Stoner Cricket Club

Founded 1934
  Match Reports for 2012 


2012 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 30th





July 23rd





July 24th

C. Vincent's XI




July 25th


Steep CC



July 26th

The Forty Club




July 27th




A full set of averages for 2012 are now available by clicking here.

Stoner v Bedales

Saturday June 30th 2012

Sadly despite every effort being made by Justin Jones Stoner could not raise a team for this fixture, and it had to be called off a few days beforehand.

Stoner v Barnes

Monday July 23rd, 2012

Barnes 191-9 (40 overs)
Stoner 129-8 (40 overs)
Match Drawn

In this most miserable of summers the first day of Stoner Week dawned and stayed cloudless, sunny and warm. With all the surrounding greenery being green, the setting was as beautiful as it can be, and the conditions perfect, at least for those who managed to make it through the thickets of wild grasslands surrounding the Mem Pitch without becoming permanently lost or falling prey to the wildlife that the school is encouraging within these jungles. Sadly the good weather may have arrived just in time for the week, but it hadn't arrived in time for the preparation of the square, and as a result the wicket was very much on the soft side, with plenty of movement in all directions. Despite this Barnes elected to bat first on winning the toss, and Stoner's stand in captain AJ Jayatissa opened with himself and Ben Roberts. AJ produced some very good balls early on, his first in particular swinging in, but he couldn't get through the batsmen and soon took himself off. Ben also proved a handful in his first spell and produced the first wicket when a ball stopped and was prodded uppishly into the covers where Adrian Hill proved that age is no bar to being able to fall over forwards and held a good low catch. Paul Bradley at first change also proved well suited to the conditions, wobbling the ball about and causing both batsmen problems before getting a wicket, again with one hit too early and going in the air to be caught by Jhon Cosgrove. (Those of you with spell checking software please ignore the wavy red lines - that is how he spells his name.) The next partnership was a crucial one, starting slowly but then seeing off Bradley and very good spells from youngster Freddie Hughes-Stanton and Tom Blackburn. Harry Pilkington in particular played well, riding the luck that anyone making any sort of score on this pitch inevitably needed and playing very good attacking shots wherever he could. He avoided fielders with mistimed shots and was dropped a couple of times on his way to batting through the innings, but eventually wickets did start to tumble at the other end. The third wicket partnership was ended by Justin Jones who got one to move very gently off the seam and bowl Hunter. There followed a brief but brutal cameo as Jared Schmidt advanced down the pitch and clubbed his first ball over the short leg side boundary for six, then followed up by straight driving the next for a huge straight six, generating almost all the power with his bottom hand. There were a couple of singles before he again smashed six over the leg side, then another single before attempting another big hit he toe ended one gently into the air to be caught for 21 from 9 balls. A four from his last ball led to Justin retiring from the attack with the impressive figures of 2-38 in just 3 overs. Gordon Dale had slightly more success in his three overs of slow stuff, getting a maiden in his second over and a wicket in his third when one kept low and went under the batsman's bent leg to take out middle stump. The returning Ben Roberts picked up another wicket bowled before the way was cleared for Stoner's 9th bowler, Connor “The Destroyer” Wilkinson. Having delegated the captaincy Connor had spent a frustrated session suggesting fielding and bowling changes to his stand in, and wondering if AJ knew he was a bowler, but when he got his chance he didn't disappoint. A slow start was soon behind him, and by his third over his slow and accurate cutters were proving ideal for the conditions, and he soon had two wickets as the batsmen advanced down the pitch in an attempt to find a way to attack him and were both stranded a long way down when they missed. Both, somewhat surprisingly, had to look to the umpire for confirmation of their dismissal, perhaps followed by the absence of any appeal from the keeper, who regarded it as something of a formality when they were so far down the track. The 9th wicket pair held Wilkinson up for a short while, but on the last ball before tea Hake attempted a switch hit and was LBW right in front of the stumps to give Wilkinson 3-25 from his six overs and leave him Stoner's leading wicket taker.

