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2004 Match Reports

Date: 31st August 2004

Versus: Epsom

Venue: Gibraltar Rec

Result: OCs lose by 7 Wickets


A shorthanded OCs turned up for their final fixture of the season against Epsom.

On a match changed to 15 8 ball overs due to the shortening of days, Bisson won the toss and elected to bat, mainly because at the time he didnt have enough fielders. The initial starting order looked like Collett, Bisson & Hamilton before others turned up!

Ben Reuben & Collett eventually started up and struggled with impressive opening bowling, both being returned cheaply. James came on at 3 and survived the opening spell, helping himself to the change bowlers before retiring under the 25 run rule implemented for this game. All the other batsmen toiled in the face of buffet bowling, poor shot selection, or even being bowled behind their legs, (eh Bisson!) as no one else managed above 3 apart from Beeks who got a lifetime best of 20. James eventually got back on at the end recording some massive boundaries leaving an easy target of 79-8

OCs then took to the field with a little help from their friends & wives with Bisson opening the bowling & showing why he bowls down the order by going for 21 off 2 8 ball overs for no wicket. Finnerty came from the setting sun end taking a wicket which sent the middle stump towards Ewell High Street eventually getting 1 wicket for 20 off his 3 8 ball overs. James came on to get 1 for 15 off 3 but it was all academic as Epsom peppered the boundary scoring the winning runs of Hamilton's first ball as Epsom cruised home with over 4 overs to spare.

Now the OC's look forward to a close season and the trophy night where tonight's match may have just decided certain outcomes based on good & poor performances.


Date: 17th August

Versus: Sutton

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's Win By 7 Wickets


Despite an unsettled start to the day the weather cleared up enough for the Game versus Sutton at Ruxley Lane.

As the nights were drawing in a swift start was required, nut both teams would have struggled to get together a 6 a side contest by quarter to 6! Sutton eventually had 8 and OC's had 10 eventually......after starting with 8.

Due to a communication error between secretary & skipper leading to Bisson being told a game was not on, Collett lost the toss and Sutton Went into bat in a reduced to 18 matchup.

Finnerty & Bolland started in the changing room, leaving the unusual pairing of Hamilton & Manuwar to open the attack. After a fruitless couple of overs each, Finnerty & Bolland took to the field with Finnerty's bowling an economic 4 overs without a wicket and Bolland being rather expensive off 2 as Suttons openers settled in on what at the time looked like a possible 150.

James came in for Bolland and steadied the ship with 15 for 1 off his 4 overs whilst Reuben the elder came in for Finnerty and took 1 for 17 off 3 overs. The tide of runs stemmed, and wickets falling, Bolland came back at the death with an expensive over & a consolation wicket with one of 2 supeurb running catches from Reuben leaving OC's a target of 117 off 18.

With the clouds gathering & darkness looming Collett decided to go for it with the opening partnership of Reuben the Elder and Manuwar. Smart opening bowling from Sutton saw Manuwar struggle to 1 and Reuben struggle with his hamstring as he got to 17. James came in & helped see off the opening bowlers leaving OC's with 80 to get off 10 overs.

OC's recent losses have been similar affairs, the team batting second, chasing a high run rate in the gloom, now it was OC's turn. Daniel Reuben entered and began by knocking boundaries for fun against a depleted Sutton bowling attack. James departed for 22 leaving Collett to come in and provide excellent support to Daniel who was like Andy Flintoff with night vision goggles.

You know things are going bad when you get sledged by the umpire "He's only got one shot" said one Sutton player of Daniel, "Yeah," replied Finnerty in the long coat "But it keeps going for 4 and 6".

Daniel continued to pepper the runs whilst Collett knocked it around for singles as the rest of us, including one poor Sutton field failed to see the ball in the gloom. The support provided by Collett, who ended on 19 not out, was similar to the symbolic passing of the torch from old veteran to new star seen in such movies as Men in Black when Tommy Lee Jones retires & passes it to new young buck Will Smith. Daniel (52 n.o.) went on to score the finest fifty you are likely to see at Ruxley Lane and hopefully the first of many for him as OC's won with wickets and balls to spare.


