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2012 Match reports

Season 2013 Match Reports

Saturday 4th May

Witcham Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to Witcham by 179 Runs


Battered and bruised

Fowler bowled an over and then we came off due to rain. Marc and Fowler bowled a few more and then we came off again. Skip and Jacko bowled, then AB. We took some wickets while Witcham scored at a decent rate. Then a tall lad came in and started hitting lots of big sixes, and scored a century. Jacko took 4 wickets to move into 2nd on the all-time list. Skip's 3 wickets took him into 5th on the same list. Fielding was mixed. Slightly disturbing that both Fowler and Jacko had good length balls 'pop' over Paul's head. Witcham posted a daunting 259 all out.

Paul was out early and H made 0 retired hurt (1 ball) when a length ball 'popped' into his temple. AB battled past the opening bowlers to get sight of some easier pickings but was triggered by Jacko with a hint of the ball pitching a foot outside leg stump. Then, other than Fowler making a steely 13 #digin, we were all a bit rubbish, possibly wary of the under-prepared pitch. 80 all out at least got us another 2 bonus points to go with the 5 for fielding.

Home next week and much better required. **Report is brief as I've still got a sore noggin and partial memory loss**

Saturday 11th May

Fen Ditton Vs Wimblington

Fen Ditton beat Wimblington by 2 Wkts



After the thrilling run chase at Easton on BH Monday on a warm, sunny day, with a perfect wicket and quick outfield, we were back to anxious looks at the pitch, outfield and sky. And back in long sleeved sweaters. Dave Norman will get our pitch sorted, but he's not a magician. While it meant scoring for the batters required patience, it was a long way from the dangers faced at Witcham.

Wimblington had first go and immediately appeared keen to bat as though they had 20 overs, rather than 40 at their disposal. Marc sprayed some wides but when he got everything right looked very good. Jacko just keeps coming from the 'Bottom End' with all variations under complete control. Backed up by some excellent fielding and catching with special mentions for Goose and Fielder of the Year 2012 Gilo, we steadily took wickets/Wimblington threw their wickets away* (*delete as appropriate). Calling for a Mongoose bat after facing one ball with your team on 25-2 and then getting out to a poor shot summed the approach up. Unusually, Skip bowled a load of dross by his very high standards, but AB showed more control in a spell than for some time. The wickets were shared around with old Arfur even knocking back off-stump. The innings included an early tea due to heavy rain but the match was saved by our recently acquired tarpaulin. Our guests were dismissed for 104 and we were confident of knocking them off.

Things began to go wrong when Paul took a blow to his forearm and had to retire hurt. He never makes much fuss even though the sight of his arm made me a touch nauseous. Skip replaced him after some confusion over the batting line-up. Soon after, AB was trapped in front (looked out from the Pavillion, mate) and H joined Skip for the only really productive partnership of the innings, due to Skip hitting anything in his 'zone' very hard. He was also miscuing some and after a charmed life hoiked one in the air to be caught. The Wimblington fielding and catching was proving every bit as good as ours had been and although H middled an extra cover drive, it was airborne and terminal. Goose looked out of sorts, needing practice, but we still expected runs to come from VS, McCann, Marc, Gilo and Flower. Some boundaries, loose shots and edges followed and it came down to Gilo and Jacko to nudge and nurdle us over the line, with a big assist from Extras. Again, during the innings we had a heavy shower but The Tarp came to the rescue. 20 big points to take with us on our travels in the next two weeks.

Saturday 18th May

Needingworth Vs Fen Ditton

Needingworth beat Fen Ditton by 8 Wkts


Two of you will be Fired

The road is long, with many a winding turn, that lead us to who knows where, who knows when. Especially when travelling to an away match with the Uni duo of Dobbington IV and McCann. We turned off the A14 at St Ives and realised that was the limit of our navigational skills. "Quick, Michael, get the road atlas and tell us which road goes EAST to Needingworth". The reply was one of a primary school rather than KCL student - Never Eat Shredded Wheat. Too late, we've seen a sign now.

On arrival it wasn't long before Skip had lost the toss and we'd been invited to bat on a seaming green top. As team talks go, motivational speaking doesn't get much better than "Last week was shocking, two of you will be dropped for next week whatever happens today". That led to ten of us looking sheepishly at each other. 32 overs later we were equally sheepish and ashamed. 99 all out, mostly to avoidable mishap. A litany of poor shots and a crucial run out (I daren't say which of the pair I'd blame). Skip made 39 and AB 27. The last six wickets fell for four runs in 26 balls. It would be unfair to blame ourselves completely as Needingwoth offered a decent seam attack and were enthusiastic in the field. To complete our disappointment, there was no Tea visible and frantic phone calls led to us bowling ten overs to give it time to arrive.

Skip and Jacko started impressively, looking likely to take wickets and unlikely to concede much. They took a wicket each and only 20 runs were scored during the ten overs up to the break. The problem after Tea, was that the two batters were able to settle and score freely against all of our other bowlers. The end was delayed only by Skip bowling another four overs, but then came swiftly, like a mercy killing to free us from lenthy suffering. We knew Div 1 would be much tougher, but thrashings like this are still very hard to take, particularly when you remember who the journey home will be shared with.

I'll hold up my hands and admit I should have concentrated, blocked out the chatter and avoided joining the A14 (North) towards Huntingdon. But I'm strong, Strong enough to carry him, He ain't heavy, he's McCann.

