Rain intervenes on 1st XI

‘League cricket’ was back on the agenda on 25th July 2020, as the newly formed structure for the season kicked off.

Lydney 1st XI entering the GCCL A West Division and the first opponents were Kingsholm away at the Henry Oppenhiem Memorial Ground.

With the forecast looking dodgy, hopes were that the rain would miss Kingsholm and allow a full game with Lydney coming into the match on the back of two good friendly victories.

The clouds were low as the toss was done, Lydney being asked to bat.

A new look opening batting partnership was on show for Lydney as Alex Nelmes and Smokey Joe Hale went to the crease. Nelmes coming off an impressive half century last week and Hale having two solid performances behind him with the bat.

In what was clearly bowler friendly conditions, batting was tough as the openers had to dig in. Kingsholm’s bowlers finding good lines and lengths as Lydney reached 9-0 (4 overs). Nelmes in particular was impressing with his ‘play and miss’ shots.

In the 5th over the shackles were released as 13 runs were scored as Lydney looked to set a good platform. Nelmes starting to find the middle of the bat with some glorious square cuts. However, the partnership ended when Hale miscued a leg side clip to mid wicket for 3. Lydney 30-1 (7 overs).

Record run scorer Jonny Kear came in at 3 and soon looked comfortable hitting a powerful pull shot through mid wicket for a boundary. Nelmes though was soon out for 18 as he nicked one behind to the keeper. 34-2 (8 overs).

34-2 soon became 43-5 as Lydney’s batsmen came and went in quick succession. Jake Bonser bowled for a golden duck, Jordan Stone getting caught at point for 4 and Henry Sleeman caught for 0. Not a great ground for Sleeman who has bad memories from his innings at this ground last season.

Lydney needed some stability as Jack Bartlett came to the crease. Bartlett, a big lad, confirmed by one Kingsholm fan he said ‘f**k me he is a big chap, he must only know one way to bat.’ Well thats true, when Bartlett hits the ball it stays hit. Bartlett his usual attacking self which included a straight drive that was hit so hard it reached the boundary before you could blink, never seen such a powerfully hit drive…all along the floor too.

Kear and Bartlett put on 24 until Bartlett was out, well caught in the covers for a quickfire 19. 67-6.

It was 68-7 before long as the last recognised batsman, Kear was caught for 10 and things were now looking for bleak. Heads were down in the dugout, Bartlett and Sleeman choosing to walk round the boundary. Chunk, who umpired, and the onlooking Nick Nelmes suggesting that the conversation between the two would unlikely be about splitting the atom or the current Brexit negotiations delay. Bit harsh maybe?

Kingsholm were now full of energy as Lydney looked skywards for rain. There had been spits and spots but nothing major. Jack O’Connell and Callum Miller were the new batsmen.

With the chat about reaching 100 being a good score, players looked on the trepidation. However, the fears were unfounded as O’Connell and Miller turned the tide playing some sensible cricket, defending the good ‘uns and attacking any loose deliveries. The pair put on 52 taking the score to 120-7 (25 overs) before rain stopped play. O’Connell 33* and Miller 17*.

The rain kept falling as the players looked on, most noticeably Alex Nelmes who was wearing a dodgy coat. He claimed it was designer or something and worth a bit. It may have been true, but who has heard of ‘Patagonia’? We reckon he nicked it off some chav and knitted on the first badge he could find.

The rain finally stopped, the captains and Umpires agreeing the game could not continue however, as the match was abandoned. Would have been interesting to see what would have happened. Lydney initially looking unlikely to get 100 but then possibly looking at 175+.

7 points for Lydney, 9 pts for Kingsholm. On to Tewkesbury away next weekend.

Lydney Win As Cricket Returns

It was a successful return to action for Lydney CC as they beat Redmarley by 68 runs on Saturday 11th July at The Bob Park Cricket Ground.

It was 31st August 2019 when cricket was last played, when Lydney defeated Kingsholm. Time to brush off the cobwebs, don the whites, knock in the bat, strap on the pads, rub the ball on the groin and do what we do best…drink a lot in the bar (after the match of course).

