Actonians Cricket Club


Ealing v Actonians Cricket Club Under 15's Girls on Mon 27 Jun 2022 at 6.00pm
Actonians Cricket Club Lost by 7 wickets

Match report Match report – Actonians v Ealing (under 15 girls) – 27 June 2022

**** The pre-amble ****

On 24th June 1772, a club called Hambledon took on an ‘England’ side at a place called Broadhalfpenny Down in Hampshire. The Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians have deemed this to be the first ever first class cricket match (*see footnote 1). 250 years and 3 days later, the under 15s took another step on this long cricketing road with an away game against Ealing.

The game was played at Popesfield which is a few hundred yards north of Actonians HQ. The entrance is tucked away and easy to miss, and until we played Ealing there a year ago I had no idea that it existed. There were no weather concerns this round, but the pre-game phase opened with a moment of travel drama. At around 5.30 a convoy of four Actonians vehicles, containing players, officials and parents, was perilously parked on the small stretch of road between the gate and the fast-moving traffic on the Gunnersbury Drive. The gate was firmly locked and the only contact number on the gate was a landline, which I suspect hasn’t been used for several years. Thankfully, a phone call to the Ealing manger clarified that he was in the ground setting up the pitch and he quickly opened up the gate. He was completely in the dark about who had locked the gate after him, and given that there was no one else in the ground, the evening opened with a slight supernatural flavour.

When we played Ealing at Popesfield last year, half of our players got lost and went to Boddingtons instead. The reasons for this are unclear to this day, but there was no repeat of this cartographic crisis this time around. Some standard Actonians time-keeping aside, we had nine players in the right place and ready to play shortly before 6.00. Actonians won the toss and elected to bat : our line-up was Riya, Siena, Maise, Hannah, Leah, Calla, Meghan, Freya and (making her debut for the under 15s) Molly.

**** The Game ****

Riya made a scintillating start. Right from the off she was finding the gaps with a succession of well-timed and elegant strokes. In spite of losing Siena early on, Actonians had reached 37-1 in the 5th and were gearing up for a useful total. One could sense the shades of the players in that first ever game shimmering into the ground to watch the drama unfold.

Six balls later and the score was at 37-5, with 4 players having been clean-bowled by two bowlers. The innings was not a smoking ruin and we were (quite frankly) in a bit of a pickle. There was a recovery of sorts, a partial de-picklisation if you will. Hannah and Meghan quickly put on 18 runs for the 6th wicket with Meghan scoring four from a glorious pull shot, while Hannah batted with determination and an ability to grab quick singles. Unfortunately both players were out LBW in quick succession, nipping the recovery in the bud and firmly replacing the lid back on the pickle jar. The last wicket partnership was Molly and Freya, and Molly opened her under 15s scoring account with a four from a spectacular ramp/pull short. It was the only ball she faced as Freya was bowled out a couple of balls later, and the innings ended with Actonians on 65. As Molly and Freya walked off the pitch, Molly understandably punched the air in celebration at her boundary.

This was not a great total, but it was potentially defendable if we could get a couple of early wickets. Equally it was the sort of total which Ealing could have knocked off in a handful of overs if our bowling was not sufficiently disciplined. The outcome was to be somewhere in between these two extremes as we began with some reasonably tight and careful overs from Riya and Maisie. Ealing kept their score ticking over, but didn’t get the momentum which would have finished the game off before the first bowling change. Riya bowled one of the openers in the 4th over with the score on 20, and there were a couple of half-chances in the field which could have made the game much closer, had we been able to take them. Hannah and Leah took on the bowling duties, and in the 9th Hannah forced an Ealing batter into skying a pull shot. Siena waited under it for what seemed like an age, but eventually took the catch with aplomb.

Overall, our bowling was pretty good, but the score wasn’t enough to deter a good side like Ealing. They struck the winning runs at the end of the 12th, and with the game finishing a good 45 minutes before time, there was plenty of talk amongst grown-ups and players about taking the chance to get home and watch an extra episode of their favourite TV program.

