The season started at Royal Ascot where we won the toss and opened the batting, only Richard Thorogood and Simon Christy made runs and we were all out for 112 runs (Skipper out first ball). We bowled Ascot out for 42 with Mike Bradley 4-9 and Perryman 2-9.
The next game at Farnham Common where we again opened the batting, everyone made runs Gerry Bowyer 22, Bradley 64, Dolan 51, Thorogood 38, 202-3 declared. Farnham Common made no attempt and finished on 68-6.
Kimble batted first and we bowled well to dismiss them on a good wicket for 141 runs, Bradley 4-18, Thorogood 3-21, Tony Cane 2-32. Apart from Steve Roach 48, Paul Newman 19 and Christy 14 nobody else managed double fogures we lost by 28 runs.
We lost the toss and batted, Bradley and Roach opened putting on 50 for the first wicket, Chris Goodrham also batted well with Newman putting on 55 runs for the fourth wicket but the tail collapsed 174 all out. Woburn started well but at a 119 for 2 Jon Wrapson took the important wicket of Lawless and Woburns tail proved longer than Taplow's. Cane 4-40, Bradley 4-SO.
I.C.I. opened the batting and made 169-6 only Lowe bowled well 3-34 Taplow's batting collapsed to the bowling of Chamberlain but Christy and Lowe held out for a draw.
Another fine bowling performance by Cane 5-27 and Bradley 4-24 saw Stoke Green struggle to 132. Taplow in reply started slowly losing Roach and Christy early, Dolan and Goodrham dug in and took the score to 70 then Bradley and new man Paul Tarn saw Taplow home by six wickets.
Amersham batted fairly well all the way down and reached 179 for 8 after their overs Reynolds 3-29 including one fine catch by Tarn on the long boundary, Cane 3-39 bowled well. In reply Taplow again lost an early wicket but with Roach 36 holding up one end Tarn 89 attacked the bowling hitting three sixes and eleven fours, we won by five wickets.
Much to their skipper's delight White Waltham won the toss and asked Taplow to open the batting, 23 overs later he didn't look quite so happy as Taplow's opener's Bradley 111 and Roach 31 put on 135 for the first wicket. Tarn 57 then joined Roach and brought the 200 up in the thirtieth over, Taplow declared at 246-7 in the 42nd over. In reply White Waltham lost their first five wickets for eight runs in five overs Cane 5-22, Wrapson 2-6 they recovered slightly before Tarn 2-12 finished them off!
Winchmore batted well and Taplow bowled badly 239-5, Taplow's reply was based around Roach 41 and Goodram 50 putting on 80 for the second wicket after that only Jeff Elder 23 put up a fight 156-8.
(the start of the rainy season) In an even match Wendover had reached 179 in the 43rd over when the rain came down leaving Taplow just 34 overs to reply going for it all the way down the order everyone made a contribution but with Scott Bradley and Dolan out within two balls the chase was called off and Roach and Lowe played out the last four overs 148-8.
We started well, when Tarn dismissed Tuckfield and Creffield in sucessive balls Ross Dunlop and Keith Paskins bowled well but the rest of Taplow's bowling left a lot to be desired 177-8, then the rain came down! and we lost four overs but at 85-4 with Goodrham in full flow we looked likely winners until the rain washed further play out.
Bledlow batted first and Taplow opened the bowling with Dunlop and Richard Lane, both bowled very well, the good work was continued with Bradley and Reynolds as Bledlow were restricted to 138. In reply Taplow's early order started well Mike Bradley 27 Roach 16, Bowyer 16, Goodrham 22, and Scott Bradley 15, taking Taplow to 101-5 when the tail collapsed with the last wickets going down for 10 runs.
CHALFONT ST. GILES
Top of the league Chalfont batted first but with Tarn 3-16 and Thornley 2-20 removing the top order they struggled to 101 all out! Taplow lost Dolan second ball for 0, Bradley and Tarn then put on 34 in 4 overs before Tarn was bowled for 9, Bradley went for a hard struck 45 and it was left to Keith Paskins 22 n.o. to see Taplow home by 5 wickets.
