95-91 Top cricketers

95 – Bob Kimber

VERY under-rated middle order batsman who may not have often grabbed the headlines in a star-studded Rovers team, but was key to their success for more than a decade. In 1959 he became the first recipient of the Young Cricketer of the Year award but it was another five seasons before he began making regular telling scores in a Rovers side that dominated the shorter game. He won his first Island cap in 1965 but due to come in at seven, he didn’t bat in a high scoring draw.

In 1966 he did get to bat, but collected a duck and was forced to wait another six seasons before a second cap arrived. This time he contributed 25 from No. 5 in another draw. A third inter-insular game came along in 1975 and he contributed 10 as Guernsey won a low scoring match by three wickets. His best season was undoubtedly 1970 when he became only the second non-Elizabethan to score a domestic century in 10 years. A safe fielder, especially at gully, with a strong arm, he won a string of honours for Rovers, whom he was still playing for in 1983 when he was joined in the side by his son Gary.

Scores:         64 Rov v Harlequins 1964; 52 Rov v Tektronix 1970

94 – Roderick Gair Maclaren

BACK at the very start of the 20th century the all-rounder took a while to fulfil his potential at Elizabeth College, but by his final season he had developed into one of the very finest all-round players the school had produced.

In 1902 he had struck a century, topped the batting and bowling averages. But a year later he really flourished, scoring 59 opening the batting against Victoria and smashing 98 and taking 6 for 37 against the island’s premier team, Grange CC.

‘Quite the best cricketer in the school,’ exclaimed the Elizabethan end of season notes. ‘Able to play a fine forcing game, but with plenty of self-control when the occasion requires it. Invariably useful as a bowler and bore the brunt of the work in this department throughout the season; when at his best really difficult (to face).’

Some of his performances are:

1901 –          53 v Grange; 7-33 v Torpedo Sqn

1902 –          6-21 v TD Stanger-Leathes XI; 5-10 v Lincoln Regt; 6-47 v Vic Coll; 70* & 3-67 v St Martins; 129 v Lincoln Regt

1903 –          6-50 v AJL Darby XI; 42 & 4-63 v HMS Aurora; 9-34 v Leicestershire Regt; 106* v HF Morres XI; 29 & 7-29 & 2-21 v Vic Coll

Survived the First World War but never came back to the island to play.

93 Geoff Callaway

FIRST came to prominence as a fast opening bowler at Elizabeth College where, in 1965, his last year, he was described as someone who should not let his head go down when things went wrong. That season they seldom did. He took 6 for 23 for the College against the Guernsey Cricket League and a year later produced figures of 6 for 6 as GICC beat the Samians. Initially a St Saviour’s player, he switched to Cobo and in 1969 produced two sets of remarkable figures – 6 for 4 against Optimists and 8 for 15 against Harlequins. He followed that up in 1970 with 6 for 9 against Harlequins again.

He seemed to have the sign on the latter, because a year later he took 6 for 9 in another evening game against them. Young Cricketer of the Year in 1966, he formed a formidable Cobo opening attack with Tony Shepherd, before in 1970 gaining his first full Island cap. It was not a match to remember for him personally, but a year on he again opened the bowling and in 21 pinpoint overs took 3 for 24.

On his day he was a challenge for any batsman in the Cl game and bowled very quickly and with hostility at times. But that propensity to let his head down at times held him back and he played just one more inter-insular and in his latter years switched to Irregulars.

92 Neil Hunter

Batting in the style which made his father, Alan, a feared middle-order batsman in the 1950s. Neil was a player to be got out quickly before he won a match single-handedly. Initially an Optimists player, he played a key cameo innings in their 1979 GCA KO Final win over Pessimists.

Several years later he switched to Cobo, where he won another GCA KO winners medal and when they embarked on a National Village Championship in 1990, cracked a brilliant 99 as they won their opening round at Crown Taverners.  That year he won the Grand Slam Shield awarded to the most sixes struck in EL Division One. It was the second time in three seasons that he had done so. In 1980 he won the first of four Island caps, with a quickfire 23 in a winning cause, but after he did not feature, which was odd given the way he treated the Jersey legend Barry Middleton in opening in one GCL-JCL game at the College Field.

91 – Gary Tapp

ONE of the mainstays of the St Saviour’s side when they peaked in the late 1980s, early 90s. A crisp hitter of the ball, the Grammar School-educated player was also one of the finest runners between the wicket the game has seen, as well as a fine fielder.

In 1988 only the prolific Peter Vidamour, Tony Masterman and Bryan Preston scored more than his 460 Evening League runs. But it was not until 1993 that he secured his Island cap and batting at seven, he contributed a quick 15 before becoming one of Chris Searson’s nine victims at College Field.

 Two years later he was back in the side and contributed 21 down the order and showed the sort of mettle the top order lacked that day. He was growing into the Guernsey lower middle-order role and in 1996 scored 50 in another Guernsey loss.

Ever loyal to St Saviour’s, he won a couple more caps before becoming President of the Guernsey Cricket Association at a time of significant changes in the running of the game.