The Hammers of Harrow

  • Harrow


Sunday saw BPG Women travel to Harrow Town CC for their 3rd match of the season. Having had plenty of players to choose from early in the week it was a scramble to find 11  once the start time moved to the morning and the prospect of a lie in for some seemed a little more appealing.
Anyway, thanks to Kate, we had 11. However, all good plans……. We arrived at the ground where your correspondent found he had a picture of a flat tyre on his phone. Sadly KJ who was due to make her debut for us had a puncture and she was trying to fix it. Having had 3 wicket keepers in the team we were now down to 2 and then that quickly became 1 when Molly said she would prefer not to keep. Fortunately, Kerrie-Ann was happy to do the role so she was gloves girl for the day.

Harrow were keen to get started as the ground had another game booked for 12.30 so Captain Paige did the toss with Harrow captain Khush. We lost.  Despite telling us they had a weak side Harrow chose to bat!

Erin opened the bowling and the Harrow opener looked none too confident against her lively pace. With her 5th ball Erin struck sending the bails flying.

Simrat took the 2nd over and quickly joined the party by removing the other opener also clean bowled. 1-2

Paige shuffled things round and decided to bring her mum onto bowl first change. Her younger sister looked less than happy having just taken a wicket but it gave Dawn the opportunity to bowl her first ball in competitive cricket. Admittedly, it did take a few balls before she bowled her first legal ball in competitive cricket!  Her action looked good so Ted’s coaching had not been in vain. I do suspect that they had been practising in their back garden as the length being bowled looked perfect for a 10 yard pitch!

Somehow Harrow’s ladies survived the guile and flight of that over but their joy was to be short lived. Paige became the third Goodwin to bowl and pegged their number 3 in front of the stumps to win an LBW appeal (could have been louder!).

At 11-3 I dropped a note to KJ saying no need to try a Formula1 pit stop as the game might be over before she arrived. Molly was the next bowler and her pace clearly troubled the bat, as desperate to get off strike she promptly ran herself out after a sharp throw from Erin to Kerrie-Ann.

Harrow looked to be in trouble and things weren’t going to get any better. Evie took the ball and won another LBW decision first ball as the batter tried to play foot cricket (very popular at school when I was a lad. Probably explains why I never made it as a cricketer!)

Next ball another running catastrophe. Paige was too quick and Kerrie-Ann did the rest. The next ball went for 4 byes. A welcome boost to the Harrow score but after another attempt at football Evie struck again. Foot cricket is honestly not the way to go.

At 16-7 the Harrow innings was in tatters. The Harrow captain, Khush, was next in. She guided her first ball nicely past point for a single off the last ball of the over. This was maybe a mistake as she kept the strike and Eve had now taken the ball and was steaming in from somewhere near the boundary. First ball and the stumps were in tatters. Eve reverted to her short run in sympathy and the rest of the over passed uneventfully.

Having had no wicket for 5 balls Paige turned back to Molly. That did the trick as with her 5th ball the bails (kindly supplied by Jess Low Sports limited) were lying on the floor.

Most fielding captains are looking to stem the flow of runs. In Paige’s case she was looking to stem the flow of wickets. So she bought back her mum to bowl! Sadly, this tactic didn’t work as confused by Dawn’s delivery that hit the ground and rolled along the floor the batter decided to run and Jess was way too quick and Kerrie-Ann did the rest again.

Dawn jumped around celebrating her first wicket before we had to sadly tell her that run outs do not count to the bowler!

So, 20 all out and England v India had hardly started in the World Cup.

The big decision from Paige was who to open with. She decided it was to be Kate making her full debut for the team and yes you guessed it Dawn! Fully kitted out they strolled to the wicket like Jason Roy and Johnny Bairstow. Hyped up and bristling with aggression fully intending to put this game to bed swiftly and decisively.

With neither having batted before in a competitive match they found that it was necessary for someone to face the first ball. Dawn took the honour (I think) and negotiated the first over from the opening bowler competently.

Kate was to face the next over. Kate also very successfully saw off the bowler and it looked like we might have found a natural opening pair to sustain Bushy Park Ladies for years to come.

5-0 off 2 overs (all wides). At this point Ben and yours truly decided to be very lenient on the wides in order to prolong the game. As long as the ball landed inside the M25 it was considered a fair delivery.

The first ball of the 3rd was an historic moment as Dawn scored her first ever run. A very nice shot towards cover. Kate not to be outdone quickly followed with her first run and the dynamic duo were off. It must be said calling and running between the wickets may need a little remedial work. Some of the moves and turns would have even got a 3 from Craig Revel Horwood.


The next couple of overs were both maidens (well they couldn’t reach most of them) but they were interspersed with a couple of nice shots which probably should have been run but more indecision resulted only in mini shuttle runs back and forth from the crease.


The Harrow captain Khush decided enough was enough and bought herself onto bowl. It proved a masterful move as Dawn popped a catch back to the bowler and we lost our first wicket after a fine opening partnership of 9. This bought Jess to the wicket and she was in no mood to hang around. The first ball was a single and then of the last ball Kate very cheekily stole the strike by taking another single.  A single off the first ball of the next over and Kate was really motoring. Jess then smashed the next ball down the hill for 4. It went so far it should have counted double. A couple more singles ensued before Jess repeated the stroke. If anything it travelled even further.


