Chapter 14 - Oddities
Chapter 14 - Oddities
Collegiate, like many other clubs, has always been fortunate in having a few splendid characters, who were very keen players, always ready to make up any team, but of little account at all as cricketers.
J. L. Wing is thought to be the least successful batsman. In one evening match, after he had been a member for many years, he edged his first ball for four and was bowled by the next. He returned to the pavilion full of glee and was asked why he was so pleased. "That", he said, "was my hundredth run". "What, this season?" "No", replied Wing, "ever". H. B. S. Gibbs, who was distinguished in the hockey world, once played against the Yorkshire Gentlemen on their old ground at York in a match when the Y.G.s had 12 players and the Collegiate side drew lots for who should bat twice. The lot fell on Gibbs, who was bowled first ball as No. 8 and again first ball as No. 9. Another player, who was seldom known to hold a catch, received a gentle skier at mid-on, whereat L. C. Barber said: "Dammit, it would have to go to him". The fielder then, very understandably, opened his arms wide and let the ball land with a thud between his feet. Another non-catcher was unfortunate enough to 'head' a six, having got his hands nowhere near the ball, but received scant sympathy from his captain as time was short and the ball could not be found.
Other players of considerable ability have also added many moments of hilarity. Bill Maddocks, whose arm was never very high at his best, at the end of a long day against M.C.C. let it drop so far that he clobbered the umpire, Beet, who was far from a giant, on the back of the head. Robert Gray, playing at Exeter, a large ground, pursued the ball to the mid-wicket boundary, turned and threw only to find that, when the ball stopped, he was still the nearest fielder to it. Hubert Scott, a very useful fast bowler and a notable eccentric, once joined Clifford Russell in a crucial last wicket stand at Brodsworth. Russell was the fastest between the wickets and in the field of all Collegiate players; twice in a match at Barnsley he got loud applause for his speedy fielding, a remarkable tribute to a visiting player there. With a few runs to win Scott played the ball a short way on the leg side; Russell ran two but Scott never left his crease. For the winning runs Scott thumped the ball to square leg; as it was about to cross the boundary he thought that he ought to run, started, tripped, fell flat on his face and was still there when the others had reached the pavilion. At Scunthorpe, having elected to change to bowling round the wicket, he charged up, suddenly veered between the umpire and the stumps and bowled from the 'over the wicket' position. Mount North could be observed in the early morning of Devon tours lightly brushing his car with a feather duster, a soothing sight for those with hangovers. He was a railway enthusiast, who spent his spare day in 1947 travelling in North Devon or Cornwall on one of the few bits of line over which he had never previously been. Cuthbert Gow, though captain, used to get unreasonably upset by mishap. At Darley Dale, having been run out early on, he stalked a considerable way to the nearest pub, found he had no money, was refused service and made the return journey with the necessary cash only to find that it was just past closing time.