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Tears flow at Nazeing CC

Tears flowed from a lady bowling for Nazeing CC against the VCC. Four wides and two further balls that never reached the batsman produced a torrent from the tear ducts at the end of her over….or was it the sight of the VCC sponsored cricket gear she was facing !

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Stocko watches over the Union


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Catching a disease at Shamley Green

Ben caught the disease as did Don, Max and Oscar. Exceptional fielding display led by Captain Chaos and supported by The Paranoids.

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Saint takes over as The VCC Captain ( well for the day only !)


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Poff Poff on The Plinth

Lord Nelson looks down on a VCC legendstocko-p-1

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Captain Paranoid more likely.

He will revert to anything to break my “most wins in a season” record. Soon we will be playing teams complied of the over 80’s and under 10’s.
“Reaching the finishing line is one thing…but crossing it is quite another”
Quote “The Walrus” July 2009

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Workaday win for Cap’n Chaos, as he cold-bloodedly chases down Jonty’s record

The VCC may have descended to scoring on torn-out scraps from a borrowed WH Smith reporter’s notebook.

Nowadays too, it may cram its crumpled, soiled whites into bags to which folding, kit organisation and self-respect carry all the mysteries of an ancient Eastern art.

It may not even be able to correctly identify its President from a shortlist so simple and obvious it would be unworthy of appearing as a multiple-choice question on the most base television gameshow, ie…

Who is VCC Honorary Club President?

a) A world-famous cricket legend?
b) An industrial psychologist?
c) A suburban newt-fancier, who introduced the loathsome London Congestion Charge and tried to change our fair city into one resembling Peking in the 1960’s at the height of the appalling ‘Cultural Revolution’, when teachers and intellectuals were paraded in pointy dunces’ caps and hoards of horrible bicycles impeded an innocent V8’s every sporting manoeuvre?

…but boy, Team Madden has become an unstoppable juggernaut for victory junkies, as the hapless Brighton Exiles – ruthlessly beaten at home here by an expansive 6 wickets – will testify…


In fact a Currymen victory – and revenge for last year’s surprise upset at Petworth House – was probably inevitable from one precise moment very early in the match: During the 4th ball of Aussie opening bowler Steve ‘Qantas’ Flew’s 3rd over, the hulking, wild-looking Exiles opener ‘Matt’, distressingly a-flush with what are these days called ‘Issues’ – and suddenly charging down the wicket with vivid red socks flashing and crazed bat flailing like a medieval Downland scythe – desperately bellowed…

“F*** YOU!”

…at the very moment that his mighty wrong-willow cross-connected with the morally-wounded cherry, slugging it in an extremely ugly and un-aesthetic fashion over the square leg rope, at a crude air speed well in excess of 115 miles per hour.

High in the South Downs beyond, the skeleton of the American World War II fighter pilot in an unmarked plot, his ghost still possibly rueing the slight wing-roll he missed on his return approach over the Channel to Shoreham, that fog-bound night 67 summers before, did not turn in his lonely grave. The 91-year old retired Indian tailor, dozing in his favourite afternoon TV chair, not 3 miles away in a genteel Preston Park semi, hazily slipping into a dream world of worries ago – of racy Jazz-era stitches and the sumptuous tropical beauties of his youth – well, he stirred not one muscle either. And the feral children of East Brighton, unwittingly representing the ITV reality judges in this most awful freeze frame of the yet-to-be commissioned ‘Broken Britain’ series, carried on playing right next to the very boundary of The Gross Affront To Cricket, oblivious to this most shocking of outrages.

Even the supposed recipient of this vile Exiles expletive, Sydney native Steve, remained unmoved, his wry grin perhaps even indicating slight derisive amusement at this Pansy-Pom-Under-Pressure nonsense.

But Cap’n Madness and his best-est pal from The Radleigh College Poetry Society, The Beast, were not best pleased.

Not Beast-pleased at all. At all, at all.

As if suddenly receiving a single silent order as one, from their respective VCC trenches at short midwicket and behind the stumps, they loped determinedly to engage in an emergency mini-summit concerning The Snarling Pirate of The Soul of Cricket, who stood, resting from his vile orgasmic exertion and almost foaming at the mouth, just yards away. ‘Things’ were possibly about to turn, well, quite Beastly.

Not cricket at all, in fact. At all, at all.

Thank heavens, then, that The Currymen had an unexpected peace envoy on hand. Enter, perhaps somewhat too swishingly, Ade ‘Pof-Pof’ Lawal, club secretary, no less, of Matfield Green CC, our Kentish opponents of the previous weekend, from whom we had subsequently borrowed ‘Pof-Pof’ as one of our two star ringers for the day (the other being Phil from the Weston Williamson design sweat shop, of whom more later.) With a couple of well-chosen words, the 46-year-old former Queens Bench lawyer was able to quietly dissuade the two young Love 50 hotheads from bringing the summer game into further disrepute.


