I am aware of a number of club members who are actively fundraising, as well as two club members who have been generous enough to provide Ukrainian families with accommodation.
I could not be more proud of the club I am tied to.
Thank you all.
On behalf of the Club and the local Underriver community, I'd like to recognise and thank the many club members and their families who are involved in supporting Ukrainian refugees at this most difficult time.
I am aware of a number of club members who are actively fundraising, as well as two club members who have been generous enough to provide Ukrainian families with accommodation.
I could not be more proud of the club I am tied to.
Thank you all.
Across the Jubilee weekend, Underriver Village is hosting a number of events - Including a Twenty/20 on Saturday 4th June. Adjacent to the ground on the Saturday will be kids games, a band playing, a bar, pig-on-a-spit... Fun for all!
If you are interested in attending YOU NEED TO BOOK TICKETS!
Click on the Underriver Village website for details: Underriver Village (underriver-village.org.uk)
Ahead of the upcoming 2022 season, UCC President Adrian Barr-Smith has penned a brief history of the club. Enjoy!
The origins of the Club (UCC) are somewhat obscure, but certain historical facts have been established. Cricket was played in the village during the 19th century. 1874 has been mentioned as the start date, in which case 2024 will be the 150th anniversary. The cricket field was across the road from, and slightly to the south of, Underriver House. Dennis Campbell’s father bought the House and estate towards the end of WWI. Dennis’ recollection was that the Peploes (“good games players”) lived there before the Campbells and an Indian family (“keen cricketer”) before the Peploes. He (Dennis) described how “the teas were always carried by 2 members (usually gardeners) from the House across the road on a long tray with handles either end, through a hay field or corn” and how the ground was mowed by a horse named Maggie. He made particular mention of Laddie Peacock - a “demon bowler” who also liked to hit sixes.
The field had to be ploughed up during WW2. When cricket resumed after the war, it was on the field in front of Southernhay adjacent to the current ground – “quite a good wicket but a lot of snags…..the pond didn’t help”. So the decision was taken after a couple of years to move again, to the current ground. The old pavilion was somehow transported and transplanted to the current site. As Dennis explained, we “started again rolling, mowing, raking, spraying…. there was a deep dip all along the roadside about 25 feet wide. I managed to get soil from a Tonbridge building site – about 50 loads – which we levelled off mainly by hand.”
When I first began to play for the Club in 1974, the sheep would regularly graze across the ground over the winter months. Income that year was £210 and expenditure was £174. This only changed when the Underriver House estate was sold in 1978, which afforded the Club the opportunity to purchase the ground for £1,500. Half of the purchase price came from the Sports Council. The Club members adopted a constitution. They resolved that the ground should be held on trust for the Club and, in the event that cricket was no longer played there, on trust for the village.
The purchase of the ground spurred the members to fundraise in order to invest
in their new asset and to meet those maintenance costs which had previously been absorbed elsewhere. Dinner dances were organised, initially at Absaloms (Bunny and Caroline Hayward) and later at Goldings Farmhouse (Clive and Christine Simeons). A “tennis day”/barbecue was hosted annually at Catts Cottage (David and Margaret Brooks). Performances improved on the field. In 1985 the Club overcame Linton Park in a tense Kent semi-final of the National Village Cup before succumbing in the final to Crockham Hill.
In 1987 the decision was taken to replace the old pavilion with a modern structure. The funding was raised by members, including a sponsored run/walk around Knole Park, plus an interest-free loan from Kent County Playing Fields Assoc. The old pavilion was dismantled and construction materials were delivered immediately prior to the October hurricane. This storm toppled the oak tree immediately behind the pavilion and the plastic wrapping from the materials ended up coating the apple trees in the Absaloms orchard. Thankfully that was the extent of the damage. The new pavilion was opened by the president John Hitchcock in 1988.
The Club flirted with the concept of league/limited overs cricket on several occasions before eventually resolving to join the Kent Village Cricket League in 2011. Since joining the bottom division of the League, the Saturday team has yo-yoed up and down the divisions. Last season, inspired by skipper Kendall Jarrett, they won promotion to Division 3, so season 2022 promises to be a challenging one. The Sunday team, marshalled by Mark DuBock, now co-ordinates its fixture list with Ightham and plays friendly matches as a combined “Underightham” XI.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those Underriver residents who have provided support to the Club down the years. It is invidious to single out any individual, but I would like to say a special thank you to our “neighbour” Mary Owlett, who has been unstinting in her concern for the health of the Club and who continues to permit us the use of her field as our carpark.
