Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Short changed by Surrey

posted by John Winn

Early morning mist had cleared yesterday by the time I reached York Station to take the 8:40 train to Manchester Piccadilly and thence by tram to Old Trafford. I had last visited the home of Lancashire CCC in 2014 when a day at the England India test match had been cut short by a storm. By way of contrast yesterday was sunny enough for the sun hat and slap to be prudent and I took my seat in plenty of time to see Lancs' tenth wicket pair continue their first innings.

I had settled among the same group of Surrey supporters as at Headingley two weeks ago and they were hoping for a quick wrap up of Lancashire's innings and like me they expected much of the day and even beyond to be spent watching their team bat. Jarvis and Kerrigan had other ideas however and extended their stand to 63 and securing a fourth batting point before the former was caught behind off Meaker.

Curran (T) who was promoted to makeshift opener in the absence of Burns, injured in the field on Monday, a move that did not sit well with my Surrey chums who felt he had merited more than ten minutes rest after bowling 35 overs In the event it was the regular opener Harinath who was first to go followed shortly afterwards by Sangakkara at 46 for 2.

Whatever was served at lunch did Surrey no good at all for
Curran was the boy on the burning deck whence Roy, Foakes, Burke, Davies, Batty and Pillans fled in haste, a procession which was deemed 'our worst batting performance for years' by Camberley man. Meaker held out for 22 balls, his stand with Curran was the second highest of the innings, long enough for TC to reach his fifty and become last man out when well caught by Proctor off Wagner. Hero for Lancs was Jarvis with 11 wickets in the match and victory by an innings and 96 runs sent the red rose to the top of the table where they will be whatever the outcome of events at Edgbaston this morning, which sets up Sunday's Roses' clash at Headingley very nicely.

Surrey's rapid demise meant the game finished at precisely three o'clock leaving my friends from the Oval who were committed to staying overnight and me, booked on 17:55 train, feeling rather short changed. With both Alec Stewart and Michael di Venuto in attendance there were likely to be some harsh words spoken in the visitors' dressing room with Surrey winless and one third of their championship matches completed.

Worth the climb

posted by John Winn

On a wet day in April Durham members, while waiting  in vain to see cricket at The Riverside, were allowed to enjoy the comforts of the Colin Milburn lounge. On the wall was an undated photograph of a group of radio commentators amongst whom was the eponymous Milburn who at that time was trying to carve out a career in radio and television following the accident which robbed him of the sight of his left eye. 'Ollie' first came to public attention in 1959 when as a seventeen year old he scored a hundred for Durham against the touring Indians. Milburn had learned his cricket at Burnopfield CC, a village in County Durham, about ten miles west of Newcastle.

All this was in my mind on Monday when I took the train to Newcastle then the no 6 bus from outside the station which dropped me in Burnopfield forty minutes later. Seeking directions to the cricket ground I was advised to take a path through some woods, turn right at the top and 'you can't miss it', instructions that proved correct although they omitted to mention the severity of the climb which gave my new arteries a very thorough work out. Nearing the top the sound of bat on ball could be heard above my gasps for breath, assurance that  Durham II and The Unicorns were preparing for a SET match and turning right I could indeed not miss it, for there was a wonderful new cricket ground, in use since May 2104.

I was heartily welcomed by chairman Matty, the inspiration behind this superb facility, who was quick to tell me that Burnopfield was the only Durham club to produce two England player for as well as the Milburn bar the club's function room is known as the McConnon Suite, a tribute to Jim of that ilk who was born in the village and played two tests for England in 1954 and controversially was selected ahead of Laker for the following winter's tour of Australia. Before wickets were pitched I was joined by OHC and a goodly gathering of pcws gradually assembled.

A strong Durham II XI won the toss and batted and fifties from Muchall, Macleod and Coughlin (P) helped raise 313 by the time they were all out in the 50th over. Unicorns lost early wickets and were dismissed for 203 with Randhawa taking four wickets. Much interest in the lunch interval centred on Neil Killeen putting Chris Rushworth through a fitness test on his muscle injury the outcome of which was that he was considered fit enough to play in yesterday's t20.

Chairman Matty stressed the club's ambition to achieve Premier League status and directed me to the league table for the Durham County League Division 1 which shows BCC clear leaders at this early stage. With former Durham players, Gareth Breeze, Callum Thorpe and Killeen in the side this is not surprising. Whatever level the club reaches its facilities will be more than sufficient.

