Firstly, we’re sad to report that Richard “Dick” Hedges has passed away. Legend is a word that is probably thrown around too much, but in the history of Royal Ascot Cricket Club, it is an apt word as he served the club for 64 years – as a player and a groundsman.
I had the honour of playing with, and on several occasions bowl in tandem with Dick at the end of his career and the beginning of my career at Royal Ascot. He was generous with his time and advice, and even after he stopped playing, would be a regular watcher on a Saturday. And after the match many of us shared a pint with him and learned from his insight on the match and your own performance.
Our condolences to his family as we say goodbye to Dick tomorrow. But he shall always be remembered as an integral part of the club for so many years, and while I’m researching for stories for our 150th anniversary in a few years times, I will keep a keen eye on his performances in the second half of the 20th century.
1s v Sulhamstead & Ufton
Saturday was the last of the limited over matches for 9 weeks for the 1s and 2s. The 1s were on the road at Sulhamstead & Ufton. Ascot won the toss and elected to bat first.
Despite 38 from opener Harry Watson, the top and middle order struggled to get the Sulhamstead attack away, and it needed contributions from Nick Wiggett (45) and Mike Breet (33) to get some momentum at the end of the innings and help Ascot set a competitive total of 189 for 8 off 45 overs. Matthew Gill was the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 23.
Despite an early wicket the Sulhamstead & Ufton top order laid the foundations of a strong run chase including a 2nd wicket partnership of 76 between Andrew MacEwen (41) Marc Thompson (28). Tharindu Denipitiyage (3 for 26) helped bring Ascot back into the match but an undefeated 51 from Sam Oppenheimer brought Sulhamstead home by 3 wickets and 11 deliveries.
2s v Thatcham Town 2
Thatcham were the visitors to the Racecourse Ground and on winning the toss elected to bowl first. A great opening spell from Mike Green and Ollie Thorne kept Ascot in check in the first 20 overs. While a fourth wicket partnership of 79 between James Docker (39) and Jeremy Wing (39) helped Ascot to a total of 192 for 5 off 45 overs, the athletic fielding of Thatcham Town helped save them 30+ runs in the field.
Despite the early loss of Will Sharp, a second wicket stand of 96 between Ben Denton-Powell (30) and Gregor Wells well executed (63) helped keep Thatcham on course with the run-rate. Despite a great spell of bowling by skipper Jason Carr (2 for 26) which helped keep Ascot in the game, his opposite number Paul Hemming (30 not out) helped Thatcham to victory by 4 wickets and with 1 over remaining.
3s v Newbury 2
The 3s were on the road at Newbury 2. Newbury won the toss and elected to bat first. Captain, Simon Digweed, once again led the way in the batting with another big score of 71 to help lay the foundations of a competitive score. They made 160 for 6 off 40 overs with the wickets shared among the Ascot bowlers.
Ascot struggled despite James Stock (34) as they slipped from 60 for 1 to 64 for 4, and then 90 for 4 to 99 for 7. However, Rob Bennett (24) kept the run chase alive but Ascot just fell at the last hurdle finishing on 152 for 9 off 40 overs. Bobby Vynatheya was the pick of the Newbury bowlers with 4 for 16.
4s v Fleet 3
At Locks Ride, the 4s entertained Fleet 3. Ascot won the toss and invited Fleet to bat. Darren Edwards (32) and Cam Montgomerie (31) top scored for Fleet but good bowling and 3 run outs restricted Fleet to 142 for 9 off 40 overs.
In the end the 4s cantered home, led by Hassan Sohail’s 63 and Steve Bowles 25 not out to win by 7 wickets and with over 11 overs remaining.