The weather amazingly continued its pattern of much of the season with relatively dry weather except on Fridays and especially Saturdays. Happily, a large number of schools coped with the appalling public exam system by arranging cricket weeks last week (and some this week too). Thus, though there are startlingly few results from Saturday, there were many from midweek fixtures.
Most prominent, of course, was Eton v Harrow at Lord?s ten days ago, the result coming too late to be reported last week. The match had added poignancy, since it was John Rice?s final Lord?s match after a distinguished 30 year career as the Eton Cricket Professional, and Simon Halliday steps down as Master-in-Charge at Harrow after a highly successful 17 year tenure. On a glorious day, Harrow won the toss and had no hesitation in batting, equipped as they were with some fine top-order batsmen and excellent spinners. After some early flutters which gave Eton hope, Robbie White ? five years in the XI ? scored 45 and Anshuman Rath 59; the latter, still an Under 16, has already played for Hong Kong in a senior international Twenty20 fixture. This led to a total of 233 all out, rather less than Eton had feared. However, their reply began badly with a bizarre run out and at 91 for six they were clearly in trouble. Captain Jamie Gnodde led the way with a serene 73, but he was relatively unsupported and Eton were bowled out for 170. For a full report by Mark Williams, click here. For the scorecard, click here.
Three days later there was a 100th anniversary match between Clifton and Tonbridge (albeit, sadly, only on the Nursery ground). The fixture had been one of the five two-day games played annually at Lord?s (the others apart from the above being Rugby v Marlborough, Cheltenham v Haileybury and Beaumont v The Oratory). All these apart from Eton v Harrow (and Rugby v Marlborough for a couple of years) moved elsewhere because the Lord?s pitch was dug up in two parts 1968/ 1969 and all but Test matches and Middlesex games were asked to move. The Clifton v Tonbridge game went to Eastbourne and, with Felsted and later Winchester, formed the first of the many festivals which sprang up in the late Sixties and early Seventies (a response to the changing of exam dates as much as anything).
For the anniversary match, the day began with a minute?s silence in memory particularly of the 11 players from the two schools in the 1914 fixture who fell in the Great War. Tonbridge won the toss and batted. In the early overs Cameron McGregor played with some freedom, scoring 29 from 19 balls, but was then comprehensively bowled. After this, with perhaps hints of hubris, Tonbridge continued to bat in somewhat cavalier fashion and were dismissed in only 38.1 overs for 172, a very modest score on such a small ground. Jonathan Dilley, son of the late Graham, was the pick of the bowlers, taking four for 32 with his slow left arm. Clifton in reply started confidently with both Tom Smith and Hamish Matthews looking impressive. But when both were out and the score on only 39, Clifton looked vulnerable, all too aware that they had so often failed to fulfil their potential this season,. Such fears were soon banished as Joel Barber (60) and Jack Ellison (47 not out) took command with some very impressive strokeplay and guided Clifton to a comfortable victory. To see the full scorecard, click here. Tonbridge yesterday (Monday) won their regional final in the National Schools Twenty20 competition to reach finals day at Arundel this Friday July 4th, starting 10am.
There was a wonderful declaration match between Dauntsey?s and the Wiltshire Queries, that county?s equivalent of the Gloucestershire Gipsies (sic), Devon Dumplings et al. More often than not it is the adult side batting first, declaring cleverly and teasing out the schoolboys. In this case, the school declared cleverly, led by captain Duncan Lorrain with 50 and then a ninth wicket partnership of 60 which set up the declaration of 245 for nine, Jamie Short scoring his maiden half-century. The Queries looked well set after 60 from Joe Wookey, a former captain of the school, but they still needed 19 from the last over. Another Old Boy Lawrence Hannaford, who had earlier taken five for 31, took them to one run short with eight down by scoring 36 not out.
This column always has a soft spot for those who fall just short of a century. In this case it was Matthew Rose of Oakham who scored 99 not out (from only 98 balls) before time ? or the last over of the 20 – ran out in a rain-interrupted declaration match. He was on 98 with three balls to go, but managed only one single.
