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  • 2017 Review of the Season
    22 May 2018

    A quick review of the AVCC 2017 Season As we embark upon a new season, and the sum in shining, I thought I would share with you some highlights of the 2017 season. A. Matches * Record season - out best ever winning performance * We won 11 out of 15 Sunday matches - 73% win percentage - (previous best 10 out of 19) * We won 8 of 12 midweek 20/20’s (67% win percentage) * In total, we won 19 of 27 games…..70.3% win percentage * Winning streak (still in play) of 10 consecutive Sunday wins. * Our best homestead - 9 wins in a row on Sundays * Equalled our top ever 35 overs score - 245 (vs Keevil) * Made our best 20/20 score = 151 (vs Poulshot) * Our opponents made their lowest scores against us - 40 (Wilton); 76 (All Cannings) * 43 players played for - including 4 young ladies; 2 in one evening. * In summary, our season was built on a consistent and very useful bowling attack of Jeremy Richards, Michael Rae and Jon Wolverson - ably supplemented by Graham Newland, Tim Gent, Greg Caswell, Mark Banham, Will Adams, Jamie Corden, India Corden, Peter Williams et al. The batting was more consistent, and more higher scores were made in each game - and scoring 40 or more in a game by an individual does make a difference - as can be seen by the win ratio. More important, we have learned to field, set a field, and play for each other. Our home record was fantastic. B. Batting * Michael Rae scored most runs - over 450 -, and made the top ever aggregate for AVCC. he also scored only our 3rd century (111 vs Erlestoke). * Interestingly fewer players scored >100 runs in comparison to the last 3 years; but those who did (7) all scored more than 200 runs…that’s a first. Season stats >100 runs Runs Average Michael Rae 385 29.62 Jon Wolverson 353 23.53 Simon Campbell 280 93.33 Angus Harley 279 25.36 Jeremy Richards 265 29.44 Greg Caswell 209 29.86 Graham Newland 204 18.55 * Less 50’s scored (10 including the 111); but overall individual match scores higher. Top Batting performances Michael Rae 111 vs Erlestoke (away). Only our 3rd century, and 1 of the others at Erlestoke too Greg Caswell 75 RSJ Maharajahs Jeremy Richards 73 vs Mildenhall Jeremy Richards 71 vs Avebury Jon Wolverson 65 not out Chitterne Jon Wolverson 61 Keevil Simon Campbell 59 not out Marden Simon Campbell 58 not out</

  • AVCC v Huddersfield YMCA
    24 September 2017

    This week, I am making an exception due to the exceptional and sensational events of last Sunday. On a day of mixed weather…we welcomed Huddersfield YMCA to Rushall. Huddersfield YMCA toured Wiltshire each year for over 25 years but ceased in the last decade.

  • AVCC v Urchfont
    10 September 2017

    Today we welcomed the mighty Urchfont to our ground in Rushall. It was a cold windy day reminding us the season is coming to an autumnal end. The pitch was damp and the skies grey.

  • AVCC v Aldbourne
    27 August 2017

    We welcomed Aldbourne for the first time last Sunday. Brilliant hot sunny day. Ideal for cricket.

  • AVCC v Mildenhall
    20 August 2017

    Last weekend we welcomed Mildenhall to our home ground. One of only 2 teams we have never beaten from our annual fixture list. Rain threatened and so we played a 30 overs match.

  • AVCC v Wilton
    13 August 2017

    So last weekend we welcomed Wilton for our very first fixture (or 2). Wilton are good guys and we know many of them from other clubs...Wilcot, Marden, Aldbourne...

  • AVCC v Wilton 20/20
    13 August 2017

    So having finished the match with Wilton last week before tea, we played them again in a 20/20.

  • AVCC v All Cannings
    6 August 2017

    And in our last game, the mighty All Cannings came to visit.

  • AVCC v Bishop's Cannings
    27 July 2017

    Next match after the RSJ Maharajahs triumph was against Bishops Cannings at Rushall for a 20/20.

  • AVCC v RSJ Maharajahs
    16 July 2017

    Catching up...I tantalised you talking about a highest score. Yes, we broke our ground record at Rushall and equalled our all time best over 35 overs scoring 245-5 vs RSJ Maharajahs from Reading way.

  • Erlestoke v AVCC
    2 July 2017

    1st match in July took us to our old and good friends at Erlestoke and their fabulous high scoring ground in a walled garden.

  • AVCC v Collingbourne
    22 June 2017

    Bit late, but our last fixture in June was a 20:20 vs Collingbourne at home. Pitch was great, sun shining and we had 11 turn up.

  • Chitterne v AVCC
    18 June 2017

    Yesterday was swelteringly hot and 8 of us turned up to play Chitterne. Chitterne are a really nice bunch of guys and have been a nemesis of us more often than not. 25 overs game as local rules.

  • Amesbury Farmers v AVCC
    15 June 2017

    Last night we played the Amesbury Farmers at Centenary Park. A little surreal. 12 of us turned up and at one stage I knew more players in the Farmers dressing room (having seen them play for AVCC) than in ours. So welcome Jon V, Josh C, Russell and Hector.