That was it. Game over in one hour and 15 mins (about as fast as it took KJ to fix her tyre!). Bushy Park win by 9 wickets. Our first ever for Bushy Park women and points on the board.


Thanks to Khush and her team who were a very nice bunch of ladies who, like ourselves, are in their first season in this league. Thanks also to Ben for helping with umpiring and to Ted for scoring, although clearly either the umpires or Ted could not count. Given I hadn’t got home till 2am and Ben’s track record on maths from the previous match – I will generously say it was the umpires.


Good Wins Everywhere You Look

IMG_54611With the last two matches in the U13B league frustratingly rained off, the BPG U15s were pleased to see rays of sunshine beating down on the Chiswick & Whitton pitch on Wednesday as the planes roared overhead. Unfortunately, the girls were once again a player short going into the fixture and with a side made up of both experienced senior BPG players, young hotshots and a smattering of debutantes.

Captain Paige Goodwin won the toss and elected to field. She turned to Imogen Higgins and younger sister Erin Goodwin (3 overs/9 runs/1 wicket) to open the bowling. Both girls rattled the Chiswick boys early on, with their openers looking nervous in the onslaught. The first few overs resulted in sparse runs on the board before Imogen took the first wicket with a tasty catch by fielding supremo Jess Low. The first bowling change saw Paige (3 overs/17 runs) take the ball in hand and she was unlucky to not come away with a wicket in a spell that was neat and accurate. Evie Mayhew (3 overs/14 runs/1 wicket) had better luck with a wicket from a run-out coming from the very capable hands of wicket keeper Kerrie-Ann D’Cunha before the diminutive Rosie Davis began her spell.

And spellbinding it was – fast, tight and resulting in three wickets to add to her tally. Your scorer had to keep reminding herself to watch the runs and not the bowling masterclass on display.

Amy Coppin (1 over/11 runs), in her first match for the U15s, and JLow (1 over/9 runs) bowled an over each, but wickets were needed as the opener was starting to look too comfortable, so Simrat Khaira was called up. Although proving the most accurate bowler and the only one to not concede any extras, the wickets were not forthcoming, but Khaira proved she can be relied upon for economical bowling spells.

Erin was invited back for the closing overs and clean-bowled the bemused middle order batter with the score on 93/6. Despite wanting to keep the boys under a target of 100, the final score reached 101/6 – close enough… cue the excited whooping from the boys.

Paige and JLow barely had time to take a sip of their Ribena before they were padded up, hair plaited and striding to the crease. These two are seasoned openers for the older age group and have been known to carry their bats in previous games, but this wasn’t to be their day. JLow found herself clean-bowled at 14/1 and the opposition bowler’s exuberant celebration was quite the Oscar-winning performance. Someone should sign him up for the theatre.

JLow was replaced by Ella Jones in her first competitive match not just for the U15s but for BPG itself. But if she was feeling nervous, she showed no signs of it as the opening bowlers flung everything they had at her. She was eventually clean-bowled, but can be proud of her debut performance.

In strode Erin G Jnr to take her place opposite her older sister and she made her intentions clear from the start with a walloping shot. Her sister fell cheaply soon after, to be replaced by Kerrie-Ann, but Erin stood her ground and began to hit boundary after boundary on a pitch that had seemed as though 4s were hard to come by (the boys only managed 5 4s in their entire innings).

Unfortunately, all that bending and squatting had taken its toll on wicket-keeper Kerrie-Ann, who found herself hobbling with a leg strain, so arguably the team’s best runner in JLow was called in to help Kerrie-Ann as her runner. It was short-lived, however, and another wicket fell. Simrat tried to tonk the ball a few times but was unlucky to find herself run out, before being replaced by Evie Mayhew.

Meanwhile, Erin was channelling her inner Stokes and wracking up the runs, eventually achieving not only her first half century of her career, but a final score of 53 runs off 39 balls and including 8 4s. She was eventually bowled by our favourite amateur dramatics bowler and Imogen Higgins got a brief chance to bat and secure victory for the girls with a final score of 103/6 after 16 overs.

This was another good-natured game featuring some very promising young cricketers, not only showing their development on the pitch, but also their team ethos off the pitch in their all-inclusive attitude in supporting and encouraging the younger, less experienced players, which is what BPG is all about.

A shout-out to Imogen for her bowling spell (3 overs/10 runs/1 wicket), Rosie for her wicket-taking tally (3 overs/13 runs/3 wickets) and JLow for her calm catch on the boundary. Stand-out fielding came from the likes of Amy and Ella on debut and Evie, who is always reliable in the field, and all of the girls played their part to cover the hole left by being one player short.

There were indeed Goodwins everywhere you looked on this occasion… whether scoring, umpiring, captaining or hitting boundaries. Thank you as always to our parental cheerleaders and volunteers and to our hosts at Chiswick & Whitton.

Sun’s Out; Bails Out!

IMG_0839Just when it seemed the British summer would never get started, the morning of the U14 BPG fixture vs Old Actonians dawned bright and promising with blue skies and not a drop of rain in sight. The girls were one player short as they headed onto the pitch, but spirits were high as always. Good to see, since some of the girls were playing in their first BPG fixture of the season.

