Match No 1
Date: 7 July 2019
ACT vs North Wiltshire
Venue: Malmesbury CC
Toss: Galaxies batted first by agreement
Full scorecard - Match 1
GALAXIES WIN THEIR FIRST MATCH
The match was a 40 over game with each bowler allotted a maximum of eight overs; batsmen to retire and recycle on reaching 40 runs. The Galaxies were offered the option and elected to bat first. Openers Steve Moore and Greg Curtis got the team away to a comfortable start at 0/20 after 4 overs. A couple of quick wickets then fell and new batsmen Gary Page and Boris Teodorowych applied themselves to the task of consolidating and building a base to attack the bowling in the latter overs.
By the 20 over break they had recovered the position pushing the score along to 71 without further loss. Some strong hitting by Boris saw him retire on 42 shortly after the break and Gary also striking the ball to the boundary regularly, soon followed also reaching retirement. New batsman Peter Gunning was soon back in the pavilion but not before he had scored 43no from 30 balls. At the 30 over point the score had reached 2 for 154. Some power hitting by Geoff Gilbert saw the score the reach 200 with a couple overs to go. The run flow slowed in the last couple of overs but not before Geoff accumulated 39 from just 28 balls and achieved the distinction of scoring the first six of the tour with a lusty blow over mid-wicket. Most batsmen found that the low and slow pitch took quite a bit of adjustment from Australian conditions.
The North Wiltshire openers got their team off to a solid start despite the line and length of opening bowlers Keith Bridgen and Miles Boak. It took a smart piece of fielding by Steve Moore to achieve a run out for the first wicket. Steve repeated the feat later in the innings with another sharp return. The Galaxies bowlers generally bowled a better length than the opposition and the fielding was also better. Smart catches were taken by Bill Rowe, Mark Viney and Greg Mulvaney who had to cover some ground to do so.
Wiltshire batsmen Robinson and Swain reached retirement scores by waiting patiently for suitable balls to hit and hitting well when they did so. North Wiltshire struggled to match the scoring rate of the Galaxies eventually reached a total of 7 for 140 after 40 overs. Mark Viney took two wickets and Martin Kennedy, Miles Boak and Greg Mulvaney one each.
In summary the Galaxies ran out fairly easy winners due to more aggressive batting, better length bowling and better catching and ground fielding.
The North Wiltshire team provided a wonderful spread of sandwiches, fruit and cake for the break between innings. A barbeque was enjoyed by all at the conclusion of the match with Mark Dennison and Ross Calvert applying their barbequing skills with great effect.
Skipper Bill Rowe presented a number of awards, including joint man of the match awards to Peter Robinson and Ian Swain for their dogged 40s.
Match No 2
Date: 8 July 2019
ACT vs John Lawrence XI
Venue: Purton CC
Full scorecard - Match 2
GALLANT GALAXIES GO DOWN IN CLOSE CONTEST
Founded in 1820, Purton Cricket Club is the oldest in Wiltshire. Purton is a large village and civil parish in Wiltshire, England, about 4 miles northwest of the centre of Swindon. The parish includes the village of Purton Stoke and the hamlets of Bentham, Hayes Knoll, Purton Common, Restrop, the Fox and Widham. The River Key, a tributary of the Thames, crosses the parish near Purton Stoke. The village is a linear settlement along the old road between the historic market towns of Cricklade 4 miles to the north and Royal Wootton Bassett 3 miles to the south. Purton is on a minor road 1 mile from the B4553 and 3 miles from junction 16 of the M4 motorway. The village is on the brow of a hill, with views across to Cricklade and the Thames floodplain. Nearby, Bradon Forest stretches out to Minety in the west.
Village amenities include several shops, a sub-post office, a library, public houses and restaurants, a GP's practice, dentist and veterinary surgery. The village has grown such that its retailers are not all concentrated in one centre. A few shops are on the main road at the junction with Pavenhill, and a few are around the bend in the road near the village hall. The Church of England parish church of Saint Mary the Virgin is unusual in having a tower at each end, one of which has a spire. It is one of only three parish churches in England with both a spire and another tower. The other two are at nearby Wanborough, Wiltshire, and Ormskirk, Lancashire.
The match commenced at 11:06am under overcast skies, 19C, UV of 3.0, humidity 65%; wind from the south at 5kph, and air quality good.
The team selected for the match against the John Lawrence XI was Boris Teodorowych (wk), Kevin Rosenbaum, Peter Gunning, Steve Moore (capt), Miles Boak, Greg Mulvaney, Andy Turner, Mark Dennison, Ross Calvert, Pat Murray, Martin Kennedy; Scorer Geoff Gilbert, and Match Report Keith “KB” Bridgen. Bill Rowe and Mark Viney very kindly volunteered to play for the opposition who were two players short.
The match was a 40 over game with each bowler allotted a maximum of eight overs; batsmen to retire and recycle on reaching 40 runs. The Galaxies were offered the option and elected to bat first.
Kevin Rosenbaum and Boris Teodorowych opened the batting. Starting from the Northern end, Kevin dispatched the first ball to the boundary with a glorious cover drive; while wicket-keeper Paul “Tigger” Gurr standing up wearing a baseball catcher helmet watched in wonderment. The first wicket fell at 12 when Kevin was surprised by one from Mark Viney, a straight shooter, passing him ankle high to hit the stumps. Peter Gunning joined Boris pushed and pushed the score along to 42 when Boris was smartly stumped by “Tigger”. At the first drinks break after 16 overs Galaxies were 2/49
Steve Moore and Peter Gunning then consolidated the innings recalling the mantra “it’s a singles game” by turning the strike over to each other until Tigger again featured by stumping Steve Moore. Miles Boak joined Peter Gunning in the middle when play was temporarily interrupted and some excitement ensued as some of the local players chased one of the “tent” covers as it was blown onto the ground by a sudden gust of wind during the 23rd over. Unperturbed by the interruption Peter and Miles batted very solidly to take the score into the seventies. After Peter reach retirement for the second time in two games, Greg “Mully” Mulvaney joined Miles and the pair looked have things under control when an attempted quick single saw the whippet Mully a foot short of his ground (leading to some convivial discussions between the two after the innings!).
Lunch was taken at 1pm with the score on 131 for 4 and Miles on 36 after some big hitting. First ball back from lunch saw a failed attempt to hit the ball out of the park and a dejected Miles headed straight back to the pavilion for a well-made 36 but with no addition to the score. Who was the bowler? None other than Bill Rowe looking rather laconic at his first wicket on tour! As a bird of prey circled overhead, a quick flurry of runs from Ross Calvert (8no) and Mark Dennison (16no) closed out the innings to leave the Galaxies with a total of 157 for 5 after their allotted 40 overs.
The John Lawrence XI innings commenced at 02:24pm with Martin Kennedy and Miles Boak opening the bowling under darkening clouds. The Opposition captain John Lawrence recruited his 35yo son Richard to open the batting for the home side. During the tenth over Miles broke through the dogged opening father/son partnership with the score on 25. Our opening bowlers, Miles and Martin Kennedy did a sterling job to contain our opponent’s top order with Martin returning figures of 0/21 from 6 overs and Miles conceding just 9 runs from his 7 overs. The opposition batting in the top and middle order was solid and looking to advance the scoring rate.
Useful contributions from our change bowlers, particularly Pat Murray who’s last 3 overs in his spell conceded only 3 runs helped to keep their chase on an even keel. However, the odd loose delivery was dispatched to the boundary by the Lawrence middle order on a fast outfield. The standout bowler in the later part of the innings was Greg “Mully” Mulvaney bowling his well flighted leggies which provided our ever-reliable keeper Boris Teodorowych with a sharp chance (gleefully accepted) and two smart stumpings.
The hosts run rate picked up courtesy of those few loose deliveries, despite some tight bowling. The John Lawrence XI were left requiring 54 runs off 16 overs with 9 wickets in hand and one in the bin. The ACT stuck at it with diving efforts in the field. Our lads pushed the Lawrence XI to the end but could not prevent them reaching the target in the 38th over resulting in a win for the Lawrence XI by 6 wickets
There was some interesting theatrics by Rosco during the 19th over while fielding off his own bowling where he tried to stop the ball with his foot, but only succeeded in tumbling awkwardly to the ground after kicking the stumps over as the ball sailed past him. There was no run and no injury, but much merriment all round.
Also, as the sight screen at the Southern end was being disassembled it was noted that it is not actually required being just like the S’s at Mt Panorama; all you can see is sky!
Congratulations to John Lawrence XI. Well played.
Match No 3
Date: 10 July 2019
ACT vs Pershore Over 60s
Venue: Pershore CC
Full scorecard - Match 3
GALAXIES BOUNCE BACK WITH GREAT TEAM PERFORMANCE
Pershore is a market town in Worcestershire, England, on the banks of the River Avon. Pershore is in the Wychavon district and is part of the West Worcestershire parliamentary constituency. With a population of around 8,000 the town is best known for Pershore Abbey, Pershore College (now a campus of Warwickshire College), and the plums and pears grown locally.
Pershore is situated 6 miles west of Evesham and 6 miles east of Upton-upon-Severnin the Vale of Evesham, a district rich in fruit and vegetable production. The town lies near the A44 midway from Worcester to Evesham. The nearest motorway junctions are junction 7 of the M5 (South Worcester) or junction 1 of the M50. There is a railway station on the Cotswold Line, enabling direct travel to Paddington station, London, via Evesham, Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxford, Didcot and Reading, although Pershore station is more than a mile from the centre of the town towards Pinvin.
The town contains much elegant Georgian architecture. In 1964 the Council for British Archaeology included Pershore in its list of 51 British "Gem Towns" worthy of special consideration for historic preservation, and it has been listed as an outstanding conservation area. Parts of the abbey, which stand in an expanse of public grassland close to the centre of the town, date from the 11th century. The current structure is far smaller than the original building, which was plundered during the reign of Henry VIII at the Dissolution. The original nave was destroyed. The north transept collapsed later. The present nave occupies the western part of what would originally have been the choir.
Cloudy skies provided perfect weather conditions for the players and supporters.
The team selected for the match against Pershore was Kevin Rosenbaum, Greg Curtis, Peter Gunning, Steve Moore, Geoff Gilbert, Bill Rowe, Mark Viney, Mark Dennison, Keith Bridgen, Pat Murray and Ross Calvert. The Pershore crew could only manage eight so three brave ACT souls (Martin Kennedy, Andy Turner, and Greg Mulvaney) played for Pershore with Greg nearly winning the match for Pershore!
The match was a 40 over game with each bowler allotted a maximum of eight overs; batsmen to retire on reaching 40 runs and recycle. The Galaxies were offered the option and elected to bat first. Openers Kev Rosenbaum and Greg Curtis looked to be handling the Pershore openers without trouble until Greg was smartly stumped with his back foot on the line bringing the inform Peter Gunning to the crease. After the early setback Peter and Kev set about building the innings with Peter scoring his third 40 in a row off just 41 balls. Steve Moore came to the crease but Kevin was unfortunately run out when called through for a quick single. Steve followed Peter’s lead in hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. The pair batted beautifully to establish a great foundation for the rest of the Galaxy line up to push the score towards 200 for the second time on tour. Steve also reached his 40 with a 100% strike rate.