Date: 3 August

Versus: Mantles

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Rained off Apparently


Andy F apparently made the best decision of his career by informing most people by email that the game was rained off.

Meanwhile, In Croydon, a disbelieving Ducklin said everything was all right from where he was which is why his eyesight is of valuable use as an umpire!

Apparently all over the west and north of London, 42mm of rain fell in a couple of hours buggering up everyones travel plans. Meanwhile Ducklin trolled around the retail parks of Croydon looking at bathrooms & getting some tiling in his time off!

Expect to hear next week tales of people who turned up as they didnt read their email before they left & thought the weather was fine at the time.


Date: 27th July

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's Fail Self Assessment by 7 Wickets


Short version, if you have read the Croydon report, don't bother reading this, it's almost the same.

A sunny evening with scattered cloud greeted OC's in the game against the taxmen from Epsom as Bisson won the toss & elected to bat. The previous email stated that 13 would be playing, 13 turned up, trev counted 12 despite actually writing the email saying it was 13. The taxmen turned up with 10 but we didnt give them any of our spares.

Openers James (18) & Ben Reuben (2)returned together after an absence but found themselves out of sorts with some good bowling on a pitch described by groundskeeper reeves as "Flat". If Reeves rolls rizlas like his pitches, they would be square!

Dan Reuben came in at 3 and provided good back up, if not many runs, to Doyle at 4 as the accelerated a slow run rate from 4 to 10 an over. The taxmen even changed the fireld for dan thinking he had only one shot! Daniel holed out for 14 before Collett entered promising the type of innings we had been waiting all season for.

Collett initially lulled the Taxmen into a false sense of security, playing the singles & bringing the field in before hammering the ball over their heads including 2 massive 6's as he went for 37 not out & helped Doyle to 57 as oc's left a difficult 144 - 4 off 20.

Bisson had an apparent embarassment of riches at his disposal as he realised 13, yes 13 had turend up so he put out a "fielding" side and dropped Doyle & Daniel who are no slouches in the field and in Doyles case good with ball in hand as well. Debutante Mahesh Ganeshan joined the OC's in the field.

Finnerty & Bolland opened the bowling with Finnerty's pace being used against him & Bolland taking 2 early wickets for 22 off his 4 overs. Manuwar then entered the attack & got a batsmen first ball with an awful or deceptive (delete as applicable) loosener to end up with 1 for 16? off his 4. With the run rate increasing, Bisson brought himself & Hamilton on to finish things off. The turning point was a dropped catch off the normally safe hands of Terry Beeks and the batsmen were clobbering everything in the gloom as they got their eye in. (havent we been here before) Bisson had an uncharacteristic spell bowling the bidet, bath, basin as well as the toilet before he pulled himself off for 26 off 3! Hamilton lasted 1 over, Ben Reuben 2 and the introduction of James & Finnerty at the death and the presence of the Green Hornet (well, he fights crime, not shoddy bowling) was too late as OC's paid for some schoolboy fielding errors and lost with 4 balls to spare.


Date: 20th July

Versus: Kingston All Stars (Bala Benefit)

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OC's Win by 7? Wickets


A fine day greeted the OC's as they hosted the Kingston All Stars for the now annual Bala Benefit match, so fine in fact Doyle had a day or 2 at the seaside and didnt make it back in time leaving OC's looking very depleted with 8 or 9 turning up.

Bisson lost the toss and OC's took to the field, because of the nature of the match, 2 overs per bowler & 25 & retire scoring. Everyone got a bowl, Manuwar & Bolland opened with Bolland taking 2 for 17 off his 2, Bisson then stuck the pie chuckers on who managed to accelerate the run rate with Dave James & Dawes retiring. Hamilton took a wicket in his 3 overs for 12 runs in the middle order.

