Knights Valley vs Ramsdell II Match Report

This week the Knights were to play their first game at what is considered to be our true home of Knightwood. With Lee wetting himself in excitement following a pitch inspection a few days ago, this also seemed to brush off on the team who all arrived on time (yes ALL arrived on time for once) to aid in setting up the ground. With set up completed without any dramatics the Knights then began rigorous pre-match warm ups including casual underarm throwing and catching, chasing the club mascot (Dave’s dog Frank) to retrieve the ball as well as a healthy intake of tobacco and Frijj milkshake. Looking to get changed for the match and the warm ups winding down,  Dan decided to prove his fielding ability through attempting a high catch whilst backward clattering through chairs, ungracefully falling over whilst defending his face from the ball… an excellent fielding display and one we were more eager to see in the match.

Assessing the pitch (3 times in Barbers case) there was great indecision whether to Bat or Bowl first, and Lee winning the toss decided through his extensive cricketing experience that bowling was the best way forward. Needing to bowl tightly, the Knights began by utilising the double pace attack of Pete and Chris in the hunt for the first wicket. Through starting with 2 Maidens coupled with tight bowling and fielding pressuring the batsmen, the first 8 Overs only went for 10 runs! Looking for a breakthrough, Chris’s continual pressure paid off, with the batsmen taking the high route producing an excellent catch on the run from Sam. With Pete now finishing his casual warm up and now bowling with some extra pace the batsmen now began struggling leading to an excellent double wicket maiden placing Ramsdell at 14-3 off 11 Overs. Changing the bowling it was agreed Chris’s economy of 1.8 an over was too expensive and Kev now entered the attack. Bowling an excellent Maiden first over, the opposition number 5 decided to take the attack to Pete instead and did so by hitting an excellent 6 which almost cleared the boundaries of the Leisure Centre. However through lashing at every ball, Pete certainly enacted his revenge bowling the batsmen out on his next over.

To keep the Batsmen (and our fielders) appeased, Kev now decided to test the batsmen’s hitting ability which led to a missed catch  (and missed hospital trip) from Dan and Alex using his knee to help the ball over the boundary for 4 (obviously he had discussed fielding with Chris too long during the warm up). With Steve now eagerly watching the match and distracting Lee with his shirtless pecs?, Pete continued his good bowling spell finishing with 2 Maidens, only conceding 11 runs and saving himself from grief in this report… (for now).  With Ramsdell building a steady 5th wicket partnership, drinks were reached at 52-4 with Steve looking to hoard the 8 litres of fluid for the remainder of the match. Changing the bowling attack, Dennis and Sam looked to bowl slower tighter lines to take the 5th wicket and create pressure on the lower order batsmen. With Dan now assuming a close fielding position and the team considering whether fetching a bench to put behind him would improve his performance, the Knights kept on top of the runs with Ramsdell only able to muster 64 off 26 Overs.

Looking to take the attack to the Knights, the opposition began looking more aggressive in their shot selection until advancing down the wicket to Dennis. With a quick change to the delivery, the batsmen missed it and Barber caught the ball… this then followed with a brief pause, taking in the scenery and bemused by the situation Barber held the ball until all that was heard  to break the silence was Sammy bellowing “BARBER!!! STUMPS”. A quick bit of glove-work and the batsmen was stumped, however little did I know that Sammy was about shoulder me over the stumps to provide further encouragement and literally force the stumping. With the new batsmen showing a lack of technique and Chris feeling sexually aroused by my wicket keeping….. the Knights using their new found sense of man love saw Sammy take a quick spell of excellently bowled wickets placing Ramsdell at 76-7.

With Ramsdell reeling and Kev being lightning in the field, showing impeccable timing and judgement through stepping on the ball as opposed to performing the long barrier; the opposition feeling dishevelled lost another two quick wickets and at 84-9 the remaining number 7 hit a lofted shot at Pete and walked off before the catch was even taken.

At the interval all players enjoyed an excellent tea prepared by Chris in the usual notice period of just 6 hours. With an excellent array of sandwiches and even discovering my love for Battenberg cake, the Knights certainly felt good about their performance in the match so far, evidently the co** ups of Denmead and Twyford remained forgotten for now.

With Dan and Dave opening the batting, the Knights needed to hit 85-0 if they were to achieve maximum batting points; listening to stato Dan agreed with this tactic and decided to bat slowly feeling that creating an 85 partnership off 42 Overs seemed a reasonable suggestion (and he wonders why no-one listens to Stato). The opposition possessing a bowler whom thought he was quick decided to instantly look for an injury, pitching the ball directly at Dan’s ribs calling a rightly deserved no-ball from Umpire Kev. With the opposition already riled and calling us a cheat the innings progressed steadily with both batsmen making a steady 33 runs off 10 Overs. Needing a change in bowling, Ramsdell shocked to see the ineffectiveness of the pace attack instead elected their dobbler to bowl and with 1 delivery Dave was dismissed Bowled for 17.

