MCC…..a long way from Lords

Okay, so it’s not the real MCC, but the Moo Cow Club, run by a friend of our Hon Sec/Fixtures Secretary, Phil Chesser. The MCC won the toss and decided to bowl. We got off to a cracking start reaching 74 for no wicket before Will Doggett (19) missed a straight one. Next in, Nige Doggett (29) put on a further 40 runs with Tim Foulds, who attacked with great intent before retiring on 45. Jon Scotchbrook (13) was looking as composed as ever before being run out – just! Nick Foster never seems to be rushed and batted elegantly before retiring on 31. He put on 66 runs with Phil “Adam Gilchrist” Chesser, who continued his fine run of form with 25 runs, which incredibly included not one, but two shots on the Offside. Finally Alain Michaelis (35*) and Jack Higgins (31*) smashed 63 for the 8th wicket, equalling the club record, to take us to 240 off our allotted 32 overs.  

A new and devastating opening partnership of Paul Longman (2-9) and Josh Drennan (2-19) reduced  the MCC to 17-4 and the game was as good as won. Opening with an offspinner and a leg spinner was a joy to behold and both bowled with great accuracy, supported by some agile fielding and good catches by Tom Chesser and Jack Higgins. Alain Michaelis (1-19) again bowled a tight line and the MCC closed on 167-5, a resounding victory by 73 runs for Steeple Aston CC.

Lincoln College, Oxford (aka “The Strollers”)….

The Chairman managed to win the toss (pretty much my only contribution to the game!) and we chose to bat.  Richard Wilson opened the batting in dogged fashion, battling his way to 28, ably supported by Nick Foster who top scored again with a fluent 32. However at 115-6 we were “wobbling”, despite a combative 11 by Charlie Simmonds- Jones. Thankfully Phil Chesser (28*) and Lewis Holland (21*) let rip, putting on 44 runs in the last few overs. This included 8 boundaries and took us to a creditable 159-6 form our 30 overs. Phil is now averaging over 100! Yes, I know, it is hard to believe.   

Cometh the hour, cometh the man…

Despite having not played for a year, nor having had a practice net, Ben Evans (3-36) within 6 overs had removed their three best batsmen. Without even doing a single stretch, Ben did a passable impersonation of Jimmy Anderson; swing bowling at its best. Ably supported by Dave McDonald (1-17) and Nige Doggett (2-27), who bowled 10 overs between them with great control, the stage was set for the final over. I should add that the teams’ fielding had been excellent and in a close fought match could turn out to be crucial. With the opposing Captain Tom Fletcher, Master of Hertford College, at the crease, the Strollers needed 14 runs to win. The bowler, the geriatric Chairman of Steeple Aston, had already spent 45 minutes stretching and raced in to bowl at what he thought was “great pace”, but in reality was Slow Medium. A “Two” off the first ball and a “Two” off the second,  10 needed from 4 balls. The game in the balance…..fortunately 3 dot balls followed and the game was won. So that is three Wins from three for the SACC. Could it be an undefeated season? It’s never happened in my 21 years here – find out next month!

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

June 2024

Chairman’s XI….Game 19

Steeple Aston Cricket Club has played against the Chairman’s XI every year since 2004, missing only two games, one to Covid and the other to poor weather. My team of geriatrics are now 20 years older, but no less enthusiastic, even if the bodies are slightly less willing. The village elected to bat on the sunniest day of the year (so far!) and were soon in trouble at 49-4 despite an elegant 19 from Richard Wilson. With Nige Doggett and Phil Chesser at the crease the Oldies scented an upset. However Nige and Phil dug in resolutely, until Nige skied one straight to mid-wicket. Agonisingly for the Chairman’s XI the catch was put down and with Phil being dropped at fine leg 3 overs later, our chance had gone. Nige went on to score a fluent 54 with three 6s before retiring. More incredibly, Phil (51*) managed his first fifty since 1978 (school U11s), including a glorious 6 off the Chairman himself. I don’t mind being hit for 6, I just have a feeling Phil may never let me forget it!

After 27 overs we stopped for lunch with the game very much in the balance. SACC were 134-4, but the fielding of the Oldies had begun to deteriorate: I had asked the boys to stop the “ones”, then stop the “twos”, and finally stop the “fours”, none of which came to fruition! To my eternal shame I ate too many pies at lunch and delivered a few “more pies” in the final 8 overs, finishing with my worst ever figures of 0-43. Nick Foster (44*) played with great control, hitting the bad balls and playing carefully against the good ones. Jack Higgins, who was playing for the Oldies and doing most of our fielding, bowled well to take 2-43, but Sam Hatz’s belligerent knock of 16, took the SACC to 208-8 off their allotted 35 overs. The Chairman’s XI would have to bat well to win.    

Was an upset still possible…?

In all truth…NO. Jonty Renk, who we were delighted to welcome back to the team after university, bowled with an unerring rhythm to finish with 1-7 off 5 overs, ably supported by Paul Longman (1-22). Nick Entwistle (1-28) chipped in with another wicket and soon the Chairman’s XI were 36-3. Fortunately our two youngsters came to the rescue, putting on 47 for the 4th wicket, with Josh Drennan a majestic 36 and Jack a solid 10. Despite being incapable of picking Richard Wilson’s outswinger, the Chairman (33*) managed a few lusty blows before the back gave way and Dr Mutley, who was wicket keeping, ordered me off the pitch. Nige Doggett (3-14) bowled accurately to deliver the coup de grace, ably supported by Hatz who bowled a tight line to concede only 14 runs. The Chairman’s XI subsided to a still creditable 157-7 to give the SACC a deserved 51-run victory.

One of many highlights in the field was Mutley’s stumping. He was standing up to Nige’s bowling  and took the bails off before Simon McGrath had even thought to replace his bat. Hilariously in the next over the Oldies manged to run a Bye to Mutley, who was still standing up to the stumps. He had fallen over as he caught the ball and could not get up in time! From the sublime to the ridiculous. 

Back in the Red Lion…

Perhaps best of all, we were able to celebrate the undoubted camaraderie that existed during the game, back in the Red Lion after an inter-regnum of some 15 years. Sitting on the back terrace in the evening sun recounting “How we could have won it!!” with a few cold drinks followed by a delicious supper was a joyful experience. At 11.15pm, suitably refreshed, all the 60 years olds were calling for “One more year”. Well, I guess we do have to play the 20th game at the very least. It is now 12-7 to the Village.  

Next home game…

Our next home game is on Sunday 2nd June at Great Tew CC against the Moo Cow Cricket Club, which is nothing to do with Jeremy Clarkson! We start at 2pm, so please do come and support. At the very least you can enjoy free tea and cake.

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

May 2024

Fixtures for 2024 Season….

Here are the fixtures for the 2024 season. The most important thing you need to remember is that Home Matches are now at Great Tew Cricket Club. Here is the full address:

Great Tew CC, Ledwell Road, Great Tew, Oxfordshire OX7 4AG  Telephone: 01608 683896


Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Saturday 11th May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 2nd June Moo Cow XI Home 2pm
Sunday 9th June Hertford College Home 2pm
Thursday 20th June Kings Head CC Away 6pm
Sunday 30th June Blenheim Park Away 2pm
Sunday 7th July Minster Lovell Away 2pm
Sunday 21st July Ascott-u-Wychwood Home 2pm
Sunday 4th August Great Tew Home 2pm
Sunday 18th August Philanderers Home 2pm

Please note that we serve wonderful tea & cakes around 4pm, so very much hope to see you on the boundary this summer. And it’s free!

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

March 2024

Awards Dinner for 2023 Season

The Steeple Aston CC Awards dinner was held at the White Horse in Duns Tew on Friday 19th January and the winners were:

2023 Batting      3rd Nigel Doggett, 2nd Peter Higgins, 1st Nick Foster

2023 Bowling     3rd Paul Longman, 2nd Peter Higgins, 1st Tom Chesser

Young or Old Player of the Year 2023                                                   

Mutley – because he always turned up for every game, though  ironically failed to make the Dinner!

Clubman of the Year 2023

Peter Higgins – for constantly bullying everyone to raise money for the Lord’s Taverners

The Curtly Ambrose (26 Test “Ducks”) Award for Batting               

Jon Scotchbrook – for again scoring fewer runs than Phil Chesser, whose batting average was 70% higher than his!

Most extraordinary injury                                                                        

Chris Watson – for needing a hospital operation after bowling 4 overs of slow “pies” off his long run…..4 strides!

Taverners’ Fund-Raising 

Paul Longman



Batting Averages

  RUNS Out Average 50s
Nick Foster 149 3 49.67 1
Peter Higgins 74 2 37.00  
Nigel Doggett 106 3 35.33 1
Olly Doggett 99 3 33.00  
Arthur Higgins 58 2 29.00  
Phil Chesser 34 4 8.50  
Jon Scotchbrook 15 3 5.00  
Merrick Baggallay 6 2 3.00  
Mutley Nelson 9 3 3.00  
Paul Longman 2 1 2.00  


Bowling Averages   Overs Runs Wickets Average Runs/Over
Tom Chesser 9.0 39 4 9.75 4.33
Peter Higgins 28.0 104 7 14.86 3.71
Paul Longman 36.0 152 7 21.71 4.22
Alain Michaelis 24.0 71 3 23.67 2.96
Olly Doggett 12.0 84 1 84.00 7.00
Chris Watson 3.0 14 0     – 4.67
Nigel Doggett 7.0 41 0     – 5.86

As ever Phil left his son Tom’s Award in the pub, but luckily Sarah Chesser was in the White Horse the following Friday and she forgot it too!! Here’s to a fabulous 2024 Season.

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

February 2024

2023 Season

The highlight of our 2023 season was undoubtedly the match against the Lord’s Taverners, which we lost narrowly. At least on the bright side we gave Monty Panesar, a fervent Luton Town FC fan, something to celebrate this year. Our overall results for the year were:

Won 3                  Drawn 1               Lost 2

This is our 14th year out of the last 16 seasons, in which we have won more than we have lost, not a bad effort for our small village team. Our overall win rate is 64%. We are hoping to play 8 or 9 games this year and the 2024 Fixture List will appear next month. We are holding our Awards Dinner & AGM at 6pm on Friday 19th January in the White Horse, Duns Tew, to which all Club Members are welcome.

Life-Time Averages

Whilst of course I cannot reveal the 2023 Season’s Averages, since the Winners of the Awards are a closely guarded secret, here are the Life-Time Averages for all current members of the Club:


  Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Nick Foster 197 3 65.67   1
Tom Chesser 745 13 57.31 2 5
Richard Wilson 48 1 48.00    
Alec Michaelis 118 3 39.33   1
Hector Higgins 141 4 35.25    
Jeremy Farrar 955 28 34.11 1 7
Peter Higgins 2177 64 34.02 1 12
Jon Scotchbrook 3237 103 31.43 3 23
Olly Doggett 573 20 28.65   3
Arthur Higgins 595 21 28.33 1 3
Nigel Doggett 1487 58 25.64   8
Chris Watson 169 10 16.90    
Tim Jones 88 6 14.67    
James Liebrecht 92 8 11.50    
Phil Chesser 484 46 10.52    
Charlie Simmons-Jones 61 6 10.17    
Jack Higgins 89 9 9.89    
Alain Michaelis 37 4 9.25    
Merrick Baggallay 32 4 8.00    
Mutley Nelson 43 6 7.17    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 112 16 7.00    
Lewis Holland 17 3 5.67    
Paul Longman 134 29 4.62    



Players   Overs Runs Wickets Average R/O 5W/I
Ben Evans 5 22 3 7.33 4.4  
Jack Higgins 14.2 38 5 7.60 2.7  
Richard Wilson 9 40 4 10.00 4.4  
Hector Higgins 41 133 12 11.08 3.2 1
Alain Michaelis 43 138 10 13.80 3.2  
Peter Higgins 587.8 2217 148 14.98 3.8 2
Tom Chesser 170.1 608 39 15.59 3.6 2
Arthur Higgins 58 299 18 16.61 5.2  
Paul Longman 503.1 2117 119 17.79 4.2 3
Nick Foster 11 62 3 20.67 5.6  
Nigel Doggett 111.3 546 26 21.00 4.9  
Chris Watson 24 154 6 25.67 6.4  
Alec Michaelis 15 87 3 29.00 5.8  
Charlie Simmons-Jones 14 120 3 40.00 8.6  
James Liebrecht 53 288 7 41.14 5.4  
Olly Doggett 79 376 9 41.78 4.8  
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 46.1 384 9 42.67 8.3  
Phil Chesser 41 295 6 49.17 7.2  
Jeremy Farrar 12 120 1 120.00 10.0  
Mutley Nelson 1 7 0 7.0  
Merrick Baggallay 3 39 0 13.0  

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

December 2023

Blenheim Park….

Without the eyesore of Mike Ashley’s many marquees, SACC were back playing at the Palace again. Winning the toss and after much What’s App advice, stand in (some may say clueless) skipper Phil Chesser chose to bowl first. Starting the innings with only nine players, as Nick Foster and Olly Doggett tried to work out what to do with their dogs, who weren’t allowed into the ground, the ever-steady Alain Michaelis and debutant Ben Evans opened the bowling. And what a debut! Without any consultation with the captain or bowler, Alec Michaelis and Dan Milner positioned themselves at silly mid-off and silly mid-on, only for Alec to rapidly take two catches off Ben’s bowling to leave Blenheim Park on 6 for 2. A beauty from Ben (3-18 off 6) clean bowled the opposition number four for a duck, making the score 9 for 3. A partnership of over 80 runs then followed, with Steeple looking unlikely to take a wicket despite some steady bowling from Adrian Downing (0-28 off 7) and Paul Longman (0-24 off 7), until a chaotic run out left Blenheim on 95-4. Another strong partnership of 48 was ended by Alain Michaelis (a superb 1-16 off 7) who, inspired by his captain’s decision to change his bowling end, clean bowled the Blenheim number five for 77 off the last ball of his spell. The innings finished with some huge hits from their number seven (where was he earlier?!), leaving Blenheim on 156-5 off their 35 overs.

Nick Foster and Olly Doggett opened SACC’s innings. Olly was out early, which was a good thing as his dog was stuck in the car, whilst Nick had persuaded the girls at the gate to look after his. This brought Alec Michaelis, backing himself as the next Harry Brook, to the crease. And remarkably, with a combination of agricultural hacks, some sweet drives through the covers and over the bowler’s head and the odd reverse sweep, Alec scored an imperious 74 in a partnership of 118 (second highest in SACC History for the 2nd wicket) with Nick, before being clean bowled. A few quick runs by Merrik Baggalay helped Nick cruise to a beautiful 61 not out and see Steeple through to a victory by 7 wickets with over 10 overs left.

A great day was completed with a couple of pints in the Back Lane tavern – thanks as always to Blenheim Park for their hospitality.

Great & Little Tew…

With skipper Doggett winning the toss and opting to bowl first, SACC took to the field, in some cases hobbling like old men. Opening the bowling with Ben Evans and Paul Longman, Steeple got off to a quick start with new bowling star Ben taking an early wicket, caught at deep gully by the skipper. Luckily Nige didn’t have to move an inch, because he couldn’t. Tew’s number three – father of the two opening batsmen – then took things into his own hands disrespectfully smacking the ball all over the park before being bowled by a relieved and once again happy Paul Longman (1-30 off 5 overs). A very rapid short spell by Hector Higgins (0-3 off 3 overs), which saw only one run off the bat, and some tight bowling by Tom Chesser (1-19 off 5 overs) totally dried up the runs for Tew. An excellent spell by Pete Higgins (2-17 off 5 overs) and yet more wickets for Ben (3-22 off 5 overs) restricted Tew further.  However a quick-fire innings by Tew skipper James Churchill, who chanced his arm somewhat and got away with it, took Tew to 116-7 off their 25 overs. Special mention should go to Steeple’s fielders in the deep, in particular Hector Higgins and Nick Foster who saved many runs despite occasionally confusing each other with their enthusiasm.

A quick turnaround saw Steeple open with Nick Foster and Arthur Higgins. With Nick falling uncharacteristically cheaply, Olly (30) joined Arthur (48) at the crease for a very entertaining and excellent partnership, which did include the spilling of one of the easiest catches one will ever see. Olly’s dismissal saw Steeple’s most crock players at the crease – skipper Nige failing to trouble the scorers and Jon Scotchbrook improving his season’s average slightly with a scratchy 9. Fortunately Olly and Arthur – caught very well in the deep just shy of his 50 – had set the foundations and enabled Tom Chesser (12 not out) to take us to a four wicket victory with around 5 overs to spare – another good win for the mighty SACC.

Best wishes

Phil Chesser. Hon Fixtures Secretary, SACC

August 2023

The changing face of village cricket….

One thing is for sure – getting a team out every Sunday to play Village Cricket is getting harder every year. There are so many more opportunities for people to follow on a Sunday and it is a sad fact that fewer schools are playing cricket. However on a more positive note the women’s game is flourishing. Steeple Aston CC would dearly love to welcome women into our team, so please do let me know if you are interested in playing.

King’s Head CC, Bledington….

With that in mind we played a T20 on a Thursday night against the King’s Head (a pub team from Bledington) at the beautiful Bruern CC in the Cotswolds. As we arrived their captain had just finished mowing the square! The King’s Head batted first, but were pegged back by some accurate bowling from James Liebrecht (0-18 off 4 overs) and Alain Michaelis (1-26). Our opponents began to accelerate, but thanks to a fine catch by James on the boundary off Arthur Higgins’ bowling (1-28) we were back in the game. Dave McDonald then set a new record by taking 4 wickets in his allotted overs, whilst somehow managing to bowl 9 wides as well! KHCC finished on 138-6.

In our reply Nick Foster (40) batted with great assurance and a fine technique before being run out by me – what an idiot! I thought the ball had raced past the infield to the boundary, so set off for a run. Sadly my eyesight is failing and I was wrong. Sorry, Nick. Sadly the rest off us could not rustle up enough runs, though in our defence it was pretty dark, as a large cloud had settled over the late evening sun. We fell 32 runs short, but did have a wonderful time in the King’s Head afterwards, where our hosts treated us to supper and we availed ourselves of Jeremy Clarkson’s Hawkstone lager. The game was played in a great spirit and we will definitely play another midweek T20 there next year, though hopefully we can bat first next time.

Appleton CC….

We have been playing Sandford St Martin CC for as long as I can remember, but sadly they could not put out a team for our Sunday fixture. It is a problem that all village clubs must contend with and what has the ECB done to help Village Cricket in the last 10 years? Yes you have guessed it….NOTHING, but they did manage to lose £9MM launching the Hundred. Luckily our resourceful Fixtures Secretary, Phil Chesser, found us a replacement fixture against Appleton CC, which has a picturesque ground just west of Cumnor.  

Nige Doggett won the toss and put Appleton into bat. James Liebrecht (2-27) and Alain Michaelis (1-10) both bowled a tight line again, but it was Paul Longman who wreaked havoc in the opposition middle order, taking 3-13 in 6 overs, including one sensational catch by wicket-keeper Phil Chesser. Many would say that the ball simply darted into Phil’s gloves without him actually moving, but I don’t believe them! Peter Higgins (1-22), Alec Michaelis (1-6) and Tom Chesser (1-2) soon wrapped up the tail and we were left with a target of 92.

Nige Doggett (46) and Phil Chesser (24) set off like Bairstow and Buttler, and raced to a 53 run partnership in 52 balls before Phil was bowled attempting yet another swish over mid-wicket. Arthur Higgins and Olly Doggett then came in to take us home with Olly hitting a straight 6 to win the game by 8 wickets. We then sped home to watch the highlights of the 2nd Ashes Test – what a fantastic cricketer Ben Stokes is and you could see how desolate he was not to be able to bring victory despite an incredible innings of 155.

Anyone can play…

To return to my theme, if upon reading this, you fancy playing for Steeple Aston CC, you will receive a warm welcome. Cricketing ability is not a requirement, the ability to have fun is. Please do get in touch.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

July 2023


And the final total was…

After a year’s preparation, on Sunday 21st May 2023, Steeple Aston CC finally took the field at Great Tew against a Lord’s Taverners XI featuring three Test Cricket Internationals, seven Test Rugby Internationals and one World Champion Ballroom Dancer. The Tavs won by 3 runs in 2011 and the SACC won by 1 wicket in 2016, so this was the Decider! On a balmy day we gathered at midday for a delicious lunch prepared by the ever resourceful and talented Jane Stewart and her team; the waiters, David Stewart and Richard Gibbs looked fetching in their pink pinnies! Replete with delicious food, Steeple Aston CC took to the field and Hector Higgins walked back 24 paces to his bowling mark – he had not been drinking as he had 2 GCSEs the next day and was only allowed to bowl 4 overs before returning to his revision! David Gower and Bob Longman were behind the stumps as umpires, and with roughly 700 spectators looking on, Hector ran in…. 

Tavs’ Dinner the night before…

The previous evening 200 people had gathered for a dinner in a marquee at the Tew Cricket Club to raise funds for the Tavs’ Charity. David Gower regaled us with hilarious stories of cricketing titans from previous Ashes’ series: of Shane Warne’s prodigious appetite for fun; of Ian Botham’s irreverence for “early nights and no drinking” before a Test Match; of Lamby and Boon setting new drinking records and David’s own battle with a Tiger Moth in 1991 over the Queensland skies. Charlie Ross, arguably the finest auctioneer in the world, worked his magic and raised an impressive £19,000. The Steeple team followed Botham’s leadership and were safely in bed by 1am!

The Tavs bat first…      

We had 6 slips, a gully, a fine leg and a very slow decrepit 61 year old in the covers – Rob Andrew looked worried. Brendon Cole (Ballroom Champ) was soon back in the pavilion, smartly caught by Chris Watson at second slip off Hector. Rob Andrew (British Lion & England fly-half) was then clattered in his “special place” by a thunderbolt from Hector (1-11), expertly caught on camera by Nigel Francis, who as ever took some incredible photos of the match. Jonathan Webb (England full-back) played elegantly and put on 62 before Rob Andrew was dismissed by Paul Longman (1-39), a fine catch by Olly Doggett. It turns out Marcus Smith (England fly-half) is quite a good cricketer too hitting two huge sixes over mid-wicket. However Nige Doggett (0-14) bowled a tight line to increase the pressure on the Tavs and Chloe Hill (England Women’s cricketer) could not resist trying to launch Tom Chesser (2-18) into the stands. She missed and incredibly was stumped (or was it run out) by Phil Chesser who was keeping 10 feet behind the stumps to his spinner son!! Olly Doggett (1-19) then had Neil Smith (England ODI International) caught for 19 by David Allison, who had donated a large sum of money to the Tavs just to play in the game. Nige Doggett then took a smart catch to remove Monty Panesar off Pete Higgins’ bowling (3-19). The Chairman somehow bowled Harry Randall (England scrum-half) and had Gavin Hastings (British Lions’ captain) caught by Mutley to keep the Tavs score down, but a sprightly 24 not out by Will Carling (British Lion & England captain) took them to 173 off their 35 overs. A gettable target surely, though Chris Tarrant, who was commentating, poured scorn on our chances in between burying a large schooner of Chablis!

2-1 to whom?…

Gladstone Small and Mike Gatting came on as the new umpires and Olly Doggett raced to 30 not out before retiring with one spectacular six over the marquee off Harry Randall. Merrik Baggallay battled manfully to tire the “quicks” and allow Nige and Jon Scotchbrook free range, but sadly Nige got a “beauty” from Jonathan Webb and Jon, who was just getting going, was run out….by Mutley, who then spooned a catch to Rob Andrew off Will Carling. At 57-4 off 16 overs the Village were in trouble! Tom Chesser, despite being badly injured, batted with his customary calm assurance and raced to 30 before retiring and with the Chairman (28), incredibly, put on 50 for the 5th wicket in 5 overs and a win looked possible – 67 off 14 overs. I the bag surely? Sadly Rob Andrew had other ideas and took two quick wickets, but Chris Watson scored a battling 15, whilst Olly Doggett returned to the crease (everyone else was out!) and hit another 19 runs. He then hit what looked like a six to get a well -deserved fifty, but was caught at the third attempt over his shoulder by Marcus Smith – if only I had 1/10th of his talent! And so we fell 16 runs short. Nevertheless it had been a great game and a wonderful experience, played in front of a large cheering crowd, who had amazingly spent more than £1,000 on tea and cakes. These had been provided by Sarah Chesser and her energetic team of mums/wives/girl-friends and Chris Nevile!

Some gloating…

Chris Tarrant then took huge delight in accepting the trophy on behalf of the Tavs and did not gloat much.…well he had stopped by 9pm! A few speeches followed with Mark Curtin, CEO of the Lord’s Taverners, praising Steeple Aston as a village for yet again smashing the previous fund-raising record by any village team ever: the previous holder was of course Steeple Aston! Nick Cleobury closed events with warm thanks to all the Lord’s Taverners who had helped to make the day so special. It only remained for Mike Gatting to help finish all the cakes…he left about 9pm too!! 


So how much did we raise this time? In 2011 we raised £25,000, in 2016 we beat that with £30,000 and this time we raised: £55,000

Wow, how amazing is that! Many more disabled children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds will now be able to enjoy playing cricket with all the mental and physical health benefits that go with that. For their parents too it can be life-changing, as they see their children having so much fun and making new friends. A big thankyou from me to everyone who helped.

All the very best


Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC & Member of Lord’s Taverners

See lots of photos from Nigel Francis in the Photogallery. Click on the first photo to enlarge and then navigate using the arrows.


I hope by now everyone knows that Steeple Aston CC are playing against the Lord’s Taverners on Sunday 21st May at Great Tew Cricket Club to raise money for the charity. In 2011 we raised £25,000, which was the most any village had ever raised in the 73 year history of the Taverners. In 2016 we broke our own record raising £30,000. With this money we were able to buy a modified mini-bus, that allowed many disabled children to be taken to Taverners’ cricket matches. There they learnt to play cricket together, making new friends. However most important of all were the huge improvements in their physical and mental well-being. 

This time we set a target of raising £45,000 and are well on our way to achieving it. However we can only do this with your help. There are three ways in which you can contribute:

  • Buy Raffle Tickets – we have more than 50 prizes, including a bench from Nicholsons/Rosara, Bed & Breakfast for two at the White Horse, a £100 Charles Tyrwhitt voucher, cricket bats signed by Johnny Bairstow & Viv Richards, a half case of wine from Domaine Watson amongst many more. If you wish to buy any tickets, please email me at or call 01869 347493. Tickets are £2 each.   
  • Come to the game, which starts at 2pm on Sunday 21st May at Great Tew CC . Car parking costs £5, but that includes free entry for you and your family and friends. There you can buy raffle tickets and/or tea and cakes. The Lord’s Taverners team will include many Cricket and Rugby Internationals: David Gower, Mike Gatting, Michael Vaughan, Monty Panesar, Andy Caddick, Gavin Hastings, Will Carling, Matt Dawson, Will Greenwood, Rob Andrew as well as Chris Tarrant and Stephen Mangan. Please do come and watch.
  • Attend the Lord’s Taverners Dinner at 7pm on Saturday 20th May at Great Tew CC. Tickets are £100 each, for a three-course meal (including fillet steak or vegetarian alternative) with as much beer, lager and wine as you can drink. David Gower, former England captain and President of the Taverners, will host the evening and will be our guest speaker.

Please do try and find a way to support this incredible charity. Together we really can transform disabled children’s lives. We very much look forward to seeing you.  

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC & Member of Lord’s Taverners

April 2023

Lord’s Taverners visit and  2023 fixtures

DAVID GOWER, former England cricket captain, TV commentator and President of the Tavs, will host a dinner at Great Tew CC on Saturday 20th May 2023 in aid of the Lord’s Taverners charity.

