Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Highgate CC, Middx - 3rd XI - Saturday 8th July 2017

The 3rds gathered on Sat 8th July to try and exact revenge for the opening day defeat against Highgate.

Losing the toss for the first time this season, TCC were inserted to bat, and despite the early loss of Austin, got off to a solid start through Tom Cassaday and Nick Lockwood.

After losing Tom, Hamish Dicketts came in and continued the good work and TCC were well placed at 130-2 at drinks. 

However the second half of the innings went south somewhat, and after Lockwood fell for 61, there followed a procession, not helped by Thorndyke - one of bankers this season - being indisposed with a migraine. 

We committed the cardinal sin of not even batting 50 overs and were all out for 203, which always looked 30 or so short, especially from the position we had been in. 

And so it proved. Despite good bowling, Highgate were always ahead of the rate and we needed wickets. 

Heap and Ferg got them nervous, and then a late 3 wicket spell from Willis got them very agitated. However their captain, in at 10, slogged a few and got them over the line with 2 wickets to spare. 

A disappointing day, but we were creators of our own downfall with a poor batting performance. 

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Ealing CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 1st July 2017

After the record-breaking heatwave of June it was a relief to see more usual temperatures for the crunch match at the halfway stage at home against Ealing. However, some familiar selection issues in the bowling department had been raised midweek and after Simon Hicks withdrew on the Friday with injury it became the theme and deciding factor. 

Having, of course, won the toss our Skipper had felt on recent results/collapses from Ealing that insertion was the order of the day. It was, on balance, the correct call but as Mike King pulled up in his first over he joined a growing roster of walking wounded F King (shoulder), Cassady (ankle/weight), Heap ( head - ongoing). Hicks and with the evergreen Willis unavailable after the spell of the season, the size of the challenge became extremely clear.

So it was with great skill that Teddington wrestled an advantage after Ed Snodgrass (gout) dived to take a difficult strangle down the leg side with great aplomb and the opening bowling partnership of the injured Mike King and Tom Bangs pegged them back to 85/4. However, bowling options and injuries then took hold and they put on over a hundred runs for the 5th wicket. With Ferg nursing a shoulder tweak and the outside edge of their innings' talisman finding Mike King resting at slip twice in one over but without the right result, it looked like they would make us pay. 

Ealing went on to finish on 245 off 52 overs. Commendable bowling from Tom Bangs and Mike King who in particular bowled 40 overs between them through the pain barrier to give us a sniff.

The cameo of Ealing Afghanistan international Mr Wahab had not gone unnoticed and when he took his run up from near the sight screen it was apparent that we had an uphill task on our hands chasing 245. With Cassady having some issues locating his support staff to ferry a suitable helmet to the crease he was quick to be sweded by the verbals for batting in a cap as the first few balls were either wided or no balled as they took aim at his head. 

A cool head and some grit were duly required and after Cassady and Austin had succumbed meekly (7/2), Captain Nick Lockwood arrived at the crease to show that coin toss skills can be translated into batting ability. It was a true captain's knock and he showed great class to see off the new ball, cutting and pulling Mr Wahab diligently to demonstrate what was needed against this competent bowling attack. The fact that he finished on 61 after occupying the crease for 34 overs with only 7 overs left to bat and 100 runs short perfectly illustrated that with 8 batsmen not contributing we would have come very close with a tighter finish in the field and more application with the bat. 

Teddington finished 141 all out after 40 overs. Outplayed on the day, but we won't be ambushed like that again and with half the season left only a fool would write us off.

Excellent contributions from Tom Bangs 3/75 off 22 & Nick Lockwood 61 

Author: Tom Cassady

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Acton CC, Middlesex - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 24th June 2017

The 3XI gathered on Sat 24th June, looking forward to our very own "Istanbul" - Acton away

At a new location, the boys were pleasantly surprised with the pitch and after yet another won toss, Acton were inserted. 

The pattern was soon set, Robin Willis and Mark King opening the bowling and beating the bat regularly. 

Acton were soon struggling and wickets kept falling. Once again we were outstanding in the field and Robin Willis bowled an absolutely amazing spell, taking 6 for 30 off an unbelievable 24 overs straight. 

Skipper Lockwood tried to take him off at various points, but the irate Irishman would just snarl back "don't you dare let Ferg take my first wickets" so it was decided, in yet another concession to the Irish over the rest of the UK, to let things be. 

Acton ended up 118 all out. 

This was then knocked off with consumate ease by Cassidy, who with a wedding to get to, decided to launch Acton bowlers everywhere, and smashed a fantastic 80*. 

Richard Lalor spent some good time at the crease with 30* - important he did so, so he is in good form for sitting on his ar*e at Lords this Saturday, while the rest of us take on Ealing in a match, which if we win, will set up a real push for the 2nd half of the season. 

