Stoner Cricket Club

Founded 1934
  Match Reports for 2008 


2008 Reports

The following fixtures took place, and the reports are below. To jump straight to a particular report click on the opposition's name in the list below.





Start Time


June 28th





July 21st





July 22nd

C. Vincent's XI




July 23rd





July 24th

Carpe Diem




July 25th




A full set of averages for 2008 is available by clicking here.

Stoner v Bedales

Saturday June 28th 2008

Stoner 179-8 (30 overs)
Bedales 99 all out (21.1 overs)
Stoner won by 80 runs

The 30 over game against the school saw an impressively even batting performance from Stoner, with everyone contributing a bit. Justin Jones was thwarted in his usual attempts to smash every ball out of the ground by AJ Jayatissa, getting caught for seven. Sam Roberts made a steady 18 and Hugo Burge also seven. Oli Bennett, playing his first game for 25 years, scored from his first ball and made 5 before perishing unable to time the ball as he would have liked. More steady scores followed in the middle order from Paul Bradley (12), Charles Cecil (14) and Julian Allen (18), Cecil being a particular revelation in his first Stoner game after many years of threatening to make an appearance. Dylan Bryden had a cameo innings of 1, 6, out, before Ben Roberts (28*) and Ben Seddon (31*) put the bowling to the sword somewhat in a useful 9th wicket stand, which ended only when Seddon retired to leave Connor Wilkinson the chance to make 3 not out and take the total to 179-8, neatly leaving the school the task of scoring a run a ball to win.

They got off to an inauspicious start against the bowling of Seddon and Bradley, with Seddon taking 3-21 and Bradley 2-6 to reduce the school to 27-5. They were soon in further trouble as Connor Wilkinson took a wicket in his first over, and although Justin Jones went for a few runs, Wilkinson took another to make it 58-7. Aaron Marais-Gilchrist made something of a fight of it with a hard hitting 53 before being caught off the occasional bowling of Dylan Brydon, and there were a few runs for Mabe. Wickets for Oli Bennett and Sam Roberts ensured that the fightback would do no more than secure respectability, and the school ended up being all out for 99, leaving Stoner the winners by 80 runs.

Stoner v Barnes

Monday July 21st, 2008

Stoner 230-6 dec.
Barnes 183-7

The start of the 2008 week was greeted by a bright, sunny day, and pitches that were considerably drier and harder than last year's bogs, if not quite in as good condition as they have been in some of the drier years. Colin Baty had no hesitation in choosing to bat on winning the toss, but may have been regretting the decision when Paul Bradley drove to mid off and Adrian Hill edged to slip early on to leave Stoner 10-2. Matthew Quantrill and Ben Roberts steadied the ship and saw off one opening bowler before Roberts made the mistake of missing a straight full toss - not even having his dad as the umpire could save him from the finger of doom. Colin Baty made 21 in taking the total to 102 before skying an attempted drive and being well caught, but he had done enough to ensure the run rate was beginning to pick up, and Quantrill now also upped the scoring rate, ably assisted by Aaron Marais-Gilchrist on his Stoner debut, and also by some fairly ordinary bowling from Barnes. They had taken the score to 173 when Quantrill failed to spot that fine leg had dropped back from saving one to the boundary, and was caught for 86 with a century seemingly his for the taking. Marais-Gilchrist continued the attack with support from Justin Jones, before being bowled for 48. Jones made 35 not out including three sixes and the declaration came on 230-6.