At this point in the innings, Pete had now exceeded his 8 Overs worth of umpiring and was looking to rotate (and certainly would be looking for a while), whilst Barber and Franklin were focusing on the scorebook. According to Tom Smith’s official cricket umpiring and scoring handbook, Cricket scorers must possess a level of concentration, detail and focus to ensure accuracy when recording the match events. However what the handbook does not account for is that of a hyper distracting young child in the form of Lee’s son Ollie. Through a combination of invading the table, stealing Chris’s glasses, clambering over the Scoreboard and squirting Lucozade at Barber, the Scorers job certainly was becoming a challenge.

Back to the cricket, Cameron whom was beginning his last foreseeable innings for the club instantly got off the mark and looked confident to chase down the remaining runs. Dan on the other hand continued to bat steadily, possibly not realising that keeping all the points was not possible anymore. In an attempt to create another breakthrough the opposition brought on another spin bowler G. Prickett. Almost at 50 runs, Dan looked to hit a 4 ball but the bowler had already pre-empted this leading to Dan being caught….. what a pr***. Next was Lee to bat, walking to the middle, the crowd (of sorts) went wild with so much encouragement, Dave saying “see you in a few” and even his wife wishing him a good duck. Lee and Cameron fortunately batted steadily, however at the sidelines Ollie was up to mischief again offending the club mascot Frank leading to much barking (mostly from the dog and a little from Dave).

With Ollie now deciding to trouble the scorers again instead, Lee after blocking 10 balls knew he needed to accumulate runs and through astutely observing the field, decided the best way to do this was to edge the ball over the keeper and slips. With the bowlers changing but the bowling still remaining the same, Lee and Cam continued a steady flow of runs reaching 66-2 at 20 Overs. With Dave now restraining Ollie through use of tying his shorts to a metal pole (more effective than Sam forcibly removing him earlier), at 81 runs Lee looked confident to carry us over the line….. until he missed the ball (must’ve been an “absolute jaffa” like all the balls of previous weeks) and got himself bowled! In all fairness however as pointed out by Sammy if we were to analyse Lee’s Wagon Wheel, the lines would only be in one direction and it wouldn’t be that of the bowler…. well batted skip.

With Alex walking to the middle and the opposition accusing Kev of cheating again, Franklin certainly was looking to get out there (not necessarily to bat), whilst Kev diffused the situation by saying “Oi, your annoying me now”. Alex at the crease, 4 runs to go, the Knights looked to easily win the match without losing another wicket…. well there was speculation maybe Cameron had psyched his brother into hitting the winning runs, but it certainly didn’t manifest itself well in practise with Alex being bowled for 1 and Sam entering to bat with a mere 2 runs remaining. With Barber ready to go in next and Lee saying how he would really look forward to a close finish in the 42nd over (I suspect he may have been slightly sarcastic), Sammy saw off the 26th over with the Knights still painfully on 83 runs. Fortunately Cam had enough of this nonsense and gave himself a great send off hitting the winning 4 in style and achieving the Knights a confident thrashing.

So, excellent bowling from Pete and Sam, and a good steady batting performance from Cam led to the Knights achieving a well deserved 22 points at our new Knightwood home ground. At the pub the win was warmly celebrated with Dan making friends elsewhere, Ollie still continuing his attack on Chris and Barber, Ian coming along just to mock and embarrass his sons and Pete’s younger brother Josh naively placing a bag of chips amongst the squad. A convincing performance and another excellent confidence boost for the Knights, next week we host Overton II at Knightwood again in an effort to emulate our efforts today….. Come on the Knights!!!!!


Chris Barber and I went to Knightwood today and cleaned out the container. It was pretty grim and full of spiders, Barber even got one on his back……make sure you ask him about it! Very, very funny.

We also had a look at the square and there was a wicket prepared for a match tonight and it looked cracking, it bodes well for Saturdays home coming……..


Knights Valley vs Aldershot V Match Report 23/06

Meeting promptly 5 minutes late at the Cleveland, our next fixture was to enjoy an hour’s drive to play Aldershot V’s at their sports ground. Whilst the whole team were present there was a good conversation including getting the new postcode from Stato, discussing tactics for the game and the current Lions rugby performance; however when the topic moved to football and more specifically Celtic, this signalled time to leave as Kev was about to present us with a full history lesson of the club.

So travelling to the ground, the Finlay vehicle included a professional driving lesson from Kev, Sam and Chris had the rugby playing on the radio and passengers in Lee’s (stolen from Dennis) car probably experienced a ball by ball run through of his previous innings and his thorough game plan for batting today….. so after such a variety of in-car entertainment, the team (after originally arriving on the wrong pitch) finally made it to the ground on time. With Dave off to relieve himself in typical highland fashion, the rest of the team approached the middle for the pitch inspection. With Chris reaching the square first, following his pitch verdict last week of “F*** me”… well I was out of earshot at this point but I think it was a good job the youngsters were too. Looking at the pitch, it was clear it was created through hacking up strips of turf and then placing them like a jigsaw; the holes were so deep that when tested by Pete we would not have been surprised if his finger had been taken off at the knuckle by some aggressive rabbit, rabid mole or something resembling that out of the film Tremors.

