Stoner Cricket Club

Founded 1934
  Match Reports for 2009 


2009 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 27th





July 20th





July 21st

C. Vincent's XI




July 22nd


Steep CC



July 23rd

Carpe Diem




July 24th




A full set of averages for 2009 is available by clicking here.

Stoner v Bedales

Saturday June 27th 2009

Stoner 186 all out (28.5 overs)
Bedales 143 all out (24.2 overs)
Stoner won by 43 runs

As seems to be the fashion in the School game at present Stoner scored quickly and the scoring was distributed amongst several batsmen. Justin Jones and Dylan Bryden were the engine room in the middle order, with 36 and 39 respectively, but there were other double figure contributions from Paul Bradley, Nick Tier, Joe Banks, Colin Baty and AJ Jayatissa. The school used numerous bowlers, but only the opener, Wise, had much to be proud of, taking 1-9 in 4 overs.

In response the school got off to a poor start, losing early wickest to Jayatissa and Sam Banks. Booth, with 42, gave them some hope, and there were contributions of 24 and 27 from Brand and Perry, but the varied Stoner attack worked its way through the wickets, although the runs were always being scored fast enough to keep victory in sight. Charles Cecil took 2-36, Joe Banks 2-31 and Paul Bradley 2-10, with Sam Banks returning to take the final wicket and ending up with 2-28 as the school ended up 43 runs short.

Stoner v Barnes

Monday July 20th, 2009

Stoner 147 all out (44.5 overs)
Barnes 147-9 (37 overs)

The start of the 75th Anniversary Stoner Week was greeted by grey skies, but the rain stayed away and a full day's play took place. Barnes won the toss and elected to insert Stoner, and when the second ball of the day stopped and reared up in a puff of dust it looked good decision. Nothing quite so dramatic happened again, but the bounce was slow and distinctly variable throughout the match, and batting was never easy. Neither Ben Seddon (LBW) or Justin Jones (caught driving a full toss to cover) could blame the pitch for their dismissals, but Matthew Quantrill was less fortunate with one that leapt up and took his gloves on the way to the keeper, and Stoner were in difficulty at 19-3. Adrian Hill and Colin Baty showed family solidarity in rebuilding slowly, Baty eventually losing patience to be caught for 21. Ben Roberts then made the first injection of pace, making a rather more rapid 39, though losing Hill for 19 and George Taylor for a duck along the way. Paul Bradley also added some powerful shots, but when he and Roberts fell in quick succession it looked as if Stoner would fall well short of a good target score. Connor Wilkinson failed to trouble the scorers for long, but Rudi Antrobus joined Sam Roberts in a more than useful last wicket pairing, and after a slow start it was Antrobus who took command, swatting three boundaries in his 17 not out, before Sam Roberts holed out to end the stand at 27.

Stoner opened the bowling with the contrasting pace of Ben Roberts and Antrobus, but from the book you might have been forgiven for thinking this was Rudi in his prime - 4 overs, 3 maidens, 1-1, and that a catch to the keeper. With Roberts also bowling a good opening spell, swinging the ball both ways and picking up wickets Barnes were struggling at 3-3 and then, courtesy of a fine slip catch by Paul Bradley, 10-4. The number 3, Sharrock, wasted no time worrying though, putting bat to ball pretty hard whenever there was the slightest slip up in the line or length of the bowlers. His middle order partners did very little scoring themselves, but gave him more support than the top order. Colin Baty, Paul Bradley and Justin Jones were all expensive, with just Jones picking up a wicket, thanks to the gripping power of Ben Seddons forearms clinging on to a catch. It was Ben Seddon and Connor Wilkinson, interspersed with the return of Ben Roberts who eventually regained control. Wilkinson picked up 1-24, but it was Roberts who made the crucial breakthrough when Sharrock failed to drive the ball over Colin Baty at mid off, falling for a remarkable 95 out of a total of 107-7 at that point. He having made such a high percentage of the runs Stoner must have felt the game was as good as over, despite the required rate being low, and that feeling was confirmed when Seddon bowled Foulds in his next over. With the run rate now rising to around 5 an over and the batsmen looking as if they were shutting up shop there was a return to Justin Jones. It was nearly a success, two chances just evading fielders, but the 12 runs the over brought revived Barnes appetite for the chase, with the captain, Hake, particularly keen to go for the win. Seddon and Roberts bowled well, but with Hake taking chances the runs couldn't quite be stemmed, and eventually the final over began with just two needed, and two wickets still in hand, 38 already having been added for the 9th wicket. A single off the first ball brought the scores level, but remarkably with the fielders all gathering round the bat the batsman Brockland (suffering from a wrist injury and so lacking power in his shots) couldn't pierce the field, and a desperate run from the last ball saw Colin Baty gather calmly and run to the stumps to complete the run out, leaving the scores level with time having run out. Another dull draw then....but Ben Roberts deserves mention for his 4-16 in 11 overs, including just the single from that final over.