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Uxbridge CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 17th June 2017

The 3rds assembled to face Uxbridge, desperate to bounce back from the agonising defeat the week before against Hampstead.

On a sweltering day down at Bushy, TCC won a crucial toss, and inserted the opposition, who this time last year had blocked their way to a snore draw.

Uxbridge were soon on the rack with Bangs finding his customary swing and impeccable line. Thorners stormed down the hill with something to prove, and was soon wildly gesticulating towards the second team match muttering about some kind of message to Baggsy, having taken two early wickets. One of these was courtesy of a fantastic slip catch from Tom Cassady.

The wickets kept tumbling, and soon Uxbridge were 36-5 with Fergus King getting into the action, including a smart stumping by David “no-byes” Keightly.

There followed the most dull passage of cricket ever, and to save ourselves having to live through it, Uxbridge ended on 107 all-out off 54 overs, with Ferg nabbing a great 5-27. The fielding was much improved but in truth they didn't put us under much pressure

The target was promptly knocked off in 11 overs witha great 50* from A.Thorners. Unlike his bro, he had no message for Baggsy, but he did have one for Prydey, declaring himself in the running for leading run-scorer for TCC, a message we look forward to him delivering on..!! 

Also not out was TC building on an excellent start to the season with another solid 49. 

We won at a canter...the highlight being Cloughie's comeback shouldering arms, and Harry's TFC. 

Time for Acton, in the cow field...! 

Author: Nick Lockwood

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Hampstead CC - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 10th June 2017

Thanks to SW London traffic, the 3s slowly gathered for one of the longer away trips of the season on a scorching day at Winchmore Hill to play Hampstead. After observing their ludicrously vigorous warm-up, skipper Lockwood decided the oppo could do with a long sit down and stuck them in to bat.

Given the choice of ends, Middleton strangely opted to go uphill into the wind and bowled 9 tight overs on the bounce. At the other end, Gardiner bowled with hostility, pace and sometime direction and Hampstead got off to a strong start. As so often the case it was a genuine full bunger from Hicks that caused the fall of the first wicket with the score on 88.

Replacing Middleton was Heap, who, considering the short straight boundary, bowled superbly, deserving more than his 2 caught and bowleds. A gazelle-like piece of fielding in the deep from Austin accounted for their best batter for 55, attempting taking 2 to his howitzer of an arm.

Hampstead scored steadily without ever getting away from TCC, with a particularly entertaining passage of play ensuing when Ferg bowled with the wind and none of the Hampstead batsman could generate any kind of pace on the ball. Death bowling at its finest. 

After a late flurry, Hampstead closed on 221-8 off 50.

Middleton 12-0-46-0

Gardiner 4-0-18-0

Hicks 12-0-37-2

Heap 13-0-56-2

King 9-0-48-3

We were told that the Hampstead side had a strong bowling attack and so it proved. After losing Austin early Cassady rallied, smiting the attack to all parts before falling for 42. Gardiner and Meek batted superbly, putting on over 100 before Gardiner (50) missed a genuine long hop (almost double bouncer) trying to hit it back to Teddington, the ball went through his legs and barely reached the stumps. Thorndyke batted with typical aggression and at the other end, Meek continued to deposit the Hampstead bowlers onto the tennis court next to the ground.

After Lalor and Hicks fell cheaply, Middleton, revitalised by a pack of tabs hit the shot of the day, a huge straight mixer.

TCC were well up with the rate, and as Heap and Meek ticked off the runs, Meek taking the strike and continuing to play positively, thoughts turned to a crucial away win. 10 needed off 18 balls. With the field ludicrously spread, Meek attempted a ramp and was bowled for a well made 69.

It was down to Heap and Ferg. 8 needed off 12 balls, then 6 off the final over, 4 off 4, 3 off 3, 2 off 2 and then Barney on strike for the final ball with 2 needed to win. The desired full bunger duly arrived and was hit straight to short extra, who beat Barney in a race to demolish the stumps and seal the win for Hampstead.

A fantastic game played in great spirits. TCC probably gave Hampstead 20+ runs too many in the field, and the catching, Heap aside, remains an issue. Uxbridge visit Bushy Park next weekend.

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Richmond CC, Middx - 3rd XI - Saturday 3rd June 2017

Teddington 3s arrived on Saturday, looking in Ferg’s words, to put 30 years of hurt behind us, against a Richmond third team who had started the season slowly. 

Following the prior week’s successful formula, TCC won the toss and batted, with Tom Cassady and Rich Lalor getting us off to a flying start.

