40-36 Top cricketers

40 – Dave Hearse

ONE of two talented brothers to emerge from the Grammar School in the very early 1980s, this fast left- armer was integral to the success of Pilgrims in that decade. Always wholehearted, always questioning of the batsmen and prepared to fight fire with fire, he was part of the Pilgrims side who, in 1983, shared the Evening League title with then-mighty Rovers. The following two seasons Pilgrims went on to win the titles outright, the left-armer one third of a testing triumvirate of quickies that also included Andy Burkhardt and Guy Stuckey. It was not until 1986 when he finally got the chance to use the new ball in an inter-insular and in eight overs he went wicketless. Sadly, it was the same story in his next two clashes with Jersey, but he was persevered with and, in 1992, he would claim the prize Caesarean, wicket of Steve Carlyon and one other. He made an early breakthrough in the 1993 game but that proved his lot for Guernsey until he took his place in the Over 40s side. When Pilgrims subsided he joined the emerging St Pierre and, in 2002, won another Evening League title. By now he was relying more on accuracy rather than the full-throttle efforts of his youth and he opted to cut his run-up to a mere couple of paces. ‘The reason I cut the down the run- up was that I took 35 wickets in the Afternoon League in one season and the selectors were not of the belief I was good enough to make the team. So, I thought why should I do irreparable damage to my knees for no recognition.’

Never shy to speak his mind, it did him no harm in terms of the GCB, who turned to him to become the Island manager in succession to Peter Vidamour. He performed that job with the zest and enthusiasm of his bowling.

39 – John Mountford

ARRIVED on island in 1973 to take up a teaching post at St Peter Port Secondary and immediately became a fixture in the powerful Rovers side. An upright, technically very correct and largely middle-order batsman, he made the most of his chances and in 1974 won a place in the full Island team which gave Jersey a frightful thrashing at FB Fields. Down to bat No. 8 he was a bystander as Alan Lewis and Tony Taylor raced Guernsey to a 10-wicket win. He played in another Sarnian triumph the following year and batting at nine and was there at the conclusion, 4 not out. After another match when he was required to bat, he played a key role in securing a draw in 1977, scoring 31, the top score of the day in a low-scoring draw. His reputation for obduracy did him little good as he missed out on selection the next few seasons, but was back in the side in 1982 when again he did not bat.

But, over the years, he did plenty of that with Rovers who were the dominant team in all forms of local cricket at the time. There were many sizable contributions and he notched two centuries for GICC against UK teams Lacock and Reigate. It is fair to say he was never best suited to the shorter format but scored plenty at weekends and, in 1980, was the star performer as Rovers beat Pessimists in the showpiece GCA KO final. After retiring he put his heart and soul into umpiring and scoring and, certainly with regard to the former, there was nobody better. In recent years has performed an invaluable role in logging the history of island representative cricket, while for many years serving as secretary for the GCA, appointments secretary for GACUS, GCB secretary, umpire tutor and a GCB groundsman at Port Soif.

Notable performances:

1975 –          47 Rovers v St Saviours

1978 –          47* Rovers v Cobo

1980 –          43 Rovers v Pessimists

1981 –          44* Rovers v St Saviours

1982 –          66 Rovers v Pessimists

1984 –          108* GICC v Reigate

1985 –          73* GICC v Hampshire Maniacs

1986 –          81 GICC v Oundle

1987 –          50* Rovers v Irregulars; 100* GICC v Lacock

38 – Keith Howick

ONE of the outstanding Elizabeth College batsmen ever, although his involvement in Island cricket post departure to Oxford University and a business career was minimal. Very tall, with a tight defensive technique and immense powers of concentration, he would score a remarkable amount of runs during four seasons in the College first team. Twice he notched centuries against Victoria and there were also two tons against Forest and an undefeated 85 to keep the MCC bowlers at bay. In 1972, as captain, he amassed a remarkable 899 runs in the summer term and took 42 wickets with his highly accurate seamers for good measure. That summer he let Victoria off the hook with a mere 49, but also scored 88 v. Price’s School, 104 against Forest, 58 v. GICC, 54 against Cobo, 70 against Pessimists and an undefeated 53 off the GICC bowlers. After his second season in the XI coach Jack Reddish wrote: ‘he never seems to dominate the bowling but merely to contain it while accumulating runs’. Of his 114 not out in a total of 178 at Victoria College in 1970, Reddish penned this: ‘Throughout a time when wickets and strange decisions were being obtained, concentration as applied and responsibility accepted for the benefit of the team, to produce as fine an innings as one could hope to see from any schoolboy.’ Then, at the end of his farewell season, the coach said this of his captain: ‘There is no doubt that he has proved himself the best captain in the Island, at any level, showing maturity, shrewdness and an outstanding tactical awareness in his handling of the team.’