Saturday 25th May

Histon II Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to Histon II by 7 Wkts


Controlled Aggression

Slip inside the eye of your mind, don't you know you might find a better place to play?

After another heavy Division 1 defeat, with opposition players making it very plain that they feel superior to us, you have to wonder whether we have the mindset required for this league.

Having said that, we batted much the best so far in league matches this season. The wicket was bound to be greenish and it was only that Histon have covers that made a game possible after the wet week. Despite that, we found there was little swing or seam movement and the bowling wasn't overly threatening but we lacked at least one batsman making a big score.
AB fell early, edging one to slip, but the move to open with Gilo, asking him just to bat long and not worry about the run-rate worked well, with him batting beyond drinks and then getting an unplayably low one. H and Skip got themselves out with aerial shots and Charlie was run out needlessly. Paul led a charmed life but became another to chip one in the air. MVS batted the way we keep hoping he will on a consistent basis and made a quick 35 taking us well toward a respectable score. McCann played two half-decent straight drives for boundaries in 17 not out and was aided towards the end by Marc and Jacko in helping us reach 162 and four batting points.

Anything over 150 has been plenty in the last two season, with Ali and opposition limitations, but it isn't close to defendable against aggressive batting on good wickets. We found a couple of Histon players needed to make a quick exit so were promoted in their order. The way Jacko and Charlie were dissected, going at 10 runs/over actually didn't look too different to how Histon might have approached the run chase under any circumstances. Skip twisting his ankle second ball didn't help but he soldiered on and two wickets were deserved, and might have been better. Fowler also bowled well but his wicket will have given the batsman a sleepless night.

As at Needingworth last week, the end came quickly, shortly after drinks with MVS chomping at the bit to have a bowl. There is a different approach in this division and we may have to suffer a few disasters 'going for it' when we bat if we're going to make the totals required to win games.

Please don't put you life in the hands of a rock 'n rock band, and throw it all away. Don't look back in anger, I heard you say.

Saturday 1st June

Fen Ditton Vs Chippenham

Fen Ditton lost to Chippenham by 83 Runs


What do you think, Butler? (2)

You may have seen version one of this report. I've since been to Skip's office and served my time on the naughty step. If you didn't see it, it will be available in thirty years time, or at a cost of a pint of Guinness. Here's the fully approved version two.

Following another wet week it was going to be a slow wicket, requiring some patience from the batters and accuracy from the bowlers. Chippenham were invited to bat first. Without Jacko, Marc opened from the Bottom End but only lasted ten balls before his back went, so the first salvo was really delivered by Charlie and Dobbo. Skip replaced Dobbo and Flower had a go after Charlie. The Chippenham openers reached drinks going at about four/over and obviously made a decision to put the foot down with all wickets intact. Post-drinks was a really good period for us as we took 8-100 (roughly) to reach Tea facing a target of 178 to win and with four bowling points in the bag. Charlie was a bit short to start with but got better and Dobbo was accurate with good seam movement. Skip was a touch off his best and it was AB and Goose that put us in a decent position. AB had figures of 7-1-19-3 and Goose was a bit better than 4-0-14-1. Our fielding was very mixed, with some good catches between the 5 we put down. In this division we really need to be at 100% and take every chance.

Skip decided to refresh the batting order, but stuck with AB and Gilo opening. MVS, McCann, Skip, Goose, Charlie, H, Fowler, Dobbo made up the rest of the order with a "power middle" (Marc unable to bat). Mmm, interesting. AB quickly found the middle of the bat but then also found a thick top edge. His 21 would be our highest score. In batting order the rest of us made 5, 1, 7, 3, 13, 3, 0, 7* and 12. We batted without appearing to have individual plans and made the bowling look much better than it was. We were scrambling to make 80 until Dobbo smacked a big six and finished 94 all out. Back to the drawing board?

Next Saturday it's St Ives who have also only won once, so, whatever side we put out, let's give it everything in the field, bat sensibly but with some aggression and above all, back each other and enjoy it.

I would like to conclude by thanking the three committee members I e-mailed for this months 100 club result for such prompt replies. I'm sure the original reticence had nothing to do with two of them winning and nobody will question the integrity of the draw. ☺

Saturday 8th June

Fen Ditton Vs St Ives Town II

Fen Ditton beat St Ives Town II by 15 Runs


Captain, My Captain

I had a friend, was a big baseball player, back in high school. He could throw that speed ball by you, make you look like a fool, boy.

Three changes to the Ditton team for the visit of St Ives II, with Jacko and Paul returning, and Golden Gav who is rarely on a losing side for Ditton, replacing AB, Goose and Charlie. The visitors invited us to bat and what a great decision it looked early on. We didn't collapse because we never got started. H edged to the 'keeper third ball, Marc went for two, Michael for three and Gilo for four. 20-odd for four and another desperate batting effort on the cards. None of the four dismissed had reason to blame themselves, all getting good balls from a decent opening attack. So was it time for a #digin? Not with Skip at the crease. We all know he just needs to middle a couple to settle and then become very dangerous to any opposition. It's not often he has to do it from such a precarious position, but what he does need is support at the other end. Today he found it from MVS who fended off and dug out all sorts of wicket-taking deliveries. He had some luck but also played some high quality shots. Together, they almost reached a century partnership to pull us back into the game. MVS was eventually caught for a vital 22, and Adam got bored of taking singles to the seven men ringing the boundary to be caught for a captains knock of 86. Only Fowler added much more and having thought we would make 160, we had to revise downwards to 139 all out.