As last year I have been forwarded a copy of the "Barnes Bugle" report on the match. I can't entirely vouch for its accuracy - I certainly haven't scored successive centuries against them! - but it certainly gives a different perspective....

Outside London! Outside the M25! OMG! Here are the intrepid Barnes Explorers XI in survival gear as they strike land after the tempestuous voyage from the civilizing norms of Costa Coffee, the Tube, angry drivers, noisy neighbours and swine flu. Cast adrift by the Fixtures Secretary, the Barnes Expeditionary Force had to contend with the horrors of poor Blackberry coverage and patchy long wave reception as the Test drama unfolded between bursts of static and the sounds of real-life animals in real-life fields. But, after 30 minutes in a rustic decompression chamber, the tourists emerged serene and clean to sample beer without bubbles and a ploughman's lunch beyond compare at the Harrow Inn. True, the salady bits did confuse some of the team who needed a show and tell session from a helpful bar lady to identify the more exotic varieties such as beetroot and sweetcorn. But the sight of a slightly wonky Stevenson sporting a radish and turnip in his hat-band was one of the more surreal moments of this annual fixture wonderfully organized by Alistair Britten. Awash with cider, beer and mystery scotch eggs, the team attempted to keep up with Jono Shorrock in Thunderbird1 who got to the ground, at nearby Bedales School, just a few moments before he left the pub. The Dog was in charge and he barked the oppo into batting on a beautiful ground at the start of Stoner's 75th anniversary Cricket Week – or Cricket Gathering as they prefer to call it. With A.B. gazing on fondly, the Pheasant boys were instantly on top with Tony Camps and Mike Chambers extracting all sorts of life from a track that really should have been sent to the naughty step. Two Pints removed the dangerous Quantrill – successive tons against us – for just 16 and wickets fell regularly as the bowlers lined up for a spot of action. Alex Foulds got some prodigious and dangerous turn. Mr Cricket v1.1 was in fine form and took a running catch in the deep that only someone called Cricket could take, which went nicely with his 2-19 from 8. Barnes looked all-round potent and could even afford to have Shilpa Shetty basking on the boundary complete with goldfish-bowl sunglasses. Stoner rallied briefly with Roberts blasting some impressive boundaries in a high score of 39 but Lewis Bridges returning to his old school obviously knew exactly where to bowl and took 3-17 from three overs with Duncan Simpson pouching the last catch to reduce the homers to 147 all out. Time for a glorious tea and sun-kissed bask as the runs were knocked off, we thought. Perfect. The tea was a different class. Smoked salmon and roast beef sandwiches followed by a sublime selection of cake. Plates were crammed high for what is surely the tea of the season. Skipper Dog curled up for a well-earned post-tea snooze when the response started to unravel. Roberts, who had reduced the Barnes top order to a quivering wreck last year, repeated the feat with aplomb and was backed up by the near unplayable lob of Antrobus. 10-4 and that's not a time check. Chambers, Rao, Simpson, Collins – the cream tea of Barnes – back in the delightful wooden pavilion and only Shorrock looking like he hadn't eaten an EC food mountain between innings. He hit a procession of boundaries as the score gained some respectability but survival, draw or win seemed miles away. But on he ploughed. He was joined by Danny Buckland who, after receiving a mid-wicket bollocking for a rash host, settled down to support Shorrock's lone assault. Frustratingly he went for 95 out of the total of 107. Buckers (15) and the Dog (25) then scrambled, swished and nurdled their way back into contention but the keeper's dodgy hand meant his scoring shots were even less than normal. The skip ensured it was a last over nail-biter with two required. He Dog struck a single from the first ball from the fiery Roberts but Buckers couldn't get the ball past the ring of steel and was run out on the final ball attempting a suicide. Scores tied. Big thanks to Alistair Britten – and much relief that he managed to avoid falling in the bonfire – and to the tea ladies of Stoner for the five-star cuisine. Sandwich of the match: smoked salmon.

