The club gathered at Pheasant Park to celebrate 50 years of cricket for Woodham legend John Strange on 30th August 2010 - Bank Holiday Monday - and compete in a festival of cricket. The teams were drawn from each corner of the Woodham Empire and included players from the League, Friendly and Ladies team as well as guests from Woodham's distant past, including the re-birth of the career of vice-Chairman, Don Carver. The teams were led by John Strange (Team J), Eric Strange (Team O). Damian Fannon (Team H) and Andrew Smith (Team N), who all did a fantastic job including all players in the days events.
Semi Final 1
Team J v Team O
Team O 55-1 (Collis 25*, S.Smith 9, Dallinger 9*)
Team J 56-2 ( Mason 24* Barnard 18* Charlotte Hayman 1-0, Mc Bride 1-12)
The toss was won by Eric Strange who elected to bat and sent forth the giant Chris Colossus and Ladies' skipper Shirley Smith to open the innings. The Woodham Behemoth was severe on the bowling from the start (particularly the Puss who was purring in from the road end) and helped the Os off to a good start. However, tight bowling from Meluish and Strange kept the score under control and the innings ended on 55-1. In response team J lost the early wickets of Nathan Hayman (bowled by daughter Charlotte) and Grace Meluish, before the experienced pair of Mason and Barnard came together to launch Team J into the final.
Semi Final 2
Team H v Team N
Team N 76-5 ( S.Richardson 34*, A.Smith 25, M.Richardson 3-7, George Verlander 2-15)
Team H 70-3 ( Conor Hayman 25*, S.Collis 22* Zubair 1-2)
Smith won the toss and elected to bat first and the first confrontation was a family affair. Openers Richardson and Richardson were faceed by Richardson from the top end and the outcome was, unsurprisingly, that Richardson came out on top. Spujuju removed Spudley with a cracking delivery and, although Spuju resisted the Spujuju onslaught, both Velander (H) and Huett both succumbed to his swing and mystery. G Verlander Jnr also picked up a couple including the returning Zubair for a duck, before Andy Smith and Spuju recovered the innings and posted a total of 76-5 at the close. Spuju's excellent 34* was the highlight, although he did receive a life when dropped by Spujuju in the deep. The reply started poorly as skipper Fannon was caught by the usually sleeping Huett at cover and when Verlander was run out cheaply things looked bleak for Team H. However, Conor Hayman and Steve Collis put together a good partnership and took the game to the wire but to no avail. Team N had triumphed and were bound for the final.
3rd Place Play Off
Team O v Team H
Team O 72-4 (Collis 25*, E.Strange 26*, Fannon 2-9, Franklin 2-13)
Team H 65-3 (Franklin 24, M. Richardson 16*, Karkocki 2-14)
Strange and Charlotte Hayman entered the arena first to face up to a new ball attack of Fannon and Woodham old boy, Andy 'Aretha' Franklin. Wickets fell regularly as the Chairman's mystery straight ones and Aretha hitting the right notes at the other end claimed four wickets between them. The fightback was courtesy of Eric Strange and Chris Collis who propelled Team O to 72-4 - a very competitive score. Franklin and Spujuju led the reply but in the face of some tight bowling from McFlash, Dallinger and Karkocki the total was just out of reach, despite a cameo innings from Carver towards the end.
Team J v Team N
Team N 46-3 ( Grundy 10, A.Smith 21*, J. Strange 1-4, Barnard 1-6) Team J 50-2 ( J. Strange 25*, H. Verlander 1-12, Grundy 1-14) The final saw Andy Smith and Matt Grundy put together a solid foundation for Team N before Smith retired on 21. Grundy made 10, Spuju 8 and Huett an unbeaten 5, but tight bowling from all of the Team J attack meant that only a total of 46-3 was struck from the allotted overs. Strange himself was the pick of the attack with 1-4 and only Mitchell came in for any punishment shipping 19 from his two overs. The reply was dominated by the guest of honour, resplendant in his marroon hat, as he marshalled his team to victory with an undefeated 25. Good support from Debbie Guppy, Nathan Hayman and Grace Meluish was given and Team J coasted to victory. It was a fitting end as John drove the last delivery to the boundary to finish the game. Cricket was the winner at all levels today and a standing ovation for our hero was well deserved.
Thanks to all who made the day possible.