Urchfont, Sunday 9th May 2021

30 Over Match: Urchfont beat Inkpen by 66 runs (Kennet Valley 123/4 in 30 overs, Inkpen 57 all out in 18.1 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), James Hall, Doug Hall, Richard Mitchell, Mark Bates, John Donohoe, Ian Dixon, Kevin Dolan, Mark Robinson, Martin Chester, Phil Day

Kennet Valley, Sunday 25th April 2021

30 Over Match: Kennet Valley beat Inkpen by 24 runs (Kennet Valley 199/7 in 30 overs, Inkpen 175/7 in 30 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Ian Dixon, James Hall, David Glitz, John Donohoe, James Wooldridge, Richard Mitchell, Tim Marston, Simon Hanna, Martin Chester, Paul Norbury

Beehive, Sunday 20th September 2020

30 Over Match: Beehive beat Inkpen by 88 runs (Beehive 207/7 in 30 overs, Inkpen 119/8 in 30 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Wayne Knape, James Hall, Lee Duff, Kevin Dolan, Patrick Lowe, Luke Donohoe, Josh Donohoe, John Donohoe, Doug Hall, Ian Dixon

Match report by Dave Lester…

Well guys and girls that time has come, the end of the 2020 season. A season that we didn’t think we would see and one that has been a big success for Inkpen CC. We have had over 25 players don the whites, with at least 5 debuts and more importantly 2 wins. Could we finish the season off in style and get a third scalp, or would the cricketing gods remind us all of how good we really are.

Before I get started on the final match report of the year, I just need to say that this report would have been available sooner had we not allowed the apprentice rope engineer in Kev “how hard can this be” Dolan to put the rope away at the end of the game. As a result of our rookie mistake, it only took 5 blokes nearly an hour to untangle what clearly only took Kev five mins to mess up, so next season kev I think you need more practice at it. Also, if you ever have a stubborn stain that you cannot get out, please go round to Eain “daz” Dicko’s house. He clearly has the secret, if you remember Dicko made a bit of us mess of his shirt a few week ago. However not a drop of claret in sight on his pristine shirt, the same cannot be said for his face, although his wife Claire clearly has the secret to stain removal, she is not a miracle worker.

So on to the game, this week we welcome Beehive CC which by the way Simon “I can’t tell the time” Hanna (he turned up late) described as a pub team. I don’t know what pubs you’ve been to Mr Hanna but they’re clearly very good ones. So as the old saying goes, why break a habit of a lifetime it was over to the skipper to lose the final toss of the year and with the late September sun beating down Inkpen were put into field. After his heroics the week before (and with Luke “my groin” Donohoe not being able to bowl) alongside Dave “I shouldn’t be out in this heat” Lester, it was Doug “I’m going to keep asking if you really want me to bowl until you say no” Hall that was chosen to reduce the opening pair to a respectable total. Respectable was achieve as Beehive were reduce to 29 off the first 6 overs (this would have been slightly less had James “it’s ok the rope will stop it” Hall hadn’t let it through the legs. Unfortunately, unlike the week before Doug “I’m only doing 3 overs” Hall was unable to snaffle another one, so with the opening pair settling in nicely it was time for the first bowling change of the game. It was time to bring on the big guns (well when I say big guns, more like pea shooters), however with that said it was Wayne “I really want that trophy” Knape who was able to claim the first wicket with a little help from James “oh is that what my hands are for” Hall who held on to a catch. At the other end however John” I love my hat so much I’m going to bowl in it” Donohoe wasn’t having as much luck, In fact clearly his youngest Josh “I only need one hand” Donohoe had really upset him during the morning, as John was making him dive all over the place behind the stumps in order to stop the runs. However with the score reading 63 off 13 for 1 wicket it was over to Dave “multitask” Lester to help big JD and Wayne out with their figures by taking a routine catch at point and then whilst tending to his children on the boundary was able to turn and take a low catch at deep mid on (oh the talent of this boy). This however clearly upset the opposition as they started to hit a few more boundaries, and soon raced from 96 for 3 to 146 for 3 in 6 overs, this however was not helped by Inkpen, who I can only feel that as it was a very sunny day, they all wanted to wear the pink hat of shame. Now normally I would name and shame however there were so many, I feel you would still be reading this at the start of next season. Once the opening batsman had made it to his century and retired the wickets started to tumble including the skipper being on a hat trick (he didn’t get it, to the delight of the team ) and Doug “yes you are finishing the overs” Hall to take two in the last over including another catch for Dave “hands like buckets” Lester however by this point beehive had hit 207 (including 21 off the skipper’s over) for 7 wickets, the first time 200 had been scored this season.

