Match reports, 2013

Beaulieu

Dessie, his nephew Mark, and Hall played for Beaulieu, who only had 7 of their own players.

Beaulieu batted first and Tim Walder took an early wicket before, having strained a hamstring, giving way to Jake.

Beaulieu’s 2nd wicket pair put on over 50 runs before brazier took a couple of
wickets and Sam Green, part of 3 father and son combos playing for the
Rioteers, took another to put Beaulieu in trouble. Martin Hillier, capt of
Rioteers gave the Doc a bowl and a seond spell (!) in which he clean bowled
no.6 to the astonishment of all. Matt Culmer was next to the fore, taking a
brilliant one-handed caught and bowled, diving to his left and securing the
ball inches from the ground. It was his third catch of the innings,
subsequently putting to shame the two missed dollies offered by the Rioteers,
your correspondent  ( Hall) being the guilty party! Eventually Dessie (8 no) joined
the last Beaulieu batter and when the latter was out was joined by JH (16 no) for
a Rioteers vs Rioteers match within a match. Both tail-enders delighted
creaming Brazier back over his head for fours, greatly enhancing the potential
for a memorable session in the pub!

Some of Halls shots were exquisite and brought to mind a young Gower in full flow.

Beaulieu made 149 for 8.

Tea was once again memorable, not least for the gargantuan size of the egg and cress sandwiches.

In the Rioteers’ reply, Matt Lowden set off in great style but was castled by the pacey Beaulieu opening bowler. Jake Walder, cover-driving off front and back foot, then made his highest Rioteers score, 39, in a good stand with James Hillier (25), before
both were removed by JH. Fortunately, when Tim Walder, by now umpiring, was
forced to raise his finger in support of an LBW appeal, it was not son Jake on
the receiving end. The Beaulieu skipper rotated his bowlers so that fast
scoring on a dry wicket was never easy, especially in tight spells by the
opening bowlers and subsequently by the 3rd “guest” in the Beaulieu
team, Mark Masters, and the game was not decided until the 4th ball of the
penultimate over. Nevertheless, Matt Culmer (35 no), Archie Hillier (11) and
Chris Green (26 no) went about the task very sensibly, eschewing risks, running
well between wickets and punishing the bad ball. Indeed, on a lightning fast
outfield there were many boundaries but only two all-run-threes.

Thus, Chris eventually despatched fellow Rioteer, JH, to the boundary for a 6 wicket Rioteers’ victory.

Thanks to Dessie for taking so much trouble to assemble extra players in support of our opponents’ depleted team thus ensuring that an enjoyable game went ahead. At the end of this, the Rioteers’ first fixture at Beaulieu, an offer was made for us to return in 2014.

East Meon

They say that history is written by the victors…

Yesterday’s game was memorable for a number of reasons: it saw the return of our overseas lady friend; it saw the reunion of Team Ditzl; it saw a Dave Hales fifty; and Jimmy dropped a few catches. All pretty rare events.

Rioteers skipper Nick won the toss and decided to stick us in. There were a few grumbles from my teammates at this as the wicket looked a little fresh following a Saturday of steady rain. Whatever, we had to man up and in a moment of either brilliant captaincy, luck, fluke or pure bloody mindedness, I sent Dave out with Jeff to open our account.

Things began quite well. Although Jeff took 19 balls to get off the mark he and Dave were soon progressing serenely, before Jeff was given out LBW, a decision he described as disappointing. Jimmy joined Dave and they upped the scoring, James hitting some lovely shots on his way to a classy 26 and Dave hitting some inspired shots in the V between fine leg and really fine leg.

Eventually Jimmy was undone by the slightly slow nature of the wicket, caught behind, and Big Nick joined Dave and, again, the score mounted. Nick made a pleasant 25 before the slow wicket did for him too and he popped a return catch to the bowler. In strode Becs. Clearly pining for the Kaiser who had run away to Portugal, she did the best she could with what was available scoring a pleasant 27 not out.

But now was all about Dave Boomer Hales who started smacking sixes: one straight down the ground that pinged the telephone wires and one somehow flicked off his toes over fine leg, it was incredible. His fifty was duly reached, happily witnessed by his Mum and Dad, and watching their son look a bit flustered and embarrassed by his own panache must be one of the proudest days of their lives.

