Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Belhus Cricket Week In Full Swing

Monday 30th
Belhus XI v Dartfordians CC

Tuesday 31st
Belhus XI v Essex Over 60’s

Wednesday 1st
Belhus XI v Hornchurch Athletic CC

Thursday 2nd
Belhus XI v Prague CC (Czech Republic)

Friday 3rd
Belhus XI v Ardleigh Green CC

Belhus CC at North Stifford Village Green

By Fred Taylor

Naturally, a few past members will have fond memories of 1960, but for the current members, it is the excitement of being part of an ambitious club that has grown in stature and continues to develop that sparks the enthusiasm.

Over 40 clubs in the borough have come and gone in the past 50 years, but Belhus Cricket Club exists today by reason of its strong emphasis on youth cricket. Today’s 1st X1 bears the fruit of this emphasis and the team currently comprises no less than eight teenagers – fine talents who have progressed through our youth academy.

The club owes its success to a good many members who have displayed loyalty and dedication through good and lean times. A hard-working management board and an army of volunteers including, in particular, our coaches who are responsible for organising coaching for large numbers of youngsters, as well as managing our youth teams, the ‘Chance to Shine’ scheme, disabled cricket and Kwik cricket all contribute to our success.

Other volunteers work conscientiously in the preparation of pitches at North Stifford Village Green – assessed as one of the very best in the Shepherd Neame Essex League in 2009 – as well as those involved in partnering the borough council at South Ockendon Recreation ground, where considerable improvements have been made with regular watering, rolling and loving care.

Our tea ladies have a reputation for their teas, and our visitors will benefit from some of their gastronomic delights during the Cricket Week.

At 50 years of age, Belhus Cricket Club is now in its 2nd season of playing in the Shepherd Neame sponsored Essex Cricket League, which is the pinnacle of every club’s ambition.

As we settle into life on the Village Green, many villagers have become friends and are regular visitors to our club on match days. They are pleased with the way that we maintain this scenic venue (lots of hard working volunteers make this possible), as the club continues to build for the future. Benches that have been dedicated by past and present members and local residents are sited around the ground, and provide a welcome resting place during a walk around the boundary.

Two first-grade practice nets, wet weather covers, an electronic scoreboard, a container full of machinery to support pitch and grounds maintenance – all help to give the Village Green a smart appearance and are the result of our close ties with the local community, funding partners and generous sponsors.

The North Stifford Community Group uses the Village Green for its annual summer fete and their enterprise in staging an ‘Abba’ night and, more recently, an ‘Elvis’ show, gave many locals the chance to enjoy the club’s hospitality through our licensed bar facility.

The Matches

The Week opened on Sunday with a Belhus Present XI v Belhus Past XI (1988) captained by Mark Winter, a club member since 1975.

Match Sponsor: Mark Winter
Match Balls Provided By: Steve Huckstepp

This was a great day for renewing old acquaintances. Local supporters, past and present members and their families attended.

The umpires were Ken Lewis, an ex-player, and Fred Taylor, our fixture secretary. Julie Whitlock is our trusted scorer.

Lunch and Teas: Tracy Topp and Toni Frampton

* * *

On Monday we play host to visitors from Kent, Dartfordians CC.

Match Sponsor: North Stifford Village Stores
Match Balls Provided By: Mathew Lewis Snr

A more recent visitor to North Stifford, we are pleased that Michael Deane’s team will give us an insight into cricket on the other side of the Thames. They may also recall 22nd July 2007 when our club record 10th wicket partnership was achieved.

The umpires will be Martin Burnley and Vic Dyerson – both are old friends.

Teas: Janet Jefferies

* * *

On Tuesday we entertain Essex Over 60s.

Match Sponsor: Promech Services
Match Balls Provided By: Steve Pearce
Teas Provided By: Peter and Ann Clark

Some well-known ‘names’ of Essex senior cricket will be gracing North Stifford Village Green and we hope very much that they enjoy their visit. The team is Ken Porter, Malcolm Bottomley, Peter Marshall, Bob Fulford, Ash Patel, Terry Sims, Dave Carter, John Doughty, Kevan Pratt, Dave Osborne, Keith Mitchell and Ralph Dellor. Scorer – Frances Brown .

Umpires – Ken Goult and Barry Toombs.

Teas: Ann Clark

* * *

Wednesday sees the visit of old adversaries from the Lords International Essex League, Hornchurch Athletic CC.

Match Sponsor: Denis Reed
Match Balls Provided By: Brian Austin

We have enjoyed many competitive matches over the years and today will be no exception.

Joining Laurence Weeks will hopefully be many old foes who will help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary and rekindle past contests and usual after-match socials (particularly the occasion when, at 2.00 a.m. our players found the tall exit gates to Hylands Park had been locked for the night!).

Martin Burnley and Roy Saunders are the umpires for today. Roy used to play for North Stifford CC and played against Belhus Cricket Club in 1960.

Teas: Jackie Norris

* * *

Thursday sees the return of Honz and his team from Prague CC.

Match Sponsor: ` P & I Protection
Match Balls Provided By: Fred Taylor

Prague CC visited us last season on their tour to the UK. We very much look forward to their visit but with a reversal of last year’s result! The tour party members are: Dan Casey, John Corness, Rohit Deshmoyni, Sudhir Gladson, Colin Glover, Daniel Haines, Wojtek Kedzior, Leo Rawlence, Luke Rogers, Matthew Schott, Slava Shelestyuk, Richie Skelhorn, David Talacko, Suditha Udugalage, Nick Watkins, Katerina Zakostelska.

