Cowdrey v Edenbridge Cricket Club Under 15 on Sun 19 Jul 2009 at 10.00
Edenbridge Cricket Club Won 79 runs

Match report So, there it is, or there it was.

A 100% season and a spring and summer that should live long in the memory of those that took part. Of course, most of the boys will go on to much greater things and the distant memory of winning a Border League division will soon pale in comparison to future feats to be achieved in their professional or sporting careers. For some of them, learning to tuck their shirts in will be more of a challenge.

For several of the boys it was a second BL win, having won the U13 division in 2007. For four of the boys it was the third experience of cracking open the champagne, having played for the great Hanwellian U13 team of 2006 containing such legends as Seb Goodhew and..... erm, thats it (Seb tells me).

This though was, I believe, the first 100% season (winning season that is, Seb's mob (sadly known as the Lesser Hanwellians) did achieve a 100% losing season last year).

Sunday saw us visit bottom club Cowdrey, a cricket club also with a 100% losing record in 2009. Top v bottom should be a formula for a relaxed morning's cricket. Confusion over the Speldhurst points total however, left us not knowing for sure how many points we might need to claim the first prize; the laurel wreath; the holy grail amongst 15 year old cricketers of small West Kent villages; the Border league Division Two. At least it was a proper Division 2, not Division 2 West like last year. This was the Full Monty, a Division of 11 hungry (if small and often imperfectly formed) cricket teams.

I remember at the beginning of the season that one of the oppo managers (Horsmonden I think) asked me who was likely to win the league this season. I immediately replied "us I think". I instantly regretted saying it. I am not sure if it was embarrasment at the arrogance of such a statement or wishing I had not tempted fate. It really isn't English to assume one is favoured to win anything. Plus, as they say, "there are no easy games in the Border League Division 2 any more".

Ok, there is one, and I guess, judging from the BL results board, it is Cowdrey.

Naturally, the form book counts for nothing when attempting to sleep the night before the big one, the day, perhaps the only day, you get the chance to gold-leaf your name on the honours board of the Blossoms pavilion Long Room. A mark that will resound through the ages, spanning generations, or at least until the local yoof burn the place down to celebrate the new sk8park.

So Rob Peters turned up a fidgeting bundle of nervous energy. Fortunately all of the boys appeared fine. Our suspicion is that most of them were blithely unaware of the monumental importance of the morning. That description does not befit the captain however. Alex appears to be acutely aware of all permutations and nuances of the league positions at all times; a boy determined to claim his place in the Blossoms Pantheon.

It might be noted by the club committee that Alex (aged 15) even phones around to get players lined up to play. He berates them if they claim illness or injury and will accept bereavement as the only reason to cry off, and that is the death of the player in question (not an apocryphal Granny). Even then the players death must have occured before the Wednesday night, a players demise on Thursday or Friday will see his coffin at deep square. A senior captain in the making.

Alex lost the toss (he is not so clever) and they put us in (but he is lucky). The conspiracy theorists among us immediately saw the pitch as a green seamer and trouble ahead for our openers. That theory was half correct, but even then the pitch was redundant, the oppo rarely pitched the ball on the cut portion, let alone a line and length. Ben and George were off to a comfortable start, the oppo visibly shrank in size (some now looked under four feet tall) and the nervous banter among the 'Bridge crowd became relaxed chit chat.

The demise of both openers, whilst set, hardly dented the crowds enthusiasm, serving only to bring the entertainers to the crease.

It had been a fairly lean season with the bat for Alex before today. Finding various ways to get run out, as well as the infamous problems with his floppy red hat and bell, saw the captains average looking more like a large shoe size. But he had quite obviously decided to end the season on a high and cut, pulled, drove and nudged his way to an entertaining 52 retired.

There was no respite for poor Cowdrey at the other end, as Adam, the boy with elastic wrists and biceps like coiled steel springs (and a suspiciously sub-continent type complexion) spanked a 32 ball 50 including two glorious sixes.
After the excitement of a 90 odd partnership , that which followed was a little like watching an England friendly where they bring on Stewart Downing and Darren Bent at half time, few trees need be wasted on news print but at least the beer takings soar.

So tea was taken with 'Bridge on 164 and Cowdrey with a mountain to climb. In fact the poor oppo were stood at the bottom of Everest in a pair of carpet slippers, brushed cotton pyjamas, clutching only a hot water bottle for comfort.