So not for the first time but the last this season Inkpen had a chase on, and with the positivity oozing from the skipper regarding a win. Inkpen sent the old combo of Wayne “33” Knape and James “let’s see if I can bat better than I can field” Hall into battle. It was all going so well with Beehive clearly drinking the same water as Inkpen, as they shelled two catches in the first 2 overs, which allowed the pink hat of shame to return to the field (I think they like the idea of the hat). However, as the supporters gathered in their groups of six on the boundary it wasn’t long before they got to see their first wicket. With Wayne “I’ll give him another chance to catch it” Knape playing exactly the same shot as he did when he was dropped. Unfortunately, the result wasn’t the same. That provided Lee “no fear” Duff to enter the action and enter it he did, providing headaches for the gnats that were hovering in the autumn sun. 4 balls, 4 swings, caught for 5. Inkpen were rocking and when James “hey Wayne I like that idea” Hall followed Wayne by holing out to the same guy who dropped him with the same shot Inkpen were 34 for 3 off 10. That brought Pat “I’m very mellow now” Lowe to the crease could he provide Inkpen with a respectable total. With a little help from Kev “I wish I hadn’t touched the rope” Dolan and the two Donohoe boys the answer was yes, Inkpen raced onto 75 for 5 off 21 overs, now although the game had gone and the crowd had turned their attention to the opposition players on the boundary (who joined in the banter very well) the fall of a few wickets allowed John “I really love this hat Sonya, I don’t need a helmet” Donohoe to show us all what he can do. Well I’ll tell you what he can do shall I. He can run a lot faster than Pat, so much so at one point whilst Pat was still turning from his 1st run John “Usain” Donohoe was already back down the track for a 2nd and with a direct hit from the keeper, Pat fell 9 short of his 50. So with Pat back in the hutch and Doug “you don’t need those ribs” Hall being pelted by their quicker bowlers there was one more bit of drama to unfold. Now you might be wondering why has the skipper not gone in at number 3? (You’re probably not thinking this at all). Well due to a little inter-team competition involving the converted duck award, the skip decided that he would use his captaincy powers to try and ensure he didn’t win it by going in at 11. What made the drama was that his closest rival and reigning duck champion Eain “quackers” Dixon had been put in at number at 10 and with 4 balls left JD was bowled (did he do it on purpose?), meaning Dicko had 3 balls to survive and if he was out he would be retaining the title. So, with their quick bowlers on the first ball came down, Dicko played a big…. defensive shot, what was going on? I mean 2020 throwing up Covid 19 and 2 wins for Inkpen is one thing, but Eian “one shot” Dixon playing a defensive shot? I can’t cope any more. 2 balls remaining, another huge… swing (thats better, back to normal) and with the finest of edges it runs down to 3rd man for one… he survived, and as the skipper practiced eating bread and sleeping with his head in his backside (watch a duck sleep), the end of the game and the season arrived. Inkpen had hit 119 off their 30 overs for 8 wickets resulting in a convincing win for Beehive.

So as the nights draw in and Doug “groundsman Willie” Hall prepares to put the square to sleep with his special “fertiliser stuff” for another year, it just leaves me to say what a pleasure it has been playing this season with all the players who have provided me with some absolute golden moments for these reports (I couldn’t be this good without them).

Special thanks must go to Simon “Mr Inkpen CC” Hanna for arranging all the games considering we didn’t think we wouldn’t get to play (some of the old boys in Covid Corner may not call it playing). Thank you to all the teams we have played. As always it has been enjoyable seeing old faces and some new ones, we hope that next season we can play again… hopefully we might win a few more. Also, a huge thank you must go to our resident scorer Mrs Claire “alright love” Hall who has had to sit and endure most of the batting collapses, wides and byes every week. Without you we would have probably just made the score up. And still lose. To all the spectators who come and support us, even if it is an excuse to drink cider in a playing field again (some haven’t done that for many years). The final thankyou goes to our sponsor Mr Christian ” best butchers in town” Alba who kindly donated funds in order for us to purchase some new equipment at the start of the season. You never know Christian, we might actually learn to use the bats by the start of next season. So, onwards to the awards night we go…. it’s going to be quite hotly contested apart from the duck award… we all know where that’s going, QUACK QUACK!!

Bodleian Library, Sunday 13th September 2020

30 Over Match: Bodleian Library beat Inkpen by 26 runs (Bodleian Library 155/9 in 30 overs, Inkpen 129/8 in 30 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Doug Hall, James Hall, David Lamb, David Glitz, Simon Hanna, Richard Mitchell, Milo Darke, Phil Day, Jeff Hutchinson, Simon Darke

Match report by Dave Lester…

So as the season starts to draws to a very sunny conclusion and with Inkpen’s ground basking in glorious sunshine, The ginger cream was being rapidly applied. This weeks victors sorry visitors were Bodleian librarians who are a very friendly if not slightly noisey group of gents. This game last year was a very close affair according to the scorebook and hopefully this year we would add another win to our record season.