Tom fell just short of his fifty, but Richard cracked on to make a half-century, joined by Tom Meek who got 88. Steff also chipped in and Andrew Thorndyke added to last week's heroics by smashing a fifty at the end. All in all we smashed them about and everyone contributed and, aided by some dropped catches (there was a theme to the day for sure!), we got to 321-5 off our 45 overs

To be honest, we then started off in too a confident mood, the bowlers didn’t find their lines and there wasn’t the intensity in the field. This allowed Richmond to get off to a blinder and were quickly 100-0 of 15 overs.

Barney joined the attack and bowled really well, to keep a semblance of control. However this coincided with the start of a ream of dropped catches, and a lot of them were not difficult. They were quickly got 160-0 of 23 overs….uh-oh….

Ferg finally got a vital breakthrough and then we kept chipping away, and Richmond were always slightly behind the rate once wickets began to fall. However, until we got their opener, it was game on, and he finally fell at his 6th chance for 149.

We ended up “restricting” them to 290-7, with a fantastic bowling performance by Barney of 2-59, which could have been 6-for. Tom Bangs also came back well and bowled a good 2nd spell.

Barney has already begun talking up his 2nd XI chances, and emailing Baggsy direct, lobbying for a promotion. Luckily Baggsy saw Barney’s meltdown and lay-down protest in the middle of the pitch after the 4th drop off his bowling, so Barney stays with us this week.

A good win, though far more frayed than it needed to be! Roll on our trip this week to league leaders Hampstead with us in confident mood after 3 on the bounce.

Author: Nick Lockwood

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Eastcote CC - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 27th May 2017

The 3rd XI arrived at Eastcote with a much changed team but in confident mood, looking for a win to put them into the mix in the league, following a disappointing abandonment the week before.

Things started well, and after winning the toss, we started nicely and raced to 30-0 off 5 overs, with newboy Todd and oldboy Austin looking good.

This quickly disintegrated to 60-5 after a series of loose shots and on a small ground with a good wicket we were staring down the barrel.

In sauntered A.Thorndyke, who when asked how was his form pre-game, had said that he was hitting it well on the beach. He continued to play his own brand calypso cricket and blazed his way to 80 off not many, well support by Matt Conelly the other newbie. Unfortunately, after following what seems to be the same family-wide diet over the winter, Thorners tired, and couldn’t quite make three figures.

Aided by a good last wicket stand of 30, TCC had somehow got ourselves to 222 all-out but had still committed the cardinal sin of not using all our overs, so we needed to bowl well.

Fired up by the first non-beige tea of the season, Tommy Bangs underlined his number 1 overseas slot in the team with a brilliant 5-25. Brilliantly supported by Barney who came on and bowled very tightly when Eastcote where making a real fight of it, TCC won by 40 runs.

The game was incredibly closely fought and it was closer than the scores suggested. The positive thing was that at various points through the match, when it mattered, someone in the team stood up and was counted.

Roll on Richmond next week!

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Harrow St Marys CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 13th May 2017

Fresh from an extremely busy week of dating and WhatsApp administration, “download slate, order shirts, free sky TV codes and confirm availability”, the Skipper was confused, bat or bowl first? The overhead conditions and discussions with teammates offered no further clarity but even worse the toss was actually won meaning a decision had to be made (a nuisance of which Matthew Rees never had to deal with in his 3 years of 3rd XI captaincy).

The overriding consideration was not tactical but what was more likely to facilitate an early finish for beers for the “boiks”. It was generally assumed Harrow St Marys were weak and could be rolled; Teddington were bowling.

Before the action commenced the usual clichéd team talk was given (the exact details escape the author but presume it contained the usual requests of line and length and take catches etc). However, the author does recall Fergus’ declaration that the bar staff were strictly off limits this week; Lockwood would have to focus on the Eurovision song instead.

Harrow St Marys - 157 all out in 43 overs. Interestingly after 16 overs Harrow St Marys were 49-3, Harrow St Mary teams of the past 3 years would be this score after 16 balls. It was a different Harrow St Marys team and approach to ones played recently!  The bowling unit bowled well with special mention to T. Bangs 4 wickets, Fergus King 3 wickets and Stefon’s spell of 12 overs for 25 which offered control from the outset. The fielding was acceptable and catching good including 2 for the skipper and 1 absolute blinder by Tom Cassady with a “very bad back!”.

Teddington 158 -2 in 37 overs. A controlled, skilled and very stylish third wicket partnership between Tom Kennedy 86* and Matt Austin 61* saw TCC home (the latter cashing in on the most ridiculous dropped catch you’ll ever see – cricket is certainly a game of extremely fine margins!). Heap and Meek missed out, the former confused by his current batting role in the team confounded by 1 minute notice that he would be opening, scoring an 8 over duck.

A good day on the field with a comprehensive win, and in the club house after. Congrats to all especially the skipper with his first league win.

p.s. does anyone actually know how to download the slate app or order a long sleeve shirt?

