Ventnor CC v SUCC 1st XI on Sat 17 Apr 2010 at 12.30
SUCC Lost by 8 wickets

Match report After an enjoyable but ultimately fruitless trip to the West Country the previous day, a day out on the Isle of Incest against coach Charlie ‘Fatty’ Freeston’s Ventnor side, the 1st XI’s final opposition of preseason, held promise. With bragging rights up for grabs, the fixture was set to be an intriguing one.

The day before held much bantering from ‘Fatty’ Freeston about how quick his new South African overseas player was, it was fair to say that the coach had got into a few of the boys heads. With a few of the boys still missing, most notably Zim, Pre, Shiv and Millsy, places were available for squad members to come in and impress the stand in captain, Barclay.

After that interesting drive to Bristol, it was no doubt a relief to many of the 1st XI who had experienced the driving skills of the Goat to see the ‘old man’ of the squad getting them to the ferry on time and most importantly in one piece. Before long, we had arrived at Ventnor’s stunning new ground, which truly was a pleasure to play at. After a brief warm up, SUCC had high expectations of turning over the newly promoted Southern league gold side, Ventnor. Barclay proceeded to win the toss and elected to bat first on what was to be a very fine playing surface for this time of the year. With instructions from the captain to take more responsibility when batting and to prize their own wickets highly, fresher Chris Ridley and SUCC stalwart Ben Wadmore headed out to the middle.

With the new Saffa having a run out for the first time for Ventnor, the local crowd of old farts quaffing red wine in the sun were glued to the action. SUCC made steady progress with both Ridley and Wadmore scoring behind square. With both openers looking to create a platform for the top order to build on the score was taken to 16 before Wadmore was out caught chipping to mid off. In stepped the impressive Sam Booth who, in Bristol had got an absolute Jaffa which he could have done little about. A patient knock was what the situation required and the pair began to lay the foundation for a good score. Ridley began to play the Saffa with relative ease and before long ‘Fatty’ Freeston was bringing himself into the attack.

Charlie’s first few balls were clearly of a man who was nervous as mixture of long hops and full tosses was sent down to the batsmen. However, it wasn’t long before the nerves had gone and captain grumpy had Boothy in a spot of bother, pinging him on the lid with a surprise quicker ball. Clearly there was some spice in the fixture, this was no beer match and with the score steadily moving along, the match looked set to be evenly poised with neither team giving an inch. ‘Fiery’ Freeston continued to bowl a good line and length to both SUCC boys, creating pressure on the scoreboard but both batsmen made it to drinks with the score 50 odd for 1. Drinks came and went and the boys had battled hard for their runs, however soon after the break Ridley was out (how I have no idea as I was making use of the facilities at the time) for a well constructed 36. Frantically the ‘old man’ made his way out to the middle to meet up with Boothy, however the novelty of seeing his name up on the impressive electronic score board was short lived as he was out thought, tamely chipping to mid on.

Next in was Mr Cornwall himself, Chris Mude who it would be fair to say was a tad worried about the South African as he had sat watching him bowl, shaking like a shitting dog. His worries though were to be pointless; a Kallis like drive to get off the mark off the South African through cover point was to be one of the highlights of the innings. With Boothy settling in and keeping the score ticking over, a recovery seemed possible. Unfortunately, a few overs later Boothy was out caught behind. With this, a captain’s knock was required and in stepped ‘Dickie’ Barclay. Barclay soon began to get in, and with Mude at the other end batting well, 200+ still looked achievable. Ventnor applied pressure well, squeezing us in the field and shortly the pressure began to tell, resulting in an unfortunate run out of Mude for 14. Barclay continued though to play some lovely shots including a superb shot inside out for 4 over extra cover. Wickets tumbled around him and before long he was out for 20. With SUCC managing to scrape to 154 off of their allotted 45 overs, we knew it was a below par score on that deck and we would have to bowl and field exceptionally if we stood any chance of winning.