A lovely tea with everyone's favourite exotic sandwich fillings delayed the re-start a little, but even so what turned out to be exactly 40 overs (as per the first innings, making this look suspiciously like a limited overs game) would usually be enough to give this sort of batting line up every chance of getting 192. However on this wicket it was a mountainous target, and was going to require a lot of very poor bowling to give Stoner any chance of winning. The problem for the batsmen was that although the pitch was slow the variations in bounce and movement off it meant any commitment to a shot before the bounce had been seen was dangerous, making run scoring difficult off anything that wasn't a full toss or a short ball sitting up. Stoner had bowled their fair share of both, but Barnes were slightly less obliging. Tom Blackburn looked a high quality player given his age, scoring a four through mid-wicket with one of the best shots of the match, but his lack of experience on such a difficult wicket showed as he played too firmly at one that stopped and looped the ball gently back to the bowler. The second wicket pair of Matthew Quantrill and Adrian Hill had no lack of experience, and an occasional alarm aside they steadied the ship, setting up some sort of foundation from which it might be possible to mount an attack on the distant target. Dead batting the straight length balls they managed to get the odd loose ones away reasonably well, and by the time the 20 overs started they had got the total up to 64. That meant that the required rate was over six an over, though, which was a very tough requirement even with wickets in hand. The dangers of looking to attack were soon shown as both were bowled looking to attack by balls that shot along the ground, though Quantrill did manage to sneak past 50 before departing. Probably Stoner's only hope of success was if one of their big hitters came off, but Justin Jones and AJ, who came closest to being in that category both fell cheaply, with Jones missing an attempted sweep and AJ well caught in the deep from a big hit over cover. Freddie Hughes-Stanton suffered a similar fate to Tom Blackburn, for similar reasons, and Paul Bradley and Ben Roberts also fell cheaply. Through all this chaos Gordon Dale looked untroubled, a massive and reassuring presence at the crease, an occasional powerful blow meaning the scoreboard didn't grind to a halt even if the victory target had now disappeared over the horizon. With 9 overs to go and 8 wickets down he was joined by Jhon Cosgrove, with only Connor Wilkinson in reserve in the pavilion (or sitting outside the marquee) and defeat surely seemed inevitable. However the pair somehow saw off everything Barnes could throw at them, including the return of the opening bowler and saw it through to the end, with Dale remaining 28 not out to ensure that Stoner snatched a probably thoroughly undeserved draw out of the ruins of their middle order collapse. So the week was off to a good start, the conditions and the Harrow making up for the poor state of the wicket - after so much rain one had to be grateful for having any sort of ground to play on, and it can only be hoped that continuing sunshine will help to improve the state of the pitch as the week progresses.

Stoner v Chris Vincent's XI

Tuesday July 24th, 2012

C.Vincent's XI 135 all out (38 overs)
Stoner 139-4 (23.1 overs)
Stoner won by 6 wickets

