Ramblers unite for final farewell


Some forty past and present members of Clacton Ramblers Cricket Club met on Friday evening for a final get-together at Clacton Rugby Club.  It signalled the end of an era as the club has now withdrawn from the North Essex Cricket League due to insufficient numbers.

The club is believed to have been in existence since 1949, and it started out after the Second World War originally as a cycling club.  One of the original founders was Bill Hook, and so it was a pleasure to see his widow, Mrs June Hook, in attendance.  Ron Ridgeon was another stalwart of the club, and his widow, Mrs Mary Ridgeon, brought along memorabilia that Ron had collected and been presented with during his career.  John Davidson, the current president of the club, and a former long-serving playing member, has not enjoyed the best of health recently, and so it was good to see him at the gathering.

The evening itself was very informal, with old friends and colleagues simply meeting for a chat.  In view of its many years of existence, current chairman Colin Garrod did lead a toast to the many ‘absent friends’ that were once part of the club, and he also hoped that one day a group of like-minded youngsters would perhaps revive the Clacton Ramblers Cricket Club.

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Sunday 11th August 2013 – Ramblers v Boxted

Ramblers sealed their second win of the season, thanks in large part to a sensational performance with bat and ball from Imran Sheikh.  Eastcliff basked in sunshine all day while Ramblers hosted Boxted.  The Ramblers were after revenge after an early season defeat in the reverse fixture back in April.  Boxted chose to bat first after winning the toss and Adam Daniels opened the bowling with Kieron Smith, restricting the visitors to just 25 runs off the first 10 overs.

Boxted continued to find runs hard to come by and the pressure told in the 16th over when Sheikh removed Harris for 21. Boxted made steady progress after reaching 119 before Sheikh again made a crucial breakthrough by removing Boxted Captain Richard Springett for 50, just as they were beginning to look dangerous. Boxted went to score 224-4 off their 45 overs, helped by a lightning quick outfield and some sloppy fielding from the home side. Sheikh collected another wicket finishing with 3 for 32 off his 9 overs, whilst Ben Cooper chipped in with a wicket of his own.

In reply Ramblers sent out Scott Pittaway and Sheikh. The opening partnership didn’t last long as Pittaway was removed for 11. This brought Alex Ball to the crease but he joined Pittaway in the pavilion shortly after, making only 1 run. The Ramblers were rocking, another infamous batting collapse was looming. However, Adam Daniels and Imran Sheikh had other ideas and began to steady the ship. Ramblers moved onto 71, before Daniels was bowled. It was a curious dismissal with Daniels leaving a ball down leg side only to see the ball cannon onto the stumps.

Ben Cooper came to the crease and looked comfortable until he decided to play an ill-advised game of catch with Boxted bowler Paul Harris. Ramblers still needed well over a 100 runs to win at this point, but thankfully this was the last wicket to fall as Sheikh guided Ramblers to a 6 wicket victory by making a stupendous 128 not out. Michael Cross played an essential role supporting Sheikh with 25 not out.

The next Ramblers outing will be on the 25th August, away to Eight Ash Green

The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Alex Ball for his all-round batting and fielding performance.

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Sunday 4th August 2013 – Ramblers v Cavaliers

54alloutClacton Ramblers’ miserable campaign continued when they somehow contrived to lose their match with Colchester Cavaliers. The Eastcliff side looked to have done enough to secure only their second win of the season when they bowled out the visitors for just 88. However, a superb bowling spell by Stuart Johnson (six wickets for just eight runs in 10 overs) ripped the heart out of the Ramblers batting, and they remain at the bottom of the North Essex Cricket League Division Two.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, the Cavaliers were soon in trouble against the bowling of Kieron Smith (2 for 11) and Adam Daniels (2 for 22). A fourth wicket partnership of 33 steadied the boat, but Imran Sheikh (4 for 32) and Ben Cooper (2 for 16) meant they were bowled out for 88 inside 35 overs, therefore gifting the Ramblers ten more overs in which to score 89. The bowlers were assisted by some excellent catching, with Alan Thurgood’s effort in the deep the pick of the bunch. Michael Cross also picked up two edges behind the stumps, much to the surprise of his watching father!

