The LICC Annual General Meeting will be held at the Green Man pub in Long Itchington on Friday 16th February from 8.00 look forward to seeing as many people there as possible!
Lotto winners drawn at President’s Day:
£50 – Alex Jack
£25 – Pete Allen
£10 – Allen Hickling
£10 – Bruce Carless
Written by the Major’s quill and parchment:
Long Itch drove to Stanway, one of the most beautiful grounds in the country, nay the world, through the showery weather in a hopeful party mood with a strong side and feeling confident with the usual mixture of fleet of foot youth and has been’s. On arrival (well most of us arrived Mr Greaves, sack the navigator) a sharp shower had meant the pitch was not immediately playable and between the captains and umpire for the day Lord Mayor Rawbone senior, it was decided that the game would be reduced to 40 overs per team.
It looked a good toss to win, and again we lost it, with poor tosser Brooksy again saying ‘sorry lads we are batting’. However with a strong batting line up confidence was on the up, although Openers Ryan and George, both in the middle of spells drier than the bottom of Sandy’s glass strode to the crease on a pitch, and outfield that looked like a big score would be needed.
Ryan initially batted liked he cared too much, cautiously building a score, George at the other end, looking like he cared too little wielded his bat axe like, to intimidate the opposition bowling and wanted only to deal in boundary’s.
It was later found out (in the Green Man) that George had been taking psychological advice from his new Guru, Abi, that he was to relax and go with the flow more, although how she relaxed him still remains a Gentleman’s secret, but maybe more of us should try it.
I digress, back to the game.
Ryan’s runs started to flow and George continued in a similar way and soon the 50 partnership was up after only 10 overs. Both the openers then started to declare the pitch was turning ‘sticky’, this combined with a change of bowling, with spin coming on, slowed the run rate down but both openers continued in good form punishing anything loose and by drinks, at the 20 over mark, we were 90 for nought.
Skipper Brooksy at the drinks break now declared, it’s a 20:20 game now lads, another 150 needed.
George in trying to up the rate holed out for a fine 41 off 65 balls, and a welcome return to form. This brought the skipper to the crease and with Ryan in form now and the skipper looking to punish anything the rate went up with another 20 runs added in 3 overs until Ryan was out to a good stumping for 52 of 66 balls. This brought Brennan to the crease, and after sensibly getting his eye in, started to unpick and punish the bowling with a fine range of shots. This was the key partnership of the day with 104 of 13 overs with both bats scoring freely and running well to pressurise the Stanway attack. Brooks eventually out for a belligerent 49 of 43 (5 fours). Brennan was out the next over for a crafted, gifted 58 off 46 balls (two 6s, six 4s) which showed a ton must be coming up soon if the 16 year old continues the progress shown this year. The innings was finished off with Rawbone S hitting 20 off 12 with 2 partnerships with Finn and James Scott to move the score up to a competitive 242 for 5 off 40 overs.
Long Itch still need to bowl well on a ground where it was now getting easier to score. Aaron and Brooks opened the bowling, with Aaron going for only 14 off his first 5 things were kept initially tight but a combination of loose bowling, poor fielding and catching kept Stanway in the hunt and after 22 overs there was a hundred on the board with 3 wickets down, they were in a similar position to Long Itchington. Also rain had reduced the requirement to 219 off 36. We regained composure however and although under pressure Stanway were never quite up with the rate and we continued to take wickets at critical periods. All rounder Clarke was the key who hit a strong 51 off 34 balls. When he was out off a fine catch from McKenna all was lost and Stanway finished on 212 for 7. A mention must be made to youngsters James Scott and Aaron Sutcliffe who bowled the last 8 overs under pressure to see Itchington home. Off such things abilities are honed to make fine cricketers.
A good win and a good day out!
Steve R 20
Steve R 2-44
The Rawbones M&S banquet
Grahams co-op picnic
Long Itchington Cricket Club celebrated the 25th anniversary of its junior section with two special challenge matches at the Stonebridge Lane ground in July.