Another stunningly gorgeous day greeted the Stoner faithful and the junior members of Havant CC who made up Chris Vincent's XI. A day of sunshine had worked wonders for the wicket (with the aid of the groundsman), and although the wicket was still slow and gave plenty of help to the bowlers it was far more even and consistent than the Monday game, making this a far better game of cricket. Ben Seddon lost the toss, and for the second day in a row Stoner were condemned to field in the heat - though from a purely tactical point of view it looked like a good toss to lose. Much as Stoner's own youngsters had struggled on the previous day the young Havant side were not patient enough to deal with the sluggish pace, and wickets tumbled regularly early on. The first may have been a result of trying to be too patient as the batsman left one from AJ outside off stump only to see it move back in a few inches and take the top of off. After that it was a string of catches as the batsmen were through shots too early. AJ and Ben Roberts, the opening bowlers, swiftly retired from the attack with 1-19 and 2-7 respectively, but their replacements, Freddie Hughes-Stanton and Paul Bradley, caused equal problems. There was a break in the sequence of catches when the number 5 batsman swung hard at Hughes-Stanton and swung himself out of his ground, allowing Matthew Quantrill to whip the bails off, before the next two wickets also fell to catches. Bradley (1-16) and Hughes-Stanton (2-12) also left the attack, but Jack Norman, after a slightly wild start, produced a beautiful inswinging yorker to bowl the number 7 and reduce Vincent's to 53-7. It has to be said that while the bowling was reasonable and the pitch helpful the biggest responsibility for this collapse lay with the lack of application of the batsmen, and the tail now showed them how they should have played. Oliver Jones has played a few games against Stoner, and he showed much greater selectivity in choosing which balls to hit, ably supported by a more experienced (that's code for older) last three. Ben Seddon bowled economically without success, but after that the stage was left to the spinners. Jhon Cosgrove settled into a rhythm and found a much more consistent line and length, turning both his leg-breaks and almost indistinguishable googlies considerably, while Justin Jones offered his usual selection of tempters before being replaced by Gordon Dales slow off breaks. Cosgrove got the 8th wicket, after a partnership of 35, to a catch by Ben Seddon, but another 28 were added and Oliver Jones reached his 50 before the 9th wicket fell when he hit a full toss from Jones straight to Ben Roberts in the covers. The final pair grafted away for some time in adding another 19 runs before Dale finally ended the innings as an attempted drive lofted up, as had so many previously, and was held by Jhon Cosgrove. There was one moment worth mentioning in a Week so far bereft of obvious nominations for any awards apart from the Duck Cup, which was the moment that Cosgrove bowled a chest high full toss to Jones, who hit it fairly gently into the sky towards square leg. AJ was just a few steps away, but barely moved before wandering over to pick the ball up. In answer to the bemused questions about why he hadn't caught it he responded that it was a no ball, and looked equally surprised himself when it was explained to him that for a non-quick bowler (and no one could accuse Jhon Cosgrove of being a quick bowler) a full toss had to be above shoulder height to be a no ball.

After the usual good tea there was something of a novelty in the first over as Justin Jones played out a maiden. Paul Bradley was a bit more aggressive at the other end, but when it came to Justin's turn again he was even more timid, prodding the ball very gently straight back to a grateful bowler. It was probably the only moment that Stoner looked in any danger of not winning. Bradley continued to hit powerfully while Ben Roberts at number 3 was slightly slower but probably looked more assured and secure. They added 53 before Bradley top edged a pull and was caught at square leg. However he was replaced by Laurie Goldsmith, who despite not having played a game since last year's Stoner Week immediately started to time the ball easily. Bowlers came and went hastily as Vincent's tried to find some sort of answer, but the runs kept on flowing as Roberts and Goldmsith seemed to be locked into a race to fifty, something only one of them could get given the winning line was rapidly coming into sight. Just as it looked as if Goldsmith might catch up with Roberts he came down the pitch to what the scorer thought was the 7th ball of the over and was easily stumped. That should have left the way clear for Roberts to get his half century, but after getting within one blow of it with another powerful 4 he scooped up a fairly tame catch to end his innings at 45. Ben Seddon wasted no time in hitting ten runs off the remaining four balls of the over, leaving AJ facing his first ball at the other end with the scores level. He took a no nonsense approach and heaved it over mid-wicket for 4 to bring up a comfortable six wicket win with plenty of time to spare. It has to be said that on a good wicket the two teams would probably have been quite evenly matched, but experience told in the end, with Stoner probably having the best of the conditions, but also adapting to them much better. The early finish allowed the rare luxury of access to the swimming pool courtesy of Gordon Dale before the two teams headed off to the Harrow and the Roberts family settled in en masse to celebrate the 60th Birthday of the treasurer. Perfect weather again, and a much better pitch, leading to a very good Stoner day. This is what the Week should be about, and with plenty of goodwill for the future it has to be hoped that there will be plenty more days like this to come.

