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2000

Cranbrook Town

This game was cancelled.

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Lynxes v. Old Suttonians

Old Suttonians 233 All Out (69 overs)

Lynxes 208 for 4 (39 overs)

Match Drawn

In true western style the Lynxes set about their Herculean task of scoring 234 for victory with all guns blazing. Earlier in the day the opposition had been inserted in order to set up a run chase for a side in batting form. James Thompson (2-91) Tim Spelling (3-30) and Tom Allen (0-24) all bowled with real effort to restrict Sutton to a meagre score. Latterly, some spirited batting by Sutton and some bunny hunting by Matt Hall (5-18) left the visitors to chase the total in only 39 overs.

The team had been buoyed by competitive bowling and exemplary fielding (the Marshall apart). The sheer effort and determination of all members of the side to make things happen even when under pressure showed the spirit that exists in the Lynxes camp.

In pursuit of Sutton's total Campbell (104) and Richards (43) used all the shots in the book to post an opening stand of 157. But despite a late fling taking the away side to 208-4 the asking rate proved too steep and the match petered out into a draw, Lynxes having played consistently well throughout. Roll on next year when Big Side will provide the setting for the shoot out.

Champagne Moment: Tim Spelling catching Andrew Scott off his own bowling to deny the thorn in the Lynxes side another 100.

Hugo Youngman

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Lynxes v. Bully Boys

Lynxes CC 180 All Out

Bully Boys 137 All Out

Lynxes Won by 43 runs

A torrential downpour twenty minutes before the start of play was not enough to undermine my absolute faith in the talented line up of Lynxes I had assembled. We were, of course, going to bat.

My decision was rewarded with the sight of the two openers, Jez Lawson and James Barron, back in the pavilion before I had even had a chance to peruse the bag of chocolate bars that seems to accompany Steve Smith wherever he goes. I'm not sure which was less of a surprise - no runs from Baz, or no chunky kit-kats in the bag.

The early departure of the openers brought to the crease the knowledgeable Gary Marshall and debutante Lynx Matt Lucas. Both quickly settled and were just starting to unnerve the stable of opposition bowlers when Matt contrived to run himself out for 5. Up stepped Giles May. Bristling with intent, he smashed a string of boundaries before calamity struck, and he played on whilst fending away a ball that kicked like a mule from, who else, Matthew Bates.

With half an hour to lunch and the score languishing at 60-4, my spirits lifted as I saw one of the cornerstones upon which the team had been built swagger to the crease. Steve Smith wouldn't let me down. Amazingly, he didn't and lunch was taken without another wicket falling.

Bully Boys could not contain their delight at winkling out the prize wicket of Marshall (39) first ball after lunch. Little did they know that they had merely accelerated the introduction of the Lynxes' trump card. Reminiscent of Peter Willey at the very peak of his powers, Eddie Stearns stood tall and lambasted the ball to all corners of the square - infuriating the opposition bowlers with a series of reverse sweeps and sharp singles. At the other end Smith continued to swat anything he could reach, and the Lynxes looked set for a big score. Finally Bully Boys found a straight ball for which Stearns had no reply, and a thoroughly entertaining innings of 15 came to a close.

With quick runs needed to set a decent total I chanced my arm at number 8. Steve Smith soon departed for 16, bringing Robert Hillier to the crease. The tightness of Robert's trousers did not allow for many attacking strokes or singles, so he settled on a policy of blanket defence. Fortunately I was connecting more often than not, and so after my demise for 55, and some straight hitting from Alastair Barrett and James Thompson, we had a total worth defending.

However 180 wasn't considered enough to risk Stearns behind the stumps, and so James Barron was awarded the gloves and Eddy was hidden at 2nd slip. Thompson's very first over brought success, but after the early breakthrough both James and Alastair Barrett, impressive on debut, found wickets hard to come by. Under the watchful eye of John Marshall, and with some unintentional support from Stearns (who twice had to be removed from the slips for incompetence), Bully Boys were making comfortable progress.

Then, one of those moments came along that turns the whole course of a match. A wide full toss from Alastair was slashed through the gully area by the batsman, and looked a certain four. Diving to his right Jez Lawson stuck out a hand and took as good a catch as Bigside is ever likely to see. From this moment on, Lynxes were a side inspired. Thompson, Barrett (A), Marshall and Hillier piled on the pressure, and wickets fell steadily - often to well-taken, occasionally stunning, catches. Once Marshall (J) had departed for an excellent 75, and with bowling honours shared between Thompson (3-30) and Marshall (G)(3-17), it seemed appropriate to introduce some variation at one end and Stearns was handed the ball for an over. Ever the competitor, his spell was considered too aggressive to last more than six balls (in fact, it was closer to ten), and Giles May was nominated to take over at that end. Unfortunately it was a spell we never enjoyed, as Gary bowled their number 11 with the very next delivery.

