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Season 2001
Almost as it happenned.....

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Apr 29 Cancelled (rain) Away 2.00


May 06 Leatherhead    Away 2.00
May 13 East Cheam Away 2.00
May 20 Chertsey Rec. Away 2.30
May 27 Old Woking Away 2.30


June 03 Valley End 2nd XI Away 2.00
June 10 cancelled Away 2.00
June 17 Cove 2nd Away 2.30


June 24 Mt. Hawke Away 2.30
June 25 Cancelled Away 2.30


July 01 Old Woking Away 2.00
July 08 Royal Ascot III Away 2.00
July 15 Tilford Away 2.00
July 22 Brookwood Away 2.00
July 29 Pirbright Away 2.30


Aug 05 Bagshot Away 2.00
Aug 12 Claygate Away 2.00
Aug 19 Windlesham Away 2.00
Aug 26 Bisley Away 2.00


Sep 02 Chobham 2nd XI Away 2.00
Sep 09 Hawley Away 2.00
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Cap'n Matt

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   Tim Lamb's successful tenure as Captain from 1998 to 2000 (66 games, 29 wins, 31 lost and six draws) was always going to be a hard act to follow. Having served a two-year apprenticeship Matt Balkwill (who scored his maiden century at Tilford in 2000) emerged from Tim's shadow to become the new Captain for 2001. Despite his inaugural Captaining season not being the most successful, many positive points came out of this evolutionary season nonetheless. Another good side of the year was the launching of the History Project, aimed at charting West End Cricket Club from it's earliest days. At the time of writing, unearthed documents placed WECC as over 120 years old. Not the players mind you, although some of us feel that way sometimes!

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   It had been the the wettest winter on record and where once there was earth to stand on instead there now sat a dirty brown sludge for all to sink into at every possible opportunity. Leatherhead CC was one of about three cricketing organisations in SE England that weekend who could claim to owning what could be referred to as a ground without fear of criminal proceedings. However, our cautious optimism turned into mild bemusement before finally evolving into a “how long ‘til tea?” mode of operating as many boundaries subsequently flew off the bat. Comments of “he’s hitting it in the air, though” were not welcomed as it is plainly obvious that “hitting in the air” in Leatherhead roughly translates to “another bloody six!” in most other parts of the country. At least we topped the ton in that match.

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   The season continued with diminishing totals like at Chertsey Rec, who only had a small total to pass to win, which of course they did. Old Woking (27th May) was very keenly competed game which nearly swung our way: every time Old Woking got a few more runs our bowlers fought back with another wicket. One crucial chance went down with only their last man to come in (of whom it was quoted "he don’t get runs, he gets the runs!") and let them off the hook which, in the failing light enabled Old Woking to sneak a victory in a tight game.

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   The draw at Valley End came at a time when we simply had to stem the flow of losses and a draw sufficiently sufficed in this capacity even if the run rate dipped below 0.5 runs per over at one stage. The game featured several shining examples of stonewalling as one could ever be bored into viewing which proves beyond any reasonable doubt the depth to which WECC can dip to in the anti-dynamic stakes when required.

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The boys down their milk rations on tour

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   Which cunningly brings us to the tour. Oh yes, it was back to the jolly old Ponsmere for the sixth tour to Cornwall. Only two games were scheduled this year and one of those never happened due to the opposition not turning up. Our reputation seemingly precedes us, ahem. As for the game that did go ahead at Mount Hawke, they hadn't beaten us in four previous attempts. We defended a miserly total of 71, a total that we've won tour games before - but not this time and we came second. Not a close second either. In fact the game was over so early we had a beer match, which we ironically won. The first win of 2001 and it was a Beer Match! Very worrying. The weather was fantastic however, probably the best tour weather we've ever experienced, evidenced by the dregs of the party sitting outside the hotel at 3.00am on a balmy Monday night / Tuesday morning. Bliss. 

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   This first "real" victory of the year cunningly brings us to the official Old Woking game where they surged to a large score, thus sowing seeds of a possible thrashing in our minds. Tossing cares and other delicate niceties in all directions we had a “go” and the game “went” all the way to a well-earned draw. From this encouraging performance came a brace of victories: the first was versus Royal Ascot III on a nasty day reminiscent of the wet winter past when not too many clubs had a suitably dry home ground available. Steve Cave gave as much of the strike as he could to Matt (who scored a much-welcomed half-century) and we couldn’t really feel that smug as we soundly beat them, we've been there before! The second came the following week against Tilford, that rather lovely setting near the river (and the pub). Last year, Matt got his maiden century here while this year saw Mike Hills blossom into the arrogant stroker we all know (and nearly love) as he belted an uncompromising 86 with sweat to match. Craigie Boy also took four vital wickets proving he’s not such a wuss as he makes out after all.

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   Brookwood saw a continuation of our new-found form where both teams put in a valiant effort which ended in a draw. The Sunday after at Pirbright was without doubt the hottest playing day of the year, absolutely sweltering. Adie Barrett arrived just in time to go home again and collect his kit, desperately hoping Matt would bat first if he won the toss. This game went all the way to the wire, Pirbright needing two runs off the last over. The experienced man was tired and could only creep a single. We came unstuck attempting to remove their new man: any short-sighted batsman with goldfish bowls for lens, a hockey-stick for a bat and a stance indicating that he’d lost his horse must go. True to form we failed and he stayed to claw a draw with the scores level.

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   We held out against Claygate seconds although exactly what we held out was not noted. Which brings us fairly and squarely up the final straight to Chobham where the wheels well and truly came off our chariot. To cut a short story even shorter we were short of players, Bertie Lamberth scheduled to arrive after work at 3.00pm, just in the nick of time to miss the entire game. Yep, we were all out for thirty, yes, THIRTY runs, our lowest score since Isleworth village thirteen years or so before. Time for another Beer Match and – our record in these is excellent – oh yes, we won that again.

tiniball.gif (219 bytes)   After the Lord Mayor's Show that was 2001 passed, we unfortunately didn't have enough people available for the Annual Awards Dinner which we normally held at Chobham. Instead, we held a Players Awards Dinner which doubled as a Christmas "do" at the same time at the Fox & Hounds in Horsell. Most of us were there, Jowallika in his custard yellow shirt which some kind fellow saw fit to emblazon with red wine. No matter, it clashed well with the tropical yellow shirt of Ben Pudney who had declined to do his hair the same colour (he had done so once before). With Tim sadly unable to play very often at all the field was much more open in most of the categories. One category that was a no-contest from early on was the Your Shit - AAGGHH!" Award, given jointly for the first time ever to Adie Barrett and Howard Turner, who bowled the worst overs of the year. A much more contested prize is the highly-rated (for those who are NOT in the running) is the "Quack Quack Ooops" Award, which Ben Pudney won 5, one of which a golden counts as two. And deservedly so. The Players' Player of 2001 was to a much surprised but very delighted Mike Hills for his all round performance. He's such a nice bloke, despite what we may allude to sometimes.

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The Gaisford Improvers Award BEN PUDNEY
The West End Fielding Award CRAIG WESTON
The Hull Award - best batting average JASON WALLIKER
The Elson Trophy - best bowling average JASON WALLIKER
The Fenwick Shield - Player's Player (team vote) MIKE HILLS
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