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2003 Match Reports

Date: 26 August
Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs win by 62 runs


Maybe we should take a leaf out of Deando Ruxley and call ourselves Carshalton Old Californians as the Carshalton boys again bolstered a squad shorn of the 3 Reubens and John Bolland.  Bisson returned from holidays, won the toss and elected to bat.  Then, deprived of openers, elected to open himself after a good showing at a “charity” match.  Bisson and Tristan then provided one of the best opening stands of the season before Tristan was bowled for 26.

Collett then proceeded to take over with his one stroke that led to Epsom putting people at mid-on, long-on and deep mid-wicket, unfortunately Collett took out a bat without a middle but still made 33 not out to put in a late season batting trophy claim.  Bisson made up for dot balls with a number of boundaries including a massive six over the bowlers head which cleared the spectators’ benches before being bowled on the last ball for 52.  OCs had reached a total of 135 in their 18 overs, aided by a number of extras.

Epsom then took to the stumps but were held back by economic bowling all round with Munawar taking 3 for 26 off his 4 whilst Finnerty, Ducklin and Bisson all took a wicket apiece.  Epsom fell short and got 73 in the gloom leaving the OCs to a winning end to the season, bringing an end to the record losing streak.  Reports of “can we play you every week” chants were unfounded.  Man of the Match – Bisson and his Captain’s innings.  Chris’s T-shirt of the day: VOTE DUCKLIN!


Date: 19 August

Versus: Atkins

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose 15 runs


A depleted OCs, led by Trevor, with guests in from Andy C's Carshalton-based team lost the toss and were set to field. OCs started the bowling well and economically with Finnerty and Gates going for 16 and 17 but only taking one wicket between them. Munawar then took a wicket at the change before getting taken apart by people with weird southern hemisphere accents, thankfully the '25 and retire' rule was in force but they seemed to have a lot of people using it against a depleted bowling attack, reaching 132 in their 20.

OCs started off promisingly with both openers Gates and James getting over 25 aided by some beneficial umpiring decisions by Ducklin, who seemed to require the aid of Hawkeye. Curtis struggled with spin and focus for an over before being put out of his misery for a duck and Jones also fell without troubling the scorers. Test match Trevor put in another slow solid 25 whilst the lower order fell about him. Hamilton ludicrously ran out son of Munawar as OCs ran out of overs and made 117 at the close. Man of the match - The Sarf African who took the bowling apart - until he reached 25. Chris's T-shirt of the Day - Andy Curtis Runscoring.


Date: 5 August

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Gib

Result: OCs lose by some runs


Missing Trev, Munawar, Andy C, DJ and Rupert, a scratch OCs X turned out with Ben and Bissons’ bosses (their wives!)  Bisson lost the toss or decided that he wanted to bat against a high target for a long game and elected to field.  Finnerty and Bolland started the bowling well with Bolland having a tremendous bowling spell including three wickets but Finnerty got punished with more experienced batsmen using his pace and the short boundary to good effect.  The 4 and 5 bats then went to the pavilion under the ‘25 and retire’ rule.

Bisson, Reuben and OCs’ irregular Steve Howard then took up the attack with a regular fall of wickets helped by some dodgy umpiring decisions but the score kept ticking over with regular boundaries.  The OCs cause was not helped with so many batsmen down, the retired duo with South African accents returned to turn their 25s into 50s.

A first wicket of the season for Ducklin debuting a new bowling action saw Epsom in the 160s at the death (or was it more than that?).  OCs mammoth task turned into batting practice for the OCs and bowling practice for Epsom as strange opening batting and bowling partnerships were used.  Steve Howard and Dan Reuben opened without troubling the scorer much before John Bolland made a claim to be taken further up the batting order by peppering the boundary and retiring on 25.

Andy Finnerty also made a remarkable 24 in the gathering gloom whilst supported magnificently by Mr & Mrs Bisson, who now has an average which puts a few of the more accomplished players to shame.  Ducklin came and went to a ball which would have pleased Barnes Wallis before he got his eye in whilst Ben and Nathan Reuben struggled to a disappointing end to their season before they jet off to the states.  OCs Man of the Match: John Bolland if we had 11 of him we’d have walked it.  Chris’s T-shirt of the match: The Three Reubens


Date: 15 July


Kingston Taxes

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose


Following three successive defeats OCs were keyed up to stop the rot – some were even seen practicing before the start.  Batting first, confidence was high.  Openers Ben Reuben and Dave James started well but Dave soon succumbed.  Next was Andy Curtis, the crowd was expectant.  He also made a good start but on 24 holed out to the keeper.  When Ben shovelled one to a receptive gully a hint of gloom arose in the OCs camp.