Steep v Stoner

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

Steep 157-5 (40 overs)
Stoner 115 all out (32.2 overs)
Stoner lost by 42 runs

There were a few puffy white clouds in the sky on Wednesday, but they served more as welcome shade than as any real brake on the onset of summer, and it was another very hot day. Stoner had a long batting line up and plenty of bowling, so it was something of a mystery to the team why their skipper, who shall remain nameless at this point, decided to agree with Steep's captain that Stoner would field first. (The captain should perhaps have used the Wilkinson Gambit - agreeing to allow the opposition to bat first on the promise that the skipper would claim they had won the toss.) A third successive day out in the heat was not what was wanted, the majority putting comfort ahead of any possible tactical advantage. There was nothing they could do about it though, so they headed out into the remorseless sunshine to try and make the best of it. The wicket was remarkably hard given the weather, but still had a little uneven bounce, which made batting slightly uncertain, while still at least coming onto the bat reasonably well. AJ and Ben Roberts kept the Steep openers pinned down, and there was an early breakthrough when McGubbin went to cut Roberts and got a bottom edge which somehow still carried to the keeper. Gareth Dale immediately upped ths coring rate with a couple of neat deflections, while Dean Knight struggled to find the gaps and became increasingly frustrated. Dale's innings was cut short when he top edged a pull from Tom Blackburn's bowling and was comfortably caught by Jack Norman. Knight's frustration had led to him swinging harder and harder, and although he found the boundary a couple of times he paid the inevitable price for his frustration when he drilled a ball from Ben Seddon straight to Paul Bradley at mid-wicket. With all the Stoner bowlers keeping things tight Steep were crawling along well short of three runs an over, and Adrian Hill and Gerald Waterfall struggled to up that rate. Hill eventually fell swinging at a straight one from Bradley. With it not looking as if Steep would make a competitive total Stoner gave the last few overs to their slow bowlers, and although Waterfall fell for 46. Missing a full toss from Justin Jones, they were able to up their rate and end up getting to a respectable 157-5 by the end of the 40 overs.

Despite the excellent selection of gourmet sandwiches and cakes the weather probably meant that the star of the tea was the late addition of choc ices, very much appreciated by some. Eventually, though, the teams returned to the field and Stoner set about chasing a target of just under 4 an over. Matthew Quantrill and Sam Roberts dealt comfortably enough with the opening bowling of Murray and Smith, and despite prodigious inswing from Tom Mercer and the guile and experience of Rudi Antrobus they seemed to be lifting the rate nicely and setting up a base from which the target should easily have been made. They had reached 67 in the 20th over when Quantrill went to cut a widish one from Antrobus and got a bottom edge which bounced back and nudged the off stump just hard enough to dislodge a bail, leaving him regretting that he had not followed his initial instinct and played his reverse sweep. Still with nearly half the runs on the board, twenty overs remaining and a powerful batting line up Stoner looked to be well in control. How quickly things can change though. In what seemed the blink of an eye Connor Wilkinson, promoted to three as he needed to leave early, had hit Antrobus to mid-wicket, Justin Jones had done the same to Mercer (both for 0), Sam Roberts had been caught of Mercer for 21 and AJ had got a leading edge to Mercer and been caught and bowled, also for a duck. Stoner were suddenly 5 down and hardly any more runs had been added. Although there was still plenty of batting left things barely improved as Tom Blackburn, after a couple of very promising shots, was bowled by Chris Knight for 9 and Ben Seddon caught round the corner for 7 to give Mercer his 4th wicket. Jack Norman and Ben Roberts played a useful partnership to steady things, but just as they looked as if they might turn the game round Roberts was given out LBW hit on the front leg well forward to Smith, causing much harrumphing and discussion amongst the assembled vice-presidents, always happy to find some way to argue with Matt Evans, the umpire in question. A frenetic innings from Paul Bradley was ended when he was run out for nine trying for a second run, and Gordon Dale was bowled by Smith for 2 to complete a miserable collapse, with all ten Stoner wickets falling in the space of less than 50 runs. Sadly there was one further blot on the game bigger than the loss of the Wicksteed Trophy, and that was the attitude of one Steep player, who seemed to be treating the game as if it were the most competitive of league games. Sledging of a personal and abusive nature is unpleasant enough in league games, in friendly cricket it is utterly out of place. This particular player had so annoyed the Stoner players that there were several spontaneous and loud sarcastic comments when he dropped a catch. Whether his attitude played any part in Stoner's collapse no one will ever know, but certainly if it did most cricketers would consider it far too heavy a price to pay for a victory, and would feel it made it a pretty hollow one. The main effect was to leave some players wondering if they wanted to play against Steep again, which is a great shame when the vast majority are as pleasant and decent cricketers as you could hope to find. Unfortunately one person really can spoil it for all the rest and this sort of behaviour is going to put many people off cricket completely if it spreads. Let's hope this was just a one off, and in future there can be a return to a more good natured level of banter, which is always to be expected in a match of this type where so many of the players know each other well, and which was still very much present between the other 21 players in this game.