This turned out to be early enough to ensure that Barnes received more overs than Stoner had, but their run chase was always doomed after a disastrous start. Against the bowling of Matt Evans and Ben Roberts, plus the first over of Ben Seddon they limped to 5-4 from 9 overs, a position from which a complete recovery proved impossible. Evans had struck first with one that cut back in to hit middle stump, before Roberts induced a nick and juggling catch behind and Evans struck again via a brilliant low slip catch from Paul Bradley. The change of bowling brought no relief as Simon Taylor held a catch at mid off from Seddon. Shorrock and Chambers did make some sort of recovery for Barnes, despite steady spells from Seddon, Salaman (a touch rusty), Taylor and Bradley. Ben Roberts returned for another short burst and picked up Shorrock for 44, followed immediately by Blunt well held by Baty at short cover first ball, but try as they might Stoner could not remove Chambers, who played attackingly throughout but somehow managed to avoid the fielders, or place it tantalisingly where they could get finger tips to it but not hold on. Baty was able to get Faure, but despite the batsmen's willingness to attack most of the bowling they insisted on playing Justin Jones with complete caution, and no matter how high he tossed it he couldn't induce a rash shot and was taken off with what for him must be uniquely economical figures of 5 overs for 7 runs. A return to the opening bowling attack, Evans and Roberts produced more semi-chances, but nothing was held on to and Chambers reached his century shortly before the match petered out into a slightly tame draw with Barnes on 183-7.

Since the above report was written I have received from Mr. Britten a copy of the Barnes Bugle which includes a match report on the above game from a Barnes Perspective. It reads as follows:

A gentle trip down the A3 followed by some wiggly roads and the Barnes Tour 2008 and was in full flow. This will be extended to another game at some stage but for the moment it is a solo foray to Alistair Britten's alma matter. Looking at the austere building with purpose-built thrashing quarters does provide an insight into the academic rigours presented to pupils and some these days think it quite barbaric to indulge in upside down pogo-ing which was a treasured Founders' Day ritual at this, and other, fine establishments. Thankfully, Alistair weathered the character building to emerge intact and, after masterminding the Hon Mems traditional romp, he was on hand to guide The Colonel's Select Touring XI without the aid of Sat Nav into the school car park on time. The school playing fields, the scenes of some lively and fairly accurate re-enactments of the Battles of Oudernarde and Malplaquet by enthusiastic members of the Lower Fourth, was in pristine condition and naturally Barnes were sent out to toil in the sun, post ploughmans . Some splendid batting by the home side saw them recover from a shaky start (10-2) to reach 230-6 with some lusty hitting from a variety of bottom-handed techniques, but thankfully there was no repetition of last season's unseemly antics involving Nick Stevenson, Tony Camps and rubber hosing during the tea interval. A perfect batting track, a crisp, fast outfield and short boundaries meant the total was far from daunting until messers Duff, Rao, Cranston and Stevenson yo-yoed from Pavilion to middle and back in strict military time. 5-4 after 9 overs and the sanguine Britten puffed furiously on his pipe hoping that clouds of smoke would hide his embarrassment from former classmates. But Barnes' A&E unit of Jonathon Shorrock and Mike Chambers got the defibrillators out to inject life. Shorrock was resolute as always and took every opportunity to scroll through a range of delightful drives. Chambers, fresh from taking seven-for on Saturday, played exquisitely and ever more expansively as the ball aged and the bowling tired. The return of the dangerous Ben Roberts saw to Shorrock and Blunt jnr in successive balls, and when Faure fell shortly afterwards, Barnes were struggling once again at 99-7 with a full 15 overs to survive. Enter Marcus 'no shots' Hake, who hung around long enough (23*) for Chambers to reach a richly deserved maiden and match-saving ton. It's fair to say that the home team were jibbering as they briefly threatened an astonishing run chase but in the end, the Great Escape was good enough. Barnes and Britten had regained respectability. A swift semi-naked hose-down for the returning batsmen from Showermaster-in-Chief Stevenson and back to The Harrow to share a bowl of thick vegetable broth with the local 'characters' (a crazy one-eyed poacher who has never caught a thing and a dog who smokes a pipe) meant a satisfactory day all round.

