Tour of Christchurch Australia day 2018


“The Valley of Hope”

On this tour, we drifted slowly into the earthquake devastated Christchurch, which after ten (10) years, is still rebuilding. The tour team was bolstered by a number of younger players from the Penshurst West Club (where Tommy Robertson and Soren Hughes used to play) as well as the usual collection of misfits and ne’er do wells from C.C.N.S.W. Prior to the first game we were (as Hogan’s Heroes) lucky to win the trivia contest at the BOG Irish Bar before we doubled up to a stint at the Casino, which was followed up the next day by some Bungee Jumping, White Water rafting, the u/19 World Cricket Cup and a Beer Festival which made a full day for the tourists.

Tom Robertson was a target from day one as he tried to pay his game fees in old NZ currency from the 1980s that his dad gave him, which nobody would change. Most of the kids in the café serving us didn’t even recognise it as New Zealand money.

Our first game was at the Valley of Peace, which was built in 1933 and is a picturesque postage stamp size field built to avoid the old ‘Sunday Observance” laws where no sport could be played on Sundays. This ground was private and outside the city area and could be used on God’s day.

The oval has a number of trees on it and the rules are that boundaries are worth 2 and over the boundary on the full is worth 4. Their clubhouse was a tapestry of cricket memorabilia and old photos of Tests over the years.
However, as luck would have it, our minibus was not returned by the previous hirer until midday and we had to go to the airport to pick it up, so some of the players drove out. The game started with only five players. Our tactical decision to be late meant we batted first.

Whilst the cavalry was getting organised at Thrifty hire counter, a stoic Ross Dalgleish (4) and a cavalier Soren Hughes (7) opened to wait for the bus to arrive. Soren hit some twos and was bowled by a late inswinger that he claimed was the best ball of the day (technically it was right at the time as it was only the eighth ball). The pitch was causing the ball to come in low and the bowlers were slow enough to take advantage of it.

Jim Morrison (20) and Peter Harrison (10) came in and stayed the control to put on some runs whilst waiting for the bus to arrive. Tony Watson (34* after coming back in later) held the innings together gracefully playing the low balls well.

The bus finally turned up and Pat Hogan (3) was bowled as were the first five batsmen. The bus driver Ken Yardy went out at 5-45 under Tom Robertson’s instructions to hold up one end and defend. Ken (0) accordingly smashed a ball to mid-wicket and a shocked fielder found it had stuck in his hand.

Sam Barrington-Smith (aka “Two Dads”) (6) was held to be LBW and John Wise (9) was stumped as he couldn’t move his feet as usual. Tom Robertson put together a classic 34 (retired) as he hit the trees, cows and the creek in the next paddock with the help of his son Ed (11*). Michael Watson (0) was bowled and got the duck vest as we slowly lurched to 9-146.

A lovely lunch was served and we soaked up the serenity of the post card scenery. We were quite lucky as the other side was happy for us to interchange players. As it was our first game of the tour everybody wanted to play. We batted twelve and four of the batting side dropped out in the field to let another four come in, so 16 players actually played!

We went out to bowl with Raj Anand and Ed Robertson (aka ‘Jub Jub’) opening. Raj kept the ball where it had to be and they couldn’t hit him off the square. Ed at the other end grabbed two wicket maidens in his first spell. They were at 2-15 off eight overs and things were looking contained. Jim Morrison came on to through some darts, picked up a wicket with only 17 runs off 7 overs.

At the sixteen over mark they had only scored 39 runs, with Mick Watson bowling one maiden, then they hit 10 runs off one over and the batsman were now getting comfortable. At the twenty over mark they had progressed to 3-54 runs, so the maths was still against them. They were starting to increase the run rate and their number 4 bat retired, and the wickets started to fall. Sam Barrington-Smith, Simon Muggeridge and Tom Robertson (yes, he had a loose over, but he got their big hitter bowled as he thought he could hit Tommy for another 2) all picked up wickets and they were 6-77 off twenty six overs.

Our tactic was then to keep their Nos. 8 and 9 batsmen in as they were scoring slowly and did not seem to want to bash the ball. The No 9 retired hurt with a muscle issue and the No 8 was run out, they were now 7-125 after 35 overs
They need 20 runs off four overs, but they were only averaging 3.5 runs per over at this stage with Nos.10 and 11 in. Peter Harrison knew he had to try to keep them in to prevent the retired batter coming back. But of course, Peter whilst bowling tight, managed to bowl the No.10. 8-127 off thirty six.

