Here it is! Another year, another Collapse! Award – the prize given to the moment of the season most befitting of general stupidity, extensive plonkery or gross boobery. The 2011 season has seen golden moments such as Dave Symons being reverse swept into a field, Jesel Patel bowling a 17 ball over and Nick Blake’s despairing, tumbling pirouette to (unsuccessfully) save a boundary. Even Dave Goldsmith managed to send us to an industrial estate through an ill-advised postcode intended for Spencer. None of these are good enough for the final shortlist, though, so pick your favourite from the options below and write the winner’s name into Park Hill folklore for their services to silliness.
1. Mike Worrell – vs Charing X (8/5/2011)
Park Hill are no strangers to umpiring cowardice and frequently players have removed themselves from the limelight by claiming ignorance of the rules or taking sanctuary at square leg. Specialist square leg umpire (and fielder), Mike Worrell, claimed not to be of sufficient confidence to take the prime role as standing umpire. He did, however, deem himself competent enough to give James McInnes out caught behind from his favourite square-of-the-wicket position. Calling the attention of the standing umpire, Worrell dramatically pointed his finger to the sky from his far less favourable viewpoint and signalled the end of the Major’s innings.
2. Adam Williams – vs Hatherleigh (15/6/2011)
The old adage of ‘what goes on tour stays on tour’ is lifted in this instance to reveal the sheer silliness of Williams the Youngest. Regularly Hillians have given fielders encouragement with a general lack of batting ability, but Adam decided to take this to the next level. Maybe it was the late bar stint the night before, maybe it was the awe of his brother bludgeoning a fifty at the other end, maybe it was even sheer excitement at the prospect of the long awaited Hatherleigh tea. Whatever it was, after whelping the ball down the ground over the bowler’s head, Ad decided to support the fielder by yelling “CATCH IT!”. They didn’t.
3. Chris Webber – vs Old Paulines (31/7/2011)
Perennial Collapse! Award nominee and regular perpetrator of nincompoopery, Webs had to be in here somewhere. This year it was for his severe lack of geographical prowess. When still absent from a game at drinks in the first innings, any Hillian could have been forgiven for thinking Chris was asleep, broken down or possibly even both (he’d find a way). But no, he had failed to locate a match against a team from Thames Ditton, somehow navigating his way to Fulham. This was fairly daft on its own, but even more so when you consider he had forgotten to charge his phone and, best of all, had played at the ground in both 2009 and 2010. Who else?!
4. Razi Abbas – post-Morden (13/8/2011)
There have been some famous ‘retirements’ over the years at Park Hill. Some may recall Neil Cozens selling his kit only to return the following weekend. The events surrounding Razi’s temporary termination of his Hill career (via email) may be even better. Firstly, the team had earlier that day recorded their most emphatic league victory of the entire season. The email may best be remembered, however, for the line ‘I don’t think I am good enough to play for Park Hill.’ Those who have played for or watched the team at any point over the many years of its existence will know that nobody had ever, ever(!) not been good enough to play for Park Hill. Razi was soon over this worrying opinion, though, and returned to nets just two days later!
5. Nick Williams – vs Old Suttonians (20/8/2011)
It has often been said that a captain goes down with his ship. This nomination proves beyond doubt that this has absolutely no relevance whatsoever at Park Hill. Mortally wounded by a short ball to the bonse, Captain Williams was safely delivered to Epsom A&E to be patched up. With the rest of the team expecting a swift return after the remarkable turnaround speed of hospital staff getting him fixed within the hour, the league skipper decided that his ordeal required a trip home and a sausage sandwich before he could face further cricketing action. Aided by our hero’s eventual return towards the end of the innings, the troops racked up their highest league total of the season.
6. Ade Forrest – vs Whitely Village (11/9/2011) (THE WINNER!!)
In the last game of season a few minds are bound to wander – evidenced by Chris Webber who, keeping wicket, allowed the ball to trickle through his legs and celebrated this achievement by lazily lying on the floor. Although the ball travelled no more than five yards past the hapless keeper, the batsmen decided to run a single. Retrieving the ball from his position at first slip was man-of-the-moment Ade, unfortunately let down by fleet of foot on this occasion and the batsmen appeared to be safely completing the run. Not deterred by this, Ade attempted a whole-hearted shy at the stumps, only succeeding in pelting the ball into Websy’s arse from point blank range. A moment of pure slapstick comedy to end a glorious season!
Kindly written by Dave Symons