Stoner v Chris Vincent's XI

Tuesday July 21st, 2009

C.Vincent's XI 176-9 dec. (31 overs)
Stoner 182-5 (45.3 overs)
Stoner won by 5 wickets

Before getting on to the match of the day a brief diversion to the golf, switched to the Tuesday morning this year in an attempt to avoid the usual Thursday morning hangovers. This was not entirely successful, as Ben Roberts could not be dug out of his pit to make the required 9.45 am meet, so a foursome of Britten, Wilkinson, George Taylor and the Bursar set out to compete for the trophy currently held by Mr. WIlkinson. They were accompanied by Mr. Britten's caddy and this website's reporter/photographer who spent his time between photographing helping to hunt for balls and distracting Mr. Britten by talking while he was lining up his shots. The foursome's diverse styles in fact produced fairly even results, but after some hot debate about handicaps it was the bursar who emerged as champion, much to the vice-president's disgust. A photograph of the vice-president failing to escape a bunker, while George Taylor waits for his turn to do the same follows, and a new technological innovation may, or may not, see video clips available of the Britten and Wilkinson swings in action, provided you can turn your screens on their side to allow for the angle at which the video was taken....

A vice-president stranded in the sandy wastes of Petersfield Heath

Click here for video clip of the Britten swing

Click here for video clip of the Wilkinson swing

The relatively dry morning gave way to grey skies and intermittent drizzle as game time approached, but not enough to deter the players, and a Vincents XI packed with Havant 1st XI players took first use of the wicket. They were soon in trouble, with Stoner debutant Hugo Boatright taking two wickets in his first over with inswing and bounce. Boatright took a 3rd wicket in the 6th over courtesy of a magnificent one handed diving catch from Sam Roberts, running back after a mis-timed pull shot, and with Ben Roberts picking up another from a top edge soon afterwards Vincents XI were 20-4. However Havant's Aussie Grant Thistle was more patient than some of his colleagues on the slow but bouncy wicket, and punished anything vaguely loose with great power. His skipper Andy Galliers kept him company for a while before being undone by a sharp lifter from Chris Bott to leave the score 41-5. Steve 'Pup' Matthews kept Thistle company and played some decent shots of his own, and the score mounted relatively quickly. Another round of bowling changes brought on Sam Banks off spin, and having dropped his first ball short and been hit for six he then got bounce form his second which surprised 'Pup' and produced an edge straight to slip. Paul Bradley took that relatively simple chance, and four balls later stuck out a hand to take a much more difficult chance one handed and give Banks his second wicket in the over. Thistle was then kept company by Pete Loat at number 9, and when he was dropped on the boundary by Ben Roberts - a very hard catch as the ball swirled - Stoner were wondering if they had missed their chance. Soon afterwards, though, Thistle pulled again and Angus Finney held on to a stunning reflex catch at mid-wicket, Thistle departing for 61 and giving Banks figures of 3-31. The number ten, Kinge, didn't last long before lifting the deserving Paul Bradley to leg gully where Finney took a much easier catch, and the job seemed virtually done for Stoner. What they didn't know, though, was that the number 11 was only number 11 because he was a late replacement who didn't have his kit with him and had had to wait for the only other left hander in the side, Thistle, to get out before he could borrow his gloves and pad up. Normally he opens the batting not just for Havant 1st XI but also for Wiltshire in Minor Counties cricket, and he was soon merrily cracking the ball to all corners, making six fours and a six in his 30 not out in very short time. Although they had batted for only 31 overs and there was still plenty of time left the impending rain persuaded Vincents XI to declare on 176-9.