Their retirements brought big hitting Geoff Gilbert and Bill Rowe to the middle. Geoff launched another savage attack and Bill was caught for 12 off 14 balls attempting to push the score along. Tight bowling restrained Geoff’s hitting somewhat but not before he had reached 41 off 41 balls. Mark Viney came in and crushed a couple of boundaries for a quick fire 16 off 15 balls, eventually being well caught by ACT player, Greg Mulvaney. Mark Dennison and Keith Bridgen remained not out on single digits when the ACT innings closed 4/186 from the allotted 40 overs which included a very good bowling performance by Martin Kennedy for the opposition.
Another father and son opening pair greeted our bowlers for the second time in three matches - Charlie and Todd Charlton. Keith Bridgen and Mark Viney opened our attack with Mark breaking through in the 6th over having Charlie (the father) caught by Geoff Gilbert. Held up by some brilliant bowling by Keith including 4 maidens to Charlton the younger, Todd asked if this guy ever bowls a loose ball! However, Todd went on to make a well-constructed 40 but used a lot of balls to get there. Following something of a middle order collapse with 2 wickets to Geoff Gilbert, one each to Pat Murray and Kevin Rosenbaum, the Pershore innings began to fall apart. However, Kalvin Lewis (eventual man of the match) and Galaxy great Greg Mulvaney combined to drag Pershore back into the match. Having steadied the Pershore ship Kalvin and Greg set about pushing towards the target and it looked like they would get there. Ross Calvert was having none of it and had Greg neatly stumped by Bill Rowe. With the forced retirement of Kalvin, Kev Rosenbaum cleaned up the tail taking two further wickets including a rather unusual stumping by Bill who kicked the ball onto the stumps after failing to glove it cleanly. Bill was heard to explain to the umpire that a lesser keeper would have panicked! After an innings that ebbed and flowed the ACT Galaxies emerged with a well fought 5 run victory.
Match No 4
Date: 11 July 2019
ACT vs Warwickshire Over 60s
Venue: Shipston on Stour
Full scorecard - Match 4
GALAXIES FIGHT HARD BUT GO DOWN IN LAST FEW OVERS
Shipston-on-Stour is a town and civil parish on the River Stour about 16 kms south of Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. It is in the northern part of the Cotswolds close to the boundaries with Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Shipston is located between Stratford-upon-Avon and Oxford and was once an important staging place for stagecoaches. Many former coaching inns, such as the Coach and Horses, remain in the area of the High Street. The town's name is drawn from the old English Scepwaeisctune (Sheep-wash-town) as it was once an important sheep market.
It is thought that cricket may have reached Warwickshire by the end of the 17th century. However, the earliest confirmed reference to cricket in the county is a match announcement in Aris’ Gazette on 15 July 1751. Warwickshire CCC was officially founded on 8 April 1882 at a meeting in the Regent Hotel, Leamington Spa.
After overnight rain the day began with sunny periods. By match start at 1:54pm it had clouded over and showers seemed to be in the offing. However, they did not eventuate and the match was played out under grey skies and a couple of sunny breaks.
The team selected for the match against Warwickshire was Bill Rowe, Mark Viney, Boris Teodorowych (keeper), Mark Dennison, Geoff Gilbert, Ross Calvert, Gary Page (capt), Keith Bridgen, Greg Mulvaney, Miles Boak, Martin Kennedy and Peter Gunning substituted in the field for most of the Warwickshire innings.
Mark Viney and Bill Rowe opened for the first time on tour. Tight bowling from the Warwickshire opening bowlers kept the run rate in check. However, Mark Viney hit three attractive boundaries before holing out at backward square. Bill Rowe was looking solid and enjoying a bit of extra pace from the bowlers, but was dispatched by a deflection off the bowler’s boot at the non-striker’s end – unlucky!
After 10 overs we were 2-36 with Boris Teodorowych and Mark Dennison steadying the ship. They maintained the run rate through the next 10 overs doubling the score then Mark was out bowled to a vicious off-break leaving the visitors on 3/72 at drinks.
After the break Boris completed his forty with a glorious drive down the ground for a boundary. Ross Calvert and Geoff Gilbert then combined to push up the run rate. Geoff’s clean hitting was putting pressure on the bowlers and the hundred came up in the 24th over. Geoff raced through the 30s retiring after two massive sixes back over the bowler’s head.
At 30 overs we were looking good at 3/128 but needed big finish. Ross was playing the anchor role stroking the ball around and Gary Page came in and looked in no trouble, although runs were hard to find against tight bowling. When Gary was judged LBW at 4/141 in 34th we needed runs quickly. Wickets tumbled in the chase: Keith Bridgen departed, out bowled in a spectacular explosion of bails; Mullys stay was short but not sweet, taking on the fielder at mid-on and falling to a direct hit. After Ross had compiled a solid 20 he lost his wicket pushing for a second run. Then Miles Boak went down swinging.
That brought Boris back in for the last over and he added a further 9 runs (off 5 balls) to his total to finish 50 not out making the first half century of the tour. This brought our total to 8/168. We thought we might be 20 short but certainly a defendable total. The best of the Warwickshire bowlers were Lawler with 1/23 and Wickson with 2/12.
Keith Bridgen and Miles Boak opened the bowling and as in previous games were very hard to score against. Martin Kennedy broke through with a brilliant pick-up and back flick from mid-wicket sending the bails flying at the non-striker’s end with the Warwickshire batsman short of his ground – 1/6 after 4 overs. Miles picked up two quick wickets one LBW and one caught by Gary Page at mid-off - 3/24 after 10 overs. Led by Duncan Gardner who was previously selected for England O60s, the Warwickshire batsmen started to hit out smacking 35 off the next 4 overs.
Duncan retired on 42 in the 18th over with the score at 3/90 and then Mully bowled Cole for 31 with a vicious leg spinner. This only slowed the run rate a little and at drinks the locals looked comfortable at 4/102. Runs came a bit more slowly after the break and then Mully struck again deceiving the batsman with a fuller delivery successfully getting the umpire’s LBW decision – 5/119 after 25 overs. Tight bowling followed by Mully, Ross and Mark Viney keeping the pressure on but only 36 were needed from the last 10 overs.
An extra couple of wickets just wouldn’t come and the Warwickshire Captain Dave Murphy was watchfully accumulating the necessary runs and retired at 41 with only 5 runs to get. Warwickshire finally overhauled our score in the 38th over to reach 5/171. As it turned out, 20 runs short seemed about right.
The pick of the bowlers were Miles Boak with 2/28 and Greg Mulvaney (Mully) 2/32. Despite the result a great day was completed with an excellent dinner in the Shipton clubhouse and much ribbing from the locals about England’s win in the World Cup semi-final played on the same day.
Match No 5
Date: 12 July 2019
ACT vs Dumbleton CC U21s
Full scorecard - Match 5
BRAVE GALAXIES PERSIST AGAINST A STRONG YOUNG DUMBLETON XI
Dumbleton is a village and civil parish in the English county of Gloucestershire. The village is roughly 20 miles from the city of Gloucester. The village is known to have existed in the time of Ethelred I who granted land to Abingdon Abbey, and it is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Dumbleton is situated on the edge of Dumbleton Hill within the Cotswolds “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. Dumbleton is mainly residential, although there is a successful Garden Club, an Infants School, a Social Club, a Village Hall, and an Estate Office. The Dumbleton Cricket Club is also a noted cricket club which places a strong emphasis on its youth – something the ACT lads would discover as the match unfolded. The village contains the main entrance to Dumbleton Hall, which has functioned as a hotel since 1959.
The original Dumbleton Hall can be traced from around 1534, as the home of the Cocks family for over 200 years. After the death of Sir Richard Cocks in the late 18th century, the Hall fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished. During the Second World War, the Hall was allegedly considered as a suitable alternative venue for the House of Lords. It is also suggested that Hitler 'reserved' the Hall as a private residence upon his victory in Europe.
Another glorious day in the Cotswolds - 21 degrees, blue sky with scattered high cloud and a steady north westerly breeze making playing conditions ideal. The pitch in use at this picturesque ground was at the far eastern end of the square and was hard and true. The outfield was manicured, and of lightning speed.
The team in batting order as selected for the match against Dumbleton was Gary Page (C), Kevin Rosenbaum, Peter Gunning, Stephen Moore, Geoff Gilbert, Miles Boak, Pat Murray, Martin Kennedy, Andy Turner, Keith Bridgen, Greg Curtis and Bill Rowe (wk).
The match was a 40 over game with each bowler allotted a maximum of eight overs; batsmen to retire and recycle on reaching 40 runs. The Galaxies were offered the option and elected to bat first. Dumbleton Vets were short on numbers with 8 youth players making up their Eleven. Play commenced at 10.50am.
Kevin Rosenbaum and Gary Page faced the fastest attack so far encountered on tour. The youthful Dumbleton opening attack bowled with good pace, accuracy and occasional hostility. Soon after being rocked by a blow to the helmet, Gary was deceived by a change of pace and was caught and bowled by Gilderson for 2.
The in-form Peter Gunning joined Kevin who had played some nice square cuts and they consolidated the innings with sensible batting until Kevin was out for 12 trying to up the run rate. Peter was relishing the challenge of the youthful pace attack and had compiled 24 before getting a fine edge to the keeper standing up to the quicks. At drinks, Galaxies were 4/46 with Geoff ‘George' Gilbert on 9 and Miles Boak yet to score.
The formidable task of resurrecting the innings lay with Geoff and Miles. After his usual flurry of boundaries, Geoff skied one to mid-off to be out for 16. The Galaxies were hurting at 5/67 off 25 overs with Miles on 5 when the touring group’s most senior member, Pat Murray, strode out to bat for his first innings in England. With the loss of a couple more wickets the tourists were in more trouble at 7/83 off 31 overs. In came Andy Turner to join Miles who was on 13. The pair quickly put on a partnership of 32 before Miles was bowled for a gutsy 37, his innings punctuated with five on-side boundaries. With the score at 8/115 off 34 overs, Keith Bridgen joined Andy and they compiled a terrific 9th wicket partnership of 37 to take the total to 152 and into the last over. Keith made 16 and Andy remained not out on 18. Overall, given the quality of the attack and the fall of steady wickets throughout, the ACT did well to reach the total of 152.
The Dumbleton innings commenced at 2.50pm with the wind picking up and becoming gusty at times. Pat Murray and Martin Kennedy opened the bowling and were gradually picked off by the young openers who aggressively punished anything loose. After ten overs, Dumbleton were 0/69. By the 13th over the Dumbleton openers Timperley and Abbey Whybrow had retired not out 40. However, the new batsmen continued the onslaught. Geoff Gilbert was probably the pick of the bowlers with disciplined line and length bowling and he was rewarded with the only wicket to be taken by the tourists - a great catch was taken by Steve Moore at deep extra cover. Geoff finished with 1/14 off 4 overs. With another retirement in the Dumbleton top order, the match was all but over. Keith Bridgen and Miles Boak tried valiantly however were subjected some brutal batting from the youthful batsmen who were ruthless and unstoppable.