Tickets will be £100 each, which will include a 3-course meal (including Fillet steak!), 2/3 of a bottle of wine plus beer & lager. All proceeds will go to the charity, whose mission remains to empower young people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged communities to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence by playing sport. Tickets can be bought from Peter Higgins by emailing or call 01869 347493.

Steeple Aston CC will play the Taverners’ XI the next day. The Tav’s team includes Rob Andrew (captain), Monty Panesar, Andy Caddick, Michael Vaughan, Gavin Hastings, Will Carling, Will Greenwood, Matt Dawson and Stephen Mangan amongst others. Messrs Gower, Gatting and Gladstone Small will umpire. Entry is FREE!!  

Fixtures for 2023 Season….

Here are the fixtures for the 2023 season. The most important thing you need to remember is that Home Matches are now at Great Tew Cricket. Here is the full address:

Great Tew CC, Ledwell Road, Great Tew, Oxfordshire OX7 4AG Telephone: 01608 683896


Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Saturday 13th May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 21st May Lord’s Taverners Home 2pm
Sunday 28th May Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 4th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Thursday 22nd June Kings Head CC Away 6.30pm
Sunday 25th June Minster Lovell Home 2pm
Sunday 2nd July Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 9th July Blenheim Park Away 2pm
Sunday 23rd July   Ascot-u-Wychwood Away 2pm
Sunday 6th August Great Tew Home 2pm

We very much hope to see you on the boundary this summer.

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

April 2023

Cricket themed concert in the church

Nicholas Cleobury, on behalf of Steeple Aston Cricket Club and the Lord’s Taverners, is delighted to announce that:

ROBERT POWELL (famous actor – Jesus of Nazareth, The 39 Steps, Holby City) will host an hour of cricket related Music and Readings in Steeple Aston Church at 6.30pm on Friday 10th March 2023.

Tickets are only £5 and will include drinks after the event. You will be given the chance to buy Raffle Tickets or make a contribution to the Lord’s Taverners. All proceeds go to the charity, whose mission remains to empower young people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged communities to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence by playing sport.

Tickets can be bought from the Village Shop or by emailing or call 01869 347792.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

January 2023

Lord’s Taverners return to play SACC in May 

Once again Steeple Aston Cricket Club will be supporting the Lord’s Taverners charity. The charity was founded in 1950 by a group of actors and BBC employees such as John Mills, Jack Hawkins, Roy Plomley and Brian Johnston. Its mission remains to empower young people with disabilities and those from disadvantaged communities to develop their knowledge, skills and confidence by playing sport.

In 2011 the SACC first played against the Tavs – we lost, but raised an incredible £22,000 for the charity. In 2016 we won on the last ball in a thrilling match and raised £33,000. With the £55,000 we raised we were able to fund entirely a Lord’s Taverners mini-bus, which had been specially converted to carry disabled children with their wheelchairs to play cricket and travel to Lord’s Cricket Ground to play Table Cricket.

According to David Gower, current President of the Lord’s Taverners , Steeple Aston CC has raised more money for the Tavs than any other village cricket club has ever raised in its 72 year history.

We are delighted then to welcome the Lord’s Taverners back to play Steeple Aston CC at Great Tew cricket ground on Sunday 21st May 2023. Please do put this date in your diaries now and come and watch:

Monty Panesar, Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, Rob Andrew (Captain), Matt Dawson, Will Greenwood, Gavin Hastings, Chris Tarrant and many other famous sportsmen and actors are due to play against us in the deciding match to see who goes 2-1 up. All under the auspices of umpires David Gower, Mike Gatting and Gladstone Small. There will be a number of fund-raising events, so please put these in your diary now:

  • Nicholas Cleobury and friends present an hour’s entertainment of Music and Readings, in Steeple Aston Church at 6.30pm on Friday 10th March 2023
  • Golf Tournament at Denham Golf Club on Tuesday 21st March 2023
  • Lord’s Taverners Pre-Match dinner at Great Tew CC on Saturday 20th May 2023, an evening with Sporting Superstars

Our target this time is £45,000, which would make a grand total of £100,000. We cannot of course do this without the support of our wonderful villagers, so please do come to one or all of these events, and if you cannot make it, please do buy some Raffle Tickets, as we have some incredible prizes. The Lord’s Taverners charity really is amazing – sport really can transform the lives of disabled children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

All the best

Peter Higgins,  Chairman SACC

November 2022

Club Match – Captain’s XI versus Chairman’s XI

The Captain’s XI elected to bat on a damp wicket, which begged the question: who was more likely to post a 100 run opening partnership? Alex Lees and Zak Crawley or Louis Mase and Sam Hatz? Incredibly the answer was both! As England beat South Africa by 9 wickets, Sam Hatz produced a lifetime best knock of 37, putting on 102 for the first wicket with Louis Mase (54*). Alex Ramos (20) and Nige Doggett (26) continued to race along at seven an over, though Paul Longman and Lucas Foster did manage to slow the run rate with some accurate bowling. Finally Hector Higgins (2-14) broke through with a couple of wickets to leave the Captain’s XI on 140-2 off 21 overs. Unfortunately for the Chairman’s XI, Alec Michaelis (39) joined Louis Mase and the fireworks continued, not helped by the Chairman dropping a catch at Long Off – what was I doing diving on the boundary? I am too old and too rubbish! Thankfully Richard Wilson (3-23) applied the brakes in the “death” overs with the Chairman (2-35) managing a couple of wickets, despite being hit for two huge sixes by Alec. 212-7 off 30 overs looked like a winning score. A special mention for Mutley behind the stumps who only let through 4 byes; he will be black and blue this morning, since the ball missed his gloves many times and hit his torso instead.

The Chairman’s XI begin with a whimper…

Nick Foster in his first innings for Steeple Aston was bowled first ball by the wily Greg Renk (1-16) – he’s still got it! Nige Doggett however showed great sportsmanship by allowing Nick a reprieve; a “first ball for the club mulligan”. Nige might have come to regret his generosity, as Nick went on to score a fluent 48 before rushing off to a Parent’s Evening. Hector Higgins hit 34 runs off 18 balls before falling to a fine catch by Tom Chesser off Hatz (1-33). Then Olly Doggett (1-16) piled on the pressure by taking the prize wicket of Richard Wilson (8). Alain Michaelis (1-22) also bowled a tight line by removing Lewis Holland who had hit a couple of lusty blows. At 76-4 off 12 overs the game looked lost.

Tom Chesser turns the game again…

Tom has had an amazing season with the bat scoring 194 runs without being dismissed. Tom hit yet another unbeaten 50, ably supported by Mutley (14). They put on 65 for the sixth wicket before Phil Chesser (1-17) dismissed Mutley with a canny in-ducker. Phil does not really know howe he moves the ball in to the right hander, but then nor does the batter! Merrick Baggalay in his first innings for the club scored a quick-fire 12 before being caught on the boundary ropes by Alex Ramos. Had the ball gone another 2 yards the result could have been so different! With 21 needed off the last 2 overs Peter Higgins and Charlie Simmonds-Jones managed to nurdle 15 runs, but fell short to some fine bowling from Alec and Louis. A fine match played in a great spirit with the right team winning.      

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

September 2022

Ascot-under-Wychwood….our first home match on the 1st XI pitch

The only disadvantage of moving to Great Tew Cricket Club is that, if you are a bowler, there is very little margin for error; it is a wonderful batsman’s wicket. Ascot-under-Wychwood won the toss and, unfortunately for us, chose to bat on a blisteringly hot day. The bowlers toiled away, but were not helped by some average fielding and a few chances going awry. Thankfully Paul Longman (1-22) bowled his best spell of the season and was unlucky not to take more wickets in his 7 over spell as he beat the outside edge on countless occasions. The Chairman (2-19) plodded away and, with plenty of sweat from his glistening pate being applied to the ball, somehow managed to remove a couple of their batsmen. Having raced to 162-4 Ascot subsided as Olly Doggett (1-32), Nige Doggett (2-14) and Arthur Higgins (1-40) applied the brakes late on to leave them on 193-7 off their allotted 35 overs. I must make special mention of Merrik Baggallay, who was playing in his first game for the Club and was undoubtedly our star fielder, taking a diving catch running in from mid-wicket.  

“Bazball” reaches Steeple Aston…

Needing 5.54 runs per over for victory and no doubt inspired by Johnny Bairstow and Joe Root, our openers Olly Doggett (25) and Nige Doggett (11) set of at 8 an over and laid the foundations for the forthcoming onslaught. Tom Chesser and Jon Scotchbrook both batted intelligently rotating the strike at will and moving the score along to 87-2 off 15 overs. 11 overs later it was all over as they smote 108 runs to all parts of the ground with Tom finishing on 88 and Jon 55. They had put on 152 runs together, but sadly just missed surpassing the SACC Club Record for the 3rd wicket of 157, also set by Jon with a little help from Rob Wilson Fry in 2015.

And that’s it for now…

Tragically I do not have another game to write about, since we have now had 4 games cancelled this season, none of which were down to us. It is a great shame that so few clubs can put out a Sunday team. Please forgive me for being political for a moment, but if the ECB concentrated on supporting local/grass roots cricket rather than spending millions of pounds on a competition that Men’s cricket does not need, or in many cases want, the village game would be in much better shape. Where are the young cricketers going to come from? The Lord’s Taverners is certainly doing its bit to widen access for young cricketers (MORE ABOUT THE TAV’S NEXT MONTH), but cricket’s Governing Body is asleep at the wheel. That’s it, rant over!!

Next home game…

Our next home games are on Sunday 11th September at Great Tew CC between the Captain’s and Chairman’s XIs and at home on Sunday 18th September against Blenheim Palace. The teas really are very good, so please do come along and support. If ANYONE wants to play for us, please email me at

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

August 2022

SACC vs Minster Lovell – Sunday 26th June

Re-visiting the scene of last year’s dramatic tie, SACC skipper Nigel Doggett won the toss and elected to bat. The multi-generational Jeremy Farrar and Tom Chesser were sent in to provide a fast start, doing exactly that with both playing fluently off some good bowling. Quick singles were in slightly short order, and the partnership came sadly to an end when Jeremy had to retire hurt on 21 with a damaged hamstring.

Tom continued to play some beautiful shots and rapidly got to his fifty, putting on a partnership of over 100 runs with the hard running skipper before Nige was given out plum LBW for 28. At 163-1 Steeple were in a strong position, with new bat Jon Scotchbrook (29) taking his time whilst also smashing some trademark strokes over the bowler’s head.

A century and comedy moments….

Tom continued his relentless march to a century, which he reached and then retired. This brought in Mark Nelson, aka Mutley, who had travelled all the way from London on the train to be bowled first ball…. With Tim Jones also out LBW, in came debutant Alec Michaelis, playing his first game for 8 years, and when Jon went (the third LBW of the innings – unheard of!) Alec was joined by the signing of the season, his father Alain. Comedy ensued as Alec ran himself out taking a quick single to the wicketkeeper, who was standing no more than 2 yards from the stumps, quickly followed by Alain who was caught behind and stumped off the same ball. With the loss of five very quick wickets Phil Chesser (15) joined the fray along with Pete Higgins, and whilst Pete nurdled Phil hit three fours in a row, the last of which unusually went through the off-side. Minster brought back their opening bowler who immediately clean bowled Phil first ball, allowing the considerably more talented Tom (106*) to return to complete the innings.

Minster requiring 239 at nearly 7 an over. Competitive

In Act Two of the Michealis family day out, Alain and Alec opened the bowling. Alain continued his excellent form going for just 20 runs off his 6 overs, including one early wicket caught behind. Soon after Alec (1-42), opened his wicket tally with an LBW, a great performance after so long away from the cricket pitch. He did give away quite a few byes though…

Tom Chesser and Pete Higgins were first change bowlers, with Pete bowling his usual tight line and length and Tom’s bowling figures not helped by his mate Alec remarkably turning a single into a four, and by Mutley making his journey worthwhile by taking a catch on the boundary – until it bounced out of his hands that is. He manfully declined to use the sun as an excuse.  

At drinks Minster were in a good position, but immediately Steeple broke through as Pete Higgins (2-23) took a sharp finger-stinging catch off his own bowling to remove the dangerous leftie opener. Another wicket to Pete, clean bowled, in the same over quickly redressed the balance. Despite some strong hitting by a couple of the Minster batsmen, and with Alec continuing to cement a long-standing friendship by putting down a sitter at mid-wicket off Tom’s bowling, a catch at cover and another behind the stumps off Nigel Doggett (2-30) put paid to the run chase. 

A Steeple win by 57 runs – a great fun game played in a friendly spirit. Many thanks to Minster Lovell for hosting.

Our next games are against Great Tew (at Tew) on 7th August and away to Sandford St Martin on 14th August.

With best wishes to all

Phil Chesser, Secretary SACC

July 2022

Chairman’s XI…. our first match at Great Tew CC

It was only fitting that such a momentous match should be our first home game and how wonderful it was not to have to prepare the pitch and outfield, but to arrive to such a perfect wicket. Lunch and tea provided and a bar – luxury! This was the 18th match in this fixture, with the village 11-6 ahead. SACC won the toss and Nige Doggett put the “oldies” in. Like New Zealand we made the most of it, although perhaps Alain Michaelis and Paul Longman were not quite as scary as Anderson and Broad! Rich, dad of Nat Sciver (number one ladies all-rounder in the world) showed where she gets her talent from with a cultured 51 not out. Alain Michaelis (2-14) then summoned up the spirit of Broad removing two batsmen in quick succession, but the damage was done and even the Chairman managed a “lightening fast” (for him!) 16 not out to leave the Chairman’s XI on 238-3 off 35 overs. It was wonderful to see Hugh Lazenby (1-16) on debut taking his first wicket with a smart stumping by Will Doggett.

A short legside boundary…

With a fast outfield and a short boundary SACC began at pace with Jeremy Farrar (21) and Nick Entwistle (16) clubbing the ball out of the middle of the bat. Incredibly both were caught by people over 60 who can barely walk let along catch; sometimes things just go your way. Nige Doggett (40) batted beautifully until being run out by the Chairman, who not only managed to bend down, but also throw the ball in one movement in the vague direction of the stumps. SACC were 101-3 at the halfway stage, but with some “Muppet” bowling to come, it was always going to be close.  Jon Scotchbrook hit a cracking 46 before being caught on the boundary ropes for what would otherwise haven been a six. Small margins again! With Will Doggett hitting 51 not out and retiring, the village needed 60 runs off the last 10 overs. Alain Michaelis (18) was caught behind bringing Phil Chesser to the crease – 24 needed off three overs. Phil smacked the Chairman (1-24) for 4 over the legside boundary (where else?) and took 7 runs from over 33. Another 7 runs were accumulated in over 34 leaving 10 required from the final over. The Chairman held his nerve and Phil needed 6 off the last ball. My team were willing Phil on as they could take the mickey out of me for the rest of my life and conversely the SACC team were thinking “If Phil gets this, we will never hear the end of it!”. Finally……a dot ball, and the Chairman’s geriatric friends were relieved to make it 11-7.

Middleton Stoney…

We won the toss and batted and got off to a cracking start with Jeremy Farrar (26) and Will Doggett (27) putting on 49 for the first wicket. Nige Doggett (53) hit nine fours in his fifty before holing out, ably supported by Jon Scotchbrook (31) who was also caught attacking the bowling. At 148-2 there was only one winner, but 3 wickets fell for only 7 runs. It was left to Professor Mark Nelson, also on debut, to hit a quick fire 20 in partnership with Tim Jones (11). Peter Higgins and Hector Higgins got us to 200-8 in the final over before our tea-time declaration.  Middleton Stoney still play “timed-cricket“ with 20 overs from 6pm, so any four results were possible.

Quite a batting line-up…

Middleton Stoney had three Junior County players and one former Senior County player, so it was going to be close. Our cause was not helped when Peter Higgins bowled one ball and pulled up with an injury. Fortunately, Nige Doggett was up to the challenge, bowling 6.5 overs and taking 1-7. Jack Higgins also piled the pressure on with 4 overs for only 5 runs. Paul Longman (3-39) bowled a 14 over spell of off-breaks, but time was running out. At the other end something quite extraordinary was happening (and forgive me as his father!), as Hector Higgins tore through the Middleton Stoney batting line up, bowling two all ends up, with another two falling to fine catches behind by Will Doggett. Our opponents were 55-7 with 20 overs left but dug in and a draw was on the cards. However, Nige Doggett cleverly started increasing the number of slips and at one point we had 5 slips and a gully. It was a bit like watching the West Indies in the 1980s!!

I don’t know what was more amazing that Hector was still bowling at 70 mph or that our slips could catch a ball travelling at that speed! Prof Nelson caught their captain at 4th slip and then Jon Scotchbrook took an absolute screamer at 5th slip. He still has the bruise! Hector finished with 6-22 off 11 overs and Paul Longman took the final wicket, as Jack Higgins took a simple bat and pad catch at Short Leg. A sensational win by 121 runs, our biggest ever against Middleton Stoney.

Next home game…

Our next home game is on Sunday 3rd July at Great Tew CC against the Philanders. We start at 2pm, so please do come and support us.

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

June 2022

SACC Awards for 2020 & 2021….

We held our Club Awards Dinner in May for the last two seasons and the trophies went to the following club members:

2020 Batting      3rd Jon Scotchbrook, 2nd Arthur Higgins, 1st   Tom Chesser

2021 Batting      3rd Phil Chesser, 2nd Jon Scotchbrook, 1st       Peter Higgins (lots of not outs!)

2020 Bowling     3rd Paul Longman, 2nd Arthur Higgins, 1st     Peter Higgins

2021 Batting      3rd Paul Longman, 2nd Peter Higgins, 1st         Nige Doggett

Young Player of the Year 2020                                                         Arthur Higgins

Young Player of the Year 2021                                                          Tom Chesser

Clubman of the Year 2020                                                                 Bob Longman

Clubman of the Year 2021                                                                 Greg Renk

A Special Award for the finest all-round performance in the History of Steeple Aston Cricket Club for his feats vs Ascot-under-Wychwood with 107 not out, 3 catches and 5-27               Tom Chesser

Our evening ended with an entertaining Pub Quiz, arranged by Quiz Nut Rob Wilson-Fry. If there was an award for popular music knowledge, Phil Chesser would have won it; sadly no JS Bach or Modest Mussorgsky questions for Nick Cleobury.  

Blenheim Place, our first game of 2022.…

At 1pm we stood on the lawn of Blenheim Palace in the pouring rain. Alan, one of their players, said “It will be fine, trust me”. He was right and so an enthralling game ensued. SACC lost the toss and we batted. Since Jeremy Farrar had chopped one of his fingers off (don’t worry, he’s fine, it was just the tip!), Nige kindly asked me to open the batting and see off their very fast, to me at least, left-armer. This I duly managed, then got out to their wily off-spinner for 17. Nige Doggett hit a fluent 16 before falling to the same bowler. It was left to debutant Richard Wilson, a Housemaster at the Dragon, to hold the innings together with a patient start followed by a blistering finish. He was out last ball for 48, ably assisted by Phil Chesser who clubbed 12 runs including one marvellous 6 into Mike Ashley’s daughter’s wedding marquee, which ever so slightly spoiled our usually marvellous view. Phil almost  knocked out our star batsman, as they took a quick single. It wasn’t Phil’s fault, there were just a lot of fielders converging on the spot where Phil had hoped to pass Richard. Luckily nobody was injured and it was heartening that Blenheim did not claim a run out. We finished on 124-7 off 25 overs, probably 20 runs short of par. 

Fielding matters…

Blenheim got off to a fast start despite Simon McGrath (1-16 off 5 overs) removing their best batsman first ball. However, after 8 overs they were 43-1 and in a strong. The match then swung on some fine fielding, which helped build scoreboard pressure. Sam Hatz made two wonderful stops that turned 8 runs into 2 and gradually our bowlers got on top. Richard Wilson bowled his off-breaks to great effect taking 1-17 off 5 overs and the Chairman bowled a canny line taking 2-10 off his allotted overs. Tim Cook behind the stumps was clinical and conceded no byes, quite some feat on a wicket with inconsistent bounce. Alain Michaelis (3-11), another making his debut, then took three wickets to seal the match. Paul Longman (1-25) finished off with a much-deserved wicket and Nige Doggett took the final wicket for a 34 run victory.  It had been a fine team performance with a special mention for Charlie Simmonds-Jones, who fielded well, despite having an operation this morning. We wish him well. 

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

May 2022

Fixtures for 2022 Season….

Here are our fixtures for the 2022 season. The most important thing you need to remember is that Home Matches are now at Great Tew Cricket Club. Here is the full address:

Great Tew CC, Ledwell Road, Great Tew, Oxfordshire OX7 4AG Telephone: 01608 683896

The advantages of our new ground are numerous: one of the best tracks in Oxfordshire with full practice nets, but most importantly a bar with catering facilities. Please do come and support your village club. The Fixtures are:

Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Sunday 15th May Blenheim Park Away 1pm
Saturday 21st May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 29th May Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 5th June Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 19th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Sunday 26th June Minster Lovell Away 1.30pm
Sunday 3rd July Philanderers Home 2pm
Sunday 17th July Ascott-under-Wychwood Home 2pm
Sunday 7th/14th August Great & Little Tew Away 2pm
Sunday 11th September Chairman’s v Captain’s Home 1.30pm

We very much hope to see you on the boundary this summer.

With best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

March 2022

Lifetime Averages…

Normally I would be regaling you with tall tales of hilarity from our Annual Awards Dinner. Sadly of course the dinner has not yet happened. Since nobody will have kept last year’s Lifetime Averages and, if they did, is unlikely to want to subtract one from the other to see who won these prestigious Awards, here they are. A prize of £10 to anyone who tries and thereby wastes 5 hours of their life!! The Averages as ever include only those who are still playing for Steeple Aston and have played more than one game:

Batters     Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Jamie Longman   718 14 51.29 2 2
Peter Higgins   2005 58 34.57 1 12
Jeremy Farrar   887 26 34.12 1 7
Hector Higgins   101 3 33.67    
Jon Scotchbrook   3053 96 31.80 3 22
Tom Chesser   408 13 31.38 1 2
Olly Doggett   438 15 29.20   3
Arthur Higgins   537 19 28.26 1 3
Nigel Doggett   1182 49 24.12   6
Bob Longman   47 2 23.50    
Greg Renk   1215 54 22.50   4
Stan Owen   1044 47 22.21   2
Tim Jones   75 4 18.75    
Will Doggett   159 10 15.90    
Chris Watson   154 10 15.40    
Alex Ramos   114 8 14.25    
Charlie S-J   57 4 14.25    
Alex Hatzigeorgiou   52 4 13.00    
James Liebrecht   84 7 12.00    
Jack Higgins   88 8 11.00    
Jock Shepherd   105 10 10.50    
Phil Chesser   403 40 10.08    
Paul Nicolaides   65 7 9.29    
David Stewart   22 3 7.33    
Jonty Renk   98 19 5.16    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou   75 15 5.00    
Paul Longman   132 28 4.71    


And the bowling:

Bowlers   Overs Runs Wickets Average R/O 5W/I
Jack Higgins 9.2 33 4 8.25 3.6  
Tom Chesser 142.1 441 35 12.60 3.1 2
Arthur Higgins 48 231 16 14.44 4.8  
Peter Higgins 531.7 2002 132 15.17 3.8 2
Paul Longman 425.1 1786 106 16.85 4.2 3
Greg Renk 247.5 1144 59 19.39 4.6  
Nigel Doggett 98.3 489 25 19.56 5.0  
Chris Watson 21 140 6 23.33 6.7  
Paul Nicolaides 24 166 7 23.71 6.9  
Alex Ramos 88 281 11 25.55 3.2  
Jonty Renk 241.2 1000 39 25.64 4.1  
Hector Higgins 19 83 3 27.67 4.4  
Stan Owen 114 627 21 29.86 5.5  
Charlie S-J 12 101 3 33.67 8.4  
Will Doggett 12.4 69 2 34.50 5.6  
Olly Doggett 59 244 6 40.67 4.1  
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 43.1 343 8 42.88 8.0  
James Liebrecht 45 243 5 48.60 5.4  
Phil Chesser 37 253 5 50.60 6.8  
Jon Scotchbrook 20.3 162 3 54.00 8.0  
Alex Hatzigeorgiou 17 134 2 67.00 7.9  
Jock Shepherd 13 94 1 94.00 7.2  
Jeremy Farrar 10 95 1 95.00 9.5  
Tim Jones 2 25 0   12.5  


Next month the 2022 Fixture List with all home games played at Great Tew.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman

February 2022

We are moving….

Very sadly Steeple Aston Cricket Club will be moving from our beautiful Barton Abbey ground to take up a ground share with Great Tew CC. We held an Extraordinary General Meeting in October and agreed by 9 votes to nil with one abstention that the club simply had to move. There are many reasons, but the main one is that it has become too time-consuming and too expensive to maintain the ground and provide a pitch that is conducive to great cricket matches.

Two years ago Barton Abbey CC, who paid for half of the expenses, folded and since then a small group of us have been responsible for preparing the ground. This takes many hours of work from “putting the pitch to bed” for the winter, to Spring cuts and then endless hours of mowing, seeding, weeding, loaming and rolling. The costs are extensive from buying loam, seed, fertiliser and petrol to maintaining the three mowers. Last season was exacerbated by the fact that according to the Estates Manager at Barton Abbey, they had their best year for hay in 50 years. Good news for them, but not for us as the grass became too thick to cut. We then had to pay the Estates Manager £150 just to take the top off the grass, so that we could even use the gang mower, which also needed maintaining a second time, because it had been used so much. And all this for 3 or 4 home games a season.

Why Great Tew CC…?

Firstly we have always had a great relationship with the members of the Tew club, many of whose members actually live in Steeple Aston, and they were delighted when we approached them about sharing their ground. They have been struggling of late to get a Sunday team out, even though their League Teams are thriving, so we will most likely play most of our Home games on the 1st XI pitch, one of the best cricket pitches in Oxfordshire. The cost of ground maintenance will now be halved and we won’t have to do any pitch preparation, as an expert is paid to do that. In addition there are Nets on the site and of course a full bar and food preparation areas. We are hopeful that with such amenities, more of you may even come and watch us! Great Tew also has a wonderful setting too.

And I can hear some of you say, “Won’t we get lost at Tew and lose our identity?”. We of course are only too aware of this and discussed it at length with Dave Freeman, Chair of GTCC, and he has reserved some space in the Clubhouse for Steeple Aston CC: for our Honours Boards (we now have to make some!) and photos of previous Lord’s Taverners games, and has assured us that Tew has absolutely no designs on subsuming our club into theirs. We will retain our identity: that special village feel; those family affiliations and our cricketing ethos – play hard, but fairly, with a smile on our faces regardless of whether we win or lose.

2022 Season…

Phil Chesser, our Fixtures Secretary, is already working on our fixtures for 2022, but we hope our first game at Great Tew CC will occur in early May. We hope very much to see you all there for a cup of tea and cake…..or a burger, or a beer or a gin and tonic. Come on, it will be fun!

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman

November 2021

Blenheim Palace….

We always have highly competitive and feisty games against Blenheim and this one was no different. Blenheim started steadily with our bowlers hitting a canny line. Olly Doggett (1-25) encouraged a snick to Phil Chesser – he never drops them! Jonty Renk (2-23) continued his fine form this season, bowling numbers 2 and 4, including their captain for a golden duck; the chair on the boundary took a thumping – feisty indeed! Nige Doggett (1-27) held on to a fine caught and bowled and James Liebrecht (2-16) removed their top scorer and kept the runs down at the close. Blenheim finished on 133-6 off 35 overs. A very gettable total….

Arthur Higgins (19) opened the batting and started well, ably supported by Nige Doggett (24), who took the score on at pace. Then Olly Doggett hit a swash-buckling 42 to take us to the brink of victory, but sadly our tail did an impersonation of the Indian tail (Pre-Lords Day 5) and we fell 5 runs short. Like England we had let slip a game we should have won.   