As this is written the pig is roasting, the sun is setting and the pre-function drinks are flowing. There will doubtless be little chance to write anything later, but no doubt a full report of the event will follow in the next report.

Stoner v The Forty Club

Thursday July 26th, 2012

The Forty Club 112 all out (40.2 overs)
Stoner 113-7 (25.1 overs)
Stoner won by 3 wickets

Firstly there is a little catching up to do from Wednesday. News of the Annual Stoner Golf Competition, played for the prestigious Connor Wilkinson Memorial Virtual Seven Iron, only reached the secretary after Wednesday's report had been prepared. Contested by just three members, the ever present vice-president Mr. Britten, aided by his trusty caddy Sam Roberts, the eponymous Mr. Wilkinson and a newcomer to the Stoner golfing ranks the apparently well equipped Mr. Evans, the match was as usual held over the 12 holes of the Old Petersfield Golf Course. The Old Course at Petersfield does not quite having the prestige of its namesake at St. Andrews, but has a significant advantage in that it will let in any old riff raff, and so is the venue of preference for Stoner. After all that build up, however, the actual report is severely limited, the information being that Mr. Wilkinson did not win, and (according to a very modest Mr. Britten) of secondary importance was that he did win.

The second piece of catching up concerns the function, which for the first time for many years was never threatened by rain in any way, somewhat ironic in this most damp of summers. 33 guests joined Percy the Pig for a splendid meal of more pork and crackling than anyone could possibly eat, alongside a splendid selection of salads and apple sauce, followed by strawberries and cream and biscuits and stilton and cheddar, the quality of which will be discussed at the AGM in furtherance of Mr. Russell's vice-presidential ambitions. Once everyone had eaten to their heart's content and drunk plenty there were some brief speeches and a general drift towards home or the campfire, accompanied by more wine. The Roberts boys once again displayed their pyromaniac tendencies to good effect, and Brian “Rambling Sid” Taylor led community singing accompanied by guitar and harmonica until the dead of night. For a third year in succession no vice-president fell into the fire, and all retired happily to their beds save Mr. Russell, who had the misfortune to have forgotten the pump for his inflatable mattress, and chose to sleep in his car rather than test the pavilion floor unprotected. A few bottles of wine probably assisted him in getting a good night's sleep in any event, indeed so soundly asleep was he in the morning that the Grocock's, who were camping nearby in Romanesque splendour, almost banged on his window in concern that he was broiling himself alive, exposed as he was to the full sun and with all his window's closed. Luckily he survived to tell the tale, and depart for home and, in his own word, the bossoms of Mrs. Russell almost alive.

