11 BGs (yep, you'd better believe it, 11!) made the trip to a considerably sunnier than last time Mansle for 2 20/20s yesterday. We (ok, I...) lost the toss and Mansle chose to bat first (for the first game. Under the tournament rules I could choose, as the loser of the toss, what we wanted to do in the second match). Despite extensive debate over the best way to approach the games with the rules as they stood it was decided that we should win both matches to save any obtuse calculations...
It's safe to say that we fielded like a team that hasn't played cricket for 2 months. We dropped more catches than we held, bowled more wides than we'd have liked, and let them get 136 from their 20 overs, still a gettable score but more than it should have been. Snookie bowled particularly well, opening up with 2 overs and then coming back for the 18th and 20th overs, doing a fine job to keep them from a better score. Special mention to Rupert who, despite knowing that he wasn't able to throw the ball, particularly from the boundary, chose not to underarm the ball the short distance to his able-shouldered son and sent one in from deep point - surprise surprise it hurt a lot! Still it took prompting from the captain ("Don't throw it Rupert!!!") to stop him from a similar mistake in the second match.
Luckily our batting was a little less rusty than our fielding. Rupert and I opened up, a steady start before Rupert tried to pull a good length ball and was bowled. In came Mikey and his unconventional splays around the park, while I was knocked into action by a short ball to the helmet. Mike fell to a good slower ball from Mansle's best bowler and it was me and Bald Eagle Ferreira in a very determined mood. After a decent partnership I fell for 40 odd, then Clint and Julian took us ever closer. Clint skied one to be caught by the keeper, Julian kept on now with Sagnik, then when Sagnik got out before the 20th over in came to Snooke to send his first ball flying over the trees at square leg and complete our victory!
I chose to bat first in the second game. Another good batting performance, highlights being Rupert's innings (he was seeing the ball much better this time around, or just "seeing it" as he told me), Mikey's second cavalier knock of the day, a plucky innings from our newest recruit, Alex W's little bro Cameron, Sagnik's first runs for the club, and Clinton (as usual). We felt pretty confident with a score of 157 on the board.
Once again our fielding let them get closer than they should have, Clinton the only player who looked comfortable under a catch all day - luckily 4 of them went to him! Alex W also took a fine catch to remove their most dangerous batsmen. Snookie once again bowled very well, I bowled considerably better than the first game, despite a heated discussion with some batsmen in the middle of my spell (...), Jon moved the ball prodigiously early and came back to bowl the 20th over and finish it off and Sammy bowled 3 solid outswinging overs. In the end they fell 15 runs short, calculations were avoided, and we've qualified for finals day on the 23rd at Damazan!
Email to follow regarding this weekend's fixtures and teams. Excuse me for any important moments I might have missed - I've just had a couple of Guinnesses...
Cricket was the winner on Sunday at Giscours (read: BGCC wasn't...).
Having (very generously, if i do say so myself!) lent the opposition the services of Rupert, Eymet won the toss and chose to bat under mainly sunny skies. They proceeded to put together a tidy score, helped by too many wides and short balls (something to work on in the nets?!) mixed in with some good strokemaking here and there. 200 + something was going to take some getting.
We never seriously threatened to get them. Some decent young Eymet bowlers, amongst numerous wides from all bar one of them (the one who took 5 wickets) took regular wickets to keep us in trouble. Not even Rupert, batting 11 for us in place of the (knocked about by rugby) Quintin, could get us close.
It was a good, fun day's cricket played in a good spirit and finished off with a couple of glasses of haut medoc de Giscours and then some beers in town for the Bordelais.
Alex Waddelow impressed with his lower order hitting; Clint batted well (second time around); Samuel bowled some wonderful balls in his (first) spell; the weather was nice, if a bit dark by the end.
The negative: we had no beer! Have to fix that next time!
Lovely day yesterday at Giscours, despite Wills and Kate being forced to cancel last minute..... For once the sun shone for the wine trade fixture and the two teams battled it out in front of a decent crowd of spectators(?) - do they count as spectators when they came out for the barbecue and the wine?
