inc. MAPS 
 Oxfordshire 2017   Bournemouth 2015   Wales 2011   Dorset 2010   Wimborne 2018 

Thursday 28 June – Sunday 1st July 2018
Tour Report Richard Brock

125 years ago, in the 1893 cricket season, the cricketers of Twineham CC and those of Wineham CC had concerns about squad numbers and the number of matches they were able to play.  At the end of the season, they got together and the decision was taken to amalgamate.  Twineham and Wineham Cricket Club was born.  Later that year, on Thursday 7th December 1893, members of the Twineham Men’s Club met and were informed of the decision, before celebrating with songs and recitations with Mr  R W McKergow as President and Miss Hunt, with her sister, entertaining the guests with a piano duet.   The members of the two teams met at the Royal Oak that same month and celebrated with much beer and wassailing.
Spool forward 125 years – and the present day club members  were determined to celebrate that decision and their club’s very existence.  The highlight was to be an extended club tour with the destination being Dorset:  and to be more specific – Wimborne Minster.  A four day tour, 14 club members, two games of cricket, two rounds of golf, one big match and – as it turned out – a couple of half decent nights out with plenty of wassailing, though sadly no piano duets.
The weather wasn’t merely set fair:  it was on a 4 day bake.  Even as the cars gathered around Sussex from 8am, temperatures were in the 70s and going up.  Edward, Jim, Matt and Richard set off from Twineham, Tom and Ed from Wineham, Tony, Dave and Mikey from Rottingdean, Matt, Joe and Reese from Brighton.  Rob set off to London promising to meet us for the big match, Tom Firth was already in Dorset, meeting the missus.  The destination was Ferndown golf club (no not `that` Ferndown golf club, the other one…) which Joe had cunningly convinced to accept us at the bargain bucket rate of £15. What could possibly be wrong?  Ed picked up the tour’s first fine by turning up at the other Ferndown Golf Club – wishful thinking.  Beers were sunk before the yard arm passed ten am, handicaps were the subject of considerable controversy and argument before finally we were off.   Or were we?  Hang on, wasn’t this dustbowl the warm up par 3 course?  Joe?  Joe????  “F*** off, what do you expect for £15?” came the explanation.  The tour’s second fine was sealed.
Despite the yardage shortage, we managed to drag the round out for a mind numbing 5 hours before falling onto the balcony of the welcoming clubhouse.  Tom Firth, a tour virgin but clearly aware of the tactic to shamefully understate your ability, walked away as winner, just ahead of Jim.  A quick beer, more harsh words for Joe, then we departed for our hotel.
Just 20 minutes away from the course was the pretty market town of Wimborne Minster, our base for the next 4 days.  Given the divergence of views on last year’s luxury riverside hotel in Oxfordshire, reputations were on the line here.  As we drove into the hotel car park, which accommodated all vehicles, and rooms and beds appeared to match numbers, things looked good.  We arranged to meet in the bar – and things were good!  The hotel was clean, welcoming, had a lovely pub bar, served decent beer and didn’t expel Reese or Joe.  It ticked all the boxes. 
The centrepiece of our extra day on tour was set for the evening:  England Vs Belgium in the World Cup.  We made our way to the highly recommended and aptly named Cricketers Arms where the front row of seats facing the big screen was already taken. 

We eagerly nabbed the second row and started ordering vast quantities of ale as the pub gradually filled and became increasingly noisy.  A couple of the lads began the first of what would be a series of attempts at dabbling with the local women  - before a sweepstake on the first England goalscorer.  Both events would prove equally fruitless.  Because try as we might, shouting encouragement from the back row, England repeated their tactic which has seen them through so many previous world cups – they didn’t score any goals.   But as things turned out, as Edward pointed out, this was to be interpreted as good news!  So when Belgium scored, there were no tears among the TWCC fans.   Indeed when Rob finally arrived on tour, around half time, it was to find a remarkably chipper bunch.  You wouldn’t believe we’d spent the day on a crap golf course ahead of watching a woeful England display  - we were on tour, the football team manipulated their way into the best half of the draw and we were rocking.  The beer flowed, the shoulders were shrugged and at the end of the match we headed back to our hotel which happily offered to feed us.

There followed the first fines session.  Ed, obviously, turning up at the wrong golf  course.  Joe, for booking the wrong golf course – a mighty fine, a jug of beer.  Rob, a cardinal and unforgiveable sin: turning up late on tour.   At the end of the meal, the bill arrived and Rob did no more than pick up the whole tab.  A great gesture and guess what – his sin was forgiven, especially as he explained why he was late in latin. 
So what to do in Wimborne Minster on a quiet Thursday night?  We went out to a `Spoons` and basked in Mikey’s celebrity, with both barmaids recognising our online star.  Tony did his usual trick with the slot machine – racing ahead winning copious amounts of money from a fiver, before pumping it all back.  Joe, Matt, a barmaid, a window and a plaster all became jointly involved in a project which sadly falls within the WGOTSOT guidelines.  It had been a long day, it wasn’t a late night.

The following morning, what do we find?  Edward Bunn at breakfast, in full praise of the hotel.  The food, the rooms, the staff, the location…last year’s critical hotel inspector was awarding 5 stars to the King’s Head.  And yes, breakfast was good.  Full English, eggs Benedict, fruit salad, cereals, pastries….the only thing it didn’t provide was milkshakes, but fortunately Edward found a shop in the pretty market square which managed to double its output and thus keep up with his insatiable demand.  So what to do on a boiling Friday 8 miles from Bournemouth?  It was never in doubt.  Towels were packed, budgies were smuggled…we were on our way to Bournemouth seafront. 
OMG:  little did we know what embarrassment awaited as we sauntered towards the end of the rather sparsely facilitated pier.  TWCC’s finest strong arms took on the `knock a can off a shelf` game.  From two yards, Matt Edwards missed with his first two balls.  From 5 attempts, the greatest feat of the TWCC mighty was to remove two of the 5 cans from the shelf.  It was a warm up for the greater humiliation to follow.  The challenge was a simple one.  Hang onto a pole with your feet off the ground for two minutes, win £20. A quiver of excitement ran through the youngsters,  a collective ripple of tanning muscles – the boys couldn’t believe their luck, it was a cash giveaway.  The following is an approximate outline of what happened (rounded to the nearest second)
Matt Edwards:  Stayed on:  1 second
Joe Panther:  Stayed on:  1 second
Mikey Pearce:  stayed on: 1 second
Reese Packham:  Stayed on: 3 seconds
Tony Pearce: Stayed on: 4 seconds
Matt Brock:  Stayed on: 14 seconds 
My apologies if any is under or over-represented by a second or so,  it’s from memory, but the story it tells is accurate.  As the young guns of Twineham sloped off, the stallholder could be seen to shed a small tear – never had trading been so profitable, so quickly, so simply. 
Next stop the beach.  Bournemouth’s beautiful sandy beach, full of lovelies (once we’d arrived), enough space for a bit of beach cricket with first Tony then Brocky sending tennis balls in  all directions, with young cricketers diving after them.  Particularly impressive was Tony’s `catch behind the back`.  And the sea was wonderful: warm, clean and the perfect place for a game of slip catching, won by Matt Brock. 

We spent about 4 hours by the sea and it was fab:  admiring the sights of Bournemouth – of which there were many – before heading to Harry Ramsden’s for a fish and chip lunch.  As we headed back, some of the boys diverted to crazy golf, whilst Reese and Joe offered to take fans’ selfies during Mikey’s celebrity walk in the town.  Unhappily for the recipients, they flicked the reverse camera on:  so the star-struck youngsters got home to see the gurning mugs of Joe and Reese contaminating their phones.
Back to the hotel, turn round, out to cricket and we arrived at 5.30 at Bournemouth CC `one of the biggest cricket club’s in the country` (BCC website).  And big it was.  Two huge grounds, we were directed to the `second` clubhouse which was large, had a bar, balcony etc.  For the match, BCC pulled together a team of mostly youngsters, peppered with varying degrees of talent, led by Rob Pack, a first team bowler. 
The role of skipper for this match had been decided at Harry Ramsdens.  5 put their names forward:  names were put in a hat, pulled out by Dave.   Mikey was to be vice captain but it was Tom Firth whose name was pulled out and who led a team sadly devoid of Reese, who stayed at the hotel as a protest against the voting procedure.  His absence gave Richard a match and happily Jim offered to play for BCC who were one short – so all those who wished had a game on a beautiful hot evening. 
Skipper Firth won the toss and opted to bat.  Looking back through the scorebook he saw a shard of light:  Joe’s big weapon!  So Joe it was who went in with Tony to open  the batting against an attack still on cricket’s steep learning curve, but clearly with much potential. 

Tony was bowled with the score on 36 while Joe kept thumping the fours.  It was a good start.  Rob limped out to the middle, as close to fitness as we are to a new pavilion.  He smacked a couple of fours but his limited movement meant he was LBW for just 9.  In strode Mikey, a young man so full of batting talent that sometimes he convinces us to believe it.  And this was just such a moment.  Mikey joined Joe in taking the attack to BCC.  His 50 was near flawless – apart from a couple of drops.  As Joe was bowed out for a splendid 28, and Edward for just 1, Tom F joined Mikey and the pair of them powered forward, spraying fours to all areas of the ground.  The score went from 56 to 145 in the 10 overs they were together.  Mikey retired on 50,  Tom was out for 34 but Matt Edwards and Tom Rydon belted a few at the end to leave us on a respectable 158-6.  The BCC bowling was variable, with a couple of the spinners in particular getting great grip and causing real problems.  
Any weaknesses in BCC’s bowling were made up for by their highly competent batting – something that only became obvious after the first over, during which Edward took the two wickets of their openers.  BCC’s strong middle order kicked in and it was the two Brocks who both took a bit of punishment.  But Brock senior got a lucky edge from an appallingly wide ball and Brock junior followed up with a proper wicket, caught and bowled.  Batsmen Markham and Jones, who’d put on more than 50 between them, both out.  But we were far from home and dry.  As their skipper Rob Pack came in, he started to spray the ball at TWCC’s numerous walking wounded, especially Rob, who was to be seen hobbling after the ball to and fro at mid on with painful regularity.  During this period, BCC kept absolutely to the required 8 an over.  At 117-4 from 15 overs, they needed 42 from 5.  The next over – a huge boost.  Joe’s repositioning to mid on led to him catching Rob Pack off Tom Firth the very next ball.  Good overs from Ed and Tom R left BCC needing 20 from the last two overs, then 12 from the last Ed Howes over.  A four and a wide were not a great start – but Ed kept his cool – just – and got through his first 5 balls for 10.  1 for a TWCC win, 2 for a tie, 3 for a BCC win.  A good ball and a scrambled single – we won by one run.  A game played in great spirit and afterwards,  BCC put on beer, burgers and cakes for us, which were most welcome.  We stayed for a good hour enjoying their company, they were a really good bunch and we’d like to thank them very much for their hospitality and spirit – notably Mark Smith who’d offered us the match in the first place.  It was a great tour evening.   

