As we edge towards the end of May, it is time to look back at another day in the history of Calmore Sports Club.  As it is a Bank Holiday, our look back at the events of 25th May is something of an epic …. and we are going to start with part one of a ‘double’ – against the same opponents with the same outcome – a very, very narrow win!

It’s SPCL Division 2 in 2013 and a match against old rivals Old Tauntonians and Romsey at Loperwood Park.  The visitors headed the short journey without a win to their name from their opening three games (losing to T&E2s, Paultons and US Portsmouth) while we lost our 100% record with defeat to Hursley Park seven days previously.

Darren Vann won the toss and put OT&R into bat and pulled off a surprise straight away – by turning to spinner Elijah Turriff-Smith to open the bowling.  He struck straight away, trapping Jody Kirkham-Brown lbw in the third over and their innings was a stop-start affair, losing wickets regularly throughout – so much so that Gus Flack top scored with 28 and skipper Steve Smith (27) and Stuart Shapland (27) close behind as Mark Lavelle’s 4-33 did the damage in the middle adding to the couple of wickets each for Elijah (2-30) and James Rose (2-35) seeing the away side were bowled out for 152.  Things didn’t go to plan as we soon found ourselves 78-5 (Vann 23, Lavelle 20).  A 34-run stand, a 20-run partnership and a 16-run pairing took us to the brink of victory at 148-7, needing just six more.  Tom Houlder goes, Daniel Croft goes leaving James Rose and Matt Maiden at the crease and four to win.  And they did it … Rose finished on 29, Maiden a crucial ‘Jack Leach’ single to win the game by one wicket!

Five years and one day later …. part two of this ‘double’ comes tomorrow!

Some 11 years previously and, again at Loperwood Park, we would produce a stunningly narrow victory to match that of the above.  It was in SPCL Division One when Liphook and Ripsley came to town in 2002.  Skipper Tom Pegler hit 40 and James Hibberd an unbeaten 41 as we reached 171-9 in their 50 overs, Mark Boston adding 30.  Chris Wright, who, as mentioned yesterday went onto a flourishing first-class career, bowled six overs for 38!  When the visitors were 68-5 – with young Matt Metcalfe taking 3-33 – no-one expected the drama that followed.  Alistair Gray with 60 and Duncan Berry (37) put on 74 for the sixth wicket to bring them firmly back into the game.  However, three run outs put the skids under their charge and when Tim Wheatley was cleaned up by Allan Hurst in the final over, they were bowled out for 170 – giving us a one run win!

And, as if that wasn’t enough – how about the 1996 Southern League game up at Hambledon.  Yes Clive – here comes another ‘red inker’!  Graeme Lyon took 2-59 and John Shepherd 2-28 as all six of the bowlers took a wicket in Hambledon’s 171-9 but we slipped to 95-5 in reply before Clive Surry and Gregg Lewis added 53 to pull it round.  But when Lewis went for 28, Chris Garrett followed with a run out and Shepherd was bowled by Finch, six were still needed with two wickets in hand.  Six needed?  Step aside Clive, this is a job for a real batsman – Steve Brandes who closed on six not out while Clive remained undefeated on 57 – a win by two wickets!

This next one comes just 12 months ago in 2019 – and might bring shivers to the spine.  Andover away.  Look away now all those of a nervous disposition!  Skipper Mark Lavelle won the toss and batted first and a first half-century from Jake Easton (51) alongside 30 from Ben Johns and an unbeaten 38 from Mike West took us nicely to 174-5 with a handful of overs left.  We were bowled out for 186 with four balls of the innings unused – including a hat-trick from Babu Veettil when he removed Matt Taylor, Darren Vann and Ben Perry, all bowled!  When Andover were reduced to 111-7 (Steve Wright 2-38, Mark Lavelle 3-18), victory was moments away.  However, Mike Adams joined skipper Matt Hooper at the crease.  Throwing everything at the pair, they stood defiant with Hooper (49*) and Adams (21*) putting on an undefeated 76 to take them to a three-wicket win!

At least the 2s got the better of a local derby in County 3 South by thrashing Totton & Eling 2s by 7 wickets at Loperwood Park.  Storm Anning led the way with 3-40 and Paul Henry 2-33 as the visitors reached 182 all out.  Tom Perry went first ball but it only brought in former T&E man Adam Carty, who gave them a little reminder of his talents with a brutal 49-ball 75.  He was dismissed but James Rose (44*) and Ollie Tull (30* off 28 balls) showed little mercy to the visitors and saw us to victory with more than 18 overs to spare.

The 3s were down at the Old Ground and were heavily beaten by Amport 2s despite a destructive Sam Dempster 61 but the clubhouse was buzzing when the nine-man 4s came back from Bolton’s Bench!  A quiet legend was made … opening the batting and scoring 56 not out on his debut while a bonafide club legend belted 18 fours and three sixes in an incredible 112 after taking 3-21 with the ball – not bad for an old crock!  Welcome to Calmore Sports, Mr. Paul Lock – who would go from the fourths to the firsts in the space of 10 weeks and yes, that was the shy and retiring Mr. Paul Proudley!

I think we all remember when international cricketers play against us.  Luke Ronchi at Bashley, Adam Voges with Bournemouth, Travis Head at Ventnor, Gary Brent at Burridge amongst others.  But it is not very often that you come up against a fully-fledged ODI player in County 3 South in 2013.  Aizaz Khan played 19 ODIs and 39 T20Ints for Hong Kong but he was Bishop’s Waltham’s overseas player and played his part in their 120 run win over our 2s with 28 (knocked over by Roy Walton) and took 2-12 with the ball as we were removed for just 88 after our own bowling superstar – Paul Henry – took 4-32!

Border League Cup Round 2 in 2010 gets an airing today – not normally a game that would but when the draw pairs Calmore Sports ‘A’ with Calmore Sports ‘B’, then it probably should!  It will come as little surprise that the ‘A’ team won – in fact, they went on to win the Border League Cup that year.  41 not out from Ben Perry led the way with Paul Cass (26) and a couple of 22s from Mark Archer and skipper Mark Lavelle took the ‘As’ to 148-4.  Darren Vann with 46 was the backbone of the youngsters who only made 90-8 in reply as Daniel Croft took 3-22.  Rather unfairly, the A side brought the big guns on late on – Mark Lavelle bowled a maiden and took two wickets and then …. how unfair …. threw the ball to Ollie Tull who bowled one over and took 3-3!!

I think that’s enough for today!  We did beat Bournemouth in 1991 (Dave Parsons 75*, Paul Draper 38, Dominic Newman 15-6-19-5, Keith Woodhall 3-18).  And Adam Carty took 6-10 in a crazy two-wicket win for the 3s over Pennington in 1985, but this article is long enough as it is!!!!