There was a feeling of determination that hasn't quite been there this season as we walked out to field, armed with the knowledge that St Ives had been a fragile batting unit in their games so far. Dobbo to start from the Pavillion End and at the end of over #1 he had two wickets to his name and we were buzzing. How we failed to make further inroads during the next 19 overs to drinks will remain a mystery, although credit to the St Ives batsmen for keeping Dobbo and Jacko out. It was a fine display from both, backed by some high energy, high intensity fielding. Dobbo 10-2-20-2 and Jacko 10-3-20-0 had put us marginally ahead of the game after twenty overs but as we've seen, most teams will have one or two batsmen capable of scoring quickly. What we haven't seen is a third bowler of the quality of Andy Fowler (on his day) and certainly not a fourth bowler anything like Skip. This would prove to be Flower's day as the old gent showed staggering endurance to bowl ten off the reel and apologise to each of his four 'victims'. Skip was just too quick and you could sense a reluctance from some of the non-striking batters to get down to the business end. The fielding was excellent with catches/stumping taken, singles stopped and boundary throwing good. It also felt as though this was the game where the lessons from the infamous defeat at Little Shelford last season were put into practice as we protected the boundaries with a good 'in/out' field. St Ives just about kept themselves in it, albeit with a run a ball asking rate. But the wickets were tumbling and Skip capped a fine individual performance by taking the final wicket to finish with 4-29, with St Ives still 15 runs short.

This result shows we can compete at this level but to do so regularly will require some more batters to get runs. We can only expect Skip to carry us so many times. The league table, together with reports from teams we've played may shape our season into games where good bonus points will be the target and others which will be our 'forty-pointers'.

Saw him the other night at this rodside bar, I was walking in, he was walking out. We went back inside, sat down, had a few drinks, but all he kep talking about . . .

Wednesday 12th June

Remnants Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton tied with Remnants

Skip reports

Ditton arrived at Fitz ready for their first encounter of the season against Remnants. With MVS and our teachers having a parents evening, it was over to Marc to captain the side.
The pre-game entertainment was surprisingly provided by Michael, explaining that the several bruises that he had on his face were from the Uni championship of 'Monopoly'. As it turned out Michael refused to sell one of his blues (Euston Road) and ended up getting punched several times.
We found ourselves bowling first with the idea of giving most people a go. It was Dobbo to open up with Marc himself and they kept it fairly quiet against the father-son Serby combo. The younger Serby played some lovely timed shots to find the boundary before becoming Dave's first victim well caught by Skip standing up. 2 balls later Dave struck again with the batsman kindly chasing a wide ball and gently hitting it to Marc at point. Bowling changes were made and Dan Fowler picked up his first wicket with AB taking a good catch at deep square leg. Michael then proved that sometimes the easiest of catches can be dropped with his crocodile circus act that gave the Remnants number 5 a second chance. AB came on and bowled a good length and well deserved his 2-22 off 4 overs. Dom and Fowler both had a bowl as well but struggled to get into a rhythm. Remnants finished their 20 overs on 146-7 which we thought was about par............

Michael opened up with Ralph and kept it nice and tight to start with against some good straight bowling. Ralph was the first to go with 12 on the board, which brought Marc to the crease with Michael. After some wonderful cover drives and quick singles the partnership was only broken with Marc being run out for 31. The pair had put on 80 together and we were 92-2 off 13 overs. Skip joined Michael and kept the scoring ticking over. Mr A Fowler thought it would be a good idea to shout to Michael that he was on 49 and this is when Michael panicked. He looked for a quick single and Skip sent him back, he played and missed a few times before hitting the ball straight to cover who dropped the catch and Michael ran through for his first 50. He didn't last much longer and was caught out for a well deserved 59. Jim joined Skip at the crease needing 12 off 12. Dots, 1's and 2's brought it down to 5 off 2 balls. Skip then hit another in the air to point only to be dropped and somehow run 3. This left Jim on strike with 2 to win or 1 to draw or the possibility of a run out to lose. As fielders came in, Oli Rex runs into bowl and Jim gets bat on it and they run through for a single. 146-7 plays 146-3.

A great game played by 2 friendly teams with respect for the game. Lets see what happens when we do it all again later in the season.

I would also just like to provide written proof that Michael 'DID' buy his first jug and let's hope it's not too long before the next one.

Saturday 15th June

Over Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to Over by 45 Runs


Next goal wins it

You've got to hold and give, But do it at the right time, You can be slow or fast, But you must get to the line, They'll always hit you and hurt you . . .

Over had started the season well, and it was no surprise that when Skip won the toss he asked them to bat with the intention of bowling them out for five bonus points, irrespective of the total they might post. But just like last week, Dobbo and Jacko bowled brilliant spells, and just like last week it was Dobbo who took wickets while Jacko had no luck. Not only did Dobbo take wickets, he recorded his first 'five for', ending with figures of 10-4-17-5. At drinks we were not only looking good for bonus points but an unexpected win with Over on 44-5. It was now that Over put together the only meaningful partnership of the match with 60 for the 6th wicket with Merola taking a liking to AB and Fowler. Skip was a handful at one end but we suffered from five overs at the other end costing 57 until Marc came on to mop up the tail with 3-12, helped by a couple of decent catches by his brother. Over had cobbled together 135, a total we should have chased easily if we had any batsmen make a score.

