Match Report: 7th May, 6:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park

Manland v 'West Indies' in the gloom

Result: Crabtree 117/6 off 20 Manland 118/2 of 18

Crabtree lost the toss and were inserted. It was a grim, gloomy and gusty spring evening. Manland have been working hard on their fielding skills during the winter (albeit, this consisted of theory sessions in the Amble Inn) and it seems to have paid off, they were demons, turning 4's into singles, and singles into dots. They took every catch offered, five of the six wickets to fall. Most got started, and failed in the teens, no real batting highlights, just couldn't get the damn ball past the field. Probably a below par 117 on what was a good wicket for Rotho this time of year.
Manland set off at a cracking pace, their number 2 and 3 bats retiring on 29, and unfortunately they were aided on their way by some very West Indian-like fielding. Whilst there were few real chances, that is because we somehow managed to get to ball in flight just after it had flown. The last 8 overs were pretty grim in terms of light, not helped by the football pitch floodlights blinding anyone on the North side. Special mention to Rob who performed acrobatically with the gloves, and kept the batsmen very honest with his numerous direct hits (shame the only one he missed was the chap who made his ground). 1 wide and 4 byes (a 4) in 18 overs, pretty good. All the bowling was tight, the bats just had the measure of us.
Manland deserved the win and probably could have accelerated if they were chasing more, must arrange some fielding practice in the Engineer.

Match Reporter: Paul A

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Match Report: 27th May, 6:00PM, Garden Fields, Verulamium Park

Crabtree 126 for 9 off 20 overs vs Garden Fields 127 for 7 off 19.3 overs

Result: Lost by 3 wickets

One of those ‘make your mind up’ matches. The weather couldn’t decide whether (joke) to be sunny or rainy. Chris Horn to bat or not. Ally Rawlinson whether to wear a helmet or not. The opposition to be a full side or not and Crabtree to be a proper 20/20 team or not.

The match started in drizzle. Captain fantastic Hale chose to bat. Crabtree looking like getting 150 plus at 40 for one off six overs and the opposition had two mini-fielders. Unfortunately the acceleration didn’t quite happen. Garden Fields produced their other two players, wickets went cheaply. Not helped by two debated run outs (Not verbally just in the batsmen’s mind). Thus at 79 for 5 of 13 overs we could have collapsed and thus at least have been able to watch the second half (MU vs Barca silly). However, a late rally by Graham (classy) Reid, who resumed his opening knock to reach 36 no, resulted in a defendable total of 127. Other notable batting performances were Nick Hale 25 and Chris Horn 16.

Garden Field’s reply started as the sun came out. Early on Crabtree bowled and fielded like a true 20/20 team. Mention must go to Billy Hewlett 1 for 14 and Chris Parkinson 2 for 15. After 10 overs the opposition were well behind the run rate. Unfortunately it was at this time that they decided to show their true colours. Every time the ball was there to be hit they hit it. Squeezing home with three balls to spare.

Who ‘made their mind up’. I guess Al to wear a helmet.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 31st May, 2:00PM, Harpenden 3rds, St Georges School

Exciting last ball win

Result: Harpenden Sunday 3rds 192 for 8, Crabtree 193 for 9

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Match Report: 4th June, 6:00PM, St John Fisher, Verulam School, Sandpit Lane


Result: Lost by 8 wickets

A somehow surreal evening. The willows were weeping their pollen over the pitch, and this must have had a somnambulant effect on Crabtree’s band of nine (2 no-shows). Things didn’t get much better with yours truly out to the first ball of the match – a platinum my son gleefully tells me! This must have set the tone as two other fellow Crabtrees fell first ball. Only three made it to double figures – Paul A, Graham R and Chris P (top score with 18). The pitch was slow, with no bounce, making it very hard to get the ball away with any authority against a set of straight slow bowlers. 68 for 9 with Chris out in the last over.

Strangely, when Danny G (1-5) and Ian B (0-5) started to bowl the ball starts bouncing – see what I mean about surreal? Good opening spells by them conceding just 10 runs in the first four overs allowing us to dream. Chris P, Paul A and Nick H also bowled tight spells, but without wickets we were struggling to apply more pressure.  Fishers kindly lent us an outstanding fielder who nearly took two running catches, but protecting the field with ten men was also a challenge. Jim K stepped up to bowl the 13th over with the score on 63 -1 and this proved the final over with the consolation of a second wicket (the donkey’s only positive contribution being the catch!)

