Hello my little caterpillars
May joy rain down upon you all and let the feasting commence, for I bring such happy news from this weekend. Toll the bells and send messengers out to our far-flung territories of Bremen and Verdun. The cause of this merriment is the historic occasion of all 5 Normandy teams winning on Saturday. This has never previously occurred (with the fielding of a 5th XI itself a cause for celebration) and marks a momentous day in the history of our club. All those who participated on Saturday take part of the acclaim for a very special day indeed. The mythical “manager’s keg” was demanded, and while the Scott coffers could not quite stretch to an entire barrel, jugs of ale were indeed provided to those in attendance. A brilliant effort from all teams which was confirmed when the 3rd XI remarkably managed to take 4 wickets in the last 5 overs to overturn the old enemy at Stoke Rec. The details of each match are detailed in all their magnificence below, but I would like to say a hearty “Bravo!” to everyone who took the field for us on Saturday.
Before we revel in the successes of the Saturday, its time for my regular feature of “unsung Hero of the Week” which this week has been won hands down by Claire Hunt. It was Claire ho came to the rescue after Bradley Richards found himself stranded at Normandy and completely unable to find his way to the 3rd team game in the distant land of Guildford. Vexed by the complexities of navigating the 5.7 mile journey, bemused by the workings of the public transport bus service and unable to find an Uber, Brad was face down on the carpet in anguish before Claire valiantly came to the rescue. It was she who bundled Brad into her car and braved the journey to Stoke Rec to deliver him wide eyed and awestruck into the bosom of the 3rd XI so that they had a full complement for the day. The twist in this tale being that it was Brad who took the vital last wicket to seal the win that made it a full 5 from 5 for the day. Without Claire it may never have happened and the world would be a poorer place today. I understand that as I type Country & Western songwriters are already putting finishing touches to “The Ballad of Brad Richards” to ensure the full tale is carried on for generations to come.
After all that nonsense, it’s time to take a deep breath and then to dive in to the action from a remarkable day.
It all started with an early finish for the 1st XI whose match at Chessington ended before tea with a positive outcome for the title chasers. The home side crumbled from 34 for 1 to 95 all out, being bowled out 2 overs after lunch. Once again Little Viggy led the charge with another 5-wicket haul which takes him to 43 league wickets this season, a tally which is second in the whole of the Surrey Championship bettered only by Cranleigh’s Ajaz Patel who has been named in New Zealand’s test squad for their forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka. CJ (3 -26) and Danny Miles (2-25) were the other successful bowlers.
The fantastic Freddy Austin (45*) and Olly Batchelor (47*) ensured no wickets were lost in the chase and it was all done and dusted within 18 overs of the reply. The 1s are still top with a 58 point cushion over third place Camberley.
At HQ the 2nd XI leapfrogged Old Rutlishians after an impressive 102-run victory. Batting first the Normans were 27 for 2 before a stand of 127 between the classical Andrew Hemingway and the scurrying Richard Burton turned the game in our favour. Hemers eventually fell for 72 but Burts continued on and it was only ultra-defensive field settings that denied him what would have been a maiden hundred for the club. His undefeated 92 was the mainstay of the side’s 226 for 6 with Michael Walter contributing 21 not out late in the innings.
Skipper Les Robinson grabbed two early wickets to leave the visitors at 9 for 2 but a breezy third wicket stand of 43 threatened to bring the visitors into the frame before Les grabbed his third wicket. Spinners Chris Heane and Scrappy Wellfare ensured wickets kept falling and then Les returned to take the key wicket of Moore-Amaadzie for 57 and thereafter Ruts showed little resistance and it was fitting that the skipper should take the final wicket, clean bowled to finish with the excellent figures of 6 for 39. Scrappy had 3 for 8 to his name and the 2s are now elevated to third in what remains a close knit league with only 13 points separating third place from sixth.
