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News & Events 2014


AGM and Club Dinner, Saturday November 29

Jon Grant chaired a very upbeat Annual General Meeting, which was buoyed not only by Crondall’s excellent 2014 season, but also by the club’s healthy financial situation. Six wins, six draws and just four losses is certainly the best season we’ve had in recent memory.
However, Jon added a cautionary note that cricket clubs are regularly becoming insolvent and we can never be complacent about our finances. The maintenance of any ground is a hugely expensive undertaking, and without the fundraising and private donations during 2014, Crondall CC would now be faced with a bleak outlook.
The dinner and prize-giving that followed was, as always, a great occasion. It is especially enjoyable for those of us who don’t normally get to see each other during the winter months.
The spirit of cricket burns brightly in Crondall, and evenings like these give us cause to be optimistic for the club’s future.
Pictures of the evening can be seen on the gallery page. They’re not exactly Mario Testosterino.

David Twibill

 

sunset

September 14 marked a late finish to our season and we were lucky that the game was played mostly in sunshine. A win would have been a perfect end to this Indian summer, but in rapidly failing light and with shadows edging across Hook Meadow like a flooding tide, Whiteditch Wanderers valiantly held onto their last wicket and drew the match.
The star of Crondall’s innings was Alec Goldsworthy, whose left-hand strokeplay offered very little encouragement to the bowlers. His timing and cover driving were an object lesson to anyone watching. Alec made 69 in Crondall’s total of 160 for 9, a score that would have been far greater but for two of Whiteditch’s bowlers taking 4 wickets apiece.
From the outset Whiteditch struggled to find runs and stem a flow of wickets, and looked to be in serious trouble. A first bowling change involving yours truly helped them settle, and they began to get some wind in their sails.
However, the Whiteditch boat nearly foundered under a broadside of un-playable deliveries from Dan Jones which resulted in his maiden hat trick: I wouldn’t bet on it being his last. Most of us would feel a hat trick was a pretty good day’s work, but Dan was disappointed he didn’t end up with a five-for!
A second spell from Dan, supported by the unfathomable spin of Alex Whittet could not, however, deliver the decisive blow and Whiteditch finished with 116 for 9. It was enthralling and frustrating cricket – the next 7 months will feel very long indeed!

David Twibill


Sunday September 7: Grasshoppers romp home

It was all going so well. A lovely afternoon, a decent pitch and a steady flow of wickets for Crondall were everything we could wish for. And then in reply to the Grasshoppers’ attainable score of 189, an opening stand of 80 between Roger Wiltshire and Alec Goldsworthy seemed to have things sewn up. At this point I went home to put the dinner on, expecting good news in the morning.
I hadn’t reckoned on Jamie Strachan taking five quick wickets in addition to his half-century; there can seldom have been an easier man-of-the-match decision. A heavy defeat followed. I don’t have the figures, but maybe it’s best not to dwell on these.
Moving swiftly on, Toby Elstow continued his great form with the ball, taking three wickets and Keith Knox, in an inspired bit of captaincy, brought Andrew Whitehouse on to bowl the last over. Immediately, Andrew’s variation in length and pace caused trouble and before long, he had claimed his first wicket for Crondall, bowling his victim all-ends-up. Congratulations, Andrew!
Congratulations also, to Jamie and the Grasshoppers for turning the game on its head. This is the kind of stuff that makes cricket so interesting, dammit.

David Twibill

 

team 2014

 

Welcome back, Roger!

Odiham are a great club and Crondall have often struggled against them. But on August 31, batting first, we set them a target of 202; this proved too great and Odiham did well to force a draw. Their resilience was largely due to their wicket-keeper and opening batsman, who survived till the close.
We haven’t seen enough of Roger Wiltshire lately and in only his second game of the season, he returned to the kind of form which has helped us many times over the past few years. Roger’s brilliant 70 put Crondall firmly in control and he found great support in Julian Ranger, who scored his maiden 50 for the club.
The weather hasn’t been too good lately, so we were glad to see the clouds roll back and we enjoyed an afternoon of late summer. Let’s hope it hangs around for the last two matches.
The photos were a disaster, but the team picture was fine and some of the others were just about good enough for the gallery.

