1972 - History is Made

 

While checking through the club archives recently to verify some information for the fixture cards I came across the Fixture Secretary's Report for the first AGM, which included detailed match reports for every match (all two of them) in the club's first season, 1972. The report isn't signed, but as far as I can tell it must have been written by one Brian Buddle, who was described as the match secretary at that first AGM. He, like many of the other players in those first games, seems to have quickly faded into history, but one name springs out as still a current player, and from the descriptions given he seems to have been setting the style for which he is still loved and admired from the beginning. He is, of course, our esteemed ex-president Mr. Lyle Ellard. Of all the other names mentioned only two or three are ones that I have even heard of, and I was living in the village at the time, albeit I was only 7 years old! It seems that those early pioneers, full of enthusiasm though they were, did not last long as only Lyle was still playing when I played my first game for the club 10 years later. Nonetheless they must have put a lot of work into starting up the ground and preparing the pitch (there are several references to the state of the field, and in particular the number of stones that had to be removed from it, in the archives) and they all deserve recognition by the current club members. I am therefore transcribing the full match reports from those first two games and putting them on our web-site, and if any of those first players are reading this - thanks to you all, and please get in touch!

 

September 24th, 1972: Ash v New Ash Green (The Club's Inaugural Match)

Alan Avery and Brian Buddle opened the club's first match when New Ash Green batted first at the very pleasant Ash ground. Alan Avery scored a couple of quick singles before Brian Buddle was bowled by Bob Heydon for a duck attempting an off-drive in the second over. Martin Burkett, coming in at number 3 soon got off the mark with a fine 4 runs to the leg boundary but in the next over was neatly bowled by Trevor Kent. When Peter Bluden came to join Alan Avery at the wicket the score was 6 for 2. Peter immediately took the initiative and with Alan providing solid support at the other end the score was taken to 22 before Heydon again struck by bowling Peter Blunden for 10. After being joined by Iain Smith only four more runs were added before Alan Avery was caught by Lewis Ranwell for 9 runs, all scored as singles. Alan's departure brought the captain, Ivan Philips, to the wicket and from that moment on we saw some sparkling cricket from him and vice-captain Iain Smith. This pair produced an array of fine (and some not so fine but very effective) strokes all around the wicket adding 51 runs for the fifth wicket when Iain Smith was well caught by Alan Pennells off Lewis Ranwell for 26. As so often happens when a good partnership is broken Ivan Philips followed Iain Smith back to the pavilion only 4 runs later, after scoring 37 valuable runs giving New Ash Green a very respectable 81 for 6. The only other batsman to score runs was Eddie Adams who struck a good boundary for 4 before being unfortunately run-out when attempting a quick single. Lyle Ellard, Jim Scanlan, Brian Ledger and Ron Brown all failed to score but were all out (with the score at 92 at 2.6 runs per over) going for the ball for which no one could be critical.

 

When Ash batted they showed the confidence of an established team with almost the whole of the season behind them. New Ash Green fielded with great enthusiasm however, and throughout the innings showed that they will be a club to be reckoned with in coming seasons. Peter Blunden was found to be difficult to 'get away' and looks set for some good figures in the future with his fast deliveries. Ron Brown was a little expensive, conceding 26 runs in 4 overs, but with batsmen in such fine form this was no disgrace. Eddie Adams, Iain Smith and Lyle Ellard each had a victim, while Ivan Philips showed how he could slow down the scoring rate with his difficult to play slow bowling.

Ash, of course, won by five wickets, but we hope, and are sure, we were worthy opponents.

 

The full NAGCC XI for that first match was as follows: Alan Avery, Brian Buddle, Martin Burkett, Peter Blunden, Iain Smith, Ivan Philips, Eddie Adams, Lyle Ellard, Jim Scanlan, Brian Ledger & Ron Brown.

 

October 1st, 1972: Barming v New Ash Green (The Club's First Win)

New Ash Green, batting first, showed that they had 11 determined and aggressive players in the side. This aggression from the outset was the downfall of Alan Avery who was run-out without scoring. Jim Harbinson, 18, Martin Burkett, 21, and Peter Blunden, 21, all found the boundary within their grasp and kept the score moving steadily along. Other batsmen not quite so lucky were Iain Smith (Acting Captain), 11, Brian Buddle, 6, Eddie Adams and Brian Ledger, 3, and John Barnes, 1, but all showed that they were not afraid of the fast ball and made useful partnerships. Lyle Ellard and Ching Hing Lim failed to score but showed that they were keen and would be seen representing the club on future occasions. New Ash Green needed only 30.3 overs to put together 86 runs (2.7 runs per over.)

Only Hobbs offered any opposition to the deadly Blunden/Harbinson attack when Barming batted. In his quick innings of 26 Hobbs found the boundary 5 times including a fine six off Peter Blunden which carried over the bowler's head to the road outside the ground. Peter with 5 for 37 and Jim Harbinson with 4 for 13 showed that we have an attack that must give us a good start to our first full season in 1973. Iain Smith had just one over to allow the bowlers to change ends and had a victim snapped out of the air by a delighted Lyle Ellard. The standard of fielding was superb. Other excellent catches by Brian Buddle and Peter Blunden gave the bowlers the sort of support they needed.

 

So there we have the details of the first two matches. Some may say not much has changed - certainly not as far as Mr. Ellard is concerned! Low scores and good bowling seems to be the current hallmark of the club, though I know Mr. Cox might suggest that the fielders no longer give the bowlers the support they need. I have one last question - is Lyle Ellard the only current player to have been involved in those first games, or did Graham Hobbs ever play for Barming…?

 

Matthew Quantrill

 

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