Then for a select few (5 Crabtrees, 3 Fishers) down to the Hatfield Road Social Club for a beer and Nobby’s nuts – surreal!!

Match Reporter: Simon Jarvis

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Match Report: 9th June, 6:00PM, Elstree, Elstree CC

Catch me if you can!

Result: Lost by..a lot!

Having been given the job of Donkey on Tuesday I realised by Thursday where the name came from- the Kit Bag on the back seat of my car does indeed now smell like a Donkey. Anyway, it was an overcast Tuesday evening in Elstree that the keen members of CCC gathered..... so keen we were that 12 turned up. This wasn't to intimidate Elstree though, they were confident of beating us however many we cared to throw at them.

By the end of the 6th over I could see why- 5 superb catches for about a dozen runs put us in trouble (Now I think back, I'm sure I could hear Dads Army being played on the tannoy). Our young pair (Jarvis(19) and Reid) soon knocked the needle off that vinyl before Graham injured himself diving in to save a run. Jonty and Chris H did a great job to at least make a game of it with CCC 82 all out.

Once again, CCC fielded and bowled admirably but it was only a matter of time before Elstree got the runs (14.3 overs). We gallantly offered to continue to bowl out the remaining overs as they had indeed offered to let us bat out their remaining catching practice session.

Match Reporter: Steve Sear

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Match Report: 11th June, 6:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park

Result: Win by 6 wickets

Before we get to the interesting stuff we need to get to the match report.  Manland elected to bat and for one over it looked like it was a good decision. A maiden from Nick (T) firmly put Crabtree in control. We used eight bowlers, everybody bowled extremely well, Manland could not get to grip with the swinging, seaming and bouncing of our youthful attack.  A target of 104 was set.  In the past we might have wobbled, wavered, panicked but not the 2009 vintage.  Ali and Nick (still more to come about Nick) put on a 60 plus run stand. Despite one or two batsmen wanting the match to go to the last over Chris Horn hit the winning four with 11 balls to spare.  An excellent result against the ‘old enemy’.  

We have a couple of new awards that might be considered at the end of season bash.  The ‘I am rubbish in disguise’ award to Nick Threlfall for fooling the opposition into believing that he was a @&$% fielder and  getting cramp in the 4th over before running out Manland’s number three batsman.  The ‘I am nearly a good wicket-keeper award’ to Fred Evans, which was one catch away from the ‘I am a good wicket-keeper’ award.  There were more but at this stage in the season I’m sure there is more to come.

Match facts.  Manland 103 for 6. (Horn 2-22)  Crabtree 105 for 4 (Rawlinson 29 no, Threlfall 28 no);  Crabtree win by 6 wickets.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 16th June, 6:00PM, Royal vet College, Rothampstead Park

Result: Win by 2 wickets

It was decided that Royal vets bat first but little did they know that we are just like South Africa in the field at the moment.  No drop catches, superb run outs, excellent bowling (Ben) and Ian running around the field like a youngster (amazing).  After all that we managed to keep them to 105 for 7, now our turn.

Two wickets down for 11 runs and then three for 19 - not looking good.  Myself (Fred) and Ian took the game to the young bowlers of RVC and we shared a 51 partnership which got us back on track. I retired on 29 and wickets began to fall again but then old faithfull Nick T came in and hit another 25. Wickets then fell and I was back in again requiring 8 runs off 4 overs.  Luckily for me, Jonty was still there and Nick to come back so no problem.  We won by 2 wickets with 1 .5 overs to spare.  Wicket keeping and 34 not out, I think Crabtree have found a new Alec Stewart (it’s easy this game).  Last thing for the selectors; three matches this season…all won! (Fred ).

Match Reporter: Fred Evans

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Match Report: 29th June, 6:00PM, Royal vet College, Potters Bar

good evening of double wickets matches.

