100 – 96 Top cricketers

100 – John Valdemar Blad

In 1912 he scored 32* v Vic Coll and the following year 47. In 1914 though he had quite a purple patch scoring a 53, a week later 129* v Vic Coll, a week later 95* v HMS Superb, a week later 60* v FW Mourant XI and a big innings v Vic Coll. In those few weeks he had scored 546 for just once out.

THE year was 1914 and the Blad brothers were to bat their names into Elizabeth College folklore at the expense of the Victoria College bowlers. The report in ‘The Elizabethan’, the school magazine is;


The first Jersey match was played on our ground on Saturday, July 6th 2014. Winning the toss we started batting at 11.45 with J. V. Blad and G. E. Blad. Taking no risks these two were seldom in difficulties, and despite numerous bowling changes, runs came steadily. At lunch no wicket had fallen and the score stood at 125, J. V. Blad being 57 and his brother 56. After lunch more risks were taken, especially by C. E. Blad, who hitting at almost everything, and twice sending the ball out of the ground, reached his century within half-an-hour. Almost immediately afterwards with the score at 214 he was stumped, having scored 104 by very fine cricket. J. V. Blad continued to bat extremely well and easily passed his century. With the score at 267 for three wickets the innings was declared. The first wicket partnership of the Blads was of course a record. Careful to wear down the bowling at first, they hit very finely after lunch, and altogether gave a display that no one who was present will forget for many a long day. It was a fitting climax to their many successes in Jersey matches. Our opponents’ innings opened disastrously, Grimshaw attempting a very short run and Pirouet losing his wicket to Forty. With Hogshaw and Guiton together some better batting was seen and the bowling became rather loose. The score was brought to sixty before J. V. Blad bowled Hogshaw and in the same over caught and bowled Bundle, the Jersey captain. Guiton soon afterwards fell to Forty and then wickets fell steadily until the innings closed for 153, A. G. Bundle being not out 27. Our bowling was not up to its usual standard, Forty and J. V. Blad being most successful.


J. V. Blad, not out 129

C. E. Blad, st. Bundle, b Mossopp 104

P. F. Trotter, c and b Mossopp 0

E d’A. Collings, b Buck 9

G. H. Forty, not out 13

C. M. Doutoh, F. S. Layard, E. J. Mortis, R.S.Brock, C. F. Frank, E. F. Layard did not bat

Extras 12

Total 267


Grimshaw  13 2 36 0

Hogshaw  21 7 68 0

Mesny  7 3 24 0

Mossopp  13 2 45 2

Guiton  8 2 38 0

Butler  5 1 10 0

Buck  5 1 22 1

Pirouet  3 1 4 0

Clark  1 0 8 0


B. E. Grimshaw, run out 2

J. H. Hogshaw, b J. Blad 34

A. T. Pirouet, b Forty 2

R. A. Guiton, b Forty 45

C. N. Bundle, c and b J. Blad 0

L. O. Clark, 1 b w, b Forty 0

H. T. Mesny, b C. Blad 11

E. A. Mossopp, c Frank, b Forty 0

A. G. Bundle, not out 27

F. A. Buck, b Trotter 5

E. D. Butler, c and b J. Blad 8

Extras 19

Total 155


Forty  12 0 38 4

C. Blad  10 1 32 1

Doutch  3 0 21 0

J. Blad  8 1 29 3

Trotter  4 0 14 1

Between them they were to rack up 442 runs in two games against the ‘brown caps’ and the elder of the brothers was to score precisely 338 of them. On their home ground, he and brother Carl both racked up centuries, with John finishing undefeated on 129.

JV Blad middle row, far right; CE Blad back row, far left

A couple of weeks later they headed to Jersey where after Carl’s shock early loss for a duck, John sought to make up for it and make up he did, scoring a brilliant 209 not out. An anecdotal story suggests that Carl was unlucky to be given out caught at the wicket, at which point John turned to him and said: ‘Don’t worry, I will get one for you and one for me.’ John had served notice of his potential the year before when the Elizabethan noted he was ‘a very good bat who heads the averages for the season; an excellent fielder’.

Unlike his brother, John never featured again on local fields as he embarked on a long career in the Army, which included being wounded at the Battle of the Somme.