Highgate CC, Middx - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI - Saturday 6th May 2017

TCC travelled up to North Hertfordshire for the season opener against newly promoted Highgate.

After losing the toss, our new overseas recruit Thomas Bangs took the new ball and immediately impressed, bowling a challenging line which troubled both openers. Emboldened by the captaincy, Lockers took the new ball from the other end and (to everyone’s surprise) succeeded in bumping out the Highgate opener with his second ball. After a couple of erratic overs Lockers removed himself from the attack. Bangs continued from the other end was extremely unlucky to only finish with one wicket from his opening spell.

On a ground with exceptionally short straight boundaries, it was perhaps not ideal that the rest of the bowling was left to the spinners but Heap, King and McLellan did well to restrict the scoring against batsmen who were well set.

Barney bowled a particularly tight spell, continuing his transition into a bowling all-rounder and was unfortunate not to get the wickets his bowling deserved (9-1-33-0). Ferg was quickly into his stride as he confounded any pre-season fitness fears, bowling 11 overs straight through and picking up 3 wickets in the process (should have been 4 - sorry Ferg).

Highgate finished on 225-8, a total boosted by some lusty late hitting from the Highgate lower order.

Spirits were high at tea, as we were confident we had restricted the opposition to a competitive but chaseable target.

A couple of early wickets dampened this enthusiasm but Tom Cassady (44) and Rich Lalor (24) batted nicely and at the halfway stage we were very much in the game at 120-3. Unfortunately, a collapse reminiscent of the England team of the mid 90s followed as the Highgate seam attack proved too good and ran through us to bowl us out for 145.

Perhaps the most/only impressive aspect of the second half of our innings was the multi-tasking displayed by Matt Austin (worse for wear after a night on the sauce with CBB) who proceeded to simultaneously: score, finish a killer Sudoku and place multiple (unsuccessful) bets on the horses.

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Twickenham CC - Friendly XI - Sunday 30th April 2017

TCC 3s played their final warm-up match on Sunday 30th April, against local rivals Twickenham.

TCC lost the toss, and were asked to field, and quickly reduced Twickenham to 7-2, with excellent bowling from Robin, shrugging off the side-effects of a marathon the week before.

At the other end, Stuart Kelly toiled away and was unlucky to not register in the wickets when "bucket" hands Tom Cassady shelled an absolute goober.

Sadly that set the tone for the fielding effort, with catches going down at regular intervals; none worse than Nick M's but at least that was off his own bowling!

Relatively light on bowling TCC employed Barney, Nick L and Aus to whip through the overs, which they did, although there was plenty of dross mixed in with some good stuff, mainly from Barney.

Twickenham's opening bat got a x4-life 50, but their number 5 hit an outstanding 70-odd off not many, with Will bowling well despite the carnage.

At tea, off their 40-overs Twickenham had set TCC 218.

The second innings started with the heavy-weight opening partnership Cassady and Austin. The only quick single attempted ended up with Austin in a heap so they then stuck to smoking it to the boundary. They raced to 120, both reaching 50, and the only thing that was going to split them up was enforced retirement to give the other batters a go.

Unfortunately, Rory and Rich didn't read the memo either and smashed the last 100 off the next 12 overs, with Rory hitting some glorious strokes and Rich continuing good pre-season form.

TCC romped to victory with 12 overs to spare and without any batsmen actually being dismissed.

Definitely sterner tests to come in the League next week, but we are looking forward to the successful campaign ahead - especially if we can learn to catch!

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Finchley CC - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI

It was with excitement, nerves and passports that Fergus King XI travelled north on their July Tour to Potter’s Bar on Saturday to face Finchley CC. On a warm but overcast day, Skipper Ferg managed to get his first big decision of the day right, called ‘Heads’ and we were in the field. All “The King’s” men were sent into battle with the words ringing in their ears; “We’re a proper team lads. We’ve got two seamers, three spinners, six batsmen and Snodgrass”. What could go wrong?

With the Dublin Dynamo (Robin Willis) charging up the hill at one end and the young pretender, Ciaran Doley, galloping down, the Finchley batsmen were in for a testing time. Bowling a tight line and length, both openers applied pressure, and perhaps with the use of DRS, Teddington could have taken a couple of early wickets.

