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JULIAN Wood, the former Hampshire and Berkshire player, made a surprise appearance for Reading Cricket Club last Saturday.

It was for the fourth team rather than the firsts who were playing on the adjoining pitch.

The temptation to play in Division 8a of the Thames Valley League was the fact his 12-year-old son Hayden is a regular member.

“It was nice to play with him,” said Julian, who scored 24 runs in his side’s defeat by Royal Ascot 4ths at Sonning Lane.

“I think it must be seven or eight years since I last played in a serious game.”

Hayden managed to score only two runs but he did take two wickets. He recently took five wickets in a game against Bagshot 3rds.

Wood’s vast experience would prove invaluable to the first team who have not won a game all season and face relegation for the second successive year.

The 48-year-old revealed he had been asked, but politely said no, as he has other commitments with his coaching academy.

  • ANOTHER family to enjoy their cricket last weekend were the Woods from Wargrave.

Euan scored 20 and took 2-24 as the Berkshire county team defeated Staffordshire to reach the final of the Unicorns Trophy, while older brother Alex grabbed a sensational nine wickets for Barnt Green as they defeated Brockhampton in a Birmingham and District League match.

Alex, a 24-year-old seamer, usually skippers the 2nd Xl but received a first team call-up and finished with figures of 9-62 from 14.4 overs. He took the first five and the last four wickets.

And, not to be outdone, dad Martin scored a half-century for Wargrave 3rds against Wokingham 5ths in Division 9a of the Thames Valley League.

The same Wargrave team also included Scott Walker, his son Tom and daughter Emma, who has now established herself in the Berkshire women’s squad.

  • THE Thames Valley Premier Football League will go into the new season with new members on their management committee. They have been advertising for a fixtures secretary and registration secretary, and the new officials should be announced soon.