The day after the night before.  The limbs creak but wasn’t it great to have cricket back at Loperwood Park yesterday.  Well done and thank you to everyone who made it happen, the ground looked fantastic, the requirements well explained and the cricket enjoyable and competitive.  Welcome back cricket, you are very welcome.  Shall we have a look and see what happened in days gone by – today, the 12th July.

We had waited a long time but today it finally happened.  At home in SPCL Division 2 against Havant Second XI in 2014, opening batsman Mark Lavelle raised his bat for the first time in a first XI league game as he carried through the full 50 overs for a chanceless 128 not out.  It was a superb innings across 143 balls and contained 16 fours.  After losing Darren Vann early on, Lavelle was joined by Ben Johns and they would add 166 for the second wicket.  Johns batted 123 balls for his 65 before he went bowled by Peter Hayward, but the ‘FCC’ headed on and carried his bat, walking off to a rousing reception from the packed pavilion as we posted 234-3.  Happy but, no doubt exhausted, he wouldn’t have to wait long to get involved with the ball with the visitors making a solid 59 start.  Paul Proudley broke the stand, Robson going for 37 but it was Lavelle’s double which opened the door and he and James Rose piled through it.  Lavelle closed with 3-35, becoming just the fourth Calmore player to hit a century and take three wickets in the same game after Kurt Donaldson, Paul Whitaker and Paul Draper, and Rose 4-31 as the visitors would slide to 194 all out.

If that innings wasn’t special enough, the news coming out of Trojans that same afternoon was even more so.  The 2s were down there playing in County 3 South and having won the toss and chosen to bat first, were in a perilous position at 97-6 despite Tom Perry’s 92-ball 31 and 21 from Paul Henry as Jack Herklots took 3-29 for the hosts.  At the crease stood Mike Cotton and Ollie Tull.  Ollie made 25 not out in 39 balls but it was a day that Mike would never forget and nor would anyone who was there – apart from Tully who doesn’t remember it at all!  He went into full overdrive with a scintillating 78-ball barrage of 18 fours and two sixes as he walked off the field with 114 not out to his name.  I have asked a few people about this innings.  “It was like watching a young Virender Sehwag,” said one.  “It was incredible, blasting it over cover like Sehwag!!” added more.  It was the innings of a lifetime, once which lit up the day.  It almost pales into the background that Ben Perry took 5-22 in 10 overs, skipper Keith Woodhall 2-16 and Allan Hurst 2-23 as Trojans closed 150 all out.

And we made it a three win weekend with the 3s returning from Great Durnford with an eight wicket victory.  The 10-man home side were shot out for 105 with Harry Morgan the main destroyer with 4-31 while Michael Cook (2-21) and Callum Kitcher (2-24) helping out.  The target was knocked off with great ease especially when Dave Brandes crashed a 49-ball 59 not out and Paul Bowring’s quick closer, 11-balls for 19 which took us home in just 17.5 overs.

In County One in 2008, the 1s headed down to Bedhampton and it was an innings from our overseas player which would ensure he thoroughly enjoyed his birthday weekend that night at the club.  Gordon Pritchard, one of the many players who joined our club from the Brunswick club in Melbourne, had turned 26 the day before the game.  Pete Clark’s 4-54 and a wicket each for Roy Walton, Keith Woodhall and Nigel Hill pulled the home side to 209-8 but we then dropped to 31-4 in reply with Gardner and Layman cutting our top order down.  ‘Gordo’ was joined at the crease by Mark Lavelle and they would steadily rebuild the innings, putting together a stand of 143 of which Lavelle a vital 36 off 71 balls.  But it was Pritchard’s day as he guided us to the winning post with 118 not out from 131 balls, hitting 15 fours and a six as we got home by four wickets with time to spare.  It made sure his birthday, far from home, was not one to forget!

Any mention in Calmore circles of the Hampshire Cricket Academy and virtually everyone will go back just two years ago to the infamous Plate quarter-final match of 2018 at Loperwood Park – and keep an eye out for the ‘chat through’ special that is coming up soon.  But that game was the first time in 15 years that our two sides had met.  The previous occasion was in 2003 and it was a time game on the Nursery Ground at The Rose Bowl (as it was called then) against a side that featured six players who went onto full first-class careers.  We had beaten them in a rain reduced contest at Loperwood earlier in the season, they certainly got their revenge on this occasion.  Ian Hilsum’s side would win this game by 138 runs with Chris Benham making 82 and Kevin Latouf 54 as they would declare their innings at 239-8 as Mark Boston took 5-88.  Our top scorers were Gary Stinson and keeper Stuart Bailey with 20 before they were both bowled by one James Manning!  James Hibberd made 15 – he was the only other reaching double figures as we would be bowled out for just 101 with Hilsum taking 4-13 and one of our own, Matt Metcalfe 3-21.  We would have to wait 15 years before our own retribution!

