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June 2021


The hope that springs eternally 
Dreams we don’t restrict
Every possibility
Before the first ball has been kicked

If all the stars align this time
And every cog has clicked
Everything falls into place
Before the first ball has been kicked

In theory this could be “the one”
That no-one could predict
Stranger things have happened
Before the first ball has been kicked

Potential combinations
If the right team has been picked
The world may be our oyster
Before the first ball has been kicked

All ducks lined up in a row
All switches have been flicked
Status green – good to go
Before the first ball has been kicked

Strategies for victories
All the boxes ticked
We sing of hope and glory
Before the first ball has been kicked

Before reality kicks in
And once again, we’re tricked
Hope is always highest
Befopre the first ball has been kicked
Following our hearts
Before the first ball has been kicked

by Paul Cookson

Tuesday 1st June

A cycle ride round Grafham Water with son, Mike and grand son Freddie on a very warm day. Sadly, whilst Dad and Grand dad had hired bikes with plenty of gears, poor Freddie had brought his own bike and struggled a bit up some of the inclines. Perhaps a new bicycle for his birthday is called for? Half way round, we dined at The Wheatsheaf, a hostelry in East Perry on the south bank of Grafham Water and enjoyed a sumptuous repast. Freddie and Mike and I have now circumvented Pitsford, Rutland and Grafham reservoirs.

Freddie on his own bicycle

Freddie and grandad Ed

Freddie and Grand Dad Ed

Tuesday 1st June 2021

Long Eaton Sunday League Division 1

FC Erewash 2

Nathan Frost 54, 65,

AFC Kirk Hallam Reserves 4

Mason Proctor Smith 1, Ryan Shotton 18, 66, James Taylor 90+1,

Referee:- Timothy Lewis. Attendance:- 14

At this late stage in the twilight of the season, any game is welcome and this contest in Sawley, whilst not reaching the heights, still produced six goals and as many scorned, yet reputable, chances. At half time and 2-0 to the visitors, it was hard to see where a home goal might materialise, yet they were level just after the hour mark. Barely a minute later and they were again in arrears and a late strike finished them off! With John Main.

Wednesday 2nd June 2021

Nene Sunday League Division 2

Thorpland Club 81A 5

Shaun Bragg 3, 13, Lloyd Blank 18, Kye Rolfe 44, Jack Blanks 76,

Northampton Sapphires 3

Dean Lukeman 5, Rory Hales 71, Darryl Pearce 81,

Referee:- Wayne Chalmers. Attendance:- 12

At the scragg end of this season, the visitors who are lying fourth in the table, looked jaded and were easily turned over by the bottom placed hosts who scored four first half goals and three of them in the first quarter of an hour! The second half was more evenly balanced, the visiting custodian scoring the final goal with a bullet header from a corner. Not a classic! With John Main.

Thursday 3rd June 2021

By rail from Banbury to Sheffield with grandsons, Sonny and Kingsley, a tram ride and lunch in a local hostelry before the journey back to Banbury and a magnificent GWR Hitachi express on Banbury platform 2! Great day out!

Waiting for the tram in Sheffield, Sonny (left) and Kingsley.

On board the Chiltern Railways train back to Banbury

The GWR Hitachi at Banbury Station

Saturday 5th June 2021

Central Midlands League Division 1 Central

Kilburn 3

Bradley Wheldon 33, Lee Davey 40, Jordan Mighty 51,

Woodhouse Colts 4

Ross Turner 49, Charlie Simpkin 54, 59, Max Radford 73,

Referee:- Aidan Jackson. Attendance:- 56

A convocation of keen hoppers swelled the attendance at the tight little Welfare Ground in Kilburn with rows of terraced housing hemming it in. The hosts squandered a two goal half-time lead and eventually succumbed by the odd goal in seven – exactly the same score when these two met nine days ago! It was cricket weather and the game was also attended by CML vice-president, Stan Wilton.

