Avebury 208 for 7 (40 overs)

WCC 90 all out (23.3 overs)


Ampney Crucis 194 (43 overs)

WCC 111 all out (35 overs)


The enigma of sexual attraction has fascinated artists, poets and psychologists down the ages. One of the more interesting cases for study arose last weekend when Cupid, in the form of the Weekenders curry and piss-up in Marlborough, dipped his arrows and struck his targets with faultless accuracy. Perhaps we may never fully understand that most fickle and beguiling human urge, with its flushes of excitement, its tiffs and its delicious reconciliations but let’s look at the sequence of events. First the tiffs.


The match manager was incandescent as a combination of traffic and commitment phobia restricted the number of Weekenders on the park in the first forty minutes to just eight. Our wicket-keeper never appeared at all, but in fairness to Tony Smee his was by no means the most uncommitted performance in the field. There were periods of concentration and excellent catching from Chiari but generally the airborne ball was treated like a persistent wasp – either swatted aside or simply run away from with a yelp. Tempers frayed but the captain kept his head magnificently.


Avebury’s Dominic Fry made a splendid 113, briefly supported by his brother Henry who in his youth had set Weekenders hearts a-flutter when he prepared breakfast for them in a loosely-tied dressing gown. One of our own heartthrobs of yesteryear, Simon van der Borgh, was quickly into his stride abusing the umpire in his second over and bowling a superb spell of left-arm swing.  Simon had never met his roommate-to-be Chris Johnstone but the burly Brisbanite broke the ice between them by decking a sitter off Simon’s first ball.  Dunne and Douglas produced faithful spells but continence was lacking elsewhere and the home side got away to 208. 


Maloney and Chiari began the Weekenders’ reply by hitting their first balls gently in the air straight to fielders and love was the score on the board when number four Mike Harvey went to the wicket.  But it was not to be his day, or Johnstone’s or Dunne’s or Simmonds’ or d’Inverno’s. It wasn’t really Hogben’s, van der Borgh’s or Douglas’s either. In fact the most notable feature of the batting was when Dunne, having to act as a runner for first van der Borgh then d’Inverno, picked up a niggle walking to square-leg - and had to call for a runner.


The post-match curry began with the traditional resignation speech by the captain.  d’Inverno continues an illustrious line of leaders who’ve had a gutful by September and it was vintage stuff from the skipper in a weekend filled with outstanding virtuoso performances. One could also point to Johnstone - fag in one hand, pint in the other - singing Faure’s Pie Jesu in a unearthly counter tenor;  Tony Smee putting fifty quid behind the bar in far too generous reparation for his absence; Dunne paying his match fee; van der Borgh and d’Inverno overcoming debilitating leg injuries to dance stiffly with each other in the Green Dragon like an old couple for whom the fire has never gone out.


Romance was definitely in the air at the Castle and Ball hotel where a quartet of merry seniors tottered in from a posh wedding reception and mingled with a group of Weekenders in equally upbeat mood.  Maloney found himself cornered by a patrician, morning-coated figure. Expecting a rebuke for high spirits the personable opener was surprised to receive a different kind of proposition altogether.


Sunday morning dawned bright and clear as though the rapturous events of the night before had been but a fleeting late-summer’s dream. The wedding guests didn’t make it to breakfast – perhaps they never existed.  Fortunately the Captain had no recollection of his resignation and duly resumed the leadership. 


The Ampney Crucis innings to get off to a flyer but steadily the Weekenders clawed their way back into the game with tight bowling only to let things slip again in the final overs. 


After a stupendous tea Hogben and Maloney padded up to begin the reply. The two room mates walked to the wicket together yet also, in some indefinable way, apart.  Who knows what had passed between them after Richard’s harmless flirtation of the previous evening? Had Graham’s feelings for the tall Essex right-hander changed? And had last night shown Richard a glimpse of excitement and made him feel desirable in a way he somehow never did when he was with Graham? Had the vital bond of trust between the two elegant batsmen been irreparably severed? Suffice it to say Richard called for a very sharp single early doors and Graham was on his way for 0.


Nor were they the only couple whose relationship hit the buffers on this steamy, fretful afternoon with the clouds always threatening to release their splashy burden.  Mike Harvey and Johnstone’s relationship irretrievably broke down over a second run.  PJ Harvey having driven down from London into this charged, roiling atmosphere unleashed a few bachelor biffs but Simmonds, Fisher, van der Borgh, Dunne and d’Inverno shone all to briefly like the flickering candles at the end of a romantic dinner gone wrong. After another unrequited vigil from Douglas the weekend came to a melancholy end with 14 overs left.


It had all seemed so different at the start of the summer. But what does the future hold as the Weekenders try to grasp a final moment of happiness before the leaves turn brown?  Will Graham meet an exciting new partner on Putney Heath on the 20th? Will Mark find himself on his Greek island holiday? Will blond lawyer Johnstone experience fulfilment at last on the ancient lawns of Parham Park this Saturday. Will the return of Webster, the fabulously rich yet eccentric aristocrat affect the fragile emotional balance of the side?

                                                                                                                                                            To be continued…





Avebury 208 for 7 (40 overs).

D. Fry 113, A. Blake 42.

Douglas 8-1-32-3, Dunne 8-2-26-0, Chiari 5-0-39-1, Van der Borgh 8-2-25-1, Simmonds 5-0-39-0,  Maloney 5-0-33-1,

M. Harvey 1-0-9-1.  Extras 12.

Catches: Chiari 2.


WCC 90 all out (23.3 overs)

Maloney 0, Hogben 24, Chiari 0, M. Harvey 3, Johnstone 10, Douglas 15*, Dunne 1, Simmonds 5, Van der Borgh 13, d’Inverno 1.

Absent in Milan: Smee



Ampney 194 (42 overs)

Douglas 15-6-42-4, PJ Harvey 6-0-34-1, Dunne 15-3-55-2, Simmonds 6-1-30-2, Maloney 1-0-9-0

Extras 34

Catches: Smee (wkt kpr.) 1,  Fisher 1, Johnstone 1 (a stunner), M.Harvey 1.

Stumping: 1 Smee (standing up to PJ).

Run outs: you must be joking.


WCC 111 all out (35 overs)

Hogben 0, Maloney 15, Van der Borgh 4, M. Harvey 6, Fisher 1, Johnstone 1, PJ Harvey 17, Simmonds 12, Douglas 24*, Dunne 4, d’Inverno 8.


A weigh-in took place in the bar of the Castle & Ball on Saturday night after the captain gave a barman £20 and five minutes to find some scales for the purpose.  Results are still coming in but it was confirmed that Douglas and Dunne carried most of the team’s weight with Maloney lending solid support.  There were some unexpected sub-15 stone efforts from Fisher, Johnstone and very much the surprise package of the event was van der Borgh’s 14st 12lbs (in shoes and carrying a phone). Hogben, Simmonds and Harvey had a desperately disappointing outing on the scales reducing the team average to a paltry 14 stone.