2018 Awards & Thank You’s

The end of season social on Friday 5th October was exactly that, with the drink flowing and pizza eaten!   Chairman Kyle and the two skippers, Guns for the Inbetweeners and Big Stu for the Originals, gave their annual review and presented the awards for the year:

Originals
Batsman – Sam Richardson with RPI average of 37
Bowler – Carl Needham with RPW average of 22
Fielder – Michael Timms
Youngun – Jacob Chambers
Outstanding Performance – Archie Mansfield for unbeaten 73 vs Stonesfield.

Midweek (Inbetweeners)
Batsman – Stuart Leonard
Bowler – Tommy Leonard

Hine Memorial Club Award
Carl Needham

The Chairman also thanked the many club members for their invaluable contributions to yet another successful and entertaining year at The Mighty Gibbon:

Umpires: Barry Timms and Mark Leonard
Groundstaff: Nick and Steve Turner
Cricket Square: Himself!
Maintenance Men : John Tofts and Barry Leonard
Fencing, Screen washer and Crack Fillers! – Grant Cross, Joe Leonard, Tom Leonard, Stuart Leonard, Luke Connell & Mark Leonard.
Midweek League Organisation: Barry Timms
Treasurer: Michael Timms
‘Retired’ Secretary: Will Honour
and the wonderful Tea Ladies! Led by Debbie Cross, with Kim Leonard, Trina Needham, Emma Timms, Caroline Fox, Amy Callow (and Mum!), Athis Vadivale (and Sangeeta!), Sally Chambers, Donna Leonard, Vanessa Honour and Elaine Shipperley.

Finally, the Club Toasted our ‘Absent Friends’ who left us this year: Margaret Yardley and President Horace Leonard.

 

End of Season Social

The End of Season Social will be held at The Pavilion on Friday 5th October. Bar opens at 7pm.

All Members, friends of the Club and family members are welcome.

The Skippers will sum up their years for the Originals and In-Betweeners and announce their Trophy Winners and Awards.

Looking forward to seeing you there and toasting our inaugural season in Division One and the Silverware we won!

Cheers
Chairman Kyle

See You Next Year Division One!

“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.”  

Winston Churchill.

Two weeks ago failure in the guise of relegation to Division 2 looked imminent for MGCC, but a mighty Churchillian spirit got us off the beach!

Two victories were required from the last two games, both away and both with players absent, but those that turned out – turned it on. Consecutive hundred run opening stands providing the platform to both victories.

And so, to the win at Stonesfield……

A cool day with morning drizzle and a covered pitch on arrival.  Thankfully the clouds lifted and a greenish track was revealed, looking true but slow.  Skipper duly lost the toss and Stonesfield elected to bat as neither Skipper Burns nor main bowler Gubbins were on parade.  Needing only 1 bonus point to secure their Division 1 status Stoney were relaxed and gunning for a big batting swing!

Marsh seeking a controlled start began with more than 100 years of experience as Needham and Chambers opened up!  Redknapp and Hart (where was Jamie Burns?) were positive and despite the earlier precipitation the outfield was still hard and fast.  The breakthrough came in the 9th over with the score on 37, as Needham found the edge of Hart’s bat and a sharp low catch to Joe at 1st Slip was executed perfectly.  ‘One brings Two’ and Chambers struck the very next over trapping Redknapp deadeye in front for the 2nd time, and this time Umpire Razza was awake to give it!

Joe was catcher again just 2 overs later as he clutched a drive from Grist-Perkins at mid on from Chambers and Stonesfield were 58-3 off 13.

Birkett and Farrant then went boundary crazy with all out attack and skipper turned to Joe to tempt the error.  The plan worked as Farrant (who’d scored 35 in 3 overs) thankfully missed a straight one and was bowled. 85-4 from 16 overs.

With this wicket Marsh wrestled back the initiative from Stonesfield through tight bowling and fielding (and some odd throwing – Abbott and Vadivale!) and only 20 runs came in the next 10 overs as Needham completed his spell conceding 2 runs in 5 overs (12-5-33-1) and Joe tying up the other end.

Birkett and skipper Burns were still there and though contained by the Marsh Spin-Twins (not identical though same body profile!), the batters were looking secure at 122-4 at the 30th over mark. Marsh needed another breakthrough as a final 15 over onslaught could be damaging with still 6 wickets in hand.