As the coin fell out of the sky it was obvious that skipper Dave “ will I ever win one” Lester was going to lose the toss and with that the chance for him to get back in his coffin out of the heat and sun. So into the field Inkpen went and as has been the norm for the last few matches it was the skipper to open the bowling. The look of horror on the face of our returning ex skipper dave “ my ribs have healed so I can play again glitz” however would suggest that this may be a bad choice. That was until the first 10 overs however with Dave “ look at that turn” Lester alongside Milo “i’m the better Darke bowler” Darke restricting the opening pair to 36 however without any wickets falling the match was finely poised. As the first Bowling change came and with the field diving around like there was an end of season award dinner not far away, it was over to Inkpen newest sighing Dave “ look at those flares” Lamb and James “ I’m too good for this standard” Hall to carry on the good work and how they did carry it on… well one of them did anyways. With dave “ astro turf is much easier than the inkpen pitch “ Lamb pitching the ball closer to his own feet than the off stump it was James “ jimmy Anderson” Hall who took the first wicket all be it with yet another contender for catch of the season from Simon “the agent” Darke. So as the 20th over rolled round Inkpen were in a great position with the score reading 99 for 1, however don’t be fooled Inkpen are the masters of Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. So as we neared the next bowling change it soon became apparent that we were now short on regular bowlers and that we would need to call on the services of one of inkpen most prolific wicket takers, with a record of 1 ball 1 wicket to his name Jeff” I have to bowl how many” Hutchinson was up and once again he struck, removing the opener with Inkpen’s oldest trick 5 crap balls followed by a 6th which gets them out. Credit however must go to Rich “ we cant believe you didn’t drop it” Mitchell who some how managed to thrust a left hand in the air and cling on to the catch all with out hurting himself. So as the run rate increased and the scoreboard looked slightly more healthy, Inkpen called on their secret weapon… we didn’t know this at the time of calling on him but Doug “ can bowl a bit” Hall showed where his son gets it from. With 3 wickets falling including a double wicket maiden… (that’s right readers Inkpen’s CC first ever double wickets maiden), it looked like Inkpen were in with a sniff of victory and with a run out (don’t ask me how) the librarians finished on 155 for 8, and with the pink hat of shame not being worn once and the opposition commenting on how tight we were in the field (I cant take much more of 2020) Inkpen felt they were maybe on for another victory…. Or not

So with the sun beating down and the skipper looking as red as Dicko’ s tee shirt (still not washed it, have you) and Inkpen’s regular opener STILL on holiday, Yes Pat i’m talking to you. It was decided that this week we should have a family affair, with both the halls batting together. So with the scorer wiping a proud tear from her cheek, the two halls set about the chase. It is said that as you become more mature in years that you slow down and take things at a gentler pace, these words of wisdoms are clearly printed on the Halls kitchen wall, as James “the young one” hall gave his poor mother “ the scorer” a blunt pencil by taking the attack to the opening bowlers playing some beautiful shots for four, Doug “the slightly older one” Hall decided that his role was to not hit the runs but to support his son and what a fine job he did… that was until his son ran him out for 2 in the 14th over with the score 34. So as Doug “yes that’s right 2 off 14 overs “ hall had a rest enjoying some of Simon “Al Capone” Hanna’s moonshine which had arrived. Inkpen’s new big hitting, high scoring batsman strode out to bat. Off the back of a lovely 76 not out in his first game Dave “I wanna be in the duck gang” Lamb soon dropped back to an appropriate level for inkpen by being bowled for 0. This led to the skipper coming out with the usual words of wisdom from Dave “don’t swing at every ball” Glitz ringing in his ears, moonshine flowing through his veins and enough ginger cream on to survive nuclear radiation leak. So with the run rate needing to be a little higher the skipper forgot the advice provided and tried to hit every ball towards the moon, this worked for around 10 balls before he chased a very wide ball onto the next pitch, top edging it straight down slips throat. Oh dear the collapse was on, however we still had the young James “twinkle toes” hall dancing down the track to every ball and also joining him, the return of the glitz ( a bit like the mack but with more swagger). These two started to up the rate and after 20 overs inkpen were 83-3. The chase was still on and not only was the chase on but Inkpen was about to see another record fall. With one more dance and swing of his bat James “that batting strip in my garden is paying off” Hall became the youngest every player to score a 50 for inkpen. His celebration however was to be short lived as the confidence grew from a lovely knock James decided that he didn’t need to see what the new bowler bowled like and that every ball was going for 6… that was until the bowler removed his off stump with his very first ball, and has the bails hit the floor so did the hope of a village knowing that there were very few big hitters left especially after Simon “one shot” Hanna was caught swinging (we have told him not to do it whilst we’re playing cricket). Although Rich “Bairstow” Mitchell hit a quick… (no your eyes do not trick you it does say quick) 19 not out and Jeff and Phil both hit their highest every inkpen score of 3. Inkpen fell just short scoring 129 off their 30 overs.