Marc, between his April 1st high jinx, organised a very conviviale afternoon, ably assisted by Stéphane who looked after the barbecue and the "buvette" with such aplombe.
As for the cricket BGCC was sent in on a very green wicket (sorry) and got off to a fairly rollicking start thanks to Rupert "Birthday Boy" Holderness and some generous bowling. The top order, though, displayed a disturbing penchant for missing straight balls, which accounted for yours truly early on and then 3 wickets in an over to leave the innings hanging in the balance. Enter Ian Snooke and Andy Smith, who both played very well, straight batting the good balls and belting the not so good ones. Both ended up with 40 odd and their partnership took us well on the way to a very defendable total. Chris "I'll be out to field in a minute skipper I haven't finished my wine" Myers and Sammy Holderness finished the job to leave us with a respectable 168 on the board from 35 overs.
Intermission took the form of delicious canapés and rosé in the tent, thank you Marc.
Snooke and Reeves opened the bowling, Jon bowling well without luck and Snooke taking the first wicket in an accurate 7 over spell. That brought the flowing strawberry locks of Julian from J&B to the wicket, who proceeded to hit some majestic cricket shots, mainly through, over, or between mid-off and extra-cover. The captain brought himself on to see if what he could do, only to see anything pitched up pinging back past him the the straight boundary. It was then over to Holderness senior and Junior. Sammy bowled a very good spell, highlighted with a couple of wickets. Rupert's slow left-armers created a couple of chances but unfortunately we still couldn't remove the danger man. Not until he had scored 79 was he caught at deep mid-on, leaving the game delicately poised, the wine traders needing 50-odd runs with 5 wickets in hand. I thought we had a sniff, only for the flame to be extinguished by one of our own! Charlie Matthews was seeing the ball well and there was nothing Chris James, Andy Smith, Jon Reeves nor myself could do to stop him guiding them home. A gallant fielding effort all the same, thanks Marc for your unwavering commitment, and great to see the likes of Chris Myers back in the cricketing fray.
After the game the vino flowed once more, the last hanger's-on leaving as the sun went down on a very enjoyable day. Special thanks to Marc and Giscours for treating us to such a wonderful afternoon, and to Stéphane, (I'm not sure of the final figures but) who's efforts brought in a tidy little sum for the club's coffers - we'll have to find a way to share the load he took upon himself yesterday for future games, good job mate!
In the words of Hugo "Captain Kojak" Pinsent himself;
"The weekend began well before the cricket kicked off - having been met at the airport on Friday morning by Marc and Stéphane, the RHCC had an afternoon tour of the city followed by drinks and dinner hosted by our (much too rarely seen at the cricket) friend Colum at Café de l'Opéra. I couldn't be there myself, but by all accounts it was a wonderful dinner, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. Thank you Colum.
Marc kindly invited both teams to the pickers' lunch on Saturday, and amidst a few glasses of wine and some steak and chips the toss was won by the visitors, who opted to bat. They got off to a quickfire start, the BGs missing a couple of chances while one opener went on a boundary spree. At 110 after 14 overs it was looking like we were in for a big chase. Then, with the fall of said opener to a C Ferreira shimmy-shanga (read straight ball ;-)), the BGs tightened the screws, picking up regular wickets and keeping things tight in the field. Marc Verpaalen deserves special mention here - not only did he throw himself in front of or chase down everything in his vicinity, he also took his first catch for the club - reaching above his head at backward point! The RHCC finished on 180 after their 30 overs, a good recovery from the BGs but still a solid total that would take some chasing.