Now 8 or 9 does not go into 20 twice so a few people had to bowl a couple more overs. Step forward skipper Bisson who brought himself on to tear through the lower order to make his average look good as he took two wickets for 8 runs off FOUR overs as Kingston ran out of batsmen and the run rate slowed to leave a reasonable 124 - 6 off 20.

OC's without James, Curtis & Doyle looked to be struggling for batting to reply to the total. Daniel Reuben & Collett opened and got into double figures before holing out going to the boundary playing the Collett trademark shot to long on (at least one caught by James). Parker made a late entrance to pedal the run rate up before retiring on 27, he played so casually, he didnt bother turning up in whites!

Skipper Bisson then turned in a captains performance with the bat ably accompanied by an in form Bolland (19 n.o.) and some dodgy bowling, including that from James. Balls were peppering the boundary of their bats. Sensing victory was near, it is alleged that a number of players in the pavillion wanted to pull Bisson off early so he didnt have the satisfaction of winning runs. More boring heads prevailed
but Bisson came in on 25 with OC's needing 2 to win which Hamilton Duly finished with a classy drive for 4.


Date: 13 July 2004

Versus: Kingston Taxes

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Ocs win by 25 runs


Version two:

On an overcast evening OCs met probably their oldest rivals, a team still containing many of the stars of the past, unlike OCs, whose stars are very much of the here and now!

Skipper Bisson won the toss and opted to bat, the openers were given the instructions, ‘Whatever you do don’t get out as we don’t have a lot of batting’

Instructions were taken literally as openers James and Doyle quickly set about the Taxes attack, scoring at will and working off the results of their recent pie eating contest. Despite the introduction of the stronger bowlers, and the on-set of complete exhaustion the pair batted through the 20 overs to create a piece of OCs history, well as far as anyone can remember, by putting on an unbeaten 156 for the first wicket.

Doyle with a patient 65* outclassed by the dominant swashbuckling James (83*). One later collapsed in a heap and the other searched frantically for his inhaler!

In response Taxes fought back well scoring at over 7 runs an over from the start against the bowling of Munawar and Bolland. The main protagonist was Bolland, halting the progress for a while but the attack continued.

In a rare show of lateral thinking the skipper introduced Beeks and Hamilton into the attack, which confused the batsmen for a while. And Hamilton soon had a wicket as a result. Caught at mid-off. Despite interesting advice from Ducklin, Hamilton completed his 4 overs, ably doing his job for the team. Beeks meanwhile was left cursing his lack of luck and match practice.

The nature of the chase meant some harum-scarum running and wild hitting was required. The most I can remember of that was that after one brief run out success Bisson succeeded in making a complete arse of himself on a number of occasions, dropping at least two catches and attempting to run people out without the aid of the ball.

At around 110 of 15 overs OCs had opened the game up to such an extent that there was a danger of losing the game. However the skipper, judging the situation to perfection, brought on himself and Doyle to wrap things up. Within 2-3 overs the target was obviously beyond the Taxes who eventually, despite a brave attempt, fell some 25 runs short of the required target.


Date: 13th July 2004

Versus: Kingston Taxmen

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by 25 Runs


An overcast sky greeted OCs for the first meeting of the season against the Taxmen at a Ruxley Lane ground which looks more like a building site week by wee, which probably explains how Groundskeeper Reeves prepares his wickets.

Skipper Bisson, won the toss and elected to bat with the unfamiliar partnership of James & Doyle. These two batsmen proceeded to keep the run rate chugging along at a nice rate to which the Taxmen bowling could not respond. Due to a slow outfield better suited to the rough at the Open Golf, Doyle (65) & James (83)toiled with runs between the wickets but put up a valiant batting performance, both carrying their bats through to a total of 154.