Friday 29th June 2018
TWCC vs Bournemouth CC
TWCC won the toss and opted to bat
T Pearce               Bowled                 J Palmer               10
J Panther             Stumped              C Smith                 28
R Rydon               LBW                       A Humber           9
M Pearce             Retired                                                 50          
E Bunn                  LBW                       C Smith                 1
T Firth                   Ct C Smith           Bld A Humber    34                          
M Edwards         LBW                       C Smith                 4
T Rydon                Not                        out                         6
TOTAL:  158-6  (20 OVERS)
FALL: 36-1, 46-3, 54-2, 56-5, 146-7, 158-6
DNB:  R Brock, E Howes, M Brock
N Groves             Ct R Brock            Bld E Bunn           0
A Deem                Bowled                                 E Bunn                  4
J Markham          Ct WK (M Edwards) Bld R Brock 28
O Jones                Ct and Bowled   M Brock               17
J Palmer               Not        out                                         32
R Pack                   Ct  J Panther       Bld T Firth            46
J Gray                    Bowled                                 E Howes               8
C Smith                 Run                        out                         7
TOTAL 157-7 (20 OVERS)
TWCC Bowling: E Bunn 3-0-18-2; E Howes 4-0-32-1; M Brock 2-0-20-1; R Brock 2-0-20-1; M Pearce 2-0-14-0; T Pearce 2-0-23-0; T Rydon 3-0-18-0; T Firth 2-0-20-1.
FALL:  1-0, 2-4, 52-4, 57-3, 118-6, 146-7, 157-6

We arrived back at the hotel to find Reese in good spirits.  He’d been on his own little spree around Wimborne and discovered a place called The Rising Sun, what he told us was a happening place.  We considered poker and we considered The Rising Sun.  No contest.  As we squeezed inside, the heady mix of sweat, perfume and pheromones, combined with the lively dance music from across the generations with a little bit of World Cuppery thrown in made for a fantastic night.  The shots lined up again and again, the boys – and one or two of the old gits – took the dance floor and it just brilliant fun.  By 1’O clock we were on the road outside, chatting away before the short walk past Wimborne Minster back to the hotel.  A merry bunch. 

Saturday morning in Wimborne.  Edward in the milkshake shop, a market in the town centre, the chaps enjoying breakfast.  Golf was lined up for 2pm – so the perfect time for the TWCC tennis tournament.  The tour’s existing champion of many years – Skipper Brock – was under serious threat from Tom `5 racquets` Firth.  Remarkably, two days before Wimbledon, we were offered two excellent grass courts a short walk from the hotel.  Teams:   Tony and Richard, Tom and Tom, Matt B and Ed, Matt E and Reese.  Argumentative umpires:  Mikey and Joe.  It was a baking morning, serving into the sun was tricky, some shed their shirts, others their shoes.  But however it looked, it was competitive.  Edwards clearly miffed with Packham, Panther helping none at all, Mikey central to all  disputes…boys on tour!  The senior Pearce/Brock partnership took a while to get into gear before dispatching Edwards/Packham, whilst Tom and 5 racquets breezed past Matt and Ed and then the argumentative pair of Matt and Reese.  The showdown was saved to the last match.  Tom selected the finest of the 5, TWCC’s youthful youngsters stepping onto court to trounce the old gits.  It was over sooner than anyone believed.  A 3-0 whitewash – and for Tom and Tom - the scalding walk back to the hotel to reflect on where it all went wrong and possibly the need to bring a couple of extra racquets next year. 
We set off early to the golf course for lunch – a proper golf course.  Dudsbury, a golf resort with nice everything.  It was baking, France Argentina beckoned and Brock senior shockingly contemplated staying in the clubhouse to watch.  HEFTY FINE ADMINISTERED LATER!  Breaking up the group activities is one of the most heinous crimes on tour and as author of the report, I humbly apologise. 

The golf course was lovely.  Long, green and wet.  Rather too wet for some, and lots of balls were lost to the numerous marshes, ponds, lakes, streams etc.  The first two groups raced ahead but the Brock/Brock/Bunn/Rogers group had on its tail a tournament of juniors, and an incredibly annoying twerp in a golf buggy managing them.  Letting them through wasn’t a problem – letting them through and then waiting whilst they lost their balls, faffed around and waited for the ones ahead was.  After 3 and a quarter hours, the group reached the 9th green – and headed to the bar.  The other groups made good time on a lovely course before we headed at various intervals back to the hotel for SHIT SHIRT NIGHT. 
SSN is a new concept for tour.  The requirement was to wear what it says on the tin. 

Matt Edwards showed a particularly queasy coloured garment, Richard’s bow tie effort plucked from the 80s, Dave’s paisley truly gross, reeking of new Romanticism.  Ed was sent back to his room to find something worse, a particularly poor effort from Edward who wore a shirt he’d already worn on tour a day earlier – but Jim’s was surely worst of all, with the appearance of a pyjama jacket combined with a car rug – really quite ghastly.  Unsurprisingly, as we gathered in the bar of the hotel, our shirts caused more than a little comment from others trying to enjoy their evening.  One particular lady and her partner were so amused that they agreed to be the judges in the SSN competition.  Rob’s faded pink Hawaii shirt received a highly commended, as did Dave’s effort.  The absolute loser was judged to be Edward whose shirt was capable of being worn almost without humiliation – but the winner by a country mile was Jim’s pyjamas.  We sank a lot of beer in that short hour, before buying our judges drinks and heading out to Rim Jim.

RimJim, it should be explained, was Wimborne’s finest Indian restaurant, as well as an amusing concept for someone like Joe.  I’m afraid the tour report here goes a little hazy because the speed of consumption of the Abbott Ale gave the author a `missing hour`.  Safe to say, it was a meal enjoyed by all, especially the team’s vegetarian Matt B who finished Edward’s chicken tikka masala.  The bill payment was confusing but once that was sorted, there was only one place to be:  the Rising Sun.  The fines payments were lined up on the bar and swiftly despatched, along with many other drinks.  Mikey’s only defence against a particularly clingy fan was to insist his girlfriend would be cross – severe loss of street cred I fear.  And whilst the pub didn’t feature the numbers of the night before it did provide one of the greatest tour moments of all time.  Imperilling the WGOTSOT creed, the following story needs to be told.  Joe was chasing a birthday girl, clearly marked by a large badge reading 30 dangling from her chest.  At one stage they seemed close.  Moments later it was all over, Joe had moved on.  As she ran out in tears, concerned club goers followed her out.  What had transpired was that they fell out over something trivial  – and as she tearfully said `I’ve been out with footballers, rugby players – and tonight  “I thought I’d give the fat bloke a chance!”` A new club motto is born. 
As we spilled out onto the road at the end of another great evening, it was to find a bare chested Dave swapping his paisley shirt with another clubber who loved what he was wearing.  It was that sort of crazy night, with plenty more incidents falling under the WGOTSOT ruling.

5 days before the tour, Puddletown, the opponents for our second match in Dorset had pulled out.   Richard frantically trawled 3 counties for a new fixture:  Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex.  The only takers were…Balcombe, some 5 miles north of Twineham!  And so it was that on Sunday morning, around 10.30, we checked out from the excellent hotel and headed for our match – in Sussex.  Tony dropped Mikey off at a train station, turning round to rescue his car keys 10 miles later!!  We reached the Half Moon pub in Balcombe – still very much on tour – at around 12.30 – unless like Matt and Joe you went via the M25???  Drinks were ordered and served to the table – individually and with great regularity  – almost as if the attractive young barmaid was being called out again and again….
At 1.40pm we made the 400 yard drive from the pub to the ground down a dusty track.  A new ground to us, despite the proximity to TWCC.  It was small, narrow, but set in a beautiful background of the North Downs, really spectacular.  It has a long modern pavilion made up of sectional modules which housed plenty of room for changing, tea, a bar and even a TV for those enjoying the World Cup.  An excellent venue.  Reese had been asked to be skipper and he was offered the choice to bat or bowl.  He chose to bowl, and we went out for a sweltering long hot afternoon in a timed match of 2 hours 20 minutes and an hour and 20 overs.
Balcombe started briskly.  Tom R and Ed bowled well but the short boundaries and the parched ground were creating quick scoring opportunities.  Balcombe’s number 2, a young Colt called Ollie Hine was particularly impressive, clipping the ball to the onside boundary regularly, and a number of byes also raced to the boundary.  Balcombe were past 50 when Matt Edwards was brought on and took a vital wicket, the opener Ward nicked behind to Reese behind the stumps for 15.  Richard came on the other end and working in tandem with Matt, these two slowed the scoring rate considerably.  Richard got an LBW awarded without question by Joe, who’d been given a chance to be umpire, and then a clean bowled.  With the game back in control, and Balcombe struggling to find the boundaries, the skipper showed his sporting side and called on Edward and Tony to bowl.  This might be seen to have tilted the match back towards Balcombe, as the pair conceded 56 in 7 overs – though in fairness Tony appeared to have got a clear nick from young Mr Hine, which everybody heard but Joe the umpire!  But the young man batted well, before running himself out on 87, dashing to keep strike and make his century.  Finally, it was great to see Jim come off his full run for 3 overs at the end, and working in tandem with Matt Brock, they took a wicket a-piece leaving the final score on 177-6.  On our day, our bowling line up looks really rather fearsome.
Tea was described by Tony as the greatest ever cricket tea!  A quintessential English Cricket Tea, light, bright and delicious.  And so suitably fed and watered, it was the combination of Jim and Richard who led the TWCC batting attack.  Richard departed swiftly but Jim and Tony moving forward purposefully taking the score to 75 before Jim was run out for 28. At 91-2 we were looking good.  Tony retired confidently for an excellent 75. But Balcombe saved two useful bowlers to the end.  Dave made 4, Edward 12 and Reese 12.  145-5, wickets falling...

Tony mildly upset that Dave was somehow run out...

33 needed, 4 wickets in hand (we had decided that come what may, Tony should not pick up his innings.)  Matt fell without scoring.  Tom helped the score to 174 - 8.  174-9 as Tom R went for 1.  4 to win and the last batsman was Matt Brock, not renowned for his batting greatness.  He faced up – the game would be won or lost on the next few balls.  Crack!  First ball Matt creamed through the covers to the boundary – the day was ours and we raced onto the pitch to congratulate Matt and shake hands with our excellent opponents and hosts.  Another cracking match to add to a season of brilliant finishes.

