Match Report: 1st May, 6:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park



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Match Report: 7th May, 6:00PM, Stags, Sandridge CC

History in the making!

Result: Won by 3 wickets

After rain put pay to Crabtree's scheduled first game of the season last week, they opened their account with a win against Stags on a slow, tricky pitch.

The match was reduced to 18 overs a side due to poor light. The Crabtree bowlers (maximum of two overs each) all bowled tightly, the highlights probably being Parkinson (2 for 4 in his two overs), Hale (2 for 12) and Bryson - 0 for 12 off his two in only the second game he had ever played. With a bit of late order hitting Stags scrambled to 113 which, on the face of it, looked a decent total, and so it came to be.

Whilst Rob Cole (26*) set off like a man  who had somewhere to be, Graham Reid (19) batted with class and serenity, providing the Crabs with some much needed backbone: last years humiliating 81 all out here still fresh in his memory.

Newton (30*) and Hale (18) provided some impetus in the middle overs getting Crabtree into a position where it was theirs to lose. The Stags bowlers suddenly found their line and length, though, and Crabtree got stuck....Blanchard (1),Parkinson (1) and Dearman (3) all trying wilfully to finish the game before it got dark and Crabtree ran out of overs.

As we all know though, there's one thing Crabtree like, and that's a tight finish. Needing 7 to win off the last over a dot, two scrambled singles and then a wicket meant Phil 'Muddy' Waters strode to the crease facing an unlikely 5 to win from two deliveries.

What followed will go down in the annals of Crabtree history as one of the most exciting and unexpected finishes. President Waters exquisitely clipped a leg stump half volley down to fine leg but the ball refused to make it to the boundary line. Instead Waters and Bryson ran, what Phil later described as "the first I have run in 20 years", an all run four - leaving 1 to win off the last ball. Phil calmly chipped the last ball over mid-on and ran the single seeing Crabtree to their first win of the season, at the first attempt.

The Beer and snacks in the bar tasted all the more sweeter, or savourier-er as we toasted a beautifully timed opening salvo and a steely-eyed finishing effort from two of the more experienced team members in Reid and Waters. 

Match Reporter: Ben Newton

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Match Report: 15th May, 6:00PM, Alvin Woolleys XI, Rothampstead Park

Result: Won by 5 wickets

Alvin called prior to the match saying he was short but we decided to play some form of cricket match and they eventually turned up a bit late with 8 men. Paul Arnerich demonstrated again his "clubman" qualities and volunteered to play for the oppo and we played 9 vs 10 subbing fielders to give each side the requisite people on the pitch.

Alvin elected to bat and were restricted to 102 with tight bowling all rlound, most notably from Nick Threllfall (3-0-12-0) and major wicket taking by new boy Ian Bryson (3-0-27-2). Also of note was Martin G pulling up with a hammie in the first over but still getting in 3 overs for a wicket and a respectable 17 runs although it meant he was unable to walk/stand/bat. Also of note Paul Arnerich scored a useful 15 before retiring to give some of his new team-mates a bat. It would also be remiss not to mention the dropping of a dolly off my (Ben D's bowling) by Nick T.

We opened with Richard Bailey who played well for 16 when he was caught for 16 trying to push the score along. We were just about up with the run rate although lost 2 wicked cheaply before Ben Newton came in and retired for 25 and Nick Threlfall came together for a useful partnership scoring 25 NO and 13 NO to bring us home with an over to spare; Nick T was however dropped by the opposition for another easy chance leading questions to be asked about the reciprocal arrangement that appeared to be in place.

A match played in an excellent spirit was then much discussed over beef stroganoff and the odd sherbert at the Engineer.

Match Reporter: Ben Dearman

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Match Report: 18th May, 2:00PM, Harpenden 3rds, St Georges School

Result: Lost by 75 runs


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Match Report: 21st May, 6:00PM, Final CC, Greenwood Park

Result: Won by 4 wickets


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Match Report: 28th May, 6:00PM, St John Fisher, Rothampstead Park

Result: Rain!


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Match Report: 5th June, 6:00PM, Roundwood, Rothampstead Park

Poor Day in the Field Costs Crabtree Dear

Result: Lost

After losing the toss, Crabtree were put into bat on a poor strip on the top wicket at Rothampstead. Roundwood had a formidable pace opening pair in the form of Kurley and Tye but Arnerich and Bowman made a positive start seeing off most of the opening attack in difficult conditions with the ball flying all over the shop. The uncertain and steeply rising bounce made it difficult to get the ball away and the first wicket (Arnerich bowled for 2) was lost in the fourth over with little more than ten runs on the board.