So as the moonshine flowed and the sun dipped behind the trees (thank god for that I can come out now) some of the Inkpen players were reflecting on the final game of their season. They were also looking forward be able to move pain free on Monday mornings again and not having to wash their whites for at least another 9 months, although there is some debate about how many actually wash their whites. So on we go to the final game of the season, however thanks to Covid it won’t involve our usual end of season bbq, which is a shame as I was hoping it would fill at least 2 paragraphs of the match report, talking about how 11 blokes would be dribbling at the thought of big Rich’s giant sausage. But alas I’ll just have to write about another famous inkpen victory…. to be continued

Wilton, Sunday 6th September 2020

30 Over Match: Inkpen beat Wilton by 92 runs (Inkpen 174/8 in 30 overs, Wilton 82 all out in 21.1 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Wayne Knape, James Hall, Archie Darke, Richard Broer, Richard Mitchell, Doug Hall, Ian Dixon, Bertie Darke, Phil Day, Jeff Hutchinson

Match report by Dave Lester…

So as we waved goodbye to another August and rolled into what felt like autumn already, Inkpen welcomed yet another team of old friends to the Rec in Wilton (Who incidentally provided Inkpen with their only win of last season) This Wilton team however were far from old as they arrived, Phil “ I had a bruise on my hand from last week… honestly” Day and Doug “ yes my 6th holiday this year to Devon was lovely thanks” Hall must of felt like museum relics. With that said though they were not the oldest as Wilton had included the legend that is Cyril York (you may remember he played for us at Wilcot) and for those that read these reports he is still waiting for his over 80’s England call up.

Whilst were on the subject of age, we must say happy birthday to yet another of the Donohoe clan this time the matriarch Mrs Sonya Donohoe who I believe was celebrating her……. nope ran out of fingers and toes sorry, I hope the game was a lovely birthday treat for you.

So onto the game then, as the captains walked out to the middle, so that Inkpen could lose the toss again. A little bit of information was passed onto the visiting skipper about how the pitch was soft and slow, was this a ploy to seed doubt in their mind or a case of too much info, you will find out shortly. So Inkpen were put into bat, a rare occasion to say the least only the 2nd time this season and with Pat away with the family it was back to the opening pair of Wayne “ I love the number 33” Knape and James “ look at my tan” Hall to get us started. WHAT a start, as the first ball went for four, was 2020 about to throw another against all odds event our way, course it was. The first four turned out to be one of many as Inkpen raced into a strong start scoring 45 off the first 8 overs. It wasn’t long before the inevitable happened though with James “ Cyrils gonna get you ” Hall falling to the great man himself for 13. This however allowed Archie “ I should be with my girlfriend… not playing cricket Dad” Darke to enter the scene. What an entrance it was, as his 98 year old war hero grandad watched on he took to wounding the bowling attack with fours and sixes all over the ground, taking Inkpen to an impressive 80 of 12. The wickets however kept falling with Wayne “33 really is my lucky number “ Knape falling for 33 for the 2nd week in a row and the skipper hitting a quick fire 16 before not quite reaching the boundary, getting caught in the deep it was over to the big hitting Richard “yes you did swear” Broer to try and add to the impressive start. However as the ball was smashed to the boundary for a certain four, the smallest player on the pitch had other ideas as he threw a hand up, the ball stuck like only Rich “ oh so that’s how you catch it “ Mitchell could dream of, what a catch young man was heard all around the ground, which was beginning to fill up nicely.

So with Rich “ pass me that beer “ Broer back in the hutch, Inkpen were stalling slightly at 114 off 20. That allowed Rich” wow I scored a run in the first 20 balls” Mitchell to let loose, that’s right ladies and gentleman he actually scored quickly along with Archie “ don’t get me angry” Darke who eventually fell for 39, Inkpen were racing towards their highest score of the season. With Inkpen 6 down it allowed Eian “ my mum bought me some vanish for my whites“ Dixon to have a swing and he was going really well taking Inkpen to 142, until he literally took the skippers advice of use your head and bat sensibly ( yes Dicko I used that joke again). As the latest beamer came down … there had been a few, Dicko decided that instead of smashing it for six he would add too his already extensive list of head injuries by trying to head butt it to the boundary. However as he hit the deck with a scream… (which most likely came from Rich” now that’s a reason to dive on the floor hurt “ Mitchell) at the other end, it was obvious that his wife was going to need a lot more than the vanish to get his whites clean for next week.

Now normally I would describe the last few overs but unfortunately as the blood poured from Dickos eye lid and he reached for the beer to reduce the swelling… apparently its a medically proven method, I only have the scorebook to go off. Now as I sit here reading the book, I notice that a congratulations is in order as Phil “ i’m up for batsman of the year” day scored his first Inkpen run, with yet another not out innings, the first of many we hope

So with Inkpen finishing with their highest total of the season of 174 for 6 off their 30 overs and the champagne flowing on the boundary, 2020 had really lost the plot, Inkpen couldn’t surely win two games in one season could they.

Well as they took the field including Eian “ super glue” Dixon wearing the pink hat of shame, it was over to the skipper to open the bowling with Bertie “ two pairs of shoes” Darke steaming in from the other end. Oh and what an first over it was, with Rich” How do these gloves work again” Mitchell dropping the 2nd ball of the innings, Dave” ill do it myself then” Lester produced an absolute ripper of a ball. As it span beautifully (can you tell who’s writing this report) off the pitch knocking the off stump bail to the ground, Inkpen were on top. It didn’t end there, with the skipper taking another two wickets (ensuring Inkpen’s first wicket maiden of the season was recorded) and with Bertie making Eain “ I cant actually see” Dixon practice his one eyed catching Inkpen had reduced Wilton to 35 for 4 off 11 overs. That was the cue for a change in attack and with James “ anything you can do skip I can do better” Hall providing Inkpen with not one but two more wicket maidens, (mainly thanks to his dad) who after dropping one, allowing him to don the pink hat of shame, then took an outstanding catch to ensure the catch of the season award was now a 3 way race. However it was of no thanks to Wayne “butterfingers” Knape who dropped a dolly and didnt make up for it with a scorcher.

