Valley End welcome the Allstars into 2019

Sunday 19 May 2019, Chobham.

Valley End beat St Anne’s Allstars by 8 wickets.

Report by Garreth Duncan – Photos by Pete Cresswell

The long wait is over. After eight months without cricket and buoyed by a record intake of new players and a great pre-season, the Allstars stepped into 2019 with renewed confidence. After a false start the previous week when our opponents cried off, Valley End, as they always do, welcomed us to their newly refurbished ground. As one of the strongest opponents on our fixture list, they were to prevail as usual – but it was still an enjoyable way to begin our season.

As the sun began to break through the morning clouds, I won the toss and had little hesitation in deciding to bat first. But the pitch, used the previous day, was to prove far from the road we’ve seen at Valley End in previous years, uneven bounce making it more difficult for batting than expected. Pete Cresswell and Paul Burgin got us under way, but both were to go early, Paul bowled and Pete feathering a catch behind. Ed Heelas, making a welcome return to Allstars cricket, stepped to the crease and made light of the conditions as he unveiled some stylish cover drives. Vish Sharma, on his Allstars debut, started promisingly but was a little unlucky to edge to the keeper to give Giddings his second wicket.

Sam Perera, the second of our debutants, counter-attacked from the off with some sparkling shots as the score passed 50. But the loss of Ed and Sam either side of the drinks break was a blow the innings couldn’t recover from. Left-armer Dale bowled both Iain Wilson and Dharani Ronanki, and the tail could only provide some brief resistance as we were bowled out for 76. With more than 10 overs unused, Valley End sportingly asked us to bat again, with lowest scorers going back in first: after a quick clatter of early wickets, Dharani took advantage of the second chance to add a few handy runs to get us to a total of 99.

Early wickets was our only hope, and Ed, opening the bowling, continued his excellent all-round performance by bowling Valley End skipper Ray Ferris with a shooter. Martyn Langridge soon found his customary accuracy and followed up by knocking back Bolderson’s stumps. Sam replaced him and bowled his seamers to good effect, and Joe Silmon continued where he’d left off last season with a testing spell of leg-spin. But we didn’t have nearly enough to defend, and Valley End got home with plenty overs to spare.

Valley End were generous hosts as always, and treated us to a sumptuous barbecue after the game. A great day out against some great guys.

Allstars launch the 2019 season!

We prepared for the new Allstars season in style yesterday, as the Allstars gathered for our final pre-season net at the indoor school at Lord’s before going for drinks and dinner at the Duke of York pub.

IMG-20190414-WA0002

The home of cricket awaits the Allstars’ arrival.

IMG-20190414-WA0004

The Allstars take over the indoor school, with an unprecedented three nets.

IMG-20190414-WA0006

Newcomers and seasoned Allstars get ready for the season ahead.

IMG-20190414-WA0007 (1)

Richard Stephenson enjoys a hydration break …

IMG-20190414-WA0000

The Allstars toast the new season.  Let’s start 2019 with a bang!

Allstars Portugal Tour 3-7 October 2019

Amigos under lights
We’re already getting plenty interest in the Allstars Portugal Tour.  The plan is now as follows:
Thursday 3 October – the main group will fly from Gatwick to Lisbon.  We’ll arrive around lunchtime and have the afternoon and evening sightseeing and chilling out.  We have an apartment booked in central Lisbon for that night.
Friday 4 October – daytime in Lisbon, before we meet up with those arriving Friday evening and get the train down to Ansiao, where our hosts Amigos CC are based.  We’ll be staying locally Friday to Sunday night.
Saturday 5 October – we’ll be playing the semi-finals of a 4 team tournament with Amigos, Knights CC from County Durham, and a fourth team (TBC).  The matches will be 30 overs a side, the second of which will be under lights!
Sunday 6 October – second day of cricket, also 30 overs a side.  The losers of Saturday’s semi-finals will play each other in a 3rd/4th place play-off, then the winners will play each other in the final under lights.
Monday 7 October – train back to Lisbon airport and fly home to Gatwick in the evening.
Estimated cost of the tour is  around £300, which will include flights, accommodation and food – drinks on top.
Please email stannesallstars@gmail.com if you’d like more details.

Recruiting for May fixtures now open!

The Allstars season is getting closer … and the fixture list is almost finalised.  See the “Fixtures 2019” tab for details.
We’re now recruiting for our first two fixtures of the season.   The first will be on Sunday 12 May, at a London ground (TBC shortly) against our old friends Baker Street Irregulars, who were such splendid guests at our inaugural T20 tri-series day last year.
A week later, on Sunday 19 May, we play Valley End CC at their lovely ground in Chobham, Surrey, which they’ve done a splendid job refurbishing this winter and will be in tip top condition for our visit.  As always, we can arrange lifts from the closest mainline train station (Woking) for those of who who don’t drive.
As with last year, we’re using the Doodle online poll system as an aid to recruitment for our fixtures.  This year, we’ll put up all the 2019 fixtures in one single poll, so if you already know which fixtures you want to play, you can sign up for them all in one go!
The link is below – we’ll of course remind you of it over the course of the season:
Looking forward to seeing you all for the new season!

Allstars end of season dinner 2018

At the Parcel Yard pub inside King’s Cross station, the Allstars and our other halves celebrated a great 2018 season, and honoured the Allstars of the Year!

Our resident poet, Richard “Rocket” Stephenson, presents his Ode to the Allstars’ favourite cricketer, Alastair Cook.

Haroon Khalid, our Master of Ceremonies, shows the highlights of our season and presents the awards.

First award of the night – Rocket, for his sterling work in recruitment.

Next recipient – Joe Silmon, our joint leading wicket taker. It’s great to see how his leg-spin has come on this season.

Next up for an award – Sachin Singh, our joint leading run scorer. As Sachin is busy preparing for his wedding, his colleague Rocket received the award on his behalf.

Next to be awarded, our club captain Pete Cresswell, for the innings of the season, a terrific 91 against Mighty Wanderers.

Finally, our club secretary Garreth Duncan receives the Lifetime Achievement award from his great friend and club founder Maxie Allen.