The walk back to the bus stop was much easier than the climb and I caught a more direct bus than the one that had brought me. The penalty for the quicker journey was that when we reached Gateshead it was invaded by school children, something of a Room 101 moment for me but I survived to catch my train back to North Yorkshire, very pleased that I had made the trip.

Our Hartlepool Correspondent a little mistrustful of the Burnopfield weather.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


By Brian Sanderson,

There are some grounds you wish to visit on annual basis and Glossop is one ground. It has still a green bank and the club officials are very kind including a good bacon sandwich. Today match was a Derbyshire seconds against Lancashire in two 20/20's. On the Glossop website it stated started at 10.30 and the Lancashire site 11.00 however it started at 11.30. It did give me a chance to walk round the small town.

Derbyshire batted first on a very wet wicket. This cause the batsman to lose the  timing their strokes and the Lancashire fielding caught two brilliant catches  which was worth the admittance money. Today was £2 compared to £18 yesterday at Derby.

After twenty overs Derbyshire reached 116 which we thought would not be enough to win the match.This was the case when Lanchashire won by 5 balls to spare but closer than I thought. During Lancashire inning we were able to talk to Kyle Hogg who has recently had to retire from cricket due to injury and he is only 32.

During the interval we were entertain by Gerald who is the Bradford and Bingley scorer who arrived on his motor bike.In the second match Lancashire batted first and Jordan Clark,above ,struck some huge . He is the cricketer who hit six six's off an over bowled by Gurman Randhawa who is now playing for Durham.

I had to leave the ground after Lancashire inning's when they had scored 152 in their twenty overs.The result should come on both counties websites but we will see. I hope to go back to Glossop next year  and enjoy the ground again

Monday, 23 May 2016


By Brian Sanderson,

Originally I was going to the fifth day of the Test Match but the match finished on Saturday as I was in Newcastle watching Leeds lose again.Plan B was to meet Brian Workman at Derby on the second day against Kent.The forecast was good and there was a chance to see the building sight next to the green mound, were you used to be able to park your car and watch the cricket. No more, progress and a new media building is being  built.

At the start of the day it gave us a chance to see Shiv Thakor and Tom Taylor put on a highest eighth wicket partnership against Kent 150.Thakor went on to score 130 which was his first century for Derbyshire and Taylor scored 80 which was his highest Championship score. By lunchtime Derby were all out for 492 .

There was the usual small crowd at the match.After lunch Kent decided to proceed on a very slow rate which did not entertain the spectators.

I feel they should have pushed the score on but it looks like they just wanted a draw.I was saved more boredom when the rains came and Kent were 79 for 1 in 38 overs.

Whilst we were walking behind the stand we notice the above sign. It stated that you should not walk behind the screen when they bowling at this end.However the field was blocked off by the stand and no player could  see anybody walking behind the screen.


By Brian Sanderson,

On Friday, I had a chance to go to the second day of the England v Sri Lanka Test Match at Headingley.

I received a staff  wrist band to go into the ground as I was helping on the bookstall. The stall sells cricket and fiction books in aid of Yorkshire Cricket.The stall is next to the pitch and I was able to see Johny Bairstow get his maiden test century at Headingley.

As he was nearing his century people gathered round the boundary in anticipation of  the event and it was a privilege to be there when he reached the landmark.He went on to score 140 which helped England reach 298.

There was a very good crowd which was good to see Headingley full even t a hough numerous people were not watching the cricket.

When Sri Lanka started to bat wickets fell quickly and Anderson had figures of 5-16 which are his best bowling figures in a test match  at Headingley for him. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 91.Then my thoughts turned to Rugby League and the Magic Weekend in Newcastle.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Changing times

posted by John Winn

Non cricketing business took me to Darlington yesterday morning but that behind me I went down to Feethams, home of Darlington CC, in plenty of time for a delayed start in their NYSD Premier League match with Stokesley. Spice was added to the fixture by the presence in the visitors' side of former Quakers' professional, Doug Mulholland.