Co-captains Imogen Higgins and Erin Goodwin won the toss and sent OAs in to bat. Keen to give all of the girls an opportunity to get some match experience under their belts, the captains teamed a seasoned bowler in Rosie Davis with Ottilie Day in her first ever competitive over. The girls started well, particularly Ottilie who bowled very competently and accurately, conceding no extras and only 6 runs off her over. And to top off a brilliant opening over, she came away with her first wicket for BPG (LBW) – an outstanding start!

OA’s other opener would prove difficult to shift once she bedded down at the wicket and a number of bowlers tried their hand at getting her out, with mixed results. That wicket finally fell at the hands of Rosie D, fresh in the side from a wrist fracture but showing no signs of that holding her back. Bea Sheridan also grabbed herself a tasty wicket as the batter walloped it into the calm and collected hands of Erin G, but the bowling kudos belonged to Erin for this match. After everyone else had bowled their overs, Erin handed the wicket-keeping gloves to co-captain Imogen and calmly took a hat trick of wickets that sent ruffles of displeasure through the OA spectators. Her first hat trick for BPG, but surely not her last… Kudos also to Imogen for not flinching once behind the stumps as the ball barrelled in.

With a target of 111 on the scoreboard (if there had actually been one), BPG felt quietly confident as they padded up. First to the crease was seasoned batter Evie Mayhew on strike, with Ottilie handed the honour of opening with her. What a day for Day – not only opening the bowling, but also opening the batting and taking her first wicket! There were no signs of giddiness or nerves though, considering they were facing arguably OA’s best bowlers. Evie fell cheaply, caught on 2 runs, to be replaced by Rosie D, but Ottilie went on to score 12, including 2 boundaries, off 15 balls. She was finally bowled as the score reached 27/2, to be replaced by Annie Stirling. Unfortunately, the same bowler who had scuppered Ottilie’s debut was on hand to catch Annie’s high-flying ball and she fell quicker than expected with the score at 43/3.

Then began a rush of falling wickets. First Rosie, but not before she had racked up a respectable 11 runs, then both Imogen H and another newcomer to the side in Hannah Farrell fell too, with the same bowlers and fielders ruffling everyone’s feathers. Every time your scorer looked away, it seemed a wicket tumbled, so I gave up on my bacon sandwich after one bite, with only a blob of brown sauce in my lap to remind me of how delicious it could’ve been.

Amid the chaos, one player in Matilda Le-Frenais steadfastly held up her end as her partners crumbled. Even so, before BPG could blink, the score was 50/6 and, although we had plenty of overs to spare, it was batters we were lacking. That one player short on the team list would prove crucial in the end.

Next to the crease came the original Pocket Rocket in Erin G. Not known for her patience at the crease, she began as she meant to go on with a boundary from her first ball. Between them, Matilda and Erin set up a fantastic partnership, calling well, running (relatively) sensibly and bringing the rush of wickets to a standstill. But with Erin quickly reaching 30 runs (off 24 balls), she was retired not out, with BPG on 106/7 and needing only 5 runs to win with three overs to spare. Ananya Apte took up her position opposite Matilda, but fell to a ball rattling the stumps. Matilda held on valiantly, only to fall at 108/8, but she can be more than proud of her final score of 15 runs from 23 balls. She was replaced by Bea S, who added another 2 runs to the score before she was caught out. Erin G was then called back to the crease to try and bring BPG over the finish line. But with OAs bringing on their best bowler and Erin only on strike once, an unlucky Bea caught an edge, the ball jettisoned into the air and was caught with the score on 110 all out.

The result? A tie.

We like close matches that make the girls up their game and this proved to be just such a fixture. The team can be more than proud of their efforts. A number of the girls made their debut and performed without showing any signs of nerves; there was some standout bowling performances (Rosie D = 4 overs/19 runs/1 wicket; Erin G = 2 overs/12 runs/3 wickets); and some determined batting (Ottilie D 12 runs from 15 balls; Matilda Le-F 15 runs from 23 balls; Erin G 31 not out from 25 balls), not to mention tight fielding and good backing up from the likes of Hannah F, Ananya A, Evie M (always reliable in the field and happy to carry on despite taking a blow to the leg) and Annie S. Imogen H set the field so as to restrict boundaries for the opposition and both her and Erin G led effectively from the front.

All in all, a good day out! Your scorer went home feeling positive, despite the brown sauce down my front, and looking forward to watching this group of girls play more such close encounters in the future. As always, a big thank you to both Ted and Billy for umpiring, Mark for managing the girls (the game was so good, he couldn’t bring himself to leave!!) and the parents for supporting from the sidelines.

Extras! Extras! Read All About It!

After a frantic few days of pleading emails, which is becoming a theme for this season already, a team of 10 ranging from U15s to U12s took to the King’s Field in Hampton Wick for the U15s’ next fixture in the U13B league. With the sun shining for a change but a stiff breeze blowing across the pitch, which would later mean the scorers would lose all feeling in their extremities, hopes were high for a close and entertaining match. The boys certainly looked the more professional of the two sides with their warm-up drills; our girls warmed up their mouths with a good catch-up more than their bodies.

