Our Veterans’ Knock-Out Trophy
Like the long-established South Essex District Cricket Board Knock-Out Cup, or to apply its former name – the Thurrock and District Knock-Out Cup, the Veterans trophy also has its origins in Thurrock. But by comparison, this vets’ competition is relatively new – it was founded in 1998; the first winners were Stanford le Hope. A glance down the list of previous winners will tell you that Horndon on the Hill CC have had, by far, the most prolific veterans of all our local clubs, as they have won the competition on no fewer than five consecutive occasions from 2003 to 2007 inclusive.
2011 – Belhus
Belhus Cricket Club won the South Essex District Cricket Board’s Veterans’ Trophy for the first time when they overcame a strong Stanford le Hope batting line-up in the final on Tuesday evening (26th July 2011). Stanford, on their own ground, batted first and reached 134 for the loss of six wickets, as one of our Vice-Presidents, Geoff Lake, contributed 21, Robert Pearn made 13, Duncan Page top-scored with 29 and Chris Ballard was there at the end of the innings, undefeated on 22. Richard Waters was the most successful Belhus bowler, picking up 3-25 from his allotted four-over spell and he was supported by Scott Bayford 2-28, also from four overs. In the reply, Belhus opener Jim Robertson was off to a flyer with a fine knock of 58 until he was caught by Lake off the bowling of Ballard (1-12), but by then Belhus were within easy reach of the Stanford score as Amit Gohil finished on 34 not out, while there was a useful contribution of 29 from Bayford in the middle of the innings. As well as Ballard, four other Stanford bowlers took one wicket each, being Harris, Knight, Powley and Gray, but Belhus reached their target, scoring 138-5 from 13.7 overs.
2010 – Pegasus and Corringham
In a repeat of the 2008 final, Pegasus and Corringham won the South Essex District Cricket Board’s veterans’ trophy on their own ground as they overcome Belhus by 29 runs in this mid-week evening final. Pegs were off to a flyer in slight rain under leaden skies in this weather-reduced fixture. The home side had 47 runs on the board very quickly, but it was at this point when a sharp throw from Mathew Lewis on the cover point boundary ran out Pearce by a fair distance for 20 runs. With the score on 78, Gray was bowled by Richard Waters and shortly after Roger Maxted lofted the ball to Waters at mid-on from the bowling of Cliff Cansdale for 35. Belhus sensed a way back in to the game but a catalogue of mistakes in the field and some lusty hitting from Steve Francis (45 not out) and Ben Francis (13 not out) saw Pegasus and Corringham post 137 for the loss of just three wickets. Conditions improved for the Belhus innings, but their fortunes did not. Edwards fell to the first ball faced and then, with the Belhus score on 19, James Banner was bowled by Sharpe for 11 runs. Scott Bayford fell for 15 runs though Waters and Steve Huckstepp set about repairing the innings. The game finally slipped away from Belhus when, requiring 60 runs from just 24 deliveries, Waters was stumped off the bowling of Fernandess for 21. Huckstepp and Ian Joyce, both undefeated with 24 and 22, made the total look respectable but, in truth, Belhus were always significantly behind the required rate as Pegasus and Corringham emerged as worthy winners; Belhus closed on 108 for the loss of four wickets. Sharpe received the plaudits as best bowler by claiming three Belhus wickets for just 18 runs from his alloted three overs.
2009 – not yet recorded, to be advised
2008 – Pegasus and Corringham
Belhus batted first at their North Stifford venue on Tuesday 8th July, but later saw their score of 135-6 comfortably reached by the hosts for the loss of just one wicket. Peter Clark had top scored for Belhus with 35 not out, but Mark Jenkins claimed 3-29. Then Mark Downey, 53 not out, Neil Gray with 48 and Steve Francis, unbeaten on 26, powered Pegasus and Corringham to a nine-wicket victory with four overs and seven deliveries remaining.
2007 – Horndon on the Hill
Horndon achieved a 38-run victory over Grays and Chadwell at Blackshots in a very high scoring match on Wednesday 27th June. Horndon posted 201 for the loss five wickets, largely due to a fine 85 from David Stitson. Jeff West hit 41 and Ian Joyce gave valuable support with 28. For Grays and Chadwell, Joe Singh picked up 4-35, then, after the break, Clive Ballard scored 31, while David Jacks and David Carter both contributed 25. Andy Ridley was the pick of the Horndon bowlers with 2-42.