Alot has changed since last season, with the flooding early this year all seemed doomed but thanks to the hard work of the committee and the help of local traders and donations the pavilion has not only been restored but has been fantastically upgraded. The most notable being the building of a new scorebox which, rumour has it, has been named The Phil Lewis Shag Hut…….no comment.

Redmarley won the toss and asked Lydney to bat in the 45 over game.

Jake Bonser opened the batting with Jack Knox with Bonser soon getting in the groove hitting some great cover drives and scoring with ease. Knox slowly grew into his innings, before he fell for 13, caught in the covers. 35-1 (7 overs).

Alex ‘Miguel Almiron’ Nelmes, came in at number 3 and instantly got some extreme luck as he was dropped in what can only be described as a dolly. My nan has cataracts and she would have caught it. I’ve been there, done that, so I have some sympathy.

After a tentative start Nelmes started to settle in and looked comfortable whilst Bonser continued to dominate the bowling with some great timing. Bonser was closing in on his half century when he got bowled by Green for 46, 78-2 (16 overs). Shame for Bonser, he deserved his half century.

Henry Sleeman joined Nelmes and his stay was brief as he was caught LBW by Green for 3 as umpire Chunk Davies ferociously put his finger up. 81-3 (17 overs). Nelmes then was dismissed for 15 and Lydney were 83-4 and needing some stability. Nelmes walked slowly off the pitch, not sure if he was totally dejected or if it was his skin tight trousers meaning he couldn’t actually walk any faster?

Lydney got his as James Bishop and Joe Hale began to steadily keep the scoreboard ticking over, Hale playing a very patient knock hitting the singles and turning over the strike. Bishop very much playing his part too. Unfortunately the partnership came to an end as Bishop was adjudged LBW for 14, 123-5 (29 overs).

Joe Hale was next out for an impressive 28, playing a nice compact innings hitting straight and in the ‘V’, classical stuff. 137-6 (33 overs).

The innings needed a bit of a thrust now and two big hitters were now at the crease in the form of Jack Bartlett and Jack O’Connell. O’Connell quickly departed however for 5, playing across the line to a straight one. 144-7 (34 overs). Bartlett though started to attack the bowling as he hit two huge sixes before getting caught on the boundary for 22 going for yet another big hit, good catch by Green. Great to see Bartlett back after a year out with injury. 161-8 (36 overs).

Grant Keddle came in next and instantly looked comfortable before misguiding a shot to ther covers, out for 10. 171-9 (40 overs).

Corey Notley-Barnard (2) and Ross Howells (Golden Duck) were then dismissed in quick succession, Callum Miller not out 6. As Lydney were all out for 180. Andrew Green the pick of Redmarley’s bowlers (7-1-10-2).

Tea was taken, well I say taken, rules are you have to bring your own food at the moment. Lydney looking to the bowling attack to fire them to victory.

O’Connell and Notley-Barnard opened the bowling for Lydney as Lydney looked to impose themselves. Redmarley got off to a good start however, in particular through Sam Aston who fiound his timing very quickly. Rob Gummer looked solid tom before he hit a pull shot straight to Keddle off Notley-Barnard and was out for 8. Ollie ASton came in at three and Notley-Barnard proceeded to clean bowl him. A double wicket maiden! 16-2 (4 overs).

Ayland joined Aston at the crease and trhe pair put on 38 until Aston was bowled by Keddle for 27. Keddle giving the customary roar and fist pump celebration, love it. 54-3 (10 overs).

Ian Gerken (2) came and went quickly, another wicket for Keddle. Ayland (12) was bowled by Keddle and Redmarley were quickly struggling on 69-5 (14 overs).

Stewart Hudd then dug in but he was losing partners as Radley (0), LBW to Knox, fell quickly. Hudd realised he had to attack the bowling but was dismissed for 16 as Bartlett picked up his first wicket. 84-7.

Redmarley were now firmly against it as Slatter (4), Mattingley (3), Luke Gerken (3) all fell quickly. Bartlett picking up his second wicket with O’Connell and Ross Howells also in the wickets.

