Match Report – 22 May 2010 – PBCC 4s vs Letchworth 4’s

If I had to do the same again, I would my friend, Fernando…

Before I delve into the post mortem of the latest adventures of the people’s team dear readers, I would like to take the time to describe to you the intense pleasure of the finest cricket tea that your humble scribe has ever had the pleasure of eating. I recently played at the Royal Household at Windsor Castle and I have to say that I thought that was the best tea that I had ever had until I wandered down the grassy knowl and into the warm bosom of John Erroll’s Mum’s cricket tea.

The tea was much hyped and John Erroll’s Mum’s teas initially did not differ greatly in terms of presentation from the standard (and also very excellent) Cheeko family provided teas but once the tin foil was pulled back on the cake section, the prospect of fielding was suddenly forgotten in a smorgasbord of sweet treats that made for some muffin top cricket trousers during the secondinnings.

The sandwiches were a good selection or various meat and vegetarian options on white and brown bread. I chose grated cheddar cheese and egg mayo, both on brown, which had the texture that only sandwiches that are made with care and love can be. I also dipped into some mini sausages (which were lightly spicy), succulent and juicy cherry tomatos. For desert, I noticed some home jam tarts and I have to confess that they were so good that I had six of them before attempting to keep wicket for the remainder of the afternoon. The tarts themselves had a crumbly cup that was just sufficient in texture to form a base for the sweet strawberry jam but sufficiently supple to melt in the mouth.

There were further cake options including some chocolate muffins and some excellent banana cake that I know Rupert the Pirate (you are not a pirate) was tucking into, which might explain the extra over he took to warm up. In many areas of life, hype and expectation rarely lives up to the actual event but I think that Johnny Erroll’s Mum is made of tougher stuff than that and the tea fully lived up to grand billing that it was afforded. This is to your credit Johnny Erroll’s Mum and I thank you for bringing 30 minutes of joy into our lives that offset the shocking negativity of the Letchworth run chase.

Set 270 to win on the small pitch in 55-overs should have been an easy task for the men of Letchworth given that what looked like a lethal green one was infact a slow flat deck offering little assistance to the bowlers except a bit of occasional bounce. Letchworth’s mind it seems, was made up for them by an opening bowling partnership of Duncan Taylor and Spencer Randon. With keeper Burrows up to the stumps and high quality bowling, the opposition found themselves at 20-overs with just 20 runs on the board. Bar flew through their overs and in no time, Letchworth were under the pump and batting for a draw from very early on. The key was to nurdle out their only two real batsmen, Hughes and Fernando, who scored 100 out of the teams, 165 eventual total.

The strange part about the whole day was that Letchworth had inserted Bar on a hot day on a green pitch, hoping to skittle us for a low score and then chase, as is their modus operandi, especially with Hughes who is way too good for division 9. Their return on their day’s efforts was a megre 4-points, 1 from bowling and 3 from getting to 166. There are clearly teams in our league who value not letting the opposition get 30-points over gaining batting points from themselves. Strange tactics from an ad-hoc Letchworth side but it may have suited the playing strength that they came with. No more needs to be mentioned of their run chase effort that was embarrassing in its execution.

A joy to behold however was Bar’s domination of the batting. The usual opening collapse left Andy Hughes at the crease looking down the barrel of a low score at 47-3. However, Andy Hughes led his now customary fightback and went on to take the easy singles and big hits on offer on his way to a sparkling 95. There was only one 6 in his innings, which goes to show how far Hughsey’s temperament has come in terms of batting time as well as just smashing it. He really is a class act at this level and his loafing singles are arrogant in their casualness. He holed out to long on after hitting a single down the ground a little too firmly and was truly gutted to miss out on his ton.

He was supported manfully by the highlights package that is the Doc Sharma who scored 36, mostly in boundaries, and there was a super cameo down the order by the baby faced assassin, Luke Watling who scored 55 in 8-overs. Spencer Randon scored a cheeky 29 and was the only man to hit a 6 onto the astroturf pitch.