Newton proceeded to up the run rate with some enormous hits (4 sixes) retiring on an impressive 38 accompanied by a slightly more sedate Hale at the other end. After Hale was caught for 18, Barradell took up the reins making a steady 23 (not out) accompanied briefly by Jenkins who, trying to pick up the run rate was bowled for 2 to a rare straight ball. Parkinson was the last to the crease making 8 before being run out on the last ball. Crabtree ended on 105. 

Given the state of the wicket this was a good effort but attention would need to be paid in the field if Crabtree were to win. Roundwood got off to a good start making a lucky ten off the first over with a couple of misfields turning singles into fours. Sadly this set the scene for the rest of the Roundwood innings with poor Crabtree fielding, shaky leg attempts and accidental nutmegs costing Crabtree dear and turning half a dozen singles into fours. A couple of catches were also put down but there were some highlights, namely wickets by Ahmed, Newton and Bowman who returned a vary respectable 2 runs for 1 wicket off 2 overs, and conservative bowling by Barradell who only gave away 10 runs from his three overs. 

Crabtree began to field more effectively from the 13 over onwards, with positive banter and support placing the batsmen under pressure, but sadly it was too late and in the seventeenth over Crabtree were overhauled and the match was lost.

Match Reporter: Tim Jenkins

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Match Report: 8th June, 1:30PM, Red Bat, Rothampstead Park

Result: Won by 100 runs

Bare Facts:  35 over game.  Crabtree batted first, scoring 210-9.  Rookie David Rees scoring 70, Ben Newton, Tim Jenkins, Paul Arnerich, Aidan Goodall and Nathan Ascroft all chipping in. In reply, Red Bat were about 110 all out in 34 overs.  Wickets for N and C Threlfall and Tim Jenkins and four for that man David (Dai) Rees.

What the bare facts can't tell you:  On a wonderful summer's day on the lower pitch, the Crabtree five with guests from the Bush and other friends and relatives played a hugely enjoyable game against the ever friendly Red Bat.  A game played with great humour and blessed with a wonderful tea that can only encourage more Sunday participation.  The stand out moments include Paul Arnerich's reaction to being given out (to be fair he was going very well at the time)... Chris "Smashy" Threlfall, living up to his nickname by getting off the mark with a six...Dai "I'm really a bowler" Rees scoring a not out fifty on debut, not a single shot going more than ankle height above the ground..Ben Newton scoring a quickfire 30, barely a single shot touching the ground inside the boundary.  One notable six almost taking out a group of small children, who were swiftly and wisely moved on by their parents...Tim Jenkins blasting 20 of a Steve Hewlitt over, and Steve then getting his man...Giles Croot breaking landspeed records between the wickets in scoring 2 out of an unbroken 40 partnership in the last 5 overs.

After tea the drama continued:  Nick T and Ian Blanchard supported by Nathan and Giles ensured the victory by bowling tightly.  Red Bat's first wicket was caught at first slip by Nathan, clearly unaware that Crabtree Dads regard slip catching as unsporting behaviour. Under severe scoreboard pressure Red Bat collapsed to Chris Threlfall (supported by a very sharp Bonney stumping on the second bounce & no one saw that coming) Tim Jenkins who reminded us what a bowler he is and Dai Rees, can there have been a better Welsh spinner since Merlin?  Fielder of the day was Giles Croot, stopped everything that came his way and effected a stunning run out from square leg.  The run out trumping the text book display of long and short barriers, both left and right handed from Smashy.

A big thank you to everyone who turned out, especially our guests and the opposition, and also for the fantastic tea.

Can't wait for the next game!!