Joe (8-1-35-1) was replaced by Jabbot to return some pace into proceedings. Finding a good line straight away Jayson and Satty kept the pressure on and the rate in check.  Then came controversy in the 36th over.

Jayson found the edge of Jamie’s bat and Skipper Stuart took a low catch.  Simple enough.  However uncoordinated and indecisive umpiring got the situation in a spin.  Stuart wasn’t sure if the ball carried and the catch taken clean.  The two umpires agreed the ball had been hit and carried but didn’t simply confer and say ‘Out’ and were leaving it to the players to debate. With things getting unnecessarily tetchy Jamie realised what a cock up they were making and sensibly walked.  The right decision – the wrong way.

Stonesfield looked to accelerate in the last ten but a wicket for Vadivale in each of his last 3 overs, claiming the impressive Birkett LBW for 56 and then 2 sharp Stumpings for skipper (almost making up for his earlier missed one!) kept Stonesfield to 201-8 off their 45.

The simple equation at Tea on the last day was :  To Win and stay up Marsh needed 202 runs in the next 45 overs.  The whole season rested on the next 175 minutes.

Joe and Archie strode out and set the right tone immediately with confident batting from over one.  10 overs and 47 on the board – no scares.  Whilst Joe kept using his bat instead of his pad and Archie didn’t hit the ball to a fielder and call for a run things stayed calm.  And the runs kept coming…..

12th over and time for Gubbins spin to begin.  Having taken 49 wickets in the season to date and taken a wicket in every game he bowled Tom Gubbins was looking for the milestone 50th wicket.  Both batters kept on the front foot turning over the strike to keep things unsettled.  It worked.  15 overs and 72 on the board.

Joe reached his 50 first in the 19th over and then in the 22nd over the pair achieved their 2nd consecutive 100 run opening partnership.  To be confirmed, but probably the only back to back Century Opening partnerships for the Club.

The stand was unfortunately broken in the 25th over on 118 when Joe, caught in-between smack or tickle ended up chipping the ball into midwickets hands. A quality 60 scored from 74 balls.  But Archie was still there and reached his 2nd consecutive half century.

Alex Wallace joined Archie and as he needed to be at two 40th Birthday parties that evening had no time to linger.   Indeed parenting duties had kept Briefcase from the crease for Marsh since the 2014 Telegraph Cup Final victory and the years of missed batting was desperate to surface….and so it did!

Whilst Archie timed cuts through point to the rope, Briefo stood square and powerfully thwacked it over mid on and square leg.  The last required 87 runs coming in just 10 overs.  In the end, only the thought of Amy’s tongue-lashing for tardiness could extricate Briefo from the middle and he ‘Retired’ with the scores level on 201 and ran off to a brace of parties!     Skipper strode out to see Archie complete the victory with a final boundary hit directly into the jubilant Marsh team.

Archie finished unbeaten on 73 from 98 balls and Briefo (unbeaten) scoring 49 from just 33 deliveries.  Retiring on 49 – That’s what I call Jug Avoidance!

Mission Accomplished. Division One status Confirmed!

No need for: Jules, Jayson, Sat, Alex C, Jacob, Mikey, or Kyle to wield the willow as Joe, Archie and Briefo scored 205 from 35 overs.

Congratulations to the Stonesfield boys for their mid table finish as well and the usual banter and hospitality.  Hope the Race night was a success.

The courage to continue when all seemed hopeless kept the Club up and showed what can be achieved.  A perfect place to start from – next May!

 

Torrid Run Comes To An End – But Is It In Time?

Things were looking good when The Mighty Gibbon beat Faringdon at The Recreation Ground on 14th July.  Just past half the season completed and despite sitting mid table no one was getting carried away and the target remained two more victories from the last 8 games in order to stay up in Division One.

Then followed 6 weeks without a win.  True, there were some close calls when defeat was cruelly snatched from a winning position but the facts are: 6 games, 5 defeats and 1 rained off (when in a winning position).

The cumulative effect of this meant Gibbon lay bottom of the league with just 2 Saturdays of the season remaining.  The return match with Faringdon was now crucial as defeat would mean relegation. Do or Die!

A dry warm day and Skipper lost the toss. He’d already laid it on thick how poorly we had been playing (very true) and Faringdon skipper seemed uncertain what to do and after some thought decided to bowl.