After Dave’s departure we eased our way to 194-7 at tea, a competitive total.

The Rioteers were watchful against Melvyn and Fritzl to start with, but the rate began to pick up slowly and, one big six back over Joesph’s head later, I wondered if we’d missed our moment. Happily not so, and Fritzl responded magnificently and bristling with intent he delivered a full straight one that got the batsman plumb in front, no doubt the batsman would call it a disappointing decision, that’s the way it goes.

Melvyn joined the fray now and took two wickets, one held by Joesph, and the other by Jimmy, but a change was needed so on came Matt Sticko and Freddie Kruger, Scourge of the Rioteers (6-13 last year lest we forget). Matt bowled some good economical stuff and Freddie bowled an exciting variety of all sorts that did, at least, include a wicket, another catch to Fritz.

At drinks and at the start of the 20 over countdown I brought myself and James on. I bowled four overs of reasonableness without threatening the wickets column much, while Jimmy bowled some aggressive spin, claiming 3-9 off 6 explosive overs.

Nonetheless, the Rioteers were approaching safety with only four overs remaining and three wickets still in hand. I brought on Melvyn to toss up a few pies, which he did and which reaped him immediate rewards with two swift wickets: a bowled and an LBW.

Now it was Jeff’s turn, could he remove the battling Culmer who was holding the Rioteers together? With us all crowding the bat Jeff ran in. Would the edge come or would it be the Antilles all over again? Well, it did and Jimmy, diving forward, held the catch at slip to seal the win. A great game with us victors by some 84 runs in the end. Top stuff Meon.

Amport

An extra – ordinarily good toss was lined up by, and won by skip Hawthorne, and sent Amport in to bat on a good batting wicket, with the sun shining.

Looking at our batting line up this was sensible, however it did put our bowling line up under a spot of pressure with deadly pace man John Hall absent . Still Lowden and Williams opened up, and kept it tight until Williams came on, at which point a quite spectacular buffett was opened to all. 240 runs later, 3 retirements post 50, and not many wickets, and some very large sixes from the Amport middle order, the Rioteers made their way shellshocked back to tea.

The skipper then looked round and promoted some batsmen up the line up, looked round some more, had another look, and then realised we were in trouble ( see toss, winning of). Brazier was well into single figures.

With Weller, promoted to open, quickly back in the hutch, and Tuck likewise, triggered by Grayson, Hawthorne progressed serenely until his untimely demise, there was a brief flurry of activty from Williams whose 59 runs, was only 20 short of those conceeeded by his bowling, and supported by Jake Walder, and Jim Shea, briefly threatened to approach the run rate, but with his demise ( missed another straight one) it was left to Dessie to hold up the Amport Express.

The middle stump lasted exactly no balls, and we retired to the excellent Hawk where the Rioteers outnumbers the oppo 11-5.

So i think that counts as a win.

Newport

With Brazier (S) stuck in Alderney, fog bound, dessie stepped up to the mark, as did the Doc for a welcome return, adding some significant structure to the middle order.

The Rioteers batted first, and impressibly got to 235, with Rob Cradock showing his class for 60 or so, and Williams adding 58 impressing especailly on the leg side, but with dave bickford, and Hall adding valuable runs, Hall caught on boudary for 18, dessie running a 2, and the Doc clattering a 4 through the covers, the tail was kargaroo like, long and wagging.

The Rioteers then presetned their most significatn achievement, enough food for about 40, with cakes, pasties, crisps, sandwhiches, fruit, chicken, the list was endless and impressive. Doc again stood out in his committment and control.

The Newport faithfull settled back to watch the opening bats, and sadly for us saw quite a lot of them, as one reached 95 before being bowled with a couple of overs to go, witht e otehr bats contributing and newport reached the target with 2 overs to go, although a drop by Craddock on the boundary with 2 overs to go, could have proved crucial, he was frankly the only one on the team who woudl have got a hand on it.

He then retired to teh Wheatsheaf to disect teh games minutae.