James Holland and Andrew Green provided some late resistance until Holland was dismissed for 8, Bishop taking a catch off Knox one handed. Bishop admitting after that he was busy talking and not paying attention when the ball came to him. Tut tut ;).

Redmarley all out for 112 and Lydney winning by 68 runs. Keddle (5-1-20-3), Bartlett (4-2-5-2), Notley-Barnard (4-1-12-2), O’Connell (5-1-32-1), Howells (4-1-9-1) and Knox (5-0-16-2).

An excellent workout, everyone got a bat, the bowlers all got to turn their arms over and the fielding was good. Apart from perhaps Miller who tried to fool everyone in the slips by producing a dramatic dive to try and mask the fact he got nowhere near the ball. Looked good though.

Big thank you to Chunk Davis and Phil Mattingley for umpiring.

On to next Saturday (18th July) as Lydney play two games on the same day. Home to Westbury-on-Severn and away to Parkend.

Basher’s tribute to John Morris


Asked to post a few words about my friend Copper I hesitate to do so whilst emotions are still raw. So what I do say is tinged with more than usual poignancy. Deep respect to Anne and the family -Richard, Paul, Sue and spouses and to Callum, Caitlin, Will and Thomas. Our thoughts today are very much with the family. Whatever is said about JFM, and believe me a lot will be said, first and foremost he was an immensely proud family man. Family came first for Copper Morris.
If you consider Lydney to be in the Forest, which to a Severnsider or a Forester may be controversial, JF Morris was the best sportsman in terms of all-round ability to ever come out of the Forest. Certainly, to come out of Lydney.
To me JFM ’s the epitome of a sporting icon whose life we who knew him must celebrate. So Lydney and the Forest has lost its best sportsman, a sad day for the whole sporting community. I will not be talking here about Copper’s rugby that is for others better qualified (but I do remember aficionados and leading rugby pressmen like John Reason saying he should play scrum-half for England, a call which never came. In my experience I saw far worse number nines wear the red rose shirt). I will focus instead on his five decades’ play for Lydney CC perhaps a longer span than anyone since William Jones the father of Lydney cricket.
Always, JFM was fit as a flea, vital, full of humour – kind of immortal. Younger than his years, larger than life. I cannot help thinking there were six of us on the Wilkins cover photograph of The Rich Wine Untold history of the club. Three are now gone before: James PJ, Tomkins TH, Morris JF. I was indeed privileged to play in such company. There is plenty of JFM in Rich Wine Untold (commercial plug – copies are still available) because Cop was no shrinking violet and always in the thick of it. We must celebrate the life of this gifted ballplayer who was blessed with good hands, good feet and a good mind. Only his calling was suspect like mine, not always allowing for the fact that the guy the other end was not as quick or quick-witted as he was.
The local grapevine has been humming. In addition to Paul and Chunk, contact has been made inside and outside the club for we are talking about an exceptional character here with long reach who invariably kept his tongue in his cheek. Indelible, a force of nature, honest as the day, outspoken and full of conviction, a very shrewd judge who never stopped loving and living sport. Lacing it all with wit and good humour. A very positive character, usually ahead of the game and always a team player. In other words, he was wonderful company, he stayed and kept you grounded but often had the last word on any topic! Especially strong on social justice, philosophically sound – a conversation with Copper was never one-dimensional.