Having predictably put Exiles into bat (the Brighton side having chased in their surprise win last season), Madness had then chosen to open the bowling with…Madness. This deeply unstable Union traitor, having been advised by his overstretched psychiatrist to jettison his elegant but limpid leg-spin – following once being savaged for 30 runs in a single over during the Jonty era, then subjected us to 6 turgid overs of his interminable new stodge derivative, the dour spectacle only lightened by two elements: Cobra Sports Management’s much-touted client number 2 ‘Qantas’ operating from the Downs end; and surreal sound bites from the other – via the sideshow of an unashamed retro-public school love-in between ‘keeper (Rik) and bowler (Ben)…

R: “Oh YEAH, Benny!” (cue loving, overlong, mutual stare)

R: “Your best ball yet!”
B: “Thanks kid!!”

R: “I love you more than the throbbing pleasure-sensation of your balls smacking into my gloves”
B: “But – will you be true forever?”

(OK, the last one was slightly exaggerated, but you get the picture)

However, at least for once this introductory pie-chucking brutality-fest was incisive (last season’s stats reveal it to be the least effective or economical of all 3 VCC bowling factions), as well as remorseless, as a panicked Exiles crashed faster than a Gordon Brown downturn to 45-5.

The Vile Pirate Of Issues Indeterminate was long-gone by now, snaffled by Phil off the bowling of Rik’s Love That Dare Not Speak It’s Name, the young enslaved architect visibly shaking while precisely adjusting foot position, catching hands and alarmed mind during the tortuous 8.7 seconds it took for the skied vermillion harlot to drop to him at short mid-on.

And – most joyously – the treacherous Exiles’ founder and potentially most rabid bat Dave ‘Brighton (nee Bushey) Bull’ Hooper was also ousted cheaply, clean bowled by Cap’n Chaos with “the ball of my life”. Embarrassed Currymen were then treated to an adoring paean to said projectile’s various attributes and wobbles by a quivering, devoted Beast, as we waited to clap in the next shuffling South Coast victim.


Once Madden had fully gorged himself with another merciless stump-clattering – and Aussie finally notched a much-deserved wicket (after being let down thrice before, inept field-placing and catch-judgment in the fly-slip / third man zone denying him more victims) – The Enforcer and Colonel Horror were summoned to take the ball.

What a joyous aesthetic contrast these two bowlers offered! Shuffling to the popping crease with the stealth of a silent jungle death squad, crazed military glare recalling a hundred cricketing kills, Kurtz was on fine form. And the Kiwi kick-boxer, all classic long-strided run-up and rangey release, was really bending his back for the Pink and Greys.

Despite these pleasures, Exiles at last were beginning to offer some consistent resistance, with their numbers 6 and 7 slowly ratching up the run total to near the ton. The Enforcer was having none of it though. For a man who had put in a dedicated 72-hour shift on his Welcome to the Far East Pleasuredome, the challenge of breaking up a pathetic Pom partnership was a mere trifle. Exit Exile 6, the bearded Ben, stumps splayed in sweet surrender.

More unpleasantness threatened as the Sussex Rebel leader tried to refuse a 20-over drinks break. Eventually, his embarrassed minions fetched much-needed glasses of water for grateful Currymen.

However Ben’s batting partner, the suspiciously tanned and boy-band coiffured Simon, was now becoming a problem. A problem that Pof-Pof, called on his VCC debut to replace Deano at the Pavilion end, had the answer to. Foolishly attempting to blast the Nigerian left-arm magician into submission, the classy number 7 was soon lured into P-P’s entrancing spell and bowled, for a classy 38. Ably supported by tidy line and length from Adelady at the Downs end, a giggling Pof-Pof set into the Exiles tail with relish. Clearly panicked, their number 8 was bidden into a horrible misbalancing act and, while he scrambled on his stomach for the safety line, stumped by a rabid Beast.

Nicole was having no such luck. The Founder was enjoying his afternoon nap at long off when he was rudely awakened by the ball shooting through his gait for 4. Madness, wrongly choosing not to dive fully forwards to a pop-up, dropped a sitter at short mid-wicket. And Adelady’s compatriot Qantas couldn’t get his bearings under an over-shoulder skier. How different the South Australian filly’s figures could have been, if she had been better supported by her buffooning teammates.

Pof-Pof, meanwhile, was enjoying a dream debut, as he conjured up the final two traitor’s wickets – a caught and bowled and a catch from his captain. The ebullient debutante, 4 vital wickets under his belt, led Belsize off with a modest 146 to chase.


Tea was distinguished by the unusual provision of chips, a detail reminiscent perhaps of a long-gone British seaside era, when cricket drinks breaks were honoured, scorebooks remembered and barrack-room language banned from the gentleman’s field of play.

Chaos – perhaps mindful of damping down further Axis tabloid interest in his stewardship after the Love-In overs, plus his lacking absent batting goliaths The Don, El Creamo, Lethal and The Behemoth – announced an innovative line-up.

In strode Rob ‘Evil One’ Muller and The Founder, both experienced opening bats in their own right, who were perhaps quietly determined to make a point or two to the Ewing-Stockman pairing of late. The initial bowling challenge they faced was crisp, coming from two tall Exiles pacemen, Pete and the oddly Christian-named ‘Nugent’ (worryingly wearing a Sussex shirt), but the VCC duo responded magnificently from the off, reaching 47 without loss, just 6 overs in.