So with Archie” Can I bowl spin… no you can’t” Darke removing the great Cyril, Inkpen were cruising. Even Phil” that was such a slip” Day was throwing himself around to stop fours… more bruises next week phil. Wilton’s batting was becoming as unstuck as Dicko’s plaster ( who by the way had to leave the pitch… what a wimp) and their batting wasn’t helped when the skipper called on Rich “ 5 bad 1 good ball” Broer to remove their danger man and to also take a blinding close quarters catch (even if he did need to change his trousers afterwards) giving the granddad of our pace attack Wayne ” oh so that’s how you catch a ball” Knape his weekly wicket.

With Wilton 9 down, it was a special moment that finally ensured Inkpen victory. Jeff” how many do I have to bowl” Hutchinson had never bowled a ball in anger and with his wife not in the slightest bit interested on the side-lines, he decided that his bowling average was going to be the best Inkpen cricket club had ever seen. So with the umpire explaining where he could bowl from and the crowd ready and waiting, Jeff produced a cracker, the batsman could only defend it, but there waiting was James “the Salmon” Hall to dive forward and ensure Jeff’s figures will always read bowled 1 ball, 1 wicket, no runs. More importantly though that wicket ensured Inkpen had won by 92 runs, their biggest ever margin of victory.

So as the players came off to three cheers from their adoring fans (it may have been for the birthday girl) and Dicko looking more like Anthony Joshua’s sparring partner. It must be said that although we all play the game for fun and the enjoyment of getting together on a Sunday afternoon, winning adds that little bit of extra ‘je a sai quoi’ to it and before you say it.. I know its spelt wrong. On to the next one and we welcome Bodleian Library which again was a very close run game last year…we couldn’t … could we?

Boxford, Sunday 30th August 2020

30 Over Match: Boxford beat Inkpen by 20 runs (Boxford 180/5 in 30 overs, Inkpen 160/4 in 30 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Wayne Knape, Patrick Lowe, Stuart Walker, Richard Mitchell, Dave Lamb, Phil Day, Lee Duff, Kevin Dolan, Luke Donohoe, Richard Broer

Match report by Dave Lester…

So as we come to the end of yet another summer (according to the weather people), Inkpen were on there final travels of the year to their old friends Boxford. Now before we start it has to be said that Boxford have helped Inkpen cc out over the years. From the lending of their heavy roller.. and boy is it heavy to showing us many moons ago what a village team should look like and how it can be used to bring a village closer. So thankyou Boxford for providing us with blueprints and equipment. So on to the game with the weather set fair and no spikes allowed due to an Astro turf- no doggy bounces this week and a new player amongst us… welcome David lamb, It was Inkpen who finally won the toss with a tail ( I knew it would come in soon) and decided to bowl.

With a young… Scrape that an older team taking to the field with Luke “ im 19 in the head but my body is 99, pass me the deep heat” Donohoe being the youngest there was going to be a lot of work for the physio I feared. So with Dave “ wow this kit smells” Lester and Rich “ Don’t you dare stand next to me lester” Breor opening, it was Boxford that got off to a strong start with their 2 openers using cow corner like their very own shooting range 39 for 0 off the first 6… although this could of been for 1 had Wayne put some effort it in when fielding. So with the skipper fearing this could get messier than luke D’s whites in the field- yes he brought his lovely girl Sarah to watch him so of course he had to dive around a bit— sore groin my arse. It was a bowling change that was required and as luke seemed to be ok it was over to him and the Wayne “ superman” Knape (more on the superman bit later) to fire up the engines and boy did they do well with Wayne removing the opener for 38 caught behind, and Luke removing their number 3 for 1 also caught behind- that’s right ladies and gentleman Dickie “ Teflon” Mitchel held on to not 1 but 2 catches Inkpen had pegged Boxford back and with Wayne……. Woah sorry Wayne i’m taking the glory on this one Dave “ the salmon lester” taking another catch Boxford were on the ropes…. that was until the youngsters appeared.

So as the score ticked on it was over to our new man David” I’m more a batsman than a bowler” lamb to show us what he’s got, well I can tell you he’s got a lot. With medium pace straight bowling he managed to get the youngster driving and with one huge swing the ball was driving to the long off boundary… was this to be another 6.. not if superman had anything to do with it. Wayne “ ill make an effort on this one” Knape launched himself upwards………. and then came crashing back down so much so a small tsunami was seen in the Thames, did he hold on to it?, Had he stopped a 6?, was he still alive?, the answer to all these was YES, what a catch, even the batsman couldn’t believe it.