The average Opening partnership from the last 6 games stood at an unimpressive 12 from 5 different combinations, but skipper had liked the look of ‘Nicest Man Ever’ Mansfield in his knock against Cowley and coupled him with Rep Boy at the top of the order.  A wise choice as both played securely and steadily moved through the gears. 50 up in the 15th over with good acceleration as the spinners came on.  Joe reached his 50 with an imperious straight drive and the pair brought up 100 by the 23rd over and a platform was set.

Unfortunately Joe was caught on 72 from just 63 balls, including 14 x 4’s and the opening stand of 101 came to an end.  Sambo Richardson (nice-bloke-but-not-as-nice-as-Archie) was intent on forcing things along but missed a straight one and was replaced by Skipper (Not-a-nice-bloke-in-fact-a-bit-of-a-bully).  Archie (Nicest-man-ever) and Skipper got into their stride and moved the score along finding regular boundaries across the rapid hard outfield.

Archie was caught shortly after reaching a fine first half century for the Gibbon on 53, after the pair had added 67 for the 4th wicket. Skipper followed him back shortly after, but not before he hit a sweep shot directly at young Finn Johnson reducing him to tears (As I said – bully!) Skippers quick fire 48 came from only 50 balls and Marsh were on 176 for 4 from 38 overs.

The boys that followed put everything into maximising the score in the last 7 overs and between them added a further 46 to push the total to 222:  Chambers (7), Abbott with a hard-hitting 21, Luke Fox (doctor-type-bloke 6), Timdog (2*), Mitchell (tall-bloke) – out for a Golden 1 (work that out!?) and Honour (another-awfully-nice-bloke) with 7* from the last 3 balls – surely his highest ever strike rate!

Faringdon kindly provided a fine free Tea in recognition of the fracas caused by a now ‘former’ player in the earlier fixture in the season at Marsh, a gesture much appreciated.  And Marsh took to the field to Bowl…..

Mitchell had failed his fitness test at Tea and so Richardson opened the attack with Needham (oldest-bloke).  Faringdon openers Owen and Tomes were positive and striking the ball with an intent to chase the total from the outset.  However, Marsh were as determined and Needham struck once, twice, thrice, to reduce Faringdon to 48 for 3 by the 18th over.   Needham (12-2-47-3) and Richardson (very-economical-bloke 12-6-25-0) bowled through and by the 25th over the rate required by Faringdon had risen to just shy of 7 runs per over.

Jabba and Chambers (experienced-bloke-but-not-as-old-as-Needham) looked to continue the run shackling but Brown and Hume had other ideas and, despite the bowlers beating the bat and forcing the occasional misplaced half chance, the two struck some lusty blows to put a century stand together and keep up with the rate.

64 runs required from 10 overs and the (runs) worm had turned. Skipper needed to find a break-through bowler, or this game would slip away with increasing certainty. He threw the ball to Rep Boy.

Brown took on the spinner and with consecutive firm blows split the long-on and cow boundary riders; once, twice, thrice….before a little extra flight and bounce got the critical nick into Skippers gloves. (Well walked.) Next ball and Booker skied only to be clutched by the bowler himself.  The breakthrough was made, but Hume was still there and steering runs confidently.

Now Jabba (wildboy-rugby-type-bloke) joined the party.  He had been sending down some sharp deliveries and Hume looked to guide one too many down to third man only to produce a slight snick which was gleefully grasped behind by the Skipper again.  167 for 6 from 38 was only a dozen runs less than the Marsh score at the equivalent point in their innings, but with fresh (and less effective batters) at the crease and the Marsh fielders set deep, the question was whether the pressure from the runs on the board would be too much for the Faringdon batters?

David James took on Rep Boy’s flighted leggie next over and Timdog (fair-rule-making-bloke) steadied himself to bag the batter’s attempt to clear the rope.  Robinshaw was now Faringdon’s last hope and he swung effectively with boundaries sufficient to keep the game alive.  In fact, his hard-hitting became his downfall as he hit a low bullet of a shot to Long Off only to find bucket hands Fox racing in to pluck the ball from its’ boundary bound trajectory.  And with that (Leonard 5-0-38-4) the game was all but up.

Jabba (11-0-45-3) cleaned up the last 2 wickets in the last over and bowled young Cook with the very last ball of the game to secure Gibbon a maximum 30 points with Faringdon falling 21 runs short.