Ropley

Breaking his run of four consecutive incorrect calls Hawthorne
managed to win the toss and elected to bat. Given his previous track
record at Ropley (see 2011 report) Tuck was promoted up the order to open with
Colonel Bickford. The score had advanced to 25 before Tuck
departed. That brought Yates to the wicket who continued his imperious
form this season with a fine array of drives and cuts, unfortunately most of
them seem to be stop by brilliant fielding including the final rocket drive
that was fantastically caught inches of the ground. That brought the also
promoted Carrington to the wicket and in partnership with the stylishly
consistent Bickford the score steadily mounted. Carrington having more
than trebled his previous Rioteers best was starting to open his shoulders to
good effect until failing foul of a Grubie LBW for a very handy 22. Hawthorne
then joined Bickford at the wicket as Bickford secured another Rioteers 50 in
an impressive debut season. He too then fell LBW this time courtesy of
Hally. There then occurred a bit of a collapse as Weller, Smith, Mills
and Lowden all departed in quick order. In partnership with Ponsford and
then last man Hall, an uncharacteristically aggressive Hawthorne pushed the
total up to 190 before departing for a jug avoiding 47.

Then as usual we were treated to an excellent array of sarnies and
homemade cakes in the smart Ropley pavilion.

Then in a cunning but unsuccessful plan the Skipper decided to
open with the pace and fire of Hall at one end and the flight and guile of
Mills at the other. Unfortunately, the stratospheric honour got to Mills
and he uncharacteristically threw down a collection of full tosses that were
greedily dispatched until one of them was smeared to deep square where Yates
skilfully pouched the catch. However, the scoring continued at a good
pace with Smith and Lowden replacing the openers. Both bowled well and
the screw started to tighten. Lowden continued his excellent bowling of
last week and secured four excellent wickets. Ropley however kept up a
steady rate and 50 was required of the last ten overs. Carrington
followed up his batting with his first Rioteers catch ( an ultimately
improbable grasp over his shoulder after an impressive juggle). The
skipper floored a chance at third slip of the impressive Smith and other edges
flew between fieldersanother day. Ponsford joined Hall in tandem for the final
few overs but to no avail as Ropley got home with 7 down and 2 overs to spare.

Beers were then taken in the clubhouse and an excellent game
dissected.

Compton Chamberlayne

The great comeback

Due to skipper Osman having got lost in the wilds of Wiltshire,
vice skip Hawthorne extended his impressive run of calling to four (all
incorrect unfortunately!) and Compton opted to bat.  With anything short
sitting up to be whacked Compton got off to a flyer.  Matt Lowden managed
to get one to lift to hit the gloves of the opener with the score on about
60.  However, this brought their best batsman to the wicket.  A
bowling attack of Lowden, Walder, Ponsford and Yates all tried to stem the flow
of runs but to little avail.  Walder had managed to get an outside edge
which flew at rib height to first slip Dessie . And duly smacked into his ribs
without troubling his hands!  With an hour an quarter to go to tea Compton
had reached the impressive total of 195 for 1.  A record total of against
Rioteers of around 400 seemed to be on the cards.

Then with the opener eyeing his century and not eyeing Dessie’s
crafty move to fly leg slip he attempted a pan handle shot which flew straight
into Dessie’s hands.  The No. 3 also nearing a century then fell victim to
a good Osman catch right on the midwicket boundary.  A revitalised
Rioteers, led by Lowden’s fivefer then ripped through the rest of the Compton
batting to have them all out for 240.  This included a wicket with his
first ball for Steve Weller.

The good ladies of Compton then provided an excellent tea, with
coronation chicken sandwiches and homemade scones the highlights.

Yates and Hawthorne then strode out to bat needing a likely 6.5 an
over.  Unfortunately, just after hitting a couple of fours the heavens
opened and twenty minutes were lost to rain.  Compton sportingly offered an
extra ten minutes before the 20 overs started.  Which meant we get a total
of only 33 overs about 7.25 an over.  With Yates in continuing excellent
form and Hawthorne finding some form (at last!) the run rate was matched.
The 50, then 100 and then 150 partnerships were all reached.  Then both
openers fell in quick succession, Yates for 82 and Hawthorne for 59.
Weller had a brief cameo including being called back from halfway to the
pavilion but to no avail.  This meant that debutant Ben Myerscough and skipper
Osman were at the wicket.  Myerscough made a great debut including
smashing three huge sixes before falling to a great catch in the deep.
Osman then came to the fore and in partnership with Carrington saw Rioteers
home with two overs to spare.  A fantastic comeback from their 195 for 1.

