Of the 5 teams who visited in April, only Sidcup had toured Menorca previously. Our season began on April 2 when we took on the Cryptics, a Wanderers side founded in 1910, many of its members having been at University College, Oxford. Most of the players are Public School masters. Former players include Douglas Jardine, England’s captain during the ‘bodyline’ series and Andrew Strauss. We scored 119 for 5 in 30 overs (Andy Tysoe 47 not out; Jeff Barker 28). The Cryptics won a thrilling match, making 120 for 5 with 2 balls to spare. Jeff Barker and Sebastian Sayer both took 2 wickets. In a 40 over game on Sunday the visitors scored 158 for 5. In reply Menorca’s top order all made runs: Tom Gallagher 55; Sebastian Sayer 36 not out; Paul Hawker 32 and James Davies 21. We reached 162 for 2 in the 34th over.
Over the weekend of April 9-10 we entertained Binstead (Isle of Wight), a social side based around fathers and sons playing. The Club was founded in 1998 and plays around 40 games each season. They tour regularly to play the Arundel Grasshoppers, but this was their first overseas visit. They encountered an in-form Menorca on the Saturday, Menorca making 246 for 6. Tom Brewer scored 76 before being run out; James Davies 40; Andy Tysoe 38 and Roy Sturgeon 38. The visitors reached 137 for 1 in the 27th over, but then wickets tumbled and they closed at 186 for 8. Ben Mitchell scored 57; Alex Dear 41 and Justin Henderson 40. Simon Cotton took 3 for 31 and Anamul 2 for 3. On the following day Binstead slumped to 122 all out in the 25th over, nearly all their runs coming from Alex Dear, who made 80. James Davies took 5 for 27; Sebastian Sayer 3 for 17 and Jake Cockroft 2 for 23. We reached the target with a loss of only 2 wickets: James Davies 73 and Tom Brewer 35 not out.
Sidcup was paying its 10th visit to the island. The game on Saturday, April 16 saw perhaps the most remarkable innings by a Menorcan player. Jaden Levett, an overseas member, retired on 187, having hit 15 ‘sixes’ and 14 ‘fours’. Nearly every player contributed and we closed on 350 for 4. Not surprisingly, Sidcup never got in the hunt, but they made a perfectly respectable 214 for 7. Sebastian Sayer took 3 for 21 and Paul Strudwick 2 for 5. Sidcup gave an excellent account of themselves on Sunday, hitting 256 for 4. George Bradley retired on making 100; Daniel Seaman scored 60 and Phil Robinson 42. We replied with 222 for 6 (Seb Sayer 60 not out; Jake Cockroft 44; James Davies 42). Bradley crucially bowled Jayden Levett for 40. We played an entertaining 20 over game on Wednesday, April 20. Sidcup made 136 for 6. We were in deep trouble at 66 for 5, but a stand between Hossan and Kenny Johnstone took us to 137 for 6 with 3 balls to spare.
The Nomads arrived short of players, but not short of talent. It is a Wanderers side, formed in 1903 and numbers Peter May and Alexander, the former West Indies captain, as past players. Amongst the party were Bill Johnson, who played for Durham and Ross Ormiston, who has played first class cricket in New Zealand and also played in the Lancashire League. Accurate bowling on Saturday, April 23 restricted us to 186 for 7. Jake Cockroft top-scored with 43 not out and Andy Tysoe made 36. Ricci Achillini took 3 for 40 and Ross Ormiston 2 for 41. Kei Farrell (86 not out) and Tom Brockton (84 not out) led the visitors to a facile 10 wicket victory, the winning runs coming with more than 10 overs remaining. Our bowlers were more successful on Sunday, the Nomads closing on 184 for 6. Tom Brockton made 79 not out and Ross Ormiston 42. Tristan Duligall took 3 for 20 and Derek Pritchard 2 for 16. In reply, most of our top order made runs, but we slumped from 110 for 2 to 154 all out in the 34th over. Most of the damage was done by Tom Brockton, who took 5 for 25.
Thames Valley played over the weekend of April 30-May 1. The Club began life in 1980 as a works team for Thames Water and they are based in Ashford (Middlesex). They encountered an in-form Menorca. Andy Tysoe led the way with 108, Tim Hayden scored 78 and James Davies 47. We closed on 297 for 5. The visitors never really got in the hunt, finishing on 215 for 9. Joe McCarthy scored 46 and Aaron Walder 40. There were 2 wickets apiece for Hossan, Rob Day, Jeff Barker and Lee Ball. Sunday proved to be one of the most remarkable days in the Club’s history. James Davies made a remarkable 205, the first double century by a Menorcan player; Jake Boas finished unbeaten on 117 and Jake Cockroft scored 59. We closed on 426 for 2, the highest score ever made on the ground. Our bowlers were also in good form, dismissing Thames Valley for 169. Joe McCarthy made 65: Tim Hayden took 4 for 12 in 6 overs.
Our season has started well with 7 wins against 3 defeats plus a victory in the 20 over game.
Thames Valley CC