  • AVCC v Farley
    11 June 2017

    Yesterday, amongst the clouds and winds, we took on Farley at home. Farley are one of just 2 teams we have never beaten, or indeed got close to. Well, despite 11 brave hearts turning up, the trend continued.

  • AVCC v Avebury
    4 June 2017

    So we had a rain interrupted 30 match with Avebury today. They scored 192 for 7 in theirs and we lost our last wicket on 165 in the last over.

  • Collingbourne v AVCC
    1 June 2017

    Good night tonight. AVCC chased down 65 for 4 in 17 overs, having got Collingbourne all out in 17 also.

  • AVCC v Marden (20/20)
    24 May 2017

    We played our first home game of the season last night. 20/20 vs Marden. Bathed in warm sunlight, it felt like the right sort of evening to play cricket.

  • Marden v AVCC
    14 May 2017

    Richard Cox Memorial trophy played at Marden last Sunday. We have won this for the last 2 years but generously decided to return it to Marden this year on a shower-interrupted day.

  • Poulshot v AVCC
    10 May 2017

    Wednesday night was a return to 20/20. We turned up at the village green in Poulshot to play the locals with an unusual team - 3 school attendees; 2 of which were young ladies (India Corden and Holly Campbell); a couple of pensioners and some between.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

AVCC v Huddersfield YMCA

This week, I am making an exception due to the exceptional and sensational events of last Sunday. On a day of mixed weather…we welcomed Huddersfield YMCA to Rushall. Huddersfield YMCA toured Wiltshire each year for over 25 years but ceased in the last decade.

Knowing Scammer (better known to us as Simon Campbell….but I think this handle can last), and our friends at Erlestoke, it was decided to resurrect the tour. All I can say,…great bunch of guys and I think an annual tour beckons for the future. Let tradition get re-established.

So what happened? Well it was confusing, exciting, exhilarating, downright different, and a pretty good day for cricket and friendship.

8 Sopwith Camels flew in formation over the ground for nearly an hour. What a sight, what a welcome. As we reached the last overs, the Oxford University Merton College choir turned up and spectated. They sang for us at the end (I will post the photo on Facebook for those incredulous amongst us. You know this author never exaggerates and so this fact now moves to legend.

Well it started off confusing. Both sides turned up with 15 players. Never happened before…...

Our home AVCC team were an amalgam of old friends and adversaries. There were AVCC stalwarts - Scammer, Graham, Tim, Bruce, Jon, and young Jack Campbell. We had a bevy of Coupe’s from Erlestoke….Fred, Alistair, Ed……The talented Lees….adversaries and friends from PSJ Maharajahs - Chris George and Nicola….and Angus and John Harley….(but not our AVCC Angus).

And then we had the Huddersfield YMCA. All Yorkshire accents and business. Scammer promised us drunken, tired cricketers. We got men, looking fresh, sporting, athletic, keen, passionate and not at all hung-over. We sensed a game was on.

We sensed trouble too. Tim Gent had prepared 2 wickets (in case they wanted to play Urchfont here the day before). We were treated to the sight of their pocket dynamo…Read….not being keen on either of them and so we cut and prepared a third wicket whilst everyone socialised. Never seen the pitch being prepared like that before. Yes, it was wet…..but we wondered if this was a wind-up or a deadly professionalism to be aware of. Dark mutterings and doubts in the home changing room, not to mention some good banter as most of the players in theme dressing room had been worthy adversaries from across the pavilion in recent times.

Scammer won the toss and, as he often does, asked the opposition what they wanted to do (note to Simon, when we win the toss, it is our right to choose :) ). They elected to bat. The skies were gun-metal grey, and a drizzle hung in the air. You could feel the moisture in every pore, and most of us went out well kitted up in as many jumpers as we could get on. Huddersfield didn’t seem to notice the weather. Nor did their many supporters who turned up and almost made it a home match for them. Great to see. You are all welcome back.

So we took the field, and had an opening attack of Ed Coupe and Angus Harley (no resemblance to our own Angus Harley - how spooky). Both bowled well but the Huddersfield openers looked under control. The first wicket went down in the 4th over for 27-1. Their dangerous opener Sheard plundering 23 of the 27 runs and so a good wicket for Angus to take, courtesy of a stinging catch well held by Alistair Coupe.

We turned the screws and Huddersfield dug in. The next wicket went down on 55-2 in the17th over, bowled by Graham Newland, AVCC’s leading wicket taker. Jake Read gone for a hard fought and disciplined 18. O Read continued to play straight and bash the bad ball and was next out for an innings-high 32, bowled by Nicola Lee (school girl and daughter of Chris Lee) with her first ball. 79-3.

Nicola was bowling very well (better length than Dad reportedly, so I am sure I heard?) and was very impressive. She was joined by young Jack Campbell..who also bowled well. Jack took the next wicket (Priestley with an excellent 25) thanks to a fine running catch by Jon Wolverson (who specialises in spectacular running catches, but this time without falling on his ass). 92-5. 2 quick wickets (Dave Thomson on 5, B Wilson for 12) on 118 (-6) courtesy of Jack again, and Tim Gent (thanks to a boundary saving excellent catch from Fred Coupe, rolling back the years in the deep). 118-6 in the 29th; we smelt blood and another low score.

