It’s Saturday – week number four of the regular league season.  All four of our sides are top of their respective tables.  The 1s are away at St. Cross Symondians II, the 2s are in local derby action against Paultons II at Loperwood, the 3s welcome Hursley Park IVs to the Old Ground and the 4s were off to Fawley III.  Oh, for cricket to be on!  So, what happened ‘On This Day’ in years gone by – it’s May 30th.

We are actually going to start with some Bank Holiday Monday action today and a look back at the Hampshire NatWest Under 19 Club T20 group stage in 2016 at Loperwood Park.  To beat one of our big local rivals is always enjoyable.  To beat two of them on the same day … that’s even better!!  First up in this double header was Langley Manor U19s.  Skipper Matt Taylor won the toss for the Cougars and elected to bat first and saw his openers Ben Johns retire at 53 with four fours and five sixes and Jack Nicholson hit 32.  Taylor Vane added 17 as we racked up 157-7.  The visitors got nowhere near, only D. Hatton making 28 as Johns’ 3-23 opening up with Kaine Stanton’s 2-22 saw Langley bowled out for only 83 to give us a massive 74-run win.

And then Totton and Eling – or Totton Tigers as they are known – arrived for the late afternoon.  Matt won the toss once again but decided to put the Tigers in and a good bowling display restricted them to 137-6 thanks to Ben Johns’ 2-28 and Ryan Lomax with 2-21 despite Blake Darney’s 37 for the visitors.  An impressive retired 51 for the skipper led the way before Taylor Vane’s hard-hitting unbeaten 30 brought the Cougars an easy six wicket win with 15 balls to spare!

I won’t waste too much time looking at the 1st XI game in 2015 in SPCL Division One at home to Liphook & Ripsley, which we lost by 107 runs despite a 54-run 10th wicket stand between James Rose (35*) and Steve Wright (17).  And nor the 2s game at Paultons, as we came up 51 light in our chase with six batsmen scoring between 12 and 30.

But we will have a look at the 3rd XI’s Regional Two West trip west of Fordingbridge to the pleasant village of Alderholt and Mike Cotton’s side enjoyed a thoroughly good day out!  Darryl McMahon with 82 top scored but all of the batsmen enjoyed themselves – Dave Rose smacked 11 fours in his 50, the skipper 57 not out, Adam Pattison 34 and Ollie Tull 30 as we amassed 324-6 in our 42 overs, all six of the Alderholt bowlers going at over six an over.  Ryan Lomax bowled well for his 3-31 but the bowling honours went to Adam Hargreaves who claimed 4-13 in his 6.1 overs while Calum Bailey grabbed 3-12 as we ran out 187 run victors.

While the 3s were producing a big win, the 4s were beating Camelot by the narrowest of margins – courtesy of a step father and step son partnership!  We mentioned in yesterday’s ‘On This Day’ about the ignominy of being dismissed hit wicket but it befell the visitors opener Terry White who Callum Kitcher claimed stepping on his stumps!  Camelot were bowled out for 138 with Kitcher taking 3-20 and Owen Fee 3-27.  Liam Worrow’s 47 and Shawn Kitcher with 25 put us on course but wickets kept tumbling and we were 120-9 when Nigel Hill was joined by Jack Stuttard – still needing 19 to win.  Nigel hit a six and a four.  Jack hit a six.  Job done with a ball to spare!

The Southern Premier League T20 Cup wasn’t a great hunting ground for us and, as the SPCL newly promoted side in 2010, the draw wasn’t particularly kind to us, giving us a home tie with the reigning Cockspur T20 National Cup champions Bournemouth, who beat Nottinghamshire-based side Cuckney in front of the Sky cameras at Derby the previous September.  We were put into bat and made just 77-9 in our 20 overs with Mark Lavelle’s 16 the top score.  The visitors, who had current Glamorgan captain Chris Cooke behind the stumps and were lead by the now England physio Craig de Weymarn, made short work of the task with Nick Park hitting 55 – Paul Proudley and Michael Cook taking the two wickets to fall.

We lost only three games in the Championship winning season in 2009 under James Rose.  One of those defeats came at Portchester in a match which gleaned 532 runs and we would lose with three overs to spare.  Mark Archer hit 84 and both Paul Cass and Michael Cook made 42 as we were bowled out two balls shy of our 50 overs for a challenging 264.  It probably would have been more of a test had we not gifted the hosts 30 extra deliveries in wides and no-balls, especially Cass who overstepped 11 times and threw down eight wides in his 1-44 as opener Richard Locke hit 95 and Steve O’Neill 49.