Adrian Barr-Smith, President UCC
AGM Minutes (Dec 2021)
Tongy. Dubock. Pendered & Ashfield with Covid.
Present: ABS. Paulo. Chris Close. KJ. Keith Ritchie. Nicko. Jo Williams & myself.
2. Minutes of last AGM zoomed on 30th march 2021...... approved by President.
3. Captain report. KJ gave an outline report:
Promotion and blooding of young players. Played 13 won 10 which was a record. Nico's 175 ish no. Averaging 55. Joe Williams 224 runs, Tom Williams 210 runs. George Sorrell 4th in overall League averages. Best 5 for 44. Paulo 13 wkts. Chris Close 12 wkts. Ashfield 5 for 18 v Groombridge. Captain thought we played a healthy brand of cricket. KJ to place Captain’s Report on the website. Nick Watson thanked for providing excellent wickets & pavey refurb. Mark Dubock asked to place short Sunday report on the website and thanked for his good work. Sean Ashfield also thanked for all his good work too.
4. Treasurers Report.
A set of Accounts were presented. £17,500 income. inc £10,500 covid grant. £2750 from local benefactors. Collection of match fees easier with modern technology. Subs remain the same.
Pres thanked Keith Ritchie for his input. KJ thanked Jenny Close for hers! Pres said we were blessed to have such a good team onboard.
5. Elections of Officers.
Paulo was thanked for his input as Vice Captain & Jo Williams welcomed as his replacement & onto the Committee.
6. Pavilion update.
NW said he’d almost finished the plumbing. He promised to have it finished by the end of the year. JW enquired which year!
Ladies toilet now has 2 coats of paint. Branches from under the tree removed. Soil bank in Pond corner tidied & reduced.
8. Clubman of the Year.
Was presented to Paul Southall & Dick Hawkes jointly.
9. Royal Jubliee.
The Village has asked us for a match on sat June 4th. 1st xi away at Ightham. Vets xi to represent.
DH has already 7.........ABS. Horner. Leahy. Taylor. Hussey. Neridah Jarrett* & himself. Lindsay Watson to be encouraged.
The committee agreed that a diversity and inclusion statement was needed. The statement is to be made public on the website. KJ to action.
The Christmas supper took place thereafter with 16 attendances.
Underriver Cricket Club has recently reaffirmed its commitment to building an inclusive, welcoming club for all people of all backgrounds. As a village sporting club we are responsible for representing our community-at-large and as such strive to uphold the ideals of diversity and inclusion to the highest of standards. Any form of discrimination, regardless of intention, will not be tolerated. UCC will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of individuals and will take all reasonable steps to ensure our cricketing community remains safe, family-friendly, and supportive of all.
The UCC Indoor 6-a-side Team began the season with a win on Halloween Sunday in the 'Winter Smash' competition. Playing at Knole Academy (on every other Sunday afternoon), UCC put on 135 in their 12 overs (T. Williams 31*, G. Sorrell 29, J. Williams 29*). Opposition finished on 6/85 with stand out bowling by A. Pinder (4/12).
Anyone interested in playing (games last just an hour) then please contact Mark DuBock on 07940509072 or Sean Ashfield on 07876567731.
Nick Watson after his amazing 171* to all but seal promotion to Division 3 on the last day of the League season. His 193^ run partnership with Paulo was fantastic to watch, made all the more special as the two came together when UCC were 5/68.
^ (Sean Ashfield Statistical Agency - 'Bringing the -ish back into statistics')
This week two of our UCC young guns, George Sorrell and Huw Thomas, were picked to play for the Northern Warriors District U/12 team. Both were also chosen to skipper 'a day each'.
Suffice to say, their combined leadership and cricketing skills, on show for four innings over 2 days, culminated in a dramatic win against a star studded Western Rhinos team.
Key highlights included:
George and Huw's opening stand of 103 on the first morning
George's 204 n.o. (yes, you read that correctly!)
Huw's cool-headed captaincy in the closing overs (successfully navigating the taking of 3 wickets in the final 4 overs to win the match by 8 balls)
George's match bowling figures of 13.3 overs 8 for 56
Great job lads!
In May I wrote of the dream of donning whites again. Did this happen? Yes it did, in late July, by which time there was a huge appetite for some cricket, indeed any cricket.
We are indebted to the administration at the Kent County Village League for organising a competitive mini-league programme (details in the skipper’s end of season summary) and to Mark du Bock who assembled several Sunday teams in collaboration with his opposite number at Ightham CC. Then the season ended and abnormality resumed.