Playing for the first time since 30th June, many of the Ramblers looked as if they had not seen a bat in years, and they collapsed from 20 for 3 to 20 for 7! Robbie Goodwin (16) had been persuaded out of retirement and, together with Alex Ball (10), staged something of a recovery. However, the side was eventually bowled out for 54 in the 32nd over, and were beaten by 34 runs.

The Ramblers will try again this coming Sunday [11th August 2013] when Boxted are the visitors to Eastcliff. Start time is 1.00pm.

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Sunday 30th June 2013 – Ramblers v Little Bardfield

Eastcliff played host to a top versus bottom clash between Clacton Ramblers and Little Bardfield.  The Ramblers headed into the match full of confidence off the back of a morale-boosting victory in their previous home game.

Skipper Owen Nash was forced into 4 changes for the game, Nicky Comber and Chairman Colin Garrod came back into the side, with James Smith making his first start of the season and Matt O’Brien making his debut. The Ramblers were forced to field first, after losing the toss, in soaring temperatures. Adam Daniels and Kieron Smith, fresh from his 5 wicket haul against Eight Ash Green, opened the bowling. It was a frugal start from both bowlers, Daniels being the pick of the two, conceding just 8 runs off his first 6 overs.

Ramblers were rewarded after a change of attack, when bowler Nicky Comber managed to deflect a powerful drive back onto the stumps running out the non-striker. Ramblers were celebrating again 3 overs later when Simon Stewart removed the dangerous E.Hitchcock for 43 with Owen Nash pocketing a somewhat comfortable catch.

This seemed to inspire the visitors into action though as they hit 31 of the next 3 overs and the signs were ominous for the home side. A reshuffle by Nash saw Alex Ball move to wicket keeper replacing Marc Taylor. The change certainly had an impact as the very next ball a swinging delivery from Simon Stewart caught the edge and Alex Ball was on hand to collect a regulation catch.

The wicket stemmed the flow of runs but only for a short period. At the 30 over mark the away side were 146-3, but piled on a further 98 runs in the next 10 overs without the loss of a wicket as the heat was visibly starting to take its toll on the Ramblers’ fielding performance.
Matt O’Brien bowled well on debut without the reward, but is certainly a promising prospect for the Ramblers going forward.

One more wicket fell with Kieron Smith clean bowling J.Owen after he made his half century.
That was the final wicket to fall and Little Bardfield closed on an impressive 275-4.

The Ramblers got off to the worst possible start in reply, losing the wicket of Nicky Comber without a run on the board. Marc Taylor didn’t last much longer as he was dismissed with Ramblers on just 18. Adam Daniels made 45 whilst wickets were tumbling around him. He was one of only two players to make double figures as the Ramblers capitulated. Finishing on 86 all out.
Ramblers now have a month off to heal their wounds with their next match on the 4th of August at home to Colchester’s Cavaliers.

The Ramblers “Special Award” went to the Ramblers’ Technical Director of Player Development and Recruitment Drew Nash for his absorbing fielding and batting performances.

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Sunday 23rd June 2013 – Ramblers v Eight Ash Green

The Ramblers finally clinched their first victory of the season in a rain affected match at the Eastcliff on Sunday.  In what was Ramblers’ first home game of the season they won by 9 wickets in a shortened 30 over contest.

Ramblers were able to field a strong side, welcoming back trusty “scorer” Allan Ferguson to the fold after a spell out of action, with Matt Moseley, Marc Taylor and Kieron Smith all making their first starts of the season.

Ramblers took to the field first after Skipper Owen Nash won the toss, with both sides agreeing to a shortened match of 30 overs after an early downpour and more showers looking likely. Adam Daniels and Imran Sheikh opened the bowling, both looked dangerous with edges flying at both ends. It was the 5th over when Daniels made the breakthrough, when Richard Polley attempted a pull shot, only to send the ball into orbit with the ever reliable Simon Stewart racing in to collect a catch in swirling conditions.

