Monday, Monday!  Weekend gone, back to work again (if you are at work and not furloughed).  Furlough – not a word that many knew the origin of until fairly recently.  I digress … it’s the 15th June so let’s have a look back at the events as we reach the middle of another month.

As is the norm for Monday, it is events of twelve months ago in 2019 but they are not exactly games that will live long in the memory.  If you want to fast forward through the next couple of paragraphs, that’s fine – the two matches are the away game with Portsmouth and the home fixture with Follands for the 2s.

A trip to Southsea is a nice thing to do on a sunny day.  Sit on the beach, take a stroll along the promenade, have a Mr. Whippy ice cream or maybe a portion of fish and chips.  They would all have been more preferable to playing in this particular match at St. Helens where we would endure a five wicket defeat in fairly quick time.

The only player who would have enjoyed this game was Allan Hurst, who hit 24 not out down the order and shared a stand of 38 for the tenth wicket with debutant Liam Carty and then bowled his full 10 over spell and took 4-25.  Other than that, there wasn’t much to write on the back of a ‘Having A Lovely Time in Southsea” postcard – ‘cos we weren’t!  We were put into bat and we quickly crashed to 25-6 before captain for the day Jimmy Manning (26) and another debutant Callum Greasley (19 off 14 balls) scored a few runs but it didn’t stop us from further sliding to 87-9.  We reached 125 in the end – at least it was three figures.  Portsmouth did have a little bit of a wobble against the accurate Hurst when they lost five for 7 but they had already got off to a flyer – Will Reilly-McNeil’s single over going for 19 and Jake Easton’s five overs for 30.  The home side didn’t stumble again with Fraser Hay hitting 41.

Paul Henry – don’t read this bit.  OK, you might want to read the first bit as you got 6 for 28 and you won the toss and put them in in a rain shortened 35 over a side game.  Follands had one batsman to thank for their all out total of 170 and that was opener Craig Procter who made 88.  He was the absolute backbone of the innings as Sehgal and Hannah both hit 15 late on to keep him company.  Harri Williams took 2-36 in addition to Paul’s 23rd four-wicket HCL haul in the decade.  On the excellent Loperwood wicket, it should have been a formality especially when Mike Cotton made 23, Ryan Lomax 30, Ciaran Simpkin 24 and Mitch Parker an undefeated 30 – but we were four runs short.  And the captains’ head exploded!

OK, you can look back again now!  Happy Anniversary Magic, by the way.

Ben Johns against Totton and Eling Second XI – it is something of statistical legend!  Three matches, three innings, three not outs, 261 runs and a strike-rate of 105.24.  He loved playing against them and this match in 2013 was the first of his triumvirate of innings that set him off on his way to an infinite average!  The home side batted first and got off to a decent start as Sam Metcalfe (31) and Azeem Hamid (69) put on 79.  88 runs later and they were all out for 167 as the spinners got to work – Elijah Turriff-Smith 3-45, Mark Lavelle 3-41 and James Rose 2-21 while Mike West added 2-18.  T&E’s seven bowlers – that included Adam Carty and Callum Holloway – had no answer despite losing Darren Vann second ball as Ben Johns’ outstanding unbeaten 84 along with Tom Pegler’s 38 not out put on 99 which took us to the comfortable win with more than 13 overs to spare.

The 2s were at home to US Portsmouth 2s in County Three South and we produced an excellent all-round team performance to down the Servicemen by 38 runs.  Michael Cook top scored with 60 opening the batting and the innings received great backing from Mark Hardy (29) , Ollie Tull (37), Tom Perry (35) and an unbeaten 38 from Mike Cotton off just 24 balls as we totalled 229-5 in our 45 overs.  The visitors all got starts but were held by Daniel Croft (2-21), Steve Brandes (3-45) and Paul Henry (2-46).  They was a late scare as their number nine hitting the ball far, Kinnell as he crashed 41 in 15 balls before he was removed by Roy Walton (2-23).

When this player started out at the club, he always said that “batting was boring” and just saw himself as a bowler.  After this game at Langstone Harbour against Portsmouth-based Railway Triangle in Regional Two South, he could call himself an all-rounder!  16-year-old Tom Houlder was pushed up the order to number six and he cracked a brilliant 58 not out which added to Kevin Gardner’s 29 and Jack Nicholson 22 in our 201-9 total.  Alan Provins grabbed 3-20 late on after Luke Johnson (3-24) and Houlder (2-24) did the early damage on the way to an 86 run victory.