Since those heady days, the Skipper Kendall Jarrett has spearheaded the pavilion refurb, which continues apace. In a year of negligible revenue and continuing outgoings (eg insurance) we have been fortunate to receive a financial handout from Rishi Sunak plus generous donations from several of the UCC family. As I write this note, the refurb programme has reached the pavilion roof, which is being renewed prior to its 34th winter. Inside, paintbrushes are being wielded with vigour, especially by the Secretary Dick Hawkes. The hope and expectation is that the pavilion will be in apple pie order for the start of season 2021.
The outfield has benefited from generous watering and a campaign is currently being waged against incursions by moles. This is not the first such campaign and it will not be the last. We have learned that moles are avid followers of cricket, particularly at UCC, where they enjoy fielding in the gully.
The other news is that Frank and Maria retired from the White Rock in the middle of the current pandemic. They have been faithful supporters of UCC for (I estimate) around 25 years. We hope they enjoy their new home in Maidstone and that Frank now finds time to do some serious fishing.
The UCC golfers returned to Piltdown GC at the end of September. Dick Hawkes organised the turnout and Alan Sinclair orchestrated a very pleasant pre-golf lunch at The Griffin in Fletching. Barry Campbell and Rob Scott proved victorious on the course itself.
On a sad note, news reached us earlier this autumn of the death of Helen Watson. When she and Robin left the Old Vicarage in Underriver, they relocated to Harrogate, which is in the county adjacent to Lancashire. Helen was a great supporter of UCC and always lit up the room with her smile. Our thoughts are with Robin and with Alex and Nick at this time.
President, Underriver Cricket Club
UCC 2020 Saturday League Season - Captain’s Report
Before looking at the season of cricket just had, I wanted to make note of two significant losses the club has felt since my last Captain’s Report. I never met Dan Hardy, but our President Adrian Barr-Smith speaks of Dan with great joy and ultimately great heartache. His cricketing prowess with the bat a highlight to behold and a wonderful contributor to the annals of UCC. Losing Ian Batty this past summer, at the time an active member of the UCC Committee in his role as secretary, was hard felt by the club - exacerbated by corona virus preventing a more fitting celebration of his time with us. We will miss you both and what you brought to our small but beautiful club amongst the fields.
Right up until July 2020, the expectation that any club cricket might be played for the year was growing more remote by the day. A string of hot summer days through June and July made the hiatus even more unbearable.
And then, we were back on!
What this meant was a truncated season with the usual league replaced by participation in the Corona League Tier 3 Division B competition. What this translated to was a 5-game group competition followed by a Semi-Final and Final determined by final table position.
We began our campaign on the 25th July at Groombridge. A shortened game due to the promise of torrential rain, UCC held our opponents to 5/94 from 25 overs. Sean Ashfield’s 2/23 and James Thresher’s 5 overs 0/11 were the standout bowling performances with Tom Williams taking a screamer behind the stumps. UCCs response of 1/95 from 13.4 overs was clinical and fantastic way to exercise the demons of our last game at the ground. Tom Williams’ 58 n.o. to usher home the win was stylish yet brutal considering the impending showers. A great way to kick of the ‘season’. We also welcoming two newcomers to the UCC Saturday team – Charles Pring and Jonny Beale – who equipped themselves with fantastic aplomb.
One August 1st we played Chevening Amblers in a nail biter. Holding the opposition to 3/190 was a task, however the fight our batting line-up showed to ultimately come up two runs short was immense. Out opening pair of Joe Williams (48) and Jonny Beale (45) set the platform for a great shot at overhauling the opposition total. Paul Southall’s cultured showing with the bat (49) confirmed the much held view that time in the colonies adds to a person’s cultural gravitas. Yes, you just read correctly. We welcomed yet another newcomer to the UCC Saturday team with Tom Wynn Owen also taking his first wicket for the club (1/26).
On the 8th August we played Limpsfield Chart with temperatures hitting the 40 degree C mark. Although this temperature check is still in dispute, it was hot. Holding the opposition to 7/233 was a task, but pleasingly UCC had 6 different wicket takers. Paul Southall’s 2/20 (8) was the stand out performance. With the bat UCC again showed its fight. In previous years the dreaded UCC collapse would have reared its head, but to finish on 5/203 showed great character. Joe Williams’ 69 and Paul Southall’s 40 n.o. meant we were always in the game but ultimately outplayed by a strong opposition unit.
