Cranbrook Town
Lynxes 230 - 6
Cranbrook Town 70 all out
won by 160 runs

The Lynxes batted first in this Sunday afternoon match and as we raced along at 6 an over it soon became obvious that the opposition were not very good. As a result everyone helped themselves to the 'buffet style' bowling on offer and after only 35 overs the Lynxes had rattled up 230-6. James Thompson surprisingly top scored with an agricultural 65 not out, including an audacious reverse slog for four from the last ball of the innings. Jon Drake, Jon Agar and Ben Dance all made scores in the 40's and managed to master what was possibly the most 'pudding' like pitch ever played on.

In reply, Cranbrook C.C. were soon in trouble. A succession of batsman walked in took guard and after one ball soon realised Ben Dance was just a bit quick for them. He helped himself to five wickets as Cranbrook were quickly dismissed for a mere 70. Thanks must be given to Harry and George Campbell who sportingly gave the opposition 69 of these runs and gave up their Sunday to help us raise a team.

All in all a disappointingly easy victory for the Lynxes, but good to get the week off to a winning start none the less.

Stephen Drake

Lynxes v. Old Suttonians
Lynxes 235-2
Suttonians 127 All out
won by 108 runs

Following a number of seasons in which Cranbrook have been denied or simply unable to extract just reward this victory provided a welcome relief to the teams efforts.

In sunny conditions the Lynxes batting immediately took the initiative from the opposition. Built on the classic Paul Brenchley/ Miles Richards combination, (67 and 89) respectively the home sides innings was further fueled by Jez Lawson (24*) and a fine first Lynxes fifty by Sam Trail. On a slowish pitch the standard of shot making was exemplary, several cover drives from Brenchley scorching over the outfield to the delight of the watching team. Totaling 235-2 the home side had achieved a challenging score punctuated by some exhilarating batting which any bowling attack would have found difficult to cope with.

Clearly if Suttonians were to get anywhere near the Cranbrook total the top order would have to perform to full potential. Opening with James Thompson and Simon Anthoniz the total crawled along to the tea interval without much intervention from the batting side. In addition to losing two wickets the target had only been marginally reduced which meant that Suttonians had to score approximately 211 from a maximum of 38 overs.

After tea five dropped catches some difficult (Richards x2) some easy (Lawson) and others mid way (Youngman) would normally have frustrated any side. However Gary Marshall killed off any resistance with a 4'fer in tandem with Charlie Sorrenson's 2'fer. Antoniz returned to claim the remainder of the wickets as James Thompson unluckily missed out.

Throughout the day Big Side provided a magnificent backdrop to the cricket. Ultimately it may have been that the toss was significant but Lynxes had been working up to this victory for a couple of seasons.

Champagne moment: Trails first fifty and the purchase of Lynxes shirt (along with some neat 'keeping).

Hugo Youngman

Lynxes v. Bully Boys
Bully Boys 120 all out
Lynxes 121 for 0
won by 10 wickets

After crushing the Bully Boys in 2000, there was an expectation that John Marshall would pack this year's team with an array of talent in an effort to exact glorious revenge on a much-unchanged Lynxes side. Rumours of test superstars lured from their Lashings commitments for the day, county second XI players and "Mr Angry" from Cranbrook School v. Incognitii 1990 flooded the dressing room and the email inboxes of the team in the days leading up to the big game. The portents grew more ominous when the oppo successfully negotiated the toss and elected to bat on an immaculate Big Side strip. However, when it transpired that they only totalled seven, and that one of those was Ed Holmes, we knew that the fixture was unlikely to live up to the pre-match billing.

Nevertheless, Lynxes had again assembled an all-star cast for the day. Eddy Stearns, the pantomime dame of Big Side, was first on the team sheet; the Chuter and Blaydon double act was back; Giles May arrived replete with his "cloak of invisibility" - ready to be donned whenever the ball became airborne in the field; Rob Hillier hobbled around with his cracked rib (courtesy of his "best friend" Jez); Jez Lawson himself was a fixture all week - his eyes firmly set on 1000 Lynxes runs; James Thompson had winched himself out of bed to join us; Paul Brenchly and Gary Marshall provided the talent; and there was even a cameo from Alastair Barrett, who stood in for Robert when he had to go and get sex-educated by the vicar in anticipation of his impending nuptials.

After the cloudless sky had forced a brief delay while Giles applied several layers of sunscreen to his lollipop, the titans were ready to clash. On such a hot day the captain was mindful of the need to rotate his bowlers in short bursts, ensuring that they did not burn themselves out for the important fixtures later in the week - and after Will Chuter's first thirteen overs from the top end things were going nicely to plan...

He bowled magnificently - beating the bat again and again for scant reward - and with James Thompson trundling up the hill at the other end, the Bully Boys were finding runs painfully hard to accumulate. In fact, for a spell of about ten overs they failed to rotate the strike at all.