After a fantastic tea in the new pavilion, the boys headed out to the middle in search of taking some early wickets. With 154 being a niggly little target, we knew we could cause panic in the Ventnor dressing room if we took early wickets. With club fashion guru ‘Alphabeat’ Ed Cook and ‘Dickie’ Barclay opening the bowling, the batsmen got off to a tentative start playing and missing on several occasions. It wasn’t long before Barclay was into the action having the batsmen caught by Fisher at mid on. This was exactly what we needed, however ‘Alphabeat’ Ed was soon in trouble, turning his ankle when following through from the crease.

He was clearly in pain, so up stepped ‘Matron’ Warne to assess the injury. The medical term used I believe was something along the lines of “Yeah, it looks fucked!” and with that ‘Alphabeat’ Ed could take no further part in the game. After the previous days DoD award, Ed was now clearly the front runner for the following day’s award and this was not helped by the comment of “Are there any more sandwiches left?” after being carried off the field by his concerned teammates. With SUCC down to 10, the task was even harder as pointed out by a fellow DoD nominee, Alex ‘Roland Rat’ Meddle, with the insightful comment of “it’s much harder fielding with 10 players isn’t it”. The boys stuck at it and we soon had the other opener out snicking behind off of Meddle’s first ball. Buoyed by this, the lads kept pushing on however the amount of cricket played during the week was beginning to take its toll and there were plenty of tired bodies out on the field.

With Warnie limbering up and fancying his chances on the Ventnor wicket, he offered his bowling services to the skip who shall we say, politely declined. With Ventnor closing in on victory the impressive spin of Jamie Richards was called upon. After crashing into the umpire whilst batting earlier, it was unlikely that he was going to get much and although he bowled well, causing problems for the batsmen, he remained wicket-less. There was to be one more chance before the inevitable Ventnor win which was off the bowling of Richards which eventual DoD winner Alex Fisher dropped. However, it cost nothing as the game was already up.

All in all it was a valiant effort from the lads and many positives can be taken from the game. Boothy and Ridley did the job of building a platform well, Boothy in particular who had to adapt his natural game to the situation which was good to see and deserved his man of the match award for his efforts. Ridley’s keeping was again excellent; he looks to be a superb acquisition for SUCC. All the bowlers in Dickie, Ben Taylor, Fish, Jamie Richards and Alex Meddle all stuck to their task well. With more runs on the board they may be able to make a greater impact on the game; however the runs on the board were simply not enough on that deck for us to compete against a strong Ventnor side.

The stand in skipper Barclay must also be applauded for the way he handled the boys over the two days. His only mistake being to deny Warnie from having a bowl and frankly giving SUCC a chance of winning the game! Although the scoreboard doesn’t do SUCC any justice we played well in the circumstances and we can build on the performances from preseason and take into this year’s BUCS.

A big thanks to Ventnor CC for their fine hospitality, if any SUCC member ever gets the privilege to play at Ventnor’s new ground, I would suggest you take full advantage of it as it is an excellent facility. Unfortunately ‘Fiery’ Freeston will have the bragging rights for the next year, so we shall have to take the defeat on the chin and hopefully return next year to settle the score.

Anyway enough avoidance of this gribbly assignment,

Wessex Love

SUCC 1st XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 8 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Chris Ridley lbw  Bevan 37 1
Ben Wadmore ct  Bowled Snell 7
Sam Booth ct  Woodhouse Bowled Holmes 30
Chris Warne ct  Bowled Holmes 8
Chris Mude Run out  14
Richard Barclay b  Whyte 20
Jamie Richards ct  Woodhouse Bowled Nowak 8
Alex Meddle ct  Bowled Bevan 1
Alex Fisher Not Out  8 1
Ben Taylor Not Out  4
Ed Cook  

Ventnor CC Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
R Snell6.0115115.002.50
S Nowak9.0235135.003.89
A Whyte7.0218118.002.57
C Freeston7.001900.002.71
M Holmes4.00924.502.25
I Hilsum4.001200.003.00

Ventnor CC Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 2 wickets
155 (0.0 overs)

SUCC 1st XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.