26/10/2019 Hackney Village

Menorca v Hackney Village Saturday 40 overs

The final weekend of the season got underway in superb weather. Biniparrell resplendent in the late summer sunshine. Hackney Village first time visitors to the home of Balearic cricket knocked Cotton off his stride with the coin and duly elected to observe how the wicket would play.

Probably not their best decision on tour as Menorca smashed a seasons best 377/3 from their 40 over allowance. There were 100’s for both debutant Ben Morley 115 and Adam Cockroft 105*. The former taking only 65 balls including 10 fours and 6 sixes which was quite an achievement in itself. However, talk about being upstaged, Adam smashed his hundred in only 37 balls it contained 6 fours, 11 sixes 5 of which were hit consecutively from the first five balls of the over. The final ball of the over was tossed so wide that he could’ve left it but decided to chase it and unfortunately couldn’t get enough purchase to complete a Sobers style 6 maximums. This is arguably the fastest century hit on the ground and certainly the most illustrious performance of the season. The statisticians will be frantically trawling through the archives for verification.

When the third highest score in an innings is 92 from 82 balls you know that you’ve witnessed a glut of runs. Adam Lavin looked positively lethargic in comparison to the centurions. Then there’s Sturgeon!!! He was the only batsman to miss out on the day his 17 runs coming from 28 balls the cravat sporting conveyancer back to his old ways following a marked upturn in recent weeks. Cotton 20* played second fiddle to Cockroft as he showed a flagrant disregard to anything resembling line and length. The other fodder served up dismissed with consummate ease. At over 9 an over the skipper certainly went out with a bang in his last game in charge.

Hackney’s reply was never up with the required rate as Cotton used nine bowlers on the day. Tom Stazicker top scored with 72. Sam Wilkinson 40 and Ed Whitehead 45* the main contributors to a more than respectable 232/6 which under normal circumstances would win many games. They were unlucky to come up against two strapping run hungry Yorkshiremen. Menorca sailing home by a whopping 145 run margin.

Sunday v Hackney Village 40 overs

Hackney opted for runs on the board on Sunday following Saturday’s leather fagging session. Stazicker once again the stand out performer for the opposition with 41. His opening partner Sartorio anything but sartorial as he was run out for 7 along with J Wilkinson 38. There was a useful contribution from Sylvester 29 and 22 from late arrival Arup Sen. Hackney posting 171/9. Great bowling from Skipper Roussel 4/20 and 2 wickets for Disco Joe Steen 2/34 pegging the visitors back to a moderate total.

The Menorca retort was disappointing to say the least despite having the wealth of experience in Bill Johnson opening the batting. The former Durham opener top scored with 36 and attempted to anchor the innings but the wickets fell around him far too frequently. Will Roussel hit 18 and Akter Husain 16 in an unfamiliar opening role. The lower order capitulation left the hosts shot out for Nelson handing victory to Hackney by 60 runs.

Two very contrasting games over the last weekend of competitive cricket. Both were played as the game should be. As is the case pretty much all of the time at the home of Balearic cricket.

There were emotional scenes following both games. Saturday saw your correspondent thank outgoing skipper Simon Cotton on behalf of the committee and his team mates for his tireless work and devotion to the club over the last six seasons. There have been many happy memories made under Simon’s guidance the pinnacle of which saw him raise the Balearic cup in 2016.

A guard of honour was also formed on Sunday as Phil Wright played his final game for the club after many years . Phil is very well thought of and respected by his teammates. His fearless approach to the game will be sorely missed.

So the curtain falls on what has been another terrific season. I do hope that you’ve enjoyed my weekly write ups and they’ve brought a smile to your faces. I sincerely hope there’s been no offence taken as that was never my intention.

There will be one final addition hopefully later this week as the Golden Rolling Pin award is made. There has been an objection and a steward’s enquiry. Once resolved the winner will be announced.

Winter well.


12/10/2019 Crowhurst Park CC

Saturday v Crowhurst Park 12th October

Another beautiful day at Biniparrell on Saturday. The weather for the second half of our season has been as good as one can remember. This week’s opposition Crowhurst Park are one of our regular touring sides and hail from Sussex.

Skipper Cotton won the toss and put the visitors in to bat unusually. The opening pairing of Flanagan and Harley put on 24 for the first wicket before Harley 20 became the captains only victim 1/31 from his eight over spell. Wilson conceded only 19 from his six. The visitors were restricted throughout their innings as all of the Menorca attack bowled tidily. New sexagenarian Catterall 3/30 turning the clock back accompanied well by son in law Tom Smith 1/22 from their respective eight over stints. Adam Lavin 3/27 returned the best figures of the day as Crowhurst were restricted to 165/8 from their allotted 40 overs. Flanagan made his half century 55 and Hobbs helped out with a useful 33* but it was a well below par score in the end.