Following his maiden fifty during midweek, McCann was talking like a pro about starting again from 0. Obviously he did start on 0 but finished there as well. AB middled a pull only to see a slightly shocked square-leg fielder cluthing the ball in one hand. Skip middled four boundaries, then only half hit one to mid-on. Meanwhile, the badly out of form H had made it a mission to occupy the crease and bat out the dangerous Bob Milne to try and get the runs from the other bowlers. It must have been like watching paint dry as H scored 19 at less than a run an over. MVS, Gilo and Paul had come and gone before H slapped one down the ground which would have been a very flat six had it not been intercepted by long-on. The dismissal made it 78-7 and too much for Marc, Dobbo, Fowler and Jacko to do. 90 all out and much to discuss about how it had gone so badly wrong.

The good news (for some) was the prospect of Garden cricket and football at McCann Towers as it was their family Bumps garden party to which Michael had very kindly invited us all, despite the last two years. Perhaps the absence of Butler had secured our invites. Ditton cricketers played some nice football against Assorted Guests with two headed goals by H being met by some disbelief. With the light almost gone, the Guests scored to win 5-4. Many thanks to the McCann family for their very kind and generous hospitality.

We ain't no hooligans, This ain't a football song, Three lions on my chest, I know we can't go wrong . . .

Saturday 22nd June

Isleham Vs Fen Ditton

Cancelled - Rain

No Game, No Result

It rained during the morning and after the match was called off, only AB and H were available to play some golf in pleasant sunshine.

Saturday 29th June

Cherry Hinton Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to Cherry Hinton by 144 Runs


Boom Boom

When I was young I'd listen to the radio. Waitin' for my favorite songs. When they played I'd sing along. It made me smile.

Exactly four years ago to the day, Ditton played Cherry Hinton II at Sawston Village College, due to The Rec being unavailable. On that day we saw a quality of clean boundary hitting that was causing every team in the division that season to brand CH II 'The IPL XI'. Yesterday at Quy, we found that some of that team are now playing for the first team, and they've added to the batting power both new players and a bit of know-how so that they don't throw their wickets away. In 2009 Cherry Hinton made 249-6. . .

Our hosts won the toss and were delighted to bat first. Less thrilled after Dobbo made a great start again. After 12 overs the score was 33-2, with Alex taking both wickets. Then CH hit their stride. Despite taking a third wicket with the score on 55, Hashim Amla was now settled and hitting very hard. A 93 run partnership with Zaheer Abbas was vaguely demoralising, but Dan getting his first league wicket for Ditton was a highlight of the afternoon for us. Next up we had Shahid Afridi making a quick 79 not out to go with Amla finishing on 107 not out, taking the final total to an imposing 278-4. H had suggested giving MVS and McCann a bowl towards the end to try buying a couple of wickets but the boundaries were not deemed big enough.

After an excellent tea, Ditton set about gaining some bonus points. McCann played some nice shots before being bowled by one that DID keep a bit low (I was at the other end) for 26 and edges closer to making the opening slot his. AB seemed to have played lots of good shots and it was surprisingly when he was out for just 12. Playing in specs due to rushing to the ground after the Lions test, H found that seeing the ball is an asset and slogged 33 before edging to the 'keeper. Paul played some delicate cuts and nurdles for 22, Dobbo showed why he might deserve promotion up the order with 18 and Dan was left stranded on 9 not out. Cherry Hinton used nine bowlers, so the merits of our 134 all out is difficult to judge.

This was always going to be a bonus points match, even if we'd had a full strength team. 5 points isn't too bad and we've not lost any ground on St Ives above us in the table. For anyone wondering: Shabash - is a term used in the Indian subcontinent to signal commendation for an achievement, similar in meaning to bravo and kudos.

Every Sha-la-la-la, Every Wo-o-wo-o Still shines. Every shing-a-ling-a-ling That they're startin' to sing's So fine.

Saturday 6th July

Fen Ditton Vs Witcham

Fen Ditton lost to Witcham by 140 Runs


Hungover, Hot and Bothered

When your day is long, And the night, the night is yours alone, When you're sure you've had enough Of this life, well hang on

The sporting weekend for some Ditton players began at 2pm(ish) on Friday afternoon, when Marc, Skip and H began drinking at The Flying Pig on Hills Rd. Down to the railway station to meet up with Jacko, Dobbo, McCann, AB and Dave via the co-op to pick up some refreshments for the journey to Kings Cross. Onwards to The Hanover Arms near Oval tube to meet MVS, Gilo, Fowler and Selmo, then into the Kia Oval for Surrey Vs Middlesex in the London T20 'derby' with a sell-out 22,00 in attendance. So long queues at the bar. . .
Jacko, Dobbo, AB, McCann and H were lucky enough to take up the offer of breakfast watching The Lions as guests of MVS on Saturday morning, followed by a bit of a scramble to get to The Rec. for the home game with Witcham. Others had got there earlier to put out the glowing new boundary rope and by 1:20 we were all lying in the sun near the pavilion harbouring dark thoughts about Skip losing the toss and having to field, for forty overs, in the heat, hungover.

What happened during the following two and a half hours had an air of inevitability although Skip and Dobbo both found themselves on hat-tricks. In between Witcham hit many, many boundaries while we sweated almost pure alcohol out of our systems. 252-7 reflected our lacklustre performance and a lot of good batting by Witcham. We didn't even have the energy to dispute one of their batters being re-called whilst walking off in a slightly odd DRS type moment.

