Another glorious day.  Another day with our fantastic Loperwood Park looking ready for action.  Another day where nothing will happen.  So we can look back over the years at the events that happened “On This Day” – which is 20th May.

After suffered defeat at Basingstoke seven days previously, it was another trip up to the northern part of the county to face Liphook and Ripsley in the third match of the epic SPCL Division One campaign of 2017.  Put in to bat, we made steady progress in our 50 overs with Tam Goodrich (20), Ben Johns (36) and Ben Perry (41) pushing us to a decent total of 182-8.  The major contribution to our total came from Jack Rutter though and he was to be influential in Liphook’s chase as well.  Having smashed a 45-ball unbeaten 51 with the bat, he removed the dangerous Suman Ganguly for 60 when they were well set at 126-4 and then added Grant Rouse (35) which put the skids on the reply and they were removed for 162, to win the contest by 20 runs as Rutter took 3-39 and Steve Wright 2-26.

In 2012, it was the first round of the Southern Premier League Twenty20 competition and it was an away game with Bashley (Rydal) for us.  We lost the game by 16 runs despite restricting the much vaunted hosts to just 107-8.  James Rose took 3-14 in his four overs, removing former Hampshire professional Neil Thurgood, current Gloucestershire all-rounder Ryan Higgins and the home side skipper Richard Morris.  But the major highlight of the innings was when Callum Maher was well caught by Pierre Kriel, Simon Ridley was snaffled by Mark Lavelle and then Ross Grierson was trapped leg before to complete a hat-trick in the final over of the innings bowled by Michael Cook.  Our reply didn’t get off to the best start – skipper Darren Vann out first ball before Kriel crashed two huge sixes in his standout 34 and Tom Pegler and Steve Dunn both made 16 but we ended on just 91-9.

We head back to 2006 and a match in SPCL Division 3 away at Portsmouth Second XI where we were downed by 31 runs in the main down to one of the players in the opposition – some bloke called James Manning!  Electing to bat first, the home side fell to 100-6 before that Manning chap crashed 67, including four sixes and six fours and, with Lewis Russell swift unbeaten 53, took the home side to 215-9 with Pete Clark taking 4-52 and Graeme Lyon 2-44.  Mark Archer was batting well at the top of the innings and much was hoped he would guide us home – but he retired hurt on 65 with us 140-4 and as he walked off, so, it seems did our chances with Pete Clark’s patient 24 the only other score of note as Manning took 3-48 opening the bowling.  Wonder what happened to him??

In case you were wondering why the 2s and 3s have not been mentioned yet – the other matches in 2017 and 2006 were all rained off!

Home to South Wilts was the challenge in SPCL Division One in 2000 on this day and the visitors left with the points thanks to a player who was just a year away from his first-class county debut for Gloucestershire … and years of mimicking in commentary boxes!!!  Martin Kellaway won the toss and batted first and some top quality batting from the top order led us to 177-2 against Hampshire left-armer James Tomlinson and former Calmore man Chris Steedon.  Paul Draper was run out for 49 (whose fault – Draper or Hibberd – you decide?!), Hibberd made 63, Rob Budd 37 and Kellaway 26 as we made a decent 228-9.  The visitors slipped to 54-3 in reply before Roger Sillence blasted our attack to all parts, hitting 122 not out from 82 balls with 12 fours and six sixes to take his side to victory with five overs to spare.
(In case you were wondering, when Sillence played for Gloucestershire in a TV match, Bumble pronounced his name in a French style of Sil-unce-say … which then extended to Gary Bal-unce-say etc).

In 1995 we welcomed Old Tauntonians to Loperwood and it was a low scoring classic which we won by 3 wickets.  OTs made just 131 as the spinners of John Shepherd (3-38) and Kevin Marshall (3-22) with John Barnard top scoring with 25.  Steady batting from Budd (32), Kurt Donaldson (22) and a timely unbeaten 25 from Clive Surry made sure we knocked off the runs but seven wickets down, it wasn’t without it’s problems!

And whilst there was a low scoring battle going on at home, the third XI were crushing Rotherwick 2s in Regional 3 West by 259 runs – thanks to an incredible 151 from opening batsman Keith Woodhall.  Woody cracked 18 fours and two sixes in his epic knock which was joined by Nigel Hill’s 47 and skipper Paul Grinham with 75 as we piled on 299-6 in our 42 overs.  Cliff Estall steamed in with 5-17 and Matt Karnecki 2-20 as the hosts were bundled out for just 40!

It was a lovely trip to Longparish for the 1s in County One in 1989 and our winning start to the season continued with a 47-run success to make it three wins from three in this Championship winning season.  Rob Budd’s 66 and Stuart Bailey with 44 helped us to 218-6 before Chris Garrett (3-32) and Steve Brandes (3-35) did the damage in Longparish’s 171-9 – Bob Sturt making 51 for the hosts.

I know that the President enjoys it when he features!  I reckon he will probably enjoy this one …. it’s the Noel Fisher Memorial Trophy of 1987 and a second round game with Road Sea at Loperwood Park.  Skipper Bob Wilcocks top scores with 41 in our indifferent 83-7 as Julian Shackleton (5-1-6-3) and Keith Stevenson (3-34).  And the visitors, containing four county cricketers, were held to just 57-9 in their 20 as Ray Hurst (5-2-7-1) and Richard Newman (5-0-6-1) tied them up at the top and then Steve Brandes ripped through the middle with 4-18 to give us a 26 run success.

One more Steve … ok then!  How about 1978 and a game at Monksbrook Playing Fields in South West 2 against Ford Sports Club?  And you came in at 93-7, you say?  And you hit 53 not out with six fours and a six, sharing a stand of 51 with Maurice Geary (10) to take us to 172-9 in our 42 overs.  That it?  No!  Oh, and you took 4 for 20 in 7 overs to help bowl them out for 53 and win by 119 runs.  And took a couple of catches as well!  That’s pretty good, Mr President!!