With Andy Finnerty and Daniel Reuben not making any appreciable contribution the hint was turning into stark reality.  Trev realised the pressure was on and he battled manfully with the horribly variable bounce.  One ball reared up alarmingly and led Trev into the Agnew/Botham/leg-over” scenario but Johnners would have not laughed at what happened next.  Contorting to avoid stepping on the stumps he pulled something important in the back department and had to leave the field in severe distress.

Thanks to the healing hands of Jackie, Trev was soon upright.  And it wasn’t long before he had the chance to return to the crease.  The experience obviously hadn’t affected his eyesight, launching one into the car park, cleverly placing the ball between the lines of cars.

This final flurry saw OCs reach 96, probably a higher score than it sounds due to the uneven bounce and boundaries set well back.

The regular opening bowling duo of Andy F and John


Date: 8 July

Versus: Wandsworth

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose by some runs


Bisson returns to his winning ways, winning the toss, which is the only thing we get out of this game and elects to bat.  Openers Reuben and DJ try to see off the opening bowlers to get at the buffet only to discover that there is nothing at the table.  Most of the top order struggle to get into double figures with the middle order again showing the Manx-like tail.  A defiant boundary from Munawar sees OCs struggle to 68 off their 20 overs.  Wandsworth then take to the track and despite an excellent catch from DJ, and Bolland exposing a batsman for not using his equipment, see everyone gets to the bar early.


Date: 24 June

Versus: Kingston All Stars

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose by one run


Kingston All Stars, following on from last year's "friendly" fixture, unexpectedly turned up with a number of real cricketers. Kingston started well but soon ran out of batsmen under the 25 and retire rule. A number of bowlers were humbled especially Hamilton, whose body turned up in whites but appeared to have left his bowling skills in the drawer.

The second half of the innings was more of a containing game highlighted by a fielding error by Bisson, proving that you don't need collagen implants to look like Lesley Ash. Kingston set a target of 149.

In the interval, Ducklin revealed his new shirt which depicted a pun on the name of Finnerty, which would have been shown earlier had he got a wicket or two.

A Dad-less OCs set about the total with Reuben the older and new opening bat Finnerty putting on a respectable total before Curtis hit a customary quick 25. Collett and Daniel, son of Reuben No1, then had a purple patch in the middle to set up a thrilling final few overs. OCs were then found out as a side where the tail is like a Manx cat as they struggled to put bat to ball and fell one run short.

Kingston's skipper Gary Gurney's coup de grace was keeping Keith Merton back to bowl the last over - if anyone was going to prevent Trev and Manuwar getting the six runs they needed it was Keith. Timeless.


Date: 17 June

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Wandgas

Result: OCs win by 6 wickets


To prove that OCs don't travel well, Bisson loses his first toss of the season and we have to field. A sticky wicket, slow outfield, miscommunication in the middle and some accurate bowling restrict Epsom to 80 from their 20 overs.

OCs open for the last time with dependable Brandon and Reuben who keep the run rate ticking over nicely. Curtis then comes in and proceeds to run out Reuben in an effort to protect his average but his plans are spoiled by Bisson, who, sensing victory, puts the younger untried Hamilton brother in for a debut at four. His first instinct is to run out Curtis for not a lot. Rupert is next in and the brothers Hamilton then conspire to play for the draw leading to an increasing run rate and an evening of chewed fingernails.

Thankfully one of the gets out with a couple of overs to spare leaving Collett to steer the floundering ship to victory. Occasion notable for a couple of things, first Dad's, John Brandon's, last OCs game before he goes to bowl his bias weighted balls underarm on a square and, second, we find a pavilion which is rather nice compared to Deando's Clubhouse (which isn't difficult).