It was ‘Do or Die’ and Gibbon ‘Did’.  The last weekend of the season may now be the most tantalising ever in the top league’s history with only the top 4 safe from relegation!  Six teams still require more points, or sides to falter, for salvation to be secured.

The Gibbon’s task remains as clear as it was at Faringdon:  Win and stay up.  This is your mission Mr Phelps!

 

MGCC Rep Boy

We are very proud that our very own Joe Leonard was selected to play for the OCA Rep Team against the Cherwell Rep Team this August.  Rubbing shoulders with cricketing superstars didn’t phase him and despite not going to the middle until four wickets down, he scored a respectable 25 (3rd highest score) for the OCA team.   Unfortunately the OCA team lost, but nevertheless Joe follows in the footsteps of cousin Stuart and Dubai exile, Wayne Platts, as MGCC players selected to play for an OCA Rep side.

 

Sad News

It is with the greatest sadness that I convey news of the passing of two dear members of the MGCC family.

Margaret Yardley, mother of Debbie, Selina and Paula and grandmother of Nathan, Hayley, Ryan, Callum, Alfie and great grandmother to their children, had been a true supporter of both the football and cricket clubs for decades and lived a life surrounded by sport.  She was to be seen, quietly, thoughtfully, supporting and helping with cricket teas and club functions.  She will be remembered and her memory live on beyond her loved ones.

Horace Leonard, father of Barry, Mark and Marilyn, grandfather of Stuart, Richard, Jamie, Joe, Tom, Matt, James and Chris and the great granddaughters was our beloved Club President and the epitome of positivity.   Horace was a player (of everything), official, groundsman, fund raiser and consumate role model for anyone who aspires to be a truly valuable and respected person.  But most of all he was the love of Vi’s life and Vi the love of his, stretching back before Oxford United were even called by that name – and will be so eternally.

Margaret’s service will be at Oxford Crematorium on Friday 3rd August at 11am.  Please be colourful and bright!

Horace’s service is at St. Mary’s on Monday 6th August at 11am. Marsh Club Colours (Not black).

 

Gibbon Grace Division One Again!

As Captain Stuart Leonard continued to sun himself under the Greek Sun, Captain of Vice was again in charge under the Gibbon Sun.  This week he had the added challenge of how to enter the ground as all roads in were in the process of being re-tarmacked.  You would have thought he was arranging the Normandy Landings such was the whatsapp clap trap the day before. Anyway somehow or other everyone got here on time….Er, hold on….not quite everyone. Standard!

More changes in personal as Beardy and the Fox giants were not available, so in stepped Timdog, the Welsh Hockey Wizard,  and the Greek ‘God of Guns Out.’  Quite a youthful looking outfit for this latest baker.

Toss accomplished again (This boys got stamina!) and Marsh to bat first.  Skipper decided to promote himself from 4 to Opener and was joined by the ever youthful Farmer sporting his purple bricks tattoo which he wore from last week. Both settled in to see off the popular Hume and soon-to-be-disgraced Plant.  Track was playing hard, fast and reliably and both batters got involved.

Jules(15) was caught with the total on 60 from 15 and was closely followed next over by Skipper(42) unfortunately gloving to the keeper. The wobble was averted as Scotty and Richardson composed themselves and looked to push on.  Then another double blow as a rank long hop (Scotty-19) and then full toss (Sambo-11), which should have both been on the road, were missed and they were both clean bowled in successive overs from Robinshaw.  100-4 from 23 overs.  Skipper had wanted 200 as a minimum and the total was on track though less wickets at halfway would have been preferred.  Never mind though as the Welsh Wizard of the crooked stick and the returned Greek God of Guns were in the middle now.

The Welsh Wizard even got the chance to practice his baseball as a ‘waist’ high full toss was swung away to the farmyard for 6.  I think the umpire was using Charlie Chaplin’s trousers belted under the chin as the measure for waist height!

The two ran well and for once Tommy had a partner that was too quick for him to run out!  Unfortunately though they were parted after 56 runs together when Shipperley (43 from 49 balls) practicing his penalty flick missed the ball and was adjudged in front.  And so with Marsh 156-5 from 34 overs, the Abbott went out to meet God.

