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Archive for June, 2011

Match report written by Ahmed

The line was drawn in the sand (grass) and two teams faced each other.  On one side was EppingForest confident in the knowledge that they were in second position with only one defeat in 7 games.  On the other side were the brave lads from Little Munden buoyant with three previous straight wins.

It had rained all night so the pitch was somewhat soft with the possibility that the ball will behave erratically. The plan was to field first if Sherry wins the toss.  The opposition captain was late coming so Sherry gathered everyone in the pavilion for a pep talk.

The message was clear “We must win”. We all pretended to listen knowing fully well that the opposition was strong.

Sherry lost the toss but the result was what we wanted.  Sherry opened with Dave and himself from the pavilion end.  Dave was obviously in no mood to mess around and only the second ball removed the opener with a quick in-swinger and Simon taking a sharp catch at first slip.  Not happy with one (typical Dave) he used a change in pace to remove batsman 3. The visitors were now 3 for 2. Two further quick wickets (Sherry and Dave) and the score was 15 for 4.

This was a score we would have given an arm and a leg for before the match. Sherry pressed home the advantage with a strategic change of bowling by Bobby and Dickie. Bobby ended up with one wicket caught very confidently by Tom Gardener or was it Davey. The opposition captain was dealing some hefty blows and moved the score up to 85 for 6.

Sensing the match slipping away, Sherry threw the ball to Ahmed who quickly wrapped up the last 4 wickets for 10 runs. What a bowling performance by Munden bowlers. There were some drop catches (Dan and Dickie) but this was a great result at half time. The Epping Foresters were removed within 25 overs.

The fall of wickets were: O, 3, 12, 15, 38, 49, 87 and 104 all out.

After tea Sherry gave us another pep talk and confirmed no change in the original message.  Simon and Ahmed opened the batting for Munden and the plan was to finish the game with no loss of wickets.  But alas Ahmed went back to one and was judged LBW for 7.  Simon hit some powerful shots but was bowled for 35 going back to a loose ball with the score at 53.

Enter Dan the Man who hit two lofty shots without any footwork.

Dan hit a powerful six and was then dropped for next two consecutive deliveries (lucky so and so).  He was eventually caught at short midwicket.  The opposition kept changing bowlers after every 2 overs or so thus not allowing the batsmen to settle.

Cliff was batting carefully but was bowled for 12.  In came Dave B and out went Dave B.  It was left to Sherry and Bobby to finish off the game in style.  Sherry hit a reverse sweep to score the winning run.

This was a great win and pushes Munden up the table to dizzy heights.  The match was played in great spirit with frequent shouting and calling from Ahmed and Dickie.

Thanks once again to ChrisPix for capturing Dan in full swing

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This is not a match reprot as I understand that Ahmed is going to put pen to paper, but just a huge congratulation to all who took part on Saturday.This win over Epping Foresters II has to rank as our best yet as they are second in the league. Next week we have Ilford Catholics who are the only other side to beat EF II’s so we can really test the rejuvenated Munden against the best in our division.

Match report and some of Chris’ pics to follow shortly (I hope!)

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Thanks to all who turned out for a lively session in the nets last night.

We have the first of two home games on Saturday against the top two teams in the league. Epping Forest II are second having only lost to Ilford Catholics III but Munden’s form is good having won three in a row so we can be confident.

The pitch is looking great and the Pavillion is sparkling with it’s new coat of paint thanks to Peter’s efforts.

Burly is away so can’t do the match report, so if anyone who can just jot down a few notes it would be appreciated. I’m away until Sunday evening so nothing will go up until Monday.

Please arrive at Green End by 1 for a 1:30 start – hopefully one or two could turn up a bit earlier to help prepare the pitch

Good luck Munden!

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Rickling match report written by Justin Butt-Close

Would it be a wasted journey, we thought as we set off for the lovely village of Rickling Green in the torrential rain? However, we hadn’t known that the Ramblers had covered the pitch overnight and had saved the game. And it was a game to make all the effort worthwhile.

