Over his 10 year career, Phil earned his position as one of our most important players – when physically able to walk to the pitch. Always a difficult bowler to face in the nets, over time he has converted this form into valuable wickets out in the middle. Sharp pace and bounce from a good length combined with late swing brought many important scalps over the years and Phil had a happy knack of getting good batsmen out with excellent deliveries. Many players have spent confusing afternoons fishing inexpertly after his opening spells and with a little more luck and some reliable fielders, more than his tally of 128 career wickets would have fallen. Phil is ever the enthusiastic student of the game, eager to expand the boundaries of cricketing knowledge beyond that boring old “line and length” fallacy that muppets like Jimmy Anderson and Glenn McGrath bang on about. Many a Mid-On fielder has been delighted to hear Phil’s almost-internal monologue when planning the 4th or 5th delivery of his over as the “surprise delivery”, “change up” or “variation”. In fairness, it rarely produced a boring dot ball. Very occasionally, stumps are scattered. Other times… well, it’s always nice to keep the spectators in the game! In fairness, there have been many exceptional spells, particularly memorable ones on C2 against Forfarshire and a completely terrified Dundee Staff team.
With the bat, Phil has opened effectively and at times been a deserving number 11, depending on how the form has been going that season. More than capable of some devastating hitting, he has been occasionally vulnerable to the deadly slow and straight delivery, not deviating at all on the way to middle stump. Nevertheless, he has featured in several fine batting displays, including the record partnerships for both 6th and 7th wickets for the Club.
We look forward to seeing him again when the blameless pitches of Cambridgeshire have honed a Bradman-esque technique to put into practice on the no doubt pristine new C1 surface. After many years service to Club and University, Phil has moved onto pastures new and we wish him well in finding some new teammates and introducing Alt-Line and Length to a new crop of Mid Ons.