With Chris also testing the ground through using his entire hand and widening the cracks by stepping on them, the Knights made sure the pitch was a death-trap before either team could play on it. With the opposition now returning to practice with a traffic (hazard) cone which was probably removed off the pitch before we arrived, we looked to collect the bags from the car before realising Dave had yet to return from his relief in the woods. With the team going to search for him, as we were next to Aldershot army base we were unsure whether he had been ghosted by a Sniper, had seen a guard dog and decided to rein act Dog Soldiers with a bitter dual to the death or had just gone to say hi. However it was clear that Dave was underused not just in cricket by his covert SAS worthy ability to elude the whole team by just remaining in Dennis’s car.

After queuing outside the changing rooms for the opposition to find a key, the Knights then awaited for the result of the toss. Although Lee lost, the opposition captain realising he had a weakened team due to the amount of kids decided to make a game of it by letting us bat first (oh how naive was he). With Lee looking to continue his good performance by opening with Danni the Knights began a steady start with 3 runs off the first over. However the opposition had a secret weapon through using a female bowler; with Lee taking strike we were sure he was thinking about his shot selection, the pace of the ball and his strategy for the day…….well  what actually happened is Lee was thinking closer to leather, lace, types of knickers and other things lost on me and what certainly won’t be included in this report; however this took him so long to consider that he was promptly bowled putting the Knights at 3-1.

Next to the crease was Cameron, whom after a hard night of partying seemed a little sleepy for cricket and after hitting 2 runs against the girl it was clear he couldn’t resist the need for sleep any longer. One can only speculate what Cameron briefly dreamed about at this time but it was most likely something I daren’t put in this report for younger readers. After being bowled out for 2, the Knights on 6-2 and Cameron now worryingly going to sleep in the car to continue his dream…… Matt now approached the crease. However being the more mature brother he showed resilience against the feminine charms.

So at 19-2 off 7 overs, the Knights now needed to build a steady partnership, however this was until the weather turned. With the opposition using the cracks on the pitch to great effect, even hitting Danny (changed letters due to batting well against the female temptation) in the head, this coupled with the rain left him slightly shaken leading to a singular appealed LBW decision from Kev. With the rain worsening, Dave entering to bat, Lee looked to Kev for a rain delay, however Kev obviously still in his youthful football frame of mind and Dave feeling the heavy rain was just a drizzle in comparison to bonnie Scotland… the match resumed.

At 26-3 the team now looked for Dave to show resilience against the talented girl bowler… well he also fell to the charms, so much so we couldn’t even speculate why but it certainly appeared to put a smile on Lee’s face to the point he promptly decided to go umpire at the end of the over. With the bowling now changing, Lee suspiciously wanting to come off and Sammy now steadily supporting Matt, the Knights built the foundations for recovery reaching 46-4 off 15 overs. Hoping we would reach drinks without the loss of another wicket, this was short lived when the opposition bowler Kiscoe, Biskoe?? (I’ll call him Bisto for now) produced a delivery to get Matt caught on 16 putting the pressure on the next Batsmen Pete.  With Pete striding to the crease confident to save the innings, and appearing to be in good touch from recent practice he looked to play himself in by playing a defence on the first ball. Stato being preoccupied at the moment did not see what happened however Matt felt the innings could be summarised diagrammatically and through my report writing skills I have also replicated this even with the look of annoyance Pete had:

DuckyWith the scoreboard reading 50-6 new batsmen Chris decided he’d had enough of this rubbish and began hitting the run trail at the only speed he knows. With Sammy still building a valuable innings and Chris’s high shots now not making it to the boundary, Barber began padding up in foresight of the next wicket. Unfortunately for the team Barber was not wrong and at 86 runs Chris was caught leading to the eventuality dreaded by all Knights (and all cricket players for that matter) alike…. Barber was walking to the crease with 15 overs left of the innings. After seeing Barber immediately defend his first ball, Sammy felt that he couldn’t handle facing such a boring prospect for the remainder of the innings and instead was bowled trying to take the attack to the opposition. At 88-8 and what was looking to be our first away f*** up on the cards (just as we finished playing at Winchester), Kevlar now approached the crease looking hungry for runs.

With Kev envisioning hitting a 6 and being bowled through the opposition making use of Chris’s hand widened canyon before the match… Ian Messenger on his league debut approached the crease “ready for action”.  With Barber using the strategy of carrying the Knights to 100 runs through as Dan described “threatening attacking shots” the opposition decided to use their female influence again to wrap up the match. However they were stunned at the distinct lack of effect this had and the Knights continued ticking along. 90-9, Barber still batting, the Knights so bored that I’m sure Cameron was asleep again as were some of the audience whom Ian said found my innings boring as sh**. Finally at 38 overs with Chris running out of Amber Leaf from such boredom, Ian (whom horrified Pete by his lack of technique even though he was our 6th best batsmen today) was bowled for 4, the Knights making 103 and Barber making 4 not out off 12 overs (ye, Boycott had nothing on this).