200+ gathered at a dinner on Saturday to honour the great Doug Yeabsley, who has finally hung up his boots after 50 years of service to cricket, especially at Haberdasher?s Aske?s, after a stroke last year. An outstanding classic left-arm inswing bowler himself who bamboozled many a famous player while playing for his beloved Devon, he continued coaching at the school where he started in 1964 (teaching Chemistry) until well into his retirement. A schoolmaster of the old school who insisted on everything being done properly ? and quite right too ? he was always exceedingly generous with his time and encouragement of younger pupils and colleagues, huge numbers of whom have flocked to pay due tribute.
Two schools last week played a form of the game I haven?t come across before: a one-innings two-day game. An antidote to the very widespread quick-fix twenty-over version. A bit of a shock to the system for young batsmen who discover that they may have to bat for several hours (not to mention the bowlers and fieldsmen). Stowe batted first in excellent conditions to record a score of 386-8 declared just prior to the close of play on day one. James Robertson, a highly talented 14-year-old, batted beautifully and recorded one of the finer hundreds witnessed this season. He showed great maturity in the way that he constructed his innings for someone so young. This left Wellingborough with five overs to face before the close, which they duly did, reaching 24-0 overnight. Day two saw 95 overs remaining in the match and for the first session Wellingborough were marginally ahead of the required rate. Unfortunately two key wickets fell at a crucial time in the middle session meaning that, although not blocking out for the draw hours before the end, the run rate did dry up a little. Wellingborough concluded the second and final day?s play on 320-7 and so the match was drawn. ?For anyone who does not play this format of match? (writes George Houghton of Wellingborough), ?I cannot recommend it highly enough. The mental and physical challenge of fielding for 100 overs at a time and then having the ability to build an innings when batting are such vital lessons for anyone that has any ambition in the game. It is amazing how many pupils do not have the concentration to bat for longer than 50-60 balls, let alone 3-4 hours at a time.? Eton played the same format against Scotch College from Melbourne and recorded a fine seven-wicket win.
Kirkham Grammar School have two very promising young players. 13-year-old Edward Bailey took two lots of five wickets with his leg-spin: five for 14 against Wimslow High School and five for 38 against Rossall. Against the latter Kieran Wilkinson scored 111 not out, his first century for the 1st XI, aged only 14.
St Albans have four brothers of the Scott family. Charlie, the youngest, remained as captain of the Under 14s where he averaged 192. Called up to replace an elder brother who was playing the county, he didn?t bat but came on as second change bowler and promptly had a slip catch missed by another brother. In the next game he came on at 74 for one and removed the whole of the middle order with figures of five for five.
A striking feature of this week?s results is the number of touring sides from Australia, all of whom lost against English schools. We have a lot of ?boding? in Wisden, but does this bode well for future Ashes series?
*Hurstpierpoint 233-5 (50 overs), Bede’s 235-6
*Dauntsey’s 245-9 dec (L Hannaford 5-31), Wiltshire Queries 244-8