It was another ‘time match’ in 2002 when we headed down to Bournemouth and the match was drawn although deemed to be a winning draw to the hosts.  Jeremy Goode led the side and he won the toss and elected to bat first and saw Mark Archer (47) and James Hibberd (39) top score although it needed a 29-run stand for the last wicket between Christoph Bothma (11*) and Steve Brandes (13) to lift us to 160 all out across 64.4 overs.   Two players with county contracts behind them, Tom Webley and Matthew Swarbrick gave them a 52-run opening start but Hibberd (3-44) and Bothma (3-35) pulled them back in while Matt Metcalfe would grab 2-25 which saw Bournemouth clinging on at 131-8 – but they still grabbed the draw points despite being eight down!

In 1996, it was another game against two county professionals although one of them didn’t last long before heading into both rugby union and rugby league but the other will always be famed for hitting the winning runs in the Lord’s Final against Surrey in 1991.  And it was the latter who was the key to Portsmouth’s victory here.  The two players – Liam Botham and Jon Ayling.  Electing to bat first, things didn’t start well as we found ourselves at 39-4 with David Tiller (3-28) and Ayling (2-37) before something of a surprise, John Shepherd coming to the crease at number six.  It was a masterstroke as he hit 51 and with Gregg Lewis (26*) shaped us towards 152-7 in our 50.  The visitors certainly didn’t have it their own way against Graeme Lyon (2-31) and Shepherd (2-33) as they went to 78-5 and 85-6 but it was Ayling who was immovable and his 59 not out was enough to take them to a two-wicket win.

We mentioned in yesterday’s edition that there was no better feeling that four wins on a Saturday.  Thank goodness for the 4th XI who ensured it wasn’t going to be a blank weekend across the club in 1985.  The 1s lost at home to Hungerford by 36 runs with only Ben Lyon (59) and Terry Chilcott (42) making double figures as we chased down 179-6 – Dennis Cryer taking 6-69 for the visitors.  The 2s headed to Mottisfont and were beaten by 6 wickets despite Stan Piper making 41 and Graham Cooper 31 but our 118 all out was never going to challenge with the two Graham’s – Collins (39) and Blake (30*) securing the victory.  And the 3s were blown away by Ellingham 2s for 61 with John Bailey (13) and Kenny Barrett (14) the only batters to stand up and we lost by 7 wickets.

It was left to the fourths to bring home the glory and they did just that, down at the Old Ground, by beating Romsey 3s by just one wicket.  Romsey batted and got off to a good start with Pletcher (78) and Gravel (23) before Russell Scorey tore through the middle order with 6-29 as the visitors made 172-9 in their 40 overs.  The reply was all based around Pete Wakeford’s boundary-strewn 74 after Steve Morgan had made 17 at the top.  It was left to the trusty opening bowlers of Phil Wilkins and Iain Bowring, the last pair at the crease.  Wilkins hit three boundaries in an unbeaten 17 and Bowring a ‘Jack Leach’ style single which was enough to secure the win with one ball left!

We had a nice trip to Bolton’s Bench in our first league season of 1974 and our unbeaten league start continued – six wins from six starts.  We did enjoy batting first – fifth game of the six that year we did.  Stan Piper and Terry Chilcott both hit 36 but that didn’t stop us from sliding to 124-7.  Roy Matthews made 28 not out and Michael Newman was run out off the last ball for 17 which took us up to 179-8.  The four bowlers got into the action immediately and bowled the home side out for 141 despite former Hampshire batsman Ray Flood’s 37 with Matthews leading the way with 4-32 and Chilcott 3-38.

Will close with this one today as it is one of the earliest scorecards that are still in the clubs’ archive and it comes from 63 years ago in 1957 when the Second XI travelled to Meyrick Park in Bournemouth to play against Adastral Second XI.  The match was drawn as we couldn’t quite knock the home side over.  We batted first and racked up 159-8dec in our 39 overs, a heady score back in those days.  W.Dawkins top scored with 35 not out with many others helping out – 25 from P.Chilcott and three lots of 22s from Frank Wheeler, G.M.McCool and L.Walters.  Adastral closed their innings at 77-7 from 35 overs as G.Butler took 3-38 but they held out.