Well it was that time of year again; time to dust off our Sunday morning hangovers and don the whites ready for an intense and ambitious season of Droving ahead. The task in hand was to avenge the 9 run defeat of 2009 (Hillsy's fault) at the hands of Salix CC.

The day started poorly for the Drovers with 020 Senior putting on his best "ill" voice in a call to 017 Woodman and claiming sickness and a reoccurrence of the bug that had caused him to leave work early on Friday. The fact that he was in the form of his life on Saturday night, forcing the pace on Wales, Woodman, Hello Dave and Blade in the Alma meant that his claims were viewed with a kilogram of salt and many a raised eyebrow - clearly the sofa and repeats of Glee were a superior carrot to Droving splendidness.... After further unsuccessful calls for Senior to grow a pair and man up, together with tentacles being put out for a beret wearer to fill the void, the Drovers were resigned to playing with 10 men. This was however not uncharted territory, and as the mighty Leeds United had shown the day before, 10 men can pull through and bring home the bacon when it matters.

Given the arctic conditions, and faced with a pitch that looked like a cross between a poorly tended beaver and Terry Waite's back garden, upon winning the toss 012 Woodface elected to stick Salix in and throw the ball to the demonic 038 Sharpie who was clearly up for skittling the oppo. Sharpie was immediately on the money sending down a maiden over of pacey peaches from the Superior Pitch End that had the geriatric Salix opener Spillane hopping about the crease looking lost at sea on an ill advised fishing trip. There was little on display at that stage to indicate that Spillane would prove stickier than Sticky the Stick Insect and cling to the crease until the 35th over of the day, notching up a stunning 1.02 runs per over in the process.

Opening from the Replacement Freestyle Bus Route End was 034 Pecker who proved similarly miserly, going for only a single off his first over. This was however off the first ball, then Spillaine proceeded to bed in for the remaining 5 balls. Intense stuff from Senior Mk II. Sharpie and Pecker, the Drover's tupperware twins kept things very tight and contained for the first 10 overs of the day, going for only 24 runs and taking 3 wickets between them. Pecker in taking his wicket with an excellent in swinging yorker to dispatch the frankly irritating Singh, equalled his wicket haul for 2009 with only his third over of the 2010 season. Smashing stuff that.

Together with some chuff tight fielding, the Drovers looked to be an impressive unit for 2010. A hark back to golden Droving days did however come from 009 Charles with a flailing attempt at slip going down in instalments to let the dynamic Spillaine off the hook; but overall a solid fielding foundation to build upon over forthcoming games. Next up to the plate were the spin twins of 006 Kiwi Palmer and 019 Dawson, both turning in impressive 4 over spells which were a lesson in flight and guile. When both trousered a wicket apiece it was looking like a convincing Drovers rout was on the cards. Clearly something needed to be done to make a game of it, and ever the team player yours truly 021 Wales took the ball in hand and delivered 6 overs of Bertie Bassetts favourites to get the scoreboard ticking over for Salix. Some jaffas were mixed in with the dross, and when Woodman missed 2 stumpings and a catch (as he was curled up like a hedgehog in a defensive position) in the first 3 balls of his third over Wales had a feeling that it wasn't going to be his day. Partial redemption did however come in over 4 when 037 Hello Dave pouched a sharp one at first slip to give Wales some reward for his toils.

Good supporting spells from 032 Nailz, keen to erase the memory of spending 130 quid on Jaager Bombs the previous evening and a bamboozling spell from 036 Reidos, together with returns to the fray and more wickets for Palmer, Pecker and bowler of the day - the aggressive grunter Sharp finally removing Spillaine meant that Salix were restricted to 155 off their allocation of 35 overs. A slightly below par score, but difficult to chase in far from ideal conditions.

After a cake filled tea and lots of brightly coloured orange cordial, it was time to set about the chase. 032 Nailz (still suffering and smarting from his Jaagerfest) and 036 Reidos took the reins. Nails took the first ball and was off the mark in typical sub-continental fashion with a classy wristy whip off the pads for 4 runs (needless to say, behind square). Things were looking solid and Reidos pinched a couple of cheeky singles before getting one that popped on him off a good length, clipped the shoulder of the bat giving first slip a regulation catch. Unlucky that - Terry Waite strikes again.

This piece of misfortune brought Charlie into the fray, who looked very good value after riding his luck slightly early on. Nailz continued to look strong to all areas of the pitch, providing the areas in question were behind square. A nicely guided shot for 4 runs through the slip cordon lead to the bowler Davidson calling him a jammy bas**rd - our little man with a tan was clearly not going to stand for this abuse, and everyone on the field knew that he was galvanised for a good score at that point. Silly boy Davidson. Nailz duly set about his task like the classy overseas pro that he is, looking solid and putting together a valuable partnership with Charlie before the latter departed for a well made 23.