Result: Replaced by double wixket competition

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Match Report: 5th July, 2:00PM, Carpenters Arms, Rothampstead Park

Result: Lost by 40 runs

40 over game. Crabtree Lost:  Carpenters batted first 161-9 (40overs) Crabtree 121 all out (36 overs)

A fine day saw the debut for Crabtree of Giles Croot filling in for an injured Graham Horn, and Nick Casardei at eleven one of the youngest Dads, making Dan proud and doing his fathers running in the field.

Nic Hale captaining won the toss and inserted the opposition, saying he wanted to win - nevermind Nic.  Generally bowling and fielding was good.  Wickets shared around, a spectacular slower ball from the good doctor cleaning up one of the Carpenters openers.  Nick Casardei showed us how to perform a long barrier and Ali took all three catches in the field.  No report can pass without mentioning Rob Cole.  Not bearing to be parted from his new helmet he carried it onto the pitch and gave away five penalty runs when he failed to collect behind the stumps, leaving the ball to rattle the offending headwear five yards behind him.  Despite failing to dislodge the Carpenters final pair - who faced the Casardeis in tandem for the last five overs we felt 161 was gettable.

However it was not to be.  We were Badgered into giving our wickets away.  Rob Cole, Nic Hale and Giles Croot did their best to make the score respectable, but they were poorly supported.  Fred is exonerated too, after playing through his Stag weekend hangover and keeping his lunch off the playing surface.

A good game against enjoyable opposition.  Definitely worth a repeat fixture next year.

Match Reporter: Nick Threlfall

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Match Report: 16th July, 6:00PM, Park Street Dads, TBC

Crabtree Win In Tense Finish Against Park Street Dads

Result: Crabtree win by 1 run

This was Crabtree Cricket at its best – amusement before and during the game together with a good victory achieved in true “Dads” spirit. We sensed that this could be an interesting evening the moment we arrived at The Park Street Recreation Ground to find a pitch with the boundary on one side only a few paces from the pitch but with acres of ground on the other, a recipe for six hitting if ever we  saw one. The bar was already open and the Park Street Barmy Army were already several pints to the good and in good voice. Nic Hale on arriving in his hairdressers car immediately reversed out of the car park to be well away from the likely sixes and fours that were bound to rain down on the club car park. Rob Cole arrived in a state of irritation that his wife had not carefully washed, ironed and laid out his whites to pack and thus had only his chav shiny shell suit bottoms to wear. A volunteer was needed to give up a pair of white trousers to our tallest ( and fattest) player – needless to say these came from our shortest player Al Rawlinson. Once Rob had poured his immense torso into said short and tight trousers the game commenced.

Crabtree batted first with strict instructions from skipper Rawlinson to hit everything towards the nearby clubhouse boundary. Cole ( who should have been out caught first ball), Jarvis, Rawlinson and Dearman all obliged and reached 25 without difficulty ably supported by Jonty ( 14 ), Horn Junior (9),Horn Senior (5)and Parkinson (9) thus enabling Crabtree to post a competitive 155 runs which we thought should easily be good enough. Park Street got off to a slow start being kept at bay by some tight early bowling from Dearman, Cole and Hale. The Crabtree fielding was unusually tight and athletic (Baker with his statutory diving stops !!) and wickets gradually fell to a stumping by skipper Rawlinson, a good run out, a catch by Horn Junior and a bowled by Jarvis ( 2 for 17 )but gradually the Park Street momentum was building with some good strong hitting from their young middle order. The supporters club, by now into their fifteenth pint were getting very excited at the prospect of a close finish and were giving it large on the boundary in support of their team. Thanks to a couple of late very economical overs from Parkinson, and a third great over from Cole, Park Street finally ended one short of our total on 154. Fortunately the thunder and lightning held off just long enough although fielding for the last few overs was particularly tricky in the virtual dark. The heavens opened as we left the pitch and we made for the pub.

Postscript – the victory was achieved with only 10 players. A special award will be presented at the end of the season to the player with the most no shows – assuming he gets back from Los Angeles in time !!!!

Match Reporter: Jonty

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Match Report: 20th July, 6:00PM, St John Fisher, Rothampstead Park

Could we improve on our previous total against SJF, 68 for 9 in June?

