Skip over navigation

Mark Pougatch's Newsletter, 2019

Hartley Wintney saw the start of the 2019 season and a score of 205 of which the highlight was a stand of more than 50 between 14 year old Edward Philpott and 15 year old Bobby Wollen. Early season injuries hampered our bowling attack and Hartley eased home by 9 wickets. Next to Stone in Oxney and a reversal by 82 runs in a 35 over game where Stone escaped from 142-5 to 238-6 despite some tight early bowling. Tom Hoskyns weighed in with 64 and Jay Stockham 42 at the top of the order but the task was beyond us even if tea, in typically Granny fashion, was not. It was reported to be “one of THE GREAT TREATS”. The Hampshire Hogs are always a very tough nut to crack and so it proved as they rattled up 288-2, Tom Gibbs with both wickets, and George Ellwood’s 51 the only score of note in 126 all out.

The 20 over game at St Pauls saw the Masters score 161, a total that was in sight until Larry Brennan’s unfortunate run out for a fluent 60 and we finished 30 runs short. Castle Hill saw the run of losses ended off the last ball. Castle Hill made 202-8 with a pair of wickets each for Harry Yates, Jonny Morris and Jon Cristie. Charles Bailey’s 56 gave the reply impetus, Jonny Morris followed up with 52 but Toby Gundry was the hero, 38 not out with 3 sixes – one of them to win the game – and 4 fours. A wonderful game and The Grannies off the mark! Against the Stragglers of Asia an excellent opening century stand from 17 overs between Jim Streeter (68) and Adam Parkinson (58) was the precursor to a Stragglers change bowler whose inswinging Yorkers caused havoc down the order and we ended 214 all out. It felt 25 short and so it proved despite three wickets from Olly Butler, 2 from Hector Don and some tight bowling from the evergreen Mike Fernie. The Stragglers got home by 3 wickets. The Goodwood match saw a thumping win by 97 runs. Sam Armitage made the first 100 of the season, 103 including a six onto the thatched pavilion roof and George Mann 55. 228 was the target and Tom Gibbs and Digby Don’s hostile opening spell reduced the home side to 22 for 3 and the win was pretty much guaranteed thereafter.

Worcester College was next and a defeat by 6 wickets. Ed Gross made a very good looking 118 to underpin the 183-6 which was a decent score after a sticky start. Worcester had one gun bat who’d just signed up for Hampshire and he ultimately proved the difference. The Idlers called the game off due to a wedding and the Dusters got the better of us by 6 wickets in the 20 over game, before heavy rain caused the Old Spots game to be abandoned. The Grannies made 139 from their 35 overs, Andrew De Mestre with a fine 45 which he then followed up with 4-13 from 7 overs. Will Seibert, Tom Gibbs and Mike Fernie all picked up a wicket but the rain came with The Grannies so close to victory.

Lord Carnarvon’s XL saw a handsome win for The Grannies by 125 runs. We made 236 with Billy Maisey (94) almost making a hundred before lunch. Sam Kemp’s 45 was perfectly timed just as the innings was in danger of losing momentum. A rain shower meant the opponents’ reply didn’t start till 5pm. Some excellent catches from Maisey, Hanks and Kemp – not a sentence every year in the annals of this great club – backed up Will Dunn’s 4-28 and a winning afternoon.

The HAC is always a special game and a special setting, even if we tasted defeat by 15 runs. From 86-6 the HAC reached the safer waters of 195-8. Mike Hobbiss and Joe Huxley had us cruising along before an archetypal Granny collapse, 4 wickets lost for 5. It proved the turning point but it was still an excellent match and the HAC great hosts.

The Griffin was almost an intra Grannies match in Sussex. 144 looked competitive enough, David Amato with 40. Then father and son, Grannies both, David and Toby Pullan flayed us to all parts. Toby will have to play for us in the future. The Bar of England were too good for us by 45 runs. Two Grannies playing for them scored most of their 196 for 4. Jonny Morris was run out for 61 and with it went our hopes. Parham Park cancelled on us and the Armadillos match didn’t materialise either. The Eton Ramblers match was a hard fought affair. The Ramblers did very well to get to 140 all out after being 60-6. Felix Tritton bowled outstandingly to take 5-26 from 10 overs and Ben Hope, a part time wicketkeeper, held his catches and took a stumping as well. Ben then opened with Sam Pougatch, who fell two short of his first Grannies 50 but at 95-1 all seemed calm. Suddenly it was 120-7 with Ben Hope gone for a fine 63 but then Tritton took it upon himself to get us home to an excellent win by three wickets. The Hurlingham game was rained off and then London New Zealand beaten thrillingly by three runs. Ollie Sykes (84) and Sam Lubbock (49) were the mainstays in our 242 all out, and Ollie (2-14) and Nat Lubbock 3-70 were among the wickets as we squeezed home in a fabulous finish. The Falconhurst fixture has been on the fixture card for decades and sometimes it goes our way – and this time it didn’t. 169-6 from 35 overs was defendable and it was down to the Williams brothers’ stand of 60 for the 5th wicket, Richard finishing 62 not out. Richard then took the first two wickets, both caught by brother Jamie, but there the breakthroughs ended and Falconhurst eased home comfortably.

The Flashmen game by the Thames was in a fine setting, an excellent game and a full three course lunch. The Flashmen (Flashers?) made 251-2. Rory Bethwaite and Will Hooker put on a 100 in reply, both making half centuries, before a rash of run outs – self-inflicted – stymied our progress. We went down by 23 runs. 5 debutants embroidered the occasion but a sad postscript was the death soon after of Rob Frome who played that day.

Into September and a draw with the Turks. The Turks made 200-8 leaving us 32 overs to knock the runs off and we fell just short at 198-7. Special mention to young Teyun Tapper who almost won it with 20 not out at the end. A 35 over game at Odiham and Greywell saw a 37 run defeat. 187 looked gettable, especially considering broken down cars, fatalities on the railway line, and bad sat nav had meant the captain didn’t have all his bowlers at his disposal. It looked gettable. But today it wasn’t.

Two games to go and a handsome win over the Royal Household. The openers softened up the Household batters to the extent that Billy Maisey 3-13, Jono Garforth 4-16 and Toby Pullan 2-5 whistled through the innings leaving the Household 73 all out in 26.4 overs. Joe Huxley and James Tod caught beautifully and Joe Brennan kept with style. The Grannies lost 4 wickets in reply but were home in just 12.1 overs. A man of many years Grannies ripeness, Jonathan Staniforth, captained with panache and in true Granny style made sure everyone had a bowl or bat – except himself of course. And with rain against the Kings Bench Walk, that turned out to be the final game of 2019. A full season of cricket. Some wonderful performances, some excellent games, some tremendous finishes. Just what a Grannies season should look like. And a full season before 2020.

We lost a few Grannies in 2019. Robert Frome we have already mentioned. Justin Smellie was a cricketer who didn’t quite realise just how good he could be. I would suggest he is easily one of the best fielders we have ever had in the club, and the sort of man who epitomised Grannies cricket. Guy Bewick, Granny, Free Forester, MCC, was a great allrounder, a good LH batsman, 1 st change bowler and a single handicap RH golfer off 6. He was a very popular character and a great sporting organiser. We will miss them all.