And so on to the match itself. The Forty Club had something of a disaster last year in that they could only raise 4 players. This year they went two better, for convoluted reasons that were actually in part a fall out from last year's problems. Sadly they had other available who could have played, but of the eleven they thought they had it seems likely that 5 were willing to play but thought there was no game on, but due to a late switch in match manager this wasn't realised until around 2 o'clock when it became obvious that they weren't just late, and that it was no coincidence that it was that particular five who were absent. Given that the sun was shining both teams wanted to make the best of it, so Joe Hughes-Stanton, the Stoner reserve was called up, and Laurie Goldsmith (on the grounds that he felt he qualified) and Jhon Cosgrove (on the grounds that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time) also switched sides, so that there were nine a side. It was agreed that the last man would bat on, and that two of the batting side would field to plug the gaps, and the game got under way with the Forty Club winning the toss and electing to bat first. AJ Jayatissa and Hugo Boatright made a good start for Stoner, getting movement from the pitch which was still soft on top and tending to stop when the ball was at all short. The opening batsmen, Steve Dean and Phil Hughes started trying to run aggressively, and both made the same mistake of taking a quick single to Sam Roberts in the covers. Both would have been comfortably out had he hit the single stump he had to aim at on either occasion, but both survived and became more cautious in their running. There were various rumours about Hughes' cricketing pedigree going around, and it turns out they were not entirely inaccurate. Although not Cambridge University captain he does seem to be a Cambridge University player, with a first class record as can be seen here, here and even on his own Wikipedia entry. He did play a couple of classy looking shots early on, and Stoner had to feel they could not let him get away with too much, or he might make a big score. It was somewhat disappointing then, when he top edged a shot from AJ and lobbed it up in the air to short cover that of the many fielders who could have reached it the loudest call came from Laurie Goldsmith, who, having defected, had started out as a sub fielder, and proceeded to completely misjudge the ball and end up watching it fall to the ground two or three feet from his outstretched arms. In a man of lesser integrity a cynical observer might have suspected sabotage, but in this case there was nothing to blame but impending senility. Things got worse when Hughes got slightly under an attempted drive from Higo Boatright a few minutes later and lobbed up another fairly simple chance, only to see Jack Norman spill the opportunity, but remarkably he gave a third chance glancing one from AJ down the leg side only to see Matthew Quantrill behind the stumps dive full length to his left and catch it one handed inches from the ground. This broke a useful opening stand and brought a sudden turnaround, as in quick succession Tom Carmicahel was bowled by AJ, and Alan Hughes was run out in a horrible mix up, though he should still have been in, as Hugo Boatright fumbled the return giving Hughes time to recover his ground where he unfortunately failed to put his bat down as the bails were finally removed. Freddie Hughes-Stanton, replacing AJ, bowled the other opener, Dean, in his first over, and Jack Norman, replacing Hugo Boatright, bowled Joe Hughes-Stanton with a lovely ball, to leave the Forty Club in deep trouble. That they recovered in part was due to their second substantial partnership between the two Stoner loan players, Laurie Goldsmith and Jhon Cosgrove. At this point Stoner turned to the spin of Justin Jones and Max Boatright, and Goldsmith quickly fell for the Jones trap, advancing down the wicket and pulling him straight to square leg. Cosgrove and Candy, the next Forty Club batsman than grafted with great patience, Cosgrove largely ignoring the goading of his Steep team mate Paul Bradley at slip, in pushing the score gently towards and eventually past three figures, but eventually Cosgrove got carried away by attempting attacking shots and hit Jones to Freddy Hughes-Stanton at mid-on, who took a comfortable catch. Paul Bradley came on to replace Boatright and eventually got the patient Candy, who prodded a fairly gentle catch to the safe hands of Justin Jones in the gully, and Max Boatright then swapped ends and took over from Jones, and almost immediately turned one in to shock Forty Club captain Ian Henderson, who had left it, by taking the top of his off stump. The innings had lasted just over 40 overs and realised 112 runs, and in the end set Stoner a reasonably fair target in what turned out to be 35 overs.