With the retired batsman back, he hit a 4 (i.e. a six) with his first ball. It was 8-138 (with their No 9 having earlier retired hurt) with two overs to go, but he holed out to a great ball off Raj thanks to Beau Yardy catching at mid-wicket with the score at 9-139 with two balls to go and the injured batsmen returning to the crease; they made 2 singles and we has won by 5 runs.

After the great win by 5 runs, we had a great drink at their clubhouse, whose bar was manned by a former All-Black and we won the raffle for a bottle of gin, that was then donated to the in flight beverage service of Yardy Airlines ground service on the bus.

The Team was (playing 14):- Soren Hughes (c) 7, Ross Dalgleish 4, Jim Morrison 20, Peter Harrison 10, Pat Hogan (w) 3, Anthony Watson 34* ret, Ken Yardy 0, Sam Barrington-Smith 6, John Wise 9, Tom Robertson 34* , Edward Robertson 11*, Michael Watson 0. Raj Anand (dnb), Beau Yardy (dnb)

The Result was:

C.C.N.S.W: 9-146 (A. Watson 34* ret, T. Robertson 34* ret) (40 overs)


Valley of Peace C.C.: – 9-141 (40 overs)

By 5 runs

FoW: – 1-7 (S. Hughes); 2-20 (R. Dalgleish); 3-37 ; (P Harrison); 4-43 (J. Morrison); 5-45 (P Hogan); 6-45 (K. Yardy); 7-61 (S. Barrington-Smith); 8- 58 (J. Wise); 9-135 (M. Watson)

The Bowling was: – R. Anand 7-1-15-1; Edward Robertson 6-2-14-2; J. Morrison 7-1-17-1 ; M Watson 4-0-19-0, S. Muggeridge 4-0-10-1, S. Barrington-Smith 2-0-9-1; B Yardy1-0-8-0 , P Harrison 4-0-18-1 , J Wise 1-0-7-0, S Hughes 1-0-7-0 Tom Robertson 3-0-10-1

The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: Nil
Catches: 2 to Beau Yardy and one to J. Morrison
Run outs: one to C Fletcher


Superb Morrison knock and all round bowling conquered Heathcote.

Back (left to right):
Soren Hughes (c), Edward Robertson, Michael Watson, Patrick Hogan, Tony Watson, Sam Barrington Smith, Craig Fletcher.

Front Row (left to right):
Ken Yardy (Mgr), Simon Muggeridge, Tom Robertson, John Wise, Jim Morrison, Beau Yardy, John Jackson.

Many of those arriving on Yardy Airlines still having head wounds from the previous night’s merriment after the first win, and remember driving to Heathcote C.C. from Christchurch vividly. With the Club nestled at the foot of steep volcanic crags and hills on three sides, it is a simply magnificent location for cricket.

Soren Hughes, today’s captain, won the toss and elected to bat first on a patchy, crumbly pitch unlikely to improve for batting after another 35 overs on this fifth day wicket. Our openers, Jim Morrison and Sam Barrington-Smith, had a slow start and after eight overs we were none for 26 – a testament to their opening bowlers’ accurate bowling. Heathcote’s opening bowler, KC, bowled to the tune of ‘Give it Up’ and Morrison’s reply was with ‘Keep it Coming Love’. In the ninth over Barrington-Smith was trapped LBW and John Jackson was run out soon after with a solid 5. By the time Edward Robertson arrived at the crease, Morrison was on 28 with four strong boundaries. Morrison continued this trend to retire not out at 51, thrilling the spectators with a patient and technically sound innings. Proper cricket.

Peter Harrison was in next and unfortunately was run out for a duck. Michael Watson also came and went quickly, easily making 6 before popped one to mid-on. Craig Fletcher reinforced the trend, making a solid duck and earning the duck vest. At 6-102 with nine overs left, the spectators had begun twitching uncontrollably and began turning on each other like little boys stranded on a desert island very much like a parody of the Lord of the Flies.

We very much needed Soren Hughes’s ability to find the boundary. After edging each ball in an extremely shaky start on a pitch showing signs of variable bounce, variable pace and sideways movement, Healthcote decided to make a game of it and put on some pie chuckers. This was the source of a partnership between Hughes and Edward Robertson. Ed eventually fell for 24 and Soren was on 25. Pat Hogan stepped in where Ed left off and brought us into the final overs, both becoming members of KC’s sunshine band. Simon Muggeridge and Raj Anand batted well in adding 6 more with Beau Yardy left waiting in the wings for his debut innings for C.C.N.S.W. We had set Heathcote 160 to win.