David Twibill

 

presentation

As everyone in Crondall CC knows, Tony Hughes passed away just before the start of the 2014 season, but few realised that many visiting players were also affected by the sad news. However, on August 24 this was brought home to us when the Invalids made a moving tribute to Tony, and presented Crondall with a memorial gift – a rare copy of Bill Frindall’s “wagon-wheel” depicting Brian Lara’s 375 test record, signed by “Bearders” and Christopher Martin-Jenkins.
The presentation was a total surprise and we were delighted to be reminded that Tony was so well-liked amongst visiting teams. We must thank, in particular, Richard Durden for his eloquent speech during which he described how the Invalids’ fixture would never have occurred had it not been for Tony. Richard cited Tony’s skills both as a player and a groundsman, and complimented Crondall for being such a great venue.
It was good to know that our hospitality is appreciated, and this undoubtedly sweetened the pill of being thrashed! Crondall were all out for 128; a target which the Invalids knocked off without losing a wicket.
We couldn’t ask to be humiliated by a nicer bunch of blokes!

Plenty of pictures can be seen on the gallery page.

David Twibill

 

isleworthians

Many thanks to Old Isleworthians and Heston CC who stepped in at the last minute after Egham cancelled the match scheduled for August 17. They travelled some distance and played with great heart, unfortunately finding Crondall altogether too strong. Thanks too to David Rook for getting onto the Club Cricket Conference website and arranging the game.
Crondall batted first and Ben Ungaretti continued his amazing form with another 100 not out. He had solid support from fellow opener Ricky Gunner, who applied himself with great patience and batted for an hour, making 13 in an opening stand of 50. Sir Geoffrey would have been proud of you, Ricky! An unusually subdued George Osborne contributed 29, and we finished with 177 for 5.
Keeping Crondall to well under 200 was no mean feat, but OI&HCC found batting was a struggle against Toby Elstow’s and Dan Jones’s relentless accuracy, and wickets soon began to fall. Alex Whittet had a golden spell, taking 3 wickets in 4 balls, and Alec Goldsworthy proved a real handful, taking 2 for 0. David Rook and Jonny Grant also found wickets, David taking 2 for 4. They were all out for 90, losing the game by 87 runs.
It was good to play against a side who obviously enjoy their cricket a great deal. Even when a win was impossible, OI&HCC batted positively and never looked willing to settle for a draw. We hope they’ll be returning next season.
Pictures of the match can be found on the gallery page.

David Twibill

 

Crondall v. The Bourne, Sunday August 3

It's sobering to think of like-minded men who100 years ago almost to the day, walked out to play on village greens throughout the land. We can only hope that they enjoyed an afternoon as glorious as Sunday's, and played without care of what lay ahead.
Crondall's present-day batters certainly played freely with Jim Cranswick making 102 and George Osborne 43. We batted first and finished on 207 for 4.
The Bourne were unfortunate in that one of their number pulled a hamstring and was unable to bat. This undoubtedly affected them, as they were bowled out for 109. Wickets were evenly shared, with George Osborne, Toby Elstow, Jon Grant and Alex Whittet each taking 2. Alex was very economical, taking his 2 from 8 overs for just 15 runs.
Commiserations to the Bourne: it was an unlucky way to lose. But well done, Crondall - we've found some great winning form this season!

Keith Knox

 

Rookie gets a six-for!

David Rook has done great work with the bat this season, but on July 27 he pulled a remarkable bowling spell out of the hat against Long Sutton Haymakers. The Haymakers batted first and looked as if they might make over 300 before David put the brakes on with an excellent 6 for 41 from 5 overs. The velcro hands of Adam Elstow helped as he took 5 brilliant catches.
The Haymakers' big total of 238 for 9 was never going to be easy to overtake, and unfortunately Crondall didn't come close, finishing with 143 for 7. Congratulations to Jonny Grant for top-scoring with 22 not out - if he'd batted higher up the order, who knows how it would have turned out?
A draw was a poor reward for the Haymakers, having set such a high target. But Crondall batted positively (the word "defensive" is not in Jonny's vocabulary), and everyone enjoyed a game which nearly didn't happen due to holiday absentees.