Our next match against Flimwell was again played in wet, soggy conditions, but the UCC wet weather crew turned out in style. Bowling out the opposition for 58 in 26 overs was a great team effort. Both the bowling and fielding units were immense. Paul Southall continued his great start to the season taking 3/16 (8), Joe Wiles returned to the team and then returned the figures of 2/15 (5), and Joe Williams added the exclamation mark with 2/3 (3). However, the standout performance was put in by our young star James Thresher who ended up with the figures 6 overs, 3 maidens, 3 for 3. UCC overtook the opposition total 3 down after 16 overs. A great team performance.
The 25th August showdown against Withyham was a great day for the UCC brand. Playing against the stand-out team of the competition, who usually play in a league above us, most pundits had this chalked down as a win for the East Sussex crew. What a game from UCC! With three debutants pulling on the UCC sweater for the first time (Stephen Harvey and brothers Freddie and Harry Jones) the team gutted out the competitive total of 9/157.
Joe Wiles 3/21 (6), Jonny Carpenter 3/2 (1.3), Joe Williams 2/25 (6), Sean Ashfield 1/25 (7), and Paul Southall 1/23 (6) all deserve a mention as UCC took a steady stream of wickets to ultimately bowl the opposition out for 99. Every one of our bowling unit took a wicket and with five bowled and three caught behind who said that line and length don’t matter! Just a great win for UCC.
After narrowly missing out on the top two spots in our group table (Chevening 76 points, Withyham 75 points, UCC 70 points) we were placed in the 5-8 playoff semi-finals and a home match against Halstead. With the opposition sent into bat, Joe Williams’ 3/23 (8) was our best performed bowler and helped restrict the opposition to 7/173. A notable mention goes to Freddie Jones as well who bowled with great poise in the pressure cooker atmosphere. As the crowd gathered to see the run chase, the big question on their lips was ‘Can UCC back up their all-round team performance from last week?’
Did they ever!
A hundred run partnership between Joe Williams (38) and yours truly (96), along with a 48 ball 5 from returning dad Dave Close meant UCC passed the opposition total four-down with 15 balls to spare. Another great win!
The final game of the season saw us play the newly amalgamated club of Shoreham-Otford. Batting first on a spongy deck meant we had to work hard for our 113 total, although this did surpass our total here in the very first warm-up game of the season we played. A breakout innings from Jon Sorrell (51) and some late hitting from out late-season recruit Dave Close (15) were our best performers. Jon’s innings was made all the more impressive due to the calibre of bowling attack faced. With the opposition now batting our bowling attack was fantastic. Having them 6/65 in reply we were in the game! Unfortunately, our fairy tale end to the season was not meant to be with the opposition triumphing in a game played with great spirit and comradery.
Overall, season of great promise, DELIVERED.
Post Script – A big thank you to the UCC Committee for all your support throughout the year, to Sean for all his work with Saturday team selections, to Mark for shepherding the Sunday side, to all those who undertook Saturday umpiring duties (thanks Hawkeye!), and finally to all of you who picked up a brush as part of the pavilion refurbishment (especially you Rach!). A big congratulations also to Ollie Streets and George Sorrell who were selected in Kent County Cricket U/18 and U/13 squads for 2021!
To the stats:
Season – Played 7, Won 4, Lost 3
For season batting and bowling averages visit:
The UCC family recently lost a wonderful club all-rounder, the incomparable Ian Batty.
We share our thoughts and stories below and welcome the contributions of others…
Like his fellow Yorkshire keeper, Jimmy Binks, Ian had distinctly “limited batting ability”. [Binks, of whom you might not have heard, kept in successive first class matches for Yorkshire between debut June 1955 and retirement at end of 1969.
He never made 100 in 502 first class innings. He toured the subcontinent as reserve keeper in 1963/4 and ended up playing 2 Tests. Because they were stricken by injuries/the trots etc he ended up opening the innings in 3 out of his 4 Test innings! (I can only assume that he was playing “as a batsman”, not keeping). For Yorkshire he usually batted at number 10. [From memory that’s where Wally Grout used to bat as well.]
Coming in at 10 would have been too high for Batty. I can only recall one occasion when he was promoted above 11. I can’t recall who was number 11 that day, but he must have been rank, or drunk. In fact his batting ability couldn’t in truth be described as “limited”. Execrable would better describe it.
