Match Reports, 2020
Racqueteers v The Milbury’s .
23rd August 2020.
Whilst rain showers were all around – over Winchester and in the Meon Valley – we were blessed with a dry and predominantly sunny afternoon for our longer than usual (30 overs) re-arranged match at the ever picturesque Holt ground.
Winning the toss and batting first (as usual!) the Professor and Mike F made a good well-paced start on the artificial track that was staying much lower than usual. The Professor (21) uncharacteristically got out and whilst everyone contributed – notably Stu (11) and the hard-hitting Harry T (19) – only skipper Mike F retired with a patient 31 not out. Thus we posted a decent 135 for 7 in our allotted 30 overs.
After a sociable break for our distanced teas play resumed…
Immediately the powerful Racqueteers attack put the hosts under pressure with a well-focused and threatening spell of genuine fast bowling from Angus who took an impressive 3 for 17 in his 5 overs.
He was ably supported by Lawrence T (Head of Salmon) bowling 4 overs, 1 for 9, and our thankfully fully fit President whose 5 overs only cost a frugal 5 runs!
The extraordinary bowling figures don’t end there: Harry only gave away 3 runs in the same number of overs and David P (on his Racqueteers debut) bowled with great skill and guile conceding just 9 in his 3 overs.
The crowning glory of our performance with the ball must go to Stu who destroyed any further Milbury’s resistance with a fiery 3 wickets for 5 in just 2.2 overs! With great fielding too (including a good catch by the Prof in the gully and a diving effort from the skipper at slip off the bowling of Chris) plus two super run-outs, and an impressive win, by 45 runs, was competed.
Our winning streak continues on another beautiful Hampshire cricket ground;
mention must also go to the affable Lyndon who joined us and most-ably umpired all afternoon.
We all retired to The Milbury’s pub for a very well-earned drink & refreshments and to celebrate a really impressive performance on a tricky wicket. Well played The Racqueteers!
We now look forward to the first of our September fixtures at Swanmore.
The Racqueteers v Goodwood.
6th August 2020.
It’s always a joy to assemble at the sublime Goodwood for our annual foray into rural Sussex. Despite the upheavals of our disrupted season, it was great to be able to play the affable Goodwood this year in what will be their only match of 2020! The hosts had, very considerately, laid out excellent social-distancing ropes and seating that made for a very comfortable evening for both players and spectators alike.
Batting first (as is traditional for essential barbecuing considerations in normal years!) in perfect conditions, our openers, skipper Mike F and the Professor, both played with style and purpose as assured boundaries and positive strokes came at a good rate. It must be noted that the superbly in-form Professor has scored over 200 runs in the calendar week (for his various clubs!) including a fine century at the weekend!
Both retired, having passed 25, only for the mantle to be carried on by further elegant stroke play from the hard-hitting Kendall (23) and the mercurial Paddy (20) before further momentum was added by an aggressive innings from Stu who peppered the boundary for a quick fire 27 retired.
Thus, we posted a very respectable 144 in our 20 overs.
The Goodwood openers started brightly with some no-nonsense boundaries and looked up for what was quite a total to chase in the gently receding light of the August evening…
However, despite an unfortunate recurrence of the President’s injury (that meant he could only bowl one over) the Racqueteers’ attack proved stalwart in its task.
Angus bowled quickly & beautifully, conceding only 15 runs whilst taking a crucial wicket in his 4 overs. Ably supported by the ever-probing Paddy (1 for 25) and a lively Aussie Stu (0 for 18) and the hosts were always a little behind the challenging run rate.
With two overs of guile from Sepia and great support in the field – including a terrific catch by Mike Perry – we held our nerve with the Professor bowling three frugal overs (taking 2 for only 17) and the skipper picking up a wicket expertly stumped by G – and the job was done!
Goodwood were held to 120 for 5 in their requisite 20 overs: The Racqueteers win by 22 runs on an idyllic summer’s evening under the ancient spreading branches of the majestic Cedar of Lebanon, serenely overlooked by Goodwood House.
Perfect – well played the Racqueteers!
The Racqueteers v White Hunters
Thursday 16th July 2020.
After the Covid-19 delay, our 10th Anniversary Racqueteers’ season got underway on a perfect summer’s evening at the sublimely picturesque Brockwood Park ground, against the ever-affable White Hunters CC.
