe and Ben Tinham.
In the space of two overs, the O50’s had gone from 104-1 to 110-5, with Bellehewe claiming four of those scalps. The innings was rescued by an aggressive knock of 76 not out from Stuart Stobbs with partnerships of 66 with John Stuck (11) and 46 with Simon Sargeant (18). With the aid of 38 extras, the O50’s were able to declare at 236-8 and return to the pavilion for tea.
Any youthful exuberance was soon reined in as Suman Polpaka and Ken Greenaway took wickets at regular intervals to reduce the hosts to 84-5. No3, Ollie Cooke looked quite threatening at the crease as his came of just 22 balls. However, he was one of Polpaka’s victims in an opening spell of 3-33. Tinham and Michael Glynn began to build a solid partnership and at the start of the last hour they had brought up to 125-5. With the change bowlers offering less of a threat, Tinham and Glynn steadily upped the run rate and looked comfortably set to remain unbeaten and win the match. The return of Polpaka to the attack done for Tinham (56) with the score on 205, a partnership of 121,
and less that 9 overs remaining. Polpaka had Bellehewe adjudged lbw to collect his 5th wicket (5-46) but to no avail as Glynn saw home the hosts with an unbeaten 77 off 68 deliveries.

Over-50s v Ipswich & E.S. Past & Present, Chantry Park, Tuesday 21st August

O-50 216 (Andrew Gallant 64, Nick Cooper 32, Kevin Ross 25, J Beaumont 3-18)
Ipswich & ES Past & Present 139 (M Griffin 36, D Bloomfield 21, Brian Wilderspin-Webb 4-8, Tony Oram 3-53)
O-50s won by 77 runs

The outfield at Chantry Park is showing the effects of the hot summer, and public use, but played well as the Two Counties Over 50 eleven took on a mixed-age Ipswich and East Suffolk Past and Present XI in the annual Jack Curtis Memorial Match. The Two Counties batted first, and found J Beaumont in miserly mood, bowling three maidens and conceding a mere eight runs in his initial seven-over spell, although rewarded with just a single wicket. Indeed, this was the only wicket to fall in the first hundred runs, as Andrew Gallant and Kevin Ross added 81 for the second wicket. The partnership ended when Gallant was caught behind for 64 by D Bloomfield off of S Worne, and succeeding partnerships were largely short-lived, with a high of 26, as the innings ended on 216, when John Stuck  struck a return catch to Jeff Lewis.

After a quick start, with 23 coming from the first two overs, courtesy of D Bloomfield and A Cooke, the modest partnerships continued in the host’s innings, Bloomfield and Cooke’s 37 proving to be the second largest of the match. M Griffin made a 25-ball 36, but wickets fell at regular intervals as the late-afternoon and early-evening unrolled. Tony Oram took the first 3 wickets, and the innings was wrapped up by Brian Wilderspin-Webb with 4 for 8 in just over 4 overs. In between, Glyn Webster bowled a spell of nine overs, which included 4 maidens and cost just 11 runs.

Mistley XI v O-60s, Mistley CC, Wednesday 15th August 2018

Two Counties O60 214-7 (John Stuck 48, David Adams 38*, Yuvraj 4-45)
Mistley XI 146 (H Fifield 41, G Hutton 28, Bruce Tompkins 5-46)
O 60s won by 68 runs

This match, on Mistley’s second pitch, was one part of the double-header of Mistley/Two Counties Seniors matches played as part of Mistley’s cricket week, and featured two teams largely at opposite ends of their cricketing life-times, with all but three of the home team being subject to the restrictions placed on cricketers aged under 18!

The match was played as a time game, with no restrictions on the bowlers other than those resulting from the host’s age, and the Two Counties batted first, making a solid start through the auspices of John Stuck and Gerry Artindale with 56 on the board when the latter was out in the thirteenth over. Stuck and Peter Boughton doubled this score for the second wicket, and after a period in which he became almost becalmed, Stuck followed shortly after. David Adams  scored a healthy proportion of the rest of the runs, with an undefeated 38, from 55 balls when captain Phil Cox declared the innings closed at his own dismissal. The total of 214 for 7 declared included 47 extras, thirty of them wides (nineteen actual balls), but Yuvraj had bowled fifteen overs at a cost of 45 runs, taking 4 wickets.

After tea, of the usual high Mistley standard, Bruce Tompkins started the Mistley innings by bowling the first batsman with the first ball, and by the end of his fifth over had taken four wickets for just thirteen runs. He added his fifth in his thirteenth over, finishing one later with 5 for 46, by which time the last hour had started with half Mistley the side having finished its participation for the day. H Fifield proved stubborn, before being bowled by Glyn Webster for a nicely complied 41, partnered for some while by Yuvraj (14*), but they could not stop the Two Counties victory, which came from a run-out after a very rash call, with more than two overs to spare

Mistley Seniors v O-50s, Mistley CC, Wednesday 15th August 2018

Two Counties Over 50’s 26-5 (Andrew Gallant 120, Pat Patel 54, Kevin Ross 50)
Mistley Seniors 196-3 (Callum O’Connell 105no Trevor Mills 60)
Match Drawn

Skipper, Pat Patel won the toss and choose to bat against a very young looking Mistley Seniors X1. Patel and Andrew Gallant opened the innings and were both were soon amassing runs in their own inimitable styles, Patel flailing the bat at every opportunity and Gallant, a steady accumulator but severe on any loos deliveries. Loose deliveries came aplenty from the young bowling attack, especially from Mikey Johnston who conceded 42 off his 6 over spell. The 100 came up in the 18th over closely followed by Patel’s 50 (62 balls). Patel was bowled by Ollie Fyfield on the 1st ball of the 20th over before Gallant was able to reach his 50 from 52 balls received. Batsman no. 3 was Kevin Ross and in keeping with the openers, he too made his half century whilst Gallant remained at the crease, getting ever closer to a ton. With the tea interval not far away, Ross lost his wicket to a catch in the deep as the Over 50’s looked to add on quick runs. Together Gallant and Ross had added 106 to bring the score up to 215-2. Gallant achieved the ton that he had so deserved, departing for 120, as Mikey Johnston claimed three weeks in those last few hectic minutes before the declaration and tea. The Over 50’s had scored 263-5.
Opening bowlers Stuart Carpenter and Trevor Money were much more economical than their Mistley counterparts so much so that the hosts did not reach 50 until the 22nd over. By that time, Money had already dispatched Edgar Dunkley back to the pavilion thanks to a Kevin Ross catch. Carpenter had conceded 19 from his 8 overs and Money 1-15 from 10. Turning to spin soon paid dividends as Alan Burt had John manning stumped in his 4th over. The final hour and the final 20 overs arrived with the score at 56-2 leaving an improbable 208 for a home win. A first it looked to be turning into a bore draw but with the steadfast Trevor Mills keeping out all varieties of bowling teenage “senior” Callum O’Connell was steadily growing in confidence and began to attack the bowling. Mills and O’Connell both got their 50’s in their partnership of 93, Mills finally departing with the score on 145 with just 4.4 overs remaining. Those last 28 balls were far from dull as O’Connell smashed his second 50 off just 22 balls to remain unbeaten at the close of play on 105, his innings included 8 4’s and 5 6’s. 196-3 and definitely a day for the batsmen.