Fortified by Don's magnificent spread, Witcham then showed they could make bowling against a very tired and therefore shambolic Ditton batting order look easy as they skittled us for 112. The pain wasn't over though, as we found that rolling the new boundary rope up required about the same amount of effort as the fielding had done. Fowler, in his dual role of scorer and umpire (because of his doctor's note), offered the amount of sympathy you'd expect from a Yorkshireman.

The Kings Head has rarely served us so many soft drinks on a Saturday evening, but it was good to see some Witcham boys (who play hard) show that the social side of village cricket can still be maintained. Onto next Saturday and the long trip to The Fens.

Don't let yourself go, 'Cause everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes.

Saturday 13th July

Wimblington Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton beat Wimblington by 78 Runs


C'Mon Boys, C'Mon

Fly me to the moon, Let me swing among those stars. Let me see what spring is like, On Jupiter and Mars.

First time at Wimblington for most Ditton players and what we found was a very nice setup. An artificial wicket isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's better than a grass wicket you can't trust. Outfield was very quick and clubhouse facilities excellent. The temperature gauge on the clock was into the forty's and it was quite a relief when Skip called correctly and we batted.
Very quickly we saw that genuine bouncers were possible and after McCann narrowly avoided one, he was bowled next ball. AB had a life early on which possibly changed the outcome of the match. Hitting the bad ball crisply, and running good, quick singles to keep the fielders guessing, he dragged H along with him to a 100+ partnership. H got a leading edge to be out for 35 and was quickly followed by both AB for an excellent 83 and Skip for a sad single. Our promising position compromised, Charlie and MVS took a couple of overs to settle and then stepped on the gas again. Charlie was the first of Fowler Snr's umpiring victims, getting an inaudible inside edge leading to an LBW decision. Gilo was also a Fowler LBW, which looked to be just a tad high. MVS was gaining confidence and it was only in the final acceleration that he fell for 30. Paul took us beyond 200 and we felt fairly satisfied with 219-8. Not a 'game over' score but one we ought to defend.

Jacko could have had the opener out 3 times in 3 balls at the start of the first over. Skip dropped a catch a slip, Paul performed a swift stumping but given not out, followed by a plumb LBW, which was given. The first few overs saw us grow into the fielding job in hand as Wimblington fell behind the rate, but not by much. Then Charlie sent a stump cartwheeling and we really started to prevent boundaries and stop anything more than singles. AB entered the action, fortified by a pint of Black Dog, and bowled his best spell of the season. It seemed that every time he bowled three dot balls at a batsman, the next one just needed to be straight and a swipe across the line brought a wicket. Of course, AB had a slightly different version of events, in spinner-talk, but his 10-0-36-4 took us a long way to victory. Skip came on at the other end and once he pitched it up gained success with the Captains privilege of mopping up the tail. A comfortable win in the end followed by a top-notch BBQ courtesy of MVS. Some tough games are coming up but a couple more batters have gained some confidence.

Fill my heart with song, Let me sing forever more. You are all I long for, All I worship and adore.

Saturday 20th July

Fen Ditton Vs Needingworth

Fen Ditton beat Needingworth by 1 Wkt


Chipy Chirpy Cheep Cheap

Get up, get up, get up, get up And lift your head. C'mon, c'mon Get up out of bed. Today's the day you hold the world, With your song.

Jackson shimmies down the wicket and . . . that's it, it's all over, four runs over the bowlers head. The batsmen embrace. Ditton players are coming onto the field . . well, My Dear Old Thing, have you ever seen anything like it?
Personally, I find it hard to sleep after close games so the top-notch BBQ hosted by AB and Polly, attended by those that could, was ideally timed to relax after a massive Ditton victory. The light took an age to dim as we sat in the glow from Dobbo and Jacko, who saw us over the line, and our pride that Ditton had at last played both innings of a 1N match to our full potential. We also witnessed how an attritional cricket match can make even our most mild-mannered (and not drinking alcohol) player very bold in what he says to his partner.

To the match. Needingworth chose to bat on a dry, abrasive pitch that looked like it wouldn't last 40 overs let alone 80. Dobbo again took an early wicket while Jacko again bowled a superb but unrewarded spell of 10-1-31-0. Skip had a go from the Pavilion End and AB took over from Jacko for a period where the game just meandered a bit as we failed to take another wicket but kept the scoring under control. Charlie replaced Skip and soon got a wicket with a filthy full toss, smashed straight into Dobbo's hands at deep square. Charlie then took two further wickets with proper, good balls to leave the innings evenly poised at the 30 over stage. Dobbo and Skip 'won' the last ten overs for Ditton, knocking over Needingworth for 177, each taking three wickets. We had a mixed time with catching chances and a little more work is needed. What we didn't realise was how crucial our accuracy in only conceding 2 wides would become.

The big question after tea was whether we could replicate our improved batting from last week at Wimblington? Michael was given out for nought, nil, zero, a duck, caught off his glove, though TV replays suggest it came off his forearm. AB was settling nicely in a bid to follow-up his half century last week and received good support from Charlie and then H. Having reached fifty, it was a bit of a surprise when he was out, but perhaps less surprising that Ditton then had a minor collapse as both H and Skip followed AB back in short time. The middle/lower order made little impact and the game was in Needingworth's grasp with our tenth wicket combo of Dobbo and Jacko still needing around thirty, albeit at an easy run-rate. Fortunately, our guests didn't know that Dobbo had scored fifty during the week and Jacko was a Ditton opening batsman of yesteryear. Both played superbly and didn't scramble a single to win the match, but did it in style. A major contributor was Wides - 26 of them as Needingworth's bowlers regularly lost their radar.

