Ashworth still going strong
Veteran has appeared in every season of Chiltern cricket league A&C loses appeal for new pitch
Phil Ashworth is believed to be the only player to have played all 40 seasons of the league
The 56-year-old is believed to be the only player to have played in every single season of the Morrant Chiltern Cricket League as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.
The slow bowler and late order batsman is still a regular for Denham’s seconds in Division Four and helped the league leaders to a 115-run win over Braywood seconds on Saturday.
The wily veteran returned figures of 2-5 from just 3.1 overs, although he was overshadowed by the all-round efforts of Gary Hales, who scored 166 before taking 3-21.
Ashworth said: “My dad, Ron, started playing for Denham in the 1960s and played until 1984.
“I started in 1975, so for a few seasons in the 1970s there were times when we would be playing in the same side.”
Although enjoying few seasons in the first team, Ashworth has been a mainstay of the seconds over the years. His best bowling figures of 8-24 came
a against Hawridge & Cholesbury in 2008, the year in which he claimed a career-best 33 scalps, and his best batting total of 46 not out came under somewhat strange circumstances in 1986.
Ashworth said: “For 11 years I was also our groundsman, and on this particular day I was preparing the wicket for the firsts before travelling to Chalfont St Giles to play for the seconds, and only got there five minutes before the start – which wasn’t ideal as I was opening the batting back then.
“The coach shouted at me to let the big hitters get the runs and just try to not get out, and I FRUSTRATED Amersham & Chalfont Hockey Club are appealing a decision by Chiltern District Council to turn down their plans for a new artificial pitch and clubhouse.
The club, which has the fourth largest hockey youth section in the country, with some 500 youngsters, lodged plans for a new facility on land next to Amersham & Wycombe College’s Stanley Hill campus earlier this year.
A housing development is due to be built at the club’s current home at the former Bucks New University campus, in Chalfont St Peter, and although sports facilities will be included they will not be ready for another five years.
Despite the club saying the new facilities are essential for its survival, the council’s planning committee gave it the thumbs down, saying the green belt land should remain open to all and that the floodlights would be seen for miles, while dismissing hockey as a fringe sport. managed to stay in throughout the innings.”
Then there was the time he bowled to former England one-day wicket-keeper Ian Gould in Denham’s centenary game in 1992 and was promptly hit to all parts of the ground. Or the time against Coleshill in 1994 when he came in to bat with Denham struggling at 130-8 chasing 213 to win, and promptly put on a stand of 84 with Jeff Simpson to secure victory.
Ashworth added: “I was an opening batsman to start with but moved further down the order as the years went by and bat at 11 now. I hope to continue playing and contributing for many years to
However, club chairman Peter Rowlins insisted that the floodlights would not affect a single resident and pointed out that the proposed site is on the college’s land, so is not open for anyone to use anyway.
He also made clear that, with some 600 members, the hockey club is the second largest sports club in the area, and with the proposed facilities being used by the college, as well as Amersham School, it would benefit about 8,000 youngsters.
Rowlins tweeted: “Will be going to appeal shortly. Good chance of getting approval as many similar precedents. Shame that council wastes so much money on planning appeals that it loses. Council has about 70 per cent loss rate.”
A&C players also vented their disgust, with James Easter tweeting: “So much for the #olympiclegacy – NIMBYism rears its ugly head”.
Andy Watts tweeted: “New astro would do far more as a substantial Olympic legacy in the district.” come. I just try to enjoy playing and am lucky enough to play for a side with a great team spirit.”
Denham’s firsts, meanwhile, lost by 47 runs to Holyport in Division One, while leaders Penn & Tylers Green drew with Taplow. Chalfont St Giles lost to Binfield by eight wickets and Great Kingshill went down by 28 runs to Littlewick Green.
Amersham Hill drew with Binfield seconds, while Coleshill beat Braywood by six wickets, in Division Two, while The Lee lost by 144 runs to Harpsden in Division Three, and Winchmore Hill beat Pinner seconds by five wickets in Division Four.