Others will describe his keeping prowess. I will restrict myself to observing that, whenever I was posted to 1st slip, we would enjoy the most fascinating conversations. Never about the match in progress, or cricket either, but about some other trivia, since he was an incredibly learned and well read man, and a splendid raconteur.
I similarly enjoyed our 2-handers as we would, more recently, set out to repaint the pavilion. He always had an anecdote or an observation to interrupt our brush strokes and provide some welcome relief.
He loved UCC. I think it was Ian who planted the roses in the flower beds. After several terms as skipper, he served as secretary for many more years. He would organise the annual dinner and the Christmas supper and loved to joust with Frank Scott when doing so. He was invariably cheerful and worth listening to. He will be sorely missed.
Adrian Barr-Smith – UCC President
I played with him for the best part of 20 years and my abiding memory of him is as a great Club man - always happy to get his hands dirty doing groundwork on cold Spring days etc.
One regular job was getting into the loft above the home dressing room to turn the water off after we had winter bursts. For a man not in the first flush of youth, he was always happy to crawl up and get the job done. He also took great pride in the ground, and when yours truly one pre-season used a wheelbarrow to take sacks of loam to the square, rather than carry them on my shoulders as I should have done, he rightly told me off for the very visible ruts I made on the outfield. He was also very good at another unsung job, getting mowers and rollers going at crucial times.
He was a great raconteur, too, especially on the numerous UCC tours he graced, and kept the team amused late into the night at the various bars we frequented. I think his favourite story was of the Kent wicketkeeper who arrived for a match so hungover that he missed the first 2 deliveries, which were both edged past him for 4. The third ball was edged again but this time he took a fantastic catch, and as the slips congratulated him said 'not bad off the first ball of the match!'
I must have heard him tell that one a dozen times, but he seemed to do it better on each occasion.
A lovely, lovely man, he will be much missed by us all.
Iain Taylor – UCC Vice-President
Never short on smiles or witty anecdotes, I had the pleasure of standing next to Batty at slip on numerous occasions, as well opposite him in an administrative capacity during his time as UCC Secretary. These are times I now cherish. The part he played in welcoming me to UCC was instrumental and will forever be imprinted on my match day and committee experiences.
Thank you Ian.
Kendall Jarrett – UCC Club Captain
He was such good value on the Tour to France I went on. He always said it wasn't Alex who gave him the trouble coming down the hill... but Nick's sprayage! He was also a Yorkshireman, which accounts for his love of cricket.
Ian was a successful and well-respected Chartered Surveyor; until he took early retirement, he was District Valuer in Tunbridge Wells. He was always passionate about standards in the surveying industry and was still responsible for lecturing and exam setting in the Rating Diploma section of the RICS.
In addition to his all encompassing wicket keeping, he was a thorough Honorary Secretary to the Club for 10+ years, always with attentive notes provided.
He'll be sorely missed.
Dick Hawkes – UCC Vice-President
I remember meeting Batty in one of my first UCC games, must have only been about 15 but he was instantly so welcoming it made the club a great place to play. More than a few runs were saved by his valiant keeping, and he has definitely made up for any byes with the pints he has bought over the years! He will be sorely missed by the UCC family.
I have met many characters across the game of cricket. Some competitive, some jovial, some doughty. However, few have managed to combine all of these qualities into one persona quite like Ian Batty.
On joining UCC in the mid-1990s and seeing this friendly Yorkshireman don his cricketing whites, I assumed here was a man in the twilight of his cricketing career, in it for a few final seasons before swapping his gloves for an umpire’s jacket. As the weeks wore on, I soon realised that this gritty character was barely past his peak. Combining a dogged determination with an undeniable talent for keeping wicket, his contributions to the team’s results and the support he offered to others was profound.
This support as a young bowler (yes, I used to bowl) was crucial to the comfort I personally felt in the team. Trudging back to fine leg as the scorer frantically tried to tally up runs conceded, a wry smile from Ian or a quiet word would be enough to keep plugging away. He would often convince me that the ball was swinging when it was probably his eyesight playing tricks on him.
Despite the declining eyesight, the fact he was keeping wicket to speed merchants such as Alex as he neared 70 is testament to his ability and bravery. A glancing blow to the lip or nose served only to increase his doughtiness and determination. With bandages applied, he wasn’t a pretty sight as the cricket teas were served up, but he would be back out there defending stoutly at no. 11 if required. Who can forget those stubborn displays in fading light to save many a game? You could barely see his white locks from the pavilion as fielders prowled around his bat, but he would often emerge with a smile and a draw.