Hello Dave was next in, looking the part with a brand new bat for 2010. The bat was however his undoing and he was out for an unfortunate golden duck after playing onto his stumps first ball. Paddy then entered the fray with the bowler on a hat trick, but defended solidly and put the oppo back in their boxes. Nice. Unfortunately he didn't last long, getting clean bowled for 1 by Ellis, whilst looking uncharacteristically cautious and pensive in his approach. Sharpey summed it up upon his return to the pavilion: "I have seen you play better than that Paddy". Yes we have, and I'm sure the curly haired maestro will be back to his windmilling best next game.

With the opposition going cockahoop and Salix thinking that we were fresh fruit ripe for the picking, topically our very own fruit, Kiwi was next in; despite his best efforts to negotiate his way lower down the batting order. Like a cheap p0rno, starting slowly, but rapidly building to a crescendo Nailz and Kiwi set about their task building a match winning partnership in the gathering gloomy conditions. Gradually it was clear that the Salix shoulders were slumping as the runs were piled on - the notable exception being the slack jawed slip who celebrated like a retard every time Pecker shouted regular updates of the Chelsea score across the field. The runs kept flowing with both players exuding class, with Kiwi reaching 50 and Nailz rapidly closing in on a half century.. Proper cricket boys! With his score on 47 the Sri Lankan contingent played his first shot in front of square - it was unfortunately to be his undoing as he shelled out at deep midwicket. Unlucky that as he was deserving of a 50. The bulk of the work was done however, and with only 10 runs left for victory it was left for Wales to come in and swing a couple of lusty blows before fittingly Kiwi rounded things off with a well struck 6 wrapping up the match with 6 overs to spare and finishing on a match winning 66*.

Splendid scenes all round, and bring on the Whalers next week. For my own personal safety, I will not be playing in that one.

DIY scorecards attached for full info. Class.

Over and out. 021 Wales.




At the half way point of the match you would have been forgiven for thinking that the "unDrover" like performance of last weekend might just carry through and we'd be sitting pretty at the Ship that night having chalked up another Dubyar. In restricting the hosts to about 160 we saw some strong bowling performances with Glen, Paddy, Kiwi and Matt picking up four, three, two and one wicket respectively. Kiwi conceded 31 runs from his eight overs though the oppo's number 7 did smack about 30 of them during an aggressive three over assault which was greeted with many cheers from his teammates and naturally plenty of laughter from us. Wes and Kimbo also bowled tightly and the fielding was sharp with only two catches going down and the overseas Sri Lankan (yes Sri Lankan and not Bangladeshi cab driver you cuuuuuuuuuunts!!!) leaping like a salmon to take a diving one handed catch which so far is leading the race for catch of the season. No doubt Sharpey will have something to say about that in the coming games.

So, with a strong batting line up we were feeling pretty confident we would bring home the bacon. However, five ducks later and some average shot selection saw us all out for about 100 and suffering one of our heaviest defeats for some time. Special mention goes to Hello Dave who decided that after facing two balls (one more than last week) he'd had enough of batting for the day and kicked the hell out of his stumps. Matt, the SL overseas hero and Glen were the only ones to make double figures with scores of about 35, 25, and 25.

The evening continued into the Ship for Kirt's birthday and the highlights and moments of glory were as follows:

·         The Ship is filled with battalions of hot girls yet we set up mission control nowhere near any of them on the other side of the pub and created our own brand of sausage fest.

·         Peckers girlfriend destroyed each and every Drover in her own aggressive special way.

·         Woodsy's response to G-Mans email- massive hit. 

·         Kiwi and Kimbo trying to repair a girls motorbike at the end of the night whilst the Sri Lankan King Pin donned her designer helmet and repeatedly ran head first into the wall

·         Kiwi and Kimbo kidnapping a certain Sri Lankan Flight Lieutenant outside of McDonalds en route to Wessex House where many shapes were thrown and Kimbo kissed a blonde girl who was tall.

The End.




Drovers CC (188-5 from 33.4 overs) beat Maladroits CC (187-8 from 35 overs) by 5 wickets

The Drovers returned to big W ways with a scintillating all-round performance at the Sheen Park Oval on Sunday 6th June.   

Despite Welshman threatening to flood the square with some heavy-handed pre-match groundskeeping, the game got underway at a pretty early (by our standards) 1.00.  Electing to field, the Drovers set to their task well with bouncing deliveries and chatter from Pecker and a more mellow offering from Breasty.  However the early breakthrough did not materialise and the most notable early action was Hello Dave tweaking a hamstring while galloping across the outfield, to be replaced by 12th Man Ted.

