Musings...from the OCG

The following collection of articles were contributed by various Club members - past and present - and published originally in the 2012 Lashings World XI Match Day Programme.

 

Mission Accomplished by Richard Whitehall              

           Richard Whitehall Framed                          

  • Member since: 1998
  • Nickname/s: Dickie (predictable), Snail (Ironic schoolboy comment on my running speed).
  • DOB: 29/8/73
  • Bats: Bi-annually.
  • Bowls: When I retire from golf.
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Playing tree-catch with Jonesy.
  • Little known personal fact: James Redwood ended my cricket career.
  • Sporting hero(es): Gary Mabbutt
  • Hobbies or Interests: Playing Capital Cities with Ben Cocklin.
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

At the start of the 2006 season the 1st XI had come a long way from the lows of relegation from Division 1 in 2002. Promotions in 2003 & 2005 had taken us into the Essex Premier League for the first time. But while we were a team in the Premier League, I still questioned whether we had achieved my aim of making us a genuine Premier League side?  Writing this article in 2012 as three times champions the answer seems obvious, but in 2006 the question was unanswered.

On 5th August 2006 the OCG played host to Saffron Walden, four time winners of the Essex League and National Cup winners in 2002. I won the toss and elected to bowl on a flat, dry OCG wicket. Myself and Joe Fryd opened the bowling against Ryan Sparrow and Tom Westley. We bowled ok, tight but without taking a wicket. Damian Brandy, Ian Belchamber & Paul Sutherland also bowled well, increasing the pressure on Walden but without a breakthrough. The innings felt like it was on a tightrope, they had to accelerate, successfully and we would be chasing 300, but if we kept "squeezing" them mistakes would come. The latter came to pass as Damo removed Sparrow and Westley. Walden's run rate slowed further and we exerted more pressure with tight bowling and fielding. As their batsmen took more risks, so we took advantage, with Belly taking 3 wickets, Sutho 2, Damo 2 more and even I took one, to leave us chasing a total of only 237. Now the real test, chasing a not inconsiderable total, but one we should get. What you need in those circumstances is one batsman to score a hundred and be not out at the end of the innings. The man that afternoon (and many before and after) was Jon Walford. His chanceless innings of 118, supported by Damian with 61 and 22 from a small 15 year-old called Aaron West (he's now older, but no taller!) took us to victory with 3 overs to spare. My question had been answered, we were a Premier League side and my captaincy target had been achieved.

That night, to celebrate our success we had a team night out to the opera to watch La Traviata. Oh no, my mistake, we went to Sam's and got smashed!

 

The Day Clive Lloyd Won at the Old County Ground by Pete Bainbridge

              Pete Bainbridge_Framed

  • Member since: 2003
  • Nickname/s: Too new (or boring) a member for one to have stuck.
  • DOB: 19/8/65
  • Bats: Right-handed.
  • Bowls: Medium swing.
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Fine leg.
  • Little known personal fact: Once played football with Hugh Grant.
  • Sporting hero(es): Wasim Akram, Clive Lloyd, Harry Pilling (all great Lancastrians)
  • Hobbies or Interests: Moaning about the quality of beer in the clubhouse.
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

Gidea Park and Romford had become my bête noir in 2005.

It was all down to the “let’s get rid of this muppet” call when I arrived at the crease for the third XI fixture at their ground early in the season. They had taken exception to my cherished, vintage bat which bore the autographs of the 1978 Lancashire side - Clive Lloyd, Frank Hayes, Barry Wood, Farokh Engineer, Harry Pilling. Heroes of my youth.

Silly really, but it gave the return fixture a touch of added spice, for me at least. I even dragged my family back from holiday a day early so I could play.

Ken Lingwood won the toss and Brentwood batted in warm sunshine on the back pitch. Tony Jones struck a majestic 64, Trevor Coote and Ash Patel nurdled middle-order runs. I went in during the penultimate over. My ‘muppet’ tormentor immediately had another pop.

My decrepit willow flailed wildly in the search for late runs, the names of Lancastrian legends flashing through the Brentwood air. We finished at 204 for eight. I was seven not out.