The chase could have gone either way. Rupert hit a few nice shots, but struggled to find the midle of the bat consistently and fell early on. Then in came Clinton, who proceeded to pepper the boundaries, looking in great touch - until yours truly got a little excited about a single that may or may not have been on - clean pick-up and direct hit from the point fieldsman and Cllint was on his way - sorry Clint. That proved to be an important moment in the match. David Horlock came and went first ball, and the momentum had swung well and truly back towards the RHCC. Despite some lusty blows from the middle and lower order we didn't manage to recover, and never looked like getting to the target, finishing 30 or 40 runs short (I think...).
A couple of warm down beers and a shower and it was off to Château du Tertre for dinner. With Alexander Van Beek guiding the RHCC around the château, Marc the BGs manfully kept the mosquitos off some magnums of Pol Roger by the pool. An exceptional dinner followed, 2000 du Tertre, magnums of 1998 Giscours, delicious food. I can safely say that we all felt honoured to have been treated to such a magnificent feast.
Sunday was time for revenge, or so we hoped. I put the RHCC into bat, and they proceeded, unhurriedly at first and then with real intent by the end, to dismantle our bowling attack. While we managed to pick up some wickets, their number 3 was having a field day, playing shots all over the park on his way to 184 not out. He did give us a few chances, some of which should definitely have been taken (the first one being mine...), but none before he had reached 3 figures. 331 from 35 overs - mucking around was not going to be an option...
Rupert didn't last long, perhaps still reeling after I called him through for a (very) quick single only moments after assuring him I'd go easy. Oops. Then in came Mikey Charreteur for his much requested (by him) debut up the order. He did not disappoint, and the runs flowed from both ends. Why Mikey ever played a defensive stroke is beyond most of us, for when he leaves the block in the kitbag he has a wonderful eye for a cricket ball. He scored a very entertaining 44. Personally I was seeing the ball pretty well, and with support from several batsmen at the other end managed to push past 3 figures. For want of someone else having to write another email telling you all about it, I ended up on 161, run out trying to come back for a second and keep the strike. We were still well short of the target, managing 250 odd from our 35 overs.
The weekend finished with some more champagne, wine and entrecotes on the barbecue at Giscours. A wonderful finish to a wonderful weekend.
Very big thanks to Marc (particularly), Alexander, M. Albada and the Giscours/du Tertre team for their organisation and hospitality over the weekend - the RHCC members were blown away by the way we (you) received them, and it was mentioned that they might try and compete (hospitality-wise) next time we go over... Not to mention the BGs members - what a wonderful opportunity it was to experience such a weekend.
Another big thanks to Neil for his organisation (if we can group all he did under one word), not only for this weekend, but also for our weekend in Windsor - none of this could have happened without you.
Thank you to all the players, umpires and spectators who took part in the weekend's festivities. Apologies for any forgotten details - feel free to add anything I've left out."
Hugo being the modest man that he is only lightly touched on what was a superb innings from him. Scoring 161, he broke the record for the highest total by a Bordeaux Giscours batsman. The previous record ( Also held by Hugo ) was 147 not out against Saint Aulaye . Well done Skipper!
In the words of Neil " Captain Crimestop" Vasey !
For those not present on a glorious, Sunday evening, it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we retained the Siddalls Cup, beating Toulouse CC for a second year.
Blue sky and blazing sunshine welcomed the players and crowds around lunchtime on Sunday for the premium South-West event: the Siddalls Cup Final, where last year's victors, Bordeaux-Giscours CC hosted last year's vanquished, Toulouse CC. Both teams had seen off their semi-final opponents (Noé-Gascogne CC and St-Aulaye CC) two weeks ago at Damazan and were raring to go.
At the toss, Captain Crimestop called 'heads', and heads it was and no time was wasted in electing to bat with hopes of posting as handsome a total as last year at Damazan. This, however, proved not to be as both Pinsent and Clinton "It moved a metre" Ferreira both fell early on, leaving the hosts somewhat precariously placed at 16 for 2. Holderness (40) however had other ideas and, having dusted down his legendary, swashbuckling other self in the semi-final, came into his own with some wonderful timing and hitting. In fact, other than a couple of strokes from Ferreira, Q (including the shot of the day - an extra cover drive/spank-punch from the first ball he faced), Snooke (an enormous slog-sweep outside off-stump for 6 and Michael 'Charalometer' Charreteur (a massive straight drive for a maximum, again, from the first ball of his crowd-delighting innings), no-one else on either side managed to get to grips with how strangely the wicket was playing: it was a real "sticky dog". Crimsetop (38) occupied (read: 'laboured at') the crease and cameos from Ferreira Q, Snooke and Charreteur (all reaching the mid to late teens) ensured that the home side posted a defendable 153 from the 35 overs.