Following a little drizzle, the covers were removed and Sherry once again called correctly and inserted the Ramblers on a pitch which would give the bowlers some encouragement.

Whilst runs were hard to come by, the Ramblers openers, skipper John Lodge and Stuart Prentice, were starting to build a foundation for the innings. Sherry then replaced Will with the Wiley Bob, who promptly deceived Stuart with his slower slow ball and inroads were then made into the top order.

Dickie’s first catch helped Sherry remove Matt Howard for a duck, then Ahmed waded in with 3 wickets for 22, one of them a superb juggling catch on the boundary by Dickie to dismiss the stubborn skipper.

Bob then got his second when Will took a towering catch to get rid of a dangerous looking Simon Wedlock.

Bob finished with 2 for 11 off his 10 overs. However, a good stand between brothers Tom and John Culpin saw Ramblers recover to 106 for 6 after 37 overs when the heavens opened and a rush to cover the pitch by all was made.

It was decided to take an early tea. The tea was excellent, though with the huge amount of home-made cakes on offer, we wondered if this was ploy to slow us down! After too many cakes and a 50 minute interruption it was decided to carry on with the full 45 overs. Unfortunately, for the Culpin brothers the break disturbed the flow and Sherry and Will returned to restrict the total to 131 for 9 before Chris Jones took the final wicket with his first ball before Burly could get his camera out!

Bob and the in-form Ahmed opened the innings for Munden. For Rickling, Wedlock opened up with a maiden and looked a very difficult bowler. Bob crashed a 4 off Tom Culpin and we were on our way. Wrong!!! Ahmed was caught behind without scoring by Wedlock, and Gareth followed two balls later. 4 for 2 and up against it! Sherry joined Bob and they began to cement a good partnership taking the score to 91 before Bob played a tired looking shot and was bowled for a very creditable 55.

Will joined Sherry and scored 6 before skying one and being caught. Enter Dan the Man; showing contempt for the bowling he dispatched the ball to all parts of the field (well to deep mid wicket actually!). A quick-fire 11, which got us closer to the target. He was bowled playing his only defensive shot by the excellent Wedlock, who was back for his second spell.

Phippsy was caught shortly after and, at 118 for 7, it was squeaky-bum time again, especially when Sherry departed for a resolute 36.

Enter Dave P who was determined not to be out. He played every ball Boycott-like. Dickie hit two 4s to take us nearer the target before being caught and bowled.

With Jonesy unable to repeat his heroics of last week it was left to Tom to hit two 2s to bring up a victory in a very exciting match.

Whoever had won, it would have been an excellent afternoon’s cricket which even the rain could not spoil, played in an exemplary manner by both sides. We look forward to another when Ramblers visit Green End later.

As the light faded we retired to the Pub at the End of the Rainbow for some well-earned refreshment and cricket banter. It doesn’t get better than this!

Thanks to Chris and Burley for some great pics…….

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On Saturday, we play Rickling Ramblers II. They are two places lower than us in the league having won 1 of their 6 games so far this season (we have all had our games against High Roding removed from the record book).

Had Roding not withdrawn from the league, we would have leapfrogged Harlow IV following last week’s win, as it is, a victory against Rickling will give us the opportunity to do just that if other results go our way.

We now have a full team and sadly this will be Sherry’s last game as captain before he moves up to Peterborough, let’s mark it with a victory!

Please arrive at 1 o-clock for the usual 1:30 start, the address is:

Rickling Green,

Nr Saffron Walden

Essex

CB11 3YG

The weather forecast is not encouraging but let’s hope we have a successful day and can continue our winning momentum. Unfortunately I am unable to attend so best of luck boys and could someone get in touch with me after the game to let me have the stats etc. for a brief match report.

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The weather forecast for Saturday had promised heavy rain and was proved correct in the early hours when there was a heavy downpour that soaked into the dry pitch and was to have a major influence on the day’s play.

By lunchtime the sun was out and although the pitch couldn’t be rolled, it looked as though the track would improve as it dried – as a result, Sherry elected to field after winning the toss.