Stoner v Chris Vincent's XI

Tuesday July 22nd, 2008

Chris Vincent's XI 181-8 dec.
Stoner 180 all out
Stoner lost by 1 run

On a day of high humidity Justin Jones took the tactical rather than comfortable option on winning the toss and chose to field first. It looked as if the bold option might pay off when Ben Roberts induced a nick behind in each of his first two overs, but with Roberts bowling just a three over spell (2-7) Vincent's XI recovered to put on 52 for the second wicket before Paul Bradley induced a scoop into the on side which was superbly caught by a diving Colin Baty. A further 42 for the fourth wicket was ended when an attempted quick leg bye resulted in a run out as Matthew Quantrill sprinted round from behind the stumps and scored a direct hit with his throw on the turn. Shortly afterwards Vincent's number 3, Walker, popped one up to square leg off the bowling of Chris Bott and was again superbly caught, this time by Simon Taylor. Fearing that the run rate was dropping a little low Jones brought himself on to bowl, and after resisting temptation for a couple of overs the young number six, Knott, lifted one over the top for four. His confidence boosted he charged and swung wildly at the next and was comfortably stumped. The number 7, Baker, was more experienced and played the slow bowling well, but two more batsmen perished to the spin of Gordon Dale, one caught on the boundary and the other a second stumping victim. With time ticking on the run rate hadn't been hugely lifted, and the declaration came at 181-8, Dale finishing with 2-12 from 3 overs.

If the bowling had been good and the fielding often spectacular the batting proved rather less impressive for the most part. Stoner got off to a disastrous start when Laurie Goldsmith tickled one down the leg side in the first over, and none of the top order could really get going. Simon Taylor was bowled for 6 and Colin Baty hit two good fours before steering one into the slips to be caught for 11. Ben Roberts drove uppishly to mid off for 1 and Will Salaman, having seemed to get settled managed to get away with lifting one straight up in the air which came down just a few feet form his crease, but out of reach of any fielders. Unfortunately on hitting it in the air Will had set off for a run, while his partner watched the ball rise and fall, and by the time it was recovered by the fielders, only a few feet from the stumps both batsmen were in the same half of the pitch the wrong half. Salaman tried to recover his ground, but was far too late. Justin Jones had taken a while to get going, but the introduction of spin saw him hit the ball over the trees on the short pavilion side boundary and down into the field beyond. He scored another four, but then checked a shot and lobbed the ball back to the bowler for 22, to reduce Stoner to 50-6. The new man in was Chris Bott, who had failed to make his Stoner debut in the rain last year, and so was something of an unknown quantity. Things looked promising when he drove his second ball for an effortless straight six, and from here on he and Ben Seddon launched a spectacular recovery. Bott drove seven sixes, all with seemingly no effort at all, while Seddon also batted superbly. They took 54 runs form four overs from Perry, and 30 from three overs from Carson, meaning 7 successive overs from the far end had cost 84 runs. This forced the return of the opening bowler, Roff, and in company with Burrows they tightened things up though by now Stoner were so far ahead of the required rate that they needed less than 3 an over. The partnership had reached 106 and seemed to be heading for a stunning win when Bott nicked Burrows behind for 58 (from 49 balls) and opened the game back up. Stoner still should have had enough batting, but after pushing Seddon to run a four Matthew Quantrill was struck on the pad playing forward to Roff from outside his crease. So sure was he that the ball was high and down the leg side that he didn't bother to look at the umpire in response to the half hearted appeals and bent down and returned the ball to the fielders. It took him a moment or two to realise that the comments of well bowled from the fielders were more than just general praise and that the umpire had given him out. Three balls later Gordon Dale had joined him back in the pavilion and it was 163-9, with 19 still needed to win. In Paul Bradley, though, Stoner had a more than capable number 11, as the fielders found when having gathered round the bat the ball was driven past them for 4. With plenty of time left he and Seddon nudged ones and twos after that, and with help from four byes had got it down to three needed to win when another ball evaded the keepers grasp. Seddon called for two, but the ball slowed more quickly than he expected on the lush outfield, and the second was never on. Unfortunately Bradley had committed himself to turning for the second without watching the fielder, and turned and left his ground, unable to recover before the ball arrived and the bails were removed. A one run defeat should always make for a great game, and no doubt will with a bit of historical perspective, but in the immediate aftermath it was crushing for Stoner because of the manner of it. The sterling recovery from Bott and Seddon, then the frustration of the LBW and finally the silly run out with victory in their grasp and for Seddon the additional frustration of being stranded on 49*. It is a game that is likely to dominate discussion of the awards at the AGM, with many potential champagne moments in the fielding and some of Seddon and Bott's batting and a couple of strong low alcohol lager contenders at the end.