Sunday 1st July 2018
TWCC vs Balcombe CC
TWCC were given the choice and opted to bowl
A Ward                 Ct WK (Packham)             Bld M Edwards  15
O Hine                  Run out (Packham)                                          87
G Botting             LBW                                       Bld R Brock         2
M Rawbin            Bowled                 R Brock                                 1
A botting             Ct….                       Bld M Brock                        27
R Mitchell            Bowled                                 J Simon                                 9
A Rewitt               not                         out                                         5
K Mitchell            not                         out                                         1
TOTAL 177- 6
Fall:  51-1, 67-3, 74-4, 139-5, 1692, 176-6
BOWLING:  T Rydon:  5-0-18-0, E Howes 5-0-20-0, M Edwards 6-1-16-1, R Brock 7-1-13-2, E Bunn 4-0-38-0, T Pearce 3-0-18-0, M Brock 3-0-16-1, J Simon 3-0-19-1
J Simon                 Run                        out                         28
R Brock                 Ct  T Rawbin Bld R Mitchell           9
T Pearce               Retired                                                75
D Rogers              Run                        out                        4
E Bunn                  Bowled                                 M Rawbin            12
R Packham          Ct G Botting        Bld M Rawbin    12
M Edwards         Ct T Rawbin        Bld O Hine           0
T Firth                   Bld O Hine                                           10
T Rydon                Ct A Botting        Bld M Rawbin    1
E Howes               not                         out                         1
M Brock               not                         out                         4
TOTAL:  178-8 
Balcombe bowling:  Mitchell 4-2-6-1, M Sargil 4-0-20-0, C Botting 4-0-16-0, A Botting 2-0-25-0, A Trevett 3-0-33-0, G Botting 3-0-26-0, M Rawbin 6-0-20-3, O Hine 4.2-1-11-2
FALL: 11-2, 75-1, 95-4, (137-3), 137-5, 145-7, 160-6, 174-8, 174-9
TWCC win by 1 (2) wicket(s)

As we chatted with Balcombe’s players after and joked among ourselves, it was the perfect end to an absolutely brilliant tour.  To do 4 days was a risk but it paid off – just this once.  We are a very close-knit club, we love each other’s company and we love our tours.  This really was one of the greats.  Great hotel, cracking matches, two great finishes, wonderful weather and most of all a great mix of players.   Fantastic to see Dave back on tour, to see Tom tour for the first time, and for Rob to also come along for the first time.  Everyone adds something to tour, be it an action, a suggestion, an idea, a piece of brilliance or craziness.  And the camaraderie is phenomenal. 
Back in 1893, I doubt they toured – but as the records show, they really enjoyed each others` company.  That has not changed 125 years later – and at this club, I’m confident it never will.
Thank you all for touring, you are a fantastic bunch.
Richard Brock
Captain TWCC.
Top of page
TWCC Tour to Oxfordshire 2017
Report Richard Brock

So the lengthy tradition of TWCC tours which stretches back to Goldenbollocks at Sidmouth in the 1980s and takes in the legendary John Pearce 6 at Arnside, the lesbian in Ibiza, the world’s second fastest white bowler breaking our bail in Lancashire – I could go on – prepared for departure from Sussex on Friday 30th June.  With a fair number of youngsters, the tour was guaranteed a spirited atmosphere – and so it proved. 
Let down badly late on by squad members, the tour was grateful to Tony for his attendance thus denying Jan an Adele concert, and to Ollie for being willing to come to Oxfordshire, drink lots of beer and play golf and cricket.  At the risk of upsetting Adele fans, It’s hard to believe that either really had a difficult decision to make.
So Tony, Ollie, Matt and Joe set off from Brighton, Edward, Honse, Jim and Ed from Twineham, Richard and Matt from Horsham – and James Taylor – an excellent addition - from Wales.  The first impression of Oxfordshire was that it’s too close to London and has too much traffic for its narrow roads.  But the deeper you venture, the more pleasant and less frenetic it becomes.  Though it does seem to have a lot of lycra-clad people determined to do fit-type things in their leisure time.  We were not about to increase those numbers however.
So at some stage, this tour report has to arrive at the hotel.  The Shillingford Bridge Hotel sits in a glorious location on the River Thames. It owns the grassy picnic banks leading down to the water’s edge.  Across the bridge road, is the hotel swimming pool.  Its glossy website makes proud claims that – among its many other attractive features – that this is the number 1 venue for gay weddings in Oxfordshire.  All in all, this looked to be the perfect tour hotel at just £50pppn.    Edward was first to complain.  His room was `Victorian`, too small, poor view, too much else to mention.  Over the weekend, others would take the flame of his dissatisfaction and run with it, until by the time we checked out, we had an inferno of unhappiness.
But TWCC on tour is who we are - and nothing was going to prevent us from having a good time – because it’s what we do.  James was first to arrive, followed an hour later by Tony, then Richard and finally Edward.   Beers were consumed overlooking the Thames, with the sun breaking through the clouds, glinting gently off the green puddle of slime which covered the hotel’s otherwise empty swimming pool. The fines captain Matt B outlined his 10 commandments of the tour -which included gems like no noughts, no dropped catches, no women and no leaving the party early.  Rules – as we will discover – are there to be broken.  Anyway, and all too soon, it was time to head for our first game of cricket at Britwell Salome.  The village was about 15 minutes away – set in pretty countryside.  The clubhouse itself was peppered with several older cricketers, many of whom were enjoying a pint.  The atmosphere was relaxed.  Step forward tour captain Joe Panther who lost the toss and we found ourselves batting in a 20/20 with a grass wicket which had little life so few surprises.  All in all a very pleasant Friday evening.
Unfortunately the scorer used a system which made it difficult to discover whether opening batt Matt Edwards was out second or fourth ball – but the score is not in dispute and the first commandment was broken.  Honse followed for 4, as did James Taylor, and Tony for 12.  27-4 is not good even in a friendly Friday evening 20/20.  Ollie helped a little with 5, Edward with 12 – but at 50-6 off 12 overs, it was not looking good.  Enter the arena Jim, who tends to enjoy his tour batting.  He started sweetly and moved on swiftly, stroking 6 fours off the face of his bat.  He moved on effortlessly to 28 when events took a turn.  The author of this report appears to have a different interpretation of events to most other players – backed only, then quickly denied - by Tony Pearce.  Richard hit the ball firmly to a cover fielder and took off for a run.  Jim - according to the disputed Pearce words was `rocking on his heels` and failed to make it home before the bails were removed in a sharp run out.  However the report must record that all other players – and that is ALL the other players (including the rapidly recanting Tony Pearce) – believed Richard to be at fault for a ridiculous call.  Jim left forlornly on 93-7 – and the record should note that Jim very rarely leaves forlornly so he clearly felt most aggrieved.  But a spirited knock of 11 not out from Skipper Panther helped patch things up, even if Ed and Matt Brock both added to the noughts count, the latter run out straining for a run off the last ball, so out not actually facing a ball.
So we ended with a score of 114 all out.  We changed round quickly as the light started to fade.  Unfortunately despite the efforts of Joe and James Taylor opening the bowling, Britwell Salome dominated the attack.  They had experienced and confident openers, one of whom – Herrington - hit the ball firmly, straight and with great authority and the other who dragged everything from off to the long on boundary.  It was a happy recipe for success which took them past 50 before Jim recovered from the mortification of his batting departure to snap up the first wicket. Ed clean-bowled their number 3 but their next batsman settled in with the stylish Mr Herrington and saw them home comfortably.  Joe’s late and worthwhile throw of the dice – to see if Edward could cajole a wicket - was rather brutally brushed aside and we suffered a defeat in the 18th over by 8 wickets.

Scorecard TWCC v Britwell Salome 30th June. 20/20 format.
Britwell Salome won the toss and chose to field
TWCC Innings: M Edwards Bld Ali 0; H Harvay Bld Ali 4; T Pearce Ct, Bld Joyner 12; J Taylor Bld Ali 4; O Foulger Bld Joiner 12; E Bunn Ct, Bld Lawrence 12; J Simon run out 28; R Brock Ct, Bld Ball 15; J Panther not out 11; E Howes Ct, Bld Strong 0; M Brock run out 0.
Total 114 all out 20 overs.
Fall 0-1, 5-2, 18-4, 27-5, 42-3, 50-6, 93-7, 101-8, 114-9, 114-10, 114-10.
Britwell Salome bowling: Ali 3-2-4-3; Strong 4-0-22-1; Joyner 3-0-17-2; Lawrence 3-0-6-1; Hussan 4-0-22-0; Ball 3-0-32-1.
Britwell Salome Innings: A Herrington not out 36; N Joyner Ct ?, Bld J Simon 33; A Khushi Bld E Howes 6; Joyner not out 30.
Total enough.
TWCC Bowling: J Panther 3-0-14-0; J Taylor 3-0-10-0; J Simon 2-0-22-1; R Brock 3-0-24-0; E Howes 2.5-0-7-1; E Bunn 3-0-24-0; M Brock 1-0-4-0.
Britwell Salome won by 8 wickets.

The match was played in a great spirit and afterwards, BS laid on chips, pizzas and sandwiches – and if that sounds like a weird combination, it was extremely welcome after 3 hours of cricket.  It was washed down with gallons of really well kept beer from the club’s own bar and the post-match festivities continued until darkness fell.  Our huge thanks to BS for their hospitality – and to James who made the trip for this match and stayed overnight – fantastic effort and great to see him.
We had a fines session:  the 3 noughts paid up, as did Richard for a dropped catch and a double hit for the run out and Joe of course for losing as skipper.  With the business all sorted it was back to the hotel where strangely (for such an allegedly terrible hotel) the bar stayed open, they had no problem with us playing poker as long as we wanted and the night porter was happy to top up drinks as late as we like.  Hmmm….maybe it wasn’t the horror some were determined it was.  So play we did – everyone.  £10 in, big things, little things, rivers, floats, ups and downs. By 1am there were 4 left – Honse, Ollie, Richard and Matt B.  They took the cowards option of splitting the pot and each walking away with a profit from the game.  By 3am all were in bed.  Unfortunately not all were asleep.  Matt B was rooming with Joe who snores at the level of a low flying jet loaded with 54 active pneumatic drills and subsequently Matt slept for minutes rather than hours.
The morning brought early risers and a fresh torrent of criticism of the hotel – despite the fact that it laid on both a continental breakfast, pastries, cereals, fruit and a buffet full English.  This time the complaints centred on the allegation that `the sausages weren’t local`!!!  GAFL!  Anyway, the rugby fans headed off to the nearby town of Wallingford (5 minutes away – far too far, blah blah blah) to watch the Lions take on New Zealand.  This we did on the outside screen of the Town Arms and what a match it was.  The late risers arrived for a pulsating second half – unfortunately missed by Matt B, who was trying to catch up on some missed sleep in the back of a car outside the pub.  A little money was won as the Lions fought to win the game – but far more was lost by those who backed the All Blacks – so that serves them right really.