John Main in the blue T-shirt and Jack Warner arms folded standing on the picnic table

Sunday 6th June 2021

Rutland Cricket League Division 1 (at Uffington)

Uffington (won toss) 205 all out (44.4 overs)

Burghley Park 209 for 5 (40.2 overs)

Burghley Park won by 5 wickets

Burghley Park (20pts) Uffington (7pts)

On a cloudy, overcast afternoon in the village of Uffington, just outside Stamford on the road to Spalding, the hosts elected to bat and found themselves at 18 for 3 after eight overs. They recovered to post a respectable total on a small pitch, but were gradually overwhelmed by the fire power of the visitors, whose home is in the grounds of Burghley House in Stamford. A keenly contested match!

Monday 7th June 2021

A walk across the fields from Gretton to Harringworth Lodge, where the weed strewn lake had visibility right down to the bottom! Onwards across the yellowed sward to the top of The Welland Valley where the viaduct was sharply visible – and even the church of St John the Evangelist in the foreground. On the way down to Turtle Bridge, the windmill at Barrowden dominated the skyline and pink hawthorn was in evidence. Turtle Bridge bestrode a sluggish River Welland and on the walk into Harringworth, we had converse with a friendly quadruped! A lot closer to the viaduct and it’s 87 arches and adjacent to the road back to Gretton, a monument to a vicar’s wife of many years ago, killed in a coaching accident. Sheep, managed very efficiently by sheep dogs, barred the pathway home, so back to the road and the welcoming Gretton sign! With Alison Merricks. One stile and 10.47 miles.

Wednesday 9th June 2021

Nene Sunday League Division 2

North Star 8

Hilton Arthur 9, Tyler Jones 13, 49, Ethan Curtis 29, Danny Brown 62, 75, Josh Healey 81, 85,

Albany Athletic 0

Referee:- Jakob Gielczyk. Attendance:- 42

The final match in this division saw the hosts as runners-up take on third bottom Albany Athletic. The gulf between the sides was reflected in the scoreline, where, but for some excellent custodianship, the final score might have run into the teens. Even though they finished as runners-up, the hosts have been promoted TWO divisions, straight into the Premier Division of the league for next season!

The North Star shirt has a star in black outlined on the front of the shirt.

Sunday 13th June 2021

East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1 (At Gedling Colliery).

Gedling Colliery (won toss) 150 all out in 39 overs.

tied with

Ockbrook & Borrowash 150 all out in 40 overs.

In an exciting and entertaining contest, the youthful sprit of the hosts was matched by the mature experience of the visitors who must have felt they had the job done after dismissing the home side for 150 on a good batting strip. They kept wickets intact, scoring 50 off their first ten overs and at 106 for 4 off 25 overs they looked odds on for victory, but the hosts kept chipping away until with one ball to go, the scores were tied and the visitors lost their final wicket attempting a winning run off the last ball of the match! Great game!

Monday 14th June 2012

From Harringworth, through Shotley and up the hill, heavily enshrouded with oil seed rape. From the top, on either side of the Welland Viaduct, the parish churches of Harringworth and Seaton were both visible. Wild roses at Spanhoe and a field of linseed oil grass before crossing the quarry above Wakerley, where a drone hovered over us! Down the track to Turtle Bridge and back along the riverside to Harringworth. With Alison, Norma, Kate and Maureen on the hottest day of the year so far, no stiles and 5.5 miles.

Wild roses at Spanhoe

A field of Linseed

(left tp right): Alison, Kate, Norma and Maureen

(left to right): Kate, Maureen, Alison and Norma

Thursday 17th June 2021

Pre-Season Friendly

Halse United 1

Longford Park 5

Referee:- Grant Cross. Attendance:- 24

These two teams are seeking admission to The Oxfordshire Senior League (although the hosts are aiming even higher for The Hellenic League). On a dull showery evening, the first hour was pretty ordinary as the sides shared two goals, however, in the final twenty-five minutes, the visitors had four unanswered strikes and ran out easy winners!

Saturday 19th June

Pre-Season Friendly

Southend Manor 2

Luca Prentice 58, Luke Jepson 74,

Tower Hamlets 1

Trevor … 84,

Referee:- Adam Miller. Attendance:- 42

Under a brooding sky with flurries of rain, Southchurch Park did not look its best. The seated area was caged off and the rest of the ground was wide open – no need to pay to get in! The game was equally drab with goals seemingly very unlikely until three arrived in the final half hour including one huge howler by the visiting custodian!