I opened the bowling with Tony ‘Pops’ Prior. In those days the back pitch was usually low and slow, but this balmy August day it had pace and bounce. There was a hint of swing in the air. “The Brentwood skipper set a field not seen since the West Indies of the 70's and 80's,” read the report of the game. Two hours later I had figures of 15.3-5-27-8, including a hat-trick. Mr Muppet Man had nicked a lifter behind for three. GPR all out for 71.

I still have the ball, signed by Ken. Which is more than can be said for the bat. It disintegrated mid-cover drive later in the season. Clive Lloyd and the rest of Lancashire 1978 scattered around the OCG like ashes.

 

Maiden First Century 1993, Possibly by Ian Coleman

            Nick Knight & Ian Coleman

Ian Coleman (far right, front row). Brentwood Cricket Club Saturday 1st XI 1993.

  • Member since: 1989
  • Nickname/s: Reg
  • DOB: 29.2.60
  • Bats: Slowly, Right Handed
  • Bowls:  Even slower
  • Specialist Fielding Position: First slip right behind Ben Cocklin
  • Little known personal fact:Completed New York Marathon in 2004 (started it in 2003!)
  • Sporting hero(es): Bobby Moore, Jeremy Guscott
  • Hobbies or Interests: Photography and independent films
  • Most Memorable Match at the OCG: 

I had driven down from a holiday in Derbyshire that very morning and was informed that Phil Howlett couldn’t play. Either because he was away on business, too fat, or because he lost his lucky socks, and this meant that the Captain’s metaphorical armband had been given to yours truly. The toss was duly lost and Old Brentwood’s Chris Lee had great pleasure inserting a makeshift Brentwood X1 on to a bone dry pitch, baked hard during an unseasonably hot August. 

I opened with Graham Walker or was it Salty, either way I was made to look gazelle-like between the wickets. Twos were turned into singles and the prospect of a three was about as likely as having a Labour MP in Brentwood.   All I can remember was that after seeing off an attack reminiscent of Croft, Roberts and Holding the first wicket fell and I was joined by Mickey ‘mouse’ Davis. We were the perfect foil for each other, because Mickey had the reputation of being somewhat ‘Goweresque’, cavalier and Caribbean in style and temperament (if not colour) and I had the reputation of  being a dour ‘Boycott’ like batsman who struggled to hit it off the square. Yet surprisingly the innings progressed in a remarkable fashion because both of us reached 50’s then 60….. then 70 ….. then as quickly as Mickey eased into the 80’s I caught him up.  As the nervous nineties approached our regular mid-wicket conversations went like….        

“F@*%ing hell Mickey this is not just ridiculous it’s surreal”

“I know mate you’ve just hit a cover drive! Put that in your diary…. no stupid singles”

Old Brentwood’s continued to throw everything at us yet as the clocked ticked towards 4.25 I swept their left arm spinner for another four and up came the magical three figures. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t run Mickey out and eventually (Zzzz) he reached three figures too.

As we walked off at something like 245-1 we both said the greatest pleasure didn’t come from both attaining the ‘holy grail of batting’ it came from the fact that Gary Jones had had his pads on for nearly three hours without facing a ball!  Anyway, my declaration was too generous and despite the valiant efforts of Dicky Howlett and Murray Edward the wicket got flatter and harder and a graceful innings by Iain Gray ensured Old Brentwood’s claimed victory by four wickets with not much time remaining. Still personal glory or team success? That old chestnut!

 

Selective Memories, by Nicholas Verity Knight

Nick Knight & Ian Coleman

Nick Knight (front row, far left).  Brentwood Cricket Club Saturday 1st XI 1993.

  • Member since: 1989-1991 and the odd game…
  • Nickname/s: Stitch, Fungus
  • DOB: 28.11.69
  • Bats: Left hand opening batsman
  • Bowls:  Right arm spin. 
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Third slip, gully, short midwicket, cover sweeper
  • Little known personal fact: Faced the first delivery in cricket officially to break the 100 mph barrier, bowled by Shoaib Akhtar
  • Sporting hero(es): Ian Coleman, Jeff Salt
  • Hobbies or Interests: Cricket Commentator
  • Most Memorable Match at the OCG:

Thanks so much for asking me to write a small piece for the programme on what is clearly a really big day for the Club. 