Great Tew 2…

The final game of the season saw the return of our friends at Great Tew. The Barton Abbey pitch looked amazing, bone hard and the grass straw coloured in the blazing sun. Thankfully Great Tew’s Annual Awards Dinner had taken place the night before and their team looked a tad tired! Tew won the toss and elected to bat. Hector Higgins (1-10) opened the bowling with great control and pace to remove their opener with an in-swinging yorker. Jonty Renk (1-24) after an erratic first over (had he been at the dinner too?) found his usual line and length and had the other opener trapped in front. Paul Longman (1-20) kept the pressure on and Olly Doggett (1-11) benefitted from a fabulous catch by Jonty Renk. Then Merlin Kavenna (aged 14) making his debut for Steeple Aston did his best impersonation of Shane Warne by bowling Tew’s number 6 around his legs. Merlin finished with incredible figures of 4-18 off 5 overs. Nige Doggett (2-0) then swept away the tail with 2 quick wickets, including a fine catch by Hector Higgins. 97 all out. Surely an easy win looming?   

The Doggetts opened the batting in explosive style: Olly hitting 22 in 17 balls and Nige a masterful 27. Suddenly wickets started to tumble and despite a redoubtable 19 from Tim Jones, brilliantly caught at gully, we were reeling at 86-6 with the “Indian tail” to come: Jonty “Siraj” Renk, Paul “Shami” Longman and Charlie “Bumrah” Simmonds-Jones. Thankfully Hector “Stokes” Higgins (16*) kept his cool and batted with great guile to lead us to victory with absolutely no help from his father, Peter “Leach” Higgins, who finished with a Leach-like 1 not out! An exciting victory to end the season.


And so to next year – we meet in the White Horse on Thursday 14th October at 7.30pm to discuss plans for next year. Perhaps a third Lord’s Taverners’ match? Watch this space.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman

September 2021

Great Tew 20/20…

Great Tew won the toss and put us in to bat on a sunny Wednesday evening. Stan Owen, in only his second game of the year, hit a gallant 34 with a number of boundaries, but not many quick singles!  Jon Scotchbrook struck a more elegant 29, but other than that we were frankly a bit rubbish, though Alex Hatz did chip in to help us get to 96-7 in our 20 overs. After 4 overs Tew were 35-0 and it looked like an early trip to the Bar. Somehow Peter Higgins cranked up his groaning body to take 3-12 in 4 overs, including one sensational catch by Jonty Renk on the boundary to remove Great Tew’s 1st XI Captain for 1. Tom Chesser piled on the pressure with 4 tight overs and then the key moment as their opener spooned a catch to short Third Man – ouch, sadly the ball spilled in the evening sun as James Babbage (he was out for nought when he played for Steeple Aston!), finished on 63, winning the match in the 17th over.   


Ascot are new opposition for us and what a beautiful ground, though with a bit of a slope! More alarmingly it was 30 degrees in the shade, but fortunately Nigel Doggett won the toss and chose to bat – phew! Nige was in full flow before being unluckily run out for 19. Then Tom Chesser (107*) stroked a beautiful unbeaten century, and together with Arthur Higgins (29) put on 96 for the second wicket. Tom’s timing and placement around the field was a joy to behold. Sadly Arthur played across the line of a straight one and was replaced by Jack Higgins, who also scored 29. The pair took the score to 200 before Jack was caught on the boundary and Tom finally retired exhausted. Paul Nicolaides (14*) and Tim Jones (7*) played some delightful shots to take us to 222-3 off our 35 overs. Surely enough?


Ascot started in belligerent fashion and, with only 10 fielders, we suddenly found ourselves in trouble as Ascot raced to 59 without loss in the first 10 overs. Anxiety was seeping into the team, until Tom Chesser stepped up and produced the best all round performance by a Steeple Aston cricketer EVER, taking 5-28 off his 6 overs. He also took 3 catches. The first SACC player to hit a century and take 5 wickets in the same match. WOW! Tom was ably supported by Hector Higgins, who only conceded 23 runs from his 6 overs and it was left to Arthur Higgins (2-27) and Jack Higgins (1-0) to wrap up the tail. So Steeple Aston won our first game against Ascot-under-Wychwood by 41 runs.

Another club record…

There was also another (lesser) Club Record in that 4 members of the same family played in the team for the first time, as far as I know. Cricket can be a cruel game, so there was always bound to be one unhappy Higgins, if not four, but fortunately all contributed in some way and beer and chips were enjoyed by all in the pub afterwards. We are after all a Village and Family team, having had 3 members of the same family in the team on numerous occasions – the Doggetts, Brewers, Powles and Longmans, though Bob might have been umpiring, but it still counts. Does anyone know any more? My only wish now is that we can have some fathers and daughters in the team, or even mothers. All are welcome.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

August 2021

Sandford St Martin…

Sandford St Martin are our toughest opponents; SACC’s win rate is only 40%. Despite some accurate bowling from Paul Longman (2-36); some good late swing from Jonty Renk (1-32) and some filthy left-arm dobbers from Peter Higgins (1-23), Sandford reached 268-5 in their 40 overs. We started brightly with an opening stand of 72 between Tim Jones (17) and Alex Ramos (28) and for the observant ones among you, yes, there were a lot of byes and no balls! Will Doggett hit a battling 17, but at 120-9 things looked a bit bleak. However a joyous undefeated 10th wicket partnership of 39 between Phil Chesser (19*) and Peter Higgins (21*) allowed us to reach a creditable 159-9. It did take the Sandford Captain a while to work out that he needed 7 fielders on the leg side! A searing defeat, but we felt optimistic about our first game against Minster Lovell. 

Minster Lovell…                                             (written by Phil Chesser)

Arriving at a rather soggy Minster Lovell, the day started well with captain Scotchbrook persuading the opposition to reduce the game to 25 overs! With the keys to the pavilion found and the stumps recovered, the game got under way with SACC bowling. Alex Ramos (0-27) and Paul Longman (1-15) opened, with “Swanny” forcing a catch at midwicket for an early breakthrough. A very good partnership then followed for Minster, briefly interrupted when their very destructive left-hander was given out LBW by their own umpire. The ball clearly hit his glove, but to his credit he left the field before being sportingly asked to return by Jon ‘spirit of the game’ Scotchbrook.

After 10 overs Olly Doggett (0-32), showing remarkable consistency having not bowled for almost a year, and Tom Chesser (2-30) took over the bowling. A very good stand was ended after a leg side keeper’s catch off Tom – regulation according to the bowler, spectacular according to the keeper! Tom then bowled out the new batsman and at 69-3 things were looking good. Some big hitting tipped the balance back in Minster’s favour until Nigel Doggett (2-5 off 2 overs) used all of his guile to sneak both batsmen out – one a beauty that took out leg stump, the other a top edge that stayed high in the air forever before landing in the shaking gloves of wicketkeeper Phil Chesser. Paul Nicholaides and Sam Hatz finished off the innings, unfortunately up against two young batsmen who showed little respect for anything that came their way. Minster finished on 166-5 – a challenging run chase of more than 6.5 per over.

Will Doggett and Tom Chesser opened the batting for Steeple Aston, with Will hitting three glorious boundaries off the first over. Tom hit his first ball for four but in doing so put his right shoulder out and had to retire. Nigel Doggett joined Will for some special family time, which ended quicker than planned when Nige was out for 6. A great partnership of 65 followed between Will and Jon Scotchbrook, ending with the skipper out LBW for 39, with the score a creditable 95-2. That became 111-3 with the departure of Will for 36 – Nelson then saw off both Tim Jones and Olly ‘go large early’ Doggett. 111-5, with the sixth wicket falling shortly after, meant the return of Tom Chesser to join Alex Ramos in the middle. They moved the score on nicely, helped by several no balls and 17 off one over.

With 30 needed off three overs, Tom’s shoulder went again and he retired for the second time on 15, bringing in the lesser-talented Chesser to join Alex. Re-living Great Tew circa 2014, the two of them struck the ball well (it’s all relative) – 30 off three became 21 off two and then 10 off the last. Tense, more so given that Alex was at the wrong (non-striker’s) end. After missing the first three balls, and with helpful advice (“just watch the ball….”) coming from his son on the boundary, Phil missed again. But so did the keeper – two byes. 8 needed from two balls. Somehow managing to hit the penultimate ball for four, Phil just needed to repeat the feat. Another swipe to square leg, a misfield, then another. The keeper could have run out both batsmen, but threw the ball to the bowler, who himself fumbled Nathan Lyon style allowing Phil to sprint (again, it’s all relative) through for the third run.

Absolute chaos, but a fantastic end to the game resulting in an extremely rare tie. Cricket really is the best game of all!

Best wishes

Peter Higgins,  Chairman SACC

July 2021

Chairman’s XI…

This was the 17th fixture in this ongoing saga of tight finishes, torn hamstrings and tired bodies. It was 10-6 to Steeple Aston, but the Chairman’s XI were undefeated for 3 years. Okay, so we did not actually play last year, but for us “Oldies” at least we did not lose! The Chairman’s team was significantly weakened by the loss of Rich Sciver, now in Japan, so we tried to get his daughter Nat Sciver (currently the second best all-rounder in the world of women’s cricket) to replace him. Sadly the ECB ignored my protestations that what Nat needed before playing India was some time in the middle on a slow turner at Barton Abbey.

SACC pile on the runs…

Having won the toss, the Oldies put the village into bat and Greg Renk (26) and Alex Ramos (22) put on an opening stand that Messrs Burns and Sibley could only dream of – 38 runs! This set a platform for Nige Doggett (52*) and Jon Scotchbrook (55*) to dominate the bowling taking the SACC to 93-2 off 18 overs. There then followed what can only be described as a cataclysmic 3 overs as Jon and Nige smashed 56 runs in 3 overs. I blame the skipper for the bowling change! Both then retired only for Jeremy Farrar to hit a quickfire 15 before holing out in the deep to give the Chairman (1-11) a prized wicket. Charlie Simmonds-Jones nurdled another 12 precious runs and the village finished on 204-3 from 32 overs.

Never in doubt…

Jonty Renk was soon on the money bowling his 5 overs for a measly 13 runs, ably supported by Alex Ramos, returning to the Steeple Aston fold after university. He was even more abstemious taking 1-7 in his spell. Charlie Simmonds-Jones (2-9) then took two important wickets with his wily seamers; he says they move a lot, but I never noticed! Nige Doggett heaped on the pressure with a tight spell of 1-12 from 3 overs and all looked lost for the Chairman’s XI at 82-4 off 22 overs, requiring 123 from 10 overs. There then followed some surprisingly generous bowling, which even the Chairman (37*) manged to nurdle to the boundary. However in the end SACC triumphed by 26 runs, which when you consider that one of our bowlers went for 52 in 2 overs meant it really was quite close! That’s how the Oldies saw it in the Pub anyway.   

Life affirming…

Most importantly the whole game had been played in a wonderful spirit and as we wiled away the evening in the White Horse, it almost seemed as though life was back to normal. We had our own socially distanced marquee, some cracking buffet food and entertaining banter. The thrum of chatter and laughter is immensely cathartic, as is the sound of cheering, when bumpers were drained by the seven members of the Chairman’s XI who dropped catches; frankly I am surprised they even saw the ball. In fact Snej did not and sported a large purple bruise on his chest at breakfast the next morning. So it’s now 11-6 to the SACC and in 10 years will probably by 20-7, but none of us really cares. It is the joy of playing cricket with friends in beautiful surroundings that matters.

Middleton Stoney…

After a tremendous start from Jeremy Farrar (23) and Alex Ramos (20) we were 47-0 on a bright sunny day perfect for batting. Somehow we collapsed to 110 all out. What on earth happened I hear you say? Well, cricket is a funny old game and sometimes the cricketing Gods do not shine on you. Thank goodness though that Tim Jones was on form, as he hit a battling 28 to at least give us some semblance of respectability and a chance of winning.

Incredibly we took that chance and Middleton Stoney were panicking at 72-6. All the bowlers  contributed: Paul Longman took 2-38 off 10 overs with his well flighted off-breaks, helped by a smart catch from Jonty Renk; Alex Ramos was again on form with 1-24 off 6 overs including a stunning Ben Stokes-like catch from Nige Doggett; Nige then chipped in with 1-12 and Peter Higgins 2-18 off 8 overs. Sadly their number 6, who has played schoolboy County cricket managed to guide Middleton Stoney home with only a few overs remaining. We had needed another 20 runs, but still a fine game of cricket.

Next up Sandford St Martin and Oxford Downs.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

June 2021

Lifetime Achievements…

Firstly congratulations to Stan Owen and Nigel Doggett, who both passed 1,000 runs for the club in the final game of last year.

First game of this year vs Bicester & North Oxford…thanks to Phil Chesser

A new season, and a new skipper (sort of) – welcome back to the top Captain Scotchbrook. Our first opponents were Bicester & North Oxford, who arrived looking like they knew how to play. Jon started off the season well by winning the toss and electing to field. We were also welcoming back former regular Alex Ramos, who had not played for 5 years, and Alex Hatzigeorgiou who was equally out of practice. It therefore only seemed right that they opened the bowling. Alex R took a few balls to get going but once in his stride bowled an excellent and pacey 6 overs at 0-30. He deserved a wicket and would have got one had our wicketkeeper not put down a (tough) chance off the opening batsman, who at the time was on 10 and went on to score another 71! Alex Hatz’s first ball for 4 years resulted in a wicket – not the best ball ever, but just held up off the pitch enough to confuse the batsman, who sent a catch to Hugo ‘safe hands’ Rittson-Thomas. The other opener and his young batting partner then started to make hay until Nigel Doggett (1-33 off 4) bowled a beauty to remove the left-handed number 3. The run rate continued to climb steadily as opener and visiting Australian smacked the ball around the park, including several in to the ‘four runs’ tree off Pete Higgins (1-48 off 6). Pete eventually got his revenge by bowling the opener for 81. Pete and the skipper also effected an excellent run out of the Aussie, who was backing up rather over confidently. The old-timers have still got it! A good cameo from Sam Hatz saw his usual variety and just 8 runs from 2 overs, but the remainder of the innings belonged to Paul Longman (3-34), who having bowled his first three overs in reasonably expensive fashion from his least favourite end (he and Jon have since made up) returned to the pavilion end to take three wickets, the last of which was his 100th for the club. BIG MOMENT for SACC’s answer to Swanny. His death bowling ably assisted by Hugo Rittson-Thomas reduced the run rate significantly, with Bicester ending on 192-8 off their 30 overs, when 240 looked likely.

The result was never in doubt…..

After a COVID friendly break, the match returned with SACC’s oldest ever opening partnership –119 years between Jeremy Farrar and Greg Renk. We could have done with their partnership matching the number of years. Alas it was worth just 5 before Greg was bowled by the very useful opening bowler. Enter recently retired skipper Nigel Doggett, who watched briefly as Jeremy smacked a few boundaries before being bowled by the other, rather useful, opening bowler for 16. Nige was then joined by his successor, and Jon took on the captain’s role unusually biding his time and staying on 0, while Nigel took the attack to the bowlers, until trying it one time too many and being out LBW to a (very good) 12-year old for 25. Cometh the hour, cometh the captain, and it was then a Chairman/Captain partnership of 46 that gave us a sniff. Jon hit a few beautiful lofted drives over mid-on and mid-off before being bowled for 37, and at 110-5 and with more than 10 an over the game looked pretty much up. And it was. Pete Higgins nurdled his way to 15 before being bowled by one of the returning opening bowlers, the other of whom then dispatched Alex Ramos and Sam Hatz in quick succession. Steeple ended up on 125-8, a valiant effort but falling well short of our higher quality opposition.

However it was great to be back, and here’s to a long and enjoyable season largely free hopefully of excess ball sanitisation and other restrictions. And let’s hope the rain stops!!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman 

May 2021

Fixture List 2021… 

Nothing new to report this month save that we have been beavering away to prepare the Barton Abbey pitch for our first game against Bicester & North Oxford. Many thanks to the highly efficient Phil Chesser for confirming our fixtures for the season, though please note that the Chairman’s XI match has moved back by a week to 22nd May. Please do come and watch, but bring your own flask of tea! 

Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Sunday 9th May Bicester & North Oxford Home 2pm
Saturday 22nd May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 30th May Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 6th June Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 20th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Sunday 27th June Minster Lovell Away 2pm
Sunday 4th July Philanderers Home 2pm
Sunday 18th July Ascott-under-Wychwood Away 2pm
Sunday 1st August Blenheim Palace Away 2pm
Sunday 5th September Chairman’s v Captain’s Home 1.30pm

Here’s to hazy summer days of cricket at Barton Abbey, something for all of us to look forward to.

Peter Higgins, Chairman

April 2021

Lifetime Averages…Bowling

Nobody has claimed their £10 prize for calculating the Batting Averages for the 2021 Season, so I think I am safe to print the Lifetime Bowling Averages. It is worth pointing out that Averages do not tell the whole story (after all that would make Dom Bess our third best batsman in India!), but it’s pouring with rain as I write, so at least it gives us all something to study. Paul Longman and Tom Chesser have been our best bowlers over the last few seasons. You can often see Paul wondering across our wicket during the off season, wearing extra baggy trousers dropping “red dirt” on the pitch, as if in a scene from the Great Escape!

However the Barton Abbey strip will never match Chennai for spin, although we are trying to improve both the speed and bounce with constant rolling. Greg Renk has taken over the roll of “Beastmaster” from the much missed Jock Shepherd and we will start flattening the molehills again in April….once it stops raining! Here are the stats:


                                                                                                                        Runs/  5 Wickets/

Players                       Overs              Runs               Wkts   Average          Over            Innings


Jack     Higgins           9.2                   33                    4          8.25                 3.6      

Charlie Scotchbrook    43.2                 190                  17        11.18               4.4      

Tom    Chesser           127.1               366                  28        13.07               2.9       1

Arthur Higgins           34                    184                  13        14.15               5.4      

Peter    Higgins           494.7               1852                124      14.94               3.7       2

Paul     Longman         376.7               1554                97        16.02               4.1       3

Jamie  Longman         107.6               385                  24        16.04               3.6      

Toby    Parker             19                    75                    4          18.75               3.9      

Rob     Wilson-Fry     235.4               706                  37        19.08               3.0      

Greg    Renk                244.5               1131                59        19.17               4.6      

Paul     Nicholaides     21                    120                  6          20.00               5.7      

Hugo   Rittson-T        27.5                 150                  7          21.43               5.5      

Chris   Watson            21                    140                  6          23.33               6.7      

Nigel   Doggett           73                    400                  17        23.53               5.5      

Hector Higgins           8                      48                    2          24.00               6.0      

Jonty   Renk                210                  864                  35        24.69               4.1      

Mark   Parker             46.2                 286                  11        26.00               6.2      

Ben      Parker             48                    179                  6          29.83               3.7      

Stan     Owen               114                  627                  21        29.86               5.5      

Harry   Startin             17                    103                  3          34.33               6.1      

Will     Doggett           12.4                 69                    2          34.50               5.6      

Sam     Hatzigeorgiou 43.1                 343                  8          42.88               8.0      

Olly     Doggett           44                    176                  4          44.00               4.0      

Phil     Chesser           37                    253                  5          50.60               6.8      

Jon      Scotchbrook    20.3                 162                  3          54.00               8.0      

James  Liebrecht        37                    204                  3          68.00               5.5                  

Jeremy Farrar              8                      69                    1          69.00               8.6      

Charlie Simmons-J      10                    92                    1          92.00               9.2      

Jock     Shepherd         13                    94                    1          94.00               7.2      

Jeremy Lowe               12                    96                    1          96.00               8.0      


Our first fixture is on Sunday 9th May at home against Bicester & North Oxford – please do come along and support, though you will need to bring your own flask of tea and cakes!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

March 2021 

Lifetime Averages…

Normally I would be regaling everyone with tall tales of derring-do from our Annual Awards Presentation. Sadly of course the dinner has not yet happened. There are however a few awards I can announce:

Louis Rees-Zammit Award for speed around the field                      Greg “one knee” Renk

Brian Redpath Award for having a son who is far more talented      Mark Parker (two sons!)

James Anderson Award for superlative fitness in later life               David Stewart

Since nobody will have kept last year’s Lifetime Averages and, if they did, is unlikely to want to subtract one from the other to see who won these prestigious Awards, here they are. A prize of £10 to anyone who tries and thereby wastes 5 hours of their life!! The Averages as ever include only those who are still playing for Steeple Aston and have played more than one game:


    Total   Lifetime    
  Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Toby Parker 329 4 82.25 1 2
Jamie Longman 718 14 51.29 2 2
Jeremy Farrar 825 22 37.50 1 7
Rob Wilson-Fry 1143 31 36.87 1 5
Peter Higgins 1925 56 34.38 1 12
Jon Scotchbrook 2890 91 31.76 3 21
Olly Doggett 374 12 31.17   3
Arthur Higgins 486 16 30.38 1 3
Harry Startin 121 4 30.25    
Hector Higgins 85 3 28.33    
Nigel Doggett 1022 42 24.33   5
Greg Renk 1162 49 23.71   4
Tom Chesser 284 12 23.67   2
Bob Longman 47 2 23.50    
Stan Owen 1006 45 22.36   2
Tim Jones 18 1 18.00    
James Liebrecht 84 7 12.00    
Mark Parker 132 12 11.00    
Jock Shepherd 105 10 10.50    
Hugo Rittson-Thomas 41 4 10.25    
Phil Chesser 357 38 9.39    
Paul Nicholaides 65 7 9.29    
Charlie Scotchbrook 44 5 8.80    
Jack Higgins 59 7 8.43    
David Stewart 22 3 7.33    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 74 12 6.17    
Jonty Renk 98 17 5.76    
Ben Parker 30 6 5.00    
Darren Haskell-Thomas 5 1 5.00    
Paul Longman 128 26 4.92    
Jeremy Lowe 13 4 3.25    

Many thanks to Jon Scotchbrook for helping me to compile them; it is a Labour of Love! Next month the Bowling.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

February 2021

“Same old snide Australia….”

Please don’t accuse me of Schadenfreude just yet, but the above quote comes from Matthew Syed’s inciteful article in The Times of 12th January 2021. The Ping Pong guy, my favourite sports journalist, is brilliant at dissecting a team’s psychological frailties. He writes that in the Australian Cricket Board’s 145-page report into Sandpapergate the word “Sandpaper” is mentioned twice. Clearly the ACB does not want to investigate what really happened. It concludes by saying that only 3 people were involved. Now common sense and Andrew Flintoff, along with assorted other Test Match bowlers, have confirmed that any bowler knows if a ball has been tampered with. So what can we conclude from Steve Smith trampling on Rishabh Pant’s guard during a drinks’ break and Tim Paine’s expletive ridden sledging? That the Australian team has not changed at all and has not been honest about its failings. It is that emotional chink in their armour that might just make it worth flying out to Melbourne for the Ashes Boxing Day Test! Of course Messrs Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc may still roll us over, but if it gets tight, the Aussies may fold because at heart they have no collective spirit.

So, yes, I am guilty of my favourite German word, but the point is that Steeple Aston Cricket Club is the polar opposite of the Australian team. We know we are not very good, but we try our hardest. We are honest about our failings, but most importantly we treat our opponents with respect and with the offer of friendship and witty banter in the White Horse afterwards. That is after all what cricket is all about.

Fixture List 2021… 

Many thanks to the highly efficient Phil Chesser for confirming our fixtures for the season. Please do come and watch; you may also help yourself to tea and cake.


Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Sunday 9th May Bicester & North Oxford Home 2pm
Saturday 22nd May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 30th May Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 6th June Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 20th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Sunday 27th June Minster Lovell Away 2pm
Sunday 4th July Philanderers Home 2pm
Sunday 18th July Ascott-under-Wychwood Away 2pm
Sunday 1st August Blenheim Palace Away 2pm
Sunday 5th September Chairman’s v Captain’s Home 1.30pm

Here’s to hazy summer days of cricket at Barton Abbey, something for all of us to look forward to.

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

January 2021

SACC v Blenheim
SACC at home to Blenheim Palace CC

Captain’s XI versus Chairman’s XI….

Under the careful tutelage of Jock Shepherd, Greg Renk has mastered the big roller, known affectionately as the “Beast”, and our track had been rolled so much that it actually resembled a real cricket track and many runs beckoned. Jon Scotchbrook had mown the outfield to within an inch of its life (literally!), so with a fast outfield too. And so it was that The Chairman’s XI opening pair, two 13-year-olds, Cosmo Page-Croft (38) and Hector Higgins (30) batted fluently to put on 77 for the first wicket before being dismissed in quick succession by the wily Greg Renk (1-18) and a beautiful off-cutter from Olly Doggett (1-9). Paul Nicolaides (26) and Jon Scotchbrook (50*) then put on another 50 partnership before Paul was deceived by the aerial bombardment of Hugo Rittson-Thomas (1-12). Tom Chesser (52*) took the score passed 200 with Jon before both retired after making elegant 50s, which allowed Darren Haskell-Thomas to make his Steeple Aston debut in front of a vocal crowd – his two young sons! A fine boundary promised much until he was deceived by the canny length of Charlie Simmons-Jones (1-23). Chris Watson (10) and Peter Higgins (10*) scrambled 23 runs off the last few overs before Nigel Doggett (1-38) castled Chris on the last ball. The Chairman’s XI had amassed the highest score in this game of 249-5 off 35 overs. Surely a winning score?

The Captain’s XI get off to a flyer…

Jeremy Farrar looked pleased to be out of the SAGE Zoomathon and hit a quickfire 50 before retiring in only the 11th over. However Ed Page-Croft (2-20), also making his Steeple Aston debut, had dried up the runs from the top end, despite a breezy 18 from 3rd SACC debutante, Tim Jones. It could all have been so different for Tim with Sam Hatz bowling an absolute beauty of a Chinaman when he had not scored; we’re still not sure how it missed the stumps! Then the two “Silver Foxes” Greg Renk (27) and Nigel Doggett (30) began compiling runs at an alarming rate and the Captain’s Team were 152-2 off 24 overs – 98 needed from 11 overs. Sadly at this point Hector Higgins had to retire with a damaged knee after bowling only 5 balls, his father completing the over. This one ball would prove crucial to the game’s climax! Chris Watson (1-36) then bowled Nigel with a looper that slipped under Nigel’s bat and the Chairman (3-21) removed Greg Renk. The game had now swung back in favour of the Chairman’s Team…..

Which way would it go?

Olly Doggett completely changed the course of the match, smashing an unbeaten 51 to leave the Captain’s XI needing 30 to win from 5 overs. Hugo Rittson-Thomas (15) hit a couple of fours to pile the pressure on the bowlers, though Tom Chesser (0-13 from 5 overs) was as unplayable as ever. As we came to the last over 6 runs were needed to win, with the Chairman to bowl only 5 balls. Who would bowl the last ball? Jonty Renk, who had bowled a very tight line earlier in the day, hit the second ball for what would have been a “2” if Jonty had been running at both ends. Unfortunately Charlie S-J was not quite so fast and was run out; sadly Jonty was also one short, so no runs scored. Somehow the decrepit old Chairman manged to bowl 5 dot balls, taking Jonty’s wicket on his final ball. This allowed Olly Doggett back to the crease with a 6 needed to win from the last ball and he’d already hit 3 sixes! I turned to my team and asked who would like to bowl the final ball? Amidst a lot of foot shuffling, no eye contact and muffled “no thanks”, Cosmo the teenager put his hand up. All I said was “Whatever you do, don’t bowl it short”, which of course was terrible captaincy, because he did! As we watched the low long hop pitch and Olly wind up, we looked to the mid-wicket boundary. Olly hit it well, but, wait, the ball was heading to Darren 6 feet in from the boundary. Would he catch it and fall over the ropes? Would he perhaps parry the ball over the ropes, or would he catch it? The ball hung for an age and Darren took an incredible catch under enormous pressure, much to the enjoyment of his supporters. What a game, but more importantly what spirit from our village club. A number of pints and plates of chips were sunk in the White Horse after the match.