MCC 124 (M Crane 5-52), *Lancing 91 (S Garratt 7-32)
Tonbridge 172, Clifton 176-3 (at Lord?s)
Oundle 237-6 dec (B Graves 100 not out), *Oakham 161-1 (rain interruption)
Bristol GS 267-7 (50 overs) (C Moran 121 not out), *Queen’sTaunton 216
*Bedford 271-8 (50 overs), Harrow 226
*Denstone 207-7 (35 overs), Cheadle Hulme 113
Wisbech 171-5 (40 overs), *Ratcliffe 85
Colston Bassett CC 217?5 (40 overs) (D Bedingham 100 not out) v *Ratcliffe (rain)
*Sedbergh 203-7(50 overs), Durham 162 (A Moon 5-24)
MCC 230-4 dec,*Sherborne 190-7
Taunton 172, *Sherborne 174-4
Sherborne 178, *Clifton 179-5
*St Albans 175-8, Merchant Taylors? 128 (C Scott 5-5)
*Kingswood 254-4 (40 overs), King Edward’s Bath 194-9
Hurstpierpoint 216 (M Crane 7-69), *Lancing 166-9
Leicestershire Under-16 128 (C Down 5-33), *Oakham 131-3
Harrow 233, Eton 170 (at Lord?s)
*Stowe 386-8 dec (J Robertson 135), Wellingborough 320-7 (two days, one innings)
*Wellington (Berks) 350 (50 overs), Ivanhoe GS (Aus) 183
*Wellington (Berks) 181 (47 overs) (B Curran 105), Rondebosch (RSA) 131 (S Curran 5-25)
Wilmslow HS 51 (E Bailey 5-14) *Kirkham GS 52-4
* Stonyhurst 232 (T Morgan 113), Kirkham GS 112
XL Club 82,*Kirkham GS 83-4
Wilmslow HS 31,*Kirkham GS 37-2
Durham 185-9 (40 overs), *GSAL 148-7
*Woodhouse Grove 256-5 (50 overs) (D Budge 103), Wath 125
*Ampleforth 210-9 dec (L Edward 5-59), Woodhouse Grove 211-3 (D Budge 97)
Framlingham 209-9 dec, *Felsted 213-0 (P Kilpatrick 103 not out, O Grayson 100 not out)
Bedford 334-4 (45 overs) (S Patel 101 not out, A Axon 139), *Dulwich 169
Xavier College, (Aus) 83 (C Baynes-Holden 5-30) & 87 (R Williams 7-22), *Denstone 258
Shrewsbury 237-7 dec (W Cook 101) & 228-4 dec (O Westbury 104), *Uppingham 212-3 &108
*Wycliffe 225-4 (30 overs), King Edward’s Bath 183-3
Bristol GS 193-8 (50 overs), *Clifton 197-2 (T Smith 115)
XL Club 191, *Dauntsey’s 24-0 (rain)
MCC 205-7 dec, *Christ?s Hospital 161-9
MCC 189-6 dec (N Lack 6-42), *Clayesmore 162
*Eton 300-8 (50 overs), Caulfield GS (Aus) 210-3 (N Blaich 135 not out)(rain)
Scotch College (Aus) 257 (100 overs) (N Sparks 113), *Eton 260-3 (J Gnodde 130 not out)
*Haberdashers’ Aske’s 166 (30 overs), Geelong (Aus) 131-9
Holcott Arcadians CC 243-6 (40 overs), *Oakham 209
Uppingham 213-8 (50 overs), *Nottingham HS 181
Paarl Boys HS (RSA) 228-8 (45 overs), *Uppingham 182-9
Leicester Gents 232-6 dec, *Uppingham 65-2 (rain)
*Haberdashers? Aske?s 121, Bancroft?s 5-1 (rain)
*Rossall 116 & 183 (E Bailey 5-38), Kirkham GS 270-8 dec (K Wilkinson 111 not out) and 30-0
MCC 167 (L Redrup 5-21), *King?s Taunton 168-9
*St Peter?s,York 242?2 (40 overs) (C Elliot 138 not out), St Laurence (Aus) 143
York CC 138,*St Peter?s,York 118
MCC 179,*St Peter?s,York 72-3 (rain)
Pocklington 213-8 (50 overs) *St Peter?s,York 214-4
*Ampleforth 245-9 dec.(T Pratt 113), Durham 222 (B Fawcett 7-33)
*Dauntsey?s 173, Old Dauntseians 44 (R Duckworth 5-11)
*Haberdashers’ Aske’s 175-6 (45 overs), Old Haberdashers’ CC 167-9
Wisbech 166 v Bedford Modern (rain)
Eton 168-9 (50 overs), Rondebosch 169-2 (SilkTrophy at Oundle)
MCC 197-6 dec, *Wellingborough 64-4 (rain)
Wellingborough 224-8 (40 overs), *Bablake 84
Cowley 43-9 (20 overs),*Kirkham GS 48-2
National Schools Twenty20 competition
South East and London regional final
*Whitgift 132-5, Tonbridge 133-4
Tonbridge now represent the South East and London on finals day
Stowe T20 festival
*Stowe 168-9 (20 overs), Stamford 163-9
Merchant Taylors? (Northwood) 148-9 (20 overs), *Stowe 124
Warwick 134-5 (20 overs), *Stowe 136-3
Stamford won on Net Run Rate