The match had featured the best of the local youth players against veteran cricketers. It was clearly a one-sided affair. In his presentation speech Bill Rowe acknowledged how much the ACT lads appreciated playing on the exceptionally attractive Dumbleton ground. Bill awarded the most notable performance to the teenage female opener Abbey Whybrow who demonstrated enough talent to make it all the way to the top. Bill did say it was unusual to be making such a presentation to someone born in a different millennium, but that the ACT Galaxies were pleased to be able to provide the young Dumbleton players with a taste of Over 60s cricket so they may also take it up in 40 or 50 years time!
Match No 6
Date: 14 July 219
ACT vs Boxmen XI
Toss: Boxmen batted first by agreement
Full scorecard - Match 6
GALAXIES BOWLERS SET UP A COMFORTABLE WIN
Stanway is a small crossroads village with a population of about 200 in the county of Gloucestershire about 1 mile south of Stanton. Part of the Tewkesbury Borough, it is also on the Cotswold Way. The Stanway cricket pitch in a fenced ground in the middle of a field where sheep graze contentedly. The ground has an undulating surface made uneven to make landing difficult for German gliders during WW2. This is thought to be an urban myth as the real purpose (according to one authoritative local) is that the troughs were constructed for the use of locals to grow vegetables in their allotted plot. St Peter's church was built in the 12th century with the tower added in the 13th Century.
The Stanway village is dominated by Stanway House, a Jacobean manor house owned and occupied by a long line of Earls of Wemyss. It is the Earl's summer cottage as his home is in Scotland. Their estate includes 7000 acres of the surrounding countryside including the village of Stanway and its 80 houses which are leased to locals only.
The team took the opportunity to inspect the estate and the famous Stanway fountain which is the second highest gravity powered fountain in Europe reaching over 350 feet high. While the fountain was not operating, many photos were taken of this extremely impressive household which was one of the highlights of the day.
A balmy overcast sky provided very pleasant conditions for the players. The occasional bleating from the sheep in the surrounding paddocks complimented the idyllic rural setting.
The team selected for the match against the Boxmen was Boris Teodorowych (wk), Steve Moore, Mark Viney, Greg Curtis, Martin Kennedy, Peter Gunning, Andy Turner, Kevin Rosenbaum, Mark Dennison, Pat Murray, Gary Page (Capt) and Ross Calvert.
The match was a 40 over game with each bowler allotted a maximum of eight overs; batsmen to retire and recycle on reaching 40 runs. In a break with tradition the Boxmen skipper John Lawrence requested the Galaxies take the field to allow more time for his team to gather. The match got underway at 1pm. Mark Viney and Pat Murray bowled reasonably tightly and restricted the Boxmen’s run rate. Martin Kennedy replaced Mark Viney at the Stanway House end and continued the tight attack with a maiden. After 13 Overs the Boxmen had reached 31 without loss. However, Pat Murray made the breakthrough in the next over with Steve Moore taking a smart catch at mid-on. Pat bowled out his overs and finished with the impressive figures of 1 for 19 off 8 overs.
Kevin Rosenbaum replaced Pat and in tandem with Martin, kept the bowling good line and length. Martin’s tight bowling was rewarded when he had the Boxmen skipper adjudged LBW for 6 with the score on 54. Another one to Martin when he had another Boxmen batter brilliantly caught under a high ball by the ever-reliable Mark Dennison at mid-off. Ross Calvert replaced Kevin and was immediately on the spot bowling a first over maiden. Martin was again rewarded for his consistent line and length when Boris Teodorowych took a sharp chance behind the wicket and he cleaned bowled another to have the Boxmen struggling at 5/67 after 27 overs. Martin returned the best bowling figures of the tour bowling 8 overs and taking 4/14.
When Mark Dennison broke through for his first wicket on tour there was much celebration. The Boxmen had reached 6 for 80 off 31 overs. Ross then picked up a couple more wickets, one caught in spectacular fashion by Pat Murray at mid-off and the other a plumb LBW. Ross bowled beautiful areas throughout his spell and finished with the astonishing figures of 2 for 5 off 8 overs finishing his spell with 5 consecutive maidens. At the other end Mark was on fire clean bowling the last Boxmen batsman. The Boxmen innings closed with the total on 83. Outstanding spells by Ross and Martin backed up by excellent ground fielding and catching by the ACT had set up the opportunity for a comfortable win.
Boris Teodorowych and Steve Moore opened the Galaxies innings brightly both scoring at close to a run a ball until Boris was stumped neatly with the score on 43. Mark Viney came to the crease and started cautiously then smashed a ball straight but was out shortly after. In the meantime, Steve continued to play some classy drives and cuts and quickly reaching the agreed retirement mark off 40 balls. The Galaxies then lost their third wicket for 66 and although the result seemed well in hand Andy Turner came to the wicket determined to see the target passed. When Kevin Rosenbaum joined Andy in the middle the pair was resolute in seeing the tourists past the relatively meager target of 84 runs. This was achieved with a lusty lofted straight drive by Andy over the head of the Boxmens quickie who had been held back on a pitch thought to be favoring spin. A comfortable 6 wicket win to the Galaxies had been secured.
Once the ACT had the win in the bag the Boxmen skipper, John Lawrence, invited the Galaxies to continue batting to enable him to give others an opportunity to bowl and the Galaxies middle and lower order a further opportunity to experience the joy of batting on English wickets. The invitation was accepted and the rest of the warm and sunny afternoon was filled with a friendly exchange between bat and ball.
With the final of the World Cup between New Zealand and England drawing to a conclusion in the background, speeches and gifts were exchanged and a couple of cold beers consumed. While making presentations to the opposition, Bill Rowe noted that five Boxmen players who had participated in today’s game also played in the game between the Boxmen and the combined ACT/NSW side just 5 days short of 5 years ago. The plaque presented on that day was mounted on the club room walls to commemorate the game. Bill who was at the game played 5 years ago took great pleasure in presenting a plaque to commemorate today’s game which will be hung beside the plaque presented 5 years ago. It was a very pleasant ending to a very pleasant day, especially England supporters!
Match No 7
Date: 15 July 2019
ACT vs Somerset O60s
Venue: Taunton Dean
Full scorecard - Match 7
GALAXIES BATTLE ON AGAINST QUALITY SOMERSET XI
Taunton Deane is a local government district granted borough status in Somerset in 1975. The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the Municipal Borough of Taunton, Wellington Urban District, Taunton Rural District, and Wellington Rural District. The district was given the name of an alternative form of the Taunton Deane Hundred.
In September 2016, West Somerset and Taunton Deane councils agreed in principle to merge the districts into one (with one council) subject to consultation. The new district would not be a unitary authority, with Somerset County Council still performing its functions. In March 2018 both councils voted in favour of the merger and it came into effect on 1 April 2019, with the first elections to the new council in May 2019. The new authority will be known as Somerset West and Taunton.[
Another fine day greeted our hardy band of cricketers in Taunton. A very temperate afternoon around 23 C. A slight breeze and some humidity today will make playing a little similar to late spring weather back in Canberra.
The team selected for the match against Somerset was Bill Rowe © (wk), Keith Bridgen, Peter Gunning, Greg Mulvaney, Miles Boak, Steve Moore, Ross Calvert, Kev Rosenbaum, Pat Murray, Martin Kennedy, Andy Turner, Mark Dennison
Today’s match was 40 overs a side with each bowler allotted 8 overs. The ACT batsman to retire at 40 runs. Instead of a side batting first by agreement, the Somerset skipper insisted on a toss which he won and elected to bat. This was not a surprise on a rock-hard but a wearing pitch.
The ACT opened the bowling with Miles Boak and Keith Bridgen. The bowling looked tight from the sideline, however, the opening batting pair for Somerset went about their business in a methodically fashion punishing the bad ball and keeping out the good ones. The very slick outfield made it hard for the fielders to stop boundaries and any ball that made it through the inner ring went for four. Both of the Somerset opening batsman looked very competent players. They both had keen eyes and were very strong through the off side. After the first 10 overs Somerset had posted a strong none for 50 runs.
By the 16th over the Somerset team had accumulated an impressive 90 runs with some judicious stroke play. Some excellent bowling by Miles Boak did manage to stem the onslaught. Miles produced the figures of 2 for 27 from his 8 overs which in the context of the game was superb. Greg Mulvaney took a wonderful overhead catch off Miles bowling which was the highlight of the first 20 overs in the field.
The onslaught from the Somerset bats continued after the 20 overs mark. Their bats used their feet to our slower bowlers, dancing down the wicket and hitting through the line. It was very hard for the ACT to stop the quick scoring on the snooker table outfield. With the over count closing to the 30 mark the Somerset boys were 180 with only 2 wickets down.
It was obvious that all of the Somerset bats were quality players as each batsman that came in looked the goods. The Somerset players swept, drove, and cut their way to 232 in the 34th over. It was going to be a big total to chase. To their credit the ACT bowlers kept trying to bowl in the good areas but on this wicket and outfield the Somerset bats continued to hit through the line of the ball with regular boundaries coming. After our bests efforts with the ball and some valiant fielding the O60’s Somerset team bludgeoned their way to a formidable total of 272 off 40 overs.
Following a magnificent lunch provided by the Somerset support team the ACT started their innings. With plenty of runs on the board the Somerset guys had 3 slips and a gully during the opening exchanges. The ACT opened with our captain Bill Rowe and Steve Moore. Bill showed he is still a force to be reckoned with has he started to punish the bowlers through the onside and quickly moved towards his 40.
Bill Rowe went on to record his first 40 retired for the tour. At the 15 overs drinks break the ACT was a very respectable score of 77 without loss. Steve Moore was watchful at one end hitting the bad ball, while Peter Gunning began to produce some expansive drives through the off side collecting boundaries from the short length balls. With the dismissal of Steve Moore for a well complied 25, Pete Gunning and Greg Mulvaney continued to take up the fight, hitting a number of boundaries. Both batsman waiting on the loose delivery before thumping it to the boundary fence. With great patience Peter Gunning moved past his 40 and retired. The ACT were 135 for 1 with still plenty to do.
The drinks break at 30 overs saw the ACT well behind the asking rate. Ross Calvert and Greg Mulvaney were at the crease with it all to do. With 145 on the board a 13 run per over final 10 was the task. We did bat deep today but could our middle order have the stroke play in them to get our ACT band of brothers over the line? With Kev Rosenbaum dismal of his first ball there was a mammoth task ahead of the team. The game was all but over as a mini batting collapse saw the ACT struggling to 6 for 153 with only half a dozen overs to be bowled. Despite brief partnership between Andy Turner and Mark Dennison in the last overs the ACT finally succumbed to the Somerset lads and was bowled out for 189 runs.
The ACT fighting spirit was on show today as we toiled our way to a good total, but the quality of many of the opposition players made for “a tough day at the office”. Congratulations Somerset!
