Cor its hot/mad thundery/biblical raining!
Looking possibly at the moister end of the weather spectrum is Sunday, upon which we host the penultimate CPL round and the most important one of all so we could do without some wet stuff please - the foundations have been laid but this is the last chance to determine: a. the new occupants of the pirate ship aka Caribbean Corner, b. the two teams going through to the semi finals, and c. the team pre-booking their place into the final on August 30th on Finals Day. The mayhem starts at 12pm, with Bourne Stars v Grove Armada kicking us off and Gogmore Knights and Meads Enforcers in the final match of the day. Will Big Al have a new shirt? Will we avoid a ball to the face? Will Suetheburgerlady have her blue slushie on? All this and more will have been answered come 7pm Sunday evening we're sure. Don't forget over on Facebook and Insta you can vote for your performance of the round come Monday morning.
We liken spectating Saturday and Sunday to what one can only imagine it feels like to be a boil in the bag dinner, there was just no let up and certainly no poppty ping after 6 minutes. The only thing that was poppty pinging were wickets, all over the shop, sometimes two at once, which was a Comms nightmare. We found the best way to spectate on Saturday post-McDonalds lunch (when in Rome/Ashford) was in the foetal position, if we'd have moved much further from that we would have self-combusted so sorry 2s & 4s for not popping by. We doff our melted Oreo McFlurry to anyone who ventured more than two feet and were in the thick of it, cricket for the hardcore (or nuts).
From this comfortable position we watched on at pitch no.2 with one eye as Ashford 3s posted 222, which on a par score for the Challenge Cup is on the larger end of the scale shall we say, so we had a terrible feeling the 3s could be in for an unpleasant afternoon after having had to field toiling in the dry Short Lane furnace. But no. They proved us wrong and fought back. Whenever we swiveled round to check on them batting (much mesmerised by the 1s) we were pleansantly surpsised to see they seemed to be doing alright - we'll leave them to it for a bit we thought. The opening partnership of Bill Pulling and Jack Perks laid down a good set of foundations, Bill unlucky not to get to his half century for his reward, with Josh Loveridge coming in at three to provide a sturdy platform for the middle order and top-scoring on 53. Things were moving along nicely and a win was in the eyeline when a curious incident of the rare outage "chest before wicket" was given Ravi Patel's way by the Ashford umpire. Something upon consulting Mr Google post-incident it seems to be a lesser-seen hairy cousin of LBW, but you'd either have to be umpire of the century to twig it or 3ft tall to be given it, both of which weren't a factor in this situation... perhaps 2s Umpire Allan can quantify for us. The 3s hit a roadbump or two along the way and found themselves 215-9 going into the last couple of overs, and despite all the above elements working against them, they coursed homeward bound with a win in their pocket, their first of the season and probably the most hard-fought so far. Mention also to the speedy Sam Strutton, who made his Club debut, warm welcome to CCC Sir.
The 1s over on pitch no.1 on the other hand managed to wilt their Ashford equivalent to 141-7 with the help of some Westcott bangers. A very accessible total due to their strength in batting depth one would summise while pondering such things drinking port and eating cheese by the fireplace of an evening. They too had their fair share of incidence though, dealing mid-way through their fielding innings with an injury to the hand for wickie Snake, who's made of tough stuff and bounced back, managing to chip in at the total with a valuable 28 when it came to bat. Partnerships were attempted but every time they looked like making it home Ashford stopped them in their tracks, and a flurry of wickets left them on 105-7. Whereas we'd almost doubted the 3s in achieving the mountain they had to climb, it was the 1s who gave us minor trauma, but pushing it home with a Taylor-Loveridge-Anthony collaboration at last knockings.
Over at the Club we had another debutant in the 2s friendly v Crowthorne, Jonathon Thompson, who had a busy time of it, keeping wicket, claiming 4 assists then opening the batting to credit his CCC account with 36 and laying good foundations in tandem with Captain Wiggins, setting a tidy partnership for the first wicket. Welcome Sir, please come back next week. With a nice total of 109 to chase the 2s earned their much-due first win of the season at a canter.