As the years progressed and Ian began his forays into umpiring, many were tempted to resume their bowling careers, such was his willingness to send batsmen packing, often before an appeal was heard. But he gave umpiring the same gusto as he did playing and it only endeared him further to us.
I will never forget the friendship and warmth he extended to everyone he met. And when my playing days are over and I think of all those faces I took to the field with, Ian’s will be the one most prominent in my mind. Rest in Peace, dear friend.
Ian was an unrivalled servant to the club, and such a thoroughly lovely man to play alongside. He was always incredibly welcoming to new players, and was central to the indescribable 'Underriver spirit' that keeps so many of us coming back for more, summer after summer. He will be sorely missed.
Ian gave me such a warm welcome when I first played for Underriver, while still at school. It was brilliant to play in the same team as him and he was a role model for me in terms of playing in the right spirit of the game.
He was always the first to issue words of encouragement and tell you he knew a wicket was on its way. His pep talks in between overs focused every time on describing your one good ball, helpfully forgetting the five half-trackers that made his life as a keeper very difficult! He will greatly missed by all at the club.
My playing career didn't overlap with Ian's, but I have clear recollections of watching him keep wicket and umpire - both with an air of quiet authority and an enthusiastic 'presence'. I know how much he put into his UCC secretarial duties, but I will remember him best for his after-dinner stories, when players and VPs assembled in the White Rock prior to the seasons starting. These were gentle tales, delivered in a laconic style, which amused and entertained - sometimes pre-prepared, sometimes off the cuff, and mainly cricket-related!
He will be sorely missed.
Ian Cowdroy - UCC Vice-President
I can gaze out of the window as I write this and note the perfect cricketing weather. However, not a ball will be bowled in anger for the foreseeable future. These are truly uncertain and extraordinary times. Also, a time to put friends and family ahead of all other things, ahead even of cricket!
Sport in general is being impacted, perhaps as never before. In wartime, they played on, to a limited degree. Dick Hawkes will remind us they played cricket in POW camps. As I write this, it is unclear whether there will be the opportunity for any cricket this season. The ECB speculates about locking the participants into a hotel for days beforehand and then staging Test matches behind closed doors. There is little prospect of any cricket for UCC before July at the earliest. We must await developments.
The ground has been ‘furloughed’. Ironically, in February parts of it resembled the Everglades. After 3 weeks of unbroken sunshine it is significantly drier. Our square will doubtless benefit from not being cut, rolled and trampled for several weeks during the growing season, which represents a scintilla of a silver lining to the current cloud.
The Club has not been idle. Before social distancing set in, several members enjoyed a lunch outing in the City organised by Sean Ashfield/Kendall Jarrett. We listened to that prince of keepers, Alan Knott, and former Lancs opener Graeme “Foxy” Fowler, both introduced by another Kentish man, Chris Cowdrey. Despite (or perhaps because of) being born round the corner in Accrington from David “Bumble” Lloyd, Fowler spoke very impressively about his career and later difficulties with depression. He’s not the first cricketer to suffer in this way and he won’t be the last, despite the support available to professional players in this day and age.
What is also active is the Club’s expenditure account. Many items, eg insurance premiums, remain a constant. Income this year will be materially reduced by the cancellation of the White Rock Quiz evening and the lack of match fees. However, and to conclude on a more positive note, Chris Close has confirmed that a Quiz evening will be scheduled as soon as circumstances permit, although for the present we can only dream of donning the whites again.
President, Underriver Cricket Club
Happy New Year to all UCC members and friends. 2019 was a busy year for the Club and we made significant progress both on and off the field. I would first like to thank all those members and friends who contributed to the fundraising round, as we commenced some overdue maintenance and repair work on the pavilion, which is now over 30 years old. We have taken the opportunity to swap the dressing rooms and to enlarge the ‘Home’ one. The work is not quite complete but the improvements are already manifest.
As is sadly common with cricket clubs, we experienced a break-in and we lost our large sit-on mower. The thieves bulldozed a few sections of the fence on the village side, but we have taken the opportunity to commission repair work on the entire fence. This was undertaken before Christmas. Nick Watson continues to do a sterling job on the cricket square and outfield and we are all in his debt.
Season 2019 seems a long time ago. We consolidated our position in Division 4 of the Kent County Village League under the leadership of Kendall Jarrett. As team secretary Sean Ashfield again worked wonders to produce XIs, which included several father/son combinations. We succeeded in reviving the Sunday cricket tradition by trialling a collaboration with Ightham CC to produce combined sides. Mark DuBock managed our participation in this format and is to be saluted as 2019 ‘Clubman of the Year’. News of the recent merger between the Otford and Shoreham clubs reminds us that we must never become complacent.