Match No 8
Date: 17 July 2019
ACT vs Fossils
Toss: Galaxies by agreement
Full scorecard - Match 8
GALAXIES ON FIRE FOR A COMFORTABLE WIN
Birlingham is a village and civil parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire. The village is south of Pershore, located in a bend of the River Avon. The name Birlingham is derived from the Old English Byrla–inga–hamm, meaning "Land, in a river-bend, of a man called Byrla". It has been recorded as Byrlingahamm (972) and Berlingeham (1086, Domesday Book). Romans are believed to have settled in Birlingham during the Roman occupation of Britain. The Swan Inn, the village's public house, is believed to date back to the 16th century. Birlingham is surrounded on the north, south and east sides by a river-bend known as Swans Neck, part of the River Avon. The village is located on a floodplain.
The parish has a population of about 400. Remarkably the Fossils' story began with a single conversation at the West Malvern Cricket Club dinner in 1994. Concerned that the pressures of league cricket were cutting their careers short a few good men developed the idea of a friendly team for the over 50's. Given that the conversation happened in the Winter of '94 the idea very quickly snowballed and under the guidance of John Reynolds, who remains the club's only officer even today, the Fossils entered their first season in 1995. Unfortunately, John could not join us today due to ill health.
What once began as an idea to play 5-10 friendly matches a season has grown into a full fixture list of 30-40 games per season. It has also created a local cultural icon - the Fossils' Draw. Since 2010 the club has adopted the Acorns Children’s' Hospice playing a number of matches in support of this local charity and contributing well over £1,000 per year to the operation of the hospice itself.
The club has established a player base of 40 mature cricketers and a further 20 who play when required. It has an annual tour and is a regular fixture for the many touring sides that visit Worcestershire during the season. Just as important has been the club's contribution to the development of the Worcestershire County sides for over-50's, over-60's and most recently over-70's; almost all of the players in these county sides are also members of the Fossils team.
Malvern Cricket Club is one of three "home" grounds for the club the others being West Malvern and Birlingham. At all three grounds the club has been made to feel very welcome.
Weather another mild 23 degrees and fairly sunny day made for perfect playing conditions. No breeze to start with.
The team selected for the match against Fossils was Gary Page, Bill Rowe (c), Boris Teodorowych (wk), Geoff ‘G for George’ Gilbert, Greg ‘Mully’ Mulvaney, Greg Curtis, Keith Bridgen, Miles Boak, Ross Calvert, Mark Viney, Kevin ‘Lillee-Hadlee’ Rosenbaum and Steve Moore.
The ground at Birlingham is beautiful and typically idiosyncratic. Like the English countryside thereabouts, the field has gently rolling hills and large trees – one of which (planted in 1905 to commemorate the centenary of the battle of Trafalgar) is within the boundary, but neatly roped off! There is quite a pronounced hill at one end with a decent slope on the pitch coming down from that end. Surely a tantalising prospect for any doughty old paceman. The game was 40 overs a side, maximum of eight per bowler, batsmen to retire and recycle at 40 runs.
The ACT Galaxies were given the offer and batted first. Openers Gary Page and Skipper Bill Rowe strode to the crease confidently and began batting that way straight off. Some very solid shots saw the score accelerate quickly. It took their opening bowlers a few over to settle in to their line and length, with Bill and Gary in cashing in early.
After the bowling tightened up the batting became a little more watchful, waiting on those hittable balls. Bill thought he’d found just such a delivery in the eighth over, only to be caught at mid-on trying to hit one of the trees. This brought Boris to the crease. He hit some heavy shots, the sound of ball hitting his brand-new willow matched by the occasional boom of a nearby shotgun – presumably aimed at either clay targets or errant poachers. We didn’t check.
Gary played a very handsome off drive for four, then next ball pulled forward of mid-wicket for another boundary, with deft footwork countering the drift of their left-arm Chinaman bowler coming up-hill. The score was 1/58 off the first ten overs, with Gary retiring for a well-made 40* in the 11th. Geoff Gilbert came to the centre; his first scoring shot a nicely timed boundary through the covers of a left-arm orthodox bowler coming down-hill and getting a bit of turn. Geoff was vicious on anything short, with one memorable pull shot from well outside off crashing into the bricks of the club house wall in front of mid-wicket.
Paul ‘Tigger’ Gurr then came up hill –another left-hander bowling tight lines and moving it in to the right-hander. Things then tightened up, with Boris caught and bowled ‘out of the blue’. Geoff followed a few overs later, with Mully and Greg Curtis with the job of steadying the innings. Unfortunately, Greg got a good one from Tigger, bringing drinks on a bit early, with the score on 4/101. Mully and Keith set about steadying the ship, which they did with regular and well-taken singles, punctuated by the odd boundary and an all-run four. Mully was given a life by the ubiquitous John Lawrence in the 23rd and made them pay for a while, until lucking out when he was caught on the long-on boundary (still trying to hit those trees), ending a nice innings. Keith was joined by Miles, with both playing carefully against steady bowling. Miles unfurled a big straight drive for four to bring the score to 5/148 after 30. Keith then celebrated by lashing a big hoik over cow corner into the scoreboard for six! After Keith retired with an excellent 40, the rest of our batters took the score through to a healthy 213.
After a lovely low calorie (!) tea break, Keith opened the bowling coming down the hill, Miles toiling up. Miles struck first, with the Fossils 1/17 in the eight over. The home team pushed things along for a while, Mark Viney taking over downhill in the 17th with the score on 1/46 after some solid hitting from the Fossils. Greg Curtis completed a miraculous recovery from his dicky knee to bowl a long spell uphill. He had one delivery hard struck to Miles at short mid-off, whose cat-like reactions allowed him to get his hands to the missile, almost pulling off an overhead catch none of the rest of us could have reached. Mark Viney got his first wicket in the 19th, with batsman well caught. The home team were 2/53 at drinks.
Mark’s second wicket came in the 23rd, a top edge popped to Geoff Gilbert in the slips – 3/59. Then a few balls later, another catch went to hand in the covers (Greg Mulvaney) off Mark Viney: 4/59. ‘Vinnie’ must have been getting something extra out of the pitch! With Boris keeping well and ensuring the umpires were well awake, the pressure was on and the scoring rate slowed right down. Mark then got a straight ball to stay low in his next over – excellent ‘natural variation’ – to hit the sticks and bag his 4-fer. He then came off for a well-earned break, allowing Ross Calvert to weave his wiles from the uphill end while Greg Curtis kept going at the other end.
The Fossils had moved to 5/73 after 30 overs, but now faced a massive run rate of 14 an over to win. Meanwhile, Ross maintained his love affair with the grass by kissing it a few more times fielding off his own bowling. Greg Curtis completed his long and searching spell without luck, but doing the job for the team. Ross could not be denied and hit the stumps in the 33rd for another wicket during a typically miserly spell.
The Fossils played the remaining overs out, but were never going to get close to the total required - especially with Kevin ‘Lillee-Hadlee’ Rosenbaum hurling himself for a spectacular one-handed stop on the boundary. Then Boris completed an excellent stumping off Ross – off a no-ball! No justice there. The game finished with the Fossils on 6/108 from their 40: a solid win for the Galaxies – enhanced by a runaway sheep on the field at one point and some good fielding by the 13th man (Jack the dog) on the boundary. A lovely day’s cricket all round.
Match No 9
Date: 18 July 2019
ACT vs Apperley CC
Full scorecard - Match 9
GALAXIES PIPPED AT THE POST IN A THRILLING FINISH
Apperley is the largest village in the Deerhurst parish of Gloucestershire with a population of about 800. Apperley Cricket Club grounds are amongst the most picturesque in Gloucestershire. There are references to cricket in Deerhurst as early as 1859 and Apperley in 1892. However, the Apperley club was not formed until 1975. The club reached the final of the Village Knockout Competition in 1998 losing to Methley from South Yorkshire by 61 runs at Lords. The place-name is derived from the Old English Apuldor-lēah, meaning "apple-tree wood". The area still had orchards in the 1960s, but by then they were being removed.
Wightfield manor existed by the reign of Edward the Confessor (AD 1042–66), when it was valued at one hide. But the earliest known record of a settlement at Apperley itself dates from AD 1212, when it was part of Westminster Abbey's Deerhurst manor and was valued at three knight's fees.
The picturesque ground was given to the local community by the local estate: Apperley Court in 1920. Part of the current pavilion was created in the 1930’s but it was extensively renovated in 1978 after cricket came back to the village in 1975 after a hiatus of about 40 years. The club has a proud history and as such, has had one English representative: Alf Dipper, a batsman who played in the 1920’s who also represented Gloustershire.
A cooler day with early rain clouds threatening to disrupt play. This threat dissipated and it remained a dry but overcast day.
The team selected for the match against Somerset was Kev Rosenbaum, Greg Curtis, Mark Viney, Boris Teodorowych (wk), Geoff Gilbert, Gary Page (capt), Mark Dennison, Miles Boak, Andy Turner, Martin Kennedy, Pat Murray and Bill Rowe
Today’s match was 40 overs a side with each bowler allotted 8 overs, and batsman to retire at 40 runs and recycle. Apperley won the toss and elected to bat. This was the second time on tour where we had been “invited to field first”. The pitch was the driest and hardest we had encountered so far and the outfield was manicured and super-fast. It is set in beautiful rural farmland with the village just behind the club house.
The ACT opened the bowling with Pat Murray and Miles Boak. The bowling was tight, and Pat got an early break by getting through the defence of their opening batsman by knocking his middle stump over. The next pair consolidated their position and pushed singles and a few boundaries and reached 40 by the 8th over. Kev Rosenbaum (our Hadlee-Lillee look alike) once again continued his great fielding form, (with the help of some slick work from Pat) by running out their opening bat (a former England Over 60s skipper) from the boundary while he was pushing for a second run. The very next ball saw Miles take a good catch at short third man for the ACT to regain some momentum. Greg Curtis and Mark Viney replaced the openers and Greg knocked over a castle early in his spell with a superb seamer to have the home team 4/79 at drinks, the halfway point of the innings.
Shortly after drinks and a few well struck boundaries hit by the opposition, Mark Dennison then took a blinder of a catch at cover off Mark Viney. Spectators were thrilled to see both feet leave the ground which helped him complete a magic overhead grab. Tight bowling and the occasional boundary continued to be the pattern of play to have the home team 5/95 off 24 overs. Kevin gleefully took yet another catch to give Vinny another wicket. Soon after Vinny then took a sharp caught and bowled chance, extending out a right hand well across the pitch without taking a dive. Mark Dennison came on to bowl and deceived the batsman first ball with a slow half tracker that trapped him plumb in front. Mark continued to bowl a tidy line and length. Martin Kennedy and Kev Rosenbaum bowled out the last few overs. Apperley’s last wicket proved hard to remove adding another 40 runs. The innings concluded with a slick run out from a laser like throw from the deep from Martin Kennedy to keeper Boz Teodorowych. ACT put in a good effort to bowl out Apperley for 182 off 39.3 overs.