For the senior Island side, he scored 11 on debut in 1971 and in that golden season of 1972, he batted 64 minutes for 46 in another draw. He also took 2 for 30 from eight overs, In club cricket her played occasionally for Rovers and at Oxford played five first-class matches, enjoying the distinction of batting at No. 4 above the legendary Imran Khan.

He may have missed out on a blue at cricket, but did achieve one at hockey.

Notable performances:

1969 –          100* EC v VC

1970 –          100* & 2-19 EC v Forest school; 63 EC v King Edward school; 43* EC v Pessimists; 6-59 EC v Rovers; 102* EC v VC; 75* & 4-53 GICC v Builth Wells

37 – Edward Morres

QUEEN Victoria’s long reign had recently ended when this quality Winchester-educated Berkshire minor counties player arrived on the island. For the next decade or so he was a mainstay at for the island’s foremost club, Grange CC, scoring consistently well and taking very many wickets. In 1899, he had scored 83 and 68 for Berkshire against Northamptonshire and 51 against Glamorgan. When Grange CC folded, to be superceded by the GICC, Major Morres remained a regular player and was still the club captain at the start of the 1930s. Domestically, arguably his finest performance arrived in 1927 when, aged 55, he brushed aside a cut eye from an incoming throw and went on to score a century, quite remarkable for someone now into his 50s.

The Press reported that the veteran was at his best arid gave no chances. It continued: ‘His innings was reminiscent of those days when, as a member of the old Grange CC, he with his brother H. F. and cousin P. used to delight the crowd with stylish and hard-hitting displays. ‘In his 127 the Major Morres opened his shoulders to greater degree than is his wont nowadays and got sixes with ease.’ Born in 1873, Edward did not have to come far for his cricket action, having set up home a big hit away from the College Field in King’s Road.

Notable performances:

1891 –          4 wickets Winchester v Eton

1899 –          83 & 68 Berkshire v Northamptonshire; 51 Berks v Glamorgan; 54 & 93 Bournemouth v Incogniti

1900 –          69 Berks v MCC; 5-10 HFM Morres XI v EC

1903 –          29 & 6-25 AJL Darby XI v EC

1904 –          36 & 5-30 Grange v EC

1906 –          46 & 3-36 Beuttler’s XI v EC; 7-44 Grange v EC; 7-46 Grange v EC

1908 –          60 & 6-28 Grange v EC; 20 & 5-54 Grange v EC

1910 –          22 & 5-65 Grange v EC; 19 & 4-50 GF Howell XI v EC

1912 –          41 & 3-27 Grange v EC

1913 –          21 & 4-29 Grange v EC

1914 –          21 & 7-24 Grange v EC; 43 & 3-43 Grange v EC

36 – Matt Oliver

GUERNSEY lost a talented keeper- batsman when a decade or so ago Matt Oliver departed the island for a new life in the UK. By then he had long established himself in the senior Island side, often as an opener who hit the ball hard. Initially a St Pierre player, he was to join Cobo and having been in and around the squad for a couple of years, in 2003 he scored a bucketful of runs to force his way into Dave Hearse’s Island team. That summer, aged 23, he struck three centuries, including 128 for the Island against Sparsholt (Jeremy Frith’s Hampshire club). But his biggest score was a fine 144 in the GCA Weekend Championship against Rovers at the College Field. That day he batted for all but a few balls of the 45 overs in a total of 258. In representative action he was often part of a winning Sarnian side and having hit 26 at No. 6 in 2004, moved up to open and smashed 12 fours in a fine 58 the following year. A physical and mental drain for a wicket-keeper he remained as an opener where, in 2007, he played purely as a batsman as he partnered the hugely-talented Ryan Bishop, Fast scoring, he was voted young player of the year in 2003, player of the year two summers later and weekend player of the year in 2009. All told, score five half-centuries for Guernsey over the course of 23 matches.