Ramblers continued to look dangerous but were guilty of letting chances slip by. Notably in the 11th over when Alex Ball looked to have clung onto a routine catch on the boundary only for it to slip through his hands for 6. It was a costly mistake for Ramblers as Stephen Nunn, then on 16, went onto make 53 before being removed by Kieron Smith.

It was Smith on his return to the side that clinched the second wicket, with Stewart again clinging onto a steepling catch. It was a crucial wicket and spell of bowling from Smith. This saw Eight Ash Green go from 65-1 to 108-7 with Sheikh pitching in with a wicket. Eight Ash Green recovered well though and posted a very respectable 170-8. In truth it should have been a much smaller target as Ramblers were guilty of missing several catches throughout the innings. Ball who cut a forlorn figure by the end of the innings dropped another, making 4 in two matches for the normally reliable fielder.

This was arguably Ramblers strongest batting line up of the season and they certainly didn’t fall short on that billing. With Ramblers needing close to 6 per over from the start, Nash sent Sheikh and Daniels to the crease looking to get off to a positive start. The skipper was not disappointed as Ramblers raced to 62 before Sheikh was caught superbly by Stephen Nunn.
No further wickets fell however as Daniels carried his bat making an unbeaten 63 and Taylor making a powerful unbeaten 50 in his first bat of the season bringing Ramblers home with 13 balls to spare.

Ramblers will be hoping they can take the momentum from their first win of the season into next week’s match against Little Bardfield at Home. 1pm start.

The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Alex Ball for trying his best.

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Sunday 9th June 2013 – Gt Bentley v Ramblers

The Ramblers’ despairing start to the season continued with a humiliating defeat to local rivals Great Bentley by 141 runs.  Skipper Owen Nash handed debuts to James Hetherington and Aaron Kearny as well as a recalls for Aaron Redpath and Drew Nash. Making his second appearance of the season was Chairman Colin Garrod.

Ramblers took to the field first with Adam Daniels and Imran Sheikh opening the bowling with Daniels’ spell particularly parsimonious, conceding just 13 runs off his first 7 overs. The pressure told in the 7th over of the innings when Daniels made the breakthrough as Sargent edged behind. What made the wicket so impressive or unlikely was that poised behind the stumps was Alex Ball, the Ramblers makeshift wicket-keeper, who flung an outstretched arm low to his left to snare a fine catch.

However, Gt Bentley recovered to move onto 88 before the loss of another wicket. This time Nicky Comber made the breakthrough, continuing his impressive debut season collecting 2 wickets in the game.
The two other wickets to fall were both run outs after good work from Daniels and Sheikh. Debutant Aaron Keaney was the 5th bowler used by Captain Nash and gave a good account of himself proving difficult for the batsmen to get away just as Gt Bentley were looking to push on.

Great Bentley finished on 197 for 5 off their 45 overs.

198 was the target and Ramblers needed a solid start if they were to get close to Great Bentley’s score.
Unfortunately a solid start is not what they got when opening batsman Simon Stewart received a ‘jaffa’ from opening bowler Occleshaw, with the score on 2. After the loss of their talisman, the Ramblers batting line up was decimated with only Sheikh and Daniels making double figures. In the ensuing bloodbath five Ramblers failed to trouble the scorers with Alex Ball barely getting a chance to take guard before he was back in the pavilion.

The Ramblers were all out for just 56 leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table. The Ramblers will be hoping for a change in fortunes next week with an away match at Bocking on the 16th of June at 1pm.
The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Alex Ball for his prowess behind the stumps.

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Sunday 12th May 2013 – Cavaliers v Ramblers

The Ramblers’ stuttering start to the season continued with a defeat to Colchester based Cavaliers. The heavy loss, by 9 wickets, left the ramblers sitting at the bottom of Piri Piri division two after two losses and two cancellations.

Ramblers headed into the fixture severely weakened, missing some significant players from the team that won promotion to Division Two. Captain Owen Nash was only able to field 10 players for the clash, including a recall for the evergreen club chairman Colin Garrod, although any hope of The Ramblers pulling off an unlikely victory were soon extinguished as Cavaliers took early wickets to take a firm grip on the contest.  A fine sunny day turned grim and overcast , which would prove a good analogy for Ramblers’ fortunes on the field.