Following a lovely lunch provided by Len and Wendy from the Apperley Cricket Club, Greg Curtis and Kev Rosenbaum opened the batting and after scoring 4 off the first ball they were hemmed in by some good tight bowling at both ends. Unfortunately, wickets fell at regular intervals and the ACT were struggling at 4/68 after 20 overs at drinks. Mark Viney and ACT Galaxy’s skipper, Gary Page, were looking to rebuild before Mark was trapped in front for a well compiled 37 off 34 balls. The game was well and truly in the home team’s court at this stage. A flurry of runs from the skipper’s blade including a massive 6 and astute support from Miles Boak progressed the score until Gary was bowled for the team’s unlucky number of the day, 37. Miles and Andy Turner continued the job to set up a tense finish until Andy was bowled attempting to get quick runs and ACT were 8/150 with 4 and a bit overs to go. Miles exploded and his exceptional innings of power hitting had the Galaxies needing 12 runs to win off the last 2 overs. With our ninth wicket down, Miles returned to the wicket to join Martin Kennedy. Good hitting and Martin’s pace between the wickets had the Galaxies needing 6 runs of the last over. A crafty former Gloustershire firsts player Phil Thorn was brought back into the attack. A quick 2 off the first ball meant the win was well and truly on. Miles explosive hitting had put us on the doorstep of victory; however, it was not to be this time. Deceived in flight Miles’ wonderful innings came to an end and the gallant Galaxies finished 4 runs short. A great game with an exciting finish. The ‘could have beens’ over cider, beer and a BBQ were a good way to finish the day.
Match No 10 - Abandoned due to rain
Date: 19 July 2019
ACT vs Winchcombe CC
Match No 11
Date: 21 July 2019
ACT vs Cambridge XI
Full scorecard - Match 11
GALAXIES BACK WITH BIG WIN AGAINST CAMBRIDGE
Kimbolton is a village and civil parish in England. Kimbolton is about 9 miles west of Huntingdon and 14 miles north of Bedford. Kimbolton is administered as part of Cambridgeshire; however it is geographically situated within Huntingdonshire, which is an historic county of England and is now a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire. The parish includes the hamlet of Stonely. Catherine of Aragon, after her divorce from Henry VIII, died at Kimbolton Castle in 1536 and was transported from there to Peterborough Cathedral to be buried
Limited archaeological finds in the vicinity of the airfield suggest that there may have been a small Roman settlement. The main road through Kimbolton bends through four tight right angles in quick succession. Originally, the road travelled directly through the outskirts of the village, nearer to the River Kym to the north. The parish also includes the hamlet of Stonely, the site of a former Augustinian priory.
The game started in heavily overcast but dry conditions which were a welcome change to the rain on the previous two days. A cooler day with early rain clouds threatening to disrupt play. This threat dissipated and it remained a dry but overcast day.
The team selected for the match against Cambridge was Bill Rowe (Capt & wk), Greg Curtis, Mark Viney, Greg Mulvaney, Miles Boak, Ron Bates, Martin Kennedy, Andy Turner, Mark Dennison, Ross Culvert and Pat Murray.
Today’s match was 40 overs a side with each bowler allotted 8 overs, and batsman to retire at 40 runs and recycle. Cambridge won the toss and elected to bowl on what appeared to be a pitch still showing some dampness and softness. ACT started cautiously and found themselves in a tricky position early at 3 for 22 off nine overs. Greg Mulvaney and Miles Boak however staged a come-back scoring briskly to have ACT at 3-72 at drinks at the 20th over including a lovely six to Miles hit over mid-on. Cambridge’s Martin Moore however was notable with bowling figures of 2-6 off six overs. Soon after drinks however Boak fell to an excellent ball that cut back onto the stumps from outside off from the bowling of Chloe Sainsbury for 23 runs. Mulvaney pushed on including an excellent lofted drive to mid-off that cleared the boundary in one bounce. Greg retired in the 23rd over having scored a valuable 40 runs. From this point Ron Bates took up the challenge and in his first innings on tour he soon mastered the conditions to see ACT at 4 for 120 off 30 overs with Bates scoring freely and a score of 21 runs. Ron succumbed at a score of 28 leaving ACT in a strong position. Andy Turner then joined Martin Kennedy at the crease. Martin impressed the growing assembly of spectators with a six over mid-on and a number of other well time boundaries. Martin’s first six on tour formed part of this flurry. By the end of the innings ACT had scored an impressive 4 for 171 with Kennedy on 30 and Andy Turner on 14 both undefeated. A highlight of the last few overs being the running between wickets with Andy achieving speeds which he thought may have left him forever!
After an excellent afternoon tea Cambridge’s start could only be regarded as bumpy. Miles Boak removed the opening batsmen in the first over and in the second over an outstanding piece of fielding from Greg Mulvaney saw the first drop removed at the non-strikers end with a direct hit. At this point Cambridge were struggling at 2 for 1 off two overs. Tight bowling from both Mark Viney and Miles Boak continued to apply pressure and by the time the openers had finished their 8 overs each Cambridge were 3- 39 off 16 overs. The stand out was Rob Benson of Cambridge who scored a 27 including four boundaries. The first change bowling pair of Pat Murray and Martin Kennedy continued to apply pressure and by drinks Cambridge were 4 for 47 facing an up-hill battle.
Cambridge continued to struggle to recover from the initial ACT bowling onslaught. Martin Kennedy finished with a commendable 0-10 of five overs whilst Pat Murray exploited the pressure with some fine line and length bowling to achieve a 2 for 8 off four overs courtesy of smart chance accepted behind the wicket and a screamer taken by Greg Mulvaney at square leg. Ross Calvert and Mark Dennison were then asked to close out the innings. Ross Calvert exploited the slow pitch with some canny flight and turn. He ended with a commendable 3 for 5 of 3 overs. Mark closed out the other end with a one for three runs off 2.2 overs once again exploiting the slow low wicket to best advantage. Commendable was Cambridge’s Chloe Sainsbury who remained at the crease until the end scoring a not out 13.
In conclusion, the Galaxies had scored a conclusive victory of 104 runs completed in the 32st over. On reflection the victory was a combination of solid batting for the full 40 overs and pressure applied in the field and through tight bowling.
Match No 12
Date: 22 July 2019
ACT vs Droitwich CC
Full scorecard - Match 12
GALAXIES GO DOWN IN ANOTHER TIGHT CONTEST
Droitwich Spa (known as Droitwich) is a town in northern Worcestershire on the River Salwarpe. The town is situated on massive deposits of salt which has been extracted since ancient times. The Natural Droitwich water is 10 times stronger than sea water rivalled only by the Dead Sea. During the Roman era it was known as Salinae. Later excavations revealed a Roman Villa 40 metres long. In the mid-19th century, Droitwich became famous as a Spa town with medicinal benefits thought to come from soaking in the saturated brine baths which opened in 1830. The current Droitwich Spa Lido uses very diluted version of the natural brine. I n 2007 Droitwich was hit hard by floods resulting from unseasonably high rainfall throughout the UK.
It is thought that cricket has been played in the Droitwich area for more than 150 years but the club did not settle in a permanent home until 1951 when the Droitwich Borough Council donated the area of St Peter’s fields in order to preserve the fields as open space for the developing and expanding town. The Club has a wide range of ages playing in various Worcester leagues.
A warm day with a decent breeze to start with, the sun peaking through the clouds every so often
The team selected for the match against Droitwich was Gary Page (c), Kevin Rosenbaum, Ron Bates, Mark Dennison, Andy Turner, Boris Teodorowych, Ross Calvert, Geoff Gilbert, Mark Viney, Pat Murray, and Greg Mulvaney.
Today’s match was 40 overs a side with each bowler allotted 8 overs and batsman to retire at 40 runs and recycle. Our skipper Gary Page was offered the bat and openers Kevin Rosenbaum and Ron Bates did the job, playing through to the first bowling change. Ron eventually got one ‘pinball style’ from bat to body to pad to stumps to be out which brought Gary to the crease. That was the only wicket to fall before drinks, with Kevin retiring for a handsome 40 in the 19th over. His innings included some lovely boundaries all around the wicket, with some powerful lofted on and off drives to up the rate before his retirement. The score was 1/64 at drinks.
Mark Dennison and Gary Page then took up the challenge, keeping the scoreboard ticking over with some quick running and the odd boundary. Mark decided to test the opposition’s catching ability, found it wanting and the set about taking advantage. Mark was finally bowled for 23 useful runs in the 30th, with the score on 2/117. Boris then got one straight and low from our (by now) old friend Martin Woodward an over later and was judged to be LBW. Andy Turner then joined Gary who pushed on to get his own well-made 40 and retire.
Andy took one for the team when trying for an impossible single in the 36th over, with the score on 143 and the same happened to Ross Calvert a few balls later. Mark Viney played the shot of innings with a lovely drive off the legs in front of mid-wicket for four. Mild panic momentarily took hold in the dressing rooms when someone had forgotten to bring Greg ‘Mully’ Mulvaney playing pants to the ground, however he eventually found some in “the lost property” after the local constabulary failed to find the culprit. Mully was adjudicated “not guilty” by the third umpire and padded up.
With Geoff Gilbert holing out caught and bowled, Pat Murray went in with just a few overs to go but he was soon on his way back to the pavilion. So Mully got to bat in his ‘hot’ strides after all and chipped in with a few runs in the last over. We had reached 7/167 after the forty overs but sensed it was a bit under par and we would have to pull out all stops to restrict the locals.
The Galaxies attack began brilliantly with the skipper taking a spectacular catch low down in the first over off Mark Viney’s bowling. The Droitwich batsmen began grinding the runs out. In the 7th over Geoff Gilbert took another very good catch at point to give Mark his second wicket with the score at 2/20. We sensed we were in the game. Mark’s third wicket followed in the 11th over with the batsmen caught by Gary again, removing a dangerous hitter. Droitwich were 3/55. Vinny finished with 3-32 off his seven overs to be the pick of the bowlers once again.
At the other end, Mark Dennison came on after Pat Murray’s opening spell. He managed to pick up a wicket clean bowling the batsman with his now patented ‘high yorker’ (hitting the stumps on the full) to make it 4/85. But the Droitwich batsmen were getting into their groove with some powerful hitting we found it hard to contain. Boris completing a neat stumping of Ross Calvert and Martin Kennedy getting a run out as sub to give us a glimmer of hope. But the Droitwich batsmen had other ideas. A persistent effort in the field saw us push the locals into the 39th over before they closed the game out. More sharp fielding from Kevin Rosenbaum was another highlight with Boris featuring in three dismissals.
As always, the friendship and hospitality were wonderful with a great tea put on by Caroline and Harry Edwards from Droitwich. Gary made the usual post-match presentations and Bill presented Martin “Woody” Woodward with an ACT cap to recognise the contribution he had made to our tour and recording the fifth game he had played against us. A great end to a great day.
