My little village 'Stanton Harcourt', of about 1000 people, have managed to tour the world playing cricket. We started with a tour of Croatia in 2015, then our first big tour to Australia 2016. This year we made it to Cape Town in South Africa,
On the tour to Australia last year we made some very close friends with our sister club Harcourt Lions from Victoria. This tour to South Africa was a mix of Stanton Harcourt and Harcourt Lions, hence our tour name of Stanton Harcourt Lions with both team logo's appearing on the shirt.
We played 4 games at 4 wonderful venues all organised by Britainesia Travel, Our first game was at Western Province CC where the facilities were amazing, and the views of the mountain in the background were breathtaking. While playing on this ground, I couldn't believe that our little village team from rural Oxfordshire (whom nearly folded about 10 years ago) had made it to such an amazing venue .
The toss was awarded to Stanton Harcourt Lions who elected bowl first because of a weak batting line up. The tourists didn't have much luck with the ball only taking 5 wickets in 40 overs. Luke Farrington and David Duthie taking 2 each and veteran Robert Graham taking 1, with Western Province ending on 256/4.
After a big tea, Stanton Harcourt Lions never looked like they was going to reach the target falling well short on 176 all out. Myself top scoring with 45 and Robert Graham with a useful 26 and Chris Pascoe and Dean Clothier both contributing with 21.
After the game, we went to the clubhouse that has a balcony with amazing views as shown on the picture above. Neil from Western Province said a few words followed by Rob Fisher who spoke on behalf of the Lions, we shared drinks together and had more food that Western province had organised for us. The hospitality was 10/10.
Our second game was a T20 against the South American Saints at Cape Town CC in memory of Samantha Farrington. One of the aussies from our sister club was Luke Farrington (Samantha's brother). Amazingly Lukes brother Andy who lives in Colombia, played for the South American Saints who happened to be touring at the same time as us, so we had a Farrington brother on each side playing a memorial game for their sister who died on that very date in Cape Town whilst on holiday in 2001.
The South Americans batted first scoring 160/4 in their 20 overs. Dean Clothier, Barry Pudwell, Luke Farrington and Chris Pascoe all taking a wicket each, with Andy Farrington making 7.
Stanton Harcourt Lions didn't even last their 20 overs being bowled out for 122 in the last over, Chris Pascoe and Luke Farrington top scoring with 19.
After the game, the trophy was awarded to the winning Farrington captain Andy, with a few emotional words said that reached the hearts of everyone there.
The South Americans then played against Cape Town CC while our players used the club facilities (the bar) and watched. While we were watching the second game, my lovely team mates bought me a bat from a guy who turned up with a mobile shop to say thank you for organising the tour.
Our 3rd game was at Kelvin Grove, It was a superb location wedged between the Newlands rugby ground, and the Newlands cricket ground. We had an early start at 9am as there was a Rugby game startnig at 3pm, and the cricket pitch is used as a car park. Harcourt Lions batted first and posted a healthy total of 239-9 in their 35 overs where I top scored with 92( using my new bat) and Arun white with 46. In the latter part of the innings Dean Clothier and I put on a 8th wicket partnership of 106 with Dean scoring 24. Huge shout out to Matty Eagle who managed his 1st run on tour this being his 3rd attempt, but 1 was all he made!
Unfortunately our bowlers weren't successful in defending our total, with the Colts scoring 240 in the 25th over! Alex Vaughan and Chris Pascoe the pick of the bowlers with 2 wickets each. Special mention again for Matty Eagle this time for being hit for 24 runs in 1 over!
After the game we enjoyed some drinks by the pool with the Mighty Colts at their 5 star luxury facilities.
The following day we played our 4th and final game of the tour, and maybe it was one to many, or maybe it was the fact most of the players were drinking from 3pm Saturday until late that night.
This time our last venue was a 40 minute drive out to Stellenbosch against Scorpions CC at Van der Stel Cricket Club as Scorpions home ground was already in use.
On a very hot day we were bowling first and we should use the term bowling loosely, with Scorpions smashing 309/6 in just 35 overs with N Ras hitting 106 from 46 balls before retiring. Luke Farrington and David Duthie took 2 wickets each with respectable figures but I will save the embarrassment for the others and leave it here.
After lots of lovely homemade Pizza for lunch, we were bowled out in the 34th over for 178 with Dean Clothier top scoring with 36 and Jacob Souch also scoring a quick 26.
After the game we had a 10 minute drive to the Scorpions home ground where we were provided with a feast. To our surprise Riaan Van De Rheede awarded some of our players with t shirts.
The tour wasn't all just cricket though, obviously plenty of drinking was involved especially on the day we visited the wine tram at Franschhoek. We went to Cape Point where the Indian ocean meets the Atlantic ocean. We also fitted in some educational trips to Robben Island and to the townships which are the poorest parts of Cape Town. Visiting these places made us realise how fortunate we are to grow up with a privileged life in Stanton Harcourt.
Overall the tour was a great balance of cricket, education and relaxation, and was great to spend these times with best friends and family. Even though we lost all 4 games, I had a great time. Thanks all for coming and making it possible, and if anyone else is thinking of organising a cricket tour to South Africa then feel free to contact us for advice.
View from Leisure bay apartments where we stayed.
3 aussie's receiving the Stanton Harcourt caps.
Displaying the flag at Western Province CC
Emma and Yvonne at Western Province CC
Arun and Davids birthday
Georgina on the Francshhoek wine tour
Magnificent 7 that have been to every overseas tour.
Village boys at the top of table mountain.
The gang at v & a waterfront.
The wags with the flag.
Myself and Cindy (Tour guide) at Franschhoek.
Gillian and David on Robben Island.
Beach cricket at Milnerton.