99 – Paul Smith

CAPPED for Guernsey just once, in 1986, but the wicket-keeper batsman was a highly-skilled glove man who was unlucky that his spell in island cricket coincided with a period when there as many quality keepers as there were on the fingers of his gloves. Had his local career been delayed 20 or 30 years, when the choice of keepers was much more limited, this highly-competitive player would have won many more caps. St Saviour’s were the domestic club to benefit from his doughty batting and slick work behind the stumps and while he did not have a memorable full Island debut, a few weeks later he showed his true qualities in a tied inter-insular U23s match at the FB Fields. Going in at six, he baled the Sarnians out of trouble with a fine 56 against an attack which included the very pacy and accurate Colin Graham,
Steve Carlyon and Mark Reynolds, three quality bowlers of varying skills.

98 – Nev Smith

PESSIMISTS’ dominance of Evening league cricket in the 1950s owed a good deal to the all-round skills of this left-arm bowling all-rounder.

N. J. Smith scored heavily as a top-order batsman and often ran through batting line-ups, most notably the Herald team in 1958 when he took all 10 of their wickets for nine runs as the printing business were shot out for 22 at KGV, his final three victims coming in successive deliveries.

Nev Smith , 8 bowled, 2 caught; 7 ducks

Over the following two seasons he scored three domestic centuries either for GICC or the Guernsey Cricket league side. There was also a superb 74 for the GICC against Elizabeth College Past and Present when he ‘caned the bowlers with monotonous ease’. Although a GICC stalwart, for an unknown reason he never was capped for the full Island side, while plainly good enough, as a 1959 cricket comment piece by John Le Poidevin noted that ‘Neville Smith should have been the obvious choice to share the new ball but he will be away from the island’.

Some of his other best performances were:

102 GCL v OVs; 107* Masters v EC; 102* GICC v RASC; 74 GCL v Fox CC         

97 – Mark Bacon

A HEAVY run scorer in domestic cricket for Pessimists at the tail-end of the 19805, ‘Bakes’ struggled to emulate that form in Island colours. Capped for the first time in 1986, when he was one of several debutants in what transpired to be a disappointing defeat in Jersey, he bagged a lower-order duck and suffered the ignominy of another the following year, before opening his inter-insular account with an undefeated 24 in 1988. There was another handy cameo of 30 not out in 1990, yet when he was in Pessimists colours he so often made it look so easy.

His run scoring exploits were key in Pessimists winning both the 1987 and 1990 Division One titles and in his latter run-laden summer he amassed an incredible 796 Division One runs – still a record – as part of 1,172 in all GCA club cricket that year. Needing 52 from two remaining innings to break Peter Vidamour’s 1989 set record of 646, Bacon sailed past it with an undefeated 97 in the first of those games against a quality Optimists attack. An argument could be easily made that his representative record would have turned out far better had he been given greater responsibilities and not been shifted around the order to the extent he was.

The talent was there to be an Island great but in those terms it just did not happen for him. Finished his club career with St Pierre before moving away from the island.

96 – Bill Druce

ANOTHER of the key players from Pessimists’ glory years of the 1950s when they were much admired but also disliked for introducing the run-saving field placings which, in years to come, were to become common practice in the English one-day game. He had been a top player from the late 1940s when he often opened the innings for his club side and GICC.

Steady rather than spectacular, one of his finest performances came in a thrilling inter-insular defeat at the Victoria College Field, Jersey, in 1953 when he chipped in with an excellent 71 batting at six. Joining forces with HV Stone with Guernsey in a perilous position of 29 for 4, they put on 122 for the fifth wicket and into a position where they were eventually able to set a testing target of 245. Jersey got home by two wickets having smashed 30 runs in the last 10 minutes of action. Away from the game he gave outstanding service to the Guernsey Cricket league and the game as a whole, serving the GCL as treasurer.

Some other notable performances were:

1948 –          26 & 4 wkts Pessimists v Pilgrims;

1949 –          72 Pessimists v Banks; 12.2-1-42-6 GICC v GCL

1950 –          6-0-26-6 GICC v EC with all 6 players being st Hamon b Druce; 20 & 4 for 53 GCL v EC

1951 –          37 & 2 for 24 Pessimists v Gasco

1953 –          45 GICC v GCL; 56 Pessimists v Gasco

1956 –          51* Pessimists U35 v Pessimists O35; 50 GCL v Incogniti

1958 –          71 GICC v GCL

1959 –          51 Gsy v Jsy

1961 –          50* GCL v Fox CC