The rain did indeed increase in intensity during what turned into a prolonged tea break, but there was still plenty of time left when the players eventually resumed the field in increasingly heavy drizzle. Throughout the innings the rain came and went, never staying heavy for long enough to force the admirably determined fielders off, but never departing completely. Justin Jones didn't hang about in it, smashing the first ball of the innings straight to the safe hands of the Aussie, and Sam Roberts and Angus Finney both looked quite tentative early on - at 0-1 in three overs the target of 177 looked some distance away. Both batsmen played sensibly, though, working the ball into the gaps and hitting the very occasional bad ball fiercely, and they began to look increasingly in control. It was in fact something of a surprise when, with the score now having reached 47, Finney got a bit of glove on a lifter and was caught for 20. The Roberts brothers carried on solidly, though, until the inevitable happened just as the scorer was noting that all the wickets in the match so far had been catches - a ball shot through Sam Roberts defence and bowled him for 33. This was Ben Roberts cue to take charge and he made most of a partnership of 34 with George Taylor before Taylor was LBW for 6 just after the start of the 20 overs. At this point some 4.5 runs per over was needed, and the required rate in fact remained largely steady around that sort of rate for the remainder of the innings. Chris Bott joined Ben Roberts and both looked remarkably comfortable in the conditions, playing sensibly and keeping the score ticking over. They were making the result look so comfortable that Vincents XI turned to the Aussie and to Ben Walker, the Wiltshire player, but in the conditions neither could bowl flat out and the batsmen coped with them without undue difficulty. Roberts reached his fifty and with just 18 needed Bott finally fell for 34 to a ball that tickled his stumps, just dislodging one bail. There was no panic in the Stoner ranks, though, with Ben Seddon picking up the pace immediately, and in the penultimate over he brought the scores level with a 4, then pulled a short ball for a massive six to decisively bring up the winning runs and get the players off the pitch before the heaviest burst of rain of the day arrived. Ben Roberts finished up with 59 not out and Stoner with an excellent win, though Vincents XI (and both umpires) certainly deserve great commendation for playing the game in excellent spirit in extremely difficult conditions.

Steep v Stoner

Wednesday July 22nd, 2009

Stoner 145 all out (38 overs)
Steep 126 all out (39 overs)
Stoner won by 19 runs

By the standards of the week so far the promised good weather arrived, with only 15 minutes or so of rain in the 2nd innings spoiling the mostly dry and even occasionally sunny afternoon. The promised good batting track did not materialise, courtesy of the rain that had fallen in the last few days. Despite Matt Evans best efforts to persuade him that he had in fact chosen to bat first on winning the toss John Smith was adamant that he had elected to field, and was not going to change his mind, so Stoner had first use of a soft topped wicket.

The "Master" and the "Apprentice" at the Toss

In the initial overs the hard new ball regularly broke through the surface and stopped, and Stoner were also lacking in luck. Matthew Quantrill could do little about one that rose almost straight up off a length, Angus Finney and Sam Roberts were both well caught by Colin Baty, Paul Hutt couldn't quite match Roberts' speed between the wickets and Ben Seddon managed several ricochets before the ball ended up gently nudging a bail off. At 23-5 in 13 overs Stoner were looking daed and buried, and Matt Evans was already composing his resignation letter as Wednesday captain - though not as fast as Derek Roberts was composing his acceptance letter. However one thing that Stoner have had in the last few years is great depth in batting, with Evans himself at number 11. Julien Allen and Hugo Burge both made the most of their one game of the week, Julien playing steadily but with an increasing range of shots, while Hugo was much freer with his shots, particularly anything that he could get a late cut to. Brief video clips of Julien hooking can be downloaded here, and of Hugo late cutting here. The pair added 79 for the 6th wicket before Allen finally fell, but there was then a second mini-collapse, with Burge driving very hard but straight at Tom Callingham who juggled the ball a few times before holding on to end Burge's innings on 49. Sam Banks was caught and bowled, and Justin Jones was unfortunate to get a second golden duck in two days when he managed to get just enough on an attempted pull to get it back onto the stumps. Matt Evans was able to keep Ben Roberts company while 20 were added for the last wicket, but could not hold out till the end, beaten by the wiles of Rudi Antrobus and leaving Ben Roberts stranded on 20 not out with two overs left unused.