It’s a good idea to be on time for a Holy Appointment but The Abbott almost missed it as the cry went up, “Where’s my bat?  Where’s my bat?!”  The well prepared Abbott had been sitting, waiting, zoning in and had consequently not noted the work of a little devil (well, a pair of demons really) who had sneaked off with his bat and put it in the getaway car for later!  Crouch, who knows the modus operandi of these little spirits, retrieved the good Abbott’s tool and sent it out to the middle for the Abbott to wield.

Skipper barked his orders from the boundary to the Abbott, “Bat on Ball….”  Oh yes, pithy alliteration from the skipper and The Abbott acquiesced – and was caught before the order could be completed “Bat on Ball….and Over the Rope” was the complete phrase!  174-6 from 38.  A bit of a push was required, but only a further set back came. At least the bat was safely back.

The Greek ‘God of Guns Out’ now got caught out after a valiant 27 and with 181 on the board.  The pace needed to step up now and with two of the Gibbon’s most renowned runners at the crease quite literally anything could happen.  And it almost did!  First there was exhibition running of hit ball straight to fielder only 10 yards away: Run, stop, run again – how can he not be run out? But he wasn’t…And this happened repeatedly as dives for the line rained in.  Perhaps it was a plan to demoralise the fielders?  Somehow ‘Sat Laurel’ and ‘Nathan Hardy’ got to 200 in the penultimate over as Kyle and his average were left sweating on the side lines.

Then a peach of a last over as Hume bound in to avenge the boundary that Crouch had cracked back through long on in his last over.  Well Satty did likewise!  Then the temperature rose to boiling point as Satty snicked another 4 past the wicket keeper. Last ball and a quick single on the square….turned in to 5 as Hume sought retribution and aimed his throw more at the batter than the stumps.  Which to be fair, is the larger object and was moving at the same speed as the stumps!  But he missed all of them (quite a feat from such short range) and the ball raced mercilessly to the boundary.

An unbeaten 7th wicket stand of 41 from 30 balls had surpassed Skippers requirement and left Faringdon needing 221 for victory.

Special mention to young Finn Johnson of Faringdon who fielded confidently and competently throughout.

Extra special mention to the fabulous and copious Tea from Lady Deborah, supported with additional cake from Selina (Sorry Brian!)

“Bowl tight, take our catches and build the pressure” was the direction from Skipper as Marsh took to the field in the sweltering heat.  How would two and a half hours out in this heat affect Faringdon?   Chairman Kyle bound in and a snorting first ball took shoulder of bat and looped toward gully…..Buckethands Richardson was waiting, but he needed to lope forward to reach the ball and the 4 pieces of cake consumed moments before seemed to root him to the spot!  Never mind, first ball next over and Crouch bowls to the bobbing Plant and cleans up leg stump.

The opener left the field discarding and launching pieces of equipment as he went before rounding the corner and one assumes, ‘planting’ his size nine into the pavilion door.  The door and frame being jerked from the wall.  As the Marsh team were in the field and Tea ladies in clean up mode, no one saw the event though it was heard. When sought for questioning some minutes later the batter had left the ground.  Odd. Disgraceful.

On the field, Faringdon were keeping up with the required rate and reached 48 from 10 overs.  A breakthrough was required and on cue, Kyle trapped the free scoring Owen in front.  The Marsh bowlers and fielders now graced the first division with a display of constriction on what should have been a free flowing track they squeezed the Faringdon pips.

Shippo came on for Crouch and sent down the fastest deliveries of the day, by far. After a couple of sighters’ he pinned both batters on the back foot, whilst Kyle gave no opportunities for Faringdon from the Edgcott End.   No wickets taken, but only 40 runs scored in the critical 15 over period from 10 to 25 overs and restricted Faringdon to 90-2 from 25.  The bowling was tight and the fielding immaculate as fast feet and sharp hands stopped singles and made sure no ones turned to two.

It was time to take pace off the ball as Needham finished his 12 over spell conceding only 27.  Vadivale and Richardson took over where Needham and Shipperley had left off.  They were as tight as the skippers trousers and despite Tomes and Johnson having been in the middle since the 11th over, neither of them could get at the wily pair….and the required  rate rose…and rose….and rose…..

31st over and with run desperation rising Tomes looked for 2 from a drive into extra cover.  Looked safe as Timdog was on the fence and we all know blokes with beards can’t throw. Wrong. In like a sprinter and a tracer throw over the bails. Tomes run out for 56.   Faringdon 114 for 3 from 32 overs. Required rate now over 8 per over.

