80-76 Top cricketers

80 – Roger Self

THE Old Elizabethan will always be best renowned for guiding the Great Britain men’s hockey team to gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. But, before he moved away from the island, this outstanding left- hander was a free-scoring and highly effective Island batsman who was capped in 1958, a year out of school. A very fast scoring batsman who was particularly strong on the leg side, he was too hot-headed for his own good it appears.

But his final year in the XI saw him top the batting aggregate with 515 runs at 39.6 and as well as smashing 108 off the Optimists attack, he hit 98 against King Edward VI School and a rapid 87 against Victoria College. ‘Made runs almost as he wished – a pity that sometimes he didn’t wish,’ wrote the Elizabethan magazine post season.

One of his best domestic innings was his brilliant 69 for Optimists scored from just 34 balls in 1960. Then, when the KGV grass was sometimes so long you had to search for the ball in the outfield, it was one of the fastest half centuries on record. During his university days he annually returned home and produced telling performances with both bat and ball. For the 1960 inter-insular on the Victoria College ground, it was with the ball he shone. Opening the bowling he returned figures of 6 for 55, varying his pace superbly and basically keeping one end going as the visitors tried to defend a meagre 158. He was to dismiss six of Jersey’s top seven.

There are 25 other notable performances but a few are:

1956 –          69 EC v GICC; 39 EC v VC

1957 –          53 EC v GICC; 7-14 Opt v Post Office; 25 & 3-42 GCL v GICC

1958 –          71 & 5-22 GICC v EC;43 & 4-46 Optimists v Rovers; 5-27 GCL v St Lukes Coll; 5-21 GICC v GCL; 58 GCL v EC

5-18 Optimists v Pilgrims; 5-21 GICC v Nomads

1960 –          5-16 Optimists v Pilgrims; 36 & 3-42 GICC v Beeches OB; 5-26 OE v OV

1961 –          6-23 GCL v N Bennett XI; 31 & 3-21 Optimists v Harlequins; 64 & 3-36 GICC v Incogniti; 30 & 4-30 OE v OV

1962 –          56 & 2-73 Gsy v Jsy; 80 Fox CC v GCL; 25 & 4-47 OE v OV

79 – Mark Culverwell

Strong, workhorse opening bowler who enjoyed a long and fruitful career across several domestic clubs. Originally with Rovers as a junior, he made his mark with a fast-emerging Tortevites team before moving on to Pilgrims, Pessimists, Cobo and Argylls, which he captained in weekend cricket.

Capable of bowling very quickly notably on the mats, he was never such a force on grass wickets. When he finally made his Island bow in 1955, he finished with figures of 1 for 43 from nine overs.

He went on to win six caps and was a regular in the Channel Islands team when they played in the County 38s. A bowler of huge heart, which was typified by one of his best performances in a Guernsey O40s team when, despite in much pain and struggling to walk he still got through his 10-over spell for the team.

78 – Alastair Tapp

Had emerged into the Elizabeth College 1st XI in 1979 when he gave notice of great promise as a slow left-armer by taking 5 for 34 against the premier club side, Rovers. A year later, his last at the College, he took 3 for 26 and 5 for 24 in the Victoria College game and won the belt for best bowling.

‘Showed accuracy, control and maturity in his bowling’ was how the Elizabethan magazine described his contribution to his final season in the first team, but having headed to university his appearances in local cricket were limited and it would be another six years before he was finally awarded a senior cap. That day he batted at nine and did not bowl, but he was to play a hugely significant role in Guernsey’s 35-run win at the College Field the following year. Batting first Guernsey were seven wickets down with half of their 50 overs remaining. The situation called for no-risk batting and Tapp, along with Ian Damarell, betrayed their natural instincts to save the day. Tapp was finally out in the 48th over for a determined 40 scored off 91 balls and Guernsey had enough runs to play with.

Man of the match award to Ali Tapp

That same season his all-round efforts saw him win the man-of-the-match award in a losing GCA Knockout final cause while playing for Tortevites.

A fearsome striker of the ball when he got in he could take most attacks apart, but was too loose to be a top batsman.

77 – Vince Chapell

EDUCATED at Elizabeth College and a first XI contemporary of the deliciously named hard-hitting batsman Sloggett. We tell no lie. Brian Sloggett ‘hits the ball with tremendous power’ tells the 1948 Elizabethan magazine, which also says of Chapell, ‘a promising young cricketer who should one day make a good all-rounder’.

Well, that never transpired but over more than a decade of domestic cricket with GICC and Rovers he developed into a fine bowler who took five seven-wicket hauls and invariably very cheaply.

Selected to play in the very first full inter-insular 70 years ago, he was unlucky that the match was washed out. The 1952 game was not played and he had to wait until 1954 to take on the Caesareans and in 10 accurate overs took two top-order wickets for 37. He claimed three the following year, but that game proved to be his last in Guernsey colours. Thereafter he was a mainstay of the growing club force that was Rovers who would ultimately knock Pessimists off their perch.

There are 25 notable performances but a few were:

1949 –          7-26 GICC v GCL   

1950 –          7-46 GICC v Incogs; 7-55 GICC v GCL

1952 –          7-29 Rovers v Pilgrims    

1955 –          7-30 GICC v EC     

1963 –          5-8 (inc hat trick) Rovers v Pilgrims B

76 – Alan Hunter

Back in the 1950s it was debatable whether there was a more talented all-round sportsman than the Elizabeth College schoolmaster – certainly in terms of the main winter and summer sports. As with football, the middle-order batsman dealt in power. On the football field it was ferocious shot and long passes. On the College Field it was big shots hit with great ferocity. When he delivered it was often spectacular.

Although primarily a middle-order batsman, Guernsey used him as an opener in back-to-back matches against Jersey in the mid-50s and he tempered his natural instincts to produce scores of 39 and 53 those two summers.

One of his very best innings though, was the 102 he struck for GICC against the GCL in a weather-shortened all-day game at the College Field. Batting at first wicket down, he dominated a GICC score of 183 for 4 declared and as the game petered out for a draw he also picked up a wicket.

There are 30 notable performances but a couple are:

1951 –          78 OE v EC  

1953 –          82* GICC v Opt; 65 GICC v GCL