Match No 13
Date: 24 July 2019
ACT vs Leicestershire O60s
Toss: Galaxies by agreement
Full scorecard - Match 13
GALAXIES TRIUMPHANT IN A NAIL BITER.
Lutterworth is a market town and civil parish in the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England. The town is located in southern Leicestershire, close to the borders with Warwickshire and Northamptonshire. It is located 10.3 kilometres north of Rugby, Warwickshire and 19 kilometres south of Leicester.
Lutterworth was originally an Anglo Saxon settlement, its name is probably derived from the Old English Hlutre Worth, Lutterworth was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. Lutterworth was granted its market charter in 1214 by King John and became a small but busy market town.
Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine, developed some of the world's first jet engines at the British Thomson-Houston works in Lutterworth, and in nearby Rugby, during the late 1930s and the 1940s, with his company Power Jets. A statue of his first jet aircraft the Gloster E.28/39 stands in the middle of a roundabout just south of the town as a memorial, and a number of papers and documents relating to Whittle's development of the jet engine are displayed at the town's museum.
Our host for today’s match, Lutterworth Cricket Club, is one of the oldest cricket clubs in the world (17th according to pavilion manager Jeff Baxter) having been formed in 1789. The Club has ECB Clubmark accreditation and has four senior sides playing in the Leicestershire & Rutland Cricket League on a Saturday, a Women's Softball Cricket side and a Sunday Friendly XI.
The forecast for the day was cloudy skies in the morning with a fine and sunny afternoon. The forecast high was 28c with 54% humidity and light winds.
The team selected for the match against Leicestershire Over 60s was Gary Page (c), Steve Moore, Bill Rowe, Kevin Rosenbaum, Geoff Gilbert, Boris Teodorowych (wk), Joe Gunning, Greg Mulvaney, Pat Murray, Martin Kennedy and Miles Boak.
The team arrived at Lutterworth Cricket Club under grey skies. Preliminary inspection of the pitch and the pavilion took place before Mully called to group together to do our warm ups. By the time we had finished, the cloud had mostly cleared to a beautiful blue sky. As the sun began to take effect, the result of overnight rain started to raise the humidity.
By this time, the Leicestershire team slowly started to arrive. Once the whole team had assembled, Leicestershire captain, Rob Ogden, gave Gary the option to bat first, which he accepted. At the stroke of noon, Steve Moore, fresh from his return from the continent strode out to bat with Bill Rowe.
The early overs were tough as the ball moved around a fair bit making it hard to score runs. The many spectators were amused by Bill’s gymnastic abilities, diving for his ground after a couple of tightly run singles. The pair saw off their openers but in the 11th, Bill was found a tad short and our first wicket was down with the score on 36. Steve was then joined by Boris Teodorowych and took the score to 44 before Steve was undone by a huge outswinger which clipped the outside of his off stump. Geoff Gilbert then strode to the pitch. Unfortunately, next over, Boris guided one to first slip and we had slipped to 3/44. Joe Gunning, who only joined the group on Monday and was playing in his first match, then joined Geoff at the crease. However his stay was not long as he was dismissed by a great caught and bowled. Kevin Rosenbaum then joined Geoff at the crease.
Geoff decided that offence was the best form of defence and proceeded to smash 19 runs in one over, including a huge six back over the bowler’s head. He then mistimed a cut shot and was caught at point for 22 (17 balls) and we were in a bit of trouble with the score of 5/69 (21st over). Mully then joined Kevin in an effort to stabilise the innings.
The pair then went about rebuilding the innings and with Kevin taking on the support role, Mully played some great shots all around the ground. The pair added 52 runs (from 12 overs) for the partnership and were only separated when Mully retired on 42. Pat Murray was then given a promotion up the order and joined Kevin in the middle. Unfortunately, in an effort to increase the run rate, Pat (2/14) holed out. Martin Kennedy followed shortly afterwards while pursuing the same objective. This left the Galaxies at 7/129 with only a couple of overs left. To add insult to injury, Kevin suffered a minor strain to his calf which hampered his running between wickets. Skipper Gary Page then made his way to the middle. The pair added a valuable 22 runs, thus enabling the Galaxies to finish at 7/151 from our 40 overs.
After an impressive lunch provided by Lutterworth CC, Miles Boak and Pat Murray opened the attack. The Leicestershire openers were able to achieve a somewhat better scoring rate for the first 10 overs to reach 50 without loss. Geoff Gilbert and Joe Gunning were brought into the attack after 11 overs and were able to curtail the run rate.
Joe achieved immediate success when he removed opening batsman Lall LBW. The openers had added 60 runs for the first wicket in just over 12 overs. Opening batsman George Fox (top century maker for England O70s in the 2017 series) struck some powerful drives. He was dismissed shortly afterwards when he lofted Geoff to mid-on where Miles took a well-judged catch. Joe quickly achieved another LBW dismissal which left Leicestershire at 3/67 in the seventeenth over.
Miles and Joe then combined in a run out dismissal which made our opponents much less comfortable at 4/70 in the 21st over. Keeper Boris then took a catch to give Joe his third wicket which rendered Leicestershire 5/74 in the 23rd over. We gradually wound back the run rate with a combination of line and length bowling and great fielding.
At the second drinks break (27 overs) things were about even stevens with the score at 5/94 we knew that we would have to bowl tightly and the fielding will need to be spot on if we were to have any chance. Every time they seemed to be getting on top, we found a way to take a wicket. Mully (or Rosco Jnr) was weaving a spell over the batsmen, which was backed up with some great catching saw the run rate creep higher and higher. The occasional lusty hit by the batsmen was match with the appropriate good dot ball from the bowler. Eventually we persevered and restricted them to 9/133 from their 40 overs. It was a great win with everyone contributing.
Match No 14
Date: 25 July 2019
ACT vs John Belfield XI
Venue: Stowell Park
Toss: Galaxies agreed to field by consent.
Full scorecard - Match 14
GALAXIES STRUGGLE AGAINST A YOUTHFUL BELFIELD XI
Stowell Park Estate is a 6,000-acre historic agricultural and sporting estate in the Cotswold Hills, Gloucestershire, England. The estate includes the village of Yanworth. The main house is a Grade II* listed building and surrounded by extensive parkland, a mill, and church. The landscaped park is listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The house was built around 1600 for Robert Atkinson, on the site of a previous house. The manor is first recorded in 1086 when it was held by the Archbishop of York. The house contains quite well-preserved fragments of twelfth-century wall-paintings". The estate sold in 1923 to the First Lord Vestey, whose great grandson Sam Vestey, 3rd Lord Vestey, is the current head of the family and Chairman of the Vestey Group. During World War II Stowell Park was used for evacuees from Great Ballard School.
The grounds include terraced lawns with surrounding herbaceous borders. There are walled gardens containing fruit and flower beds. It is opened for the National Gardens Scheme each year. The landscaped park is listed Grade II on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. The estate hosts shoots for pheasants. It has also been the home of a polo team with one of the players being the Argentine born Héctor Barrantes.
The day was sunny and one of the warmest days on record across England reaching into the high 30s in some places. All Over 70 matches for the day had been cancelled due to the heat.
The team selected for the match against John Belfield’s XI was Boris Teodorowych (wk), Ron Bates, Peter Gunning (c), Martin Kennedy, Geoff Gilbert, Joe Gunning, Ross Calvert, Greg Mulvaney, Andy Turner, Mark Dennison, Mark Viney with Steve Moore and Miles Boak subbing in the field.
The Galaxies were invited to field as the opposing skipper for the day, John Belfield, considered that the visitors would be better able to handle the hot “Australian conditions”. Today’s match was 35 overs a side with each bowler limited to 7 overs and batsmen to retire at 30 runs and recycle. Mark Viney and Martin Kennedy opened the bowling against some youthful local batting. Strong shots greeted the visitors but Mark was having none of it. Some beautiful swing bowling from Mark brought an early breakthrough with Boris Teodorowych taking a sharp reflex catch down the leg side from an attempted glance.
More youth followed with an Australian from Armidale, Nick Farrer the international player for local club Kingsholm. Meanwhile at the other end Martin was bowling good line and length. The Belfield top order looked to push the score along to have the total at 39 when first drinks were taken after 10 overs. The Galaxies fielding which had improved remarkably on tour continued to keep the score in check against the Belfield “young” guns. Mark was relieved by Joe Gunning when he was brought into the attack and keen to reproduce his good form with the ball. Martin stuck to the task and was rewarded with a wicket when skipper Peter Gunning grabbed a laser-like bullet at mid-wicket, determinedly on the third or fourth grab. The Galaxies fielding was holding.
An inspirational bowling change by today’s skipper saw Geoff Gilbert clean bowling the young Australian without offering a shot. While not landing the ball with as much regularity as usual, Geoff picked up another wicket trapping the Belfield batsman in front of the wicket while trying to sweep a straight one. Ross Calvert replaced Joe and bowled his usual tight lines and was rewarded with Boris snaffling another chance and Joe taking a well-judged outfield catch on the run. When Greg “Mully” Mulvaney replaced Geoff, this brought the Galaxy spin twins together and they immediately had a dampening effect on the run rate. Mully opened up with two excellent maidens and conceded only 1 run in his third and taking a wicket in his fourth over. Ross completed a good spell but unfortunately suffered a bit of stick in his last over at the hands of the Belfield batsmen who were looking to push the run rate up.
With another retirement, the Belfield middle order returned and although Mully continued to bowl with great control he suffered a similar fate to Ross going for a few in his last over. Mully still returned great figures of 1 for 18 from 6 overs. Mark Viney was reintroduced into the attack to bowl the last over. After 3 singles he first had one retiree stumped neatly by Boris then the next retiree caught from the next ball at point by Andy Turner. Yet another retiree returned to face the hat-trick ball and Mark bowled an unplayable taking 2/3 in his last over and finishing with 3/21 off his 6 overs. The Galaxies had done well to keep the youthful Belfield XI to 9/161 off their 35 overs.
The Galaxies began their innings needing 162 for the win at a little over 4.5 runs per over. After having a hand in 3 dismissals, Boris strode to the wicket with Ron Bates both full of intent. Unfortunately, the loopy slow bowling of the Belfield opening pair made timing difficult and both struggled to get the ball away. A couple of quick wickets and the Galaxies were in trouble at 2/11 after 5 overs. Drinks were again taken after 10 overs in the hot weather with the Galaxies moving on to 2/26 with Peter Gunning and Martin Kennedy at the crease. Disaster struck in the 13th over when Pete skied a full toss to backward square off the back edge of the bat to bring big Geoff Gilbert to the middle.
In the meantime, Martin was keeping the innings moving with some well struck boundaries eventually being bowled for a team high score of 22. This brought Joe Gunning to the crease and he and Geoff set about resurrecting the innings. Alas, it was not to be. As more wickets fell, the Galaxies hope rested on its middle and lower order. Geoff was striking the odd boundary and Ross Calvert enjoying the challenge, however, there was enough youth in the Belfield fielding to make scoring very difficult. At the second drinks break the Galaxies had moved to 5 for 62 from 20 overs, needing 100 off the last 15 overs at better than 6 an over.
