The History of Wandsworth Common



How Wandsworth beat the MCC at cricket, without losing a single wicket.

Bell's Life and Sporting Chronicle — 2 November 1828

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The contest between Eleven of the Players of the Parish of Mary-la-bonne and Eleven of Wandsworth, which had been delayed in consequence of the unfavourable state of the weather, took place at Lord's Ground, St. John's Wood, on Monday last, before a numerous and respectable assemblage of amateurs and others, notwithstanding the day was far from propitious. <.p>

The ground was in an exceedingly miserable state from the quantity of rain that had fallen, and it was regretted that the match had at all commenced, the slippery and swampy conditien of the turf rendering it extremely tiresome and unpleasant, both to the batters and fieldsmen, particularly to the latter. The wickets being pitched, Messrs Gooding and Wells, on the part of Wandsworth, went in.

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At the above state of the game a heavy shower of rain came on, which compelled the players to seek shelter in the Pavilion; and, owing to the continuance of the shower, the match was not again proceeded with. The science and thorough knowledge of the game, was manifest on the part of the Wandsworth Players; but it would appear as if those of Mary-la-bonne were invincible, they not having been once defeated throughout the season.

Mr. Gooding's batting was very spirited and fine, and, had the ground been in good condition, Caldecourt would not have lowered his wicket without more difficulty. Potter and Burt likewise displayed much excellence, as also did one or two others. The game however, may be considered rather an extraordinary one: for, on Messrs. J. Dirk and Caidecourt going in, they continued at the wickets for an unusual period, and on the rain compelling them to leave the field, not one wicket was lowered, consequently the game was entirely in the hands of the Mary-la-Bonne Players.

During the evening, &ersand; while the players were enjoying themselves at the festive board, a single-wicket contest became the topic of conversation, and ultimately a match was concluded between that celebrated amateur, T. Brown, Esq. who took Caldecourt as a partner, and Messrs. Potter and Wallis, of the Wandsworth Players, for 20l., to be played on Wandsworth Common.

[Source: LINK .]

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On Thursday last, an excellent single wicket match was played on Wandsworth Common, between T. Brown, Esq. and Caldecourt (one of the Players of Mary-la-bonne), against Messrs. Porter and Gooding, of Wandsworth, for twenty sovereigns.

The match was made after the conclusion of the day's play on Monday last (as stated above), between the Mary-la-bonne and Wandsworth Players, when a gentleman of the name of Wallis, one of the Players in the match on the Wandsworth side, was named the partner of Mr. Potter; but, in consequence of indisposition, Mr. Wallis was unable to enter the field, and Mr. Gooding, the worthy host of The Antelope, at Wandsworth, consented to supply his place.

At an early part of the forenoon, Brown, Esq., accompanied by Caldecourt, and several amateur friends, drove up to The Antelope, and were shortly joined by the opposite party, when, after partaking of a variety of the good things of this life, they repaired to the Common, where a number of spectators assembled to witness the contest, which excited a vast degree of interest.

Previous to the commencement of the match, the betting was so considerably in favour of T Brown, Esq. and Caldecourt, that it appeared as if they intended to polish their opponents off in style; the result proved that the expectations of the majority were too sanguine, the Wandsworth Gentlemen proving themselves experienced players, and not so easily defeated as was anticipated. Mr. B. Dark, Mary-la-bonne, was appointed umpire, and Mr. Potter commenced the match by going in first. The following is a correct statement of the game:

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Messrs. Potter and Gooding winning by three runs. Throughout the attractive and interesting contest, the play was first rate, and the bowling particularly good. It was the general opinion that, had not Caldecourt, by great misfortune, placed a ball directly into the hands of Mr. Potter, the game would have terminated quite differently, for when once well in, it is no little difficulty in lowering his wicket.

At the conclusion of the above match, another commenced between T. Brown, Esq., Caldecourt, Cobbett, and B. Dark, against Messrs. Potter, Wells, Lowe, and Burl - which, after an excellent display of batting, terminated in favour of the Wandsworth Players as follows:

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Wandsworth winning, with not a wicket down. This match being concluded, the Players retired from the field, and repaired to the house of Mr. Gooding, where the evening was spent with the greatest hilarity.

[BNA: Link .]

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