With all the necessary social distancing and sanitising guidelines being correctly observed by both teams, captain Mike F won the toss and elected to bat.
Opening with the Professor, a steady start was made with a couple of stylish boundaries from the skipper before he fell to a stumping for 14. The Professor played with patience and concentration – on what was a much slower and trickier wicket than normally encountered at Brockwood – to be the only Racqueteer to retire, with a quality 27. Some strong middle order stroke play from Kendall (16) and an excellent late 18 from the talented Tom Talks ensured a reasonable total of 108 was posted in our 20 overs.
In reply the White Hunters started positively with some hard hitting from their openers; after the first few overs – despite a lively and probing opening spell from Nick – our total looked a little light…
However, two extraordinary 4 over displays of accurate, quality bowling from the ever-reliable Chris, taking 4 wickets for only 10 runs, and Lawrence (Head of Salmon) with a brilliant and frugal 4 for only 6 runs ensured the exciting game gradually swung our way. Perhaps the most remarkable feat was the sublime catching of Charlie Talks who took 4 wonderful catches including 2 soaring and tricky chances deep in the outfield!
All round, a very satisfying and enjoyable 16 run win was recorded in dismissing the opposition for 92 and marking the Racqueteers return to action. Well played all!
Match Reports, 2019
The King Alfred Trophy: 5/5/19
The 5th KAT (sponsored by the new Dulux Decorator Centre) was blessed with a sunny if rather cool day as we assembled for a prompt 11am start.
After being drawn against The RHC Hospital CC for our first match and winning the toss, we batted with purpose and high hopes at the beginning of another season; we were delighted to welcome Jon O & Alex G as Racqueteer debutants.
Despite an uncharacteristic earlier departure for The Professor, with good contributions from skipper Mike F (25 not out), Paddy H (26 not out) as well double-figure scores from David F, Alex G, Kendall & a positive 16 (not out) from Chris, a competitive 145 for 4 (in our 29 overs) was posted. It must be noted that the returning David H had to retire hurt after cutting a ball into his lip which bled profusely…
The Hospital reply was good but with an excellent and very accurate opening spell (3 overs for only 14) from Gaurav, terrific support from Tim N – who claimed his first ever Racqueteers wicket – and Paddy (a frugal 3 overs for only 7) we kept in control of a tight match. Our focus remained, and bowling with with great accuracy Mike C (3 overs, 2 for 20) and Chris (3 overs, 1 for 18) supported by excellent catching (1 apiece for Paddy, Gaurav, Jack & Mike C) we won, restricting the Hospital to 134-4 in their 20 over reply.
Thus we progressed to the final…
St Giles’ Hill CC were our opponents in the final who, after winning the toss, elected to bat. They were very positive form the off and despite good opening spells from Gaurav (1 wkt for 19) and Chris (1 for 23) the scoreboard rattled along throughout the innings. Mike C bowled with very good control picking up 1 wicket for only 15 in his 3 overs, and wickets did fall to Jack and notably 3 late strikes for Lawrence plus I catch and 2 stumpings were taken by Alex behind the stumps.
However, St Giles’ reached an impressive total of 193-7 in their allocated overs…
With such a total we we needed a bright and positive start; St Giles’ bowled straight and accurately throughout and whilst Mike F (26), The Professor (27) and David F (25) all batted well & retired, we were always behind the run-rate reaching only 104-4 in our 20 overs.
Thus St Giles’ CC were worthy winners of the KAT in 2019.
Onwards we go to matches next week at The Milbury’s (Thursday) & at home to The Rioteers (Sunday); it’s just the start of an exciting Racqueteers season!
The Racqueteers v The Milbury’s: 16/5/19.
A splendid sunny evening greeted our return to the bucolic Holt ground for what proved to be an exciting and successful 20/20 match!
Winning the toss and batting first, skipper Mike F (24) & Stu (37 not out) made a bright and positive start with boundaries aplenty.
The middle order continued the good work with 19 from The Professor & a powerful 28 from Paddy; whilst wickets fell this did allow Stu to come back & thus a score of 139-8 was posted.