Return fixture: Blenheim Palace CC are 1-0 up…

With almost 500 runs scored the previous weekend on the same pitch, uncharacteristically winning the toss, Captain Doggett elected to bat and, looking for a fast start, opened with Arthur Higgins and Tom Chesser. A few overs later both were gone and we were 7-2. We then had Stan bowling to Stan and Nigel to Nigel, our Stan getting the better of theirs with four quick boundaries before being out for 16. At 28-4 trouble loomed but a fine 53 run partnership between Captain and Chairman followed – Nigel Doggett hitting an excellent 44 and a hamstrung Pete Higgins playing a “runner-assisted Geoffrey Boycott inspired” innings of 21. Greg Renk contributed a useful 13 and was followed by James Liebrecht who hit a quick, powerful 26 not out. 

132-7 off 35 overs – surely not enough?

James Liebrecht bowls Blenheim Palace's Number 5 batsman
James Liebrecht bowls Blenheim Palace’s Number 5 batsman

Opening bowler Jonty Renk’s perseverance was rewarded with 2-17 from seven overs. The “Silver Foxes” were inspired – Nigel Doggett taking a stunning low catch off a rare Jonty half-tracker, and Greg diving everywhere saving singles. Jonty’s second wicket was a (nearly spilled) simple catch to wicketkeeper Phil Chesser. At the other end Tom Chesser’s 1-5 in seven overs featured only one scoring shot off the bat and a ball that spun miles to bowl the opener. After 14 overs Blenheim were 26-3. Man of the match James Liebrecht then returned to form with a magnificent spell of 1-11. Paul ‘Swanny’ Longman (2-22) maintained his form and even his calm when Tom Chesser dropped a tough chance. Tom made up for it with two of his three catches off Paul’s bowling. With Blenheim 62-6 off 28 overs, a wicket each for Arthur Higgins and Paul Nicolaides concluded matters.

Blenheim finished on 86-8, ending our COVID curtailed season with a great 46 run victory.

Peter Higgins manages to get his arm over against Blenheim Palace with Phil Chesser ready to take any catch
Peter Higgins manages to get his arm over against Blenheim Palace

Here’s to normality in 2021!

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

Thanks to Nigel Francis for the photos.

October 2020

Match 2 Middleton Stoney….

On a muggy day Middleton Stoney won the toss and put us into bat. Arthur Higgins was going well on 17 before being superbly caught at Mid Off, whilst Greg Renk (17) also got off to a good start too, but nobody could go on to make a big score and soon SACC were 60-6. Tom Chesser steadied the ship with a battling 37 not out ably supported by Paul Nicolaides (15) who lost his wicket to a questionable LBW. 113 all out however in 37.3 overs was never going to be enough.

Or was it….?

Paul Longman opened the bowling and did not stop until the 44th over, the longest spell by a Steeple Aston bowler in our history. He ended with phenomenal figures of 22-6-48-5, well supported by fine catches from Stan Owen and Phil Chesser. Extraordinarily Tom Chesser almost beat Paul’s record in the same match by bowling 21.3 overs, including 8 maidens, and taking 2-29. Middleton Stoney were reeling at 82-7. In the last over, their 50th (!!), any of 4 results was possible – a win for Middleton Stoney, a win for Steeple Aston, a draw or a tie. Sadly our opponent’s number 9 hit a lucky thick edge and ran 2 to steal victory, though was almost run out in the attempt. What an incredible match; I only popped down to watch for 30 minutes and stayed all afternoon!

Match 3 Blenheim Palace…

There can be few more picturesque grounds than the lawns at Blenheim Palace. If only the wicket itself were as wonderful! In front of a crowd of nearly 1,000, well, okay, so only 50 were actually watching the cricket, Blenheim Palace CC were soon in trouble as Jonty Renk (2-24) and Paul Longman (1-38) took early wickets. Frustratingly we dropped their best batsman three times, the first when he had barely got off the mark, and he went on to score 80. The Chairman was in miserly mood however and only conceded 14 runs from his 7 overs, removing their top run scorer thanks to a fine catch by Nigel Doggett, but at 130-4 Blenheim looked set for a big score. Thankfully Hugo Rittson-Thomas (3-14), bowling with great accuracy, and Arthur Higgins (3-29), bowling with great inaccuracy (they all count!), ended the innings in great style to keep Blenheim down to a gettable 170.

Not a great start…

In no time at all their Starc-like left-armer had wreaked havoc and we were 20-3, but Arthur Higgins (63) and Nigel Doggett (22) batted beautifully together to put on 73 for the fourth wicket and put us back in the game. Sadly Blenheim did not drop any catches and both fell in quick succession. Despite some entertaining hitting from Phil Chesser (13) and Hugo Rittson-Thomas (17*), we fell 19 runs short. If only we had held one of those catches! But then look at Joss Butler, two missed catches and a missed stumping against Pakistan almost cost England the game; everyone is entitled to an off day.

More fixtures…

6th September                   Captains vs Chairman’s XI                            Home

13th September                Blenheim Palace                                            Home

Please do come and watch our last two fixtures at home.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

September 2020

And we’re off….

Our season finally started on 16th July with a T20 against old friends and rivals Great Tew CC and what a wonderful start to the season it was. In the last 17 years we have played them 14 times, of which incredibly we have won 10. The Chairman skilfully negotiated winning the toss and Tew batted first. Six balls later Paul Longman had bowled a double wicket maiden, courtesy of a sharp catch by Tom Chesser and an arm ball that clattered the wickets. Tew 0-2! Nevertheless they are a good side and were soon 49-2 from 7 overs, before Tom Chesser dried up the scoring with some accurate slow left-arm. Paul Longman (3-19) then produced the ball of the day to dismiss Tew’s best batsman with a fine catch behind the stumps from Phil Chesser. Some accurate bowling in the middle overs from the Higgins’ boys – Hector 0-9 from 2 overs and the Chairman 1-13 from 4 overs piled the pressure on Tew ably supported by some athletic fielding fom the whole team. Olly Doggett, despite nursing a hangover from 5 days of drinking in Amsterdam, scurried around in the field to great effect and made use of his bullet throw. Despite Phil Chesser missing 3 stumpings and Peter Higgins a steepling catch, all in the last over, Tew finished on 117-6 off 20 overs, an eminently gettable target.    

It was always going to be tense…

Despite not hitting a ball for a year Stan Owen grafted well for his 15 runs and laid a solid foundation for Harry Startin, who has played for Sussex 2nd XI (as has Joffra Archer!), to play some shots. Harry hit a belligerent 39 before falling to a wonder catch from Toby Parker. Jon Scotchbrook (23) too was finding the middle of the bat before playing on to a shocker of a ball. 95-2 became 95-4 and the pressure was building, with 23 still needed from 24 balls. Somehow Tom Chesser took a ball from a yard outside leg, via his pad, through his legs and onto his wicket to leave us needing 11 from 12 balls. However Arthur Higgins (10*) was rotating the strike well with some well-placed singles and twos, before Greg Renk (7*) smote the ball over Long On for an amazing six that sealed the match for Steeple Aston. Whilst we celebrated our victory with a well-earned socially-distanced pint outside the pavilion, it is worth saying that Tew played with great integrity, bowling spin in the darkening skies, to avoid any danger to our batsman. It’s wonderful to be playing again and wonderful to play against such charming hosts.  

More fixtures…

We already have 3 more fixtures in place:

2nd August           Blenheim Palace                                            Away

16th August         Great Tew                                                        Away

23rd August         Blenheim Palace                                            Home

Please do come and watch. 

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

August 2020

Cricket reflections…

With the absence of any matches I asked the Club Members for any cricketing memories, village or otherwise, that might provide some amusing moments, celebrity anecdotes or interesting stats:

Graeme Hick bats 3 against the SACC…

Sunday 22nd May 2011 Chris Nevile of the SACC toiling in from the bottom end to bowl to Graeme Hick of the Lord’s Taverners. Hick’s life-time average 41,142 runs at 52.2, Chris Nevile’s bowling average significantly higher. On the first ball of the over Chris falls flat on his face without the ball leaving his hand. Hick has just stroked a majestic 4, when Chris bowls a dreadful long hop down the legside. Will it be a 6 over square leg, a reverse sweep for 6 over point, or will he snick it our keeper? Phil Chesser dives as if imbued with the spirit of Alan Knott and takes the catch. G Hick ct P Chesser b P Nevile 7

A Memory from Nick Cleobury…

I was a poor cricketer, my abilities not matching my love of the game, but I was playing for the Lord’s Taverners against the Duke of Norfolk’s XI at Arundel. Richard Stilgoe was bowling and the new batsman was Tim Rice, who asked Richard where the weakest fielder was? “The conductor chap at mid-on” replied Stilgoe. Attempting a 6, Tim miscued and was caught by yours truly 1st ball. As it happened, I had submitted a grant application with the Foundation for Sport & the Arts, and as Chairman, Tim Rice wrote to me the following week, that despite my dastardly behaviour at Arundel, we had been awarded the grant. Next on to bowl, the scorebook read: W Carling ct J Edrich b N Cleobury 15

I never reached those dizzy heights again!

Gatting gets hungry…

Back to the Lord’s Taverners at Barton Abbey, Mike Gatting comes out to bat at 4. The Tavs are 53-2 off 6 overs; it looks like we are in for a beating. Gatting takes his guard and suddenly Chris Tarrant shouts out on the tannoy system.  “Hold on, wait, the poor chap looks desperately hungry” and with that Tarrant ran out onto the square with a plate of pork pies. Gatt gratefully devoured a pie, then set about devouring the “other pies” that were being sent his way. As the great Geoffrey might have opined “Buffet bowling – help yourself”. Gatting moved serenely to 30 off 36 balls without taking even one single. Then Greg Renk came on to bowl his enticing pie-dobbers. Gatting could not resist and slashed at a wide one. Now I like to think I took a scintillating diving catch, but as my son always points out “Dad, you fell over as you caught it”. Even so it’s in the scorebook: M Gatting ct P Higgins b G Renk 30

A Steeple Aston CC record…

And finally 4 wickets in 4 balls by Paul Longman against Islip in June 2017. After 8 overs Islip were 28-2. In his fourth over not much happened from Paul’s first two balls, but then a hat-trick, including a sharp catch behind the stumps by Phil Chesser (not another one!) and a fourth wicket with the final ball of the over. As it says in the scorebook: P Longman 4.5 overs 1 maiden 9 runs 7 wickets

Let’s hope that some new cricketing memories may yet be made this summer.

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

June 2020

Lifetime Averages…

Here are the Lifetime Batting Averages, which include only those still playing for the club:

    Total   Lifetime    
  Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Toby Parker 329 4 82.25 1 2
Jamie Longman 718 14 51.29 2 2
Rob Wilson-Fry 1143 31 36.87 1 5
Jeremy Farrar 775 22 35.23 1 6
Peter Higgins 1891 54 35.02 1 12
Olly Doggett 312 9 34.67   2
Jon Scotchbrook 2799 88 31.81 3 20
Arthur Higgins 391 13 30.08 1 2
Mark Mills 490 17 28.82 1 4
Hector Higgins 55 2 27.50    
Greg Renk 1098 45 24.40   4
Nigel Doggett 924 38 24.32   5
Bob Longman 47 2 23.50    
Stan Owen 971 42 23.12   2
Tom Chesser 189 10 18.90   1
Charlie S-J 36 2 18.00   4
Ben Ramos 262 15 17.47   1
Nick Entwistle 453 26 17.42   1
Chris Watson 144 9 16.00    
Will Doggett 106 8 13.25    
Mark Parker 129 11 11.73    
James Liebrecht 56 5 11.20    
Jock Shepherd 105 10 10.50    
Graham Bullen 250 24 10.42    
Phil Chesser 344 36 9.56    
Charlie Scotchbrook 44 5 8.80    
Jack Higgins 59 7 8.43    
David Stewart 22 3 7.33    
Sam Hatz 74 12 6.17    
Jonty Renk 90 16 5.63    
Paul Nicholaides 16 3 5.33    
Paul Longman 128 25 5.12    
Hugo R-T 9 3 3.00    


Many thanks to Jon Scotchbrook for helping me to compile them; it is a Labour of Love! Next month the Bowling.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

 PS An error by me last month for which my apologies to Stan Owen and Jeremy Farrar, whose 2019 batting averages I hid by mistake. My Excel spreadsheet ability has always been suspect! Here they are:


Batting 2019    RUNS Out Average Batted 50s
Jeremy Farrar 89 2 44.50 2 1
Stan Owen 139 4 34.75 3 1

February 2020

2020 SACC Season… 

Phil Chesser, Hon Fixtures Secretary and Most Improved Batsman of the Decade is busy putting together the Fixtures for the 2020 Season. Jock has dusted off the Gloppitta Gloppitta Machine (vd Jack Lemon in “How to murder your wife”) and we will soon be rolling the pitch again. Before the excitement of a new season however it is worth reflecting on the Averages for the 2019 Season: 

Batting Averages 2019 (must have batted 3 times at least)

Name                                   Runs   Out     Ave    Innings      

Nigel Doggett 208 6 34.67 7
Hector Higgins 49 2 24.50 3
Phil Chesser 107 6 17.83 5
Jon Scotchbrook 144 9 16.00 8
Arthur Higgins 93 6 15.50 6
James Liebrecht 46 3 15.33 3
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 15 1 15.00 3
Peter Higgins 40 3 13.33 7
Greg Renk 35 3 11.67 4
Paul Nicolaides 16 3 5.33 4
Hugo Rittson-Thomas 9 2 4.50 3
Jonty Renk 14 4 3.50 4
Paul Longman 7 2 3.50 4
Graham Bullen 3 3 1.00 3

Notably in 2019 we did not score as many runs as usual; we sorely missed Rob Wilson-Fry at number 3, but don’t tell him! This meant that our playmakers, notably Jon Scotchbrook, were coming in to face the new ball, a bit like Joe Root for England but without the double century! Luckily our very own Joss Butler, Phil Chesser was often able to remedy earlier collapses. We are looking for a Rory Burns! 

Bowling Averages 2019 (must have bowled 3 times at least)

Name                               Overs   Runs    Wkts      Average

Greg Renk 7.0 33 4 8.25
Peter Higgins 31.0 140 12 11.67
Paul Longman 28.0 82 7 11.71
Arthur Higgins 20.0 107 6 17.83
Hector Higgins 8.0 44 2 22.00
Jonty Renk 31.0 157 6 26.17
Hugo Rittson-Thomas 18.0 91 2 45.50
Nigel Doggett 13.0 92 2 46.00
Olly Doggett 18.0 79 1 79.00
Stan Owen 15.0 109 1 109.00

Our bowling was strong this year and had Greg managed to turn his arm over one more time (must bowl 4 times a season to qualify), he may have stolen the bowling crown! Jonty Renk had his best season with the ball, but we desperately need a metronomic opening bowler to keep the pressure on. Again we do miss Rob W-F! He never used to take any wickets, but conceded few runs, which allowed Paul Longman to pile the pressure on and take wickets. So just an Anderson and a Burns then…..

More Stats…

Next month the Life Time Averages and news of our 2020 Season.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

January 2020

SACC Awards Dinner 2019… 

We held an ever so slightly uproarious Awards Dinner on Friday 15th November in the White Horse, Duns Tew. The food was a tad late and libations were flowing freely. Amongst a boisterous crowd, the awards were made:

Best “Young” Player                        Phil Chesser

Despite some fine performances from many young players, none played with enough consistency, so the Young Player award often goes to an “Oldie”. Phil scored 100 runs in a season at the 15th time of trying – a deserved winner.

Best Bowling                                      Chris Watson

Paul Longman’s 3-30 against Horley (our strongest opposition last year) was undoubtedly the most effective spell of the year, but for sheer determination, hilarity and extraordinary “variety” Chris Watson’s over against the Chairman’s XI won the award. It went like this: wide, no ball, did not release, wide, wicket, dot ball, wicket, wicket, dot ball, 3 runs. 3-6 in one over including the prized wicket of Nat Sciver’s dad who was on 110!! 

Best Innings                                       Stan Owen

Hector’s 37 in the last match of the season was noteworthy and Jeremy Farrar’s 85 versus the Chairman’s XI a fine knock, but the clear winner was Stan with 89 against Middleton Stoney. Stan was sadly run out….he had no energy left, but his innings laid the foundation for a win off the last ball.

Best Bowler                                        Peter Higgins 12 wkts @ 11.67

 2nd Paul Longman 7 wkts @ 11.71,  Arthur Higgins 6 wkts @ 17.9     

The Award was the closest ever in our Club History as only ONE RUN conceded split Peter and Paul. In the last over of the season Pete needed a wicket to win and not concede more than 1 run, though unaware of this at the time. The over went:

Dropped catch, 1 run, dot ball, dropped catch, dot ball, caught behind by Jon Scotchbrook – incredible.

Best Batsman                                     Nigel Doggett 208 runs @ 34.7

 2nd Phil Chesser 107 runs @ 17.8, 3rd Jon Scotchbrook 144 runs @ 16.0

Jon having been beaten by Phil Chesser is now considering retirement. Nige was a deserved winner, the only player to score more than 200 runs.

Clubman of the Year                                    Jock Shepherd

The most prestigious award voted for by the members could only go to one man this year. Jock has practically lived at our Barton Abbey ground this summer, as he has been our primary groundsman. To see Jock’s body shaking in time to the reverberations of our Motorised Roller, as he flattens out our pitch, is a thing of joy and great amusement! Thank you Jock.

Club Quiz

No Awards Dinner would be complete without Rob Wilson-Fry’s end of season quiz. This, the third one, was undoubtedly the best so far and this has nothing to do with the fact that my team won (Thanks, Greg, for the sympathetic marking!). Rob mixes up the questions beautifully, some easy, some taxing, some almost impossible, but it all makes for some amusing banter. I guess you could say that it is emblematic of our club – a modicum of talent, some challenges to be faced, teamwork, friendship, but above all a lot of laughs. Many thanks, Rob.   

Next time…

More stats as the 2019 Season Averages will be revealed in their entirety.

Happy Christmas

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

November 2019

Captain’s XI versus Chairman’s XI…records galore

Our traditional end of season game incredibly featured all 22 members of the Club, no doubt inspired by England’s fabulous World Cup win. Nigel Doggett won the toss and chose to bat. There then followed a number of records: the first Father and Son fifties in the same match, as Olly Doggett hit a swift 53 and Nigel a more prosaic 54; Phil Chesser then continued his Joss Butler impersonation by hitting his third score of over 20 in a row, falling for 27 to a Mark Parker in-swinger; Phil has now scored more than 100 runs this season for the first time….in 15 attempts! Sadly for Graham Bullen he became the second player in Steeple Aston history to get a Pair (two ducks) in the same match, and he was dropped twice! The previous record-holder was of course Phil Chesser – like Ben Stokes you simply cannot keep Phil out of the game. And finally David Stewart (the oldest wicket-keeper in Oxfordshire surely?) took two catches in the same game for the first time and only conceded nine byes, many fewer than the somewhat younger keepers on show.

Paul Longman was the pick of the bowlers with 2-9 off five overs ably supported by Arthur Higgins (1-23), who bowled an in-swinging yorker that was too good for a hungover Tom Chesser. To be fair Tom had only had about three hours sleep the night before!! The Chairman weighed in with 2-5 in the dying overs including a fine catch by Jon Scotchbrook, as the Captain’s XI closed on 201 all out in their 35 overs.

Chairman’s XI reply…

Ben Staveley-Parker piled the pressure on the Chairman’s XI by bowling six overs for a miserly 14 runs, whilst Sam Hatz (1-26) soon accounted for Mark Parker with a long hop on leg stump, beautifully caught by Greg Renk. Then Hector Higgins and Jon Scotchbrook put on 77 for the second wicket. Jon looked for all the world as though a Fifty was in the bag, until the wily Chris Watson (1-13) had him leg before wicket with a mixture of wides, no balls, long hops and an absolute beauty. Jon out for 36, but Hector continued to compile runs in an Alistair Cook style with cuts through point and clips off his legs. Arthur Higgins (15) set off at a cracking rate before Greg Renk (3-18) hit his off stump with what we used to call a pea-roller! Finally Hector’s 25 over vigil came to an end as Graham Bullen (1-13) had him caught in the deep for a top score of 37, not bad for a 12 year old. James Liebrecht (21) then hit two sixes in consecutive overs to give us hope of victory, until Olly Doggett (1-21), who had bowled with great control, slipped one under his bat to hit middle stump. At 133-6 we needed 69 from eight overs, not impossible until you considered the batsmen left. Peter Higgins’ five day Test Match batting style was not suited to such a charge and soon holed out for 17, well caught by Tom Chesser, who had now managed to wedge his eyes open, off the bowling of Greg Renk. Greg had bowled an unerringly nagging length, ably supported by Jock Shepherd, who also bowled very tightly. Despite some lusty blows from Charlie Simmonds-Jones (9) and Hugo Rittson-Thomas (7) in the last two overs, the Chairman’s XI fell 20 runs short.

So a fine game of village cricket played with great spirit and camaraderie ended with many laughs and even a couple of spectators, as we were delighted to welcome back Heather and Nick Cleobury (our President) into the Steeple Aston fold after a three year sojourn in Brisbane. And so we retired to the White Horse for much needed sustenance and a review of the match. As ever I realised after a drink or two that I had played much better than I thought……until my son (not the 12 year old) pointed out that this was simply not true! Until next year then.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

September 2019

PS And finally a big thank you to all those who helped prepare the pitches this season – Jon, Nigel, Greg & Paul, but most especially to Jock Shepherd, who put in more hours than the rest of us put together.

Blenheim Palace…

In a week of extraordinary events, Boris Johnson becoming PM, temperature records being broken, perhaps the biggest shock of all was Steeple Aston finally losing their unbeaten record in a T20 against Blenheim Palace. A hot sticky evening on the palace lawns, we won the toss and buoyed by the return of the prodigal Rob Wilson-Fry, put Blenheim in to bat. Blenheim were soon ticking along nicely and, although we tied them down in the middle overs with some tight bowling, a flurry of runs towards the end pushed their score to 150 off 20 overs.  Pick of the bowlers were Jonty Renk who took 2 for 26 off his 4 overs and Paul Longman 2-29.  

A word must be said about the fielding though, with 3 contenders for catch of the season.  Firstly Seb McConnell leapt to take a one-handed stunner over his head at cover, his second crucial sharp catch of the season.  Then Jonty parried a sharp drive off his own bowling and dived to complete the catch. Finally Hugo Rittson-Thomas took a spiralling catch that took so long to come down, England completed a full innings against Ireland while he waited. In response a steady stream of wickets meant that we were always behind the run rate.  Nigel Doggett hit a swashbuckling 35, Greg Renk a brisk 16, but SACC finally closed on 115-8 falling short by 35 runs. Next year we will be back to a 40 over game – we’re still unbeaten by them in that format! Many thanks to Stan Owen for the report.

Ellie Shepherd Wedding Match…

4 teams, 7-a-side, 8 over cricket and a trophy to win, all in one day. SACC played the Father-of-the-Bride VII in the first match. Hector Higgins was our best bowler taking 1-18 from his 2 overs; Jack Higgins the most economical, conceding only 5 runs from 1over; their dad was pants! 69-1 looked like a good score, but who knew? Sadly we were 1-2 after the first over! Triumphantly Phil Chesser restored respectability with a dazzling 24 in 21 balls; 23 runs were scored in a narrow arc near cow corner, but did include a beautiful cover drive for one. We lost by 23 runs, but were confident in the 3rd/4th play-off.  

SACC got off to a fine start as Arthur Higgins drove the first ball high into the air to Long Off for a certain 4…but what was this? Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, a flying Jock Shepherd who somehow caught the ball diving full length and catching it blind over his shoulder! Quite extraordinary, given that 5 hours earlier he was slumped in a corner of the marquee as drunk as a Lord! Once again Phil Chesser saved us with a belligerent 29 (all in the leg side arc) ably supported by Greg Renk who hit 14 in 9 balls. 61-4 looked defendable.

Arthur Higgins (1-10 off 2 overs) bowled with great pace and accuracy to tie the Brother-in-Law-of-the-Bride’s VII down, his wicket coming from a spectacular catch by Jonty Renk. Yet again dad was rubbish, conceding 10 runs from his first 2 balls!! Fortunately Jonty Renk produced some fine death bowling taking 1-14 from his 2 overs and with the Chairman finally finding his radar and only conceding 6 from the penultimate over, the SACC were victorious by 15 runs. Third place and a win – phew!

Many thanks to Jock Shepherd for all his tireless effort in preparing the pitch (ably assisted by Jon Scotchbrook) and providing all the food and drink. It was a great celebration of both marriage and village cricket.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

August 2019

Sandford St Martin…

After last year’s thrashing, Sandford selected 5 of their League 1st XI for their Sunday team; they were clearly intent on revenge. Sandford won the toss and were soon in trouble as Jonty Renk (1-16) and Arthur Higgins (2-41) took 3 quick wickets, moving the ball in the air and off the seam. However with their two best batsmen at the crease, they cruised to 111-3 before Skipper Farrar called on our two oldest players: Hugo Rittson-Thomas (canny left-arm leg breaks) and Peter Higgins (slow left-arm in-swingers mixed with even slower balls) came on to bowl and remarkably removed both batsmen. What was more remarkable however was the manner of their dismissal: the first stumped by Phil Chesser, who was as swift as Joss Buttler; the second a diving one handed Martin-Guptill-like catch by Seb McConnell. Hugo finished with 2-35 and the Chairman with 3-19. Sadly two wayward overs from a guest player went for 31 runs, which gave Sandford an impressive 192-8.

In reply Olly Doggett set off at a Jason Roy strike-rate before falling to a catch behind for 37. There then followed a bit of a collapse leaving us 57-4, before Jon Scotchbrook (34) and Arthur Higgins (25) put on 56 for the fifth wicket in 8 overs. Jeremy Farrar (27*) was striking the ball beautifully and with 55 need from the last 6 overs, we had a chance, but sadly the tail did not wag and we fell 28 runs short. We were just missing one more bowler, not that we are blaming you, Paul Longman!! 


The Philanderers is a roving side made up of former Oxford & Cambridge Blues along with their sons. We are 2-1 up in the series, but sadly started the game with a depleted side. So depleted that the Chairman opened the innings. I now know what it is like to be James Vince, except without the elegant cover drive. It was all going so well, I was comfortable, moved on to 6 and then wafted at a wide one and was back in the pavilion before I knew it. Thereafter despite a David Steele-like 15 from Nigel Doggett and a swashbuckling 11 from James Liebrecht, we were all out for 77. Archie Cotterell, who got 3 Blues at Cambridge, took 3-10 in 6 overs. They were frankly just too good for us.   

But you never know….James Liebrecht (1-24) bowled beautifully and removed their opener in the first over without scoring and we sensed a possible upset. When Graham Bullen took an excellent catch off Arthur Higgins (1-10) to remove their Nottinghamshire 2nd XI player, there was just a glimmer of a chance, but then they batted very sensibly, took no risks and edged to victory by 7 wickets in the 19th over. So 2-2 now in the series and we will come back stronger next year. We have lost two in a row, but so did England (Sri Lanka and Australia) and look what happened to them!