Matt's just checking out the old guy (the one nearest us) in case he got a local sausage

In the absence of full colour images the Gazette has gone with some black and white film photography

We were back to the hotel by 11 and in the unremitting tradition of TWCC tours, left again 15 minutes later, with golf clubs on board.  
The course was called Hadden Hill, some 7 miles from the hotel.  Edward nabbed the only available buggy and we set off on a beautiful day from noon.  There was some hard bargaining and frankly some dodgy claims for handicaps.  When Tony, Ollie, Matt and Joe all hit screechingly good shots off the first tee, the rest felt themselves stitched up.  But class will out and that group couldn’t keep their form.  Edward started brightly – belying his 26 handicap – but a wretched back 9 put paid to him, while Jim picked up an already solid game, creamed the back half and scooped the pot.  The course was not the most challenging – a bit up and down, or there and back.  Whether it deserved the `s**t` criticism from Tony is another thing, but it was only £25 for the round which several club members seemed happy with.
After a post-game beer on the balcony with the red kites sweeping low – a wonderful feature of our time in Oxfordshire – it was back to the hotel for just about the only free hour of the tour – and that is why we love touring – it’s non-stop.
By 6.30pm we were on the road again to the faraway town of Wallingford and we had a fantastic team beer – great bantz, great fun, good beer – team spirit at 100%.  Matt B promised a land of milk and honey (WGOTSOT)  but before that it was curry time – another wonderful tour tradition.  We bypassed our first choice of curry house because of the waiting time and went to another quieter one down the road.  And it was a good choice – everything we needed and decent value for money.  Richard was – curiously – given a rousing welcome of `happy birthday` upon entering – not just by the team but by the whole restaurant – not bad for someone who’s birthday was 6 weeks earlier.  Apparently there was a cake at the discarded restaurant!!  At curry’s end, the old gits headed for the hotel, leaving the young guns to fight it out over who should have the best seat in the pub – the one furthest away from the singer, who sounded nothing like Anthony Kiedis (and thus somewhat scuppered the Red Hot Chilli Peppers tribute band ’s pretence).  Another seat also seemed to be in demand with Joe and Honse slugging it out and finally allowing Ed to slip in – but that’s another story.  It was the wee small hours before the vanquished Joe and Honse along with Ollie opted to walk back to the hotel, leaving Matt B and Ed to lord it in a cab.  Ed also fancied a walk a little later so he popped out along the riverbank.
The following morning, breakfast was once again included in the price of the room.  The strawberries were very pleasant, so too the bacon but of course the rest of it was terrible, because that was now the accepted norm from those who’ve never organised a tour before….
We checked out by 10.30 and followed Edward for a bit of boating on the Thames.  Unfortunately Mr Bunn had not booked a boat and - on a riverbank choking with cyclists, sun worshippers and tourists - there was no way we were going to get one. So we headed on to Stokenchurch and had coffee at the world’s greatest hotel – oh if only it had been ours.  The fact that the façade was crumbling, they couldn’t get the coffee orders right, the food started at £9.50 for a sandwich and the background was dominated by the drone of the M40 mattered not. 
We moved over the road where the boys played darts and then we all had a game of killer pool at a local pub – won by Honse.  And Richard took Tony for a tenner when he pinned it to the dartboard in the 3 dart challenge.
Stokenchurch’s ground was literally round the corner – and very pleasant it was too.  A smart clubhouse, a smattering of spectators – all in all, quite a grown-up cricket club.  Geographically this is the highest cricket ground in Buckinghamshire – just atop a hill with spectacular views across the Cotswolds.  The ground itself was something of a shallow bowl – surrounded by high walled homes and gentle sloping banks which kept the heat in the centre of the ground.  And heat there was – the clouds cleared to a clear blue and sunny sky and the temperature shot up to the upper 20s.  And at one point, there were 8 red kites gliding lazily above – the locals said that if you offer them food, you can attract 70 in one go!
Skipper Joe won the toss and opted to bowl in a 35 over match.  We were warned they had a couple of first teamers in including the first team skipper who’d made 44 from 20 balls the previous day – a man made for limited overs cricket.  We strode out determined to finish the tour with a win…
It was a scorched wicket to match the heat of the day.  Ed began bowling down the hill, getting a good pace, whilst Jim came up the hill and found some movement.  After just 10 runs Jim struck, clean bowling their opener.  Ed bowled their number 3 shortly afterwards before Jim had a ball struck back at pace over his head towards the substitute fielder Stokenchurch had sportingly provided us with.  The young man reached out and made an excellent catch and immediately rolled his eyes as if realising what sort of stick he’d get back in his own dressing room.  Nevertheless at 31-3 we were in fine fettle.  However this brought C North – aforementioned first team captain - to the crease and he had a penchant for scoring quickly, and especially enjoyed boundaries.  The bowling he found most desirous was Richard’s.  One over consisted of a clipped six and two bludgeoned fours.  Whether the skipper thought of removing the hapless Brock from the attack is unknown but as so often in this game, fortunes can change in an instant.  The magic moment in this case was provided by the pair of Matts.  Matt Edwards bowled Mr North a ball which he clubbed towards the pavilion – where – thanks to excellent captaincy – there lay in wait Matt Brock, who took a clean catch just inside the boundary and suddenly the match turned.  The score then was 77 – and Brock senior capitalised on his son’s excellence by doing what he does best - scooping up a few outrageously cheap wickets, aided by catches from Jim and Matt E.  Honse joined the party, Matt E added another wicket and it was left to Matt Brock – off his long run – to shatter the stumps of the unfortunate number 11 who may have thought that our sixth bowler would offer little more than dolly-droppers, not the furiously fast ball he actually received.  Stokenchurch had gone from 77-2 to 126 all out.  The door was open – could TWCC walk through it without tripping over their own feet
There should be a meritous mention made here of tea, which was one of the best we have ever been offered.  Smoked salmon rolls, waiter service scones and cream and so much more spread out for us that we were tempted to forget our innings and just eat.  Hopefully somebody will have taken a photo for James.  Many thanks to Stokenchurch for the magnificent spread – or was it normal?  Could it be they eat like that every week?  Envy….
Anyway, Joe was struggling with the batting order – the old TWCC quandary that you want to ensure everyone plays a part – but you also want to get that win.  He opted to put in Tony at number 1 and Richard at no 2.  Time wasn’t an issue, nor overs – it was all about sensible batting.   The pitch was occasionally keeping low but not misbehaving otherwise,  so the pair of them set about their business with steadfast determination.  Tony was unusually restrained, but regularly hit bad balls to the relatively short cover boundary for 4, skilfully finding the gaps between the fielders.  Richard did little else but talk to Tony between overs.  But the combination worked and the pair moved along at 3-4 an over to 50.  The bowling was quite friendly, but when Stokenchurch brought on a young zippy bowler that was enough to see off Richard for 15.  Tony carried on now joined by Matt E who was far more purposeful and between them they raced past 100, Tony taking Matt’s cue to play in the style he most enjoys.  Tony offered to retire and when this was turned down he instead started charging 5 yards down the pitch and so was inevitably caught for a match winning 64.  Matt’s fine knock of 35 came to an end to enable our erstwhile tour skipper to march out to the middle and hit the winning runs – TWCC’s victory by 6 wickets.  We had beaten a team which plays at the highest level in Buckinghamshire!

TWCC VS Stokenchurch CC 2ND JULY 2017. Proper cricket.
TWCC won the toss and opted to field.
Stokenchurch Innings: I Wilton Bld J Simon 5; M Taylor LBW Bld R Brock 31; I Hunt Bld E Howes 7; C Fardell Ct Sub Bld J Simon 2; C North Ct M Brock Bld M Edwards 37; C Taylor Ct M Edwards Bld R Brock    0; S Springett Bld M Edwards 5; S Leppard Ct J Simon Bld R Brock 5; M Leppard Bld M Brock 14; C Lees Bld H Karvay 6; S Avery not out 0.
Fall 10-1, 25-2, 31-3, 77-4, 77-5, 91-6, 104-8, 106-2, 126-10.
TWCC Bowling: E Howes 6-0-17-1; J Simon 7-1-28-2; Edwards 5-0-27-2; R Brock 4-1-26-3; Karvay 2-0-17-1; M Brock 1.1-0-3-1.
TWCC Innings: T Pearce Ct A Hunt Bld C Lees 64; R Brock Bld C Fardell 15; M Edwards Bld C Fardell 35; J Panther    not out 5; E Bunn not out 0.
TOTAL 123-3 (29 OVERS)
DNB: J Simon, O Foulger, E Howes, H Karvay, M Brock.
No bowling figures for Stokenchurch
TWCC won by 6 wickets.

Beer was enjoyed at the clubhouse but the distant hum of the motorway reminded us that we had somewhere to be and even tours have to finish at some time. With thanks to our hosts we departed. My thanks to all those who toured – it wouldn’t be possible without you all and it’s part of the heartbeat of our club. A TWCC tradition which must continue. Next year is our 125. Now that sounds like a very special tour....
Top of page
Bournemouth 2015
This was a much anticipated tour: the first for two years, and one in which we were in the happy position of being awash with young testosterone-driven stallions keen to show off their talents in cricket and night clubs alike. Two of the aforementioned, Joe and Matt E, set off early on the Friday, opting to take in a country pub in the New Forest. Edward, Paul, Phil, Jim, Richard, Matt B and Honse set out from Twineham at lunchtime, Dave and Steve from Brighton. It was a lovely warm day and a pleasant two hour trip along the coast brought us to our destination:  Bournemouth’s West Cliff hotel, in the heart of the town’s vibrant kebab district. The rooms were a tribute to the deceptive powers of wide angle photography, but this was a cricket tour and we didn’t need to swing any cats. 
Within minutes of arrival, we gathered on the patio in warm sunshine and in the manner of a 1970s swingers party, the skipper threw the captaincy into a pot, inviting offers for that evening’s action. Three put their names forward: Matt Brock’s name was first out – but the smile left his face when he was told the winner was the last one to be drawn. Joe, too, was disappointed but Matt Edwards` face flushed with delight as the power surge took hold. Seconds later he dismissed the option of pulling the batting order out of a hat as per the last tour. No, skipper Edwards would do things his way and much credit to him for that. 
We departed for the village of Puddletown in good time for a 6pm start for our 20/20 fixture. It was a pretty ground deep in Dorset’s most historical region, with an artificial pitch similar to our own.  It was a beautiful summer’s evening. Matt lost his first toss as Skip and we were put into bat, an exciting-looking combination of Steve and Jim opening up. Well, when we say opening up, we mean opening – because, after 4 overs, we were on 6 - including 4 extras. Our WASP was 30.

A worried tour camp looking on as no runs are being scored

However Jim then started a remarkable series of fours which pushed the score on considerably. Steve was caught hitting out to mid-wicket for 1 which brought in our new skipper. His first ball was a wide. His next ball was also a wide. However his next ball – and his first legal one – he politely returned to the bowler for a caught-and-bowled and the tour’s first golden duck. At least Edward faced a legal ball as well as two wides before he swept it round into the arms of a grateful backward square leg for 0.  We were 31-3 from 8 overs. However, Jim just kept on swatting the fours, the backbone of the innings, and celebrated an excellent and crucial 50. Dave was run out for 3 and a short time later Jim was caught for 60. 87-5. But the team rallied and from there on, all the batsmen added a few to keep the score ticking over and we finished on a creditable, and defendable, 128-9.