**** In the Final Analysis ****

At one level this game was quite deflating. This is definitely a good Ealing team, with a strong bowling unit, but we had enough ability to make this a much closer game. The collapse after Riya’s excellent start reflected some excellent bowling by Ealing, but 4 wickets is a lot to lose in 6 balls and I sense we could have defended better than we did. Our bowling was generally good and there were less (fewer?) wides and no balls than in previous games. The fielding followed the pattern of the whole season and was a mixed bag : an excellent stop and throw would be followed a few balls later by a basic fielding mistake by the same player. While it didn’t make a difference to the outcome of this game, it is clearly something we need to work on over the winter and next summer. Freya gets a nod for being the most consistent fielder, and for her careful watching of the ball in the covers and for being the most assiduous in her backing-up.

Being so close to the anniversary of the ‘first game’ (** see footnote 2), it would have been wonderful for the game to be a never-to-be forgotten classic in which the balance swung back and forth and with the result being settled on the last ball of the 40th over. It wasn’t to be, but I sense the cricketing shades had other ways of reminding us of how we fit into the ever-growing tapestry of cricket as this match had a wealth of mini-moments of Actonians iconography, which would have needed a Renaissance painter to do justice to them.

On the side of the pitch, Keely coached the players while they waited their turn to bat. After some throwdowns she used the plate-glass door to the pavilion (an odd choice of material for a cricket ground) to demonstrate to the juniors how they can use a mirror to practise their batting technique.

Waiting by the pavilion during our inning, Riya chatted with her players about what she should do when her opening partnership was ‘demised’. It took me a few minutes to work out that she was referring to them losing their wickets, rather than making an oblique reference to a property transfer.

At one point two of the players were asked to remove their hoodies as they were walking out to field : they promptly turned about, linked arms and danced back to the pavilion in a style reminiscent of Morecambe and Wise.

The girls chatted and, the result notwithstanding, seemed to have a great time. The post-game team talk, which Riya has made a feature this season, was longer than ever and looked like it was eating into the hard-won TV time. But it was a very encouraging symbol of a team spirt which was brilliantly captured in the post-match team picture.

Best of all, we had one of our biggest crowds, certainly the biggest I can remember for an away game. As well as several parents setting up a mini-bleachers on the boundary, it was great to have a crowd of about 10-20 players from the Actonians senior squads. It was a shame we couldn’t charm them with a win, but it was a great evocation of Actonians ‘communityness’.

A big thank you - to Karina Lo Dico who scored, to Stuart West who umpired and to the amazing crowd of parents and players who turned up and chatted and cheered along.

Top Moments – Molly’s ramp shot, Meghan’s pull shot, Siena’s catch of a skier, Riya’s brilliant fours, and the fantastic away crowd.

Player of the Match - this one goes to Riya. She took a wicket, and then scored nearly half of our runs in 22 deliveries. Well done Riya.

Forthcoming games –
Friday 8th July (6.00pm) against Eastcote at Actonians.
Friday 15th July (6.00pm) against Bushy Park. This is an away match.

** Footnote 1 **
This article is quite an evocative description of the story behind the 1st first class game. It’s behind a paywall but you can get a few articles for free.

** Footnote 2 **
Cricket’s history goes back quite a lot further than 250 years. As I understand it there is evidence of games going back to at least the late 17th century, and there were games which could be described as ‘professional’ at some point in the early/middle 18th century.

Actonians Cricket Club Under 15's Girls Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
2nb 7w 3b 1lb 
for 8 wickets
Riya Patadia b Puri 31 23 5 134.78
Siena Tracey b Mangla 3 6 50.0 1
Maisie Moxon b Mangla 1 5 20.0
Hannah Winter lbw Kerr 6 12 50.0
Leah Basu Roy b Puri 0 1 0
Calla Richardson b Puri 0 2 0
Megan Cripps-Juster lbw Cook 6 11 1 54.55
Freya Cornish b Kerr 1 3 33.33

Ealing Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy

Ealing Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
10nb 8w 2b 1lb 
for 2 wickets
66 (12.0 overs)
V Patel Not Out  31 36 3 86.11
G Russo b Riya Patadia 9 17 1 52.94
Lucy Kerr ct Tracey Bld Winter 5 14 35.71
Dana Naima Not Out  0 1 0

Actonians Cricket Club Under 15's Girls Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Maisie Moxon4.001400.003.50
Riya Patadia4.0017117.004.25
Hannah Winter2.0020120.0010.00
Leah Basu Roy2.001200.006.00

  • Umpire :
    Keely Juster
  • Scorer :
    Karina Lo Dico