Caught in the Middle with Ron Raisey: Send-off was a fitting final knock for Tony

STAR UMPIRE: Ron Raisey
STAR UMPIRE: Ron Raisey
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Last Monday I went to Tony Catley’s funeral at Cambridge Crematorium and I can honestly say I have never been to a funeral where the venue has been so packed out.

There were people standing in whatever space they could find, upstairs or downstairs and it only goes to show what high esteem Tony was held in.

As well as friends, family and ex-work colleagues, there were numerous people from cricket clubs, some from as far away as Easton and East Bergholt, and also a good number of umpires from the Suffolk Association.

Tim and Matt gave us all an insight into Tony in his many guises, from his workplace, to his love of Exning Cricket Club, as a father, and as a grandfather to their children. It was an emotional service but one that I was extremely pleased to be able to attend. As I said in one of my earlier columns, umpiring at Exning will never be the same. Rest in peace, Tony.

Last week I talked about how umpires have to ensure the health and safety of the players at all times, and this was never more evident than last Saturday at Worlington.

Graham Ford was hit on the head while facing a quick bowler without wearing a helmet, and Daren Hayward split the webbing on his right hand and needed a trip to A&E to have the wound glued.

Typical gallows humour ensued at the post-match fines meeting when Ford was fined for forgetting what sport he was playing and heading the ball, while Hayward was fined for dropping a catch. Rough justice indeed.

I’m afraid my diet slipped again on Saturday as the cakes were too good to miss and I had two pieces instead of the one that I was limiting myself to. If only the tea ladies at Worly weren’t such good bakers, I would be losing pounds.

Some great performances this week and admitted to the Hall of Fame are centurions Chris Huntington,

Brock Price, Adam Dellar, and bowlers Barry Collins and Stuart Whitehart, with five wickets apiece.

Victorious this week were Halstead, Woolpit and Brockley, defeats for Hadleigh,

Worlington, Lakenheath, Long Melford and Exning while Haverhill were involved in an exciting tie.

RESULTS

Hadleigh lost to Halstead by 16 runs. Halstead 310-5, Chris Huntington 160, Josh Wells 84. Hadleigh 294-9, Brock Price 113, Kyle Tanner 46no, Chris Rayner 2-17, Wells 2-30, Joe Morris 2-47.

Haverhill tied with Wivenhoe. Wivenhoe 265-5 Callum Brunning 2-23, Will Bailey 2-35. Haverhill 265, Adam Dellar 107, Anthony Phillips 58.

Woolpit beat Braintree by 115 runs. Woolpit 224-8, Nathan Crudeli 68no, James Deeley 48, Tom Whiteman 40. Braintree 109, Barry Collins 5-37, Crudeli 2-15.

Worlington lost to Maldon by 2 wickets. Worlington 195 Graham Ford 42, Richard Ford 41, Tom Newell 37. Maldon 196-8, Jimmy Watson 3-25, Cody Golding 2-34.

Lakenheath lost to Ipswich by 91 runs. Ipswich 206-3, Shane Leech 3-71. Lakenheath 115, Leech 30, Paul Pallant 30.

Long Melford Lost to Sudbury II by 14 runs. Sudbury 149, Jon Amos 39, James French 4-48, Jason Wade 2-18. Long Melford 135, Josh Arendse 58, Stuart Whitehart 5-33, Robbie O’Donnell 3-25.

Brockley beat Haverhill II by 73 runs. Brockley 164-6, Ben Jeffrey 33, Alex McCaffrey 34. Haverhill 91, Sam Hartshorn 37, Mark Geeves 4-24, Jeffrey 3-10.

Exning lost to Wivenhoe II by 7 runs. Wivenhoe 173 Tim Catley 4-23, Oakley Colby 3-62, Exning 166, Catley 66.

FIXTURES

Division One: Braintree v Haverhill, Halstead v Woolpit, Maldon v Hadleigh, Worlington v Witham. Division Two: Lakenheath v Clacton. Division Three: Tuddenham v Brockley, Woolpit II v Long Melford.