The monotony of "ball bowled... extreme deviation in the air and off the pitch... ball missed by batsman... ball caught by wicket keeper... groans from slips" for over after over proved too much for some of our celebrity players. And so, when a sharp chance flew low to Eddy's left at second slip he was caught daydreaming of cold ham and a mountain of buttery spuds. With lightning reflexes usually reserved for rescuing bread rolls that are headed for the floor he stuck out a hand, but alas the chance went begging. It was the only blemish on an excellent morning's work, and Lynxes went to lunch well in control of the match.

The post-lunch session is usually punctuated by lethargic fielding, dropped catches and gentle bowling. To combat this we unleashed our most unpredictable weapon - the mildly psychotic "Bullet" Blaydon. Energised by the quality of Chuter's earlier spell, and possibly by the prospect of drawing blood, he careered in from the pavilion end - a cacophony of arms and legs. At the other end the mild mannered Kenny G. (not the leviathan of pop, but an Australian friend of Robert's who kindly filled in for us when Angus "white-lightning" Codd had to pull out with an icky foot) offered the batsmen little respite with his naggingly paced left arm-over.

Of the Bullies, only Tom Crabtree was able to get to grips with the bowling - thumping a fine 62 before he eventually ran out of partners. His eventual demise was a rare gem. As Bullet's batteries started to fade, Tom attempted to launch him over mid-off. A little bit early on the shot, a little bit slow off the pitch, and the ball sailed straight up in the air.

Choosing who out of Eddy Stearns and James Thompson you would rather have under a high catch is a bit like being asked whether you would prefer Tinky Winky or Dipsy to represent you in court - neither is likely to be even on your list, let alone near the top. Given the size of the two potential "catchers" it was always going to be difficult to judge who was closer to the ball - however Eddy made the decision and claimed it with a soprano "mine". James, stung by the implication that Ed was the superior fielder, went up an octave with a second, almost falsetto shout. But Ed was having none of it and screeched a third time in a voice that was all but inaudible to everyone except the local dogs and bats. As the ball started its gentle descent, Eddy braced for impact. All the while, this mini-opera was being played out against a backdrop of mildly interested batsmen, giggling fielders and umpires eager for their cup of tea. How he caught it we will never know, but with the ball safely pouched in his ever-eager tummy the Bully Boys innings was brought to a close for a disappointing 120.

For a team bristling with batting talent, the target never looked like being enough. And so it proved. In something of a procession, the mercurial combination of Paul Brenchly and Gary Marshall brought us home without the loss of a single wicket. With so much talent waiting in the wings, you could not help but feel that a potentially great game of cricket had fallen somewhat short of expectations. Even so, it was an enjoyable day in the sun for all concerned and another win in the record book.

W. Chuter, 2 for 21 (off 13)
J. Thompson, 2 for 27 (off 12)
O. Blaydon, 2 for 40
K. Grimond, 1 for 32
G. Marshall, 44*
P. Brenchly, 70*
E. Stearns - mixed grill, curly chips, 3 cans of coke, 4 x sandwiches, one sticky bun and a nice cuppa splosh

Colin Barrett

Lynxes v. Bluemantles
Lynxes win

Another glorious morning greeted the two sides. With an attractive Big Side venue and a much improved playing surface, the Lynxes side was looking for a third straight win against the Tunbridge Wells-based Bluemantles.

With the opposition a man short, the Lynxes elected to field. Last year's opening attack of Chuter and Blaydon had booked their berths early in the year and were firing on all cylinders. Cautious batting and the reliable wicket prevented the loss of early wickets and only 60 runs had been scored as lunch was taken after 30 overs.

The expected acceleration after lunch took a long time to materialise. Accurate bowling from Anthonisz and C. Thompson tied the batsmen down and, despite some enticing bowling from Allen and Barrett, the young Bluemantles batsmen failed to press on sufficiently. Eventually a declaration came at 215-4 after 68 overs.

It soon became apparent that the home side had just 38 overs to pass this total. Lawson (45) and May (33) went off like a train, getting ahead of the rate, but it was G. Marshall who steered the Lynxes to victory with a fine 73*, made all the more impressive as the sun dipped blindingly behind the bowler's arm.

This was the fourth consecutive Lynxes win of the week. The successful introduction of the website meant that most sides were full well in advance of the week, enabling each captain to field 11 strong cricketers.

Tom Allen

Lynxes v. Old Georgians
No match report available.

Lynxes v. Scorpians
match abandoned

Saturday morning had never felt better to the lean 11 assembled outside the pavilion. They were strong, fast in the field, relentless in attack, tactically adept and ferociously confident. They were hungry for victory and bristled determination. Many had proper cricket gear.