In terms of my most memorable match, unfortunately my memory is so poor I can’t remember a memorable game - no doubt a reflection of my performances - but I can remember looking forward to every single match.  Playing for Brentwood Cricket Club was my first real experience of club cricket.  Up until that that point I had almost exclusively played schools’ or representative cricket and I remember a relaxed and fun atmosphere whilst being competitive, of course! 

Off the pitch and in the bar whilst never being a big drinker, I realised I was even more inadequate in that area than first thought (thanks fellows)!  Lots of fun memories of a great set of lads and a great club where I learnt a lot - both on and off the pitch. 

So pleased to see the Club is doing so well and good luck for the forthcoming season and make sure you beat those boys from Lashings.  Forget all the big names - I reckon you’ve got the better of them!  All the best for a brilliant day.

Cheers,

Nick.

 

Hertford, Finchley & Waltham Cross by Paul Lattimore

           Paul Lattimore

Paul Lattimore (back row, far left row). Brentwood Cricket Club Sunday 1st XI, 1993.

  • Member since:1978 although regularly attended Colts practise with brother Phil from about 7 years old.
  • Nickname/s: Lats. Lato (Only to Ben).
  • DOB: 23.7.66
  • Bats: Right handed
  • Bowls:  Left arm, varying speeds over the years
  • Specialist Fielding Position: I once caught two at leg-slip at Buckhurst Hill, so I'll put that.
  • Little known personal fact:
  • Sporting hero(es): IT Botham; Malcolm Marshall; Paolo Di Canio.
  • Hobbies or Interests: Before fatherhood I managed about 500 scuba dives.  
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

It is difficult to pick one memorable match at the OCG having played so many.  It’s been 12 years since I last played a full season at Brentwood and what I have is an eclectic scrapbook of memories, particularly from my time as Sunday 1st XI captain.

Against Finchley, we achieved my intended 200 target in the 40th over thanks to some lusty hitting from Dave Cantor. The declaration looked generous.  Their captain, who had pulled a hamstring opening the batting, instructed his side that the game was not to be drawn. He got his wish. Hampered by his injury, he was stumped by a combination of Cocklin’s, attempting to score the two runs required from the final ball of the match.

In a match against Hertford, Aussie off-spinner Chad Porter and I spent 10 minutes setting a field for the final over with seven runs or four wickets needed for a result.  There was little we could do as the first delivery sailed over the rope – scores level. But somehow the winning run eluded them. A comical collection of wickets including a run-out from the last ball tied the match.

Then the game against Waltham Cross. Requiring two wickets to win from the final delivery, Micky Davis deliberately bowled a no-ball. The batsman hit it straight to mid-on, and was run out by some distance attempting an utterly pointless single. The last man came to the crease wearing one pad, with lather in his hair and cursing profusely.

I wish I could be there today recounting such stories with old friends.  As much as I loved the game, it is the friendships that have endured for which I owe Brentwood Cricket Club a true debt of gratitude.

Have a great day,

Lats.

 

The Two's, the One's and the Six by Mark Huxley

          Mark Huxley

Mark Huxley (back row, 3rd from left).  Brentwood Cricket Club Saturday 2nd XI 1993.

  • Member since: 1984-1997
  • Nickname/s: Hux
  • DOB: 21.5.60
  • Bats: Aggressively with eyes closed
  • Bowls:  The Ace of Pace – well, medium fast
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Third Man!
  • Little known personal fact: Member of Mensa
  • Sporting hero(es): John Edrich, Eddy Merckx
  • Hobbies or Interests:Music, Modern Art, French Art House Cinema, Cycling
  • Most Memorable Match at the OCG:

On a purely personal note it would have to be a league game for the “One’s” in the summer of 1995 when I bowled the spell of the season, as voted for in that year’s annual awards for Performance of the Season.