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

July 2019

Chairman’s XII…

And so to the biggest game of the year – SACC versus the Chairman’s XII. 10-5 to the village in the World Series, but the “oldies” somehow won in 2018. Nigel cleverly won the toss and elected to bat. A solid start at 52-2 with Mark Mills nurdling a steady 14, when the game exploded into life as Jeremy Farrar (85) and Jon Scotchbrook (32) put on 95 runs in 10 overs. Crucially Jon gifted his wicket to the last ball before lunch, a leg side long hop, and Jeremy succumbed to a steepling catch just after lunch to a blind 57 year old on the boundary, his first catch in decades! A collapse beckoned, but Phil Chesser resisted valiantly until being run out by Skinner, the worst fielder in the Chairman’s Team. It was clearly going to be one of those days! Nigel Doggett (23) the launched the Chairman (2-34) over mid-wicket for 6 before poor Will Doggett was unluckily run out by the aforementioned Skinner, who had for 10 minutes become the reincarnation of Jonty Rhodes. With Charlie Simmons-Jones on debut hitting a brisk 14, the SACC finished on 231-9 off their allotted 40 overs. Never in SACC history had such a score been over-hauled.  

The closest finish in 16 years…

Will and Nigel Doggett opened the bowling in tandem and restricted the opposition to 17 from the first 6 overs, keeping a very tight line. Paul “The Miser” Longman only conceded 9 runs from his 6 overs and the Chairman’s XII were stumbling at 44-1 off 12 overs. Surely 188 runs from 28 overs at 6.7 runs per over was beyond this team of geriatrics? However Rich Sciver, who had scored 50 for the SACC the week before and is father to Nat Sciver, England all-rounder, proved where she gets her ability from by scoring a well-crafted Pujara-like 110. With the Chairmans’s X11 at 223-2, 9 runs were needed from 12 balls, game over? Then Chris Watson came on to bowl. Chris’s last over for the SACC had lasted 12 balls, so the game looked lost, but it is a funny old game cricket…..Ball 1: Rich Sciver LBW, Ball 2: dot ball, Ball 3: a clatter of wickets, Ball 4: Chris takes a caught and bowled, 3 wickets in 4 balls, so now 9 runs needed from 8 balls. With the tension rising the Chairman strode out to bat, hoping he looked like David Gower, but feeling like Phil Tuffnell. A jammy leg bye for 1 and a snick for 3 and 5 required from the last over. 3 balls and one wide later, it was all over as the Chairman squirted the ball past point for 2 runs. What a game, an incredible finish and career best figures for Chris Watson of 3-8. 

Middleton Stoney, the big derby match…Phil Chesser’s report

With only 10 players, some rather stiff after competing in the Blenheim Triathlon and others hungover after celebrating Liverpool’s glorious victory in the Champions League, it was going to be a tough game. Jonty Renk and Rich Sciver opened the bowling in fine form: Rich very economical and unlucky not to get a wicket in his 10 overs, whilst Jonty took the first wicket. Joe Moorman for the opposition was looking ominous, scoring a rapid 50 before being run out in a mix up of epic proportions between the batsmen and good fielding by Rich Sciver and Arthur Higgins, who also clean bowled the other opener with a beautiful in-swinger.

After a rain break, Pete Higgins bowled steadily as always, and took a deserved wicket with a catch behind from Phil Chesser off the faintest of edges, heard only by two people – Pete and, fortunately, the umpire. Hector Higgins came on to bowl two excellent overs at the end, making it a good day for team Higgins with an LBW on the last ball before tea, at which point Middleton Stoney declared.

With a target of 199 to win off 38 overs, SACC began quickly with Arthur Higgins scoring a quick fire 23 and Rich Sciver a solid 39, but the star of the show was Stan Owen, doubtless spurred on by Liverpool’s victory, he played some brutal shots for his 89. Stan was run out, which as his innings progressed and his running became more laboured and breathing heavier, was no real surprise to anyone. Scoring steadily at 5-6 runs per over, the SACC needed just 3 runs from the last over, a slam dunk! A typically nurdled single from the Chairman off the first ball left just 2 required from 5 balls. Charlie Simmonds-Jones deciding that singles were for wimps, proceeded to swing hard and miss the next four balls! Pete stepped forward to offer some calming and inspirational words, to help Charlie become a Steeple legend. The final ball was duly dispatched right over the sight screen for six. Charlie then nonchalantly walked back to the pavilion apologising to his team mates for taking so long to win the game. A stunning end to a great game in a lovely location. Thanks to Middleton Stoney for, as always, being fantastic hosts and opposition.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

June 2019

National Village Cup versus Horley by Phil Chesser…

SACC had never made it to the 2nd Round – could this be the year? It was a home fixture at beautiful Barton Abbey; as usual huge thanks to all those who helped with pitch preparation, most notably Jock Shepherd who put in many hours during the weeks preceding the game.

Captain Nigel Doggett’s season got off to a flying start when he won the toss and put Horley in to bat, ensuring that the match would extend past 3 pm. Opening the bowling were university pair Jonty Renk and James Liebrecht. Both started interestingly – Jonty with a wide and James, who was clearly a little rusty after the winter, by sending his first ball out of the back of his hand into orbit, forcing keeper Arthur Higgins to pounce high in to the sky to take the ball full toss. Jonty bowled his 8 overs straight and kept the runs down (1-28) and James, once he found his rhythm, bowled some beauties, beating the bat on more than one occasion. Horley’s opening batsmen moved along at quite a pace and it took the introduction of Paul “Swanny” Longman to break the partnership. In fact Paul took two wickets fairly quickly, both looping catches to slip Paul Nikolaides, who showed what a polite man he is by taking his hat off before welcoming the ball in to his hands for the first catch. “Swanny” made it three with an LBW towards the end of his spell, finishing with 3-30 off 8 overs. The rest of the Horley innings was fairly uneventful, but included some variety, much of it unintentional, from Ed Bishop (brother-in-law of the skipper) and a stunning catch off the bowling of Stan Owen by Phil Chesser (Geoff Boycott’s Grandma could have taken it with her eyes closed). Horley finished on 256-5 and despite the large total, the energy and enthusiasm of all the Steeple fielders never abated.

Nervous about the quality of the opposition bowlers, Arthur Higgins and Stan Owen were slightly shocked by a first over of 14 balls. Steeple reached 30 within 3 overs and we all began to dream! Arthur had only made contact with the ball five times to get to 20, but was out soon after to a good catch for 22. This remained the highest score of the Steeple innings, with the exception of extras which racked up over 40 (including 23 wides). Wickets fell steadily after that, with the rest of the top four of Owen, McDonald and Scotchbrook reaching double figures before succumbing. This included a very good catch to dismiss debutant Dave McDonald, who showed great promise (he went to an excellent University). In the lower middle order James Liebrecht hit a steady 14, but Steeple were well behind the run rate by the time the 8th wicket fell. Phil Chesser delivered a classy knock of 10. However, having uncharacteristically blocked two balls in a row, and realising that 120 runs off 7 overs was not achievable and, more importantly, the pubs were open, he decided to speed things up. The next ball, planned to be landing 100 yards away in a field full of cows, was sliced straight back to the bowler, bringing an end to the Steeple innings for a creditable 138.

There’s always next year! A great day was had by all against very friendly opposition and thanks as always to Bob Longman for his umpiring and words of wisdom at the crease.

Bicester & North Oxford by Peter Higgins…

I have severely edited Phil’s copy, but he has still only left me about 100 words, so a shortened report follows. SACC scored 256-2 against a weaker than expected Bicester team. Mark Parker raced to a career best 31 with every scoring shot to deep mid-wicket (Mooo!); Olly Doggett retired after an excellent 52 with Nige Doggett also retiring with a composed 50, the first time a father and son have both scored Half Centuries in the same game for SACC – many congratulations. Jamie Longman, who has been away too long helping his girl-friend Carlotta with her golf (she was recently Player of the Year on the Ladies’ European Tour), showed what we have been missing with a quick fire 45 not out.

Bicester scored 14 off our first 4 balls, but after that subsided quickly to some accurate bowling and fine fielding with Paul Nicolaides taking 3-23, including 2 return catches; Peter Higgins 4-3 with a sharp chance taken by Mark Parker; and the spin twins “Tuffers” Rittson-Thomas and “Swanny” Longman bowling 10 overs between them for only 20 runs; the ball simply span too much for the batsman to snick! Bicester were all out for 88, a great warm up match for the Chairman’s XII next. News on the 16th match in the series  soon. The village are currently 10-5 ahead.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

May 2019

Pitch Preparation…

With no games yet played, here is the Steeple Pitch Improvement Team, or SPIT for short, in action:

Nigel Doggett pulling the heavy roller behind a struggling Volvo – the worms have had a field day over the winter!

Jock on the mower (it’s nearly as old as Jock) with support from Jon and Pete. Greg Renk is on his way to dump the grass. The pitch will look amazing come 28th April in time for our first match against Horley in the National Village Cup. We have specially prepared an area where the bounce keeps low – home advantage has to be worth something!

All the best

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

April 2019

Pre-season “Transfer Market” news…

We have not actually bought anyone as such, but there is much excitement in the Club with old veterans returning to active service: Jon Scotchbrook’s shoulder is showing signs of recovery, though he still cannot bowl for toffee; the mysteries of the Chairman’s back and neck problems are beyond the ken of even the best Neurologists, but he has been declared fit to groan in the outfield; Jeremy Farrar has been knighted for services to village cricket and we trust that he will soon emulate that other great English opening bat Sir Len Hutton. Sadly Greg Renk’s knee still needs another few months of rest, but he is an outstanding umpire even on one leg.

We even have a few new players and in keeping with our policy of “anyone can play as long as you are under 25 or over 50” (we would love some people in between by the way. Where are you?), Hugo Rittson-Thomas joins us with an action not unlike Phil Tufnell, though he tells me he is worse than Tuffers in the field! Seb McConnell has been hiding in the village, but has been unearthed by neighbour Stan Owen. Seb, currently at university, was concerned he may not be good enough for selection, but I explained that as long as he had active use of most his limbs, he should make the team. James Liebrecht, also at university, and formerly the opening bowler for Magdalen College School, is also keen to play. Given that Rob Wilson-Fry has erroneously decided to play for Banbury 5th XI this year, we desperately need James to open the bowling. We know Rob will be back soon, though we do wish him well for the season. Most importantly he has promised to compile the questions for the Club Quiz on Awards night.

Fixture List 2019… 

Our fixtures for the season are as follows, so please do come and support us; you may also help yourself to tea and cake. Our first match is at home on Sunday 28th April in the National Village Cup against Horley. It is our 5th attempt to win a 1st round match and a Club Goal; the only one we have yet to fulfil! 

Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Sunday 28th April Horley (Village Cup) Home 2pm
Sunday 12th May Bicester and North Oxford (30 overs) Away 2pm
Saturday 18th May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 2nd June Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 9th June Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 16th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Sunday 30th June Philanderers Home 2pm
Sunday 7th July Minster Lovell Away 2pm
Sunday 14th July Great & Little Tew Away 2pm
Sunday 28th July The Shepherd Wedding Festival (6  a side tournament) Home 2pm
Sunday 1st September Chairman’s v Captain’s Home 1.30pm


See you at Nets at Robinson Close at 6.30pm on Wednesday 10th April.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

April 2019

Lifetime Averages…

Here are the Lifetime Averages, which include only those still playing for the club:

Batting Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Toby Parker 329 4 82.25 1 2
Jamie Longman 673 14 48.07 2 2
Arthur Higgins 298 7 42.57   2
Rob Wilson-Fry 1129 30 37.63 1 5
Peter Higgins 1891 54 35.02 1 12
Jeremy Farrar 686 20 34.30 1 4
Jon Scotchbrook 2655 79 33.61 3 20
Greg Renk 1063 42 25.31   4
Bob Longman 47 2 23.50    
Nigel Doggett 716 32 22.38   3
Stan Owen 856 39 21.95   2
Olly Doggett 170 8 21.25   1
Tom Chesser 185 9 20.56   1
Chris Watson 129 7 18.43    
Ben Ramos 262 15 17.47   1
Nick Entwistle 453 26 17.42   1
Will Doggett 100 7 14.29   1
Graham Bullen 247 21 11.76    
Jock Shepherd 101 9 11.22    
Mark Parker 98 9 10.89    
Charlie Scotchbrook 44 5 8.80    
Jack Higgins 51 6 8.50    
Phil Chesser 237 30 7.90    
David Stewart 21 3 7.00    
Jonty Renk 76 12 6.33    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 59 11 5.36    
Paul Longman 121 23 5.26    
Ben Parker 26 5 5.20    
Tom Purton 5 1 5.00    
James Liebrecht 10 2 5.00    
Hugo Rittson Thomas 0 1 0.00    
Harry Purton 150 0   1  
Robin King 139 0   1  
Hector Higgins 6 0      


Bowling Players Overs Runs Wkts Ave R/O 5W/I
Tony Kelly 7 18 3 6.00 2.6  
Arthur Higgins 3 13 2 6.50 4.3  
Jack Higgins 8 28 4 7.00 3.4  
Tom Purton 8 38 4 9.50 4.8  
Harry Purton 5 32 3 10.67 6.4  
Charlie Scotchbrook 43 190 17 11.18 4.4  
Tom Chesser 84 279 24 11.63 3.3 1
Robin King 3 12 1 12.00 4.0  
Hector Higgins 3 14 1 14.00 4.7  
Peter Higgins 446 1655 107 15.47 3.7 2
Paul Longman 304 1308 79 16.56 4.3 2
Jamie Longman 107 385 23 16.74 3.6  
Will Doggett 8 36 2 18.00 4.5  
Rob Wilson-Fry 231 675 37 18.24 2.9  
Toby Parker 19 75 4 18.75 3.9  
Nigel Doggett 56 269 14 19.21 4.8  
Graham Bullen 25 173 9 19.22 6.8  
Greg Renk 231 1063 54 19.69 4.6  
Stan Owen 98 516 20 25.80 5.3  
Jonty Renk 160 647 25 25.88 4.0  
Mark Parker 38 233 9 25.89 6.1  
Ben Parker 42 163 6 27.17 3.9  
Hugo Rittson 4 33 1 33.00 8.3  
Nick Entwistle 47 300 9 33.33 6.4  
Olly Doggett 18 70 2 35.00 3.9  
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 34 270 7 38.57 7.9  
Phil Chesser 32 224 5 44.80 7.0  
James Liebrecht 10 49 1 49.00 4.9  
Jon Scotchbrook 20 162 3 54.00 8.0  
Jeremy Farrar 6 56 1 56.00 9.3  
Chris Watson 12 83 1 83.00 6.9  
Jock Shepherd 12 91 1 91.00 7.6  
Ben Ramos 2 22 0   11.0  


Many thanks to Jon Scotchbrook for helping me to compile them; it is a Labour of Love!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

SACC Awards Dinner… 

We held another lively Awards Dinner, for which we had a full turnout – Bob Longman even came all the way from Hertfordshire! Apparently not much happens there.

The awards were as follows:

Best Batsman  3rd Tom Chesser 2nd Peter Higgins      Winner Toby Staveley Parker

Best Bowler    3rd Paul Longman 2nd Rob Wilson-Fry            Winner Tom Chesser

Best Young Player      Toby Staveley Parker

Best “Catch”               Ben Staveley Parker

Best Batting                Olly Doggett 75 vs Oxford Downs

Best Wicket Keeper    David Stewart

Clubman of the Year (voted for on the night by the members)         Nigel Doggett

 Batting Averages 2018 (must have batted 3 times at least)

Name   Runs Our Ave Innings 100 50
Toby Parker 235 2 117.50 3  1 2
Peter Higgins 48 1 48.00 3    
Tom Chesser 73 2 36.50 4   1
Nigel Doggett 187 6 31.17 7   1
Olly Doggett 85 3 28.33 3   1
Paul Longman 19 1 19.00 3    
Rob Wilson-Fry 104 6 17.33 6   1
Jeremy Farrar 80 5 16.00 5    
Jack Higgins 50 5 10.00 5    
Jonty Renk 23 3 7.67 3    
Graham Bullen 17 4 4.25 4    
Phil Chesser 13 4 3.25 4    

Notably in 2018 we had 3 centurions this season: Harry Purton 150* vs Blenheim Palace, Robin King 137* and Toby Staveley Parker 122 versus Sandford St Martin.

Bowling Averages 2018 (must have bowled 3 times at least)

Name   Overs Runs Wkts Average 5w/i
Tom Chesser 25.1 71 7 10.14 1
Rob Wilson-Fry 36.0 137 7 19.57  
Paul Longman 49.0 233 11 21.18  
Toby Parker 13.0 48 2 24.00  
Mark Parker 11.0 70 2 35.00  
Jonty Renk 26.2 93 2 46.50  


Tom Chesser had the most impressive figures of the season with 5-13 versus Oxford Downs.

More Stats…

Next month the Life Time Averages and news of our 2019 Season.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Stats by season…

I cannot divulge any individual performances for fear of ruining the surprise of who wins what on Awards Night, so here are some Club Stats for our performance by Season and Club. Well done to all who have played for the team in 2018, but in particular congratulations to skipper Nigel Doggett, who has captained the side with great skill and determination, whilst still ensuring we had fun along the way. Here is the table of our last 14 seasons with the key figure being the Result Percentage in the right hand column: 

Season   P   W   D/T   L  % Result
2005   10   8   1   1 85%
2006   7   3   0   4 43%
2007   8   5   0   3 63%
2008   9   7   1   1 83%
2009  10   7   0   3 70%
2010   9   5   0   4 56%
2011  10   6   0   4 60%
2012   8   5   1   2 69%
2013  10   7   1   2 75%
2014  10   6   0   4 60%
2015  10   7   0   3 70%
2016  10   9   0   1 90%
2017  10   8   0   2 80%
2018   6   4   0   2 67%


Stats by opposition…

For the first time our performances over the years against our Opposition:


  Club   P   W   D/T   L  % Result
Blenheim   7   7   0   0 100%
Chipping N   5   5   0   0 100%
Islip   4   4   0   0 100%
Sibford  13  10   1   2  81%
Barton Abbey  10   8   0   2  80%
Great Tew  13   9   1   3  73%
Chairman’s  15  10   0   5  67%
Philanderers   3   2   0   1  67%
Mid. Stoney  13   5   3   5  50%
Lord’s Tavs   2   1   0   1  50%
Oxford Downs   2   1   0   1  50%
Sandford St M  12   5   0   7  42%


It is great that some clubs have still not beaten us (especially Blenheim, because we know it hurts them!). However still some work to do against Sandford St Martin.

Cricket Club Awards Dinner…

Our Annual Awards Dinner will be held in the White Horse in Duns Tew on Friday 9th November at 7.00pm. Please do let me know if you would like to come along.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Captain’s XI vs Chairman’s XI… 

The final game of the season featured the whole club, aged from 11 to 63, taking part in a friendly 40 over Big Bash. The Chairman won the toss and elected to bat on a balmy September day. Our batting was even more “barmy” (sorry, terrible pun!) as 5 of our first 8 batsmen scored ZERO. A more dramatic statistic was that until I came into bat at number 10, nobody over the age of 17 had scored a single run. Jack Higgins, batting at three, scored a diligent 47, reminiscent of Pujara. Whilst Toby Parker was more Virat Kohli, as he effortlessly hit an unbeaten 52. He did have one Jennings-like escape however when twin brother Ben dropped him on the boundary, helping the ball over the ropes for a six, off his Dad’s bowling!! Toby retired at this juncture only to be replaced by Tom Chesser who was more of a Tom Curran, as he too raced to an elegant 50.

Hector Higgins (6*) then put on 23 for the last wicket with the Chairman (11*) doing his Geoffrey Boycott impression. Hector valiantly refused to take any advice from his father, which caused much mirth around the field. The only person in our family who does now listen to me is our dog Dudley and he is deaf! And so the Chairman’s XI finished their 40 overs on a creditable 186-6.

David Stewart belying his seventh decade only let 4 byes through, about 20 less than we were expecting! Whilst the bowling was incredibly disciplined: Stan Owen bowled a measly line taking 2-8 off 4 overs with his non-spinning leg breaks; Ben Parker 1-23 off 6 overs, beat the bat almost as often as Mohammed Shami and Paul “call me Ravi” Longman took 3-29 with another fine spell of off-spin bowling.

Cricket’s a funny old game…   

We had thought 186 was a pretty good score, but when we leaked 24 runs from the first over (welcome to Steeple Aston CC, Patrick!!), we looked up against it. Stan Owen hit a typically belligerent 32, mostly in that one over and Will Doggett retired after a masterful 51. At 96-2 things were looking bleak for the Chairman’s XI, but Toby Parker bowled beautifully to take 2-25 and Hugo Rittson-Thomas, looking more like Tuffers than Jadeja, took 1-33, to put us back into the game, with Jock Shepherd bowling a very tight line. There had been some outstanding fielding from The Chairman’s XI, particularly in the outfield, where Patrick Sherriff must have saved at least 6 boundaries with some athletic diving and his son Jay stopped a certain 4 with his kneecap!     

However Chris Watson helped steer his team to victory with a Pant-style 26 before being bowled by Jack Higgins’ mystery leg-break (1-9). Olly Doggett seemed as though he might win the game in double quick time, but was caught behind by Toby Parker, giving Hector Higgins (1-14) his first wicket for Steeple Aston. Mark Parker (28*) and George Chipchase (10*) then put on an unbeaten 43 for the last wicket to bring a deserved victory for Nigel Doggett’s team by 5 wickets.

Some family stats…

We very much rely on our sons these days to make us a competitive team and it was wonderful to see so many fine family performances: the Parkers took top spot with 89-1; the Doggetts 67-2, the Higgins’ family 64-1 and the Chessers 50-1. My more observant readers will recall that since Tom Chesser retired on 50 not out, his father Phil did not trouble the scorers. That said Phil is very good at scoring runs…..but only in the score book. It always adds up!

SACC Awards Dinner…

So another successful season ends with more games won than lost yet again, but you will have to wait until next month to see the full Stats. We end our season with our Annual Awards Dinner:

7.00 pm Friday, 9th November in the White Horse, Duns Tew

Please let me know if you can make it. Many thanks.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Blenheim Palace…

On Sunday 8th July our long summer continued with our annual trip to Blenheim Palace. It’s always a privilege to play in such glorious surroundings and this year was no different. It looked incredible in the blistering sun.

Our captain, Nigel Doggett, continued his good form with the coin, winning the toss and electing to bat. Regular opener Jeremy Farrar was accompanied by teenage debutant Harry Purton to an already worn wicket. Harry began in fine form, scoring quickly while Jeremy at the other end was tied down by some tight bowling before departing to a sensational one-handed catch at point for a duck. Rob Wilson-Fry came it at three before trudging back to the pavilion for our second duck of the innings, victim of the ball-of-the-century*.

Harry’s dad Tom came and went for four, at which time Nigel joined him in the middle and the two of them batted magnificently before Nigel was caught for a well compiled 55. A breezy cameo from Graham Bullen (13) got us to our final score of 238. Harry, on debut, finished on a phenomenal 150 not out – top batting from Steeple Aston’s Ollie Pope.

Blenheim Park’s innings began with Rob Wilson-Fry (2-19) and Jonty Renk (1-33) bowling with discipline and restricting their scoring. The introduction of Sam Hatzigeorgiou sparked fireworks, though for the wrong reasons – the guys putting up the marquee for Trump’s visit did more fielding than the rest of us for a short while – and Blenheim found themselves suddenly back up with the scoring rate.

Enter the Purtons. Tom (4-38), in his first match for a couple of years, bowled a nagging line and length dismissing the free-scoring number four courtesy of a catch from Rob, who had dropped him in Tom’s previous over. Harry, from the other end took the other key wicket, before closing out the match with 3-32. Some debut!

In the end, Steeple Aston continued our good run of form against Blenheim Park, winning by 43 runs. We joined our hosts in the Woodstock Arms for a swift drink and debrief.

* Totally wasn’t ball of the century. I just missed it.

Rob “Missed it” Wilson-Fry

Club Match…

Sunday 2nd September sees our final game of the season, during which everyone must bowl at least two overs and hopefully all will bat. It is a 40 over game and anyone is welcome to play. Do get in touch if you fancy turning your arm over. Many thanks.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Philanderers XI….

I am delighted that Phil Chesser has penned this exhilarating report, whilst I was catching no fish in Scotland!

“On yet another beautiful day in North Oxfordshire, Steeple Aston took on Fathers & Sons team (seven of the team were from just two families) at Steeple Barton. There were some heroic performances from the Steeple team just to get to the game. Most notably a somewhat hungover James Babbage who was drafted in just an hour before the start to make his debut, Ben Ramos who made the game despite a medical emergency in his house, and the Fixtures Secretary who made up the numbers despite barely being able to walk (and contributed precisely zero to the game bar some scoring and standing still at slip for 35 overs).

“Captain Nigel Doggett won the toss and elected to bat, principally because by that time around half of the Steeple team had still not arrived. Two Steeple debutants, the afore-mentioned James Babbage and ‘friend of the son of the captain’ Tim Foulds, opened the batting. On a rather lively and sometimes unpredictable pitch, scoring was at test match and not T20 rate with four of the first five overs being maidens. Tim did break the deadlock and proved he had played the game before by hitting three very fluent looking boundaries off one over. Captain Doggett at umpire rewarded James Babbage for sacrificing his Sunday by giving him out LBW for 0 – to be fair James had no complaints about the decision. Tim Foulds was then out for 17 to leave us on 22 for 2 before a strong partnership of 42 between Will Doggett and Rob Wilson-Fry. This came to an end due to a mix up resulting in Will being run out for a very good 19. Jack Higgins was in next and in an effort to keep the run rate going was unluckily caught on the boundary ropes for 0 despite middling a full toss. A period of 6 runs in 5 overs followed before captain Doggett (39) and vice-captain Wilson-Fry (51) put together an excellent partnership of over 60. It was hot out there, and Rob confirmed that his highlight was standing at the non-striker’s end for 3 overs watching Nigel do all the work. They were out in quick succession – Rob being given out by Will who confirmed it was definitely not revenge for the run out…, Nige playing a very non-captain like shot – so the last few overs were played out by Ben ‘the nurdler’ Ramos and Tom ‘son of the Fixtures Secretary’ Chesser. They put on 23 which included a tremendous quick fire 15 not out from Tom (9 of which came off the last over – how valuable those runs would prove to be come the end of the match), and a heroic and highly uncharacteristic attempt by Ben to take one for the team and smack the last ball into Gloucestershire. He was clean bowled. Steeple finished on 157-6 off their 35 overs.

“Jonty Renk and Rob Wilson-Fry opened the bowling, Jonty running in with his usual vigour and Rob coming off about 2 paces due to a dodgy achilles but still generating considerable pace and bounce. Both bowled exceptionally well with Jonty (1-27) giving away only 6 runs from his first four overs and Rob (2-21) getting the wickets going with two in one over. The first was courtesy of a good catch by James Babbage (welcome to the game James) and the second came from the most extraordinary shot off his first ball by ex-England Rugby international Simon Halliday. Tim Foulds then came on to bowl and the pitch made his considerable pace almost unplayable with good length balls rising steeply. A lively conversation ensued between batsman and Steeple skipper, which resulted in Tim turning to spin and, fortunately, everyone ending up as friends by the end of the game. Fourteen overs of extremely tight and controlled spin bowling then followed from Paul Longman (2-26) and Tom Chesser (2-20). The pitch showed its true colours as some balls from Tom ended up going past captain and (helmet-less) keeper Nigel’s head. A brilliant low catch from James Babbage – who was exceptional in the field all afternoon despite some obvious haziness from the night before – to remove the Philanderers captain off Paul’s bowling, left them needing around 12 an over off the last 8. A strong father and son partnership followed which made things a little tighter. The last 5 overs were shared by (spinner) Tim Foulds and Will Doggett and despite the batsmen having a real go, Tim and Will managed to sufficiently restrict the scoring to see us to victory. This was finally secured thanks to a good catch by Jonty Renk, although nothing like as spectacular as his catch of the century against Oxford Downs. Each of Steeple’s bowlers got at least one wicket, with the opposition finishing on 145-8 off their 35 overs. They did then announce however that they had got the scoring wrong and had actually made 153, meaning Steeple won a very close game by just 4 runs…

“A great day was had by all. Many thanks to our visitors, to those who turned out at the last minute to ensure we had a full team, and to all those who contributed to the tea, most especially Sarah and Holly (wife and daughter of the Fixtures Secretary) for the excellent emergency egg mayo sandwiches.”