As always Mistley CC were splendid hosts in this eagerly awaited annual fixture. Great facilities, a splendid tea, and a foray to the local chippie for post-match fish or sausage and chips.

Over-50s v Norfolk O-50s, Copford CC, Thursday 9th August 2018

Match cancelled.

Over-60s v Surrey Touring XI, Halstead CC, Wednesday 8th August 2018

Surrey Touring X1 210-5 (John Parkin 96no, Colin Ives 38no, Bruce Tompkins 2-52)
Over-60s 211-0 (Edgar Dunkley 104no, John Stuck 92no)
Over-60s won by 10 wickets

The visiting Surrey XI won the toss and chose to bat in a match to be contested over 40 overs a side. However confident the openers were, three consecutive days of cricket for over 60’s does take its toll. Theory proved correct as Stuart Carpenter opens the bowling with a wicket maiden and a four ball duck for Richard Jackson. Dave Hinchcliffe also got in the act but he had to wait until his sixth over before bowling Roger Montgomery. By the time Stuart & Dave had finished their 8 over spells, Surrey had been restricted to 55-2. Change of bowlers and a change of fortune for Surrey. With no4 John Parkin leading from the front, runs began to flow at a decent rate. Partnerships of 40 with Dave Rushforth and 42 with skipper, Roger Maynard helped the score up to 116 with 28 overs completed. Wicket keeper, Andy Beaumont had a brief stay at the crease which brought Colin Ives to partner Parkin. Over the course of the final 9 overs, the pair added 74 runs to bring the innings to a close at 210-5. Ives had hit 38 not out off only 28 balls faced whilst Parkin would have been disappointed to miss out on a ton, finishing on 94 not out. There were wickets for Kirin Patel, 1-54 and Bruce Tompkins, 2-52 but Bevin Guthrie remained wicketless having conceded 48 runs.

After another splendid Halstead tea, the Two Counties reply began with John Stuck and captain, Edgar Dunkley. No matter who bowled, John and Edgar both looked comfortable at the crease although Edgar was accumulating runs at a faster rate than John. With 20 overs gone, the pair had put on an unbeaten 103 with 65 to Edgar and 31 to John. As the fielders tired even more quickly than the batters, so John and Edgar kept the scoreboard ticking over at a healthy rate. 30 overs gone, John has 74, Edgar 91 and with the total on 178 just 33 more runs needed. Edgar’s ton come up in the 33rd over off 87 balls. With victory all but assured, it just remained to hope that John could get his ton and to secure the 10 wicket win. Alas, John’s hopes of a ton disappeared after the first two deliveries of the 35th over but the 10 wicket win came off the first delivery of the next over. John not out on 92 and Edgar not out on 104.

Eight Ash Green v Over-50s, Eight Ash Green CC, Thursday 2nd August 2018

Two Counties 213 for 6 dec.  S Polepaka 60, P Tomkins 47, S Sargeant 42  J Young 2-38
Eight Ash Green 211 for 7 B Guthrie 51no, R Polley 49, A Sampson 32.  S Polepaka 3-15, K Greenaway  2-26.
Match Drawn

The M H Two Counties team were royally entertained by Eight Ash Green in a thrilling Drawn game that had everyone on tenterhooks right until the final ball. Batting First Two Counties made 213 for 6 on a very hot afternoon With young Suman Polepaka starring with a well struck 60, Suman a young Frinton third teamer was brought into the team to offset their rival youth element and having only played cricket for 3 years he looks an exciting prospect. Phil Tomkins opened with his usual dash and had amassed an excellent 47 with the score on 79 for 4. From then on young Polepaka took over , he was helped by the wily Simon Sargeant 46 in a stand of 107. Simon gave the youngster plenty  of help and the young man will have learned a lot from this experience. The declaration came on 213 for 6. Joe young was the main wicket taker for the home side with 2-38, but he had good support from Keith Steel, Colin Steel, Bevin Guthrie , Matt Murray and John Stonehouse.

Eight Ash Green were obviously going to make every attempt to gain a victory but were pegged back early on by some good bowling by Bruce Tompkins and that man Suman Polepaka and newcomer Andy Norburn from Bury. Richard Polley kept things on the move with a well made 49 while Will Spicer, Tim Chambers and Joe Young all got into double figures. Bevin Guthrie undefeated on 51 and Adrian Sampson 32 threatened to gain a home win but in a nail biting finale a drawn game was achieved but only up to the last delivery. Ken Greenaway 2-26 and Sumen Polepaka 3-15 both bowling well when the chips were down whilst a stunning catch by skipper Pat Patel  all added to the drama of the last few overs. A superb game enjoyed by all, who said drawn games are boring!!!.

Eight Ash Greens hospitality all day was outstanding and its little wonder that this game figures highly on the two counties calendar.

Over 60 v Chelmer Veterans, Halstead CC, Wednesday 1st August 2018

Chelmer Veterans 195, O-60s 181-5
45 Overs match
Chelmer Veterans won by 14 runs

Chelmer Veterans batted first on a wicket that had been freshened up by some weekend rain. Les Gray (31) and Charles Lacey (8) opened up but with differing fortunes. Lacey, being starved of much of the bowling, struggled against Stuart Carpenter’s seamers while Gray scored quite freely off the spin of John Morgan. However, both these batters were back in the pavilion before Carpenter and Morgan had completed their 9 over spells, Carpenter, wicketless but economical, 0-18 and Morgan a touch more expensive at 2-34. Simon Cooper at 3 and Chris Abrehart at 4 added a quickfire partnership of 61 before Abrehart (40) was adjudged lbw Ian Robinson. 103-3 in the 25th. With a couple more wickets lost the Veterans innings looked like stalling with Cooper losing partners regularly. That is until he was joined by Chris Roper and together they added 52 for the 6th wicket in less than 8 overs. One over later, Cooer was finally dismissed for 82 by Kirin Patel. The Veteran’s innings then collapsed to the bowling of Alan Burt. Having bowled 7 overs 1-46 from the pavilion end, he then bowled final last two from the top end returning figures of 1.5 overs 4-7, the last 3 wickets coming in 4 balls. Veterans 195 all out at tea.
Trevor Mills (14) and David Adams (16) opened up for the Over 60’s but both were dismissed before being able to post a decent platform. One wicket each for opening bowlers, Jeff Gregory and Paul Brown. Next in was Stuart Stobbs but he didn’t last long having scored 12 off just 15 balls faced. At 52-3 in the 15th were apparently struggling with the required run rate starting to rise. Gerry Artindale (27) and Ian Robinson (30) got the recovery underway with a 44 run partnership off 59 deliveries before being dismissed by Chris Roper in the 24th and 28th overs respectively. The scoreboard now read 104-5 with just 17.4 overs remaining. Although Brian Robinson found scoring difficult, he at least prevented the fall of any further wickets. Now with skipper, Edgar Dunkley as a willing partner,
the runs began to flow and there were thoughts of an unlikely victory. 41 off the last 5 overs was just a few too many and the Over 60’s innings came to a close at 181-5, a mere 14 runs short. A gallant effort from Brian Robinson (24 not out) and Edgar Dunkley (50 not out off 49 balls).
A super day’s cricket splendidly hosted by Halstead CC.