Off the field we enjoyed quiz nights in the White Rock, under the inquisitorial gaze of Chris Close. Chris also, with assistance from Jen (or Jen, with assistance from Chris) did a sterling job with our finances. Chris/Jen will be re-launching the Supporters Club, which continues to provide valuable revenue for UCC. I must also pay tribute to longstanding member Iain Taylor, who moved to Sussex, and to the retiring secretary Ian Batty, who has been succeeded by Dick Hawkes.
Finally, I should make mention here of 2 UCC members, both of whom died in the autumn. Dan Hardy, who died after a short illness, was a stalwart of the club for many years before his move to Singapore in 1990. Quite simply a legend in his own lunchtime. Mike Tong had been ill for many years but his death still comes as a shock. I am delighted to say that his son Andy has told me that a batting cage will be donated to the club in his memory.
May I wish everyone the best of luck for season 2020.
President, Underriver Cricket Club
Dan Hardy died on 3 October 2019 aged 67. For some time he had been battling with various cancers. When I visited him in Lytham St Annes in June, he was keen to point out that he had given up smoking earlier in the year!
Dan loved life and, until recently, was at the heart of any party. He played for Underriver CC for over 15 years before leaving to work in Singapore in 1989. Over there he enjoyed playing for Singapore CC on the Padang, where their clubhouse continues to offer a wide selection of slot machines. He was in his element.
He bowled medium pace off the wrong foot (the original ‘frog in a blender’ action) and could club the ball huge distances. Against Downe CC he scored 94 out of an opening partnership of 108 with Bill English. He never scored a century for the club, but once succeeded in skying a catch with 99 to his name. His catching and fielding could best be described as occasional.
His leadership was distinctive. He never forgot that the game was about enjoyment for all eleven players. As captain he presided over possibly the club’s most celebrated win, against former National Village champions Linton Park CC, in the Kent semi-finals of the competition. He top scored with 31 as UCC triumphed by 5 runs in a nail-biter.
He spent countless hours working on the ground and also organising the club’s annual dinner dance, initially at Absaloms and later at Goldings Farmhouse, with help and support from Catts Cottage. These occasions were well supported, hugely enjoyed and enabled the club to build up some useful ‘rainy day’ reserves.
There was invariably an incident involving Dan. Skidding into a marquee at Castle Hill CC and smashing a tent pole en route. Driving out of the locked ground at Cudham CC via a pedestrian-sized gap in a beech hedge. Shelling 4 catches in the field at Chiddingstone Causeway CC before belting his first 2 balls faced out of the ground. These are some of the printable tales.
He was a joy to play for and with. He unknowingly impacted the lives of many people, old and young, who came into contact with him through UCC. He loved the village and the club.
Well done to all those who contributed to the Saturday League side this year. We bookended the season well with multiple wins, blooding a number of new faces into the team along the way.
A special thanks to all those who shared the umpiring duties this year. Also, for third parties roped into making sandwiches and baking cakes and pouring cups of tea our club is indebted for your assistance.
We had a number of stand out performances this year in the League side along with important contributions from all who played. Nick Watson again led the batting ranks with a season tally of 523 runs, and the Gandolf The White's younger cousin Sean Ashfield rolled back the years to be our leading wicket taker with 22 precious scalps. Nick Watson snaffled 8 catches as well to round out a 'back to his best' season.
Our youngsters performance exceptionally well as well with Ollie Streets scoring his maiden League ton (101*), George Sorrell taking his first League wicket at age 11, The Judd Massive (James Thresher, Rohan Sharma and Jonah Radcliffe) all getting off the mark with bat and ball, James T taking 4/13 (and 11 wickets in total), Rohan S taking 4/30, Jonah demonstrating his tail end bludgeoning capacity at West Farleigh, and Inigo Streets with his first League multi-wicket haul (2-24).
Our more seasoned professionals also had their moments as well:
Joe Wiles and Johnny Carpenter escaping Manchester to provide some quality moments with bat and ball, Chris Close continuing to open the bowling in his 123 year, Andy Pinder and Joe Williams consistently taking wickets in their first two overs, Simon Leahy continuing to be the master of banter to raise the spirits of every dressing room, Pete Thresher sending down lofty thunder bolts rarely seen in Div 4, Pete Clews bowling 4 balls with the healthy figures of 1/1, Jason Box turning his arm over to great effect at Otford (whilst Andy lost his arm at the same venue!), John Sorrell showing poise yet at the same time utter contempt for being triggered by Sean at Halstead, and Dave Close for having more strands of hair than runs made this season. There were of course numerous other performances witnessed throughout the season by a host of other players which will be mentioned (made fun of? celebrated?) at the AGM in December.