Many thanks Phil.

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Middleton Stoney…

We have beaten MSCC for the last three years, so they put out their strongest team against us. We however were strengthened considerably when Phil Chesser had the brilliant idea of asking Toby Parker to play instead of the still slightly injured Chairman. The Middleton Stoney opening bowler had figures of 8 overs, 7 maidens, 4 wickets for only 2 runs, as we collapsed in a heap – 113 all out. Fortunately Toby Parker hit a beautiful 61, a tad more than I might have managed! Was batting really that easy? Jonty Renk (16) made his highest score for Steeple Aston to take us through the 100 mark and some respectability, including his first ever scoring shot on the off side! Despite some tight bowling all round, with Ollie Doggett taking 2-9, we could not exert enough scoreboard pressure and Middleton Stoney ran out worthy winners by 8 wickets.

Sandford St Martin…cricket is a funny old game

We had lost 5 of our last 6 outings against Sandford St Martin, so who would have thought we would break 6 Club Records:

  • Highest ever score 384-4 off 40 overs
  • Two centuries in the same innings for the first time
  • 4th wicket partnership of 135
  • 5th wicket partnership of 171 not out
  • Biggest ever partnership 171 as above
  • Biggest ever victory – 190 runs

Toby Parker (122) hit his maiden century for SACC, which was then surpassed by Robin King on debut with a highly cultured 137 not out. On any other occasion Nigel Doggett’s comparatively paltry 64 not out would have been top score. Phew 384-4 scored at 9.6 an over. Amazing. The bowlers then ripped into Sandford on what was a wonderful batting wicket with a fast outfield. Tony Kelley (of the Chairman’s XII) also on debut took 3-18 off 7 surprisingly accurate overs, ably supported by Paul Longman with 3-27. Not to be left out Robin King (1-12) also took a wicket with his left arm leggies. A quite unbelievable victory given the previous week.

Oxford Downs….even more extraordinary   

In 2011 we played Oxford Downs in the National Village Cup and were bowled out for 30, our lowest score ever. Oxford Downs have just won the Oxfordshire final of this year’s Cup and are into the Regional Finals. After 2.1 overs we were 4-2 with Ollie Doggett coming out to bat, who the day before had been out first ball. Could we break yet another record, albeit an unwelcome one? NO, Ollie batted superbly hitting the ball to all parts of the ground for a match turning 75. It was Rob Wilson-Fry though with a battling 30, who saw off the opening attack and laid the foundations for that innings. Harry Startin (42) then played some startling shots all around the ground before Peter Higgins hit an unusually belligerent 25 not out to take us to a creditable 213-9.

The House of Chesser…

Poor old Tom Chesser got a beauty as opener and was out for 0. His dad, Phil, was then run out for 0, being called for a single that only Usain Bolt might have completed. Finally Jonty Renk who stayed at the Chesser household on the night before was also out for 0. Exactly how much did they drink on Saturday night?

Oxford Downs set off at quite a pace with their New Zealand professional in ominous form, but Rob Wilson Fry (2-57) was keeping them in check. Their other opener hit a furious drive, which for all the world looked like a four, before a diving Jack Higgins prevented any run. As often happens, Rob bowled a beauty and their opener in frustration tried to drive it again, only to see his off stump pegged back. However at 80-2 with both batsmen set, the game was in the balance. Cometh the hour, cometh the (long) man, Paul Longman (3-47) bowled an absolute Jaffa to remove the Kiwi, if you will excuse the fruity pun! Tom Chesser then proved that whatever they drank last night Chez Chesser, it had not affected his bowling, as he took 5-13 in 6.1 overs with 2 lbws and 3 clean bowled. How fitting that Tom and Olly should share Man of the Match in a fantastic win for the SACC by 67 runs. Who would have believed that the same team had bowled us out for 30 only 7 years ago!! To their great credit Oxford Downs played the game in just the right spirit. They also gave us a sumptuous tea and had a Bar, so we will be back next year.

Philanderers next up…        

Our next matches are at home against the Philanderers on Sunday 1st July from 2pm and our derby match against Barton Abbey CC on Thursday 5th July in a T20 that will start at 6pm. Please do come and watch (we have pretty good teas too). We can guarantee you great entertainment and it costs nothing.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Chairman’s XII (aka “Oldies”)…

Sadly we were unable to raise a team for our first two matches of the season owing to a stream of injuries, so the SACC took on the mighty Chairman’s XII a tad under-cooked. This year I had drafted in 13 players for my team, given that I was under doctor’s orders not to play, but pharmaceutical help was at hand. After consulting with Dr Jeremy Farrar I took a suitable dose and, whilst I may not have passed a drugs test, I did finish the game. The medical bag received more attention than the fridge full of cold beer, as Messrs Scotchbrook (shoulder), Wilson-Fry (lower back/sciatica) and Chesser Snr (various leg ailments) formed an orderly queue. And so to the match.

Winning the toss?

Ever gracious Nigel Doggett, SACC captain, had allowed the oldies to bat in 24 degrees heat, though since I did win the toss using my “special coin”, his generosity was not required. It was a good day to bat first, as Jon Scotchbrook and Paul Longman had produced a beautiful track. Dr Farrar, who also plays for the Oldies, batted beautifully and seemed certain to score 50, as he clipped RW-F (1-13) off his legs, and yet…Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No it was Sam Hatz flying through the air to take an incredible catch. The Oldies went from 76-0 to 112-5 as Stan Owen (2-33) stopped pretending to be a leg spinner and just bowled straight. Mark Parker (2-24) bowled a tight line that would have surprised his talented sons and Nigel Doggett turned in career best figures of 4-11. Late on the Chairman scored a brisk 12, well brisk for me anyway, until being expertly caught by Jonty Renk. And despite some athletic fielding from Graham Bullen, the Oldies crept to a creditable 205-11!!

Just one of those days…

Sometimes things just go for you, though I confess that once in your 6th decade these things happen less and less, but today was that day. After 11 overs the SACC were 36-6. True some horrible shots were played, but some incredible catches were taken by men who can barely tie their own shoe laces. Fortunately Phil Chesser (13) and Bob Longman (20), now in his 7th decade, stopped the rot and took the SACC to 90-8. Then Paul Longman (13) batted with great assurance and quite by chance my son, Arthur, who was meant to be revising for his A Levels (!!), came into bat. He sent his third ball into the pavilion for 6 and had hit 16 off 7 deliveries when he sent a tracer bullet of a shot straight at mid wicket. It hit Peter Combe, Cambridge Blue (rugby not cricket) in the chest and he caught the rebound – extraordinary! Peter did not appear for the evening entertainment. Without that freak catch who knows what might have been, as Stan Own hit a belligerent 24 before being run out by the same rugby player, who must still have been lying on the ground to stop such a well-timed shot.


So in its fifteenth year the Chairman’s XII claimed an unexpected victory to make it 10-5 to the village overall. More importantly it was simply a magical day, when it felt good to be alive: the sun shone; the setting serene; the cricket often shambolic, but the camaraderie and enjoyment was there for all to see. We all partied hard late into the night and told stories of how good we used to be at sport!!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Pre-Season Nets…

There has been much excitement at Pre-Season Nets. Greg Renk kindly organised 2 nets indoors at the Upper Heyford Sports Centre (if you have never been, it is very good). 14 of us turned up on the first Thursday and we were shocked to find that Jon Scotchbrook had turned into a fine bowler. First swinging the ball into Jeremy Farrar, then moving it away as if he had become Jimmy Anderson, then the coup de grace, an in-swinging Yorker took out Jeremy’s middle stump. Jon jumped in the air, celebrating wildly with fist pumps, as if he were Freddie Flintoff in 2005 removing Ricky Ponting’s off-stump. Fortunately he landed back safely on his high chair and returned to operating the Bowling Machine. One can but dream….

The mind is willing, but the body is….

Our first match of the season is in the National Village Cup and we play Tiddington away on Sunday 29th April. Our injury list is cruel and our team for the day was looking a tad on the weak side: skipper Nigel Doggett broken shoulder; Greg Renk knackered knee; Peter Higgins the back and neck of an 80 year old; Ross Baird has moved away; Rob Wilson-Fry is away on business and Jeremy Lowe has retired, though in fairness this has significantly strengthened the team. However we have been recruiting well during the Transfer Season and aim to be highly competitive on the day.

Fixture List 2018…

Our fixtures for the season are as follows, so please do come and support us; you may also help yourself to tea and cake:

Day Date Opponents Venue Time
Sunday 29th April Tiddington (Village Cup) Home 2pm
Sunday 13th May Minster Lovell Away 2pm
Saturday 19th May Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 3rd June Middleton Stoney Away 2pm
Sunday 10th June Sandford St Martin Away 2pm
Sunday 17th June Oxford Downs Away 2pm
Sunday 1st July Philanderers Home 11.30am
Thursday 5th July Barton Abbey (T20) Home 6pm
Sunday 8th July Blenheim Palace Away 2pm
Sunday 29th July Great & Little Tew Away 2pm
Sunday 2nd September Chairman’s v Captain’s Home 1.30pm


Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Lifetime Averages…

Here are the Lifetime Averages, which include only those still playing for the club:

    Total   Lifetime    
  Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Jamie Longman 673 14 48.07 2 2
Toby Parker 94 2 47.00    
Arthur Higgins 282 6 47.00   2
Rob Wilson-Fry 1025 24 42.71 1 5
Jeremy Farrar 606 15 40.40 1 4
Peter Higgins 1843 53 34.77 1 12
Jon Scotchbrook 2655 79 33.61 3 20
Mark Mills 476 16 29.75 1 4
Bob Longman 27 1 27.00    
Greg Renk 1063 42 25.31   4
Ross Baird 285 12 23.75   2
Stan Owen 799 37 21.59   2
Nigel Doggett 529 26 20.35   3
Ben Ramos 256 14 18.29   1
Nick Entwistle 453 26 17.42   1
Chris Watson 103 6 17.17    
Olly Doggett 85 5 17.00    
Tom Chesser 112 7 16.00   1
Jock Shepherd 101 8 12.63    
Chris Nevile 125 14 8.93    
Charlie Scotchbrook 44 5 8.80    
George Chipchase 26 3 8.67    
Phil Chesser 224 26 8.62    
Mark Parker 61 8 7.63    
David Stewart 21 3 7.00    
Jonty Renk 53 9 5.89    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 55 10 5.50    
James Liebrecht 10 2 5.00    
Paul Longman 102 22 4.64    
Ben Parker 17 4 4.25    
Jeremy Lowe 13 4 3.25    


          Lifetime Economy  
  Players Overs Runs Wickets Average R/O 5W/I
Jack Higgins 6.2 19 3 6.33 3.1  
Arthur Higgins 3 13 2 6.50 4.3  
George Chipchase 30 111 10 11.10 3.7  
Charlie Scotchbrook 43.2 190 17 11.18 4.4  
Tom Chesser 58.7 208 17 12.24 3.5  
Toby Parker 6 27 2 13.50 4.5  
Peter Higgins 443.5 1644 107 15.36 3.7 2
Paul Longman 254.7 1075 68 15.81 4.2 2
Mark Mills 48 198 12 16.50 4.1  
Jamie Longman 107.3 385 23 16.74 3.6  
Ross Baird 115 439 25 17.56 3.8 1
Rob Wilson-Fry 195.4 538 30 17.93 2.8  
Ben Parker 28 95 5 19.00 3.4  
Greg Renk 230.5 1063 54 19.69 4.6  
Mark Parker 27.2 163 7 23.29 6.0  
Jonty Renk 133.8 554 23 24.09 4.1  
Nigel Doggett 48 250 10 25.00 5.2  
Chris Nevile 90.5 421 16 26.31 4.7  
Stan Owen 88 475 16 29.69 5.4  
Nick Entwistle 47.1 300 9 33.33 6.4  
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 31.1 218 6 36.33 7.0  
Phil Chesser 30 207 5 41.40 6.9  
Jeremy Farrar 4 43 1 43.00 10.8  
James Liebrecht 10 49 1 49.00 4.9  
Jon Scotchbrook 20.3 162 3 54.00 8.0  
Chris Watson 10 65 1 65.00 6.5  
Jock Shepherd 10 78 1 78.00 7.8  
Jeremy Lowe 12 96 1 96.00 8.0  


Many thanks to Jon Scotchbrook for helping me to compile them; it is a Labour of Love!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

 SACC Awards Dinner…

We held a very informal Awards Dinner just before Christmas, for which we had a full turnout – Nick Entwistle even came all the way from Somerset! Apparently not much happens down there.

The awards were as follows:

Best Batsman  3rd Jeremy Farrar         2nd Jon Scotchbrook      Winner Rob Wilson-Fry

Rob won by a margin of just 2 runs!

Best Bowler    3rd George Chipchase  2nd Paul Longman      Winner Tom Chesser

Best Young Player      Arthur Higgins

Best Bowling              Paul Longman 7-9 vs Islip

Best Batting                Arthur Higgins (56) Olly Doggett (31) 95 in 18 overs

Best Fielder                 Phil Chesser (conceded no byes vs Blenheim)

Clubman of the Year (voted for on the night by the members)         Jon Scotchbrook 

Batting Averages 2017 (must have batted 4 times at least)

Name                           Innings Out     Runs    Average           100      50

Rob Wilson-Fry          6          5          217      43.4                             2

Jon Scotchbrook         9          6          259      43.2                             3

Jeremy Farrer              4          4          94        23.5                             1

Stan Owen                  7          7          128      18.3

Peter Higgins              5          3          37        12.3

Nigel Doggett             7          7          65        9.3

Paul Longman             4          4          27        6.8

Jonty Renk                  4          1          3          3.0

Notably in 2017 nobody made a 100, but we did have more players contributing to the overall team performance: Arthur Higgins averaged 67.5, but only batted 3 times and Jock Shepherd averaged 36.0, but only batted twice. 

Bowling Averages 2017 (must have bowled 4 times at least)

Name                           Overs Runs     Wkts    Average           Runs/Over

Tom Chesser               21        80        6          13.3                 3.8

Paul Longman             52        210      15        14.0                 4.1

George Chipchase       18        79        5          15.8                 4.4

Rob Wilson-Fry          40        121      7          17.3                 3.1

Peter Higgins              24        104      5          20.8                 4.3

Ben Parker                  17        75        3          25.0                 4.4

Jonty Renk                  47        201      6          33.5                 4.3

Again it was an all round performance that led to our success, but worth noting that had Paul Longman not conceded 10 runs in his last over of the season, he would have tied with Tom Chesser. 

More Stats…

Next month the Life Time Averages and news of our 2018 Season. Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Another successful season…

Now I don’t have any results from before 2002 save an old scorebook, which Lawrence White gave me (many thanks), but having perused that book, this would still be our fourth most successful season ever. Well done to all who have played for the team in 2017, but in particular congratulations to skipper Nigel Doggett, who has captained the side with great skill and determination, whilst still ensuring we had fun along the way. Here is the table of our last 13 seasons with the key figure being the Result Percentage in the right hand column:

Season             P                      W                    D/T                  L                      % Result

2005                10                    8                      1                      1                      85%

2006                7                      3                      0                      4                      43%

2007                8                      5                      0                      3                      63%

2008                9                      7                      1                      1                      83%

2009                10                    7                      0                      3                      70%

2010                9                      5                      0                      4                      56%

2011                10                    6                      0                      4                      60%

2012                8                      5                      1                      2                      69%

2013                10                    7                      1                      2                      75%

2014                10                    6                      0                      4                      60%

2015                10                    7                      0                      3                      70%

2016                10                    9                      0                      1                      90%

2017                10                    8                      0                      2                      80%


Total                121                  83                    4                      34                    70%

We are now looking to strengthen the fixture list for next season and have added Oxford Downs and Minster Lovell to our 2018 card. We will continue to try and get through the first round of the Cricketer Cup, having come agonisingly close last year. With a full team we know we can do it. So unlike Middlesex we have managed to sustain our success into a second season!

Cricket Club Awards Dinner…

Our Annual Awards Dinner will be held in the White Horse in Duns Tew on Friday 24th November at 7.00pm. Please do let me know if you would like to come along.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

Blenheim Palace…

Injured again I was not at this popular fixture, so I am indebted to Rob Wilson-Fry for his account of the game:

“After our annual August hiatus, we reconvened for our away fixture against Blenheim Park on Sunday 27th August. On a glorious late summer’s afternoon in the shadow of the Palace on the South Lawn, Steeple’s 10 men won the toss and elected to bat. We were soon staring down the barrel as both openers departed on a responsive pitch with the score less than 10 – Wes, our debutant “batting all-rounder” (his words!) departing ignominiously first ball (though more of him later). Jamie Longman (28) and John Scotchbrook (62) steadied the ship and accelerated past 100 before perishing to some tight bowling. Robert Wilson-Fry (51*) played a not-too-subtle captain’s innings, nursing the tail as Steeple posted a competitive 185, augmented by a strong showing from extras.

Blenheim’s top order set off like a train, stalling only as their opener was caught expertly by Sam Hatzigeorgiou. Some wayward bowling accompanied by some sub-standard catching allowed Blenheim to occupy the box seat after 20 overs with 100-4. Enter the South Africans. Richard, who had not picked up a cricket ball in 13 years, deserved greater reward for a parsimonious spell of off-spin, while Wes (our batting all-rounder, lest we forget) proceeded to rip the heart out of the Blenheim batting line up with a sensational spell of seam bowling and ended up with not-unflattering figures of 6-19. The two of them changed a game that was threatening to get away from us.

A pretty quick mop-up of the tail meant that Steeple won by 48 runs. A quick mention to Phil Chesser for his wicket-keeping as he conceded no byes, proving that success in cricket is not just about runs scored and wickets taken. Both teams decamped to the pub in Woodstock for drinks, nibbles and a cordial debrief.”

PLEASE SAVE OUR NETS…Cricket nets on Robinson Close

Please do not climb on our cricket nets

Please do not hit footballs at our cricket nets

These nets belong to the whole village and anyone can use them including the pupils at Dr Radcliffe’s School. To those few vandals (and you know who you are, because I have told you often enough), please climb elsewhere and get your own football net. It costs us £300 per year to mend the damage you do. Thank you.

On a more upbeat note, next month the end of season STATS!!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

 White Ball cricket….

The Summer Big Bash in Oxfordshire began at 6.00pm on Friday 14th July with a match against touring side Little Gaddesen, who had spent the day at the Hook Norton brewery. We put them in the field, so that they had time to recover! SACC raced out of the blocks like Usain Bolt with Stan Owen (18) in typically belligerent form. Toby Parker (42) and Jon Scotchbrook (21) put on 50 for the third wicket, but we then suffered a middle order collapse subsiding to 111-6 off 15 overs. Thankfully Arthur Higgins scored an unbeaten 36 in the languid style of a Moeen Ali ably supported by Ben Parker. We ended on 157-8, so would need to bowl and field well.

Little Gaddesden…

With a much improved fielding performance and some tight bowling from Ben Parker (7 runs off 2 overs) and Stan Owen (10 runs form 3 overs), we kept the run rate down. JLo was “relatively” parsimonious in his one over and even stopped the ball in the field…once! However it was Mark Parker (1-22), who took the key wicket with a fine caught and bowled, allowing SACC to win by 15 runs.

Chipping Norton…

With two games in one afternoon we began our first against Chipping Norton, who were restricted to 125-5 from their 20 overs. All the bowlers contributed with Paul Longman at his miserly best taking 2-15 from his allotted four overs. Ben Parker (1-27), Jonty Renk (1-24) and Nige Doggett (1-24) all took key wickets to keep the run rate down. Stan Owen (43) and Jon Scotchbrook set off at a cracking rate putting on 76 for the first wicket, but as ever a collapse ensued and we were 100-5 with 16 balls remaining. Thankfully Jon kept his cool and won the match on the penultimate ball finishing undefeated on 69. Two wins from two.


Our second game against the Philippics began disastrously as SACC slumped to 38-6 off 10 overs. Then Stan “Alex Hales” Owen continued his fine white ball form hitting 41 from 33 balls to give us a glimmer of hope, as we closed on 106-9. The Philippics raced to 49-1 off 10 overs. How could they lose? Enter the Steeple Aston Youth! George Chipchase (3-13) and Tom Chesser (2-18) ripped through the Philippics’ middle order, ably supported by Jonty Renk (1-8). The skipper even felt confident enough to bowl Sam Hatzigerogiou, who did not disappoint, taking 1-4 off his one over. A third win in nine days by 14 runs.

Blenheim Palace…

Next time it’s back to 40 over cricket, as we play Blenheim Palace in front of the palace itself. Please do come and support – if at the gate you say you are involved in the cricket, you will not need to pay for entry.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

 100 not out…

As I begin my 100th copy for Steeple Aston Life, hurrah and hussar, I am delighted to include Stan Owen’s account of our game against Islip, which I missed. Thank you, Stan.


“Four wickets in four balls, a feat so rare, there is only one recorded instance of it happening in international cricket. Against Islip Paul Longman added his name to the short list of those who have achieved it. Fielding one of the youngest teams ever to represent the club, SACC put Islip into bat on a pitch with variable bounce. They struggled against the opening bowlers with Ben Parker (2-26) and George Chipchase (1-15) bowling with pace and accuracy. After 8 overs, with the score at 28-2, Paul came into the attack and struck with his first ball, a “jaffa” that pitched outside off and clipped the top of leg stump. A second wicket followed in his third over, but it was his fourth over when the fireworks really started.

4 wickets in 4 balls…

A dot ball and a single to start, a hat-trick to bring up his “5 for”, including a sharp catch behind the stumps by Phil Chesser that his son wishes he could have pulled off the over before, and a fourth wicket with the final ball of the over.  He returned to take the final wicket in his next over to finish with extraordinary figures of 7 for 9 off 4.5 overs. Islip all out for 60.

SACC duly wrapped up the game inside 12 overs, with Adam Din on debut scoring a quick-fire 12 and Toby Parker playing some beautiful shots to score an undefeated 30. The highlight of the innings came when Toby, running hard for a 3rd run, nearly caught up Stan Owen, who was still finishing his 2nd.”

And now back to me…It is worth noting that Stan is still quicker than Chris Tarrant, who only managed 1 run to Will Greenwood’s 3!


The pitch looked in great condition (thank you Jon & Paul), the sun was shining, but sadly we lost the toss and were in the field. Our catching has not been at its best of late and sadly on this day it plumbed new depths. Their skipper Jonathan Orders, a former Oxford Blue, scored 71 for 7 ie we dropped him 7 times, with my own drop probably the worst. Still the bowlers plugged away with Rob Wilson-Fry as mean as ever taking 1-16 off 8 overs. Jonty Renk continued his improved line and length with 1-30 and James Liebrecht (1-43), the new boy, suffered more drops than most. Peter Higgins finally removed Mr Orders with a fabulous stumping from Bob Longman, still wicket-keeping in his 60s. He is just a tad quicker behind the stumps than David Stewart! The Chairman finished with 3-41 and the Philanderers on 180-8, which would make for an exciting match.

It’s in the bag…

After 16 overs we were 90-1 with Arthur Higgins having hit 7 fours in making 43 and Rob Wilson-Fry 5 fours in his 35. Then suddenly we became England against South Africa on Day 4 at Lords, slumping to 135-7 by the 33rd over despite a valiant 24 by Nigel Doggett. 46 needed from 7 overs was still possible, except that their third and fourth change bowlers turned out to be Morne Morkel and Derek Underwood. Morne was so tall his arm released the ball above the top of the sight screen, making his delivery invisible in the lowering sun. Whilst Deadly Derek at the other end was firing the ball in at leg stump at 55mph and moving it 2 feet to off. We were all out for 152 and yet there is no shame in losing to a side that on the day were better than us. Mind you, had we taken one of our earlier catches, we would still have won!

Next up Great Tew.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

 Chairman’s XI…

To avoid having to understand Duckworth Lewis (does anyone?) we shortened the game to 30 overs a side, given impending rain. My geriatric team was delighted! SACC batted first and were reeling at 25-4 before Mark Mills (33) and Paul Longman (21) put on 44 for the 5th wicket with Paul recording his highest score ever for the club. Rob Wilson-Fry then took us apart with a commanding 61 before kindly lofting a spinning ball 50m vertically into the air for the Chairman to take a wobbly catch off his own bowling. Phil Chesser hit a breezy 14 to take the SACC to 178-8, an eminently beatable target. Well, until we started batting….

Even the supposedly weaker Club bowlers (dare I call them “Muppets”?) chose that day to bowl like Shane Warne; Jeremy Lowe even bowled a maiden! The wickets were shared equally between Jonty Renk 1-14, Paul Longman 1-16, Jamie Longman 2-16, Mark Mills 1-8 and Rob Wilson-Fry 2-2. A deserved win for the SACC by 55 runs despite a valiant 30 by Chris Watson, who had kindly agreed to play for the Chairman’s XI after yet another of his players tore a hamstring. Is it really so hard to do your shoelaces up?

Middleton Stoney…

No 40 over cricket at Middleton Stoney, but good old traditional 20 overs from 6.30pm with all three results possible. MSCC batted first and in a rather stoic manner eventually reached 152-6 off 49 overs. Our ground fielding had been excellent with many boundaries saved, but we had spilled 5 catches, which had put pressure on the bowlers. Paul Longman was the pick of our attack with 2-36 off 12 overs, ably supported by Peter Higgins (1-17) and Ross Baird (1-13). Jonty Renk (2-35) then came back at the close to keep the run rate down by taking a couple of quick wickets.

Middleton Stoney’s batting had made the wicket look slow and unpredictable, but nobody had told our openers Arthur Higgins (56) and Olly Doggett (31), who put on 95 for the first wicket off 76 balls. They simply took the opposition attack apart and, had the rain not slowed down the outfield considerably, might have won the game by themselves. But cricket is a funny old game and 7 overs later, we were 113-6!! Fortunately Ross Baird (22 not out) in his first match of the season batted with great patience and Peter Higgins (12 not out) hit the winning runs in the final over of the day. An incredibly exciting game played in good spirit by both sides ended with a win by 3 wickets for Steeple Aston and a rather fine BBQ.

Sandford St Martin…

After last year’s T20 loss to Sandford we fielded a strong team intent on exacting revenge. And what a batting performance it was! Jeremy Farrar (86) was back to his ball-striking best and together with Rob Wilson-Fry (46) put on 120 for the Second Wicket, a NEW CLUB RECORD. Nigel Doggett continued the momentum with a cultured 22, before Jon Scotchbrook (61 not out) and Jamie Longman (33 not out) added an undefeated 77 runs for the 5th wicket. SACC finished on 284-4, though on a good pitch for batting, nothing could be taken for granted.

How right we were not to be complacent, as the Sandford opening batsman hit 133 off 66 balls! The key moment of the match came as Tom Chesser gave the ball just a little bit more air and hence turn, causing the Sandford Number 1 to lift a firm drive to short cover. I have never seen Jeremy Farrar move so quickly, as he clutched the catch to his midriff. Sensing victory now the bowlers turned the screw, Tom Chesser finishing his spell with a match-winning 4-37. Ross Baird backed him up well with 2-46 and Paul Longman 2-50. Sandford folded quickly and SACC won by 39 runs. A fine all round performance with Jeremy Farrar a deserved man of the match – catches really do win matches.