Stoner v Steep

Wednesday July 23rd, 2008

Stoner 201-9
Steep 171 all out
Stoner won by 30 runs

Two cricketing masterminds contemplate the battle ahead at the toss

The annual battle for the Rollo Wicksteed Trophy started as usual in the days leading up to the game with debates about exactly who would be playing for which side. The teams were finally settled during Tuesday's match when Rollo persuaded Harry Pearson to make his long awaited comeback for Steep, to go along with the returns of Giles Williams and Rudi Antrobus from their rural retreat in Wiltshire. As has become routine (much disapproved of by Senior Members) the captains negotiated a limited overs match, choosing the slightly unusual number of 42 overs per side with a maximum 12 overs per bowler. Matt Evans won the toss and elected to bat first, choosing to open himself, though obviously feeling that the possibility of getting out first ball of the match was a bit too much of a risk and letting Matthew Quantrill face it. Quantrill safely survived that, nudging it away for two and against the slight surprising opening attack of Smith and Colin Baty bowling seam they kept the score ticking over comfortably. Despite his promise to outscore his opening partner Evans had reached only 15 by the thirteenth over, when Quantrill tired of seeing good shots along the ground slow to a halt in the lush outfield and tried to drive in the air, but dragged it to Giles Williams at mid-off for 41 from an opening partnership of 62. Simon Taylor was bowled by Smith in the next over, but Aaron Marais-Gilchrist continued his good form, starting a little scratchily but then hitting some good shots, including a four from Rudi Antrobus's first ball. Antrobus had his revenge in the next over, bowling Gilchrist for 19 as he attempted to pull. Laurie Goldsmith looked like he was finding his touch before steering Antrobus to slip for Harry Pearson to hold a low catch, and Evans himself became Antrobus's third victim when he was plumb LBW for 41. At 117-5 Stoner looked as if they might fail to get the score their start had suggested, but there was plenty of batting still to come. In different styles Paul Hutt and Paul Bradley built a solid sixth wicket partnership, with Bradley hitting anything loose very cleanly while Hutt nudged it around, mostly making singles but looking very good when he used his feet to attack. It was Bradley who eventually ended the partnership, steering a ball from Simon Hill straight to Antrobus's hands in the gully, but he was replaced by Ben Seddon, who kept things ticking over as well. Hutt eventually used his feet once too often and was stumped off Antrobus for 15, whereupon a great deal of time was expended by the fielding side setting the field for Justin Jones. This turned out to be somewhat wasted as Jones feathered his first ball straight to the keeper to give Antrobus his fifth wicket. Will Salaman denied him the hat trick and played his best cricket of the week in helping Seddon to add 27 for the 9th wicket, and they prevented Antrobus taking any more wickets and slightly spoiled his figures with a number of fours before he finished with 5-44 from 12 overs. Salaman was out to the first ball of the last over, caught on the boundary, but with a rather useful number 11 in Ben Roberts Stoner saw out the last over and managed to reach 201 to set a reasonable target.