 

Not the MCC hold firm

Another glorious afternoon on July 21 at Hook Meadow provided good batting conditions, but made hard work for both Not the MCC and Crondall’s bowlers.
Crondall batted first, with skipper Alec Goldsworthy and Ben Ungaretti making a big opening stand – Alec making 58 and Ben 79. Contributions of 30 from Dan Jones and 27 from George Osborne helped us towards a total of 224 for 7.
At first the Nots struggled to make runs and early in their innings, Ben Ungaretti made an amazing catch behind the stumps off George Osborne: victory looked well within our grasp. But a decent first wicket stand steadied the Nots’ innings  and for several overs they knocked runs off with apparent ease. Two wickets apiece for George Osborne, Alex Whittet and Alec Goldsworthy kept things under control; at one point Alec made a brilliant reflex catch off his own bowling.
Eventually, with the required run rate creeping into double figures, the Nots pulled up the drawbridge and defended with great patience. Despite a barrage of hostile, competitive bowling from George Osborne and Dan Jones, the Nots hung on as firmly as a limpet clinging to a rock in a force 9 gale, drawing the match with 142 for 6.

Photos of the day are on the gallery page.

 

Vagabonds make hay

A pleasant afternoon saw the Vagabonds amass 242 for 4 on July 13 at Crondall. It was hard graft with little reward for our bowlers, but credit to everyone for sticking it out and in particular, to Alex Whittet for an excellent 2 for 24 from 9 overs.
In reply Crondall struggled to find runs, but we can take heart from not crumpling in the face of such an impressive total. In the end we batted it out, making 153 for 5. Dan Jones helped us to avoid defeat with an unbeaten 51: a resilience that Argentina could have done with later on!
As always, the Vagabonds were great competitors and played with true Sunday spirit.

Keith Knox

 

Success at Valley End puts Crondall in the black

A victory for Crondall on July 6 tipped our results into the positive - we've now won 3, drawn 1 and lost 2 full Sunday matches - keep it up! The away match against Valley End was won by 7 wickets, our hosts making 147 for 9. Crondall's bowlers mixed attack with economy; Adam Elstow taking 3 for 37, George Osborne 2 for 25, Alex Whittet 2 for 27, and Dan Jones 1 for 33. Toby Elstow achieved a miserly 1 for 10 from 9 overs.
In reply, George Osborne made another high score of 71 and David Rook again rolled back the years with a sprightly 33 not out.
Many thanks to Valley End for hosting the game at their Windlesham ground.

Keith Knox

 

Mad about the boys!

Our game against the Mad Hatters on June 29 was, as usual, a great occasion. The Hatters eventually won by 6 wickets with 2 overs to spare. Crondall scored 211 for 9, with David Rook getting a bus pass-defying 76 and Toby Elstow (what a season he's having!) a very good looking 65. The Hatters chased this down, making 212 for 4, with McLeod hitting a rapid 70 (11 fours and 1 six) and Tom Richardson a very good 81 not out.
Our bowlers kept us in touch - Jon Grant and Scott Shepherd each took a wicket and Toby Elstow kept the Hatters in check with 2 for 36 in 9 overs.
As always, a great time was had by all. Roll on next season - we're getting closer, Hatters!

Keith Knox

 

Victory at Oakley, June 22

A score of 177 for 8 gave Crondall a firm base for our first away win this season. The wicket was slow and runs were hard work, but most of us chipped in and George Osborne continued his fine form with 71.
Our bowlers performed with even greater credit. Toby Elstow bowled a perfect one day spell, frustrating the batsmen with 1 for 7 off 6 overs which included 4 maidens. Dan Jones took 3 for 30 and Alex Whittet got a couple. Oakley finished up with 144 all out.
Congratulations to everyone for a terrific team effort, and thanks to Oakley for their usual great hospitality.

Keith Knox

 

mixed team

Many thanks to all the girls and family members who joined Crondall CC for what turned out to be (not unexpectedly), a thoroughly enjoyable day. Who could ever forget Debbie’s graceful arabesque as she released the ball, or the lissom Sophie darting between the wickets like a startled doe?
Six teams fought a tight contest throughout the afternoon before Adam Elstow’s Team F was declared the winner. At times the term ‘wide’ seemed something of an understatement, and Law 24 Clause 3 (appertaining to the straightening of the arm during the bowler’s delivery) was not enforced with much vigour.
Thanks are due to Julian Ranger and Jim Cranswick for their organisational skills. Also, thanks go to Deirdre Rook and her helpers for providing the barbecue, and to everyone else who helped make it such a great occasion.

mixed team 2

It wasn't always clear who was playing and who wasn't . . . but there was a clear winner - Roger Wiltshire and son Jonny are pictured with Team F's trophy.

