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Brigands v Harry Baldwin Occasionals CC, 12 May 2024

Fatty Batter is the memoir of a rotund, sweet-loving, boy called Michael Simkins who discovered it’s possible to play, and fall in love with, cricket without being healthy. But the core of the book's message is that cricket is only as good as the people you play with.


Simkins set up his own team and named it the Harry Baldwin Occasionals after a portly Victorian cricketer, and this was their first visit to the cradle of cricket.


Winning the toss they batted first and raced to 16 in the first couple of overs. Neil Wood bowled with flight, Mike Beardall bowled with guile, and Tom Ladenburg bowled with newfound confidence having been presented with his Brigands Cap at the start of the match; it was his second over that proved most destructive with 3 wickets falling and consigning the visitors to a double digit innings score.


Tom Ladenburg awarded his cap, the book that started it all, & Brigands one down with the fall of Paul Whittle



With Brigands batting before tea, Jim Morris scored freely all around the wicket and Brigands were on their way. The biggest cheer of the day was a forward defensive from Zeb Jay. It was the fifth ball of an over he had already swiped and plundered the first four balls on his way to his highest score at Broadhalfpenny Down.


Dave Henderson hit the winning runs for a 7 wicket Brigands victory. Players were able to enjoy tea in the marquee which had been erected earlier in the day by a brilliant and loyal Band of Brothers including Bailey, Beardall, Whittle, Mann, Harris and Morris.


It seemed fitting, given the origins of the opposition, that there was pork pie by The Monument and extra cakes baked including Oreo Delights, Raspberry and Lemon Slices, Chocolate Crispies, and a Coffee & Walnut cake for the ages.



The marquee is erected by a fine Band of Brothers, Beardall hits out, Pork Pie, fielding in front of the pavilion, a dog looks on waiting for his Master to return from the field, and looking for a ball after Zeb Jay hits one into the field


After tea, a twelve-over-a-side “sunset match” was played with Brigands posting 103-7 including some huge sixes from Sam Sargant. In reply, there was a remarkable over from left armer Paul Whittle, and an even more remarkable bit of fielding from Neil Wood who attempted a boundary stop at deep square leg with his foot but kicked the ball 30 yards to the fine leg boundary instead. All of this meant that Harry Baldwin Occasionals needed 7 off the last over, which they got off the penultimate ball.


The teams took photographs by The Monument and the visitors were treated to a history talk as the sun set over the Hambledon valley. Good cricket with good people, indeed.


Brigands v Harry Baldwin Occasionals, 2024


The pavilion & marquee glow in the sunset, as spectators get one last photograph at the cradle of cricket


Brigands 83-3 beat Harry Baldwin Occasions 82 all out by 7 wickets.



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