Over 70 v Billericay Veterans, Halstead CC, Wednesday 1st August 2018

O-70 203-7 (Chris Leftwich 56*, Dave Hinchcliffe 34*, Alan Sims 27, Jerry Hadcock 26, W Morgan 3-26)
Billericay Veterans 151-5 (D Povey 70, Bruce Tompkins 3-30)
Over-70s won by 52 runs

This match at Halstead eventually got underway, after the visiting captain had tossed-up on the wrong pitch, with the wrong opposing captain. Two Counties batted first, and Alan Cooke and Mick Thew made a positive start, before departing in consecutive overs, Cooke to a very low return catch by Muldoon off a hard struck ball. Alan Sims made 27, and Chris Martin was unlucky to be run out when his sliding bat caught in a hole. Jerry Hadcock scored 27, as the last two partnerships made 114 from sixteen overs, Chris Leftwich making 56 from 48 balls, and David Hinchcliffe smashing 34 from just 16. Most successful of the visiting bowlers was Wayne Morgan, with 3 for 26.
Billericay Veterans were always behind the clock, with each of the opening bowlers, Hinchcliffe and Bruce Tompkins conceding just seventeen runs from their initial six over spells, and until Martin Southwell came in at the fall of the fifth wicket, in the thirtieth of the forty overs, with 99 still needed for victory, only D Povey had reached 20 before being stumped by Leftwich off Glyn Webster for 70. Tompkins finished with 3 for 30, including four maidens in his ten overs, as the Two Counties were comfortable winners by 52 runs.

Over 50 v President’s XI, Elmstead CC, Wednesday 25th July 2018

Two Counties Over 50 245/5 (Andrew Gallant 108, Stephen Henderson 64, Willie Mugleston 34, Glyn Webster 2-72).
President’s XI 203/7 (John Stuck 46, Don Curtis 37 Gerry Artindale 35, Brian Wilderspin-Webb 2/30.
Match Drawn

Yet again, a hot day, of relentless sun, and a proper cricket match, without restrictions on team or bowler’s overs. The Two Counties Over 50 side took the first innings, with a belligerent Stephen Henderson striking fourteen fours, and making 64 of an opening partnership of 76, before touching a Glyn Webster delivery to John Stuck behind the wicket. He was replaced by Andrew Gallant, and the score kept mounting. Gallant brought up his personal 50 off an equivalent number of balls. And the score had almost reached the 200 point when Mugleston became Webster’s second victim, also caught behind. The opening bowlers , Stuart Carpenter and Bruce Tompkins returned to the attack each picking up a wicket, including that of Gallant, who had turned his 50 into a century (from 78 balls). The innings was then declared with the run-out of David Adams.
Elmstead’s generous tea was taken between the innings, before the fun-in-the-sun resumed. Wickets seemed to fall a little easier now, helped by the run-out of Stuck for 46, Gerry Artindale’s 35 and Don Curtis’s 37 kept the President’s side in the game for a while, but as the required run-rate crept up three wickets fell between 180 and 181, (two in an over to Brian Wilderspin-Webb) and they eventually settled for the draw, just passing the 200 mark in their penultimate over. To those of you reading this who think that a draw must be dull, this match was live until the last few balls, and more entertaining than many overs games. Give proper cricket a try.

Over 70s v Hockerill Veterans, 18th July 2018 @ Halstead CC

O-70s 228-6 (John Stuck 76, Bevin Guthrie 47*, Mike Thew 30, Alan Cooke 27, P Francis
Hockerill Veterans 230-1 (A Jadego 155* G McKay 44, A Waheed 20*)
Hockerill Veterans won by 9 wickets

A little cloudier than of late, and latterly a little cooler, for this match on Morton’s Field, a game that ultimately turned out one-sided. The Two Counties batted first, and John Stuck and Mike Thew made a promising start, and in the parched conditions had put 59 on the board before the latter was caught in the tenth over. Stuck and Willie Mugleston took the score into three figures, and Bevin Guthrie, who finished just three runs short of his fifty, and Jerry Hadcock were prolific at the tail of the innings, pushing the final score, from 40 overs, to 228. Most successful of the visitors bowlers was P Francis with 3 for 54.
Fifty-four was a popular number of runs to concede, as two Two Counties bowlers suffered the same fate in their eight overs. They shall remain nameless, as this was not a bowling performance likely to remain long in the memory for good reasons, as only one wicket was claimed, and this was the result of a dropped caught and bowled, which clattered into the stumps with the non-striker backing-up!
The Bishops Stortford side achieved the target with most of six overs to spare, and eight batsmen unused.
Still, the Halstead tea was up to its usual standards, and a jolly time was spent in the bar following the conclusion of the match.

Over 60s v Suffolk O-60s XI, 11th July 2018 @ Worlingworth CC

Over 60s 259-6 (John Stuck 129*, Mick Thew 38)
Suffolk Over 60 3rds 226-6 (M Pope 70, David Adams 33, Gerry Artindale 31*, S Cooper 28)
Over-60s won by 33 runs

Worlingworth, and when the sun came out, a warm afternoon, with the currently popular two drinks breaks per innings, on a low, slow pitch. Alan Sims and Mick Thew opened to the bowling of Gordon Funnell and Bobby Cole, and thirty were on the board before the former fell victim to Cole, whose figures were at that stage 1-5, each over costing a single, and to be followed by three maidens, before an expensive ninth and final over ruined his figures. John Stuck made a slow start before finding some fluency, and he and Thew took the score into three figures before the latter returned to the pavilion. Bevin Guthrie helped add a further sixty-six, Jerry Hadcock was unfortunately run out without scoring, and Alan Cooke and Chris Martin registered single-figure scores, With Edgar Dunkley scoring five from just three balls, Stuck increased his impressive tally of centuries to finish on 129 not out.
After a splendid tea, The Suffolk Over 60s third eleven, a new venture this season, strengthened a little on this occasion, made a slow, but solid start, and 74 had been posted before Dunkley bowled Cooper with just over an hour played. Brian Turley, playing I understand his first game of the season trapped David Adams lbw for 33, the first of his two victims, and returning for a second spell, skipper Dunkley bowled Pope for 70. With two wickets also for Guthrie, the Two Counties were generally held the upper hand, and restricted the Suffolk eleven to 226 for 6, in their 45 overs.