Said game was against Hainault & Clayhall, which will always be remembered by me not only for the performance on the pitch, but also for the fact that due to the then usual state of communication at the club I had been told (by Micky “Mouse” Davis as Captain if I recall) that I’d been dropped and was in the “Two’s”, playing away. I therefore dutifully reported to the OCG in time to drive to wherever, obviously counted in by whoever the Two’s skipper was that day (I’m guessing Wimpy) and set off with great anticipation for the beautiful scenic route to the other side of the Gants Hill roundabout. In this age of mobile technologies I would of course have got a hundred yards up the road, got a phone call, we would have laughed and I would have been back at the OCG in a matter of minutes. But no, the error was only realised when I got to Hainault and was then told “But you’re in the One’s”. They laughed, I didn’t as it had taken an hour to get there and it was now only half an hour before the start. So I turned tail and headed-back as fast as the A12 would allow, yup a full 30mph.  Fortunately we were batting when I finally returned about three quarters of an hour after the start. So I had plenty of time, but wait, did I not spy our top four batsmen sitting outside the pavilion looking glum – did the scoreboard now not say something along the lines of not many runs for too many wickets? Was that number six already in? Did I normally not bat eight or nine? So the leisurely get your breath back turned into – Hux, for f*ck sake get your pads on and where the f*ck have you been? “But Mouse, you told me…”. Oh right, I see this is of course my fault, silly me!

Anyway, pads on I sat there calming down while we rallied for a while, but eventually I took my place at the crease to confront the day’s batting nemesis, their overseas player, some Aussie, who was a State batsman and supposed part-time bowler. Built like a brick sh*t-house he had the ability to bowl at about 250mph off a two-step run-up. Terrifying doesn’t begin to describe it. Ultimately we mustered about 140 all out and retired to the luxury of the tea table to consider how we could plot their demise. It had dawned on us that apart from said State player, they were also counting the then Essex wicket keeper/batsman Robert Rollins in their side as well as his brother Adrian, who at that time was the opening bat for Derbyshire.

I opened the bowling from the Far End and I think it was Dickie Howlett from the Pavilion End. After a quiet couple of overs I suddenly hit one of those purple patches when you can make the ball do whatever, at will. The Aussie was first to go, quickly followed by Adrian Rollins, the score would have then been around 15-2. Brother Robert came to the crease and I am proud to say I softened him up with as I now recall a brute of a ball that darted back viciously off the seam and caught him full on in the love-spuds. Nice sound and sight of bulging eyes and teeth bared! Suffice to say he’d seen enough of my fearsome pace and was out soon after.

My abiding memory after that was that when Ben Cocklin kept to me, once the hardness had gone off the ball, he would generally stand up and as I was generally pretty accurate it would pen the batsmen back. Credit to the man, he kept a blinder and within no time I’d got a five-for and they were still only on about 50 or 60 runs. Another wicket for me and with them falling at the other end, they were eventually all out for about 110 to 120 and we had sealed what was actually a comfortable win, with me getting something like 6-40. It felt like we’d won the cup.

I’m sure we all say what a great team we were in our day, but Reg Coleman skippered a team with an ethos that made every Saturday a genuine pleasure, which Mouse followed on. Sadly my first team days came to an end the next season, but those teams and that game will always live long in the cherished memory banks.

 

Clearing the Rope, by Timothy Potter.

                Tim Potter

Tim Potter (2nd Slip) Brentwood Cricket Club Sunday 2nd XI, 1984.

  • Member since: 1973
  • Nickname/s: Tugger
  • DOB: 9.11.59
  • Bats: Left hand
  • Bowls:  Right arm seam
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Cover
  • Little known personal fact: Had a pint in 1,750 Essex pubs!
  • Sporting hero(es):  David Gower, Sachin Tendulkar, Jimmy White, Gareth Edwards
  • Hobbies or Interests:  Horse racing, greyhound racing, cycling, real ale, bridge, golf
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

I first saw and played on the Old County Ground in 1973. Even then, as a 13 year old, I knew I'd discovered my sporting theatre of dreams. I dreamt of scoring 1st XI hundreds and hitting sixes. The curtain eventually fell in 2000. I did manage a 1st XI 100 on a perfect OCG batting track in May 1988 against Gravesend (Jeff Salt scored 99) but hitting a 6 proved elusive. Mind you I have witnessed a few over the past 39 years and would like to recall two special SIXES.