Evenly scoring at first, the character of the partnership changed distinctly after the 50 was reached, Rob accelerating like a man possessed and Chris settling into a supporting role. This was the fearsome, record-breaking Muller of Ebernoe 158-fame, ludicrous Leyhill cap askance, violently dispatching anything that moved and unnecessarily apologising to the oppo for the very occasional thick edge, his mouth guard making him sound like a drunk Malaysian toddler.

With 85% of his rampant 57 coming from boundaries, including an ecstatic straight-driven six, Rob imploded to midwicket in the 13th, having rushed The Currymen to 94-1. We had 9 wickets in hand to score just 53 runs and, with plenty of time remaining, understandably the run-rate slowed right down. With Pof-Pof Ade joining Chris at the crease a phase of patient attrition began, with maiden overs beginning to appear for an ever varying Exiles attack. The Founder was eventually run out for a mature 23 and was replaced by his eager wage-slave Phil. After more stubborn batting, including some inspiring flourishes courtesy of said Phil, a fuming Hooper had had quite enough, summoning the ball grimly. Responding immediately with theatrical élan, Ade nonchalantly Poffed a single and Phil stroked an elegant 4 through the covers. The snorting Brighton Bull stamped, but persisted, finally bowling Phil in his 3rd over after tying down Ade to a tense maiden in the 2nd.

At 121-3, Curry-bat 5, the double-dealing Exiles ‘Python’/VCC ‘Cobra’ split-impersonation of a cricketer, slithered towards the middle, foolishly hexing himself by making an outrageous showbiz display of kissing an Exiles crest. He lasted one attempted bouncer from Hooper, before a deeply pathetic senior moment-style run-out did for him: 121-4. Ssssss!

Enter The Enforcer. None of that noncey ‘Saint’ s*** for him! Clearly inspiring Pof-Pof with his brooding machismo and huge bat, the requisite 25 were soon reached with a clattering Scott 4 past long-on.

With a 6-wicket victory, a long year’s wait for justice had been restored to The Currymen at last – and as they partied in The Brighton Marina, the old tailor of Preston Park slept soundly, awaiting Stocko’s best pal, his suburb-named son Preston, who would visit him in the morning, as he did every Monday. And high in The South Downs beyond, a soft summer breeze whispered through the wild grass, above the airman’s grave.


Exiles v VCC Match SCOREBOOK : 28-06-09

EXILES Batting 4s 6
Matt B ct Phil b Madden 14 1 1
David H b Madden 1
Nick P ct Barker b Aussie Steve 4
Iain S run out 11 2
Julian M b Madden 9
Ben K b Deano 28 5
Simon b Pof-Pof 38 7
Steve R st Barker b Pof-Pof 0
Pete T not out 14 2
Nugent ct Madden b Pof-Pof 4 1
Jonny M ct & b Pof-Pof 5 1

Extras 17 (11 w & nb)

TOTAL 146 all out

VCC Bowling (averaged out at 140 runs / 6 bowlers, due to no records)
Madden 23-3
Aussie 23-1
Col. Kurtz 23-0
Deano 23-1
Adelady 23-0
Pof-Pof 23-4

VCC Batting 4s 6s
Muller ct (m’wkt) b Matt 57 10 1
Williamson run out 23
Pof-Pof not out 10 1
Phil b David H 15 1
Cobra run out 0
Deano not out 7 1

Extras 37

TOTAL 149 – 4

Exiles Bowling
Pete T 6-1-19-0
Nugent 5-0-22-0
Jonny Miller 3-0-35-0
Iain Sallis 4-1-13-0
Matt 5-1-18-1
Simon B 3-2-2-0
David H 3-1-7-1
Nick Patly 1.1-0-6-0
VCC win by 6 wickets

* (ends)

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Tripoli – coffee cups clatter
Over Arabic chatter
In the hubble-bubble café.
Gadaffi’s female bodyguards
Glare at the young English Hydrogen star
Like Gucci-sunglassed, Saharan-secret Emma Peels…
The day before The Weald.

The Arctic – a 400-pound tusked beast
Monstrously swivels on an icy piste
Its cruel black eyes a’fix-ed on a cobalt sky.
Unicorned Narwhales and huge Polar Bears
Of The Walrus, all run scared
As the ‘chopper drops whites and Campari-sauced seal…
The day before The Weald.

Manchester – “Help me up, Cob-ra…”
A deep, soft command from the bedchamber
Of the Indian batting legend.
In his prime he dominated the great Dennis Lillee
But now some dare to question his VCC Presidency
Announced by The Axis at The Red Fort Meal…
The day before The Weald.

South Downs – a lost Curry dude
And the bittersweet sound of solitude
Crunches out from his walking boots to echo off moated manors.
Through dark forests and o’er lonely ridges he strides
And in ramblers’ anonymity, from the real world he hides
As in his mind cricket dreams congeal…
The day before The Weald.

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A negative “Xile” in waiting !

A negative Xile

A negative Xile

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The VCC Chairman’s Summer message


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