With teas being enjoyed by all, the weather improving for the opposition’s innings (as is always the way), the Knight’s took to the pitch looking to bowl and field tightly to salvage a win. With 2 youngsters opening the batting, an inexperienced call for a run, a (deliberate?) misfield by Dave and a surprising quick bit of glove-work from Barber led to the opposition already beginning their innings with a lost wicket. With Pete and Chris bowling quick tight lines the opposition immediately struggled for runs and an excellent in-swinging delivery on Pete’s second over led to placing Aldershot at 9-2.

With the youngsters still struggling and both Chris and Pete bowling in excellent form, the Knights only needed to wait till the 7th over before Pete finding more speed bowled another youngling to keep the match in the balance at 16-3. To repair the damage Aldershot decided to send the (cheery) old boys in to save the game, thus at 19-3 off 10, the Knights decided to let Pete continue bowling but to replace Chris with Kev at the opposite end.  It’s worth noting it was an excellent bowling stint from Chris whom was unlucky not to add to the wicket tally, but he certainly seemed keen to show more contribution through his fielding. With Kev starting steady amidst a few flighty deliveries which were mystically taken higher by the wind…. the opposition still remained behind the run rate until the remaining opening youngster was then dispatched by another Finlay in-swinger now putting Aldershot on 20-4.

Two (the only) older players at the crease,  Ian now feeling relaxed at being able to run the same speed as the batsmen, the game seemed to slow as both Pete and Kev kept the pressure. With the only highlights being Barber stopping the ball with his nuts better than his gloves and Chris deciding to keep the team on their toes by firing the ball not at the stumps but instead the middle of the field for a potential run out, Aldershot reached 32-4 off 16 overs. At 20 overs the Knights still hungry for another wicket, Dave decided that another deliberate lure to the opposition would create the breakthrough, and he wasn’t wrong with an identical run out to the 1st wicket reducing Aldershot to 40-5 putting the Knights in a strong position for the win.

Following a much needed drinks break, Dave and Sammy now entered the bowling attack. With the opposition reluctant to give LBW decisions it was evident the Knights needed to either bowl out or catch the remaining batsmen. Thus fireman Dan now embarked on what was surely to be one of the toughest and most courageous challenges of his life, close fielding with the batsmen starting to have a swing. With Dan stopping the ball through an excellent use of shin and face and Franklin keeping the fielding team alive through diving over the ball, Dave began producing similar Finlay-esque in-swingers and after another turned down LBW, he produced another bowled wicket putting Aldershot on 46-6.

With Sammy now producing deliveries which were hitting Barber in the face as well, the youngster now batting felt intimidated by the potential threats of injury around him and finally chipped up a ball to Danny producing an excellent reflex catch. With the team celebrating the wicket, Ian still talking to the young umpire and seeming to be getting slightly closer to him at the end of each over…. the new batsmen approached the crease before club Policeman Kev had to deal with the situation. Again Sammy’s combination of speed, turn, and fielding pressure produced yet another wicket now reducing Aldershot to 50-8 lifting the Knights confidence for a well salvaged win.

Well… the slightly older number 10 had obviously observed Chris’s batting approach in times of desperation and just simply began whacking the ball. With the scoreboard now racing round, Cameron dropping a high catch (still in dreamworld we suspect), Ian still conversing with the young umpires, the Knights were becoming desperate for a the 9th wicket. Then it happened (no Kev didn’t arrest Ian on pitch), the 10th batsmen skyed a shot to Danny boy and in a moment of horror he dropped it. At the end of the over however it was clear Danielle was disappointed with this effort from his accurate synopsis (Knights Valley word of the day) of the situation…”F***”.

A little more whacking later and Aldershot finally overtook our score which was a disappointment considering they were 50-8 at one stage. With Dave looking to turn out the lights for his shower with Chris, the Knights promptly retreated to the Cleveland from a performance which was described as “bugger” by Lee, a “F*** up” by most or an absolute shower of s***.  So apart from discovering the womanisers of the team, it wasn’t exactly our defining performance. Anyhow next week we host Ramsdell II at Knightwood so hopefully we will christen our new ground with a hard fought win.

Aldershot V – away


The last away game of June see us travel to Aldershot V.

Its a 45 minute drive so please meet in the school car park for 12.15, we are aiming to leave at 12.30. Plenty of time to get lost then, we don’t want to start a match with 5 people again……….