Many individual matches spring to mind because I played with him at his best which to my mind was the 1970s. Some of the best stories in the club annals centre on Copper. One of the best returns in club history came against a County Club and Ground side captained by George Emmett in 1961, Copper taking his career-best 8 for 13. But Copper’s take on it amused me with Perc Clarke our unapologetic home umpire accounting for some of his wickets! Particularly sweet the memory of a rare 1974 win thanks to a Morris five-wicket haul against Hereford at the Racecourse after we’d been bowled out cheaply by KJEdwards. Then fast forward to Tetbury 1976…”Oh yeah! The Tetbury two-piecer!” cries Copper …remembering us inserting the opposition on the hottest day in a hot summer after their skipper threw me the match ball…not a quartered leather one but a real two-piece conker…in very little time Copper bowling them out. The top came off the wicket early in the heat, the hard ball exploding like a hand grenade from Copper’s end…their old umpire incredulous, “I was in the trenches in WWI and never saw ‘owt like that!” We won that match before tea thanks to a Jeremy Williams-led run chase. Another match against touring Middleton-on-Sea in1978 saw only five players turn up which included two boys and the scorer Geoff James for the start of the match. Copper captain for the day showed his leadership skills when they were really needed in an epic match (in which we did not muster a full team till Millsy and Hendy came off continental shift) which see-sawed in dramatic fashion. A rare occasion indeed, JFM did not bowl. Sarge guested and took eight wickets and appreciative Middleton wrote a letter saying how much they had enjoyed the game. Copper was the real hero in winning the toss, getting eleven on the field, eventually, staying at the crease when we literally had no-one else to bat and keeping Henderson and Sergeant on to bowl. With us triumphant by five runs rather than a more likely disaster against a team which had thrashed Cheltenham the day before by ten wickets. Against Tewkesbury on the Swilgate a very tolerant JFM “thanking” me – for taking him off after he had bowled five consecutive maidens and taken all the wickets to that point, to put myself on to win the match. And so I could go on, there are so many stories.
JFM was in “our best side” 1973, still playing in the 1990s and involved in the 1980s a golden era when the club flourished. We always gave good hospitality at Lydney, part of the club heritage. Copper was in his element with our Aussie visitors year on year and they had a ball. In 1984 Oz Mike Jones took Copper’s catching record for the season with 28 catches, rubbing it in by calling him “Warhorse”, one of the great nicknames. When Zaheer Abbas and Sadiq Mohammed guested in 1971 versus Charlie Griffiths’ Barbados League who else but Copper introduced them to betting on the horses. My favourite story best told by Hendy concerns him giving Copper the stake money to place on a bet, a hot tip no doubt. After the match at Frocester, or was it Stinchcombe, Copper had just bought a jug to celebrate his own five wickets and Hendy reminded him about the bet…” Oh sorry. I forgot to place the bet…how d’ you think I can afford a jug!?”
The anecdotes demonstrate JFM’s versatility with bat and ball. And his wit. Equally adept at leading you astray or getting you out of trouble, he would have got into the best sides in our circuit for his all-round skill. For me, it was his bowling I valued most. On the right wicket, he was devastating. Week in week out on good wickets having his accurate, utterly dependable bowling to call upon, especially in the lean years when our attack was anything but balanced, was invaluable. He shored up one end to give us a better chance. Copper the “senior professional” was there in the early 1970s to help the inexperienced club captain. With players like Blake, James and Morris around you learned quickly.
Today the Morris family tradition is well established and we hope John’s proud legacy will endure. In a short notice, it is not easy trying to do justice to his story. As you can tell I would not want JFM to get away without shouldering some of the blame for the way we all turned out! I think I speak for everyone in the club that JFM will be sadly missed. That he will also be remembered with much affection, respect and a great deal of humour I have no doubt. JFM so long. You set the very best standards in your family and sporting life – one of our own immortals. Thank you. Personally, I shall forever miss that ever-present member of the bench committee at the rugby club end…


John “Copper” Morris

It is with great sadness that the club has learnt of the passing of John “copper ” Morris. John was for many years a stalwart of the 1st X1 bowling attack and in later years became an animated observer from the benches beyond the boundary.

A tribute from our president Basher will appear shortly. Our thoughts are with Johns family at this difficult time.

RIP Copper.

