Saturday, July 13, 2024

Cricket: Stanford celebrate 125th anniversary

Stanford-le-Hope Cricket Club 125 Cricket Week – 26th to 31st July 2012
Stanford-le-Hope Cricket Club managed to dodge most of the recent poor weather to enjoy its 125th Anniversary Cricket Week.
With the XL Club being a late cancellation the festivities started on Thursday 26th July with a fun interclub T20 match.
Next up on the Friday were Kent side Horton Kirby.  This closely fought game between two friendly sides ended in a close finish. Stanford posted a total of 181 all out within 35 overs with ‘Veteran’ Clive Ballard top scoring with an impressive 70 not out. In reply, Stanford opening bowlers Andrew Love and “Chopper” Harris made early inroads into the Horton Kirby batting line up, but it was left to skipper Dane Bull to hit a quick-fire 20 to see his team home by 3 wickets and with one over to spare. 
Saturday saw mixed fortunes in the League with the 1st & 2nd XIs coming off second best to strong Wickford sides, but the 3rd & 4XIs secured emphatic wins over Epping and Hutton respectively.  The day did give Mark Nuttall, Vice-Captain of the 2nd XI, the opportunity to present a memento on behalf of SLHCC to Wickford CC to commemorate their own 125th anniversary this year
Sunday 29th July was President’s Day when SLHCC Chairman Rob Pearn invited many celebrated SLHCC past players were due to play against Club President Ron Yardley’s team of present players. Unfortunately the weather closed in exactly as it did on this special day last year, including a storm of hailstones at one point, to completely wash out play.  However, many experiences and tall stories were enjoyed in the Clubhouse throughout the afternoon!
Happily, the weather improved for the final & most important cricket fixture of the 125 celebrations & probably the most prestigious match ever held at Stanford Recreation Ground as the Club played against the Club Cricket Conference President’s XI on Tuesday 31st July.  In thankfully drying conditions, SLHCC 1st XI Captain Lee Knight won the toss & invited the CCC side, captained by Roy Smith (Ardleigh Green) to bat first on a decent track in an all-day match umpired by Steve O’Shaughnessy from the First Class Umpires List and John Stuck from East Anglian Premier League.  The CCC started well with Waqas Hussain (Harrow CC) and Tom Cullen (Stanmore CC) putting together a superb first wicket stand of 154 before lunch.  Hussain eventually fell for 89 and Cullen just short of a memorable ton at 98 but despite three wickets each for SLHCC’s Ross Poulton and Kevin Smith (fuelled by an excellent lunch) the groundwork was laid for a significant total.  And so with Roy Smith hitting a quick 27, the CCC felt 272-7 declared was sufficient to test the SLHCC batsmen.  
In contrast, SLHCC started poorly losing Lee Knight for two and soon found themselves in trouble at 72 for 6.  Ross Poulton eventually came to the rescue with a wonderful innings of 111 including 4 sixes and 16 fours.  With 150 needed in the last hour, Ross had no option other than to hit out but lost frequent middle order partners along that way as Roy Smith rang the changes with his bowlers.  Eventually Stanford fell well short at 218 all out but it was a valiant effort on a day when the match was more significant than the result.



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