Starting 11;

  1. Lee Payne
  2. Pete Finlay
  3. Chris Frianklin
  4. Sam Fielder
  5. Dan Keyworth
  6. Cam Messenger
  7. Matt Payne
  8. Kev Finlay
  9. Dave McAdam
  10. Chris Barber
  11. Ian Messenger


  1. Steve Reese
  2. Alex Messenger
  3. Denis Payne
  4. Adam Silence

A big welcome and thank you to Ian Messenger, who helps us out, I am sure his tricky bowling with be a big bonus!

lets hope the weather holds,

see you tomorrow,



New equipment.


Further to our securing of Knightwood, we need to make a scoreboard and buy some new stumps.

I can get the match stumps for £25 and Matt (the master carpenter) is currently building a new scoreboard. He thinks after all is said and done, it’ll cost around £100 (for wood, paint and pre-cut letters).

I will be looking to get around £10 for everyone to put towards the costs. I will let you know a more exact figure when I know.


Tour Update

Right lads, we need to make a decision on tour.

The destination will be Newbury, between Tuesday 27th August and Saturday 31st August. There will hopefully be a couple of games of cricket and the potential for a round of golf (depending on interest) and an evening at the races (depending on race fixtures).

I have e-mailed a number of clubs and a couple have got back to me saying they can provide us with fixtures.

This means we need to confirm numbers and start booking accommodation before prices go sky high or become unavailable.

Can anyone who is interested in touring let me know this week, on text (07970 998571), e-mail ( or let Lee know so he can tell me. Also if you know a player who doesn’t regularly check the website (why not?)and they want to tour tell them we need to know ASAP!!!

Cheers Knights

Knights Valley vs Crown Taverners II Match Report 08/06

Another sunny Saturday morning spelled the start for Knights Valley’s next fixture at home against Crown Taverners II. Considering our epic performance of last week and the fact the opposition are bottom of the league with yet to hit a competitive score this year, Stato informed Lee that this should be treated as a fun match and what should be a calm walkover. However what the Knights overlooked is that this week we were at the dreaded Winchester pitch and… well, we are Knights Valley…. need I say more.

With me and Pete arriving first for a pitch inspection, the Groundsman informed us it was a bit muddy and dusty following the poor weather from Friday; with us both feeling suspicious at the Groundsman then making a quick exit whilst the rest of the team arrived, the Knights approached the middle to ascertain how “muddy” the wicket was. Well what was clear is the Groundsman forgot to inform us that instead of preparing the Wicket with a roller and mower, it appeared that instead he used a combination of a spade, rake and possibly a hoe; certainly this was also shown through Lee’s disappointment and Chris’s summary of “F*** me” upon seeing the sight of the holes, divots and other unexplained animal/boot markings.

Elated at getting our full £80s worth for the pitch, next came the decision of whether to bat or bowl first. Certainly feeling this would be a walkover match, batting first on a pitch which could only get worse would at least make a full game out of the day. However Sammy was having none of this and felt that the Knights had their priorities completely wrong and we should bowl first in the interest of more pub time later; of course following last week it was clear that our headstrong and esteemed captain would make his own decision regardless of what any (all) of the team thought. With the opposition arriving with both an impressive 10 players and method of deciding captain through passing the responsibility round until someone decides to do it, Lee obviously agreed with Sammy’s pub idea and elected to bowl first.

So following a short warm up of bowling practise, catching practise and Chris dipping into his Amber Leaf, Pete looked to open down the hill with Chris supporting him on the uphill straight. Apart from the odd short ball, the Knights made a steady start against the openers with the Crown Taverners being restricted to only 32 off the first 10 overs. However fearing a similar batting resistance of last week, a bowling change was called with Sammy entering the attack. With a small struggle to get his length and Barber having a mare behind the stumps, runs not scored by the batsmen certainly began to accumulate in extras. With Sam then finding a tricky length and underused Dave and Dennis also using slower bowling to great effect, the Knights continued to restrict the opposition to under 4 an over with the scoreboard only at 81 off 21 overs.

So 81-0, the opposition displaying a similar batting performance of last week and the team feeling a bit riled at less time later for alcohol (and graaavy for me), it was important the Knights made a breakthrough to create pressure and to at least acquire a few bowling points. Continuing a combination of slower bowling from Dennis, Dave and Matt coupled with a final (slightly better) spell from Pete and an impressive use of shin fielding from Dan which instead directed the ball back into play as opposed to over the boundary; the Knights reached the 30 over mark with the opposition now on 126. The Knights now began to enter our usual fielding slump scenario in the later overs and unfortunately this match was no different with a couple of dropped catches, Barber yet to learn how to catch a ball even with test quality gloves and the batsmen even commenting how poor our fielding was and where he felt the fielders should be. Then finally Chris entered the attack again and with a mixture of swing bowling, slow bowling and braining deliveries, the first opener (and voted? skipper) appeared too tired to run and instead prompted an accurate roll (for once) from Barber whom after taking 36 overs to warm up finally demonstrated some basic keeping ability to stump the batsmen for 50.