Over 50s v Gents of Essex/CID, 4th July 2018 @ Abberton CC

Gents of Essex/CID 240-7 (J Couchman 106*, D Griffiths 52*, Chris Hills 2/29, Terry Charrington 2/24, Trevor Money 2/60)
Over-50s 243-4 (Bevin Guthrie 77, Trevor Money 72*, Sudy Trevedi 35, Nick Meakin 29)
Over-50s won by 6 wickets

Yet another hot day for this all-day match , with the Police batting first at Abberton. An unbalanced opening partnership was ended on 27 when Mark Rynn tried to work a Tony Oram ball, instead of hitting it, and was caught by local Mark Paget, behind the stumps for 21. Chris Hills then picked up two wickets in fairly short order, and after the lunch break, wickets continued to fall regularly around John Couchman, with the sixth and seventh going down, to consecutive Trevor Money deliveries on 137, in the 42nd over. Then Dave Griffiths joined Couchman, and these two entered into some hard-hitting, adding 103 for the eighth wicket, both finishing undefeated at the declaration, with Couchman on 106, and Griffiths reaching his fifty from the final ball.

With only three overs to be bowled before the tea interval, there was a suggestion by some that the declaration had been delayed a little too long, but after the interval the batsmen, some after a period of settling-in, began to regularly find the boundary, and additionally four three’s were run (remember the weather notes at the beginning). Nick Meakin struck 29 in just sixteen balls, and Sudy Trevedi reached 35, but the match winning partnership was between Trevor Money (72 not out from 82 balls) and Bevin Guthrie, 77 from 54 balls, and the Two Counties reached their target with nearly six of the last twenty overs unused.

The Abberton club provided all with a magnificent and varied lunch, and then also a wonderful tea. The playing facilities were in top condition, and they were generally superb hosts throughout the day.

Yorkshire Over-60s Select XI v Over 50’s Tour XI – Thursday 28th June 2018 @ Skipton CC

Over-50s Tour XI 173/7 (Steve Bulger 41, Neville Allen 30, Robert Wynn 28, Steve Isaac 26)
Yorkshire Over-60s Select XI 174/4 J Sharpe 51, M Rawlings 47, M Richards 47)
Yorkshire O-60s Select XI won by 6 wickets
Day 4: Skipton: continuing heat.
So to the last game. A town ground, flanked by rugby pitches on two sides. Nice playing area, but facilities in need of updating (in the pipe-line, we were told).
Two Counties batted first, on a pitch towards the edge of the square, and lost early wickets, before Steve Bulger, coming in at six, batted belligerently, with eight fours in his first fifteen balls faced, and with Steve Isaac, added 61 for the sixth wicket in just twenty minutes. 28 and 30 from guest players Robert Wynn and Neville Allen helped the score at the end of the innings to 173 for 7.
The hosts made steady progress, with a hundred partnership for the first wicket, and the opening three batsmen each scored around the fifty mark, and although they did not achieve their victory until the last over, it never really seemed in doubt, although Phil Cox claimed two late victims. In almost oppressive heat, this was probably the least effective team performance of the week.

Sutton-in-Craven Seniors v Over-50s Tour XI, Wednesday, 27th June 2018 @ Sutton CC

Over-50s Tour XI 203-5 (N.Meakin 85 no, J.Gallant 38 no, B.Hollis 3-21)
Sutton-in-Craven Seniors 174 (M.Dudley 51, S.Tillotson 29, B.Guthrie 6-26)
Over-50s Tour XI won by 29 runs (40 over match)

Day Three: Sutton-in-Craven: More heat

Sutton-in-Craven is a new venue for the tour, a ground where previous spartan facilities have only recently been upgraded with a new commodious pavilion, and it is beside a beck (small stream), which accommodated the ball os several occasions, including a first over six.
Batting first, on a day in which drinks were taken at ten over intervals, the Two Counties team started solidly before John Stuck was forced to retired “pulled up – lame” at the first break. Robert Wynn, a guest from Steeton, was joined by Nick Meakin, who continued his prolific run of form, while wickets fell steadily at the other end, including Steve Bulger to a magnificent catch. This preferable to saying “for a magnificent duck, the first by a tourist on this tour”. This did bring John Gallant to the crease, and with some strong running, he and Nick Meakin added an unbroken 92 for the sixth wicket to close the innings on 203-5.
When we took to the field, Bruce Tompkins in tailored, just below the knee shorts, fielded as a substitute for John Stuck.
Sutton, in the persons of M.Dudley and S.Tillotson, started brightly and 50 runs were displayed on the board of the remote, hot, scorebox, before Stuart Carpenter attracted the edge of Tillotson’s bat. Thereafter, New Zealander, Bevin Guthrie struck regularly, and he went on to become the first bowler to claim six wickets in an innings on an Over-50s tour. This swung the game our way, and despite a stubborn ninth wicket stand between a younger player and a veteran said to not have played for nigh on thirty years, the game was finished by two wickets in consecutive deliveries from Steve Bulger.
Try as I might to avoid it, mention must once again be made of the food. A good tea, and a wonderful curry after the match, with many extras, coupled with the excellent hospitality one has come to expect in this part of England.
Charles “Pretty Boy” Revell.

Steeton Seniors v Over 50’s Tour XI, Tuesday, June 26th 2018 @Steeton CC

Over-50s Tour XI 200-5 (N.Meakin 60, J.Stuck 50 no, A.Cooke 24no, M.Thew 20)
Steeton Seniors 203-7 (P.Barrett 53no, I.Price 31, A.Howarrth 27, A.Burt 3-40, B.Guthrie 3-44)
Steeton Seniors won by 3 wickets, 35 over match

Day Two: Steeton in continued heat and brightness, with a strong heat-haze over the nearby railway. In these conditions, a 35 over game was agreed, with an hour long interval between innings to enable the bowlers to participate fully in the splendid mid-match meal.
An early onslaught from Mike Thew saw fifteen on the board after just two overs, but the score was barely doubled before both openers had returned to the pavilion. Nick Meakin continued hos good form of the day before, and he struck 13 boundaries in a 69-ball innings of 60. He and Stuart Carpenter double the score after the third wicket had fallen before the latter was run out, self-inflicted punishment! John Stuck and Alan Cooke then added an undefeated 74 for the sixth wicket, with John’s half-century coming off the final ball. In the spirit of the game, Steeton used ten bowlers.
Their charge for victory started brightly, with the opening pair putting on 57. By the time the total had reached 97, four wickets had fallen, two each for Alan Burt and Bevin Guthrie. Each was to add a further wicket to their haul. P.Barrett, with hardly a dot ball in the scorebook, pushed the game away from us, eventually reaching a half-century with the match winning four.
On a more positive note, the Tour XI, did win the excellent tea-time cake eating contest! Failure was never going to happen after Steve Isaac had warmed up on the chocolate cake at Embsay, and it continued with the three varities of such cake at Steeton, He almost ate more cakes than he scored runs!
Charles “Dickens” Revell.