Skipper Oglesby joined Johnson and neither could find the required boundaries as Vadivale and Richardson turned and bowled, turned and bowled.

A few, mostly difficult, chances were spilled and according to the Greek God this was all part of his master plan!

Johnson bowled by Richardson.  Oglesby bowled by Vadivale. In came Hume to try and make redress for his bowling figures (12 overs for 55).  Time, however, was not on his side as he was only allowed to push singles to a very well drilled and skippered set of fielders.

Marlow bowled by Vadivale (12 over 41 runs for 2 wickets).  Robinshaw bowled by Richardson (11 overs 53 runs for 2 wickets).  And Gibbon gracefully managed the game to its conclusion: A Marsh Victory.   Faringdon 183-7 off 45 overs, closing 38 runs adrift.

Yet again, the Mighty Gibbon graced the top division with their cricketing ability, hospitality and sportsmanship. Well played boys.

 

Richardson Proves Irresistible!

The Westcott Weekend Double-Header continued at The Gibbon on Sunday with the rearranged league fixture. Both sides needed to draft in players to replace those unavailable from the day before, but the weather was the same, no – it was even hotter!

Joseph continued his excellent tossing and chose to bat on a belter of a wicket and rapid outfield. With Westcott missing both their opening bowlers Marsh set off well with Beardie and Vadivale in the opening berths and looking steady. That is until the 6th over and with the total on 25 Satty was caught for 17 to be followed back next over by Beardie caught behind for 8.  Scotty was meeting the ball well and punching straight back as he looked to get a feel of the bowling, but played across his pad before he was ‘in’ and found himself ‘out.’  Marsh 46-3 off 10.

Then followed the partnership to set up victory.  Skipper Joseph who had decided to drop down the order on Saturday and had got a third ball Quack persevered at 4 and was joined by yesterday’s hero Richardson at number 5.  Both batted securely to begin with and ticked the board over.  It was clear that 200 would be enough to create scoreboard pressure, but would it be enough?   With this in mind the two started to press and boundaries came. With the score on 144 Joe was bowled by Bateman on 60 and the partnership fell 2 runs short of a Ton.

Nine overs remaining and 200 the target: Richardson stepped on the gas.  Abbott, Fox (Snr!), Callow and Chambers came in and threw caution to the wind in search of quick runs and fittingly Sammy crashed the last ball iof the inning for 6 to take Marsh to 205-7.

Would that be enough?  There was batting in the Westcott line up, but probably not in great depth, though 2 long sessions in the heat would not have helped.

Chairman Kyle and Crouch opened up and kept it tight but no wicket until the 6th over when Callow struck as Joseph took the rising catch behind.  Danger man Khan came in at 3 and looked to continue his positive approach of the day before and targeted Callow.  Skipper replaced Crouch with Richardson and got his reward with opener Cherry clutched by Seb Fox in Sammy’s first over.   Khan was still a problem until Needham claimed him again.  This time a superb running catch from the older (and slightly taller!) Fox brother coming in from Long On.  Westcott 52-3 off 15.  It was in the balance with 153 required off 30 and so 5 an over required.

It was the time for the Westcott Skipper Strong to perform and partnered by Raynor they clipped the ball around and accumulated steadily.  It took 20 overs for Marsh to break the pair, when in the 36th over and score on 139 Callow held a precious catch off Abbott to remove Raynor.  A further 67 runs required off 54 balls required….

Richardson had restricted the runs and finished with 1 for just 12 runs off 8 overs and it rested with Vadivale and Abbott to bring home the victory.

Just as soon as Symes came to the wicket, Seb Fox sent him back with a razor sharp piece of fielding at backward square leg to run out the grumbling Symes with a direct hit.  Vadivale and Abbott – who had reversed the previous days plan and now decided to pitch the ball at the batsman’s end – were keeping the tiring Skipper tied down, whilst they picked off the tale.

It was good to welcome Lewis Jeacock to the Gibbon crease again, especially as the rate was over 10 per over when he arrived and as true as elephants can’t fly, Lewis isn’t going to smash boundaries! (Sorry Lewis)

Skipper Strong (64) was eventually bowled by Vadivale and with that the game was Marsh’s.  Westcott ending 20 runs short.

Back to back victories and 57 points moved Marsh up more places in the table.