The openers managed to squeeze their way to 30 odd before the first wicket fell and then throughout the innings consistently thereafter. Willis was finally rewarded by clean bowling the skipper, Doley kept his patience (if not his cool) and picked up a couple, including one with a sharp catch at square leg from young Hamish Dicketts and the skipper, selflessly bowling himself for 12 overs, picked up four, thanks to the smart fielding at short leg from Alex Smith. Nick McLellan, suspiciously bronzed from his holiday in Singapore, chucked a couple down, the pick of which was a steepler taken on the run by the athletic cover point (ahem – ed.). Nick Lockwood put his body on the line at short cover, stopping a couple of screamers at short cover, whilst the team Strength and Conditioning Coach, Rich Lalor, despite playing on one leg, was saving runs all over the place. Just don’t mention the run out. Young Snodgrass, too, was positivity personified behind the stumps, displaying athleticism which led the gathered crowds to believe they’d found the missing lynx from Dartmoor Zoo. After a comfortable 43 overs in the field, Finchley were all out for 163.

After a restorative tea, including scones with cream and jam, young Pryde and Smith went into bat. Never looking hurried or worried, both cruised to half centuries with elegant Gower-esque strokeplay (Pryde, 85*) and Root-like composure (Smith, 68*) and knocked off the runs in 28 overs for the loss of no wickets.

A solid all-round display of good, positive cricket. Roll on next Saturday. 

Author: Patrick Crossley

Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs North London CC - 3rd XI

This week after a very entertaining and hard fought match against a young and enterprising North London team we are going to try out a new format for the match report, with one report coming from a spectator (Jason Lockwood) and one coming from a player (Ed Snodgrass). Apart from the odd correction for spelling no changes have been made to these two subtly differing views. You will probably be able to tell from the reports that much fun was had on and off the pitch which, after beers with the oppo, was finished off in old school Teddington tradition with everyone still in the clubhouse at 10pm and then hitting the high street for a curry. Enjoy!

View from the pitch (Author: Ed Snodgrass)

The thirds played a young North London 3rd XI on Saturday in Bushy Park. A strong Teddington team took to the field including Nick Pryde back in Teddington colours for the first time in many a year.

Quick wickets gave promise of an early finish – however the North London middle order had other ideas. Their numbers 4 and 5 scoring 85 and 33 respectively - allied to an inexcusable amount of extras, North London were bowled out for 191 in 53.3 overs. Notable mention for Robin Willis (4-54), he's clearly found his new home bowling up the hill and also to Niall Burke who chipped in with 3 wickets.

So to the Teddington reply. Posh Jack (Taylor) went early, Gabriel Henry scored an enterprising 24. Prydey looked like he’d never been away and together with Alex Smith they were steering us to a position of comfort.

Meanwhile, after half a pint of Stella, Jason ‘I’m a team-man’ Lockwood was in full voice. His chat covering a variety of subjects from how he’s ‘such a great lad' to extracting Posh Jacks girlfriends surname – you had to be there for that one! I hope Baylee (Prydey’s girlfriend) is not too scarred. It was also great to hear how much Kempy is enjoying NCT classes and the fact he’s made so many new life friends there…..

Back to cricket. North London continued to bowl in good areas especially the left armer from the bottom end. Alex Smith was adjudged LBW, much to his dissatisfaction, sorry mate! With Prydey out soon after for 57, Fergie was starting to stress! Kempy safe in the knowledge that the medium pacers weren’t a threat to him played some aggressive shots though the off side, before he stopped on a shot and was caught. With overs running out and an expectant crowd building, Snodders was in full control of the situation, going about the business off knocking off the runs. Running out Ferg was all part of the plan. With 9 runs needed off the last over and with the last pair at the crease Ned (never a number 11) hit the first ball for 4, a few balls later and scrambled single meant we needed 4 to win off two balls – North London obliging by keeping field up, Snodders was able to hit a 4 over mid-off. Get in! 10pts.


View from the boundary (Author: Jay Lockwood)

Finally it was nice to see the young North London team stay and share a jug of beer and chat after the game – something that's sadly going out of the game!

The 3rd XI team assembled on Saturday in an unusual position – not only did they have a full 11, they had the luxury of being able to drop people on Thursday as better players became available. Good news for all involved, particularly for me, no longer required to stand in the field for 3 hours before another inevitable failure.

TCC bowled first. Good balls were mixed with bad ones…Robin took a couple early scalps, but North London raced to 60-3 off 10 overs. 60 suddenly became 100 and nerves were fraying…Snodders was back behind the stumps in name only, his calf injury, mentally at least, linked to an inability to catch the ball. 

Ferg came on. Time to bowl it slower and higher. It worked. Suddenly wickets began to tumble, the skipper finished with 2, Willis took 3 scalps and Niall, fresh from a recent drug bust, ran in with energy. He took 4.

191 to win. A gun batting line up. The exit polls suggested an easy victory.

Posh Jack got a good one early (well it was straight) and he was back in the hutch without troubling the scorers. This was much to the delight of the rest of the team as we proceeded to guess the name of his girlfriend with unerring accuracy, showing that in this time of upheaval social stereotypes remain intact.