Snooke and Ferreira, Q opened the bowling and true to last year's script, Bordeaux-Giscours had the game out of the visitor's reach early on as the pace of 'Baywatch' Ferreira (the fairer sex in the crowd not having been as excited since the appearance of his namesake's tight white jeans, or indeed the "Holderness' ripped trouser epsiode") and Snooke's (3 for 19) uncanny habit of taking wickets despite the ball registering minus 55 miles an hour on leaving the hand, had Toulouse floundering. That man Holderness was in the thick of things again, first with a truly remarkable catch at gully and then a direct hit run-out as he swooped down after an embarrasing spill behind the stumps from 'Bald Eagle' Ferreira, C. Veteran keeper, Bradford, in the crowd, must have surely been left questionning his decision to retire.
Abbasi was brought on to weave some magic with a ball that was seemingly gripping to the turf and he delivered accordingly with two good wickets, and with Verpaalen and Smith, S moving with the agility of a young Edwin van der Sar and Brynn Gunn respectively in the field, the Toulouse batsmen found it hardgoing. All that was left was for the celebrated close-out duo of Tiedrez and Charreteur to mop up the two remaining batsman, which they did with haste and aplomb, and the trophy was once again in the hands of Bordeaux-Giscours CC.
Holderness, resplendent in the only stolen blazer of the recent Windsor trip, was deservedly awarded man of the match and the prize of a dinner for two in "The Flags" (a fine dining establishment on the Slough/Windsor border).
A good day for cricket in the South-West and for Bordeaux-Giscours CC in particular.
Bordeaux Giscours CC: 153 for 9 in 35 overs
Toulouse CC: 75 all out in 22.3 overs
Many thanks to Grodger the Dodger, who selflessly mowed the field three times in the seven days leading up to the final despite the fact that he knew he wasn't going to play and also to those members who came to help out and support, namely: Alexander, Bradford, Horlock, Reffray, and Selig. The club is also indebted to the "Sirenes de Giscours" who were out in force with cakes, helping hands and smiles.
ps - finally, just in from the Fines & Crimes Committee. In chronological order:
Crimestop - crime: guilty of abysmal running out of Abassi. Fine: one shot
Smith, S - crime: out without troubling the scorers (sorry Stu, byes don't count..). Fine: one shot
Bald Eagle Ferreira - crime: guilty of truly shocking spill behind the stumps. Fine: one shot
Baywatch Ferreira - crime: allowing the opposition to take two runs to him whilst fielding at cover point. Fine: suspended sentence
This sunday ( 28 August 2011 ) sees Bordeaux taking on Toulouse to retain the Siddals Cup!!
The venue is Chateau Giscours and open to all. Bring some meat, drinks and sunscreen and come and enjoy the day with us! There will be a barbeque up and running all day for what promises to be a very good game of cricket!
Due to a late start to the season, you might have seen that no fixtures were up for the league. Believe me, it is not for a lack of trying. Here is how we have fared so far with our trips to Paris. In the words of Captain Crimestop himself;
Super League Paris trips
Saturday 25th June: Mantes CC v Bordeaux Giscours CC
7 brave/mad men boarded the team minibus at 6am on Saturday for our first trip North in 2011. It was always going to be a tough ask with the legal minimum requirement of players but hopes were raised when Captain Crimestop won what turned out to be a Sourav Ganguly-style 'disputed' toss and elected to bat. The early start and lack of sleep however soon had an early effect when Bordeaux's top three all fell within the first few overs. Ferreira C, must even have still had his earplugs in when he chased a wide one as he was the only man at the ground not to hear the massive snick that followed (the passing Paris-Rouen intercity was drowned out so loud was the sound of leather on willow...). Veteran Horlock and Crimestop steadied the ship and produced some wonderful test match cricket to ensure that the overs were batted out and allow Grodger the Dodger to come in for a delicious cameo. One can only imagine that the all-run four was his warm-up for things to happen later that night...Bordeaux posted a low but defendable ..with 7 ?!!...159.