Match Reporter: Nick Threlfall

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

Result: Won by 81 runs

A strong Crabtree team made all the running against Killigrew which ended with 81 run win. Richard Bailey set the tone early on with an undefeated 39. Stong hitting in the middle order by Ben Newton (26) and Nathan Ascroft (22) with Blanchard and Sears scrambling at the end. A stretching target of 153 was set. Kiligrew were never up with the chase. Tight early bowling by Martin Goodwin (2 overs 3 runs) and Simon Jarvis ( 2 wkts) was backed up by Ascroft (3 wkts) and Nick Threlfall (2 wkts). The only other points to note were Paul Anerich flirting with the record book and Martin G setting the early pace for most drops.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 15th June, 2:00PM, Carpenters Arms, St Georges School

Result: Won by 36 runs


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Match Report: 18th June, 6:00PM, Garden Fields, Rothampstead Park

Result: Lost by 7 wickets

Not much to say.  We posted a good score but on a fast outfield we were not sure it was quite enough. Not out knocks from Richard Bailey (43) and Ben Newton (29) were the mainstay of the innings. Garden Fields then proceeded to keep sending out batsmen who could find the boundary at will. I'm not sure what to expect in the return fixture.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 26th June, 6:00PM, Verulam, Verulamium Park

Result: Lack of availability


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Match Report: 3rd July, 6:00PM, Garden Fields, Verulamium Park

Result: Win by 12 runs

CCC 112 for 5 wkts, Garden Fields 100 for 7; WON by 12 runs

A relief to beat Garden Fields in our return match after having been soundly thrashed just two weeks ago. We elected to bat on what turned out to be an terrible wicket. After a poor start skipper Blanchard (25 no), Amit Mathur (17 no) and debutant  Hershal Doshi (13) helped establish a total of 112 which we thought was just short of par.  However excellent bowling from the start always kept Garden Fields behind the run rate. Pick of the bowlers was Matt Arnerich (3-14) and Neil Dytham (2-5). Thanks to Paul Bishop our other debutant.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 6th July, 2:00PM, The Holly Bush, Wheathampstead CC

Result: Lack of availability


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Match Report: 10th July, 6:00PM, Stags, Rothampstead Park

Result: Win by 5 wickets

On a gorgeous Harpenden summer evening, and a surprisingly Trent Bridge-like track prepared by the excellent Rothampstead Groundmen, the kind gentlemen of STAGS elected to get things started, leaving us fielding with 9 until our late arrivals turned up. A formidable Arnerich and Arnerich opening pair channeling the spirit of Courtney and Curtly got us off to a good start, with Paul enjoying particularly good figures of 3-0-12-0. However, after a number of bludgeoning knocks from their seemingly never-ending backlog of left-handers they were left with three in the hutch and we were left with 152 to chase, Gary Bowman also bowling excellently in the middle of the innings to finish on 3-0-12-1.

Despite the large total, Crabtree went out confident, and Tim Jenkin more than made up for his slightly misguided bowling spell with the most brutal T20 knock I've ever seen from a Crabtree bat. A bandanna short of Chris Gayle, he hit 43* before he even got in the hutch, including 20 off his last with some huge sixes into the bushes. With Paul Arnerich out for a quick 13, Ben Newton and Rich Bailey were brought to the crease, and both went like the clappers, carrying on the fine strike rate established by the openers. With Ben quickly back in the hutch, and Rich out, Amit carried on the party, making 17 with Ian, who also made it into double figures. Crabtree now looking at ease, Phil Waters came on and played aggressively for his 10*, with Matt Arnerich hitting the winning runs with a 6 to cow, to complete 15* off 7 balls.

All in all a stunning victory from Crabtree, with aggressive batting right the way down making what was a pretty formidable target look easy, with 5 wickets and an over and a half to spare. Long may the ground staff continue to work hard to prepare these low, slow, dusty tracks!

Match Reporter: Matt Arnerich

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Match Report: 17th July, 6:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park

Result: Won by 27 runs


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Match Report: 23rd July, 6:00PM, SFDWP, Rothampstead Park

Result: Crabtree won by 4 wickets

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Match Report: 31st July, 6:00PM, Final CC, Rothampstead Park

Result: Won by 41 runs

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Match Report: 31st August, 1:00PM, Manland, Rothampstead Park

Result: Lost by 5 wickets

The final match of the season against Manland was played in gorgeous cricket weather on a pudding of a pitch. Upon winning the toss Manland sensing an advantage elected to bowl. Bailey and Newton weathered the early erratic bounce and looked set for a large partnership, unfortunately Richard in going for quick single pulled a muscle and became our second casualty (the first being Cole playing golf!). Batsmen came and went but through it all Ben timed his batting to perfection to score 104 no. After tea, despite some fine bowling by Nick Bailey, the pitch lost it's bite and some big hitting by Manland saw then reach the total in 28 overs.

Match Reporter: Ian Blanchard

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Match Report: 27th September, 6:00PM, End of Season Dinner, TBC

Result: Everyone won!


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