Weekend Round Up 11/05/19

The first team travelled to Apperley looking to back up their impressive start against AIW. As expected Apperley proved tougher opponents and after being inserted they amassed an impressive 295-9 off their 45 overs. Callum Miller 9/1/37/2 and Jordan Stone 8/0/44/4 were the pick of the bowlers. My sources tell me that we bowled too short and too wide on a good wicket. In reply Jon Kear(49) and MJ (21)got off to a good start adding 71 for the first wicket. Tom Legge and Jack Knox both scored 34 and Henry Sleeman 11 but the rest of the batsman failed to register double figures whilst collapsing from 111-4 to 183 all out gaining 8 points in the process. The 2nd X1 who were missing a few regulars entertained a strong Newent team. Two wickets from the returning Charlie Brett and one from Riley Srivens were the only reward after a long hard afternoon in the field. Newent ending on 242-3 off their 45 overs. The lack of batting depth was cruelly exposed with only Joe Hale (33), Ben Nelmes(17) and Josh Slee (13*) reaching double figures as they were bowled out for 116. They gained 2 points . The third team travelled to Ruardean Hill to take on their 2nd X1 with nine players due too the unavailabilities in the other teams but were the only team to manage a victory.Skipper Slee led from the front with 61 ably supported by Mason Cunliffe who scored an encouraging 17 as the nine men amassed 140 all out. In reply Ruardean Hill were bowled out for 96 with Chunk (3-5), Matt Williams (3-32) and Mason Cunliffe (2-19) amongst the wickets. Matt Williams was also involved in the other wickets to fall running out two batsman with good fielding to easily win the man of the match award.

Trevor Tompkins

The first reference to Trevor I have made previously in Rich Wine Untold . See especially the short essay on THT in chapter 5. My further thoughts revolve around some of his surviving contemporaries three of whom I talked to yesterday viz. Copper, Ray Nicholas and Bobo which jogged a few memories. I also recall PJJ on Trevor : “Tomkins is all wind and piss….but ‘im’s harmless”. Translating the Jamerspeak in other words he liked him but don’t believe a word he says. As usual James was taking the piss out of Tomkins as you do with only your best friends. How you deal with mates in a club environment, something which the Knoxes and Nelmeses should bear in mind. In fact, PJJ and THT were like peas in a pod – the legendary spin twins of Lydney.
Ray Nicholas, 85 years young, watching keenly the Redmarley match yesterday [Sat 18 May], remembered how Tomkins and he, still Colts in a team unbeaten for two seasons, got into Ron Aldridge’s 1st XI on ability in 1951/52. No mean feat. To my certain knowledge THT played 1st team cricket over the next 30 years playing into the early 1980s and often in midweek. One of the hallmarks of Trevor’s cricket: he made himself available. Along with the likes of Piner Wiltshire, he was one of the few cricketers who was always available. You could rely on Tomkins to be there. Any captain will tell you that is a great thing. For thirty-odd seasons THT was available for Lydney CC. A fine record.
After being relegated to the seconds, then the 3rd XI in his late forties, THT made himself useful and rededicated to cricket with Speech House CC where he did sterling service in organising and encouraging local talent.
How do you sum up Tomkins’ cricketing story in just a few words? There are few left to do THT justice. Copper Morris Sir., Bobo, Bonser, Blakey and Ray Nicholas played a lot of cricket with Trevor. So did I in the 1970s when he was perhaps past his best and without PJJ at the other end to complement his wily left arm skills, consistency of line and length – you could set a field to THT’s twirlers. With flight and guile, on his best days he could mesmerise and tease as good spinners do. And bowl good sides out though rarely without good support, usually PJJ, the other end.
What I know of his ‘back story’ is National Service cricket with the RAF, a strong influence. Then joining Lydney as part of a strong Colts team – Archie Smith, Pete James, Ray Nicholas and co. under Wilson Whereat’s beady eye. Whereat was an excellent all-rounder. I know too that Gloucestershire legend George Emmett coached THT and others in the Club. So in THT’s formative years he would have had example and guidance from both good club players and County professionals. Perhaps above all in importance in THT’s story is his keenness. He played and played and got better as you do if you are talented and want to learn. And like PJJ and others, Tomkins was smart enough to know what you had to do to become better. Just play and play, bowl and bowl, on better wickets against better cricketers and some of it rubs off.
The other aspect of it is of course enjoying the game on and off the field. Conviviality and comradeship are the keys to real enjoyment of the game. THT understood this, developing his own approach and style. Always with good humour. The Tomkins’ half pint tour is part of the Lydney folklore. “On yer bike Basher!” was time to move on usually to the next watering hole. The social aspect was always important to Trevor, hence his regular attendance in his dotage on the Lydney balcony with the old gits like me.
I was fortunate to have played with Trevor and some of his contemporaries. What you learn is, in essence, what cricket should be – serious, very serious, fun and not at all important. To get the best out of it though perhaps like Tomkins you need to be deadly serious in your intent and attitude. THT never underestimated himself I reckon, especially with Jamer there to back him up.
The other important aspect of THT’s cricket, he was always well turned out. A smart cricketer he always looked the part. “ It’s half the battle my boy!” I am personally indebted to Tomkins, and Bonser, for providing transport to my early, pre-Triumph Herald, cricket matches for Lydney home and away. I am extremely grateful, indeed feel blessed, to have played in the company of Trevor and his ilk. R.I.P. Trevor Tomkins, one of the Club greats who did it with humour and style.