The game that followed was in stark contrast to last week’s visit to Langley. The unpredictable bounce with the odd ball rearing up unexpectedly meant that it was not a day when many would be clean bowled but shots would be mistimed and edges found.

Munden opened with Will and Dave B. Dave was successful at finding the edge of the bat but unlucky that the early chances did not go to hand. Will showed the pace and accuracy he had displayed earlier in the week at nets and was also causing the batsmen problems, he removed the first of Harlow’s openers when Dickie took a catch at mid wicket.

Last week it was the swing of the ball that sent the stumps flying, this week it was all about the bounce that deceived the batsmen into playing the ball in the air and the catches that were taken – 8 in total by 7 different players.

Some powerful hitting by the visitor’s late order batsmen pushed the total higher than seemed likely but he was clean bowled by Will and their innings was soon over in the 40th over for a total of 138. Ahmed took 4 for 31 in his ten overs and Will and Sherry pitched in with 3 a piece which added to some excellent catches, completed a good performance in the field.

Simon and Ahmed opened the batting after tea. It was clear from Harlow’s innings that batting was not going to be easy and although the weather was still fine, the bounce and pace of the pitch was not making life easy for our batsmen, but they stuck to their task and punished the bad ball whilst riding their luck on occasion.

With the score on 40, the mood changed and batting became even more difficult. The sky blackened, the temperature dropped and a strong breeze kicked up – it looked certain that we would all be returning to the pavillion to escape the rain. Simon was unfortunately run out on 19 and the next three wickets fell cheaply as the batsmen struggled to cope with the conditions. When Ahmed too was run out for the top score of 36, it was clear that Munden were wobbling and the opposition could smell victory.

But then the sun came out and the game swung in Munden’s favour again courtesy of the dynamic duo – Will and Dave.

Just when we needed it these two arrived at the crease and formed a match winning partnership. They took on the bowling and moved the score on rapidly. We quickly reached 100 and it was clear that if these two stayed, victory would be ours. Dave’s innings was characterised by his usual big hitting with one massive six before he fell on 27 which together with Will’s contribution of 19 moved us within 20 of the required total.

Dicky and Dave P made brief appearances at the crease, Dave receiving a stonker of a delivery that saw him fall to LBW and Dickie played his ‘fly swatter’ and was caught. (sorry Dicky 🙂 , you bowled very well and should have had at least one wicket)

At this point the drama increased. Mark had been moved down the order because he pulled his hamstring whilst fielding and therefore required the services of Will as his runner. He and Chris represented our final pairing. Twenty runs to win, 1 wicket and we’d have lost.

Whilst Mark held down his end against their quickest bowler and in the face of repeated and enthusiastic shouts for LBW, Chris was surrounded by fielders the other end whilst trying to keep out a spinner. It was lucky that it was that way round as Mark observed after the game. Chris latched onto a couple of loose balls and cracked them both away for fours which together with a couple of singles and 4 bye’s brought the scores to parity.

Unbefitting of the quality of the game, the winning run came by virtue of a wide.

Congratulations to Harlow for playing their part in an enjoyable and memorable game of cricket. They played in good spirit and in truth the result could easily have gone their way.

Thanks to Chris for some blinding pics again – have a look in ‘Gallery’ for some new additions.

One final pont I’d like to make. I watched Will working on his batting and bowling at nets on  thursday and noted that Chris hit several impressive straight drives that he recreated in the match to win us the game. I don’t believe we would have won the game had those two not put in the groundwork at nets. So many thanks to Peter for providing us with the facility, it  is already reaping rewards and well done to all of you who turn up to practise every week, it’s time well spent.

FOOTNOTE

I have just heard from Carol that High Roding III have failed to field a team for the 3rd week in a row and have withdrawn from the league. The bad news for Munden is that they are one of the teams we have beaten and the points awarded have subsequently been deducted from our total.

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Take a look at the new ‘Gallery’ tab at the top of the page, it contains some of Chris’ excellent pics for you all to enjoy. Hopefully in time we will get a shot of everyone in action……

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