Mully joined Geoff at the crease and was hopeful that after his good form the day before both he and Geoff could still mount an attack that would give the Galaxies a sniff of victory. When Geoff holed out at deep mid off for 14, the chances were looking extremely difficult. After 25 overs the score was 74 and the Galaxies needed 9 an over from the last 10 overs. But Mully was going to give it a go. He struck a number of boundaries before finally getting a top edge to a deepish gully for 19. With another couple of wickets down, the Galaxies had it all to do with Mark Viney and Andy standing between the locals and victory.
Galaxies had fought well in the field but unfortunately their batting fell short of their bowling and fielding. The locals, with the assistance of some Australian talent the local club were too strong on the day. Bill Rowe Peter Gunning joined John Belfield in exchanging pleasantries on behalf of their teams who enjoyed a few drinks at the after-match proceedings.
Match No 15
Date: 26 July 2019
ACT vs Eastnor O60s
Full scorecard - Match 15
GALAXIES ARE BACK WITH THUMPING WIN OVER EASTNOR
Hereford is a cathedral city, civil parish and country town in Herefordshire about 26 km east of the border with Wales. A town charter granted by Richard I in 1189 describes Hereford in Wales and while recognised as an English city since time immemorial this status was not confirmed until 2000. The Hereford cathedral dates from the 12th century. The Bishop's Palace next to the cathedral was built in 1204 and has been used continually ever since. The Hereford Cathedral school is one of the oldest in England. The game was played at the Eastnor cricket ground nestled in the shadows of Eastnor castle.
Eastnor is an ancient parish village in Herefordshire. A small village with a population of around 400, it is situated on the borders of Worcestershire to the east and Gloucestershire to the south and is intersected by the road from Cheltenham to Hereford. Eastnor Castle, named after the village, is the major landmark in the area. The castle is a 19th century revival castle. It was founded by John Cocks, 1st Earl of Somers as his stately home and continues to be inhabited by his descendants. The Castle has provided the backdrop to a number of films and TV series including The Prince and the Pauper (1976), the 1986 adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost. Interestingly, the grounds are the location of the Land Rover test track. Eastnor also has a 12th century church, St John the Baptist, which was redesigned and rebuilt in 1852 and provides the other major attraction in Eastnor.
Cricket probably reached Herefordshire in the 18th century, though possibly earlier. The earliest reference to cricket in the county is dated 1823. Herefordshire County Cricket Club is one of the county clubs which make up the Minor Counties Championship and the Minor Counties Championship Association (MCCA) Knockout Trophy in the English domestic cricket structure. Herefordshire has won the Championship once, sharing the title with Norfolk in 2002 and it won the (MCCA) Knockout Trophy in 2000.
A welcome cooler day compared with the past few games. The game started under light cloud cover with sunny periods, with the first innings played out in pleasant but cloudy conditions. Grey sky prevailed into the second innings, however there was no hint or expectation of rain.
The team selected for the match against Eastnor was Bill Rowe (c), Gary Page, Steve Moore, Peter Gunning, Greg Mulvaney, Boris Teodorowych (wk), Miles Boak, Andy Turner, Ross Calvert, Mark Dennison, Pat Murray, and Martin Kennedy.
Today’s match was 40 overs a side with each bowler allotted 8 overs and batsman to retire at 40 runs and recycle. The pitch was hard and straw coloured with a fair cover of grass to provide some encouragement for the bowlers. It looked to be the best batting pitch of the tour to date. Plenty of runs were on offer with the outfield looking particularly slick. Denied the usual invitation to bat, the coin was tossed and came down in favour of Eastnor who elected to bat.
Opening the Galaxy attack, Miles Boak got quickly into stride producing his now expected controlled in-dippers. He removed one of the Eastnor openers with the second ball of the innings having him easily caught by Steve Moore at short mid-off. Called into a non-batting bowling position at the last minute, Martin bowled superbly finding his rhythm quickly and producing a fine spell of 0/22 off 8 overs. Meanwhile, at the other end, Miles controlled bowling was ironically rewarded when he pushed one down leg side inviting the late pull. Keeper Boris Teodorowych made a spectacular reflex grab down to pull off a remarkable dismissal. When Miles bowled a “jaffa” clipping the off bail from outside its supporting stump, the locals were suddenly 3/43 off 13 overs. With the first runs being scored off the last ball of the first over, Miles and Martin had set the scene to provide an opportunity for the Galaxies to restrict the local total to something the visitors could chase down. Our second-best dot ball run of the tour had been achieved at 23!
Greg Mulvaney was introduced early in an effort to create uncertainty among the locals and drive home the advantage. Mark “Denno” Dennison took up the attack at the other end with the job of creating pressure by bowling good line and length. The pair combined to claim the next wicket – a safe catch to Mark and Eastnor looked shaky at 61/4 at drinks after 20 overs. Good spells followed from Ross Calvert and Pat Murray, with Gary Page taking a catch off Pat to have the locals at 5/113 in the 30th, however the Eastnor batsmen stepped up to accelerate the run rate. The Eastnor no 5 batsman (Andy “the Pope” Gregory) retired on 43, and runs continued to flow, as Eastnor’s “dancing” number 7, Kevin Smith, sought to upset the Galaxies fielding discipline. The visitors did not fall for such antics, maintaining their shape and their standard. Ross Calvert picked up an LBW and then Pete Gunning was safely under a high ball to give Mark Dennison a well-earned wicket. Eastnor was 171-7 after 37 overs. In the closing overs, the Galaxies restricted the locals’ run rate. Denno and Ross did not concede a boundary at the death with the support of the discipled Galaxies fielding. The Eastnor innings closed at 185-7.
The innings break offered a cornucopia of bread, cheese, cake and various tempting slices accompanied by the now-mandatory cup of tea. The Galaxies were quietly confident that the quality of their batting line-up would rebound from the disappointment the day before and pin their true colours to the mast. The visitors’ innings started brightly with Gary Page striking 3 crisp boundaries before being caught in the 4th over with the score on 20. Steve Moore and Pete Gunning consolidated the innings and then took full toll on the loose change bowling reaching the boundary regularly. Pete was controversially fired on 39 (in the woodiest of circumstances!) with the score on 88 in the 17th over. Steve Moore and Greg “Mully” Mulvaney saw the Galaxies to drinks at 99-2 after 20 overs.
Just after drinks, Steve Moore retired on 40 with the total on 101. With Miles and Greg at the crease, there were high hopes that the “bunkies” would bring it home. Unfortunately, Miles was removed without scoring, dragging the ball onto his stumps for the fourth time on tour. Having set a great platform to launch an attack, Mulley was bowled by one that jagged back a foot. With the “bunkie buddies” both removed, the Galaxies were 4 down but within 50 of victory. Confidence was growing in the Galaxy dressing rooms. Boris Teodorowych came to the crease with the match in the balance. The visitors had toiled hard to this point in the field and with the bat but runs were at a premium. Using a new stick he had purchased in Taunton more than a week before (and had not had much success with to date) Boris played an innings he will cherish for a long time. Controlled defence punctuated by calm attack saw the Galaxies into a position where it was game on! Boris’ innings concluded when he retired on 40 with the score at 172. Having the time of his life, Mark Dennison and Andy Turner full of the “cricket-smarts” in such a situation, brought the Galaxies home with more than two overs to spare. Denno’s straight on drive over the ring field set to restrict scoring, and Andy’s running between wickets were a feature of our final partnership which closed out the win. A hard-fought victory by 6 wickets to the Galaxies the result.
After the match, the Galaxies “frocked up” and were treated to a wonderful meal in a marquee especially erected for the event. Bill Rowe and Eastnor character-extraordinaire, Kevin Smith, exchanged pleasantries and gifts in a convivial conclusion to a great day’s cricket. Local Eastnor Stalwart Malcolm Hughes (who 5 years ago had taken then tour leader Stirling Hamman to Herefordshire hospital for treatment to a broken finger) was again on hand to join in on the festivities.
Match No 16
Date: 28 July 2019
ACT vs Sussex O60s
Venue: Robertsbridge CC
Full scorecard - Match 16
GALAXIES MAINTAIN SHAPE TO RECORD THEIR 8th WIN ON TOUR
Robertsbridge is a village in the civil parish of Salehurst and Robertsbridge, and the Rother district of East Sussex, England. It is approximately 10 miles north of Hastings and 13 miles south-east of Royal Tunbridge Wells. The River Rother passes through the village.
The village is thought to date back to 1176 when a Cistercian abbey was founded there by the Abbot, Robert de St Martin. When a market charter was granted in 1198 by Richard I to Robertsbridge it was the first recorded use of the name. The abbey was dissolved in 1538; however, the town flourished, and many of the oldest existing houses in the village date from the 14th and 15th centuries, including the Seven Stars Inn on High Street. At Robertsbridge is the Robertsbridge Codex (1360), a music manuscript of the 14th century. It contains the earliest surviving music written specifically for keyboard.
Sports clubs include Robertsbridge Cricket Club and formally Robertsbridge Rugby Football Club, but it disbanded in the 2008-2009 season. Robertsbridge is also the home of the headquarters of Grays-Nicolls, a major brand in Cricket, and also the Headquarters of Gilbert, one of the largest brands in predominantly Rugby Union, but also Netball.
The match started in overcast and cool conditions with a damp outfield and pitch showing the signs of Saturday’s rain.
The team selected for the match against Sussex O60s was Steve Moore, Mark Viney, Peter Gunning, Gary Page (c), Joe Gunning, Ross Calvert, Geoff Gilbert, Martin Kennedy, Greg Mulvaney (wk), Miles Boak and Ron Bates. Boris remained in Crawley on the match day when incapacitated by illness; Greg Mulvaney assumed the wicket keeping duties.
“Cricket is the winner” in any game decided in the last over and this was a match with enough twists and turns to retain the interest of even the most acute case of Attention Deficit Syndrome on a day on which few batsmen looked in command on a challenging pitch surface. If the result was determined by the toss, the route to get there went through some beguiling scenery! The pleasure of the day enjoyed by those who spent this day at Robertsbridge will probably endure long beyond our ability to recall the details of the result.
ACT Veterans’ captain Gary Page won the toss and chose to field in the cool, damp conditions at the start of play, with the ‘stopping and popping’ pitch offering the expected variations in bounce. In such conditions the steady opening attack of Miles Boak and Mark Viney posed challenges for the Sussex openers, but a combination of watchful defence, well struck shots to the fence and occasional misfields on the damp outfield allowed them to progress to 46 in the twelfth over before the first wicket was taken by Mark, courtesy of a catch at mid-wicket by Peter Gunning. A similar pattern continued to the drinks break after 20 overs, interrupted only by the retirement of Sussex opener and captain Russ Varney (who retired with a personal score of 40 in the fifteenth over), by which time the attack had been taken up by Geoff Gilbert and Joe Gunning and the score had reached 1/83.