May 1982. A miserable, cold afternoon and Kent Fledglings are providing quality opposition. After 90 minutes the 1st X1 slumped to 40-3. Suddenly Jeff Salt strikes a sensational straight drive.I watched in amazement as the ball soared majestically, clearing the sightscreen, the tennis pavilion and landing in a, thankfully, empty tennis court. Salty will, I'm sure, happily verify the authenticity of this memory.

June 1991. In the early 1990s the Club ran an annual 6-a-side competition, which was always well supported and produced many exciting finishes. I still polish my 1993 winner's medal from time to time. This second memory is of a classic gladiatorial confrontation between genuinely quick fast bowler and talented young batsman, brave and confident. At 10:30am a badly hungover David Boden (Essex professional) bowled a long hop to Danny Hazle. Danny put it into the Shenfield Road, an exquisitely executed hook shot. Sad to say he did get ‘the chop’ next ball.  Beware the angry lion. Boden's next ball, off his long run, was lightning fast, just short of a length. It lifted, seamed a bit and took the edge. Could the Victorians keeper David Terrell, standing 30 yards back, take the catch? With an ice cold display of confidence David calmly put his right hand above his head and Hazle's promising innings was over.

I'm hopeful that a comparable six, preferably by a Brentwood CC batsman, will be struck in the 2012 game against the Lashings World XI

 

Memories of '76 by Rob Coote

                 Rob Coote

Rob Coote (back row, third from right).  Brentwood Cricket Club Sunday 2nd XI 1993.

  • Member since: 1977
  • Nickname/s: Cootie/Detach
  • DOB: 2nd October, 1960something
  • Bats: Badly
  • Bowls: Slowly
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Wherever I can save my arm
  • Little known personal fact: Trevor is not a relation of mine
  • Sporting hero(es):  Brentwood Buccaneers
  • Hobbies or Interests:  Watching cricket at the OCG
  • Most Memorable Match at the OCG: 

As the saying goes the summers’ of our youth seem to be longer, sunnier, and warmer. That was certainly the case for me with 1976. This was also the year that Brentwood CC won its first trophy with the 2nd XI winning the league title which I witnessed first-hand as the team’s scorer.

To me it seemed that no matter what the opposition did Brentwood somehow managed to win whether or not it was being 5 down for not many but still managing to get to 200 and then bowling the opposition out or with the game petering out for a bore draw, the Skipper throwing the ball to an opening bat to buy a wicket, which of course he did which meant another victory.

This was all done with a sense of purpose and not without some humour as demonstrated by our current President turning to one of his predecessors after he’d taken a catch from one of the fiery fast bowlers in the slips saying ‘I think you’ll find the phrase is ‘ how’s that’,  not ‘what’s that’??!!’.

The season finale was against the local rivals Gidea Park & Romford who were battle hardened and possibly thought that the ‘softies’ from Brentwood would capitulate at the final hurdle. Due to the hosepipe ban the game was moved from Gallows Corner some anonymous place in Ockendon. In the week leading up to the game the heavens opened and as a result the game was played on a ‘sporting’ wicket which resulted in a low scoring victory for Brentwood and the title.

The season was to have influences on me that stayed with me throughout my playing career and beyond.

 

Vintage Victorians by Mick Pinkney

              Mick Pinkney

Mick Pinkney (front row, centre) Victorians XI 1993.

