A Review of the 1975 Season


Plenty to report for 1975 despite the fact that only the 1st XI and Sunday B books survive….

1975 was Ron Lynch’s final season and under his Leadership the Club again only narrowly failed to capture League honours. Fittingly Ron bowed out in his last game with a win at Westcliff.

Seven League games were won with a strong batting line up providing the backbone of the side. Geoff Sandrock had an outstanding year with over 2000 runs in all games, including centuries on two consecutive Saturdays against Sawbridgeworth (124) and the Met Police No 3 District (127) in their last season in the League.

Graham Saville hit two centuries too with 125 no against Gidea Park and Romford and 113 against Colchester, while Mike Edmonds made 108 against Wanstead. Graham Lord and Mike Edmonds put together an opening partnership of 201 against Walthamstow in July. In fact such was the strength of the batting that a certain Richard Alston found himself down to bat at number 11 on more than one occasion! Steve Plumb also figured regularly at Number 4 and made his debut for Essex.

Highlight of the year was a wonderful 10 wicket thrashing of local rivals Loughton. Richard Alston, the blond left arm paceman captured a hat-trick against Sawbridgeworth, having also taken one in the B eleven against North Middlesex in the previous match.

The Hon.Secretary’s Annual Report in 1975 reported the following:

After Robin Hobbs hit the headlines in the National Press by scoring 100 runs in 44 minutes against the Australians, he demonstrated his typical adaptability by turning out for the 1st eleven a few days later in a closely contested League game. It is amusing to ponder that after facing Ashley Mallett and co and entertaining many hundreds of paying spectators. Robin was soon afterwards participating in this match and paying for the privilege of doing so.

The Kemp Cup campaign again saw us reach only the 3rd round, with a severely weakened Chingford going out in a scores level game at Harold Wood decided on least wickets lost.

In the Sunday As under Reg Bancroft, Geoff Sandrock hit a massive unbeaten 153, but still ended on the losing side against Pinner.

Jeff Runciman again took charge of the Bs and recorded an impressive 9 wins in a campaign that saw only 4 defeats.

One of the legendary Chingford games of all time took place at Forest Side on Sunday 11 May when Highams Park, who to be fair were probably not the strongest opposition at the time, were the visitors. Making his debut for the club was a young West Indian by the name of Macdonald Mellow, who no-one knew but had come to the Club in the week looking for cricket. Batting at no 5 he hit 28 in 27 minutes as Chingford declared on 195-4 at the customary 20 to five pm but with little hint of the fireworks to come. Bowling from the top end he was probably the fastest bowler I’ve ever seen in action at Forest Side and Park opener Brunger never moved as he was bowled first ball, and by the end of the first over the number 3 had joined him in the pavilion having again been clean bowled. In his fourth over a hat-trick from Mellow (all bowled) saw his analysis stand at an incredible 4 overs 4 maidens 0 runs 5 wickets! With Highams Park at 6-6 skipper Jeff Runciman showed some mercy by taking him off but Chingford ran out easy winners. I believe Macdonald is still around these days and turned up at the Club when we had a fixture against Dominica few years ago.

In “normal” games John Woodland (311 runs) , Jeff Runciman and Malcolm Swinfen were the top run scorers and with the ball the usual /Ted Alston (26 wickets) and Robin Runciman led the way.

Julian Osborne smacked 128 in 104 minutes against Sudbury Court, but not satisfied with his batting then went on to take 5 wickets! Richard Alston bowled 23 overs on the trot in the win at Old Parks as he captured a 6fer, I’ll buy him a pint if he can repeat the feat this summer!

1975 was the last year of the traditional last game of the season played all-day at the beautiful Whitbreads ground in Woodford where the outfield was like a bowling green. It’s a crying shame to see the state of that place 30 years on.

During 1975 the Bar in the Clubhouse was extended “round the corner” to its existing position, which gave the benefit of a much larger serving area.

1975 saw the last ever County 2nd eleven Cricket at Forest Side when Essex entertained Middlesex on Thu/Fri 7/8 August. The ground is now considered too small width-wise for Cricket at this level.