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Memories 4 - 5 September 1971: Brentham v South Hampstead



One of the difficulties brought about by league cricket is the incomprehension of the current generations as to the competitive nature of the game when the regime was “friendly” matches. League has now been with us for almost 50 years, so there are few players still active who experienced both forms. Until the late 60s there was not even Cup Cricket apart from the Red Cross Cup, which was played in the evenings in the main, on 20 over basis - the original 20/20!


South Hampstead was one of the leading sides in the 50s and 60s and the matches between the clubs were always tense and hard fought. There was a lot riding on the outcome. This match started off on a very pleasant September afternoon with Brentham batting against the quality attack of Wallis and Hart, their well known pace attack, followed by their outstanding spinners Phipps (leg break and googly) and Cox (left arm).


Nevertheless, they did not make a great impact and in two hours the score was 125 for the loss of 5 wickets. Swann and Bloomfield then added another 50 in 30 minutes without being separated and the declaration was made following the completion of Bloomfield’s 50 at 4.30pm.


The visitors made it clear that they thought that this was too many runs and the declaration had been delayed to enable the half century to be achieved. What they had failed to take into account was that they had only bowled 40 overs in two and a half hours. Wallis and Hart were notorious for bowling their overs slowly (13 to the hour) and, despite Phipps and Cox contributing 17 overs between them, the rate had not improved beyond 16 to the hour.


South Hampstead were set 179 to get in 2 hours 5 minutes and decided to make a point. The first hour produced 43 runs for the loss of 2 wickets and the scene was set. 70 came in 90 minutes and 78 by the close of play in 2hours 5 minutes for the loss of 2 wickets. 8 had been added in the last half hour. Terry Cordaroy batted as usual to orders and was not out with 42. Discussions had taken place as to whether the fielding side should just leave the field. Brentham had bowled 41 overs, one more than they had received, but it had made no difference. Needless to say only 1 member of the opposition, Len Stubbs to his credit, came to the bar and was aghast when the statistics were drawn to his attention.


Even though points and position in the table were not at stake, matches were played with serious intent and not taken lightly, or were not necessarily even very friendly.


Brentham               179-5              

South Hampstead   78-2


David Bloomfield

Captain 1970-1972 & 1979-80

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