In conclusion, a memorable day for Fen Ditton Cricket Club, witnessed by several of our regular, stauch supporters. In particular, it was great to see both current and previous Chairmen Mark and George at The Rec and I hope it won't embarrass Dobbo that his proud Mum was there at the end. Her boy did good!

This is the time, This is the day, That we've been waiting for. All the world will stop, To watch you shine.

Saturday 27th July

Fen Ditton Vs Histon II

Fen Ditton lost to Histon II by 1 Wkt



I got to say it and it's hard for me, You got me cryin' like I thought I would never be. Love is believin' but you let me down; How can I love you when you ain't around?

Yet another Saturday with proper weather to be playing cricket, particularly if you're batting first. Skip obliged with the toss and stated the simple game plan - score 150 and then defend it. We also welcomed George Colwell to his FDCC league debut.
Marc got a cheer on avoiding a record breaking fifth duck in a season, but lasted for just 9. H joined Gilo and although progress was slow, it looked reasonably untroubled. Then Giles had to face a spinner. Skip strode out in determined fashion after Gilo had been bowled behind his legs, albeit for a solid 17. As anyone who's watched Ditton might expect, the partnership combined some fearsome boundary hitting (Skip) with dogged defence (H). When H finally broke the shackles with three boundaries in an over, and Skip brought up his fifty, they were discussing getting to 120 and kicking on from there. If only. With the score on 119-2 H edged behind (again) for 28 and Skip was bowled by a low one for 53. That noise you often hear at The Rec of The Plough tipping out all their empty bottles ought to be recorded and sounded just before a Ditton batting collapse. From 119-2 and looking set to post a really competitive total, we lost 8-13 in 5 overs. The Histon skipper bowled well, but will have bowled better and not achieved figures of 5-10. 132 was below par, NOT the 150 Skip had wanted and demanded a top bowling performance to defend.

With early wickets required Dobbo opened with Skip instead of Jacko. Adam was soon among them but for no particular reason, Dobbo just didn't find the rythm he's had all season and the Pavillion end became a problem. Marc took a wicket assisted by a good, low catch by Gilo but then became expensive. Dan was tried before Dave showed most control along with wicket-taking intent. Skip finished off with excellent figures of 10-3-21-3 and Jacko returned to see if he could snatch victory from an unlikely position. Histon needed about a dozen with three wickets in hand when Dave struck, having the regular opener, batting down the order caught by Paul in a 'blink and you missed it' moment. Jacko then got wicket number nine, but from the final ball of his over to finish with 7-1-22-3. Dobbo had to bowl at the well set number 3 (who'd survived an early working over by Skip) rather than number 11 and the ball was smeared over the ring for the winning runs.

An opportunity missed? Points on a day when we might have defaulted? Positives/Negatives? I can only say Histon were one wicket better than us and next week we'll see what happens at Chippenham.

Why do you have to be a heartbreaker? Is it a lesson that I never knew? Gotta get out of the spell that I'm under, My love for you.

Saturday 3rd August

Chippenham Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to Chippenham by 148 Runs



You see my problem is this, I'm dreaming away, Wishing that heroes, they truly exist. I cry, watching the days, Can't you see I'm a fool in so many ways. But to lose all my senses, That is just so typically me. . .

You'd have to say that Fen Ditton is a pretty affluent village, although possibly not reflected in the sporting facilities on offer for residents. Then you go to Chippenham and step up a notch (other than public houses). It's a very pretty village where I'm guessing you'd need a few bob to buy property. There is a Bowling club, very good looking tennis courts and a first rate cricket ground, with excellent wickets, carpet like outfield, sightscreens and an ELECTRONIC SCOREBOARD. Maybe we were overwhelmed?

Skip called correctly and invited the powerful Chippenham batting lineup to have first knock. Couple of early wickets, see if they'd panic, get some bowling points. Obviously, our bowling would need first-rate backing from the fielders. The Chippenham openers brought up their 100 partnership in the 21st over, having both been dropped - both catches you'd expect a famous Yorkshiremans' Mum to catch in her pinny. Jacko was the victim on both occasions and would have had decent figures if he'd had a 2 in the wickets column. Dobbo was much better than last week but failed to find a way through and as the total built, Skip turned to MVS to make the breakthrough. Flight, guile, and a slog to cow corner where Skip showed how to catch it, and MVS had his first league wicket. Dom, Gav and Dan all had a go as the Chippenham opener Liam Ward moved to an excellent century (if only we'd taken the catch he offered when on 49). He was eventually dismissed by Skip but numbers 3 and 4 batted through to finish 54 and 33 not out. 254-2 represented a tough afternoon in the field for Ditton with only 1 point to show for it.

McCann and Dom had their pads on ready to open when the dark cloud deposited right over the ground. We should have known that if you've got an ELECTRONIC SCOREBOARD you'd also have a tarpaulin, so no chance of a washout. Before we'd fully tuned in to the fact that play had started, McCann was trudging off for a quick Duck and the second over saw Jez also depart for 0. Sixth over and Dom was gone for 1. Time for H to #digin again and hope we could find a decent middle-order partnership. Despite employing the much discussed 'forward press' MVS was bowled first ball. Skip didn't fancy coming in as early as the 7th over so Paul joined H and they batted without too much trouble for the next 17 overs, scoring 60 together. The 24th over saw Paul and Skip getting out and at 77-6 the bonus points for just 120 looked a long way off. Dobbo made 5 and then after a long vigil H skied one to long-off to leave for another 30-odd that had failed to become more. The end, as usual this season, came quickly. Jacko was Not Out again but 106 was a poor effort on a good pitch. A few of our number at least learned something from the experience - how to operate an ELECTRONIC SCOREBOARD.