A masterclass from Smith and Pryde took us to 120 (ish – this was 5 stellas by this point) until Snodders changed the game, triggering Smith. Pryde, clearly worried that Bailey was being led astray on the side, followed swiftly after. He had showed his class but now the pressure was on. Lockwood (the good one – not sure how much longer that can be written without risk of defamation) went quickly, Kempy hit a couple of lusty blows before falling and then Ferg was run out by none other than Snodders.

Suddenly with 6 balls to go we needed 8, with only one wicket remaining. Ned hit the first ball for four. Snodders, worried about not being able to win the match himself, ran the next one, narrowly avoiding another disaster. With the field up hit, he smoked one over the top to win the game.

He had leaked byes for fun, triggered our second best player, run out the skipper and yet still won us the game. It was like awakening once more on Friday morning and realising that the result is all that mattered. Snodgrass for PM.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post reflect those of the author and in no way should be taken to reflect a consensus amongst other members of the club (or anyone else in the country for that matter).... so the suggestion that Snodders should become our next PM should be taken with a large pinch of salt, preferably one the size of Snodgrass himself. The current political situation might be a bit of a mess, at the moment, but it's not got quite that desperate (yet).

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Acton CC, Middlesex - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI, 18th June 2016

TCC 141 for 7 in 55 overs

Acton 144 for 4 in 33 overs

The venue for this clash with the league leaders, Acton, was North Acton Playing Fields which filled us with a certain level of trepidation because generally when a ground has the words ‘playing fields’ in the title it is usually just that, a field with people playing various different sports and not just cricket. Well I can report that North Acton Playing Fields did not disappoint on the field front, in fact all it was missing was a flock of sheep nibbling away at the grass. Actually a flock of sheep might have improved the playing conditions given that shorter grass in the outfield would have helped double our score!

So when faced with a wet cabbage patch of a wicket the thing you really need to do is win the toss and bowl first. I therefore apologise to all the Teddington players involved as I lost the toss and unsurprisingly we were inserted.

We decided that survival was the main order of the day hoping that if we batted enough overs we could get some kind of score we could defend and so we set a new world record for dot balls faced as we battled away valiantly building our total around a really excellent innings from Stefan Bullon who crafted 88 not out against a bowling attack that gave us nothing. I cannot commend Stef’s innings too highly, his determination and concentration were exemplary and set a standard that sadly no-one else could match with no other batsman reaching double figures.

Acton knew how to bat on this wicket and sadly we did not bowl well enough to cause them too much trouble. Credit where it’s due – Acton bowled better than us, they fielded better than us and they definitely batted better than us. The best team won.

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Richmond CC, Middx - 3rd XI, 11th June 2016

The mighty 3rd XI assembled on Saturday morning knowing that a win would catapult them to title contenders and a loss would see them slide to a mid-table mediocrity. With this in mind it was far from ideal that a. I was needed to play and b. on the morning we lost both Stef and ‘Posh Jack’ to be replaced by Headless and nobody respectively.

Before the game there were reports that Snodders had been sighted at the ground and belatedly passed fit, but it turned out that the commotion was merely Robin’s 10 month old child screaming and shouting. We in fact started with 9 as our menacing Irish opening bowler was humming the grufflao theme tune/boyzone greatest hits to his 2 unhappy kiddies.

Having won the toss we invited Richmond to bat. They got off to a flying start 66-0 of 11 overs but this gave no indication of how well we bowled. Thorners and Paul Higham (sporting a Bear Grylls / Tom Hanks wilderness beard…he’s been travelling don’t you know) beat the bat often and then Robin showed expert control (sadly lacking earlier as indicated in paragraph 2). He was simply too good to get as many snicks as he deserved. As wickets tumbled (even Ferg will admit they weren’t his finest nuts) we were back in the game at 130-5, but some lusty blows from their skipper and a couple of missed chances meant that we were chasing an imposing 239. Credit to Gabriel who kept very well, despite my concern at slip at the length of his curtains.

So to the chase. At 90-0 we were cruising. Gabriel showed some sublime strokeplay, Patrick showed how a prop can bludgeon. Game on.

Sadly when your tail starts at number 4 one can afford no slip ups. Slip up we did. Patrick and Gabriel went quickly, and we all wished Nick Lockwood had “popped that bluey” to last a little longer. Sadly, as you will all quickly realise, his bark is more worrisome than his bite and the game was up.

We ended about 150 all out, to be honest I can’t be sure. I was too preoccupied watching one of the best strops in the changing room from a 3rd XI number 10 I’ve ever seen. Incredible stuff. Well done Thorners.

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Teddington CC - 3rd XI Vs Hampstead CC - 3rd XI

We started the day in the unusual position of having 12 players at the ground on time but after a quick reshuffle with the 2s we finalised our 11 fifteen minutes after being put into bat by the oppo. 

