Stragglers of Asia vs Northchurch CC at Northchurch.

Result: Stragglers of Asia won by 90 runs


A fine victory by 90 runs was recorded by the Stragglers that took the field at Northchurch Cricket Club on Sunday 2 July for a forty over match. There was a carnival atmosphere in the beautiful, sun-drenched ground as many spectators gathered to enjoy what promised to be a succulent event with several tantalising matchups.  On the home team, Straggler Matt Suckling captaining an enthusiastic bunch, including several bowlers queuing up to have a crack at Tom Calder, who left NCC this season after many years.  In the Stragglers XI, Tom Vila, Northchurch’s club captain, and guest Pete McGiffin, father of the home team’s visiting Aussie, who was also taking the field.  Hooper, Brown, M Cavanagh, Allsop and Trapani drooled as they inspected the hard, flat pitch and were thrilled when, very sportingly, Northchurch were persuaded to let us bat first.

Hooper joined McGiffin snr in the middle.  Fifteen overs later, number three Allsop was in the unfamiliar territory of still having his pads on and watching an unbeaten century opening stand from the comfort of the pavilion.  Erstwhile Queensland player and now professional coach, McGiffin demonstrated that class is permanent by striking an elegant 80, three years after playing his last match.  Only a direct hit from deepish mid-off, after an ambitious call for a single, could send him on his way.  Meanwhile, Hooper had compiled a very smart 40 before one brought two and he top edged to the keeper.

Allsop missed out on the fun by nibbling an off break that went straight on and, in doing so, sent Matt Cavanagh out to meet Conor Brown.  Another fine partnership developed before Brown, having hit some lovely clean straight drives, was smartly caught by a tumbling Australian running forward at long off.  Cavanagh soon followed, having established an excellent platform for the duo of Tom Calder and guest Dave Pearce to increase the rate and take the Stragglers well past the 250 coveted by the captain.

Seamers Vila and guest James Deas worked hard to extract what advantage might be gained from the new ball and it was left armer Deas who struck first, a very full ball straightening to trap Suckling lbw in the third over of the Northchurch reply.  Replacing Vila, Hooper found some swing while, at the other end, Tom Calder got some grip with his off spinners.  The sideways movement slowed the run rate and when trying to break the pressure, the Northchurch bats holed out at a regular rate.

McGiffin jnr, although not as fluent as his father, looked determined to contribute the majority of the runs and, after a watchful start, began to cut loose.  When joined by the experienced Mike James, the run rate increased alarmingly and the captain took some time to reconsider the strategy while on the roof of the pavilion retrieving a maximum.

Dhiraj Patel, entering the attack and whirling in off one pace with his skiddy leg breaks, pushed up the rate required to 10 an over and there was no let up from the other end as Deas, Calder, Vila and Hooper rotated.  When Allsop took a neat catch at backward point to dismiss the charging Aussie, the writing was on the wall for Northchurch and two junior players, though taking the opportunity for some middle practice, succumbed

A superb day at lovely ground and against a spirited but great fun opposition.  Although an untraditional limited-overs-against-club-opposition fixture, all agreed that we should request a re-run next year.

Team Batting First: Stragglers of Asia


 BatsmanHow OutBowlerScore
1Tony HooperCt Suckling+Sweeten38
2Pete McGiffin (G)Run Out (J Smart) 81
3James AllsopCt Suckling+Steve McGiffin2
4Conor BrownCt S McGiffinMike James47
5Matt CavanaghCt J SmartMike James38
6Dave Pearce (G)NotOut51
7Tom CalderNotOut6
8Nino Trapani +Did Not Bat  
9James Deas (G)Did Not Bat  
10Dhiraj PatelDid Not Bat  


Tom Vila*Did Not Bat  
   Extras: 5TOTAL: 268 for 5


Matt Dawson70590
Joel James80651
Steve McGiffin60391
Charlie Sweeten51161
Mike James70472
Ollie Johnson70380


Team Batting Second: Northchurch CC

 BatsmanHow OutBowlerScore
1James SmartCt DeasTom Calder13
2Matt SucklingLBWJames Deas13
3Ryan SmartCt DeasTom Calder22
4Steve McGiffinCt AllsopTom Vila73
5Jack FanthamCt & BowledDhiraj Patel3
6Mike JamesCt CavanaghTony Hooper28
7Matt DawsonBowledTom Vila0
8Ollie JohnsonBowledDhiraj Patel6
9Charlie SweetenBowledDhiraj Patel0
10Joel JamesNotOut4
11Calum LindsayCt DeasMatt Cavanagh0
   Extras: 15TOTAL: 176 all out


James Deas61261
Tom Vila71192
Tony Hooper81511
Tom Calder80442
Dhiraj Patel94283
Matt Cavanagh0.3011

Scorer(s): Barbara Egglesfield