Sunday 20th June 2021

East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1

Kibworth Women (won toss) 123 all out in 36 overs

lost to

Gedling Colliery Women 124 for 3 in 20.4 overs

by 7 wickets.

It was a damp start to the match and chilly, too as a seriously under strength Kibworth elected to bat first and struggled to post a challenging total. The youthful Gedling side polished off the target in just over twenty overs.

Monday 21st June 2021

A gentle amble from the village of Tansor, just beyond Oundle, across the busy A605 and along the track passing The Oundle School shooting range and onwards into Ashton-in-the-Wold and a break at The Chequered Skipper hostelry. The small cottage at the entrance to the village was the site of an horrific and unsolved double murder in 1952, but now looks more like the cottage of Hansel and Greek! A noisy pair of peacocks haunted the village and some damage had been done to a window of the Creed Chapel. Onward to Oundle across the footbridge and passing a silent swan gliding downstream like a galleon. On the other side of Oundle, the weir was in full flow and the church spire of St Peter’s in Oundle was clearly visible. With Alison, Maureen and Kate, eight stiles and 6.2 miles.

Oundle School Shooting Range

Gate House, AshtonWold Estate, Oundle.

George Henry Peach and Lillian Peach were attacked by an intruder at their home with a hammer as they slept in their bed. They were found there by the proprietor of the Three Horseshoes public house when he called at their home to deliver some meat that a butcher’s roundsman had previously tried to deliver on the morning of Saturday 25 October 1952.

Creed Chapel, Ashton-in-the-Wold

St Peter’s Church in Oundle

Monday 21st June 2021
Pre-Season Friendly

Bessacarr 1

Jordan Turner 29,

Armthorpe Welfare 1

Harry Brown 14,

Referee:- Adam Biela. Attendance:- 93
The hosts currently occupy a lower division place in The Central Midlands League, some two divisions below their opponents this evening. They play on a poorly maintained council pitch, full of bare patches and with minimal facilities. A tick and run for your average hopper. Nonetheless, they gave a good account of themselves, this evening, negotiating a draw with their illustrious visitors. Both goals came in the first period. The second half marred by the multiplicity of substitutions. With John Main.

Saturday 25th June 2021

Cricket at Oundle School

Oakham School 100 for 7 (20 overs) and 145 for 9 (20 overs)

lost to

Oundle School 127 all out(20 overs) and 119 for 4 (15.5 overs)

by six wickets.

On the ground where WG Grace scored his 200th century, these two sides contested an interesting format after rain washed out the first hours play. After a disappointing first innings, the visitors posted a challenging 145 for 9 from their second innings and at first, it seemed that it might be enough, but a strong partnership between skipper and main strike bowler took the home side to a well deserved victory.

Sunday 27th June 2022

Cricket at Kibworth

East Midlands Women’s Cricket League Division 1

Ockbrook & Borrowash (won toss) 74 all out (34 overs)

lost to

Kibworth 75 for 7 (32.5 overs)

by three wickets

Under brooding, overcast skies, the visitors struggled to set a challenging target. However the hosts also struggled against some determined and aggressive bowling and it appeared for a while, that the result might be in the balance. Late order batting retrieved the situation and ensured a first victory for the hosts! A free pint in the bar at the end of the game for the thirsty umpires!

Wednesday 30th June 2021

Cricket at Oundle School.

Kimbolton School won toss

Oundle School 183 for 7 declared (46 overs)

drew with

Kimbolton School 108 for 9 (46 overs)

This was a “time” match and after a very slow start, the hosts posted a competitive total with a watchful half century from DCB. Kimbolton started confidently, but once they lost both openers, wickets fell regularly, mainly due to a devastating spell from J Howard who posted impressive figures of 17-10-27-7. However, despite twenty three overs in the final hour, the visitors hung on for the draw in an exciting climax to the match.

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