With the other opener surpassing 100 and claiming he needed to get out to have a break; the Knights instead enacted their revenge through just restricting boundaries to make him suffer through having to run everything. Wrapping up the match with Chris and Dave closing the bowling, wickets began to tumble quickly as the batsmen looked to strike everything, so quickly in fact that there was no time for celebrations between each. This led to a good double wicket closing over from Chris rounding the first innings off at 218-5 (a lot more than the pub walkover score originally planned….. well done Stato).

With the Knights slightly concerned Cameron’s tea would only be an array of crackers, cereal and other dried goods, most were pleasantly surprised by the array of sandwiches, savouries and cakes including a very delicious homemade chocolate fudge and carrot cake. With only Chris being a picky eater and showing his distaste for no melon (which would probably just get kicked over anyway) tea was thoroughly enjoyed with Cameron definitely saving himself from excessive banter in this report.

During the 1st innings, the opposition accumulated a steady 171 partnership for their opening wicket and it was clear if Knights were to win, they should look to replicate this partnership and fully put our recent performances at Winchester behind us. Well…. being typical Knights Valley 4 overs in Steve ended up being bowled for 12 and Cameron batting like an absolute (sledging omitted due to an excellent tea) produced a solid catch from the opposition fielder. With Lee now walking in and me and Matt already discussing where to bat in the tail and when to pad up, the opposition continued the pressure with their opening bowlers. With a close stumping call producing a quality decision from Dennis and uncalled chirp from the opposition, this quickly riled Chris and in only a few overs there was already the risk of a 2nd injury break (the wicket keepers elderly legs causing the first).

With Lee and Dan steadily accumulating runs and causing the opposition opener (now identified as Lefty by Chris) showing pain through running continuously for the ball the Knights put on a respectable 39 partnership until the 11th over where Dan, now realising his potential through no Steve-esq run outs looked to power the ball for 4 but unfortunately fell to another solid fielding catch bringing Sam to the crease at number 5. With Lee finally reaching double figures it appeared the Knights would at least surpass the shower of 82 the previous fortnight.

With the opposition now looking for another wicket, a bowling change brought their number 3 (now referred to as Trousers by Chris) and number 5 into the attack, through well placed boundaries, plentiful wides and a keeper whom like myself would have had Gilchrist spewing on the pitch, Lee and Sam continued to perform excellently to the point where a win was becoming a conceivable result. The opposition were now becoming so desperate for a wicket that Lefty now brought himself into the attack; after him saying how he opened the bowling for the 1sts, the Knights were hesitant at what would happen next… well 1 ball in it was clear that running him ragged at batting was an excellent approach as the other team took their 3rd injury break. Further to this Lee also decided to up the attack further with an excellent 6 with the pose to match, however at 46, the Knights ready to go nuts, Lee was then struck by the lack of judgement and timing which caused his recent performance slump and was caught. An excellent innings and how did the Knights feel…. well thank god, after 2 years of winging, moaning, throwing his bat around and dissing the team he had finally found form only to then winge about getting out; it certainly appears our esteemed captain will never truly be pleased with his batting but at least the scoreboard had moved and looked healthier this time.

So next Dave substituting a Knights Valley cap for… well… something blue took guard aiming to be proud at a double figure score. Although a slow start, Dave did soon show pride for Scottish cricket with his batting soon surpassing his confidence scoring almost every other ball. With Sammy looking shattered from Dave running 3’s, the opposition’s missing number 11 obviously being the team physio due to the slow running looking close to another injury break, Sammy now reached 49 runs with the Knights again poised to clap his first 50 for the club. Well Chris again summarised things well through his next word “sh**”, cringingly Sammy got done by the inconsistent bounce or lack of it and was bowled. With Stato (for once) finding it best to remain silent, Chris now entered to see the team home with the score on 188. The Knights now so close then suddenly produced an excellent delivery from Lefty getting Dave out LBW and with the scores tied, Dennis depadding, Stato refusing to leave his baby (ie porn mag.. ie. the scorebook) and Matt just well not padding up meant Pete had to stay in to avoid the match being tied due to the other wickets being timed out. With Lefty chirping Pete on entry, this provoked a reaction with Pete disregarding fear of his wicket and just kicking the ball to finish the match.

So another rare batting spectacle saved the Knights blushes against a usual Winchester f*** up and instead allowed us to come away with a solid 21 points. For a closing note, following the recent withdrawal of North Baddesley from Knightwood, we are now looking to organise this as our home pitch for the next home fixture in 3 weeks time, so exciting times ahead for the Knights.


Hi Guys

As some of you will know, we have been discussing a tour in the last couple of weeks.

A couple of us have been looking into it and below is a proposed tour to Newbury between Tuesday 27th August and Saturday 31st August.

Tuesday 27th

Depart – 15.00

Wednesday 28th

Match 1

Thursday 29th

Match 2 / Day at the races

Friday 30th

Golf Day

Saturday 31st

Silchester (away in the league)

It will of course be a social tour as well as a cricket tour.

The matches are provisional as we will gauge interest before booking fixtures.