Menorca’s reply got off to a flier. Lavin and reinvented property consultant Sturgeon following heavy criticism (unwarranted some say) at the early part of the season put the hosts firmly in the driving seat. The opening stand of 55 against some hostile bowling one of the best seen this season. Lavin in particular showed great bravery after being sconed twice during his innings. He carried his bat 93*, birthday boy Catterall 23 chipped in and 9* from Archie Day got us over the line with more than 11 overs to spare giving us a 7 wicket victory.

Sunday v Crowhurst 40 overs

It was a very different story on Sunday as the local attack toiled against the top order. D Flanagan and Naylor both making exactly 50. M Flanagan top scored with 61* as they amassed an imposing 237. The score was embellished by a glut of extras 35 in total thanks to some wayward bowling, giving nimble stand in keeper Kenny Johnstone a torrid time behind the sticks.

Menorca´s reply stuttered 22/3 after 7 overs. N Hossain must´ve had something in the tandoor as he blasted a quick fire 35 but the innings was then anchored and managed superbly by Sunday skipper Roussel 82. Wilson contributed a useful 29 and Johnstone played a couple of nice strokes in his unbeaten 15*. Menorca however fell 50 short. The extras proving to be the difference between the sides.

Penny Taylor provided a stunning glazed sponge topped with fresh berries on Saturday. The skippers much better half pulled out all the stops using her northern French influences to woo the judges. Undoubtedly a title contender.

Sunday´s offering was generously presented by nutcracker Katherine Rowberry. The luxury yacht skipper and Port Mahon lush serving up a chocolate rocky road which went down particularly well at the interval. Not sure if it’s a title contender but perhaps an outsider worthy of consideration.

Another well attended and successful weekend at the home of Balearic cricket-

05/10/2019 BBC Bushmen

Menorca v BBC Bushmen 5th October 40 overs

This week’s visitors predominantly work within the BBC world service which is broadcast from Bush House hence the “Bushmen” title.

The visitors had the luck with the coin and elected to bat first. They struggled from the off against the accuracy of the local attack. Once again the opening pairing of wiry Wilson 1/23 and not so wiry
Cotton 1/10 restricted the visitors to only 36 runs from the first dozen overs. The tight bowling continued Lavin 1/13 from his half dozen and Ali the pick of the hosts attack with 3/26. Skipper in waiting Joe Brayne continued his rich vein of form with the ball picking up 2/17. Three of the Bushmen got in to the 20’s skipper Whitehead, Paropkari and Ancil but none of them were able to go on and make a score of note. The Bushmen limping to 140/8 from their 40 overs.

Menorca made light work of the chase. Adam Lavin 65* in good nick again. Martin Willis 18, Joe Brayne 14 and Dan Osterbery 11* helping Cotton’s men to a comfortable 6 wicket victory in the 30th over.


Menorca v Bushmen Sunday Oct 6th 2019

It was Menorca’s turn to bat first on Sunday. Skipper Roussel 14 and Dow 36 getting the locals off to a steady start before the former was skittled by Dabby who picked up 4/57 there were useful contributions from Day snr 18 and disco Joe Steen 18 but it was guesting debutant Harry Standing 85 who showed great technique in his better than run a ball innings. Paropkari picked up 3/53 for the visitors as Menorca posted an imposing 228/8 at tea.

Speaking of tea. There were 3 magnificent contributions presented by Ally Duchin. Her and husband John have offered unwavering support to the club for many years and Mrs Duchin is to be commended for her champions league quality citrus drizzle, orange and sultana and a show stopping carrot cake. A real contender for the title alongside the Lady Chairman’s fresh cream Victoria sponge. Only 3 more weekends of cricket before the golden rolling pin is awarded!!!

Once again there were starts for a number of Bushmen. Hasting 34 top scored and Ancil made 28 for the broadcasters although their innings was more akin to listening to Norman Collier than the dulcet tones of a BBC news reader. They fell way short of the required total 164/7 with Roussel 4/27 excelling with the ball. Another victory for the hosts by 64 runs to cap off a fine weekend at the home of Balearic cricket

28/09/2019 Buckhurst Hill

Saturday 28th September v Buckhurst Hill

Buckhurst Hill were first time visitors to Biniparrell this past weekend. John Chipperfield and Dave Rofe who regularly guest for Menorca bringing their local team from Essex. Following on from his turn of fortune midweek with the coin Cotton elected for runs on the board. Menorca struggled to get going and had only 40 on the board when the first wicket went down in the 12th over. It was a case of after the Lord Mayor’s show for Lavin as he and then Wilcock were dismissed cheaply. Fortunately Adam Cockroft and Andy Tysoe held Menorca’s innings together well posting 82 and 41 respectively. The tail didn’t wag unfortunately as Menorca posted 208/9. Yusef 2/23, Patel 2/30 and South African Puchert 3/14 doing the damage for the Essex boys.