In the first couple of overs Paul Bradley and Sam Roberts looked very comfortable, and Stoner looked set to cruise to victory, but of course things didn't go that smoothly. Candy bowled very tidily, and eventually Roberts lost patience and pushed too hard at a ball that stopped, lifting an easy catch to one of the substitute fielders, Max Boatright. Paul Bradley got an edge behind, scoring one run less than Jhon Cosgrove, much to his disgust, and after one good shot Freddy Hughes-Stanton straight to Laurie Goldsmith, who proved he could catch for his own side with no difficulty. At 27-3 Stoner had plenty of work to do, but Jack Norman was settling in to play the sort of patient innings needed on a slow wicket, while Hugo Boatright played some good attacking shots before swinging too hard at the slow bowling of Dean and being bowled. Norma, having taken 22 balls to get off the mark, began to pick up the pace a bit, while Aj played in his own way - aggressively. They added 32 fairly rapidly, and were bring in the finishing line into sight when AJ misread Jhon Cosgrove's googly and was bowled for 17. He was replaced by Justin Jones, who is not one to be easily outdone on the aggression front, and finally managed to lift his average for the week above 1 when he slapped a four, which he quickly followed with three more. With Norman also scoring well now the runs required tumbled rapidly until with just 5 needed to win Jones swung hard at Phil Hughes, perhaps looking to finish things in one go, and edged behind. Max Boatright managed to pick up a single off a no ball to complete the over, and with the game virtually over Forty Club skipper Ian Henderson looked to give himself a go and struggled with his line end length, so the game ended rather tamely with a series of wides and no balls, with Jack Norman Stoner's leading scorer on 22 not out. All the same what had the makings of a catastrophe had been turned into a decent game of cricket in which everyone had a reasonable go, most at both batting and bowling, and the sunshine was take advantage of, so all in all a good result all round.

Stoner v Ropley

Friday July 27th, 2012

Ropley 65 all out (28.4 overs)
Stoner 67-1 (12.3 overs)
Stoner won by 9 wickets

As ever on Friday the first order of business was the AGM. This year's was a little more significant than usual, given the various changes that needed to be discussed. A full set of minutes will appear in due course, but the summary is that the chairman, Alastair Britten, steam rollered positivity through, and with the assistance of Paul Bradley who gave an optimistic report on player availability Stoner's immediate future was secured. Matt Evans was appointed to the new post of tea monitor, to ensure teas are produced, and the possibility of a double header weekend against the school and Gentlemen of Bedales is to be explored. The Week itself will remain untouched with efforts made to encourage members of Gentlemen of Bedales and the two London based OB teams to take part in the week. Next year will see if good intentions translate into action, but the will is certainly there to keep Stoner going for the immediate future. The less serious business of the AGM involved the awards, which went as follows. The Champagne Moment judges ignored the merits of a number of excellent catches to award the Moment to Skid the Dog for his highly entertaining attack on a hot air balloon looming over the ground, there being far more debate on whether the moment needed to be renamed and what should be presented to the winner. The Low Alcohol Lager Moment went to Laurie Goldsmith for his act of treachery when acting as a sub fielder in calling loudly for a catch and then failing to move under it. There were no real nominations for the Band Aid award, with Gordon Dale's muttering about his hamstrings being the only hint of an injury throughout the week. The judges decided to defer the award in case of any injuries during the final game (none have occurred so far) and in the absence of that to award it to Laurie Goldsmith on principle. There were a few more ducks this year than last year, but the winner of the Duck Cup by acclaim was the only man with two ducks, Justin Jones.

