Recent addition to the Chilterns League The Lee were this week’s visitors to the Lane and, with heavy showers forecast, their trip down from the Hills looked in vain. Making it two toss wins out of two, stand-in skipper Rulach decided to field first despite having only nine players present for the 1pm start. Undeterred, Denham bowlers Kirby and Shepard delivered 3 maidens and one wicket maiden before Lee opener Channer finally opened his account with a streaky four on the 25th ball of the innings. Denham managed to keep the scoring rate down despite the have-a-go batting styles of the Lee middle order, taking wickets regularly despite the batsmen getting starts. Of amusement was the agricultural G. Perceval, who stood his ground despite being clean bowled by Ashworth, believing that Sir Stuart Payne had diverted the ball off his teeth onto the stumps; in fact the ball had shot through the chasm between G. Perceval’s pad and bat, cannoning into middle stump before rebounding into Sir Stuart Payne’s upper lip. As such, G. Perceval was out and was kindly directed to remove himself from the hallowed Denham turf by the umpire’s finger. Despite O’Hara and Mehta bowling well in the middle overs, The Lee managed to post a decent total of 204-9 off their 52 overs.
After a fortifying tea, the Denham opening partnership of Tobin and Mehta walked out to begin the run chase. Tight bowling with the new ball from medium pacer J. Hutt meant scoring opportunities were at a premium. At the other end, Mehta decided to take on the Lee attack, swishing wildly but unfortunately not connecting. The breakthrough came when Mehta was caught in the outfield off Hutt. This was followed by Shepard and Treacy being dismissed cheaply, leaving the Denham response faltering at 26-3. Sir Stuart Payne came in at no.5 and built a decent partnership with Tobin, but both were out just after drinks, leaving Denham an improbable 140 runs shy of their target. Dave Hales smashed some quick runs via his £12 Sports Direct bat but, when he fell with the score 89-6, Denham were in serious trouble. Enter 13 year old Josh Simpson, who had been drafted into the squad twenty minutes before the start of play. After a slow start, Simpson scored freely off bad balls and defended stoutly against good ones. The field had been brought up in an attempt to intimidate him but this only served to give him licence to crunch drives and pulls to the boundary. With Rulach holding up the other end against the second spell of Hutt, Simpson took the score past 150 and then brought up his half century with a thrash off the hopeless Perceval in the penultimate over of the game. Cue raucous celebrations by the Denham faithful, led by Mr and Mrs Simpson, as Simpson Jr raised his bat to the clubhouse. The match ended shortly afterwards, with Josh Simpson finishing on 58 not out and Denham reaching 182-6 in their 48 overs. A bitter jug was purchased by Mr Simpson in celebration of his son’s first fifty for the club and the members certainly look forward to many more!
Denham 182-6 - Josh Simpson 58*
The Lee 204-9 - J.Hutt 3-33
Team: Tobin, Mehta, Treacy, Shepherd, Payne (w), Josh Simpson, Hales, Rulach (c), Kirby, Ashworth, C O'Hara
Winning the toss on a day, Denham stand in skipper Ray Rulach chose to field first to maximise his team's chances of winning. Featuring several members of the 1st XI team due to them not having a game, the 2nd XI team was as strong as it was going to be, even without the experience of Simpson at the helm. Mahmood and Magner duly accepted the new ball and bar a few legside glances that breezed along the fast outfield for a boundary, the Chalfont batsmen never really got in, playing shot after shot in an attempt perhaps to stay out of the sun. Six wickets fell without significant toil (for scorer or fielder) before Treacey came on at the Bilton End, replacing Mahmood. Treacey duly took two wickets in his first over, finishing with figures of 3-1-11-4, much to the annoyance of Mahmood and Magner, who both finished with three a piece. The briefness of the Chalfont innings was such that Denham managed to pad up and hit the winning runs before tea was taken, Bobby Rai helping himself to 48*, duly supported by contributions from Tobin and Rulach. A Waitrose spread from deep in the bowels of Blackheath was laid out, courtesy of skipper Rulach, featuring pate and crackers. No bad skip, 7.5/10 - no pink wafers!
Denham 2nd XI - 98-1 Treacy 4-11, Rai 48*
Chalfont St.Giles 2nd XI 94 all out
Denham’s previous match against Taplow was a tight affair and ended in the 100th over of the game so expectations were high for another exciting game. Denham won the toss and elected to field first on a hot and humid day. Andy Kirby and Jeff Simpson got decent movement with the new ball but the Taplow openers were fairly stable. Ambrose Treacy replaced Jeff Simpson and earned a wicket in his first over but, other than that, chances seemed to go through the gaps rather than to fielders. After Kirby finished his tidy spell Phil Ashworth began an epic 15 over spell, keeping scoring opportunities to a minimum. The Denham fielders stuck to their task well, allowing Taplow to score only a handful of boundaries in the middle overs. However, good running between the wickets saw their total up to 233 for the loss of four wickets.
The Denham response began well, with Stuart Payne and Colin Tobin seeing off a few overs of spin with the old ball before thrashing the new nut to the boundary. Particularly impressive was Sir Stuart Payne’s attacking shots, including a violent slog sweep for six and a glorious square cut all along the ground for four. However, after Sir Stuart was bowled and Ray Rulach, Ambrose Treacy and Morgan Rees all fell cheaply, the Denham chase was in danger of slowing despite Tobin bringing up a determined fifty. Paul Richards, Tam Siddique and Jeff Simpson kept up the momentum in the second half of the innings and, while continuing the chase up until the last over, were not quite able to get up to the target, finishing the game 14 runs short on 220-9.