More photos of the day can be seen on the Gallery page.

 

A close shave . . .

Once again, on June 8th, we enjoyed a great game in glorious sunshine against the Sons of Bacchus. It could hardly have been a closer finish - we won by just 5 runs, having scored 227 for the loss of 2 wickets.
Congratulations are again due to Ben Ungaretti for another brilliant century, even improving on his one last month (by one run). George Osborne joined the party, scoring 62 not out and going on to take 4 for 43, taking a hat-trick in the process. Toby Elstow must also be mentioned as he took a couple of valuable wickets. These wickets were taken under great pressure - at one stage our opponents were 206 for 5, and looked certain to win.
Commiserations to the Sons of Bacchus, who showed great spirit and came dangerously close!

Keith Knox


What a scorcher!

On May 18, in a mediterranean 25 degrees, Crondall blasted its way to 215 for 6 against Surrey Cryptics. Keith Knox, in his first game of the season, scored a very assured 29 in a stand of 100 for the 2nd wicket. Meanwhile, at the other end, Ben Ungaretti notched up102 - a fantastic effort! George Osborne and Julian Ranger made quick runs, scoring 17 and 21 respectively; runs flowing from their flailing willows like wine in a Roman orgy.
Surrey Cryptics also put on a heroic batting effort, one of them getting into the high 80s. An unlikely victory was on the cards, but as the sun dipped below the poplars, discretion kicked in and our steadfast opponents batted it out, finishing with 179 for 5. O, the injustice!
Alex Whittet, also in his first game of the season, took a couple of wickets on a pitch that seemed to favour the bat.

bungle

Bungle's rumble - a searing century. More photos of the match in the gallery.


Jonny Grant writes . . .

On a drizzly  Saturday morning (May 10), Julian Ranger, Jim Cranswick and myself reported to Hook Meadow for duty. . . at 7.30 am! Bleary-eyed, we set to work. The whole thing was Julian’s idea and he duly appointed himself boss. We were there to install the Ball Stopping and Restraining Device (BaStaRD). Basically, it is short wooden stakes about half a metre high that are bashed into the ground, and attached to them is plasticised wire. All very simple but for the stinging nettles and thorny bushes. Jim was the basher (similar to his batting style), and also acted as spotter for the odd mounds of dog s**t that were lurking in the hedge. Julian seemed happy fixing the wire with a large stapler while I did as he said, holding the wire in place and hoping I didn’t end up stapled to the BaStaRD (the fence, not Julian).
Remarkably, it only took us 2 hours to install 150 metres of fence. Hopefully, this will allow us to play more cricket and spend less time looking for cricket balls in the thick prickly hedges during the 2014 season and forever more.

jon and julian

 

Tony Hughes

On April 28th we learned the sad news that Tony Hughes had passed away after a long illness. Everybody who has had anything to do with Crondall Cricket Club over the last few years will know how loved and respected Tony was; he spent many years playing for the club and in more recent times, did an excellent job in maintaining the Hook Meadow ground and the pavilion.
Tony was one of those rare people who could genuinely be described as a true gentleman. Our thoughts are with his family – he will be much missed.

 

Curtain Raiser

After the disappointment of the game with Woking being rained off, it was a real pleasure finally to be able to take the field on Sunday May 4th for an intriguingly-formatted game played amongst ourselves. Each batsman had eight overs to do his best, he was allowed to lose his wicket as many times as was necessary, but would forfeit five runs each time this happened (which was frequently). A surprising number of batsmen returned figures in the black.
It was a perfect afternoon, the pitch was in great shape, and the ground looked as lovely as only Crondall can.

cricketers

 

Mixed Team Tournament Day, Sunday June 15th

For the first time in living memory Crondall CC is inviting any wives, girlfriends, daughters, mums, aunts – any girls we can muster, to come along and play cricket. A soft ball will be used. No ringers in drag, please.