County Championship – 5th (W7, D9, L4)

Captain Arthur Owen Jones


Notts finished fifth in the County Championship for the second consecutive season, consolidating their position among the First-Class counties.

The season was notable for some high scoring performances – Jimmy Iremonger was fifth in the national totals with 1812 runs at 60.40 – with three batters (CB Fry, Johnny Tyldesley and Tom Hayward) all passing 2,000 runs for the season.

Ten bowlers took 100 or more wickets. John Gunn, seventh on the list with 105, did the ‘double’ of 100+ wickets and more than 1,000 runs for the second season running.  Topsy Wass fell one short of another 100 wickets, having to settle for 99 with ten five-wicket hauls (bettered only by two other bowlers).

Three Notts players – Iremonger, John Gunn and skipper ‘Jonah’ Jones – topped 1000 runs, with Jones heading the county averages at 61.03.

Iremonger set the tone with 137 in the first innings of the season as Notts romped home against the MCC at Lord’s by eight wickets; Wass also got into his stride early, taking six wickets in each innings.

He repeated that feat against Kent at Gravesend in the next match to secure a comfortable three wicket win.

Still on their travels, Notts went next to Hove and were on the wrong end of another wide margin of defeat, losing by five wickets in a low scoring match.

Home at last, they then played three consecutive matches at Trent Bridge, against Surrey, Essex and Sussex.  The Surrey game was won by nine wickets, there were few close games in this season, followed by a rain ruined match against Essex in which only 115 overs were bowled – still time, though, for Topsy Wass to secure his 500th First-Class wicket (and his 450th in county games) when he bowled Bill Reeves.

Revenge for the defeat at Hove was secured with a 226-run victory; AO Jones scored 97, top score in the match, and in the process passed 12,000 runs in First-Class cricket.

Against Gloucestershire at the Spa Ground, Wass and John Gunn shared all the wickets as Notts eased home by eight wickets.

In the next match, at home to Yorkshire, Notts subsided in the second innings, making just 111 – fewer than Jones (113) and John Dixon (135) had each made in the first innings. Yorkshire had a 100-run lead so the home side’s collapse left the visitors the simple task of securing victory by 10 wickets.

Back at Lord’s, this time to face Middlesex, Notts got back to emphatic winning ways as Iremonger carried his bat for 189 out of 377.  Middlesex never really challenged that, making 165 and 192 to cede the match by an innings and 20 runs.

Notts compiled an even bigger first innings against Kent at Trent Bridge with Jimmy Iremonger contributing a career-high 272 to a first innings of 602. Kent, 356 all out, were required to follow on but were able to hold out in their second innings, stumps being drawn when they were 263-4.

At Chesterfield, Derbyshire had no answer to the Nottinghamshire bowling attack, scoring 194 and a paltry 36 (still 20 better than their lowest ever tally against Notts) to lose by 330 runs.  Wass and John Gunn were again amongst the wickets, taking eight and seven wickets respectively.

Notts then went on a run of six matches without a win – five of those drawn games.  A very high scoring match against Lancashire ended in the inevitable draw.  Notts, lead by Iremonger (again!) who made 197, made 447 only for the visitors to top that with 586; Tyldesley made 225 and Archie MacLaren 166.  There were more than 450 runs scored on day two alone!

Trent Bridge was obviously a batter’s paradise that July as the next home game against Leicestershire was another draw in which bowlers collectively struggled. Leicester opened with 395, the fall of their last wicket bringing the day’s play to a close, and Notts replied with 363, ‘Jonah’ top scoring with 108. The visitors added a further 259 in the second innings, leaving Notts just 34 overs to play out, losing Iremonger for 4 in seeing out time.

The runs conti8nued to flow in the next match too – Gilbert Jessop leading Gloucester to a mammoth 636 with an innings of 206 made at a positively 21st time of just 140 minutes. Notts, unsurprisingly, were forced to follow on, making 242, but nearly held on.  In their second innings two centurions – Jones and Iremonger – put on 303 for the first wicket. Once they were out (Jones 187, Iremonger 138), no other batter could see out the game and they finished 393 all out, losing by an innings and 1 run.

Leicester had the better of a draw at Aylestone Road, making 253 and 363 to Notts’s 217 and 111-4. Joe Hardstaff put his rarely-used seam bowling to good use, taking what was then his best figures of 4-57 in Leicester’s second innings.

No play was possible on the third and final day of the match against Yorkshire at Bradford which was followed by another draw, against Derbyshire at Welbeck. The weather again intervened, washing out the final day.  Notts succumbed to Arnold Warren’s career-best 8-69 to make just 187 in their first innings but that still secured a 60 run first innings lead as the visitors made only 127 (Wass 6-71); Notts did even more poorly second time round, rain bringing the game to a halt with them on 74-8. Warren had a spectacular match, taking seven of the eight wickets to fall for only 43 runs to finishing with match figures of 15-112.

Surrey were beaten by two wickets in a fairly even contest at The Oval, John Gunn contributing exactly 100 to the Notts first innings of 220.  Unusually, in the match Notts had the ‘battery’ of Gunns, William, John and George, filling the first three places in the batting order.

Notts battled back in the game against Essex at Leyton, having conceded a large first innings deficit.  Essex scored 590 with three major innings – Frederick Fane made 126, Charlie McGahey 225 and the splendidly named Claude Percival Buckenham, in at number ten, making 100 (one of only two hundreds in his career). Notts replied with a dismal 190 but fared very much better in their second innings as George Gunn (106) and AO Jones (150no) saw them to 365-3 and a welcome draw.  This was George Gunn’s first First-Class hundred – he made a further 61.

Notts fielded a much-changed side for the match against the South African tourists and it rather back-fired as the visitors made an impressive 611 in the first innings – Louis Tancred (who went on to skipper SA on subsequent tours) made 113 and Gordon White 115.  Notts had earlier made 320, built around 143 from George Gunn, who had clearly got the hang of making tons at this point.

When Notts batter again, no-one bettered Joe Hardstaff’s 51 and Notts were dismissed for 242 to lose by an innings and 49 runs. John Pennington got his name in the record books, when he conceded the most runs by a Notts bowler in an innings – 223 in taking seven South African wickets. This record was equalled by Andy Afford who took three for 223 v Northants at Northampton in 1995.

Despite losing the match against Middlesex by eight wickets, Notts had some cause for (muted) celebration as John Gunn passed both his 100th First-Class wickets and his 1000th First-Class run to secure his second ‘double’ season in a row.

Notts made a respectable 343 but ran into a 306-run opening partnership by ‘Plum’ Warmer and James Douglas that took the match away from the home side – Middlesex ending on 516 all out.

Bernard Bosanquet took six wickets in each Notts Innings as they made a further 226, setting Middlesex the undemanding task of scoring 54, which they did for the loss of James Douglas and Clayton Palmer, the latter stumped off John Gunn by Joe Hardstaff, deputising for Tom Oates who had started the match as keeper.

This game was played for the benefit of Wilf Flowers, whose earlier benefit game some nine years earlier had not been a success.

The final match of the season was another draw, against Lancashire at Old Trafford in which the home side made 222 and 286, to which Notts replied with 270 and 36-2.

The Notts Committee were able to confirm, in their end of year report, that Trent Bridge hade been awarded the first Ashes Test Match of 1905, to be the second on the ground, and expressed the wish that, ‘It is earnestly to be hoped that the attendance at the Match will be such as to justify the selection of Trent Bridge for future Test Matches’.


December 2023

Scorecards and stats can be seen here