And so to the main business of the day, the game against Ropley. The sky was not as clear as the rest of the week, but it was still hot and humid, so Stoner were dismayed to discover that their skipper, Justin Jones, had won the toss and decided to put Stoner into the field in the heat for the fifth day in succession. Tom Blackburn and Hugo Boatright got them away to a good start exploiting the pitch well and putting the batsmen under pressure. Throughout the innings Ropley's batsmen were quick to note that the wicket was stopping and slow, but none seemed able to adapt their game to the conditions. The pitch was not easy, but it was by no means dangerous, and did not really provide an excuse for any of the dismissals - it was playing the wrong shots that was to blame. The opening pair were in fact patient enough to see off Blackburn, but when Jo Banks came on they both got out to successive deliveries, both trying to drive Banks and lofting catches to Justin Jones. Ropley's overseas player did manage to avoid the fate of his predecessor (who was out first ball to Connor Wilkinson last year) and avoid the hat trick, but to his third ball he pushed firmly at Hugo Boatright and saw the bowler dive full length to his right and snatch the ball a few inches from the ground. Banks quickly produced two more wickets, one bowled and the other another catch form two firm a shot, and ended up with the week's best bowling figures of 4-17, while Boatright took 1-2 in 6 overs, with five maidens and just one scoring shot. Further bowling changes did nothing to change the pattern of the game as Ropley batsmen continued to get through shots too early and give catches which Stoner accepted with alacrity, the pattern only broken by the occasional missing of a straight ball. Charlie Millar took 1-5, Henry Llewellyn 2-15, Max Boatright 1-9 and Justin Jones finished things off with the last wicket at the cost of no runs in 10 balls.

The early end to the innings, which ended on 65, meant that tea was not ready and Stoner went out to bat for 6 overs. Joe Hughes-Stanton and Tom Blackburn proceeded to demonstrate that the pitch heldf no real demons, coping with the overseas player and all the other bowling with ease for a few overs before Blackburn drilled one back to the Australian and was well caught. However he was replaced by Jo Banks, and by tea Stoner had advanced to 36 at a run a ball. Tea was taken at a leisurely pace, but afterwards the batsmen carried on pretty much as before, Banks in particular playing some very high quality shots. The run rate slipped slightly below a run a ball, but by the 13th over it was all over, Hughes-Stanton unbeaten on 25 and Banks on 30.

Stoner v Ropley

Beer Match - 12 Overs per Side

Stoner 70 all out (11.2 overs)
Ropley 66-6 (12 overs)
Stoner won by 4 runs

With plenty of time to spare and some players having had little chance to contribute a 12 over beer match was quickly arranged, and Stoner carried on batting. Against more varied Ropley bowling they managed to score more slowly and lose more wickets than they had in the main game, with a few good shots almost always followed by ones in the air or complete misses, even by those batsmen who had made runs first time round. Ropley held every chance that came their way, including some good catches in the deep, no batsman making the agreed retirement score of 20. In the end Stoner were all out for 70 in the final over, the final wicket a somewhat freakish stumping which rebounded off the keeper's shoulder onto the stumps.

Ropley sent their overseas player out to open, and he initially struggled, trying to swing too hard. In the second over he was dropped by Sam Roberts, who failed to judge how poorly it had been hit and didn't get in quickly enough to take it cleanly. He hit a few shots more cleanly thereafter, but struggled against the very occasional leg spin of Matthew Quantrill, including escaping a good LBW shout. With no one actually keeping score it began to seem that he might have gone slightly past 20, but Ropley insisted he had not until eventually with only three other wickets down and nearly 50 on the board they had to accept that he was probably past 20 and retire him. At that point Ropley were very slightly ahead of the required rate of 1 a ball, but they slowly sank back unable to pick up more than singles and having the occasional dot ball and wicket. Eventually it came down to 14 needed from 2 overs and then 10 form the final over, bowled by Justin Hones, but Ropley remained unable to find the boundary, and needing 6 from the last ball they could only find fine leg for a single, completing a second win for Stoner, but in a much closer and more satisfying game.

So the week drew to a close, with the sun that had blessed most of the week making a welcome reappearance and the crowds gathering around the pavilion for the presentation of the awards, although Laurie Goldsmith had somehow managed to talk himself out of the Low Alcohol Lager Moment award while on the sidelines, persuading the assembled judges to give it to Justin Jones for a perceived failure to go for a catch, a very unfair decision on Jones who had taken 4 catches in the day already. Skid the Dog was warmly welcomed as winner of the Champagne Moment, and the players changed, the pictures were taken down and the pavilion tidied before everyone headed down to the pub for the final time this week, secure in the knowledge that, all being well, everyone will be back doing it all again next year.