Bottles of beers were then consumed in their clubhouse and jugs
carried forward to the next pub.

Hurtsbourne Priors

 14th June Longparish

Under the scorching sun, and with news of England’s last wicket win coming courtesy of the latest hi tech, fast paced, 3 d radio Hi fi, the Rioteers greeted news of another Yates toss win, and another opportunity to sit in the shade, and as the oppo toiled in the field, began to think about the excellent tea that was coming.

As an aperitif we sent out Dave Bickford, he whetted the taste buds but left us wanting more, and that more was the main course of James Hillier and Gavin Yates, who serenely
progressed, like a cucumber sandwich, full of beautiful cuts, dainty
embellishments, and class.

Eventually Hillier got a bit meaty, and went for 17, and Yates for 37, but the main course kept coming with Steve Weller, in his debut rioters knock, and Martin Hillier, providing the mainly cow based snacks.

Hiller was a little light for the customers taste buds, and was
quickly sent back, to be replaced by the beef of Peter Cledwyn, whose tickled
the taste buds with an array of fine offerings and the score was mounting
rapidly.

Eventually it was time for Pud, and as the restaurant was about to close, the tempting array on the sweet trolley was surveyed and the sponge pudding of williams, and the crme brulee of Matt Culmer was sent out, and great dollops
of runs began to flow.

Eventually the sponge pudding was finished off, and there was just time for one bite of the Brazier cream horn, before the after eight, and sloe gin, of Hall and Masters even got a look in, and the Rioteers moved to tea for 214 for 6.

This was all building up to clearly tea of the season so far, about 6 home made cakes, sandwiches beyond compare, and acres of cream scones, chocolate fingers , need I go on? many thanks to landies of Longparish for such a bountiful repast.

After this the longparishmen were sent out, and heavily laden the rioters bowlers, williams amongst them sent down a some good stuff, but amongst them was a variety of pies.

But the wickets kept coming, and mainly from catches, with the sprightly richard brazier belying his third slice of chocolate gateaux to leap salmon like for a thrilling catch, and with the Beefy cledders flight and variety proving too much, and Dave Bickford keeping the byes down behind the wicket, and occasionally making serious leg side catches, the wickets kept coming…

Eventually it came down to Longparish needing 16 of the last two overs with 1 wicket left, and to give them a chance Williams allowed 14 off his penultimate over, leaving Hall to finish it off by bowling the last man with the opp needing 2.

The cricketers then returned to the Cricketers to celebrate a deserved team win.

Sunday Afternoon -7th June

After years of waiting, the nation was watching.

One of England’s most historic sporting venues, the sky was blue, the grass was green, the combatants dressed in white.
After hours of battle, it could still go either way, the large crowd hushed.
One final ball could send the nation into raptures.
All resemblances to Wimbledon are purely coincidental; this was the Rioteers V Broadhalfpenney Brigands.

The crowd was large as they had both lunched at the Bat and Ball.
There were at the last ball of the game, for those counting, 4 batsmen at the wicket, numbers 10 & 11, each with a runner. Organising this had taken some time, and the ball previously a legal run out had been not taken by Brazier (S).
Match manager James Hillier, fresh from a textbook golden duck in the Rioteers innings, was poised at slip, with 4 more slips, 2 leg slips, three gullies, a couple of points.

