Old Nottinghamians' Society win the annual cricket match

Written By: Philip Turton
Written: 8th Jul 2019

On Thursday 4th July the Nottinghamshire Law Society cricket team took to the fields of Adbolton Lane to do battle against the Old Nottinghamians Phoenix cricket team – a new fixture, which holds much promise for the future. The game was played for a new prize, which added to the competitiveness of the game – The Wheelhouse Cup, honouring the memory of one of the true characters of the Nottingham legal profession, Alan Wheelhouse, former partner at Freeth Cartwright (as they then were), a former President of the Nottinghamshire Law Society and an Old Nottinghamian himself.  In fact Alan was also a former President of both the Old Nottinghamians Society and the Nottinghamians Cricket Club, giving the trophy a symmetry in relation to the match in prospect.  To add to the cricketing pedigree, Alan was also a Cricket Blue at Cambridge and a former Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club.  The pedigree of the cup was, on any basis, impeccable and it bears an inscription to its base:  “For the love of Cricket, the Law and the Society, in unequal measure”, the humour of which would not have been lost on Alan himself.

Team photos out of the way at 5.50 pm and Law Society skipper Tom Russell having won the toss, the Old Nottinghamians went out into the field.  The Law Society fielded a strong side, many sporting club shirts, proof not only of their years of experience but also their reluctance to throw things away.  Some members even brought their own pads, gloves, helmets.  With the game against Derbyshire Law Society looming in August, this was a team which meant business. 

The ever keen and talented Josh Nissim began a first over of pace bowling against the Law Society openers, the youthful Aaron Singh and experienced Bill Soughton.  Both started well for the first 4 overs, putting on 25, before a surprise slower ball from Chris Padwick (the one that was even slower than the others) led Bill into a drive to off and a run best described as perilous.  Bill misjudged the sharpness of the field, and a direct hit caught him short of his ground as the bails went flying.

Tom Russell joined Aaron accordingly, soon to be dispatched back following a wonderful catch by debutant wicket-keeper Kedem Morgan, and then followed by some tight bowling from Rob Howarth.  Rob took two wickets in his spell, the first, a caught and bowled, and the second, a nifty stumping by Morgan.  Although these wickets caused optimism in the ON camp, the lawyers were beginning to punish any balls wide of the stumps (which comprised about 80% of them) and the 4s began to mount, with Andy Matthews & Soughton Jnr particularly stirring the scoreboard, until Richard Clay sent a slower ball down and took the catch himself to send Matthews back to the dressing room.  Peter Jones duly emerged to carried his bat alongside young Soughton to record the highest T20 score posted at Adbolton this year – some 130 runs at a rate of 6.5 an over and leaving the Old Nottinghamians 131 to win!

Openers, Kedem Morgan and Tony Hayward ON played themselves in well against a ferocious opening attack from the front line bowlers of the Law Society, holding their nerve with sensible singles and twos.  Martin Foulds produced some stylish spin bowling to demonstrate that class is permanent, until the 6th over, when Morgan fell, clean bowled by Peter Jones.  Josh Nissim, all youthful derring-do, joined Hayward until the latter was forcibly retired to the Clubhouse on 27, thus to bring Rob Howarth in, all flowing locks, angled cap and gleaming whites.  The ball started being driven around the ground and 19 runs were quickly added by Howarth, with Nissim holding up the other end.  Now the Old Nottinghamians were fighting back, until Aaron Singh took out Howarth’s stumps with a deft delivery which beat both bat and pad.

The ground then echoed to the “thump, thump” of Dan Thurgood’s trudge to the wicket.  Shambolically dressed, the Law Society sensed an easy target, but with a style best described as “agricultural”, Thurgood set about the wicket, often confusing himself as well as the fielders with the direction the ball flew from his bat.  Nissim and Thurgood kept to it until the end, taking the Old Nottinghamians to 131 for 2 with just 1 over left unbowled.  The ONs were thus the first winners of the Wheelhouse Cup, and already plans have been hatched to wrest it into Law Society hands next season. 

A match played in entirely the right atmosphere of sporting endeavour was followed by a most convivial curry and presentation in the bar of the Old Nottinghamians’ clubhouse at Adbolton.  With handshakes all round and a keenness to continue the fixture next year, both teams lingered long in the enjoyment of each other’s company.  President of the Old Nottinghamians’ Society and Vice President of the Law Society, Phil Turton, said a few words, congratulating both teams on a tight match and explaining the significance of the Trophy for which the game had been played.  As dusk turned to darkness, players and spectators alike headed for home, confident that cricket and the law had been the victors on a most memorable night.

Philip Turton

Nottinghamshire Law Society Vice President