The Mantes batsmen, unsurprisingly, set about trying to hit the winning runs within 10 overs and wickets began to tumble....the run rate was never an issue for either side, the key being wickets and the Bordeaux bowlers & fielders toiled away valiantly (Snooke in particular with 4 wickets). It looked as if the match was slipping away until a smart run out from Pinsent but then a disastrous spate of wides put the home team back in the game and they reached their target with one wicket remaining. I never thought I'd say I was bitterly disappointed losing a game of cricket with 7 men but that's how it felt. A few beers and a steak went some way to lifting spirits but Ferreira C, still needed to be placed on 12-hour suicide watch.
Sunday 26th June: Dreux CC v Bordeaux Giscours CC
A good night's sleep for all but Goszek meant that we were well rested for the second game of the weekend at Dreux, one of France's most successful cricket clubs. Luke & Ashok (Juveniles CC) joined us for the day - the captain delighting in the luxury of having 9 men in the field. Dreux won the toss and chose to bat, posting 180 after being bowled out with several overs of the 40 to go (lack of scorebook prevents me from singling out the best bowlers but if my memory serves me right, everyone chipped in with wickets and good lines outside off stump)...After a tasty curry during the break, Bordeaux's openers, Morgan & Pinsent, proceeded to take the Dreux attack apart, putting on 145 for the first wicket in a fabulous batting display under a blazing sun. Unfortunately they couldn't finish their brilliant work off but the middle order comfortably knocked the 30 or so runs required. A first SL away victory for the club !
Saturday 2nd July: PUC v Bordeaux Giscours CC
The punishing SL schedule that has been imposed on us due to various Parisian clubs' political wrangling meant that we (9) were back in that van again at 6am on Saturday. This time for a long trip to Chantilly, north of Paris. On arriving we were pleased to see that the field was in excellent condition (compared to last year) and our two Juvenile friends (Luke and Dan this time) were waiting for us. 11 men: surely we were in with a chance ! Crimestop again called correctly and chose to bat although at 13 for 2 with last week's star performers back in the pavillion things weren't looking great. In similar fashion to the Mantes games it was Horlock and the captain who steadied things but the economical and accurate PUC bowling meant the total of 138 for 8 from 35 overs (late umpires...) was probably quite a bit short of what was required. PUC's very good opening batsmen confirmed this as they raced away to a good start with some quality strokeplay, and as catches went down, they reached the target for the loss of just one wicket with many overs to spare. It was a 'logical' defeat as we were out-competed in all aspects of the game. 192 euros worth of beer and a pizza later and we'd picked ourselves up, ready for an important game the next day.
Sunday 3rd July: CCSB95 v Bordeaux Giscours CC
Once again, a decent night of shuteye had everyone on good form for the CCSB95 match - a win against a side we have beaten in the past, being critical for our SL survival. The captain once again came up trumps at the toss and we were batting ! Pinsent misfired in the first over and then Morgan was out at 42 for 2. Ferreira C, dollar signs in his eyes following the previous night's drunken bet with the Captain, set off on a long, cautious and vital innings (89no) as we posted a decent 222 for 4 from our 40 overs. In the field (back to 9 men again...) we were very sharp and Snooke and Ferreira C picked up 3 wickets each as we slowly strangled the victory from CCSB who were all out for 155 all out - Baywatch Ferreira (tanned, biceps pumping...), with a ball that was clocked even slower than one of the President's slower slow balls, and Pinsent, with a direct hit run-out from the boundary wrapped the game up in style. A second away victory in the SL!
