Harrow County School for Boys

Cricket 1972-75

Details of the Bowling Cup will be found in the trophy section of this website.  Among the winners were Martin Kingdon in 1972 and again in 1975, and Nick Sloan in 1973.  They have both contributed to this page.

(from Gaytonian, 1974)  The school cricket club enjoyed one of its most successful seasons in 1974, and there is no reason why next year should not be even better.  At the moment there are some very promising players at all levels, who given the right conditions and personal application could develop into schoolboy cricketers of the highest calibre.  In local competition last year, the school teams set a remarkable record.  The second, third and fourth year teams made a clean sweep of the Harrow cup competitions, the first time any school has achieved this.   there are no local cups at senior level so the first eleven had to go one better and win the Middlesex U-18 cup.

...  The U-15s had a short tour to Bristol, where they discovered the ideal conditions for cricket, good weatehr and peaceful grounds, a far cry from the irregular boundaries, concrete walls and traffic noise of Harrow County.  It was on tour that Martin Kingdon scored the only century of the season.  Martin was also the only school representative in county cricket - he was selected for the U-a5's as a quick bowler.

... School cricket has been at a peak for the last two years; Mr. Stewart and Mr. Done have been largely responsible for this...

Cricket anecdote by Nick Sloan

Middx cup match at home vs ? Pinner 1974;  Nasty fast bowler (the only one they ever had probably) running down hill all the way from the outer quad boundary with the wind and an unsportsman-like attitude, me at non-striker's end (thank goodness), Lance Dowen 1971 1N (excellent swing bowler, solid mid-low order bat with a rocker, greased Travolta-like hair-cut) facing.

HCS trying to grind out a steady run rate for a steady and achievable win.  Beamer towards leg, but head high, Dowen swings instinctively, Botham-like, Headingly Test, flick to leg;

Click as ball travels neatly down to long leg, I call for the single, Lance drops like a stone to the ground.

I'm half way down the track already and he's on his knees and going down fast right in front of his stumps.

I yell again "yes" and then as I am virtually on top of him again in his crease "I said yes you b...tard its my call you run up the other f...ing end"

The surgeon at the Northwick Park Hospital was not sure whether he had actually broken his jaw or cheek bone or cracked his skull but Lance was rightly convinced that it was not his bat that had made contact with the ball and that he had manfully steered the ball with the side of his face. A 'very real achievement'.

He made the 'Elephant Man' look attractive for two weeks and I think I could detect the seam marks on his skin for several weeks after.

I felt a bit bad at the time at my apparent lack of sensitivity but scuttled back to avoid being run out leaving Lance to 're-visit all of his previous furniture' on his own, at the spot where he 'hit' the ball.

All was ok in the end as we won but I regret not saying sorry as he was
carried off.

"Sorry Lance".

In this period of HCS cricket success the list of masters who, in my opinion, were a great influence on the '70's teams should include Mr Geoff? Salter, the French teacher, Mr Dick Tufnell, the Tech Studies teacher, Gareth Lloyd-Jones and Andy 'The Walrus' Scott.

Dick Tufnell was a quiet unassuming man but 'nurtured' the youngsters and gave everyone a chance.  I maybe wrong but I'm pretty sure his brother taught at Salvatorian College and coached cricket there and at Middlesex Schools / Colts level.  His brother was very ambitious and loud but I think we always beat Salvatorian at cricket during this period and this irked Dick's brother no end.  I remember going to a Middlesex Schools trial, presided over by his brother with Ian Abbott and others from the HCS 1st XI team.  As we were by far the best team in Middx it was interesting that neither myself nor any of my HCS peers were selected for Middx Schools in the '74/5 seasons.  Several Salvatorian boys however, were selected.

Ian was captain of the school team and I was vice captain and one Saturday Ian called me to say that he'd had a call from Tufnell's brother to see if we could both go on tour with Middx as 'they'd had a couple of drop outs from the party'.  Ian said he was inclined to tell them to stick it and although I really, really wanted to play for Middx I realised that the Middlesex Schools selection process had little to do with ability.  We agreed together to tell them to 'shove it where the sun don't shine' and we didn't go.

I was bitter, learned an important lesson and would make the same decision again. I guess some things are actually more important than sport! I should wash my mouth out with soap and water. 

I think Andy Scott played at Kent 'seconds' level and I came across him coaching at Eastcote cricket club a couple of years ago.  My youngest son Alex was too young to join a team but at the end of a practice session he grabbed a bat and Andy bowled a few balls at him while my and the other kids were packing away the gear.  I watched Alex and Andy gave him a few batting tips, not knowing who he was, but he obviously appreciated Alex's enthusiasm.

Needless to say I could not avoid shouting from the boundary that Andy was 'still giving the Sloan family' bad cricketing tips after all of these years. Andy hasn't changed at all and works for BAA plc now.

His wife is a matron / nurse and remembered my mum from her terminal illness years at Northwick Park Hospital.

                                                                                    Nick Sloan

Nick Sloan writes:  "Gareth Lloyd- Jones taught me all I know about medium pace 'trundle'.  He takes great offence at this, proclaiming that he was a Bob Willis re-incarnation but slowed down for us in the nets!

"However, I could always be relied upon to concede 2 less runs than the opposition required off the final over in an Harrow or Middlesex cup match. A sort of relief pitcher in American parlance. The Harrow Cup was always in the HCS cabinet and I believe the 'missing link' Andy Hayes progressed from our 1st XI scorer to assist in some of our Middx Cup final victories including one incident when he obliterated the stumps with a throw from long leg.

"I was very proud to split up Martin Kingdon's ownership of the trophy and still rag him about the time he was out first ball, as opener, in a house match, caught and bowled by a bloke called Bird who was totally inept at cricket (and everything else). It was like Man United losing, at Old Trafford, to an injury hit Halifax Town, who were playing in plimsoles as they'd lost their boots. I think Martin 'arranged' for said Bird to be hung out of the window by the clock until all of his
loose change fell out of his pockets.

"Out of the Bowling Cup holders that I have watched I would have to say that Martin was the best. He could also bat, apart from the incident against Bird.

"Ian Park, a previous holder, is my accountant and plays with us at all of the Old Gayts Golf days. "

Martin Kingdon writes:  "Thank you for your kind words re cricket, I have to set the record straight in a couple of key areas however.  It was not a house match it was a match between houses arranged for charity, each player being sponsored by his nearest and dearest to reward his prowess.  I was carrying the possibility of a lot of money that day. The incident in question lives with me as though it were yesterday as it was my nadir and you have only described but half the horror.   Stephen Bird was the bowler.  Stephen was a brilliant academic ... but in physical terms could barely dress himself."

He naturally in this case opened the bowling.  He bowled a long hop about four yards down the leg side which I hit as hard as any shot I have ever played.  I had not reckoned though with "Titty" Allen being stationed at long leg.  As his nickname implies he was not one of the great modern olympians but somehow contrived to be hit by the ball which he then caught.  Exit the great white charity hope."

Good to be kept in touch with things HCBS as I for one had a wonderful time there, apart from the academic side, until my departure to Lowlands where I had an even more wonderful time, again apart from the academic side.  Thank God I have never needed to fall back on my qualifications."

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