For the third time this week the chasing side were badly undermined by a poor start, partly, to Steep's horror, thanks to the bowling of Matt Evans, captain, opening batsman and opening bowler. He took the first wicket with one that bounced and was steered to slip for Laurie Goldsmith to take a comfortable catch, and Ben Roberts claimed a similar wicket in the fourth over, getting one to lift and be gloved to the keeper. Roberts struck again in his next over with one that cut back in sharply, and although Graham Hughes started to launch a counter-attack Adrian Hill became the fourth of Steep's top order to fall cheaply when an edge from Evans looped up and was well caught above his head by Goldsmith. From 25-4 Steep recovered somewhat through Hughes and Colin Baty, although Hughes was dropped on the boundary. They also upped the run rate considerably and were starting to look very menacing when Baty flicked Roberts off his legs for a huge six, but in attempting to repeat the shot he skied it and was very well held by Simon Taylor running round from mid on. Hughes was joined by Harry Pearson, who looked a little rusty initially, but was soon looking very sound and playing the occasional aggressive shot, while Hughes continued to plunder runs where he could. Both batsmen struggle to really get Justin Jones away as much as they would have liked, and Hughes was very lucky to survive when a leading edge looked like a sitter to Ben Seddon, but had enough spin on it to escape his normally safe hands. With Paul Bradley bowling tidily the run rate was slowly climbing and a tight finish was looking on, but Steep's next loss was an unfortunate one with Harry Pearson suffering an injury and having to retire hurt. This brought John Smith out to join Hughes, who was by now past 50, but having looked promising he drove a full toss from Jones straight back and was well caught. Jones took himself off immediately on getting the wicket, and Ben Seddon's first ball was a leg side long hop which Hughes pulled straight to Will Salaman at deep backward square, and this time he hung on to the catch to end Hughes's innings at 76. Steep still had Giles Williams to come, and although he was nursing an injury he was certainly capable of getting the runs, but he lost his partner to a misjudgment caused by the very slow outfield, leading to a comfortable run out. This brought Rudi Antrobus to the crease, and the last pair fought valiantly to keep up with the rate against tidy bowling from Seddon and Ben Roberts, but with the rate climbing to over ten an over with three to go Williams committed himself down the track, missed and was comfortably stumped to leave Stoner with a 30 run victory.

Stoner President Kay Bennett lifts the Rollo Wicksteed trophy to the adoring crowds

The two sides show no hard feelings after the match

The match was followed by a very successful event, where the marquee's waterproofing was not tested for the first time in years. Despite the absence of the crayfish first course promised by Matt Evans (his early morning poaching expedition having singularly failed to catch any fish) a multitude of salads prepared by 'almost every lady in the county' and a splendid barbecue prepared by vice-presidents Britten and Roberts was followed by raspberries and cream hand picked by vice-president Gordon and cheese and biscuits supplied by vice-president Russell.

Vice presidents enjoying intellectual discourse over the meal

Finally the evening moved on to the traditional bonfire, which yet again managed not to burn down any crucial parts of the school despite the best efforts of the Roberts boys to stoke it up and to place it as near to a number of higly inflamable objects as they could get away with. Some brief efforts at musical entertainment largely faded away, save for a rendition of Happy Birthday for Derek Roberts as midnight brought on his annual birthday. After another hour of people slowly drifting away the last few survivors wandered to their beds, leaving only the problem of how Matthew Quantrill would cope with the invasion of his week's home by Mike Russell and friends, and how Colin Baty, Simon Hill and Alistair Britten would cope with an early start in the golf - Connor Wilkinson having headed off for an early night, his impression of a finely honed athlete only slightly spoiled by a small fall off his bike as he was leaving.

Mr. & Mrs. Roberts admire the magnificent bonfire their sons have built for them, and keep a careful eye on the fertiliser a few feet to windward

In what may be one of the journalistic coups of this or any other century this website has obtained a set of secret briefing notes from Steep match manager Rollo Wicksteed to his captain Giles Williams, assessing the merits of the Steep team. We can exclusively reveal therefore that the Steep team were as follows:
Colin Bat(e)y: Bats and bowls S.O.B. (We can only speculate on what S.O.B. stands for, but Google suggests the most common meaning is Son of a Bitch.)
Rudi: Good for 15 overs
Giles: 100 runs + 5 wkts
Passingham T: Wicket kpr
Hughes G: Engine room
Smith John: Pinch hitter M.F.B. (Again no clues as to what MFB stands for - no common definition springs to mind. May Fire Blanks perhaps?)
Adrian: Late Middle ..... (here the handwriting is indistinct. It might say 'order' or it might say 'age')
Simon H: Son of above
Harry P: Veteran all rounder
Bone: Off breaks/steady bat
Gareth Dale: Fresh from 3 50 (or 350?) in 2nds

So, an exclusive insight into the workings of one of the great cricketing brains of Steep and Stoner history - make of it what you will, but but the outcome of the match clearly speaks volumes.