BPG lost the toss and the boys sent them in to bat first. Co-captain P Goodwin and M Bartlett padded up and, with no time for throw-downs, they strode casually onto the crease. But with an unpredictable wicket and no runs from the bat in the first two overs, it looked like the pitch conditions would test the girls somewhat, not to mention the fact that the girls were a player short. Then, with a flick of her wrist, Bartlett whipped the ball over the boundary for 6 in the third over and the opening pair were off the mark in style. Bartlett and Goodwin’s opening partnership of 48 runs off the bat set the tone for the innings and was a pleasure to watch, with plenty of boundaries and running between the wickets. Even the scorers had to remind themselves to stop applauding in order to record the runs (well, this scorer did). Bartlett was eventually bowled on 24 from 35 balls and was replaced by co-captain A Avery.

However, this innings would be defined by the number of extras handed to the girls by their opposition, not to mention their fielding errors. By the time Avery was dismissed LBW, the score had reached 100-2, but Avery had scored no runs herself off the bat. The umpires looked to be getting quite the arm workout as they signalled 44 wides, and byes and leg byes in abundance.

J Low made a brief but entertaining appearance after Avery’s dismissal, but was bowled prematurely, making way for I Higgins, who wasted no time in hurtling the ball over the boundary. Meanwhile, as has become her modus operandi this season, P Goodwin remained steady at her end, keeping her cool and letting the runs tick over. Goodwin and Higgins complemented each other perfectly and saw out the rest of the overs to reach a score of 181/3, with Higgins scoring 29 runs (not out) off 24 balls and Goodwin carrying her bat once again and scoring 51 (not out) in what was quite the batting masterclass. This is BPG’s highest ever score in a league match and Goodwin’s second half century in as many weeks.

Taking note of the bouncy wicket, Goodwin and Avery sent in the younger of the Goodwin siblings to open the bowling alongside J Low. What started as a disciplined over in stark contrast to the boys’ attempts in the field ended with the boys on 8 runs already and it was plain to see the opposition was not going down without a fight in the face of such a daunting run target. J Low managed to take the first wicket by clean-bowling the no 2 batsman, but the opener looked like he had been taking notes from P Goodwin and was steadfastly remaining where he was. E Goodwin and Low made way for S Khaira and A Avery, both of whom bowled tightly and with determination. Khaira was rewarded with two wickets in the end, one clean-bowled and another from a cool catch by Higgins.

The younger girls in this week’s team were then given the opportunity to show their bowling prowess and on the whole all bowled tighter and neater than the boys. But what was most impressive was their commitment in the field. A Stirling proved to be a master fielder, flinging herself after every ball and making sure nothing reached the boundary, even resulting in a few nettle stings. And at the other end of the field, R Davis had your correspondent flinching and wincing as she flung herself to the ground and risked re-breaking her newly healed arm in order to keep the runs in check. B Sheridan also proved to be an instinctive fielder and all three can be proud of the role they played in showing the opposition how fielding should be done.

But with the opener still refusing to go quietly, E Goodwin was sent in for another go with the ball. In the space of one over, she got her first wicket by removing the batsman’s middle stump and then followed it with a runout off Higgins’ bowling.

And yet the opener hung in there. But the captains had a plan up the sleeves of their grass-stained (and slightly too short after a growth spell) whites. P Goodwin had saved herself and I Higgins until the end. Goodwin took the ball in hand and generously allowed the opener to reach his own half century before cleanbowling him. The girls’ disciplined bowling and fielding made all the difference and the opposition fell short of the target with a score of 156/6.

And so BPG had another victory under their belt and a record high run score to celebrate. As always, thank you to Hampton Wick for hosting, Mark Avery for umpiring (and providing your correspondent with a cracking headline for the match report), and the BPG parents for cheerleading and supporting the team. Special mention goes to Paige Goodwin (51 n.o. off 54 balls), Imogen Higgins (29 n.o. off 24 balls), Erin Goodwin (4 overs/19 runs/1 wicket), Simrat Khaira (3 overs/27 runs/2 wickets) and Annie Stirling for her gymnastics on the boundary.

Runs flow in Bushy Park Women’s first home fixture

A sunny and warm morning gave way to a cold and grey afternoon with a hint of rain in the air (much more suited to cricket) as your correspondent arrived at Teddington CC for Bushy Park Women’s 2nd match and their first at home.

The usual week of emails and calls had resulted in actually having 12 available for our fixture against our opponents North London CC. The 12 included Juliet who had enthusiastically sent an email saying she was available and was rumoured to have been training with her daughter on the morning of the match.

After some confusion over which wicket we were playing on I was confronted by Juliet who was horrified to learn that it was a hardball match and not softball! Her claims that she could not play as she had no kit fell on deaf ears as Ted offered her a set of his cricket whites. I left Juliet to fight with Dawn over who was to have the number 11 slot. As if this wasn’t enough I was on my third attempt to put out the boundary flags when Julie arrived with Tracey and I was told that ‘didn’t I realise Julie was OCD and all boundary flags should be facing the same direction’. Time for a fourth lap.

Captain Lauren lost the toss for the 2nd week running and we were promptly inserted into bat in what was agreed as a 25 over game. Openers Paige and Molly strode to the middle as a fine mist of rain swept across the ground.