Excellent contributions from many over the weekend, but none more than Sambo Richardson to bring it home, with scores of 60 and his highest score of 79 not out, plus 8 overs 1 for 12 at a critical point to restrict runs on the Sunday – not to mention 2 catches as well!

 

 

 

Take a blow! Are you having a laugh?

The Westcott Double-Header Weekend brought even more Sunshine and a selection shortage as both Skipper’s went on their Summer sojourns.   Never mind, the 3rd Leonard could step up from Vice duties to stand in and it has to be said he showed what a tosser he is right from the start!  As he called correctly to insert Gibbon on a surprisingly green Westcott deck.

New skipper at the helm maybe, but the standard Marsh batting collapse still followed. Chambers (Snr), Vadivale, Mead and the Skipper all back in the hutch at 30-4 off 10 overs. Perhaps they were just getting to their seats early for the England vs Sweden Quarter Final!  Could it get any worse?  Yes.  In no time at all, Fox and Abbott were seated in the shade and waiting for the footie as well as Marsh were reduced to 47-6 off 20 overs.  Rehman Ullah especially dangerous with his left arm around sticking or skidding in from a wide projection.

Crouchy joined Sammy in the middle and the Time for a recovery was now.  The two stood firm and started to find boundaries, sending the ball speeding across the baked hard outfield. Callow (20) had surpassed his highest score for the season when he gifted a C&B to Strong and an encouraging partnership of 45 in just 6 overs came to an end with Marsh on 92-7.  Needham now joined Richardson.

Sammy was selectively hitting to his strength and putting balls into the corn field and onto the runway!  The return of Ullah was his unfortunate undoing as a ball failed to get up and skidded over his foot into the stumps.  Sammy scored 60 in just 69 balls including the time of the early top order demise. (9 Boundaries included: 6×4 and 3×6).

Marsh were now 127-8 off 34 and so time to spare, but not wickets.  Needham had been happily watch from the other end as Richardson had plundered but with only Timdog and the young Chambers left had to move it along.  After a quality thick edge through 3rd man for 4 Timdog became Ullah’s 5th scalp.  Kyle (27*) and young Jacob scampered over 145 required for the 3rd batting point before Jacob was bowled and the innings closed on 148 – just in time to watch the 2nd half of the footie with Tea!

On a baking hot day with a rock hard small outfield no one thought 148 would be enough…….

Kyle’s first over looked expensive as it went for 11 as Ullah attacked from the start whilst only 2 fielders can be outside the 30 yard ring.  But, he only lasted 5 balls as a quicker and shorter ball snorted to Richardson (who else!) in gully to take the catch.   Khan came next and was even more determined to finish the game quickly.  With the score at 42 in only the 7th over the Marsh total of 148 seemed even more inadequate.   Until two wickets in 3 balls.

First went Khan, thin edging from Kyle into Skipper Joseph’s gloves. Sharp take – 2 down.  Westcott skipper Strong at the crease.  Dot. Then ball smashes pad straight down the middle – LBW.  Westcott 42-3 from 7.

Callow had been struggling in the heat with a bout of man-flu and lack of sleep and was replaced by Vadivale. At first the change down in pace looked the wrong decision as a few early fours followed.  Then with drinks approaching Needham trapped opener Cherry in front and Westcott were 62-4 off 13.

They say Skippers live or Die by their decisions….well, Kyle had just taken out the top 4 batters and in his last 30 delivers had taken 3 wickets for 9 runs and 5 of those 9 runs were because the skipper had put 3 fielders behind leg and caused a ‘No ball’ with the resulting extra ball going for 4.   It therefore came as some surprise when the skipper announced “Kyle have a blow.”    To be replaced by Jayson who had obviously seen something in his half of the pitch that could trouble the batter. So he bounced the ball no more than 3 metres in front of his foot.  Whack!  Hussain smacked the ball straight to Mead – Wicket first ball!

Followed immediately by Vadivale having Symes caught by Callow on the square, and then Abbott struck again next over with a C&B, deceiving the batsman by pitching the ball on his favourite spot – just by his landing boot!

Vadivale and Jaybone were ripping through the Westcott middle and lower order in double quick time as England were bringing it home against Sweden!

Westcott were tumbled from 62-3 to 77 All out, as Abbott finished with 3 wickets for 3 runs.  Vadivale 3 for 17 and Needham 4 for 34.  Consequently Skipper Joseph ‘Lived’ to Lead the Gibbon again!