Stoner v Carpe Diem

Thursday July 24th, 2008

Carpe Diem 159 all out
Stoner 160-8
Stoner won by 2 wickets

The best day of the week so far, bright and sunny with a breeze to take the edge off the heat, saw many Stoner members showing surprising resilience in recovering from the night before. The marquee was cleared up and members were on the golf course well before mid-morning, and the record of the days events would not be complete without details of the golf match. As this report is written, however, those details have yet to arrive, though it is hoped that Mr. Wilkinson will be producing a report in due course maybe even before this report breaks free into the wilds of cyberspace. For now suffice to say that the opposition (who had been in the Harrow at lunchtime) knew the result of the golf and that the winner was a certain C. Wilkinson.

Back to the cricket. Captain for the day was Matthew Quantrill, who maintained an abysmal record with the coin this year, and was not in the least surprised when his opposite number had no hesitation in batting first. They started with a trio of young Somerset lads and the more mature Carpe Diem regular Alex Payne. Ben Roberts, suffering a touch from an unaccustomed fourth successive day of cricket and from the excesses of the previous evening, could only manage a three over opening spell, but managed to warm up enough to claim the first breakthrough in his third over, when a mis-hit was lofted for Aaron Marais-Gilchrist to take the catch running forward from behind the stumps. Ben Seddon bowled a tidy opening spell without any success, but Paul Bradley struggled for accuracy, bowling a number of wides initially before tightening up to bowl two maidens and take a wicket in his fifth over when he was driven straight to Colin Baty at mid-on, relieved to have the ball drilled at him after mis-judging an earlier chance that he had thought was coming harder than it was and ended up dropping just in front of his despairing dive. This wicket signaled a switch to spin, but although Colin Baty was tidy Justin Jones struggled badly for consistency and went for 26 runs in four overs. Jones had been replaced by Sam Roberts, and Carpe Diem had reached a solid looking 104 for 2 before Baty made the breakthrough, catching Payne as he drilled it back to him. This brought on a mini collapse, with Baty picking up three wickets in two overs with the help of one that kept low to remove the opener, Brooks, for 47 and a sharp catch behind by Marais-Gilchrist from a rising ball. Sam Roberts also contributed by inducing a mis-hit form the dangerous Steve Hurst, providing a simple catch to Quantrill at mid-off and from a position of strength Carpe Diem found themselves on 107-6. They had a useful pair at 7 and 8, though, in Perkins and Vic Mayers, and they kept the runs ticking over. Sam Roberts, lacking bowling this year, couldn't keep enough control over his leg breaks, though he was getting considerable turn, and Will Salaman seemed to have found his bowling form with four good balls in his first over, only to lose it again in his second over when he bowled a series of high full tosses and asked to be taken off. With time running out it was time for the declaration bowling of Quantrill and Paul Hutt. However both kept it tidy initially, with Hutt dropping a relatively straightforward caught and bowled chance, and then in his third over Quantrill induced Vic Mayers to go for the big hit and be well caught at deep long on by Ben Roberts, who recovered form initially running in too far to take the ball over his head. The batsmen had crossed and Quantrill kept Perkins tied down for the rest of the over until he drilled the last ball to Justin Jones at mid-off. This had the effect of keeping James Hutt, playing for Carpe Diem, on strike and ensuring that he would have to face his father's bowling. He played it solidly enough, surviving the over, and he and John Howland scored a single each in Quantrill's next over before Howland let one through the gate to leave Quantrill with figures of 3-7 in 4 overs. However he was surpassed in the battle to top the Stoner bowling averages by Paul Hutt, who got one to shoot rather cruelly and bowl his son to end with figures of 1-2.

