Cavaliers Cricket Club, Colchester, Essex, England

28 September 2009

Pavilion Update

Our planning application has reached the public consultation stage with letters being delivered to local residents late last week. The process has been somewhat delayed by the requirement for accurate plans and my unfamiliarity with the planning department requirements. I believe we will have a decision in about a month's time.

Not so good news on the funding side of things. Our application to Sport England was rejected on the grounds that they don't support building projects from the Small Capital Fund. I think we can apply to their Matched Funding scheme or we can try Essex Community Foundation. Either way I don't see any reason why we can't complete our project before the first home game of the 2010 season.

Best Season Ever?

Cavaliers wrapped up an excellent season with a victory over Earls Colne & Bures at the picturesque Bures ground, however Little Bardfield manged to beat both Colchester and Great Totham in the final weekend to snatch second place and leave Cavaliers third in Division 2 for the second season running.

21 September 2009

The Bardfield Sniper Strikes Back

Since the first game of the season we've been joking about the 'Bardfield Sniper' after Phil collapsed in a heap attempting a catch. In an eventful day at Gosfield, Cavaliers 1st XI kept slim promotion hopes alive with a win despite coming under real gun fire from the bushes. Phil managed to reprise his famous swan dive and this time took a good catch, unfortunately the ball only cannoned into the batsman's pads.

19 September 2009

Tired Legs. Tired Minds. Tired Performance.

The Cavaliers' Friendly season was brought to a close with an emphatic defeat c/o the Kelvedon & Feering Juniors.

13 September 2009

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

Promotion hopes for Cavaliers First XI seem to be slipping away after a heavy defeat at Little Baddow who now seem certain of promotion themselves. Assuming Little Bardfield overcome lowly Gosfield today, Cavaliers will slip back into third place and will be at the mercy of other results even if we win our two remaining games.

The One-Day International at Lords and other work / social events took out five regular First XI players so it had been a tough week of calls to pull together a side at all, but eleven fit and able men took to the field determined to give Baddow a hard game. Robbie bowled an excellent opening spell dismissing both opens thanks to catches by Simon in the slips and Tony dashing around the boundary at long-off. Tony opened the bowling at the other end in an attempt to catch the opening batsmen off guard with some spin, which worked to a degree for four overs before Ray took over. Together Robbie and Ray applied some pressure resulting in four quick wickets to reduce the home side to 87-6 after 22 overs and give the Cavaliers reason to hope. However Andy Harris striding to the wicket coming at number 8 wasn't really what we needed as he took a fancy to Kevin's bowling launching him into the woods for the first of many ball hunts. Despite rotating the bowling and Tony returning to bowl six overs with only one boundary conceded we could not contain Harris and the excellent #3 Lucy who both made their centuries in a stand of 179 from just 20 overs.

Kevin returned to have another go and found much better control to dismiss both centurians going for big hits, another great catch from Jack under the trees, but it was all too late as Baddow piled on the runs to take Cavaliers for their worst ever total. Despite this all the fielders had shown great committment in difficult circumstances.

Tea was reduced to 20 minutes due to the time spent searching in the woods so Jack and Simon led out the reply still munching on cake. The Baddow bowling contrasted between the steady, accurate at one end and wild pace at the other but the Cavs openers could not master either end and the start was slow although not any slower than Baddow's earlier. Both Jack and Simon fell to the steady, accurate end, Alex and Luke to the introduction of off-spin at the other. Paul M played some fine shots particularly off the spinner before the highlight of the innings as Robbie smashed the ball to all corners including a huge hit into the woods equalling his best score for the Cavaliers.

Against a strong Baddow side, boosted by their Mid-Essex league players, we had our moments and should feel pleased with our efforts, particularly the fielding by Alex, Luke, Kevin, Deji and Paul who threw themselves around to save every run. A big thanks to those five for stepping into such a tough game.

6 September 2009

A Pinch of Spin

Cavaliers recorded a much needed victory in the chase for promotion thanks to an inspired piece of pinch hitting by Robbie, followed up by some great slow bowling by Ray, Tony and Kevin. Ray collected his second 5 wicket haul of the season with a masterclass of wicket to wicket bowling.

On our last visit to north Clacton we had nine men and only played about 10 overs on a wickedly cold, wet day. Thankfully the weather gods had done better this year with all the foul weather coming during the week. Another lost toss saw us asked to bat first and with Jack and Paul unable to play Robbie had a chance to reprise his Twenty20 role of pinch hitter. Some very wayward bowling, extras ending up as the top scorer, and a glass outfield helped Cavaliers get off to an excellent start getting to 50 in the sixth over, and 100 in the fifteenth but Ramblers fought back with their slow bowlers and after their first breakthrough there was a steady trickle of wickets. Robbie was bowled by a beauty, Simon fell to a full toss first ball after drinks but Danny held together the innings as everyone chipped in without dominating. After aiming for a total around 300 at one point we were a bit disappointed by 215 but confident that good bowling would secure the game.

Darren and Stuart kept things tight at the start of the Ramblers reply but James and Daniels built a solid start. Having seen the Ramblers slow bowlers prosper it was time to introduce Ray and Kevin, who both bowled great 10 over spells, Ray picking up most of the wickets but both built pressure through a tight line. Our fielding was good again, with most of the catches being held, apart from a brief spell once the game was effectively over.

Only a later 10th wicket flurry of hitting kept things interesting as Ramblers were never really in with a shout of matching the Cavaliers score.

The next game is the big one against Little Baddow. Unless there are any surprises this game could determine the outcome of title and promotion places.

1 September 2009

Batting Parked

After learning that promotion rivals Little Baddow had lost the previous day, Cavaliers were given a chance to top Division 2 if we could overcome a 'genuine' Colchester & East Essex side. However it was not to be as we wasted a great position earned through some great bowling and a solid opening stand.

Things started well after being asked to field first as Stuart took wickets in his first two overs to reduce C&EE to 7-2 but Earley and Thomas built a good stand on an excellent wicket putting on close to a 100 before Thomas skied a catch off Danny who was bowling with real pace. Unfortunately good chances to dismiss Earley behind the wicket were spurned and he went on to make his half century until Simon's long arms snagged another one handed catch off Tony's bowling.

Both Robbie and Danny bowled a great spells with real pace and accuracy, indeed credit to all the bowlers on for restricting C&EE to 187, maybe a few more than they should have got if we'd fielded a bit better.

The reply could not have started any better as Simon and Jack built a stand of 98 runs before Simon was bowled in the 24th over. Jack was next out as the heat took it's toll on his concentration but we still looked well placed at 117-2, needing just 80 runs in 18 overs. For whatever reason, maybe the ball got a bit soft or maybe the bowlers tightened up their line but none of the other Cavaliers got to grips with the conditions and the pressure started to mount. Jon W made the only other significant contribution as we ran out 10 runs short of our target. With the required rate never above 5 and the field spread we strangely found it difficult to put bat on ball or hit any boundaries.

A disappointing result but the season is still very much alive with key games still to be played.