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Rovers week 2023

Unfortunately after all the hard work over recent years to get the Tour back up to five fixtures, other schools aren’t in such a healthy position, with Oundle and Uppingham both preferring a T20 weekend tournament as opposed to a ‘proper’ tour. We declined the invitation to join them as we felt it might be a slippery slope for own tour. So three fixtures were organised for Wednesday to Friday…


Wednesday July 12th – Cranleigh (A)

For whatever reasons, we weren’t actually overflowing with players ourselves but did well to get an ‘invitational XI’ out to play at Cranleigh, employing the services of three guests, two Aussie overseas players and Oscar Jago-Lewis who scored 96 against the same opposition on Monday for the Hurst Old Johnians.

Having won the toss, AJ decided we’d have a bat so padded up and headed to the crease with Dean Solway from Canberra. Unfortunately Deano soon departed for nine bringing George Nott to the crease, our most enthusiastic Rover since Felix! AJ soon followed for a breezy 21 caught behind. Notty lasted five deliveries before holing out, the OC’s weren’t to drop a catch all afternoon unfortunately, which was two balls fewer than Jacob Coupe, both failed to trouble Midge in the scorebox, all of a sudden we found ourselves 30-4.

Jimmy Greenslade, who plays in Sydney was joined by Oscar, who played with him last Winter, but the latter could only manage 11 before he too was caught. But Jimmy got his head down and plugged away while all those around him continued the bazball approach, Rocco Gamblin went for a better than a run a ball 15, Joe Naughalty for a cultured 19 and Jeff Kerr-Dineen was the first batsman to be bowled, for 11.

Jimmy finally missed a straight one, going for a face saving 57, bringing the President to the crease playing just five days before his 56th birthday. Ten off seven balls before holing out left James Scade on debut the not out batsman on 6, Rovers all out for 171, it could have been a lot worse.

The less said about the reply the better. Joe and Oscar opened up, the latter took wickets in his 2nd and 3rd overs leaving the OC’s 28-2 but that’s about as good as it got. Unlike our opposition, we put down a couple of catches but when Scady took a wicket with his first Rovers’ delivery, the batsman had already been given out and recalled after his protestations, they were 47-3. Jeff and Rocca had a go, the latter getting a bit of a pasting, and with rain in the air Deano managed to take a wicket, and off we went, OC’s 144-3, just 28 needed. Their not out batsman was on 61, but had been ‘stumped’ some time earlier only to be not given. By his own admission he was walking then stayed where he was when the finger didn’t go up.

We were understandable as opposed to going out as they were to play on, the rain was pretty heavy for a while, but at the end of the day it’s down to the umpires, and after a few bob changed hands the game was called off, an ‘honourable’ draw, although Cranleigh were later to claim a DL win on social media.

So we headed down to Shoreham for our opening night sesh ahead of Thursday’s game.

Having pre-arranged to meet in the Crown & Anchor, AJ took it upon himself to head to the Bridge instead! Cutting quite a long story short, we received a yellow card from staff fairly early in the piece for ruining their pub quiz, the second yellow wasn’t far behind, and we were asked to vacate the premises. So given we were literally 10 yards from the Indian Cottage Tandoori, we decided it was curry night before retiring to the AirBnB another 10 yards away.


















Thursday July 13th – Sussex Martlets


Hector Loughton took over the captain’s armband for this fixture and was just as successful at the toss and once again we batted first in pretty sunny if windy conditions. For some reason after his duck the previous day Notty was asked to open up with AJ and made a much better fist of it this time around scoring 19 before launching one in the air, 26-1. Alex Watkins, another guest scored a good 21 and put on 38 with AJ before AJ missed a straight one on 29. Johan De Jager another guest soon became Ben Whelpton’s second victim (5-59 off 17) for 8, Lewis Franklin, playing as a specialist batsman soon followed for 5, Felix Aylett for 8, Joe for a duck having been given out LBW when he middled it, but got a reprieve when he reviewed it before chipping the very next ball to mid-off!

Skipper Hec was the 8th man out top scoring with 38, before Matt Lee and Ethan Franklin faced four balls, scoring one run between them, once again leaving Scady not out, this time on 2, 143 all out, never going to be enough.

Matt and Johan opened up without success, as did Joe first change, Hec bowled a one over spell, but the Martlets put on 67 for the first wicket effectively ‘ruining the game’ for everyone, Lewis trapping their number one LBW. Once again it was Scady’s offies that proved really handy, and with 2-10 off 6 the Martlets were 69-3 all of a sudden. Johan did finally get his reward in his 8th over but that was the last wicket we took, the Martlets getting home by six wickets with plenty of time left in the day.

So off to the Crown & Anchor we headed to drown our sorrows. After a few jars someone thought it would be a good idea to see if we could get into the Bridge again, so off we traipsed. Things were looking good as we ordered rounds of ‘Dizzy bombs’, don’t ask, but once they’d made their money they asked us to leave once again, I think that’s a first on Tour. So back to the Crown and Anchor where we were welcomed with open arms, although we did have to educate the bar staff as to what Dizzy bombs were.

After a long and emotional day, some headed to the curry house again, others home to bed, and some kicked on elsewhere!


Friday July 14th – Nick Gubbins XI

The forecast for Friday was horrendous to be fair, but as is often the case with forecasts it wasn’t 100% accurate. With many training it down from London for the game and with it being a 1pm start the decision was reluctantly made to abandon early doors. As it turned out we could probably have played a T20 but it wasn’t to be. So the shortest tour in recent years came to a wet and soggy end and most people dispersed.











But there was one duty yet to perform, the awarding of the Swordfish Trophy, the most sought-after accolade in world sport. There were a few candidates, Scady for his performances on the pitch, Oscar for his outrageous mullet (not a Rover though so chin up), AJ for his negotiations at Cranleigh, and the rookies who introduced us to Dizzy bombs. But given the last three Rovers in the pavilion were the President, the current holder Matt, and Notty, it went to Notty for a solid commitment to the cause and his endless enthusiasm, and who proudly sent us a photo of it in situ above his mantelpiece just a couple of hours later, played Notty.


Back at the AirBnB the President had an interesting conversation with one of the other residents of the apartment block, but you know the rules, what goes on tour stays on tour.

Because he’s an idiot, the President tried to get into the Bridge but didn’t even get past the first hurdle of ordering a drink, boom, hat-trick safely secured! So The Buckingham Arms, The Red Lion, Amsterdam, Swiss Cottage, Suter’s Yard, The Marlipins, The Duke of Wellington, The Ferry Inn, and of course the Crown & Anchor picked up the slack!


Work is already ongoing to try and bolster next year’s tour, but thanks to all who played their part especially those who left in the last couple of years as they’re the future.



El Presidente


2023 statistics

(qualification 10 runs)                          (qualification 1 wicket)

H Loughton 77 @ 38.50                        J Scade 3 @ 16.33

AJ Wood 100 @ 33.33                          H Loughton 3 @ 20.33

R Gamblin 15 @ 15                               E Franklin 1 @ 14.00

L Franklin 15 @ 15                                J Kerr-Dineen 1 @ 33.00

El Presidente 10 @ 10                           L Franklin 1 @ 49.00

J Naughalty 19 @ 9.50                          R Frean 1 @ 71.00

G Nott 19 @ 6.33                                   M Lee 1 @ 115.00

J Kerr-Dineen 11 @ 5.50

F Aylett 11 @ 5.50

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