ACROSS THE COMMON


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Turn of the Century
1900-1920
Between the Wars 1921-1939
The Middle Years
1946-1974
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1975 Onwards
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The Next Century
1996-2010

ARTICLES:
The Grass Roots
by KEN TAYLOR
The First 100 Years
by TOM MORGAN
Our Own Ground and it's Amenities
by ARTHUR BARTON
Our Life Members
by ARTHUR BARTON
The Club Game
by CHRISTOPHER MARTIN-JENKINS
From Nairobi to Nottingham
by BASHARAT HASSAN
Salutations
West Country Tours
Youth Cricket
And Don't Forget the Groundsman

Pelsall Cricket & Sports Club
THE TURN of the CENTURY 1900 - 1920

The Albion came into the Twentieth Century in style when on May 5th at Railswood they defeated Bilston 109-51. G. Breeze (61). The following week they defeated Swan Village Gas 90-9. The bowlers being in excellent form. G. Breeze (6-1) and A. Davall (3-7).
Let us now look at some of the players in 1901. These were H. Breeze, G. Owen, W. J. Rowley, G. Breeze, W. T. Edwards. J. B. Snape. E. Dilks (Sen.), L. Dilks (Jnr.), F. Hughes, A. Davall, E. Breeze.
In 1902 the Albion joined the Wolverhampton & District League. The highlight of the season being the match at Railswood against Richmond, who were the previous season's champions. The local band was in attendance and played selections at intervals. Albion won the game 84-36. For some unknown reason. Albion only stayed in this league for one season.

PELSALL WESLEY CRICKET CLUB 1913-1914The social aspects of the game were also well recorded. A report in the Walsall Observer in 1906 states:- "On Whit Monday the Albion players travelled to Ind Coopes (Burton Brewery) and were met by several brewery officials who conducted them over this fine brewery. Mr. J. Knox, Vice-President of Ind Coopes. entertained teams to lunch. After teams had regaled themselves. they prepared for cricket. The Albion won the match 50-33, G. Breeze making the ball turn considerably and surprising both the batsmen and spectators".
In 1908 another cricket team was formed in Pelsall which was to have very close ties for a number of years with the Albion. This team was called Pelsall Wesley and their President was Mr. J. F. W. Binns and Club Secretary Mr. Bruce Binns. The Wesley's first ground was the -Oaklands". but by the 1911 season they had moved to the Railswood ground, having taken over from the Albion who had now moved to The White Lion ground in Lichfield Road.

In 1909 the Wesley joined the Walsall & District League. Division II, Some of their players being H. Breeze. L. Hayward, S. Till, J. Westwood, F. Hughes. R. W. Slack, W. T. Edwards. J. Taylor. H. WooIford, S. Eaton, A, Harrington. Pe!salt Wesley won the Walsall & District League, Division 11 Championship and Silver Cup in 1910. They had won outright 23 matches including friendlies. Mr. W. T. Edwards. their Captain, had made 200 runs and taken 47 wickets. Their top batsman was Mr. H. Stevens (276 runs) and top bowler Mr. H. T. Breeze (47) wickets.
In the same year the Albion had played in the Cannock Chase League with only moderate success, winning a total of 6 matches, drawing 8 and losing 4. Their top batsman and bowler was Mr. G.Breeze with 253 runs and 48 wickets.
In 1911 the Albion joined the Wesley in the Walsall & District League Division 1. The other division folding up through lack of support. The Albion and Wesley finishing 3rd and 5th respectively in the league. Albion's top batsman and bowler for the season was Mr. G. Breeze (347) runs and (81) wickets. For the Wesley, Mr. H. Stevens made (238) runs and Mr. H. Woolford took (56) wickets.
1912 was a good year for the Albion, winning the Walsall League and Observer Cup outright. Some notable performances of the season were against Leamore 147-79. batsman Mr. L. Dilks (44) and bowler Mr. G. Breeze )6-291. and Sutton E.C. 120-102: with all-rounder Mr, T. Armstrong making (58) runs and taking (5-20).
The 1913 season opened with Albion joining the Cannock Chase League. One of their first opponents being Chase Terrace who were smartly defeated 90-13. with fine bowling by Mr. G Breeze (5-4 and Mr. J. Westwood (5-9). Albion finished 3rd in the league, their top batsmen being Mr. G. H. Breeze (244), Mr. L Dilks (235) and Mr. E. Breeze (228). On the bowling side Mr. J. Westwood took (68) wickets and Mr. G. H. Breeze (55) wickets.

It is worth relating an amusing incident which happened in a game at Pelsall against Cheslyn Hay when Jabe Law was given out for a duck. He protested stating that the ball had hit his cap, but the Umpire replied that there was to be no 87 runs this week which was Jabe's total the previous week against them. He returned to the pavilion and twin brother Eli went out to bat. The Cheslyn Hay players protested as they thought he was Jabe. Jabe joined Eli from the pavilion which satisfied the opponents and caused great merriment. E. Law scored (312) runs and J. Law (306) runs for the season.
Meanwhile, the Wesley Club had changed their ground, having secured a good pitch on the Walsall Road behind the Old Bush Inn. They had also withdrawn from the Walsall League to play in friendly matches only. At the end of the season they had played 19 matches, out of which they had won 12, drawn 2 and lost 5. Total runs being 1,386 for 175 wickets. A typical Wesley side of the day would have been chosen from T Armstrong, E.G. Carnwell, I. Taylor, H. Stevens, J. B. Cooper, W. Leadbeater, R. Sanders, A. Harrington, S. J. Till, C. Allsop. L. Hayward. W. T. Edwards. F. Hughes, M. Hartshorne. L. Snow. At about this time the Wesley embarked on a Welsh tour, taking place around Whitsun. Their tours had become an annual event and in recent years these have commenced again although the tours now are of the West Country. The Wesley started the 1914 season in fine style defeating Perry Barr 91-43. Mr. J. Cooper taking (4-21). The same bowler was again in form against Burntwood (4-29). The end of the season total for Mr. J Cooper was (51) wickets.

In 1919 Pelsall Albion and Pelsall Wesley amalgamated to become Pelsall Cricket Club. The result of this change far exceeded the expectations of it's supporters, for out of an extremely heavy programme of 55 matches, only 9 were lost, 39 were won and 7 left unfinished. They also started a policy of running two teams of fairly equal strength instead of first and second teams. The honours of the season undoubtedly fell to George Breeze who for forty years was a tower of strength to Pelsall cricket. His runs for the season totalled (430) and he took (91) wickets. twice performing a "hat-trick" and taking (4) wickets with four consecutive balls.

Mention should also be made of the all round ability of L. Dilks (366 runs and 51 wickets), A. Harrington (368 runs and 84 wickets) and S. Ludlow (333 runs and good work as wicket-keeper). The club was strengthened in 1920 by the joining of Mr.W. Hyman, who was a member of Somerset County Cricket Club until the outbreak of the 1914-1918 War. It is interesting to note that Mr. Hyman, whilst playing against Shrewsbury. near Bristol, hit (359) runs in one hundred minutes. In the Shrewsbury side were 5 County players including Dr. E.M. Grace off whose bowling Mr. Hyman made 32 x 6's. On 9th June, Pelsall C.C. played Lichfield away and recorded their highest ever score by winning the match 281-43, Hyman (124) and G. Breeze (52 n.o.). Just under a month later, Hyman excelled himself again whilst playing against QMS 180-44. He scored (101 n.o.), top batsman of the season without doubt was Mr. Hyman (541) runs, best bowler Leadbeater (103) wickets.




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