Bar bowled well during Letchworth’s batting effort, with some extraordinarily good figures coming from the oppositions blockathon. The pick of the bowlers were the 2 spinners, Randon and Watling who were a pleasure to watch from behind the stumps and got 2 and 3-wickets respectively. If Bar can learn to hang on to a few more sharp catches, then we can start to convert these high point draws into 30 point victories.

The People’s team sit above mid table in a league where teams are all taking points from each other with a trip to the pretty North Enfield next week. This week I leave you with Abba’s ‘Fernando’ as a tribute to Letchworth’s Chopper Fernando and Cheeko’s string pulling captaincy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQsjAbZDx-4

Dave Burrows

Match Report – PBCC4 vs MPBCC2 – 15 May 10

Roy star of the show in PBCC 4s winning draw at The Feds

A fine day saw the second outing of Cheeko’s 4th XI 2010 campaign, having secured an easy win the week before when Elstree couldn’t raise a team.

Bar arrived at Met Police Bushey (henceforth known as ‘The Feds’) on a fine day and the general thinking was that we would have a bat if we won the toss as early season form suggested that The Feds had a pretty strong batting line up. Cheeko was surprised however when The Feds’ skipper won the toss and opted to field first.

The regular 4s opening partnership of Burrows and Errol was restored now that league football has finished but got off to a poor start when the horribly out of form Burrows cut straight to gully for just 5. The Feds tail was up when they also got Bar’s new number 3, Jellybean Taylor for a duck.

This brought the highlights package that is Andy Hughes to the wicket who batted well for his 19 with a couple of tremendous lofted extra cover drives and only 3 singles in his innings. He was gunned down by a terrible LBW decision but in fairness, he was plumb LBW to the first ball of that over and justice was served.

The brought the Hayden (Roy/Buck/Ginger/Pol )Rogers to the crease for what would turn out to be a spectacular and very nearly match winning innings, one of the best that your scribe has ever seen. He finished on 111 not out and was clever enough throughout his innings to ignore the hugely defensive fields that The Feds set, although in many cases, going over the top of men stationed on the boundary edge.

He was supported in his innings by John Errol, who was rather overshadowed but himself managed to get 60 before gifting a caught and bowled chance. It also looked as if Johnny was also going to get a ton at one point but he can be well satisfied with a 60 in his first game of the season and a partnership of 74 for the 4th wicket with Roy Rogers.
Other players contributed down the order, not least Cheeko and Rupert Pirate (you are not a pirate) who hung in to ensure that Pol Roger got his ton. I think the highlight of the innings was the contempt with which Roy treated the return of the opening bowler with the suspicious action which went 464414. The six was a flat batted swat that went into the sightscreen behind the bowler and was a joy to behold.

The bar finished their innings on 222-9, batting on past 200 wary of the smallish boundaries and fast outfield and went in to enjoy a rather excellent tea, the best this season so far.

Resuming after tea and one slice of fruitcake too many, Bar opened up with Herbie Fennell and the Pirate (you are not a pirate) and The Feds put on an agricultural 38 for their first wicket before the angry cop opener was trapped by an excellent Herbie back of the hand slower ball. Leslie Nielsen look-a-likely was next to go, run out by an amazing piece of work by Herbie again in the covers, who was calm under pressure and lobbed an easy catch to the Doctor to complete the run out. Dave Fennell really is an accomplished fielder and moves with the speed of a frightened gazelle coupled with the confidence of youth.

Wickets fell at regular intervals and the decision was clearly taken by The Feds not to bother with any points for the afternoon (the only managed 4) and to block out for a draw instead of going for 140+. Unfortunately, this is the type of cricket that our league format produces and until we move to a 40 or 50 over format, we are going to have these dull afternoons watching old men stonewall our attack. If a team doesn’t want to be bowled out then it’s going to be very difficult to do so despite the quality of our attack. I expect later on in the season, Cheeko might move to an insert and chase format to play to our strengths.