Meanwhile, the Lynxes side were in the pavilion. They groaned and creaked at the thought of another day's cricket. True, there were some fresh faces in the line-up, but even they could not help being overwhelmed by the stink of Radian B from Blaydon's coffin. It had been a hard week, and the boys were suffering.

Allen was struggling with a hamstring. Thompson C., running on last night's Madras, had fallen over his size 13s in the High Street, and bore all the marks of a hangover. Barrett kept quiet about the bandage on his right hand, an embarrassing injury sustained when dropping his 3rd catch of the week.
Still, spirits were high as they strode out onto the pitch to field, led by the formidable duo of Thompson C. and Chuter. These two skippers were a more than a match for most under-11 captains.

Thompson J. and Chuter bowled quickly and accurately, and soon had the visitors two wickets down and hardly any runs on the board. Slips tally: Allen, ct.1; Barrett drpd 2 (he wasn't having much luck). Thompson, with his persistent probing of the 'Corridor of Uncertainty', continued until lunch, strapping Scorpions down to an uncomfortably low total. From the other end, Blaydon roared in at close to 60 mph, confirming his reputation as the side's 'Bullet'. His mixture of grunting and spitting earned Lynxes another vital wicket.

After the break, co-captain Thompson C. finally ruled himself out of the bowling, and the St.John's Ambulance Head and Neck Unit went home. Wickets were not coming for the Bullet as he tore down the hill, so Frape was asked to gird his gut and "try not to go for too many runs". The belly-propelled left-armer soon claimed another victim thanks to keeper Moore, who was immaculate all day and took 3 catches. In the outfield, Crookall revelled in his annual cricket outing, and was often to be seen diving over the ball bravely. Barrett dropped another and pace demon Devlin was brought on from the Pavilion end, resulting in a quick wicket. Barrett was sent to fine leg.

Scorpions toiled on gamely against this onslaught, and finally succumbed for 171 after Chuter had thoughtfully brought himself back on. Gravity-defying catches from Frape and Blobby, followed by another corking wicket from Devlin, sealed the innings.

Lynxes' innings began shakily as all suspicions of an Australian ringer were confirmed by the keeper standing at fine leg. Thompson C. fell first ball as he scythed a delivery at light speed to gully, who, unfairly, caught it. Moore complained that he could not see the ball until the 6th over, when he saw it hit his stumps. Allen, a man in form, was soon given out caught behind to a ball that had not hit anything but the pitch, and walked back gnashing his teeth. Barrett, finding he couldn't easily drop a bat, was looking good as the skies darkened and then opened dramatically. Stranded on 30-3, the Lynxes watched the rain come down on their day's cricket from the pub and rued the escape of yet another victory.

Will Chuter

Lynxes v. Daily Mail

This was an inaugural match between the Lynxes and a Daily Mail side managed by Ed Stearns. It took place on the Saturday after Lynxes week.
Lynxes win

Ah, late August. Shadows lengthen into luxuriant Autumn evenings and September marches down the pavilion steps. The memories of summer lay on our minds like the warm fuzz on a peach as 11 gin-soaked hacks meandered onto big Side to face their doom.

Crippled by the lack of true Lynxes for this late fixture, resourceful captains Blaydon and Chuter called on reserves of talent that had lain in reserve for good reason. There was Beney, immaculate in whites fresh bought on Bond Street; Stanford, our media representative elegantly crumpled; young Melvin stolen from the cradle of the U14s; a vastly rotund Frape; the highly respected May with shimmering pate; and four laughable "ringers". Thankfully one could keep wicket, two could bat, the last had split his trousers.

Mail went in first and the home captains inflicted early damage with the ball. Then came a fearful spell from Frape [1-15], nicely supported by Stanford [1-40]. Some clever changes of bowling saw Melvin bag 2-30 and Beney anchor the attack with a caddish 0-50. The opposition crumbled to 100-6 as Melvin, helped by a stunning Blaydon catch, looked like the match winner. Yet the mail showed the tenacity we had always suspected such forthwright journalists would display, Eddie Stearns came, was out, and left, the innings closed at a bull-dog 193-6.
After a fine home-spun tea May [18] and Pennock, R, started the Lynxes knock with a battery of class until May was caught. Captain Chuter went out and creamed a trade-mark 37, Pennock departed with a stylish and attacking 58. From behind his Ray-Bans the senior Pennock joined Chuter and provided the crowd with 38 runs of finest artillery. The spin attack, now on his 5th lager, strode forth to "show you ponces how to f.***ing bat" and came back next ball before Stanford had had time to light a cigarette.. Wristy Woodhams took 7 and Beney 5 came back with strike rates around 360. On a bumping pitch and a blinding light it was down to two men, Melvin a glorious 15* and Blaydon [9*] calmly taking the game with a wide.

No.11 Stanford undid his pads, saluted a great victory and a great summer and set his compass for the Bull.

Will Chuter & Olly Blaydon
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