For a rough guide of the cost we are thinking of between£150 – £170 per player, however we will need at least 12 people interested and a £50 deposit will be needed by the end of June.

If you are interested please contact Lee, Chris B or Chris F.


Crown Taverners II – June 8th

Fellow Knights,

Another match is upon us…..home this week to Crown Taverners II.

Please be at the ground for 1.15.

Thank you to Mrs Messenger who is kindly on tea duty this week, no doubt a plethora of cream crackers and French stick awaits us……..Cams favourite!

Starting XI……

  1. Lee Payne
  2. Steve Reese
  3. Pete Finlay
  4. Cameron Messenger
  5. Dan Keyworth
  6. Matt Payne
  7. Chris Franklin
  8. Kev Finlay
  9. Denis Payne
  10. Sam Fielder
  11. Chris Barber


  1. Dave McAdam
  2. Adam Sillence
  3. Alex Messenger
  4. Nick Franklin

A welcome back to Pops, who is returning from injury and this is Steves last game for a few weeks whilst he awaits the arrival of Baby Reese. Let’s do our upmost to send him off on a high note and carry on with the good form and discipline.

Party on!

Knights Valley vs Tichbourne Park III Match Report 01/06

So following our shi.. ahem below par performance of last week, our next fixture was to challenge Tichbourne Park whom Twyford’s captain described as a struggling side for which we should provide them a good game. Looking to prove him wrong most of the Knights assembled on time at the Cleveland Bay ready to hit the road only to be confronted with the puzzle of how to reach the ground through road closures, busy motorways and the comprehensive handbook directions consisting of a sentence. Racing to the ground Chris claimed the honours of arriving first followed closely by Kev whom tried to catch up through powering down the country roads whilst beeping his horn at arrogant Mercedes drivers.

With all arrived on time, next was the pitch inspection and after walking across a bobbly, sandy and stony outfield we reached the middle to find an old astro turf strip which the opposition at least tried to pass off as a real wicket with the amount of old grass thrown over the surface. With a team consensus to bat first in an effort to repeat the performance at United Services last year, Lee walked to the middle for the toss; however feeling that the Knights needed to work for a win he instead elected for a stifling hot day in the field which was not warmly accepted.

So with the Knights entering the field and Pete happily receiving the new ball to Kev’s inspiring encouragement of his ability, Pete looked to bowl the first over down the hill, supported by Sammy at the opposite end. The Knights began with a steady start, and with Chris finally deciding to stand up to Sammy, this coupled with his accurate bowling also created added pressure to the batsmen. With the batsmen progressing at about 5 an over, given the surface the Knights were so far content and confident the first wicket would come, however after reaching the 50 partnership off 12 overs it was a felt a new tactic was necessary and bowler of the year Kev entered into the attack. Aside from the well picked short ball relying on Cams excellent fielding and an unlucky catch just over the boundary marker, the batsmen continued to make steady progress and were well on the way to the 100 partnership by 15 overs. This situation began to present the Knights with the issue of the opposition upping their run rate through a combination of wickets in hand as well as our slower fielding in the closing overs.

With the first batsmen reaching 50 and their partnership surpassing 100 runs, the first chance presented itself with Steve unfortunately unable to hold the catch and the Knights now deeply concerned at whether another chance would occur. To continue pace bowling down the hill, just after 20 overs Chris Franklin now entered the attack partnered aptly by slower bowler Dave. With the both openers still steadily accumulating runs and Chris looking to “brain” the batsmen through near enough baseball pitches at the face, the Knights again reached the point whereby another bowling change was needed and Kev once again entered the attack at just over 30 overs. With the Knights desperate for a wicket and Cam (whom I’m sure was knackered through being continually targeted by the batsmen) taking guard at the on-pitch telegraph (floodlight) pole, Kev proving his worth for bowler of the year finally made the breakthrough taking the wicket of Tichbourne’s number 2 whom made an admirable 58 runs. With the number 3 entering the middle and Lee worried that Tichbourne would now go “ballistic” to get extra runs, Chris now looked for another wicket and almost got it through two very close LBW appeals, followed by a wide and another braining attempt where the batsmen commented he felt the wind of the ball whizzing by his nose. With the Knights now entering the closing overs and many tired from the heat, the batsmen looked to try hitting everything and through good lengths from Matt they began to look contained…. this was until the ball was hit into Franklins territory whom through being still hacked off and frustrated at his turned down appeals demonstrated this through instead of diving to stop the ball instead just made it a 4 through skilfully shinning it over the boundary.