Menorca bowled very well initially with Cotton 2/13 from his 8 overs particularly miserly. It was a shame that yours truly pulled a fetlock after 5 overs 1/14 and was unable to continue. Sturgeon picked up a couple of useful wickets in the middle order but was punished mercilessly when off target. Saf Hussain top scored with 49 and Hendro Puchert hit 46* from only 23 balls and swung the game right at the death. John Chipperfield 13* from only 4 balls also made a good contribution as the Londoners got over the line with 2 balls to spare. It was a tough one to take for the hosts but it was a great spectacle for the healthy crowd of onlookers.

Mrs Dow threw in a bit of a curve ball at tea with a healthy option flapjack. It was well received by most although the regular cake connoisseurs were slightly aggrieved at the lack of sustenance on display.

Sunday v Buckhurst Hill 40 overs

Buckhurst Hill batted first on another beautiful day on Paradise Island. They were soon in trouble losing Pelham and Bini cheaply. It was left to Dave Rofe 57 to steady the ship. He was assisted by Patel 30 and Hussain 45 as the visitors posted 171 all out with only a ball to spare of their 40 overs. N Hossan 3/26 Pavan Nerella and stand in skipper Joe Brayne 3/21 doing the damage for Menorca.

The hosts reply was led very much from the front by regular guest Paul Wilcock. He was in superb touch as he made his maiden century for the club hitting 14 fours and 3 sixes in an unbeaten 110* Riaz 23 added useful runs but it was veteran John Long recently christened the S’Algar Stokes who accompanied Wilcock to his ton. The Barrow in Furnesss boys getting Menorca over the line against the barrow boys from Essex with more than ten overs to spare.

Yet again a great atmosphere over the weekend at the home of Balearic cricket. Congratulations to all those of you who took part and contributed.

25/09/2019 The Ivy Restaurant

Blower’s Birthday bash Menorca CC v Ivy Restaurant X1 Weds Sept 25th

They do say that the sun shines on the righteous and how lucky we were on such an auspicious occasion. The good name of Menorca CC given some extra special kudos by hosting legendary cricket commentator and raconteur Henry Blofeld’s landmark celebrations. Henry’s agent Ralph Brunjes taxed with putting a touring X1 together duly obliged. Their previous tour was to Vatican City against a team of trainee priests. It is rather astonishing to hear the stories of cricket being played in unusual places. Perhaps our very own meniscus mashing minister could look in to getting us a fixture there.

Cotton remarkably won the toss following a poor run and elected to bat first. Hagger and Sturgeon started cautiously against some tight bowling from Cathcart and Lee. Hagger fell in the 7th for 15 which brought Adam Lavin to the crease. The remainder of the locals innings was pretty much all about him as he hit his maiden century for the club. It has to be said that there is nothing more gracious than watching a stylish left hander elegantly dispatching the ball to the boundary. He did this 14 times in total in his run a ball ton. There was solid support from Sturgeon 32 and Sunday skipper Nick Roussel 33* who was drafted in to the fold Adam Cockroft hit 28 in typically rapid fashion. Menorca posted a very competitive 266/5 from their 40 overs. Cathcart 2/28 and Carey 2/45 the pick of the Ivy bowlers although Carey did concede 9 runs per over.

Ivy’s reply got off to the worst start possible as Nadir was snaffled in the slips by Hagger off Wilson’s second delivery with the new pill. Munton made 40 before becoming the first of Haggers 4 victims 4/25 the middle order failed and it was left to Carey 71* and Philips 49 to put on a partnership of 122 for the 7th wicket but it was too little too late as the visitors fell well short 226/9 from their 40. Wilson 2/30 and Lavin 2/26 capping off a man of the match performance.

Following the game catering supremo Peter Wignall duly assisted by his wife Fiona and a host of volunteers laid on a magnificent BBQ and spread befitting of such a notable occasion. Henry himself was most complimentary about the work put in by the MCC as he addressed the guests in his own unique style, reflecting on his career and continued love affair with the Island and in particular the home of Balearic cricket