Team: Payne, Tobin, Rulach, Treacy, Rees, Richards(w), Hales, Siddique, Simpson (c), Kirby, Ashworth
Taking a team much younger in appearance (and sometimes play) to Great Kingshill, skipper Simpson duly lost the toss and was inserted. A normally placid pitch proved deadly to openers Richards and Nicholas who both quickly departed for single figure scores within the first five overs. Rai and Tang effected a mini recovery before Tang was out LBW playing a hook shot at a half tracker that kept low. Rai was out soon after, leaving Maynard to anchor the innings on a glorious day for cricket. Rees made a fluent 25 before being bowled by a full toss the ball before tea, bringing Mahmood to the crease to join Maynard. It was soon apparent that Mahmood was intent on making his runs without scoring boundaries, with hard run twos and cleverly placed singles rotating the strike while Maynard made short thrift of any filth. The Denham innings was declared on 233 for 5 after 48 overs.
Tea taken, Denham looked to take their rejuvenated bowling attack to Great Kingshill, with Nicholas striking in the third over to remove Kingshill skipper Selby. Wickets proved hard to come by from then on as the pitch became more and more placid, the hot sun draining the strength and enthusiasm of the fielding side. A notable knock by Kingshill no.3 Prothero (sixteen years old) anchored their innings despite taking a barrage of fast bowling from Mahmood. The Kingshill innings finished on 121-6 after 52 overs.
Team: Nicholas, Richards, Rai, Tang, Rees, Maynard, Mahmood, Simpson, Magner, Schembri, Ashworth
The 2s travelled to Taplow for their final match of May on a cloudy but thankfully dry day. After losing another toss, Denham were asked to bat first by the Taplow skipper and with a drying pitch, long grass and a massive outfield to contend with, the odds were stacked against Denham putting on a large score. The innings did not get off to a good start, with Denham losing openers Sir Stuart Payne and Flash Tobin within the first few overs. Ray Rulach came in at no.3 and anchored the innings while Dave Hales played some good shots to push the total along but neither capitalised on their start to get a decisive score and both fell with 10 or so overs left. However, Jeff Simpson and John Magner worked hard at the end and added quick runs, their lusty blows getting the score up to 128-8 off 52 overs.
Siddique and Magner opened the bowling, making early inroads into the Taplow top-order; soon Denham had the home team six down with only half the target achieved. The Taplow WK, however, batted sensibly with his captain and exploited the weaknesses in the hamstrings / knees / calves of the Denham fielders to score easy singles and twos. Denham were able to break the partnership thanks to an excellent direct hit from Josh Simpson but they could not get the final two wickets needed for victory. The 2s had their opportunities to get the win, with a couple of sharp chances going down in the final overs, but Taplow were able to reach their winning target with five balls to spare.
Team: Tobin, Payne (w), Rulach, Bhagodia, Siddique, Hales D, Simpson Jr, Simpson Sr, Magner, Atwal, Ashworth
Denham travelled to Binfield for their third match of the 2014 season on a warm and sunny day. Skipper Jeff Simpson won his first toss of the year and asked the Binfield skipper to bat first on a drying pitch. John Magner took the new ball and immediately had the Binfield openers struggling with his clever variations. Denham were unable to maintain the pressure from the other end, however, as Jeff Simpson was unable to find the right length due to his perennial toenail bruising. His replacement after six overs, Morgan Rees, was also hindered by an injury to his knee and soon Denham stalwart Phil “The Philth” Ashworth was called into action. Through all this, however, Magner sustained remarkable accuracy and penetration as he tied up one end and collected the first seven wickets to fall. With the score still in double figures, Binfield skipper Goddard came out and played a few shots to boost the total before holing out, with Josh Simpson taking a superb catch at deep mid-off. Tamour completed the innings with the help of a blistering snaffle by Morgan Rees and Denham were led off the field by John Magner (15-5-17-7) having restricted the home team to 123.
After an excellent performance with ball in hand, it was incredibly disappointing to see Denham’s innings crumble through a mixture of tight bowling and broad incompetence. At one point Denham seemed intent on taking second place behind The Wirral on the “Most Inept Batting Performance” list as successive batsmen fell to poor shots. Indeed, after flopping to 4-4, at 12-7 Denham rejoiced that their total had equalled the age of their youngest player! Only through some lustful hitting by John Magner and able support by Phil Ashworth were Denham able to post a half century but the innings came to end within 31 overs, with Denham dismissed well short of their target.
Team: Payne, Atwal, Rulach, Siddique, Rees, Richards, Simpson Jr, Frolich, Simpson Sr, Magner, Ashworth
Preparations for Saturday’s game against Great Kingshill began the evening before, with 2nd XI skipper Jeff Simpson ringing the club - while transporting a bevy of Belgian beauties from Terminal 5 to Soho nightclub “Bijou” - to request team stalwarts Ray Rulach and Ambrose Treacy to cover the pitch after completion of that evening’s colts match. Simpson’s foresight on Friday ensured that the game could commence on time but unfortunately his clairvoyance deserted him at 12.44pm, with Denham subsequently losing the toss and being asked to set a target on a moist, sluggish pitch. The Cheapsiders opened with Flash Tobin and B-road specialist Paul Richards, who saw off the first eight overs with characteristic poise and tenacity. Flash then fell in the ninth over, yorked by a plunging full ball that wickedly unbailed his middle and off stumps. In at three-dog was Ray Rulach, who negotiated five overs and two LBW shouts before heavy rain interrupted the fifteenth over. No further play was possible despite a couple of breaks in the showers and the match was abandoned at 4.30pm. While cricket was the undoubted loser, a number of individuals benefitted from the early finish....
Denham 2XI drew away at CSG
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