Champagne moment: everyone will have their own, however Steve Smith grinding his chin into the ground as he attempted to stop a square cut with his nose will keep me smiling for a while.

Colin Barrett

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Lynxes v. Bluemantles

Bluemantles CC 94 All Out

Lynxes CC 95-3

Lynxes won by 7 wickets

This is, unfortunately, a truncated report on a truncated match. As the Big Side pavilion clock correctly signalled 11.30, the Lynxes team was changed and raring. The majority of the side had participated in the resounding victory of '99 and the players were anticipating a fiery riposte from a Bluemantles club that can call upon some quality players. By midday, however, only 5 of their number had heeded the call and an arranged decision was made to insert the opposition.

An early wicket to Thompson brought the redoubtable Rex Roberts to the crease. Rex will readily admit that these days his body stops more deliveries than does his bat and, sure enough, the slip cordon was soon wincing in unison as the great man took one blow after another on a lively Big Side track. Rex's demise (bowled Blaydon) saw the opposition captain depart from his mobile 'phone and enter the fray. An able left-hand bat, he was soon pulling the bowling of Leake (guest player) and Devlin with abandon. The score rose but two quick wickets saw the Bluemantles 4 wickets down at lunch with, apparently, no more players.

I was assured that the arrival of a sixth player was imminent and so, on resumption, the oppo skipper was allowed to bat at both ends until the arrival of his colleague. As the new arrival rushed to don his whites, he might have witnessed his skipper sky a full toss from Chuter deep into the outfield. James Thompson stood beneath the descending ball. A lesser man have been distracted by shouts of "three-to-one on the ball" and "I'll have a tenner at that price" but he completed the catch safely enough for an all-out score of just 96.

A double-figured total was never going to prove a problem. Though Skinner departed early, Allen and Lawson proceeded steadily against the fielding side of just 8 men (bolstered by 2 Lynxes). The author claims the right to say that he was not entirely to blame for his own run-out, and this allowed Moore to assist Lawson in an easy stroll to victory. Diplomacy ruled the day when the Bluemantles high command arrived later in the day, but the match had, I am afraid, been ruined before the first ball was bowled.

Tom Allen

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Lynxes v. Old Georgians

Old Georgian's 198 -9

Lynxes CC 110 All Out

Lynxes Lost by 88 runs

With the demise of our regular Friday opponents for the past seven years, we were delighted to welcome the Old Georgians to Big Side, our 40th new opponent in the long history of Lynxes Week. Whilst the main aim of the day was to ensure that our guests enjoyed themselves sufficiently to turn this into a regular fixture, I also had a more personal goal. Since the OGs are my hockey club colleagues during the winter and spring months, I knew that victory would establish bragging rights for the next 30 weeks.

Most of the Old Georgians, who originally hail from St George's College in Weybridge, were travelling down from London. Since it had apparently been raining all morning in our fair capital, I was rudely awakened from my slumber on three occasions as various OGs checked on the status of the game. The blue skies outside my bedroom window failed to improve my grumpy mood, brought on by this blatant attempt at gamesmanship.

By 11:30, however, I was feeling confident of success. Looking around the home dressing room, I felt we had assembled a pretty strong Lynxes side: M Richards, H Youngman, C Barrett, G Marshall, G May, J Lawson, T Lawson, M Hall, J Thompson, W Chuter, O Blaydon. Indeed, we dominated the morning session, with Old Georgians going in to the lunch break on 69 for 4. James Thompson had done most of the damage with 3 wickets, and Chuter, Hall and Blaydon ably supported him. We'd even managed to remove one of their danger men, Gareth Notton, who strode to the crease in new pads, gloves and boots, whilst wielding a sparkling new bat. He departed one ball later, having only used a small proportion of his new willow in snicking one to May behind the stumps.

The post-lunch session was a different story. Richard Aspinall (OG's captain) and Brian O'Gorman (OG's President) took on the responsibility of digging their side out of a hole, and did so with some aplomb. Matt Hall will probably never bowl a better spell without taking a wicket, and it was left to Chuter to remove the limpet-like O'Gorman. There was no respite for the Lynxes, however, as one of the Old Georgians' late-comers, Phil Jansen, walked to the crease. Married to Sky News reader Sheila Jansen, Phil performed a fair impression of a broadcaster himself, dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground. Finally falling for 41, his partnership of 67 with Aspinall (68) proved crucial, and Lynxes were set a challenging target of 198 in a minimum of 46 overs. The pick of the bowlers were Thompson (4 for 29) and Blaydon (3 - 59), and all the bowlers were assisted by a high standard of fielding from the home side.