We now have three wins from our last three games and move on to play Islip with great confidence, but not complacency.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

National Village Cup…

It all started so well against Challow with 2 balls bowled, Jeremy Farrer had hit 2 crashing boundaries and we began to dream. Sadly on the 4th ball he was given out LBW, despite the sound of bat on ball reverberating around the Cherwell Valley! There then followed a collapse to 38-5, though through no fault of our batsmen, as the bowling was of the highest standard. Ollie Doggett (18) then played some unorthodox attacking strokes and put on a defiant 27 runs with Greg Renk (15) for the 6th wicket. The tail wagged a little, allowing Extras to creep up to a top score of 24, leaving us 92 all out. Surely not enough against a Cherwell League team?

Headingley 1981…?

Nigel Doggett did his best Churchill impression, giving a rousing speech, and we took the field with fire in our bellies. Rob Wilson-Fry then turned into Bob Willis for 50 minutes and ripped into the Challow opening batsmen removing three of them in his 8 overs, whilst only conceding 14 runs, including one fine catch down the legside by Nigel. Jonty Renk (0-20) bowled with great control and aided by some fine fielding from the whole team, after 10 overs Challow had crept to 35-3. Jamie Longman (2-16) then came on and with his first ball bowled their number 5. 35-4!! There then followed three fine catches in the field – Jon Scotchbrook took a sharp one at Point; Ollie Doggett an athletic catch diving forward at Short Cover and Peter Higgins a real slow spinner at Backward Square Leg – plenty of time to think about dropping it! 72-7 with George Chipchase (1-33) consistently beating the bat. Sadly we could not quite finish them off and a few hit and miss swipes for 4 saw Challow home by 3 wickets. If only we had managed another 20 runs…

Chairman’s XI…

And so we prepare for some slightly easier opposition against the Chairman’s XI with an average age of 55. Sadly my three best players are unable, or should I say frightened, to play through “injury”, so expect some high scores for the village in next month’s report. All the injuries are apparently related to the Sacroiliac Joint; I needed to look it up too!

Nets at Robinson’s Close…        

We continue to hold nets every Thursday at 6.00pm and all are welcome regardless of ability. For any youngsters keen to practice, please do come along and bowl and we will try to arrange some batting practice against our spinners and slow left-armers.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

National Village Cup…

We are only 8 games away from Lords and in the last 16 of the Oxfordshire group, and we haven’t even played a game yet. Please come and support us on Sunday 30th April at Barton Abbey CC from 2pm, as we take on the might of Challow & Childrey CC. Our last foray into the Cricketer Cup was not the best, in fact it was the club’s worst performance in living memory. Your village club needs you! Tea and cake will be provided for all who come and support.

Fixtures 2017…

Here are our fixtures for this summer:

Date Opponent






Sunday April 23rd Brill Away 1.30pm  
Sunday April 30th Challow & Childrey Home 2.00pm  
Sunday May 14 Minster Lovell Home 2.00pm  
Saturday May 20th Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am  
Sunday June 4th Middleton Stoney Away 2.30pm  
Sunday June 11th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm  
Sunday June 25th Islip Away 2.00pm  
Sunday July 2nd Philanderers Home 2.00pm  
Sunday, July 9th Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm  
Sunday July 16th Oxford Downs Away 2.00pm  
Sunday, July 23rd Great Tew Away 2.00pm  
Sunday August 27th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm  
Sunday, September 3rd Chairman’s V Captain’s XI Home 1.30pm  
Sunday, September 17 Blenheim Park Home 1.00pm



We are now having Nets every Thursday from 6pm at Robinson’s Close – all welcome.

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

April 2017

2017 Fixtures…

Date Opponent






Sunday 23rd April Brill Away 1.30pm  
Sunday 30th April National Village Cup Round 1


Sunday May 14 Minster Lovell Home 2.00pm  
Saturday May 20th Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am  
Sunday June 4th Middleton Stoney Away 2.30pm  
Sunday June 11th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm  
Sunday June 25th Islip Away 2.00pm  
Sunday July 2nd Philanderers Home 2.00pm  
Sunday, July 9th Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm  
Sunday July 16th Oxford Downs Away 2.00pm  
Sunday, July 23rd Great Tew Away 2.00pm  
Sunday August 27th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm  
Sunday, September 3rd Chairman’s V Captain’s XI Home 1.30pm  
Sunday, September 17 Blenheim Park Home 1.00pm

Given that the team is performing so well (long may it continue!), we have added some tougher fixtures against Minster Lovell and Oxford Downs, though nobody wants to be reminded of our last match against Downs! So we have also entered the National Village Cup again…..which was the last time we played Oxford Downs. Let’s just say it was a bit like watching England play India in the 5th Test after Cook and Jennings were out!!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

February 2017


Nick Entwistle…

There’s good news and bad: the bad news is that Nick, Jo and family are moving to Somerset; the good news is that we now have somewhere to go on tour – get that barn renovated, Jo! Nick has been a stalwart of the club for the last 6 seasons and his humour and companionship will be sorely missed, as will the 2 magnums of wine he shared with us at the Annual Awards Dinner. Good luck in Somerset, Entwistle family, from all of us at SACC. 

The Awards…

We held a very informal Awards Dinner just before Christmas and the awards were as follows:

Best Batsman  3rd Nigel Doggett        2nd Rob Wilson-Fry     Winner Jeremy Farrar

Best Bowler    3rd Tom Chesser          2nd Paul Longman       Winner Jamie Longman

Best Young Player of the Year           Tom Chesser

Most Improved Player                         Jeremy Lowe

Clubman of the Year (voted for on the night by the members)         Paul Longman 

Lifetime Averages…

For the Stattos amongst you here are the Lifetime Averages, which include only those still playing for the club:


    Total   Lifetime    
  Players Runs Outs Average 100s 50s
Jamie Longman 639 11 58.09 2 2
Jeremy Farrar 512 11 46.55 1 3
Rob Wilson-Fry 808 19 42.53 1 3
Arthur Higgins 147 4 36.75   1
Peter Higgins 1806 50 36.12 1 12
Jon Scotchbrook 2396 73 32.82 3 17
Mark Mills 443 15 29.53 1 4
Greg Renk 1048 41 25.56   4
Nigel Doggett 464 19 24.42   3
Ben Ramos 253 11 23.00   1
Ross Baird 247 11 22.45   2
Stan Owen 671 30 22.37   2
Harry Startin 40 2 20.00    
George Chipchase 19 1 19.00    
Nick Entwistle 453 26 17.42   1
Tom Chesser 104 6 17.33   1
Chris Watson 73 5 14.60    
Olly Doggett 36 3 12.00    
Jock Shepherd 65 7 9.29    
Chris Nevile 125 14 8.93    
Charlie Scotchbrook 44 5 8.80    
Phil Chesser 210 24 8.75    
Mark Parker 61 7 8.71    
David Stewart 20 3 6.67    
Jonty Renk 50 8 6.25    
Will Doggett 23 5 4.60    
Paul Longman 75 18 4.17    
Jeremy Lowe 10 4 2.50    
Richard Wade-Martins 1 1 1.00    
Jack Higgins 1 1 1.00    



          Lifetime Economy  
  Players Overs Runs Wickets Average R/O 5W/I
George Chipchase 12 32 5 6.40 2.7  
Arthur Higgins 3 13 2 6.50 4.3  
Jack Higgins 6.2 19 3 6.33 3.1  
Will Doggett 2 11 1 11.00 5.5  
Charlie Scotchbrook 43.2 190 17 11.18 4.4  
Tom Chesser 37.7 128 11 11.64 3.4  
Peter Higgins 419.5 1540 102 15.10 3.7 2
Paul Longman 203.2 865 53 16.32 4.3 1
Ross Baird 102 380 22 17.27 3.7 1
Mark Mills 46 190 11 17.27 4.1  
Rob Wilson-Fry 156 417 23 18.13 2.7  
Jamie Longman 98.3 353 19 18.58 3.6  
Greg Renk 230.5 1063 54 19.69 4.6  
Jonty Renk 87.3 353 17 20.76 4.0  
Mark Parker 25.2 141 6 23.50 5.6  
Nigel Doggett 43 216 9 24.00 5.0  
Harry Startin 9 52 2 26.00 5.8  
Chris Nevile 90.5 421 16 26.31 4.7  
Richard Wade-Martins 11 62 2 31.00 5.6  
Stan Owen 81 439 14 31.36 5.4  
Nick Entwistle 47.1 300 9 33.33 6.4  
Jeremy Farrar 4 43 1 43.00 10.8  
Chris Watson 8 48 1 48.00 6.0  
Jon Scotchbrook 17.3 146 3 48.67 8.4  
Phil Chesser 28 198 4 49.50 7.1  
Jock Shepherd 8 54 1 54.00 6.8  
Jeremy Lowe 9 77 1 77.00 8.6  
Hector Higgins 4 14 0 ##### 3.5  
Olly Doggett 8 35 0 ##### 4.4  
Ben Ramos 2 22 0 ##### 11.0  


2017 Season…

The 2017 fixtures will be available soon. Please do come and support the team and enjoy a fine cup of tea and cake!

Best wishes to all

Peter Higgins, Chairman

January 2017

Blenheim Palace…

And so to our final game of the season – blessed with beautiful weather, the pitch immaculate, we won the toss and batted first. Jeremy Farrar (31) and Ross Baird (60) got us off to a cracking start with 66 runs off the first 12 overs. Nigel Doggett (53) and Ross then put on 63 for the second wicket to take us to 129-2 off 22 overs. Despite a mini collapse Rob Wilson-Fry (58*) and Stan Owen (29) steadied the innings with a fifth wicket partnership of 78. We finished on 258-5, one of our highest ever 40 over scores.

Never in doubt…

We have always had strongly contested games with Blenheim, but on this occasion our aggressive batting seemed to have drained the confidence from them and they never looked like getting close. It was great to see all the bowlers contributing in a fine all round bowling performance. Tom Chesser (3-24) began with 2 wicket maidens; Paul Longman (3-22) was his usual accurate self; Ross Baird took another brace of wickets and Charlie Scotchbrook (1-17) and Peter Higgins (1-2) mopped up the tail. Blenheim all out for 117. SACC won by 141 runs, an absolute stuffing! They will undoubtedly come back stronger next year.

Our most successful season ever…

Now I don’t have any results from before 2002 save an old scorebook, which Lawrence White gave me (many thanks), but having perused that book, this would still be our most successful season ever. Well done to all who have played for the team in 2016, but in particular congratulations to skipper Nigel Doggett, who has captained the side with great skill and determination, whilst still ensuring we had fun along the way. Here is the table of our last 12 seasons with the key figure being the Result Percentage in the right hand column:

Season             P                    W                    D/T                  L                      % Result

2005               10                     8                      1                      1                      85%

2006                7                      3                      0                      4                      43%

2007                8                      5                      0                      3                      63%

2008                9                      7                      1                      1                      83%

2009              10                      7                      0                      3                      70%

2010                9                      5                      0                      4                      56%

2011              10                      6                      0                      4                      60%

2012                8                      5                      1                      2                      69%

2013              10                      7                      1                      2                      75%

2014              10                     6                      0                      4                      60%

2015              10                     7                      0                      3                      70%

2016              10                     9                      0                      1                      90%

Total            111                  75                       4                     32                      69%

We are now looking to strengthen the fixture list for next season and have already added Oxford Downs and Mister Lovell to our 2017 card. So just like Leicester FC, next season may be a bit tougher, but it will be no less enjoyable.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

October 2016

Sandford St Martin…

Sadly the weather caused the cancellation of our match against Blenheim at the Palace, so we arrived at Sandford for a T20 a little under-cooked. Sandford were 73-1 after 10 overs and the outlook was bleak, but as a team we have become more resilient over the last few years and thanks to some fine catches and a swift stumping by Nigel Doggett, we hauled ourselves back into the game. Rob Wilson-Fry (1-14) bowled his 4 overs with customary accuracy, his wicket coming from a fine catch by Olly Doggett; Peter Higgins (2-24) benefitted from a superb catch by Harry Startin at Long On, before sacrificing his big toenail to stop a boundary; Paul Longman (3-24) then ripped through their middle order to contain Sandford to a gettable 148-7.

Sometimes the bowling is just too good…

Sandford had fielded a strong batting team, but an even stronger bowling one. We never quite threatened their total. Jon Scotchbrook (17) looked in good form before holing out and Ross Baird (29) gave us a glimmer of hope before being run out, as we fell short by 31 runs. Still we are undefeated in 2016 in all Sunday matches!

Captains’ vs Chairman’s XI…

Our club match was once again a very entertaining match and the club won! The Captain’s XI got off to a great start with Nick Entwistle (30) in commanding form before George Chipchase (3-11) took 3 quick wickets. Then Jeremy Farrar (1-20) took his first wicket for the village, a fine catch by Jon Scotchbrook. The effect of Jeremy’s wicket was so psychologically damaging that the Captain’s XI succumbed to 106-6; Charlie Scotchbrook (2-26) spun his magic; Chris Watson (1-24) took an important wicket, whilst Hector Higgins applied yet more pressure to the batting team by conceding only 14 runs from his 4 overs. However Jamie Longman (56) hit a typically belligerent half century, ably supported by Harry Startin (32). Nigel Doggett’s quick fire 30 not out took his team to 231-8 from 40 overs. It is worth mentioning David Stewart’s energetic wicket-keeping despite being the wrong side of 60 – his determination to stop the ball is proved by the fact that he had more bruises on his body than he conceded byes – there were a lot of bruises!

More good bowling…

Some fine opening bowling from Tom Chesser (2-26), Harry Startin (2-18) and Nick Entwistle (1-23) left the Chairman’s XI in tatters at 72-5. However Charlie Scotchbrook (24) and George Chipchase (19) batted maturely to put on 49 for the 5th wicket, though they were kept in check by some economic bowling from Jock Shepherd (0-7) and Jeremy Lowe (0-12), including a maiden. Yes, I know it is hard to believe! So we needed 144 from 15 overs and Jon Scotchbrook (46 not out from 24 balls) set off, as if he thought we could do it by hitting Jamie Longman for a straight 6 off his first ball. Jamie (3-17) had the last word though bowling with great accuracy to keep the run rate down. The Chairman (32*) managed a “slightly” slower run rate to take the final score to 196-8. Victory for the Captain’s XI by 45 runs.

Final match…

So we come to our final Sunday match against Blenheim Palace on Sunday 18th September. Can we remain unbeaten….on a Sunday?  Watch this space!

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

September 2016


Our first match against the Philanderers, a nomadic Fathers & Sons team, took place at Barton Abbey in early July and thank goodness for Greg Renk; not many people have ever said that about Greg! Steeple managed a lowly 141 all out with Greg making it all look so easy with 59. Arthur Higgins chipped in with a valuable 18 runs and Nigel Doggett 16, but our first loss beckoned given the strength of the opposition.

At 54-1 the Philanderers were strolling it, but cricket is a funny old game. Rob Wilson-Fry and Jonty Renk had only conceded 27 runs from the first 14 overs, so the pressure began to build. Paul Longman (2-22), who turns it more than Yasir Shah, took 2 quick wickets and Nigel Doggett turned in a life time best performance for SACC of 4-12 in 3 overs, ably supported by the Chairman with 2-14. Jack Higgins took the last wicket with a fine catch by none other than Greg Renk. Played 6, won 6.

Barton Abbey…

A fine all round bowling performance saw Barton Abbey dismissed for 101. Jonty Renk (1-25) again bowled well with Tom Chesser (1-12) conceding few runs from his 7 overs. Greg Renk and Rob Wilson-Fry gamely mopped up the tail. Will Doggett (21) opened the batting and at last fulfilled his undoubted potential, whilst Jeremy Farrar with a fluent 63 not out led us to a 7 wicket victory. Played 7, won 7.

Great Tew…

G&LTCC now play their League cricket in the Premiership. Clearly they had heard of our fine start to the season, so fielded 4 of their first XI. On a beautiful batting wicket at one stage it looked as though they might score 300! Nobody had told Ross Baird (2-45) though, who bowled with great variety to remove two of their key men, including their Australian Professional, who was “expertly caught” behind by wicket-keeper Phil Chesser. Rob Wilson-Fry (1-35) and Tom Chesser (1-33) both bowled their 8 overs with great control, leaving the way for Paul “Yasir” Longman to take control of the match with a brilliant 4-22 from 7 overs. Great Tew were all out for 197, denied 200 plus by a fine fielding performance from the whole team.

Nick Entwistle (24) gave us an encouraging start with a typically belligerent innings, ably supported by Rob Wilson-Fry (20), but at 44-3 victory looked a long way off. Tom Chesser then knuckled down to produce a wonderfully mature 54, his first fifty for the Club. Clearly he gets his sporting genes from his mother Sarah! Greg Renk (26*) then brought us to the brink of victory at 182-7, but a sudden tumble of wickets left us needing 10 from the last over with Paul Longman to face. Paul is a fine bowler, but he has more Ducks to his name than anyone else in the Club. However as at Blenheim 2 years before, when it matters Paul becomes Carlos Brathwaite. He struck 2 wonderful 4s in the last over including one cover drive that was reminiscent of Michael Vaughan. SACC won by one wicket, played 8, won 8. Tom Chesser was Man of the Match, but not far behind was Paul “Yassir Carlos Vaughny” Longman.

Three games to go…

We end the competitive season with a 20/20 versus Sandford St Martin and two matches against Blenheim Palace as well as our end-of-season Chairman’s versus Captain’s XI match. Please do come and watch our two remaining home games on Sunday 4th September. (Chairman’s/Captain’s) and Sunday 18th September versus Blenheim. Can we remain unbeaten?

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

August 2016

£34,000 for the Lord’s Taverners …

The club can be truly proud to have raised £34,000 for the charity, beating our previous Tav’s record for the most money ever raised by a village side. We have now garnered enough over the two games to buy a fully equipped Minibus (cost £55,000). After the match we chatted late into the evening to friends from the village and to new friends from the Taverners, who were gracious in defeat. Had Neil Smith (England ODI player) chosen to bat himself instead of sending in Chris Tarrant, the result might have been vey different? What a gent, one who gave us some new stories that will last a lifetime. 

Middleton Stoney…

We were determined to avenge last year’s defeat, but at 42-3 our chances were slim. Nigel Doggett then played a true captain’s innings with a patient 54, ably supported by Jeremy Farrar (23) and Tom Chesser (23), who scored 23 more runs than his father! We closed on 156 all out, probably 20-30 runs short. We need not have worried however as all our bowlers were on top form, dismissing Middleton Stoney for a record low score of 82 all out. Rob Wilson-Fry began the damage with 2-28, leaving Paul Longman (4-18) and Greg Renk (3-7) to secure a 74 run victory.

Great Tew…

Sadly Chipping Norton CC forgot our fixture, but Great Tew was able to put out a side at short notice, for which we were very grateful. They were even more generous as we bowled them out for 162 on a bright sunny day with Ross Baird taking 2-35. Greg Renk (3-40) continued his fine season with the ball, but the highlights were the performances of two of our youngsters: Olly Doggett took 3 sharp catches in the gully and Charlie Scotchbrook (3-14) bamboozled Tew with his leg breaks. At 61-0 the game was in the bag, but then Jeremy Farrar (42) and Rob Wilson-Fry (38) were out in quick succession and we were wobbling at 95-4. However Arthur Higgins hit a mature 33 not out to guide us home, showing more elegant stroke play than his father and scoring at twice the rate! 4 matches played and 4 wins.


On a miserable wet day we arrived at Islip to find that they had forgotten to mow the pitch and outfield! It was like a jungle, only denser. We batted first, having lost the toss, and Stan Owen hit 16 runs that would have been 25 on a properly cut outfield; ditto Jon Scotchbrook’s valiant 26. The innings of the day though was Rob Wilson-Fry’s 62 that took us to 149 all out; certainly he would have been close to the nervous 90s without the jungle. Islip never looked like chasing us down and we bowled them out for 76, though credit to the Islip team for continuing to bat on despite the incessant drizzle. Once again all the bowlers distinguished themselves with Greg Renk 4-20, Charlie Scotchbrook 2-7 and Graham Bullen 1-4, taking his first wicket after a 5 year absence in a 12 ball over. Peter Higgins bowled 5 overs and took 1-2, as he bored Islip to death.

Five wins from five! Do come and support and join us for a free cup of tea.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

July 2016

Lord’s Taverners Match – 22nd May 2016

14. Team photoWhen we arrived at Barton Abbey for the pre-match dinner the night before, there were ducks on the pitch!! Thankfully the Great Batsman in the sky sent the sun and wind to dry out the pitch and the match was on. The Tavs won the toss and batted. Out strode Rob Andrew (70 England rugby caps and a 1st Class century) and Jonnie Irwin (Daytime TV property star) and batted as if it were Day 1 of a Test Match. Rob Wilson–Fry bowled 5 overs for a miserly 10 runs and Jamie Longman was even more of a skinflint conceding only 7. The Tavs 23-0, a third of the way through their 30 overs and the pressure was building.

Bring on the “Buffet Bowlers”…

We were frankly a bowler short and when Nick Entwistle and Stan Owen came on to bowl, the field was spread to the boundary. How little faith the Chairman had, as Stan bamboozled both Rob and Jonnie with his second and third balls. A fine 3 over spell of 2-6. Whilst Nick bowled the tightest spell of his career, allowing only 3 runs from his two overs. There was to be no “Helping yourself” on this day. Paul Longman then removed Chloe Hill (a future England cricketer in the making) with an outstanding catch by Jock Shepherd. 56-3 off 20 overs…we started to believe an upset was on the cards.

The last 10 overs…

Fortunately for the Tavs the Chairman (1-37) bowled like a drain with Andy Caddick and Will Greenwood thrashing the ball to all sides; there was a caught and bowled chance off Will, but I decided in a split second that I wanted to bat. Fortunately Greg Renk (2-23) bowled with great control having Caddick caught beautifully by Nick Entwistle on the boundary, with Nigel Doggett taking a smart stumping to dismiss Greenwood. The highlight of the innings was undoubtedly the moment when Will Greenwood ran 3 to Chris Tarrant’s 1 run – when we had stopped laughing, we gave them the 3 runs and the Tavs finished on 123-6, their lowest score for almost 20 years.

The more important match…

During the tea break the children from Springfield School, Witney played a match of Kwik Cricket on the square. It was wonderful to see the children, who had been brought to the ground in their Lord’s Taverners minibus, playing cricket with Will Greenwood, Andy Caddick, Rob Andrew and Mike Gatting. To see the joy on their faces was without doubt the real highlight of the day.

SACC start slowly…

We began our innings with a real chance of winning, but after 4 overs were 6-2 with Neil Smith, their captain, and Gladstone Small doing all sorts of things with a ball that we had never seen before. The ball of the day was the one that dismissed Rob Wilson-Fry: 3 leg cutters beating the outside edge, then one that came in about 2 feet to hit off stump – simply unplayable. It was going to be tight! After 12 overs we had edged to 39-3.

Some momentum…

Then came the key partnership as Jon Scotchbrook (22) and Jamie Longman (32) played with growing confidence to put on 40 odd runs before being dismissed by Messrs Andrew and Caddick respectively. Nigel Doggett hit a quick fire 31 and brought us to the brink of victory before being caught behind. With 7 balls to go we were 120-6, needing 4 runs for an unlikely victory. The pressure was building and hearts were pounding, as Andy Caddick hurled some “friendly abuse” at the new batsman.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man…

Phil Chesser remained unperturbed as he strode out to the wicket. He returned one ball later (caught and bowled) to tumultuous applause from the boisterous crowd. 4 required from the last over. Caddick began limbering up again, but as I pointed out to Neil Smith he had already bowled his allotted 5 overs – phew! Jock Shepherd looked relieved as he took up his position at the non-strikers end. A half volley on leg stump and the Chairman (12*) despatched the ball to the mid wicket boundary for a famous victory.

£35,000 raised for the Lord’s Taverners …

Perhaps village life does not get much better: the club beat the Lord’s Taverners, a rare occurrence; we raised £35,000 for the charity, beating our previous Tav’s record for the most money ever raised by a village side; we have now raised enough over the two games to buy a fully equipped Minibus (cost £55,000); late into the evening we chatted in the sunshine to friends from the village and to new friends from the Taverners, who were gracious in defeat. Had Neil Smith (England ODI player) chosen to bat himself instead of sending in Chris Tarrant, the result might have been vey different? What a nice chap, one who gave us some new stories that will last a lifetime.


The Lord’s Taverners’ match cannot happen unless everyone pulls together and works hard. The Club did just that with many people putting in many hours. Forgive me if I have forgotten you, but a special mention for: Jock Shepherd (Raffle), Stan Owen (Auction), Greg Renk (Programme), Rob Wilson-Fry (Website), Jon Scotchbrook, Paul Longman and Nigel Doggett (Pitch Preparation). Jane Stewart worked tirelessly to provide such an incredible match day lunch and tea and finally to Caroline Nevile and her team for running the tea & cake stall. Roll on 2021!!!

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman

For photos of the match, please click here

Chairman’s XI…

It is the 13th year of this entertaining fixture and a good warm up for the Taverners’ match. The record stands at 8-4 to the SACC, though the winners last year were the Chairman’s XI. The village bolstered their team, whilst the Chairman lost the Captain of Suffolk, Jeremy Farrar and his Ironman Athlete, who does most of the fielding. Their replacements aggregate score was 0 and their combined bowling from 6 overs was 0-60. Did it matter? No. Did we have a great time? Yes. And it was sunny!

SACC won toss and batted…    

Greg Renk (10) was undone by a “corker” after a bright start, but Ross Baird (62) batted stoically on a slow, but true pitch. After 18 overs the village were 56-4 and the Chairman’s XI sensed another victory, until Jon Scotchbrook (61) joined Ross and the run rate increased dramatically, as Ross finally opened his shoulders and smote a couple of 6s. They had put on 105 for the fourth wicket, when Jon tried to launch the Chairman (2-36) over Long On, his only poor shot of the day! Ben Ramos (15) batted patiently, but the key moment of the innings was when Rob Wilson-Fry was dropped 3 times in 6 balls. He went on to score 25 runs in quick time and with Stan Owen (16*) took the score to 245 after the allotted 40 overs.

Lunch & tea…

As ever a fabulous spread had been laid on by Miranda, Caroline, Kate, Sarah, Harriet, Vicki, Catriona, Rob W-F and many others. A big thank you on behalf of the Club. The Chairman’s XI duly tucked in and it is not far from the truth to say that we probably ate more cakes and sandwiches than we scored runs!

SACC Bowling…

Paul Longman opened with a devastating 6 over spell of off-spin, taking 3-8. Greg Renk (0-7) and Stan Owen (0-4) both bowled very tidily, giving nothing away. However it was the sight of Jon Scotchbrook (1-21) taking his first wicket for 11 years that broke the morale of the Chairman’s XI. Nigel Doggett cranked up the pressure still further by conceding a miserly two runs from 3 overs. It only remained for Jamie Longman (3-8), Ross Baird (2-13) and Rob Wilson-Fry (2-3) to mop up the middle order and the tail! The Chairman scored a scratchy 12 before being well caught by Rob off Ross’s bowling – 136 all out, top scorer Extras with 43! Mark Mills took 3 excellent catches; if only he had been on our team.

The evening…

Both sides partied late into the night and there were no accidents back at the Higgins’ household, where the main miscreant “Heggers” had been banished to a Cath Kidston Teepee! It is still there and awaits various waifs and strays, who will be staying after The Taverners’ Dinner.

Next month a report on Steeple Aston CC versus the Lord’s Taverners – Mike Gatting, Andy Caddick, Gladstone Small, Will Greenwood et al. How will we cope?