Winchester Krakatoa Simmarians.  A club that changed its name more often than any other in local cricket.  They started out as Hyde Ramblers, then Hyde Ramblers (Winchester).  It was then Winchester (formerly Hyde Ramblers) CC.  They then merged with Southampton Cavaliers and then took up Botley-Simmarians.  Their full official name was Winchester Cricket Club Krakatoa Simmarians (formerly Hyde Ramblers) so it was much easier just to call them Winchester KS.  They are no more as in 2004, the club folded and they agreed to become part of Hursley Park.  This game in the Southern League in 1997 was the only time WCCKS(FHR) would beat us and it would be a narrow victory too clinched by a mighty blow from a former Hampshire and Sussex cricketer and now first-class umpire.  Gregg Lewis’ 27 was all that could be talked about in the early stages of our innings as we found ourselves 77-7 with his dismissal.  Chris Garrett’s 26 and 13 each from Steve Brandes and Chris Steedon would allow us to reach 132-9 as we batted out of 50 overs.  Keith Dampier made 40 for the home side but the spinners would bowl the majority of the overs in their reply.  Paul Whitaker took 2-48, Paul Draper 0-18 in 10 and John Shepherd 4-22.  It came down to the last over and WKS needed eight to win with Shepherd bowling.  Still needing six to win with four balls left, Billy Taylor would launch the only ball he faced high over the rope at River Park to seal a two wicket win.

Next up going back in 1986 and a County One game with Hursley Park.  Regular readers will know that our record at The Quarters is pretty poor and this is unsurprisingly a defeat to go with it.  52 from Paul Wright and 57 from future Hampshire wicket-keeper Adrian Aymes set the tone of the home side’s innings of 192-6 with Ron Merritt taking 4-39 in 11 overs in what would turn out to be his final 1st XI appearance – it was only his second game since not being a regular after July 1981 – one of four bowlers to take a four wicket haul in their last game for the 1s after Matt Metcalfe, Eugene Burzler and Ian Chivers.  We would fall 42 runs short despite Rob Budd’s 43 and skipper Bob Wilcocks 34 off 29 balls while Gary Stinson opened up and made 28 from 95 balls.

Back at Loperwood, the 2s were at home to Redlynch in South West One and would win by 38 runs despite only scoring 112 batting first.  Terry Chilcott’s 33 and 28 from Denny Lock were key to our score before Redlynch succumbed for 74 as Derek Mattey (3-22) and Pete Tudberry (4-36) tore through them to leave them 39-7.  Cranmer’s late 28 not out did give the score some respectability but it wouldn’t save them from defeat.

The 3s were at Pylewell Park in New Forest 2 and despite a solid start of 33 for the first wicket from Frank Stuttard (12) and Steve M organ (23), they would but routed by Colin Kitcher’s superb 9-15 in 16.3 overs which would see us off for 80 although Dave Morgan did chip in with 15 at number 11.  Adrian Goddard would take our only wicket as the home side knocked them off in 33 overs.

Which brings us to the 4s game and another of those bizarre games from New Forest 4 when we travelled down to Holbury to play Esso Fawley 2s.  Colin Stuttard top scored for us with 20 at the top of the order and 18 from A. McCarthy helped us to post just 91.  With our much vaunted bowling line up of Iain Bowring and Phil Wilkins, any target is defendable and although Chris Tona made 32 and T. Parrett 24, Bowring’s 6-34, Wilkins 1-27 and Darren Challis – who knocked both of the top scorers over – 2-14 would bring a seven run win.

We always say how much we love a day with three or four wins.  We had one of those days in 1980 – all three sides winning by runs margins.  Ben Lyon’s unbeaten 78 batted through the innings in the County One game with St Cross at home while Ray Hurst’s lusty 26 late on took the total to 149-7.  He would then bowl 10 overs without a wicket as Tufty Taylor’s 3-11 and Steve Brandes 4-23 would hustle the visitors out for 85.

The 2s were at Littleton and would win by 55 runs as Michael Newman clobbered 53 not out at number nine while Stan Piper (39) and Tony Archer (43) set the innings up.  Newman would take 2-42 and with Roy Matthews (3-23), Archer (2-35) and Steve Lock (2-12) would remove the home side for 143.  And the 3rd XI came back from Burley 2s with a 42 runs success after John Ennew made 67 and Graham Cooper 34 before Dave Morgan’s 5-21 in seven overs, taking all of the top five, would usher the Foresters out for 125.

Today’s edition finisher comes from 1981 and a Sunday Second XI game with an international flavour as we welcomed Standard Athletic Club Paris to Loperwood Park.  The French side, emanating from an English speaking expatriate sports and social club in Meudon to the South West of the France capital, were on tour and would play the first of two games, the second coming tomorrow.  This one was a thriller as Pete Wakeford (3-25) and, probably rather surprisingly John Ennew (4-23) would hold the visitors to 141-8 declared in their 48 overs.  Graham Love made 30 and Dean Faulkner 27 but regular wickets were making the chase harder.  With just Wakeford and Dave Morgan left, we were nine down and facing defeat.  Sacre bleu – we would get over the line by one wicket with Wakeford 15 not out and Morgan on 2.

1970 – Adam Carty