One month of the season gone.  The start of June 2020 arrives.  Still no cricket to be seen.  The ground looks immaculate.  The square a picture of readiness for action.  Sadly, we are probably still about a month away from anything.  It’s frustrating.  All we currently have are hope for something resembling cricket on the horizon and memories of days gone by and it’s 1st June so what happened today?

I think I need to start today edition with an apology.  It does seem that many of these ‘On This Day’ stories contain Calmore Sports beating either Old Tauntonians or OTs & Romsey.  I want to assure everyone reading these, especially our good friends up the road that this is not a conspiracy.  It’s just that, since 1995, we have played each other 17 times and OTs and OT&R have not won in either May or June – all four of their victories have come in July (twice on July 3rd – so look out for that one!).

Today, we start with another one as we wind the clock back just twelve months to 2019 to the SPCL Division One clash at Loperwood which Calmore won by just 11 runs in a real tussle of a contest which could have gone either way.  Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Calmore innings was a stop-start affair with seven batsmen reaching double figures but only Ben Perry with a stoic 43 from 76 balls made it past Mark Lavelle’s 23.  When Hampshire left-armer Chris Wood grabbed three late wickets with his electric pace, it hurried our innings to 178 all out.  But OT&R’s reply got off to the worst possible start and they soon found themselves 31-5 (Steve Wright 3-13 off 10), including Wood who endured probably the most ignominious dismissal of his career – caught and bowled off a leg-stump half volley which he got a leading edge to and it went straight back to the bowler, Will Reilly-McNeil!  However, skipper Charlie King wasn’t going to give it up easily and alongside keeper Tom George (40*) put on 82 for the seventh wicket.  But King’s dismissal for 61, holing out in Lavelle’s final over, eased the tension and a fine last over from young Charlie Gent was enough to see us home.

There was no such tension for the 2s who thumped Mudeford by a massive 147 runs in County 3 South.  Tom Perry won the toss and elected to bat first and would have enjoyed Matt Taylor hitting 39 and Adam Carty with 43 leading the way before Allan Hurst’s lusty 62 not out – 50 of which came in boundaries – as we made an imposing 239-7.  Mudeford were never at the races against the full seam attack as Storm Anning (2-29), Jono Maton (2-27), Hurst (3-16) and Ciaran Simpkin (3-13) hustled the hosts out for just 92.

A familiar name missing from the 2s scorecard was Paul Henry but he was terrorising Penton 2s for the Third XI down at the Old Ground and helping them to a four-wicket win.  Opening the bowling, he took 5-61 in his eight overs – five of the first six wickets to fall.  A bizarre 57-run tenth wicket stand between number 10 Charles, who hit all 57 and Kavanagh (0*) give the visitors something to bowl at.  Callum Greasley’s 43 contained five sixes and Max Bailey hit 25 which put us on course before Josh Ellis’ impressive unbeaten 28 took us home.

This season would have been Mike West’s 10th with us at Calmore Sports but across the previous nine seasons, there is one particular day that stands out beyond all others – this one day at Paultons in SPCL Division Two in 2013.  Paultons batted first and through Chris Ray’s 57 had eased them to 196-5 with three overs still left and set for a challenging total.  But then Westy cleaned up John Robinson with the last ball of his eighth over.  Mark Lavelle sent Alex Spearing back to the pavilion in the next over.  And then came West’s ninth.  Lee Wateridge was bowled for 40 first ball.  The hat-trick ball was perfect – Pete Lamb playing all around it!  WESTY’S GOT A HAT-TRICK!!!!  And if that wasn’t enough, Jack Murrell was dismissed with the fourth ball of the over to give the Ginger One four wickets in five balls to finish with 6-46 which sent the hosts crashing to 202 all out.  A 137-run stand between Lavelle (58) and Ben Johns (73) gave us a great platform. before we lost 4 for 4 in 11 balls.  However, a 36-ball unbeaten 42 from the man of the moment West safely negotiated the winning post and he became just the second Calmore player in league history to score 40 and take six wickets – after Billy Sims at Andover in 1979.