Many thanks to all those making the trip - it's hard work to get up to Paris, and even more so in consecutive weekends. I was really very happy to see the effort, commitment and spirit demonstrated throughout both trips. Well done guys.
In theory we have 3 games left to play in the SL, all at home in July and a win or two will no doubt ensure SL survival.
A glorious day greeted us on Sunday for what promised to be an entertaining game of Super League cricket. CCSB won the toss and decided to bat first. Starting at 11:30 am meant the outfield was still wet and the opening bowlers both found themselves flat on their stomaches in their first overs.
Arjung provided the brunt of the entertainement scoring rapidly, bringing up his 100 when CCSB were on 117/1!! Their nr 3 batsmen batted smartly and made 41. After what seemed like 20 dropped catches, Arjung was finally dismissed for 126, stumped by Tom. CCSB then had a little middle order collapse, but the foundation was laid. Their tail added some big hits in the end to help them to 271.
Bordeaux came out to bat welcoming back opener Tom O'Gara who played his last match back in 2009, breaking his arm in the national final against CCSB. He did not dissapoint and showed no signs of rustiness with his 65 runs. But wickets fell regularly and soon Bordeaux fell behind the run rate. In the end Bordeaux limped to 183 all out.
Bordeaux did not look close to the team we were at the end of 2010. There were way too many dropped catches and eratic bowling. It is however the beginning of the season, and we can certainly only improve from here on.
I have learned on Sunday that CCSB's main batsman Jignesh Patel could not make the game due to his wife being in hospital. We here at Bordeaux Giscours would like to extend our wishes for a speedy recovery and our thoughts to him and his family.
I'll let the Skipper tell you about it
"Gents, For those unfortunate members who were not enjoying the glorious sunshine yesterday afternoon at Damazan CC, it is with great pleasure and pride that I can announce that the Siddalls Cup is no longer our'bogey' tournament.
A commanding performance with bat and ball combined with intense concentration in the field guaranteed that our name would be on the trophy in 2010.
Put into bat by the oppostion (!), openers Pinsent and Horlock raced off to a fine start before both fell rather unluckily. Holderness,batting with his characteristic swashbuckling brilliance, and the captain then put on a 100 before the former disappointingly mis-timed a pull when surely three figures were well within his grasp. However the damage had been done and with only three wickets down coming into the final third of the innings, a big score was surely on the cards as that rampaging middle order of Snooke, James, Smith A, and Groszek were given licence to thrill. They did not disappoint the crowd as balls flew to all parts of the ground and beyond and Bordeaux-Giscours CC reached 251 from the 35 overs. Chasing that kind of target was always going to be difficult but surely they could not ever have imagined the pummeling they were to receiven from the opening pair of Snooke (7 overs and not a run off the bat and figures of 7-4-4-3 !!) and Pinsent 3 wickets in his first 3 overs and a 4th victim inside his 7. Reeves and James ably backed up and Toulouse fell way short on 90 all out.
Despite defending a sizeable total it was with great satisfaction that the concentration and overall effort in the field was virtually faultless.
This is an area we, as a club, have really improved on over the last 12 months and yesterday was a fine example of that commitment.
Well done everyone ! "
As you could have seen from my previous post, I echoed the strong dissapointment me and the members of the club felt after our dismal trips to Paris. That being said though, it gave us all the more reason to pull it back at home. Winning 2 out of 4 games at the chateau and making a good fist out of the other two meant that Bordeaux found a new confidence that was sorely lacking before.
With the season coming to a close, one can only look back and say that this has been the hardest, yet most fullfilling season yet. New friends and rivals have been made. A "never say die" attitude has been adopted. If we got better as a club, it is only because we played opponents that were better than us. And if we wish to continue getting better, we should continue in this fashion next year.
Well done to all involved!