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Men v Boys

My father was a great all-round sportsman. As a soccer player he was invited to tour Eastern Europe with the England Amateur XI (but couldn't afford to go)! He played cricket for Notts Colts, won the Notts County tennis championship and was a scratch golfer. As an aside, my father's brother, my uncle Harold, played soccer for England as an amateur and I couldn't resist including this photograph of his cap!

Given all of this sporting activity, it was no great surprise that soon after buying the farm my father established both soccer and cricket pitches next to the Rectory. The soccer pitch did not last long but the cricket ground was used by the village for many years until 1953 when a lease was granted to the Hampshire Hogs Cricket Club. In 1994, the Club acquired the freehold of the ground outright. My father also established an indoor cricket school in one of the redundant pig houses and in the winter months this was used extensively by the members of the Hampshire County XI, of which my father was Vice President.

For five years from 1948 to 1952 my father organised a match between a team of schoolboys and the amateurs and professionals of the Hampshire County side. The Hampshire XI was handicapped by using boy-size bats to defend four stumps whilst the boys only had to defend two stumps!

Despite the handicap (and the fact that the boys were aged 17 by the fifth year) the various match scorecards reveal that the Hampshire XI was victorious every time!

I rather think that the following headline must have refered to the handicap arrangement rather than the results!


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