While the Droits had got off to a decent one, Breasty struck twice to force the breakthrough (can't remember who got the assists).  However with the Droits 100-odd for 2 and some star names to come, the situation required a big game player for some signature moves.  Enter into the attack No More Nailz.  Wheeling away from the Pavilion End, it wasn't long before he was among the week-eets before embarking on perhaps Droving's greatest ever over.  First a aerial shot landed in the area of The General, feeling sprightly after a quiet night in the previous evening, who judged it to perfection at mid-off.  Next ball, a forceful leg-side clip was beautifully pouched by Kiwi at short mid-wicket.  Hat-trick ball, and the customary close-in field was in for the kill.  Nailz forced the leading edge and the finger of destiny pointed to Breasty who, under the most considerable of pressure, took a steepler running back at mid-on.  A hat-trick bundle ensued with no further injuries, and the Drovers were right on top with Nailz collecting 5-31.

While Hillsy got his first wicket since 2008 with a sharp caught and bowled, JC and Boozer saw the Droits safely up to 187.  Mention must be made at this point of some excellent action in the field - Welshman behind the stumps, Weslos creating pressure bowling in tandem with Nailz and unwavering commitment and good form from Reidos.  Reidos actually took 3 catches, unfortunately they were all during the same chance at mid-on off Hillsy, with the fourth attempt ending up on the deck.  Still, not the first or the last of us to try that little trick. 

After a splendid tea, it was time for the Drovers to hunt down some bacon.  In a niche move, Ted and Woodman were given first dibs.  What followed was found to be quite extraordinary, especially for the two batsmen out there - a stand of 69 in 12 overs.  Great form from both - Ted (not so fresh from his own stag weekend deciding to block anything that wasn't outside off stump but present the kitchen sink to anything that was) and Woodman (first scoring shot back over the bowler's head for 4, and as pure a contact as you can ever see lofting a straight one to cow corner).  Fun and frolics indeed, before Woodsy departed for a career-high 21.  The General did well to arise from his slumber to at least make 2 (which was 1 time less than the number of times he went off to the woods to throw up) and Breasty made a breezy 13.  95 for 3 at drinks.

Ted responded to his change of role from pinch hitter to innings backbone by dollying the first ball after drinks to extra cover for 62 and once Welshman was castled for 2, the match was firmly in the balance.  Luckily for the Drovers, Hillsy and Kiwi were next down the ramp and whittled away the target.  Using lusty hitting, the run chase was always in control, despite a couple of scares including a catch off a no-ball.  Quality fare indeed, and evidence enough to show why these two have over 200 runs between them this year with no dismissals - Hillpiece ending on 25 and Kiwi 47, bringing home the game with 8 balls to spare. 

So a big 5-wicket shaped W for the Drovers.  Probably a lot more comedy and events that should be noted, but I've forgotten them.




On a bright and sunny morning the Drovers gathered at Ham Common despite the majority of the team going to the wrong pitch and were only marginally late, apart from Hillsy who was very late, which surprised everyone. 

The XI that started the game bore little resemblance to the one sent out by Kiwi just four days previously as Curry, Reidos, Sharpey and the Sec himself all came into the line up.

Despite the usual appeals for a T20 game it was decided that 35 overs would be the make up and after being put into bat the Drovers looked unlikely to last 15. 

After the first eight deliveries we had two men back in the hutch after Hello Dave played a sumptuous cut for four to nearly double his tally for the season, before repeating the shot and falling to a surprisingly good catch. Charlie came in next and also played a rather delightful shot, except he missed it and was bowled second ball for a round zero. 

A recovery was put together by Tomo and Senior with the former playing some delightful shots on his way to about 28 before miscueing one before Kiwi chipped to midwicket for a significantly low score. Senior followed soon after thanks to a great catch behind the stumps and had somehow batted for a considerably long time without scoring many runs, although he did get off the mark with a six over cow. Sorry pal, no idea what you finished on, probably 20-odd. 

Paddy and Hillsy took us to the drinks break before Paddy was bowled and Reidos lasted about 30 seconds leaving DCC seven down for 80 odd and with 16 overs still to play. A rather surprising partnership followed between Curry and Hills seeing the latter pass 50 again before Cuzzer felt he'd had enough fun and ran him out. Sharpey smote a few before a limping Kimbo walloped the last two balls for 10. Curry finished with a career best 27* and even played a good shot in there somewhere. 

198/9 was pretty respectable on a pitch as green as the glass in Kinseys foot and in heat that made Hello's head look like a red snooker ball.

