St Albans Cricket Club 1XI v Abbots Langley I on Sat 04 Sep 2021 at 12:00pm
St Albans Cricket Club Won by 47

Match report The 1st XI began the day knowing that they would have to beat long-time rivals Abbots Langley and restrict them to fewer than 14 bonus points. (For those less well-versed with the Herts cricket league bonus point system, losing teams achieve 1 point for each wicket and 1 point for every 15 runs over 110.) As such, Capladi’s game plan was for Cales to produce a bunsen burner, to win the toss, skittle Abbots, knock the runs off and secure the eternal glory of promotion from Division 2A. Instead, Cales had produced a good track, Abbots won the toss, and St Albans were asked to bat first. Guru Caley was particularly aggrieved by this decision, lamenting the decision of the opposition skipper to bat second on a used wicket.

This scenario put the 1st XI in a peculiar scenario, needing to score enough runs to win but knowing that every wicket would result in Abbots having to chase 15 fewer runs. A significant point of the football warm up was Coulman’s decision to try and nod one in at the back post with his sunglasses on, leading not only to a missed chance but also a bruised and bloody nose. This comedic turn of events could not have been contrasted more clearly than in the performance of the new dynamic duo of Perrin (54) and Hounslow (39). In truth, Abbots bowled poorly, but both openers were clinical in dispatching the short balls from undoubtedly the tallest and quickest opening bowling attack in the league, resulting in “don’t bowl there”‘s aplenty. After another 50+ partnership (this time of 79 in around 15 overs), Hounslow unfortunately departed, a genuine snick and a rare successful catch from the Abbots substitute keeper.

Having been singing the praises of one of the umpires, Joe Regan’s innings was cut short with a harsh LBW decision from the very same umpire, leading to a path of destruction around the Clarence Park area with shoes and helmets being thrown everywhere and anywhere. Perrin continued to bat excellently with Seagrave (68) joining him at the crease, whilst the latter batted with the destructive swaggering nonchalance that has come to define his cricketing career thus far. Perrin’s first false stroke was unfortunately his last, and his desolation was clear for all to see as he holed out to cow corner when apparently trying to slog sweep straight down the ground. The Seagrave-Jerome partnership did not last long, the Amber Leaf fuelled Jerome failing to respond to the Seagrave’s telepathic calling between the wickets, resulting in some serious confusion and Jerome courageously falling on his sword, leaving the score 146-4 but in fairly rapid time (approximately 30 overs).

Well-armed with multiple copies of his point calculating spreadsheet, it was time then for Capaldi (26) and Seagrave to slowly accumulate runs with great caution. Hounslow, having previously been a vocal proponent of the “let’s just play and win the game” approach, was now professing to the St Albans CC WhatsApp group the value of not giving Abbots any wickets. Having batted so patiently, with around three overs left Seagrave and Capaldi had put themselves into a position where they could now afford to lose a wicket without it affecting how many runs Abbots would have to chase. Seagrave departed with an attempted swipe across the line, before Capaldi then inexplicably got out in the final over, arguing that the low full toss simply had to be dispatched. As such, a panicked Hall had to play most certainly the oddest innings of his life, given four balls to just survive with his side batting first and 218-6! Three leaves in the final over managed to avert reducing the required total for promotion for Abbots from 215 to 200, a sight probably not seen since the Geoffrey Boycott era. As Capaldi reflected in the changing room at half time, St Albans had batted phenomenally in a unique scenario to probably make themselves the bookies favourites.

Abbots got off to a good start, with (as he would tell you) leading wicket-taker May unfortunately continuing to struggle with his shoulder. Also impaired by injury as the youngest sufferer of cramp in Clarence Park history, Seagrave (10-4-26-2) started nicely, eventually putting Khan out of his misery when he was somehow stumped whilst playing a pull shot and dragging his back foot out of his crease. Capaldi (8-0-27-1) removed Burgess (who was on 30 off 29) shortly afterwards via a glove to first slip, the wicket now beginning to turn and bounce. Presumably this was a consequence of his pre-match scouting, as Capaldi had watched all the Abbott' dismissals from the previous week, as he made sure to let their batsman know. Whilst the Abbots number 4 looked confident at the crease, Seagrave was once again all over the number 3 like a rash, and even had the cheek to dismiss him LBW with the final ball of his spell, leaving the score 70-3.