The ins and outs of village cricket - Edward worrying about whether Wetherspoons would still be open...

Leading his team onto the field, the skipper listened carefully to advice from various sources – principally Phil and Edward - and opened with...Phil and Edward.  An inspired choice: both bowled accurately and tightly and they took 3 wickets in the first 5 overs with the score still not on 20- 2 good catches by the skipper and one from Jim. Edward snapped up his third wicket clean bowled and Jim and Joe took over and continued in similarly miserly vein. Puddletown dug in and started to rebuild, slowly but steadily. The next bowling change was to turn the match decisively TWCC’s way. Two wickets from Paul Chatfield’s first excellent over, clean bowling their top scorer A Knight, the other caught by Jim who was having a great match. Matt Brock picked up a wicket courtesy of a good catch - the skipper’s third – and then Chatters got another wicket first ball of his second over, a catch by his bowling partner. The next batsman, C Ascott, punched a catch to Dave Rogers at square leg – but it pinged off his pecs.  Paul’s response was to clean bowl him with his last ball for a fantastic four wicket haul. The skipper and Honse bowled out the remaining overs and Puddletown fell well short on 94-9. A win for TWCC in their first match on tour and for Matt Edwards in his first match as skipper. 

TWCC VS PUDDLETOWN 3rd July 2015 20:20 format
TWCC Innings: S Rogers Ct, Bld A Knight 1; J Simon Ct, Bld L Allen 60; M Edwards Ct & Bld Y Knight 0; E Bunn Ct, Bld Y Knight    0; D Rogers Run Out 3; J Panther Ct Wkt, Bld Clark 7; P Chatfield Ct, Bld L Stevens 8; M Brock Bld Clark 1; H Karvay Bld Clark 1; P Steinke Not Out 7; R Brock Not Out 7. TOTAL 128-9 20 OVERS.
Fall: 19-1, 29-3, 31-4, 78-5, 87-2, 101-7, 113-6, 114-8, 116-9.
Puddletown Bowling - not available.
Puddletown Innings: L Allen Ct M Edwards, Bld E Bunn 5; A Stevens Ct J Simon Bld E Bunn 1; A Barrett Ct M Edwards Bld P Steinke    9; A Fairman Ct M Edwards Bld M Brock 21; J Barrett Bld E Bunn 11; A Knight Bld P Chatfield 27; L Stevens Ct J Simon Bld P Chatfield 5; A Weir Ct M Brock Bld P Chatfield 1; C Ascott Bld P Chatfield 1; Y Knight Not Out 1; C Clarke Not Out 1. TOTAL 94-9 20 OVERS.
TWCC Bowling: P Steinke 4-0-14-2; E Bunn 4-0-9-3; J Simon 4-0-32-0; J Panther 3-0-15-0; M Brock 2-0-4-1; P Chatfield 2-0-17-4; Karvay 1-0-5-0; M Edwards 1-0-4-0.

The home side took us a mile down the road to the epicentre of history: Tolpuddle, where we drank in The Martyrs pub. For those who had discussed the events, here is a brief history: 6 Tolpuddle men formed a friendly society which was judged illegal and in 1834 they were tried, found guilty and transported to Australia. The country rallied: literally – one of England’s first successful political marches and a petition of 800,000 was raised in protest. Four of the six were returned to England in 1836, one more in 1837. It was seen as the birth of the trade union movement and is celebrated worldwide. And here we were assembling – mostly legally – in a Tolpuddle pub.
Puddletown presented us with a commemorative plaque as we sampled the delicious local ale – and the boys drank lager! Fines were duly handed out: Dave Rogers was fined for dropping a catch which deprived Chatters of a possible five-fer – and Paul was fined for failing to get his five-fer. Matt Edwards was invited to take a pound from the pot for his successful captaincy – but then fined £2 for his golden duck. It’s a cruel but necessary tour tradition and few escape the sadistic reaches of the tour committee (of one... Ed.). Only Honse, Phil and the sidelined skipper were judged to have done little enough to merit any kind of mention – glorious or otherwise.
As the evening continued chatting away with the opposition, lightning flashes marked the end of a long humid day. Within minutes, great drops of rain had us scurrying inside the pub and shortly afterwards to the cars. Our thanks to our hosts who made us very welcome and ensured a great evening.
The rain got harder as we headed towards Bournemouth, and, by the time we pulled in to the hotel car park, it was torrential. A good time to stay inside in the bar. The cards came out and Steve won chase the ace as time ticked on past the midnight hour. Outside, the rain was now pouring in rivers down the road and gushing down the hotel steps, flooding the bar patio and threatening to spill over the threshold of the hotel’s reception and flood the whole place. The owner, Manz, leapt fully clothed, full-length, into the 8-inch deep flood with a long screwdriver and proceeded to unblock the drain, getting to his feet with a wide triumphant grin on his face, soaked through from head to toe. At the same time, the rain lessened and the hotel was safe. And a couple of hours later, when a few of the tourists felt the need to feed, the flood had subsided. The visit to Bournemouth’s finest kebab house – some 10 minutes away – gave an insight into the town’s visitor population: mostly young, drunk and on stag or hen weekends. Inevitably there was a queue at the kebab shop but most of us hadn’t eaten since we left Sussex so we waited, we ordered and we ate. By 3.30am we were back at the hotel and needed a long sleep on our 4-foot 6-inch long beds.
The following day we rejected our hotel’s offer of £8 for breakfast, because we saw a poster of what it included. Instead we made our way to a nearby cafe and had a meal of similar standard for £1.50 less. We headed to the golf course at Canford Magna – the River Course – destined to meet Tony and Mikey on the first tee. Buggies were booked – and it turns out these were faster than Tony’s supercharged Range Rover which hit traffic on the M3 so despite leaving at 8.30am, they were not to make it til noon. They announced their arrival with a high-fiving buggython round all the other players before Tony set about trying to convince everyone he should play off 36. Golf was a delightful course alongside the River Stour:  Edward was the true shark, shiny new clubs – unusual for someone who claims not to have played for two years – and the majority of shots pinging pleasantly straight and long. However, Steve, playing with Dave in the fourth grouping, took the honours, though because of Tony’s lateness, betting was minimal and for the most part we ended up still in pocket. After a quick après-golf beer, we made our way back to the hotel.
Now, country pubs are in short supply on Bournemouth seafront. Especially country pubs which ban tattooed youths, don’t require bouncers, have a full range of real ales, flowers round the door and folk music – all of which are required on cricket tour. The boys had mentioned that there was a Wetherspoons just round from Kebab Alley so we made our way there, much to the disgust of the older tourists. The beer was cheap and reasonable, the floor was a little sticky and smelly and the clientele equally so. We stayed for just a short while, happy to see 8pm when we could go back up the hill for our curry. 
We walked in to the restaurant find ourselves seated next to a stag party all dressed in Hawaiian shirts - identical to the one Phil was wearing! Phil proudly took his place at the head of their table to a round of applause from all. The staff were good fun, the poppadoms a little soft but the curry was very good and it was great to be a full tour of 13 all together watching the boys swiping their chosen night’s prey online. Even more fun when Joe connected Mikey’s profile to the local Gaydar network – the offers flooded in to relieve him of his `boy cherry`. Anyway, when we eventually worked our way through the vast numbers of Cobras ordered by Matt Brock, some headed back to the hotel – including Dave and Steve who were to take off at some frightful hour to head for the British Grand Prix - whilst the boys and a few granddad hangers-on went to a town bar: where the boys were let in and the granddads were turned away!!!  We headed back to the hotel to let the boys have their fun – and in traditional WGOTSOT style – we draw the curtain on the night.
The following morning, Wetherspoons was the chosen venue for breakfast – and the planned tennis, beach cricket and beach football were all cancelled in favour of leaving early for a nice country pub in Langton Green. The pub was close to our match destination – a pretty thatched establishment in the heart of a thatched village, reached via a thatched ford. We had slipped back around 200 years. A mostly non-alcoholic lunch for an hour, and off we headed to Pimperne CC. It was reached through a modern housing estate: houses backed on to the pitch, at what looked like a safe distance. Hmm....
Skipper Brock back in charge, he agreed to the home-team’s captain Brian’s suggestion of a 40 overs match, dutifully lost the toss and Pimperne opted to bat. Their opening left-hander was a very good bat and he set about it as he meant to go on, scoring 10 from the first over from Matt E. Matt and Phil rallied, Matt Brock came on with excellent pace and troubled the batsmen but still no breakthrough, as the score swept past 100 in 16 overs. Joe Panther bowled nicely but it was the introduction of Edward’s slow but accurate bowling that got the breakthrough, tempting the left hander to come down the pitch leaving Tony to sweep off the bails. In his second over he took another, LBW; both openers gone. It has to be said some of the TWCC fielding was traditionally `tour Sunday` - overthrows slipped through, boundary pick-ups missed and occasional truculence as fielders were changed regularly to try to both stem the runs but also be in position to pick up wickets. Jim opened his spell well, a maiden and tucking up the batsmen nicely. Pimperne’s numbers 4 and 6 were striking out and putting loose balls away, taking the score past 200. Matt Edwards got his reward in his second spell with a caught and bowled, the skipper took a good catch from Edward, and Matt Brock clean bowled one and had another caught by Jim (not sure about that - Ed.). Paul and Honse had short spells but when Jim came back, changing ends to come from the pavilion end, against the wind, the tour’s champagne moment arrived. A great catch from Paul Chatfield in the deep from the penultimate ball of Jim’s penultimate over was followed by a catch behind by Tony off the next ball. The field came in for the first ball of his next over - no need – Jim clean bowled their number 9 and claimed his hat-trick. It would have been a great end to the innings, but it was not to be. In strolled Pimperne’s number 11: a bearded type, making up the numbers, ambling onto the field without even any pads! Tea beckoned. What we learned during tea was that this was the opening bat for Pimperne’s Saturday team. After a sighter, he despatched Jim for a very large 6, landing on the (fortunately strengthened) conservatory roof of the `safe distance` house beyond the car park. The next went for a shorter 6 – and Jim’s final ball of this most eventful over was an even bigger 6, smashing against the back wall of the same house, inches below the upstairs window. The innings closed, we were in no doubt that score for Pimperne of 297 would take some getting. Tea was a pleasant and ample ploughman’s style selection in a pavilion that doubled up as a nursery school classroom – interrupted only by one of their senior players telling us the affronted householder had complained and urging us not to pepper his house during our batting.
Mikey took this request to heart when he opened the batting with Matt E: refusing to send the ball over the boundary he fell to a stumping after making two singles, something of a contrast to the riches he’d been promising to deliver. Tony made a responsible 19 before being clean bowled, but Matt was playing a masterful innings, sensible running and sending bad balls to the boundary. He got his debut TWCC 50 and well-deserved it was, eventually going on to 65 before he was bowled trying to force the pace. Jim continued his excellent match with a careful 17 before hitting his own wicket and whilst not up with the rate, nor were we collapsing into oblivion. We should mention that Pimperne were not bowling as they might do during a league fixture: it was mostly spin, which was very sporting of them but difficult to get away because the balls weren’t coming onto the bat. Richard came in at 5 and will long remember his 3 fours in a row on his way to 31: but the tail failed to wag and we finished our innings on a creditable 181, losing the match by 115 runs. A good game but I feel our opponents had us where they wanted us for the majority of it.
The village’s two pubs were both newly closed, and, wishing to end our tour in traditional style, we offered our apologies to our very sporting hosts and dashed off to find a pub to down a final pint gathered altogether round a garden table. All agreed it was a great tour and great that we had a full tour party, youngsters and seniors as one. Talk turned to next year and a return to country pub accommodation, close enough to a town for the boys to get a taxi for their nights out. Oxfordshire seemed a popular choice, punting mentioned, despite our notoriety for water-based activities. Our thanks go to Steve for his brilliant work in getting the tour organised -so much to do and done so well – Steve you’re the real tour hero. Well done to all the players, some great performances on the field – Jim, Matt E, Edward, Chatters - great fun off it and simply brilliant to share a tour weekend with a wonderful group of players. 