Raj Anand and Soren Hughes opened the bowling. Soren, taking some advice from John Wise, took himself off after an over, having set the standard with a first ball wide. The disgraceful fourth ball (it nearly bounced twice) however had picked up the danger batsman at cover, thanks to a strong offside field. The outgoing batsman could not believe he had fallen for the double cover and rubbish outside off stump play and Soren’s spell finished with 1-2 and cravings for some more Voltaren.

Raj bowled beautifully at the other end, in a consistent line and length which had him finish at 1-12 after 5 overs. Simon Muggeridge took over from Soren and delivered 5 overs for 0-14. In fact the miraculous bowling standard continued with Michael Watson 0-6, Craig Fletcher 2-12 who removed batsmen like they were small insects on a cheesecake and John Jackson who bowled three overs for 1-12. Heathcote had been restrained to 6-47 at drinks.

Sam Barrington Smith led the charge after drinks and dismissed two batsmen in three overs for 2-11. Michael Watson came back on as a spinner, his first ball straight out of a Shane Warne master class, spinning at right angles and hitting the top of middle. Bails and stumps flew up in the air with screams of jubilation from the C.C.N.S.W. peanut gallery. It was a beauty!

It was time to bowl Ed Robertson- dot ball, six, four and four. Noting Tom’s screams of encouragement from the gallery, Ed bowled a slower ball and the batsman smashed it straight at point where Barrington Smith was keenly waiting for the catch. A fired up Robertson, feeling the adrenaline and the imminent praise of his father, gave the batsman a triple send off that only a passionate fast bowler could ever understand.

With Tony Watson bowling a cameo over (0-7) and Jim Morrison scalping their last batsman with 1-2 from four balls, it was time for congratulations and merriment on Yardy Airlines. A special mention on the result was owed to the young fielders in the team – Sam (Barrington-Smith), Michael (Watson), Edward (Robertson) and Beau (Yardy) – who were able to cut off anything on the offside with agile fielding. Three catches to Edward, and one each to both Sam and Beau.

The hospitality bestowed on us by Heathcote was second to none. Morrison picking up Man of the Match as awarded by the Heathcote team and this was well deserved.

The Team was (playing 12):- James Morrison 51* ret, Sam Barrington-Smith 5, John Jackson 5, Edward Robertson 24, Peter Harrison 0, Michael Watson 6, Craig Fletcher 0, Pat Hogan 11, Soren Hughes (c) 39. Raj Anand 0*, Simon Muggeridge 2* and Beau Yardy dnb

The Result was: –

C.C.N.S.W: 8-159 (J. Morrison 51*. S, Hughes 39) (40 overs)


Heathcote C.C.: – 11-115 (S. Barrington-Smith 2-11; C. Fletcher 2-12) (32.4 overs)

By 44 runs

FoW: – 1-29 (S. Barrington-Smith); 2-39 (J. Jackson); 3-69; (Ed Robertson); 4-84 (P, Harrison); 5-84 (C. Fletcher); 6-102 (M. Watson); 7-149 (P. Hogan); 8-149 (S. Hughes).

The Bowling was: – R. Anand 5-1-12-1; S. Hughes 1-0-2-1; S Muggeridge 5-1-14-0; M. Watson 4-1-15-1; C Fletcher 4-0-12-2; J. Jackson 3-0-12-1; S. Barrington-Smith 3-1-11-2; A Watson 1-0-7-0; P. Harrison 3-0-8-0; Edward Robertson 3-0-18-1; J. Morrison 0.4-0-2-1

The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: Nil
Catches: 3 to Edward Robertson;
one each to R. Anand, S. Barrington-Smith, J. Morrison and Beau Yardy
Run outs: one to C. Fletcher


Akaroa from the hills


Akaroa is the original French settlement in New Zealand that sits in a beautiful bay about 75 km from Christchurch. We managed to load about 16 people onto the 12-seater bus and drove off on the scenic route over the ridge line from Christchurch to experience the views in the area. The town itself is still French influenced and another one with postcard scenery.

We had a little time to walk around the town before the game and there were strict instructions as to when players to be back in the sheds ready to go. But Tom and Ed Robertson decided to order crepes at the local restaurant and were 15 minutes late. By that time John Wise had started a coup, Tom was deposed as Captain for the day by popular choice because of his tardiness.

The Crazy Goatherders are a bunch of farmers from the area who play social cricket and tour occasionally. They all look a bit weather-beaten, but they aren’t as old as they look.