We were in first round action of the SPCL T20 Cup in 2006 and we beat the 10-men of Sparsholt by six wickets.  A three-wicket haul from Nigel Hill (3-28), James Rose (3-16) and Paul Henry (3-19) sent the visitors to 142 all out before Simon Ennew’s powerful 64 not out led the way with support from Mark Archer (26) and skipper Jamie Winters (19).  Our run didn’t last long – we would be thrashed by Paul Draper’s South Wilts seven days later!

It is hard to believe that 29 years ago today, we would travel to The Heath in Petersfield for a game in the Southern League.  Like US Portsmouth and Hungerford, such forces in the Southern League in years gone by – and who can forget the latter’s 1998 success at our expense – Petersfield CC now ply their trade in Hampshire League Division Three.  Back in 1991, we pulled off a dramatic one-wicket win which gave Chris Garrett’s side a third win from four at the start of the season.

Petersfield batted first and made 181-5 with Tim Passingham making 67, Chris Potter an undefeated 46 and Justin Jordan 34 as our four-man bowling attack, led by skipper Garrett (2-32) found taking wickets difficult.  The Calmore reply was full of starts but regular wickets, mainly to Arthur Crocker who finished with 7-56 and Chris Knight 2-55 sent us to 166-9, still needing 16 to win with Graham Cooper and Graeme Lyon the last pair at the crease.  A boundary here, a single there and they took us to victory – Cooper finishing 35 not out and Lyon unbeaten on 9.

Back at Loperwood, the 2s produced the perfect team performance to down Old Symondian Battery Ramblers by 8 wickets in County Two.  All four bowlers were in the wickets – Richard Newman’s 3-47 and Mark Angel 3-36 were the pick and were well supported by J. Roussel’s 2-34 and Billy Sims 2-31 as the visitors were bowled out for 155.  Mark Boston went early for 13 but Gary Stinson’s 79-ball 55 not out shared in stands with Basil Oram (45) and Peter Tucker (34 not out) as we won with more than five overs to spare.

In 1985, we hosted Portsmouth Civil Service at Loperwood Park in a County One encounter which would go down to the wire.  An inspired bowling spell from Billy Sims, who took 6-48 limited PCS to 163-9 in their 42 overs.  Our reply was going nicely at 135-5 with Bob Wilcocks’ 56 at the top of the order standing out alongside Richard Rogers’ 25.  But when Terry Chilcott went for 27, it was left for the lower order and we saw previously that this is fraught with danger!  Jimmy Gill scored 10 and Steve Brandes 6 leaving Oram and Barnes the task of scoring the eight needed to win.  They got 7.  One ball left.  Run at all costs would have been the requirement but Oram was run out and the match finished as a tie … probably had a drink too!

As mentioned previously, 1974 was our first season of league cricket and today saw a trip to play IBM Hursley and much like the above, it ended in dramatic fashion.  Ben Lyon’s 57 and Stan Piper with 45 lifted Calmore to 153-3 in our 42 overs.  The home side were tied down by Roy Matthews (3-51) and Michael Newman (4-54) but were still firmly in the game at 145-6.  Three quick wickets and they were 149-9 with the last two at the crease.  Needing only two more to win, Piper pulled off a superb run-out to take us to a one run victory.

Evening all!  Today’s final one is in the first round of the Romsey Advertiser Knock-Out in 1979 when we would welcome Romsey Police to the KGV (not to be confused with KGB).  This was, of course, 16 eight-ball overs and we racked up 135-2 in our 16 with Terry Chilcott smashing 77 not out and Billy Sims 20.  The Police side made a good start, reaching 23-1.  They were bowled out – for 9 as the number 11 was absent – for 23!  Yes, that’s right – they went from 23-1 to 23-9 all out as Ron Merritt claimed figures of 3-3-0-4, Michael Newman 1-1-0-1 and Bob Dickinson 0.3-0-0-2.

That is just ridiculous!!!!