Off the back of yet another expertly hidden Friday night Veeda (barring his fielding), Bayliss (5-0-26-2) was brought into the attack and struck immediately with two key wickets, dismissing the well-set Hamilton and the potentially dangerous Read with some typically menacing sharp bowling. Kudos to Coulam for an excellent one-handed catch high to his left in the latter dismissal. At 88-5, Abbots batted sensibly to rebuild to 134-5, before another truly bizarre dismissal that typified the general strangeness of the game. With A Filler on holiday, J Hall (9.3-0-35-4) was entrusted with the ball, and got his first of the day as Gurney jumped out of the way to leave a ball that clattered into leg stump, leaving Seagrave Snr to enquire whether Hall had successfully developed a doosra this season. Another wicket fell shortly afterwards, this time courtesy of a genuinely rank long hop from Hall which Adock conspired to hit to Reagan, who to his credit had excellently moved to his right to anticipate where the dross might be wacked to. The greatest cricketing mind in Hertfordshire under the age of 25 clear to see for all, and it is no wonder that he was later regaling of all the playing offers he has had to turn down to remain at St Albans!

Skipper Finch and Parkins (41) attempted to just keep Abbots in the game for a big last hurrah, the former declaring that he was being followed by two blind men. Having dispatched Hall for 6, Parkinson charged down again but this time was beaten by the turn and dutifully stumped by Coulman who had an excellent day behind the stumps. At this point then, the game was largely wrapped up, and it was all but confirmed as Jerome – bowling for the first time in seven years – bowled the opposition skipper, undoubtedly giving great glee to Hounslow who had been successfully getting under his skin for the entirety of his innings. Promotion was sealed with another questionable delivery from Hall, a low full toss which was excellently caught by Reagan running backwards and taking a steepler over his shoulder, Abbots all out for 171 off 45.3 overs and only getting 11 of the required 14 points to remain in second place. An improbable scenario when the day began, St Albans had produced their best with bat and in the field when it mattered to secure the first 1 XI promotion since 2016.

Having been congratulated by President Mardle in the changing room afterwards (being told they had “made an old man very happy”), Reagan led the first of many raucous renditions of the “When the Saints Go Marching In”, and it was hard to disagree with Perrin’s words of wisdom on WhatsApp at 00:02: “thank you so much for the season lads[,] been a cracker”.

St Albans Cricket Club 1XI Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
1nb 15w 6b 6lb 
for 6 wickets
Steven Perrin ct G Agius b N Gurney 54 95 6 56.84
Adam Hounslow ct S Adcock b M Parkins 34 39 6 87.18
Joe Regan lbw N Gurney 7 17 41.18 2
Harry Seagrave b W Graves 68 79 8 1 86.08 1
Harry Jerome run out  (Unsure) 1 5 20.0
Max Capaldi ct S Adcock b N Gurney 26 62 3 41.94
Oliver Coulman Not Out  0 1 2
Jonny Hall Not Out  0 4 0
Dan Baylis  
Joshua Mulvaney  
Billy May  

Abbots Langley I Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Simon Hamilton4.003200.008.00
Harry Khan2.00900.004.50
Matthew Dunstone10.013400.003.40
William Graves8.0145145.005.63

Abbots Langley I Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
9w 2lb 
for 10 wickets
171 (45.3 overs)
Harry Khan st O CoulamH Seagrave 7 26 26.92
M Burgess ct H Seagrave b M Capaldi 30 30 3 100
G Agius lbw H Seagrave 11 30 2 36.67
Simon Hamilton lbw D Baylis 28 45 5 62.22
Matt Parkins st O CoulamJ Hall 41 53 2 1 77.36
Jack Read ct O Coulam b D Baylis 3 13 23.08
Nick Gurney b J Hall 20 34 1 58.82
Sam Adcock ct J Regan b J Hall 1 8 12.50
Brad Finch b H Jerome 12 27 1 44.44
William Graves ct J Regan b J Hall 1 3 33.33
Matthew Dunstone Not Out  6 5 1 120.0

St Albans Cricket Club 1XI Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Harry Seagrave10.0426213.002.60
Billy May3.002100.007.00
Max Capaldi8.0027127.003.38
Dan Baylis5.0026213.005.20
Joshua Mulvaney8.012700.003.38
Jonny Hall9.303548.753.68
Harry Jerome2.00717.003.50