Our two openers (new Alex Smith and Richard Bennett) got us off to a flyer and we were cruising at 60ish for 0 off the first 10. Both departed in quick succession with R.Bennett (14) getting a good ball and Smithy ambitiously taking on short extra cover (with disastrous consequences) to run himself out for a well made quick fire 41.

Bruce Gilbert was probably the pick of the batsman on the day, and alongside Stefan Bullon settled the ship after a couple of quick wickets had threatened to ruin our good start. After Bruce departed for a classy 33, Mike King (37) joined the reassuring presence of Bullon (30) to put on a crucial 70 run partnership to take us up to a very competitive 204-6 off our 45 overs.

Our fearsome opening pair of Robin Willis (9-2-21-3 and a very good audition to keep bowling up the hill for the rest of the season) and Mike King (7-0-29-2) then proceeded to produce one of the great spells of fast bowling to be seen on the bottom square at TCC in recent years to completely rip through the Hampstead top order and effectively end the contest, with Hampstead being left 40ish for 5. Ciaran Dooley (4-0-32-2) backed them up well and took the crucial wicket of the opposition skipper to end any glimmer of hope Hampstead may have had. Nick McLellan (3-2-5-3) wrapped up the tail as Hampstead were all out for 87.  

Amongst all of this we had unfortunately lost our keeper to a calf injury chasing a skyer for the 7th wicket and finished the game with 10 players.  Credit to Lockers for successfully taking the catch amongst all the commotion but get well soon Snodders. Hopefully see you fit and ready to go next week for the crunch game against Richmond.

A very enjoyable team win which keeps us in touch with top of the table.

(Author: Nick McLellan)

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Harrow St Marys CC - 3rd XI Vs Teddington CC - 3rd XI, Saturday 28th May 2016

It was day when nothing really went right!

Due to chronic lack of availability, the team showed wholesale changes from the previous weeks. 

Stand-in skipper Nick Lockwood lost the toss, and Teddington were inserted, which was lucky since we only had 4 players at the ground by the time of the toss! 

The batting order was more dictated by who was there, and we got off to a poor start, losing both Thorndykes and Jason Lockwood (living up to the “not the good one” tag of the Lockwood brothers) and being 10-3. 

Both Rob Eveson and Patrick Elway batted sensibly and helped Nick steady the ship, but both fell to excellent catches. Nick, well set, then got out and another couple of quick wickets meant Teddington were 70-8. 

An excellent last wicket stand between Robin Willis and Luke Saunders (who at 15 showed many of the elder guys how to bat) got us to 112 off our 45 overs, which bearing in mind the wicket, outfield and general disarray, was defendable. 

The 2nd innings was a case of what could have been. Catches not going to hand, ball beating the bat (Thorners was counting out loud for their benefit to reinforce this point) and lbw decisions not being given. 

Harrow St Mary's somehow got to 60-1, with the gaps in the field from shortage of players helping the runs come. 

Robin bowled his heart out to no luck, same as Thorners, who as always took his bad luck in his stride.

Steffi came on and nicked a couple out. Young Luke Saunders, bowled with control and came to the party and got another couple and we were in the game at 90-6, but unfortunately a couple of lusty blows got them over the line from 40 overs. 

It was a bad day at the office...come back Ferg! Time to get back to winning ways next week after a couple of disappointing results following a great start.

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Teddington 3rd XI versus North Middlesex XI Saturday 21st May

You may remember that last week’s report was penned by our strength and conditioning coach so this week we are going slightly more cerebral and I have asked the third eleven’s legal advisor, Barney Heap, to describe our efforts. Barney’s area of expertise is property but every Saturday for a free Benson and Hedges and half of lager he will happily give you legal advice on a range of topics from traffic offences to divorce – just two of last Saturdays subjects. Enjoy.

Fergus won the toss and invited North Middlesex to bat. Teddington were unchanged from the side that beat Ealing the week before save for Posh Jack (St Edwards, Oxford) replacing Jasper (Tonbridge, Kent) and Snodgrass replacing Thorndyke.

The first 45 overs of the game saw extremely attritional cricket from both sides in what turned out to be a “Tale of Two Bowling Ends”. For the hockey clique of Messrs Willis and King bowling downhill and down wind “It was the best of times” but for Nick McLellan, Stefan Bullon and the Shlong from Hong Kong (Alex Smith for those that don’t know him) bowling uphill and into a force 4 gale “It was the worst of times”.