159 was the lowest score of the week, and with a batting line up that could quite easily have played in any order Stoner should have been firm favourites. As it turned out, though, Carpe Diem had a four pronged pace attack, combined with a useful spinner on an uneven surface, and Stoner had to work hard for their runs throughout. Paul Hutt was an early victim, bowled for 3, but Sam Roberts and Will Salaman both looked comfortable against the pace bowling and they added 47 for the second wicket before Roberts edged the spinner and was well held at slip by Payne diving and taking the ball one handed. Laurie Goldsmith quickly looked in excellent touch, and was disappointed to be bowled for 11, shortly before Salaman was also bowled for a solid 21. Aaron Marais-Gilchrist also looked in excellent touch as he took three fours in an over from Perkins, but shortly afterwards got one that shot somewhat and trapped him right in front of the stumps for 13. At 93-5 Stoner were still some way short of what they needed, but Justin Jones and Ben Seddon added 45 for the next wicket, and appeared to have matters well in hand when Jones seemed beaten for pace and was bowled by Perkins for 21. Seddon had not been out in the week so far, and the crowd perhaps made the mistake of commenting on this fact as he took ten runs form the first three balls of the next over, a mistake because no sooner were the words out of their mouths than Seddon was out, caught at slip by Payne again, off the spinner, Raisbeck. With just 22 needed and plenty of quality batting remaining Stoner should still have been comfortably home and dry, but the next few overs were somewhat nervy, though Stoner were helped by a number of byes and leg byes to advance on their target. The scores were level when a final twist saw Perkins bowl Paul Bradley for 1, to send Colin Baty to the wicket. However he was able to force his first ball away for a single and Stoner had a 2 wicket victory. An excellent game, in which everyone got the chance to contribute and the result was always in the balance until the winning runs were struck.


Stoner v Ropley

Friday July 25th, 2008

Ropley 177 all out
Stoner 175 all out
Stoner lost by 2 runs

Friday morning saw the AGM with its annual festival of comic irrelevance. Much time was spent debating the merits of vice-presidents, young players and sandwiches. A plethora of awards (the presentation of which later resulted in a prolonged tea) were discussed, and the lucky recipients were Aaron Marais-Gilchrist (young player), Justin Jones (duck cup), Alistair Britten (Band Aid award, presented for falling over the bonfire and down a slope at 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, and then in the morning not being able to remember why he had a huge gash on his arm), Paul Bradley and Ben Seddon (Low Alcohol Lager moment for their run out against Chris Vincent's XI resulting in a 1 run defeat) and the Bacon, Brie and Cranberry sandwiches (Champagne Moment something of a slap in the face for a number of superb fielding feats during the week, but a well deserved reward for the tea ladies if not for the sandwich itself.) Final discussiones focussed on the more serious business of the impending 75th anniversary of Stoner and what may be done to celebrate it. Committees and sub-committees were appointed, in the hope they will report back before the Flag Pole Sub-committee, other wise the planned celebrations may have to be used for the centenary. Final decisions have not yet been made, but there will be celebrations and all readers are invited to prepare for the festivities.

Champagne Award Winners for 2008

Moving on to the afternoon, and the final match saw those old foes Connor Wilkinson and Oli Green pitting their cricketing wits against each other. The toss as usual was something of a formality as Connor remained convinced that chasing was the better bet to win, while Oli preferred to spend three hours watching his side bat rather than stand in the sun. For the record Connor officially won the toss, and opened the bowling with Ben Seddon and Ben Roberts. Refreshed after a swim following the Thursday game Ben Roberts was able to produce a five over spell, but although he beat the bat a number of times he failed to make an early breakthrough for the first time this week. Ben Seddon did take a wicket, though quite late in his spell, the batsman steering it gently to Rudi Antrobus at wide slip. From here on Barney Green and Tom Stroud batted very soundly, seeing off Paul Bradley and playing Rudi Antrobus's opening overs safely enough. Stoner had a chance to regain control, but in quick succession Justin Jones dropped Stroud off what was (for him) a sitter and the Barney Green missed a sweep and was comprehensively stumped kneeling some six inches out of his ground, only for the umpire at square leg to fail to give it. The pair carried on scoring at a good rate, and it looked as if Stone might be facing a very challenging target, especially when Stroud was dropped again by Connor Wilkinson off his own bowling. However once again the game changed quickly, with Colin Baty getting one to lift for Green to glove to the keeper and on the next ball a massive mix up leaving Stroud run out. From here on Wilkinson and Baty kept the batsmen under control with their contrasting styles of slow bowling. Ben Roberts was a ball magnet in the field, taking three catches, and Wilkinson also had Ropley's overseas player stumped charging a long way down the wicket and missing. Nearing the end of the innings Wlikinson gave way to Aaron Marais-Gilchrist, who produced a tidy spell and took a well deserved wicket when one jumped sharply off a length and Matthew Quantrill took a smart stumping as the batsman spun out of his ground. Oli Green was forced to change and come in at number 11, nd looking for a chance for a big hit he skyed Colin Baty and saw Aaron Marais-Gilchrist take a very well judged catch running back from mid-wicket. Baty finished with 5-27 from 11 overs, and having looked like they would surpass 200 Ropley ended up all out for 177.