Basher, Sunday 19 May 2019


Stone 1st X1 v Lydney 2nd X1 04/05/2019

With regular captain Dave Kear out injured Ben Nelmes assumed the captaincy for the 2nd X1 visit to Stone to open the 2019 season. He won the toss and invited Stone to bat first. The opposition were then reduced to 20-3 with Ellis Boughton taking two wickets and Ben Nelmes one. Then came what turned out to be the match winning partnership between Lennard and Lavis who put on 161 for the fourth wicket. Following the dismissal of Lavis for 84 the Stone batting fell away to end the innings on 186 all out. Chief protagonists in their demise were the evergreen Andy Kear (3-20) and Charlie Bendall (3-48). In reply Lydney lost Charlie Bendall (1), Joe Hale (3), and Jack Batcock (4) early before Riley Scrivens and Alex Nelmes began the fight back. After Scrivens was out for 10 Ben Nelmes joined Alex Nelmes and put on 50 for the fifth wicket before Alex Nelmes was bowled for 31. Mars Slee (14), Andy Kear (10), Josh Slee (9) all got starts but were unable to offer enough support to Ben Nelmes who top scored with 32. Josh Haddock was last out for 0 to leave Lydney 50 short of the target on 136 all out. A decent effort by the lads but they will reflect on the 47 wides bowled as the probable deciding factor.

Lydney 1st X1 v AIW 04/05/2019

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Lydney welcomed AIW to the Bob Park cricket ground to contest the first league game of 2019. Captain O’Connell won the toss and elected to bat first. At 17 for 2 after 5 overs with Jon Kear and Tom Legge back in the pavilion it looked a questionable decision. Jack Knox joined MJ who had remained calm and they set about rebuilding the innings. AIW acheieved further success in the 10th over when MJ was caught down the leg side by the keeper for 11 leaving Lydney rocking at 59 for 3. Enter the debutant Henry Sleeman who was looking to back up some good performances in pre season with a telling contribution when it mattered to join Knox. He did not disappoint scoring an unbeaten 84 off 101 balls. The pair added 54 runs for the fourth wicket before Knox was dismissed for a mature 57 which combined good defence and attack in equal measure. Jordan Stone joined Sleeman and immediately looked at home and began to score freely reaching 50 runs in 46 balls. Henry obviously didn’t want to be outdone as

he struck the last three balls of the innings for 6, 4,6! Lydney finished on an above par 251-4 off their 45 overs. Facing a formidable total AIW were soon in trouble as Corey Notley Barnard removed Shazad LBW in the first over. A good piece of fielding from Callum Miller saw Saleh run out to leave AIW on 21-2. Three more wickets were to fall on 21 with Bham, Bhayat and Fadra all departing without addition to the score. Bhayat and Fadra fell to Notley Barnard both bowled whilst Bham was caught at the wicket by Jake Bonser off Jack O’Connell as ball totally dominated bat. 21-5 became 31-6 when Baxa was bowled by captain O’Connell. MJ held an overhead catch to dismiss Master off the captains bowling and Corey completed a good bit of fielding to run out Saleh to leave AIW 37 all out. There will be tougher tests ahead but captain O’Connell will be happy to have 22 points in the bank.