Today was a synthetic pitch so we knew there would be runs available, even though it was supposed to be the hottest day of the year. We agreed to play 20 overs on, then 20 overs off to allow for the heat and used a two-piece ball.

Raj Anand and Simon Muggeridge opened the bowling and were immediately tonked by their openers, winging their bats like axes. These were hitting balls into the sea, across the road, hitting cars, dislocating Ken Yardy’s finger, hitting Beau Yardy in the head and scoring 10 an over. Simon Muggeridge’s first over (the second of the day) went 6,4,0,4,1,!. They got to 51 before the first wicket fell after the retirement of one of the openers when the new batsman was bowled by Ed Robertson. The other opened retired and until Tom Robertson took two wickets near the end of the initial 20 overs, things were looking grim, as they cruised to 5-130.

We then batted with both the Robertsons opening, returning the tonking favour and then retiring. We were 0-125 at the change of ends after twenty overs, and it looked like we were in a great position, only five runs behind and five wickets in hand.

Unfortunately, the break between innings was better for them than for us. Craig Fletcher and Peter Harrison bowled tightly without reward (for a while) and their lower order appeared to be quite good batsmen. Nos. 9 and 10 had a century partnership and then the two openers came back in to get their score up to 10-290 off 40 overs.

Chasing a further 165 off the next 20 overs was a bit daunting and we did not fail to make life difficult for ourselves. Just after the break we lost the first wicket and then 9 (yes nine) wickets for 29 runs as a conga line of bad shots saw seven players bowled. Tommy (42) ended up getting caught and Raj Anand was left undefeated with 45*. One of their bowlers got 6-9 which were remarkable figures from bowling that all his victims said was unremarkable. Go figure? We then had to shut down the innings just to get to 209. We lost by 81 runs.

After that shocking loss, we were then treated to a large number of beers and then dinner in a waterside restaurant which was excellent. We all managed to get home in the dark, in the bus, just so those in the party leaving on the early morning flights could have two hours sleep before leaving for the airport to catch the plane home

The Team was (playing 12):- Tom Robertson (c) 42, Edward Robertson 59, Raj Anand 45*, Peter Harrison 13, Anthony Watson 2, Michael Watson (w) 2, Sam Barrington-Smith 6, John Jackson 7, Simon Muggeridge 2, Craig Fletcher 0 John Wise 0 , Ross Dalgleish 7

The Result was: –

Akaroa C.C.: – 10-290 (Tom Robertson 3-30) (39.3 overs)


C.C.N.S.W: 11-209 (Ed Robertson 59; R Anand 45*, Tom Robertson 42) (38 overs)

By 81 runs

FoW: – 1- 130; 2- 135; 3- 135; 4-143; 5-150; 6-150; 7-150; 8-150; 9- 157; 10- 177;11-209

The Bowling was: – R. Anand 6-1-45-2, S. Muggeridge 6-0-54-0, Edward Robertson 6-0-37-2, J. Jackson 3-0-17-0, T. Robertson 4.2-0-30-3, C. Fletcher 4-0-33-0; S. Barrington –Smith 1-0-13-0; J. Wise 3-0-23-1 and P. Harrison 6-0-32-0

The Fielding was: –
Stumpings: Nil
Catches: 3 to M. Watson (w)
Run outs: one to Tony Watson and one to Michael Watson

Tour party after Akaroa Game

Back row (l to r): Michael Watson, Sam Barrington-Smith,Raj Anand, John Wise, Anthony Watson
Middle row: Ken Yardy (Mgr).Jim Morrison, Beau Yardy, Pat Hogan, John Jackson
Front row: Peter Harrison, Simon Muggeridge, Ross Dalgleish, Edward Robertson, Soren Hughes
Seated: Tom Robertson (c) Craig Fletcher

Following on from the previous three Australia Day weekend trips to Wellington, Queenstown and Nelson, this tour was great fun: – a number of old faces and a number of new faces who quickly became chums. Getting to see and play on a number of idyllic ovals with good sports and a bus full of gin for the return trips meant there were smiles all round.
Thanks to Jim Morrison for his advice re Christchurch and to Adrian Hawkes for organising the games and assisting in making sure that Tom did what he was supposed to do on the tour and for seeking constant updates via text.

Next year: Auckland
Most of the tourists are keen to tour again next year. Next year we hope to go to the North Island in the Auckland area and preliminary enquiries are already advanced re possible hotels and opposition. Mark the dates in your diary now

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