On this day in Calmore Sports Club history is a special one as we continue to look back over the years.  Today is 9th May and, you can be sure that some 39 years ago, there was a huge sense of pride and excitement, as well as a lot of nervousness.

9th May 1981, Hampshire Cricket League West Division One, Calmore Sports Second XI against Paultons Second XI was the first ever league match to be staged at the new Loperwood Park.  Stan Piper faced the first ball with Tony Archer at the non-strikers end.  But the first five batsmen were all dismissed bowled as we crashed to 51-7.  And only one man reached double figures – not only double figures but a 50 and that was John Robertson, who smashed 53 with seven fours and two sixes, but he had little support as we were bowled out for 110.  However, it was an inspired bowling spell from Steve Lock, who took 5-20 in 14 overs, that hamstrung the Paultons reply and Frank Gregory’s 3-18 cleaned up the tail as the visitors were bowled out for 92.  So the first ever league at Loperwood ended with a victory!

Away from the celebration of the opening day at Loperwood, the 1s were down the road at Paultons but were well beaten by 6 wickets after we were skittled for 77 – Terry Chilcott top scored with 18 and Billy Sims 16.  Ray Hurst did take 3-39 in the reply but the home side eased to victory.  And the 3s travelled to Burley and won by 81 runs with Frank Stuttard’s 41 and Bob Dickinson 43 led the way to our 155-9 in 40 overs which was far too many for the home side who were sent crashing to 74 all out – Dave Morgan’s 3-36 and Adrian Goddard with 3-1 securing the win.

County One kicked off in 1987 and the 1st XI pulled off a superb victory over the star-studded Road Sea side by 6 wickets in Marchwood.  Former Hampshire captain Bob Stephenson hit 31 before D.W. Scurr (59) was joined by Keith Stevenson (66) and they led the home side to 187-6 with two wickets each for Chris Garrett, Dominic Newman and Rob Budd.  Terry Chilcott (64) and Nick Holland (57) added 102 for the third wicket before Bob Wilcocks and Stuart Bailey took us to the win despite Bob Paul’s two wickets – our only win over the all-star XI.

There was a thriller at Loperwood for the 2s who lost by one wicket to Penton but realistically threw it away!  The 2s won the toss and Basil Oram’s 55 not out was the mainstay of the 122-9.  Ron Merritt took 4-26 and Adrian Goddard 3-32 as Penton were reduced to 86-8 but they still managed to win the game thanks to Penfold (25) and Gingell (13*).

This day in 1998 saw something of a rarity.  Calmore Sports have played Havant in league action on 16 occasions and won just twice.  They first of those victories came at Havant Park in the opening game of the Southern League season on this day and it was a great team effort throughout for Martin Kellaway’s side – a team effort that would take us to third in the table that season.

Electing to bat first, openers Paul Draper and Tom Pegler added 170 for the first wicket.  Draper fell for 60 and Pegler shortly afterwards for a magnificent run-a-ball 100 containing 13 fours which took us to 252-5 from our 50 overs – Gregg Lewis 29* and Kellaway 25 boosting the total.  Luke Sears’ 78 and David Oliver 30 were the only scores of note for Havant as Draper (3-62), Steve Brandes (2-40) and singles for Graeme Lyon, Nigel Hill and James Hibberd dismissed the hosts for 204.

Over the last few days, we have seen the starts of amazing seasons which ended in significant triumphs.  On this day in 1992, the 1s travelled to the Lordshill Rec to play Old Tauntonians and returned home with a five-wicket loss which was the start of a campaign that would ultimately relegated back to the Hampshire League.

In a 33-over match, Dave Parsons’ 53 and Stuart Bailey with 38 not out from 19 balls led us to a decent 153-7 from 33 overs, former Hampshire quick Steve Malone taking 2-45.  It proved to not be enough as a six-strewn innings from Terry Rawlins (56 not out with 5 sixes) and 27 for Richard Rapley took them to victory with 13 balls to spare, despite Chris Garrett’s 3-58.

And, after a heavy defeat to eventual SPCL Division One champions New Milton the week before in 2015, hopes were high following an excellent win at Loperwood over Bournemouth, giving skipper Mark Lavelle’s his maiden success.  Bournemouth batted first and were held to 150-9 with another maiden-fest from the Calmore bowlers – 15 being delivered – as Steve Wright (2-17) and Mike West (2-31).  With no batsman on either side reaching 30, Darren Vann’s 24 and Ben Perry 21* (off 96 balls) edged us to victory with 17 balls to spare.  Unfortunately, it was one of just four victories all season……

It was friendly action in 1970 away at Follands which the home side won by 17 runs on what seems like an indifferent wicket!  Follands batted for 45 overs and declared at 105-9 but Keith Bell enjoyed himself with 7-34.  Stan Piper stroked 25 and Reg Oliver 20 but disciplined bowling saw us slide to just 88 all out.

Meanwhile, in 1982, we enjoyed a big win over Ranks at Loperwood Park by 100 runs with Bob Dickinson’s 46 and Bob Wilcocks 39 leading us to 187 all out – that man Bob Paul again, who played against the 3rd XI this year, taking 5-31.  Ranks were bowled out for 87 with Matt Procter taking 3-16 and John Robertson 2-17.