Teas: Linda Taylor

* * *

Friday sees SNEL Premier Division club Ardleigh Green CC.

Match Sponsor: P & I Protection
Match Balls Provided By: Mick Murphy

Vic Simmons is a delight to work with and play against. He will bring with him the memory of the match on 3rd September 1978 when Jim French took 10 wickets for 53 runs against our 2nd XI, and then scored 20 not out to wrap up an outstanding performance and a win for Ardleigh Green.

Good friends of our club Ken Goult and Vic Dyerson are today’s umpires.

Teas: Julia Squires

* * *

Celebrate With Us

The Cricket Week is part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations, a time where we revive memories with old cricketing acquaintances and a time when our new friends from other clubs and around the village can join in. You are all very much an integral part in the life of Belhus Cricket Club.

Match Sponsors and Match Ball Providers

Special thanks go to the match sponsors and match ball providers: you have all been very generous, many of you not for the first time.

Promech Services
Steve Pearce
Mick Murphy
North Stifford Village Stores
Mathew Lewis Snr
P & I Protection
Ian Joyce
Fred Taylor
Brian Austin
Denis Reed
Steve Huckstepp
Mark Winter

* * *
Raffle Prizes

We must also say a big thank you to Mr and Mrs Harry Burness, social members of our club, who have supplied the wine to be given as raffle prizes throughout the week. Harry has lived in the village for almost as long as Belhus Cricket Club has been in existence.

We will hold a raffle every day and, weather permitting, BBQs later in the day. We have a well stocked licensed bar and tea / coffee will be available. All profits and donations will go towards the financing of our youth cricket.

* * *
Teas

Belhus Cricket Club expresses its thanks to Ann and Peter Clark who have kindly undertaken to sponsor and prepare the catering for the match against Essex Over 60’s. We also thank Tracy Topp, Linda Taylor, Toni Frampton, Julia Squires, Jackie Norris and Janet Jefferies.

* * *
Umpires and Scorers

To those officials and scorers (Mick Tucker, Ken Goult, Vic Dyerson, Martin Burnley, John Thomas, Roy Saunders, Ken Lewis, Barry Toombs and Julie Whitlock) who have kindly offered to officiate in our cricket week, we again say ‘thank you’ in advance for making our matches possible.

* * *

Belhus CC Record Wicket Partnerships

1st 249 Martin Guilbert (146*) and Nick Marns (74)
1st XI v Eastside CC 16th May 2004

2nd 202 Nathan Turner (111) and Mason Wren (111)
2nd XI v Noak Hill Taverners CC 5th August 2006

3rd 238 Paul Wiltshire (62*) and Richard Waters (159)
2nd XI v Little Thurrock CC 8th July 1989

4th 238 Wayne Read (178) and Richard Waters (58*)
1st XI v Goresbrook CC 19th July 1990

5th 141 Paul Bennett (175*) and Richard Day (49)
1st XI v Benfleet CC 30th May 2010

North Stifford Village Green

6th 173 Nick Marns (124) and Steve Huckstepp (36)
Tour XI v Norwich CC 3rd July 2006

7th 145 Steve Huckstepp (56*) and John Forrest (82*)
1st XI v Pegasus CC 26th June 1988

8th 151 Gavin Jefferies (50*) and Paul Whitlock (101)
2nd XI v Mountnessing CC 3rd June 2007

9th 162* Francis Baptiste (70*) and Richard Dopson (84*)
2nd XI v Havering-atte-Bower CC 4th September 1999

10th 73 Danny Chandler (31*) and Alan Maidment (31)
2nd XI v Dartfordians CC 22nd July 2007

* * *

Belhus
Cricket Club

Honours
Senior Teams
Essex County Cricket League
1st XI Runners-Up Division Two 1981
1st XI Winners Division Three 1991
1st XI Runners-Up Division Two 1992
1st XI Winners Division One 1998
2nd XI Runners-Up Division Two 1998
2nd XI Winners Division Six 1991
2nd XI Cup Finalists 2004
1st XI Runners-Up Division One 2006
1st XI Runners-Up Premier League 2007

Reefers Essex Sunday League
Winners 1997
Shepherd Neame Essex League
4th XI Runners-Up Division Three East 2009
Thurrock and District Knock-Out Cup
Winners 1978 Finalists 1981 1992 1995
SEDBC Veterans’ Knock-Out Cup
Finalists 2008
Thurrock Indoor Six-a-Side Competitions
Winners Premier Division 2000-2001
Winners Sunday Division 2002-2003 Runners-Up 2007
Winners Mid-Week Division One 2002-2003 2003-2004
Winners Division Two 1989-1990
Runners-Up Division Two 1995-1996
Runners-Up Division Two 1996-1997
Finalists League Cup 1995-1996

Youth Teams
Essex Cricket Association U-17 President’s Plate Winners 1984
Brentwood U-15 Youth League Winners 1981
Brentwood U-15 Youth League Joint Winners 1982
Essex Cricket Association U-15 Peters Trophy
Semi-Finals 1976 1981 1983
South Essex U-13 Youth League Winners 1996 1997
South Essex U-13 Cup Winners 1985 1996
South Essex U-17 League Winners 1985
South Essex U-15 League and Cup Winners 2003
Thurrock U-14 Indoor Six-a-Side Winners 1996 1997 2006 2008
Thurrock U-16 Indoor Six-a-Side Winners 2004 2005 2007 2010
Essex Boys’ Clubs U-13 Indoor Six-a-Side Winners 2007
U-16 Indoor Winners 2009-2010

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