The sun emerged through broken cloud soon after the break but the Sussex batsmen continued their apparently comfortable pattern of combining occasional singles and well struck boundaries before the world (and the innings) changed in over 29! The mysterious wiles – and accuracy - of Ross Calvert, the energetic enthusiasm of Martin Kennedy, and the consistent threat posed by Miles Boak led to Sussex losing 8 wickets for 22 runs in the final 12 overs of their innings which finished at 9/144 off 40 overs after being 1/122 off 28. Lofted shots went to hand to be held by the Gunning-Page conspiracy, some batsmen were caught running past the ball by an alert Greg Mulvaney, while others willingly invited Ross Calvert to hit their stumps.
Ross deservedly added his name to the honours board with a successful LBW appeal in over 39 to finish with the commendable figures of 5/10 off 7 overs and bringing Russ Varney back to the crease. Martin finished with 2/32 off his 8 overs, and Miles Boak and Mark Viney each finished with 1/28 off their respective 8 overs. Keeper Greg Mulvaney finished with two stumpings and each of Peter Gunning and Gary Page clung to two catches in one of the more marked turn arounds within an innings of this tour, without any discernible change in the pitch or weather conditions: perhaps it was the distraction of the traditional Sussex game of stool ball being played on the adjoining field?
If the Galaxies were confident of victory in this match, their innings was characterised by a fierce commitment to maintaining the tension of a nerve-racking chase. Mark Viney, manfully shouldering the workload of opening both bowling and batting, and Steve Moore provided a steady start for the Galaxies, taking the score to 0/28 off the first 10 overs. Mark soon livened things up with what some might have described as a slog sweep that the Sussex fielder lost sight of before nudging the first six of the day in over 14. In the meantime, Steve Moore was dismissed from a top edge to short fine leg for 15 off 33 balls in over 12, but skipper Gary Page also found the fence early in his stay to take the Galaxies to 1/50 off 15 overs. Sadly, Gary fell in over 17 for 10 (from 17 balls) to a good catch from a well struck shot that flew hard to square leg, leaving the Galaxies 2/57.
Mark Viney and Peter Gunning steadily built the Galaxies to a competitive 2/76 at the 20 overs drinks break, before Mark’s effective combination of subtlety and power had him retire in the 24th over for an undefeated 40 (2/86), even if it did involve a case of justice delayed being justice denied when Judge David Collins failed to prosecute a stumping opportunity.
The Gunning brothers had advanced the Galaxies to 2/92 in over 26, by when the pitch had ‘flattened out’ only a little, when Peter was bowled by England Over 70s’ tweaker Howard Johnson, bringing Ross Calvert to the crease to challenge Mark Viney for Galaxy all-rounder honours. Unfortunately, Ross was adjudged LBW for 3 (from 19 balls) in over 31. The score was now 4/107. More disappointment quickly followed in Howard Johnson’s over (the 34th) when Geoff Gilbert was bowled for 10 (from 11 balls), and Martin Kennedy, caught for a duck. This had the Galaxies at 6/118 and the tension was turned up a notch or two as the spectators began to appreciate the looming closeness of the contest.
Joe Gunning and Greg Mulvaney built the score steadily towards the target before Greg failed to resist the temptation to raise the tension yet again by being bowled for 9 (off 17 balls) in the final ball of the 38th over. Miles Boak strode to the crease to join Joe Gunning with 5 needed off two overs and calmly ended the game with a boundary off the second ball of the final over to take his score to an invaluable undefeated 5, much to the relief of the Galaxy supporters.
Gary Page and Sussex skipper spoke of the close contest that had preceded their exchanges of thanks to officials, caterers and each team before gifts and mementos were presented. The Galaxies had left their mark and a plaque with the Robertsbridge CC to commemorate an enjoyable day’s cricket for all.
Match No 17
Date: 29 July 2019
ACT vs Sussex O70s
Venue: Three Bridges CC
Full scorecard - Match 17
LUCKLESS GALAXIES FINISH TOUR WITH LAST BALL LOSS
Royal Tunbridge Wells, previously just Tunbridge Wells, is a town in western Kent, England, 30 miles south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex upon the northern edge of the High Weald. The town came into being as a spa in the Restoration and enjoyed its heyday as a fashionable resort in the mid-1700s under Beau Nash when the Pantiles, and its chalybeate spring, attracted significant numbers of visitors who wished to take the waters. Though its popularity as a spa town waned with the advent of sea bathing, the town remains highly popular and derives some 30 per cent of its income from the tourist industry. The town has a population of around 56,500, and is the administrative centre of Tunbridge Wells Borough and the parliamentary constituency of Tunbridge Wells. Evidence suggests that Iron Age people farmed the fields and mined the iron-rich rocks in the Tunbridge Wells area. It is thought that the area was occupied into the era of Roman Britain, and the area continued to be part of the Wealden iron industry until its demise in the late eighteenth century. An iron forge remains in the grounds of Bayham Abbey, in use until 1575 and documented until 1714.By the early nineteenth century Tunbridge Wells experienced growth as a place for the well-to-do to visit and make their homes. It became a fashionable resort town again following visits by the Duchess of Kent, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and benefited from a new estate on Mount Pleasant and the building of the Trinity church in 1827. In 1842 an omnibus service was set up that ran from Tonbridge to Tunbridge Wells, enabling visitors to arrive from London within two hours, and in 1845 the town was linked to the railway network via a branch from South Eastern Railway's Due to its position in South East England, during the First World War Tunbridge Wells was made a headquarters for the army, and its hospitals were used to treat soldiers who had been sent home with a "blighty wound"; the town also received 150 Belgian refugees. The Second World War affected Tunbridge Wells in a different way—it became so swollen with refugees from London that accommodation was severely strained. Over 3,800 buildings were damaged by bombing, but only 15 people lost their lives.The prefix "Royal" dates to 1909, when King Edward VII granted the town its official "Royal" title to celebrate its popularity over the years among members of the royal family. Royal Tunbridge Wells is one of only three towns in England to have been granted this (the others being Royal Leamington Spa and Royal Wootton Bassett). Although "Wells" has a plural form, it refers to the principal source, the chalybeate spring in the Pantiles (where the waters were taken).
A fine but windy day has greeted the ACT Galaxies at the Tunbridge Wells Recreation Ground. The forecast temperature in this very green part of England is 23 degrees. The ground is in an elevated position with views down a wooded valley.
The team selected for the match against Sussex O70s was Kev Rosenbaum, Bill Rowe (c), Peter Gunning, Joe Gunning, Steve Moore, Geoff Gilbert, Mark Dennison, Ron Bates, Andy Turner, Pat Murray, Mark Viney, Greg Mulvaney (non-batting keeper) and Martin Kennedy and Ross Calvert coming off the bench.
Both skippers were happy to accommodate their opponent’s preference to bat or bowl. It was agreed that the match would start with a toss (a rare occurrence on this tour) with the winner batting. In another rare occurrence skipper Bill Rowe won the toss but it may have been a better toss to lose! The ACT Galaxies were putting the pads on to have first use of what felt like a softish flat, straw coloured wicket.
The Sussex Over 70s opening bowlers used the soft wicket to their advantage dropping the ball in good areas with the wicket producing all sorts of uneven bounce, and movement off the seam. Bill got one that bounced and seamed back at him taking the glove and popping up to first slip. Peter Gunning came to the wicket and started to play with authority through the off side before playing a loose shot to get out. Kev Rosenbaum had been keeping out some accurate bowling pushing ones and two’s, before being caught out of his ground with some swift work from the keeper. This left the ACT Galaxies in a precarious position at 3 for 40 from fifteen overs.
Just before the drinks break Steve Moore was running a quick single when his bat stuck into the turf causing Steve to over stretch which his hamstring did not like one little bit. Steve had to be assisted from the field to start the ICE process. At the drinks break the ACT were 3 for 66 from twenty overs. Joe Gunning, who had come to the wicket following the dismissal of his brother Peter, began to play his shots, punishing any loose ball. Geoff Gilbert joined Joe when Steve Moore retired hurt. Our farmer from Bathurst began to wield the willow and the boundaries started to flow.
Following the demise of Geoff out bowled, Joe Gunning started to stroke the bowling around the park, pulling and driving with authority. Joe’s first 40 not out of the tour came relatively quickly. When the 100 came up the mood in the dressing sheds changed and the ACT expectations of a competitive score were greatly increased.
As the overs started to tick down, Steve Moore courageously returned to the wicket with Bill Rowe as his runner. Steve on one leg began to flay the attack. He was ably supported by Mark Dennison taking the score to over 140. Steve liked the idea of not having to run as he leaned back, waited for the ball to come to him and punched the ball into the off and on sides. Bill took the opportunity to extract every run possible and together with Mark, took cheeky singles and turned ones into twos. After a 50-run partnership, Mark was bowled and the locals were into the tail.
Steve was eventually bowled off a good length delivery which saw Ron Bates, Andy Turner and Pat Murray push the score past 160 mark. Mark Viney came in for the last ball of the innings, took two and the Galaxies total had reached 169 – much better than expected at the half-way mark.
Thoughts of what was a competitive total filled the minds of the ACT as they took the field. It became all too obvious that 169 may not be enough as the Sussex O70’s started to strike the ACTs full-length bowling to many parts of the field. An early wicket was highlight of the first 10 overs (courtesy of a diving catch by the skipper) from Geoff Gilbert’s bowling. However, the locals continued to dominate the ACTs attack, particularly former England Over 70s player, Andy Barnes who struck the ball with authority as the score board ticked over at an alarming speed.
Pat Murray was the first change bowler who began a spell of tight just short of a length bowling. This type of bowling was perfect for this soft pitch and it bore fruit immediately as Pat got one to jag back and shatter the stumps of their opening batsman. Andy Barnes on the other hand continued to dominate the ACT attack, one could say like his famous name sake Australian player Sid Barnes, with some great stroke play. Andy retired at 40 but with a 100 on the board in the 20th over the ACT had a lot of work to do to stem the run flow.
The Sussex middle order pushed on and through overs 20 to 30 the score moved into 130s; it was looking ominous for the ACT. Our skipper Bill Rowe started to ring the field and introduce bowling changes to upset the Sussex rhythm. Joe Gunning with a lame knee started to bowl spin with great results as he picked up a wicket in his first over. A run out followed shortly after and the Galaxies were still in the hunt for an unlikely win.
The last few overs proved to be the most exciting of the whole tour. Some persistent bowling from the ACT backed up by total commitment in the field placed a lot of pressure on the Sussex O70’s and as wickets fell under this pressure, suddenly Sussex needed 6 runs to win from the final over. Ross Calvert was to bowl the last on tour and what an exciting over it was. A dot ball followed by a single and a boundary meant that the scores were tied with 3 balls to go. The field was tightened a few more notches to stop the single - two more dot balls and the first tie of the tour was a real possibility with one ball remaining. The large crowd of friends and families were on tender hooks as Rosco strode in. The final delivery hit the pad – a confident appeal ensued and the batsman scrambled to make it home for the winning run. What a match. The ACT were valiant in defeat in the closest game of the tour.
In the end the Galaxies won 8, lost 8 and one match was washed out without a ball bowled..