We blinked, they wagged, and before we knew it they were 140-7 ((Jagger 17, quick strong innings), and finished on 160-9 with F Davies scoring 17, R Read 8, and J Crabtree not out 8. 160 looked like a good score on a damp wicket where the ball was not coming on, and the pitch was cutting up.

AVCC bowling was creditable and starred Tim Gent 2-14 (3 overs), Jack Campbell 2-22 (3), Graham Newland 1-8 (3), Angus Harley 1-13 (4), Nicola Lee 1-17 (3), Alistair Coupe 1-23 (3). Good run-out courtesy of Fred Coupe too. Other bowlers…Scammer 0-3 (1), Chris Lee 0-13 (4), Jon Wolverson 0-10 (4), John Harley 0-6 (2), George Lee 0-16 (3).

Hands-up all those who noticed the school children out bowled their illustrious fathers. A healthy legacy and portent for the future.

So, a hearty tea was taken and the sun came fully out. The Sopwith Camels were excited and buzzed around more, and AVCC and friends took the field with George Lee and Ed Coupe having the honour of opening. 161 to get. Would be the biggest score for August and September on this pitch if were to do this.

Huddersfield looked fresh and their bowlers steamed in. Gasps from the sidelines…they looked good. They looked fast, menacing and dangerous. The pitch was cutting up and starting to look unplayable - despite the sun shining.Crabtree and O Read bowled well as openers and had us in trouble. Ed Coupe was the first to go with the score on just 19 in the 3rd over for 5, bowled O Read with one that shot through low. Almost unplayable. Alistair Coupe took his place and he and George started to look comfortable until Alistair was caught and bowled by B Wilson for 9 with the score on 41-2.

Graham Newland was promoted well up the order to 4 and dug in to steady the ship as the pitch was getting unplayable in the face of accurate and hostile bowling. R Read came on (he of the must change the pitch variety…did he have a magic plan or knowledge to exploit in such a request?). 3rd ball he had George Lee caught behind off a turning ball for a well struck, good innings of 39. Well done George for your AVCC debut (you are welcome back). Next ball, our ace Jon Wolverson disappeared bowled to a major turn from Read. Hat-trick ball and Scammer sent his young son Jack in to face (that’s a good caring sensitive dad). Oops….bowled first ball. Hat-trick. Well it was. Well bowled. Best I have seen on our pitch where 2 previous hat-tricks have been made, both by AVCC players.

However, R Read is a sportsman, as are the rest of the team, and Jack was invited back and a no-ball was given. Thus the scorebook records a double wicket maiden. R Read….let it be recorded here, I think it was the best hat trick bowled on our pitch.

Jack and Graham dug in for quite a few overs but the score just ticked over as scoring was difficult. Jack went caught Davies bowled Sheard for 3. A good innings in the face of adversity and good bowling. Bruce Carter came in, and hit a couple of stonking 4’s (almost cutting Graham in half at the non-strikers end with one of them). Graham was next out, bowled for a stubborn 10, by Davis to the deadly straight ball when trying to push the score on as we were getting well behind the asking rate.

Angus Harley came in and the fun commenced. Apart from the name, no similarities with our own opener, Angus Harley (Angus…just think Simon Borthwick and the style was clear). Bruce was caught and bowled for a creditable 13 by O. Read. Bet Huddersfield wished he had dropped this catch as Scammer came in. Not long to go…..6 overs for some 70 runs. Seemed like too tall and order to win as we were behind the rate on a soft pitch.

Well the game turned in a blink of an eye. Angus walloped 3 magnificent 6’s for a quick fire 25 before being caught at wicket off R Read. Nicola Lee came and went without troubling the scorers, but bowled by the wizard known as R Read. R Read finished 4-30 (could have been a five-fer).

Scammer hit 6 off his first ball, 3 other mighty 6’s and finished with a magnificent rapid 39 not out. We entered the last over needing 9 to win. Simon hit the 3rd ball for 6 over square leg (off R Read), the 4th for a single and Chris Lee had the honour of scoring the winning run on the penultimate ball. 161-9. Chris finished on 2 not out.

Couldn’t have got a much tighter finish. The end saw much back-slapping, hand-shaking, hugs and comradeship. I cannot think of a better game, a better match, a better set of sportsmanship, and pleasure from seeing a bunch of old mates revelling in another duel and excellent game of cricket in Wiltshire in the sun. I think this fixture is nailed on for future years. We even had the Merton College choir sing to us. What a beautiful end to a wonderful day. Not sure how we can beat this entertainment next year!

After the game, supporters and players alike returned to the Antelope and many a pint was drunk, and nostalgic story was told.

And, I didn’t hear a single moan on the pitch….so the stories of Yorkshireman are clearly not true. (Just joking, my mother comes from Yorkshire and tried to smuggle me back, but didn’t make it…so come on Middlesex!)

One more for legends and memories to come for AVCC.

For those, who track the AVCC stats…this is our 9th consecutive Sunday win….a record for us, and a homestead record…..so thanks to all who played and to all our friends who contributed……