Julien Allen Drives Elegantly

145 did not seem like enough runs, especially as the older ball had behaved much better than the new, and this was a one ball match. However Stoner were gifted a tremendous start when Giles Williams attempted to take a quick second in the first over and was comfortably beaten by Sam Roberts throw from the short pavilion boundary. Gareth Dale and Adrian Hill survived the next few overs, knowing the target was low enough that they didn't have to panic, and they saw off Ben Roberts and a fired up Matt Evans, and started to take runs off Ben Seddon when he replaced Roberts. The introduction of spin in the shape of Sam Banks didn't slow the run rate, but it did start to produce wickets, Banks' extra bounce again producing an edge to slip to remove Dale for 34. Colin Baty got off to a flying start, but having hit Banks for 6 he drove the next ball straight and low, and Banks took an excellent low catch, confirmed by the umpire to the batsman's dismay. When Tom Callingham pulled Banks hard to Matt Evans in the next over Banks had 3-15 and Steep were tottering. Going for spin at both ends Evans turned to Sam Roberts, but he could not contain the runs and was replaced by Justin Jones. Looking to make up for his batting failures Jones was soon amongst the wickets, with the Steep middle order impatient to attack his flighted deliveries. Mike Dale had a huge swing but somehow managed to simply lob the ball gently back to Jones, and in Jones' next over Adrian Hill's long innings finally ended when he mis-hit an attempted pull and was well held by Hugo Burge running backwards. The batsmen had crossed, and Jones tried a quicker ball which took the thin edge of John Smith's bat and was held by Julien Allen. Tim McGubbin survived the hat trick ball, but having seemed to be taking command of the game a few overs earlier Steep were now struggling to stay in contention. The batsman played carefully for a couple of overs, but McGubbin played back to Jones and didn't get his bat in the way right in front of middle stump, and Jones had 4. In the very next over Collins finally let loose, picking Banks up for a big six over square leg, but for the third time in the week Bnaks responded to being hit for six by taking a wicket next ball, an attempted repeat of the shot being less well hit and carrying only to the safe hands of Justin Jones on the square leg boundary. 9 wickets down and 37 runs still needed, but with plenty of experience in the shape of Rudi Antrobus and Mike Jones, and in the case of Antrobus still enough firepower to make the runs Steep weren't dead yet. Jones held up an end resolutely, giving Justin Jones a possibly unprecendented 4 successive maidens, while Ben Roberts had returned to replace Sam Banks (4-39) and finish off from the pvailion end. Antrobus was getting some runs off Roberts, but even with a pulled six in the 38th over the run rate was looking excessive. Jones had finished his spell with 4-14, leaving one over to be bowled from the far end, and one over from Roberts at the pavilion end, with 20 runs needed for victory. Matt Evans bravely turned to Matthew Quantrill to bowl the penultimate over, but with Jones still not showing much sign of aggression slow bowling was enough to make sure no runs were scored and really heap the pressure on Antrobus for the last over. Knowing that he is still capable of the occasional feat of legardemain, though, Stoner were gratefull when Jones unaccountably decided to have a bit of a swing at Quantrill's last ball, a gentle lob, and gloved it gently in the air to give Allen an easy catch, Quantrill a wicket maiden in his only over of the week and Stoner a 19 run victory to retain the Wicksteed Trophy for yet another year.

Since the game a report on this game has been received, via Matt Evans, from an author who wishes to remain anonymous. It reads as follows:

Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

If you examine the Stoner trophy cabinet closely, you will see one that appears to be collecting dust, so much so that it seems part of the very fabric of Stoner itself, yes I talk of the “Rollo Wicksteed” Stoner verses Steep trophy!So while the suckling pig of time was roasting, Steep were once again to be toyed with only to ultimately be pulled up short by their own Pork Scratching’sSeldom in the 75 (not so illustrious) years of Stoner Cricket Club has there been such a desire by the Vice Presidents to see Stoner defeated.The reason can be put down to one thing, jealousy of one individual who stands like a colossus amongst the immortals of sporting legends, Bradman, Pele, Lance Armstrong, JPR, Eddy “the Eagle” and who is undoubtedly Stoners most successful Captain of the modern era.His record against Steep stands as Played 15 lost 1 (and that during the penultimate ball of the Steep innings with nine wickets down!). So with Stoner at 28 for 5 after 20 of the 40 overs had been bowled there was much knowing looks and nodding heads that at last “the upstart” had met his Waterloo. Pictures of the AGM entered their minds, where this Captain could be publicly ridiculed, humiliated, and at last defrocked of the Captaincy once and for all in revenge for his continued irreverence to the Vice Presidents over the years.At tea things looked not much better for our luckless hero, Rollo’s smile was wider than the gate through which Rudi Antrobus had bowled our champion leaving Stoner all out for 145.A wicket that had offered up 200 runs an innings consistently all season would shortly nail our man! Even when Giles Williams ran himself out in the first over the dark clouds seemed still to predict just one outcome. Half way through their innings Steep were nicely poised with almost half the runs on the board and just the one wicket down. But then in what many saw as a reckless gamble but in truth was worthy of the great Chess Grand Master Kasparov, Sam Banks and Justin Jones were introduced to the attack. Through subtle man management techniques, an uncanny ability to implement the principles of Professor Maslow’s “Need Hierarchy” combined with gentle advice and coaching the Rabbit was plucked from the hat. Steep wickets fell like autumn leaves from a tree. Quantrill picked up the last wicket with Commander Jones caught down the leg side Steep still 18 runs short of the target.And so in the 76th year of Stoner, the President will smile once again secure in her knowledge that there will be no need to dust off the “Wicksteed trophy”, and her “Chief of Men” will once more lay siege to the fortress that is Steep next year.An Female Admirer!

So it was off to the Harrow for a quick drink, and then back to the Mem Pitch for the main event of the week, the 75th Anniversary Do. The centrepiece of this magnificent occasion was a hog named Connor, in honour of absent friends reputed to be housebound with swine flu. Whilst the pig itself was magnificent, producing a seemingly endless supply of tender, juicy pork and crispy crackling the support acts were up to the standard. Numerous salads supplemented the main course alongside buckets of apple sauce, and the deserts of freshly picked raspberries with cream or raspberry ripple ice cream, plus biscuits and a selection of magnificent english cheeses had the entire company of some 60+ people eating till they were overflowing, with the food supply apparently inexhaustible. The main speech from Mr. Wicksteed was supplemented by briefer ones from other senior members and an acceptance speech for the golf prize from Bruce Moore, plus an exchange of correspondence between Rollo and Mike Russell over the latter's provisional election as a vice-president.

The President, with "Connor" in the Background

The assembled company included friends and players from the past as well as the present, with tales of matches and events past being retold at some length, and even the events of earlier in the day featuring, as can be seen by the following photo, as Matt Evans explains at some length how his dismissal was all part of the masterplan. As can be clearly seen his attentive audience were impressed with his cunning....

As the more sensible amongst the company slowly drifted away into the night, the usual hardcore suspects headed for the traditional bonfire prepared by the pyromaniac junior members of the Roberts and Taylor clans, egged on as ever by Mr. Britten, who was clearly looking forward to his annual fall in the fire. As the bonfire roared merrily away the company dwindled slowly into the small hours, before the return of the weeks constant companion, rain, at about 2am finally drove away all but the serious pyromaniacs, who prolonged their night by hunting for more wood to burn, thus creating enough heat to dry themselves instantly. Some time after 3am even the hardened fire watchers eventually called it a night and retired gracefully and apparently without any falls in the fire, only just missing the impressively early rising clear up party. So ended another magnificent Stoner Event, and enormous praise must go to all those involved in the organisation for an incredible amount of hard work and enthusiasm. Derek Roberts and Alistair Britten, the prime chefs on the night are chief amongst those deserving the thanks of all who attended, but the contributions of others should also be mentioned, though there is always a risk of leaving out some deserving person in doing so. With huge apologies to anyone missed out, thanks go to Rollo Wicksteed, Charles Gordon, Mike Russell, all the Roberts family, Brian Taylor, The Green family and anyone else who helped with the organising, the catering and the very impressive and efficient clear up operation.