After a quiet start and exchanging a few singles Molly decided enough was enough and started bashing the ball to the boundary. The score started to climb until Molly, trying one big shot too many, picked out a fielder and departed for 23 at almost a run a ball. 27-1

Lauren came to the wicket and signaled her intentions by taking 10 off the last 4 balls of the over. What transpired over the next 15 overs was a stand of 125 between Paige and Lauren (surely a BPG record but leave that to our very own stato Alban to confirm) full of fours, and a lot of good running between the wickets, which at one point had Paige leaning on her bat, gasping and hoping the ball might disappear into the  building site yet again so that they could have a breather.

Lauren reached her 50 with a shot through the covers but with just 2 and a bit overs to go, and her partner also approaching the same milestone, she hit a high full toss to mid off to depart for an excellent 60. It was also a no ball according to Julie who duly chastised the umpire (guess who!) at the interval. 152-1

Millie Mac was next in and she wasn’t going to hang around. Dot balls aren’t Millie’s thing and there were none as she reached 11 before coming down the wicket and finally missing one. However, she was in just long enough to celebrate with Paige who reached a first ever 50. Well done Paige. To be honest it was a very muted celebration. Please learn to raise your bat to all corners of the ground and kiss your helmet! Anyway, I have it on good authority that Paige now has a higher score than her dad ever got but maybe this is just a rumour!

Only 2 balls were left for Julie to negotiate. The first ball was smashed to the leg side. Paige legged it to the other end to find Julie prostate on the floor telling her to go back. Paige could probably have run there and back again before the ball finally came in and Julie had clambered back to her feet. A hobbling Julie managed to carve the next one through the covers and was then forced to limp 2 runs to complete the innings. 171-3. Maybe even a highest score by a BPG team? (Alban – you haven’t anything else to do have you?)

So to the ‘tea’ break. What tea you ask. Well apparently we are supposed to provide tea (would be so nice if we could get a copy of the format for these games!). The only tea available in the clubhouse was a box of mars bars so Tracey kindly offered to drive Natalie to Tesco armed with my credit card to buy a pile of Meal Deals.

In the meantime we decided to get the North London innings started. Erin and Paige opened the bowling and kept it tight helped by some keen fielding especially from ‘the Fielder’ herself who lived up to her name despite the dodgy knees and used her glare to psyche out the North London captain who, clearly terrified, and keen to get off the field,  promptly hit a catch to Lauren at extra cover off the bowling of Erin. I think she spent the next 10 overs locked in the dressing room until someone told her it was safe to come out.

Unfortunately, that was pretty much the last contribution Lauren would make as not long after she dived for a ball and landed awkwardly on her finger necessitating a trip to Kingston hospital. Never fear a Bartlett is here and a few overs later Kate took the field as a replacement resplendent in BPG hoodie.

By then the North London batsman, despite the only maiden of the game from Pubudika, had decided the game plan was to swing from the hip and hit through the line and very successful they were. The score quickly increased despite the attempts of Evie and Millie to stem the flow. Balls disappeared to the legside boundary, hit off middle stump. Others went in the air but always seemed to land between fielders. Behind the stumps Kerri-ann was doing a great job as the ball sometimes flew with one clattering into her helmet. After 12 overs the score had raced to 89-1.

The Fielder, having taken over the captaincy from Lauren, turned to Paige and herself to try and stifle the runs. Things started well but then the bats found their range again with balls again landing just out of reach or between fielders. A great opportunity to run out one of the batters was missed when Julie, fielded off her own bowling and with three stumps just 5 yards away to aim at, carefully lined up her underarm throw. The ball presented more danger to the umpire’s ankles than the wicket!

Dawn and Kate both seemed surprised that they could field the ball and always got a cheer from their daughters when they did so. Kate’s son also offered ‘advice’ and ‘encouragement’ from the sidelines. Meanwhile Juliet deciding that hardballs probably were a little tougher to catch then soft ones decided to mimic her daughters football ability by deftly trapping and controlling the ball with her feet as it flew through the air to her. It sounded painful!

With just 25 needed from 6 overs Julie went back to her opening bowlers Pubudika and Erin. They both bowled with little luck but they did keep it tight. Erin finally decided on a different tactic. She bowled a high no ball. The opener hit a catch straight into Julie’s hands at short extra and being a no ball decided to run. However, her partner sent her back. Julie threw to Erin who stood by the stumps wondered what to do with the ball. Cue lots of shouting from the skip of take off the bails!! In a flurry of arms Erin destroyed the stumps and Bushy Park had their second wicket with the North London opener still not sure how she could be out on a no ball. 161-2 with 3 and a bit overs left.

The rest of the over was very tight. However, poor Erin was left traumatised, and likely to suffer terrible nightmares, after being ‘politely’ and ‘quietly’ told to hold onto the ball when she thought about having a shy at the stumps. I’ll mention no names.

Pubudika followed up with another good over conceding just 3 runs. 6 were needed off the last 2 overs. Julie bought back her death bowler Evie and she hardly gave them a sniff with just 2 coming off the over. For the 2nd week running the game was to go to the last over. Paige valiantly tried to stop them scoring the 4 needed but with the non striker almost at the other end before the ball had reached the batter it proved just a step to far.

So a defeat for Bushy Park but a close and hard fought game with some great cricket, lots of lessons learned, a few injuries (I forgot to mention Julie’s dislocated finger as well but it fades into insignificance compared with her knees!) and a fair degree of bad luck.