On the top ground the 4th XI were enjoying a friendly against Walton-on-Thames following a concession from Chertsey on Thursday. So, with the league points already in the bag it was a chance for some fun. Mikey Scott crashed no less than 13 fours in his 72 while Tim Jones was slightly more sedate on his way to 58. Aussie Steve Meyer cracked 23, Alexander Wilson an undefeated 10 and the silver fox Rick Mansell rolled back the years with 23 not out on his first appearance since he played for the 2s at Banstead in 2013. 227 for 4 declared was always going to take some chasing and indeed soon proved beyond Walton who finished 92 all out to give the 4s a 135 run win, with 2 wickets each for Medders, Joseph Sampson and Steve Meyer and one each for Mansell and Alexander Wilson while Joseph Simms and Adam Smithson both took their first senior Normandy wickets.
News then arrived that the travelling 5th team had won their encounter at Valley End. Normandy’s 192 all out was thanks largely to a hundred on debut from Alex Hewitt, the 4th player to score three figures in their first outing for NCC. Owen Carr made 15 and Lev Davies 21 before becoming the latest on a very long list of run out victims for captain Keith Ford.
It was leg-spinner Jay Hudson who ensured victory with 4 wickets for just 22 as the Enders subsided to 105 all out. Simon Howarth and Adam Carr took 2 wickets each and there were victims too for Xavier Deacon and Lev Davies.
With 4 wins out of 5 confirmed, all attention turned to the game at Stoke Rec where the lowly 3s were attempting to do the double over the old enemy. Normandy had certainly started well posting 221 for 5 thanks to a maiden century from Torquil Deacon, making 103 not out. If you have never played at Stoke Rec I can assure you its as tough a place as any to score a hundred and it takes a rare kind of player to make three figures there, so Torquil joins a pretty short (but distinguished) list of Normandy centurions on that particular ground, and by all accounts his was a pretty special knock. Stand in skipper Mark Rosser responded to the responsibility with 64 of the Queen’s runs and Peter Dolby added 19 to the total.
Back at HQ news filtered through that Guildford were 177 for 5 with 5 overs to go, with all indicators pointing towards a draw. The 10-man enemy did not lie down though and pursued the victory, with Hodgy grabbing 2 vital wickets and Teeny Jnr one, Guildford entered the final over with one wicket remaining and 15 needed to win. In a flash of inspiration Rosser turned to Brad Richards (remember him from earlier?) to make his first meaningful contribution to the game. Within 3 balls he had conceded 8 runs and Guildford needed 7 from 3 balls. Rosser’s decision looked to have backfired. I wish I could tell you the next ball was a beauty, but eye witness reports claim it was a stinker but it did have one redeeming feature in that it was straight enough that when Guildford’s Lucas Kher swung lustily at it and missed, it was able to dislodge the off bail to seal the 3s second win of the year and complete the magic 5 from 5.
The 3s now rise from the bottom of the league into 9th and there remains hope they could yet survive the drop.
So, with the cricket all done and dusted it was back to HQ for the 2nd XI to host the shocking shirt night and Quadrathlon which saw the 4 XIs and a team of spectators take on 4 different challenges for the honour of being crowned Quadrathlon Champions. To cap their remarkable day, the 3rd XI ran out victors in an exciting contest. It was a hugely enjoyable night, thanks to Ryah, Annie and Julie for an excellent spread to feed the hungry competitors and to Les Robinson for organising a terrific evening on behalf of the 2s. There were some truly shocking shirts on display but none more so than Mark “Man Beer” Rosser sporting his “I ♥ lager” t-shirt.
Thanks to all who came along and supported a really fun evening and one that I hope will be repeated next season as it was a great way to bring various parts of the club together and enjoy the very best of Normandy CC.
A number of you have balances on your Slate account that need to be paid as soon as possible please
Please update your availability for this weekend on MyClubhouse ahead of Tuesday evening’s selection meeting.
If you have put your name down for the Annual Golf Day at Hurtmore on 1 September, please can you pay your £40 to Phil Miles as soon as possible please
Teams for Tuesday’s STDL T20 and Wednesday’s Under 19 T20 to follow.
Right I’m off to settle my bar tab.
Keep ‘em peeled