1910 season

County Championship – 5th (W 9, L 4, D 7)

Captain – A O Jones

Notts had a reasonable 1910 securing fifth place in the championship table. Tom Wass began the summer with 14-91 against Surrey to bring Notts victory in two days by 127 runs in the Whitsuntide match at Trent Bridge – the visitors being bowled out for 65 and 96. In the following fortnight, however, their hopes were dampened by defeats at the hands of Northants and Sussex. At Northants, Tom Wass broke down injured. Ted Alletson was put on to bowl in emergency and took 6-74 in the second innings, but Notts lost by 237 runs. There seemed some hope that Alletson’s bowling would develop into a useful asset and he opened the attack at Hove, picking up three wickets in the 78-run defeat. However, there were then complaints about the fairness of Alletson’s delivery – he bowled fast leg-breaks – and as a result, Arthur Jones refrained from putting him on again, except on odd occasions. Notts were only to lose a further two other matches during the season.

At the beginning of June, Notts entertained Yorkshire at Trent Bridge; after conceding a first innings lead of 154 they were set 355 to win and ended on 317-6 after 95 overs with Jones scoring 116. Notts defeated Leicester at Trent Bridge; requiring 271 to win, Iremonger (107 not out) and Joe Hardstaff senior (76 not out) added an unbroken 139 for the third wicket to see Notts home. There followed the most remarkable match of the season versus Lancashire at Old Trafford. Notts looked to have the game in their hands when, instead of making their opponents follow-on, they went in a second time with a lead of 214 runs, but they were bowled out for 185. Lancashire required an improbable 400 but they got there with eight wickets down in the 102nd over, adding an unbroken 39 for the ninth wicket. Notts quickly got over the disappointment by winning by 126 runs at Aylestone Road, Leicester, with Hardstaff hitting 111 in the first innings, and then coming on top in the return against Lancashire. Jones (121) and Wilf Payton (104) helped Notts reach 403 batting first. Tom Wass took 13-119 as Notts won by an innings and 125 runs.

July dawned with a draw at Lord’s. George Gunn stepped down to make way for Old Etonian Philip Pearson-Gregory who made his debut but rain only allowed four hours play and he neither batted nor bowled. A right-hand bat, 22 year-old Pearson-Gregory, who attended Brasenose College, Oxford, did not play cricket for the University XI. Being a professional soldier restricted his county cricket and he was only to play a further two games for Notts, both in 1914. A washed out third day robbed Notts of a near certain victory over Northants at Trent Bridge, the visitors 140-7 requiring another 189 runs to win. Further draws followed versus Derbyshire at Trent Bridge and against Yorkshire at Sheffield. Notts beat Sussex at Trent Bridge by 10 wickets, James Iremonger having match figures of 9-102. The month closed with a tense draw against Gloucester at Trent Bridge with Notts finishing on 193-9, 22 runs short of victory.

The August Bank Holiday fixture at The Oval saw Notts defeated by an innings and 143 runs in two days, Notts 55 all out in their second innings. Notts stayed in London and defeated Essex by three wickets in a low scoring match at Leyton. Essex were doubled, losing by 301 runs at Trent Bridge, being bowled out for 44 in the fourth innings of the match, Iremonger having figures of 15-9-7-6. Notts drew at Blackwell versus Derbyshire and then finished with two wins. Middlesex went down to a four wicket loss at Trent Bridge, Iremonger 10-69 in the contest. Future Notts captain and legend Arthur Carr made his first-class debut in the final game at Bristol scoring 1 and 0 as Notts beat Gloucester by five wickets, Tom Wass 13-108 in the match.

Notts had a good all-round relatively unchanged team. Of the principal batsmen, Jones, John Gunn, Payton, Hardstaff and Iremonger played in every match, while George Gunn was absent once. The last named continued his remarkable consistency, failing to score a single hundred, yet completing 1,003 runs @28.65. In fact the highest individual score in championship games all summer was 121 by Arthur Jones (1,102 runs @33.39). Jones made a further two tons, although according to Wisden his 72 in the opening victory versus Surrey was of “greater value; his hitting that afternoon, after the bowlers on each side had carried everything before them, put Notts on the high road to the most important of their victories”. Both Payton (970 runs @29.38) and Hardstaff (934 runs @28.30) seemed better batsmen and John Gunn (845 runs @31.29) was almost as reliable as his brother. James Iremonger now very much an all-rounder scored 642 runs @22.13. Tom Oates remained the first-choice wicket-keeper and he had a capable substitute in James Stapleton who played in three games.

The attack still lacked balance, relying too much on Tom Wass (110 wickets @18.40) and Iremonger (76 wickets @17.32) though William Riley’s (56 wickets @22.07) left-arm deliveries, notably against Gloucester at home when he obtained 10-119, gave encouragement. Cecil Clifton (30 wickets @23.26) showed some promise as a right-handed fast bowler but decided to leave Notts at the end of the summer and joined Enfield in the Lancashire League for 1911 season. Albert Hallam, after playing in the first four matches, was so disappointing that he was dropped and left the groundstaff at the end of the year. He also headed for the Lancashire League, being engaged by Nelson.

Notts had three other debutants in 1910. Garnet Lee, a young all-rounder played in four matches. Twenty-two year-old ‘Dodge’ Whysall (93 runs @18.60), who was at this stage a poor fielder but who Wisden correctly predicted would “become a first-rate batsman”, had showed much promise in the Second Eleven. Whysall was tried in the last three matches and scored 50 in the game at Blackwell.  George Wass made his sole first-class appearance in the season curtain-raiser versus MCC at Lord’s where in a rain affected game he took 3-34 and was dismissed for a duck. Wass, a 28-year old right-hand bat and a leg- spinner from Worksop was not related to Tom Wass.

Whilst the playing side of the club was perking up, wet weather caused an alarming drop in gate receipts – which in 1910 were little more than half what they had been in 1908. The committee took the retrograde step of removing the Second Eleven from the Minor Counties competition. In fact this saved about £250. The 1909/10 football season was the last one during which Notts County played their home games at Trent Bridge and this caused a loss of £110 to the cricket club.  

May 2020