The 4s' were back on home ground hosting Englefield Green at the Rec 4s. The 'Green won the toss and fancied a bat, ending on 189-9 going into the BYOTB (Bring Your Own Tea Break for the newbies). Colt Josh Fyfe had a blinder, with figures of 3-32, dismissing the 'Green's openers via a caughting & bowling and a catch from Boasty respectively, who himself was unlucky not to get a five-fer for his trouble. When it came round to batting despite Arthur and Laurence digging in with 52 runs, overall they couldn't quite get going to match the total - sadly the 4s' first defeat of the season.
We've delved into the current Challenge Cup table standings, check it out here on Twitter.
Saturday 8th August
Challenge Cup Group 2 - Ashford 141-7 v 1st XI 142-8
Greg Burton 28, Jake Taylor 28, Luke Westcott 3-34
Friendly - 2nd XI 111-6 v Crothorne 109 a/o
Jonathon Thompson 29, Hugh Aish-Lyons 3-15
Challenge Cup Group 28 - Ashford 222-8 v 3rd XI 224-9
Josh Loveridge 53, Ravi Patel 2-33
Challenge Cup Group 41 - 4th XI 119 a/o v Englefield Green 189-9
Arthur Walmsley 29, Laurence Wjingaarden 23, Phil Boast 4-23, Josh Fyfe 3-22, Laurence Wjingaarden 2-17
Sunday 9th August
Sunday XI 139-9 v Horley 145 a/o
Ravi Patel 76, Ed Marsh 3-9, John Bailey 3-30
The ladies entertained Ashford in their first home fixture of the season last night and were unlucky not to snatch a win against the Angels. On to Walton next week.
Wednesday 12th August
Surrey Slam - Chertsey Challengers 81- 7 v Ashford Angels 83-1
Carli Weston 19, Beth Bailey 1-18
Over in Colts-land they have been busy bees with truckloads of fixtures and training (the U13s for example have 4 in the next 6 days!), and on Monday night for the first time this season two of the U12s, Maff Barnes and Barnaby Rowe departed the match 30* v Sunbury. The U13's are creating entertainment galore after a last ball win v Windsor & a penultimate ball win v Whiteley Village in recent games, along with a last ball loss at Ewell last weekend followed by a last ball loss at Normandy on Tuesday.
Dates For Your Diary
We are now past the halfway mark in the official "season", but there's still plenty to get through for all corners of the Club.
Tonight sees the maristian massive take on the home guard in the form of Marist taking on Dads Army.
Marist v Dads Army - 6pm
Saturday sees every team in Challenge Cup action, with the 1s & 3s back on the road again, this time heading back into the undergrowth of Bushey Park to play Hampton Hill. We'll lay a trail of sandwiches for you. On a serious note though, we will get lost, Bushey Park is our nemesis.
Saturday 15th August
Challenge Cup Group 2 - Hampton Hill v 1st XI (A - Bushey Park) - 1pm start
Challenge Cup Group 15 - 2nd XI v Egham (H) - 1pm start
Challenge Cup Group 28 - Hampton Hill v 3rd XI (A - Carlisle Park) - 1pm start
Challenge Cup Group 41 - 4th XI v Egham (HRec) - 1pm start
Sunday 16th August
CPL - Bourne Stars v Grove Armada - 12pm
CPL - Gogmore Knights v Meads Enforcers - 3pm
Friday 14th August
U11s v Valley End (H)
Saturday 15th August
U10s v Thames Ditton (A)
Monday 17th August
U9s v Pyrford (H)
U12s v Ripley U11s (HRec)
U13s v Horsley & Send (H)
Tuesday 18th August
U13s dev v Staines & Laleham (A)
Wednesday 19th August
U13s v Shepperton (A)
There's been a buzz around extending training sessions outside the current quota and both the Colts and main Committee have made the decision to keep things as they are for this season - you can find a note from Chariman Mark Nuti on the website here to explain.
Right that's us, see you at Ashford Hampton Hill! If we're not back in time for our next chat we'll probably still be trying to get out of Bushey Park.