NEWS ROUND UP – SOME NUMBERS, GRIPING AND NOSTALGIA
The Tigers ended their sequence of defeats when last Sunday’s away fixtue at Little Berkhamsted was called off on the Friday, due to the home side being unable to raise a team, which was just as well, since only 8 Tigers were available. This at least negated our members from finding a fresh excuse for not playing. Under the circumstances an emergency fixture was not sought.
Indeed, availability has been a continuing problem, partly due to three of last year’s regulars, due to unforeseen circumstances, having played a total of only 7 matches between them all season. Nevertheless, of the club’s 20 full members, only 6 have participated in 8 or more games, the remaining 14 having averaged no more than 2 or 3 each. In 13 fixtures, 33 players have already been utilized, meaning 13 guest players have been employed, including Winchmore Hill juniors and their fathers, plus anyone else who happens to be present at the ground on the day of the match. The team cannot flourish with these numbers – and it hasn’t.
OTHER CRICKET FROM OUR OPPOSITION
Following Haringey Libraries impressive victory over the Tigers the previous Sunday, they moved on to Alexandra Park to play the Railway Taverners in an evening t20 game. Due to late drop outs the Taverners had only nine men. HL were at full strength but did not offer a player or even a fielder. Tavs struggled to 108 for 7, a target knocked off in less than 11 overs for no wicket lost, with their star opener hitting 49 before getting bored. It is difficult to see what pleasure anyone gets from an obvious mismatch like this, the one saving grace being the BDOC at last get some batting practice, hitting 14 not out from ten balls, including three fours!
WINGCO HANGS UP HIS GOGGLES
News has reached us that former West Eleven legend Dave ‘Wingco’ Laing is to retire from cricket at the end of this season. Dave played 12 full seasons for the Beggars, taking 185 wickets with his slow left-armers at a cost of 20.23 each, for less than a run a ball, at roughly a wicket every four overs – highly impressive figures. He twice bagged a Michelle – 5 for 6 against The Gentlemen of West London at Surbiton in 2002 and 5-18 against London Saints in West XI’s annus mirabilis of 2005, a season in which he took 31 wickets at 12.17, not to mention seven catches, winning the club’s Fielder of the Year award.
Despite being an obvious No.11 with the bat, his greatest West XI moment probably came in a scoreless but vital contribution to a record last wicket stand of 67 with Chris Wright in the Westies’ remarkable victory over Menorca in October 2008, when Wrighty hit 135 not out from a total of 157 runs off the bat, no one else managing more than 8!
Living in South-west London, he opted not to join the Tigers after the Anschluss and relocation to Winchmore Hill in 2012, but, despite a serious illness from which he thankfully recovered, Dave continued to ply his trade with the Bricklayers Arms, a team that has played our friends from both the Gents and Railway Taverners this season.
But perhaps his greatest claim to fame was a remarkable likeness to the comic actor Brian Murphy, who rose to fame in the 1970s TV sitcoms Man about the House and subsequent spin off George and Mildred.
Good luck to Dave in his retirement.
Log on again next time for some more razor-sharp analysis and biting cynicism.