After a quick pint with our hosts, it was back to the Kings Head for some of us to meet AB and his Dad for the 100 Club August draw. Sounded like a better afternoon to have been working on the garden/drive than spin bowling. To cap an eventful day, which had involved a couple of hours on his bed "making money", and a woeful cricketing performance, McCann was allowed to operate the bingo machine for the second ball out. The ball that 'dropped' out was his own. Apples to Orchards and all that . . . So I picked some lyrics this week especially for our favourite scapegoat.

Oops!...I did it again. I played with your heart, got lost in the game. Oh baby, baby, Oops!...You think I'm in love. That I'm sent from above, I'm not that innocent.

Saturday 10th August

Fen Ditton Vs Cherry Hinton

Fen Ditton lost to Cherry Hinton by 55 Runs



People say I'm the life of the party, Because I tell a joke or two. Although I might be laughing loud and hearty, Deep inside I'm blue.

It's that time of the season where holidays mean absences in every team and the form book becomes unreliable in predicting results. Ditton were without Skip, plus a few others, so an opportunity for senior players to take responsibility and fringe players to come in and do a job.
The Cherry Hinton captain called correctly and chose to bat with what Ditton expected to be a long, strong batting line-up. Dobbo and Jacko found they had little margin for error and anything short or too full was going to the boundary. Dobbo was unfortunate with an LBW shout, but Jacko had enough guile to take wickets with a stumping and an edge which looked to be past Marc when he stuck out his right hand for a great catch. Marc then came on to replace Dobbo and took a wicket with his first delivery. Cherries were going well enough that, other than Jacko, we were going to rotate our bowling if it bacame too predictable. Therefore, AB bowled a couple from the Pavilion End before drinks which were taken at 91-3. AB completed 6 overs and first Dave, then Gav were tried from the Bottom. Gav bowled nicely, keeping it pitched up and took two wickets, both with fine catches from McCann (juggling in the deep) and Marc again at wide slip. Marc and Dobbo completed the bowling at the Pav End and AB finished his spell from the Bottom with another couple of wickets as Paul also executed his second stumping. Dan F and George C both had excellent days ground fielding and everyone should feel they did their bit to restrict Cherries to 212-8 and an important 4 bowling points.

AB and McCann got us off to a solid start with a 46 opening partnership before McCann was bowled and then went walkabout to the farthest corner of The Rec "for immediate feedback". Marc had scored a dozen before getting a slightly low one, but it was a change for the better only to be two down at drinks on 73-2. AB was playing aggressively, which sees him at his best and brought up his third consecutive half-century. H was just getting going when run out for 15 and then the collapse threatened to come. However, AB kept going, until caught on the boundary for 76. Dobbo did his best to marshall the tail towards 160 and four batting points and it was disappointing to finish 157-9. To lose to Cherries by 55 runs, and have them worried for some time whilst we were batting was a good effort and a real improvement on last time.

A generous invitation to spend the evening in the Dobson garden with BBQ and beer led to conversations moving from what we need to do in the next three weeks to stay up to how we'll do in division 1 next year. Admittedly those comments came from McCann after he'd walked into a patio door quite hard. Later, the news came through that Isleham, St Ives and Wimblington had all won, against the odds. Isleham beat Chippenham of all sides by 1 run, whilst St Ives beat Needingworth by 16 runs. The final three matches now become cup finals.

So take a good look at my face, You'll see my smile looks out of place. If you look closer, it's easy to trace, The tracks of my tears..

Saturday 17th August

Fen Ditton Vs Isleham

Fen Ditton beat Isleham by 4 Wkts


Live Another Day

You could never know what it's like, Your blood like winter freezes just like ice. And there's a cold lonely light that shines from you, You'll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use.

A strong looking Ditton side arrived at The Rec. to greet Selmo, making his sole appearance of 2013, with a must-win game in prospect but also a very imminent danger that rain might play a big part in proceedings. Showers forecast for 3pm then brightening before a wider band predicted for around 6pm. Skip still away, but monitoring proceedings from afar, so H led the side, with Marc and AB riding shotgun.
First success was winning the toss and inserting Isleham on a worn pitch and with lots of bowling options. Dobbo rediscovered his rythm with his opening salvo dismissing one opener before taking a break on 7-0-25-1. Selmo was asked to start at the Bottom based on all the wickets taken from that end recently. He had the other opener on toast and after several play and miss balls, knocked the off stump back. With lack of bowling in his legs, Ali was given a break after 5 overs and Jacko then bowled a fine spell (including a wicket in his first over) of ten overs which should have yielded more than two wickets. Charlie replaced Dobbo and the theory that he can be a 'shock' bowler worked with 2-27 (including a wicket in his first over). Among the wickets that Ditton were taking quite regularly, aided by excellent catches by Marc (again) and McCann on the boundary, were several missed opportunities which is an ongoing concern. Selmo and Dobbo concluded things from the Pavilion End with Dobbo having further success (wicket in his first over) and AB wrapped up the Bottom for figures of 2-7 (guess what happened in his first over). The innings finished with Isleham's last pair taking on Dobbo's arm and despite a throw which gave Paul plenty to do, the run out saw a final total of 132. We'd have settled for that before starting but the dropped catches and presence of 20 wides made Jacko draw our attention to what might have been. The rain had arrived promptly at 3:00 but the Tarp did its job.