In the field we were always on top with an outstandingly controlled bowling from Chris (on his own turf!) taking 3 for 21 in his 4 overs and a frugal Paddy also claiming 3 wickets for only 16 in his allocated 4 overs. Good catches were held, notably by an enthusiastic Tom L behind the stumps.
We were pleased to welcome Kev C (our new sponsor!) on his debut – his first ever over finished off the match – with an entertaining 12-run win for The Racqueteers.
Whilst the sausages and chips seemed somewhat rationed back at The Milbury’s pub, a good win was recorded & an early summer’s evening greatly enjoyed. Well played all!
The Racqueteers v Easton Wanderers: 20/6/19
After disappointingly not playing our previous two matches due to the weather, it was a great relief to have a warm, dry and mainly sunny evening for our trip to the picturesque Easton ground.
Skipper Mike F won the toss and elected to bat. He was greatly relieved, as he walked out to open with the Professor, to see the Talks’ family vehicle arrive carrying four keen and able cricketers raring to go; quite a feat (& a Racqueteers first) having four members of the same clan appearing in a cricket team!
The innings started positively with the Professor (25*), Mike F (27*) & David F (25*) all getting retired. Easton bowled well and fielded intelligently & defensively on the quirky bowl-like Easton ground, keeping us to 126, our total boosted with a fine late cameo from Harry T (27*).
Despite tenacious bowling including a fast spell from Harry T and a wicket apiece for the Professor & Mike F (who dismissed Stu B!) the Wanderers never really struggled to keep up with the run rate & reached the necessary 127 with 2 overs to spare.
The evening concluded with a barbecue on the clubhouse balcony accompanied by the most intense and beautiful rainbow spreading its colourful arc over the surrounding Hampshire downland.
We march on to the hallowed turf of Meads to face Winchester College next week!
The Racqueteers v Win Coll Staff: 30/6/19.
Our annual visit to the hallowed turf of Meads, in the heart of the beautiful Winchester College, was only enhanced by having a longer afternoon fixture rather than the evening games of previous years.
Winning the toss and batting first, the two Mikes opened up and set a very positive platform both retiring with the skipper on an unbeaten 37 and the President also not out on 30.
Further stylish middle-order displays of impressive stroke-play from Paddy (32 not out) & Alex G (34 not out) kept the momentum going; Gaurav (12) and Kane (17) also added pressure to the College team as we posted a terrific 174-4 in our 24 overs!
Winchester College batted with aplomb from the start but we were steadfast and accurate nipping out key wickets at crucial times.
Two Talks – Tom & Lawrence on this occasion – bowled with great spirit and persistence (Tom claiming 2 wickets) and with skipper Mike F’s off-spin turning nicely (4 wkts for 23) on the fabulous Meads wicket, Racqueteers’ control was always maintained. A fiery 5 over spell for only 11 runs from Paddy completed a very satisfying 35 run win as we contained the College to 139 for 9 in their 24 overs.
Well played The Racqueteers, triumphant again on the most beautiful Winchester College ground!
The Racqueteers v RHCH: 18/7/19.
A warm and sunny evening greeted our return to our River Park home for our annual match against the Hospital.
Always a competitive fixture we were keen to build on our success at Winchester College & after losing the toss found ourselves in the field.
The Hospital batted with purpose from the off and although we bowled well and with concentration – with a wicket apiece being claimed by Jules, The Professor, Harry & Chris – the opposition got to a useful 139 in their 20 overs.
Despite a decent start from openers Mike F & The Professor, wickets fell as we pursued the total against some tight and focused bowling. Harry got to retire at 25 and debutant Nick Fuggle produces some feisty shot-making down the order but we fell short, on a rather low & slow North Walls wicket, making 106 in reply.
A respectable enough loss against a strong RHCH side; an enjoyable summer evening rounded off with curry and beer back at The Queen Inn!
The Racqueteers v The White Hunters: 24/7/19.
Oh what an utterly sublime setting; our trip to Brockwood Park to play the most affable White Hunters is definitely one of the highlights of any Racqueteers season.
The evening was perfect after a long hot summer’s day and with skipper Mike F winning the toss and electing to bat the scene was set…
The skipper and the Professor set up a great base for the middle order to build on, with both getting retired on 30 in quick time.
A classy 23 from Gaurav and hard-hitting middle order innings’ of 30 from both Paddy & Harry ensured a fine score of 168 for 1 was posted.