Best wishes

Peter Higgins, Chairman SACC

May 2016

Lifetime Averages…

For the Stattos amongst you these averages include only those still playing for the club:


Name                                       Runs           Out         Average       100        50

Jamie Longman 540 7 77.14 2 1
Rob Wilson-Fry 557 11 50.64 1 1
Jeremy Farrar 342 7 48.86 1 2
Arthur Higgins 92 2 46.00   1
Peter Higgins 1725 47 36.70 1 12
Jon Scotchbrook 2239 63 35.54 3 16
Mark Mills 441 14 31.50 1 4
Ben Ramos 238 9 26.44   1
Greg Renk 905 35 25.86   3
Rob Hull 495 20 24.75   1
Olly Doggett 24 1 24.00    
Stan Owen 598 27 22.15   2
Nigel Doggett 265 12 22.08   1
Toby Parker 22 1 22.00    
Chris Watson 71 4 17.75    
Nick Entwistle 397 23 17.26   1
Tim Jefferson 73 5 14.60    
Phil Chesser 199 19 10.47    
David Stewart 20 2 10.00    
Harvey Townson 203 21 9.67    
Jock Shepherd 38 4 9.50    
Mark Parker 57 6 9.50    
Chris Nevile 125 14 8.93    
Jonty Renk 35 6 5.83    
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 39 8 4.88    
Tom Chesser 9 2 4.50    
Ben Parker 4 1 4.00    
Paul Longman 53 14 3.79    
Charlie Scotchbrook 6 3 2.00    
Richard Wade-Martins 1 1 1.00    
Will Doggett 2 3 0.67    
Jeremy Lowe 1 3 0.33    



Name                           Overs   Runs    Wkts    Average   R/O 5W/I

Toby Parker 4 8 2 4.00 2.0  
Arthur Higgins 3 13 2 6.50 4.3  
Jack Higgins 6 18 2 9.00 3.0  
Charlie Scotchbrook 21.2 73 8 9.13 3.4  
Ben Parker 11 20 2 10.00 1.8  
Tom Chesser 10.4 31 3 10.33 3.0  
Will Doggett 2 11 1 11.00 5.5  
Harvey Townson 16 74 6 12.33 4.6  
Peter Higgins 382.1 1372 91 15.08 3.6 2
Ross Baird 64 209 13 16.08 3.3 1
Mark Mills 44 179 11 16.27 4.1  
Rob Wilson-Fry 96 272 16 17.00 2.8  
Paul Longman 147.2 601 30 20.03 4.1 1
Greg Renk 199.5 923 44 20.98 4.6  
Jamie Longman 78.3 301 13 23.15 3.8  
Jonty Renk 69.3 305 13 23.46 4.4  
Mark Parker 25.2 141 6 23.50 5.6  
Chris Nevile 90.5 421 16 26.31 4.7  
Rob Hull 161.4 739 27 27.37 4.6  
Richard Wade-Martins 11 62 2 31.00 5.6  
Jock Shepherd 4 32 1 32.00 8.0  
Nick Entwistle 41.1 267 8 33.38 6.5  
Stan Owen 76 429 12 35.75 5.6  
Nigel Doggett 34 188 5 37.60 5.5  
Sam Hatzigeorgiou 27.1 190 5 38.00 7.0  
Phil Chesser 24 164 4 41.00 6.8  
Jon Scotchbrook 13.3 102 2 51.00 7.7  
Jeremy Lowe 6 65 1 65.00 10.8  

Lord’s Taverners…

Two important dates for the diary:

  1. Lord’s Taverners Dinner – Saturday, May 21st
  2. SACC vs Lord’s Taverners CC – 2pm Sunday 22nd May, Barton Abbey CC. The Tavs team so far is looking quite strong! Darren Gough, Andy Caddick, Gladstone Small (all bowling off 4 paces!), Mike Gatting, Will Greenwood, Rob Andrew (also played for Yorkshire CC) with Chris Tarrant ready to bowl in case we are 20-5!! Do come and watch.

Best wishes

Peter Higgins

Chairman SACC



Are we successful?

We are a village club that plays Sunday cricket first and foremost for enjoyment. We endeavour to combine inclusivity with success on the field. This year 43 different people played for the club varying in ages from 12 to 62, though David Stewart did not quite complete his only game! Here is the table of our last 12 seasons with the key figure being the Result Percentage in the right hand column:

Season P W D/T L % Result
2004 11 5 1 5 50%
2005 10 8 1 1 85%
2006 7 3 0 4 43%
2007 8 5 0 3 63%
2008 9 7 1 1 83%
2009 10 7 0 3 70%
2010 9 5 0 4 56%
2011 10 6 0 4 60%
2012 8 5 1 2 69%
2013 10 7 1 2 75%
2014 10 6 0 4 60%
2015 10 7 0 3 70%
Total 112 71 5 36 66%

So we win 2/3 of our matches and have a lot of fun along the way. However we will not be complacent – you are only as good as your last game, or your last laugh!

Batting Averages 2015 (must have batted 4 times at least)

Name Innings Out HS Runs Average 100 50
Jamie Longman 6 3 101* 301 100.3 1 1
Jon Scotchbrook 9 5 78 301 60.2   3
Rob Wilson-Fry 5 4 157* 240 60.0 1  
Rob Hull 4 2 50* 79 39.5   1
Stan Owen 5 4 46 83 20.8    
Nigel Doggett 6 6 44 121 20.2    
Ross Baird 5 4 31 63 15.8    
Harvey Townson 5 4 17 59 14.8    
Ben Ramos 4 3 28 40 13.3    
Greg Renk 4 4 18 37 9.3    
Paul Longman 5 2 9* 14 7.0    
Nick Entwistle 5 5 8 19 3.8    

Bowling Averages 2015 (must have bowled 4 times at least)

Name Runs Wkts Best Bowling Average Runs/Over
Rob Wilson-Fry 71 10 4-17 7.1 2.2
Greg Renk 55 5 2-10 11.0 2.8
Paul Longman 231 17 5-7 11.9 3.8
Ross Baird 209 13 5-51 13.6 3.3
Jamie Longman 120 7 3-17 17.1 3.5
Rob Hull 121 7 3-14 17.3 3.3
Nick Entwistle 96 2 2-17 48.0 6.4

More Stats.

Next month the Life Time Averages and more news about the Lord’s Taverners match, which will be played at Barton Abbey on Sunday 22nd May 2016.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

Cricket Team

Cricket Club Awards Dinner..

GoochOn Friday 13th November Graham Gooch made the long journey from Essex to the Steeple Aston Village Hall to present the end of season Awards and to help raise money for the Lord’s Taverners charity. He is pictured here presenting Arthur Higgins with his “Young Player of the Year Award”.

Up until the Thursday night we were nervously sat on 99 guests, the tension was rising, but then a snick through the slips brought Geoffrey and Judith Lane and a tentative prod into the covers, brought Rob Hull; 102 guests, the first century of guests in our Club’s history.


You can say many good things about Goochie – fine England captain; second highest England Test run scorer of all time, but I feel the two things that set him apart are that:
1) He has selflessly coached and mentored Alistair Cook to beat his record
2) He will turn up on a wet Friday to give a talk in a small Village Hall, because he loves the game and wants to give something back.

Graham chatted happily with many of the team and their guests before the dinner and made a highly amusing speech with his deadpan delivery. His best joke (now my favourite) is worth repeating:

Two Yorkshiremen are leaving a Sportsman’s dinner after a night out in Leeds and one turns to the other and says, “So what did you make of the speech then?” to which his Yorkie mate replies, “Well it was fine, if you like laughing”. As a Yorkshireman myself I wept with laughter.

The Awards.

Best Batsman: 3rd Rob Wilson Fry 2nd Jon Scotchbrook Winner Jamie Longman
Best Bowler: 3rd Paul Longman 2nd Greg Renk Winner Rob Wilson Fry
Best Innings: Rob Wilson Fry versus Sibford
Best Bowling: Paul Longman versus Barton Abbey
Best Young Player of the Year: Arthur Higgins
Clubman of the Year (voted for on the night by the members): Greg Renk

There was a also a special award for “Best Groundsman”, which went to Paul Longman in recognition of all the hours he has spent preparing the Barton Abbey ground. Jon Scotchbrook has also done great work, but he clearly has more friends than Paul!

Greg Renk was a unanimous choice for Clubman of the Year, as he stands down as Captain after three years of unstinting work. Greg always does everything with a smile on his face, despite having sent 2,439 emails to members of the club reminding them about fixtures; where to meet; what time; bring the kit bag; tie your shoe laces. You get the point! Thank you on behalf of the Club – Greg, Paul and Jon.

Lord’s Taverners Charity.

The dinner closed at 11.30pm and many guests helped to tidy up, testament to the spirit that exists in the Club. It was a truly great Village night and amazingly we raised almost £3,000 for the Lord’s Taverners Charity. Jock Shepherd worked tirelessly to sell 1,000 Raffle Tickets, a record perhaps not even he may ever beat. So as we head into 2016 and our match with the Taverners on Sunday 22nd May, we have already raised more than £11,000. This is well ahead of our performance last time, so we hope to reach our target of £25,000 (2010 £20,000). Look out for news of our special Taverners Dinner in the New Year.

Next time – the stats!!

A Happy Christmas to one and all.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

Blenheim Palace..

Our rivalry with Blenheim Palace has become akin to Manchester United versus Liverpool, Yorkshire versus Lancashire, England versus Wales at rugby, save that we have never lost to them. This year they fielded their strongest team to date and came to Barton Abbey with “hope in their hearts”. On a slow wicket we were soon struggling and were 4-2 until Jamie Longman took control with a well crafted 75. He was ably supported by Jon Scotchbrook (19) and Olly Doggett, who batted with great maturity for his 24 runs..which was 24 more runs than his father! We closed our innings on 164-8 which was probably about 20 runs short of par. Game on.

Sometimes it all just clicks.

Unlike the England rugby team, we have spent no time in a five star hotel; have no professional coaches; have no playing strategy thrust down our throats, except to give everyone a game; and yet we play as a team and on this day everyone contributed. Rob Wilson-Fry (4-17) was like Sam Warburton – you could not get the ball off him; Paul Longman (2-13) was Dan Biggar, putting it on a sixpence; Ross Baird (1-21) running in aggressively like Gethin Jenkins; Rob Hull (1-3) an energetic Rhys Webb and Mark Parker (1-8) the dark horse Lloyd Williams, with a wicket from nowhere. Blenheim Palace 73 all out – an absolute stuffing. I have heard on the grapevine that they are already planning to recruit big for next year’s match. Bring it on!

2015 Season ends.

Despite a rocky start to the season we went undefeated in June, July, August and September. We played 10 matches in all, won 7 and lost 3. Our Awards Dinner with Star Guest Graham Gooch will be held in the Village Hall on Friday 13th November. Tickets are £40 each with any surplus going to the Lord’s Taverners Charity. Anyone can come, just contact Peter Higgins on 01869 347493 for tickets. Next month all the awards and stats.

Here’s to an equally successful 2016

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

Chairman’s XI versus Captain’s XI

Sadly the game at Blenheim Palace was cancelled owing to the weather, but our annual Club match more than made up for this with the result in the balance until the final over. The Chairman won the toss and chose to bat. Mark Mills (32) was his usual diligent self and put on 53 for the fourth wicket with Rob Wilson Fry (36). However with Jamie Longman (2-12) and young Toby Parker (2-8) bowling with great variation the Chairman’s XI was wobbling at 95-5 off 25 overs. Then Rob Hull strode to the wicket, having been out for a duck last time he faced the SACC attack. Today was Rob’s day though and he struck a wonderful 50* (his first for the village…finally!) ably abetted by sexagenarian(*) David Stewart (10*). With Ross Baird (1-19) and Richard Wade Martins (1-15) also taking a wicket a piece, the Chairman’s team finished on 172-9 of their 40 overs.

Captain’s XI need 173 to win off 40 overs.

Greg’s team set off at a rare old pace with Toby Parker (11) and Graham Goadby (21) putting on 35 for the first wicket. Then Jamie Longman (39) and Ross Baird (31) took the score to 98-2 off 22 overs – 75 needed off 18 overs with 8 wickets in hand, but it was clearly Rob Hull’s day (3-14), as he dismissed Jamie with a fine catch from Ben Parker, whilst the Chairman (2-9 ) groaned in from the pavilion end to remove Ross with an even better catch by stand in keeper Mark Mills (David Stewart had retired by this point!).

The final few overs.

Then it was left to Tom Chesser (8), Greg Renk (12) and Chris Watson’s friend Ian (10*) to nurture their team to 162-7 with 3 overs remaining. Charlie Scotchbrook bowled very economically, so that 11 runs were needed to win off 18 balls with 3 wickets in hand – surely the Captain’s XI would win? Just then Ben Parker (2-15) struck, getting Greg out LBW. Another wicket fell and so to the last over, 8 needed with the last pair in and Sam Hatzigeorgiou to bowl. Now I am sure Sam will not mind me saying that last year it could all have been over in two balls, but not this day. Sam bowled a beauty, they tried to run two and Sam took a great return throw to remove the bails – run out and victory to the Chairman’s XI by 6 runs. A fine Club match with everyone batting and bowling, though most importantly all the youngsters contributed, most notably in the field, where some of the oldies were clearly struggling. Many thanks too to all those who produced such a fine tea.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

(*) By the way a “sexegenarian” is someone in their 60s!! No puns intended.

Records tumble..

We always enjoy our games with Sibford, as they play the game in the right spirit. However they may not enjoy playing us again, as the SACC broke three records against them.

Highest score by SACC 329-2 from 40 overs

Highest individual score 157* Rob Wilson-Fry

Highest 3rd wicket partnership 159 Rob W-F & John Scotchbrook (78*)

Rob and Graham Goadby (71) almost beat the opening partnership record too, falling just two runs short. In reply Sibford fought gamely to score 183-9, usually enough to win. Paul Longman (2-31), Greg Renk (2-17) and Nick Entwhistle (2-17) each got a brace of wickets with Graham Goadby (1-23), Ross Bair (1-30) and Jonty Renk (1-44) each chipping in with one apiece. Almost as amazing a match as Trent Bridge day 1!

So it is a very exciting time for our village club – please do be part of it. Our final two home games at Barton Abbey are on Sunday 6th and 20th September.

Peter Higgins

SACC AWARDS DINNER Friday, 13th November, Village Hall – Graham Gooch will give out the prizes

I am delighted to confirm that Graham Gooch, former England captain, England’s second highest run scorer of all time and batting coach to the highest run scorer of all time, will be giving out the awards at the SACC Awards Dinner this year in the Village Hall. This event is open to anyone who wants to come, so please put the date in you diary now. Tickets will be £40 each and will include a 3 course meal courtesy of Croxfords along with as much wine as you can drink.

Tickets are available from Peter Higgins – either call him on 018669 347493 or email

Barton Abbey.

It has been a month for the SACC spinners – would that Moeen Ali could do half as well! Paul Longman took 5-7 and Graham Goadby 2-9 to dismiss Barton Abbey for 33, our best performance against any opponent. Jamie Longman (1-5) and Ross Baird (2-6) also chipped in with wickets. The bowlers were aided by some fine fielding with Arthur Higgins in great form behind the stumps, taking 3 catches and a stumping. Steeple Aston duly won by 8 wickets with Stan Owen (15*) hitting the winning runs in the 11th over. A fine win that made up for last year’s morale sapping defeat.


Again the spinners were outstanding with Graham Goadby and Paul Longman both taking 3-4. Islip could only manage 77 all out, as Rob Wilson Fry took 1-18 off 7 overs ably assisted by Ross Baird (1-7) and Rob Hull (1-21). SACC won by 6 wickets with Rob Wilson-Fry hitting a swift 24 and Jon Scotchbrook (21*) scoring the winning runs. That is three wins in a row and we go to Sibford with great confidence.

SACC AWARDS DINNER Friday, 13th November, Village Hall – Graham Gooch will give out the prizes

I am delighted to confirm that Graham Gooch, former England captain, England’s second highest run scorer of all time and batting coach to the highest run scorer of all time, will be giving out the awards at the SACC Awards Dinner this year in the Village Hall. This event is open to anyone who wants to come, so please put the date in you diary now. Tickets will be £40 each and will include a 3 course meal courtesy of Croxfords along with as much wine as you can drink.

Tickets are available from Peter Higgins – either call him on 01869 347493 or email


Sunday 22nd May 2016 at Barton Abbey

Mike Gatting will once again be leading a team of Test Players and stars from TV and radio to play the SACC next May. Sadly Graeme Hick won’t be there as he has never quite recovered emotionally from being out “Caught Chesser Bowled Nevile” and has emigrated to Australia! In 2011 the SACC raised £20,000, which is the most any village side has raised in Tav’s history. We are determined to beat it this time.

So it is a very exciting time for our village club – please do be a part of it. Our final two home games at Barton Abbey are on Sunday 6th and 20th September.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

cricket1This photo shows the team at their Barton Abbey ground on Sunday, June 21st. They are (l to r) at the back: Harvey Townson, Paul Longman, Jon Scotchbrook, Peter Higgins, Chris Nevile, Ben Ramos & Rob Hull. Front row: Ross Baird, Jamie Longman, Arthur Higgins, Stan Owen & Graham Goadby. There’s a link to more photos at the bottom of this report. But before that, the Chairman’s report..

Chipping Norton.

Despite a fluent 28 from Jon Scotchbrook the SACC was struggling at 47-4 against a much improved Chipping Norton attack. Thankfully Tim Jefferson (37) and Arthur Higgins (79*) steadied the ship with a stand of 69 for the fifth wicket. Then the fireworks began as Arthur and Graham Goadby (39) put on 70 in 8 overs, almost like watching Morgan and Root! We finished on a creditable 219-6. It was Arthur’s first 50 for the village and I have now reconciled myself to the fact that I am no longer the best cricketer in my family. As Ian Bell once remarked to the great Mark Waugh, when being brutally sledged by him, “I may not be much good, but at least I am the best cricketer in my family!”

Chipping Norton could only manage 150-7 from their 40 overs, never recovering from a tight opening spell from Greg Renk (2-10) and Graham Goadby (1-22). Then Peter Higgins (2-20), Nigel Doggett (1-32) and Will Doggett (1-11) kept the pressure on and the result was never in doubt.

Middleton Stoney.

Wow, we dismissed Middleton Stoney for 148 with some fine opening bowling from Rob Hull (2-38), ably supported by the ever improving Paul Longman (3-41). However our star man was Ross Baird, who turned in his best performance for Steeple Aston with 5-52 from 14.1 overs. In reply at 114-4 the game was in the bag; Nigel Doggett had batted diligently for 43 and with Jon Scotchbrook on 43 not out we could not lose..except we did! Jon was out next ball and we collapsed to 144 all out with only Rob Hull (17) offering any real resistance. Cricket is a funny old game and you only need to lose concentration for a split second and the game can change dramatically. We were bitterly disappointed to lose, but it will make us all the more determined for next year.

Sandford St Martin.

It had been 5 years since we last defeated Sandford and we had targeted this as our “must win” game of the season. And what a game! Sandford batted first and hit a par score of 186. Rob Wilson-Fry was his usual mean self with 2-11 from 8 overs, but it was Graham Goadby (3-44) who tore the heart out of the Sandford batting. Ross Baird (1-33), Jamie Longman (1-37) and Greg Renk (1-4) all chipped in with a wicket each.

In reply we were magnificent. Nigel Doggett (44) crafted another score in the forties (when is this half century going to come, Nigel?) before Jon Scotchbrook (62*) and Jamie Longman (24*) had an undefeated partnership of 85 to win us the match by 7 wickets. To paraphrase Miranda, that is what I like to call an absolute stuffing!!

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

For more photos, please click here

2,000 Runs.

Despite losing to Brill in a hard fought match, Jon Scotchbrook hit a fluent 77 to take his lifetime tally for the SACC to 2,016 runs at an average of 34.16. He is the first to reach this landmark. Jon was ably supported by Ben Ramos (28) and Richard Markham (21*), but 187-9 with such a short boundary never looked enough. Brill knocked off the runs with two overs remaining for the loss of only 4 wickets. Rob Wilson-Fry (1-10) and Rob Hull (1-29) bowled tidily at the outset and Paul Longman (2-62) chipped in with 2 wickets, but we were never able to exert enough pressure in the field and our hosts were deserving winners.

Deddington 2nd XI.

Under the captaincy of former SACC player Ashley Clarke, Deddington fancied their chances this year (they have never beaten us), but that record still remains. We gave nothing away in the field, took some fine catches and bowled our opponents out for 115. Jamie Longman (3-17) was the pick of the bowlers with debutant Graham Goodby (2-22) bowling a very tight line with his offspin. Ross Baird (1-16) and Paul Longman (1-17) took a wicket each and Chris Nevile produced his best figures for the SACC, bowling 3 overs and taking 1-3.

Our opening pair set off at great pace with Stan Owen (46) striking 8 boundaries in the first 15 overs and Harvey Townson (17) three more. Greg Renk hit a quick fire 18 and Jamie Longman (19*) hit the winning runs in the 24th over. It was a fine win and leaves the village in great shape for the mighty Chairman’s XI.

SACC XI 8 Chairman’s XI 3.who would win Match 12?

The Chairman’s XI batted, because they would have been unlikely to have a fit team, if they had fielded first. Jeremy Farrar again played for the Chairman’s XI (for how much longer?) and scored a swift 62. The Chairman himself did not need to bat, as the oldies raced to 264-5 off 40 overs. Chris Nevile (2-8) was the most incisive of the SACC attack with Nigel Doggett (2-31) and Mark Parker (1-40) also taking wickets. That said the Chairman’s XI would have scored more, but for Jon Scotchbrook’s incredible diving catch to dismiss our best batsman, who used to captain Suffolk.

So it was a beautiful sunny day, the wicket looked in marvellous condition thanks in particular to Jon Scotchbrook and Paul Longman and 265 was not impossible against a side not known for its bowling or fielding ability! Incredibly the Chairman’s XI rose to the occasion taking many fine catches to reduce the SACC to 63-6, with only Stan Owen (20) and Nigel Doggett (15) reaching double figures. However Jamie Longman continued his form of last year and hit an unbeaten 101 not out. Yes, we dropped him 6 times and should have run him out twice, but it was still a fine controlled innings of well-timed ball striking. Wickets continued to tumble though, with the groaning and moaning Chairman taking 2-29. The match looked all but lost until Phil Chesser hit a swift 15 and Chris Watson a belligerent 32*, but it was not enough and the Club ended on 231 all out. Almost 500 runs were scored in the day, the sun shone and a BBQ at the Chairman’s house rounded off a marvellous village occasion. As I write on the Sunday afternoon following the game, I am still feeling the effects of my team’s celebrations! Next month Chipping Norton, Middleton Stoney and Sandford St Martin – we really must beat all three.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

2015 Fixtures.

Please find a list of all fixtures for the 2015 season below. Please do come and support us – 4.00pm is a good time to watch, as we serve tea and cake. At the Chairman’s match there is also the odd free beer floating around. Not that we like to bribe our spectators in any way of course!

April Opponent Home/Away
Tuesday 21st Hon Artillery Company (20/20) Away 5.30pm
Sunday 26th Brill Away 2.00pm
Sunday 10th Deddington 2nd XI Away 2.00pm
Saturday 16th Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 24th Chipping Norton Away 2.00pm
Sunday 31st Middleton Stoney Away 2.30pm
Sunday 14th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm
Sunday 21st Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm
Sunday 28th Islip Home 2.00pm
Sunday 12th Deddington Away 2.00pm
Sunday 19th Sibford Away 2.00pm
Sunday 26th Great Tew Away 2.00pm
Sunday 30th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm
Sunday 6th Chairman’s vs Captain’s XI Home 1.30pm
Sunday 20th Blenheim Park Home 1.00pm

Robinsons Close Nets.

Nets have already begun – please do come along to Robinsons Close at 6.00pm on any Thursday for a net. Players of all abilities welcome.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

What is the point of Village Cricket?

After England’s debacle against Bangladesh, you may well ask what is the point of English cricket. However, as I write, we await with much trepidation the final match in the World Cup against those Titans of Cricket, Afghanistan. Part of me would love Afghanistan to win. Not because I am not patriotic, far from it, but because it would be fabulous for the World Game of Cricket. It might also mean that we will get a new and decent coach in time for the Ashes next year!

The same philosophy holds true of village cricket. It is not all about winning. Whilst we were all mortified to lose to Barton Abbey last year, as many SACC members sought to impersonate Chris “The Lemming” Jordan, you should have seen the smiles on the faces of the Barton Abbey team; it was their finest win in a long time. So the main point of Village Cricket is enjoyment.

How does this enjoyment manifest itself?

In many ways. The first is that our Club brings together players from many different villages – Steeple Aston of course, North Aston, Somerton, Lower Heyford, Tackley and Duns Tew. We are a true Cherwell Valley community team and have been able to make friends with people from other villages, whom we would not otherwise have known. Cricket creates a more genteel camaraderie than say Rugby or Football and is all the more special for that.

Secondly cricket helps to keep you fit. That physical benefit also provides a mental stimulus too. “Mens sana in corpore sano” as Juvenal, who bowled many a metaphorical googly, once wrote. Thankfully too it is a sport that can be played well into old age, though at 53 my back is starting to make it increasingly difficult. However with careful drug management (don’t be alarmed – I would still pass the WADA doping test), I think I can carry on for a few years yet. One just moves from fielding in the Covers to Backward Point and thence onto a non-catching position in the Slips; the bowling run up too shortens considerably; and quick singles become a distant memory.

Another benefit is that it is one of the few team sports you can play with your sons (or daughters). In the SACC Jon Scotchbrook, Greg Renk, Nigel Doggett, Phil Chesser, Mark Parker, Stefan Green, Ben Ramos, Chris Nevile, Bob Longman, Mark Mills and I have all played matches with our sons. There is something magical and terrifying about batting with your son, though I still have nightmares about running Arthur out! I know too that Nick Entwistle cannot wait to open the batting at Barton Abbey with Monty, albeit still another 10 years to go. I can recommend Tramadol, Nick! The sad fact for all us oldies is of course that our children are much better than us already, though none of us minds in the least. Isn’t that after all what we want for our children? To be better than us.

And finally.

Before I become too philosophical, let us all simply rejoice that the Steeple Aston Cricket Club continues to thrive. It has been in existence throughout the 500 editions of Steeple Aston Life and my only wish is that the SACC will still be around, when we celebrate the 1000th edition. However I do sincerely hope that I won’t still be writing the cricket column!!

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins

2015 Fixtures.

We have increased the number of fixtures to 15 with the overall aim of improving the quality of the opposition:

1) New fixture against the Deddington 2nd XI, for which we will need a strong team
2) Blenheim Park still want to play us twice after last year’s two epic wins
3) Sibford will only feature once this year, as sadly they cannot get enough players to fulfil two games
4) Despite rumours to the contrary Barton Abbey, our ground share partners, are still fielding a team, though with a new captain

Full fixture list.

April Opponent Home/Away
Tuesday 21st Hon Artillery Company (20/20) Away 5.30pm
Sunday 26th Brill Away 2.00pm
Sunday 10th Deddington 2nd XI Away 2.00pm
Saturday 16th Peter Higgins XI Home 11.30am
Sunday 24th Chipping Norton Away 2.00pm
Sunday 31st Middleton Stoney Away 2.30pm
Sunday 14th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm
Sunday 21st Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm
Sunday 28th Islip Home 2.00pm
Sunday 12th Deddington Away 2.00pm
Sunday 19th Sibford Away 2.00pm
Sunday 26th Great Tew Away 2.00pm
Sunday 30th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm
Sunday 6th Chairman’s vs Captain’s XI Home 1.30pm
Sunday 20th Blenheim Park Home 1.00pm

First nets.
Nets will start on Robinsons Close at 6.00pm on Thursday 9th April. All are welcome.

Best Wishes

Peter Higgins