Embsay v Over-50s Tour XI, Monday, 25th June 2018 @ Embsay CC

Over-50s Tour XI 254-5 (N.Meakin 93, J.Gallant 45, J.Stuck 25, M.Thew 21)
Embsay Seniors 245 (D.Buller 91, N.Allen 43, S.Robinson 45, M.Ellison 35, B.Tompkins 4-38)
Over-50s Tour XI won by 9 runs (40 over match)

The 2018 tour is, by all forecasts, sure to be played in glorious weather. This match was certainly such, light, ephemeral clouds, little breeze. At this typical Yorkshire ground in hills, cows, sheep, and the Embsay Steam Railway. Well, perhaps, the latter is not typical.
Steve Isaac, having won the toss, decided to bat and John Stuck got the tour underway with a single from the first ball, although he followed up with, by his standards, an unusually brief innings. Nick Meakin making 93 before Digger’s finger, hit the first six, and he and John Gallant, 40, added 95 for the third wicket. The middle order took the eventual total, from 40 overs to 254-5, before an excellent tea; perhaps too much in the cake line. A thought echoed by the captain, who was rendered speechless by copious slices of the chocolate cake!! (If I keep going on about teas, I may be confused with Ron Raisey).
When Embsay batted, Bruce Tompkins in particular, was in miserly form, conceding just twelve from his first four overs. Wickets fell in batches, but some belligerent batting from S.Robinson, 45 in 21 minutes from 21 balls, put the Yorkshire hosts within sight of victory, but following his removal by Tompkins, the last four wickets, which included John Stuck’s stumping of Buller, who had batted through for 91, added only eleven runs to leave the Two Counties nine run victors. The final wicket falling four balls from the end of the contest to give Tompkins figures of 4-38.
One win on the board, now onwards and upwards to Steeton.
Charles “Lindbergh” Revell.

Over 60 v Chelmer Vets, Wednesday 20th June 2018, @ Copford CC

Chelmer Vets 223 for 3 (S Cooper 120 no, M Rynn 50 no)
Over-60s 224 for 4 (John Stuck 108, Martin Southwell 65 no)
O-60s won by 6 wickets

As is clear from the brief score details above, this match at Copford was dominated by batsmen, each side producing a centenarian. On a warm, slightly muggy, day, with sunshine coming and going between white clouds, visitors Chelmer Vets took the first innings, and after suffering an early run-out, courtesy of Martin Southwell’s direct hit, built steadily, before New Zealand visitor Bevin Guthrie took a caught-and-bowled chance. Southwell’s upheld (by Ray Digweed) lbw claim in the nineteenth over was the last wicket to fall, as Simon Cooper, who finished not out on 120, and Mark Rynn, in one of those fortunate innings where luck is on one’s side, and who reached his fifty off the penultimate ball added 152 for the fourth wicket. Although taking no wicket, Ian Robinson’s bowling was probably the best, conceding just 31 runs form his, early, ten overs.
What a glorious tea, full salad available, along with apple pie and custard; your correspondent cannot recall having custard at a cricket tea in over fifty years of cricket.
The Two Counties suffered two early losses, but John Stuck was looking in ominous form, and with Don Curtis added 71 for the third wicket. The latter’s departure brought Southwell to the middle, and 67 further were added before, having reached his 95-ball century two fours earlier, Stuck nicked one to the wicket-keeper. Southwell and Alan Elsbury then proceeded to add the final 47 runs needed for victory, having eleven balls to spare.
Curiously, there was not a single bye in either innings, and although the wicket-keepers had a good day, it was definitely not a day for bowlers.

Over 50s v Nomads, 19th June 2018 @ Kelvedon CC

Nomads 258-9 off 52 overs  (Arora 116,  Thornton 59,  Taylor  6-64)
O-50s  186-7 off 45 overs (Patel 39, Tompkins 32,  Arora 5-36)
Match drawn

Nomads won the toss and decided to bat, on a hot and humid day, on what looked a dry hard pitch.  Both openers played some good shots in partnership of 163, especially Ash Arora, who went on to score 116, Thornton was bowled for 59, The O-50s managed to keep most of other batsmen fairly quite and, Graham Taylor, making his debut picked up six wickets. Nomads declared on 258-9 off 52 overs. 
In reply the Over-50s got off to a decent start with 61 runs coming off elevemn overs,  however with introduction of Ash Arora, bowling left arm chinamen, this changed the game completely as not only he took wickets, but no one could score runs off him. He turned the ball up to two feet most of the time. He finished up bowling 15 overs and took 5-36 as the O-50s held out for a draw.
Special mention on Mumbai based player, Ash Arora for wonderful batting and bowling. Ash loves playing here and flies in to play cricket in our summers. 

Thanks to Kelvedon for the wonderful hospitality and very nice facilities.

Over 50s v Halstead Seniors, 13th June 2018 @ Halstead CC

Over-50s 249 for 3, (P Tomkins 119no E Davy 58)
Halstead Seniors 250 for 6, (R Holman 53, M Johnson 48, J Clinch 44no  D Hinchcliffe 2-37, K Trevedi 2-38)
Halstead Seniors won by 4 wickets (45 over match)

The ground at Halstead looked superb and and the pitch was hard and looked full of runs. The Two Counties won the toss and batted first, Patel was trapped in front lbw in the 3rd over, but Phil tomkins with a superb innings of 119 not out, well supported by Artindale (29) Davy (58) and Meakin 23 not out saw TC post 249-3 off their 45 overs, John Clinch bowled 9 overs for only 26 runs.  
In reply, Halstead lost early wicket of Dicker lbw to Hills, after this the game was in balance for long spells as Mark Johnson (48) Richard Holman (53) and David Rawlinson (34) kept the scoreboard ticking.  After 35 overs Halstead were 193-6, K Trevedi and Dave Hinchcliffs taking two wickets each.  One more wicket then would have put TC in very strong position,  however that man John Clinch, with 44 not out, saw Halstead home with three overs to spare, in a very well contested game.

Over 60s v Hockerill Veterans, 13th June 2018 @ Halstead CC

Hockerill Veterans 166-6 (P Smith 75, G Irving 26, A Wahid 26, M Southwell 2-14, J Gallant 2-11)
Over-60s 167-3 (M Southwell 76*, S Stobbs 35*, S Isaac 27, Wahid 2/29)
Over-60s won by 7 wickets (45 over match)

Morton’s Field, Halstead, and June, with warm and clear skies, becoming hazier at times during the afternoon. Outfields seem generally less fast than usual this season, and this was no exception, which resulted in Senior Citizens needing to chase balls that would normally be left to go for four. Indeed, at least two balls stopped within inches of the white line!

Hockerill’s skipper won the toss, and elected to bat, and the more ambitious ‘Viv’ Jadego struck 14 in an opening partnership of 20 before missing a straight one from Bruce Tompkins. The more circumspect George Irving, together with Paul Smith, the latter seeming slightly more reluctant to take on the fielders when his partner was on strike, pushed the score to 96, at only around three per over, before John Stuck stumped the former off Glyn Webster, Asim Wahid made 26 from 32 balls, before becoming the first of Martin Southwell’s two victims, at a cost of only 14 runs from his nine overs.; the other was Smith, caught for 75. John Gallant, captain, took two wickets for 11 at the death, as Hockerill closed on 166 from their 45 overs.