Stoner v Carpe Diem

Thursday July 23rd, 2009

Carpe Diem 165 all out (28.4 overs)
Stoner 146 all out (46.5 overs)
Stoner lost by 19 runs

With the worst weather of the week having been forecast for Thursday, and the opposition having travelled the greatest distance, it was with some relief that the gathering teams watched the threatening grey clouds of the morning fade away into almost unbroken blue sky and sunshine - in fact comfortably the best weather of the week. Carpe Diem chose to bat first on winning the toss against a much altered Stoner side, missing most of their recognised seam bowlers. Colin Baty stood in as one opening bowler and gained almost immediate success when a long hop was hit into the welcoming hands of Justin Jones. Carpe Diem seemed to be rebuilding comfortably, getting quickly to 30 before Baty struck again in a similar fashion, this time the catch taken by Ben Seddon. Baty didn't have to wait long for a 3rd wicket, a bizarre stumping where Alex Payne set off down the wicket thinking he had hit the ball forward, and not realising it had in fact trickled back to the keeper. Paul Bradley had produced a tidy but fruitless spell opening at the other end, and he was replaced by Simon Hill's slow left arm, which soon produced two more orthodox stumpings. With Hill quickly taking two more, a tidy caught and bowled and a mis-times pull lobbing up to Colin Baty Carpe Diem were reeling at 80-7. They still had plenty of time, though, and a number of keen and able young cricketers packing their lower order. 53 were added for their 8th wicket in quick time, before Hill finally made the breakthrough and took his fifth wicket. Sam Banks had been toiling away without luck at the other end, but he quickly picked up the next wicket, but another 32 were added by the Perkins brothers before the last wicket was eventually snapped up by Nick Tier in his first over. Hill ended up with 5-60, and Carpe Diem with 165, made in under 30 overs. The speed of the innings caught the tea makers unprepared, and so after a short break the teams returned to the field to give Stoner a half hour of batting before the interval, which was safely reached by Ben Seddon and Sam Roberts.

At last, Stoner Week Tea as it should be, bathed in glorious sunshine

After the interval the game settled into something of a battle of attrition, with the barrage of tidy young bowlers being met with patient Stoner batting. With Stoner having plenty of time to get the runs there was no pressure on the batsmen to take risks, but Carpe Diem bowled few enough bad balls to make scoring difficult. Sam Roberts eventually went for 12, bringing in Justin Jones, who had been out to each of his previous three balls this week. He responded by slashing his first ball over backward point for 4, and although a little more circumspect than usual soon followed up by lifting a half tracker into the neighbouring field. He and Ben Seddon put on 57 for the 2nd wicket, seeming to put Stoner in the driving seat, but when Jones was caught on the boundary the middle order wobbled, with Dale Collins and Gordon Dale making just four each before getting out. Ben Seddon still seemed to be anchoring the side very niecly, and had reached his fifty as he started to bat with increasing ease, but he was dismissed somewhat freakily when a double bouncing ball from the spinner, Raisbeck, nealy yorked him, and in jabbing his bat down on it he managed to squirt it back onto his stumps, so gently that he was probably unlucky that the bails came off. Sam Banks and Nick Tier soon followed, but Stoner's tail should still have been strong enough to get the side home, with less than 40 needed and still plenty of time. However Colin Baty hit a full toss straight to a fielder, and after 12 had been added for the 9th wicket Paul Bradley mis-timed a drive, hitting it straight in the air. The batsmen crossed, but 2 balls later Matthew Quantrill struck a full toss outside off stump cleanly but straight at Carpe Diem's best fielder, leaving Simon Hill high and dry without facing and Carpe Diem the victors by 19 runs, having looked second favourites for most of the game. A frustrating end for Stoner, and for their unbeaten run, but a good game played hard and in good spirit, and better still in sunshine throughout.

