Sunday 21 July 2019

Haymakers Cricket Club Go On Tour 

Freddy Clode (TR 2006 - 2011) reports back on the Haymakers Cricket Tour to Menorca (19th - 22nd October 2018)

The Haymakers Cricket Club was formed as a social Sunday cricket club compromised of both pupils and staff from King's many a year ago, however it was never strictly restricted to those at King's, hence we have kept the tradition and have 2/3 non King's Haymakers per game.

This year we were invited to go and represent England on an international tour of Menorca (ok I’m milking it a bit). Their ground based in St Luis was recently voted one of the most beautiful  in Europe, and their team made up of expats still craving the smell of freshly cut grass and egg mayonnaise sandwiches on a weekend. Our Squad to Menorca was dented by injury and divorce within the same weekend showing you the wide array of ages present in the squad (21 - 52) and hence we had to call in some last minute emergency support to plug the gaps, and also convince both James Morpeth (LN 06-11) & Will Howard Smith (LN 06-11) to play with perhaps not broken but definitely fractured bones in their bodies.

We left London on Friday morning leaving behind the freezing cold chill of a suburban airport and arriving merely two hours later to be greeted by the sunshine with a 27C smile on its face. After struggling to rent some team transport for over an hour the rentacar personnel (who we later found out were owned by one of the players we came up against) subsided and gave us our vehicles for the weekend. Off we went to the supermarket to ensure that there was plenty of fluids in the house so that no one in the relentless heat would become dehydrated. Perhaps we did too good a job at hydrating because at 3 in the morning we were still awake, well most of us, a couple of the older men had been lost to the sofas and one had manage to fall asleep standing up. Therefore it was no surprise when we woke up the next day with heavy heads and realised that we hadn’t done ideal sporting preparations for a cricketing match which was taking place imminently.

After eventually arriving at the ground and the majority of the team finding somewhere they could have a quick kip in the shade, I went out for the toss with their captain, a frighteningly nice man from up north who assured me that their team was full of village idiots and that we should go easy on them. 20 minutes later when we were 12/6 I was wondering to myself that if his team weremade up of village idiots then what possibly could we be made up of?

I had to dash from umpiring to go get my pads on and go into bat all within about a 30 second window, it was probably the lack of time to get nervous which did both myself and James Morpeth the world of good, as we managed to put on a 68 run partnership and get us back into a respectful (sort of) position. Unfortunately drinks was my undoing (as it so often is) and I went to drive one outside the line of off stump and got the finest of edges straight to the keeper and had to go for 29. James now being met with the tale decided to counter attack even more aggressively and hit some stunning shots back over the bowlers head, until he was eventually dismissed in the mid 40s. Menorca CC needed 98 to win

After a delicious traditional English match tea we took the field hoping that if we could get some early wickets we would be in the game. Sadly, although Charlie Newman (SH 06-11) , Morpeth and Howard-Smith bowled very well and starved the opposition of runs, the wickets didn’t come as quickly as we hoped and before we knew it they had chased down the runs for only a loss of 3 wickets.

After a night of celebrations (who knows what we were celebrating), we came back with more intention of putting on a good performance. We fielded first and bowled incredibly well. Morpeth, Newman, & Howard-Smith led the pace attack and then Angus Scott (MT 82-87) caused all sorts of problems with his slow swingers. This led me to bring on Gus Clode (TR 11-16) who was spinning it if anything too far but had 4 catches dropped of his bowling and although got a wicket he probably should have had 5.

Charlie was frustrating the batsmen with his line and length at one end and then at the other Morpeth was blowing them away with pure pace leading him to get 4 wickets, 1 agonisingly short of having his name etched on their pavilion for visiting 5 wicket hauls. Menorca were bowled out in their 40th over for 206 and seeing as the average score on that pitch was normally 250 odd we knew that if we batted well we could win the match and go home having drawn the series.

Suddenly the heavens opened and we had an hour long rain delay, but like the Caribbean the sun quickly followed the clouds and although the game was reduced to 20 overs for us, so had the score, we needed 120 to win off 20.

Chief Wagoner Jody Mycroft (BR 84-89) as ever threw his bat at everything alongside his partner Charlie Martin (2 men who aren’t known for their quick singles) and they got the scoring off to a flyer. As is custom to living dangerously, both of them were soon in the pavilion and out went Billy Selmon who played some magisterial shots and got into the late 20s before sadly being caught, possibly attacking one too many balls. Out went Charlie Newman and like he always does played with precision, thoughtfulness and the lightest of touches to manipulate the field and get us close to our target with 30 odd runs.

With 16 needed to win off the last 2 overs he sadly fell to a wrongun from the spinner, and out I went to try and guide the team home. My first ball I did a Nasser Hussain and ran out my partner at the other end Gurav, and so in came James Morpeth, thankfully unlike the day before when we both touched gloves on the square we weren’t 12/6. Morpeth & I smacked a couple to the fence and with 5 balls to go and 2 needed for victory Morpeth lent back and cut one over the fielders head to take us over the line and secure a drawn series against Menorca CC.

It was an absolutely fabulous weekend and we look forward to going back next year to play them again.

The Team: 

Jody Mycroft (CW)(BR 84-89)

James Price (MO 80-85)

Jon Ousey (MR/LX 84-89)

Angus Scott (MT 82-87)

Freddy Clode (C )(WK) (TR 06-11)

Charlie Newman (SH 06-11)

James Morpeth(LN 06-11)

Will Howard – Smith (LN 06-11)

Gus Clode (TR 11-16)

Billy Selmon


Charlie Martin

If you would like to get involved please feel free to contact myself or Jody Mycroft via the OKS Office . We play about 12 games in the summer plus a weekend tour. Additionally if you have a team in the home counties and are looking for a game we’re always looking for more fixtures so get in touch!

Freddy Clode (TR 2006 - 2011) reports back on the Haymakers tour to Menorca! 

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