After tea, the Two Counties lost two early wickets, before a partnership of 59 between Steve Isaac and Martin Southwell steadied matters. This took them almost halfway to the required total, and Southwell and Stuart Stobbs added the remaining runs in one ball over eleven overs, finishing respectively on 76 and 35, (with ten and six boundaries) for a comfortable victory, with just under ten overs unused.

Kelvedon & Feering Seniors v Over-50s, @ Kelvedon CC on Thursday 7th June 2018

Over 50’s 199-5 Dec, Terry Charrington, 58no, Trevor Money 26no.
Kelvedon & Feering Seniors 200-6, Stuart Stobbs 66no, Phil Tompkins 42, Mick Warner 34.
Kelvedon & F. Seniors won by 4 wickets

It was slow going before lunch as 45 overs only yielded 145 runs, thanks mainly to a patient 46 from Kevin Ross. 3-36 from Dave Peperell had helped to stem the flow of the morning session’s runs. From the 18 overs after lunch, Terry Charrington, 58 not out and Trevor Money 26 not out added an unbroken 84 to enable the visitors to set a target of 199-5.

Mick Warner, 34, and Phil Tompkins, 42, were making light of the target, the scoreboard reading 67 before Warner became the first of the three wickets to fall before the tea interval. Tompkins was dismissed with the first ball after the break leaving Stuart Stobbs, 66 not out, to see the hosts home with just 3 overs of the day’s play remaining.

Over 60’s v Surrey Over 60’s @ Ipswich CC on Wednesday 6th June, 2018

Two Counties O60’s 266-6 Simon Rippingale 67, Jon Wiseman 57, Stuart Stobbs 48*, A Cassie 3 for 41
Surrey O60’s 215-8 D Ross 60, G Howgate 42, I Robinson 2 for 37

45 Overs per side match, Two Counties Seniors won by 51 runs..

Jon Wiseman 57 and Simon Rippingale 67 enjoyed a splendid 99 run partnership for the third wicket after the Two Counties had lost two early wickets. In contrast, it was a rapid 69 run partnership from just eight overs between Stuart Stobbs, 48 not out, and John Gallant, 34 that enabled the home XI to post a very challenging target. Cassie was the pick of the bowlers with 3-41

Thorpe, 40, and D Ross, 60, built a solid platform after losing an early wicket and from 71-2, Howgate, 42, then looked to be putting Surrey on course for a close finish. Alas, the running out of Howgate brought on a mid-order collapse and the slowing of the run rate. With victory now out of sight, captain G Ross, 33 not out, added some respectability to the Surrey score. Ian Robinson, 2-37, returned the best bowling figures for Two Counties.

Ipswich Seniors v O-70s – Wednesday 6th June, 2018 @ Ipswich CC

Ipswich Seniors 130-9 (R Ratford 29, D Adams 20, J Stonehouse 5 for 44)
Two Counties O-70 131-4 (J Hadcock 46, J Stuck 23*)
Two Counties O-70s won by 6 wickets

Ipswich, sunshine and a low and slow scoring game, in which both sides saw a batsman retire hurt. The hosts batted first in a 40 over (per side) game, and the score advanced at only a little above two per over against the opening attack of Bruce Tompkins whose 13 overs included a spell of three consecutive maidens, only broken by a last-ball misfield in the fourth, and a non-bowler no-ball in the fifth, cost 24 runs, and Glyn Webster, whose nine overs were scarcely more expensive. A clearly handicapped Graham Howell retired on 15, following which Ricky Radford and Neal Manning compiled the highest partnership of the innings, 28; Ratford was the top-scorer, despite his 29 being boundary-free. John Stonehouse took his fifth wicket, in 11 overs, with the final ball of the innings, and the Two Counties team were left with a target of 131 to win.
They did not start too well, losing a wicket to the second ball, and affairs moved at only a modest pace thereafter, with the first boundary not coming until the twentieth over, by which time Willie Mugleston had accumulated 19 runs, and shortly after which Brian Robinson became the second batsman to retire hurt in the afternoon. This retirement brought John Stuck to the wicket, and the only other alarm was the departure of Jerry Hadcock, having scored 46 from sixty-eight balls, Stuck (23 not out) and Steve Isaac seeing the team home with twenty-seven balls to spare.
Your correspondent likes oddities, and one occurring in this game was no leg-byes before the seventieth over, and then two in that over, and the only other one two overs later.

Over 60s v Hockerill Veterans, 30th May 2018 @ Chadacre Hall, Shrimpling.

Hockerill Veterans 146 for 3 (P Smith 81*, A Jadego 31*, A Mills 2-24)
Two Counties O-60s 147 for 2 (J Gallant 64*, E Dunkley 60)
Two Counties O-60s won by 8 wickets (40 over match)

We were told that the weather could well be inclement on Wednesday, and certainly conditions, on arrival at Chadacre Hall (your correspondent’s first visit to this delightfully picturesque, but underused, ground) were not promising, with a complete cloud covering, which lasted until well into the second innings, but produced no rain. Hockerill Veterans (one of whom was a long way from that, on half-term, due to a late call-off) batted first, and began very slowly, as Andy Mills and David Hinchcliffe produced a succession of maiden overs, and when the first wicket fell to the latter in the eleventh over, the score was made of eleven singles and a bye. Indeed, Hinchcliffe’s spell of nine overs included four maidens and cost just twelve runs, and two wickets for Mills reduced them to 18 for 3 halfway through the fourteenth over. The scoring rate did improve, and when Martin Southwell bowled Clarke with his final ball in his first over, the score had risen to 49. Smith, with some hard blows, scored an unbeaten 81, rather more than half his team’s total, as the next partnership added 97 before the overs ran out.

After an excellent tea, provided by Mrs Newman, with a little help from Hugh, Alan Sims and John Gallant made a gentle start, approaching three runs per over (the outfield although not large, was not discernibly quicker than earlier) but when Edgar Dunkley joined Gallant, the scoring rate rose steadily. Dunkley was stumped for 60 (fifty of 45 balls) just 15 further runs were needed, and when John Stuck struck the winning single, Gallant had reached 64 (fifty from 53 balls), and more than 15 overs remained unused, and as implied earlier, the match was concluded in sunshine.

Over 70s v Billericay O-70s, 29th May 2018 @ Billericay CC, 1.30pm

Match cancelled

Over 50s v Essex Seniors, 24th May 2018 @ Elmstead CC, 1.30pm

Essex O 60s 147 for 8. P Wakefield 48, M Bawa 35,  T Money 2-22.
Two Counties O 50s 148 for 1.  S Trevedi 66, P Tompkins 63no
M H Two Counties won by 9 wickets (45 over match)

Essex Over 60s were put into bat and with some very tight bowling from the opening bowlers, Dave Hinchcliffe and Trevor Money, they restricted the flow of runs from the Essex openers with the first wicket falling in the seventh over to Hinchcliffe; and quickly followed by a wicket for Money; in the next over with Essex on 26 for 2. M.Bawa went on to make 35 before falling to a great catch from Eric Davy. Hinchcliffe was the pick of the bowling with nine overs, six maidens, 1-10. The only other notable runs scored by Paul Wakefield, who scored 48,  but after a great stop from Trevedi who threw into Mark Paget behind the wicket and  whipped the bails off before he got his half century. Further great footwork from Stuart Stobbs, who flipped the ball up with his feet and threw into Paget, who was again quick to take the bails off for a further run out. Essex finished there allotted overs having scored 147 for 8 wickets.
The Two Counties Over-50s side went into bat and attacked from the start, with openers Tompkins and Trevedi, scoring 63 and 66 not out respectively, the only wicket falling to  Martin Southwell. The Two Counties side achieved the required runs in the 31st over.
Man of the match awards went to Paul Wakefield for Essex, and Trevedi for the Two Counties side.