No wait, two of those were runners.
Hall steaming down the hill to bowl the final delviery was anticipating an edge, Brazier, over the hill, was ready to pounce. Harrison Hill unfathomably dropped for Dessie, watched transfixed from the boundary. Martin Hill(ier) was somewhere, along with Chris Green, Clieffy and Mat Culmer whose earlier run out had fastened the Broadhappeny collapse to this ball – at one point it had looked an easy victory for the Brigands, with Williams’ pies being batted back constantly over the boundary and the Rioteers 230 being chased down.
Talking of pies, an exceptional tea, large slabs of bread pudding, Victoria sponge, coffee cake, and pints of ice cold squash were taken in the shade of the marquee, whilst Brazier ( S) and Green talked us through their stylish fifties.
John Hall had a last over to remove the mostly badly injured of the two batsmen who had bravely hopped to the wicket to save the game, hoping for at least 1 leg before.
But in the end the final ball was seen off with ease, and the match was drawn with the Rioteers returned to the sweltering Bat and Ball for some much needed replenishment, generously supplied by Green and Brazier…
Bramshaw
Having lunched in the Green Dragon, the Rioteers assembled at the sweltering new forest oval, amid the ponies, and the unusually available Cpt. Osman tossed well, and retired to the shade whilst the Bramshaw ranks, took their positions across the sun drenched turf.

With Hawthorne and Yates starting, the crowd settled back for a long, sunny, afternoon of cultured batting, and to enable this to happen Hawthorne did the decent thing, and got out quickly, allowing Dave Bickford and Yates to move the score to about 190, and with Bramshaw visibly wilting in the field they were eventually replaced by Osman, and having been taught a lot about batting by John Hall in his years at King Eds Mat Culmer, the score progressed until an unthinkable Rioteers declaration 30 mins before tea, for 304 for 3, with Osman unbeaten on 75, Culmer on 34, Yates for 120 and Bickford for 70 or so.

With plenty of batting ( including Hall) in the hutch, this declaration seemed premature, on a wicket where 2 weeks previously Bramshaw had chased down 340.

Anyway one must have faith in the captain, and whilst the team demolished another terrific bramshaw tea, with fresh cream scones the highlight amongst a smorgasboard of delight, the Captain set about motivating his minions for the sun drenched task ahead.

With Hall choosing his favourite end and Williams forced to steam downhill, Bramshaw started brightly, but then then the lights were dimmed first by Hall, forcing one to play across the line, and then Williams, who bowled one, and then had their Captain caught behind by the impeccable Osman.

At this point the everlasting Brazier, went off for a recharge, and sub Harrison Hill came on, making his Rioters debut. And with the biggest arm in the field, made quite an impact, and leaves the future of the Rioteers secure, and plenty more is expected. Brazier stayed off, sensibly, whilst the 9 year old Harry stopped ball after ball.

By this time the Bramshaw tail was well and truly in, Hall picked up another, and then ex plum Tim, bagged a few, there was a run out from another new Rioteer Steve Weller, impeccable in the field, and the final wicket fell leaving Bramshaw all out for 200 runs short.

The Rioteers then returned to the pavilion, and in disbelief,  toasted a mahousive win, and spent the Kitty, whilst numerous batting jugs were racked up for a future occasion.

Newport Inn

The penultimate game in the existing scorebook (dating back to August 2010) was a typical Rioteers’ example of a sub-standard performance in cold, dull, windy conditions. With only three recognised frontline batsmen present, the Rioteers’ alarm bells were well and truly resonant when Yates fell for 8, Bickford for 20 and Hawthorne for 12.
Shea’s patient and hard fought 25 steadied the ship, but at 92 for 8 the
innings was less than promising. Then Hillier (senior) arrived: he unselfishly
supported the newly promoted from-11-to-10 Hall in a stand of 54 for the 9th
wicket. (is this a Rioteers’ record?). Having contributed only 50 of that
stand, Hillier recklessly threw away his wicket and was soon followed equally
irresponsibly by Masters leaving Hall stranded only 46 runs short of his maiden
half century.

The final score was a 148: considerably less than adequate; considerably more than at one stage seemed likely.

Tea was a splendid affair, but in the absence of the special correspondent for Rioteers’ teas, it is impossible to do it justice.

Newport Inn responded with a cautious but effective opening stand of nearly 50 before the first wicket fell (inevitably, LBW: there were 8 such dismissals in the match). Then wickets and runs proceeded at a rate which suggested the possibility of a close finish. The dismissal of James Light (you’ve guessed it: LBW) swung the match in Rioteers’
favour, but a sixth wicket stand between Vincent and Whiteside swung the game
in Newport Inn’ s direction and they eventually ran out winners by 3 wickets.