On a serious note the bowling unit bowled extremely well and was backed up by a confident, energetic and young fielding unit; the high energy, enthusiasm, concentration and desire for the ball to come to the individual in the field has been a big part of the early season success for the 3rd X1. Actually it was not just the younger members of the team showing enthusiasm in the field with the ball following the 40 year old Heap around the field and him throwing himself around for the cause with abandon. However perhaps the most amazing fielding performance came from the old man of the team the captain himself who effected a couple of run outs one of which was a direct hit from the boundary no less! Those that have watched the captain moving his creaking body around the field recently will be questioning whether his arm could actually get the ball in from the boundary these days – a collector’s item indeed!  In the circumstances North Middlesex batted very well to get to 207 for 7 in their 45 overs but credit should be given especially to Nick and Steffi B for their skill and control in bowling in such difficult conditions.

Tea – 208 to win in 45 overs meant the game was in the balance; however, 12 overs later when TCC were 30-5 meant it wasn’t. A combination of good bowling, lack of technique and, if we are honest, a lack of fight in the circumstances from the top 5 cost the game (it was a one off and the top order had batted well the previous two weeks). To be fair to Chris Kemp he got a good ball but he is too good a player to be out of form for too long (although the writer thinks the bread free diet at tea isn’t helping!).

Teddington teams of the past two years in these circumstances would have been rolled for 80 or 90 but Lockwood (the better one) and Stef (the class player on either team in the game) put together an impressive, classy and extremely determined partnership that brought Teddington back into the game. Lockwood finished with 60 odd and Stef 30 odd. The loss of early wickets meant that an acceleration had to occur at a later stage in the innings so the rate kept climbing and despite last wicket heroics again by the hockey clique this time with the bat, TCC finished 10 runs short, 9 wickets down and with 2 points for our efforts.

Well batted Nick and Stef.

Time to look forward and a win on Saturday at Harrow and we’ll be back in the mix challenging at the top of the table.

(p.s. please note that this match report is the sole opinion and views of Barnaby Heap and not that of Teddington CC or any of its members)

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Teddington 3rd XI vs Ealing 3rd XI, 14th May, 2016

This week’s correspondent is the new third eleven strength and conditioning coach Richard Lalor and judging by Barney's pulling and cutting the strict regime he has been putting the team through is beginning to pay dividends. Please note some of the content has had to be edited to enable publication without calling in the lawyers…..

Body armour at the ready, Teddington 3s headed away to face fellow table toppers Ealing. The home side won the toss and elected to bat first.

Ned LP and Thorndyke justifiably weren't interested in hanging around, and kicked off proceedings with 3 early poles. Nick McLellan and Fergus 'the' King dried up the runs, with the opposition’s pursuit of runs similar to Emile Heskey's great goal drought of 2007, with wickets falling at both ends. Gabe 'Andy Carroll' Henry came on and tidied up the tail.

*Ealing 3rd XI 135 all out*

Jasper Smallwood and Barnaby Heap, two of the most unfamiliar names west of Hammersmith, opened up the batting and serenely made their way to 70. In what was perhaps the most controversial decision of the evening, new signing Smallwood, was given lbw trying to turn one round the corner, and with Jasper gone, the protagonists switched as Barney started teeing off to all parts, 110-1 (25 to win). Then it happened. Sogani, his leg spin varieties casting a spell over the Teddington batsmen, ripped through the Teddington line up with a spell of 5-15 off 7.4 overs. Never in doubt, TCC crept over the line with 2 wickets in hand.

*TCC 3rd XI 136-8. Win by two wickets*

We travelled to the depths of Harlington, the equivalent of Istanbul away in the Champions league, and came back to Bushy Park with a cushy 10 points. The 3s victory train goes marching on.

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Teddington 3rd - vs Finchley 3rd XI, 7th May 2016

Dear reader, each week the third eleven match report will be written by a different team member, this week our grumpy scowling Irish fast bowler Robin Willis.......

The 3s eased their way into the new league season with a convincing win against an understrength Finchley side. Ferg won the toss and put them in. Kingy marked his return to Bushy Park with 4 wickets but the standout bowler was probably Dan Thorndyke who ended up with 1-19 from his 12 overs. This was when the Finchley middle order were trying to bore us into submission. "Proper cricket", commented Ferg. Willis bowled up the hill and pretended he didn't mind. Alex Smith returned from an ankle injury and was unlucky not to take a wicket but took a sharp one handed catch. Gabe Henry also took 2 smart catches. Harry Smith kept well, although strange to see a 3s keeper with a smile on his face. The skipper helped mop up the tail and Finchley finished on 144 all out. A difficult total to defend on a good deck with a fast outfield and only 10 fielders.

Barney and big Jack Taylor took us to 40 before Barney got tired. Richard Lalor joined Jack and both looked very comfortable until Jack got his 50, raised his bat and then gave his wicket away. After a brief hiccup Lockers (the good one) joined Richard and swept every ball for 4. We only needed 21 overs to seal a 7 wicket win. Much bigger tests to come but great to get 10 points!

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