On Tuesday 23rd June DUCC exited Taunton en route Southampton for the final "leg" of the tour. This was a relatively modest 90 mile drive with a view to finding Northland Road, then the main County Ground for Hampshire. We had arranged to meet up with Captain Mike who had travelled all the way from PERTH (Scotland) after persistent rain had enabled Ireland to escape with a "dishonourable" draw! On debut Mike had bowling figures of 10 overs, 2 Maidens, none for 32 - he went on to take 192 wickets in his 93 Irish matches. The other debutants took two (Wally Booton) and one (Raymond Moan) wickets, and neither was selected again!

The County Ground was well signposted by the AA so we found it easily and on a fine afternoon were treated to some excellent viewing. In 3-day matches (as in 2-day) the key was usually in pitching your declaration correctly. Hampshire, building on a first innings lead of 74 now set the visitors (Lancashire) 259 to win in what turned out to be 67 overs, of which left-arm spinner Peter Sainsbury bowled 25 to add the 30 he had sent down in the first" dig". The star turn of the day proved to be Frank Hayes who in his second first-class game was stumped off Sainsbury for 99 with only 27 more required and (potentially) 3 overs left. Hayes and his team mates had travelled from Manchester where he had made his debut v Middlesex scoring 94 and 47!! The last Lancashire pair survived the final couple of overs and by this stage we had been reunited with our "leader".

I suspect we then headed to Winchester where we normally stayed for this part of the venture. The next morning we journeyed to Portsmouth to face the United Services Club at another of Hampshire's First-class Grounds. There were two features, not unconnected, worth mentioning in relation to this venue. It had the biggest roller you ever did see other than in a Fred Dibnah programme, and so the wickets were "roads". The secret was to lose the toss for it was so difficult to bowl a side out; to win it was much handier to chase a target with the bonus that you ought to be able to hold on for a draw if wickets did fall!

Of course the Skipper, back In the groove, won the toss so it was "fill the boots" and hope to bowl them out. Barney and Silvo set off at a decent pace; apart from Heaton whose 15 overs only went for 30 runs they scored comfortably off all the bowlers. Although he bowled both Silverstone and Bryce Heaton couldn't prevent the openers putting a season best of 115. McKenna (55) went first when he was stumped off Chapman, Silverstone fell when the score reached 149 and there were further useful contributions from Bryce, Cox and Kirby so Halliday was able to declare at 200 reached in (in those days) only 52 overs.

This left us time to bowl 45 overs but, perhaps, we made an error in taking a couple of early wickets. By the 9th over USP were 26 for 2 with Atkins (0) and Carley (15) both caught by Alan Kirk off McCarey. For once Frankland went wicketless, and for 4 runs an over, and the spinners (Simon Hewson was rested) could get no turn from "the road". Simon Holland removed Dunt (also caught by Kirk) before Chapman and Beverley put on 82 for the 4th wicket. When the latter, and Dutta were bowled by McCarey off consecutive deliveries time had all but run out and the match was drawn.

We broke new ground the next day with a trip to Bovington Camp ("The Tank Museum Capital of the World"!) to play The Dorset Rangers. This was just above an hour's drive from Winchester and the Camp itself was reached by passing through some heathland often populated by the aforementioned Tanks. The impressive Cricket Ground was in the middle of the buildings and from time to time Helicopters would land close by. When we went to the Dining Room (huge) for Lunch the "top table" seemed to consist of a selection of NATO "top brass" festooned with Braid on their uniforms. We didn't blot our copybooks for we were invited back the next year which I remember mainly because de Winter Shaw and I were able to make a "pilgrimage" (in fading light) to Lulworth Cove an iconic image from Cain's O-Level Physical Geography Text-Book!

For reasons long since lost in the mists of time this was a 12-a-side game and I think that all 12 fielded. It would have to be reported that after Lunch (especially) and Tea the fielding side were conspicuously relaxed. DUCC, as usual, batted first and produced a long but not particularly energetic innings. Five players got to 20 but the top score was only 35. The Rangers' bowling varied - Swingler, Bolshaw and Braddock (who, it became apparent was actually called Goldsack!) produced one (Bolshaw's) for 19 off 16 overs. The slow men (Pullen, Lumby and Joslin) got through 41 overs taking 5 wickets. Eventually some late "tonking" by Frankland (3 fours in his 24*) saw DUCC declare at 172 for 7.

Frankland and McCarey took an early wicket each - 4 for 2 after 4 overs. Indeed Frankland began with 4 straight maidens. With attacking fields there were several boundaries, Hardwick and Willey putting on 55 for the 3rd wicket. There were 16 taken from Simon Holland's first over but when he bowled Willey (16) in his second "the wheels came off". Frankland caught Hardwick off the Skipper and each of Trinity's 6 bowlers took at least one wicket. 59 for 2 became 93 for 9 and had number 10 (of 12) Bolshaw not held firm (11*) a win could well have ensued. As it was DUCC bowled 40 overs but had, perhaps, waited just too long to declare and force a victory.

The journey back to Winchester completed, the team could look forward to a rare "day off" before the grand and traditional tour finale against The Hampshire Hogs.

  • DUCC 200 for 3 wkts dec. J. Silverstone 63, B. McKenna 55, H. Cox 31*, M. Bryce 23, J. Kirby 16*; Heaton 15-2-30-2.
  • United Services Portsmouth 151 for 5 wkts B. Chapman 58*, H. Beverley 42; R. McCarey 10-0-31-4, S. Holland 5-2-8-1.
  • DUCC 172 for 7 wkts dec. C. Harte 35*, J. Silverstone 32, J. Frankland 24*, M. Bryce 23, J. Kirby 20; R. Pullen 17-7-31-2, A. Lumby 14-2-49-2.
  • Dorset Rangers 93 for 9 wkts D. Hardwick 41: M. Halliday 11-5-21-3, S. Holland 4-1-18-2, S. Hewson 1-2, J. Frankland 1-10, A. Kirk 1-12, R. McCarey 1 for 28.