1951 – Thurrock and District Cricket Association host Essex XI

Ray Smith’s Essex County XI  184 all out;
Thurrock & District Cricket Association  155 all out

Although weakened by no fewer than six withdrawals of players originally chosen, the Thurrock District XI put up a splendid show on Sunday (10th June) against Ray Smith’s Essex County XI.  The visitors, too, were obliged to field a number of reserves.  Neverthless, Ray Smith, Peter Smith, Ken Preston, Bill Greensmith, Griffiths and Bill Dines are a formidable combination without the help of five other very competent team mates. 

Batting first, the County had a poor start, losing Flinders at seven and Griffiths at 15, but Peter Smith and Bill Dines pushed the score to 52, whe Ken Riley took  sharp catch close in at square leg to send Peter Smith back to Blackshots’s modest little wooden shack, which, for the time being, is all the local cricketers have to call a “pavilion” and for which we are rather ashamed about, especially when we entertain distinguished visitors.

Bill Dines, steadily garnering runs, mainly in singles, proved, with Partridge, a difficult obstacle until a smart piece of stumping by Harold Williamson sent Partridge back.  Under Ray Smith’s inspiration, Bill Dines opened out, and for a short spell the rather meagre sprinkling of spectators were treated to some mighty hits, George Pullinger holding a hot return from Ray Smith off his own bowling. 

Meanwhile, Dines had reached 50 with a boundary, and was also caught and bowled for 53 by Ken Riley this time.  None of the other batsmen proved very formidable, and the visitors’ innings closed about 3.30pm for the rather low score of 184, and we had visions of local boys’ first victory over a County side.   George Pullinger bowled really well and was unchanged from the tennis court end.  His 25 overs cost only 91 runs and accounted for Ray Smith, Greensmith, Preston, Griffiths and Flinders – a good “bag”.  Geoff Painter, too, did splendidly on his first appearance, taking the wickets of Peter Smith, Hughes and Taylor in 16 overs, which cost only 47 runs.

George Bailey and skipper Bob Phillips opened the Thurrock and District Cricket Association innings to the bowling of Preston and Ray Smith, batting with the confidence of veterans, until, at 32, Bob had a ball which popped and wicket-keeper Dray made a spectacular full-length dive to catch the ball an inch from the ground.  Young Brian Mapperley, who only left Palmer’s School last term, followed and shaped confidently right away.

Unfortunately, Mapperley lost the companionship of Bailey very soon as George followed what the umpire was getting ready to signal a wide outside his off stump and Bailey only succeeded in chopping the ball on to his wicket.  Peter Gunary took a dislike to a ball from Hughes very early in his innings, and, very unusually for him, was walking back to the pavilion for a duck.  Sam Roberts then joined Mapperley, who was demonstrating some delightful strokes, and these two took the score from 49 up to 104 with really sparkling cricket.

Peter Smith then served one of his “specials” to Brian Mapperley and overturned his castle, but we shall see a lot of this boy’s cricket, I think, in the next few years.  Roberts lost his wicket to a sharp ball from Ray Smith, when he was only four short of his half-century, and he fully merited the applause which he received for a grand knock.

No one else could cope with the County bowlers until George Pullinger and Geoff Painter came together as the closing pair.  Then we saw some shots which the fielding side enjoyed to the full.  One of George’s lusty off-drives  finished up at fine leg much to the amusement of his team mates, but George and Geoff put a very valuable 29 runs between them.  Painter ended up undefeated with 13 to his credit, George having tested slip’s agility by lifting one over his head with the edge of the bat at 16.  Thurrock thus mustered the respectable total of 155, the wickets being fairly evenly divided between Preston, Peter Smith, Greensmith and Hughes.

Scorecard
  Ray Smith’s Essex County XI       Thurrock & District Cricket Association
  Dines c & b Riley  53     Bailey b Greensmith 18  
  Flinders c Painter b Pullinger  1     Phillips c Dray b Hughes 20  
  Griffifths b Pullinger 5     Mapperley b P. Smith 20  
  P. Smith c Riley b Painter 27     Gunary b Hughes 0  
  Partridge st Williamson b Riley 9     Roberts b R. Smith 46  
  R. Smith c & b Pullinger 39     D. Carter c Dray b P. Smith 2  
  Greensmith lbw b Pullinger 4     B. Blows b Preston 2  
  Hughes b Painter 4     Riley b Preston 2  
  Taylor c Williamson b Painter 12     Williamson c R. Smith b P. Smith 0  
  Preston b Pullinger 12     Pullinger c Hughes b Greensmith 16  
  Dray not out 0     Painter not out 13  
  Extras 18     Extras 16  
  TOTAL (all out) 184     TOTAL (all out) 155  
               
  Umpires: Messrs J. Smye (Upminster) and Len Martin (Grays)  
  Fixture played at Blackshots, Sunday 10th June 1951, 11:30am start  
               

Acknowledgements
Grays and Tilbury Gazette (edition dated 16th June 1951)