The club’s newly reformed junior section played its very first U13 friendly away fixture, as recorded in its first ever scorebook, against Barby in June 1992. It was therefore fitting that LICC marked the occasion by hosting a specially arranged game against Barby at its annual Club Open Day, with the sides represented by a mix of U11s, U13s and U15s selected by team managers Clive Haywood (Long Itchington) and Chris Bramley (Barby, with help on the day from Tom Middleton). The 20-over game was won by Long Itchington off the very last ball, reversing the original result (which wasn’t anywhere near as close).
This was followed in the afternoon by a special challenge match between players aged from 14 to 40 who have all been through the LICC junior section over the past quarter of a century, and coached by the section’s founders Allen Hickling and Steve Mitchell. The teams included several players whose names appeared in the 1992 scorebook, including Nick Brooks – now the club’s second team captain – Sam Blundell, James Clarke – currently first team captain – and Mitchel Lowe, and more than one who hadn’t picked up a bat or ball for many years!
This game turned out not to be quite as evenly matched as the first one, but the result was never as important as the opportunity for players to catch up and renew old friendships; for friends and families to revisit the ground; and, in many cases for the first time, for visitors to see the new clubhouse that was officially opened two years previously.
That the day was such a success was down to many people who volunteered their time, cake baking skills, and BBQ/scoring expertise (Martin Sutcliffe, whose son Aaron was the youngest junior taking part in the afternoon game). Particular thanks are also due to head groundsman Graham Foster, one of several older LICC members present who were juniors when the club was itself reformed in 1976. Others included assistant groundsman Stephen Rawbone and his brother (and current LICC treasurer) Martyn Rawbone, whose late father Eric was the club’s volunteer groundsman for over 15 years.
On Sunday afternoon the storm clouds abated as two sides made up of pupils from the Steve the Mitchell and Allen Hickling junior regime since 1992 locked horns.
The toss came down on the side of away team skipper Andy Wood who put the Nick Brooks XI into bat for the 36 overs aside affair.
Having not seen a cricket ball in a while, the match nearly started with Neil Hudson using a junior’s sized ball (which in fairness these days he made to look like a gorilla holding a peanut) however once this obstacle was overcome a serene start was made by the Brooks XI as Hudson and Zach Aulakh bowled some tight lines. Aulakh made the breakthrough with a slower ball to dismiss Saturday skipped James Clarke with a cunning slower ball, the batsman increasingly distracted by the seven gullies waiting for a catch.
From here on in the innings was a veritable display of dropped catches and questionable banter interspersed with at times some genuinely decent cricket. The innings came to a close in the 33rd over with 162 on the board. Batting highlights included contributions from Brooks (32), David Bailey (25), Lewis Dodds (22). Seven of the eight bowlers used picked up wickets, with Joel Bennett picking up a good return of 3-7. Other memorable moments were provided by a mixed bag of length bowling from Jack Arthurton, Tom Perks doing the hockey-cokey whilst running in to bowl and Pete McKenna trying to bat like Geoffrey Boycott.
After a quick team photo and slightly longer Steve Mitch speech the second innings began with Alex Jack and Luke Sharples facing up to good spells from James of the Rawbone and Scott variety, with each bowler snaring one of the openers each. Dan Sutton (50*) and Perks (44) then came together to collectively suck the fun out of the afternoon as the target was effectively chipped away at during a 98 run partnership, setting the platform for a comfortable chase. Richard Cressey who now claims to be not out at the home of cricket since 2010 red inked his way to 13* and Wood (14) helped see the victory in by five wickets.
The result was of course immaterial – it was great to catch up with some faces from yesteryear, along with in the morning in a repeat of the inaugural junior game versus Barby watching those who may well form the future. A special thanks to Steve Mitchell for the organisation of the game, and to everyone else who made the day a success, be that junior coaches, BBQ chef, Pimms seller, umpires, bakers and the crowd. A repeat has been mooted for five years’ time, if any of us are still mobile.