My thanks to North London for a good game (and apologies for the tea but many thanks to Natalie and Tracey for acting as Uber Eats), Teddington CC for hosting us, to all the girls for an excellent effort especially Paige and Lauren for their 50s, Dawn ‘it shall not pass me’ Goodwin, Juliet ‘softball’ Dexter and Kate ‘to the rescue’ Bartlett. Also to Jack for scoring again with the help of Ben although I will be contacting the Surrey Education Authority over the standard of mathematics in the county.

Anyway, I am off to play my new guitar (thanks Tracey!). Till next time.

Bushy Park Women make their debut


Sunday 19th May was a historic day for Bushy Park Girls CC. It was the first time we fielded a Women’s team as we embarked on a new adventure with a game in the Middlesex 20/20 League against Actonians Ladies.

Mind you it almost didn’t happen for late on Saturday we only had 8 players and had just found out that we had to play in coloured kit! Fortunately, Middlesex had kit for us and it was duly retrieved from Finchley. Then Julie Fielder the Middlesex U13 Manager kindly offered to play for us and Dawn was still thinking about it! Saturday closed with 9 (or maybe 10) players ready to make their debut.

Sunday afternoon proved a little muggy with the threat of storms in the air and a little rain falling on arrival at Actonians ground. The team arrived in dribs and drabs through the mizzle before it was enlightened by a gleam of white. It was Dawn resplendent in Paige’s spare cricket whites! We had 10! Hang on. It’s 11. Linda deciding to forsake her scoring duty and slipping on Lauren’s spare whites. A full team to make our debut. With Dawn, Linda and Julie our team’s average age must have risen from 14 to at least 17 😊!

After a short warm up Lauren lost the toss and Actonians chose to bat. Nobody wanted to keep wicket so Lauren took the gloves and Eve Abbott had the honour of bowling the first over for Bushy Park and Alex Barton the Actonians opener showed her intentions by fiercely pulling a ball to the leg side boundary. Another followed in the next over bowled by Paige but then Eve speared a ball through the other openers defences to take Bushy Park’s Women’s first ever wicket. 18-1.

Erin replaced Eve for the 5th over and took a wicket with her 1st ball winning an LBW appeal against Actonian’s number 3 bat. 28-2. At the other end Emily came on and she to claimed a wicket in her first over bowling the number 4. 31-3.

Both Erin and Emily did a good job at restricting the runs although Alex Barton continued to punish anything lose and must have scored about 90% of the team runs at one point. The run rate increased. Evie Mayhew bowled a first over where there were a couple of mis-fields that damaged her bowling figures but she came back to bowl a miserly 2nd over conceding just one run. At the other end Maddie bowled two excellent overs to keep things tight.

Abi came onto bowl and was somewhat frustrated that their number 5 bat kept turning balls off her middle stump round the corner for runs. However, in the 16th over she took the prize wicket of Alex Barton, who departed for a magnificent 70 out of 97 scored, after a very well judge catch by Maddie. Only 12 other runs had been scored off the bat whilst she was in. 97-4

Eve came back to bowl the only maiden of the innings and then our youngest player Erin sprang to life and threw the ball in to run out their number 5. Paige and Eve completed the death bowling so that Actonians finished on 120. An excellent bowling and fielding effort from the team well manipulated by Julie helping Lauren.

Highlights in the field included Linda’s Ronaldo like stepover and Dawn waiting and looking forward to fielding a ball that was coming to her only for Eve to swoop in front and pick it up.

Lauren went to debate her batting order (I am guessing there was the usual lack of volunteers for opening!) while the crowd pondered on whether 121 was a gettable target.

Onto the field stepped Paige and Abi. Your reporter was a little concerned on the pairs ability to stay calm under pressure given the previous days ‘spider’ incident (you can ask them!) but they showed little sign of nerves as they started off positively running quickly between the wickets as if there were a giant tarantula chasing them!

Singles were turned into twos and fours punched hard to the boundary until Bushy Park were getting ahead of the run rate and we were 45-0 off 8 overs. Actonian’s captain Alex seeing the danger bought on herself and the canny Sue Donaldson to tighten things up and it wasn’t long before the latter claimed the wicket of Abi for 34. 55-1 off 10 overs.

Emily came to the crease and looked to up the tempo but in her next over Donaldson threw up a tempting delivery and Emily looking to dispatch it to the boundary missed. 62-2 off 11.

Evie came in looking to stop the rot but got an unfortunate inside edge the rolled back onto her stumps. 63-3 off 12.

Captain Lauren joined Paige to try and get the inning back on track. A four through the covers for Paige and one over midwicket for Lauren bought some relief but then Lauren trying to drive Donaldson over cover sliced the ball and was caught. 75-4 off 15. 46 were needed off 5 overs.

Julie joined Paige with the instructions to look for quick singles, turns ones into twos and twos into threes (ok I made that bit up!). Nevertheless, the tempo went up with 10 off the next over and Julie out running Paige! The pair continued to keep the scoreboard moving but with nearly all the Actonian’s fielders on the boundary 4s were hard to achieve and ultimately with 18 needed off the last over it proved just too high a mountain to climb. Bushy Park finishing on 109-4. Paige ending with an excellent 35* and Julie 18* off just 14 balls. (and she had to run most of those!)