  • Member since: 1987
  • Nickname/s: Pinkers according to Donks!
  • DOB: 11/3/63
  • Bats: Right-handed.
  • Bowls: Retired.
  • Specialist Fielding Position: Due to age and girth 1st Slip (2nd if Trevor is playing).
  • Little known personal fact: My Great-Grandfather was a Titanic survivor.
  • Sporting hero(es): Glen Hoddle, David Ginola, Graham Gooch, Sir Robert O’Brien
  • Hobbies or Interests: Golf, Tottenham Hotspur, Music.
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

In the early days of the Victorians we were very dependent on Tim Potter  and Chris ‘Boots’ Taylor scoring the bulk of our runs and our game against South Weald in 1990 was no different. Playing a timed game on the old artificial, Tim opened with Boots and the pair progressed to 110 before the first wicket fell. A big total looked on! Not with the class of ’90 Victorians middle order! 153 all out with 3 ducks (including me!). A fine 51 from Tim and 69 from Boots left us about 60 runs short of a par score.

In reply, South Weald, who had at least 50 overs to reach their target, started cautiously with one of their openers seemingly guiding them to victory. He reached 86 before I managed to catch him off my own bowling, 110-5. Ex Brentwood 1st XI player Richard Stroud looked like he was going to secure victory for South Weald but was running out of partners as we reached the penultimate over. I bowled the number 10 leaving 7 required off the last over with the Victorians requiring 1 wicket for an unlikely victory. Chris ‘Big Bird’ Jolly induced a leading edge and I held a simple catch off the 5th ball of the over. Great celebrations followed as we won by 1 run. 

Stroudy has since seen the light and moved back to Brentwood where he remains a vital part of the current Brentwood Victorians team. We continue to enjoy a great relationship with South Weald who remain an integral part of our fixture list.

 

Musings from...Chelmer Park?!  by Jonathan Walford

                                     Jonathan Walford

  • Member since: 2002
  • Nickname/s: Wolf. Skip
  • DOB: 24.1.82
  • Bats: Left handed
  • Bowls: Used to bowl some medium pace.
  • Specialist Fielding Position: I haven’t fielded on the boundary since I was Captain.
  • Little known personal fact:
  • Sporting hero(es): Tiger, Sachin, Cocklin
  • Hobbies or Interests: I like a bet.
  • Most Memorable Match at the OGC: 

Having played in so many amazing matches for Brentwood Cricket Club, it really was very tough to pick just one game to write about. I have felt pretty much every emotion on the pitch whilst wearing Brentwood’s colours and feel proud that we have progressed back to being the premier club in the County after a period in the wilderness. I played in some wonderful games at the Old County Ground in my early years for the club, but I wanted to write about a more recent away game which included most of the current crop of players. 

The game was against Chelmsford in 2009 where we sealed the premier league title. Chelmer Park is never an easy place to go to especially with the added pressure of knowing that a win would make us champions. I won the toss and as all year in the limited overs games, had no hesitation in batting first and trying to put a big score on the board. Aaron West and I opened the batting and we got off to a good start against one of the better new ball attacks in the league. However with the score on 40 there was a mix up and I was unfortunately run out by half the pitch on 22. Aaron and our overseas Kasun Bodisha steadied the ship and we were looking good until they both fell along with James Redwood and Richard Walford. A promising position had turned into a worrying one at 114-4. However, as on many occasions that year our lower middle order of Max Osborne, Sam Pountney and Jahid Ahmed played brilliantly. Their contrasting styles gelled superbly, with Osbourne and Ahmed hitting some huge sixes and the deft placement of Pountney pushing our score to an excellent 288. 

This was never going to be an easy score for Chelmsford to chase and we knew that if we bowled well the title would be ours. A brilliant start, which saw us take the first 2 wickets before they had reached double figures meant we had complete control of the game. However a 100 run stand for Chelmsford’s third wicket meant that they were still in it, and although we kept chipping away,  taking wickets at regular intervals, Chelmsford were always in with a chance whilst Prowting was at the crease. However, the turning point of the game was the introduction of Sam Pountney into the attack. He picked up four quick wickets, including the prized scalp of Prowting, capping a ‘man of the match’ performance from Sam. From then on we knew we were about to become the Essex Premier League Champions of 2009. We bowled Chelmsford out for 202 and the celebrations on the pitch were immense. We carried on throughout the night and for the rest of the season!

It was a wonderful achievement for the Club and we have subsequently retained the league premiership in 2010 and 2011. I am certainly looking forward to more success in the future for Brentwood Cricket Club as I believe a special team is evolving.

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