Bartholomew Good, who played cricket as Billy Good, has an indelible place in the history of Nottinghamshire cricket. Billy was the batman who hit the winning run in Notts’ first inter-county match staged at home, versus Sussex on the Forest, on 9 September 1835. He also had the highest score in each of the county’s innings in that game and took two wickets in the Sussex first innings.
Good was born in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire on 20 January 1812 but by 1831 was clearly established in Nottingham, playing for the Rancliffe Arms club, and made his debut for the Old Club against the Next XXII. He appeared 13 times for the England XI that toured the country playing invitation matches, in 15 games for the Old Club or Nottinghamshire, and 25 times for the MCC, where Good was employed as ground-bowler from 1836.
As was the case in that era, he also represented a number of different sides – playing for the North, for the Players, the Married, the Left-Handed and the Slow Bowlers. In a match between teams A to K v L to Z, he took six wickets but a more detailed analysis is not available.
Though a powerfully-built left-hander, he had a delicate constitution which a report noted 'was not improved by his winter avocation as conductor of a Paddington omnibus'. His batting was noted for the off-drive, as well as his leg hitting. He was a slow round-arm bowler. His form suddenly deserted him in 1843 and he went sadly downhill.
To quote the biography again: 'When a man loses his play suddenly, as this professional did, when not advanced in years and of steady habits, it is usually from constitutional weakness'.
In 68 First-Class matches he made 1,154 runs at 10.49 with one half-century, 82 for the MCC against the North; Good took 27 wickets at 34.50 and held 27 catches.
Much liked and respected, being particularly good-tempered and merry-hearted, Billy Good died in Kensington on 12 March 1848.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 28