A Thursday in late June.  The summer solstice has been and gone and the nights slowly start to draw in.  We still haven’t seen any live cricket – apart from the spectacularly entertaining Swedish T10 competition that was on last week … that was outstanding!  Couldn’t match up to anything that we have seen going back over the years with today being 25th June.

We normally start the Thursday editions with a gaze back to the first of the back-to-back Championship seasons in 2016 but the whole programme, for all four sides, was washed out as the storms of the Thursday ahead of the games left the grounds waterlogged with us due to have a double header with Paultons, the 1s at Loperwood and the 2s down at Whitemoor Lane.

So instead we have a whirl back to 2011 and a match in SPCL Division 3 and a trip to Sparsholt – and it didn’t rain either.  It did result in a thumping seven wicket victory for Darren Vann’s side and a slighly surprising sight strolling out to open the batting for the hosts.  He actually did it for us on four occasions in 2018 but it was something of a rarity for Steve Wright … or his eyes lit up at the thought of facing Prouders!  But it wasn’t Prouders that knocked Steve over for just 3 – he had completely disregarded the threat from the other end, didn’t he Storm?  Yes, Steve Wright c Brenton Allan b Storm Anning for 3.  The full seam attack did all the damage as Mike West (4-17) and Paul Cass (4-15) steamrollered through them for just 69 in 34.3 overs.  Although Steve did remove Mark Archer and Brenton on his way to 2-32, we knocked off the runs in 19 overs.

It was a lot closer for the 2s in their home game with Bransgore in County 4 South.  A disciplined bowling effort held the Foresters to 136 all out with Steve Brandes’ 2-29 and a late burst from Ben Perry (4-24) taking the honours.  But when we slid to 52-5 in reply, it needed someone to keep Steve Dunn, who was still going strong at the other end having opened the innings, company.  He got it from Paul Henry and they put on 65 for the sixth wicket.  Henry went for 28, Michael Cook went next ball and then Dunn fell for a 123-ball 49 which made things edgy at 130-8 but Allan Hurst scampered the seven needed to clinch the two wicket win.

The ground at Burley is one of the nicest in the New Forest but the 3s were soundly beaten there by the home sides’ 2s in Regional 3 South-West.  They were put into bat and only the captain Adam Hargreaves with 5-30 held any sway although Nigel Hill’s 2-40 did removed the openers but it didn’t prevent them from reaching 207-9.  A typically hard-hitting 55 from Dave Rose was all that we could take from the reply as only Liam Golding (13) joined him in double figures as we were bowled out for 108.

The 4s had a home match with Knights Valley in Regional 4 Central and just about held on for a two wicket win.  It is no surprise to see Woodhall take four wickets but this time it was 14-year-old George tearing through the middle order which stopped the visitors in their tracks when they had reached 71-2.  Mark Taylor’s 3-17 and a wicket apiece for Sam Vidler, Matt Taylor and Dave Johns helped hold them to just 113 all out.  Craig Kinchington made 24 and four batsmen made scores between 10 and 14 but none went onto that key match winning knock so it was left to Paul Bowring (7*) and Mark Taylor (1*) to finish the job.

Unfortunately, Thursday’s mean we look at 2005!  And as we only won one game all season – and that came on 7 May in week two of the campaign – this will be another defeat for Paul Cass’ men.  We did give ourselves a chance in this game, despite tumbling to 39-5 having chosen to bat first.  But Pete Clark’s 48 along with 23 from James Rose and 20 for Darren Challis plus a quick 16 from Paul Hurst did at least give us something to bowl at with 172-9 on the board.  Ummm … they knocked them off in just 23.1 overs!  Cass took 2-53 and was by far the pick of the bowlers as they others were taken to town as Richard Morgan helped himself to 79.

The news from the 3s’ game at Wellington Sports Ground on Stoneham Lane in Regional 4 Central brightened the mood as an incredible bowling display brought a 97-run success over Ordnance Survey 2s.  We only made 127 batting first with Mark Gardner hitting 28 and Nick Coe 22.  But the Mappers weren’t ready for the dual attack of Martin Perris who took 4-16 in his full 12 overs and Jeff Tyler, who’s left arm medium trundlers returned 8-6-3-3!  Ben Perry snaffled 2-6 and Michael Cook 1-2 to send them off for just 30!

The Cross Solent League – a competitive Sunday tournament which was a really good idea for some decent cricket against some teams you didn’t always play – like Wimborne and Colehill – and which also included trips to the Isle of Wight with games against Ventnor, Shanklin and Ryde.  We played in it for 12 seasons from 1993 to 2004 and it was always well supported.  It is quite sad that this sort of competition wouldn’t happen in the current day.

In the 1995 edition, we travelled to Bashley (Rydal) having won our opening couple of games against Ventnor and New Milton.  And we would win this one as well.  Settle in Clive, here we go again!  The home side won the toss and chose to bat first and reached 164-9 in 39 overs – the match was reduced by one over for some reason!  Barton made 52 and Herbert a quick unbeaten 45 as our bowlers kept a close eye, Steve Brandes taking 2-29 and Paul Draper 2-18 as we used seven bowlers.  The chase was a formality as Paul Draper caressed 66 not out and Clive Surry a boundary strewn unbeaten 93 (114 balls, 15 fours and a six) as we cantered to victory by 10 wickets.