Remarkably, it was the same story for the 3s in their Regional 3 South-West match at Suttoners which we lost by 10 runs, probably because of the 23 wides and 16 no-balls that were gifted to the hosts!  Daniel Croft took 4-28, Paul Galbraith 3-37 and Adam Hargreaves pulled off surprisingly cheap figures of 10-3-15-2 as Suttoners made 158.  Tom Perry’s 41 gave us a great start along with Andy Bradshaw’s 24 but wickets kept tumbling and we found ourselves missing out …. more front foot discipline required, Gents!

It was another Bank Holiday visit of Tom Pegler’s Invitational XI in 1999 to challenge the Sunday Second XI but, this time, the home side ran out convincing winners by 139 runs.  One player who did enjoy these games was Jimmy Gill who continued his good form with an unbeaten 65 but the batting honours for the Sunday 2s went to Alastair Stuart who hit 84 not out as we declared at 293-4 in 40 overs.  Stuart Bailey’s 66 stood up for Tommy’s side but they were reduced to 154 all out.

Played 4, won 4.  The perfect start to the 1998 season in the Southern League – better known as the ‘oh so nearly’ season.  Welcoming United Services (Portsmouth) to Loperwood Park, the visitors batted first and made 197 with Dominic Carson making 49, captain Piers Moore 45 and Hampshire squad member Hugo Loudon 37 but their innings, which was standing strong at 178-5 was upended by Chris Garrett’s 4-23 and Paul Whitaker’s 3-51.  Our reply was based around a 138-ball unbeaten knock of 70 from opener Paul Draper, who hit just three fours but was instrumental in supporting Paul Whitaker (33), Tom Pegler (45) and Clive Surry (14 – of course, not out) in seeing us home by six wickets with 16 balls to spare.

The Echo Trophy was one of the prestigious local knock-out tournaments and, in 1989, we had a Tuesday night Round Two game with Lyndhurst and Deanery at Loperwood Park and we moved into the next stage with a commanding 35-run win.  Bob Wilcocks made 70 and Rob Budd 35 not out as we made 169-4 in our 22 overs with a familiar name taking 3-31 for the visitors, Bryan Clark.  Ian Watson struck 51 and the nomadic John Harris 47 took them to 104-1 until Steve Brandes came on – and took 5-29 to send L&D crashing to 134 all out, another familiar name of Calmore past, Trevor Hooker being the only other player to reach double figures with 10.

Today’s final one is a classic and it is lovely to mention this person again – even if he was playing for the opposition.  In our first season of playing at Loperwood Park, we hosted Lyndhurst in County One in 1981 and it was another low scoring contest with a dramatic conclusion!  The visitors batted first and saw Ray Hurst rip through them in typical fashion with 7-23 in 20.5 overs with a couple of wickets for Steve Brandes (2-25) sending them crashing for just 74 in 40.5 overs.  Billy Sims scored 27 and Terry Chilcott 30 which took us comfortably to 69-3, needing just five more to win with 7 wickets in hand.

John Robertson became Bryan Clark’s third wicket.  Chilcott went a run later, again to Bryan – but we still only needed 3 to win with 5 wickets left.  Skipper Martin Newman was bowled by Prouton (72-6), Ray Hurst scored 2 before Bryan snared him (72-7).  I asked Brandy, who came in at number 8, for his memories on this game!  “Yes, I recall that numbers 7 to 11 including Tufty (but not me, of course) had already showered and changed.

“As you can imagine there was something of a rush to get back into whites, pads etc as the wickets fell.  I remember viewing the chaos from the square as people ran for the changing room to get changed again.  You knew Calmore could lose or tie from any position!!”

Tufty was bowled and it was 72-8.  Ron Merritt at 10 joined Steve and scored 2 before “I probably called Ronnie through for an easy single but he was slower than you between the wickets and was run out!” (74-9).  One to win.  Brandy and Chick at the crease.  Bryan Clark bowling.  Somehow, Chick is dismissed …. stumped!  STUMPED – with one to win!  Match tied.  Bryan Clark finished with 6-28 and Prouton 2-18.

“Bloody hopeless!  As you can imagine from the characters concerned, they found it funnier than anything else and an excuse to drink even more than usual.”  Cricket in the early 1980s …. a world away from today!