Sadly the oppo got off to a rapid start, the decision to open the bowling with Paddy lasted a single over and the white Malcolm Marshall and Sharpster sent down an array of bouncers and wides. Midnight were quickly 70-odd for none before Sharpey got the breakthrough, shortly after karate chopping the stumps mid-delivery stride, thanks to a diving left-handed catch by keeper Hills. He picked up a second in his final over and it was game on. 

Wickets began to fall steadily and remarkably not a single catch went down, although Reidos looked positively terrified as the ball looped towards him to give Senior, or Fabrizio Ravanelli, his first of three on the day. Tomo also produced a direct hit from the boundary to grab a second run out after Reidos picked the right end to throw to and Sharpey plucked a couple of catches, including one taken while lying down. 

Their good bloke continued to smoke all our bowling but thankfully was last man out for 92 giving Tomo a deserved one in the wicket column and the Drovers a mighty fine 50-run victory. Contributions all round and a good number of high fives as well. Splendid show and well done us. 



The end-of-season fixture in Beaulieu provided the opportunity for some hard Droving, and didn't the 11 chosen oblige both on and off the field.  A splendid occasion, one that we hope will be a regular fixture, and a big thanks to 029 (Markby) for a fine job hosting and Mrs M for catering so well and putting up with us. 

Now, given the Drovers' usual punctuality, a long journey south and a bit of motorway jammage, you can expect the players' arrival times to be somewhat varied.  First prize goes to Welshman and Senior for getting close to the official meet of 11.30.  Then it was Teddy at 12 followed by Nailz, Markers, Charlie and Roy.  With 7 at the start, Markby called correctly and was rather obliged to have a bat. 

However with Teddy and Charlie out for 1 and 0, and Kimbo, Hillsy and Weslos only just arriving after some B road rallycross, the scene in the dressing room at 20 for 2 was chaotic.  Step forward Nailz and Senior, mixing stout defence with dismissive strokeplay.  Nailz looked set for a half-century before dancing down the track to a young pie chucker and getting stumped for an otherwise very useful 43.  Senior took up the baton had fun chipping the ball over fielders before launching a maximum to bring up his 50, ending up making 57.  At 137-4 after 28, this was all resembling proper cricket. 

Bit of a mixed bag last few, as Wes was brilliantly run out for 5 and Wales got 8.  Hillsy nursed his average for an unbeaten 17 while Roy retired with one ball remaining after reaching 39.  This allowed our esteemed host to the crease, who managed to get his pad in the way of one going miles down the leg side for no run.  So, 200 for 6 of the 35 and a good effort.

At this point the Drovers' arrivals policy came up trumps as Tomo, still asleep at the designated meet time, rocked up during tea and was promptly handed the new ball. 

What happened was some of the most inspired deesco sheet in Droving history, as Tomo and Wes tore through the top order.  Tomo with pace and swing, and Wes with swing, seam and bounce were irresistible.  Beaulieu's top order, apparently good for a few 50s and tons this year, were blown away as the opener played on and sharpish chances were snagged by Charlie, Roy and Ted in the cordon bleu.  The icing on the cake came from two clean bowleds - Wes nipping one back through the gate and Tomo getting one to swing away and clip off stump.  Inspired stuff, 3 wickets each and after 5 overs both sides were feeling a little embarrassed with Beaulieu marooned at 10 for 6.

The next wicket fell with the score on 165.  Whether it was the charitable removal of the deadly duo, the dropped catches, the customary tiredness or some decent batting, but Beaulieu were looking good for a win.  Notable efforts to break this up were Hillpiece making up miles of ground with a dive at long-on, somehow pouching but releasing upon impact with the ground and Markus shelling a bit of a dolly.  Anyway with the match slipping away Hillsy made the vital breakthough and with no other decent batsmen, the Drovers were in cruise control - the game effectively won when Roy and Ted combined to run out their main man for 93.   

A decent effort with Wes taking 4, Tomo 3 and both Kimbo and Hillsy doing a solid job and the Drovers brought home the bacon by 18 runs.

The players plus WaG Chrissie de-camped chez Markby to Drove.  There was a great BBQ and Magners mix before things went downhill rapidly when a bottle of rum was despatched in the fines sesh.  On to Lymington for copious beers and some carnage in the public arena.  Drovers will have their own stories but one notable highlight was provided by Wes, who managed to end up in somebody else's room at a local B&B, the guest coming back after the wedding party to find him in the bed!  Wes said he would sleep on the floor, but with the Drovers charm clearly in full overdrive the guest invited him to top and tail for the night - amazing scenes!

Cars were found for others to kip in and we hope that everyone got home despite nursing hideous hangovers.  All in all a great end to the playing season and cheers again to Markus for lining this one up.