The Taxmen then took to the stumps needing to attack with the same vigour against an OC's who fielded 9 players. Finnerty decided he liked his averages the way they were and decided not to get to the clubhouse until about 30 mins after the match leaving Manuwar & Bolland, who took a crucial early wicket to take the brunt of the batting onslaught.

The shortage of fielders and fatigue of James & Doyle meant that OC's then resorted to the buffet style of Terry & Hamilton for the middle overs leading to a tense run chase similar to the previous week.

Mention must go at this point to Bisson who performed a series of errors which could have filled a Cricket Out Take video. A catch attempt worthy of a David Seaman ponytail era save was followed by 2 dropped catches and 2 run out attempts which he snatched safety for the batsmen from the jaws of certain run outs. It looked like it was going to go the way of the Croydon match.

Bisson then on a streak of luck as if he had blown up a mirror factory then brought himself & Doyle on to bowl at the death. After a wild loosener, Doyle bowled consistently straight & outside off to get 2 for 10 off his 3. Even with 36 required off the last over, most of the ground thought it was possible with Bisson's luck, but a tidy over had the Taxmen fall short for an OC's win.


Date: 6th July

Versus: Croydon

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Croydon win by 5 Wickets


A strange day at Ruxley, all the team turn up, but Doyle & James appear to be playing a cup game for Deando!

Croydon turned up late with an eventual 11 leaving Ducklin disappointed as he wanted to pit his knowledge of the team against Bisson's Captaincy, but he still managed to get on the OC's starting nine!

Bisson lost the toss but was at the time bizarrely put into bat by Croydon, who, had Ducklin been batting for the other side (you can not tell at the moment with his hair) would have advised otherwise.

Reuben & Finnerty opened the batting to some interesting opening bowling with Finnerty playing some unorthodox shots to his 12. With 5 overs gone Curtis came in with everyone thinking if he could get another 50 in 15.......well he got something with a 0 at the end as he holed out to mid on. Collett then came in and went the same way as Curtis, but with a few more runs. Reuben the elder continued to steady the ship carrying his bat to 66 not out as OC's ended on a respectable target of 124 for 7 with Bisson next highest on 15.

OC's then took to the field with the dependable opening partnership of Bolland and Finnerty taking wickets at an economical rate being followed by Manuwar and Bisson. With 7 overs left and 70 to get with 5 wickets in hand, Bisson scented victory or the need to make Croydon have a half decent total and put on Ducklin.

First ball, a loosener, going wide, that batsman struck it, got under it and sent it towards Reuben the younger between mid off and cover who dropped it, the match turned as Ducklin & Terry went for a number of runs without wickets. Bisson brought himself and Manuwar back on to stem the tide of runs, but by then the batsmen had got their eyes in and in the gloom, the ball was as large as a football as it was struck to all corners of the ground. Introducing Ben Reuben to the bowling was too little too late as Croydon ran in with 5 balls to spare after a partnership of 86 off the last 2 batsmen. Great stuff..... if you are a Croydon person.


Date: 29 June

Versus: Hounslow Leisure

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by 50 runs


Add a touch of dodgy weekend weather, a bit of sunshine and groundskeeper Reeves and you get a pitch as lively as a Glastonbury festival goer on Friday night.

Bisson again won the toss and elected to bat, injured James was replaced by Doyle in the opening partnership and were pegged by some bowling so lively from the opening Aussies that lids were worn. The opening bowlers eventually came off to leave bowling of the buffet variety as Doyle upped the run rate and took full advantage of a number of dropped catches, misfields and overthrows on his way to an excellent 72. Doyle skied one ball so high it came down with snow on it, which must have been the excuse the fielder had for dropping it. Major support was provided by Curtis who bagged 31 runs as OCs got 132 off their 20.

The Californians then looked at the scorebook from their last encounter with this team where Finnerty effectively lost a bowling trophy by going off for 48 of 4 overs and expected a tight match where everyone would have to field and bowl at their best.