In the current jargon, it is important to look for positives in this thoroughly mediocre performance; indeed, there was one: slow left arm spinner, Andy Mills, ex Plum, making his Rioteers debut, purveyed a series of flighted variations of spin quite unlike
the normal military medium pace so familiar to the thousands of readers of this
regular cricket column. Indeed, this is, therefore, an appropriate point
at which to record the Rioteers’ gratitude for the contributions now being made
by members of the former “Plums” to their illustrious club.

If there were any outstanding highlights in this absorbing contest, your reporter regrets that he missed them, save to say that the significance of this fixture may be reflected in the fact that tat least two spectators travelled all the way from Beijing to
witness the event.

Tour

There is still some uncertainty over the worlds worst trophy, so amongst a Hall inspired match report ( right length, accurate, & probing), i’ve inserted the finger.
Saturday 15th June Alderney 40 overs
Rioteers 185 for 10 (12 players!)

Matt Masters 49 and pulled hamstring
Hugo Prince 31 and pulled hamstring
Gav Yates 33 and pulled fours
Richard Brazier 1 no and nothing pulled at all!

Alderney: 170 for 10 Rioteers won by 15R

Turning points: M Brace, top scorer with 37, run out by combo of Alderney sub and young Hillier’s athletic catch and backhand flick;
Ryan Capaxario, 35, c Hillier, bowled (oh dear) Brazier.

Coincidence: 22r conceded by each of Williams (fine spell!) Hall and Hillier M
4 bowlers took wkts; young Hillier conceded only one bye, had a stumping (Ryan) and a run out assist: finest all-round display in Alderney?

June 16th Alderney 25 overs

Rioteers 183 for 7
Williams 58 (5 sixes- I did check), 4 fours ( for lovers of fine films, ‘one flew over the clubhouse’)
Brazier S 43 no
Hillier M 31 (20 singles!)

Alderney 182 for 8 Rioteers won by 1R

This time victory clutched from jaws of defeat: Alderney only required 54 from last 10 overs, brought down from virtually 7 per over at the start of their innings, and with only 3 wkts down.

Another fine spell from Williams only 25 off 5 overs and 2 wks; Hall 5 for 30 after conceding 14 off first over.

Turning points were rash shots to get bowled by both Brace, 58, and Capazario, 61, both dancing down the wicket when fewer than 6 runs per over needed.
10 required off last over well defended by tactical field placing despite young tail enders’ valiant efforts.

June 2nd Bryanston Butterflies

Decent weather, start almost on time: 2 surprises already!
BB 273 for 3 dec. off 44 overs. Lowest score 29no so you can see how Rioteerrs’ 7 different bowlers dominated….
Lunch was an excellent sald followed by a fruit salad, but some players missed the traditional roast (perhaps not the dieting Gavs?).
Declaration surprisingly early, no doubt to give Braz time to bore his own team into submission.

Rioteers: 251 for 9: an honourably draw.

Note 5 ex plums (or related players): Bickfords senior and junior; Craddock, Lowden and Shea plus the nowadays rarely seen george Rees who made a stylish duck.
Gav, 79, and Rob Craddock put on 164 for 3rd wicket, Rob going on to maiden Rioteers century, 119.

Then a familiar attempt to snatch defeat from jaws of victory in which skipper Hawthorne was only other player to reach doubly figures ( a “lofty” 12).
Rioteers still in with a shout with 33 required off last 9 overs and 6 wkts in hand. However, 2 run outs and Brazier’s protracted duck left Walder and Hall no option but to hang on for a draw (contravening the skippers’ exhortations “to go for it!”).

19th May Appleshaw

Technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. They include the family Poaceae (also called Gramineae), including cereals and bamboo as well as the sedges (Cyperaceae) and the rushes (Juncaceae).

Sedges include many wild marsh plants, and some cultivated ones such as water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) and papyrus sedge (Cyperus papyrus). Uses for graminoids include food (as grain, sprouted grain, shoots or rhizomes), drink (beer, whisky, vodka), pasture for livestock, thatch, paper, fuel, clothing, insulation, construction, sports turf, basket weaving and many others.