2006 – Horndon on the Hill
One of the closest ever Veterans’ cup finals staged by the South Essex District Cricket Board at Horndon Recreation Ground on Thursday 29th June. Horndon on the Hill scored 149 for the loss of eight wickets after the usual 16 eight-ball overs. Ashley Norton led the way with a fine 64, while Lionel Osborne was undefeated on 21. For Grays and Chadwell, Joe Singh picked up 3-22 and Kevin Birch returned figures of 3-41. Despite a fighting 43 from Paul Challis, it was Osborne, 3-23, and Dave Stitson, with an incredible haul of four wickets for just seven runs, who thwarted any chance of a Grays and Chadwell win. In the end, Horndon were victorious by just ten runs as their opponents finished on 139 with nine wickets down.
2005 – Horndon on the Hill
Horndon defeated Orsett by 40 runs on their own ground by batting first and scoring 163 for the loss of four wickets, then restricting Orsett to 123 for eight wickets. Steve Cole with 48 and Dave Stitson, 46 not out, were on fire for Horndon, while Lionel Osborne took 4-21 to restrict Orsett, despite the best efforts of Wayne Read, who hit 25. The match was played on Tuesday 28th June.
2004 – Horndon on the Hill
Duncan Page hit a magnificent 75 for Stanford le Hope in his team’s total of 126-6 after the normal 16 eight-ball overs at Orsett Recreation Ground on Wednesday 7th July. But then Steve Ward steered Horndon to victory with a fine undefeated 57, supported by Ashley Norton with 35 runs, as Horndon reached 128 for the loss of just three wickets with 3.2 overs remaining. For Stanford, Martin Hathaway claimed 2-31 while Horndon’s Terry Hills had earlier picked up two wickets at a cost of just 13 runs.
2003 – Horndon on the Hill
Horndon emerged as our 2003 veterans’ champions after a thrilling one-wicket win over Stanford le Hope on Tuesday 8th July. 141-6 was posted by Stanford on their own ground after 16 eight-ball overs, with Martin Hathaway on top form with a sparkling knock of 83 runs. But Horndon on the Hill crept home with 144 for the loss of nine wickets through 55 from Dave Stitson and 34 from Ward. For Stanford, John Hicks claimed 4-20 and Hathaway 3-29, while for Horndon earlier, Jasper picked up two wickets at a cost of 24 runs.
2002 – Grays and Chadwell
Grays and Chadwell produced back-to-back victories, to follow on from their victory the previous year. At Orsett on Thursday 18th July, Grays and Chadwell scored 165 for 4, as Paul Wren top scored with 52 not out, while Dave Carter scored 40 and Paul Boreham weighed in with 39. Horndon on the Hill replied with 144 for the loss of seven wickets, for whom David Towler top-scored with 42.
2001 – Grays and Chadwell
For the second consecutive year, the final was held at Blackshots and it was the host club to emerge victorious on Thursday 19th July. Batting first, Grays and Chadwell scored 113-5, with Kevin Burch dominating with the willow by scoring 49 not out. Horndon on the Hill replied with 101 for the loss of eight wickets for whom Ashley Norton scored 34, David Stitson (jnr) made 28. For Grays, Paul Wren took 3-26. The game was reduced to 12 overs per side due to poor weather.
2000 – Orsett
Orsett emerged victorious by four wickets with seven balls to spare in the final hosted by Grays and Chadwell CC at Blackshots on Thursday 20th July. Horndon on the Hill scored 121 for the loss of eight wickets, for whom Russell Lee hit 39 and Jeff West snr struck 27. Orsett, in reaching their target, finished on 122-6, with Steve Wilkinson scoring 50 and Horndon’s Kevin O’Keeffe taking three wickets for just 22 runs.
1999 – Grays and Chadwell
Orsett staged the second veterans’ event on Thursday 22nd July and this time it was Grays and Chadwell to have their name etched on the trophy after narrowly missing out to Stanford the previous year. Batting first, Grays and Chadwell scored 128 for the loss of six wickets with Malcolm Neal scoring a fine 33. Horndon on the Hill fell short by reaching 118 for 8 in reply, despite a fine 31 from Daly. Grays had Joe Singh to thank for a fine return of four wickets at a cost of just 18 runs, to set up a deserved victory.
1998 – Stanford le Hope
The final was held at Stanford Recreation Ground on Thursday 16th July and was played between Grays and Chadwell CC and the host club. Grays and Chadwell batted first and reached 107 for the loss of seven wickets, with Colin Richardson top scoring with 25. In reply, Stanford le Hope edged home in a real nail-biting finish – they had just one wicket and two balls to spare – as they finished on 108 for 9. The main contributors in the successful, though fraught, run chase were Adrian Page with 37 and Mark Nuttall, who scored 24.