Result: Lost by 4 wickets

Capt Andy backed our batters on winning the toss, but at 37 for 6 after 12 it looked unlikely. Nic Hale anchored the top half of the innings with a patient 22 but 5 catches and a run out had us in deep trouble. And then their fast bowler came on...
With plenty of over left sensible batting and some excellent shots by Graham Horn 20 not out and Neil Dytham 13 not out added an unbeaten 32 for the 8th wicket and our previous low was surpassed. Would 88 be a defendable total ?
Tight opening bowling by Ian &  Ben was followed by successes for Gary & Nic with 2 wickets each, and Fishers were 19 for 5 off 8, all caught, 2 by Graham. Unfortunately then the best batsmen arrived, the bowling got looser and despite Neil's cleverly (?) disguised slower ball, wait for it, wait for it, wait a bit more...... hit it for 4 ! Fishers got home by 4 wickets in the 17th over.
Thanks to the Engineer for more good grub and after an hour in the pub garden things didn't seem so bad, there's always next time.

Match Reporter: Chris Horn

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Match Report: 6th August, 5:30PM, Bamville, Rothampstead Park

Rain, rain and more bleeding rain

Result: Bamville 100/7 off 15, Crabtree 96/8 off 15

It was still drizzling with rain when we met for the match, but with the sides knowing each other so well and everyone wanting to play cricket it was decided to play the game but as a 15-over game only.
Unsurprisingly the slippery condition meant that wickets and fielding were difficult, and being asked to field Crabtree struggles early on. Not until the 9th over was a wicket taken by Ian Blanchard who had a creditable 1 for 8 off 2 overs; Bamville’s score having advanced to 55. Wickets then fell at regular intervals as Bamville pushed their score on to 100-5 off their 15 overs with Ashley Waters taking 2 for 8 off 2 overs and Steve Sear 1 for 5 off 1 over.
The rain was getting worse, but sportsmanship, stupidity and the fact that the pitch would not be required for many more matches this season meant that Crabtree elected to chase the required 101. The reply was fairly well-paced with Ben Dearman scoring 12 , Rob Cole 28 not-out and Matt Arnerich 19 but a continuous tumble of wickets meant that we were never certain of getting the required total. The match was effectively lost when Justin Heyes of Bamville got a double-wicket maiden in the 10th and a run-out quickly followed. Crabtree’s reply ended on 91 for 8 and Bamville won to the great delight of their captain Iqbal Hussain.
The team retired to the Engineer for an enjoyable evening meal and beers marred only by the fact that we were at this stage all soaking wet.

Match Reporter: Ben Dearman

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Match Report: 6th September, 1:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park

Manland retain the 'Cinders'

Result: Manland 242/2, Crabtree 166/7

Bit of a breeze, pitch the used one from the Saturday, but no real demons in it, lightening quick outfield, where is bloody Rob Cole when we need him ? Manland lost the toss and were inserted, the openers struggled for the first 10 overs, mostly down to the swing generated by messers Threlfall and Parkinson, especially to the left hander. If only we could have had 6 slips ! Nick and Chris bowled well, but wicketless, 32 runs each for their 8 overs, even with Crhis on his shortened run up. (Chris, the book says you had 8, but I believe you). Once Mr T got going he was unbeatable, don't think he offered a chance in his 40 overs of batting, scroing 152 not out (beat that Rob). We only managed two wickets, both to Nic, 8 overs 2-53, Matt conceded as many but with no wickets against a well set bat who liked it coming in fast. Daniel and the good Doc put in good spells, at roughly 5 an over.

Chasing that score needed a good start, instead we were 38 for 4 after  5 overs (a good start in terms of runs but not so hot in terms of wickets). Graham and Nick settled the ship with a good 60 run partnerhship, but we were well behind the asking rate, Graham persihing to the hurry up. Nick saw off an angry Ian Wedd (brave man, cover driving him twice in an over, glorious but mad), top scoring with 60 not out, ably supported by Matt for 9 overs.

At least we didn't capitulate abjectly. Need a better batting effort next year if we are to win those damn 'Cinders'

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Match Report: 13th September, 8:30AM, Charity Tournament, Verulamium Park

Result: Crabtree won the final against Manland

Match report to come, but undoubtedly, our very own, just back from Paris, Rob 'nasty' Cole, was the man of the tournament, feared by all the oppo, and silenced the crowing from Manland

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