Over 60s v Richard Kemp’s XI, 23rd May 2018 @ Long Melford CC, 1.30pm

Two Counties O-60s 240-6 (I.Robinson 114, S.Stobbs 48, D.Curtis 47, P.Wakefield 2-51)
Richard Kemp’s XI 176-9 (A.Gallant 64, B.Byford 36, C.Hills 4-47, B.Tompkins 2-41)
Two Counties O-60s won by 64 runs (45 over match)

There was a slight chill in air at Long Melford, after a few pleasantly warm days, the mercury did not hold up after the break. This can probably be attributed to some spectacularly spooky events happening during the course of this 45 over match. Stuart Carpenter did bag a wicket in this first over for the Kempites, but that was probably as good as it got for them. from 3-1 the score moved serenely to 209-3, and most of this is down to the batting of Ian Robinson. He claims he has not scored a century in this century, with his last one coming in a works match way back in the last quarter of the last century. Looking like he could solve England’s opening bat problems, he effortlessly stroked his way to 114 before he could not be bothered to regain his ground and was stumped. He received admirable assistance from Stuart Stobbs, 48, and Don Curtis, who scored 47 before walking off thinking he had been dismissed. He had not so the scorebook reads “retired”. A few late wickets fell as a total of 240-6 was posted for the hosts to chase.
Again a wicket fell in the second over, and later when Chris Hills became the third bowler in less than one week to take a wicket with his first ball, reduced them to 56-2 and it got rid of the dangerous Bill Byford for 36. John Stuck batted just like John Stuck, except that this John Stuck got out for 21. Andrew Gallant did his best to keep the Kempites in the fight, but it all fell apart as Chris Hills claimed 4-47.
In the end, to the background noise of garden machinery running in a neighbouring garden but seemingly not actually being used, the Kempites saw their challenge fade as the mercury dropped, and they ended on 176-9.

Over 70s v Hertfordshire Over 70s, 22nd May 2018 @ Copford CC, 1.30pm

Two Counties O-70s 174-7 (B J Ball 44, R.Ratford 41, S.Isaac 27 no, J.Permutt 3-36)
Hertfordshire O-70s 175-3 (M.Lurie 78 no, T.Lousaoa 50 no, B J Ball 2-35)
Hertfordshire O-70s won by 7 wickets (40 over match)

It was a glorious, warm and sunny day at the idyllic setting of Copford Cricket Club, the birds were singing, the jets were buzzing around overhead, and the road resurfacing crew were making an awful racket in the road alongside the ground. Steve Isaac won the toss for the Two Counties team and immediately decided to bat. This looked to be an excellent decision as Barry Ball and Ricky Ratford put on 70 for the first wicket before Ratford departed for 41. Decent progress continued to see the scoreboard read 106-2, but then it all went a tad awry. Badger departed, stumped, for 44, and before long it was 133-6. Willie Muggleston had scored 20, but it was his demise that heralded the slump. In the end Steve Isaac saw us through to the conclusion of the forty overs, with 27 not out, as we finally closed on 174-7.
Tea was far too scrummy, with this leading to our fielders being totally unable to move more than two feet in attempts to stop the ball. However three wickets were taken as the Hertfordshire teams reached 53. B J Ball, even taking a wicket with his first ball, which he tells me is the first time in his career he has done that. One more chance was offered but spilled, as the opposition breezed their way to 175-3 with seven overs to spare. Mike Lurie hitting a very decent 78 not out, assisted by “Lucy” Lousaso just reaching his half-century with the winning runs.
It may have ended in defeat, but a good afternoon was had by all.

Over 60s v Surrey Over-60s, 17th May 2018 @ Halstead CC, 1.30pm

Surrey Over-60s 144-8 (G.Ross 41no, A.Beaumont 26, G.Webster 3-34, D.Hinchcliffe 2-20, M.Southwell 2-13)
Two Counties Over-60s 148-3 (J.Wiseman 88no, S.Stobbs 30)
Two Counties Over-60s won by 7 wickets (45 over match)

Awesome domination by the Two Counties Over-60s against the travelling Surrey squad. From the first ball of the second over, when Dave Hinchcliffe bowled Thorpe for 0, the Two Counties never let their vice-like grip loosen. The only significant innings came from G.Ross, who came in when the score was 76-5  in the 27th over, and he remained through to the end of the 45 overs, as he guided Surrey to 144-8, with 41 not out. Hinchcliffe and Martin Southwell both claimed two wickets, and Glyn Webster wobbled his way to 3-34 his nine overs.
After the break, Jon Wiseman simply took over and dominated. There was a sprinkling of wickets loss, but Jon ended with 88 not out, aided by 30 from Stuart Stobbs. Stuart being absolutely shell-shocked t0 see the stumps go flying while he anbled a run. He was not quite sure if a fielder using one of those dog ball throwing things is actually legal in cricket. However, before he could get a definitive answer from Lords, the winning runs were scored with more than 15 overs to spare.

Over 50s v Essex Police Veterans, 17th May 2018 @ Halstead CC, 1.30pm

Essex Police Veterans 173 (K Cooper 73, T Money 3-33)
Two Counties O 50 174 for 6 (N Meakin 71, K Ross 31)
Two Counties Over-50s won by 4 wickets (45 over match)

On a bright, warmish day at Halstead, both sides seemed to feel that actually catching an opponent out was a little bit unfair, and the number of catches spilled was remarkable, but no further mention of that. Essex Police Veterans won the toss and chose to bat, losing their first wicket in the second over, to Tony Oram. The next partnership took the score to 67, before Rynn fell to Ken Greenaway, and a further 31 runs had been added before Trevor Money ran out Couchman. At this stage, Essex Police seemed to have the upper hand, but although each of the following partnerships added in excess of thirty runs, the Two Counties were pegging back the scoring rate, and eventually bowled their visitors out for 173, with Trevor Money finishing the innings with a hat-trick. Cooper, sixth out, had made 73 of these.

The Two Counties innings did not start particularly well, with wickets falling regularly before Nick Meakin and Kevin Ross, the former in particular playing a belligerent innings, added a hundred for the fifth wicket. When Ross was out for 31, just seventeen further runs were needed, and although Meakin also left before the end, the victory was achieved with eight overs unused, and all were able to enjoy the products of the Halstead bar.