TWCC VS PIMPERNE  5th July 2015 40 overs match
Saul St T Pearce, Bld E Bunn 77; Greg LBW Bld E Bunn 32; Wiggers Ct P Chatfield Bld J Simon 7; Kev Ct R Brock Bld E Bunn 51; Joe Ct & Bld M Edwards 21; Fordy Ct T Pearce (wkt) Bld J Simon 50; John Bld M Brock 0; Andy Bld J Simon 0; Billy Ct J Simon (if so I don't remember it but it's possible as I don't remember much - Ed.) Bld M Brock 8; Bryan Not Out 0; Frank Not Out 18. TOTAL 297-9 40 OVERS.
Fall: 111, 120, 142, 201, 269, 270, 270, 275, 279
TWCC BOWLING: M Edwards 8-1-60-1; P Steinke 8-0-33-0; M Brock 8-0-46-2; J Panther 3-0-31-0; E Bunn 4-0-38-3; J Simon 6-1-47-3 (inc hat-trick); P Chatfield 2-0-20-0; H Karvay 1-0-13-0.
TWCC INNINGS: M Pearce     Stumped Bld Kelly 2; M Edwards Bld Franklin 65; T Pearce Bld A Kelly 19; J Simon Hit Wicket Bld Saul 17; R Brock Stumped, Bld B Kelly 31; P Chatfield Ct, Bld Saul 4; E Bunn LBW Bld Noyce 6; J Panther Bld Regan 6; H Karvay Ct, Bld Regan 6; M Brock Ct, Bld Regan 0; P Steinke Not Out 2; TOTAL 181 ALL OUT, 38.1 OVERS.
Top of page
TWCC visit Wales again!
Extraordinary isn't it?
Tour report Richard Brock

Cloudy skies gathered over Twineham as the TWCC touring squad gathered after lunch, later than is normal, for their tour.  Bad news greeted us as we attempted to pile 10 sets of cricket bags, golf clubs and cases into two unhappy cars.  The 20/20 match vs Monmouth that evening was already off.  It was a shame:  it sounded like a fine ground and there was even talk that they had an overseas player ready to break our is.  But tour organiser Steve Rogers had already moved swiftly to address the disappointment:  he’d booked go karting in Bristol for late afternoon.  So with vigour renewed we set off for what should have been a straightforward journey westwards.  Unfortunately between `the south east` and `the west` is the M25:  and as we stood parked on it, it became clear we weren’t going to make our Grand Prix start time.  But Steve put it back to give us an extra hour, which in the event we needed.  Richard’s car made it quite comfortably, but Tony went overland and arrived with one minute to spare.  But what fun followed!  

Phil a late arrival at the pyjama party

We were all dressed up in racing overalls and helmets:  and as we took to our 160cc machines for 15 minutes of speed laps, the excitement factor was brilliant.  As confidence grew, we started throwing the karts in and out of the corner, with Mikey regularly being black flagged for rule contravention.  Honse was clearly the master of the kart and it was he who was on pole position for the 15 minute grand prix.  After an hour’s wait, the grand prix roared off.

Dave Rogers black-flagged. How cool is that?!?

An early pile-up put paid to Honse and Richard’s hopes, and Mikey continued his succession of black flags:  The experienced Dave Rogers proved impassable, many tussles were fought and various smaller pile ups eventually allowed Joe to power to victory and was he who stood on the podium later to accept his trophy.

No coincidence it's the youngsters taking the laurels...

We departed for Wales (the long way via the wrong bridge) with both drivers occasionally forgetting they were now on a motorway and not still the racetrack – and made it to Monmouth, a pleasant town with our hotel very central.  There may have been no one on reception to greet us, but attached to the hotel was a large pub, which it turns out was `the` place to be seen in Monmouth.  Thus just minutes after checking in, we were heading that way (apart from the lads who were primping and one in particular who was checking on his fake tan).   It was in the bar that we met up with Steve Taylor and his son James, both affiliated TWCC-ites for the weekend.  Barely a couple of pints had passed our lips before we went in search of curry and feasted in an `out of the way, over the bridge` curry house which served fine food and excellent beer.   We returned content to the same pub.   

The evenings of course bring our boys out to play.  While the older club members (Gracious Intelligent Talented Sportsmen) happily stood supping on the remarkably cheap pints of real ale (£1.65) the youngsters grabbed their lager and launched into the ever filling pub like sharks in a tuna net.  They swam in and out of the shapely specimens eyes agog, before choosing one and pouncing.  Mikey’s desire for a rather quick meal proved his downfall whilst Joe, battling on in spite of the ogling of the old gits, was finally defeated when the call of `taxi` beckoned his young lady away.  Matt and Honse tried their luck but time eventually ran out and the human contents of the pub were expelled en masse into the street outside.  Suddenly, Joe was in his element.  Within seconds he fell in with, then proceeded to lead, a gang of local football fans and succeeded in launching into a series of football type chants with fake tans as their theme and the hapless Mikey as their target.  He followed this up by twirling one young lady(?) around the street upside down on his shoulder.  His coup de grace was delivered a few minutes later out of his bedroom window, but we’ll leave that there!  Thus did the evening draw to a close, save for a curious late night incident when Mikey and Joe were awakened for their drunken slumber by the hotel manager insisting they weren’t actually booked in.  For once, Mikey’s terse response was more than justified.

The following morning we were up early for golf and what a beautiful course.  Monmouth Golf Club was as pretty on the eye as the waitress who served us afterwards, though not quite as flirtatiously self aware.  Jim beat everyone in mostly warm and pleasant weather, Joe second and Richard third.  We drove from there to Chepstow to check in at our next hotel on our two centre tour – and straight from there to Tintern’s smallest and most expensive brewery.  Now for the record, TWCC tours have a healthy tradition of supporting local brewers and pubs, frequently with unrestrained bon viveur.  This was arranged as a brewery tour, a tasting session of the beers and a hearty meal.  The `tour` turned out to be a Q and A session between a rampantly enthusiastic Jim and an overwhelmed young man in wellies, in a shed with no beer. The free tasting passed most by with the brewers seemingly happier to sell their brews to us instead.  And the meal was a plate of stew and mash served from the family pot.  It’s fair to say that the children of the brewers` family enjoyed it more than a number of tourists, and they didn’t have to pay £12.50 for it! 

Back at Chepstow some napped in bed, some napped at the bookies courtesy of Joe’s 11/2 tip but all met in the hotel bar in the early evening.  Chepstow was clearly the place to be:  each pub had an average of 5 doormen and even the entrance to a shop advertising `Cream Teas` had a squad of 3 doormen!  The photo would have been priceless, save perhaps the price of a `bouncered` camera.  We made it past the age checks into a pub alive with music, colour and probably Wales`s widest selection incredibly ugly women.  Even cheap beer did nothing to accentuate the scenery as with each swish of the door came tumbling in another selection of ageing Welsh fun-seekers, dressed as lambs but with faces resembling rear end joints of mutton.  More extraordinary were the gents where two enterprising black guys had set up shop selling a quick spray of aftershave for £1.  Surely none of our group would fall for that, would they Matt?  The pub proved schismatic – the old gits headed back to the hotel for poker, leaving the young guns and Phil to the mercy of the ugly sisters (and their cousins, nieces, mothers, many overlapping).  Jim decided to watch the poker but not to play – but caught the bug and so it was that at 1am, t`was he who battered Honse to scoop the jackpot.  By this time of course, the boys were already shaking their stuff in Aura, Chepstow’s finest (and only) nightclub.  Mikey got knocked back by not one but 5 girls and his petulant response to ban them all from every nightclub in Brighton – because he has the power  - made for interesting conversation the following morning.  Matt’s `Sussex cricketer on tour` approach (circa 2010) drew interest but nothing more.  But Joe `pulled`.  When this was trumpeted at breakfast, the conversation could find no consensus on what `pulled` means.  Various definitions were suggested, as regular tourists will be able to imagine, and there was general agreement that even with the most generous terms available, Joe had probably not `pulled`!

A quiet morning of tennis or coffee or hangover followed and by midday we were heading for Tintern to at last enjoy some cricket. 


                                        Tintern Tour Team Twelve

Standing, left to right: Phil Steinke, James Taylor, Richard Brock, Mikey Pearce, 
Tony Pearce, Dave Rogers, Matt Steinke, Joe Panther, Steve Taylor.
Grounded: Jim Simon, Honse Karvay, Steve Rogers.

The sun shone, Tintern’s ancient abbey pulled in the visitors and we had a pre-match pint at the Anchor, where they still remember Edward’s six that cleared the roof  (actually Edward, no they don’t, especially since you let us down late on this tour!).
So to cricket:  TWCC went into the match unbeaten this season, and so it turns out did Tintern.  The teams, it is fair to say, whilst both heading in the same direction, plot different routes to reach their destination.  Tintern’s is a more happy go lucky, devil may care approach, TWCC’s is more careful and cautious.  Richard lost the toss and was asked to bowl in a 12 a side match, our numbers boosted by Steve and James Taylor.
With Matt and Jim opening, what looked a dodgy pitch soon proved to be so. It is used as a football pitch in the winter and understandably therefore, the cricket pitch (which doubles as the centre spot) was of variable bounce. Jim’s first wicket was an LBW, a good early strike: but the next pair piled on the runs with heavy-handed batting, sending the balls to the boundaries. But Jim stuck to his line and got another LBW on 40, and with a run out at the same score, we seemed on course to limit their scoring flurry. Unfortunately they were all of the same mind: score lots of runs quickly and brutally. And whilst Matt eventually got an LBW after catches were, as usual, dropped from his bowling, it was Phil  who quelled their run rate with an excellent spell conceding just 19 runs and picking up a wicket. James Taylor picked up two caught and bowled wickets, though also took a bit of a pasting by his team mates eager to show him what they could do to his bowling. Steve Taylor, who dropped a towering catch to the delight of those same team mates, picked 2 wickets – including that of his other son Jonathan, who had batted steadily and sensibly for 27. Finally the final wicket fell with just 32 overs bowled but a challenging score posted of 157. We knew we were missing top batsmen and we would all have to bat well and have luck from the pitch. And it all started out rather well: Mikey and Steve started very slowly but steadily and reached 37 before Mikey’s stylish looking knock ended on 20. Tony also started slowly, but then seemed to climb the summit with four 4s in a row. Regrettably, that was almost that: two more scoring strokes and he went pulling for another boundary. On 72-2, it looked good – but a glance down the batting line up gave cause for concern. And that was doubly so when Steve was bowled for 25 and we were 92-3 with Richard and Matt in. Now with due credit to both of them: they are no-one’s first choice as match winning batsmen. And frankly that’s how it panned out: but not courtesy of muscular fast bowling. No, what did for us was the gentle, very gentle left arm slow bowling of one O Ellis. He took 6 wickets with our batsmen all believing they could get him away. Batsmen fell by the wayside rapidly, only James Taylor putting up resistance and for a time, had us believing that we could win. But a questionable umpiring decision by Richard sent him back to the pavilion, with him insisting the ball had hit no part of his glove or bat so couldn’t be given a catch. Steve Taylor’s response to the baying fielders as he took to the field was: a golden duck. And when Honse was run out for our fourth nought, we were done on 128. Soundly beaten by a strong group of players who took the game to us from the outset.