The delay had been caused by a heavy shower and when play got underway Darlington were invited to bat and Mulholland struck twice in the opening overs to leave DCC at 25 for 2. In the Stokesley side were two members of the Weighell family, brothers to James who is making his way in the first class game with Durham. Talking to one of the Stokesley players I was assured that the name was pronounced Wheel, not Whale, see my previous blog. Darlington were indebted to their tail for supporting Pakistani professional Muhammad Saad who made 72 and a final total of 186 for 9 was reached off the 48 allocated overs. The NYSD website this morning shows this was too many for Stokesley who were dismissed for 118 with Connor Whickham taking 5 for 22. Perhaps the best bit of news I can bring to pcws from this match is that Sue Mulholland was ic teas and will be in charge when Durham II play there later in the season. Grown and overgrown men give thanks. Somebody please tell Brian Senior.

From Feethams I made the cross town journey to the Brinkburn Road home of Darlington RA, a club who despite being members of the NYSD since 1914 and with three league titles to their name, have fallen on hard times in recent years and now only run one Saturday side. To fill the vacant Saturdays a new club, West Park RA, has stepped in and it was their Darlington and District League Div C match with Aldborough St John II that had tempted me to the ground yesterday. West Park were formed during the winter and yet are carrying all before them this season. Such was the case yesterday for they were batting and making good progress against the village side, progress which led them to 214 for 5 to which Aldborough could only muster 43 in reply. The West Park players I spoke to seemed a little suspicious of my enquiries as to their origins, but I did learn that they have recruited a number of players from another fairly new outfit, Stockton based Oxbridge CC. My enthusiasm for their initiative is slightly tempered by the thought that the pool of players available is finite and that their loss might be someone else's gain. Shouldn't be too churlish however for it would be a shame if a ground with NYSD amenities stood empty on alternate Saturdays and WPRACC stand top of the league this morning.

                                                            Brinkburn Road ground

Out of town to the village of Hurworth for my next game and to a ground on which I watched my father play in the early fifties and where I last played in 1972. Rockcliffe Park are another ambitious club and have this season been accepted into the NYSD leaving their thirds to carry the banner, and at times the can, in Div A of the Darlington and District. As part of their elevation Rockcliffe have a three year plan to improve facilities, one aspect of which is the erection of a new scoreboard (see above).
Cockerton I were the visitors yesterday and after the loss of a wicket in the first over recovered to total off 184 for 3 off 25; the match had been rain affected but I was surprised by its start being as late as 3:30. The ground here has changed little, although more traffic passes through the park on its way to the adjacent five star hotel than in the past and I enjoyed half an hour in pleasant sunshine while CCC set about the bowling. Although only losing three wickets the hosts fell 74 short.

 From Hurworth it is but a ten minute drive to the village of Barton near Scotch Corner and the Church Lane home of another club who had expressed ambitions towards entering the NYSD but withdrew their application. This was another ground I had not seen since last playing there in 1972 and had been told I would find it improved beyond all recognition, and how right my informant was. A new pavilion has been built, and grand it is too, and the square turned through ninety degrees. I was convinced that the playing area was larger but was assured by fine leg that it was not. A lovely surprise was to meet up with two people who remembered me from my playing days and we whiled away half an hour recalling our younger days. The match in progress was another Darlington and District Div A, something of a local derby too for visitors East Cowton had not travelled far. They were batting and had 195 for 4 on the board by tea but Barton knocked these off with six down and two overs to spare, a result which puts Barton on top level on points with leaders Haughton. Cockerton are third, a good start after promotion from Div B.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Life begins at sixty

Posted by Tony Hutton

On Tuesday last Yorkshire's all conquering over sixties team took on Lancashire in the battle of the Roses at New Rover cricket ground in Leeds. Having already beaten Durham and Lincolnshire with scores of over 200 in both games, the home side were in confident mood. However so were their doughty opponents having beaten Cheshire by just seven runs in a very high scoring affair recently. Lancashire making 323-3 in 45 overs and Cheshire almost getting there with 316-9.

In that game Glen Bullock had made an amazing score of 183, supported by former Barrow Rugby League veteran Steve Tickle who made 54. However nothing on that scale today when Lancashire came across Yorkshire's veteran bowler Mick Scott who destroyed the top order with figures of 4-10. Lancashire rallied somewhat thanks to top scorer Bartholemew with 31, but could only total 115 all out in 43 overs.

Over sixties in action at New Rover

Yorkshire took their time to knock off the runs with opener Flintoff, already a century maker this season, finishing on 60 not out. So a comfortable victory by eight wickets in the thirty fifth over must put Yorkshire top of the group and hopes are high for the rest of the season. Good to see so many veterans of the league cricket scene still in action.
Flag flies over New Rover pavilion.