Finnerty and Bolland then opened the bowling with Finnerty being very economical and Bolland taking a blow after two. The nerves showed as misfields and a couple of catching opportunities went begging in the first couple of overs as Hounslow's opening bats threatened. OCs soon regained their composure with a superb display of catching in the field as the Reubens shared three catches, Trevor took two edges and late call-up debutant Terry took one in the deep and another one he never knew about at slip. Finnerty, Bolland and Manuwar took a wicket apiece, Doyle took 2 for 13 off of his 4 while Bisson took 3 for 10 off 3 overs! Everyone wanted a wicket this game and almost everyone got a wicket.

Remember the England Croatia game? Where you know things are going well when you bring on Phil Neville as a sub? Well with Hounslow needing about 52 off the last over, Bisson brought blue / mauve / turquoise haired Ducklin still suffering a Glastonbury Hangover on to bowl to get a wicket, but was fruitless as Hounslow fell 50 short.


Date: 22 June

Versus: Wandsworth

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by not a lot


Bisson again won the toss and elected to bat on another specially prepared wicket by Groundskeeper Reeves.

The venerable opening partnership of Dave James and Reuben the elder opened to a strong bowling attack, both struggled to double figures before holing out.

Curtis then came on at number three and produced another solid, supporting innings of 32 through the remainder of the overs whilst those around him fell as Bisson was next highest scorer with 15 as OCs took 98 for 6 off their 20.

With a relatively small total to defend, OCs had to have a good and economical bowling attack so Hamilton & Ducklin were left on the field. Wandsworth then came into bat and lost wickets to Finnerty, Bisson and James with a wicket apiece as well as a couple of run outs including a sliding stop for a run out from Finnerty. Manuwar took two wickets, Hamilton contrived a catch over his head as the OCs won by a few runs in the closest finish this season, great stuff.


Date: 15 June

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Wandgas Sports

Result: OCs win by 24 Runs


Never mind whether OC's won the toss or not, they were put into bat first.

The opening partnership of Ruben and James started with one not able to run & the other not being able to call a run as James ran himself out without troubling the scorers.

James then found gainful employment as Rubens runner as Curtis came into bat at 3 which led to the typical confusion between facing bat, runner & backing up bat at one time seeing James & Curtis running towards the same end! Fortunately Epsom Taxes did not take advantage of the situation leaving Rubens to hobble to 25 before being bowled out.

Curtis then anchored another OC's batting display supporting Rubens the younger and Collett (23 not out) before going for 55 in the penultimate over. Bisson added a few at the death & prevented rabbit Finnerty coming on leaving the Taxes to chase 130-4.

OC's then started with the bowling partnership of Manuwar & Bolland who both provided economical overs putting pressure on the Taxes batting with Manuwar taking 2 wickets for 8 off his 4 overs.

Bisson, in a move akin to putting Heskey & Hargreaves on for England then promoted Hamilton & Ducklin from Death bowlers to change bowlers where they provided a buffet of bowling to make the match more competitive. Some cynics may even say that it was a poly to take them down a peg or two in the averages.

Bisson then brought himself & Finnerty on at the death to finish off the batting & stem the flow of runs as the had figures of 4-16-2 and 4-25-3 respectively as Taxes, unlike France did not manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.


Date: 8 June 2004

Versus: Mantles

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Ocs win by 58 runs


The strongest OC's side in a while eventually turned up and opened the batting. James and Reuben opened up the batting before Reuben retired hurt & James holed out for 19.

The Mantles bowling attack was aided by a pitch prepared by Reeves the Groundsman with what seemed to be a corrugated roller which left a slow run rate as the batsmen toiled, especially Doyle who was caught first ball by a ball which came off the back of his bat. Curtis steadied the ship with a supreme display of keeping his wicket through most of the innings with an unbeaten 45 n.o. Over half of those coming off a superb last over slog to take the total to 121 for 6. Credit should be given to the Mantles fielder who caught Curtis just outside the boundary line and admitted to it.