Thank you all.
Pre-season starts NOW!
Our 2019 AGM will be held on Saturday 7th December at The White Rock, 7pm. All are invited to the AGM which will precede the Christmas dinner.
Match Report below from Hawkeye (our umpire with the mostest):
As well as the Captain played, I felt something was needed to overshadow his bragging rights of runs against Weald at the forthcoming Captain's Curry.
(CAPTAIN'S INSERT: 2-games vs. Weald 36* and 59*… oh yeah! Unfortunately doesn't really compare to Master Nick Watson's 2-game outing vs. Withyham a few years back of 212* and 192*!!!)
Sean was so pleased with his new bat that he took it to St John's Smith Square SW1 for a blessing.
The Juddian 3 certainly boosted the side, each taking a wicket. Jonah Radcliffe running into the wind from the Road end reminiscent of the speed of Harry Potter on his broomstick.
Spraythresh had trouble in finding the strip but was very decent in handing his trousers to the spindly legged umpire who was adjudged windswept.
Opening onslaught by Ashfield was a sweet as the Close fruitcake whilst yours truly was lucky to evade the Watto master blaster.
All adjourned to The Rock where William's who caught a good catch & took 2 wickets, sent for his Butler to return with funds for the evening.
Thank you Hawkeye. Entertaining as always!
Our keen-eyed club historian, Hawkeye, has compiled the following list of new league players UCC have fielded for 2019. Other than the year of our Lord 1665, when the UCC plague retrieval team fielded 17 new players, we believe this to be the most in one calendar year.
Joe Williams & brother Tom
Thresher's Pete and James
A young and vibrant injection of talent into the UCC programme indeed!
After our final league game of the season on Saturday 7th September all players and supports or the club (including partners and significant others) are invited to the Captain's Curry.
Venue: The Cinnamon Square Rings Hill, Hildenborough, Tonbridge TN11 8LX
RSVP: Kendall (07919869638)
Dear UCC Players and Supporters,
Please join us this Saturday 13th July for the 2nd Annual UCC Family BBQ. Festivities will kick off at the conclusion of this week's league game (approx. 6-6:30pm). BBQ food and a range of drinks will be available for a gold coin donation with proceeds going to charity.
A range of family-friendly games will be staged throughout the evening including:
Bat and Trap
Football Penalty Shootout
Nearest the Pineapple
We look forward to seeing you there!
UCC has celebrated a string of victories to kick off the 2019 season. Both the Saturday league and Sunday teams remain undefeated with a number of stella performances to usher in the new season:
Jon Sorrell 134 vs Invalids
Ollie Streets 72 vs Betsham
Peter Thesher 62 vs Otford
Sean Ashfield 4 for not many vs Otford (off 8 overs!)
Andy Pinder '2 for' and '3 for' to start the league season
Nick Watson's slip catching (4 catches in two games)
Keep up the good work and ALWAYS play to your strengths.
REMINDER: UCC playing kit can still be purchased online - https://www.surridgesport.com/underriver-cc
On behalf of all Underriver Cricket Club members we would like that thank all of you who so generously donated funds to support the pavilion upgrade.
We are nearing the final stages of the makeover and will soon be posting some fantastic photos of the upgrade.
There will be a 'soft' opening of the pavilion on Sunday 12th May at our first home fixture of the season followed by a formal opening on the 13th July at our UCC family BBQ evening (from 6pm onwards).
More information to follow.
We couldn't have done it without you all!!
After a summer outdoor season of limited success the Underriver Indoor Team went through the KCB Sev. Dist. Indoor Cricket League Cup undefeated on the weekend. The season contained an array of scintillating performances from the likes of Sean Ashfield, Andy Pinder, Mark DuBock, Michael Walsh, Paul Garner, Chris Close, Chris 'soon-to-be-wed' Mariani, Peter and James Thresher* and the Brothers Bentall#.
With the outdoor season fast approaching we are keen to maintain that winning feeling and to finally bid adieu to the disappointment of 2018!
Well done Team!
*Not bad - First two games for UCC and walking home with a trophy!
#Let me know if I have missed anyone!