PENN & TYLERS GREEN
Taplow batting first lost 3 quick wickets before Bradley S. and Dolan took the score to 120 both fell in quick succession and with Taplow starting to struggle Lane came to the rescue with a well struck 19. Penn went for the runs all the way down and came to the last over needing 7 to win with 2 wickets in hand, no runs came from the first 3 balls a wicket with the fourth but the last pair scrambled 6 runs to tie the match.
Denham were asked to bat first and with Tarn 7-28 and Nick Reynolds 3-40 bowling very fast they collapsed to 70 all out! Taplow in reply lost Bowyer for 10, but Goodrham and Chris Paskins, saw them home without further loss.
A poor batting performance and an even poorer display in the field saw Taplow thrashed by eight wickets.
CHENIES & LATIMER
Another poor batting performance by Taplow with only Lane 22, making any inroads. A much better bowling performance saw Chenies struggle to win in the last over.
Taplow struggled against the spin of Soundy, and were all out for 127, Taplow's own spin king Flat Jack Reynolds rolled back the years bowling 18 overs and taking 6-13 and Taplow won by 65 runs.
On a lively Taplow wicket Chipperfield were shot out for 76 runs, Taplow then struggled to make the necessary runs losing 6 wickets in the process.
Taplow's bowling was ripped apart as Dinton made a massive 244, Taplow struggled in reply with only Bowyer 47, and Goodrham 62, holding Dinton up as Taplow held out for a draw.
We had a very mixed season. Perhaps several reasons spring to mind. Feeding players into the first Xl almost every week. 30 different players, soft pitches for most of the season and on several occasions the opposition being much too strong.
However, on the batting side, Dave Shoemark and Dick Duggan scored over 300 runs apiece and Andy MilIs was a most improved player, scored nearly 200 runs, fielded excellently and gained promotion to the first Xl.
The bowling was less consistent. No out and out seamers but Steve Adams showed the way with 34 wickets and not much luck and Jon Wrapson backed him up with 32 wickets but that was more or less it.
The opening game against Tring Park is usually lost and with 6 of the team on the wrong side of 40 we viewed the game with some trepidation. It's a funny old game. Dave Shoemark was in the runs straight away with 42 and at 85 for 2 we seemed in a comfortable position. Then it was the same old story, inside 9 overs we lost 4 wickets. We declared at 121-7 after a short interlude for rain - was this an omen for things to come. We made steady inroads into Tring’s batting and what seemed unthinkable - a win - looked possible. Tring hung on at 55 for 8. Jon Wrapson was the pick of the bowlers with 3-17 off 11 overs. Even bowling Derek Newman and Dave Shoemark couldn’t con them out. Still a good start.
We then beat Chalfont St. Peter. We had a new bowling find - a bootless Geordie called Martin Cairns who took 5-19.
We then went to Chertsey! The weather was inclement - the ground wet - it rained just before we were due to go out - Chertsey, our bogey team - would it be rained off?! We trudged out to field first. Tim Isaac bowls their opener first ball! After 45 minutes Chertsey are 28 for 5. Glad we came. Steve Adams wrapped up their innings for 92 taking 7-22 off 16 overs. 93 to win! Steve Roach and Jeff Elder put on 29 for the first wicket - this is easy. Steve Adams is out and we’ve lost by 7 runs. It should have rained harder.
Another loss at Caversham and Sonning - we take a strong batting side and manage 114 for 6 off 44 overs. Dick Duggan makes a good 45 and Andy 25 n.o..
Back to another wet wicket at Richings Park. We should go out to toss up in wellies. They only make 103 but with the balI flying around we made a pitiful 58. I suggested to their skipper in the bar that the wicket was not fit to play a school game on - he was not amused. 3 defeats in 3 games, the batting looking suspect but we did score 159 for 5 against Windsor & Eton and draw. Another defeat against Fleet despite Dave Shoemark's excellent 54.