It was a fantastic achievement from all the girls in Bushy Park’s first women’s match and they can be extremely proud of themselves. I am sure everyone learnt a lot from the experience which will help in the coming games. A big thank you to Alex, Marilyn and the Actonian’s Ladies for making us feel so welcome. To Jack for standing in to score and making a very professional job of it (you can have the job every week!) and a special thank you to Julie, Dawn and Linda for making sure we had 11 players on the pitch for our first game.

BPG U14 Outclassed by Richmond

It was a busy week for some of the BPG girls this week with back to back fixtures. Wednesday evening saw the U14s take on a mighty Richmond U14 in an 8-a-side league match. Again, logistical obstacles meant the match start was delayed somewhat, so suitable light this early in the season would be a factor in the closing overs.

With Richmond winning the toss and electing to bat, the pressure mounted very quickly as three of the batsmen retired after reaching over 30 runs. Unfortunately, despite some flourishes from Matilda Le Frenais and Ruby Oakley and some blistering bowling from Eve Abbott, in general BPG looked a bit too casual in the field and conceded too many extras to make a dent in the Richmond batting line-up. With no wickets falling despite some valiant efforts, the target was set at 187.

However, one thing we do know about BPG is that they do not give up easily and captain Imogen Higgins opened the batting with Evie Mayhew with determination. Their partnership started boldly with many an early boundary and Evie racked up 16 runs before her wicket fell. Imogen went on to bat confidently, scoring 31 runs off 27 balls (7 fours) before reaching retirement point. It was an accomplished spell that had the supporters cheering from the sidelines.

Annie Stirling and Ananya Apte were unflinching in the face of some very pacey bowling from the opposition, but with the light falling, so did the wickets. Eve A (14 runs off 19 balls) and Erin Goodwin (12 runs off 14 balls) continued to apply pressure and bat confidently, but the target was too far ahead. However, the team’s final score of 114/5 shows how tenacious the girls were.

Thank you to Duncan Higgins for umpiring, the parents for supporting and Richmond for being understanding in light of the delayed start. BPG may not have won, but we showed our usual fighting spirit and sense of humour in the field, with smiles all round after the match.

BPG U15 Secure Victory in Style

BPG U15 went into this week’s fixture against Chiswick & Whitton U13B hoping for their first win of the season, but with two players down on the day, it looked like an almighty task on paper. Once the chaos of having to evict another team off the astro has been solved, the game could begin, albeit delayed.

BPG, captained by Jess Low and Molly Bartlett, won the toss and elected to field – and the very generous opposition lent the home team two fielders to even it up. The girls have proved before how neat and tidy their fielding and bowling can be – and this match proved no exception. Emily Bryce and J Low opened the bowling with tight spells from both and Low took an early wicket.

Evie Mayhew (6 runs off 3 overs) and Simrat Khaira (9 runs off 3 overs) proved very economical, helping to keep the run rate contained, and some lively fielding from Claudie Dexter and Izzy Morton meant the opposition were struggling to get runs on the board.

More wickets fell with a run-out for Molly B, followed by two wickets apiece for Imogen Higgins and Erin Goodwin, all clean-bowled apart from one beautifully caught by Claudie Dexter.

With a target of 97, Molly B and Jess L opened the batting – and what a performance by Jess, who carried her bat and scored a very easy looking 39 runs (not out) off 43 balls. Although other wickets fell quickly around her, J Low kept her nerve and batted with confidence. Emily Bryce looked to be settling in for an accomplished partnership with Low, scoring 13 runs off just 8 balls, but by then the target had been reached and the game won with 7 overs to spare.

Congratulations to the BPG U15 team – nice to see them secure a comfortable win and with such flair. Many thanks to Jack Mayhew for umpiring, the parents for supporting and to the Chiswick & Whitton U13B team for their generosity and sportsmanship in the field.

Onwards and upwards U15s!

New Season Opens with U13B Thriller

Mere days into the 2019 cricket season and the BPG girls were scheduled to face Hampton Hill CC U13B in their first fixture on Wednesday. Knowing full well how close our matches against the Hampton Hill boys can be, the girls were primed and ready for action. But with a player down on the day, securing an early season win was not going to be an easy task.

With an eye on the gloomy light conditions this early in Spring, team captain Paige G won the toss and elected to field. The boys came out focused, with their opening batsmen doing a very good job and bedding down, but the BPG girls bowled and fielded very neatly. Their efforts were rewarded with tasty wickets for Iris S and Emily B. Bowling kudos overall goes to Emily B for a sterling performance (3 overs/1 maiden/5 runs/1 wicket).

The boys closed out their innings on 112/2 and the BPG girls went in to bat, opening with Jess L and vice-captain Molly B. Both looked keen to get some runs on the board and a lovely boundary from Jess L looked like they were starting well. Alas, the Hampton Hill opening bowlers delivered some beauts and both Molly and Jess fell victim too early to the same opener.

Paige G and Iris S then took to the wicket and steadied the ship for the next few overs, with Paige G settling in and scoring a very respectable 25 runs off 30 balls before falling to an LBW decision. A flurry of excitement in the middle order meant wickets began to fall quickly and it looked like a victory may be in doubt. That isn’t to say there wasn’t some impressive batting in between – some tasty boundaries and lovely calling and running meant the middle order of Evie M, Erin G, Ruby O and Emily B made it very entertaining to watch for the spectators.

