SACC Chairman’s Report

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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.

Philippics…

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.

Islip…

“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!

Philanderers…

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

 

Home/Away

 

Time

 

 
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

 

Nets…

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

 

Home/Away

 

Time

 

 
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:

Batting

    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

 

Bowling

          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


Philanderers…

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.

Islip…  

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.

Thankyous…

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:

Batting

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

 

Bowling

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.

“Goochie”.

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

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
Chairman

(*) 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
Chairman

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 peter.higgins@ctshirts.co.uk

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.

Islip.

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 peter.higgins@ctshirts.co.uk

LORD’S TAVERNERS vs SACC

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
Chairman

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
Chairman

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
Chairman

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
May
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
June
Sunday 14th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm
Sunday 21st Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm
Sunday 28th Islip Home 2.00pm
July
Sunday 12th Deddington Away 2.00pm
Sunday 19th Sibford Away 2.00pm
Sunday 26th Great Tew Away 2.00pm
August
Sunday 30th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm
September
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
Chairman

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
Chairman

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
May
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
June
Sunday 14th Sandford St Martin Away 2.00pm
Sunday 21st Barton Abbey Home 2.00pm
Sunday 28th Islip Home 2.00pm
July
Sunday 12th Deddington Away 2.00pm
Sunday 19th Sibford Away 2.00pm
Sunday 26th Great Tew Away 2.00pm
August
Sunday 30th Blenheim Park Away 2.00pm
September
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
Chairman