OCs then took to the field with Manuwar opening instead of Finnerty, both he and Bolland kept the run rate low whilst Hamilton scored a direct hit on the stumps for an excellent run out. Bisson then brought on himself for first change and Finnerty who took advantage of the failing light and his pace to take two wickets apiece leading to Mantles facing a very high run rate.

Champagne moment was the rare site of Collett actually taking an edge behind the stumps. With victory almost assured, Bisson brought on death bowlers Hamilton, 2 wickets, and Ducklin, 1 wicket and several close LBW calls, to polish off the tail as Mantles fell short at 63-8.


Date: 25 May 2004

Versus: Sutton

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: OCs win by quite a few runs


OCs won the toss and decided to bat. First choice openers Ben Reuben and Dave James provided a sound base and when next-in Andy Curtis started to connect the run rate headed north.

Andy reached his fifty and the total reached 152 - a real challenge for the Sutton lads.

After a fine performance from the OC batters the OC bowlers were not to be left out. Sutton gave it a go, and reduced the deficit to two figures, but it was OCs day.

Champagne moment? AC's viscous assault on an innocent Rover in the car park? Dan Reuben's first ball wicket? No, wicket-keeper Trev's outstanding take from a dodgy throw for a superb run-out! (disagree? You write the next report then).


Date: 18 May 2004

Versus: Atkins

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Atkins win by 5 wickets


Substitute tosser Trev managed to win the spin and elected to bat. Ben and Andy F started well and looked steady for more than five whole minutes. But Andy's dismissal started the rot. Trev played a few sensible strokes to get a feel but the first loose ball on his leg side was lofted neatly into the hands of deep square leg - you just knew it was going to be one of those days. Mark made a stand and his 10 was almost the top score, second only to extras. The OCs total of 59 all out was unlikely to be competitive. In fact Atkins did not stroll it as expected. They did reach the required figure but only in the 17th over with the loss of 5 wickets. The sound OC performance in the field was some solace.


Date: 11th May

Versus: Not Trading Standards

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: Everyone is a winner!


"So when did you talk to Trading Standards then Trev?"

"Last week by email"

"It doesnt look like they are turning up..............."

Trading Standards failed to meet their job description as a cricket team & turn up whilst Trev failed to meet his job description as secretary as OC's turned up to face nobody............

An impromptu pairs match with a 5 run wicket penalty was then set up in order to give everyone a bat & bowl.

Ben & Manuwar took to the square first facing Bisson 5, Bolland 9, Ducklin -3, Finnerty 0 & Hamilton 5 registering a total of 16

Ducklin & Bolland then came on facing James 3, MAnuwar -10, Reuben B-4, Reuben N -1& Bisson6 posting a total of -6 leaving no one in any doubt that they should be lower down the order.

Bisson & Finnerty took on Collett (13), Bolland (7), Ducklin (7), Hamilton (10) & James (-2) posting a total of 35

James & Hamilton then came on to face Manuwar (4) Reuben N (31), Bisson (4) Bolland (18) & Collett (1 including a dismissal that left james spinning like he was on Come Dancing) for an outstanding 58

Collett & Reuben the youngest came on as the last pair facing Ducklin (11), Finnerty (6), Hamilton (16), James (3) leaving them with 23 to get off the last over. Manuwar duly obliged to provide Collett who produced a typical comeback special to make up for his lack of communication to edge the pairs game on the last ball of the match, great to watch, shame he hasn't produced it since.


Date: 27 April

Versus: Kingston Taxes

Venue: Ruxley Lane

Result: None


17:40 22 players in their whites eager for the traditional old firm opener against the tax men.

17:45 the heavens open (hell more like)

17:50 two players with umbrella venture to the middle - to retrieve the stumps

17:55 22 players back in civvies

18:00 the pub

What a choker - dry and sunny for a week and then this...

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