With the overs running out, it was left to Imogen H and the youngster of the team, Rosie D, to try and close out the overs – and both made a tremendous effort. By the time the last over began, the girls needed 10 runs to win. Imogen H batted with ease and calm overall, evidenced in her final figures of 21 runs off 24 balls (not out). However, their efforts brought them close, but not close enough as the final wicket fell with two balls of the game to go and BPG on 106 all out.

Despite the result, the game was a close encounter played in very good spirit, as is always the case with Hampton Hill CC. The girls can take heart from the fact that their opening match was a thriller and we look forward to seeing where they go from here. Each of the girls brought their A game and looked to have loads of fun.

Thank you to Tim Bryce for scoring, Mark Avery for umpiring, Dave from Hampton Hill CC for hosting and to the BPG parents for their support.

U16 Bushy Park Tournament heats up

It has been a frustrating year for the Under 15 girls with a swathe of fixtures conceded by opponents. Luckily many of the girls have been able to play in the MCA Boys league but yesterday they had an opportunity to play some of the finest female cricketers in Middlesex. With only 3 teams contesting this year’s Bushy Park July Tournament, it was a winner-takes-all shootout between Ealing, North Middlesex and Bushy Park Girls.

2018_07_15_U16_BP_Tournament_4_50%Ealing vs Bushy Park Girls
The eight strong BPG batted first with openers Ella Waldron and Pubudika Punchihewa making a welcome return to the fold. Waldron has taken time out of cricket to pursue her football career while Punchihewa had been following more studious pursuits. Ealing struck with the first ball and from then on BPG were on the back foot. All the girls made a contribution but it was hard going against a well drilled Ealing attack. Jess Low managed a boundary before her departure and Simrat Khaira dug in, accumulating the second highest score of the innings. BPG salvation came in the form of Erin Goodwin, her innings of 23 was the highest of the whole match and she showed her class with a series of fours from powerful strokes. What would BPG do without Goodwin? She is one BPG ‘s most loyal and hardworking cricketers.  Bushy Park Girls finished on 62 for 8 in 13.5 overs.

On paper this should have been an easy task for Ealing against a depleted Bushy Park Girls but Waldron had other things on her mind. Her first over included a wicket and just one run. Her second was a wicket maiden and Ealing were rocking on 6 for 2 after 3 overs. Khaira struck in the her first (and only) over and with a run out by a Punchihewa/Khaira combo Ealing were in more trouble at 12 for 4 in the 5th over. Ealing rebuilt and slowly they worked their way up towards the BPG total. Jess Low kept wicket and was a little more Bruce Grobbelaar than Bruce French, idiosyncratic and entertaining in her approach. Unfortunately the total was always within Ealing’s reach and they scooted past in the 12th over.

Ealing vs North Middlesex
In the midday heat the best girls teams in North and West London slugged it out. Ealing scored a big total and North Middlesex could never quite live with the ever increasing required run rate. Fair play to North Middx they went for it and you can’t dispute their courage. They were helped out by Sophia Stapleton-Parslow, Emily Bryce and Jess low because they too were short of players.

Ealing won and lifted the trophy. U16 Champions! Congratulations to a fine side, with some very capable and accomplished cricketers.

2018_07_15_U16_BP_Tournament_2_50%North Middlesex vs Bushy Park Girls
The last match of the tournament was a pleasant and cheerful affair, a great advert for the game of cricket. Despite the relentless heat, the mercury pushing beyond 30 degrees at the crease, no tempers threatened to boil over. North Middlesex batted first with two of their players comfortably running their scores into the twenties. Pubudika Punchihewa found some of her old magic with a double wicket maiden in her first over. The first wicket was clean bowled and the second a catch for wicketkeeper Emily Bryce. Laura Kimber got her first wicket for Bushy Park Girls, bowling the dangerous North Middlesex opener. Not to be outdone Izzy Morton also bagged her debut wicket and bowled a maiden over too. North Middlesex scored 75 for 4 in 15 overs.

Bushy Park Girls batted with desire and purpose in reply. They wanted to end their year with a bang. Sophia Stapleton-Parslow showed what a difference a season of batting in the middle can make. Here is a girl who showed real confidence, hitting some beautiful straight shots and racking up a rapid 12. Emily Bryce’s innings of 10 carried her beyond the century mark for BPG this season. Her good performances have bookended the season for the Under 15s.

It was another day of ‘long handle’ cricket for Jess Low. Her innings of 26* carried her into new territory. Known in her younger days as a bowler she is now the highest run scorer for BPG in 2018 with 225 runs, topping the U15 averages with 37.5. The win was in safe hands as Punchihewa and Khaira built a steady partnership, they finished the innings with the careful accumulation of 11 singles. Bushy Park Girls reached 77 for 2 in the 12th over.

2018_07_15_U16_BP_Tournament_3_33%Congratulations to Ealing CC on winning the tournament and to North Middlesex CC for upholding the spirit of cricket. Thank you to the two Ealing girls (Caroline and Keisha) who stayed behind to help with the final game. Thanks to all the umpires, scorers, scoreboard monitors and helpers throughout the day. And finally to NPL CC for hosting another successful tournament.

Check out the full BPG stats HERE.