Date: 10 June

Versus: Hounslow Leisure

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs win by 6 runs


A clear sunny day provided a great atmosphere for cricket as Bisson won the toss again with his two headed coin and elected to bat.  A batter-friendly wicket saw Reuben and Brandon put on over 30 runs apiece in an opening stint that set down a good foundation.  Collett lived up to his "Test Match" nickname and scores 18 but provided excellent support for the in-form Curtis, who hit an amazing 59, contributing to a total of 152 to beat.

Hounslow almost proved up to the task in a thrilling run chase, with Bolland providing an economical 13 runs off his four overs and Bisson and Reuben each taking a wicket.  Finnerty almost made a his bowling!  Which climaxed in a massive six off the last ball that still made Hounslow an agonising few runs short of the target.  Outstanding.


Date: 3 June

Versus: Priory Panthers

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs lose by 7 wickets

Report: Batting first OCs made a steady start but unfortunately progress remained steady when the accelerator should have been put to the floor.  Trev's 25 and Ben's 22 were the main contributions to the total of 92 - a challenging one (for the OCs bowlers to defend).

Andy F, Andy C and Munawar all took a wicket - just one each - and these were the only wickets. 

A deserved win for the Panthers.


Date: 27 May

Versus: Sutton

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs win by 58 runs


John Brandon opened the proceedings for OCs but being the consummate team-player decided to quickly make way for the in-form Andy Curtis.  But he too thought it was the week to give the other batsmen a chance - this magnanimity carried on with Trev, Daniel and Rupert all quickly returning to the pavilion, all failing to trouble the scorer.

Amongst all this madness Ben Rueben was struggling manfully with a ball moving every which way to make sure OCs would avoid an embarrassingly low score.  After watching his middle order partners collapse he was hoping for the tail to wag.  Luckily OCs had that well known wag Dave James waiting in the wings.

With Ben's 32 and Dave's 25 OCs reached 96 in their 20 overs - game on.

When Andy Finnerty's first ball missed leg stump by a micron it seem clear that Sutton would find batting on this track just as difficult.  This was confirmed when his second ball also just missed leg stump - to take out the middle one.

The fun for the OCs bowlers just went on and on.  Andy finishing with 3 wickets for just 9 runs, Munawar 2 wickets for 9 runs, Skipper Mark 2 wickets for 10 runs and Andy Curtis 2 wickets for 10.

The bowlers were backed up with good work in the field by the whole OC team, special mention to Chris Ducklin, including a fine catch, and Trev for a sharp stumping and a sharp catch, that wrapped up the Sutton innings.


Date: 6 May

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Ruxley

Result: OCs win by 60 runs


Winning the toss again Skipper Mark again sent out the regular opening pair of John Brandon and Ben Reuben but despite confident starts again neither went on to large scores, but John's 18 was a good foundation.

Number three Andy Curtis was again straight on the case and and went spectacularly on to 95 not out, outstanding.  He was well supported by Daniel Reuben who ended up with 16 runs.

OCs twenty over total was 149, a challenging target for Epsom.

Epsom showed some resolve but steady pressure from the OC bowlers and sharp fielding meant they were never up with the rate required.

The wicket taking was spread amongst the bowlers with Andy F, John Bolland, Mark and Manuwar taking one each.  Nathan Reuben's first appearance with the ball was notable - foxing the batsmen with apparently stray balls down both sides, two of them fell to his straight'uns.  Great stuff.


Date: 29 April

Versus: Kingston Taxes

Venue: Alexandra Rec

Result: OCs win


Winning the toss Skipper Mark confidently sent out the regular opening pair of John Brandon and Ben Reuben but despite confident starts neither made it through the first quarter.

Number three Andy Curtis was straight on the case and soon reached what was probably the fastest fifty in OCs history.  Trev at number four set out his stall, sweetly striking his first ball over the infield, over the outfield, over the boundary and out of the ground.

A useful partnership at the end between Mark and Andy Finnerty gave OCs a useful total of 128.

The Taxmen took the field with resolve but steady bowling from Andy F and John Bolland supported by generally sharp fielding meant they were always behind the rate required.  Mark and Manuwar kept up the pressure and when rain stopped play Taxes were well short of the target and the match was awarded to OCs.

A good opener then, special mention to new recruit Nathan Reuben for some outstanding work in the field

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