Most importantly a 28 point victory lifted Gibbon off the bottom rung of the league and lifted the spirits of the players.

What’s the Batting Order Again….?

Looking to avenge a narrow opening day defeat, the Originals entertained third placed Oxenford in another day of high drama in the searing Gibbon heat.

A number of changes from last week’s loss to the league leaders ensued, the most notable being Kyle (or Mr Chairman as he now likes to be referred), who travelled as far as Wales to ensure his batting average remained protected. We welcomed back the aggressive clergyman Mathers after a couple of years absent, Will ‘Spud’ Honour fresh from his colouring-in exam stress and new Marsh resident Alex for his first taste of poor banter and even worse music choices provided by the village cricket team.  Despite assurances that the 10p provided by Crouchy would be an absolute certainty for winning the toss, Skipper duly lost in standard fashion. Gibbon asked to field first on a lovely batting wicket and lightning fast outfield. Skipper returned to a barrage of abuse for yet another tossing defeat, led by Crouch who earlier vowed to be “working hard on my language”……..he’s now achieved his advanced swearing badge!

Tommy (AKA Les) opened up with lanky potty mouth Crouch, who started well creating a few chances, but with Gibbon only fielding with 10, due to Satty doing his school sports day duties, there were gaps available and opener Andy Harris was taking advantage with a range of powerful strokes as Oxenford steadily built around him.

On a batting day, it was tough work for the Gibbon boys and some dropped chances and a few misfields didn’t help their plight, most notably LES who put down opener Harris later in his innings in what must go down as the biggest sitter of the season thus far! The boys plugged away, with the wickets shared around. LES bowled a nice spell of 11 overs, picking up one, whilst going unrewarded on a number of occasions, with the slightly jaded Satty bowling a controlled spell of 1-33 from his 12 overs. Harris finishing with a very well made 91 before being stumped, one of three by the skipper behind the stumps. With poppadum fingers Joe dropping the final ball of the innings, Oxenford closed on 237-7.

With everyone gasping for liquid refreshment, an exquisite array of tea delights was provided by Mrs Honour, who achieved a wonderful contrast of sweet and savoury…… it was certainly a biggie!

With regular opener Joe damaging a digit in the field, a last minute change to the order was required, with Sat promoted to open with Jules, then more chaos ensued just before the resumption as Satty proclaimed “I’m tired”. Combined with the heat and lack of sleep, he didn’t look as if he was firing on all cylinders. Skipper was the only one semi-dressed and reluctantly left his favoured number four spot, so strapped them on. With potentially two men from the top three unable to bat, it was difficult to gauge which way to go about things, but the openers got off to a watchful start, before Jules nicked off for 3. With skipper battening down the hatches, as we awaited the impact of various anti-inflammatory medication, the returning Mathers (5) was promoted to number three and Spud (11) to four. Skipper went for a watchful 27, mistiming a short delivery, with Jayson promoted providing a couple of big blows before being bowled.

Following his manicure and nail polish now dry, Captain of Vice Joe proclaimed he was fit to bat “with only three fingers” and along with brother LES, who only a few weeks previous had declared he was going to lay his older sibling out, proceeded to plunder the bowlers to the boundary regularly. J Leno was run out attempting a 2nd, returning to form just at the right time with an impressive 83, whilst Tommy ‘Spark out’ Leno was caught for 40, including a wonderful straight six……cue the Danny Dyer walk! With 9 an over needed, Gibbon were back in the game up until that point, but the innings faltered. A decent effort nonetheless. Satty, now semi-conscious, was stumped with the keeper stood 10 yards back from the pegs, as the innings closed on 213-8, giving the visitors victory by 24 runs.

Another battling performance, but no cigar for the Originals, as we continue to search for the consistency and availability to move up the table. Thankfully, Satty was fully recovered enough to wrap up a solid five pieces of coffee cake to take home to replenish his depleted energy stores, however, Joe’s injury curtailed his planned evening activities, so he and his fetching pink shirt settled for a night in the dog………..

Despite remaining the strongest team in the league (holding all above them), there is plenty of optimism given aspects of performance and players starting to fire again that Gibbon can (like our expert alpinist Timmo) start to climb the mountain.

Onto the Westcott double header………..