With only a few overs to go and the Knights ideally needing another wicket, Chris managed to again showcase his excellent cricketing talent to recreate a delivery some thought would never be seen again; through charging in and tactically tripping at the crease and shouldering the floor whilst dobbling the ball, this brought an excellent defence out of the batsmen which unfortunately did not yield same the wicket witnessed against Denmead. After Chris realising the astro turf was harder than grass and thus needing a short injury break, the batsmen still looked aggressive in the final overs. However with Sammy back in the attack, the chance at a final wicket was not yet lost with a rare…(very rare) stumping from Chris, so rare in fact the umpire didn’t even see it and seemed in complete shock at the appeal which unfortunately led to a controversial not out decision. So at the end of the innings the batsmen managed 239 runs with the opener carrying his bat on the highest total hit against us at 133. Certainly this left a mountain to climb for the batsmen and a focused tea break was needed for us to try and attempt a similar United Services performance.

After a good tea and stato excitedly copying up the scorebook, Steve and Dan began padding up for the challenge ahead, with a steady start both openers began building a steady partnership reaching 50 in just under 11 overs. With Steve and Dan continuing to bat with excellence and the sideline conversation turning to off-cricket topics such as Lee’s apparently poor sex life (standard topic for us), the opposition felt a bowling change was necessary and the unbeatable opener looked to break our first partnership. With Chris still frustrated from earlier and showing temptation to make editions in the oppositions book not to be repeated here, both Dan and Steve continued to put away the opponents wide bowling and keep hope of an emphatic victory alive.

With the umpires rotating at the sidelines more than the batsmen (for once) the Knights reached drinks at 114 for no loss and Lee continued to keep Cam focused at number 3 with his words of batting inspiration and experience………. With Dan reaching 50, Steve felt that now was the time to up the runs and a comfortable two for him unfortunately led to curtains for Dan due to the first bit of good fielding from the opposition leading to a direct hit at the stumps. With Cameron initially looking steady and Steve continuing to wallop boundaries, the Knights still felt comfortable and with a bit of quick addition from Stato, Steve was rapidly approaching the title of the clubs first centurion….. and at the 29th over this was realised, an excellent innings applauded by only one of the opposition (surely he was clapping on behalf of all of them?) which launched the Knights into a powerful position. However Steve’s prolific innings came to an end soon after with an unfortunate high shot leading to a catch and Lee entering the middle looking to maintain the run rate and leading the side to victory.

With Dave commenting that with such dire bowling we should be shot if we fail to win, surely this would be Lee’s day to make a valued total with the bat. Assessing Lee’s innings “the skipper got off the mark first ball with a Cook-esq cut, however he was to fall a few balls later to a very full toss but he wasn’t at fault as now was the time to try and hit out.”….. Now for the honest assessment I’m sure Dave would be proud of, Lee indeed did get a cheer from his first shot although as clarified by Chris this wasn’t for a potential boundary shot but more for hitting the ball, and Lee’s few indeed was 2 more balls leading to a full toss which in reflection just led to a lapse of judgement and a good catch by the fielder. But with Lee rightly making the point it was time to hit out, next week we will be expecting not so much a Cook-esq but a Barber-esq innings to build a steady total. Although Lee did feel the full toss could have been a no ball, indeed he should also remember the decision at Newport whereby a poor shot at any delivery in our club deserves to always be out.

At 192-3 and the Knights still needing to keep up the pressure to ensure enough runs are achieved, Sam now entered the middle. With wickets starting to fall I aptly suggested the possibility of me padding up, but this lead to a surprise lack of encouragement with Chris commenting we needed to win the game, Pete just laughing and Kev saying it was such a stupid idea that I was now number 11…. thanks lads.  With Lee showing like son (Ollie) like father behaviour in the changing rooms, Sammy didn’t feel too comfortable at how the bowling was now keeping low and difficult to hit. At 207 Sammy then fell being bowled for 1, leading to a short race to the crease by Chris and Pete which indeed Chris won thus promoting himself to number 7 for the day. With Sam returning and the opposition already showing poor sportsmanship tendencies through not applauding Steve’s 100 and throwing unnecessary sledging at the batsmen, we decided to ask Sam how he found it out in the middle. For the benefit of younger readers all I will say is that he managed to break the record for the most bad language, violence and threats in one sentence with no one in the club having ever shown such aggression (except Franklin of course).

With the Knights so close the opposition were getting desperate and like ourselves in the first innings were hurting for wickets, thus the number 4 bowler (also number 2 batsmen) realising the potential of Chris’s special delivery thought it best to imitate it himself. However through lacking talent, letting go too early and shouldering the ground too hard this left tu.. ahem the opposition keeper no hope of stopping the ball and instead watching it go for 5 no balls. With Chris slogging for victory (whilst holding good conversation in the spirit of the game with the fielders), Cameron then hit the final shot for 4 achieving both his 50 and the highest run change the Knights have ever made for a well needed and well deserved victory.

With Steve claiming the man of the match and Dave saying how he would happily shower in the dark with Chris, that signaled the rest of the team to regroup at the Cleveland for what would lead to a piss up, consisting of an agenda of excessive alcohol, storytime from Kev, another bout of sexual conversation topics and the intriguing suggestion of a tour.. watch this space. Until next time, let’s hope the weather remains clear as we look to host Crown Taverners 2nds at our Winchester ground.