With Ropley having batted on till 5 o'clock, and the tea break extended by the presentations, Stoner ended up with less than an hour plus the twenty overs to chase the target. Adrian Hill and Matthew Quantrill started steadily against the young Stennett brothers opening the bowling, the score mostly progressing in wides and no balls for the first few overs. The first change saw the overseas player Davis discovering the bounce in the pitch and rather enjoying bowling a little short of a length and getting steepling bounce into the body of the batsman. With John Sutton at the other end also bowling tidily and the wicket always a little difficult because of the variable bounce Stoner were in danger of falling behind the run rate. With so many wickets in hand Matthew Quantrill took to some unorthodox attacking shots, slogging Davis straight or stepping away and slicing him over the slips. With all the fielders in close and the steep bounce ensuring the ball was unlikely to hit the stumps this worked well for a while, and the rate increased so that less than 100 were needed of the twenty overs. With ten wickets in hand this should have been very comfortable, but as so often this week just as one side looked very much on top the other came back at them. Hill popped one up to end an opening partnership of 80, and after Quantrill had reverse pulled the new bowler, Forest, for 4 Justin Jones went for a big hit, mistimed it and was caught on the boundary for a duck, confirming that he was the rightful recipient of that cup. In the next over Quantrill checked a shot to Davis and blocked it gently to gully for 48, and in quick succession Aaron Marias-Gilchrist was bowled and Paul Bradley run out for 0, so that from 80-0 Stoner had sunk to 85-5. As always this week there was plenty of depth to the Stoner batting, and Ben Roberts and Ben Seddon steadied the ship before Seddon was also bowled by Davis. Roberts was then joined by Rudi Antrobus in his first Stoner innings for a number of years, but he played quite comfortably and with Roberts reduced the target and kept the run rate within reach. Rudi was eventually unluckily out playing on to Forest for 16, and soon afterwards Roberts was out for 22 making the mistake of taking on the arm of the overseas player looking for a third run and being run out by a flat throw from the boundary. Colin Baty and Sam Roberts made a more than useful ninth wicket partnership though, and Roberts looked in fine form from his first ball. He and Baty took plenty of runs from the alternative bowlers, and ended up reducing the requirement to 9 from the last two overs. At this point Ropley again turned to overseas aid, and after a single off the first ball Sam Roberts was bowled by the second for 20. Stoner's number 11s this week would make an impressive batting line up, but Connor Wilkinson would probably not have been many people's choice for man of the moment. However he used his years of cricketing experience, advancing down the track to Davis and getting everything in line, and then nudging the third ball away for a single. Davis's last ball was on the leg side, and Baty tried to flick it away, but missed, leaving seven needed from the last over, to be bowled by Forest. Wilkinson slogged at the first, getting a top edge over the keepers head for a single, during which he straind a muscle somewhere and called for a runner, just to add to the excitement. The next three balls saw a dot, a huge hit by Baty which dropped just short of the boundary fielder and from which two were scrambled, then one straight to the fielder on the boundary from which one was taken. Perhaps a second should have been risked, but Tuesday's experience may still have been in the players' minds and they settled for trying to get three off the last two balls. Connor swung lustily again, but this time his edge looped up fairly gently to point and Stoner had lost by 2 runs with a ball to spare.

Justin Jones demonstrates the textbook batting style for which he is justly reknowned

A great game this time, and without the bad feelings left by the manner of Tuesday's defeat, and excellent way to end a highly successful week. We can only hope for more of the same in the 75th anniversary week in 2009.