Tea was taken in between innings, and the wicket was rolled to ensure that OGs had a lively surface to bowl on. With our first five batsmen boasting over 8,500 Lynxes runs between them, I settled back to a leisurely afternoon of watching the ensuing run chase. The Old Georgians had other ideas. After his heroics with the bat, captain Aspinall opened the bowling from the Windmill End and ripped out our top order. Richards went first ball to an unplayable delivery and Colin Barrett followed him back to the pavilion three balls later. Within eight overs we were 30 for five, with the normally reliable Youngman, Marshall and May all gone for single figure scores.

This brought me to the middle to join brother Tony for the second year in succession. Tony batted fluently, smashing three fours in one over of off spin from Jansen to give the Lynxes a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, he fell to the wily bowling of O'Gorman, fending one to slip for a battling 27. Matt Hall, sporting a helmet to protect his remaining hair, came and went quickly and Chuter was then bowled trying to pick up the run rate. With 10 overs remaining and 100 still needed, the best Lynxes could hope for was a draw. If ever a captain's innings was required, it was then……..sadly, this particular skipper was out three overs later, offering a tame catch to the keeper when looking set on 28. Hard though Ollie "Bullet" Blaydon and James "Tinned Peach" Thompson tried, Lynxes succumbed with a few overs remaining. There was some controversy about the final wicket, however: as far as I know, Bullet is still standing his ground at this moment, claiming the "catch" he gave was in fact a bump ball.

Although our batting let us down, the game was played in a good spirit and we look forward to welcoming the Old Georgians back next year.

Champagne Moment: Notton's first ball dismissal to put Thompson on a hat-trick

White Wine Moment: Hugo Youngman's spoofing in the Mumtaz Curry House. Time and again he guessed right….time and again he gloated…time and again he was reinstated….time and again he was introduced to the wonderful taste and bouquet of the house white, General Billericay.

Jez Lawson

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Lynxes v. Scorpians

Scorpians CC 195 - 9

Lynxes CC 197 - 7

Lynxes won by 3 wickets

Two wins in 18 years against the Scorps did not bode well for the final Saturday of Lynxes Week 2000 but the skipper was in confident mood as he arrived at the ground to find a full compliment of fit and healthy Lynxes waiting to take the field (including the now legendary PRT).

Take the field they did and with the captain needing only 2 wickets to pass 100 for the club it was a brave man who suggested after his opening spell that perhaps he may need to take a blow. Early inroads were made by Chuter who had both openers back in the pavilion for less than 30 and the game seemed to be turning in favour of the Lynxes. Andy Fyfe arrived at the crease and having caught him earlier in the week the skipper set the leg side trap. Andy duly peppered our fielders with catches but unfortunately we were unable to take any of the 8 chances he presented to us. He regularly lost partners and with Chuter(4-42), Devlin(2-43) and Thompson J(3-58) taking regular wickets the Scorpians declared on 195 for 9.

The Lynxes had bowled exceptionally well and Harry Campbell(guest) was very unlucky not to take a wicket. Sam Trail produced a very accomplished display behind the stumps (despite claiming he had never done it before!) and Ollie "Bullet" Blaydon was for the first time this week unable to fire (ankle injury or General Billericay, we are not sure?).

Steve Drake was sent in to open with the promise of some hard hitting (slogging to leg?) and duly obliged for a couple of overs before he skied a catch off Whitton who ended the day with 5-47. Sam Trail looks a find for the future and he and Jez Lawson looked well set before Sam was frustrated out and a fine debut innings came to an end on 26. Chris Crookall joined Jez at the crease and batted well in amassing 17 runs in a partnership of 40 but this was to bring on a Lynxes collapse and having been 126 for 3 and cruising we were suddenly 163 for 7 and rapidly running out of overs.

A captain's knock was required and was duly given as Jez and Thompson (J) put on 34 for the 8th wicket to seal the victory with 3 overs to spare. A truly satisfying day for all those who played.

Champagne Moment: I am afraid that it had to be the snick of ball on bat and the thud into the first slip's hands to give me my 100th wicket for the club.

After the game we had the first presentation of the AES Bond Memorial Batting cup which was awarded to Jez Lawson for his aggregate of 169 runs in the week including 2 fifties. He also took eight catches.

The Winterbottom Memorial Bowling cup was awarded to James Thompson for his 13 wickets during the week and close to 100 overs.

James Thompson
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