After a hat-trick of false starts due to the English weather, the Badgers finally began their campaign in the Insta-friendly Stonor Park. The opposition - the less Insta-friendly Victoria and Albert Museum.

New captain, Sam Allwood, set the right tone by arriving first, followed by a series of Badger transport at various intervals, most notably Hash who put down an early season marker by making his entrance in a black SUV/Tank that saw the residents of Henley-on-Thames duck and cover for their lives. Not one to be upstaged by an armoured vehicle, Dickie "When in Rome" Blench duly appeared with a copy of Country Life under his arm looking every inch to the manor born. Now, it has since been claimed the aforementioned magazine was merely a Trojan Horse to sneak another, possibly less appropriate, magazine into the changing rooms, one of those magazines that definitely won't be appearing as the guest publication on Have I Got News for You, but these rumours, at the time of publication, are unproven and, dare I say it, a scurrilous attempt to put the Badgers off their stroke.

Anyway, here we were, chomping at the bit and stretching ourselves into something approaching shape when Sam won the toss and sent Nick and Dickie into bat.

Nick unfortunately was back in the pavilion after one over, given LBW to one that kept low, and I'd like to say it went uphill from there but it very much didn't. Matt Collins was bowled for one and Tom Gerrard, who was looking in good nick, went for a hot single in the Stonor Park area that was never quite there. The V&A, to give them credit, were applying themselves to the occasion and showing the assorted crowd of four that there's more to them than post classical sculpture, trinkets from the Italian Renaissance, and a load of ceramics.

Sometimes you have to face 19th century fire with 19th century fire though and we looked to our hero once again - Dickie Blench, a self-made man very much in the tradition of that bygone era. Whilst others around him were flailing Blench met the V&A bowling with his own Victorian values of responsibility, self-reliance, and patience. Unfortunately, though, he remembered they were big on charity and he proceeded to play onto his own stumps in a selfless act of Victoriana cosplay that drew admiring nods from the opposition.

Enter Pete Warman whose flawless technique was a wasted lesson on the Badgers at the other end who were mercilessly culled with alarming regularity. The dismal affair ended when Fitzgerald played over a slow one and was stumped off the bowling of Michael Atherton’s father-in-law. In a further twist he was then stumped again at lunch when he was told the vegan options were a pepper stuffed with cheese, some eggs, or a tuna salad.

All out for 56 and your correspondent wondering whether a Deliveroo would kill the vibe.

With little to defend then, the Badgers took to the field determined to give a good, albeit brief, account of themselves. Sam and Hash opened the bowling and were typically impressive, backed up by the fielders looking agile and lively – Warman an assured presence behind the stumps and Claridge a whirling dervish in the covers. Fitzgerald then entered the attack bowling empty stomach over the wicket, alongside the aforementioned Claridge who took the first wicket of this year’s campaign. With the V&A now only needing 4 to win Larsson ruined their opener’s day by bowling him and giving the assorted badgers one last round of high-fives before the inevitable conclusion.

With time to spare, the opposition charitably offered us a quick T15 which we duly gobbled up. And what happened in that game? Well, like The Star Wars Holiday Special it will remain a secret, consigned to the memories of those that were there and never committed to the public record. All I can say, indeed all I’m prepared to say, is that there was an incident that brought to mind that famous philosophical question regarding the difference between observation and perception –

“If Dickie takes his first outfield catch for the Badgers in a banter game and no one records it, then did it actually happen?”

I’ll leave you with that thought. His Majesty’s Treasury and Cabinet Office awaits and there is much technique to worked on.

Saturday 11th May 2024 V&A V&A vs Badgers Battersea Badgers

Battersea Badgers 56 for 10 (25.5 overs)

  • Unknown 2/0 (2)
  • Unknown 2/8 (4)
  • Unknown 2/8 (4.5)
  • Unknown 2/9 (4)

V&A 57 for 2 (15 overs)

  • Unknown 26 (44)
Full scorecard
  1. Squid Game

    Octopus CC match report 21st May 2024 — by Martin Fitzgerald
  2. Country Life

    V&A match report 17th May 2024 — by Martin Fitzgerald
  3. A Light in the Black

    His Majesty's Treasury and Cabinet Office match report 17th May 2024 — by Simon Dodd
  4. Rex Tremendae*

    Ploughmans match report 21st Aug 2023 — by Chris Shone
  5. A Tale of Two Dickies

    Cincinnati match report 17th Aug 2023 — by Martin Fitzgerald
  6. Badger on a hot tin roof

    Southbank match report 12th Jun 2023 — by Martin Fitzgerald
  7. 3 Ducks & 22 Men, A Badger Versus Ducksmen Classic

    Flying Ducksmen match report 27th May 2023 — by Karl Larsson
  8. A Bloodless Coup

    19th May 2023 — by Martin Fitzgerald
  9. A Hard Day's Plight

    JMC match report 15th May 2023 — by Karl Larsson
  10. Badgers out for the count

    V&A match report 1st May 2023 — by Karl Larsson
  11. Yes Minister, the Badgers can boogie

    His Majesty's Treasury and Cabinet Office match report 24th May 2022 — by Tom Rex
  12. Jump-start Justin steers Badgers to victory

    Southbank match report 24th May 2022 — by Tom Rex
  13. Any colour you like, as long as it’s Kew

    Kew match report 27th Apr 2022 — by Tom Rex
  14. Suds, Spoons & Blake Break

    Addiscombe match report 27th Apr 2022 — by Nick Foord
  15. Soggy bottom costs Badgers the win

    Cincinnati match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Tom Rex
  16. Badgers sizzle in Beddington scorcher

    Beddington match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Tom Rex
  17. Look East

    Interlopers match report 1st Sep 2020 — by Josh Lee
  18. A Winning End to Lock-Downe

    Downe match report 12th Aug 2020 — by Tom Rex
  19. Badgers Goosed by Soaring Ducksmen

    Flying Ducksmen match report 3rd Aug 2020 — by Tom Rex
  20. All Hail Breaks Loose

    Addiscombe match report 26th May 2019 — by Josh Lee
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