Stoner v Ropley

Friday July 24th, 2009

Ropley 197-4 dec. (40 overs)
Stoner 195-9 (38 overs)
Match Drawn

Steady rain till 10.30 in the morning, with more heavy showers forecast looked likely to have put paid to the final game of the week, but amazingly the thick grey clouds, thick with lightning and grumbling thunder, moved around the ground with only the briefest bursts of rain. A start was agreed at 2.30, with an almost immediate shower bringing a 30 second stoppage after 3 balls, before the rain stopped and stayed away for the rest of the day. Ropley's opening batsmen played positively, with their overseas player Teixeira to the fore. With the bowlers footing too soft for anyone with a long run up Stoner were forced to forego Ben Roberts and Matt Evans as openers, turning instead to Paul Bradley and Ed Ellis. The batsmen ran positively and had a fair amount of luck, with shots in the air somehow finding the gaps in the field as the score mounted rapidly. The change bowlers, Ben Seddon and Dale Collins had no more luck, though Collins got a hand to a return catch that would have had the Champagne Moment reconsidered had he held it. Matt Evans replaced Collins, and after the drinks break should ahve had Teixeira caught at long off, but Ed Ellis running in couldn't hold on to the catch. A couple of run out chances also went begging as Teixeira pressed on and passed his hundred before the breakthrough finally came when Purchese went down the wicket and missed Simon Hill's flighted delivery, and was stranded as the bails were whipped off. Teixeira pressed on, continuing to push the fielders, but eventually pushing a bit too hard. Another potential Champagne Moment, had the award not already been decided, came when Teixeira smashed one through the covers. Justin Jones sprinting round manged to kick the bouncing ball back from the boundary, flicking it to Ben Seddon, who launched a huge throw back to the stumps where Matthew Quantrill took it cleanly and dived onto the stumps to complete the run out. Sadly it was the young number three, Tom Stennett, rather than Teixeira who paid the price. Another breakthrough followed almost immediately when Toby Williams, having got off the mark with an edge, connected with one, but only succeeded in driving it back to Colin Baty. Hill, Baty and Justin Jones did an excellent job of keeping the run rate down as Ropley looked to accelerate for a declaration, and this tightness eventually paid dividends when Teixeira tried to steal a quick single to get the strike, and Jones following through picked the ball up and hit the stumps underarm for the run out. Ropley eventually declared at 5 o'clock without quite being able to reach 200.

The tea interval saw the presentation of the week's awards, with Laurie Goldsmith collecting his eponymous Band-Aid award in absentia for missing the entire week due to an operation, Sam Roberts picking up the Champagne Moment award for his one handed diving catch against Chris Vincent's XI and Justin Jones scooping both the Duck Cup and the Low Alcohol Lager Moment for his feat of being out to three successive balls that he faced during the week.

A brief shower in the tea interal freshened up the wicket, but the remainder of the match was completed in mainly sunny weather. Stoner suffered two early setbacks when Adrian Hill was run out attempting a quick second and Ben Roberts hit one straight back to the bowler. At 16-2 chasing the highest total of the week looked a stiff task, but with Justin Jones at the wicket anything is possible, and having broken the shackles the previous day he was now looking to make up for lost time. Off the mark with a six he was soon producing that familiar bemused look on the face of the bowlers as they tried to work out what they could possibly bowl at him without being smashed to all corners of the ground, at one point forcing Ropley to put 7 men on the boundary. He and Matthew Quantrill added 98 for the 3rd wicket in 16.3 overs, bringing an improbable target well within reach and forcing Ropley to turn to their senior bowlers, including Teixeira. When Jones eventually fell, caught in the deep inevitably, he had made 78 and made Stoner the favourites. Quantrill had been struggling to time teh ball, but stepped up the rate a bit after Jones was out, ably aided by Ben Seddon, but with the rate coming down all the time Quantrill steered a long hop from Teixeira to gully to be out for 31. Colin Baty and Seddon kept the scoreboard ticking over until Baty hit a return catch to Teixeira to be out for 19. Suddenly a familiar Stoner panic seemed to set in. Simon Hill was LBW for a duck, and Seddon looked like winning the game before holing out on the boundary for an excellent 39. His hitting had brought the run rate down again just as it seemed to be creeping out of reach, and when Dale Collins edged a four from his first ball 7 were needed from the last over with three wickets in hand. Ed Ellis slashed one away for 2 from the first ball of the over, but then played a dot ball before being stumped from the third. MAtt Evans had a big swing at the fourth ball and was bowled, and suddenly the spectre of a repeat of last year's defeat was on the cards. In Paul Bradley Stoner possibly had a more resolute number 11 than last year (Connor Wilkinson). Bradley managed to slash the hat trick ball away past point for 2, but could do nothing with the last and the game ended in a tight draw, the second of the week, though neither could be called dull.

Thus ended the 75th Anniversary Stoner Week, one on which the weather Gods hardly smiled, yet in which all the matches were palyed in full, and most went to the wire with gripping finishes. A fabulous evening on Wednesday and great teas throughout the week, plus several good nights at the Harow ensured that despite the lack of sunshine the week was a success off the field as well as on it, with 28 players representing Stoner at some point in the year. Thanks to all those who took part, and even more to all those who supported from the sidelines and organised the event and the teas. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2010.