AB was unable to keep his good run of form going (10) and Marc (1) and H (0) did little to assist McCann who played a standout innings of 27 in the circumstances. 42-4 looked perilous and when Dobbo was out for 9, 61-5 had us staring at another run chase failure. We had faith that Charlie would take advantage of anything loose but maybe a little surprised when Dave started to get after the Isleham bowlers. The score rattled along and almost before we knew it victory was moving towards the middle of the radar. Dave fell for a great 33 in a half-century partnership. Charlie was joined by Dan to wrap up a crucial win. Dan was 7* and Charlie had done most to get us over the line with 34*. Within 15 minutes of the game finishing there was a bit of rain but the prolonged spell never arrived.

A long evening in the Kings Head followed with jugs rather than rounds being consumed and we gave a range of beverages a try. Marc collected our huge pizza order (BOGOF from Papa Johns) which even McCann found a bit too much to finish off. Another St Ives win means we have to win our last two matches to stay up, but stranger things have happened.

And did you think this fool could never win, Well look at me, I'm coming back again. I got a taste of love in a simple way, And if you need to know while I'm still standing you just fade away.

Saturday 24th August

Fen Ditton Vs Over

Cancelled - rain

No play

A morning of persistent rain led to cancellation despite having had the wicket covered. Further rain forecast. All other 1N games cancelled so not a bad call.

Saturday 31st August

St Ives Town II Vs Fen Ditton

Fen Ditton lost to St Ives Town II by 7 Wkts



Where is the moment we needed the most, You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost. They tell me your blue skies fade to grey, They tell me your passion's gone away. And I don't need no carryin' on

The scenario we thought might happen from earlier in the season had come to pass - a 'cup final', losers gets relegated match on the last day with St Ives II. We also thought there was a strong likelihood that the team we'd face would have some changes from the one we beat at Ditton back in June.

Skip won the toss and decided we'd have a bat. The St Ives bowlers were line and length but not much swing or seam movement to be overly concerned about. It's best not to dwell too long on how the majority of Ditton batters failed to concentrate longer than 15 minutes before throwing their wicket away. AB, H and Skip only just made double figures between them and McCann (who had shown a bit of fight) made twelve. The innings was in pieces at 23-4. MVS and Dave steadied the ship somewhat and it might be the longest nine MVS has ever scored. Gilo joined Skip in registering a duck and Marc made a start but couldn't go on from 12. Paul was unlucky to be caught by the keeper down the leg side with the keeper standing up. Dave had played really well for 25 until out to an outstanding catch close in having hit it right out of the middle. At 87-9 we might have given up and conceded that the game and the season were over. But the fighting qualities we'll need next season came shining through as Dobbo and Jacko calmly and skillfully put on 45 for the tenth wicket which may not quite have got us to a defendable total but kept St Ives in the field for all but one of our forty overs. Dobbo's 29 not out showed how far he's improved this year and Jacko would have added another not out to his total had he not been selflessly playing for the team. 122 all out was not how we'd envisaged things working out and the quality of the St Ives bowling made it seem likely that their non-regular second teamers would be batsmen.

Early wickets obviously needed to make a game of it so Skip opened with Dobbo, holding Jacko back. It soon became apparent that one of the openers probably doesn't play too many second team games as he batted fluently with lots of time and took a liking to Dobbo. Skip got the other opener with a solo LBW shout in a very good spell of 7-11-26-1. The number three also looked very good and the runs started to pile up as neither Jacko or AB could gain any control. Ditton needed wickets so desperately as drinks approached that H reluctantly bowled his first league over for 3 years to try buying one. After drinks Skip decided there was nothing to lose in giving ALL our part-time bowlers an over each. MVS came up trumps as a craftily flighted ball beat the batsman and Paul completed the stumping to huge celebrations. AB returned as an act of defiance (and after all our outfield players had bowled) and took a final wicket for the season. He then chucked down a chest-high full toss that was top edged for the winning runs. We put down two hard chances but generally ground fielded very well. There's always a 'but' with the fielding summary (derived from doing a Butler) and on this occasion, step forward McCann. You hear the term 'want the ground to open up' following a bad mistake, but following his total misjudgement of a ball coming straight at him on the boundary, Michael then managed to follow a boundary hit into a ditch. A ditch he didn't see. One moment he was jogging after the ball, then he was gone. Completely disappeared. BUT, then he reappeared, which disappointed some of us.

Not the end to our second foray into division one we wanted but a good night in the KH shows the truth of the matter, it's only cricket.

You stand in the line just to hit a new low, You're faking a smile with the coffee to go. You tell me your life's been way off line, You're falling to pieces every time. And I don't need no carryin' on. . .

*** 2013 Season Soundtrack, featuring all 13 songs used in these match reports, will be available on CD at the Annual Dinner, should there be any demand***

Post-script: To make the soundtrack an even 14 songs, I've heard something on the radio that might sum up our current situation.
If you wake up and don't want to smile, If it takes just a little while, Open your eyes and look at the day, You'll see things in a different way. Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow, Don't stop, it'll soon be here, It'll be, better than before, Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone. Why not think about times to come, And not about the things that you've done, If your life was bad to you, Just think what tomorrow will do.

Thanks for an enlightening season - you've all done your bit to make thinking about 2014 an exciting prospect.