Over 70s v East Anglian Ladies, 15th May 2018 @ Mistley CC, 1.30pm

East Anglian Ladies 220 for 6 (Sue Miller 77, Candy Cornelius 29, Anne Scammell 28, Charlie Withams 2 for 37)
MH Two Counties Over 70s 205 for 8 (Jerry Hadcock 37, Graham Howell 29, Candy Cornelius 4 for 25)
East Anglian Ladies won by 15 runs (40 over match)

This was a first for the Over 70s: a match against a ladies XI. They are a newly formed group. Their veteran age began at 40 and this age gap was subsequently to show itself in their fielding, where their younger ones could race to the ball and throw it in!

Only one concession was made (it was a 40 over game): a wide incurred 2 runs and no extra ball.

The ladies began badly and the Over 70s started to fear a short match. Fear not! Whilst Sue Miller (77) stood firm, Candy Cornelius (a Suffolk Ladies player) hit hard for 29 and then Anne Scamnell partnered Sue Miller in a 100+ stand. They faced some very steady probing Maldon bowling from Charlie Withams, ‘Badger’ Ball and particularly Richard Powell (1-25 off 7). Sue Miller was undefeated and their innings closed on a respectable 220.

The Two Counties also began poorly, losing ‘Badger’ Ball LBW and Alan Cooke to a skidder. Candy Cornelius bowled at a good pace and the ball often hustled through with a low bounce. Willie Mugleston (23) batted well whilst wickets fell. When he went, Jerry Hadcock (37) and Graham Howell (29) set about the bowling and got us close. At the end The Two Counties fell 15 runs short as Candy Cornelius came back with two quick wickets. So 205-8 was a losing score.

It was good fun; it was proper cricket and we hope it becomes an annual season opener for the Over 70s.

Over 50s team v Middlesex O-50s, 10th May 2018 @ Kelvedon CC, 1.30pm

Two Counties O-50s 140 (Tompkins 55, Davy 22, Joshi 3-32)
Middlesex O-50s 141-4 (Mangat 49, Alexander 39)
Middlesex Over-50s won by 6 wickets (45 over match)

A slightly cooler day than recently, at Kelvedon, and the Over 50s, heavily based on Frinton-on-Sea, suffered defeat by their Middlesex counterparts. Losing the toss, the Two Counties were asked to bat, and a slow start resulted in a score of 22/3 at the fifteen over mark. Eric Davy’s 22 brought some acceleration to the innings, but Nick Meakin’s quick 13 was the only other double-figure score apart from Phil Tompkins’ dominating and initially patient 55, before he was ninth out in a total of 140 in the 42nd over. Joshi took three wickets, but none of the other six bowlers went unsuccessful.

Although never seemingly in trouble, Middlesex took until the 43rd over to actually surpass this score. Both openers were retired after fifteen overs, and Singh shortly followed, before Mohammed (25 not out) and Mangat, caught for 49, took the visitors to within ten runs of victory. Tony Oram bowled his nine overs for 24, and Kaushic Trevedi went for only a miserly 17 in his nine overs, whilst the wickets fell to Trevor Money and Stephen Henderson.

Over 60s v Billericay Veterans, 10th May 2018 @ Billericay CC, 1.30pm

Two Counties Seniors Over 60s 192 for 7, (Stuart Stobbs 61, John Gallant 37, Simon Rippingale 26).
Billericay Veterans 61 all out, (Bruce Tompkins 3 for 9, Stuart Stobbs 2 for 7, Dave Hinchcliffe 2 for 22, Martin Southwell 1 for 3).
Two Counties Seniors won by 131 runs. (40 over match)
The Two Counties Seniors visited the well appointed Billericay ground on a sunny day and returned with a resounding victory by 131 runs. The Two Counties compiled an excellent total of 192 for 7 in their 40 overs.  This was based on a superb 61 from Stuart Stobbs supported by 37 from John Gallant and 26 from Simon Rippingale.  The run rate was consistent throughout the innings with all the batsmen looking for opportunities to score runs.
 The Billericay Veterans reply got off to the worst possible start with superb opening spells by Bruce Tompkins and Dave Hinchcliffe which reduced them to 33 for 7 after 16 overs.  They were assisted by some very keen fielding and catching, none more so than Bruce himself, who ran out the non striker with footwork of the highest standard, which would not have been out of place at Wembley Stadium.
 The support bowlers, Martin Southwell, Glyn Webster and Stuart Stobbs continued the good work such that Billericay were all out for 61 in the 29th over, completing the victory.  The hospitality from Billericay was excellent as always; this continued in the bar afterwards where they were starting to plan for revenge in the return fixture on 6 September.
 Man of The Match – Stuart Stobbs 61 and 2 for 7.
 PS.  The Two Counties Captain had a frightfully busy morning but he did promise to be on time in future.

Over 50s team v Norfolk O-50s, 2nd May 2018 @ Copford CC, 1.30pm

This match has now been cancelled due to the inclement weather conditions prevailing.

Over-50s v Suffolk Over-50s, Mistley CC, 25th April

(45 over game)
Two Counties 140 all out  E Davy 29, G Artindale 27.  K Crossley 3-22, A Simmons 2-23, J Nicholl 2-27.
Match abandoned.

The first game of the 2018 season sadly was abandoned at 5.30 following some heavy rain at Mistley. The M H Two Counties had made 140 before being bowled out in the 42nd over. Pat Patel and Gerard Artindale opened with a partnership of 35, not entirely without dilemma, and Artindale’s 27 from 41 balls, was only surpassed by Eric Davy’s 29, also from 41 balls . Everybody else contributed something with Martin Southwell finishing undefeated on 15.

The early damage was done by Kevin Crossley with three wickets at a personal cost of 22 from his nine overs whilst Andy Simmons and John Nicholls ended with 2 wickets each. A disappointing start to the season

Golf Day 2018

It was a chilly day, but the rain stayed away as fifteen players took to the first tee. John Warner from Frinton Golf Club, guest of Ian Robinson, was the sole debutant. Steve Dack had the luxury of having Ray Digweed as his caddie, but apart from pushing an electric trolley round the course, he proved to be of no further assistance! Tex Rogers chose to follow the first group, the Halstead Cricket club contingent and proved to be a very much needed ball spotter.

Martin Southwell ran away with the competition with 43 points from his outrageous handicap of 24 (Benton Hall handicap committee please note!). Ian Robinson (handicap 17) was the runner-up with 38 points and a young Dan Hooper, guest of Rupert Haxell, was third with 36 points from his 21 handicap. Vicki Khan, playing off 17, won the ladies competition, being the only participant, with a creditable 34 points. Stuart Carpenter “won” the booby prize with 21 points, with the consolation that it was the highest ever score to be the lowest in the history of the competition. The nearest the pin competition on the 7th hole was won by Steve Dack and on the 17th hole by Stuart Berger. Rupert Haxell did well to complete the round, his knee causing him trouble, but he was caught for speeding round the course in an invalid carriage!

Lloyd Rayner – unable to play this year – accompanied by Brian Firmin (that grumpy umpire from Halstead) joined us for another excellent meal, following which Pat Patel, our 50+ captain, presented the prizes.

John Stuck

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