Boxford were 103 for 4 with 10 overs remaining, make that for 5 with the skipper taken another catch and Inkpen carrying on their outstanding form of catching this year. There would have been more ooh’s and ahhhs from the crowd however Phil “ look at my bruise” day could quite hold on to a rocket and stu “ if I dive it will look like i’m trying “ walker shelling one .However that was to be the end of any more fielding master classes as step forward two young brothers who’s age it must be said (and it was), didn’t add up to the age of David Lamb’s pads (apparently there quite old) however they could bat. So with the wicket taking bowlers using up all their overs, expect Luke “more deep heat please” Donohoe who couldn’t, it was back to Dave “ sponsored by Greggs” Lester to allow Boxford to reach 180 for 5 off 30 overs. Could Inkpen chase this total and secure a famous victory?…. No I hear you cry, well it was a lot closer than you might think.

So with our settled opening partnership of Wayne “did you see my catch” Knape and Pat “ grumpy” Lowe- (he knows what that means) Inkpen were off to a flyer…. well Wayne was. With the ball being dispatched by Wayne “ seriously did you see my catch” Knape to all parts of the ground and pat holding fast at the other end, Inkpen were in the chase and reaching 35 off 6 overs with no wickets down, it was on. Until the next over that was and with a beauty from yet another youngster ( where do they bred them) Pat was gone and with Stu “ don’t go near the edge” Walker twisting his ankle on the edge of the astro turf and then soon getting out, it was over to our new man David “ wheres my cap dear “ Lamb to continue the chase. Well I say chase, for the next 10 overs once Wayne “ swing and a miss” Knape was bowled, the score board started to collect dust, as Rich “ super glue” Mitchell performed his “thou shall not pass” batting technique and David “ Seriously how old do I feel” Lamb struggle to get the youngster away, inkpen were struggling scoring 20 runs in 9 overs.

So with the waiting batsman making there own entertainment by appealing for the umpire to give Rich “ I shall not be moved” Mitchell out in order for the rest of us to hit some runs, it seemed as if they had awoken the beast, as all of sudden the boundary was being pelted 4,s 6,s mainly from Inkpen’s new wonder player. However Rich “oh look I can hit it” started to get in on the act hitting two 4’s himself… was the chase back on? could Inkpen do the unthinkable? From 67 off 22 inkpen went to 142 off 28. when rich was run out for 17.
However with Dave ”I want every one to swing” Lester striding in and hitting the first ball for 6, Inkpen needed 25 off the last over. Surely not was David “ we must sign him up” Lamb and the skipper going to pull it off… Alas no with 20 required of 4 the skipper went for a big swing, unfortunately that’s all he did, as the bails went flying so had Inkpen’s chance of glory. With Phil “ Not out” Day remaining stead fast Inkpen fell 20 runs short and yet another defeat.

This club however does not worry about the result, we worry about making sure we can all stand on Monday morning, without the use of a zimmer frame. I believe Stu and Luke will be fighting over its use tomorrow. We also pride ourselves on welcoming all players regardless of age and ability, however it does feel good when you find a mature player that brings a little bit with them and they play for you. Finally we pride ourselves on having a good time and ensure everyone goes away happy, well almost every one… i’m sorry for moving the fielder Pat.

So back home we go to welcome some more friends next week in Wilton which incidentally was our only victory last year, could we do it again…. I doubt it

Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Sunday 23rd August 2020

30 Over Match: Royal Hampshire County Hospital beat Inkpen by 3 wickets (Inkpen 104 all out in 25.0 overs, RHCH 108/7 in 21.4 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Patrick Lowe, James Hall, Simon Hanna, Richard Mitchell, Ian Dixon, Wayne Knape, John Donohoe, Doug Hall, Jeff Hutchinson, Mark Harrison

Wilcot, Sunday 16th August 2020

35 Over Match: Wilcot beat Inkpen by 72 runs (Wilcot 154/2 in 35 overs, Inkpen 82 all out in 24 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Richard Mitchell, Ian Dixon, Lee Duff, Patrick Lowe, Doug Hall, James Hall, Kevin Dolan, Phil Day

Match report by Dave Lester…

With the skipper back from sunny Devon, Inkpen were off on their travels this week to the stunning Wiltshire countryside to play Wilcot. Unfortunately 90% of the Inkpen squad were also off on their travels, however with a bit of Facebook pleading we managed to get a team of nine together. Thankfully Wilcot wanted to play as much as we did and lent us two players and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Cyril and Jude York – always a pleasure to play a game with Cyril and what an arm young Jude has. Don’t be surprised if you see him throwing the javelin at the Olympics.

On arrival the ground looked lovely, the canal was busy, and with a bumper crowd in to watch (plus a few baa’s every now and again to acknowledge some top cricket) we were ready. With Wilcot adding an extra 5 overs to each innings, it was time for Dave “it will be tails one day” lester to lose yet another toss and again Inkpen were put in to bowl. With a new plan to not allow the batsmen to settle it was over to the older bowlers with their smaller run ups to start us off and with runs not being found easily it was the skipper Dave “chicken and mushroom” Lester and Eian “I have to bowl how many?” Dixon to restrict Wilcot to 41 runs off the first 14 overs. Unfortunately the batsmen were also restricting the wickets taken, however Inkpen were doing well. Once the older players had shown the youngsters how to do it (and seized up) it was the youngsters’ turn to continue the good bowling. After another couple of uneventful overs, James “Jimmy Anderson” Hall managed to get one to nip off the surface with an edge flying towards first slip. Could this be Inkpen’s first wicket for a while? Alas no. Cyril, who is aiming to play for England’s over 80s before he hangs up his whites, had a decision to make… Does he attempt to catch it, or does he risk losing what is left of his pearly whites? The chance went down and the pearly whites survived. So with the scoreboard not being bothered that much, Wilcot moved to 69 in 20 overs.