The future looks bleak - away to Aston Rowant. Thank God I win the toss and stick them in on a track looking like Lords - They hammer 206 for 4 by 4.30pm. Still this gives us more time to get them. Unfortunately, a score of over 200 is a mammoth task but we hang on at 155 for 7. Nigel HaIlchurch is back from Datchet again - and scores a gritty 39.
At last a hot day, even G.W.R. looks reasonable and I win the toss again - what a decision - sod it - we bat first. Luckily I pull a hamstring early on which paves the way for Dick Duggan's 80 - he puts on 106 with Nigel (29) and we score 232 for 3. I eat my Aston Rowant words. G.W.R capitulate for 112. However the revival is short lived. We entertain Princes Risborough,. a new Sunday fixture. With the exception of Dick's 59 n.o. the batting fails - all out 118 and lose by 3 wickets.
The following week we get lost on the way to Eversley and turn up late, their skipper looks agitated. After 9 minutes play they are 0 for 2 - another wicket first ball just like Chertsey - their skipper is severely agitated but we lose just like Chertsey but it wasn't even close.
lt was a pleasant surprise to entertain a local village - Binfield in a conference game. It was an amazing start - another wicket first ball, Richard Lane producing an unplayable delivery - that's what he said it was. Hang on though we've been here twice before and lost. Richard bowls their No. 3 - 8 for 2. Steve Adams bowls a half volley (sorry Steve) to their No.1 who leans into an off-drive off the middle. Richard is fielding at silly mid-off and has no time to move. Spot the ball - nestling against his wedding tackle. This MUST be our day. Binfield make 68. Richard has taken 4 for 24 off 12, been involved in a run out and has sore b****cks. We knock them off without loss. Dave Shoemark racing to 49.
We have the usual game against Littlewick Green and draw - at least Roger Field only took 1 wicket.
Jon Wrapson takes over and the team draws against Monks Risborough and Hatch End but Windsor Vics is abandoned. The weather gets worse and the Datchet game looks off - we don't mind - they usually beat us. No luck they have an all weather strip but no boots allowed. Not to worry we field first and it rains during the game. Their skipper (53 n.o.) thinks it's playable and so does their umpire - disagreement - we don't. It rains harder - I point this out to the opposition who stay put. I apologise for not wanting to catch pneumonia and we leave the field. We've bowled 50 overs. They bowl 35 and are disappointed we play out for a draw. This fixture needs looking at.
The weather gets worse and Little Marlow and Braywood are cancelled. We manage to get the Pinkneys Green game in but it’s damp. Dave Wigmore and Brian May open the bowling. Wiggie's arm is so low he nearly knocks the bails off in delivery and Brian is mixing late swing with a sprinkling of wides. They bowl 24 overs between them taking 5 for 49 and Pinkneys are dismissed for 91. We only need just over 1 run an over. After an hour we are 29 for 4. Andy comes in at 5 and makes it look easy. Derek Newman digs in and we move to 50 before Andy is out for 24. Batting at 8 I help Delboy secure victory.
And so to the last game - Ruislip Manor can't raise a team. We pick up a game against Farnham Common 3rds. We bat first by agreement and Richard Lane opens in his last game for the club. He hits a brisk 20. So long Richard - good on yer . Dick Duggan weighs in with 36 before Richard has him L.B.W. - can we have a replay? Andy, at 5, plays his best innings of the season - smashing his Gunn & Moore in the process. Greg Lightfoot scores 2 and is out to Johnny Ball of all people. We declare giving them well over 40 overs to get 140. Their batting is weak and we gradually go through them. Enter their skipper at 5 with 20 overs to go and he shuts up shop. We toss up dollies, long-hops, full tosses and he treats them all like hand grenades, scoring 8 in an hour. Another dolly, he hits it off the square and in the air, Brian May holds on to a great catch and it's off my bowling! Was their skipper sick?! They score 65 for 9. Still we stay for a few beers and then it's back to Taplow tor an excellent Peking take-away - Ah So!
Thanks to Jon Wrapson - an able vice - and alI who tried their hardest on and off the field. Many thanks to Diana for scoring in her usual efficient way and all who supported us. And of course a big thank you to the ladies for their excellent teas.