In the field our excellent form continued spear-headed by our President, Mike C who produced a superb spell of beautifully accurate swing-bowling taking 3 wickets for only 4 runs!
Ably supported by Lawrence (‘Head of Salmon’) and Mike F – 2 wickets apiece – plus a wicket from the ever-reliable Chris & a comprehensive 67 run win victory was completed.
We then enjoyed recounting our win in the pleasant garden of The Fox at Bramdean with a drink and much needed sausages & chips.
A great evening. Well played chaps!
The Racqueteers v Goodwood: 8/8/19.
Last year we had an incredibly exciting and memorable victory on the sublime Goodwood ground inflicting the only defeat of their season upon our hosts’
This year’s visit was somewhat less memorable….
As usual we batted first – an arrangement that allows our hosts to fire up the barbecue whilst they’re chasing – and after a good start with both skipper Mike F and the returning Kendall both getting retired on 25, we lacked some punch in the middle order and despite some lusty blows from Harry T in the final overs, a disappointing 111 was posted in our 20 overs.
In reply, Goodwood batted well from the start and – despite a fiery opening spell from Paddy supported by excellent glove work behind stumps by Gaurav – too many boundaries flowed. Goodwood never really looked in any trouble & we weren’t at our best with the ball (greatly missing the metronomic accuracy of our injured President) as the target was reached without loss in the 12th over.
Our disappointment was somewhat tempered by another excellent Goodwood barbecue with local burgers & ales; The Racqueteers will undoubted bounce back strongly on our annual foray into Sussex next season!
The Racqueteers v Catus CC: 7/9/19.
We assembled on a glorious Saturday afternoon in early September to the lovely Holt ground to host our first ever touring overseas team – Catus CC, all the way from south-west France!
We’d combined with Andy Mills’ Rioteers for the day, playing under the moniker of ‘The Rioting Racqueteers’ and, having won the toss, skipper Mike F elected to bat first in the 30 over-a-side contest.
We started well with both Mike F & Gaurav retiring at 26 & 25 respectively at the top of the order; great support later in the innings from Paddy (16 not out) and some super strokes from Tim N (18 not out) ensured an excellent total of 171 was posted.
Between the innings we were treated to a fabulous & delicious ‘al fresco’ tea – surely the finest of the summer – kindly prepared by our esteemed President.
Wickets fell regularly during our French visitors’ reply with Paddy taking a wicket in an accurate opening spell accompanied by a terrific display of left-arm spin bowling from Andy M who took 3 wickets. Whilst our total always looked a little too much for Catus, they kept going on a turning wicket. Jules bowled a very controlled spell of leg spin and with skipper Mike F’s off spin taking the final two wickets, a comfortable 40 run victory was completed.
We all made our way to The Milbury’s for a drink with our most affable visitors who go on to play The White Hunters tomorrow – we hope our cricketing paths cross another year!
Bien joué The Rioting Racqueteers!
The Racqueteers v Swanmore: 8/9/19.
Our annual trip to the pace & bounce of the artificial wicket at Swanmore CC always seems to result in dramatic outcomes; this year was no exception…
Winning the toss we batted first in the 40 overs match.
We were soon under pressure as openers Don (on his Racqueteers debut) and Edmund both fell to catches behind the wicket.
When a brilliant slip catch also removed skipper Mike F (10) shortly followed by Tom W & the President, hopes of a big total appeared to diminish…
But the Racqueteers never give up and good lower order contributions from Charlie T (13), a confident cameo from Richard C (16) and defiant innings of 10 from both Tim N & Lawrence meant a respectable total of 96 was posted.
However, the ‘curse’ of the Swanmore slogger struck us again (rather like in 2017) as their unorthodox opener slammed our bowling to all corners of the park; in all honesty it couldn’t be called stylish!
Lively, probing bowling from the excellent Nick F removed the other Swanmore opener but our total was easily overhauled in rather quick time.
Whilst a disappointing result, we mustn’t forget that we posted a huge winning 274 on the same ground last year – this and our excellent 2019 summer were mulled over back at the Bricklayers Arms over a few drinks in the evening sunshine.
Roll on 2020 and another exciting & enjoyable Racqueteers season!
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