As the clouds were building and the rain started to fall, the old boys were called upon again with Pat “you sure you want me to bowl?” Lowe and Cyril piling on more pressure. Cyril was up to his old tricks of luring the batsman into a false sense of security and Rich “HHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOWWWWWWZZZZZAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT!!!” Mitchell whipping the bails off Pat’s bowling for a stumping. However the joy didn’t last long as with wickets in hand the incoming batsmen started to swing, and with Pat “I hate the spinning ones” Lowe and Kev “I ran too far and it went over my head” Dolan dropping two 2 more catches, the score was starting to look healthy. This was helped even more by James “yes you are fielding” Hall gifting a few more runs as he forgot he was supposed to cover the boundary and just watched as the ball went past him. He did however make up for this lapse of concentration by taking a brilliant catch to earn Inkpen a second wicket, bringing the Wilcot innings to a close at 154/2, not a huge task with an extra five overs to play with, however if you are an avid follower of Inkpen CC you will know that any chase is huge.

With the rain falling slightly harder and the crowd enjoying an afternoon tea of grass and weeds it was Pat “my batting must be as good as my bowling” Lowe and James “this is me sprinting” Hall to open up the innings with just under 5 runs an over required. Inkpen got off to a good steady start scoring 15 runs in 6 overs. Surely it was time for a wicket? Of course it was, and what a wicket, with James “twinkle toes” Hall dancing down the track to hit over the top, however he hadn’t accounted for the kangaroo in the field who, with a fine leap, plucked the ball out of the air one handed. The crowd went baaaaaaananas. With Lee “I really want that duck award” Duff going immediately to a beauty, it was Dave “this bat is broken” Lester to try to up the rate, however with the boundary seeming a mile away, and both him and Pat realising they were far too unfit for all the running they were having to do, they moved Inkpen to 33/2 in 11 overs and the chase was on. That was until Dave “there’s a hole in this bat” Lester was bowled by a classic half tracker daisy cutter, followed quickly by Rich “Dicko, I didn’t hit it” Mitchell, starting a classic Inkpen collapse, albeit with some good resistance from Eian “apparently the bat is not broken” Dixon with a top score of 16, helped by Doug “I can run faster than my son” Hall and Kev “I think my helmet is too small” Dolan (both bowled by exactly the same ball a few overs apart).

As the final few wickets fell, Inkpen were unable to make their usual total of 100ish, ending on 84 all out from 23 overs. Special mention must go to Cyril, an inspiration to us all, with his “I’m not moving more than an inch left or right” attitude in the field, his hand grenade bowling, and of course his batting, where he decides to run even when the ball is already in the hands of the fielder, ensuring the batsman at the other end breaks the land speed record to get in.

So as the Inkpen fell to another defeat, it was noted that it had been one of our more enjoyable games of the season, with lots of banter and jokes flying around between the teams. On we move to the next game, which will be against Royal Hampshire County Hospital at home on Sunday, the fixture where the skipper hit his 113 last year. Not sure it’s been mentioned previously…

St Mary Bourne, Sunday 9th August 2020

30 Over Match: St Mary Bourne beat Inkpen by 10 wickets (Inkpen 109/6 in 30 overs, St Mary Bourne 112/0 in 16.1 overs)

Team: Ian Dixon (Capt), Wayne Knape, Patrick Lowe, John Donohoe, Tim Marston, Jeff Hutchinson, David Glitz, Archie Darke, Bertie Darke, Josh Donohoe, Milo Darke

Match report by Ian Dixon…

We were all set for another gorgeous sunny Sunday afternoon friendly cricket match and Inkpen, under new captaincy for the day, began in superb style with several team members arriving early to prepare the wicket. Pitch painted, boundary rope perfectly oval and gazebos galore, everyone was chipping in.

Some immaculate tossing skills were displayed by the new skipper and for the first time in ages Inkpen won something. Inkpen chose to bat to try to accumulate an almighty target with some destructive batting.

The always reliable Patrick and Wayne were sent in to open, and disappoint they did not, Patrick firing on all cylinders with a couple of boundaries off the first over. The pair smashed their way to… about 15 before the first wicket fell around the eighth or ninth over.

Needless to say, the batting line up performed superbly and batted out the 30 overs reaching a monumental 109, with cameo performances throughout and an exceptional 33 from Patrick Lowe. Perfect planning from the captain (in at 11) and execution from the batsman meant there was no danger of adding to his tally of ducks for the season! This may seem like a low score but on an uneven surface against county standard bowlers and some exceptional fielding, this was no mean feat.