Graminoids include some of the most versatile plant life-forms. They became widespread toward the end of the Cretaceous period, and fossilized dinosaur dung (coprolites) have been found containing phytoliths of a variety that include those that are related to modern rice and bamboo.[1] Graminoids have adapted to conditions in lush rain forests, dry deserts, cold mountains and even intertidal habitats, and are now the most widespread plant type, and is a valuable source of food and energy for all sorts of wildlife and organics.

Graminoids are the dominant vegetation in many habitats, including salt-marsh, reedswamp and steppes. They also occur as a smaller part of the vegetation in almost every other terrestrial habitat.

There are some 3,500 species of graminoids.[2]

Many types of animals eat it as their main source of food, and are called graminivores – these include cattle, sheep, horses, rabbits and many invertebrates, such as the caterpillars of many brown butterflies. They are also eaten by omnivorous or even occasionally by primarily carnivorous animals.

In the study of ecological communities, herbaceous plants are divided into graminoids and forbs, which are herbaceous dicotyledons, mostly with broad leaves.

Plants of this type have always been important to humans. They have been grown as food for domesticated animals for up to 6,000 years. They have been used for paper-making since 2400 BC or before. The most important food crops are the grains such as wheat, rice and barley. They have many other uses, such as feeding animals, and for lawns, and cricket pitches.

Watching grass (Graminoidae ) grow is indeed interesting.

Especially at Appleshaw, where according to theSalisbury Journal in 1801 15,000 sheep were sold at Appleshaw – a reduction on the previous year’s total.

Anyway back to the cricket, and after 15 overs in a 40 over game, the Rioteers had progressed to 18 without loss, with the majority of this sound base being laid by the younger Hillier, scoring an aggressive and career defining 2.

He was eventually replaced by Brazier (S), alongside Yates (60ish) and the score mounted a bit faster, eventually approaching 190 in the 40 overs, with Tim Ponsford thrashing a few meaty blows at the end, and Brazier ( S) unbeaten on 92.

But with only 2 wickets down and plenty more rabbits in the hutch, there was possibly a few more runs in the (grassy) wicket.

Yates has moved ever nearer the 10,000th Rioteers run, and the champagne is poised on ice, for that eventuallity.

Over tea Captain Hawthorne struggled to identify bowlers with the absent Hall & Williams, well, absent.

Whilst the team feasted on scones, sandwiches and cakes, Hawthorne gorged on the sumptuous talent arrayed before him, and selected Tim Walder and Matt Lowden to open, and they bowled excellently as did ( notably) Brazier following, Chris Green and Jim O’Shea, with wickets spread amongst them

But although some of the fielding from Dessie ( he played at the Dell! ) was top draw, one or two chances slipped through the net, and eventually the Appleshaw 11 reached the target with 2 or 3 overs to spare, leaving Hillier (J) to ponder what might have been over his beer in the Walnut Tree.

12th May Cheriton

With the Rioteers huddled for warmth on the balcony, Captain Osman sent 2 keen volunteers out to the middle of the Cheriton Pitch. With the rain already starting to fall, hopes were not high for a full game, but with 2 new rioteers and several old faces, amongst the 12 players funnier things have happened.

Dave Bickford and Simon Brazier put on a reasonable opening stand whilst we waited for our chairman to arrive for the 2pm start. As he arrived for a 2.30 game, with the kit, score book, rain, and the fall of the 1st wicket, he was to late to prevent the uncultured Hillier replace the fluent Bickford, whose first innings had shown plenty of promise.

Hillier, with a broken finger, heaved leggishly the first four balls of one over, for six, before retiring for a rapid half century at a rain break, to protect his now 100+ average, to be replaced by the now present Yates. Brazier (S) and Yates soon fell, replaced by another new bat, Rob Craddock, who immediatley showed his Rioteers potential. Eventually as the rain fell, these were replaced in the mounting gloom by Green & Williams whose cultured bats continued the smooth flow of runs, before a final desperate run chase led by the exceptional Brazier (R) whose swashbuckling blade flashed hard, increasing his aggregate for the season by 2.

The rain was still falling, but at tea it was the Rioteers who tucked in with 148 on the board. For the second week running a 2013 innovation appeared with mini pasties. 12 Rioteers tucked in happily.