A note on the bowling. I serious think that we have one of the most potent attacks in the league and I am sure that we won’t come up against anyone as quick as Doc Sharma or Herbie this season. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to face the Doc on Saturday and I’m sure many league batsmen won’t. Rupert Pirate is the most unlucky bowler I’ve ever played with and the number of times he beats the outside edge and gets now reward is crazy. Duncan Taylor showed his bowling class with some impressive banana shapes being sent down and there is certainly a place for the Spenno’s leggies. The bowling figures are listed below for your reading pleasure;

R Ryrah 15ov 1-52
D Fennell 7ov 1-19
R Sharma 11ov 3-18
S Randon 7ov 1-20
D Taylor 5ov 1-1
I Moore 2ov 0-4

Finally, the song for the day was KRS One’s ‘Sound of da police’ which I have handily linked to here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VRZq3J0uz4

Dave Burrows

DSP Healthcare Market Commentary – May 2010

I read an interesting article on likely falls in commercial property this morning on Bloomberg which tied in nicely with something I was proposing to write on the outlook for the Healthcare market for the rest of the year. Here are some of my thoughts on the direction of things for the rest of 2011;

New government, new direction?

The proposed emergency budget isn’t going to be ready until mid-July but it already looks as if there are going to be drastic cuts all over the place to cope with the UK’s growing debt mountain. There are already noises about the proposed ring fence on the NHS budget being reversed (see here) as a combination of tax rises and spending cuts starts to take effect.

It is likely that the cuts in the already stretched Local Authority budgets will mean that there are less funds available generally and that this could mean even greater attempts will be made to keep service users in their own homes for longer so that funding for residential care places does not need to be made available. Pressure on budgets could also mean further outsourcing of clients who need more specialist care, into assisted living accommodation.

Likely VAT rise?

The general consensus would seem to be that VAT could go up to 20%, this being the quickest way for the new coalition to raise money. I think the timing of this rise is important as growth is still weak in the UK and any VAT rise is going to impact consumer spending from a wider economic perspective.

It will also affect the Healthcare industry as a rise in VAT is a direct cost that is not reclaimable as in other sectors. A 2.5% across the board rise in prices on non-staff costs of running a care home is significant and also a distraction, especially where some operators are under pressure on occupancy and standards.

Interest Rate Outlook

Given the current weak level of economic growth, most forecasters and data that I have read predict that rates will note start going up until the end of the year or possibly even q1 2011. When rates do go up, I anticipate that they will tick up slowly to balance a weak growth pattern. Some of the inflation figures that we have seen lately may cause the MPC cause for concern but I think they will let inflation spike rather than kill growth with rate raises.

This will also affect the availability of Healthcare stock coming to the market. Generally the homes that we are seeing come to the market at present are distressed or have issues. I don’t see this changing until those operators who wish to sell out can generate a decent rate of return on the capital they realise from the sale, so my view is that there will continue to be a shortage of care homes hitting the market.

Bank funding

Lastly, the lenders are as cautious as ever with regards to the type of propositions that they are lending on. Most are looking to restrict their loan to value to 70% maximum and are cautious lending to first time buyers.

In many ways, it looks as if a combination of unresolved capital reserve issues and a big swing to a more risk led approach from the lenders has meant that many deals that we have seen recently that would have been funded with no problem (and limited risk) in 2007/8, are now being declined or offered at a lower loan to value.

That is not to say that deals are not being done, we are seeing an increase in deals over this year but this is tempered with a more realistic approach from those doing the deals about the likely loan levels and interest rates that are available.

Of course, we are always delighted to speak through your funding requirements and if you have a proposal that you would like to discuss, please feel free to call on 0208 362 9700 or email me at david@dspartners.co.uk

David Burrows

David Burrows
Partner
David Stephen Partners

0208 362 9700 – t
0208 366 8931 – f
david@dspartners.co.uk – e
http://www.dspartners.co.uk – w