After losing the toss The Ramblers were put into bat on a lively pitch with Michael Cross (8) and Adam Daniels (12) opening the batting and scoring 16 in just 2 overs. The good mood in the camp was soured in the third over when Cavaliers made their first break through removing Cross cheaply after a promising start. This brought Nicky Comber (27) to the crease and he, again, top scored for his side. Comber stood firm whilst wickets tumbled around him with Daniels being dismissed after a good reflex catch. Enter and exit Alex Ball (6) with a characteristically slipshod innings, before Ben Cooper (0) Aaron Condon (0) failed to trouble the scorers. Simon Stewart (13*) came to the crease at 34 for 5 after 11 overs.  At this point Cavaliers smelled blood but it would be another 27 overs, and the close of The Ramblers innings, before the Cavaliers saw the back of him as he put in an unyielding batting performance. Comber was dismissed after trying to push the scoring on, which left the tail to help The Ramblers onto 100 all out. With contributions from Charles Wray (10), Nash (7) and Garrod (4).

The total always looked way short of respectable and it didn’t take Cavaliers long to chase down their target, reaching their goal in under 16 overs with the help of a dropped catch and a 10 man field. The only bright moment came with the fall of the only wicket after a notable catch from Alex Ball off the bowling of Simon Stewart.

The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Simon Stewart for his hermetic forward defensive.

The Ramblers’ next fixture is away to Gt Bentley on the 9th June at 1pm

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Sunday 5th May 2013 – Gt Horkesley v Ramblers

Clacton Ramblers conceded their first round cup tie against Great Horkesely this weekend.

Next week Ramblers play Cavaliers away, with a 1pm start.

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Sunday April 28th 2013 – Boxted v Ramblers

Newly promoted Clacton Ramblers got their Piri Piri Division 2 campaign off to a disappointing start on Sunday, losing by 7 wickets away to Boxted. Both sides had bounced back to Division 2 at the first time of asking after relegation in 2011, the Ramblers as champions and Boxted clinching the 4th and final promotion place.

However it was the home side that took early control of this encounter. Captain Owen Nash lost the toss and his side were put into bat. After a vapid start from Ben Cooper his middle stump was sent cartwheeling out of the ground after scoring just 5. Ryan Chamberlain (3) followed shortly after. This brought Imran Sheikh (17) to the crease and after a promising start his innings was cut short by an excellent catch from J.Wilson. The wickets of Michael Cross (4) and the warhorse Alan Thurgood (12) followed bringing impressive debutant Nicky Comber (50*) and all-rounder Adam Daniels (42) to the crease. The pair came together when the Ramblers were in a desperate situation but helped guide them towards a respectable 164 for 7.  Simon Stewart (2) and the skipper (5*) added crucial runs at the end of the innings.

With Boxted chasing 165 for victory, Ramblers took to the field needing an early break through and it came in the form of a run out after good work in the field by Ryan Chamberlain. Boxted progressed to 72 before the next wicket fell, a deserved wicket for Adam Daniels who ended with figures of 1 for 28 off 10 overs. Unfortunately it wasn’t until Boxted had moved on to 120 that they lost another wicket as Simon Stewart grasped an unlikely catch off the bowling of Ryan Chamberlain.  This gave the Ramblers a glimmer of hope, however it wasn’t to be as no more wickets fell and Boxted reached their target with 3.2 overs to go. The Ramblers did well in the field with Michael Cross putting in a confident performance behind the stumps in place of the missing Marc Taylor.

The Ramblers’ “special award” was claimed by Charles Wray for his acrobatic fielding display.

Next week the Ramblers get their cup campaign underway with a visit to Great Horkesley.

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Sunday April 21st 2013 – Ramblers v Purleigh

The continued poor weather leaves the pitch at Eastcliff too soft for productive sporting activity so the Ramblers’ opening home match against Purleigh was cancelled.

On a brighter note the Ramblers will be holding a Quiz Night at Clacton Rugby Club on Friday 10th May 2013 starting at 7:30pm.  Entry is £5 person and includes a curry at half-time.  Teams of up to 6 persons required.

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