All except Hall. He likes nothing better than running down the hill with a wet ball, searching for an edge in the rain, and was already preparing mentally. And for nine overs he did just that ending with the pallindromic 9-5-5-9, supported initally by Matt Lowden, then the effortless turn and guile of Brazier ( R), as the Cheriton wickets fell like, well, rain.

Enventually the final wicket, a run out, saw a Rioteers win by about 75 runs and Hall lead the teams off the field into the cold wind and rain, with his Rioteers season now accounting for 10 for 29.

Sadly the pub was shut. But opened just in time for Hall to Hillier to buy well deserved jugs.

5th May Hursley Park

The final ball. Hursley Park nine down, and 120 runs behind. Williams comes steaming up the hill for the last time, hoping for line or length, the slips poised in the extending shadows, two gullies, short leg, a couple of points.

Miraculously, its both line and length, and pitches on the seam on middle stump, spits off the excellent wicket, the batsman searches, groping, and using all of the bat, finds a meaty edge. Silence falls. The ball zips straight towards the large, farmers hands, awaiting at first slip. Georage Rees waits, poised, as the cherry approaches. If there’s one Rioteer you want the ball to be going to it’s George. Time slows down, the large crowd draws breath,  George Rees waits. Years of practice, building for this one, career defining, moment.

Earlier in the day George had come in fourth, with a sizeable score  approaching, had set about building it higher. Yates had struck a postive 76, partnered by the steady Hillier (J) in an opening stand of well over a hundred, before they handed over to Hawthorne and then Rees. Rees had easily reached his first 50 of the season, and third of the day against the youthful Hursley park team, who bowled well all session. Hawthorne, stuggling after an early flourish, came and went, bringing the mighty Chris Green to the wicket to keep the pace up, until he was caught superbly deep in the wide outfield, before Hawthorne declared the ball before tea for 234, leaving Rees not out 60 odd.

Tea had been exceptional, with the Grayson twins again setting a demanding pace. Perhaps the highlight being the impeccable mini pasties, warm, like a cornish beach. But the question over tea was could we get ten wickets?

John Hall and Williams opened in tandem, and bagged an early wicket, but the going was not good, and they were soon replaced by a string of bowlers, each bringing something extra to the game – Brazier, flight and turn earning 2 deserved wickets, Yates, more flight more turn, more wickets. Joe Smith, pace and bounce, Batsmen came and went, the fielding got better and better, Smith posied in the covers, Green and Williams taking good catches, and Green a superb running direct for a run out.

But the game was moving towards its defining climax.

Poised, Rees waited. Time slowed further. The ball comes closer.

Out of the corner of his eye, from his left, a movement.

Hillier (J) launches himself, Banks like, for the ball, and like Banks before him, manages to glove the ball despairingly round the post.

Saving a possible four.

The game is drawn.

April 29th Coombe Bissett

With the chill April wind whistling across the Wiltshire downs, the 2013 season, kicked off, with jumpers on.

Facing an U19 Nepalese International, steaming down the hill the Rioteers lost Yates quickly caught and bowled, but Brazier S was made of sterner stuff, and made his way cautiously towards the first Rioteers 50 of the season. During this period Hawthorne was plundering the bowling for a Gayle like 27 of 34 balls, setting out an impressive stall for the season

However Simon didn’t get to his 50 before Hillier (M) whose more cavalier approach played havoc with the Nepalese who had not come across such an uncultured bat before, and reached the first 50 of the season. Hiller was back in the clubhouse, when Simon got his 50, and the next Hillier ( A) was in, sadly failing to add any to the Hillier output, before Brazier batted out the last of the 40 overs for an aggressive maiden, and 0 runs ( not out).

A delicious tea was taken, whilst Yates explained a suspicious sun tan.

But with Walder, Green, Shea & Hall holding off the egg and cress in anticipation of a long spell, it was down to the Grayson twins to keep the rioteers end up at tea. And keep it up they did, holding firm at the table long after the others had left.

Indeed the Coombe Bissetters were in trouble early on, a Hall spell of 8-3-4, and a Chris Green brace kept the scoring down, and would have been further down had Hillier, Yates and Walder not dropped simple catches.

However the Rioteers Stumbled to a win with the oppo 7 down and the 40 overs over, and retired to the Fox n Goose, for reparations and discussions with the leopard clad innkeeper.