St Mary Bourne, having milked both Saturday and Sunday teams to face this potential banana skin fixture, were not taking any chances, and although we were slightly below the 350 target we felt we could achieve, hopes were high as everyone knew a couple of quick wickets and the game would be on!!!

With a strong bowling outfit ready for action Inkpen took to the field. The senior Darke sons (Archie and Bertie) opened the bowling with some fine pacey bowling, however we were all too soon aware that the opening batsmen were no slouches. Keeping the bowlers to three over spells meant even the senior bowlers survived the heat but unfortunately not the onslaught from the number opener. Not even the infamous Inkpen track helped us, and a couple of half chances were spilled, with Mr Lowe unlucky not to see the ball coming straight to him through the sunshine. Oh, what might have been.

Anyway with the captain out of ideas and everyone thinking of a nice cold beer, St Mary Bourne achieved the target with possibly the finest batting display you are likely to see (excluding for last week’s century by Peasemore) in 16 overs.

On a positive note, we batted out 30 overs with wickets to spare, the bowling was good and everyone I’m sure had a lovely time and appreciated an early finish. Thanks to the team for making captaincy a pleasure.

Onwards and upwards next week (hopefully).

Leg Rovers, Thursday 6th August 2020

30 Over Match: Leg Rovers beat Inkpen by 27 runs (Leg Rovers 144/7 in 20 overs, Inkpen 117/8 in 20 overs)

Team: Dave Lester (Capt), Wayne Knape, Patrick Lowe, Jamie West, Richard Broer, Simon Darke, Simon Hanna, Ian Dixon, Josh Donohoe, Milo Darke, Sam Eadie

Match report by Dave Lester…

It was a beautiful evening, the music was ready thanks to the Glitz girls and the umpires Tim “Hi love, I’ve been roped into umpiring” Marston and Stu “I’ve realised I should never have left Inkpen” Walker were ready. Making it the perfect time for a bit of T20 action against Leg Rovers, a group of lovely lads from all over who come together to play teams just like us, so with that in mind we thought this might be a close game (no future England superstars on this week’s team sheet).

So with the sun setting over West Berks and the Inkpen team sheet team finally sorted out (after a day of more ins and outs than an Inkpen innings) not all of the opposition had arrived. The home team captain Dave “does this mean I haven’t lost the toss” Lester allowed Leg Rovers to bat first and with a cunning plan to get some overs in quickly it was Dave “the pie man” Lester to open the bowling and what a spell it was. The first 3 overs had the bails off (okay, okay, the batsman took a huge swing, completely missed it and the bails fell off) then a blinding (only because the sun was shinning straight into his eyes) caught and bowled. At the other end Pat “Warne” Lowe was also taking wickets. Inkpen were off and running, but unfortunately so was the run rate, up to 60-3 off 5 overs.

As a result it was time to hand over to Eian “the salmon” Dixon who was not only bowling his usual 5 bad balls / 1 good un to take a wicket, but was flying around in the slips taking catches for the youngsters Sam “the skipper used to bowl like you” Eadie and the youngest member of the team who was following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Milo “I’m so much better than Archie” Darke. With the youngsters including Josh “England’s number one” Donohoe stopping everything behind the stumps, they were all making a case to get a regular spot in the Inkpen team. Of course Milo’s and Sam’s inclusion is subject to Simon “super agent” Darke’s fees being finalised.

Of course, no bowling innings would be complete without the old timer Wayne “first wicket of the season” Knape having a bowl and with Leg Rovers ending with a total of 145/7, Inkpen were in with a shout, or perhaps more of a whimper.

With the light fading fast, Inkpen set about chasing down the total. With Wayne “how am I still standing?” Knape and Pat “no chance of a single” Lowe opening, it was the familiar story as Inkpen started to lose wickets quicker than pads could be applied by the waiting batsman. No wicket however could have fallen as strangely as the skipper’s (Doug Hall this one is for you). Facing his second ball, a leg side dolly, the ball seemed to forget it was in a game of cricket and decided that it wanted to know how a marble felt on a marble run. So off it went up the leg onto the waist eventually reaching the dizzy heights of the skippers shoulder, over it went down his back with enough top spin on it to send it back towards the stumps. Like a slow motion VAR check, it tickled the stumps, knocking one bail off. Off went Dave “I didn’t even swing” Lester, still trying to work out what had happened.

With 5s and 6s being scored before wickets fell, it was up to Wayne “my body can’t carry the whole team” Knape hitting a valiant 23 and Simon “not hit quite hard enough” Hanna hitting a quick fire 18 not out. With no dodgy LBW decisions this week from John Donohoe or Archie Darke, Inkpen made it to within touching distance, however they finished 27 runs short on 117/9 as the sun dropped behind the trees. Another defeat is marked into the record books, however this is one fixture that I believe will be pencilled in for next year, as long the organiser Mark “I forgot I was away” Harrison picks a date that he can actually make.

Onto the next one, St Mary Bourne at home, and with the skipper off on his hols it’s up to Eain “what could possibly go wrong” Dixon to lead the troops, and of course whatever the result he will provide you with a literary masterclass in the match report.