Tintern won the toss and chose to bat.
Tintern Innings: O Ellis    LBW J Simon 1; D Havells run out 13; G Reynolds LBW J Simon 24; S Hayward LBW M Steinke    18; S Williams Bld J Simon 12; D Reynolds Ct and Bld J Taylor 31; P Seabury Ct and Bld J Taylor    12; Jn Taylor Ct??? Bld S Taylor 27; I Ellis Ct J Simon Bld H Karvay 0; M Evans Ct S Taylor Bld P Steinke 7; S Jennings Bld S Taylor 1; H Ellis not out 2. TOTAL 157 all out.
Fall: 6, 40, 40, 52, 82, 109, 116, 127, 150, 154.
TWCC Bowling: M Steinke; 8-0-48-1; J Simon 7-0-32-3; P Steinke 8-1-19-1; J Taylor 3-0-22-2; H Karvay 3-0-20-1; S Taylor 2-0-20-2; M Pearce 1-0-2-0.
TWCC Innings: S Rogers Bld O Ellis 25; M Pearce    Ct and Bld G Reynolds 20; T Pearce Ct P Seabury Bld C Jennings 25; R Brock Bld C Jennings 6; M Steinke     Bld O Ellis 0; J Panther Bld C Jennings    0; J Taylor Ct,  Bld O Ellis 22; J Simon Bld O Ellis 1; D Rogers Bld O Ellis 2; S Taylor Bld O Ellis 0; H Karvay run out 0; P Steinke not out 2.TOTAL 128 all out
Tintern Bowling: I Ellis 8-1-27-0; S Williams 8-0-18-0; G Reynolds 6-0-29-0; C Jennings 8-0-22-3; O Ellis 8-1-11-6; H Ellis 2-0-16-0. 
Tintern won by 29 runs. 

The match done, a quick pint and fond farewells to our guesting Taylors and the victorious Tintern team.  We departed Wales on a sunkissed evening and the sunglasses were required all the way back to Sussex.  Another excellent tour, our third to Wales, congratulations to all tourists and in particular our thanks to Steve for organising it.         

...and for those who can't get enough touring:

TWCC Tour to Dorchester
16th-19th July 2010 

Tour Report Richard Brock and A. Local

After a fallow year, Twineham and Wineham’s finest once again gathered at The Castle early on a Friday morning for a team tour.  This time Dorset was our destination, it’s county town of Dorchester to be more precise.  A slightly later summer date enabled the Hickstead workers to come – though Edward opted out as usual.  It was also disappointing that the ever present Dave Jones was unavailable due to his leg – good luck with that Dave, your spot at the card table will be waiting next year.  We set off at 9.30 in three cars:  Tony, Jim and Steve driving.  A curious diversion by Steve enabled us to see plenty of the Sussex countryside around Arundel and we were in no great hurry anyway!   As the speed merchants zoomed past Southampton, leaving Jim with a face full of exhaust fumes, they pulled in to a Costa Coffee at the motorway services and phoned Jim to tell him where they were:  only to discover he’d already passed them and it!   So the eventual meeting of the squad took place in the sleepy village of Martinstown which is approached either via a rather normal `A` road (Jim) or via a steep, narrow and windy farm track whereby you force a woman driver to reverse dangerously onto aforementioned `A` road  (Steve).  Hence Jim and his crew were not merely at the pub, but at the pub, fed and watered:  and it was with great delight that we also greeted our Northern-Welsh colleague Steve `Wide Boyo` Taylor.     The `Blue Vinnie` cheese baguettes went down exceedingly well, as did the `Piddle` beer – and an hour later we set off back down the farm track which actually led to the cricket ground of Martinstown. 

                                How lovely the ground

Martinstown CC is set in a bowl, reclaimed from farmland just ten years earlier and as such, they are still using an artificial wicket.  The pavilion is very smart – certainly compared with what we are used to – and the welcome warm and genuine.  They had done well to find enough players to play cricket on a Friday afternoon.  In touring tradition the travelling team were offered the choice whether to bat or bowl and Richard opted for the more cowardly approach of a bowl.   As per usual he hadn’t completely understood the rules, other than that it was definitely a timed match of some duration.  Twineham’s opening pair of Matt and Jim, still stung by the criticism in the previous week’s match report – and team members did not allow this report to go unmentioned for more than 2 minutes throughout most of the day – bowled a fine opening spell which was energetic and fruitful.  The first wicket of the tour was a beautiful classic slip catch by Tony from a fine off cutter from Matt.  Great cricket. Steve Taylor caught the second opener from Matt’s bowling and by the end of their 15 overs, things looked rosy with the home side struggling to get away boundaries.   (please note:  this is not written generously to make up for previous excesses, this was a very good spell of bowling by both!)  (Sounds like a guilty conscience to the Ed.) A good stand by their 3 and 4 put us on the back foot until reminded us again, as he does each tour, that Wales’s gain is our loss as he ripped out their middle order with 3 wickets.  The further the innings went on, the younger, it seemed, our opponents were:  but even so, good disciplined cricket meant we kept the score down to just 141-8 with just half an hour left:  when time was called!  Well that settled the rules and gave TWCC a winnable target.  After an excellent tea served in the pretty clubhouse, we got to work:  well, Steve and Jonathan did. 

                Steve, having strayed into an under 13 game, manages to keep his end up

Their opening stand took them past 50 before Steve was given out to LBW for 29. 

Jonathan also denies the youthful attack
                            Below: not much concern - or interest - on the bench

Tony came in in determined style, and started knocking sixes around  (unfortunately, thanks to his son who copied over the scorebook – or parts of it – we have no detail of this innings and precious little detail at all!!!)  Anyway, from memory, Jonathan was caught for 34, and while the rest of the middle order saw fit to have a mini collapse, it couldn’t prevent us from clocking up a good win with overs to spare.

Scorecard: TWCC Vs MARTINSTOWN  16TH JULY 2010 Martinstown were asked to bat.
Martinstown Innings: E Nichols Ct T Pearce, Bld M Steinke 9; Chase Ct S Taylor, Bld M Steinke 1; Lewis Ct J Simon, Bld Taylor 43; House Ct H Karvay, Bld Taylor     31; Moss Ct J Rowland, Bld Taylor 10; Wylie Ct J Simon, Bld R Brock 5; Rimmer St S Rogers, Bld M Pearce    18; Wylie not out 5; Wylie Ct J Rowland, Bld R Brock 5; Folland not out 2.
TOTAL  141-8 (35 overs)
TWCC Bowling: M Steinke 8-2-23-2; J Simon 7-1-26-0; S Taylor 8-0-33-3; M Pearce 2-0-20-1; P Steinke 6-1-14-0; R Brock 4-0-17-2.
TWCC Innings: S Rogers LBW Wylie 29; J Rowland Ct  Chase, B Wylie 34; T Pearce not out 56; M Pearce Ct House, B Wylie 2; J Simon     Bld Wylie 0; S Taylor B Rimmer 1; M Steinke not out 7. Total 142-5  (34.4 overs)
DNB: H Karvay, D Rogers, P Steinke, R Brock.
Martinstown Bowling: Wylie 4.4-0-18-0; Clarke  5-0-25-0; Folland 6-2-15-0; Wylie 9-0-60-4; Rimmer 6-1-16-1; Wylie 2-0-3-0.
TWCC won by 5 wickets.

So with a spring in our step we headed to the very place we’d left a few hours earlier to enjoy a few more pints of Piddle and watch some golf on the pub’s TV.  Though he supplied us with plates of chips, it became increasingly clear that the landlord was becoming a little perturbed by having so many people in his pub wanting to drink his beer so we said our goodbyes to the players of Martinstown, a good bunch, and headed towards Dorchester by the longest route Steve could navigate.  Dorchester High Street is very pleasant and seemed rather tranquil – a good place for a cricket tour, but Ibiza it’s not!  Still, at least the youngsters couldn’t get into mischief......

We checked into the hotel, the Wessex, and after the usual confusion and kerfuffle, the patient,  efficient and not unattractive Maria, on reception, simply let us sort ourselves out and gave us keys to four rooms, one of which, the Pearce’s, would double up as the poker room.  The threat of two or more players sharing a double bed was avoided for at least the first night and it wasn’t long before arrangements were made to meet in the local pub, 50 yards down the road.  Beers were had and the fines committee met.  A number of dropped catches were punished, slovenly fielding (Pearce jnr), showy batting (Pearce snr), Welshness!!!   And so it was that just an hour or so later we trooped into the local curry house and enjoyed a good meal where we were actually outdone in loudness by the awards night of the football club on the table next to us.  Undaunted, we drank more and then tried and failed to remember the rules of `Hoedown Haybarn`.  Who ya gonna call?  Dave Jones!  A drunken call woke up our absent former skipper and previously ever present tourist, whose opening line was `I wondered when you would call`.  He added enough meat onto the bones of the rules for us to have a reasonable attempt at it, but it was short lived and we decided that we could probably drink more than enough without it.  Forlorn efforts were made by Honse and Matt to attract the attention of the two young women at a neighbouring table but to no avail:  there was to be no totty this weekend!  We headed back to the pub which by this time had a band playing heavy metal with a poor but charismatic singer backed up by good guitars and drums.  Soon he had Mikey and Phil eating out of his hand:   Mikey was strutting around the dance floor trying to impress an extremely beautiful blonde girl with his plastic guitar (you can guess just how impressed she was):  whilst Phil became no 1 groupie, imploring the band to play Deep Purple for a good half an hour after their set had finished.   With the night done, we headed back to the hotel where even the most hard bitten tourists admitted they were knackered and headed to bed with no cards, a tour first!!
However.....what happened next can only be relayed by word of mouth and the recollections of some of those involved.  It will therefore be related in the third person, and the person we have chosen is a Dorsetshire bystander, who fortunately was present that evening. 