Meanwhile, Paul Bowring’s Sunday Seconds were coming unstuck at home to Woodgreen (at home? who fixed that up? don’t you know their teas are legendary!!!).  We batted first and a superb display put us in the box seat as we made an imposing 247-2 in our 40 overs thanks to Paul Grinham’s excellent unbeaten 100 as he shared in partnerships of 91 with Richard Isaacs (44 … bloody hell – on two counts, I got some runs and nearly half of the partnership too!!) and then 151 with Nigel Hill (77).  But it wasn’t to be enough as the visitors got home with an over to spare with New’s 95 not out and Naish’s 53 taking the game away despite Matt Procter’s 2-33.

Here comes another in the forever running Calmore Sports series of “How did we lose that?”.  It is a home game against local rivals BAT Sports in County One in 1994.  Simon Williams’ 47 and contributions from Rob Budd (24) and Tom Pegler (25) set the scene before a belligerent 31 not out from Chris Garrett eased the total to 185-7.  Simon Preston’s 59 gave the visitors a decent foil but when they crashed to 126-7 and 142-8 when Adam Carty removed Preston, surely it was game over.  Not so.  “I recall putting Carts on hoping that their tail would hole out against him but they actually played well and smashed a few boundaries.”  They did, West hit 35 not out and Mark Turner 14 not out as they got home by two wickets off the final ball.  “It was quite a tough one to take,” said Steve.  “Blame the captain!!!”.  It turned out to be the 1st XI’s only defeat of the season – you are forgiven!

We could have had a clean sweep of four wins but for the first team!  That was because the 2s travelled to Alton 2s in County 4 and won by four wickets.  A mesmerising spell from Billy Sims, taking 4-25 in 12 overs which also claimed six maidens and Matt Karnecki with 3-29 restricted the home side to just 117-9 in their full 45 overs – none of the Alton side reaching 20.  We knocked the runs off although it was not without its hiccups after Mike Durand (40) and Jimmy Gill (30*) – and Stinno’s 15 in an opening stand of 59.  We tripped up slightly at 109-6 but Gill kept things under control.

The 3s had a lengthy away trip to deepest Wiltshire to play South Newton in Regional 3 West.  The home side were inserted and made good use of the wicket with 180-5 on the board despite Grinham’s 2-29 and tight spells from Tony O’Connor (1-38) and Dave Ransley (0-27).  The chase was all based around Jason Maidment’s superb 78 and the support he received from Dan Pearcey (27) and Graham Kinchington (27*) as we got home by five wickets with an over left – Roy Walton smashing a four and a six in his 12 not out that took us over the line.

And the 4s defeated North Baddesley 2s at home by 5 wickets in New Forest Division 3.  Terry Walton’s 3-30 and Adrian Goddard 3-25 put the skids under the visitors as their ten men were bowled out for 131.  An innings of 36, with three fours and three sixes, from Justin Doyle and 22 for Stuart Hearn set the response up nicely but it was captain – and wicket-keeper – Ray Hurst who bludgeoned five sixes in his unbeaten 46 that raced us to victory – he dominated the sixth wicket stand of 53 with David Green hitting a solitary boundary in his 4 not out!

99.  On a hot day like today, a delightful ice cream with a chocolate flake in it!  In cricketing circles, it’s that dreaded score of so close to a century but not quite.  The first time in happened in our 1st XI history was today in 1983 when Terry Chilcott ran out of overs and was stranded on 99 not out at home to Old Symondian Ramblers in County One.  For the only time in our league history, all four of the top order made 40+ scores.  Billy Sims made 40, Tony Archer 41 and Graham Cooper 42 not out but it was Terry’s outstanding knock which shone through as we made 230-2 – and all of this came off the back of being bowled out for 28 last week at Fareham!  Cricket …. it’s a bloody strange game!  The Ramblers only made 141-7 in reply with a couple of wickets each for Tufty Taylor, Billy Sims and Tony Archer.

60 years ago today, we had a friendly match against Hythe and Dibden at the King George V Ground and would prevail by just one wicket in a nail-biting finish.  Stan Piper’s 6-29 alongside Maurice Geary with 2-16 removed the visitors for just 94 and we were going along nicely with Piper’s 18, Vic Doggrell 14 and John Newman 20.  But a middle order collapse left us 70-8.  Frank Stuttard’s blistering 16 with a four and a six lifted the hopes but when he went, still four was needed.  Leave it to these two Calmore Sports legends – Maurice Geary with 6 not out and Vic Loveless with 3 not out.  Job done!

Today’s last one features something that you really don’t see very often – in fact, it is the second least seen dismissal in all cricket behind Timed Out.  But it happened in this low scoring 1979 Sydney Wyatt Knock Out semi-final at Hythe and Dibden.  The home side batted first and were all out for just 58 in 17.1 overs with Michael Newman taking 3-12, Ron Merritt mean as ever with 2-8 and Ray Hurst 2-15.  But our reply wasn’t going well on at 37-5 and 47-6 but still in was Ben Lyon.  Well, he was until was given out ‘Hit the ball twice’!  Yes, that rarest of rare dismissals.  I am endeavoring to find out how it happened – so I will come back to this when I have more info!!!  We did win the game by three wickets but Ben’s dismissal was definitely the talk of the pavilion afterwards.