1953 – Southend Association at Leigh & Chalkwell CC’s Cricket Week

On Monday, 11th August 1953, the Southend Cricket Association played at Leigh and Chalkwell CC in an all-day game, reported in the Southend Standard as follows:

“Southend Cricket Association had too strong a representative team playing against Leigh and Chalkwell in Chalkwell Park on Monday in the opening fixture of Leigh’s annual home week.  Had Leigh had a full first eleven side out, it might have been different, but with only five men with first team experience, they were not in a position to give the Association team a real testing.

“Leigh gave a poor batting display.  They went in first on a wicket that had enough life to enable the visitors’ fast bowlers to make the ball lift awkwardly but still they should have done better than to be all out for 96.  For the Association, L. Heath (St. Clement’s) and M. Rowell (Prittlewell) were very hostile as opening bowlers, but they sent down many loose balls that went unpunished – and in two instances they even captured wickets.

“Mark Rowell was the more impressive of the two bowlers, who almost on their own backs, sent eight Leigh batsmen back for only 42 runs.  Leigh batsmen had no answer to a short ball that rose neck high.  Three batsmen played on in this manner, and when the first team opening bat D. Fothergill had the idea that such a ball could be pulled, he only half hit the ball and gave an easy catch to square leg. 

“When at one o’clock Leigh were 42 for eight, the game looked as if it might become a farce but an interesting partnership between Len Johnson and Ian Harkness increased Leigh’s score to 64 at lunch without further loss.  For the first time, these two batsmen used their feet to meet the ball, and while experienced Johnson made the strokes and runs, young Harkness, a 16-years-old from the third team, defended soundly. 

“They lasted only ten minutes after the interval, however, as Johnson was caught behind the wicket flashing at Rowell.  He had made 24.  By this time, Leigh’s star batsman, Len Snaith had arrived on the ground, and batting at number eleven he was helped by Harkness to take the score to 96 before the youngster was sadly run out.  He had only made 10, all off the edge, but had played a valuable innings for Leigh.  Snaith was not out 16, and Rowell had bowling figures of five for 48; Heath two for 22.

“Shoebury’s batsmen, L. Rodwell and L. Evans, opened the Association’s innings, and began to score easily against  a none too tight Leigh attack.  Only 12 runshad been scored before Evans hit his own wicket off Troughton, but that brought Southend’s Jacky Carr to the wicket, and together with Len Rodwell they saw their team through to a nine wickets win.  Both of them were 43 not out.”

After they hosted the Southend Association, the following day Leigh and Chalkwell CC entertained their club secretary’s invitation side.  The Jack Rowe XI scored 303 all out, for whom the Westcliff player Frank Lockhart scored a fine 91.  Another Westcliff player, C. Davenport, made 51.  For Leigh and Chalkwell CC, Arthur Boyton and Brian Johnson took 5-66 and 5-72 respectively.  Only Sam Pollard (38) did well against a steady Rowe attack, in which Norman Sammons, the young Essex professional, who took 4-35, and Don Turner, Southend’s all-rounder (2-27), were prominent.  It is not known (yet) how many Leigh and Chalkwell CC scored in reply.

On Wednesday, Leigh and Chalkwell CC suffered their third consecutive home week defeat when Essex Club and Ground were victors by 115 runs.   The visitors scored 217 for 6 declared and in reply Leigh were bowled out for 102.

With acknowledgements to the Southend Standard; also acknowleded are John Jarvis and Roy Paul for providing this information.