At this stage Rob came up with his final conspiracy theory of an incredibly conspiratorial season; Cowdrey's rather tepid bowling attack was due to the fact that they had packed out their team with specialist batsmen who were going to surprise our dozy bowlers who would already be placing their drinks orders by telephone with the Freeman's butler who was readying Freeman Heights for the afternoon's celebrations.

It soon became apparent that Cowdrey were so Machievelian that they had hidden their numerous specialist batters quite a long way down the order.
Alex tore into the top order like he meant to be home and in the pool for mid-day. Sadly Alex suffers from the Flintoff syndrome; the batsmen are too scared to play attacking shots and prod about defensively for his four overs, wickedly minimising his wicket taking.

At the other end, George was bowling brilliantly to a pair of left handers. Sadly for George, the Cowdrey openers were both right handers and his subtleties of pace and flight were lost on an unappreciative crowd who did however appreciate Luke and Harry running around at long stop.

Harry, who deserves an end of season report to himself, has, over the course of the season (and like Ryan), perfected the long barrier in a rather innovative way. Upon the approach of the ball Harry lays prostrate, generally taking the ball full bore in the chest, even occasionally on his head. Only a veteran of Passchendaele, like our own dear scorer, would truly appreciate the meaning of such self sacrifice. Harry will be tremendous asset to the younger teams as they come through and, in good time, as a body double for Ben Stiller in the follow up to Dodgeball.

Once again the huff and puff of our openers was an ideal overture for our newly discovered secret weapon, The "Artful" Dodgson. Once again, throwing the Edenbridge coaching manual out of the window by bowling straight, Jake turned the Cowdrey innings down the road to nowhere; our first five for' of the year. If my memory does not desert me, it was our young and gifted tyro Bencey who took the last five for' also against Cowdrey in 2008 (Kieran telegrammed his congratulations from the Bodleain Library in Oxford where he was unavoidably detained in his studies).

Thus the Cowdrey innings meandered to a damp conclusion with Ryan mopping up the tail. Only a Greeny Skidmore partnership produced much in the way of runs with a pleasant late cameo from a young Hoare. The scorebook is available to check these facts if needed.

In fact the greatest threat to the Edenbridge hegemony over the surrounding West Kent villages was the weather. Twice Umpire Bushell attempted to do a runner, twice the Gods relented and blew the clouds beyond Swanmead, twice RB was pushed back onto the ground by an eager crowd (eager to hit the BBQ in Westerham).

So 52 points from the last 3 games when it became obvious we were in pole position after beating Speldhurst. True killer instinct.

In retrospect there was only really one match when we were pushed close, Crowborough at home. Heavens knows how that happened, but, by hook or by crook (and Crowborough probably think I am a crook!) we got out of that pickle and no other match really came down to the last over or two. All of the games were won, in truth, with a bit to spare.

Still, you can only beat what is put in front of you, and the lads sure as heck did that.

Thanks go to the Freemans for providing the captain, approximately one third of our average crowd, various delightful teas and, last but not least a scrummy feast on the final day.

An only slightly smaller vote of thanks to the Bushells for providing an umpire, 18.5% of the team and a regular crowd member.

Not being the mawkish type I will not mention this being the last match of the junior careers of most of the lads. I am told too many of the parents cry over reports of close matches and the derring do of their progeny that I try to describe in a faithful manner most weeks (you will spot Coach Peter's reports, they are generally more accurate and less rambling than mine. What will I find to write about in future?).

I hope we can get an Academy team together and I will see you in some capacity next season.

Best regards


Edenbridge Cricket Club Under 15 Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 4 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Ryan Anderson  
Matt Babai Not Out  6
Harry Bushell  
George Bushell Bowled  8 1
Jamie Desforges Not Out  3 1
Jake Dodgson Caught  3
Alexander Freeman Retired Not Out  52 1
Luke Mills  
Kieran Peters Bowled  3 1
Ben Phillips Caught  25 2
Adam Vickery Retired Not Out  50

Cowdrey Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
No records to display.

Cowdrey Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 10 wickets
85 (0.0 overs)

Edenbridge Cricket Club Under 15 Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Ryan Anderson2.00422.002.00
Matt Babai2.0015115.007.50
Harry Bushell0.20111.003.00
George Bushell3.001600.005.33
Jake Dodgson4.001452.803.50
Alexander Freeman4.0012112.003.00
Ben Phillips2.001100.005.50
Adam Vickery2.00900.004.50

  • Umpire :
  • Scorer :