`I spied `em I did:  them kids, the youngsters.  Them didn’t go to bed, oh no.  Them’s went back t’pub, lookin’ for that blonde bit.  You’m don wanna be `ere, I told `em, geh down Bar Rouge if it’s stuff yer aaaarfter.  And them did.  The tall one, Matt `e said `is name is, the little breakdancing one and the boy – with the stoopid `air.  And they went there but it waaaaaas all but emtee.  But two of `em started chaattin` to a couple of right pieces they did.  And gettin’ on right well they was too by the looks of it.  `ow’s that then, I wondered?  So I listened in I did:  the little `airy one was saying “we’re cricketers, we play for Sussex, we travel all over the country staying in different hotels , it’s a great life”.  The big lad `e says “yeah all my Sussex gear is back in the hotel” - and blow me if `is bit didn’t offer to go back to `is room and look  at his martletts!!!   But next thing their friends dragged `em orf `ome – so these two lads moved on didn’t they.  Next pair of girls got chat up lines involving bloody `arry Potter` - seems the little one is best mates with that Denzel Radcliffe and played a starring role in all the films.  `is girl told him “yeah, I’ve seen you” so she did!!  And by the time he told `er `e was an England U19 innernational, she stuck `er tongue in his `ed she did.  Which is nuffing on where he shoved `is hand, no nuffin` at all.  Then it was all about to go pear shaped cos this bunch of old duffers come in they did.  Turns out them’s called Dave, Steve and Phil and them’s couldn’t not sleep.  Quick thinkin` by the boy - `e turns round and says “oh look, our cricket coaches have arrived”.  So convinced is these wimmin that they gives the boys cokes and teks away their beer, so the coaches won’t bollock `em.  And the ol` boys play a blinder – “yeah, we’re their coaches” they sez “we’ve just come out to keep an eye on `em, make sure they’re fit and ready for the match tomorrow”.  Well it got a bit difficult to foller after tha`:  but I did see the big lad dragged out by `is bit, who says she’s a doctor, of all things!  She slams him up against the wall of an alley loik a police raid – but it turns out she was the one looki` for a truncheon, if yer foller???  Damn near sucked `is face off too.  Tell yer wha`, my doctor’s never done that to me, never I tells yer.   Af’e,r these birds fly orf, little one runs up the road and finds the dancing boy and shouts at the top of `is voice something about his fingers – he’s an England spin bowler so tha’s what it must be about.  Anyway, them boys heads back to the `otel `bout 4.30 in mawning, well `appy". 
Many thanks to Tarm Shagworthee for that insight.  Perhaps just as remarkable is that having got in so late, young Mikey managed to get up again at 6am.  One tip:  Mikey, if you’re going to projectile vomit into the toilet from 5 yards away, make sure the bathroom door is open first, or it will go all over the bedroom carpet and your father will make you clear it up, Superstud or not!

So it was that there were plenty of tales to tell at breakfast the following morning, and remarkably, all three of the adventurers were there to tell us, the waitresses, the numerous other guests having breakfast etc.  After breakfast, half went to play tennis, the rest `chilled` or went back to bed.  It was a lovely warm morning and the tennis was particularly enjoyable for Richard who won all matches and all cash.  A quick visit to a betting shop where Tony rescued us with a last minute winning greyhound tip @5-1 and at 1.15 we were on the way to Charlton Down, just 5 miles out of Dorchester.

TWCC at its best - well as best as might be expected on the second day...
Back Row: Steve Taylor, Phil Steinke, Mikey Pearce, Matt Steinke.
Middle Loner: Jim Simon making the place look untidy.
Second Row: Honse Karvay, Steve Rogers, Tony Pearce.
Front Row: Dave Rogers, Jonathan Rowland, Richard Brock.

Similar to the ground the previous day, it was a bowl, with banks leading down to the playing area.  Again it was an artificial but we’re not too bothered by them, how can we be?  Again, politely, we were offered a choice rather than toss a coin:  and this time, armed with information that we would probably be stronger than our opponents, Richard opted to bat in what he was allowed to choose would be a 40 overs game.  The order was changed to ensure that everyone who toured got at least 1 bat during the two games so Dave Rogers and the in form Jonathan opened for us.  Dave looked comfortable enough but was stumped racing down the ground on just 3:  which brought in the skipper.  The opening bowlers were of a good standard and best kept out:  so progress was slow and steady.  However, when the slow bowlers came on, the batsmen needed to move on and they didn’t!  20 overs came up with just 67 on the board.  Richard decided to do just what was required: a big swing, miss and out.  That allowed Tony in, and he made a ridiculously swashbuckling 58 including 3 sixes and at the same time spurring on Jonathan to greater adventure.  The two of them put on 101 in just 10 overs before Tony was finally caught with the score on 178.  Honse got his bat, starting off with a nice 4 and Jim came in at the end with a lively 20 so we finished on a mighty 231 -6 from our 40 overs.  Tea was superb, and we sat out in the sun thoroughly enjoying the state of the match.   It felt safe but until the reply starts, you can never be sure.   In truth though, it didn’t take long.  Their first ten overs brought 14 runs and they were 7 down for 42. Jim bowled three good balls:  before tweaking a muscle and joining Jonathan for an unintendedly comical performance in the slips, during which the pair of them would fall over stiffly each time the ball headed their way.  However, Jim did pull off one excellent diving catch before landing in an agonised heap with Jonathan limping to him in congratulation.  Some unusual bowling combinations were tried:  Tony and Dave Rogers turned their arm, when were they last used together in a match?  Anyway the wickets continued to fall with the exception of their captain Sid, who determinedly used his luck, guile and threatening behaviour to other batsmen to still be there on 88, heading for his maiden century when Phil clean bowled the number 11 and TWCC literally limped to a comfortable victory. 

TWCC chose to bat.
TWCC Innings: D Rogers St, Bld Benn 3; J Rowland Retired hurt 74; R Brock Bld Benn 24; T Pearce Ct, Bld Duncan 58; H Karvay Bld Duncan 8; J Simon Bld Lovell 20; S Rogers St, Bld Lovell 4; M Steinke not out 1;
TOTAL 231-6  (40 overs)
Fall:  17-1, 71-3, 178-4, 197-2, 201-5, 230-7, 231-8
DNB:   M Pearce, P Steinke,  S Taylor.
Charlton Down Bowling: Homewood 8-2-24-0; Lowther 8-0-46-0; M Benn 8-1-28-2; M Lovell 8-0-38-2; S Dunford 8-0-73-2.
Charlton Down Innings: M Venn Ct J Rowland, B M Steinke 0; Chase Ct ???? B H Karvay 8; Joy LBW Bld M Steinke 3; S Dunford     not out 88; J Garrett Ct, J Simon B Karvay 2; J Clancy Bld M Pearce 0; M Howard Bld P Steinke 3; J Ochler Bld P Steinke 0; Wylie Ct H Karvay, Bld T Pearce 17; P Spurr run out 0; M Lowther Bld P Steinke 20.
TOTAL  154 all out (37.4 overs)
TWCC Bowling: M Steinke ;6-3-14-2; J Simon .3-0-0-0; T Pearce 5.3-0-23-1; R Brock 5-2-20-0; P Steinke 8-0-17-3; H Karvay 2-0-5-2; M Pearce 5-0-34-1; D Rogers 1-0-12-0.
Fall:  4-1, 10-3, 23-2, 26-5, 37-6, 42-7, 42-8, 85-9, 90-10.
TWCC won by 77 runs

At the conclusion to the match, we stayed to enjoy a beer at the club which was blessed with its own bar.  They fired up the barbeque and as the burgers started to sizzle, a few local boys invaded the outfield to play headers and volleys.  Well it had to be done didn’t it?  “Fancy a game lads, you lot against a few of us old gits?”  The gauntlet was picked up and minutes later, approximately 9 or 10 cricketers faced around 13-14 lads, variously aged between 11-16.  Cricket pads as goalposts, Spain vs England.  Among those turning out for the cricketers were Tony, Mikey, Steve, Honse, Matt, Richard, Steve Taylor and Sid the Charlton Down skipper.  What most expected to be gentle ten minute encounter turned into a full pelt, high energy affair that went on for fully 45 minutes.  By that time, the cricketers were 7-2 up, but the longer the game went on, the fewer the number of cricketers on the pitch:  whilst the boys benefitted from word of mouth which had swept the nearby housing estate and brought out approximately 8 extra lads.  So `next goal’s the winner` was called:  and an epic battle ensued, chances both ends with Honse superb in goal.  But finally, as another couple of cricketers limped off, the lads surged through and with Honse facing approximately 6 strikers with the defence in tatters, they forced the ball home.

Footy Pics:

"Ooh! My hangover!" (Not that there was one - at this point in the day - Ed)

Not much to do for Honse... The surprise runaway scoring was happening at the other end.

GOALS!!! Some of them anyway.

Haven for the injured and sensible - and, probably, the ones who don't dance at parties.
Or, in the case of the photographer, don't go to parties. Well - don't go and are not invited.

And; the Tony Shimmy! Look at this!

Look at him go! A feint to the right, and a quick switch to the left. It left the opposition nowhere!

A great end to the day, the lads were invited over to hoover up the sandwiches whilst we finished off the burgers, washed down with beer.

Jim then left for Sussex, and Steve back across the border, whilst the rest headed back to the hotel:  and it was straight into the poker room:  hot favourites were Honse, a tournament winner and card shark, Tony – just cos he’s Tony - and Mikey  because he believes he’s good at everything and anyway, he plays poker on the internet in between the porn.    Play got underway at 10.30pm:  there were rivers and big and small things and it was all very professional with chips etc.  Predictably Richard was first out, followed surprisingly, by Tony, who took his defeat well by stripping off and going to bed in the room.   There followed a lengthy – no a very lengthy – battle royale in which each one took their turn to go to the brink of bankruptcy.  Finally, more than 3 hours later, Dave, Jonathan and Steve had fallen by the wayside:  and Mikey and Honse agreed that rather than battle it out, they’d split the winnings.  The school finally broke up at around 3am, Matt, Honse and Richard headed for Bar Rouge but with far less exciting results than the previous night before being shouted at at 5am by an irate guest for chatting too loudly outside the hotel.
The following morning, half the party went golfing:  Steve, Honse, Dave and Phil.  A fine time was had apparently, with Steve taking the top spot.  They headed to the pub afterwards and eventually arrived back at about 7.30pm.  The other wimps had already returned home in the morning, to get in their wives’ good books!  It was an excellent  tour, really really enjoyable, the first time in living memory that TWCC tourists have won all (both) their tour matches.  Many congratulations and thanks to Steve for organising it so brilliantly and well done for all those players who came along, I’m sure everyone had a superb time. 

Top of page